Mainly because I’ve been pretty busy and using Twitter to goof off.
As I mentioned before, my family will be taking a vacation in NYC in June and we have been watching Ric Burns’s 8-part documentary on the subject. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s damn good (and boy do they take a chunk of flesh out of Robert Moses in a later ep) but it was originally planned for seven parts. Then, while they were in post, 9/11 happened.
We’ve been borrowing the DVDs from the library, working our way through them over several months. My son was spell-bound by the early episodes, but not terribly interested in the modern history. I had part 8 on hold for some weeks so it wouldn’t be too much too soon for him. I finally picked it up on Saturday.
Then Osama bin Laden was killed on Sunday.
Well, that made it pertinent, didn’t it? We put in the show and watched last night.
God, it was three hours long, and the filmmakers didn’t have the distance to make a compelling narrative out of the whole thing, the way they had with earlier stories. They included the whole thing, including the Rockefellers’ original plan to build on the eastern side of the island and the politics of the Port Authority. They also talked quite a bit about what a bad idea it was originally, how ugly it was, how old-fashioned the ideas behind it were–even as it was being designed. They also talked about how long it took for the office space to be filled.
The last hour focused on the attack. Not once did they mention bin Laden’s name, but they did show that video. Yeah, I wept. It was pretty powerful stuff, and a good counter-point to the Abbattobad news cycle.
Finally, about that news cycle: The story of what happened that day is already changing, as I knew it would. Don’t take anything as gospel truth. Not yet. Remember Jessica Lynch? Remember Pat Tillman? Hell, there are still people who think the 9/11 hijackers snuck into the U.S. from Canada, because irresponsible talk hit the media and the corrections did not reach everyone.
The media is basically reprinting White House press releases. Withhold judgement, I say.