Newspaper logo  
   To Al Qaeda: Fries with That?

A Satirical Proposal for the WTC site in NYC:

To Al Qaeda: Fries with That?

by John Brain

The debate over what to do with the big hole in the New York skyline where the World Trade Center towers once stood is heating up. Six options by an expert committee have received bad reviews, and New Yorkers themselves are divided on the issue. Some want the original towers rebuilt; some want an elaborate memorial; others favor a tour-de-force by an internationally famous architect. The city inclines toward whatever will bring in the most taxes. Ground Zero seems doomed to be a parking lot until consensus is reached or hell freezes over. Meanwhile, everyone agrees that the outcome should make a Major Statement sticking it to Al Qaeda, one that unfurls a national—nay, an international—banner proclaiming “Up Yours!” to international terrorism.

Since 9-11 we’ve learned a lot about what motivates Al Qaeda. They see America as the Great Satan, of course, but also as the spearhead of the new religion of consumerism worldwide, a global economic conspiracy which undermines millennia of Islamic culture and implants getting and spending in the masses. They see what has already happened to the Soviet Empire, as soon as the Communist bosses couldn’t shut out images of western consumer affluence. Democracy? Okay, but We Want Washers—and TVs and cars and condos and all the glitz and trinkets that make America great.

What the Al Qaeda leaders saw was the new MacDonald's crowding out the mosque on Main Street, a symbol of mass media consumerism that pandered shamelessly to people under the noses of the mullahs, the doctrine of burgers and fries for all. Hot-heads may burn Old Glory in the streets, but the taste for consumerism was unstoppable, symbolized by the world’s most recognizable symbol: MacDonald's’ golden arches. That’s why they chose to target the WTC as the center of world enterprise and commerce, and that should tell us what to erect in its place: the world’s most monumental golden arches that would look out over the ocean past the Statue of Liberty with the message of modern America—not liberty, not democracy, not Christianity, but consumerism, from the land were the consumer is king.

A challenging idea? Not really. The original Chrysler Building was designed with a radiator cap on top. Some of the world’s greatest artworks have religious themes, and most church spires and domes have a cross on top.

But designating a company to symbolize consumerism would not be the American way. The space to display a symbol should be offered to all comers, with the sponsor picking up the tab. Those golden arches would be just fine, but the Colonel would do too.

Now that would really stick it to them. “Up Yours!”—and will you have fries with that?

Copyright © 2003 The Baltimore Chronicle and The Sentinel. All rights reserved. We invite your comments, criticisms and suggestions.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on January 8, 2003.
· Building Trades Offer Training for Ex-Offenders
· Organized Labor Seeks to Play Role in City’s Workforce Development
· Free Concert on Jan. 19 Features Daniel Olson, Baritone
· Domino Sugar Workers Strike to Protest New Management’s Changes
· Low-Income Baltimore Families May Not Receive Full Benefit of their Earned Income Tax Credits
· Study Reveals a “Revolving Door” Scenario for Half of Baltimore’s Homeless
· Nine States Mount Legal Challenge to US Decision to Relax Air Quality Standards
· Clarification from Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC)
· Belvedere Square, Waverly Projects Get Funding Nod from BDC
· Top 10 Sports Stories of 2002
·Balt. Metro Letters
· National Letters
· International Letters
 ·  “All Things Considered”? Not This Time
 ·  Failure To Fire Journalists Who Lie Shows Rotting from the Top
 ·  Trying to believe
 ·   Open Letter to MSNBC
 ·  Open Letter to Rev. Pat Robertson from the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada
 ·  An Open Letter to Fellow Media-Watchers
 ·  (01/16) Open Letter: An Appeal to Bill Gates, Ted Turner, or Some Other Billionaire
·War Veteran’s New Book is a Primer on the Bureaucracy of Warfare
·Poetry in a Time of War
·A Lesson In U.S. Propaganda
· The Case of the Missing Information about Iraq’s Weapons
· The Sun Shows No Nose for News
·Cowards at the Sun
·How Did those WTC Buildings Collapse?
·HBO Recycles Gulf War Hoax
·Enter Kissinger, the Accidental Appointment
 ·  Choose Peace and Prosperity, Not War
 ·  Idiotic Proposed Tax Cuts Show Who’s Really Getting Welfare
·(01/19) Massive Anti-War Rally Rocks Nation's Capital
·In Addition to Civil Rights, We Should be Concerned about Corporate Rights and Health Care Rights and Pension Rights
·Consider the Orwellian “Arrogance is Humility”
· (1/17) Will the White House Please Slow Down and Listen to Reason about Iraq before It's Too Late?
·The Consequences of an Iraqi Misadventure
·Gun Control Misses the Target, we should reprogram all our citizens to be like the Swiss!
·Without Protest, Americans Are Giving Up Freedom
·Environment: The Budgie and the Eucalyptus, Once Upon a Time in Australia
·To Al Qaeda: Fries with That?
·Soapbox: Refresh Your Memory of the UN Charter
·John Rawls—An Appreciation
· ACLU steps up to fight for Americans’ freedoms
· Changes to US Citizens’ Legal Rights
· Bush Administration Set To Unveil New Math, Science Education Plan
· Bush Administration Continues to Abandon Environmental Safeguards in Our National Forests
· Free Trade is Killing our Industry
· Bush Administration’s World View Just Doesn’t Add Up
· Missile Defense Deployment: Still Dangerous, Costly, and Irrelevant to Present Threats
· Meeting Iraqi Victims—and Trying to Prevent More Victims
· No Endgame in Afghanistan
· Websites We Like!
· Outstanding Analysis & Perspective

Public Service Ads: