Now that Americans have been able to look over the less than exciting offerings at the 9/11 Museum and Memorial Gift Shop – the $80 necklace, for example, that promises “No day shall erase you from the memory of time” – the conclusion must be that the whole thing is a hamfisted gimmick, a cheap trick, and a thorough disappointment for every American who has pinned his hopes on a memorial grand and inspiring and true to the soul of the country. Where are the water rides? The pinwheels? The clowns? The dramatic reenactments?
What’s needed is a real engagement of the public interest, a serious commitment to fun and thrill. Therefore we at the Committee for the Establishment of the 9/11 Funtown Action Theme Park (FATP) propose some of the following improvements:
- We know that the far-ranging dragnet of U.S. military operations overseas in combination with the advancing technology of embalming and taxidermy would allow the placement at the site of freshly-stuffed Al Qaeda operatives. We already have enough of these ready specimens stored at Guantanamo Prison to serve the purpose. They can be posed with box-cutters in flashing action. Others can be placed in more thoughtful poses as they plot evil.
- We should also bring into the FATP at least several specially trained, outfitted and lobotomized Al Qaeda members, held in dirt-floored cages alive for a limited time. Patrons can pay extra to spit at them, mock them, and even touch them when 9/11 Zoo Trainers are on hand for feedings, performances, and the patented 9/11 Hijacker Defecation. Watch them wear out 9/11 Worry Paths in their terrified pacing.
- Following life-rights payments to 9/11 family members of the deceased, we should provide a hall of wax figurines of select Delta and American Airlines pilots and crewmembers in attendance on the planes that fateful day, along with Heroic 9/11 Passengers. The experience can be supplemented with copyrighted Real 9/11 Recorded Screams culled from blackbox cockpit units, cell phone transmissions, and police and fire communications.
- Throughout the FATP site, 9/11 Mascots – actors playing Rudolph Giuliani, George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden etc. – can delight crowds, conduct guided tours, deliver historical lectures, and perform feats of strength. Select tickets can be sold for the viewing of wrestling matches. Comedy acts by the veteran 9/11 comedian Al Kida will serve as a similar attraction.
- Cool games! Banks of flight simulators can be installed for the public to test their mettle – see if you too can pilot the unwieldy and fuel-heavy 747s into the narrow target of the towers. Enjoy with the whole family your very own 9/11 Mini-Dig in replica rubble trying to hunt out patented simulacra 9/11 Human Remains.
- (An all-hours 9/11 Casino should also not be out of the question, with 9/11-themed blackjack, roulette, slot-machines, and the like.)
- 9/11 Hero Action Figures should be developed, along with life-size 9/11 Blow-up Action Dolls. These might include firefighters and policemen dispatched to Ground Zero, as well as soldiers in the fields of Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the Fully Poseable Mohammed Atta Doll (Atta limbs are removeable).
- Try on the various 9/11 Al Qaeda Mustaches – rollicking amusement for the whole family.
- Watch Navy SEALS in hourly re-enactments of the assassination of Osama bin Laden.
- We also propose a 9/11 Final Moments combination rollercoaster-water ride. Plunge off the towers from howling flames into splashing water, all of it made super-real with the 9/11 Virtual Reality Helmet.
- Enjoy the “9/11 Moments After” music-video IMAX theatre montage of terrified New Yorkers running from the collapsing buildings. See the New Yorkers flee; feel the patented Infernal Black 9/11 Cloud as it blinds the eyes and chokes nose and throat.
- Finally, we propose hourly showings of the recently-completed documentary “Thank You, 9/11!”, a compendium of real-world wisdom from elected officials, representatives of major industry, authors, journalists and intellectuals who employed their skills in the marketplace to capitalize on the attacks and build successful entrepreneurial models. 9/11 business instruction could be made part of an afterschool high school curriculum at the site and even attached as a training program ancillary to major business colleges. 9/11 MBA degrees are not far off.
These are just a few of the incredible possibilities, without which the site will neither remunerate fully on the gigantic investment required for its construction, nor offer the immersive entertainment experience Americans are willing to pay for. Recent polls show an overwhelming desire among most Americans for an “easier and more accessible 9/11.” Marketing to that target consumer audience is key to continued 9/11 sales.
Currently, however, we must content ourselves with a gift shop conceived by museum curators who have failed even to develop a basic 9/11 apparel and accessories line – 9/11 tote bags, t-shirts, jackets, lingerie, etc. – nor 9/11 foods and menus, nor 9/11 electronics gear, nor 9/11 jewelry, nor 9/11 children’s toys, nor, sadly for the American worker, a 9/11 SUV and sedan line out of Detroit. We could go on, but the point is made.
Christopher Ketcham, a freelance writer who splits his time between Brooklyn, NY and Moab, Utah, is writing a book about secession movements. Contact him at email@example.com