On September 11th, New York City watched in horror as a symbol of America’s intertwined economic and political power collapsed. Of course I refer to Hillary Clinton, who left a memorial ceremony at the World Trade Center yesterday and was subsequently diagnosed with dehydration and pneumonia. During the 90 minutes or so the Democratic nominee spent in the Flatiron apartment of her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, various onlookers gathered outside. One of them was Martin Shkreli, who livestreamed himself shouting “why are you so sick?” and “are you alive?” for about two hours. After Clinton left, Shkreli told the Daily News, “Chelsea Clinton does not live in that apartment. That apartment is an advanced medical facility.” He appeared to be lying.
Buffalo Wild Wings pitchman and star of FXX’s The League Steve Rannazzisi has admitted he lied about escaping the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The good news is he’s even more famous now. The bad news is he’s famous for saying he was working at Merrill Lynch in the south tower when a plane hit the north, when in fact Merrill Lynch had no office in either tower, and Rannazzisi was working in midtown for somebody else. Previously, he was best known for the following joke:
Rannazzisi: Knock knock!
Audience: Who’s there?
Rannazzisi: Steve Rannazzisi—I’ve just escaped from a horrible tragedy. You’ve got to let me in to your living room on Wednesdays at 10pm!
Audience: We don’t have FXX.
But now he’s a liar, and we hate him. Or we love him because he told the truth about lying? Consideration after the jump.
“It was unquestionably the most terrible day of our age,” begins a News.com.au article headlined 30 pictures of 9/11 that show you why you should never forget. Fourteen years after I noticed the World Trade Center was on fire on my way to work, it’s still impossible to listen to other people talk about it. September 11th changed all our lives forever, according to a bunch of people who saw it on the news. Unquestionably, it was the most terrible day of our age, says an uncredited photo aggregator who was not at Hiroshima. Never forget, say people who remember where they were when they heard that a plane hit the World Trade Center, and it wasn’t lower Manhattan. Today is Friday, and events don’t have to happen to you to affect you deeply. It’s probably better they don’t. Won’t you survey tragedy from a safe remove with me?
I learned a sweet expression yesterday: good-enough Morgan, an issue or talking point used to influence voters temporarily, particularly in the period before an election. For example, gay marriage became a good-enough Morgan in 2004, driving evangelicals to the polls so they would vote for George W. Bush and then vanishing from the national Republican agenda. But the best part of “good-enough Morgan” is the etymology. William Morgan was a former Freemason who planned to write a tell-all book before his mysterious disappearance in 1826. When Thurlow Weed, organizer of the nascent Anti-Masonic Party, found a body floating in the Niagara river in 1828, he said it would be a “good-enough Morgan” until after the election. Today is Friday, and the people must be tricked into wisdom somehow. Won’t you misidentify the bodies with me?
I am officially not a New Yorker anymore, since A) I don’t live there and B) the city has added a tourist attraction since I left. The Astor Place Building was bad enough, but now that the 9/11 memorial is finished I have to accept that my mental map of the city is not only imprecise, like a dream, but inaccurate, like the dream where Catherine Keener says I’m pretty. It’s fitting that it should happen this way. The September 11th attacks—more specifically, the baffling torrent of people who did not live in the city on September 11, 2001 but still consider 9/11 a personal tragedy—were what made me feel like a New Yorker in the first place. The feeling is an odd mixture of loyalty and cynicism, which you can simulate for yourself after the jump by reading a quote from this New York Times article.