Making “the best” of a bad situation is understood to mean lowering one’s sights and settling for second- or third-best. It is the “it could always be worse” philosophy. And by that measure, we are indeed making the best of the World Trade Center. But what is so wrong about the current agenda is that the Twin Towers actually were the best and they brought out the best. Even after they were no longer the tallest buildings in the world, they were still icons of a country that strives to be the best — not in a spirit of hubris or arrogance, but out of exuberance and dedication.
For conniving politicians to have abandoned them to their fate was so unnecessary and completely heartless. No single act would have brought more optimism and cause for celebration to the people of America, and to so many around the world, than to build them back, better than ever. It would be, in the words of the amazing Philippe Petit, “a rebellion against doom.”
The montage of Twin Towers cameos, selected from an exhaustive list of appearances, makes one wonder how officials could have been so indifferent to the Towers’ place as New York City’s defining symbol or not realized the part they played in our national psyche. Dan Meth spoke for millions when he ended his written introduction to the tribute by saying: “Man, I miss them.”
Nothing epitomized the Twin Towers mystique better than Mike Nichols’ 1988 film “Working Girl” about a girl from Staten Island who refuses to lower her sights. He uses shots of the Twin Towers as a metaphor throughout the film. Whenever the going gets tough, they reinforce their pull on her to not settle for the path of least resistance and a second-best life.
The ultimate, awful irony is that second-best is exactly what the new World Trade Center represents. One has only to imagine Nichols creating an entire film around the Freedom Tower complex the way he did the Towers to realize what a pathetic substitute it is.
The outdoor observation deck is a prime example of how they are robbing us. People loved that rooftop experience, but the WTC byword — the sky’s the limit – has been replaced by officials’ updated version: it’s good enough. Just imagine if the following video had been shot in an indoor observation deck… but of course, they wouldn’t have bothered.
Does anyone seriously expect the Freedom Tower and its novelty neighbors would become fixtures of the Silver Screen? Fat chance… What it all boils down to is that our own officials are accomplices in the brazen theft of two 110-storey buildings — Bin Laden stole them and then our own politicians fenced them. We can only guess at why, since the WTC contracts are being illegally kept from the public, but letting them get away with it would be like letting a bank robber keep his loot. It is unthinkable.
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