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Flickring the London Bombings
July 8, 2005 4:39 AM   Subscribe

Flickr is making it fairly easy to find imagery and stories (cont'd) of the London 7/7 transit bombings. Some are quite frightening. The responses from non-Londoners range from poignant to somber to familiar favorites from days gone by. Check out Flickr's tags for the last 24 hours - just click on one and go exploring for the pictures of the day you won't see on any media outlet.
posted by Dome-O-Rama (30 comments total)

 
To quote one of my comments, THE SOLID BLACK JPG OF SOLIDARITY WILL HELP LONDON! Prevail, o insipid gratuitous mis-tagged London tributes, o prevail!

(BTW, the same thing happened during the tsunami disaster. For some reason people started posting photos of their hands to the "tsunami" and "indonesia" tags, even though these were not photos of tsunamis or Indonesia, in some misguided attempt to pay "tribute" to the victims. After all, I'm sure the first thing that the Southeast Asian tsunami survivors needed was more photos of various hands.)
posted by brownpau at 5:23 AM on July 8, 2005


Kudos to you, brownpau.
posted by Plutor at 5:56 AM on July 8, 2005


In addition, I see the BBC has decided to dip in with their "Mobiles capture blast aftermath."

I knew this crap would cross my radar, but I thought it would be that bastion of libertarian Capital, Wired, who would have spouted this shite first. Oh well. It's just great how 'social sharing sites' bring us all together, to really make us feel and experience what's happening -- with tags, too!!
posted by gsb at 6:05 AM on July 8, 2005


This feeds into this culture of the only way to comprehend an event is to make yourself part of it. A lot of these solidarity pictures are a load of bullshit.

I dont think that anyone in London thinks that the world isnt concerned about what's going on. Of course people care, its just most people dont feel so self-important that they need to print shite like this to make the point. This guy was so concerned about events, he took a picture of himself and stuck it on Flickr with some heartfelt comments. Its the only way yo express his pain. Fuck me, how full of it are some people?

This is all mawkish bullshit.

Think of people being blown the fuck up for ideology, think of the fact that it is innocents that get slaughtered, just dont think that it is necessary to stick self-aggrandizing photos of yourself on Flickr to show your pain. Its not necessary, is narcisstic and detracts from those who have suffered rather than demonstrate any kind of empathy.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 6:22 AM on July 8, 2005


ClanvidHorse: also note that the photo you linked to is part of the "Narcissists Pool."

For what that is worth...
posted by tpl1212 at 6:29 AM on July 8, 2005


Going off topic for a moment, I'm kind of interested in the idea that some people are using Flickr to create handwritten blogs. Its a neat idea, and the combination of using notes, links inside notes, and then regular comments, in addition to the personal feeling you get from the handwritten entries, seems pretty cool.

I wonder if someone who creates a handwritten blog also carries a Hipster PDA....
posted by anastasiav at 6:59 AM on July 8, 2005


Can we drop the 7/7 bullshit, please? Branding is for cars and clothes, not loss of life.
posted by jackiemcghee at 7:09 AM on July 8, 2005


I just think that the Brits have the right attitude about this.

When 9/11 happened, we were like "OMG WTF 9/11 NEVAR FORGET PUT UP FLAGS YELLOW RIBBONS WTC WTC ETC"

Yesterday, the reaction from Brits seemed to be "Eh, fuck yeh, we've been through this before. I'm going down to the pub for a pint."
posted by mrbill at 7:10 AM on July 8, 2005


If it's handwritten, how is it a blog?
posted by drezdn at 7:12 AM on July 8, 2005


mrbill, exactly. With all the American politicians offering various kinds of support and saying how they "know what London is going through."

Hello! IRA Bombs Liverpool Underground Station. The interesting part of yesterday's attack was the British confusion about the lack of a warning, since that's what terrorists do.
posted by djfiander at 7:17 AM on July 8, 2005


If it's handwritten, how is it a blog?

Well, go look.

Its a web-based publication, consisting of periodic articles, they have links, people can leave comments ... other than the fact you're not typing, how is it not a blog?
posted by anastasiav at 7:32 AM on July 8, 2005


drezdn: I guess if it's on the web and it's a "log" of events, then it's a "weblog" of sorts. I prefer typing (and I'm sure Google finds text easier to index than an image).
posted by wheat at 8:01 AM on July 8, 2005


I thought the flickr pictures were interesting, and provided a more intense perspective than, say, Fox news. Terrorism in the age of camphones.
posted by mecran01 at 8:02 AM on July 8, 2005


With all the American politicians offering various kinds of support and saying how they "know what London is going through."

A couple of days after 9/11 (I hate referring to it like that but its easier than "September 11, 2001"), the cashier at my local corner store said "You know, we deal with things like this back where I come from every day."

And she was right. Americans overreacted because we were secure in our beliefs that "it can never happen here".

Yesterday, I woke my wife up. "Honey, they're bombing London, but everyone we know over there is okay" and that was pretty much it.
posted by mrbill at 8:05 AM on July 8, 2005


Oh Sweet Zombie Jesus, the black JPG is perhaps the silliest thing I've seen in a long damn time.

The following is a humble suggestion to TEH NETWEB types who are considering such things: Observation and deliberation in lieu of forced participation and narcissism.
posted by gramschmidt at 8:18 AM on July 8, 2005


Wow, there are some pretty incredibly jaded folks in here this morning.

Regardless of whether this is a daily occurence elsewhere, its not a daily occurence in London. And a fair number of people have died and lots more have been wounded.

How's about cutting back on the snark until they've at least recovered all of the bodies?
posted by fenriq at 8:26 AM on July 8, 2005


Gramschmidt, how can the black JPG be the silliest thing when Sweet Zombie Jesus is clearly sillier?
posted by swerdloff at 8:30 AM on July 8, 2005


stiff upper lip
posted by Capn at 8:32 AM on July 8, 2005


how can the black JPG be the silliest thing when Sweet Zombie Jesus is clearly sillier

I stand corrected.
posted by gramschmidt at 8:35 AM on July 8, 2005


Well yeah, I was more of less trying to get folks to look at some of the pictures people took of the action, rather the pictures peopel made in photoshop. The sappy solidarity crap does get old.

Yeah the brits do seem to take things differently, but then they've grown up with the Blitz in thier ears and the ERA in front of them trying to blow them up too.

We're pussies over here, the brits have the balls.
posted by Dome-O-Rama at 8:37 AM on July 8, 2005


A lot of the people in London, right now, were not around during the Blitz, and some don't know anything about the IRA campaign in London. So maybe it's something else, too.
posted by gsb at 8:45 AM on July 8, 2005


From this article by Matthew Parris in the Times:

"It struck me that the disaster movies have got it wrong. Perhaps at the first hit those who are adjacent to the impact do panic, shriek and run. Perhaps for an hour or two the public mood really is of excitement, terror, agitation. Perhaps if you are among the minority caught in the middle of it, the adrenalin really does run.

But for the rest, life carries on. There is a polite determination not to be deflected. Call it displacement activity or call it sang-froid, but a strange, almost cold detachment comes over people.

Have you ever trodden on an army of ants on the move? Remove your boot and in that small patch is mayhem: a field of the dead and injured, while on the edge a few insects pause to look. But the army carries on, parting to bypass the tragedy, as a river parts to flow around a rock.

Those Londoners among whom I walked yesterday in the soft rain seemed to feel not indifference, but the curiously blank determination — the determination of those whom the boot has missed — to carry on."
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 9:16 AM on July 8, 2005




Peaceful Protest Against All Kind of Terrorism

Let's paint our hands in white (as the people from Spain did it last year, just after the Madrid's bombs) and post in our pages tomorrow, saturday.
If you like the idea, please, feel free to copy it and spread the word to your friends and contacts...
Thanks.
posted by moift at 11:25 AM on July 8, 2005


I would just pipe in to say that I actually HAVE seen that 'frightening' picture in a media outlet, The Politiken newspaper from Denmark.
posted by Catfry at 1:17 PM on July 8, 2005


"The interesting part of yesterday's attack was the British confusion about the lack of a warning, since that's what terrorists do."

Actually, the IRA has given warnings in the past.
posted by Auz at 2:50 PM on July 8, 2005


mrbill wrote:
I just think that the Brits have the right attitude about this.

When 9/11 happened, we were like "OMG WTF 9/11 NEVAR FORGET PUT UP FLAGS YELLOW RIBBONS WTC WTC ETC"

Yesterday, the reaction from Brits seemed to be "Eh, fuck yeh, we've been through this before. I'm going down to the pub for a pint."


I disagree strongly with the above characterization. I won't go into specifics but if you take a second to remember 9/11 it should be obvious to you that 9/11 was an event at least a couple of orders larger in magnitude. It's a good thing that London wasn't subjected to what NYC, the Pentagon and the various airline passengers were.
posted by bhouston at 5:41 PM on July 8, 2005


I agree both with bhouston and mrbill simultaneously.

Having been in London for 9/11, I can say with utmost sincerity that from my vantage point (expat American) there were far more Londoners in a state of shock after 9/11 than there were even on Thursday afternoon. That's mostly down to the scale and total devastation and inhumanity of 9/11.

On Thursday, I think once the word started coming in that London was under attack, we all braced for the worst. We expected a massive death toll of hundreds or thousands. Which is why, when it became apparent that the scale was much smaller, I think a lot of Londoners were able to breathe a sigh of relief and say, "Ah, bollocks to you, Al Qaeda, is that all you've got?" and go about their business.

Thursday afternoon I had no compunctions about boarding a bus home, and neither did hundreds of thousands of other Londoners. Friday morning, 24 hours after the attacks, the tubes were running normally bar the obvious station closures. People just got on with it.

Now, I know you're not meant to self-link, but I took a few photos on the way home on Thursday afternoon to get a sense of what it was like in town, and they are up on Flickr, so I think it's relevant to this post. What I was wanting to record was people getting about their business within hours of the attacks.

I do have to say I find a lot of the participatory grieving displays a bit mawkish, but they're done with good intentions so I can't be too critical.
posted by LondonYank at 2:58 AM on July 9, 2005


Yeah - that characterization is all wrong: in New York on September 11th 2001 only those few of us who'd lived in London in the 70s, 80s or 90s could say they'd been through it before before going to the bar for a pint; everyone else just had to say "fuck it" and go to the bar anyway.

Mind you, I do think our response to something like the Canary Wharf tower being destroyed would be less phlegmatic. This looks like being the second worst terrorist attack on British soil after the Lockerbie bomb, but still isn't close to what happened to the WTC.

On the other hand, the Nazis killed 20,000 Londoners during the Blitz and failed to break the city.
posted by Auz at 3:32 AM on July 9, 2005


LondonYank - you're fine; the self-linking is welcomed when done on-topic, in-thread, in good faith, and with full disclosure.
posted by brownpau at 5:55 AM on July 9, 2005


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