Notepad on Life

July 31, 2013

9/11 Museum director’s heart is in the right place. His brain, on the other hand…

Filed under: foreign,News — - @ 7:54 am
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If my Enemy Within Tumblr page was devoted to those whose mindset is bringing America, not Britain, to its knees, rest assured Michael Shulan would be its latest incumbent, following his agonised hand-wringing over whether the iconic photograph of New York firefighters raising the flag at Ground Zero was suitable for inclusion in the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

“Suitable”. Yes, you did read that right.

“…Shulan, the museum’s creative director, was among staffers who considered the Tom Franklin photograph too kitschy and “rah-rah America,” according to ‘Battle for Ground Zero’ (St. Martin’s Press) by Elizabeth Greenspan, out next month.

‘I really believe that the way America will look best, the way we can really do best, is to not be Americans so vigilantly and so vehemently,’ Shulan said.”

Now, I can meet Shulan half-way here. This won’t go down well with some Americans but even friends of your country like me occasionally would like to see vehement Americanism toned down a tad.

But this? This photograph isn’t “rah-rah America”, Mr Shulan. This is neither “vigilant” nor “vehement”. Or “jingoistic”, to use a favourite chestnut among British liberals.

This is defiance. This is fortitude. This is a spirit that refuses to buckle in the face of one of the greatest atrocities in my lifetime. This is a picture a whole nation needed to see.

This is magnificent.

A word I can’t quite apply to Michael Shulan. One more bleeding heart so desperate to be right-on, it blinds him as to what is right. Thank heaven we have been spared the folly of his navel-gazing.


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