"Where some see crescents, others see apple pie," we wrote mid September last year as a tide of righteous indignation coming from our friends in the right blogosphere drowned out our tiny voice in the wilderness: "Look, Ma. Our first animated GIF! Inspired by the one by Zombie at Michelle Malkin's, where the Flight 93 memorial's curved grove of red maples and sugar maples becomes an Islamic crescent, we created our own version, where the curve becomes the edge of an All-American apple pie. As Mom said, patting out the dough onto her floured board, Let's roll! (Detail of Flight 93 memorial site plan showing the Bowl or Crescent of Embrace in red. Pie photo from 'Put the pie together.')"
"Even the sensible Dr. Sanity -- with whom we agree about everything 99% of the time -- seems to have temporarily lost her mind," we wrote last fall in one of a series of spitting-into-the-wind posts as the Army of Davids on the right side of the aisle, our natural allies, started throwing themselves off the cliff over sightings of
the virgin the Muslim crescent and star in the Flight 93 Memorial design:
First it was Michelle Malkin, Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs, Scott Johnson of PowerLine and other leading lights of the right blogosphere who started seeing things we didn't in the design for the Flight 93 Memorial. We took a deep breath, blogged forward against the tide and got a nod -- and a few nice links -- from Michelle and Scott. But now the earth is falling away beneath our feet. Mark Steyn himself (left, C-Span archives) has partaken of the Kool Aid being served up by "self-proclaimed bishop Ron McRae (right), a street evangelist based in Shanksville's Somerset County," and other seers who have vowed to fight the "Crescent of Embrace" to the death, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This evening the WaPo is reporting that Rep. Tom Tancredo (R. CO) has jumped into the fray.
With the recent announcement that the Memorial Project is now accepting comments on the design, our friends are at it again, with the totally awesome Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs -- another blogger we agree with 99% of the time, not to mention a professional designer -- leading the pack:
As we wrote in another post in our series last year, "We're used to seeing identity-politics leftists (the Larry Summers affair) and jihad-happy Islamicists (Allah in the ice cream logo) using hysteria to cow their enemies":
But it was a rude awakening in the last week to see respected opinion shapers from the right side of the aisle resorting to the same tactics without bothering to get their facts straight.
"To understand a landscape, you have to inhabit the site," we wrote, "if not in person, at least with your mind's eye":
A cursory glance at an architect's plan isn't going to do it. As the widow of Flight 93's pilot, Sandy Dahl, put it, "No one was thinking of Islam when they were making this memorial."
"Red-maple baiting catches fire," we titled a post where we noted that "Semicircular forms -- like the amphitheatre (upper left) in this chipboard topographical model of a design project from our student days at Harvard Design School, are standard archetypal tools of the landscape architect's trade. But in today's fevered climate of seeing witches behind every tree, the use of such forms can get your plantings -- specifically red maples -- metaphorically burned at the stake."
The controversy gave us a chance to think about and defend our own often misunderstood -- or, to be frank, totally ignored -- profession of landscape architecture, welcome grist for this blogger's mill. Plus, with a little online research we were able to figure out for ourselves the qibla direction (towards Mecca). We did receive a lot of angry mail at the time, but even that had its up side:
[We] were touched by the sentiments of one of our visitors, jegoing, who observed rather quizzically "I thought this site was slanted toward the conservative side?" Yes, but it's not an echo chamber.
Besides, whom do you believe, conspiratory seers or your eyes?