Tag Archives: new york city

Why I Don’t Like The Freedom Tower

I was originally going to title this comic “Why I Hate The Freedom Tower,” but then I realized I don’t hate it. I just don’t like it. I know, it’s easy to look at it and think, “Hey, wow, a super tall shiny modern building that’s supposed to represent all the good things about our country, sweet.” But it’s that second part that ruins it for me.

If this building had nothing to do with 9/11, I’d be cool with it. It is most likely going to be the largest LEED certified building in the world, and that’s something I support. But this thing is supposed to be a statement to the world. And that’s where it goes wrong—mostly because it has taken an embarrassing amount of time to get this thing done. And that’s because of the endless politically wrangling that goes on in this country for just about everything. After such an epic tragedy, you’d think we’d be able to get together, agree on something, then do whatever it takes to rebuild as soon as possible to show the world what we’re made of. Nope. As I said in the comic, plenty of enormous constructions have been built since 2001, and it didn’t take over a decade to complete any of them. Yes, of course you can’t compare this with your average building site, but still, even considering the circumstances, if the goal of this building was to send a message, we dropped the ball.

Frankly, I would have far preferred no building, just the wonderful memorials that stood exactly where the original towers were. Was there even a need for this much office space? I remember reading that they were having a hard time keeping the original towers fully occupied. But no, this is America, and we all knew from the very start, they were going to build something enormous. No other option would ever be seriously considered.

So now we have our new giant corporate office. It looms over the skyline—you can see it from pretty much anywhere it seems. And soon I’m sure we’ll all be seeing tourist photos with the tower in the background, or from the observation deck. And that’s always something a bit ghoulish to me. There was a site called something like Hot Girls Smiling At Ground Zero that makes the point I’m getting at better than anything I ever could write. It’s just weird to see people smiling and waving at the camera in front of a disaster site, yet that is what you see.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just tired of the whole thing. This moment in time that changed the world for the worse, that struck when I was just out of college, that marked the point when my naive trivial youth ended and my serious pessimistic adulthood started. And every time I see that building, that’s what I’m reminded of.

Oh well, at least it’s going to be officially called One World Trade Center and not the Freedom Tower.

9/11: Ten Years After

My wife was surprised when I told her I was covering this topic, since it’s such become such a played out, political, media whore type thing, but it was (obviously) a really significant event, especially for those of us living in NYC at the time. So why let the Rudy Guiliani’s of the world take control of history?

I tried not to be overtly political with this strip, although I did subtly suggest that my reaction was not to cower in fear and blindly support war against everyone, starting with Iraq, but rather to try and work for a better future where we don’t run around destroying other nations and making even more enemies. Of course you can say, “Big deal Dustin, you went to some protests. What does that ever do?” Well, as you can see, in Egypt, protests did a lot. The thing is, there you had a huge percentage of the population demonstrating, and not leaving until there was some sort of concrete result. We haven’t had that here in a long time. But you know what? In order to get 50%, 60%, 70% of the people out on the streets, you have to start out with 1%, 5%, or 10% of the people. I’m happy to have been part of that small percentage, and I’d gladly do it again for the right cause. Hopefully next time more people will be there.

Also, in case there’s any question, I bought that T-shirt because it was so ridiculous, not because I think it’s awesome and like to wear it. There was an even worse one I could have got that said “9/11: I can’t believe I survived” but that was too much, even for me.

The Theory of Hipster Relativity

This week’s comic was inspired by the realization that I have been called a hipster, yet I call other people hipsters. And yet everyone was right. When I went to a dive bar in Williamsburg in 2005 and watched my friend get into a fight with a wimpy little shit with an obnoxious haircut, black rimmed glasses and a skinny tie, I was right in calling him a stupid hipster. And when a guy in my office who could be an extra on The Jersey Shore looked at me and saw a tall, skinny long-haired music nerd and called me a hipster, he was right. And I’m sure when he goes home and hangs out with his friends, they call him a hipster for being a graphic designer and knowing more about fonts than most people do about anything. It’s all relative.

*Update: This strip made the front page of Reddit today. Thanks for all the love all you Redditors!