WHEN LIFE IS ABOUT NOTHING: For some unknown reason, I pulled Marion Meade’s The Unruly Life of Woody Allen off my shelf a few nights ago, which I bought a few years ago to read on a plane, and began casually thumbing through it again. Woody was an idol of mine in my late teens and early 20s, and every now then, I’ll pull a movie of his off the shelf and pop it into the DVD or laser disc. Meade’s book isn’t great, but as a “warts and all” portrayal of America’s favorite pedophile, it’s definitely an emphasis on the former.
I did a quick Google of “Woody Allen Interview”, just to see what the Woodman had to say recently, and came across this piece from England’s Guardian, less than three weeks after 9/11:
[Question from audience]: How have the events of the 11 of September changed New York?
WA: I don’t think that they’ve really changed New York. Every country, every city, has its tragic events – there are floods and fires and murders – and of course you grieve and its traumatising, but, you know, time passes and you rebuild and you move on with your life. Even before I left New York last week, people were starting to very slowly get back on track, and that’s what will happen. The same thing happened in Oklahoma City after the terrible terrorism there. It’s traumatic for a while but they’ll either rebuild the twin towers as a symbolic gesture, or build something comparable in its place.
They’ll be a cosmetic change – airport security will be much more severe and the government will get into the business of protecting the country in a more dedicated fashion – but I don’t think anything will really change. The Yankees are playing their baseball games, the Mets are playing their baseball games, people are going to the movies, the theatre will build itself up and the nightclubs, and it will just take a little while to rev up after an unusually traumatic event. I believe that the people who perpetrated it never believed that it was going to succeed as fortuitously for them as it did.
This may be churlish of me, but how hard would it have been for the first words out of Allen’s mouth to be “New York is now bereft of 3,000 of its greatest citizens. That’s the biggest change.”
I realize that Woody believes that it’s cold, empty, meaningless universe out there, and that people are cold, empty and meaningless themselves. But why perpetuate that belief in yourself?