I tried to paste the following in the comments box of your 9/11 blog but was told it held too many characters. When I tried to cut it in half and enter it as two comments I was told it contained illegal characters. So I’m giving up and just sending it to you regularly.
The 1977 movie “Saturday Night Fever” opens with the shot of a bridge in New York City. Behind the bridge, looming above it and dominating the shot, are seen the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. The camera holds this shot for quite some time. Finally the camera zooms in on the bridge and finds John Travolta prancing across it. After some exposition in which it is established that Travolta is a working class disco dancing fool, we are taken to the club where the disco dancing occurs. The name of the club is: 2001 Odyssey. Inside the club the large dance floor crowded with gyrating couples is bathed in the harsh glare of flickering red lights which create a fiery ambience fitting for the opening strains of the Trammps’ song “Disco Inferno,” which plays on the soundtrack. It begins with the phrase “Burn, baby, burn” repeated several times. This phrase comes from the ghetto riots of the 1960’s when bystanders shouted it as encouragement to arsonists. It turns out this is quite apt since the lyrics of the song which follow might be said to view 9/11 from the perpetrators perspective. “Two mass fires, yes! One hundred stories high. People gettin’ loose, y’all, gettin’ down on the roof. Do you hear? (The folks are flaming) Folks were screamin’, out of control. It was so entertainin’. When the boogie started to explode I heard somebody say: Burn, baby, burn! Disco inferno! Burn, baby, burn! Burn that mama down! Burnin’! Satisfaction (uhu hu hu) came in the chain reaction (burnin’) I couldn’t get enough, (till I had to self-destroy) so I had to self-destruct (uhu hu hu). The heat was on (burnin’), rising to the top, huh!”
The 1968 movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” itself is very interesting since it is a supposedly futuristic movie set in the year 9/11 occurred. This movie begins with a couple of packs of Darwinian predecessors to humanity squabbling over a water hole. Under the influence of a monolith planted by unseen extraterrestrials, one of these ape-men invents and murderously employs the first weapon of war. In triumph he throws his bludgeon into the air and it morphs into a commercial passenger spaceship in 2001 headed for the moon where the monolith has now been discovered. We didn’t have commercial space travel in the year 2001, but we did have commercial jetliners and some of these jetliners morphed into weapons on 9/11. Under secrecy and with a phony cover story, the spaceship headed for the monolith is evocative of the pirated jetliners headed for the Twin Towers. Furthermore, as the government official is making his spaceflight to the monolith, he makes a videophone call to his little daughter on Earth who’s birthday he is missing. During this call he asks her what she wants him to bring her as a present. She says, “I want a Bush baby.” “A Bush baby?” her father says. “Yes,” she replies. This too is evocative of 9/11, since President Bush, the son of another President Bush, used it to morph into a war president. I think it’s also suggestive that HAL the computer, when it is being disconnected, sings the song “A Bicycle Built for Two.” It suggests to me that the two movies, “2001” and “Saturday Night Fever,” know that they work in conjunction with each other as far as 9/11 is concerned.
The 1944 film noir movie “Double Indemnity” also teams well with a future movie which references it in terms of 9/11. Fred MacMurray is an insurance investigator who is trying to stage an accidental death for the husband of his paramour so they can collect double indemnity on the insurance. Having already bludgeoned the husband to death, MacMurray then boards a passenger train impersonating him. When he boards the train and hands in his ticket, the porter tells him that his compartment is train 9, section 11. After the porter puts his bags in the compartment and gives him the key, MacMurray goes to the platform on the back of the caboose. When the train slows down at a certain spot, MacMurray is going to jump off. The husband’s dead body is then to be placed at this spot so it looks like he fell off or tried to disembark while the train was moving and smashed his head on the tracks. But there is another man on the platform when MacMurray is trying to do this. Since there can be no witnesses to his nonlethal disembarkation if the plan is to succeed, MacMurray gives this man the key to his compartment and sends him there to get something for him. As he gives the man his key, MacMurray tells him that the compartment is train 9, section 11, just in case we missed it the first time.
This could more easily be dismissed as mere coincidence if it were not for the 1993 movie directed by Carl Reiner titled “Fatal Instinct.” This broad parody of cinematic thrillers, among its tricks, borrows and revises the “Double Indemnity” plot device for its own purposes. The hero is a cop/lawyer (he arrests you, then defends you) who is the unwitting target of a plot by his wife and her paramour to kill him on a train so they can collect triple indemnity on his insurance. The trick, however, is getting him to ride on a train in the first place since his entire family has been killed in various train mishaps, which, of course, explains the insurance policy. So the morning the hero has to leave on an important trip, his wife schemes to block his access to all modes of travel other than the train. His car is in the shop, there are no rental cars available, there’s a bus strike, etc. Finally, he says he’ll just have to take an airplane. “You can’t,” she tells him. “There’s been a terrorist attack at the airport. They flew a plane into the tower and all the runways are closed.”
There is a song written by the actor Hamilton Camp called “Pride of Man” which was recorded by the Quicksilver Messenger Service in the late 1960’s. The third verse of this song goes like this: “Turn around, go back down, back the way you came. Terror is on every side, though our leaders are dismayed. All those who place their faith in fire, in fire their faith shall be repaid. Oh, God, pride of man, broken in the dust again.” Further on, the ending chorus goes like this: “And it shall cause your tower to fall, make of you a pyre of flame. Oh, you who dwell on many waters, rich in treasure, wide in fame. You bow unto your god of gold, your pride of might shall be your shame, for only God can lead his people back unto the earth again. Oh, God, pride of man, broken in the dust again.” When I sing this song I take the liberty of pluralizing the word “tower.”