Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Within the three readings I found an underlying connection in the idea of a guarded American ideology that is bleeding internally. In Zizek's Welcome the Desert of the Real, the symbolic function the WTC tragedy plays in the American psyche is that of materializing a controlled internal paranoia. He refers to it as a "return to the Real" which is interesting to me because I think that even today, six years later, America is still resistant towards accepting a patriot soil that is and can be tainted with political and religious aggression from the outside. I don't think we have moved to "A thing like this should not happen ANYWHERE!" and I don't see it happening anytime soon. With Sontag, I think the idea of the American "Sphere," as Zizek calls it, can also be attributed to our nation's infantile obsession with deflecting responsibility for its actions. Again, this untainted, unequivocally pure Christian nation can't see it's own "evil doings," as Mr. Bush so lovingly phrases, and it's not that they won't see but that they can't, which is perfectly summed up by Sontag when she wrote, "The administration's initial response was to say that the president was shocked and disgusted by the photographs -- as if the fault or horror lay in the images, not in what they depict." This deflection of responsibility is parallel with the deflection to evidence of violence in 9/11. I feel that people have a compulsion to document every aspect of their lives, the use of Myspace, blogs and the countless digital snapshots of everyday life, are evidence. Richard Drew's photograph is evidence people couldn't see, because it was a personalization of tragedy. It validated the fantastical act of outside aggression on American soil. I believe that the The Falling Man image was one of the many ridges on the blade that struck America's ideology, a protected sphere that was not ripped open but slowly will bleed out one day.
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