Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Death Imitates Art

Last  fall, while traipsing around North America, I entertained myself with DVDs of "Absolutely Fabulous."  On one of the special features, Jennifer Saunders mentioned that out of their many controversial gags, the one they were most worried about was jokingly refering to 9/11 as 7/11.  I know that I  laughed.

And I laughed again when a friend of mine accidently made the same slip.  Granted, she isn't a native speaker and had a bit of wine in her.  The nonsense aspect of it is just what this "9/11" deserves.  The fact that the media and the populace turned a tragedy that touched (and with the Iraq debacle continues to touch) the lives of millions into a slogan, a brand, is pathetic.  I guess it makes the whole thing more palatable to the little minds more attuned to Reality TV than to reality. (Note the lower case.)  

A few years ago I met a woman who lost her young son to cancer.  His birthday happened to share the date on which my own son died. She and I were at a Zen center on that day, so we had the monks perform a short ceremony.  Later this woman wrote to thank me for observing with her, "10/14."

I like this woman, a woman of immense intelligence and kindness. But when I read that, I wanted to absolutely fucking throttle her. 

On the turntable:  The Stooges, "1970: The Complete Funhouse Sessions"

On the reel table:  "Record of a Tenement Gentleman"  (Ozu, 1947)

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