Spotted last night on the street, it struck me as funny for the visual shock of the extreme plastic white, in the dark. But this morning reading more about the WTC Museum, its crass gift shop and that it has an admission charge, I want to use this image for another purpose: to remind you, Reader, of how far we have come from that awful day in 2001 where our values were adjusted that morning to what was the essential as humans, caring for each other no matter what it took. We learned that heroes weren’t rock stars or handsome jocks with jawbones and terrific smiles on the screen, but people just doing their jobs and being in the moment helping each another.
This shot now starts to make me think of the body parts, the stink of death on the pile, the months of acrid smoke that hung in the air, the dust that seemed to get into everything we owned. No more irony, we said. No more forgetting our values, we promised. No more thinking about money and possessions when the only thing that means anything is those we love, we affirmed.
Back to normal really meant more money, more extreme profit-taking, more stealing from the homeowners with mortgage scams that would soon collapse like the towers on the innocents. And now we come to the WTC Museum on a site which should have become a simple park open to everyone instead of a new chance for more money for the profiteers. A Museum designed to break your heart with objects that bring everything back as if you are living through the awful day again. A gift shop. All this for only $24 admission fee. Is there no shame?