Shrine Whine

Oh, how the worm's turned on the AZ 9/11 Memorial since this early bird first tweeted on the subject way before the freakin' thing was ever completed. See, this jaundiced blue jay was the first to jawbone about how the shrine — which resembles a humongo steel Funyun perched over a concrete ashtray — was a major boner in the making ("Monument Valley," August 3). Especially considering that of the nearly 3,000 victims of the Islamofascist attacks on 9/11, only one, Tempe's Gary Bird, was a resident of Sand Land.

Yep, before blogosphere wing-nutters began frothing over some of the 54 phrases cut into the jumbo Funyun at Wesley Bolin Plaza, like "You don't win battles of terrorism with more battles," and "Erroneous US air strike kills 46 Uruzgan civilians," this cockamamie cockatoo was pointing out the lameness of this pathetic shrine, its Hallmark sentimentality, and its cheap, lefty slant, which sounds like something straight outta Alec Baldwin's très liberal mouth ("9/11 Narcissism," September 21).

Since then, Republican goober Len "Premarital" Munsil has decried the Funyun's "moral relativism," and pledged to rip it down should he defeat Governor Janet Napolitano. (Er, don't quit your day job just yet, Len.) Congressman J.D. "I ain't no anti-Semite" Hayworth also demanded the memorial's eradication. Online sleazemeister Matt Drudge and OxyContin enthusiast Rush Limbaugh picked up the story. And PHX talk-radio jocks continue to crawl all over the item like a pack of alley cats on a half-open tin o' tuna.

So, how have the Funyun's proponents reacted to this symphony of Bronx cheers? Like Napoleon's army hightailing it outta Moscow. Governor Photo-Op, a.k.a. Napolitano, who 'til last week was taking full credit for the Funyun, calling it "unique, bold, educational and unforgettable," now denies she previewed its problematic sayings. And if you believe that load of horse biscuits, this cranky canary's got a bridge at Lake Havasu it wants to sell ya.

Napoleontano actually acted genuinely outraged when reporters at her weekly press briefing dared ask questions about the 9/11 albatross around her neck.

"Address those questions to the commission," Her Highness squawked. "The commission had hearings, the commission approved the memorial. Move on."

Sorry, Janet, your name's at the very top of the memorial's concrete dedication block, so the buck stops with you, bozo britches.

Democratic lapdog Billy Shields, chairman of the 9/11 Memorial Commission, tried to take the bullet for the Guv with a Friday press conference announcing that the Memorial Commission should reevaluate what's written on the Funyun, but, um, after November 7, natch. The gray-haired gadfly then denounced anyone who dared question the patriotism of those who erected it.

"Shame on anyone who would make political hay at the expense of the lives and the tragedies that have come from 9/11," intoned the bearded boor.

Billy-boy, both you and Janet were the first to make political hay out of the 9/11 tragedy by using this memorial for your own ends. The Funyun's $550K price tag netted Nappy a pre-Election Day publicity stunt, with bagpipes playing and F-16s soaring overhead during the unveiling, and, Billy, you got your name on the dedication plaque, not far down from the Guv's.

Now the whole thing's blown up in your face, and you're boo-hooing all over town, blaming the public for not adding their two cents before now.

Shields and Nappy should've taken that half-mil and donated it to those building real memorials in NYC, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, PA. That would've been a better use of the funds than building this ugly and unnecessary backwater boondoggle.

Operation BIGOT

One of the state legislators most critical of the 9/11 Funyun, Republican fossil Russell Pearce, took time off from calling for a special legislative session to remove the monument to stick his crusty foot all the way down his throat.

In an interview last week on KJZZ-FM 91.5, state Representative Pearce proved once and for all that he's a bigoted asshole by longing to bring back a 1950s Dwight Eisenhower program labeled "Operation Wetback," which removed, according to Pearce, "1.3 million illegal aliens."

PHX immigration activist Elias Bermudez told this beaker that those deported back then included thousands of legitimate residents and citizens. But that doesn't bother Pearce, who believes he's discovered the (ahem) final solution to the Mes-can problemo.

The Bird has its own wet dream in which boneheads like Pearce are deported back to the Stone Age via time machine. After all, who'd you rather see go — the up-to-20 million illegal immigrants who work their tails off doing all the shit jobs in this country or one Mormon blowhard from Mesa? (Try actually thinking about this before dashing off the usual lame-ass letter to the editor exposing yourself as just another racist peckerwood from Arizona.)

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons