Sunday, September 11, 2011

Repairing the soul of the Empire City

New York is not a city - it is an apparition, a phantom, a vision.

Hamid Dabashi

"Almost a decade has passed since the mournful, heartbreaking collapse of those two gentle giants of the WTC in New York City - a decade that has just ended with a leading credit rating agency, Standard & Poor (S&P), downgrading the United States AAA standing to an AA rating, for the first time ever in history.

Empires: They don't make 'em like they used to. Which is worse - the two giant AA phallic symbols of an empire cut deep and down in the full daylight of history, or its AAA rating circumcised by one notch to AA for the whole world to see, all in span of just one decade? Is this what Fareed Zakaria meant, perhaps, by "the post-American world"?.....

New York is not an imperial city. It is the Empire City - an empire of its own. No other city in the United States is quite like it - and thus they all aspire to it. It is not America. It is what America wants to be - but cannot. It is the worst thing about America - that there is always hope for it."

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