Monday, September 14, 2015

9/11 Fanfic

"But speculative stories aren’t just about the rearrangement of historical possibilities. Often, they draw their power from combining emotions and thoughts that we’d prefer not to combine. A story like “Beyond the Flags” unsettles, and even offends, because it identifies two common and incompatible thoughts: on the one hand, we are appalled by the horror and randomness of 9/11; on the other, we enjoy thinking of wealthy bankers as callow, narcissistic jerks. These two streams of thought are never supposed to cross. We all know that, factually and morally, Matt Taibbi’s famous description of Goldman Sachs in Rolling Stone—“a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity”—has nothing to do with the murder of thousands of innocent people on 9/11. We watch “Margin Call” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” with one part of the mind, and “World Trade Center” and “United 93” with another. All the same, even as the possibility of that connection is denied, it’s there, hovering in the mental atmosphere. Fiction, like a thunderstorm, precipitates it
"From that perspective, speculative histories are really about us—our desires, our ideas, our intuitions, however marginal, wrong, or unrealized they may be...when we say it’s “too soon,” what we really mean is that we’re not yet ready to confront these ideas and feelings in ourselves. We already have the thoughts—they’re in there. But we’d still prefer moral clarity. We’re not ready to play."

-Joshua Rothman, The Unsettling Arrival of Speculative 9/11 Fiction, New Yorker

9/11 always seems a constant struggle against the one acceptable narrative we're supposed to have of the day.

and then there's the other, weird speculative world of 9/11 premonitions, all the ways popular culture imagined the twin towers destroyed before they actually happened.  There's dozens, maybe even hundreds of these images in comics, cartoons, action films, advertisements, et al.

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