Thursday, April 27, 2006

March of Folly

So, with the cameras rolling, construction begins on the Freedom Tower, or monumentum horibilis. A description of a book entitled The March of Folly goes like this:

Defining folly as the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interersts, despite the availability of feasible alternatives, [Pulitzer-prize winning author Barbara] Tuchman details four decisive turning points in history that illustrate the very heights of folly in government: the Trojan War, the breakup of the Holy See provoked by the Renaissance Popes, the loss of the American colonies by Britain's George III, and the United States' persistent folly in Vietnam.

To which I would add a fifth government folly: building the godforsaken "Freedom" Tower. Orwellian doesn't even begin to describe it.

Photo credit: Timothy A. Clary/AFP -- Getty Images