Monument Valley

The plumed wonder hates to agree with GOP gun moll Ann Coulter philosophically, but about our 9/11 memorial . . .

Remember, it was Janet who pandered that Squaw Peak simply must be renamed "Piestewa Peak," after Army Private Lori Piestewa, whose Humvee took a wrong turn during the invasion of Iraq and ran right into an Iraqi army ambush. Apparently, the noun "squaw" offends the liberal thought police, though as New Times staff writer Robert Nelson pointed out during the controversy (see "Squaw Peeved," April 17, 2003), the term "squaw" comes from the Algonquin word for "young woman." But painting a minority war victim (Piestewa was a Hopi Indian) as a war hero and renaming a mountain after her is the sort of safe, calculated political gambit this governor has built a reputation on.

Piestewa Peak, the governor's 9/11 memorial — they remind this ravenous reader of a chapter from right-wing pundit Ann Coulter's controversial book Godless: The Church of Liberalism, wherein the verbal bomb-thrower lambastes Dems for being merchants of grief, hiding behind the skirts of "sobbing hysterical women" — like the 9/11 widows referred to as "the Jersey girls" who've gotten far more than their 15 minutes of fame out of their tragedy.

Now, this dodo's been a Dem since Jimmy Carter was running things, but it couldn't agree more with the GOP gun moll's description of those who share The Bird's political philosophy: "Like Oprah during sweeps week, liberals have come to rely exclusively on people with sad stories to improve their Q rating. They've become the Lifetime TV network of political parties."

Big steel Frisbee: A rendering of the AZ 9/11 Memorial being built downtown.
image courtesy of Jones Studio, Inc
Big steel Frisbee: A rendering of the AZ 9/11 Memorial being built downtown.
Another view of the memorial, a feel-good gimmick that garners Governor Napolitano yet another warm and fuzzy photo-op.
image courtesy of Jones Studio, Inc
Another view of the memorial, a feel-good gimmick that garners Governor Napolitano yet another warm and fuzzy photo-op.

Remember way back in TBR (the Time Before Ronald Reagan) when Democrats actually took decisive action, instead of handing out warm fuzzies and grinning in front of unneeded $500,000 monuments? Why doesn't Janet take some time off from cutting ribbons, breaking ground, and posing for photo-ops, and, say, really do something about Arizona's sucky public schools? Oh, right, The Bird knows she's always tweeting about programs to help the children (another safe political issue; who's not for that, for Mo Udall's sake?!), but results are lacking. Despite all the noise Janet's made about the children in her first term, Arizona schools still rank near the bottom nationally, with the test scores and dropout rates to prove it.

Speaking of offspring, architect Jones maintains the 9/11 memorial's for "the kids." And for some sort of vague grief counseling for the few family members of the fallen in AZ. But the children have schoolbooks, and the 9/11 relatives have the dignity of their private sorrow, as well as legitimate memorials such as those being erected at the sites where terrorists crashed planes.

For the rest of us, it's been nearly five years, and it's time for our mass 9/11 sniveling to be over, thank you very much!

"One has to be careful that a memorial doesn't become a cliché, just the thing to do," Jones told The Bird during a discussion on the subject. "To determine something like that, you have to take it case by case."

Well, in this case, Arizona's 9/11 memorial's not only a cliché, it's an unnecessary exercise in mawkish sentimentality, right up there with the bronze tribute to K-9 dogs. But at least this scurrilous squab will have one more place to do its business next time it flies by Wesley Bolin Plaza.

Tight-Ass Mormons

Ever since it was announced back in May that Bonneville International Corporation had purchased hip-hop station Power 92.3 FM from Emmis Communications for $77.5 million, this dejected duck has been popping Zoloft by the fistful.

See, Power's The Bird's all-time favorite Valley radio station, the one this tweeter rocks in the shower, in the car, and in the office, while it's pecking out its column. It digs the jams they play and the personalities they front, from Da Nutz and Lady La to Melissa the Midnight Mamacita and The President of the Afternoon, Mr. JX3.

But the Mormon-owned Bonneville wanted nothing to do with Power's popular and lucrative format ($13 million last fiscal year, and a guaranteed 400,000 listeners a week). The brilliant idea of the Bonneville nimrods was to do away with Power altogether and simulcast their talk radio station KTAR-AM 620 on 92.3 FM. As reported by New Times music columnist Brendan Joel Kelley a few months ago (see "Power Failure," May 18), speculation at that time was that as of September 1, Power would cease to exist, and the station that bills itself "Where hip-hop lives" would become "Where hip-hop lived."

Yet all's not lost. There's good news on the horizon for fans of Too Short, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, E-40, Paul Wall, Young Jeezy, and all the rest: Bonneville's sold Power's "intellectual property" to the Riviera Broadcast Group, which also owns alt-rock station The Edge 103.9 FM, and sometime during the month of August, Power 92.3 FM will move up the dial to 98.3 FM, according to Bruce St. James, Power's program director, who as of last week became program director for The Edge as well.

"The tower's literally being built [for the new frequency] as we speak," St. James explained to this Lil' Jon-obsessed jaybird. "Once the tower's up and running, we will simulcast on both stations sometime between mid-August and September, at which time it will be exclusively on 98.3. Just the dial position changes. Nothing else. We don't even have to change phone numbers."

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