Why No 9/11 Tribute Logo, Google?

By Steve Bryant  |  Posted 2006-09-11 Print this article Print

ask 911 tribute Google likes its logo graphics. The signature logo changes, drawn by Google Webmaster Dennis Hwang, appear on Google's home page for a variety of events, including (but not limited to) celebratory occasions like July Fourth, esoteric holidays such as Persian New Year, and the World Cup. The logos are such an ingrained part of Web topology that sites like Fark spoof the graphics.

But where's the 9/11 logo, Google? Does the event incite too many conflicting emotions? Arouse too much passion on both sides of the political spectrum? Are you worried about politicizing your otherwise impartial technology? Ask.com changed their home page, why didn't you?

Or maybe you made a deliberate choice not to change your logo because it was the right thing for your corporate culture? I don't usually ascribe any great virtue to a corporation, but maybe you read Jacob Bronowski's speech at MIT and noted when he said the oddly virtuous scholar does "not try to persuade at any cost, they appeal neither to prejudice nor to authority."

I dunno. Maybe you think there's something hollow in public tribute and its endless cascade of reiterations on television, radio and the Web. Maybe you think the 9/11 image is as empty of meaning as Ground Zero is empty of steel right now. Maybe you think our mourning has been turned into just one more packaged good. Maybe, like me, you've read too much J.G. Ballard or Marshall McLuhan. Hell, maybe Dennis is just on vacation.

Anyway, I'm not the flag-waving type. I'm just wondering why you skipped September 11.

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