NR Digital


Rahs and Rah-Nots

by James Lileks

Michael Shulan, creative director of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, said he almost didn’t include the famous photo of firefighters raising the flag because it was too “rah-rah.” One “rah” is okay, but two? Please. According to a forthcoming book on the subject, he said, “I really believe that the way America will look best, the way we can really do best, is to not be Americans so vigilantly and so vehemently.” Right. If guys like him had been around in ’45 they would have restaged the Iwo Jima photo for race, gender, and sexual preference. Inclusiveness is great, unless you’re overrepresenting the double-“rah” Vehement-American community.

He is a silly man. But this is the silly season. The dead spot in the summer when nothing happens and things get crazy and trivial — you know, like that summer when Iraq invaded Kuwait. Downright madcap! This year’s silliness has been depressing, though; let’s take a look at the dreary tales that have occupied our weary minds for the last few months.

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