Sunday 11 September 2011

It’s pretty impressive, in terms of affecting language, that 9/11 has completely taken the meaning away from September the eleventh (the date, not the planes flying in to the twin towers). It’s very hard to talk about the meaning of something changing because you need to refer to it and then because the meaning is kind of changed you then have to explain which you are talking about. And in this case both writing the numerical version 9/11, saying nine-eleven and saying September eleventh all refer to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre rather than the date that falls between 10 September and 12 September. And we even do the 9/11 thing over here even though that is not how we write the date.

My point is that remembering that event has single-handedly taken over a date of the year as its own. There aren’t many of those. Especially outside the Christmas period. The Americans have July 4th that is inflexible and I suppose that (Independence Day) owns that date. Though when I hear the words ‘Independence Day’ I don’t think of the fourth of July but of Will Smith (the actor) walking across the desert smoking a cigar, carrying an alien; and Jeff Goldblum saying “I gave it a cold..I gave it a virus..a computer virus” [from the film iD4: Independence Day].

So, people can’t have it as their birthday or talk about having done anything good on that date because the date is owned by the memories of the planes flying into them towers. What’s the solution? Well it needs rebranding doesn’t it? Instead of any of the variations of the date when people want to refer to the thing or the remembering of the thing they should be a name. Like Terror Day. Or Excuse for Wars about Oil day. Or something more specific: Twin Towers Day.

Speaking of 9/11 (the terrorist attack, from September 2001. See what I’ve started here…you are all like “WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? IF YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT TERROR DAY, SAY TERROR DAY”) this was in The Metro on Friday. What a crock of shit. How is it eerie? Admittedly that someone drew this picture is a bit eerie, just in what it looks like. I know it’s been a while since they were erect but I am pretty sure the Twin Towers were the same size (it wasn’t a clever name) and those towers aren’t. And it doesn’t look like fire, it looks like a girl’s hair, and the tower (in the picture) doesn’t look on fire anyway. I think the Air Pakistan ad from 1979 pretty much did the ‘foreshadowing 9/11 with an image’ thing.

I was a bit disappointed with the Fred West thing, as people are calling it. Appropriate Adult has provided me with a popular impression as yesterday’s blog told. I was left a little off put by the end of tonight’s concluding part though. The acting was generally fine but Rose West looked like an actor heavily styled as Rose West – rather than looking like someone. You know what I mean? You could tell she was in make-up, my belief was not suspended. I had similar issues with the main interviewing policewoman. And you’re not allowed to have a go at Emily Watson and she is a fine actress but I’ve seen her do that expressionless, wide-eyed thing a few too many times.

Ultimately I didn’t get what the point of it was, as I suggested last week. Was it to provoke the public into re-opening the cases? Were we meant to be seeing how this woman saw beyond the raping serial killer? Were WE meant to see beyond the raping , child-molesting serial killer? Was part of the message about him being a human? I wasn’t sure whether we were meant to think there was some kind of ego in it for Watson’s character (Janet Leach). Certainly her reaction to West’s suicide suggested that her claim that she only maintained in touch with him to get more confessions out of him (because she was a mother) didn’t ring true for me. I was left wondering what they really had all been about – Leach’s feelings for West – why was a mother able to overlook the man’s misdemeanours, including the rape and murder of his children, and continue visiting him long after her role as ‘appropriate adult’ had finished?

At the risk of highlighting bad stuff and making it sound like I didn’t like it at all..what about the court stuff. I had to wonder how accurate it was when Leach was on the stand and asked about whether she had a deal with any newspapers. She waited ages and started crying before saying ‘yes’ and then there were gasps from the gallery. Was this a true re-enactment of what happened? Had people really not guessed from the not answering and sobbing that she had indeed a deal with a newspaper (well it was The Mirror so newspaper is bigging it up a bit). Honestly, though, I did think there was a lot of good in the three hours of drama – unlike the entirety of Fred and Rosemary’s lives.

I am sure it will be lauded by most, and West (Dominic West) will rightly be nominated for awards for his portrayal of West (Fred West); but I remain of the opinion that there was little going on here other than making some entertainment out of some pretty recent tragedy.  People were watching it for West at the end of the day, and by supposedly making it the story of Leach it gave ITV an easy out.  Ultimately they made a programme painting him as a somewhat likeable chap. Well he murdered women, pregnant women and children after raping and torturing them with his sick fuck wife so I don’t think making ITV dramas showing him as a misguided rogue under the spell of Rose is very appropriate.

[I just wanted to end on the word appropriate.]

  • What decade or era do you find particularly fascinating? The tweens – the decade commencing 2010 and finishing 2019.
  • Name something you’d like a lifetime supply of. Life.
  • Of all celebrity voiceovers in animated movies, which one do you think was the best fit? Bill Cosby in ‘Cinderella 2: Speak up or Move on’.

My own moving tribute to the Twin Towers of my life: My partner, Miriam and the Twin Towers. And by the Twin Towers I specifically mean the atrocities of 9/11. And by 9/11 I specifically mean 11/9/2001.

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