Join 3,523 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Nightclub fire injures scores
February 20, 2003 11:37 PM   Subscribe

Nightclub fire injures scores at the Station nightclub in West Warwick, RI at a Great White concert on Thursday night. WHJY-FM reports that 150 people have been taken to area hospitals and 10-20 bodies have been recovered from the scene so far; blood is needed in the Providence area and a press conference is imminent. A Kent County official reports 40-50 unconfirmed casualties, and an unnamed West Warwick fire official has been quoted as saying that bodies "are stacked in there like cordwood [Providence Journal; requires registration]."
posted by dayan (78 comments total)

 
150 people? At a Great White concert? How could this be?
posted by jonson at 11:40 PM on February 20, 2003


Hey, there's mullets in New England, too, man!

(the second article estimates there were 400 people in the club. no, really)
posted by notsnot at 11:44 PM on February 20, 2003


Surely you can find another thread to joke about
posted by Blubble at 11:50 PM on February 20, 2003


It's true, it's shameful to joke about senseless, horrific deaths. It was such a softball, floating over the plate, and I swung. Bad jonson.
posted by jonson at 11:55 PM on February 20, 2003


For shame, johnson... for shame.

There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING funny about Great White continuing to tour and being able to sell out only the smallest venues, yet still deciding to bring pyrotechnics to a show attended by 250 people.

I take that back... there's any number of hilarious things about this story. In many cases loss of life = tragic. But in this several cases, there can be humorous elements as well.

Let the jokes flow. I, for one, will not let naysayers take this fertile field of humor away from me.
posted by cadastral at 12:03 AM on February 21, 2003


The sad part is, nobody had to die before a Great White show could safely be labeled "senseless" and "horrific."
posted by adamgreenfield at 12:13 AM on February 21, 2003


this is somewhat terrible, being on the tail of the "BIG CHICAGO NIGHTCLUB BADNESS"... i myself, was in a rather crowded nightclub tonight, and hugely worried about fire hazards...

but unfortunately for you all, i am still alive.

maybe next time. good luck.
posted by fishfucker at 12:43 AM on February 21, 2003


I went to a Toad the Wet Sprocket show recently at a club two weeks ago, was really quite disturbed that I could only see three exits (for what must have been at least 1000 of us if not 1500 or 2000), none easily accessible and designed to move a crowd through. This was confirmed as we actually left the show, and it took a good while to get out.

If I was a fire marshall, I would have shut the thing down in a second. I know it's not pleasant to think about this sort of thing, but it's a helluva lot better than having to think about it after the fact....
posted by namespan at 1:05 AM on February 21, 2003


Bad week for clubs.
posted by password at 1:21 AM on February 21, 2003


I guess Sumo Wrestling Wednesday is canceled now.
posted by 2sheets at 1:25 AM on February 21, 2003


It's interesting to note that local newsman Jeff Derderian owned the club, according to WPRI coverage broadcast on Fox News. Hence the name "The Station".
posted by calwatch at 2:45 AM on February 21, 2003


What's with Great White and Rhode Island? Every time I go home to visit my parents they're playing Lupo's, the Tent, or whatever venues actually exist in RI nowadays. (Not that I want to derail a thread about people dying in a fire.)
posted by yerfatma at 5:00 AM on February 21, 2003


From "Streetkiller" by Great White:

Every life has a price, every fool throws the dice
Even the winners have to pay. Every dog has its day
So watch out, watch what you do.
Someone's lookin' for you

It's the law of the land. Every fire burns a hand
Every chance that you take might turn out to be your last mistake.

posted by ColdChef at 5:19 AM on February 21, 2003


Not that I want to derail a thread about people dying in a fire.
yah god forbid you not react in the Blubble-approved™ manner.
posted by quonsar at 5:21 AM on February 21, 2003


You're right, this is too easy.

From "Baby's on Fire":

Baby's on fire and I'm burnin' up
Sparks bin flyin' an' she can't get enough
Can't get enough but she's got what it takes
Baby's on fire and I got the shakes

posted by ColdChef at 5:21 AM on February 21, 2003


Disasterfilter
posted by brettski at 5:28 AM on February 21, 2003


Jesus, they just showed some video footage shot from inside the club on the BBC lunchtime news, and given all I knew about it already it was some of the most disturbing viewing i've seen in a long time. The camera picked up the fireworks setting light to the backdrop quite early on and the operator started backing out, but keeping the camera going all the time. As they moved backwards all you could see was the rest of the crowd standing there, all apparently unaware that the flames were not part of the act. God knows how many made it out alive but the place was an inferno within minutes.

I'm sure most of these comments were made without the dubious benefit of seeing this footage... anyone who can do so once they have is more desensitized to this sort of thing than I am.
posted by barnsoir at 5:50 AM on February 21, 2003


There has been additional footage aired of people just stacked on one another trying to get out of the front door. Not a funny thing at all. They're now reporting 39 dead.
posted by MediaMan at 6:08 AM on February 21, 2003


People wonder why I'm somewhat paranoid about being in small, crowded spaces without sprinkler systems. I really do check ceilings rather obsessively, and look for exits. Could it possibly have been legal to have pyrotechnics in a venue without a fire control system? Could Derdarian be facing charges next?
posted by Dreama at 6:16 AM on February 21, 2003


This is less than 20 miles from me, and the Town Manager named in the article, Wolfgang Bauer, used to be our own Town Administrator. My deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those killed.
posted by yhbc at 6:24 AM on February 21, 2003


On that tape, you can hear at least one person say, "Um, maybe we should get out of here." Good call, that.

Maybe I'm just thinking that this stuff is obvious, but you can tell when something's gone dangerously wrong on stage. The walls are not supposed to be on fire. That's never a good sign in a small club.

Jack Russell, the lead singer, claimed that the day manager approved the fireworks. Those pyrotechnics were hockey arena-sized. At stage level, those ceilings were (I'm eyeballing from the tape) 8-10 feet, and cramped. Someone seriously miscalculated.

(Among the missing is the lead guitarist, apparently. The band played right through it. Jeezus.)
posted by chicobangs at 6:43 AM on February 21, 2003


This is a pretty serious concern in Nashville. The only club in town with reasonably accomodating exits was closed to make way for a new bridge. Picture people trying to get out of Exit/In in a hurry. Yikes.

Not that people come out to shows in Nashville, mind ye.
posted by mikrophon at 7:21 AM on February 21, 2003


Who need terrorists or homicide/suicide bombers when we keep killing ourselves in nightclub stampedes (21 dead) and fires (60+ they say).
posted by tomplus2 at 7:41 AM on February 21, 2003


Top story on every evening news in every market tonight will be '"HOW SAFE ARE OUR NIGHT CLUBS". Yesterday, white vans. Today, night clubs.
posted by wigu at 7:49 AM on February 21, 2003


It almost happened in Minneapolis earlier this week:

Fine Line Music Cafe set afire by band's pyrotechnics

In the article, the owner says "Chicago was an anomaly". Apparently not.
posted by QuestionableSwami at 8:11 AM on February 21, 2003


The Station's website is now offline.
posted by darren at 8:18 AM on February 21, 2003


Actually, wigu, I heard on television this morning that the videotape shot in the Rhode Island club was by the local news station who were there planning to do that exact story (how safe our clubs are) in response to what happened in Chicago.
posted by Ugh at 8:52 AM on February 21, 2003


Picture people trying to get out of Exit/In in a hurry. Yikes.

I think the main problem there would be how stoned everyone would be not necessarily the exits themselves.

People burning in fire = not funny.

Great White concert = funny.

I will admit, I was dragged to a Great White back in @ 1988. They played with White Snake. I nearly rushed the door out of pure nausea and I was in junior high!
posted by Pollomacho at 9:07 AM on February 21, 2003


My friend's band was supposed to play a show at a local club with King's X... but the local fire marshal came out and are only allowing 200 people in the building at any time... including employees, bands, and crew. I've been to numerous shows at that club, and exiting has never been a problem, even at the end of the show when everyone is trying to leave at the same time. (yes I know it's different if the place is on fire, but still...) We can see that the local music scene is going to suffer...

Is it another case of overreaction or is it really justified?
posted by darian at 9:12 AM on February 21, 2003


I'm having such a struggle here. I can think of few ways worse to die than in a trapped space surrounded by fire. But I can think of nothing funnier than either posting a link to a midi file of disco inferno or making some asshole joke about how their performance blew the place up, etc. This thread and this tragedy is tearing me to pieces.

I've heard they started a fire at a show at the Fine Line in Minneapolis just days previous. Once bitten twice retarded?
posted by Peter H at 9:15 AM on February 21, 2003


oop! sorry questionableswami, didnt see your newslink
posted by Peter H at 9:17 AM on February 21, 2003


It's natural to joke about things like this. And when more people are doing it, it's easy to jump on the bandwagon. Maybe, though, after you make the joke, you feel a little sick to your stomach. It's a way of turning away. Maybe it's disrespectful to the dead, or the survivors grieving their loss. Maybe it's just a shitty thing to do, and it's certainly easy to do, but I think it's pretty human.

What is the scale of such things, though? Is it alright to joke about the Great White fans (after all, all that hairspray must be a hazard right? Oh, the jokes are priceless!), unable to escape and slowly asphyxiating, but not alright to joke about the heroes winking out of existence in the Columbia?

It's a sad and beautiful world alright.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:26 AM on February 21, 2003


There is a temptation to say that we didn't lose the cancer cure in the Station last night.

But if I was living in that part of Rhode Island, I'd probably have gone to that show myself, if only because there probably wouldn't have been a lot else to do, and as hair farmers go, Great White were far from the worst. So why not rock with the mullet people?

That said, I'd still like to think I would have left when the fire started, and not kept cheering the band on during the stampede.
posted by chicobangs at 9:55 AM on February 21, 2003


Top story on every evening news in every market tonight will be '"HOW SAFE ARE OUR NIGHT CLUBS".

That is so true.
posted by jonson at 10:03 AM on February 21, 2003


But if I was living in that part of Rhode Island, I'd probably have gone to that show myself, if only because there probably wouldn't have been a lot else to do

There's always the family-friendly Federal Hill. Who could get hurt there?

I know, I know. It's all nice and touristy now.
posted by yerfatma at 10:10 AM on February 21, 2003


Between this fire, the Chicago stampede, parts of Staten Island on fire, and Korean subway arsonists, it's like the terrorists don't have to win. Random shitty luck seems far more potent than Al Queda at the moment...
posted by jalexei at 10:29 AM on February 21, 2003


Great White lead singer- The Roof, The Roof, The Roof is on fire.

Crowd: We don't need no water let the motherfucker burn

Great White Lead Singer: No really, the roof is on fire.

Crowd- Burn Mother--

Great White Lead Singer- Listen everyone, I realize the irony here. But the roof is really on fire and we need to get out of here. With all the hairspray in this room right now we are a ticking bomb waiting to go off.

Fewer members of crowd- burn motherfucker? I don't remember it going like that. They really aren't as good as they used to be.

Great White Lead Singer-Ok. I'm leaving because this place is about to blow up. Please leave immediately. That's all I can say.

Even fewer members of crowd- That's right dude. Rhode Island kicks ass. Encore!!!
posted by LouieLoco at 11:58 AM on February 21, 2003


Current death toll is at 85.

At what point does this stop being a joke to so many of you? 100?
posted by briank at 12:20 PM on February 21, 2003 [1 favorite]


...oops...thought I was at MeFi, but I musta took a wrong turn into Fark.

Small state, a lot of people will be missing loved ones tonight. Hope no one from the MeFi family is touched by this event. Condolences to all who were.
posted by madamjujujive at 12:30 PM on February 21, 2003 [2 favorites]


"One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic."
posted by yerfatma at 12:32 PM on February 21, 2003


86 are now confirmed dead, with additional "pockets" of the collapsed building identified that are expect to hold more bodies.
posted by yhbc at 12:34 PM on February 21, 2003


Oh, man, I'm not exactly sure where that Stalin quote fits in here. I'm about as unsentimental as anyone, but I was also a little surprised at the lack of empathy here while they're still pulling bodies from the wreckage and there are still people on life support who might not make it. Honestly, I'm not trying to shame anyone, just making an observation.

Amazingly enough, this isn't even the worst nightclub tragedy in New England history.
posted by psmealey at 12:49 PM on February 21, 2003


Was it Coconut Grove that made it required to have standard doors beside revolving doors in all buildings? Just curious, I know it was some horrid disaster like that at about that time. Anyone?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:08 PM on February 21, 2003


I'm not exactly sure where that Stalin quote fits in here.

As a response to briank's question. To clarify, I have all the empathy in the world for people who lost a loved one in any circumstances. I don't see where random strangers' empathy on a random Internet site would be of comfort.
posted by yerfatma at 1:20 PM on February 21, 2003


I don't see where random strangers' empathy on a random Internet site would be of comfort.

That certainly hasn't stopped anyone here before from being a bit more tactful. Nor does it justify the poor-taste humor at the expense of the victims.
posted by briank at 1:28 PM on February 21, 2003


The hipocracy here is just incredible. I thought stereotypes were wrong. I doubt that the cooks were big-haired Great White fans. But it's still funny that they burned to death? Would it still be funny if it were 85 single-moms stacked like cord wood?

I've been to this club, many times. They have (had) shows there 7 days a week. I probably went there with the direct intention of seeing the act about 25% of the time. The rest of my visits were due to the fact that the cover charge was always cheap, many of my friends would be there, they had a pool table and videos games area, and another bar separate from the stage.
posted by Witty at 1:42 PM on February 21, 2003


Does anyone have a link to the video? I can't seem to find it anywhere except for www.cnn.com, but it's not free.
posted by TurkishGolds at 1:55 PM on February 21, 2003


NPR answered my question. Coconut Grove caused laws to be enacted requiring that all businesses have emergency lighting and that exit doors open outwards. It seems that once the lights went out in CG no one could see the exits and then in the rush the doors would not open backwards into the swelling crowd.
posted by Pollomacho at 2:03 PM on February 21, 2003


Nevermind. Got it at BBC News
posted by TurkishGolds at 2:08 PM on February 21, 2003


okay, so this has been said already with varying degrees of harshness, but i feel the need to be the humorless bitch who will undoubtedly be flamed:

jesus fucking christ. i am absolutely disgusted with the snide, snarky, elistist "humor" in this thread. i am disgusted with metafilter. because i don't even need to phrase this as a question, rhetorical or otherwise: such crassness would have never transpired if this had been a concert of the ilk that mefites would have attended. pick your artist -- i'm not even going to bother. but had this been a bunch of intelligenstia hipsters, people that you jokers might have known, you would have thought of them as people.

instead, this. this utter crap. i honestly hope matt deletes this disgusting thread.
posted by damn yankee at 2:17 PM on February 21, 2003


yes, i spelled intelligentsia wrong.
posted by damn yankee at 2:18 PM on February 21, 2003


Death toll = 95... and rising.
posted by Witty at 2:21 PM on February 21, 2003


I'd just like to repeat:

People burning in fire = not funny.

Great White concert = funny.


Men in florecent orange snake skin tights and whore make-up, with mounds of teased hair, thrusting their crotches at the audience to the pounding beat of Once Bitten Twice Shy, is amusing (and yes, its fine to make fun of whatever I listen to or go to see too, its my choice). People burning to death as a result of going to watch this is not the least bit amusing. They are people, its sad, sorry that such a thing happened.

By the way, this: but had this been a bunch of intelligenstia hipsters is a bit unfair, don't stoop to the level of those that make comments about your choices. There's little difference between what was meant there and calling Great White fans, big haired. People died, who cares what people, its sad no matter what.
posted by Pollomacho at 2:36 PM on February 21, 2003


Some perspective from the New York Times:

The Associated Press said the fire was the deadliest in the United States since 1993, when nearly 80 people died in the fire at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 2:45 PM on February 21, 2003


what i'm saying is there's as much a stereotype about mefi users, and i'm using it to make a point (like hey, ouch, sucks when it's accurate; even more frustrating when it's not), and had the self-absorbed, elitist people who have been joking in here been dealing with a group of people whom they instinctively visualized as their friends, siblings, selves, then their offhand reactions would not have transpired.

i think that's a perfectly fair thing to say, and i don't think i'm stooping to anybody's level to say it.
posted by damn yankee at 2:48 PM on February 21, 2003


Agreed damn yankee.
posted by Witty at 2:53 PM on February 21, 2003


I live in Narragansett, RI, which is about 20 minutes away from Warwick. I also go to URI, and I'm hoping that I don't know anyone who was injured, or died, at the Station. Anyone know if there is a list of names of the injured or missing?
posted by SweetJesus at 2:58 PM on February 21, 2003


I hesitate to bring another trite cliche' in here, but here I go: Comedy equals tragedy plus distance, or time. There is no doubt that the death of what will likely be over 100 people is a great tragedy. There is also no doubt that Great White setting a small club on fire with a pyrotechnic display is funny. How tragic this whole thing is depends, I think, on how "close" one is to the event itself.

Am I stating the obvious here? I guess what I'm trying to say here is . . . um, I don't really know exactly what I'm trying to say, but it's something like: Don't try to tell others when and for whom to mourn. It's never going to work. If you think people are being disrespectful or irreverent, there are some very interesting posts with great discussions elsewhere on Metafilter.

Also, don't presume that a post will be deleted if you find it objectionable. I'm tired of reading "this post will be deleted soon and I can't wait!" comments, which seem to pop up for just about every post these days.

When is it ever okay to joke about tragedy? When did the first jokes pop up about Waco? Altamont? The Holocaust? Different people deal with such events in different ways. Some can laugh today, others won't ever be able to laugh. There's no need for one group to deride another, I think.

And now I've forgotten what I was going to comment on. I'll shut up now.
posted by mikrophon at 2:58 PM on February 21, 2003


They would have to be Iraqi, or in some other country for the Metafilter elite to give a damn.
posted by owillis at 3:01 PM on February 21, 2003


I think a lot of people here would have been at that show themselves had it been in their town or local bar, even some of those who are making jokes now. There was a letter from a journalist posted on here a few days ago about MeFi users comparing them (us, sorry) to Trekies (trekkers?) in a SNL sketch where Shatner says, "Get a life," "Move out of your parents' basement" and other such comments. Her calling people here geeks is just as inaccurate as "intelligentsia hipsters" or saying the hairspray made the fire worse. Its wrong, you're here right? You aren't an "intelligentsia hipster" are you? Are you a Star Trek geek? Do you have big hair? Maybe, maybe not, I don't know. I understand what you're talking about though, it is a little nasty to poke at fresh scars like that, and maybe if Great White happened to be the hippest thing right now, a few less flippant comments would have been made, very true.
posted by Pollomacho at 3:02 PM on February 21, 2003


Everything you say is true mikrophon. I just think the jokes should be reserved for another thread, that's all. Until I find out if I knew anybody there, it's just not funny.
posted by Witty at 3:06 PM on February 21, 2003


It's better to burn out than to fade away. Great White gets to do both.
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh at 3:07 PM on February 21, 2003


Different people deal with such events in different ways. Some can laugh today, others won't ever be able to laugh.

this implies that the people who have been cracking jokes even took the time to internalize what they had read before they leapt at the chance to be oh so witty. (no offense, Witty.)

and i really don't think such reflection, even fleeting, took place. maybe i'm not affording a benefit of the doubt that i should. maybe we give that benefit away too often these days, and let a lot of people get away with a lot of really shitty things.
posted by damn yankee at 3:23 PM on February 21, 2003


i honestly hope matt deletes this disgusting thread.

agreed. uugghh... i'm almost more disgusted with the insensitive comments here than with what actually happened. i don't care whether it's victims in rwanda or people at a great white concert; this is a tragedy and it's frightening to hear people talk like this just hours after it took place.
posted by poopy at 3:36 PM on February 21, 2003


I don't think that laughter and grief and empathy are exclusive of one another. Nobody here's saying anything remotely like, "The people inside The Station are dead as a result of a their lack of taste, and the world is a better place for it." We all agree that what happened yesterday is tragic. Nobody, nobody on this thread is glad that this happened. But our own mortality frightens us, and so some jokers are inclined to crack wise about death. Don't worry, they'll get theirs.

As for myself, I hope it's as funny as fuck when I go. And even I succumb to something prosaic, y'all have permissoin to laugh until you puke.
posted by psychoticreaction at 4:43 PM on February 21, 2003


Er, permission. You have that too.
posted by psychoticreaction at 4:45 PM on February 21, 2003


I think yerfatma has it more or less right, actually: unless the human beings involved (let us never forget that is what we are discussing) were either

(a) members of our little corner of the 'net;
(b) personally known to one who is; or
(c) otherwise deeply symbolic or beloved, like Johnny Cash or an astronaut, etc.

...then discussion-board outpourings of sympathy, no matter how sincere, are likely to read as sentimental. And not likely to provide actual solace to the bereaved.

This is a difficult line, we've walked it before from various angles - the stoner who killed himself "live" on IRC springs to mind - and I don't necessarily think there's a right answer.

So, where does this leave us? First, I want to apologize if I offended anyone by a joke that, while I hope was clearly more at the expense of an awful hairmetal band than the victims of the fire, was propably poorly timed.

Second, I'd also like to point out that black humor is a natural, and important, human response to times when we feel events have spiraled out of our control. I'd say that ever since the direct scars of 09.11 faded to the point that it was even possible, and with the current controlled-flight-into-terrain spiral of war in Iraq, potential war in Korea, combat troops on the ground in the Phillippines, inane "homeland security" announcements, Ebola outbreaks, mystery Chinese epidemic outbreaks, etc. that it is quite understandable. What do you think?
posted by adamgreenfield at 5:11 PM on February 21, 2003


Ty Longley, the missing guitarist, seems to have had a pretty well-produced little web site with a journal and whatnot. He liked the book "Fast Food Nation," a presumed fave of owillis' vaguely defined and possibly mythic "Mefi elite" and intellectual hipsters everywhere. A shot of Great White onstage shows the pyrotechnics in action.
posted by raysmj at 5:40 PM on February 21, 2003


i'm sorry adamgreenfield, but this has nothing to do with expressing sympathy for those who will gain no comfort from our expressions. however, we CAN try to respect life that is lost (no matter the circumstances). the initial comments in this thread were outrageous jokes at the expense of those who have died. damn yankee and blubble summed it up: there is a place and time for this sort of stuff, but not here. and to use your examples of other catastrophes in the world: would we be making wise-cracks over the current ebola deaths in congo?

i can't even begin to understand the following justifications:

It's true, it's shameful to joke about senseless, horrific deaths. It was such a softball, floating over the plate, and I swung.

...there's any number of hilarious things about this story. In many cases loss of life = tragic. But in this several cases, there can be humorous elements as well.

yah god forbid you not react in the Blubble-approved™ manner.

Maybe it's just a shitty thing to do, and it's certainly easy to do, but I think it's pretty human.


To emphasize what others have said:

Surely you can find another thread to joke about.

Nor does it justify the poor-taste humor at the expense of the victims.

But it's still funny that they burned to death? Would it still be funny if it were 85 single-moms stacked like cord wood?

...oops...thought I was at MeFi, but I musta took a wrong turn into Fark.

posted by poopy at 5:53 PM on February 21, 2003


Quite honestly, I hope they put Great White in jail. It doesn't take a genius to see the club's ~9 ft. ceilings from the video footage and immediately know that the club couldn't support pyrotechnics. An AP provided timeline shows they used pyrotechnics without permission throughout their tour.

Re: the AP story about the fire:
Staffers at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, N.J., turned on the club's exhaust system when they realized that Great White was setting off pyrotechnics during its recent show. "We were never notified in advance and nobody mentioned anything on show day, either," said Dominic Santana, who owns the club. "At the end of the night when we were settling up, I said, 'How dare you guys come in here and jeopardize a reputation we built over 29 years. How dare you jeopardize the lives of innocent people here tonight.'"
Seriously, I hope they lock those guys up.
posted by teradome at 9:02 PM on February 21, 2003


Word, poopy. I could not agree more. What I meant to say earlier, which you have so eloquently expressed, was that it isn't so much about providing comfort to the bereaved as it is about basic human decency, respect for life, and not taking a crap on that. And (here's the judgmental part) if you don't get that, maybe you're just a cold, worthless motherfucker, and you belong on fark.
posted by psmealey at 12:10 AM on February 22, 2003


... which isn't to say that everyone on fark is a cold, worthless motherfucker... it's just that... aw fuck it. I thought I had a really strong point to make, and should have left well enough alone.
posted by psmealey at 12:17 AM on February 22, 2003


I am a cold, worthless motherfucker, but I'll go where I please. My feelings on this issue are all rooted in my grandfather's funeral when I was 8. He was well-known in a small town (Newport, RI) and the whole place over the age of 70 showed up. I could not understand why people I'd never met, never seen with my grandfather would be crying more than we were. "Professional mourning" (i.e., the act of showing up at a stranger or distant acquaintance's service) bespeaks a neediness that I find unattractive because of my early warping. Which is why I find the need to come in here and tell us all how sorry you feel silly: we know it's sad. Every asshole in here cracking jokes gets that. Save the sermon for Sunday.
posted by yerfatma at 4:16 AM on February 22, 2003


Nice attitude yerfatma. Jackass.

My feelings on this issue are all rooted in my grandfather's funeral when I was 8.

So fucking what. And that gives you some sort of right? This isn't professional mourning. But if people want to talk about it, they should be able to without having to wade through all the pointless, not-clever, jokes that people feel so inclined to make... just cause they can.

Guess what... it's Sunday, and I'm happy to report to anyone that gives a shit, that I did indeed have two friends who were there that night and managed to get out in time. Good news... for once.
posted by Witty at 11:04 AM on February 23, 2003


Witty, I'm glad your friends made it out. Personally, I didn't know anyone there, but a co-worker's sister was there and was still missing Friday, so I hope she's ok too. I work about 2 miles away, and while I avoided the site, traffic was horrible and I could hear the helicopter's overhead...and I hoped the traffic was people looking for friends and relatives, and not people coming to rubberneck.

yerfatma, you knew all your grandfathers friends and associates when you were 8? You knew everyone he went to school our college with? You had intimate knowledge of who was and who wasn't close to him? Sure. Good thing you haven't learned that possibly not everything was known to you at 8 years of age.
posted by Snyder at 2:27 PM on February 23, 2003


My condolences to the injured & dead.

Good news... for once.

Cannot find a link. Saw a late night news blip, a young man survived who was in side during the fire. He was at the very bottom of the pile of bodies inside and was treated for minor, minor burns on his legs. It was a remarkable story, he said he was not found until 1.5 hours after the fire started. He stated his success at surviving was staying calm and being in a fetal position on his side.
posted by thomcatspike at 6:55 AM on February 28, 2003


thomcatspike, I saw that interview too - quite amazing. You can find the clip on this local station - I can't get the specific link, but it's under "more stories" at the bottom of the page, and entitled "a survivor's story."
posted by madamjujujive at 2:43 PM on February 28, 2003


Okay, so is it okay to be less reverent if the Onion is joking about it?
posted by mikrophon at 8:30 AM on March 5, 2003


« Older Konfabulator...  |  Take this life and shove it:... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments