Skip to comments.Strange new reality makes us all players in a film-noir existence (Freeze! Grand Central Station!)
Posted on 07/27/2005 8:58:33 PM PDT by CHARLITE
A 27-year-old electrician, de Menezes was by all accounts totally unconnected to terrorism. But through his behavior and cruel coincidence, de Menezes gave police good reason to think he might be planning to detonate a bomb. In the age of terrorism, police can kill an innocent man and still be doing the right thing.
This strange new reality makes us all players in a film-noir existence. Film noir refers to the eerie postwar movies in which characters grope through a world of dark menace and unanswered questions. They don't know what's going on, only that danger hovers.
Here in Grand Central Station, it's impossible not to think about the de Menezes tragedy and a cinematic moment featuring another victim of mistaken identity. The movie is Alfred Hitchcock's "North by Northwest." Cary Grant is a New York ad man sucked into someone else's conspiracy. He must evade both the law, which thinks he's killed a U.N. diplomat, and the sinister forces who believe he's a secret agent. At Grand Central, he runs onto a train and pleads with passenger Eva Marie Saint to hide him from police. "Seven parking tickets," he explains.
In the real world, it's 2005, and Grand Central Station is considered a potential terror target in Ground Zero City. Police and bomb-sniffing dogs patrol the gorgeous marble floors. Announcements over the loudspeakers warn people to prepare for random checks of bags and parcels.
Today, a chase of a suspected terrorist through Grand Central Station would most likely end in bloodshed, as happened in London. You'd expect it to. Given the fear level and the potential for mayhem, police have little room for making a mistake on the side of a terrorist.
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Were all of the police that were chasing this guy in plain clothes? I wonder if he may have thought he was being robbed.
Not in broad daylight. Very strange.