September 12, 2003
ERIC MULLER IS MAD AT ME for posting a photo of a WTC jumper for a while yesterday. He wants to know why I posted it, and why I took it down. (He also says it was a "large" photo, but it was only 180 x 200 pixels).
I posted it because I thought people needed to be reminded of the reality of what this is about, in the face of too many efforts to domesticate it. I took it down because I don't generally leave big-media photos up on my blog (in fact, unlike many bloggers, I don't generally put them up on my blog at all unless they're a link to the original source). I made an exception here because I thought it was especially important. Yes, it's not pretty. But that, you know, is the point.
UPDATE: Reader Mike McConnaughey emails:
You were exactly right to post the photo. I'm afraid that too many people
have forgotten the horror of that day.
Thanks. Kevin Murphy emails:
I don't know if you linked to this, but here is an LA Times op-ed from 9/10 by the photographer defending his piece.
No. I would have if I'd known about it. Go there now -- but be warned, the dread photo is present, and in a much larger version.
Amy Denham emails:
I am not glad the photo exists, but I am glad you posted it yesterday. I did not expect to see it on your site; when I did, I felt a moment of shock, sorrow, anger. The type of feeling I like to call visceral. It was a bit of a revelation to discover I haven't become inured to that feeling. Yes, the photo is horrible. But how you could be accused of ˜forcing it into our faces," to paraphrase Mr. Muller, I have no idea. I think that particular feat was achieved spectacularly by our enemies two years ago.
But I am also glad you took it down. I didn't want to see it anymore.
I didn't want to see it the first time. I didn't want it to have happened, either.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Justin Katz has more on this, and links to a picture he thinks you ought to see:
For my part, the photographs that I find most compelling aren't those of people actually falling, but of people leaning out of the windows, facing their deaths... deciding. I think of all those times throughout my life that I've looked out of high windows and the child in me wondered if I could climb down. Look carefully at some of the pictures from that horrible day, and you'll see that some people tried.
I think it's important not to let the memory of that day be sanitized.
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Just to be clear, I'm not mad at Eric. But I'm not inclined to apologize for posting the picture, either.