SHANKSVILLE, Pa. - Searching for an economic boost and home to perhaps the most compelling story of 9/11, rural Somerset County is trying to pull off a balancing act: Remembering the victims of United Airlines Flight 93 in a way that encourages development and job growth without devolving into tackiness and disrespect.
I'm not sure about where you live, but around here we memorialize places where cars skid off the road and crashes occur with flowers and the occasional wooden cross. It's a morbid reminder of something horrible that happened.
Now, construction is underway in the tiny town of Shanksville (heretofore a bypassed town off the Pennsylvania Turnpike) to build a memorial to Flight 93. We want to remember stuff like that, even though while we're there, we realize that we would rather forget it.
Meanwhile, business in Shanksville is booming, presumably because tourists are turning off the Turnpike to gaze upon the sacred ground where the crash occurred. The idea that business is profiting from disaster somehow does not seem to make all of this seem like ... well ... a sickening display.
Something tells me that somehow ... it's going to devolve into "tackiness and disrespect." Why? Because there's money involved.
During an appearance on Good Morning America this morning, Jessica Simpson screamed "Go Cowboys!" Her blondeness — at least we think she's a blonde — later added that when her beau Tony Romo and the Cowboys play the Eagles Monday night that, "We're gonna kick your butts, too!"
We? Football fans, moreso than other fans, tend to use the terms we and us rather than them and they, which is only proper since the fans have little if nothing to do with the team's success or failure. I suppose it's because fans like to attach themselves to the team and feel like the team's success enhances their personality somehow.
The downside of that is when the team loses, it only serves to enhance the idea that the fans are also losers, which may not necessarily be so.
Unless you're from Dallas.
NEW YORK - Charles Gibson's interviews with Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will form the basis of a special prime-time edition of "20/20" Friday, ABC said Wednesday. Gibson is traveling to Fairbanks and Wasilla, Alaska, for the first TV interviews with Palin since she was selected as John McCain's running mate. The first excerpts of the talks will be shown on "World News" Thursday. Gibson is having three separate interviews with Palin, ABC said. Parts of the interviews will be spread around other ABC news programs, including "Nightline" and "Good Morning America."
Sure. It's only the presidential election, so let's ham it up by cross-promoting it with our junk programs on the network.
How much do you want to bet that the interview will be filled with softball questions about Sarah's eyeglasses, her stupid names for her kids and the "small town flavor" of that backwater town in Alaska that she presided over? I'm betting a bundle.
Otherwise, why would she submit to it? The McCain Campaign (heretofore known as The Circle of Evil) is raising her like a veal calf. Her head is sticking out of a box and they feed her 7 times a day and once in a while they let her see some sunlight - where she gets to introduce "a genuine American hero" (see Flight 93) and show off her gams and her designer eyeglass frames.
They're smart enough to know that we (Americans) fall for form over substance 9 times out of 10, so it's a safe bet that we'll drool all over the hot MILFy Veep with little or no regard for the nonsense that comes out of her mouth.
How do you think I'm voting in November?