And so the month ends as it begins—with another act of terrorism against innocent bystanders. Do I dare trace this thread? Beginning at Las Vegas, in the shadow of the great black pyramid of the Luxor, and ending by the footprints of the former Twin Towers.
I did a bit of a “travelogue” of that particular area of downtown Manhattan earlier this year—the same place where yesterday a man purposely ran his truck into a bike path, killing eight people. I had described the “Oculus,” a highly modern and cold white transportation hub that housed a high-end mall.
Earlier yesterday, on Halloween, talk show host Wendy Williams fainted on live TV—dressed as the Statue of Liberty. I know it would sound odd of me to say that as I watched over and over again a “breaking news” gif of Williams fainting…I “knew” some attack on America was on its way. But I did think that; and then I saw “World Trade Center” trending on Twitter, and I was like “oh, FUCK.”
The news said the suspect in the attack at the bike lane shouted “Allahu akbar” as he exited his rented Home Depot truck, holding a paintball gun in one hand and a BB gun in the other. This was all a good portion of the public needed, their buttons pressed—terrorist attack by the World Trade Center. Those buttons immediately pressed…
The sense memory of it. My friends on Facebook checking in “safe,” one by one, for the “Violent Event In New York City.” Now there was a possible terrorist incident at the WTC. The sense memory of that event over 16 years ago still fresh.
In-between the William fainting incident and the attack, I had a long drawn out fight with some of my Facebook friends over an article I wrote and posted, cockily declaring that the age of cinema begun in the 1990s largely from the Weinstein stable: Clooney, Damon, Affleck—was “over.” This apparently attacked some people where they lived and breathed, as they still identified themselves with this sort of faux-progressive (as if this group of mostly white alpha male actors and producers and directors were not the biggest dudebros in history) cinematic aesthetic.
I had been recently experimenting on Facebook; posting a funny captioned picture here, an inspirational quote there. I was trying to understand the human experience. But there was nothing quite as exhilarating as being called “dangerous” for suggesting it was the end of the age of Clooney/Damon, or that perhaps they shouldn’t have been campaigning so hard for the Democrats when their compadre and benefactor was busy raping and terrorizing actresses in their own backyard.
I was more dangerous than Weinstein even, it seemed, for writing such things. Ah, the little personal war, the Facebook snit. Sandwiched between the fainting Statue of Liberty and a terrorist attack near the Freedom Tower.
And look, as I write these words it’s 9:11…
I know. Another odd thing for me to say.
More to read about on Butterfly Language:
In The Eye Oculus
Observations 10/22/17: Ozymandias And The Comedian
Observations 9/29/17: Marx Brothers On Mars