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« Onward, Christian soldier . . . | Main | "Islam does not own the crescent moon" »

September 15, 2005


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I've noticed the technorati-induced links from the WaPo in my blog as well.

I abhor so much of modern art, so I was already predisposed to dislike these "memorials", but I do wish this one was less somber and more celebrating of the fighting spirit that was exhibited in the skies above.

And why even come anywhere near a Crescent with its obvious ties to Islam?

You win some, you lose some. This time the crescent-is-bad-under-any-circumstance idealogues have taken the field with a combination of peer pressure and unwillingness to re-examine the basic question.

It reminds me somewhat of the sackcloth and ashes invoked over the word "niggardly" a few years ago. The people who howled in the first place would not back down even when they were made aware of the true meaning of the word.

The blogger elite have staked out their territory and they are not going to be swayed now, not even going to give the data a second glance.

I guess it just proves they, the anti crescent bunch, are human.

As I have said in other places, I hope they don't end up hurting the families and friends of those brave passengers/crew with their bullying.

My sister - who lives in New York and is often in Central Park, absolutely hated Christo's Gates. She couldn't see any point in it - except that it scared the dogs. *grin* I had no feeling either way - the pictures did nothing for me and I never saw it and I didn't have to put up with the tourists either.

Abstract memorials do little for me... I mean they may look nice but they evoke no feeling one way or the other about what they are memorializing. If they left the trees and the grounds for contemplation and also had a statue (along the lines of the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima) I would take more interest. Quite honestly I don't see this memorial making me feel proud of those who fought back and won - but it doesn't offend me either.

"The last time we found ourselves in disagreement with our usual allies over visual issues, the dynamics of the debate were similar...". There are no significant similarities between the flight 93 memorial and an aesthetic debate about "The Gate".

This is getting ridiculous. The position of those opposing "Crescent of Embrace" is being misrepresented and sterotyped on this blog. Few if any are saying the design is ugly or nothing less than beautiful - they are saying that the design is morally inappropriate, and you have not addressed that issue.

For the record: The "Crescent of Embrace" is beautiful in my opinion, and a great example of architectural design. However, it is simply not appropriate as a memorial to flight 93 beautiful or not.

As far as I can tell, you have not addressed the salient point of the controversy - is it a appropriate (designer intentions aside) for a memorial to flight 93 to have as it's single largest design element a geometric figure that is easily and reasonably equated with Islam.

Based upon your silence on the only important theme of the debate, one would have to conclude that you believe it is appropriate.

If you truly are under the mistaken belief that the entire discussion is over whether the memorial is aesthetically attractive or not, then let's assume for the sake of discussion that "Crescent of Embrace" is the single most beautiful and wonderful work of memorial landscape architecture ever in the history of the world. With that as a given, it is still completely inappropriate and morally offensive to those it is supposed to memorialize and to America as a whole.

Regarding the architect being bullied, show us the evidence to prove your claim. There is just as much proof to the idea the the designer got busted trying to pull a fast one over on America. It is also just as likely that the designer (assuming he did not see the Islamic symbology interpretation of his work prior to all this) came to the conclusion that others have, that the design is not appropriate and so changes must be made.

gowain wrote: "The blogger elite have staked out their territory and they are not going to be swayed now, not even going to give the data a second glance."

Here are the facts:

1) The design of "Crescent of Embrace" employs a 'crescent' as the largest visual design element - this is acknowledged by the designer's choice of name.

2) Crescents are a common geometric figure that that in addition to many other uses is a well known symbol of Islam.

3) Radical Islamists killed the people on flight 93, the WTC, and the pentagon among many, many other places and have declared war on America and the west.

4) Some people therefore think the use of a crescent is inappropriate as a significant visual and meaningful element of a memorial to the brave non-Islamist-terrorist people of flight 93.

Ok, let's discuss.

F15C - have you read all her other posts on this topic? I'm just wondering because I thought she had addressed these very issues... after all this is not the only post she's written about it.

BTW - double posting under the same topic - unless you've forgotten to add a salient point to an argument, is not necessary and makes you look like a troll. You can say what you want to say in one comment - there is room enough, you won't be cut off.

Teresa -- I've read and responded to what I believe to be all the other posts on the subject on this site. The only argument I've read from the blog host is essentially 'the designer says there is no Islamic connotation, so that is all that matters' - summing it up imperfectly.

Regarding the second post, my first comment was directed toward the post, and the second a response to a comment that I believe unfairly and inaccurately depicts the position of those questioning the design. For purposes of clarity I separated the two as the post and gowains comment covered two differing aspects of the discussion.

Why the 'troll' reference? Have you read my other responses? The frustration that I admit is apparent in my last post emanates from there being no real argument in support of "Crescent of Embrace" beyond that of 'the designer is the last word on the subject' (again imperfectly summarizing my impression). Additionally, the name calling of those questioning the design is unnecessary in my opinion and degrades the overall discussion. The space taken up by those posts would be better utilized making a case for "Crescent of Embrace" on its merit.

Bottom line: The question still stands unanswered by those who support "Crescent of Embrace" as the best memorial America can offer to flight 93 on this blog: Is a design that can easily and reasonably be interpreted as containing Islamic symbolism appropriate as a memorial to flight 93?

FC15, forgive me for not making myself clear. The point I am trying to make is the "Crescent of Embrace" -boy, what a poor choice in names- is NOT A CRESCENT! It is a semicricle that follows the topography of the site.

The Islamic crescent is mathematically perfect, the memorial crescent is definitely not. The physical difference between them is so far apart that to say they are the same, and therefore morally suspect, is like saying the a date is the same as an orange because they are both round, therefore we should not eat oranges because they are symbolic of the Islamic countries.

The fact that a committee containing Flight 93 family members chose this design is the clincher for me. The people who are most sensitive to this gave the thumbs up. That should carry more weight than all blogdom. It is none of our business, now.

As a conservative I am quite ashamed that we can sometimes act like the kookiest of the Kooky Left, blind to facts, oblivious to reason, and unwilling to scale back the rhetoric once we have gone beyond a certain point.

gowain -- Thank you for the clarification. I accept your interpretation and agree that obviously - mathematically speaking - the design is more an incomplete circle than a crescent.

But the issue does not lie in mathematical semantics or definitions - it lies in human perception. The essence and value of any aesthetic design is in how it will be perceived by viewers. What is is in people's hearts and minds, not what it is on a piece of paper.

The simple fact is that many people perceive a crescent where you see a semi-circle, and I see an incomplete circle or constant radius arc with two endpoints. Is that not true?

This blog is clearly not interested in discussing the simple truth of the matter. Instead there is denial of the obvious, and worse, name calling of those questioning the design, and lame attempts at equating them (me included) with the wacko preacher.

For the last time: The preacher is a loon. We all know that. Why do I even have to state that his being so does not make everyone else who also perceives a crescent in the design (which clearly includes the designer himself) a loon?

The designer says it is a crescent. The designer used the word crescent in the name. Those facts mean something and attempting to dismiss that meaning by claiming 'its just a poor choice of name' are ignoring reality and second-guessing the designer himself. For cripes sake, in the review process the name issue arose and the designer kept the name. The name is clearly important to the designer.

IMO, the designer is brilliant and his design beautiful - but it is inappropriate for this particular memorial, and immoral in the context of flight 93 and 9/11.

FC15, I'll make one final stab at this by repeating something you seem to have overlooked.

"The fact that a committee containing Flight 93 family members chose this design is the clincher for me. The people who are most sensitive to this gave it the thumbs up. That should carry more weight than all blogdom."

You, me, and the others do not have the moral standing, or moral authority to override these folks. We should butt out now, and I am.

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