I'm inspired to write about this theme, which has been kickin' around the old noggin' for sometime, due to comments from JFR. JFR is a New Yorker who was in Man-hat-tan on the morning of Sept. 11th, 2001. He says that on that day he knew that a World War had started. I wish to enhance the notion of this War. I think it is the War of Reality Against Itself.
The first link in our chain of meta-puns is The Millennium Hilton Hotel, which, according to wiki, was built to resemble Kubrick's Monolith (see below). It is right across the street from the World Trade Center Plaza. Keep this in mind.
Next up is to remember our many previous comparisons of Kubrick's Monolith to The Stone, The Cube and Hyper Cube. Please read these articles for a full appreciation of this connection.
There is a key moment from Clarke's Childhood's End. An alien presence unifies humanity in a single moment of mortal pain by psychically linking all humans to a bull that had just been killed in the bull-fighting ring. All humanity screams simultaneously. This is important to our chain as we look into the career of actor Dan O'Herlihy.Notice the Monolith shaped block of black letters in the title 'The Big Cube', and also that O'Herlihy's billing appears in the cornerstone of the poster.
According to imdb, O'Herlihy was trained as an Architect. In 1969's The Big Cube, he plays a character nicknamed 'El Terron'. This term implies a clump of earth or a stone(?).
In Robocop he plays 'The Old Man'. In his office, The Old Man has two very interesting pieces of art. One is a large black cube, made of a lattice framework. The other is a Monolith, very similar to Stan's, upon which a raven is perched. This closely ties The Cube to The Monolith and especially, to the color Black.
Onto Fail Safe. It must be noted that there are showbiz rumors that prior to the release of Fail Safe, Kubrick planned Dr. Strangelove as a drama. I don't know if this is true, but one doesn't need to look deeply for links between these two movies. Fail Safe is also about a rogue bomber with Moscow as it's prime target.
It so happens that in Fail Safe, O'Herlihy plays a certain General Black, of the US Airforce. The General has been having a disturbing dream, over and over. In it, he is a bullfighter killing a bull. At the moment of the kill, he awakes in a cold sweat.
Later, as part of the plot development, Black will be asked to drop an H-Bomb onto NYC, where his family happens to live. He complies. As he completes his mission, he takes a poison pack and dies. His final words: 'I am the bullfighter, the bullfighter is me!'
I suggest that the events of 9/11 are directly linked to this set of puns.
Monolith = Millennium Hilton = Box/Cube = Stone = El Terron = The Big Cube = Dan O'Herlihy as an Architect and as = The Old Man and as = General Black = The Bullfighter =The destruction of NYC by America's Own = The Moment of Simultaneous Human Suffering = 9/11 = and back to the Monolith which, as The Millennium Hilton Hotel, coldly overlooked the events of 9/11 and gazes still over ground zero, always watching. A Sentinel.Peace, Boyz and Goylz