The Sounds of Silence on 9/11

A famous left wing professor has called for silence to commemorate 9/11. America is about to be engulfed in a tidal wave of 9/11 commemoration. There has never been anything like it before, so as a society we are constructing the rules for the procedure from scratch. But it might be better if we could first step back for a moment and ask a more basic question: why commemorate a horrific and tragic event like 9/11 at all? Does it even make sense, or might it ultimately be counterproductive?. . . Since terrorism is a communicative act, responding to it communicatively legitimizes the original utterance, making it more vivid and more effective. The best way to deny effectiveness to any kind of communication is to ignore it, to fail to respond to it in any way. To respond to a communication is to assent to its meaning and function.   That is the last thing we should want to achieve.  Our insistence on recalling 9/11 is one symptom of our failure to recognize what it meant and...(Read Full Post)