only a frenchman could turn 9/11 into pornography
"The only way to know what happened in the restaurant at the 107th floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center on September 11 2001, between 8:30 and 10:29 AM is to make it up."
So reads the pitch for French author Frédéric Beigbeder's new book, Windows on the World.
I can't find much on this author that isn't in French (the translations from Google don't make much sense), and I haven't been able to find a review of the book. Merde in France says this much about it:
In an excerpt from the book entitled 'Loving to death', published in a special edition of 'Technikart', the trapped office workers are portrayed as victims of the consumer society (and not as victims of those nice well behaved Muslim zealots) who decide to partake in some furious sex as their office burns and crumbles around them. Beigbeder joins the moaning drunk Renaud among French 'artists' making vile efforts at profiteering on the dead of 9-11. In a country where Thierry Meyssan can sell 200,000 copies of a scandalous book, so great is the French desire to celebrate 9-11, Beigbeder's novel is set to be a best seller. Remember, there never was any French sympathy for 9-11
What I managed to figure out from the loose translations is that this book is destined to be a best seller in France.
We've seen 9/11 turned into many things; t-shirts, bumper stickers, maudlin posters. Never did I imagine the moment when I would witness that day turned into a pornographic novel.
The disdain this man - and most of his countrymen - must have for Americans is beyond the grasp of my imagination. Is it jealousy that would make someone take such an event in history and saturate it with sex stories? Is it snobbery or callousness that would make one go out and buy this book and enjoy this story?
I wonder if some people view 9/11 as a piece of fiction; a tall tale of tragedy and heroics that has grown to epic proportions, so that the reality of it all does get lost in the stories of death, despair and bravery.
I wonder if some people have so removed themselves from that day that they no longer view it as something real.
I wonder if people who do not live in America smirk when they think about 9/11, almost laugh to themselves at the though of the foolish Americans running about, fanning the flames off of themselves and taking shelter from the debris of the towers.
Disaster sex and romance is a staple of most made-for-tv and big screen movies depicting mass death scenarios. Amid ruins and rubble, people fall in love and have sex. But those are pieces of fiction. The Towering Inferno. Armageddon. Poseidon Adventure. Fake stories of death and destruction laced with romance.
I can't imagine this bloated ego of a man, Beigbeder, sitting down to write this book knowing that the scenario he writes of his real. People died horrible deaths at the hands of terrorists in that very location in his story, on that very day. And here he is, almost making light of it.
And then a publishing company decides it's a great idea to print this monstrosity.
And then the French people buy it and read it and put it on a best seller's list.
And then they turn and ask why no one wants to visit France anymore. They wonder why Americans hold such animosity towards them.
I don't wonder at all.