Fight the Future

It’s unfortunate that the NY Observer’s article-links go dead so quick, and don’t get reposted to a free archive setup. Otherwise, I’d like to Ron Rosenbaum’s recent columns on the folly of the Freedom Tower. Ron’s argument against the tower is simple: who in their right minds are going to move their offices to a location that will clearly become the #1 target of terrorists the instant it’s completed?

Sure, it’s a “symbol of our determination” or something, but if it ends up with no occupancy, it’s going to be a symbol of a lot of other stuff.

As Nick Ouroussoff of the NYTimes writes in the International Herald Trib, “But if this is a potentially fascinating work of architecture, it is, sadly, fascinating in the way that Albert Speer’s architectural nightmares were fascinating – as expressions of the values of a particular time and era. The Freedom Tower embodies, in its way, a world shaped by fear.”

I don’t think my solution–make it a big memorial park, shunt the commercial rights to other locations, and put up those “towers of light” every September–is going to happen, sadly enough. Of course, I also thought that the West Side Stadium boondoggle was going to get shoveled down New York’s throat, so what do I know?

Glad you (I) asked! I know a lot of blogs, for one thing! At Mickey Kaus’, for example, he writes about the silliness of telling people “you work in the safest skyscraper in the world.”

He also provides a link to the Freedom Tower’s quasi-official website. I’m not sure which genius thought that silent “flyby videos” of the hypothetical tower were a smart idea. Click on “East River Flyby” for the most “creepy” (Kaus’ word) one. [you’ll need Real Player or Windows Media Viewer installed]

Beyond the sheer idiocy of showing an aerial view of a building that replaces two hit by passenger jets, I like the undisturbed wilderness off to the west. That would evidently be the pristine wilds of northern New Jersey. If you look really closely, you might be able to see one of the native goombahs giving you the finger.