Architect's renderings of the unfortunately named "Crescent of Embrace" grove of red maple and sugar maple trees at the center of blogospheric controversy over the Flight 93 National Memorial project for alleged cryptic reference to the Islamic crescent.
"People ought to be able to tell the difference between a diagram and the thing diagrammed," writes White Pebble in another post coming down on the side of truth, justice and the American way in the Flight 93 memorial controversy, and Goomp comments eloquently that "everything is in the name: 'Arc of Embrace,' and the visions are of glory rather than of hate." That has a nice ring to it. As we just emailed Scott Johnson of PowerLine in response to his rhetorical question "How else explain the 'Crescent of Embrace' memorial to the heroes of United Flight 93, discussed by Michelle Malkin?":
As I see it, the crescent is in the eye of the beholder, a projection of what Michelle and others want to see in the design. I agree with Dean Esmay, who says in his most recent post "it seems to me to point to a growing trend of the right to be as shrill and perpetually indignant as the PC mavens most of us grew to hate so much in the 1990s."
Re the design itself: A crescent like the one that is a well known symbol of Islam is tapered at both ends and swells toward the center, in imitation of the shape of a crescent moon, as the root of the word -- from the Latin crescere for grow -- suggests. By contrast, the curved shape on the Flight 93 plan is of equal width throughout -- more like the rim of a pie plate as my play on Michelle's/Zombie's animated gif illustrates. The color on the plan is a mixture of red and orange, representing the fall colors of two deciduous species -- red maple and sugar maple -- that will be planted on the site.
As a person who recognizes the power of words to win or lose hearts and minds, I fault the architects for their insistence on retaining the potentially provocative and inaccurate title "crescent of embrace" rather than the more abstract and descriptive "arc of embrace" recommended by the jury, and as a landscape architect I criticize their artistic failure to convey through their graphics -- to the average person not accustomed to interpreting topographical plans -- a sense of the place they envision.
Plenty of blame to go around? There always is.
Update: We were all wrong about the designers' failure to render a sense of the place they envision. Check out the evocative graphics of their formal presentation (see photo above), which we just discovered via the Discovery Channel's excellent, link-rich site for "The Flight That Fought Back," which premiers tonight at 9.
Update II: Scott Johnson sends a lovely PowerLineLanche our way: "Crescenity in the eye of the beholder?"