Tuesday 03 September 2013

It is easy to forget that 9/11  isn’t just something for Jay-Z something to do a clever reference to in the middle of one of his songs.

Channel 4 has began it’s annual tribute to 9/11 by having lots of TV programmes about it (hesitate to use the phrase overkill). It goes without saying that ……

There was always going to be lots of programmes about it. And the anniversary of it (September 11) is a day on which one might expect to see  these programmes. Between Channel 4, More 4 and 4-Seven it seems that September is precise enough anniversary to warrant showing numerous programmes already. Hats off to E4 for maintaining it’s continued indifference to world events.

There are still documentaries appearing with unseen footage.  Mind you there are still Beatles recordings being discovered so, given the amount of people who must have captured any kind of video on the day, can we expect documentaries showing new footage from New York for another 50 years?

Or are TV bosses going to have to think of some new ways of honourtainmentising the dead of 9/11? When all the shaky handheld footage of people running away from the falling rubble has subsided then what next? Drunk British Abroad: 9/11 Special (numerous Sky channels) Drunk Teenagers Abroad: 9/11 Special (BBC3); Aging British Comedians Talking Head Observational Comedy About 9/11 (BBC 2 Christmas Schedule); Top Gear (Dave); Geordie Shore Special: Can Gaz Pull a Worldie-9/11 Twin Tower Survivor? (MTV); How Liverpool was Affected More Than Most by 9/11 (BBC North-West). The list is endless. Well, the potential list is endless. That list had an actual end, which was just before I wrote that the list was endless.

The world should never forget terrible things. Sometimes it just seems like it as easy way out to make stuff about horrible tragedies. People are less likely to criticise documentaries about the holocaust and 9/11 or even question their worth. Unless they are particular kind of blog writing prick with nothing better to do with their lives.

I am not sure what the answer is to questions like: what are people getting out of watching the footage of the people jumping to their death? what are people getting out of hearing recordings of the people on phone calls aware that they are about to die? They’re just terrible things to relive and I really don’t understand the value of them being broadcast quite a lot.

Apart from anything else when I see 9/11 footage now it just makes me put my Cloverfield Blu Ray on, there is something more tangible to me about a big fictional monster destroying a fictional New York – compared to watching real people die. A metaphor has more real meaning for me (than real meaning). For these 9/11 documentaries to really touch me I have had to start imagining the two airplanes as metaphors for film monsters (that are metaphors for terrorismists).

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