That's an essay guest-posted at the increasingly useless io9 by Bob Goodman, one of the writers of Warehouse 13, a
As a description of the world (which it also tries to be), it's, as I hinted at above, really stupid. Here's the most ridiculous passage:
I apologize in advance for invoking 9/11, but on that day at the start of the new millennium, a group of people still fighting the Crusades used airplanes to destroy a pair of iconic buildings from the 1970's, killing 3,000 people and shocking the West's financial system... and the way we fight them is by cutting off the opium trade.I think I've said before that sometimes people say things that are so completely unrelated to reality that you can't even describe them as right or wrong any more than you could use those words to describe, say, JRR Tolkien's take on Sauron.
As fantasy, unrelated to the real world and what actually happens in it, we can argue about the literary merits of Goodman's description of 9/11. In the real world, trying to respond to it just gives me a headache. Hey, Bob: "the Crusades" were an endless series of wars of aggression against the various Muslim nations of the middle east and guess what that's still happening. And the way we "fight them"? More by slaughtering millions of completely unrelated people than by "cutting off the opium trade." And that's just a start. I'm too tired to go any further.
All of the nonsense about the internet as a fundamental game-changer rather than a delightful convenience, well, I'm way too tired.
UPDATE: Yeah, I was definitely too tired, because I never actually got to my point, which is in two parts.
1. Trying to reduce the motivations of the 9/11 hijackers to a kind of postmodern schizophrenic mish-mash is ridiculous; it only works if you assume that they could not possibly have had an actual motive. They weren't "still fighting the Crusades" because they just felt like it, or were too stuck in the past to move on; they were fighting it because, as I said, it's still going on. Their choice of the WTC has absolutely nothing to do with its being a 70's icon--after all, if that was the case, they wouldn't have also targeted the Pentagon (ded. 1943) and the Capitol building (built over a period from 1793 to 1811). Obviously the sites were targeted because of what goes on inside of them.
And, uh, so on.
2. Goodman's colossal misrepresentation of reality in this one teensy paragraph completely disproves his entire argument, or at least reveals that he has misunderstood it. Sure, Goodman, our lives are on shuffle. But they don't have to be. You've chosen to mindlessly believe a received narrative of 9/11 that falls apart under a moment's scrutiny. But you have the information available to you to make you realize that you've been misled, if you just chose to become aware of it. That you simultaneously are conscious that you have a wealth of information available to you and refuse to make use of it reveals quite a bit about you.