ZERO TASTE: Rod Dreher, on The Corner on National Review Online says that t-shirts with “GROUND ZERO” on them are selling briskly in New York–too briskly for Dreher:
Look, I understand that tourists who come to New York want to go see Ground Zero. And I understand that they want to buy FDNY and NYPD t-shirts; we’ve all done that, and it’s good to show solidarity with the Bravest and the Finest. But I do not understand the people who sell and who buy caps and t-shirts that say “GROUND ZERO.” Honest to God, you see them downtown. I passed some dippy tourist moron wearing a brand-new GROUND ZERO ski cap the other day, and I wanted to slap him. A site of atrocity, a mass graveyard, a place of war crime — commemorated as a souvenir! I bet that guy also has a t-shirt that says, “Somebody Who Loves Me Went to Auschwitz, and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt.” Hell, why not?
I suppose if New Yorkers are actually buying them, it could be taken simply as a sign of how tough they are, but as far as the tourists, I’m not at all surprised–at either the merchants selling the t-shirts, or the people buying them.
There are lots and lots of people out there with bad taste, weird taste, or no taste, and there’s not much that can be done about them. As far as the merchants, they’re simply responding to demand. When I toured the area in early October, with a friend who works in the financial district (in a building very, very close to the WTC) who took me down there to see the atrocities, already there were numerous street vendors selling trinkets, postcards and souvenirs.