Random Rants, by Thomas Andrew Olson

Friday, April 28, 2006

"Fear Tower" breaks ground

After 4 1/2 years of stupid wrangling by greedhead developers and posturing pols over the fate of "Pataki's Pit" - known to the world as the former site of the World Trade Center - an "agreement" has finally been reached to allow construction to proceed - the construction of an architectural abomination ironically named the Freedom Tower.

Despite polls taken over the last several years, encompassing New Yorkers, the state as a whole, and even nationwide, which show overwhelmingly the public's desire to see the Twin Towers rebuilt taller, stronger, and more defiant, the Ground Zero Cabal have chosen to ignore the will of the people - Pataki, to revive his Presidential aspirations, Bloomberg, to cement his own legacy, and Silverstein, to avoid losing everything. So in the Twin's place will grow an abomination that isn't even fully useful, with only 60-70 stories of office space - the rest of the 1,776-ft monstrosity will be an empty shell. But perhaps that emptiness represents the brains of those who dreamed it up in the first place.

The original design was rejected for looking like a "dunce cap"; plus, many complained about security issues. This gave false hope to Twin Towers restoration advocates. Unfortunately, they didn't realize the fix was in. The Freedom Tower was merely redesigned - now, it looks like a large headstone at a grave site - with an empty dunce cap on top.

This is an utter, unredeeming tragedy. Rebuilding the visually imposing Twin Towers on the ashes of the old would have served not only to inspire the nation, but it would have disheartened America's enemies. They would have been our way of saying "you can knock down our buildings, but not our spirit".

The biggest impression the Twin Towers gave the world wasn't their size - they were only the "tallest buildings in the world" for a short time after completion. Rather, it was the uniquely American audacity to build TWO of them on the same piece of land. A far more challenging and bold task, to be sure, but this was a country still known for boldness in the mid-1970's. Even today, many countries have sent instrument packages to the Moon, but only America sent men. Which feat impresses more?

The single tower design was described by another writer last year as a "symbolic deficiency", and that's a very apt description. It will fill the sky with empty space, when once we filled it with people. Instead of challenging the world to rise to that level of achievement, we have chosen instead to lower ourselves to the level of others, then congratulate ourselves and scurry away like frightened rabbits.

The Freedom Tower will only symbolize the freedoms Americans have lost, given away for the false god of "security". Perhaps this is what Americans deserve after all.

And perhaps the America that is symbolized by that monstrosity will also one day collapse, of its own weight, as a failed culture that turned its collective back on the very things that made it great.

May the new America that rises from those ashes regain the boldness and can-do spirit of its forefathers, and, as a symbol of that restoration of freedom, build those towers anew on the empty shell of the Freedom Tower, which I predict will never be fully completed by the 2012 projected date.

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