September 11, 2003 12:11 AM   Subscribe

Half an hour, two years ago.
[If the link won't work for you, copy it and open it with Quicktime. High bandwidth required.]
posted by Asparagirl (26 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Watching it again, I still have a hard time believing it happened, even though I've been to the site.
posted by bwg at 12:53 AM on September 11, 2003

Even high bandwidth isn't going to help you...slashdotted already.
posted by Qubit at 6:44 AM on September 11, 2003

That's a lot of work to do to find out what the post is about. (Which I guess I'll never know since the stream isn't working.) What prevented you from telling us on the front page?
posted by nicwolff at 7:24 AM on September 11, 2003

what nicwolff said
posted by mapalm at 7:45 AM on September 11, 2003

Her first post, be gentle. But yeah, what nicwolff said.
posted by jpoulos at 8:10 AM on September 11, 2003

Geez, I can't figure out if you guys are being dense or sarcastic here. Just in case it's density, think about this question: What happened 2 years ago today?

And the stream seems to have un-slashdotted itself (from where I sit at least), so take a gander if you wish.
posted by boaz at 8:26 AM on September 11, 2003

Am I the only one that inferred correctly from the description that it'd be footage of the moment when the second plane struck, on live TV?

But maybe that's because two years ago, my TV-deprived self was frantically hopping from one overloaded news site to another to find out what was going on. The disbelief of the TV anchors was what made it all really seem real. They couldn't believe it at first, either.
posted by DaShiv at 8:30 AM on September 11, 2003

Yeah, I'm with the camp calling you guys dense if you couldn't have figured it out based even on the little information. Maybe I can grant you that it may be US-centric to assume everyone could figure it out, but even still.
posted by crunchland at 9:01 AM on September 11, 2003

Anyone remember this discussion from last week, which anticipated token "hey it's the anniversary" links? I don't see the imperative in simply marking the day, in ominous tones, with no substance to flesh out the posting.

Not that it shouldn't be mentioned, but merely reviewing the awful video footage is not what I would consider a worthy memorial. There's plenty of important substance to the subject which is still worth talking about. 911 remains a very vital motivating influence on our national affairs. I don't think it's faded to the point where we just note the anniversary, bow our heads, and move on.

First post. No harm done. Just my opinion on the subject.
posted by scarabic at 9:17 AM on September 11, 2003

Porn for grief addicts. Surely there's a more respectful (or at least imaginative) way to commemorate the date.
posted by jjg at 9:33 AM on September 11, 2003

"I don't see the imperative in simply marking the day, in ominous tones, with no substance to flesh out the posting."

Er, "ominous" wasn't quite what came to my mind when posting it--more like "sad". The video speaks for itself, no extraneous editorializing needed on my part.

"Porn for grief addicts."

No, this is what happened. Everything else --the speeches, the rememberance services, the overwrought op-ed columns--is commentary. Remembering what happened by simply showing what happened, in real-time, without hyperbole, seemed the way to go.

The video, by the way, is from Alexa's 9/11 Television Archive, which for some reason they unlisted and unlinked from their main archive site and let go to link-rot about a year ago. Most of the other video streams on that site don't work anymore, but for some reason, they still had this one.
posted by Asparagirl at 10:30 AM on September 11, 2003

There is more porn in commemorating than in remembering.
posted by DaShiv at 10:49 AM on September 11, 2003

OK, first post, but Asparagirl is no newbie. Anyway, is that video really something "most people haven't seen [...] before"? Or are the guidelines not in effect on 9/11 each year?

You know, it actually didn't occur to me what the link might be about, and I watched the towers get built, watched them fall, and live a mile from the hole. Please write clear front-page link descriptions! Keep MetaFilter beautiful! Thank you.
posted by nicwolff at 11:00 AM on September 11, 2003

Hey Asparagirl, when I saw your description, I knew exactly what I was going to see. I also thought it was a good thing to post, and since I was at work and dependent on the internet for my info two years ago, I hadn't seen it before. Hearing the shock and confusion in the newscasters' commentary was meaningful to me, and I'm not one to find meaning in porn.

In other words, thanks for the post.
posted by donnagirl at 11:10 AM on September 11, 2003

I'm sure my case is not common, nicwolff, but I've never seen the video. I don't have a TV, and while from what I hear the networks kept running the towers-collapsing tape on loop for a few days afterward, I never found a copy on the 'net. This is the first time I've had an opportunity to see it, and while I haven't yet decided whether I actually want to, I'm glad somebody found it and made it available.
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:17 AM on September 11, 2003

I don't happen to like Asparagirl's particular politics, either, but this seems a perfectly good post to me -- fitting to the occasion, genuinely contributed, and well expressed, too.
posted by mattpfeff at 11:27 AM on September 11, 2003


Just to clarify, the video linked above is from ABC's Good Morning America (later segwaying into Peter Jennings' ABCNews commentary) specifically from 9:00 AM - 9:30 AM, which encompasses the second plane hitting and much speculation about the cause of the "incident" and the size of the planes. But the towers aren't shown collapsing. That footage is available, however, on any P2P network such as Kazaa. I'm sure I don't have to warn you that it's hideous and you should only watch it if you're really sure you can live with that in your head for the rest of your life.
posted by Asparagirl at 11:37 AM on September 11, 2003

Thanks, Matt.
posted by Asparagirl at 11:37 AM on September 11, 2003

Jesus, you're all so fucking predictable. The post is fine, Asparagirl, topical and timely. And if, on this date, people can't figure out what the post is, at the very least, about, then...I mean, come on. No matter what anybody posted in remembrance, commemoration, or whatever, would have drawn the usual predictable melting pot of snarks, complaints, judgements, etc. Sad.
posted by ghastlyfop at 1:22 PM on September 11, 2003

No, this is what happened

Actually, this is what was broadcast on TV. A common mistake Americans make.

I agree with the porn label. All this video does for me (in the halting sections I've been able to load) is stir up a lot of feelings. Heat, not light. The video coverage of these attacks was one of the only things in recent memory that really shocked people out of their everyday snooze, made them blink in frank disbelief, and sadly, this is a kind of high that many get a sick thrill out of reliving.

I'm sad we "commemorated" the occasion by renewing our collective stupefaction over the Hollywood spectacle of it all.
posted by scarabic at 1:30 PM on September 11, 2003

I'm sad we "commemorated" the occasion by renewing our collective stupefaction over the Hollywood spectacle of it all.

Who are you to say that's what this video might mean to me (or anyone else)?
posted by mattpfeff at 2:36 PM on September 11, 2003

"What were you doing when JFK was shot?"

If someday, someone asks me what I was doing when the WTC attacks happened, my answer would be trying to find out what the hell happened. No TV. News sites were completely hammered. Hyperbolic figures (500,000) were being tossed around at the time by unreliable sources. And could you believe that somewhere, a dumb immigrant college kid in California who has never been to New York couldn't come up with a mental picture for what the WTC looked like, nevermind the sheer scale of it?

Finding a video feed (showing something not unlike what was posted in this thread) after half an hour's worth of frenzied searching made the whole thing real. And surreal. And obvious why all of this was such a Big Fucking Deal. Is it so inconceivable that someone who hadn't been gorged on the incessant replays on TV might find the initial footage meaningful?

Oh sure, the photo galleries came later, to show something other than exploding buildings. The people running down the street in panic. The soot-covered cars and businessmen. The lucky survivor pulled from the rubble. But on that day, at that moment, what was I doing when the WTC attacks were happening? I was looking for this very footage. Seeing it again, years later, made me remember this comment all over again. And everything else--the shock, the sorrow. Everything.

It's the self-righteous indignation of people telling others how to properly "commemorate" an event that has turned the word from an opportunity for reflection into a machine for generating supposely pious spectacles. It's what has turned it into a dirty word.
posted by DaShiv at 2:38 PM on September 11, 2003

Fair enough, but I did phrase it in terms of what it did for me:

All this video does for me (in the halting sections I've been able to load) is stir up a lot of feelings. Heat, not light.

So what did it mean to you?
posted by scarabic at 2:38 PM on September 11, 2003

That was in responde to mattpfeff. DaShiv: your response was plenty substantial. Thanks.
posted by scarabic at 3:28 PM on September 11, 2003

you know, i get stuck in that thread EVERY TIME. i was at work, no tv, news sites taken out at the knees, radio filled with speculation and confusion, mefi is where i first SAW what was happening. i get stuck in that thread EVERY TIME, and end up reading it top to bottom. because that's what i was doing on 9/11.
posted by quonsar at 4:00 PM on September 11, 2003

IT's amazing, the power of vide. If it had happened at night, or if the towers had not actually collapsed but the same amount of people had died, or if there had been no video of it all, would people feel exactly the same way?

I remember there was a piece on some news station about reaction to 9/11 in a remote region of Pakistan, where some students were very happy about the attack and what had happened, until someone showed them the video and they were actually able to conceptualize what happened, the size and scale of it all.

But it is just incredible how powerful live or recorded moving images can be.
posted by cell divide at 4:29 PM on September 11, 2003

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