"Oh, God! Oh, G--"
July 27, 2006 4:57 PM   Subscribe

"Tell God to blow the wind from the West." Listen to Kevin Cosgrove speak with a 911 operator during the final moments of his life on September 11, 2001 — and the most heartbreaking moment is, without a doubt, the very final moment.
posted by WCityMike (203 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
I was just about to post this. Watching that seriously made me want to vomit.
posted by bob sarabia at 4:57 PM on July 27, 2006


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posted by n0man at 5:10 PM on July 27, 2006


I really think that's the most disturbing thing I've ever seen or heard in my life.
posted by hollygoheavy at 5:13 PM on July 27, 2006


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posted by dhammond at 5:14 PM on July 27, 2006


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posted by phaedon at 5:15 PM on July 27, 2006


Not safe for anyone.That was the most horrifying thing I've ever seen.
posted by solid-one-love at 5:16 PM on July 27, 2006


Jesus.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:20 PM on July 27, 2006


.
posted by Jerub at 5:20 PM on July 27, 2006


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posted by buriednexttoyou at 5:22 PM on July 27, 2006


Links to snuff are cool now? I didn't get the memo.
posted by bardic at 5:23 PM on July 27, 2006


I wish I hadn't watched that.
posted by bigschmoove at 5:24 PM on July 27, 2006


that was horrible.
posted by tiger yang at 5:26 PM on July 27, 2006


What are some good sources for raw information from that day, like these calls, and video footage?
posted by odinsdream at 5:27 PM on July 27, 2006


9/11 porn, oh great
posted by unSane at 5:32 PM on July 27, 2006


Links to snuff are cool now?

Nobody said it was cool. They said it was heartbreaking, and it is.
posted by sluglicker at 5:32 PM on July 27, 2006


Who the hell thought it was a good idea to put this on youtube? And why did you think it was a good idea to put it on MetaFilter?
posted by dersins at 5:33 PM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


No, the death of victims on 9/11 was hearbreaking. Figuratively wanking to youtube footage of his last moments is sick.

Jesus, go to ogrish if you want this shit and don't try to dress it up as being worthy of an FPP. If you need an audio recording to grok how horrible it was, go take an ethics class.
posted by bardic at 5:38 PM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm not ready to click on that link, as I'm not yet ready to see the films United 93 and World Trade Center. Someday, though, I intend to watch them, as they're important reminders of that horrific day.
posted by ericb at 5:40 PM on July 27, 2006


I really think that's the most disturbing thing I've ever seen or heard in my life.

Me too. I didn't want to click on it either, but I felt like I was obligated to for some reason.
posted by danb at 5:47 PM on July 27, 2006


Can someone who watched this describe it-as I don't think I could handle watching it myself.
posted by konolia at 5:48 PM on July 27, 2006


.

Too many questions.
posted by fire&wings at 5:50 PM on July 27, 2006


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posted by cows of industry at 5:57 PM on July 27, 2006


Yes, please. Can someone summarize?
posted by vacapinta at 5:58 PM on July 27, 2006



Can someone who watched this describe it-as I don't think I could handle watching it myself.


Cosgrove is talking with a 9/11 operator and getting increasingly scared and frustrated, as he's hoping that he and his workmates will be rescued. A video of a burning tower is shown on the video. He screams as the building collapses onto his floor, then silence as the building collapses completely.

Don't watch it.
posted by solid-one-love at 5:59 PM on July 27, 2006


Y'know, by the way, it's not like the post read: "To see an adorable short film of Fluffy Wuddlemumps prancing across the meadow while being chased by Domo-Kuns, click here."
posted by WCityMike at 6:02 PM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


If I owned YouTube I'd yank it now. And I'm dissapointed it's been posted on Metafilter. Did the family of Kevin Cosgrove give the ok for that YouTube post?
posted by BillsR100 at 6:02 PM on July 27, 2006


I'll try.

He's on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, who is trying to calm him down. He's telling her what floor he's on, which part of Tower Two.

At one point she patches him in with an NYFD who tries to reassure him that they're coming up.

The dispatcher continues to try to keep him calm, and he gets more and more upset. Talks about being young, having kids.

Then, it ends.
posted by padraigin at 6:02 PM on July 27, 2006


I watched it, and it made my heart hurt. I wish I hadn't.
posted by obeetaybee at 6:02 PM on July 27, 2006


It's a 911 call aligned to a video of the burning towers... At the end the caller screams "Oh God, ahhhh" as the tower collapses. Many times throughout the call he also says "we're young guys, we're not ready to die".

It's horrible and heartbreaking to listen to.
posted by weezy at 6:04 PM on July 27, 2006


For what it's worth, the fact that it's a video mashup with a clearly edited loop of the building burning is just sad. The audio is sufficient.
posted by odinsdream at 6:04 PM on July 27, 2006


Why did the video keep looping at the beginning? And how did this call get out in the wild?
posted by emelenjr at 6:09 PM on July 27, 2006


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posted by Hildegarde at 6:10 PM on July 27, 2006


WCityMike, you're so right. You're such a hard-nosed realist bringin' the pain to us pussies who just don't get it, man.

Jesus, it's sad to watch you justify a link to porn.
posted by bardic at 6:14 PM on July 27, 2006


it's sad to watch you justify a link to porn

You say that like a porno FPP is a bad thing.
posted by rxrfrx at 6:19 PM on July 27, 2006


Can't say I'm impressed with the comments on you tube.
Enough has been said about the caller, etc otherwise.
I have to say I feel for the 911 operator.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:21 PM on July 27, 2006


I think everyone should watch this. I think Al Qaeda supporters, especially, should watch it.

Then again, I think people who support the abominable things Israel is doing right now should be forced to take a holiday in Beirut, starting tomorrow.

It's hideous. But it brings the human reality of something that has become a political lever for both sides slamming right back where it belongs: into our hearts. Those of us who actually have hearts, of course.
posted by Decani at 6:22 PM on July 27, 2006 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure I understand why folks think this isn't worthy of posting. Could someone please explain? The audio is released by the family btw. Perhaps they thought it would help the counrty to not forget. Perhaps they felt it might do some good in the greater scheme of things. I agree with the poster above that the audio is sufficient as the mashup really just isn't very good. Maybe the mashup artist will keep practicing?
posted by filchyboy at 6:34 PM on July 27, 2006


That made me want to throw up.

You have to figure that if this call, and the hundreds others like it, were released immediately after 9/11, a lot of people would have been seriously calling for a nuclear response. My gut response would have been to agree.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:35 PM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm with you, Smedleyman. That must have been one hell of a day on the job.
posted by c13 at 6:35 PM on July 27, 2006


I appreciated the post. It was heartbreaking. Equating this with a snuff film is wrong. To me, and this is of course just my personal opinion, it's like when a relative dies or when a senseless violent act happens to someone close to you. You want to know what happened, you want to know why, you want to know everything about it at some primal level that it is almost a need. To me, 9/11 is something akin to that ... maybe that's not healthy, but it's the truth.
posted by forforf at 6:38 PM on July 27, 2006 [4 favorites]


I find nothing pornographic or wankerific about the link, bardic. The page honoring the man who died gives an appropriate (if thin) context to the human being who made this call.

There is the shock that titilates and there is the shock that jolts you back to reality. By all means continue to assume your smug, superior attitude, though. Goodness knows this whole people-killing-people thing is distasteful and better handled by those who can mediate the experience for less cultured and educated folks who do things like click on YouTube links. Heaven forbid we see or hear the raw result of political/religious propoganda, and heaven forbid we aren't told what it means by someone as morally righteous as yourself. I can't imagine what would happen if more people were pushed out of their comfort zones into a more real understanding of what happens when airplanes/bombs blow up buildings.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 6:42 PM on July 27, 2006 [7 favorites]



No, the death of victims on 9/11 was hearbreaking. Figuratively wanking to youtube footage of his last moments is sick.

Jesus, go to ogrish if you want this shit and don't try to dress it up as being worthy of an FPP. If you need an audio recording to grok how horrible it was, go take an ethics class.
posted by bardic at 8:38 PM EST on July 27 [+fave] [!] 1 user marked this as favorite


Are you insane? "Figuratively wanking?" wtf are you talking about? You think people are getting their kicks watching this? Go watch the funny quips on the Daily Show and go back to sleep.

It's not about needing audio to hear how horrible it is, but judging by everyone's response, this seems to hit home more than reading about it or trying to imagine what people went through based on bullshit movies.

This is precisely what these sites are for, getting out the truth of events without authority or media spinning it or shielding it for us. Major media will not show the towers collapsing on the news as a policy.

What are you afraid will happen if people see this?
posted by Pastabagel at 6:43 PM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


Oh man :(

This is good for an FPP.
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:45 PM on July 27, 2006


Anything that shortens the distance between the act and the consequences is a good thing. If more people understood the human cost of event like this rather than some abstract "it's for the good of the people," then people would be less willing to inflict this pain on others.
posted by SPrintF at 6:49 PM on July 27, 2006 [3 favorites]


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posted by Skorgu at 6:54 PM on July 27, 2006


My smug superior attitude? People are defending this post by telling me that it's good for me, that I don't understand death and human suffering, that I need more of this sort of real-real-realism. I'd call that a wee bit presumptuous.

pastabagel writes: You think people are getting their kicks watching this?

Unfortunately, yes. Or they will. Jesus, when did it become a crime to assume the worst of people on the internet?

pastabagel writes: This is precisely what these sites are for, getting out the truth of events without authority or media spinning it or shielding it for us.

If you're referring to Metafilter, then you're wrong. If you're referring to youtube, you're also wrong. You do realize that this is posted along with people making home videos of "Don't You Wish Your Girlfriend Was a Freak Like Me?"
posted by bardic at 6:54 PM on July 27, 2006


MeTa
posted by tula at 6:56 PM on July 27, 2006


filchyboy writes "Perhaps they thought it would help the county to not forget."

Holy shit; and it's a good thing, too, because before WCityMike had posted this, I had totally fucking forgotten about 9/11, and then I watched it, and I was like, "Oh yeah, that's right, I remember when that happened! You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!"

Decani writes "I think everyone should watch this. I think Al Qaeda supporters, especially, should watch it.

"Then again, I think people who support the abominable things Israel is doing right now should be forced to take a holiday in Beirut, starting tomorrow."


Pastabagel writes "You have to figure that if this call, and the hundreds others like it, were released immediately after 9/11, a lot of people would have been seriously calling for a nuclear response."

So, Decani, I think Pastabagel pretty much sums up where you've gone wrong about human nature. The response of "Al Qaeda supporters" to this would be to start harping on all the injustices their people have suffered at the hands of the Americans over the decades and illegal occupation of Palestine, etc. etc. whereas a general in the IDF, told by you to "take a holiday in Beirut" would go apoplectic in your face re: every act of terrorism Israel has faced over the past 30 years and rocket attacks etc. etc. People are defensive, and resentful, and bloodthirsty, and they love themselves a good bloody chance at revenge.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:56 PM on July 27, 2006


I don't know whether this is appropriate material for an FPP (whatever that standard may be, and setting aside whether discussing so in the first place is appropriate for the blue versus the grey), but I do know that watching it made me forget completely the petty grievances and self-centered angst I've been carrying around all night. I'm glad I watched it, if only for perspective and a reminder of the human cost of violence (or, what SPrintF said). Off to hug the loved ones.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:57 PM on July 27, 2006


This is horrific, terrifying and brutal. This is the reality of that day, and it should be remembered as just what it was: normal, terrified people in the middle of hell.

Thank you for this, lest we lose sight of reality.
posted by Skorgu at 7:01 PM on July 27, 2006 [3 favorites]


So when do we hear the tapes from the 30,000 iraqi civilians we've killed?
posted by jewzilla at 7:06 PM on July 27, 2006 [7 favorites]


.
posted by JB71 at 7:07 PM on July 27, 2006


The important thing is how these tragic events have brought us all together. To yell at each other.
posted by nanojath at 7:07 PM on July 27, 2006 [8 favorites]


Bardic, people are no more telling you that this is good for you than you (and others) are calling everyone who finds it interesting a snuff-addict.

Get over yourself.

If you find it offensive, than be offended. Abstain from it if you'd like. Just because others don't find it offensive in the same way doesn't mean they're getting their jollies off to it.

We watch horrific scenes and read or hear the last words of the doomed quite often in our society. Many find it educational or emotionally stirring, finding one of the two to be somehow beneficial to their understanding of things. On some level I'm sure you do too, if not in this particular instance.

Save some righteous indignation for those who are responsible for this man's death. Spare us your sentiments on YouTube as if the delivery mechanism is at all relevant.
posted by rob paxon at 7:08 PM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


The trouble with this video being on YouTube and so accessible and repeatable is that rather than making the horror of 9/11 and violence and death more immediate and chilling, if we see it repeated often enough we risk becoming numb, and the images of the event itself becoming banal. Reliving that terrible day should be done solemnly, sacramentally. In my opinion. And to anybody who says, 'we must not forget', do you honestly think anyone old enough could ever forget?
posted by tula at 7:10 PM on July 27, 2006


You have to figure that if this call, and the hundreds others like it, were released immediately after 9/11, a lot of people would have been seriously calling for a nuclear response

A nuclear respose? Against whom? Launched where? Come on. The sheer stupidity of that is beyond depressing. I've "gone wrong about human nature"? No. I know how innately stupid most human beings are, believe me. But human nature is what's wrong, if that's the blind, animalistic dumbness of its reaction.

I think the kind of person who would react to this in such a vile way is the kind of person who wanted to wade into wherever dropping bombs and blowing shit up anyway. But I also think this kind of reality check might have jolted a few people who followed such boneheaded thugs simply because they were fearful and shocked and too spineless to push back.
posted by Decani at 7:10 PM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


Reliving that terrible day should be done solemnly, sacramentally. In my opinion.

Do you think the people of Fallujah feel that way about what happened to their city, too? Do you think Americans will respect that just as much as you say they should respect what happened on 9/11?
posted by Decani at 7:12 PM on July 27, 2006


this was worthy of an FPP. We each have the choice as to which links we click on, this was clearly identified, I knew what I was getting.

Today, while cleaning my office, I found the 9/12 editon of the Detroit news I had put on a shelf after I read it. I went through it again.

We need to be reminded on a daily basis of the reality of this world, otherwise it will never change.

Thanks for posting this.
posted by HuronBob at 7:13 PM on July 27, 2006


Points to Decani for unwarranted and irrelevant link to Iraq war.
posted by rob paxon at 7:15 PM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


Decani writes "I think the kind of person who would react to this in such a vile way is the kind of person who wanted to wade into wherever dropping bombs and blowing shit up anyway. But I also think this kind of reality check might have jolted a few people who followed such boneheaded thugs simply because they were fearful and shocked and too spineless to push back."

Hold on; so your saying that if the replays of videos from 9/11 had been more intense, constant, and visceral, we would have responded with less violence? No way, man. Let's say that plane that crashed in PA had taken out the White House or the Capitol or whatever. We would totally have soldiers in Tehran right now, and probably a draft, too.
posted by mr_roboto at 7:18 PM on July 27, 2006


The reason why I posted this was because when I stumbled across it, I sat stunned for a few minutes as my perception of my life altered somewhat — as I realized how very lucky I was for the things I had, and realized how comparatively small my problems were — and I thought that an audio clip that was that powerful needed to be shared with others.

The post was clearly labeled; any individual who did not want to listen to what was there did not need to, and, indeed, many did not. I find the instinct to censor this clip to be a rather remarkable action.
posted by WCityMike at 7:18 PM on July 27, 2006


a general in the IDF, told by you to "take a holiday in Beirut" would go apoplectic in your face re: every act of terrorism Israel has faced over the past 30 years and rocket attacks etc. etc.

I daresay. And would he be exactly the same after his holiday? Yes? Then how about someone who wasn't a general in the IDF but, oh, say, a regular American Joe who lapped up every piece of pro-Israeli bullshit his New York Post fed him? You know - who only read about rockets falling on Haifa and not decades of Israeli UN-ignoring, Palestinian-abusing, wall-building, home-razing, land-disposessing, protestor-bulldozing, ambulance-shelling and child-shooting? How about someone like that?

Enough with the knee-jerk pro-Israeli crap, eh? They're committing foul war crimes and overreacting like the most reprehensible thug nation.
posted by Decani at 7:18 PM on July 27, 2006


I know what will make this thread better! Let's turn it into an argument about Israel!
!
posted by mr_roboto at 7:22 PM on July 27, 2006


Decani, yes, I think anyone reflecting on the loss of lives, any tragedy, aught to be done seriously and respectfully. I'm afraid YouTube cheapens this event. I could be wrong. I wish we could see all the war casualties we're causing, all the Iraqi mothers mourning, flag draped caskets--all death treated with seriousness. I can't speak for most Americans would think because I'm not in the mainstream. You got me wrong.
posted by tula at 7:25 PM on July 27, 2006


I'm afraid YouTube cheapens this event. I could be wrong.

I could see your point. But YouTube also delivers the message that otherwise would not be available, to a large number of people. The subject of this thread is the fine example of it.
posted by c13 at 7:30 PM on July 27, 2006


Pastabagel: You have to figure that if this call, and the hundreds others like it, were released immediately after 9/11, a lot of people would have been seriously calling for a nuclear response. My gut response would have been to agree.

To me, this is more disturbing than the link. YMMV.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:32 PM on July 27, 2006


bunch of pussies.
posted by quonsar at 7:33 PM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm not going to watch this. Some months ago some of these calls were released to the press and I've spent nights cringing in bed thinking about horrible ways to die since then. I'm sure every single 911 call and many ordinary phone calls from that day are incredibly hard to listen to.

As a child I had a nightmare about being in a falling skyscraper. It fell mostly straight down, spun a little to one side. The entire world went ear-infection-undertow-crazy on me. It felt so real I sprang up in my bed, which woke me. And that shit wasn't even on fire.

So when do we hear the tapes from the 30,000 iraqi civilians we've killed?

It's a very good point that these deaths are some of the best recorded deaths in history. I believe that was an intentional condition, meant to help transmit the horror of them far and wide. And it clearly does. I would not fault anyone for refusing to swallow a huge bite of this Al Qaeda terror sandwich.

Remember that the traditional definition of terrorism is: tactics designed to spread fear which can then be utilized to an end. Terrorism is not just hitting non-military targets. It's about generating fear. Weigh whatever dedication-to-truth or need-to-not-forget you feel against that thought. Of course, the presumed result of our fear would be rising up against our government and forcing them to withdraw support from Saudi and Israel. That was clearly a naive intention, but pure and simple horror is a secondary effect that I'm sure Bin Laden is happy with.

If you're going to spare yourself the horror of listening, I hope it's because you don't need to be horrified to understand how wrong this is. Just remember that the recording you're not going to listen to is exactly as real as the final whimpering moments of some innocent, cowering Iraqi that were never recorded. And that 10x their number died, and more continue to die each day, also for some stupid asshole's misguided crusade.
posted by scarabic at 7:37 PM on July 27, 2006 [6 favorites]


a lot of people would have been seriously calling for a nuclear response

Directed where?
posted by scarabic at 7:38 PM on July 27, 2006


"a lot of people would have been seriously calling for a nuclear response

Directed where?"


Mecca and/or Medina would be my bet.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:40 PM on July 27, 2006


You imply logic and reason where none exist.
posted by Skorgu at 7:42 PM on July 27, 2006


Directed where?

The Moon, for example.
posted by c13 at 7:43 PM on July 27, 2006


I don't know what to make of YouTube. I think it can be used for good, evil, and lameness equally. It's my opinion that it's so free-form it's nearly a blank slate. I would of course prefer that death be treated with dignity, but anything that is true inherently has some dignity. Daniel Pearl's wife is letting herself be played by Angelina Jolie--is that a bad thing? I don't know anymore. Anything to remind us we are human must be a good thing.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 7:47 PM on July 27, 2006


What jewzilla said: So when do we hear the tapes from the 30,000 iraqi civilians we've killed?

Not to cheapen this sad death. But my two first thoughts were: "Firey death is awful. Oh wait, the US is inflicting that on other people."
posted by salvia at 7:49 PM on July 27, 2006


One of the 9/11 links on the Youtube "what's related" sidebar is a photo montage of the World Trade Center on fire set to an Enya song. I think the message here is: be glad that wasn't the link.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 7:53 PM on July 27, 2006


About a month after 9/11, I was that guy on the phone to 9-1-1. I couldn't breathe, I was in extreme pain and on the brink of death, and I fully expected to die. Had emergency services been a bit slower, I'd be dead. But it wasn't because of terrorists.

The recording of Kevin Cosgrove's call to 9-1-1 is wrenching and emotional, but it doesn't, I think, help us understand what happened on 9/11, and it certainly doesn't help us understand what to do in response, any more than my call to 9-1-1 would shed any light on what happened in my life before or after my call.

While my situation was a much a surprise as Kevin Cosgrove's, emergency services wasn't swamped by a terrorist attack when I called. My demeanor on the phone wasn't too similar to Kevin Cosgrove's. This is not a criticism or intended as any disrespect to Kevin Cosgrove or his family; we all have our own way of dealing with the possibility of our imminent death, and frankly, I was probably just in too much pain to spend time arguing or "bargaining" with the 9-1-1 operator (especially after spending time on hold).

I told 9-1-1 my problem, and then I got off the phone, composed myself, and waited to see if death or emergency services would win the race. As time passed and the pain got worse and breathing got more difficult, I became more resigned to death being the winner. As it happened, I got lucky.

Even so, I wouldn't want anyone using the recording of my call to 9-1-1 to remind anyone "of the reality of this world," let alone setting it to looped video to make a point.

9-1-1 recordings are public records of intensely private moments of people in distress, people in fear, people expecting to die. Using them to horrify, to manipulate emotions for ideological reasons, is I think a violation of the caller's privacy, and in this case a desecration of the caller's last moments.

Eventually I'll die. Maybe I'll die during a call to 9-1-1. I just hope to God no one puts a recording of my death on the Internet, for strangers to listen to, in order to make a point.
posted by orthogonality at 7:54 PM on July 27, 2006 [17 favorites]


For what it's worth, I spent pretty much 8 straight hours after the second tower fell on 9/11 trying to send mental commands to the Bush administration not to just go apeshit nuclear on the general Middle East. I didn't put it past them. (Or, I suppose, most other theoretical US governments.)

Anyway, I honestly think the sooner 9/11 does get cheapened for good, the better off absolutely every single person in existence will be, unless what cheapens it is a global nuclear war or something.
posted by furiousthought at 7:55 PM on July 27, 2006


I thought I was ready to see that.
posted by Marla Singer at 7:59 PM on July 27, 2006


I knew I shouldn't click the link, and yet I felt like I had to. Now I can't stop crying. Gah. This was heartbreaking. I hope something good touched his family since then.
posted by FunkyHelix at 8:09 PM on July 27, 2006


Reading the title of this post, I can't help but think there is an element of voyeuristic snuff involved from quoting a condemned man's final words.

In any case, I agree with orthogonality that this doesn't really do much to help us understand the causes and costs of 9/11.

Just this person's measured opinion.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:10 PM on July 27, 2006


I feel for both the caller and the person they called and those assigned to rescue them that day. On one hand you have someone who thinks that if they sound or are pissed this will somehow escalate their situation to a higher precedence than all others. On the other hand you have those who are taking the call who are doing everything they can to improve that persons or callers situation within their power, which is not much.
Then it goes back to the caller expressing a sense that their needs are paramount above all other callers. Finally you have the caller realizing that all their exasperated emotional expectations are for nought.

Such is the hell of a call center and of the customer they talk too. Even on 9-11.

To all 9-11 victims, families and those in their lives, I wish their was more that could have been done. We are only human. . .
posted by mk1gti at 8:14 PM on July 27, 2006


9/11 - Never Forget (The Iraqi Civilians)
posted by rob paxon at 8:15 PM on July 27, 2006


If this were the audio alone I might see why some people could benefit from hearing it (although frankly I doubt that the people that need to hear it would be affected by it in any positive way) but as is, it is just another piece of propaganda. It's dishonest and cheap. Why the footage loop? Why not a black background or a black screen with text that states what the audio is?

I take no issue with the post of it here, rather the creation of it and the posting of it to youtube. Might as well add a Toby Keith song to the end of it.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 8:20 PM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'll go along with rob paxon on this one: never forget the 500,000 Iraqi dead from the sanctions prior to the invasion + the several thousand more that have died after we invaded their country (in order to save the village, we had to destroy it). Go USA. . . *kaff*hack*
posted by mk1gti at 8:22 PM on July 27, 2006


"Links to snuff are cool now? I didn't get the memo"

That's not snuff, that's just tragic. A snuff film is film of a murder, made specifically for commercial reasons (and apparently relegated to the world of urban legends).

I listened to a couple of these calls, and they were the most disturbing, heartbreaking thing I've ever heard. Those poor, poor people.
posted by tomble at 8:22 PM on July 27, 2006


This is a bullshit post, WCityMike. You should be ashamed of yourself. You have to watch a man die to get some perspective on your own life? You're sick. Do you beat up a homeless guy to celebrate Christmas? If this video serves as an affirmation of your stupid little life, if it's only purpose is to enhance your bored contentment, then you've completely missed the point. Kevin Costgrove was a real person. And you turn him into some internet meme? Are you going to put his plea to God on a t-shirt now? He was a human being. How do you not get that? How can you do this? You turn his last moments into ponography, to you he's pure image, pure means, you know nothing about him, nothing about his life, you watch this video and he becomes a pick-me-up-moment of the day lesson. It's not about him at all, it's completely about you.

And, just to clarify, I don't even object to the content of the post. I was there. I saw it with my own eyes and no video is ever going to compare. I object to your Walmart sentimality and your total lack of sensitivity. The next time you want to be reminded about how small and pathetic your problems are why don't you link to some pictures of starving Africans? Or, heck, there's a war going on in Lebanon. I'm sure you could find some videos of a family or two being being blown to bits? And then there's the shithole-of-the-century Iraq. Poke around there. Go head. Search youtube for 'Iraq military footage'. You'll find plenty of stuff. Maybe it'll inspire you to hug your fucking kids.
posted by nixerman at 8:26 PM on July 27, 2006 [2 favorites]


I was actually being sarcastic, mk1gti, though I do agree with the sentiment. I simply find it irritating that so many people felt compelled to suppliment their comments with stern, politicized "DON'T FORGET ALL OF THE IRAQIS THAT W... GEORGE BUSH KILLED!".

This is either about the horror of the WTC attack or it is about whether or not the link was appropriate. I see no proper reason for hijacking the thread to once again point out that George Lied and People Died. Such is MetaFilter I suppose.
posted by rob paxon at 8:30 PM on July 27, 2006


To be clear, nixerman, I believe there is no footage of the man dying. Those who watched it have said the video is a loop of already well-seen footage of the WTC's demise. The audio is a 911 call from the man in question.

You are being very harsh and way too personal with the man. If you want to shit all over the idea of watching this video and getting something out of it, why not direct your comment to all of those who have done that here and not just the poster? Surely they'd be equally as deserving?

At any rate, he certainly didn't mean to be insensitive and was obviously quite genuine, so no matter what taste you find this to be in, show the guy at least some decency.
posted by rob paxon at 8:36 PM on July 27, 2006


You have to watch a man die to get some perspective on your own life?

Are you sure you watched the right video?

Are you going to put his plea to God on a t-shirt now?

Well, how is this plea different from "Let's roll"? Or any less deserving of a T-shirt?
posted by c13 at 8:38 PM on July 27, 2006


No, the death of victims on 9/11 was hearbreaking. Figuratively wanking to youtube footage of his last moments is sick.

I find nothing pornographic or wankerific about the link


Maybe the Ask a Ninja guy on the sidebar could settle this question.
posted by homunculus at 8:40 PM on July 27, 2006


the link was disturbing ... fair enough, anyone could have figured that out before clicking

the discussion is much more disturbing than the link ... i see a bunch of people annoyed and afraid of the world that 9/11 has resulted in and turning on each other in response

the way things are going, we had damn well better learn a better response than this
posted by pyramid termite at 8:41 PM on July 27, 2006


(Oops, Ninja's gone, apparently replaced by Where the Hell is Matt?)
posted by homunculus at 8:41 PM on July 27, 2006


Are you sure you watched the right video?

The man whose voice is on the videotape was not physically in the same building shown collapsing on the videotape, just as his audio cuts out?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:42 PM on July 27, 2006


I think the real tragedy rob paxon is that the U.S. government (all inclusive) engaged in practices over a period of years that caused citizens to die here and overseas (civilian and military) and that people in this country still seem to think 'it's all about us.'

It's not and never was. When one goes about kicking over someone else's sandbox anywhere in the world, payback is a bitch. And so it goes.

I stand by my original point: deaths caused anywhere in the world because of any other government's policies and practices are reprehensible and need to be addressed and those accountable for them need to be held responsible for their actions, no matter what their race, creed or religion. It is only fair and just no matter what one's alliance is on any issue.
posted by mk1gti at 8:44 PM on July 27, 2006


The man whose voice is on the videotape was not physically in the same building shown collapsing on the videotape, just as his audio cuts out?

oh? ... that's kind of tacky
posted by pyramid termite at 8:46 PM on July 27, 2006


Come on, BP. You are well aware of the difference between sight and sound.
posted by c13 at 8:50 PM on July 27, 2006


Come on, BP. You are well aware of the difference between sight and sound.

A point which has pretty much nothing to do with how this video packaged a stranger's death for our consumption.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:56 PM on July 27, 2006


orthogonality: Well said. Damn. Well said.

Regarding the clip, haven't clicked it. Don't plan to.

Ever.

I felt all the sickness I ever want to on that day, and can conjure it up immediately again with just a thought. I feel profound sorrow for the thousands that died on that day, and I'm only glad that it was not tens of thousands. I feel profound sorrow for the tens of thousands killed in Iraq, and I am only glad that it was not hundreds of thousands.

Both sides of this discussion are very easy to see for anyone who is actually trying to understand rather than be a blowhard.

Yes, it is important, and yes it may help some people "personify" the suffering and make it real to them. But, it also smacks of being profane and exploitive.

So is it an honor or is it a betrayal? It is both. Life is complicated that way.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:57 PM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


Well, I won't watch this.
posted by washburn at 8:58 PM on July 27, 2006


This is a bullshit post, WCityMike. You should be ashamed of yourself. You have to watch a man die to get some perspective on your own life? You're sick. . .

And, just to clarify, I don't even object to the content of the post. I was there. I saw it with my own eyes and no video is ever going to compare. I object to your Walmart sentimentality and your total lack of sensitivity.


Ortho and Nixerman have it. Baradic was right, too, but now he's banned. Many of us who lived through this at close range are sick of having it cheapened and used to generate political capital. I'm tired of being told (by Bushco, by Hollywood, by MeFi) what the "correct" level of grief, anger, pain or any other sentiment is and how I am supposed to feel it. This post is nothing but voyeuristic crap and if Matt had any balls he'd pull it. Instead he shut down the MeTa thread. To quote Matt himself: "Classy."
posted by The Bellman at 9:12 PM on July 27, 2006


Meh, I don't see any politics in the video, only this thread.
posted by Skorgu at 9:16 PM on July 27, 2006


I think the real tragedy rob paxon is that the U.S. government (all inclusive) [...]

So that's the real tragedy, mk1gti? As opposed to the one this thread is about, which is some sort of fake tragedy? Thank you for pointing that out to me. I was previously unaware that incidents where other people have needlessly died are also tragedies and that only they comprise real, true ones.

I like how you so bluntly put the 9/11 attacks as simply payback for kicking over someone else's sandbox. You might as well just say those rat bastard capitalist scumbags working in the WTC had it coming in spades.

You can stand by your original point all you want, I said I agreed with it in my reply. You're standing by an irrelevant point.

There's no need to hijack this thread to remind everyone how wrong the Iraq war is just to scratch your political backside. Especially when you, not in your first reply but very much in the one I'm responding to now, and others, who my initial sarcastic remark was in reference to, are treating the actions of our government in Iraq as something wholly more evil and monsterous than the attacks of 9/11. I'm used to that sort of bombastic sentiment and certainly expect it around here but that makes it no less ridiculous, especially in a thread about one man's tragic demise during the WTC collapse.

Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I was against the war from the start, not that it should be at all relevant.
posted by rob paxon at 9:22 PM on July 27, 2006


orthogonality writes:
The recording of Kevin Cosgrove's call to 9-1-1 is wrenching and emotional, but it doesn't, I think, help us understand what happened on 9/11, and it certainly doesn't help us understand what to do in response, any more than my call to 9-1-1 would shed any light on what happened in my life before or after my call.

Call me simple, but I think the recording of Kevin Cosgrove's call to 9-1-1 does help me understand what happened that day. And to tip the hat to the "Bush lied" crowd that I don't normally agree with, I think that recordings of the last moments of any innocents (such as Iraqi civilians) would help me understand their plight.

Listening to innocent people being killed makes me sad. If enough people get sad, maybe they will press harder for non-violent solutions.
posted by bugmuncher at 9:25 PM on July 27, 2006


What Skorgu said.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:26 PM on July 27, 2006


Many of us who lived through this at close range are sick of having it cheapened and used to generate political capital. I'm tired of being told (by Bushco, by Hollywood, by MeFi) what the "correct" level of grief, anger, pain or any other sentiment is and how I am supposed to feel it.

What you guys don't realize is that proximity to the event does not give you some sort of a badge that you can run around with, sticking in other's faces. No one is trying to tell you what to feel. But this was not YOUR tragedy, it was OUR. And our opinions on this matter are just as valid as yours. Bardic didn't think so, and that's the reason he got banned.
posted by c13 at 9:36 PM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


is this snuff? Is this?

I'm no fan of 9-1-1 calls being made public, but to call this clip pornography is simply stupid.

We all knew very well what we were about to watch and hear when we clicked the link, and even if you didn't, there's no way it wasn't clear after the first few minutes. No one forced you to sit through the whole thing, and just because you think someone, somewhere is getting off on this shit, doesn't make everyone else who watched it immoral. Some of us see it as an important piece of history.
posted by SAC at 9:36 PM on July 27, 2006


I agree with ortho.

I just listened to it, and, well, this won't sound right, but it wasn't even as bad a scenario as I have, in the past, imagined. For several days after it happened I was paralyzed with the sickening thought of what it must have been like for those who had jumped, or people in this guy's situation. These scenes have already played over in my mind thousands of times. It still makes me feel physically ill.

For those who are in tears after listening to this, well, this fucking shit happens every day out there in some form or another. It doesn't make it easier to take when fully confronted with it like this, but it's reality. I think the saddest thing at all is that, listening to this, while disgusted by it, I'm not really shocked.
posted by jimmythefish at 9:37 PM on July 27, 2006


rob paxon
Before you think I am grandstanding, think about this: my father and his dearest friends had a very personal experience related to this in the middle east. It occured back in 1968.
One of my best friends had a very personal experience related to what this is all about: it happened to his uncle in the sands of the Sinai Peninsula back in 1968.

Chew on that one. Americans, Egyptians, Israelis. Liberty Incident. Six Day War. James Bamford. Google is your friend.
posted by mk1gti at 9:41 PM on July 27, 2006


I think maybe for the first time evar, I totally agree with Decani here.

So when do we hear the tapes from the 30,000 iraqi civilians we've killed?

What's stopping you from going over there and telling their stories? Ahhh. That's right. You don't really care that much. Plus some asshole might kidnap you, hack your head off and post it to YouTube. It's dangerous over there!

Decani's comment is even more telling: "It's hideous. But it brings the human reality of something that has become a political lever for both sides slamming right back where it belongs: into our hearts."

If you've got people over there, then you've got a case. If not, then you're just using that lever to move your own worldview (and let's be honest, even if you do know civilians living in Iraq, the deaths of those you know would weigh on you more than a total strangers. I'm not going to imagine what you'd be going through if you has lost someone in that hellstorm, because I came perilously close to the same feeling myself, but you're not carrying the weight of 30,000 dead human beings on your shoulders. You don't care that much. Nobody does. You'd be paralyzed with grief at the merest fraction of that number. Again, let's be honest. My family. My friends. My tribe. My dog. There's always going to be someone you'd drag out of the burning building first.)

I'm afraid YouTube cheapens this event.

More than the Evening News on the same channel that broadcasts "Survivor" does? How does the banal crap that a delivery medium can provide somehow cheapen the important stuff?
posted by Cyrano at 9:41 PM on July 27, 2006


Wait, people kill other people? ...whoa...talk about unprecedented.

Yeah, a bunch of Iraqis have died. Yeah, a bunch of Americans have died. Ya know what? None of it makes the slightest difference except insofar as we use one death to justify a few more.

The world has not changed, no matter how much we might like to think it has.

I'm especially fond of the folks that claim hideous suffering is somehow new and special now that it's happened to (insert group A).

Humanity borders on the unspeakably evil, and when you challenge that idea please make sure to remember the fact that the money you spent on your DVD player could have saved almost a dozen lives. A dozen innocent people, dying horribly in horrible places, because you weren't willing to give up the ability to watch half-baked entertainment in a slightly more convenient format.

Almost all human beings are evil -- genuinely evil. The sooner you understand that, the sooner you can ditch the pointless posturing and try to figure out how to fix things

...and yes, in case you were wondering, I believe that I'm evil as well. I'd kill all of you if I thought it would save someone I loved, and that's evil.
posted by aramaic at 9:46 PM on July 27, 2006 [3 favorites]


c13,

Yeah, keep telling yourself that. Maybe some day you'll ask yourself why you're fighting to 'own' a 'tragedy.' Anyways, you guys have fun with your videos. I'm sure you'll all take the enormity of the tragedy into heart and it'll make you seriously examine your life and change for the better! Or something. After seeing mathowie's callous treatment of bardic I think it's pretty clear what's going on here.
posted by nixerman at 9:47 PM on July 27, 2006


I'm really surprised by the vitriolic responses of "I was THERE and I SAW it MYSELF, so don't make me see it AGAIN". I wasn't there and I didn't see it myself-I saw it on tv like a good portion of the country. I don't think that my hearing this 911 call was voyeuristic in any way and I don't think that I take that awful and horrific day lightly just because I wasn't a native to the area.

I watched and I listened and I knew exactly what it was, an audio recording set to a video loop but somehow I didn't see any malice at all, just a reminder that this wasn't Grand Theft Auto or some other PS2 game-that thousands of real people with families and careers and loves lost their lives that day, and still there doesn't seem to be any end to it.

I think that as time goes by, the shock and horror has slowly ebbed for some people, maybe they need to hear this to remember.
posted by hollygoheavy at 9:49 PM on July 27, 2006


I'm fairly tired of the human condition.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:50 PM on July 27, 2006


What you guys don't realize is that proximity to the event does not give you some sort of a badge that you can run around with, sticking in other's faces. No one is trying to tell you what to feel. But this was not YOUR tragedy, it was OUR. And our opinions on this matter are just as valid as yours. Bardic didn't think so, and that's the reason he got banned.


Thank you-this is exactly what I was trying to say.
posted by hollygoheavy at 9:51 PM on July 27, 2006


I'm tired of those who are too busy to be inconvenienced by their emotional reactions to graphic representations of reality. When shit happens, if you don't pay_fucking_attention_and_watch you are only operating on heresay.

We should have heard all of this stuff as soon as families of the victims are OK with it.

Last words: "OH GOD NO!":
Heart-rending, chilling, visceral. Forces a reaction, disbelief/acceptance, an opinion, a response.

Coffins of dead soldiers at DoverAFB, Presidential attendance at funerals, Abu Gharib A/V. We're too busy, can't be bothered to watch lest we weep and stop buying/producing.

I don't know which Im sickened by more: the "spin-meisters" servings of homogenized reality, or the Amurcan's that shovel it down.

I'm ashamed of chicken-hawk pussies, keyboard commandos, and anyone who hasn't lived in daily rage at how misdirected, criminal and, inept our response was/has been/is. I'll find Osama before George will. *note: not in Iraq. You Brits at least spoke up and put on a protest, but damn if your PM isn't bending over for a good buggering from our boy to_this_day.

Hard to respect or follow an ostrich with it's head in the sand. Especially if said ostrich's dearleader has his head up his ass.

whew.

I suck too because all I do is absorb media and distill it into the occassional rant. And I vote. Voting still counts doesn't it? I should get a blog!

[insert witty opinion about something that has yet to be discussed to death here, delete the remainder].

Kthxbye
posted by HyperBlue at 9:52 PM on July 27, 2006


I'm just sad.
posted by taosbat at 9:57 PM on July 27, 2006


mk1gti, I'm afraid you're sinking deeper into irrelevance. So you aren't grandstanding because you know people who were somehow involved in something that wasn't 9/11 or even the Iraq war. Something that isn't relevant to the tragedy of this man's death or the ensuing debate over the video's taste. That's supposed to make me take less issue with you and others being irrelevant and offtopic for political purposes?

Thanks for sneaking the "Google is your friend" at the end though, good to see you assume I don't know anything.

I really didn't want to preface my comment yet again but I suppose I'll tack this on: yeah, civilian casualties in Iraq are a tragedy. War is tragedy. Hurricanes are tragedies. Bush lying and people dying is a tragedy. The remake of Mr. Deeds is a tragedy. There are tragedies all over the fucking place. Let's not talk about the one at hand and instead talk about every other one we can stretch some ideologically-serving purpose out of.
posted by rob paxon at 9:57 PM on July 27, 2006


After seeing mathowie's callous treatment of bardic I think it's pretty clear what's going on here.

Yeah. You're a candle in the wind.
posted by c13 at 9:57 PM on July 27, 2006


It is a shame it isn't a video of a similar sort of death in, say, Lebanon or Israel.

9/11 is done. Can't change that.

But horrific shit like this is happening every goddamn day in some countries, and we're collectively doing sweet-fuck-all about it.

If the first-world nations would get serious about making peace, we'd have it.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:01 PM on July 27, 2006


HyperBlue just blew up the spot. I don't know what I think of the comment but it certainly made my intoxicated mind whirl.

P.S. Totally should get a blog, I hear those things are killer.
posted by rob paxon at 10:05 PM on July 27, 2006


"my innocent victim penis is bigger than yours"

damn, people ... this is a drag
posted by pyramid termite at 10:05 PM on July 27, 2006


One of the reasons that this clip, in my opinion, needs to be available is that it's real. Its a little slice of the larger reality of that day, which is itself a little slice of the reality of the world we're living in. We have the opportunity to see the unedited, undiluted horrific facts that underly our understanding of the world without the distortion of bias or commentary. How we, how you as a citizen of the world use this access is entirely up to you.

You're free to watch or not watch it, you're free to turn this thread into a battleground over whose pet political group is more opressed, that won't change the events that happened or the state of the world except to waste a few more electrons on pointless bickering.
posted by Skorgu at 10:08 PM on July 27, 2006


It isn't the size of the boat in the ocean, it's the amount of people in it when the ocean rocks it the fuck over, pyarmid termite.
posted by rob paxon at 10:08 PM on July 27, 2006


My point here rob paxon is that everything has a connection, as did the incidents that happened in the Six Day War and before and after. The fact that 9-11 is connected, very strongly I might add, to one of the many incidents of U.S. imperialism ( and every other kind of imperialism) is, despite what you may say, relevant. How long before central and south America wander into the picture? The Philippines? Vietnam? China? Russia?
There is no grandstanding, just blowback. That is the relevant thing here. Innocent lives caught in blowback. The people in the twin towers didn't sign onto this, neither did those on a ship in the Mediterranean long ago, nor did Afghanis struggling against the Taliban or the Northern Alliance or Pakistan. Yet here we all are, arguing away on a Me-Fi thread while people in China live in worker dorms making goods for Wal-Mart so we can all have cheap crap. Banana Republic, GAP, Nike, Adidas, World Cup Soccer.
How long before all that becomes irrelevant and the well-being of all becomes the central issue?
posted by mk1gti at 10:13 PM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


9-1-1 recordings are public records of intensely private moments of people in distress, people in fear, people expecting to die. Using them to horrify, to manipulate emotions for ideological reasons, is I think a violation of the caller's privacy, and in this case a desecration of the caller's last moments.

Well said.

I watched it long enough to hear the first few words spoken, then got the hell out of there. I don't need to listen to that tape to imagine how those people died, or how they felt.
posted by jokeefe at 10:19 PM on July 27, 2006


so i guess just me in a fishing boat would be cool with you, right?

sheesh ... i guess the lesson here is if you want people to feel sorry about your passing, make sure that a lot of other poor bastards go with you, especially if it involves someone doing it for a political motive ... and you get a gold star if the usa's done it

i've just had an epiphany ... we don't have to worry about the terrorists doing it to us ... give us time ... we'll do it to ourselves

we are far less worthy of our american inheritance than our grandparents were ... and this discussion is a symptom of that
posted by pyramid termite at 10:22 PM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


we are far less worthy of our american inheritance than our grandparents were ... and this discussion is a symptom of that
- pyramid termite -

And it gets worse year by year. That's my experience. Welcome to my world, adult since 1978 *groan*
posted by mk1gti at 10:27 PM on July 27, 2006


As I listened/watched, I snarked to myself what a petulant bitch the caller sounded like. Then I remembered being trapped under a car in my garage, and I screamed like a little girl. And then "Oh god..." and, yeah. Jesus. I hate the Bush administration as much as the next lefty if not more, but couldn't y'all keep the politics at bay for once?
posted by notsnot at 10:27 PM on July 27, 2006


The fact of the matter is that nobody is innocent. Someone is going to kill or be killed in your name. That is the human condition. Personally I am not going to listen to this thing because I still have lingering 9/11 trauma and I welcome everyone who was not within listening or viewing distance to try to share that, but not to kid yourself about the actual impact, I know I don't.

Frankly I am amazed by people who can go through the daily occurance of violence and death and still go on. Certainly the innocent people who died in the WTC that day have had a thousandfold killed in their name and the people who die in Lebanon and Israel and Iraq tomorrow will have a thousandfold to carry them into the afterlife, we will never run out of revenge or excuses to kill, all praise to God for that.

I consider myself a tough guy, in the limited sense that I am a realist, well schooled in the history of man's inhumanity to man and with a decent amount of firsthand experience of violence and cruelty (considering I live in the first world and am not a first responder, a soldier or very poor) and I've always been able to function, but I ain't gonna listen to that dude die. I also firmly belive that this post shouldn't be deleted AND that the people who listened to it and shivered and felt anything should also listen to the death of someone who was a victim of American foreign policy, but then again I'm a humanist.

I wish everyone could realize at a basic level that human beings can't handle the capacity they have for killing and attempt to do better despite that (refuse to kill someone today!) but then again I'm an optimist at heart. I also put twenty bucks on the fifty to one shot every time I go to the track, as long as I remain alive I'm going to be a bit of a romantic, I guess. Please don't put my last moments on youtube though, that's just me, that's just the kind of mick I am.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:33 PM on July 27, 2006


rob paxon:
There's no need to hijack this thread to remind everyone how wrong the Iraq war is just to scratch your political backside.


Are you overlooking the connection GWB drew between 9/11, al Qaeda, and Saddam? Or maliciously ignoring it?

You whine as if folks are dragging some completely random axe in here to grind, conveniently forgetting that a purported causal link is what brought us from 9/11 into Iraq.

I think you can cut back on the righteous indignation. There's a relationship there. Or better yet, redirect your righteous indignation toward the Texan cock up your ass.
posted by scarabic at 10:41 PM on July 27, 2006


So when do we hear the tapes from the 30,000 iraqi civilians we've killed?

What's stopping you from going over there and telling their stories? Ahhh. That's right. You don't really care that much.


Whaaat? Is someone supposed to circle the world doing relief work before they can have an opinion about the issues at stake? Give me a break.
posted by scarabic at 10:45 PM on July 27, 2006


Is someone supposed to circle the world doing relief work before they can have an opinion about the issues at stake?
-scarabic-

It's actually one of the things in my life I am giving serious consideration to these days, after which I will probably. . . STFU
(speaking for myself only, by the way). I am feeling very humbled by the events reverberating worldwide these days and it is generating much food for thought. Perhaps too much, being the glutonous types americans are known for. . .
Perhaps it's time to consider a much more simpler and less voracious, usorious lifestyle. . .
Perhaps it's time to wander the earth giving aid to the needy instead of stealing that aid from them, then taking the juicy bits and tossing the remainder over one's shoulder. . .
posted by mk1gti at 10:53 PM on July 27, 2006


You whine as if folks are dragging some completely random axe in here to grind

it's been my impression that the completely random axes posting in here are grinding themselves

good night
posted by pyramid termite at 10:57 PM on July 27, 2006


Divine_Wino: The fact of the matter is that nobody is innocent. Someone is going to kill or be killed in your name. That is the human condition.

Actually, that's the American condition, in 2006. Not that many countries are killing people nowadays, at least in such big numbers.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:58 PM on July 27, 2006


I watched this video and felt nothing. What do I win?

I mean, it was sad, sure, but I didn't want to cry or throw up or anything. I mean, did you expect him to live at the end?
posted by Eideteker at 11:06 PM on July 27, 2006


9-1-1 recordings are public records of intensely private moments of people in distress, people in fear, people expecting to die. Using them to horrify, to manipulate emotions for ideological reasons, is I think a violation of the caller's privacy, and in this case a desecration of the caller's last moments.

I don't necessarily disagree with you on that point.

I'm wondering if the people who knew and loved Kevin Cosgrove decided he would want his final words to be broadcast for the world to hear and that they may not have an ideological agenda. He was concerned about his wife, he gave the names of the people who were with him; he was thinking about other people while fighting to survive in hell. Maybe his family and friends want people to know what a good guy he was. Maybe they have no doubt that he'd want everyone to know the horror of what sounds like when someone is killed in an attack. Any attack, any war, any side, member of the military or innocent civilian, with no media spin. It's all gruesome.
posted by Dinzie at 11:17 PM on July 27, 2006


It's damn funny, Eideteker, I finally caved in and watched it and I had exactly the same reaction. What's the big fucking deal? To him? Well, his problems are a thing of the past. To his family, friends? Huge fucking deal. To me? I've seen and heard electronic representations of many horrible things, and as far as emotional response goes nothing comes even remotely close to the fear I felt, that morning, knowing my wife was on a fucking airplane while it was all going down. And that is the selfishness, the short-sightedness, the horror and doom of the human condition, multiplied by 6.6 odd billion to make this shithole chaos of beggars on foot, of beggars on horseback we call modern civilization. And while I believe in my heart that every human being on earth is afflicted by the same disease, I will nonetheless happily concede moral superiority to each and every asshole with an "answer" who precedes me in this pointless trainwreck. When you figure out just exactly what it is I'm supposed to do about it do drop me an email and let me know.
posted by nanojath at 11:28 PM on July 27, 2006


Youtube is down for maintence. People shouldn't be shielded from the horrors of the real world, IMO. It is painful to watch because the real world is a painful place. Rather then simply hiding those things from people, you should work to make sure the world is safer, for everyone.
posted by delmoi at 11:50 PM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


.
posted by The Monkey at 2:14 AM on July 28, 2006


In agreement with delmoi's sentiment.

Separately: "Shortly after September 11, 2001, NPR's Lost & Found Sound brought together radio producers, artists, historians, archivists, and the public broadcasting community to collect and preserve audio traces of the World Trade Center, its neighborhood and the events of 9/11. Lost & Found Sound and NPR set up the Sonic Memorial phone line (877-894-8500) to record your stories and collect audio contributions."
posted by NYCinephile at 2:41 AM on July 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


This is obviously still too raw for more than a few of us.

I suppose if I hadn't seen, in person, the towers come down and heard the anguished screams of those standing with me on 6th avenue with me, I might have been inclined to watch this. As it is, I have no interest whatsoever. It's not like I need to be reminded about that day - the feelings of loss, of terror, anger at the bastard terrorist for performing such a stupid and senseless act, anger at my government for not protecting us, disgust at the tv news for playing it over and over again, and so on. -- I still have nightmares about it (though a lot less than I used to, I had them every night for a year following 911).

I suppose for those that were not personally affected by it, and only saw the whole thing unfold from a safe distance on tv, and did not live in the aftermath of it (the weeks of acrid smells, the concrete detritus and papers flying everywhere, consoling friends who looking in vain for lost family members and friends, trying to do something to help, but being told to go home), this has some value and is a worthwhile post. I'll never know, however.
posted by psmealey at 3:33 AM on July 28, 2006


in 2002 over 20,000 people died on american highways.
posted by quonsar at 4:26 AM on July 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


After watching this I'm still trying to figure what's more traumatic: the events of 9/11 or how the American government handled it afterwards.
posted by gsb at 4:34 AM on July 28, 2006


This thread is Metafilter at it's unfucking believably worst. This discussion has become a complete trainwreck.
posted by tgrundke at 4:37 AM on July 28, 2006


Quonsar, do you have some video links for those deaths ?
posted by Pendragon at 4:40 AM on July 28, 2006


Remember, kids: when Americans die it's the BIGGEST TRAGEDY EVER and five years on we can't even bear to listen to it. When Arabs/Africans/whatever die, well, that's politics, man. If this upsets you, footage of people getting bombed in the Middle East should upset you equally, you damn hypocrite.
posted by reklaw at 4:40 AM on July 28, 2006 [3 favorites]


He's just a guy, a regular guy, hoping to get home to his family, and keep his shit together in a horrifically frightening situation. All of those who are complaining that this somehow cheapens the deaths of all the Iraqis, and Lebanese, and Israelis, and Spanish, and English, and every single other fucking human being who has been killed in this bullshit both before and after 9-11 is missing the point. We're all that guy. Listening to his voice reminds us of that.

I cried while listening to this, and it reminded me of how hopeless and lost I felt that day. And for the record, I have my "real life experience 9-11 card" for those of you who think that makes some kind of difference in whether I'm allowed to have an opinion.
posted by miss tea at 4:50 AM on July 28, 2006


Divine_Wino: The fact of the matter is that nobody is innocent. Someone is going to kill or be killed in your name. That is the human condition.

Actually, that's the American condition, in 2006. Not that many countries are killing people nowadays, at least in such big numbers.


Hee, hee. Yeah man, personally it's been exhausting to fly around the world from Darfur to Columbia to Lebanon to Chechnia to the FUCKING CONGO where as an American I killed 3.8 million people and only stopped for a minute to catch my breath in 2003. Other than counting coup at your pleasure and relief at not being American, Stinkycheese I don't know what to tell you, read a newspaper some time I guess.
posted by Divine_Wino at 5:22 AM on July 28, 2006


If this upsets you, footage of people getting bombed in the Middle East should upset you equally, you damn hypocrite.

Where the fuck did that come from? Was anyone here claming they are not equally upset by that? Was anyone here claiming that an American life was worth any more or less than an Arab, Congolese, Phillipino or Vietnamese life?

I appreciate your wanting to howl in wilderness on a point that I generally do agree with -- I do think most Americans don't care enough about that our foreign policy (miltary acitivity) is shattering lives and limbs overseas -- but I'm not sure what provoked this outburst, or even how that relates to this topic.
posted by psmealey at 5:45 AM on July 28, 2006


Remember, kids: when any human being dies, it should have the exact same effect on you, or you're a hypocrite. If you cry when your grandmother dies, but not for every person crushed by vending machines this year, then damn your eyes. If your neighbor dying has more of an effect on you than the passing of Aaron Spelling, you are a poor excuse for a human being.

I'm sorry, but a tape of a person begging for his life in a language I can understand, my language, is extremely moving. I imagine many here, especially Americans, especially New Yorkers, find 9/11 to be one of the key tragic moments of their lives. Unless every single bombing that's occurred in your lifetime has stricken you with sick fear, made you afraid to fly, literally changed your life and your self permanently, please can the sanctimonious crap.

If someone was to put up a post about tragic deaths anywhere (which you can all do, natch), my response would not be to try to undermine it with my own grief. And instead of cheapening the specter of a man dying young and afraid by playing one-upsie, can't we just listen, be shamefully awed by the results of man's inhumanity to man, and let it strengthen our inner knowledge that life is brief and fraught with danger, that we should do what we can to make it less so (including, yes, not getting involved in dumb, deadly wars, but not only that), and that we should call our mothers right now?

Which I'm going to do right now.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:46 AM on July 28, 2006 [2 favorites]


In other words Stinkycheese moral calculus is bad math and yes indeed the American condition is the leading cause of pain and blood in the world, you are correct, I do my best to resist that condition every day, not having the luxury of living in a utopian state of innocence by virtue of accident of geography. Be safe and be well.
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:21 AM on July 28, 2006


And our opinions on this matter are just as valid as yours. Bardic didn't think so, and that's the reason he got banned.

That's not why he got banned.
posted by psmealey at 6:28 AM on July 28, 2006


Someone sat down with a computer and edited two pieces of disparate footage — the death victim's phone call and the fiery building — so that the timing of the building's collapse and the victim's dying words were perfectly aligned.

This work of exploitative voyeurism is perhaps as real as Oliver Stone's World Trade Center. In both cases, the next day, we don't really care too much about Cosgrove or Cage, and we've probably already moved on to consume the next bit of shockmedia.

Forget Ballard's "The Secret History of World War 3", the real cultural singularity we've reached is a nation of complete strangers, waiting and willing to hear each other's dying gasps via QuickRealMedia.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:34 AM on July 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


This is completely inappropriate and absolutely worthless material, and I am frankly disillusioned and disgusted with the moderation for allowing it to exist as it stands. You don't need to give me a month off for holding that view, I'll be taking it myself.

Forget Ballard's "The Secret History of World War 3", the real cultural singularity we've reached is a nation of complete strangers, waiting and willing to hear each other's dying gasps via QuickRealMedia.

Indeed. What can be accomplished here aside from indulging in inappropriate voyeurism? There's no flexibility here, this isn't a history lesson, there's no functional relationship between this footage and the contextual import of that days events. Ridiculous, disgusting, and absolutely abhorrent.

This is precisely what these sites are for, getting out the truth of events without authority or media spinning it or shielding it for us. Major media will not show the towers collapsing on the news as a policy.

That was simultaneously the most intensely hilarious and absolutely pathetic thing I have read all day. Bravo, all around. I don't participate in glib dismissal too frequently, but really... good show, MeFi. I am beyond impressed.
posted by prostyle at 7:28 AM on July 28, 2006


I actually kind of agree with Blazecock Pileon (oy, I feel bad typing that in this thread). Most people would probably watch this and move on; yes, the immediate emotional reaction would be strong, but I'd guess that would fade quickly, and really nothing comes of it. It is exploitation more than anything. I'm not necessarily saying it's "inappropriate" or anything like that, just that, in the end, it's basically worthless. There are better things people could do with their time than watching things like this, such as actually reading in depth into the causes, the fallout, and the intricacies of the whole situation.

You don't need to give me a month off for holding that view, I'll be taking it myself.

Oh please, that's not why bardic was banned. Go read metatalk.
posted by Stauf at 7:44 AM on July 28, 2006


This is completely inappropriate and absolutely worthless material

Do you really believe that? It's worthless material? I honestly can understand either viewpoint on its appropriateness w/r/t MetaFilter, but I really cannot comprehend how anyone can listen to this and find it worthless.

*Shows his "Saw 9/11 with my own eyes" card, so as not to upset those who use theirs to justify a superiority complex*
posted by rollbiz at 7:58 AM on July 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


This was horrible. I'm staying out of the argument about it's appropriateness, because others have said more or less what I think and I see no need to repeat it.

What I found interesting in the back-and-forth about "you weren't there, you can't know" and "I didn't have to be there to be affected" was just this - it wasn't just New York.

People here on MeFi talked about seeing the buildings go down, hearing the screams of the people on 6th Avenue, but Washington DC was unbelievably chaotic as well. I'm not going to say "worse" or compare, but I can't begin to express my feelings that day. Traffic was at a standstill. We heard a plane had flown into the State Department. We heard one was headed toward the White House and the Capital Building. The internet was locked, the phones didn't work, and no one knew what the fuck was going on. While all televisions stations had the Towers on constantly, in DC we couldn't get any news at all about what was happening right down the street. My family couldn't reach me, they couldn't get any news because of the enormity of the situation in New York, and I have never felt so helpless in my life.

Until I heard this 911 call. Now I feel helpless, and sad, and ashamed for having felt scared myself on that day, because I was in no way truly threatened, even though I didn't know that at the time.

I can't say I'm glad this was posted, but I am certainly not offended. And at least I didn't get called a "fucking c*nt". Well, today anyway.
posted by jennaratrix at 8:10 AM on July 28, 2006


Why is this recording an exploitative/innapropriate/worthless/pornographic document, but this photo isn't?

In this FPP people debate the ethics of the photographer, but there isn't any condemnation of the picture itself, although I see very little difference between it and Kevin Cosgrove's audio.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:24 AM on July 28, 2006


*Shows his "Saw 9/11 with my own eyes" card, so as not to upset those who use theirs to justify a superiority complex*

I apologize to everyone and no one particular if that's how my comment came across. Upon reading it again, it does seem like that, but that's not at all what I meant. Personally, I'd trade anything not to have those memories (Spotless mind, anyone?), they hardly make me feel superior.

My point, poorly made, was given my own personal experience, I felt no need whatsoever to look at the thing and be "moved" by it. I was plenty moved enough. Having said that, I wouldn't begrudge others the same if they are so inclined. Appropriate post? Not for me to say. It's complex, right?

But again, seeing Husker Du at the at the Knitting Factory in 1991? I can freely proclaim that I was there, man. That makes me one of the coolest cats you'll ever meet. But, being in NYC during 911? Uh. Not so much.
posted by psmealey at 8:26 AM on July 28, 2006


Husker Du at the at the Knitting Factory in 1991 Cabaret Metro in 1985.

Man, I screwed that up royally.
posted by psmealey at 8:27 AM on July 28, 2006


Alvy: It may not be a huge difference, but I think part of it has to do with the way in which everyone and their mother were and are aware of the events of 9/11 and the sorts of people who died in the attack; the whole catastrophe was covered to death.

That photo, on the other hand (ethics conerning the photographer aside), depicts a problem that for many in the Western world (particularly in the U.S.) is much less a part of their collective conciousness. It represents an ongoing crisis that many would prefer not to even think about. To me, the video is kind of saying "Remember 9/11 a few years back? Here's some chilling video/audio from it", while the photo (at least to me) implies "Look at the desparity over there. This is happening right now." Mind you, I'm not saying the video is pure exploitation, cut and dried, while the photo is not. Just that I think there is a difference between the two that is worth noting.
posted by Stauf at 8:52 AM on July 28, 2006


I won't watch it, but I think it's preposterous to say it shouldn't be out there. People don't need to be shielded from actual records of violence -- they can shield themselves if they choose to, as I do in this case. To presume that there thos who choose to look at these documents are doing so for some sort of perverse or masturabatory reason is unfair -- I'm sure there are a million reasons for looking at such images, most completely valid, and a million responses that are equally valid. The post tells you exactly the contents of the video, and those who do not wish to click on it, like me, can steer clear of the damn thing. But I don't impugn those who found reason to listen to Cosgrove's last moments, and, from the sound of things, most who did were enormously moved by the recording.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:05 AM on July 28, 2006 [1 favorite]



I disagree with bardic’s position (Also banning, but whole other ball of wax and yes, name calling bad, out of line, not my board, etc.) but I see where he’s coming from. As Dinzie said - this clip in and of itself is with no media spin. And he’s right. But there is also already a societal prejudice on top of this. Bardic’s mistake (in reasoning, not in feeling) is the presumption that we can’t shed that prejudice impressed on us by Bushco - et.al. - so his position (apparently) is that through that lens this is porn. And he’d be right about that - given that we can’t lay aside those preconceptions - but we can.

And I think Dinzie (et.al) touched on the humanity of Kevin Cosgrove (as well as the violation of his privacy, which to some degree this is). My filter is being jaded. Death holds no surprises for me. I’ve seen plenty.
One of the things that makes such an impact for me from this clip (and I’ll probably take some shit from people who don’t get what I’m trying to say here) is that raw humanity. Cosgrove is a jerk on this call.
The 911 operator is trying to help and he’s kind of being irrational and a dick. But that’s what hit me as the reality when he cried out and died. He wasn’t the noble charactature of a victim that we’ve gotten used to hearing about and seeing. He was an irrational jerk. And he was being one because he was scared out of his wits. And anyone who’s been around anyone dying will tell you that you lend strength and empathy to the weaker ones than you do to the braver ones. Because those are the ones that need you. It is that shared humanity, that raw irrationality, that unreasoning fear, that makes us reach out. And everyone at times is braver or weaker or irrational.
Bardic is a good example here. He feels so strongly about this that he just lost it. It doesn’t justify anything. It just shows us the depth of his feeling.
In the same way Cosgrove is thinking about his kids and couldn’t give a shit whether he’s being rational or abusing the 911 operator or whatever. And people do that because they are in need of our strength. And I respect the 911 operator because she pretty much just gave it to him. She tried to distract him from his fear by asking about the others there, etc. I’m sure there are other techniques, but that was his last human connection before he died. It’s important to remember that we - “we” I say because we put systems in place exactly for people in this kind of position - we were there for him.

To be honest I felt fury seeing this. I wanted to hurt someone for doing this. That’s my weakness. (So I empathise with losing it bardic style). But that’s often a defense mechanism so we don’t have to feel that connection. Some folks don’t need to see it, some do - whatever. But I think it is important to examine how you react to it without those filters or labels like ‘hero’ and such. And to remember the basic humanity of picking up the phone when someone calls you.
I think it was Vonnegut who said there is no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire truck. There are far more people in the world willing to help than there are fanatics. And that basic human empathy is something that cannot be taken away or given to us by the media or any politician. It is not something to be glamorized or denigrated and I’d argue that it really can’t be. Cosgrove was guy no different than me, and that’s why we have fire trucks and 911 operators. And that’s worth remembering and that’s what I remembered seeing this.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:06 AM on July 28, 2006 [8 favorites]


Just that I think there is a difference between the two that is worth noting.

The difference is that one was a lot closer to home than the other. But just because 911 was a lot closer to YOUR home, does not make it any more sacred than any of the other vidos and pictures that people have posted here. When the tsunami hit, we've watched the vidos of the waves coming in. I don't recall anyone decrying the coarsness and insensitivity of MeFi. Nor do I recall that in the posts with linked C-130 gunship videos. Where were you all then? Is the footage of a towelhead getting blown apart one of those "better things people could do with their time than watching things like this" Stauf has in mind? Man, that horse you guys are on is so high I'm surprised you getting enough oxygen.
posted by c13 at 9:18 AM on July 28, 2006


Remember, kids: when Americans die it's the BIGGEST TRAGEDY EVER and five years on we can't even bear to listen to it. When Arabs/Africans/whatever die, well, that's politics, man. If this upsets you, footage of people getting bombed in the Middle East should upset you equally, you damn hypocrite.
posted by reklaw at 6:40 AM CST on July 28 [+fave] [!] 2 users marked this as favorite


Who said it doesn't?

It has nothing to do with this being an American dying which makes it a tragedy.

This is about a human being dying a violent, frightening death, and it is indeed a tragedy. If given an opportunity to hear a recording of someone burning to death in a shelled munitions factory in Iraq, I wouldn't listen to that either.

It's heinous. It's gruesome. I don't have to have a sound recording to "remind" me that people die terrible deaths sometimes.

To other people, it helps to see or hear it, to somehow experience it, to shake them out of their insulated stupor. If this helps them really understand the tragedy, then so be it.

Like I said above, it's complicated. It strikes me as both important and profane.

Stauf: one is news, the other is commentary. That's why it seems different to you. I agree its kind of hard to isolate the difference. I am glad that photo exists, but I don't have a print of it on my wall. I am glad this recording exists, but I don't need to listen to it.

Also, in the MeTa thread, c13 called bardic a "fucking drama queen" and bardic responded "dumb fucking cunt". Yes one is a bit more coarse than the other but it was certainly provoked. Matt punishing one and not the other is bullshit. That was a "mutual time-out" if I ever saw one.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:29 AM on July 28, 2006


Related: The New York Times has oral histories of September 11 by firefighters, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians (previously).
posted by kirkaracha at 9:36 AM on July 28, 2006


c13, wtf? I never said anything about 9/11 being more "sacred". I have no idea where you're getting that; I assume you're reading other people's screeds into mine. I never said anything about this being inappropriate to post or watch. Just that I don't see it as particularly useful. I only noted what I saw as the difference between the video and the photo. And "MY" home? 9/11 has been EVERYWHERE. Every year there's some sort of "we never forget" thing. I simply noted that the photo that Alvy mentioned was not only less of a presence in the consciousness of most people, but that the problem depicted was also more immediate in nature. That's it.

I'm on no high horse; I'm just giving my opinion on the subject at hand. Seriously, what's with all the disdainful rhetoric? I mean, come on, "towelheads"? How provocative....

On preview: Ynoxas, point taken. Bardic was admittedly in a tough spot and seemed to be lashing out at a lot of people; prime conditions for a meltdown. I suppose many of us need to calm down a bit.
posted by Stauf at 9:42 AM on July 28, 2006


Matt punishing one and not the other is bullshit. That was a "mutual time-out" if I ever saw one.

At least bardic said he was outta here for a month before Matt stepped in with his typically uneven moderation. Kinda hard to meaningfully ban someone who's already on vacation from this joint.
posted by zarah at 9:46 AM on July 28, 2006


Please, he trolled this thread three times before giving up and going to MeTa, and then freaks when his drama queenery is called out. As it is, I believe the dude was moving or going on vacation anyway, so he knew he could be a prick and 'take a stand' without it actually costing him anything.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:49 AM on July 28, 2006


I'm not talking just about you, Stauf, sorry if it sounded like that.
posted by c13 at 9:50 AM on July 28, 2006


This is about a human being dying a violent, frightening death, and it is indeed a tragedy.

Well, yeah -- didn't say it wasn't. The problem with 9/11 is the same as the problem with the Holocaust, in my eyes -- yeah, sure, it's a terrible thing that happened, but there's no need to wheel it out all the damn time as if it's the most terrible thing in all history. If you do, you just show your ignorance of the amount of tragedies there have been in the world.

Note: this isn't aimed at you specifically, so much as at the general 'blockbuster tragedy' phenomenon.
posted by reklaw at 9:59 AM on July 28, 2006


c13: Ah, I see.

Also, the thing about "better things people could be doing..." was admittedly poorly phrased. I don't mean to suggest that watching this video disqualifies a person from more meaningful thought or exploration of the subject. Just that this video seems to me to be a poor source for such understanding.
posted by Stauf at 10:06 AM on July 28, 2006


I forgot to mention that in looking at that picture of the child in the Sudan, I died a little inside.

Please understand, dear reader, I'm not being melodramatic. I felt a bit of myself wither at the sheer horror of that picture.

And that's what it is, horror. Horror for that one child, and the multitudes she represents.

Perhaps it's because I have a toddler that it strikes me so. But it does. It hurts my heart, as the saying in this part of the country goes. And reading about the sheer scope of things like this makes me die a little more.

I literally don't know what to do. I give money to charitable societies, but it is a drop in the bucket. I think for a minute about something like this happening to my child and it makes me want to scream and cry at the same time.

Things like this make me wish more than ever that there is a God and a Heaven, so that little girl may have a place of happiness after this depraved world.

But, instead, it reminds me ever more that there is no God, no benevolent father, no magical man in the sky to watch after you.

And if I'm wrong and there actually is, when I meet him, I'm going to kick him square in the balls for what he did to that girl. His eye may be on the sparrow, but he needs to pay attention to his children suffering here on earth.
posted by Ynoxas at 10:09 AM on July 28, 2006 [4 favorites]


For my part, I believe there is a God, ynoxas. I just don't think he or she gives a fuck what happens to any of us.
posted by psmealey at 10:16 AM on July 28, 2006


I'm not saying the vido is great and everybody should watch it, Stauf. Nor will it open up great new vistas of understanding. Its just that hypocritical comments like this: This is completely inappropriate and absolutely worthless material, and I am frankly disillusioned and disgusted with the moderation for allowing it to exist as it stands. rub me the wrong way. We've had just about everything on this site. Pictures of a guy fucking a chicken, pictures of dead babies, body parts, pictures and videos of WTC collapsing... To assume a third position and lament about the inappropriatness of this particular link or lash out at anyone who disagrees is just dishonest, in my opinion.
posted by c13 at 10:29 AM on July 28, 2006


Wait a second. Chicken fucking?

I'm sorry, but that really is beyond the pale. Let me ready my animated angry chicken head descending from ceiling cat's hole.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:35 AM on July 28, 2006


Ask Jessamyn about it sometimes.
posted by c13 at 10:40 AM on July 28, 2006


Pictures of a guy fucking a chicken...

I didn't realize that by not viewing and commenting on such a display I was in tacit approval of such material, thank you for the update.

pictures of dead babies...

Actually, you get banned for that one.

To assume a third position and lament about the inappropriatness of this particular link or lash out at anyone who disagrees is just dishonest, in my opinion.

Thank you for questioning my honesty, it's really the integral crux of the situation. You really saw right through my (obviously transparent) efforts as I deftly projected my eloquent sophistry upon the masses, and I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for you meddling kids fucking drama queens.
posted by prostyle at 10:41 AM on July 28, 2006


It's tomorrow and I'm still here, sad to say.

When I was young, I believed we could create much good. I really thought we had it in us to redress our greedy, violent history by creating humane institutions.

I am no longer young. I lived to see my nation, which imbrued me that young hope, dash my delusion.

I'm stuck with the knowledge that I have not done enough, nor what was needed. I don't know what I'll do next. I only know that it must be better than what I have done before if I am to redeem myself.

I am sadder reading this thread than I was watching the video. It's cold comfort to find a very few, like Smedleyman, capable of honestly confronting themselves living in the world.
posted by taosbat at 10:45 AM on July 28, 2006


.
posted by dov3 at 10:54 AM on July 28, 2006


Quonsar, do you have some video links for those deaths ?

they show em to drivers ed students and drunk driving recidivists. traffic porn, ya know.
posted by quonsar at 10:55 AM on July 28, 2006


Well, prostyle, maybe I'm missing something. Please explain to me the difference between this, and the current post.
posted by c13 at 11:02 AM on July 28, 2006


I'd like to thank the dozens of people who made my new sockpuppet choice possible by personally inspiring me.
posted by flag it and shut up at 11:18 AM on July 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


I apologize to everyone and no one particular if that's how my comment came across. Upon reading it again, it does seem like that, but that's not at all what I meant. Personally, I'd trade anything not to have those memories (Spotless mind, anyone?), they hardly make me feel superior.

psmeasley, you were the person I was least referring to with my comment. It was more the bardic "How dare you have an opinion...I was THERE!"...

I have a collection of videos, pictures (mine), and audio from that day and the aftermath. I was there as a volunteer for about 2 weeks. I couldn't honestly explain why I keep these things, but it does have something to do with remembering what it felt like.

I blocked it out for awhile afterwards. I felt nothing. I couldn't have kept going if I had let myself. But I want to remember now, I have to...It'll eat me alive if I don't. I don't know what else to say.

The point of my rambling is that, like any other source of grief, we all deal with it differently. Or sometimes we don't deal with it. I don't really fault anyone for their reactions above, with the exception of those who have told others how they should feel or how entitled they are to grieve in their own personal way.
posted by rollbiz at 11:50 AM on July 28, 2006


Sorry if this will come off as long/rambling/derail/unnnecessary/irrelevant...

I was there, which gives me no amount of superiority, but does mean that I was a lot closer to it than most people, though there are many who were, sad to say it for them, even closer. It doesn't make my opinions on the event, or my thoughts on the subsequent foreign policy, any weightier than anyone else's, but it probably does make my account somewhat more valuable than someone who watched it on television in Idaho.

The thing about that morning was simply that, as far as I can think, there was no way to comprehend it in any meaningful way as it was happening. I woke up to my roommate shouting at his friend (who needed to get up to catch a flight) that a plane had just flown into the WTC. So my first thoughts of the day were, "that's a sick fucking way to wake him up."

After seeing that it was, in fact, not a joke, and not an amateur cessna, and watching the second tower get hit, I ran out into the streets. From there, I saw the first tower fall, and my thought was, "It's okay, it's okay. We've still got one of them." My brain wouldn't allow me to see the human death involved, so I hung my hopes on the structures. Obviously those hopes were dashed a few minutes later.

Deadened, I wandered the streets for a while, trying to figure out what I should be doing. I was able to reach my parents on the cell phone they had just bought for me not a week before, and then I called my other family members as well. I never considered how many people I was preventing from reaching theirs.

The streets were packed with people just like me, wandering. Occasionally you'd get people shouting Hossanna that the end was near, or Gap Empolyees rushing to stock card tables with water outside their stores. This was in Midtown. Nobody knew what they were supposed to be doing.

Because I had an NYU ID, I was one of the "lucky" few who were allowed below 14th St, and so I went to stay at my friend's place in the East Village, which had become a sort of way-station for everyone we knew in the area. One girl was screaming and flipping out because she couldn't get in touch with her friends, and of course none of us had any idea what to say to her.

I managed to get in touch with my best childhood friend, in Texas, once my thoughts finally came around to that. He nearly broke down in tears. He had been having to run a College Station local news affiliate all day, and the last address he had from me was a few blocks from the WTC. He had been running the footage for fifteen hours without knowing whether I was alive or dead.

After we had gotten our fill of rewatching the footage, but with still no idea of how to process it, my friend Dan put on "America" by Simon & Garfunkle, and we stepped out onto the fire escape with some beers and cigars, toasting to, "the end of the world." This all made sense at the time. WHen the girl started to truly break down, Dan went inside to try to help out, leaving me out there with Ben Curtis (the Dell Dude, not that it matters, but it just adds to how surreal the day was.)

Ben went in to run to the john, and I stayed out there, looking down over the eerilly empty streets, until I saw a mother and daughter, grasping eachother's hands, dancing and spinning eastward on 12th. The girl couldn't have been older than five, and was laughing her head off, while the mother cried.

The mother was doing everything she could, going against every baser instinct, just to shield her daughter from the horrors around her. And that image will be the one that stays with me until I die.

Aristotle asked in Poetics, "Why is it that when we see a dead body on the street, we have one reaction, but when we see it on stage we have another?" Robert McKee posits that the answer is that on stage (or screen) event and meaning are combined.

I didn't want to watch the link, and I did it anyway. I feel sick, but I'm glad I watched it, because it helped me get a sense of understanding that living through the event had robbed me of. I hated it, but I needed it.

My understanding was this: We all go out, and do what we can. We do our jobs even though we hate them, we go out of our way to do things for our loved ones, and we step up for our family and friends, because it's not worth the risk to think that anyone else will. We live our lives, imperfectly, but with the hope that we're doing some good. And then, because a man with influence needs to flex his muscles, our efforts can be dashed out without a thought about us personally.

It's been said above that humanity is fundamentally evil. I don't think that's true, but we are fundamentally tribal. All we can do is hope that the tribe one day grows to encapsulate all of us, and that until then, we can be free to live out our own, "smaller" lives.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:13 PM on July 28, 2006 [23 favorites]


Well, I watched it despite very good advice. It took me a long time to quit shaking.

Altho I wondered why he didn't hang up and call his wife, it is undoubtedly a very good thing she was not on the line with him at that moment. I hope she never sees this clip.

I hope that poor operator was able to get counseling.
posted by konolia at 2:18 PM on July 28, 2006


What Ynoxas said. And no matter what else has been said in this thread:

.
posted by greycap at 3:19 PM on July 28, 2006


in 2002 over 20,000 people died on american highways.

The Sun kills 60,000 a year.
posted by Mr_Zero at 3:25 PM on July 28, 2006


I started listening and watching--i had to stop.

. (x 2700+)
posted by amberglow at 3:48 PM on July 28, 2006


Thank you Navelgazer for sharing the story of the mother and daughter dancing on the street. So fucking tragic and beautiful at the same time.
posted by Ohdemah at 6:16 PM on July 28, 2006


Responding to Megafly post in the metatalk thread:

I found it interesting. The Operator was lying to him and telling him that rescue was coming at the same time the NYFD (sic) was starting to pull out.
posted by Megafly at 10:08 PM EST on July 27 [+] [!]

It was painful for me to read your statement and more painful still to see that false statement stand unchallenged before the thread was closed.

The FDNY was not starting to pull out. When the South Tower collapsed, two FDNY members were on the 78th floor coordinating rescue efforts. They both died.

Furthermore, in the moments before the South Tower collapsed, the commander of operations in the south tower, Donald Burns, is heard repeatedly calling for additional companies to respond.

Please, do some reading next time before you make such ignorant statements.

102 Minutes: Fighting to Live as the Towers Died

9/11 Exposed Deadly Flaws In Rescue Plan
posted by mlis at 6:28 PM on July 28, 2006


navelgazer, you have singlehandedly redeemed this thread ... thank you
posted by pyramid termite at 8:50 PM on July 28, 2006


In a thread this long, it is easy to get fatigued and miss a comment like navelgazer's. Thanks for mentioning it pyramid termite. I've never flagged a comment as a favorite before. I have now.
posted by spock at 12:37 AM on July 29, 2006


For Kevin Cosgrove: .

For his family: .

For the 911 operator: .

For everyone who's lost someone, regardless of how or when: .

And yes, navelgazer, you rock.
posted by bwg at 5:36 AM on July 29, 2006


First, I didn't watch the clip. I'm not going to.

Second, I don't think this thread is all that bad. I do think that it's a shame that it takes something emotionally close like this to engage people as fully and honestly as they should be about all such things, most of which are not as emotionally close. Sure, that's the way we're "built", but it's not something to sound almost proud about. I think we can aspire to better.

At any rate, a great weakness of the (mostly male) intellectualized and abstracted temperment that's drawn to discussions on MetaFilter is the worst-of-all-worlds disengagement of true, honest, gut caring from hyperbolic and vituperative rhetoric. If people are going to talk to each other as insultingly as we do around here, then I prefer it when there's connected human emotion behind it and not game-playing and posturing.

I think there's more honesty in this thread than most—and for that reason I think there's more potential.

Third, I find myself agreeing with most of the strongly expressed opinions in this thread, some of which are quite contradictory. Or so it seems.

We can argue about whether to give MeFites the benefit of the doubt, but can anyone seriously suggest that it's not the case that for a substantial number of viewers of this YouTube video it will be death porn? That is to say—and I think one failure of this conversation has been not to try to pin this concept down—that for some viewers this will not be educational, it will not be enlightening, it will not add anything to their understanding of anything except their own rollercoaster-horrormovie-pleasure sensation of having been near death and survived it? And maybe even some might argue that that, alone, might be morally neutral—yet there would still be the problem of the exploitation of Cosgrove for those purposes.

Bardic looked at this post and this is what he saw. I can look at this post and choose to see what he sees and I have the same reaction. What he sees isn't a lie. It's truth. But it's not the totality of the truth.

Similarly, I think it's important that we be witnesses to our shared reality, and our deaths are no exception. Particularly our deaths should be no exception because all our instincts tell us to look away. Look away from our own mortality, and as a consequence look away from the mortality of those lives which intersect ours, look away from the deaths of those which motivate our actions and which result from our actions. We live in a strange time when mediated and fictional narratives are by many orders of magnitudes the experiences of the world we live in by which we make many of our most important decisions, from who we decide to love, to how we expect to die, to who we trust to be our leaders. In this context, then, something that is relatively unadultered reality cannot be a bad thing.

Except insofar as we allow ourselves to tranform it into fantasy. Which is bardic's point.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:48 AM on July 29, 2006


I think anyone with an opinion on this thread should include the post title in their assessment.
posted by nthdegx at 12:46 PM on July 29, 2006


Navelgazer - thanks.
posted by trii at 4:37 PM on July 29, 2006


orthogonality, I'm glad you survived that horrific experience.
posted by nickyskye at 12:11 PM on July 30, 2006


I don't have a sound card at work so I haven't listened to this yet. I'm confused about why the "102 Minutes" article MLIS linked to mentions this:
At 9:38, Kevin Cosgrove, a fire warden for Aon, called 911, then rang his brother.
So was the recording being discussed here a second call by Cosgrove, or does it not end in his death but just sounds that way?
posted by etoile at 11:32 AM on July 31, 2006


Okay, I just listened to it. The video was cleverly timed - they show the tower collapse at the exact moment he starts screaming, but there's no proof that's what's happening to Cosgrove while he's on the phone. I believe this video, despite the URL being advertised, is actually exhibit P200017 from the Moussaoui trial, which is described as follows:
Recording of Kevin Cosgrove's last telephone call with a 911 dispatcher along with videotape of the outside of the South Tower (WTC 2) at the same time of the last call [This video runs 4 minutes, 53 seconds. Listener discretion is advised.]
There is no certain proof that the events were truly happening simultaneously. Obviously the prosecution put the audio together with that video, and then they are vague in saying "at the same time of the last call" - the last call, as in Cosgrove's last call? Or the last call anybody made? It's vague.

However, based on the time mentioned in the "102 Minutes" article (9:38), I am guessing that this recording is actually a second call by Cosgrove to 911. So it may very well have been during the actual collapse. But I don't think it's proven that it was...it seems to be, but I'm not sure it is.
posted by etoile at 2:57 PM on August 2, 2006


Pretty sure I'm talking to myself this late in the game, but I did want to mention that the prosecution's exhibit ST00004 mentions Cosgrove actually made three calls to 911 operators.
posted by etoile at 3:08 PM on August 2, 2006


nickyskye writes "orthogonality, I'm glad you survived that horrific experience."

Hey, thanks. But I didn't really want to highlight my own experience (which could have been a lot worse, I was pretty lucky), just point out that while 9/11 may be unique, death and the fear of death aren't.
posted by orthogonality at 8:14 PM on August 2, 2006


etoile: Good work! Too bad the person who created the video did not do as much due diligence. 102 Minutes, the book, is worth reading.
posted by mlis at 2:26 PM on August 7, 2006


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