Thursday, April 13, 2006

Too Awful To Listen To

San Francisco Chronicle blogger C. W. Nevius doesn't want to hear, or hear about, the Flight 93 recordings.

What's the point? Is it to stoke the fires of righteous indignation against the terrorists? Frankly, it is hard to believe there is any more stoking to be done. Regardless of how you feel about the war in Iraq, to see what has happened, on the daily basis, to our troops — and to the people of Iraq — is to be reminded of what those evil fanatics can do. No more rabble-rousing needs to be done.

Unfortunate choice of a phrase there, that last bit. Just because he doesn't want to have his mellow harshed doesn't make the rest of us "rabble". And if it does, then maybe Shakespeare is "rabble", too:

O thou well skill'd in curses, stay awhile,
And teach me how to curse mine enemies!

Forbear to sleep the nights, and fast the days;
Compare dead happiness with living woe;
Think that thy babes were fairer than they were,
And he that slew them fouler than he is:
Bettering thy loss makes the bad causer worse:
Revolving this will teach thee how to curse.

My words are dull; O, quicken them with thine!

Thy woes will make them sharp, and pierce like mine.


C. W. Nevius is also disgusted by the idea of commercial exploitation of Flight 93:

While the producers of the "Flight 93'' movie insist it is a tribute to the passengers, there isn't any question they are doing all they can to create a heart-rending, tear-jerking conclusion.

It is hard not to think that their hope is that people leave the theater sobbing, and then tell their friends that they have to go see it and have a breakdown moment of their own. After all, this isn't a public service. They are trying to make money here. And for some a movie like this, or listening to tapes like these, may make them feel better, or give them a sense of perspective and reflection.

Not me. I don't want to hear them. And I certainly don't want to pay money for a ticket to help anyone raise money from the raw emotions of that terrible day.

The story of Flight 93 is an instant classic, to use an unfortunately shopworn term. It will be told and retold for a long time to come. If United 93 the movie doesn't do them justice, then another movie or play or novel or something someday will. The "raw emotion" of their sacrifice will attract artists, genuine artists, for years to come. And so long as their sacrifice is remembered, the resulting works of art will find an audience. I won't begrudge someone a fatter bottom line if one of those works plumbs the depths, scales the heights, hits the nail, pushes our buttons--that is, if one of them is a classic worthy of the art of story-telling.

Thus far, and no farther.

Never forget.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! Please keep your comments civil and on-topic. Spammage will be cheerfully removed.