Michael Shulan, one of the Big Apple’s mincing cultural exquisites, was plucked from the teeming masses of the city’s intellectualoids to serve as the creative director for the 911 Memorial Museum, in which capacity he originally tried to bar the display of an iconic photo of firemen raising a U.S. flag amidst the destruction.
Michael Shulan, the museum’s creative director, was among staffers who considered the Tom Franklin photograph too kitschy and “rah-rah America,” according to “Battle for Ground Zero” (St. Martin’s Press) by Elizabeth Greenspan, out next month.Hmmm…m’yes. Quite so, old top. The photo is merely a third-rate, derivative expression of the image of U.S. Marines raising the flag on Mt. Suribachi – which is, itself, nothing but a paean to American jingoism (and let’s not forget to congratulate ourselves on being among the relative few who know how “paean” is pronounced, let alone what it means, what?) Not to mention that the picture is…how shall I put this…insufficiently representative of America’s rich racial diversity. Not quite the thing, at all.
“I really believe that the way America will look best, the way we can really do best, is to not be Americans so vigilantly and so vehemently,” Shulan said.
Mr. Shulan continues:
“My concern, as it always was, is that we not reduce [9/11] down to something that was too simple, and in its simplicity would actually distort the complexity of the event, the meaning of the event.”Oh, absolutely, my dear fellow! There must be layers and layers of unexplored complexity, irony, and nuance that belie the superficial explanation that this unfortunate incident was due to the decision by Muslim terrorists to murder as many Americans as possible in one spectacular blow. Of course, the Muslim terrorists themselves have stated that it was as simple as that, but can they – poor, confused chaps that they are - legitimately claim to be the sole authors of this seminal act of violence? Should we really overlook our own role in what was arguably one of the most dramatic and tragic examples of entrapment in history?
Say, here’s an idea: why not photoshop a trio of proto-occupiers on top of the rubble, holding a banner with the words, “We apologize on behalf of America for our crusade against Islam”, or perhaps, “We asked for it!”
Or better yet: how about if a band of patriotic citizens bundles this bozo off to the docks, and heaves him onto a trash barge? Or is that too…simple, too lacking in complexity? Well, then, remove his trousers, paint his buttocks bright orange and epoxy a plastic daffodil between his butt-cheeks.” How’s that for “complexity” and “meaning”?