October 16, 2003

When letters containing anthrax began arriving at certain offices with the depressing regularity of the J. Crew catalog or solicitations for low interest credit cards, there was much talk of whether or not the spores had been "weaponized" or not.
Weaponized. It was a neat neologism that hinted at both intent and maddening randomness: something banal had been made into a weapon, and like a handgun or a hunting knife, it could accidentally kill you. But the term was also falsely ameliorative: it suggested that anthrax (or planes and buildings three months before) don't kill people, weaponized anthrax kills people.

With yesterday's awful Staten Island Ferry crash, we're on the verge of a new term as we see everything that was once banal turned implacably, irrevocably tragic. The Staten Island Ferry is something a joke to New York snobs, a means of transporting the type of stereotypical "white ethnic" proles mocked in Working Girl each morning and discreetly returning them to "wherever they're from" each night. Now, like so many things before, it has been tragedized.

Think about it: is there any aspect of life anymore that hasn't been tainted by some sort of tragedy in the recent past? High schools? Bridges? Rock clubs? Hip-hop clubs? It seems that whenever enough people choose—or are forced—to be in the same place at the same time, there's this inevitable pull towards tragedy. It's scary. And it's enough to make an agoraphobe gloat.

While all these tragedies are piling up, only a fool thinks he lives in unique times. Check out the story of The General Slocum.

Posted in a Grave fashion.

Other Recent Items of Interest:

Make our "team" part of your "team"
jean-paul tremblayJean-Paul Tremblay written-ed, directed and co-produced a bunch of so-called "comedy" and "video" content, is notoriously competitive, and nonetheless settles for bottom-tier tokenism. Repped by John Herndon at Grape Dope Entertainment. Thrill jockey!
matt haberMatt Haber has written for The New York Times, Esquire, and The New York Observer. He is not allergic to pet dander and can do "ethnic" accents if the part calls for it. He is repped by Candy Addams at Entertainment 4-Every-1. Feeling special?
Guy Cimbalo is so cute! Yes, he is. Who's a cute little Guy? You are, you are! Guy's our very own star of stage and screen and is repped by Jeff Kwatinetz at The Firm. Rowr!
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