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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Murdoch’

No, the Mecca-orientation of the Crescent of Embrace is NOT a product of the landform

Defenders of the Flight 93 memorial repeatedly insist that the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent HAS to be a coincidence. It is completely determined, they insist, by the landform, the path of Flight 93, and the impact point, leaving no room for intent to enter.

Of course it is crazy to think that, so long as it is just an unfortunate coincidence, there is nothing wrong with planting a giant Mecca-oriented crescent (the central feature of a mosque) on the graves of our murdered heroes. About as crazy, actually, as thinking that the Mecca-orientation of the giant crescent could really be a coincidence. First architect Paul Murdoch just innocently comes up with a half mile wide Islamic-shaped crescent to honor the victims of Islamic terrorism, then he innocently places the Sacred Ground Plaza between the tips of the giant crescent, in the position of the star on an Islamic crescent and star flag, then he innocently just happens to point this entire crescent-and-star-flag configuration at Mecca (and on and on and on).

When the nation saw the second airliner hit the Trade Towers, everyone immediately knew that the first impact was no accident. The more airplanes that Paul Murdoch flies into the Flight 93 memorial, the more the Memorial Project thinks it HAS to be an accident. Its just TOO OUTLANDISH to think that an Islamic enemy could attack us out of the blue and unawares in such a henious way. What precedent is there for thinking that such a thing could even be possible? (Knock, knock, knock.) And so the more evidence they are confronted with, the more impossible it seems, and the more they insist that Murdoch HAS to be innocent.

Okay, so they are WILLFULLY blind. Even so, they still need an excuse to hang their willful blindness on, and part of Murdoch’s evil genius is to supply these excuses. That is where this trope about the crescent design being dictated by the landscape comes from. It comes from Murdoch, and is actually one of his most brilliant deceptions.

Murdoch’ PRELIMINARY DESIGN actually can be seen as dictated by the landform, the flight-path, and the point of impact

Before any designs were submitted, the Memorial Project gave all the design contestants a site organization map that labeled the “the ridgeline,” “the bowl,” “the crash site,” and “the flight path.” Architect Paul Murdoch claims that all he did was combine these elements by having the flight path symbolically “break” the circular bowl shape, creating the giant Crescent of Embrace design. If you start a crescent at the point where the flight path crosses the ridgeline, and follow the rim of “the bowl” around the ridgeline to create a crescent that “embraces” the Sacred Ground where Flight 93 crashed, then you get the Crescent of Embrace design. Since this procedure uniquely determines the orientation of the crescent, there is no room for the orientation to be determined by anyone’s intent. If it faces Mecca, it HAS to be a coincidence.

This argument actually works, but only when applied to Paul Murdoch’s ORIGINAL Crescent of Embrace design, which did NOT point to Mecca. Take a look:

Click for larger image.

The site organization map (left), shows “the bowl,” bordered by “the ridge,” along with the flight path and the crash site. Murdoch’s preliminary Crescent of Embrace design (right), uses the point where the flight path crosses the ridge/bowl as the end point for a crescent that has the Sacred Ground centered between its crescent tips. Resulting orientation: 11.1°. clockwise from north, which is 44.1° north of Mecca.

The explanatory notes in the preliminary design are perfectly accurate when they describe the crescent as focused on the Sacred Ground:

A curving arc of maple trees along a walkway unites the ridge and forms an edge to the bowl, with a focus on the Sacred Ground.

It is also correct to say that this crescent and its orientation are uniquely determined (to within 5° or so) by the landform, the flight path and the crash site. If the crescent arc were extended much further then it would no longer point to the Sacred Ground. (The amount of curve between the end points of the crescent does not matter. Murdoch established the curve of his original crescent by smoothing the curved shape of the ridge line.)

If THIS crescent is uniquely determined by the combination of landform, flight path and crash site, then the final Crescent of Embrace design, rotated 42.3° further to the east, obviously CANNOT be determined by these factors. By extending the crescent in his final design to match the full Islamic crescent shape (covering about 2/3rds of a circle of arc), Murdoch created a crescent that no longer points to the Sacred Ground:

The bisector of the crescent in Murdoch’s final Crescent of Embrace design points approximately 1.8 ° north of Mecca (marked “qibla”). Notice that the bisector of this Mecca-oriented crescent does not even touch the Sacred Ground, but crosses through the upper portion of the Sacred Ground Plaza that sits up the flight path from the Sacred Ground.

While the crescent no longer points to the Sacred Ground, Murdoch still PRETENDS that it does. Asked last summer about the orientation of the crescent, Project Superintendent Joanne Hanley and architect Paul Murdoch both claimed that it points to the Sacred Ground:

Further, [Hanley] added, it is still unclear exactly where on the landscape the memorial will even be situated. It could move as much as 200 yards, she said, discounting the idea that it faces Mecca.

“The only thing that orients the memorial is the crash site,” she said.

Mr. Murdoch reinforced that idea.

“It’s oriented toward the Sacred Ground,” he said. “It just couldn’t be clearer.”

Hanley may be honestly duped, but Murdoch knows full well that the crescent does not point to the Sacred Ground. Such an orientation would ruin his mosque design, not just because a Sacred Ground oriented crescent would no longer point to Mecca, but also because it would place the graves of the infidels in the location of the star on an Islamic flag, leaving them inside the symbolic Islamic heavens. Blasphemy!

Murdoch has a very different symbolism in mind for the star on his giant crescent and star flag. In the top third of the Sacred Ground Plaza, centered on the bisector of the giant crescent, in the exact position of the star on an Islamic flag, sits a separate upper section of Memorial Wall, inscribed with the 9/11 date. The date goes to the star on the Islamic flag. The date goes to the terrorists.

The duping of David Beamer

At this August’s public meeting of the Memorial Project, David Beamer (father of Flight 93 hero Todd Beamer) came out to counter Tom Burnett Sr.’s protests against the crescent design.

Mr. Beamer declared that he had performed several months of due diligence investigating the warnings about the crescent design, by which he presumably meant that he had checked at least a few of our factual claims, like the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent (now called a broken circle). But instead of reporting the results of his fact-checking, Beamer changed the subject. He did not say a single word about the accuracy of any of our claims, but only reported how he had met with architect Paul Murdoch and was satisfied that Murdoch’s design properly honors his son and the other murdered heroes of Flight 93.

If he actually did any fact checking, then he is fully aware that the giant crescent DOES point within 2° of Mecca, in which case there is only one plausible explanation for Beamer declaring the design innocent. Murdoch must have convinced him that the crescent orientation is determined by the landform, the flight path and the crash site, so that its orientation on Mecca HAS to be coincidence.

If Mr. Beamer had bothered to talk to the person who has been warning of an enemy plot then Alec Rawls would have explained to him that no, these physical facts about the crash site do NOT yield a Mecca-oriented crescent. They yield a crescent that points 44° north of Mecca. It is a very strange concept of due diligence to trust the assurances of the person one is being warned is an enemy operative while refusing to talk to the person who is issuing warnings

Very strange too, to think that just because one is convinced that the Mecca orientation of the crescent is a coincidence, that somehow makes it okay to deny the Mecca orientation when speaking to the press and the public, as several Project spokesmen have now done. The fact that Beamer and Hanley and other Project Partners have been duped be Murdoch”s explanations would be of little consequence if they just let the public know what they know, so the American people can decide for themselves whether the fact that it might be a coincidence makes it okay to plant the world’s largest Mecca-direction indicator on the Flight 93 crash site.

Obviously the answer would be “NO!” and this nightmare would be over. It is the lying that is the problem. Hanley et. al. can be a bunch of dupes if they want, but they have no right to deceive the public about what they know.

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What if a Chinese rebel pulled off the biggest practical joke in history, and nobody got it?

In contrast to architect Paul Murdoch’s dirty trick (trying to plant a terrorist memorial mosque on the Flight 93 crash site), Zhang Yimou’s trick at the Beijing Olympics was moral, beautiful, and hilarious.

In case you missed it, the Beijing closing ceremony was an extended dramatization of the sexual act, ending with the fertilization of an egg.

Here is a still image of the final tableaux. After the circle of a thousand yellow-clad egg-girls has finally been penetrated by the couple hundred bouncing sperm-boys, the sperms rush to the center to form the nucleus of the fertilized egg, while the egg girls spread out to form the albumen:

Here is the video (two minutes):

If this WMV file won’t play on your computer, you can try reading this post over at Error Theory, where Alec’s original Blogger Video upload might still be working. (Access to the video is difficult because the NBC footage cannot be posted at YouTube or Google Video. The full video has been available at uZood. We claim that our shorter clips are FAIR USE, based on news value.)

Zhang Yimou’s drama began with WHAT LEADS to the fertilization of an egg (1 minute):

In between The Act and its result was a parade of floats, dramatizing the journey of the sperm through guess which body part: closing ceremonies

Anatomical drawing, for comparison.

Wondering where the ovaries are? Floating 40 feet above the entire production:

No anatomical drawing needed to recognize this. Georgia O’Keefe would be scandalized.

But the performance wasn’t just a sex scene followed by a biology class. The whole production is rendered out of passion and spirit, which connect to the wellspring of spirit in the middle part of the performance, where the circulatory “chi” of the Tai Chi masters is depicted by lit circular bicycles, circulating through bordered pathways around the still pulsating sexual center:

closing ceremonies

Chi bicycles circulate the pathways of spiritual energy before passing through the red center itself, presumably symbolizing the delivery of the chi to the zygotes.

The philosophy behind this representation may be Taoist or Buddhist, but the result is hardly distinguishable from Catholicism, which also sees the spirit inhabiting the body at conception (an idea that the Chi-Coms, with their policies of forced abortion, might prefer to suppress).

In all a beautiful, profound, life affirming, and wonderfully amusing practical joke. The fertilization of the egg at the end is meant to be the punch line, confirming everyone’s suspicions about the obvious POSSIBLE sexual connotations of the preceding. This is not hidden folks. You are SUPPOSED to get it. (Original expose here.)

Choreographer Zhang Yimou is China’s most decorated film-maker, with a long history of butting heads with Communist censors, and of making sexy female-centered movies. It is not surprising that he would find a female-centered ode to procreation irresistible.

If some of his Communist overseers were in on the trick that is great news. If they have that much humor, maybe we can feel a bit better about them. The other possibility is that Yimou was able to keep his overseers from seeing enough of the production at once to figure it out. That would be a magnificent story of defiance, which will be lost if people don’t get it!

Life affirming vs. murder-cult affirming

This makes two examples of semi-hidden symbolism in a mega-scale production. We have architect Paul Murdoch’s dirty trick and Zhang Yimou’s wonderful, beautiful and very funny trick. Zhang is the good twin to Murdoch’s evil twin. In contrast to Zhang’s life-affirming symbolism, Murdoch is hiding the most disgusting tribute to evil and murder ever concocted.

If we can break the story of the good twin, and see Zhang’s production properly celebrated for what it truly is, that spotlight will shine on the evil twin as well, and reveal him for what he truly is. Zhang’s trick should also be a much easier story to break, and not just because half the world saw his production. If people are loathe to witness evil, either out of political calculation, or simply because they want to give the benefit of the doubt, everybody loves a good joke.

Zhang and Murdoch (Zhang is the surname) both needed for their symbolism to be semi-hidden. If it was too obvious, the hidden meaning would erupt in controversy and threaten the completion of the project. But the meaning couldn’t be too hidden. Once the production is a fait accompli, people have to get it. The symbolic accomplishment has to be demonstrable, or all is for naught.

The positive morality of Zhang’s display explains how he was able to get away with it. There can’t be a woman in that fertilized egg scene who, after multiple rehearsals, did not know that she was dramatizing the fertilization of an egg. There cannot be a man on spring shoes who did not know he was playing a sperm, but because it was beautiful and fun, everyone was willing to go along with the joke.

Ditto for any Chi-Coms who figured it out (probably as the performance date loomed). And why not? With such a lovely trick, if it comes out that the party knew, it will be to their credit that they let it proceed.

These dynamics of positive morality are not available to Paul Murdoch. For his evil scheme to advance, he needs a very different moral dynamic to be in play, a dynamic of willful blindness, where people look at the world in terms of what they think is most advantageous for them to see, instead of in terms of what is actually there. Unfortunately, this is the dominant cognitive style in much of America today.

It is no surprise that people who could choose a memorial that is laid out in the shape of an Islamic crescent and star flag would be determined not to be concerned that the crescent actually points to Mecca. After all, the crescent and star flag configuration is obvious:

Crescent and flag22%

Click for larger image.

Anyone who can be willfully blind to THAT can easily ignore what seems to them to be much more esoteric, like the orientation of the crescent. It doesn’t matter to them that the orientation of the crescent is actually the most important thing to Muslims, turning the crescent into the Mecca-direction indicator around which every mosque is built. What MUSLIMS think? Why that is positively arcane, to anyone who finds it advantageous to think so.

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Crescent mosque violates the only physical requirement for design entries

Defenders of the crescent design for the Flight 93 memorial describe the landform around the crash site as a bowl shape that fairly dictates the use of a crescent design. On the Mike and Juliet Morning Show, Memorial Project Chairman John Reynolds was asked by host Mike Jerrick: “Why couldn’t you just use some other shape?”

Reynolds cupped his hands together for the audience and insisted that the design had to be a crescent:

Because, if you do this with you hands, this is the land there. This bowl is America holding its heroes.

But in fact, the site is not a bowl shape at all, as one can tell by looking at the topo lines on the site plan. The land slopes continually from north-northwest to south-southeast:

Crescent Bowl35%

The Sacred Ground Plaza that marks the crash site sits between the crescent tips (above the 4).

Instead of following the rim of a bowl, the crescent starts on a ridgeline above the crash site and circles around to well below it, passing across the middle of a wetland that sits about 70 vertical feet below the crash site.

Not only is the crash site not a bowl, but the crescent actually does not fit the natural landform at all. Of all the designs entered in the design competition, Paul Murdoch’s Crescent of Embrace is the only one that that fails to meet the Memorial Project’s single stated physical requirement: that design entries should “respect the rural landscape.” (Scroll down to “purpose.”)

To create the full arc of the crescent, a raised causeway will have to be filled in across the wetlands that collect about half-way out the lower crescent arm:

Raised causeway, 'healing landscape' 40%

This filling in of the wetlands would never be allowed in a private project. There are environmental laws against it.

To sneak his design past the requirement to leave the landscape undisturbed, Murdoch played a very clever trick. His preliminary Crescent of Embrace design did not build a causeway across the wetlands. It only showed a quarter circle of red maple walkway, with a natural footpath skirting around the bottom of the wetlands area instead of crossing it:

Preliminary crescent design 55%

This original crescent design already had the flight path breaking the circle, turning it into what was called from the start the Crescent of Embrace, so it seems that Murdoch had in mind from the beginning to memorialize the terrorists’ circle-breaking/ crescent-creating feat. He could well have had the basic geometry of his full terrorist memorial mosque already worked out, but he knew that he would never make the first cut if he broke the competition’s one rule and violated the wetlands, so he only showed a little bit of crescent, and had his innocuous looking footpath skirt the wetlands.

To turn his preliminary design into a full Islamic crescent, Murdoch needed to build his causeway. How did he justify this violation of the wetlands? With typical brass, declaring that the causeway created a “healing landscape”:

Here visitors will be most aware of continuously connected living systems as the circular path literally bridges the hydrology of the Bowl. [”Wetlands,” p. 5.]

The highway department should hire this guy for P.R.. He could sell the environmentalists on how close a new road will bring them to nature. Why, they will be “literally bridging it!” What could be better? Good pitch. The Memorial Project bought it.

Most remarkable is Patrick White, vice president of Families of Flight 93. In private conversation at the Memorial Project’s July 2007 meeting, White told one of Alec Rawls’s compatriots that an expensive drainage system had been developed for the crescent design and that no other design could work on the site because this elaborate drainage system would only work with the crescent design.

Duh. The crescent design is the only design out of all thousand submitted that needs a drainage system. Every other design left the wetland untouched, as the Memorial Project had asked. Yet these people all really seem to mean it when they insist that this is the only design that fits the land.

Didn’t they notice that not one of the other thousand designs was a crescent? How could that be, if the landform really dictated a crescent? How did they get so wrapped in the emotion of the crescent’s “healing embrace” that they can’t see anything else?

Because Paul Murdoch is an artistic genius who had these grieving people in the palms of his hands. The man is diabolical!

Stop the Memorial Blogburst

If you want to join the blogroll/blogburst for the Crescent of Betrayal blogburst, email Cao at caoilfhionn1 at gmail dot com, with your blog’s url address. The blogburst will be sent out once a week to the participants, for simultaneous publication on this issue on Wednesdays.

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