Surely there were more appropriate ways for Austrian baker Thomas Kienbauer to symbolize the emergence in his country of a third political party challenging the status quo than by dredging up memories of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in a cake.
As Kienbauer explained to the Washington Post, “I know about the sensitivity of 9/11 and I certainly did not want to ridicule the tragedy.” He goes on to justify his curious creation (which he emphasizes he has no intention of destroying) by explaining:
Austrian politics has been dominated by two big parties [the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) and the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP)] for years. The Twin Towers represent their supremacy which is hard to damage. However, times have never been better to shake Austrian politics up and to stop a series of wrong decisions.
Enter the opposition Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), represented by the plane slamming into the building on the right. The significance of the second plane crashing into the leftmost tower is unexplained.
So Kienbauer was unable to come up with a different visual metaphor for an upstart challenging a leviathan? Does this suggest he’s never heard of the story of David and Goliath?
In the meantime, the WaPo story by columnist Rick Noack begins with the sentence, “It is rare for cake makers to make national political headlines.” It’s an interesting observation to make at a time when bakeries refusing to bake gay wedding cakes are facing extreme political pressure.