Open Thread for September 11, 2009

Yup. It’s time to Overthink 9/11.

Labor Day’s come and gone, which means the end of summer movies and time to go back to work. Blargh.

Glee” is back on TV, apparently to the delight of fans and critics alike.

Obama and Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina had a lie-off during Wednesday’s health care speech.

Anything else? Oh, right. The 9/11 Anniversary, aka “Remember how patriotic we all felt before ‘Freedom Fries’ and ‘Mission Accomplished’ made patriotism ironic?”

Seriously, though, maybe it’s time to subject the popular culture to a level of scrutiny it probably does deserve on this day. What do you think of 9/11’s effect on pop culture? Why haven’t there been any movies based on the events of that day since 2006, when both “World Trade Center” and “United 93” came out?

And when it comes to 9/11, what exactly constitutes “Too Soon?”

Sound off below; the thread is open for discussion.

13 Comments on “Open Thread for September 11, 2009”

  1. Neil #

    Perhaps no 9/11-based movies are in production, but FX’s “Rescue Me” is still going strong after 5 seasons, and has a strong base in the effects of 9/11. FX has announced that “Rescue Me” will end in 2011, after the 7th season. So, even on TV, the 9/11 effect seems to be waning.


  2. Neil #

    Perhaps no 9/11-based movies are in production, but FX’s “Rescue Me” is still going strong after 5 seasons, and has a strong storytelling base in the effects of 9/11. FX has announced that “Rescue Me” will end in 2011, after the 7th season. So, even on TV, the 9/11 effect seems to be waning.


  3. Neil #

    Oops, double post. Happy Friday, everybody.


  4. mlawski OTI Staff #

    Sorry to hijack the thread, but I have a question for everyone. If, say, I were going to start a new series of posts similar to my Lost posts called “Overthinking X,” where X is a nonzero number and a television show, what should it be? Said TV show would have to be

    A) entertaining and
    B) consistently overthink-able.

    I’ll give my usual example of Burn Notice as a show that I love but find impossible to overthink. It’s just too superficial. Wonderful, but superficial. I need something like Lost, which is superficial in a complex way.

    Suggestions? I’m open to any and all genres. Except Gossip Girl. Wrather can have Gossip Girl.


  5. perich OTI Staff #

    @mlawski: another J.J. Abrams show? Like Alias, perhaps?


  6. stokes OTI Staff #

    For a while, I was considering doing a ripoff of homage to your Lost posts for either Cowboy Bebop or The Wire. And I still might, eventually, but if you want first crack at either of those, feel free. I think they fit the bill.


  7. stokes OTI Staff #

    Razzafrazzin’ non html-tag compliant comment form. Everyone do me a favor: take out a fine-tip sharpie marker and draw a thin horizontal line through the words “ripoff of” in my previous comment. There. Now the sentence is fixed, and your monitor is ruined.


  8. Gab #

    It was rather ballsy of Wilson to say it, but even people that agree with him admit it was rather d-baggy of him. I’m interested to know if anyone watched/heard Obama’s speech to students, though. Was anyone else aware that some schools required permission slips for it? Personally, I thought it was really great and proved how utterly ridiculous the claims about “propaganda” were to begin with- he said the kind of stuff those people claiming he’s a commy immigrant say about rugged individualism and personal responsibility and the like all the time.

    I think “too soon” depends on who is around or doing the talking. FOX News= too soon, but Comedy Central= just right. I think this is because the right still tries to hold onto it and patriotism in general as theirs and no one else’s.

    Mlawski: the newer _Battlestar Galactica_, maybe? Or how about _Castle_? I’d say it depends on if you want something that’s still going or not. I like Stokes’s suggestions, too. And just because I loved it so much, _Pushing Daisies_. Or you could go the ridiculous route and pick something like one of the _Real Housewives of Suchandsuch_. ;p


  9. Gab #

    Sorry for a double, but also:

    Fourth PotC movie title revealed as “On Stranger Tides” and yes, Depp is in it. Am I the only one afraid they’re just going to mutilate the already dead horse?


  10. lee OTI Staff #

    “Overthinking X” suggestion: I’m surprised no one’s suggested “Mad Men” yet.

    9/11 and pop culture: Though there have only been only 2 major fictional movies that have dealt with the events of that day, there have been plenty of movies and TV shows that have owe a lot to the aftermath of 9/11, specifically, the “War on Terror.” The best example of this is “Team America: World Police,” in which an avenging squad blows up half of Paris & Cairo in an attempt to stop “9/11 times a thousand.”

    The main reason for this is that 9/11 was a singularly tragic day that people really don’t want to relive on screen. I think that became pretty clear after the release of “World Trade Center.”


  11. Trevor #

    Someday Michael Bay will direct a movie about 9/11 (he did with Pearl Harbor, which came out the summer before the World Trade Center went down. Coincedence?)

    On a fairly serious note, I think the 9/11 effect on pop culture lasted about as long as however long it took action movie makers to feel comfortable blowing shit up onscreen again. I remember reading an article by J. Hoberman in a collection of essays in which he saw 9/11 as being inspired, at least in part, by the massive carnage of “Independence Day” and movies in that vein, where the impossible dreams of crippling America via multiple attacks were suddenly realized. When the networks kept showing the final collapse of the towers, or the footage of the first one getting hit, it came off like a Hollywood fantasy of action-movie destruction rather than a real, honest-to-God act of terrorism. It looked like a special effect, in other words, and while I can’t speak for those living in New York so close to where it went down, I think it can be argued that those of us watching on TV were desensitized to some extent by the pop-culture irony of loving big explosions because we knew in the end that the hero would prevail (most usually with a cringe-inducing line) before the end credits roll. If 9/11 was a movie, we’d never get that release of seeing Nicolas Cage or Arnie persevering over the bad guys.


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