Easter’s behind us; a time when we feast obscenely on a mongrel concoction of cocoa solids, refined sugar, bone meal, foetal remnants, and a ludicrous fable about a hippy terminator that couldn’t be killed, till the enamel on our teeth is dissolved to a soup, and the only thing left dangling from our fucked gums is a few exposed nerve endings and a bounty of congealed blood stalactites.
He has risen!
Then there’s Christmas, yet to come, of course; marked in similarly wanton fashion with an almost identical display of unbridled gourmandry, but standing apart on account of its superfluous and grotesque orgy of spunk-drenched consumerism. Big, fat, throbbing dicks, the lot of us; all dumb as the next, and all desperate to gush the entire contents of our bank-balls all over the chest, face, and synthetic hair of this year’s ‘must-have’ slut-packs of pointless tat.
Impressive, both. Yet nestled snugly between the Easter bunny’s myxomatosis-ravaged cadaver and the jolly, red-clad child-enthusiast’s bulging sack, sits what is surely the greatest feast of them all:
Oh, how we look forward to that date on the calendar, with its jamboree of televisual treats - thrills, spills and body parts to rival the first 30 minutes of Saving Private Ryan, Kristallnacht, the anniversary of the My Lai massacre and all the saint's days put together.
Once a day of solemn remembrance, now just another excuse for production companies everywhere to reduce the single worst atrocity perpetrated by international terrorism to nothing more than a disaster-porn franchise.
Quick tip for any aspiring documentary makers out there: prefix any old gawping shite with “9/11” and you’ve got yourself a round-the-clock disclaimer for broadcasting what basically amounts to legalised snuff movies - 2006’s 9/11: The Falling Man being pretty much your York Notes on the technique.
That said, this year’s offering, 9/11: Phone Calls From The Towers (Ch4, 9pm, Sep 6th), may well’ve just topped it - a veritable event horizon for the totally, indefensibly unnecessary. And, yes, it does exactly what it says on the tin: 1hr 40mins of final phone calls from people who are about to die. That’s people who are about to die, in case you missed it.
Devoid of any investigative or journalistic merit whatsoever, this programme clearly needed to be made; with its ghoulish trawl through desperate answer-phone messages bequeathed to loved ones who didn’t make it to the phone in time, and recordings of frantic pleas for salvation made to fire departments, police stations, news rooms, and anyone else who’d listen.
Thank god their last words were robbed of all dignity, smeared across the airwaves, farted down our ear canals as idle entertainment, and punctuated every 15 minutes by a stream of adverts. My only hope is that my dying breath can be sponsored by Audi too.
So here’s to 9/11: Phone Calls From The Towers – an evening in the company of people in the last throes of choking suffocation, people oblivious to the gruesome fate that awaited them, people in offices, stairwells and corridors; people trapped by flames and rubble and corpses and sheer unimaginable terror. People who’d seen others leap from floors above them. People on people on people; all real, all with feelings and lives and families and dreams for a future that, for them, would never come.
And then, just as you thought it couldn’t get any worse, the turmoil reached a truly terrifying crescendo as we eavesdropped on a 40-year-old father of three pleading for assistance from an audibly upset emergency services telephone operator...at the exact moment Tower 1 collapsed on top of him.
Then it’s off to bed with a grin, a hard-on, and the soundtrack of a man being vaporised ringing in our pig-ignorant lugholes.
Now i’m not suggesting for a second that we shouldn’t remember the dead. Far from it. I’m just saying now might be a good time to stop defiling the corpse.
Just a thought.
* 9/11 if you’re using the name-brand, that is; September 11th if you’ve opted for the cheaper, generic own-brand version.