The struggle to imbue the tenth anniversary of 9/11 with memorial significance is notable only for its failure. Reading all the paeans and homilies and homages to the date is an experience most akin to attending an odd-year high school reunion; it is neither quite so well-attended nor nearly as nostalgic as you imagined; there's no one at the bar; the cater waiters won't flirt--worse, they're older than you are! In the corner, some former cheerleader cries mawkishly into her Long Island; above the airport hotel ballroom, planes rumble indifferently into the night sky; on the far side of the world, a stock exchange opens; "the dog misses you," says your lover over the phone, "I miss you. How's the reunion?"; "I wish I'd never come"; "I told you so." Before the smoke cleared, our national culture of opportunism sought to ratify 9/11 as world-historical, and in retrospect all our flailing, horrible, violent responses to those briefly spectacular moments of smoke-and-kaboom read as much as anything as dully intentional attempts to render the attacks as epically poetic, the hijackings that launched a thousand sorties, so to speak; but mere spectacle rarely bears much weight of memory: the sense of all these memorial recollections is of rushing into Radio City and declaring the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular the equal of Lear on the strength of its high-kicking--not simply wrong, but preposterous. The reason that so many newspapers and magazines, teevee shows and radio programs, blogs and other bullshit have ginned up so many Special Editions, the reason there is such an unharmonious cacophony of competing kaddishes linked only by their ridiculous, maudlin sentimentality, is that the supposed universal significance of the date barely qualifies as a mirage; the touted unity of the national conscience and consciousness afterward less than a fairy tale; the importance of the day as some inflection point in the history of human civilization so vastly overblown as to have long since popped. Here we are, standing around the limp remnants of a birthday balloon paraphrasing Genesis; rubber to rubber, bust to bust.