30 June, 2005

Oh, man, please don't call it that

Not content with making a building that looks like the headquarters for Team Depeche Mode, the planners behind the new World Trade Center-replacement continue to insist on calling the building the "Freedom Tower".

Now, one must give them credit: they had the good sense to trash their previous design, which might have given unsuspecting tourists the mistaken impression that the city had suffered an abortive attack by some sort of giant robot, one of whose limbs (complete with trapezoidal metallic faux-biceps and pulverizing laser-cannon attachment) had been severed and left behind.

However, the new design really isn't THAT much better, and it still features the pulverizing laser-cannon attachment, along with pulverizing laser. I was a fan of the short-lived ghostly light sculpture ("Tribute in Light") put up a few years back to mark Ground Zero. This laser-cannon attachment, though, doesn't pull it off nearly as well and just ends up looking hokey.

Hokey is, I have to conclude, what they're going for; why else would they have dubbed it the "Freedom Tower"? My god, can you imagine the embarassment of its inhabitants describing their place of employment?

ROGER: I work in the Freedom Tower.

BELINDA: I'm sorry, where?

ROGER: The Freedom Tower.

[BELINDA laughs explosively, sending a piece of pimento flying from her mouth onto ROGER's tie.]

BELINDA: Oh, I'm sorry... hmmm... Freedom Tower! (Giggles.)

And moreover I fear the word "Freedom" is starting to suffer from that phenomenon of overuse, where you repeat a word so many times that it begins to feel rubbery and unfamiliar, as if part of your brain has become fatigued and refuses to acknowledge its meaning anymore. And the men who are fond of overapplying it so clearly misapprehend that meaning that I'm starting to despise the word itself. Its constant application is meant to reassure us of some great Value, no doubt, but as the word erodes I'm finding that the Value itself is becoming increasingly slippery, until, perhaps, I will cynically doubt whether it exists at all, whether it was ever anything other than the blubbery syllable floating off the lips of disgusting demagogues.


Fear as Freedom Tower Bargaining Chip

Posted by roger

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