Thursday, July 29, 2004

The Falling Man 

I found this article, What if he's right?   by  Tom Junod, captivating... the final part below:

In a nation that loves fairy tales, the president seemed so damned eager to cry wolf that we decided he was just trying to keep us scared and that maybe he was just as big a villain as the wolf he insisted on telling us about. That's the whole point of the story, isn't it? The boy cries wolf for his own ends, and after a while people stop believing in the reality of the threat.

I know how this story ends, because I've told it many times myself. I've told it so many times, in fact, that I'm always surprised when the wolf turns out to be real, and shows up hungry at the door.

Update:  And Tom Junod also wrote another rather amazing article for Esquire, called The Falling Man.  Here are a couple of sections, if you have some time, read the whole thing.

Each jumper, no matter how many there were, brought fresh horror, elicited shock, tested the spirit, struck a lasting blow. Those tumbling through the air remained, by all accounts, eerily silent; those on the ground screamed. It was the sight of the jumpers that prompted Rudy Giuliani to say to his police commissioner, "We're in uncharted waters now." It was the sight of the jumpers that prompted a woman to wail, "God! Save their souls! They're jumping! Oh, please God! Save their souls!"

and later in the article:

 Maybe he didn't jump at all, because no one can jump into the arms of God.
Oh, no. You have to fall.

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