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9/11: A Children's Story?

Russell Pickering | April 19 2006

The main article I will be referencing throughout this discussion was titled, "9/11 Commission Comic - It's a giant leap from 'Jughead' to 'The 9/11 Report'." Go ahead and read that a couple of more times like I did until your mind adjusts.......I'll wait........ok. Just like Joe Camel dressed up death-by-smoking for children, so now is a major publisher turning the 9/11 Commission Report into a "comic". But since 9/11 isn't really that funny they describe what they're doing as, "turning the dense, painful breakdown of the horrors of that morning in 2001 into a more digestible form: the graphic novel."

In a bold effort to depict the tragedy of Sept. 11, artists Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón illustrated simultaneous events side by side on the page, using the timelines of the hijacked planes as laid out in the 9/11 commission's findings, to chilling effect. "I think we have taken a terribly important document, which I wish every American would read, and done it in a way that makes it far easier for people to grasp," said publisher Thomas LeBien of Hill and Wang, a division of the prestigious Farrar, Straus and Giroux. LeBien says the fast-paced method and layout of the parallel attacks should go a long way in helping people - particularly younger readers - grasp what happened. "If you're 80- or 14-years-old, you look at those timelines and it becomes more immediately clear the catastrophic nature of it all in a more gripping way than you might get from the report itself," he said. But in this case, LeBien insisted the artists just followed the script laid out by the report and made no effort to politicize the events of the day. "This is not a political document. It does not present an analysis any more than the commission report did," he said. (1 & 2)

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If I'm not mistaken it sounds like the intent is that every American from 14-80 should read it, and that it would be more digestible, fast-paced, easier to grasp, clear, gripping and chilling, but not political. I'm thinking of a word. What is that word again? Oh.......propaganda. The following illustrations are actually from the "comic".

Are you calmed down and back in your chair again?

"These books will appeal to consumers and to educators for course adoptions.......Graphics can do things that no other medium can", says LeBien. The 9/11 Report adaptation, he says, will "tell a complex story with greater clarity. Not enough Americans have read the original report." The adaptation LeBien explains, will "visually walk you through the FAA and the Department of Defense. It will show who is talking to who; offer a time line of the attacks; information on Islamic fundamentalism; the transition from the Clinton administration to Bush. Everything that's in the report, and it's all studiously apolitical, just like the original report."

The importance of this and the effect that this could have should NOT be underestimated. This is a powerful, well designed tool. It's even being built into the original concept that "educators" can adapt them for "course adoptions". This is Madison Avenue at its worst and most despicable level yet.

The importance and power of indoctrination was understood many years ago by the leader of a country who also had a "terrorist" attack on his homeland, a Patriot Act known as the "Enabling Act" (3), and a national ID card which we will have in May of 2008 in the form of a REAL ID card (4). The "comic" apparently even has some commentary on "Islamic fundamentalism". Didn't the other leader have a group of people he hated too? It even "visually walk[s] you through" government agencies. Thank goodness it's "studiously apolitical" just like the real 9/11 Report.

That same leader had an interesting program known as, "Kriegsbücherei der deutschen Jugend". That means, "War library of the German youth" (5). Following is a sampling of their work.

It looks, fast-paced, easy to grasp, clear, gripping and chilling. But we know it's not political - it's just true......right? Like the 9/11 Commission Report. There were 156 of these, appearing at weekly intervals from 1940 through December 1942. There were also some special editions that were not for sale, rather used as rewards by the Nazi youth group. If you want to fully grasp the power of comics in culture then look back over the past two years at the top box office movies. They are comics engrained in culture and reproduced in films. This "comic" will become a part of our culture.

The fact that these were used as "rewards" for kids taps into a secret weapon sometimes called the "nag factor". Toy retailers proved some time ago that the way to get in the parent's heads and then pockets was if they could get the kids to want something enough to nag the parents for it. Then eventually they would get the parent's cash. Mommy and daddy will you read me the 9/11 Commission report before I go to bed?

And what about the overall demographic this will appeal to? Since America has been purposefully dumbed down the simple visual mind is around every corner. This type of material agrees with people at lower reading and interest levels no matter what their age. People who might not watch the news or read the actual 9/11 Report will pick up a story book with pictures. Putting something into images also drives it deeper inside the individual and cultural psyche. Remember the publisher said, "Graphics can do things that no other medium can".

The other demographic that can be included in this is the young twenties. There is a resurgence in comics these days. For now, it is hip for kids 14-20 to question 9/11 and "rebel". This can be observed by popular 9/11 sites and groups on MySpace. How many teenagers will swallow and "digest" this "comic" that would never pick up a government document? It will appeal to those kids who are not the questioning type.

The adult version of this is coming out soon in the Universal Studios production United 93 April 28th (6). This film is synchronized with the Moussaoui trial. The government and its influence on the media is well known. After trailers, film critics, FOX news, reviews etc. people will probably have more actual minutes of hype outside the theatre than the total length of the film itself. It is purposefully designed this way. This hero story is something everybody relates to and emotionally connects with. It instills a feeling of sacredness in the average person that makes them feel irreverent if they are eventually asked to question it. If you want to get mythological, it could even be argued this film is an archetype of the War on Terror. It has been referred to by Rumsfeld as the point "America started fighting back". It's being woven into the fabric of our society in every popular form.

The 9/11 Truth Movement has had a temporary success with the Charlie Sheen phenomenon. An honest and popular man spoke out. But now the big guns are coming. Notice that the one thing that isn't happening just like Charlie has predicted? The government/media is NOT talking
about the facts. This is actually brilliant on their part. They are simply creating heroic tales full of Technicolor images and emotion to replace the truth. It may be successful.

My admonition is to read the writing on the wall now and prepare to overcome their curve balls and sliders. We must be unified and intelligent. It's time to quit arguing amongst ourselves and act. If we're divided we will not survive their power machine and the imagery it conjures. I'll see you at the Parliament building..........I'll be the one in a mask!


Russell Pickering

(1) http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6305408.html
(2) http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/62569.htm
(3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enabling_Act
(4) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_ID
(5) http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/kbuch.htm
(6) http://www.united93movie.com/index.php


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