Over three thousand innocent Americans were murdered and all that I got is this lousy T-shirt. While I jest with that line there is nothing even remotely funny about the gift shop at the National September 11 Memorial Museum. That the museum itself should be a national outrage and more shameful exploitation of the tragic events that took place on that horrific Tuesday morning on September 11, 2001 in that the attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center is yet another point. The attacks have been used as justification for the implementation of unconstitutional mass surveillance and data-mining programs, turned the US into a meaner than a snake torture state, allowed for the gutting of the Constitution and given a corrupt political class and the oligarchy that it serves cover to strip mine the domestic economy for self enrichment. Then there are the wars which will never end as long as the enabling act that is the Authorization for Use of Military Force resolution ( AUMF) that was rammed down the throats of a terrified America like the USAPATRIOT Act while the stench of rotting corpses still was strong in the morning Manhattan breeze exists. Yes indeed - now there is something to memorialize.
It was drilled in that it was the Day that Everything Changed and the "new normal" became the type of flag-wrapped fascism that Sinclair Lewis once warned of in his book "It Can't Happen Here". Americans were to shut up and be subservient to their corrupt government and the neoconservative world domination machine as put forth by The Project for the New American Century or PNAC and in the early days speaking out would have one smeared as a traitor or worse. The worship of 9/11 became our national religion for how else to justify the wars of aggression and the redistribution of wealth into the surveillance state Gomorrah that arose out of the ashes - death and spying were the new growth industries in the USA, USA, USA. The tenth anniversary of that day, which fell on a Sunday and with the assistance of the National Football League and state corporate media it was as former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury turned prolific writer Paul Craig Roberts put it "a propaganda exercise that hardened the 9/11 lies into dogma". Now we have the September 11 Museum and it's disgusting gift shop.
The museum charging 24 bucks for entry is shameful in its own right but the gift store takes it to a completely new level. It is gaudy, tasteless, insensitive, ghoulish and an insult of the highest order towards the victims and their families. The New York Post has written about the sheer crassness of the gift shop and when such a rag is outraged about anything in the real world you know that it is pretty damned bad. I excerpt the following from the article that is entitled “The 9/11 Museum’s Absurd Gift Shop”:
The museum at Ground Zero tells the dark story of the 9/11 terror attacks with spectacular artifacts and exhibits. It pays heart-wrenching tribute to the innocents and heroes killed that day.
It also has a gift shop.
The 9/11 museum’s cavernous boutique offers a vast array of souvenir goods. For example: FDNY, NYPD and Port Authority Police T-shirts ($22) and caps ($19.95); earrings molded from leaves and blossoms of downtown trees ($20 to $68); cop and firefighter charms by Pandora and other jewelers ($65); “United We Stand” blankets.
There are bracelets, bowls, buttons, mugs, mousepads, magnets, key chains, flags, pins, stuffed animals, toy firetrucks, cellphone cases, tote bags, books and DVDs.
You can pick up an assortment of oak leaf jewelry at the 9/11 museum gift shop.
Even FDNY vests for dogs come in all sizes.
Among the museum shop’s specially designed items:
A black and white “Darkness Hoodie” printed with an image of the Twin Towers. The pullover, like other “Darkness” items, bears the words “In Darkness We Shine Brightest.” Price: $39.
Silk scarves printed with 1986 photos by Paula Barr, including a panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline. Another depicts “lunchtime on the WTC Plaza.” They go for $95 each.
“Survivor Tree” earrings, named after a pear tree that stood in the World Trade Center plaza and survived 9/11. Made of bronze and freshwater pearls, a pair costs $64. A leaf ornament molded from the swamp white oaks at the memorial is said to change from amber to dark brown “and sometimes pink around the time of the 9/11 anniversary.”
Heart-shaped rocks inscribed with slogans such as “United in Hope” and “Honor.” One rock bears a quote by Virgil that is emblazoned on a massive blue-tiled wall in the museum: “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” It costs $39.
The gift shop is actually not that far off the mark from something I heard on the liberal firebrand Mike Malloy Show a few years ago that I transcribed. It was an email read on air from a listener named “Grand Vizier Mark of Silicon Valley”:
If for some reason, the proposed so-called Ground Zero mosque doesn’t get built, I suggest that the old Gap store which is where this would be built be turned into something that really celebrates or rather venerates this country’s true god which is the almighty dollar.
My idea, turn it into a nine dollar and eleven cent store! A 9-11 store. Something that would by the way fit in nicely with all the low rent commercial establishments in the area like the head shops, the Burger King and other fast food joints, strip clubs etc, etc. Yes, think of all the 9-11 souvenirs one could get for nine dollars and eleven cents: mugs, flags, pennants, cds, dvds, photos, calendars, t-shirts, plastic World Trade Center models, piggy banks, snow globes, commemorative coins, Christmas ornaments, action figures…it is sooo American!
And to commemorate America’s response to 9/11; Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld bobblehead dolls, model airplanes just like the ones used to carpet bomb Iraq, leaving 300,000 dead and 3 million homeless, bobbleheads of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, plastic U.S. soldiers and Afghan Taliban freedom fighters, create your own battlefield and live out your wildest fantasies...
THERE’S MY IDEA!
I’d make a killing, I would. And for just two million dollars, the amount my old church owes me I’ll let you have it.
Oh well, you know me, you learned free so give free. I’m willing to let anyone use my idea as long as they give me credit.
It was meant as a joke but the ongoing commoditization of EVERYTHING including the murder of over 3,000 Americans and the first responders who died or later suffered terribly - particularly from respiratory disease -in the aftermath that that day there is really nothing sacred. One would think that the national religion of “9/11” would somehow be sacrosanct but who am I kidding here?
What's next - a September 11 theme park?