The events of September 11th, 2001 - tragically, after only two years - have become a joke.
We need look no further than jolly old England for one example. In a story from the "This Is London" on-online edition from over the weekend, I read about a sculpture featuring Mickey Mouse flying a plane into the World Trade Center.
Quoting the article: “Entitled 'Mickey's Taliban Adventures', the sculpture, by Alan Bennie of the Edinburgh College of Art, shows Mickey flying a toy plane into foam-like recreations of the WTC. The buildings have eyes to give them startled expressions, and one has flames made of felt shooting out of it.
“Colin Greensdale, Edinburgh's exhibitions coordinator, said the sculpture is ‘about making you think.’”
This parody of Sept. 11th shouldn't be too surprising considering that's how the attack could be viewed from overseas: something that happened to somebody else, and didn't touch them.
I'd like to think that if this were done in the United States, the outrage would be huge. I'm sure it would - but only on talk radio, which, despite popular belief, I still don't think is a true barometer for public thought. If the president or other elected (GOP) official were to speak out the piece of art, it would be followed by the usual grandstanding and bickering (from the Democrats) that now surrounds the entire War on Terror and the 9-11 attack itself. In the end, it's all white noise, and we forget what we're talking about.
Yes, we see the remains of the wreckage, the grieving families, the videos taken that day. We all remember where we were, how it felt. The burst of patriotism that followed was short lived - the other day, I saw a pick-up truck with an NRA bumper sticker and the tattered remains of an American flag on the radio antenna - an interesting clash. Guess it's the thought that counts.
The fact is, unless you were personally affected by Sept. 11th, it's become just another day. Something tossed about and discussed so much by the pundits and politicians and the average Joe that it has lost its impact. We've gone to war in two countries to supposedly avenge the event, and those military adventures have fallen into so much scrutiny and debate and second-guessing and Monday morning quarterbacking that the reasons for our retaliation have been lost.
"Mickey's Taliban Adventures" is a reaction of how we see the attack now. Just something to remember with two minutes of silence once a year. Twenty-five years from now, just like with the JFK assassination, somebody will wonder what the big deal was. Fifty years from now, it will be a footnote in a news broadcast - not unlike the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Then they'll talk about the latest celebrity couple of celebrity sex video.
Maybe Osama had a point.
Brian Evankovich lives in California where he breeds pocket lint for alternative fuel experiments. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org