Monday, September 04, 2006

captured from the inside

damn, this trying-to-sound-smrt smart shit is really tiresome and believe me, i've been trying to come up with something amazingly brilliant all day. hah! *in an Edna Krabappel voice* as fucking IF!

anyway, since it's all about me (take that Luke), i just wanna say that last night i forced myself to watch the Naudet Brothers' 9/11 flick, shown over 2,5 hours with only four breaks for adverts. i believe this was already on in the States; it's the one with Robert DeNiro doing the intro and some other narration. if you saw it already, quit reading now cause i have absolutely nothing new to add. but if y'all don't know, the Naudets just happened to be making a documentary on NYC firefighters and were assigned to Engine 7 Ladder 1 (WTC area) in early July 2001. then they ended up taking the only existent footage of the first impact, while it was happening, but later for that.

the following are my notes, at least the ones i can read today, which all were frantically and illegibly scribbled cause i just couldn't take it and was drinking my head off, et al.

i'm gonna skip the set-up in which they chose this one young fire-dude, so the Naudets could focus on him for their original story. anyway, fast forward to the evening of 10. september. we see absolutely beautiful footage of the WTC sh0t at sunset. gah, do i ever hate 'irony in retrospect' although that's been the story of my life (yes i know i'm veering off-topic here. i blame the ADD, actually). irony in retrospect is a pisser, apart from when it's not. anyway.

OK, the first adverts came on after the initial 25 minutes. good timing as i was about to scream after seeing the Towers in all their early evening long-shadowed glory. (nb: i hated them and all they stood for, before this.) took another V to calm my heart-rate, anxiety levels, frustration and to quit with the fucking weeping. and i'll take this opportunity to say that i'd like it to be known that i don't cry cause of what happened on Th' Day That Changed Ever'thin'. i cry for US all; for what's been done to US since then. had my second cVcV.

um, i don't think i can watch the rest of this. just sayin'. shit, it's back, along with my increasingly messed-up handwriting. early morning on 11. september and the Naudets were out with the firefighters and took some beautiful footage of the WTC on that gorgeous, clear-skied day. they're standing around, talking shit and all and then you hear this immense BOOM! an immediate pan up the WTC to the first burning tower and we can see Flight 11 still up there. many, many voices going 'holy shit' which, for some strange reason, were left in. but they bleeped out all the 'fucks.' i guess we in the UK got the cleaned-up, totally morally-approved US version. whatever.

then total chaos (apart from the firefighters) and thousands and thousands running wild in the streets. close-up footage of the burning Towers interspersed with the streets flooded with the thousands fleeing, some of whom are wounded and some of whom are covered in thick white dust. i feel ill again. then there's some overlaid original radio and TV news commentary, trying to describe the initial reactions and what the fuck is going on.

then the film alternated once again between the camera tilting back and forth between the WTC and the freaked out people on the street. most frequent comment: 'This is not happening...' i believe that, just about this time, the preznit mentioned he'd seen this first impact happen on TV before he read The Pet Goat, so all must've been good in the hood, at least with him. but i digress.

and then another tremendous BOOM and Naudet caught the second aeroplane hit. more wild in the streets: total fucking bedlam; incredulous faces, horror and fear but the best thing was the sense of community. Naudet caught strangers helping strangers, allowing others to use their cellphones and assisting the wounded down the street to the ambulances and medics present, all while introducing themselves to each other.

back to the lobby where the firefighters were stationed. and then we get to hear the sounds of falling bodies which were incredibly fucking loud as they hit the sidewalks just outside the lobby windows. each time that happened, there were these exchanged, horrified looks. one fire dude: 'How bad is it up there if the better option is to jump?'

then the screen went black. more adverts, another V and yet another cVcV. *to self* and thanks to Bart Simpson, i want my Flintstones Chewable Morphine, goddammit.

it's back --- the reason the screen went black is cause the South Tower collapsed, totally flooring Naudet et al. some radio or TV dude: 'it was 10,25. firefighters were standing in the shadow of Tower 1.' and then, KA-BOOM. we can see the camera's POV, lying on the floor and then going like haywire in the additional confusion which followed. he was forced to wipe his lens off many times, many many times.

20,32: first mention of the Travis Bickle of NYC mayors, Rudy G. then i passed out. note to the preznit: i wanna watch this with you and pause it at the good parts, y'know, to discuss. then i wanna interview your ass, goddamnit to hell.


rimone said...

i fucked up w/the last timestamp; i watched it for far longer than that. but i did pass out right after they began w/the voiceovers about saint rudy g (one of my many ego defence mechanisms).

then i woke up and wished i hadn't.

would be more but from page 4 of my notes on, it's like this scribbling w/weird abbreviations, the only ones i can discern being FFs (firefighters) and WTC.

LeeB said...

Rimone, were you in NYC that day? I can't imagine what it was like for people there on the scene. I was in shock, glued to CNN, and with the exception of the reaction to seeing KGB's mug when Andrew Card whispered in his ear, it is all a blur. FWIW, as the scales have fallen from so many eyes in the last five years, I would think having to relive it via a documentary (or even a graphically embellished 'fiction' movie) would be more difficult, not less, than it all was on the day it occurred.

You nailed it with "i don't cry cause of what happened on Th' Day That Changed Ever'thin'. i cry for US all; for what's been done to US since then."


rimone said...

i wasn't in nyc when it happened; i was in a small town in Illlinois, saying goodbye to my then-BF's family, right before our Big Adventure Going to Europe.

not wanting to linkwhore (for once) i'll send you links to my posts about it in mail. but lemme tell you, the two TVs were turned on to different channels at the Stepmonster's house in IL and she was going on and on 'thank god george bush is president.'

i was her guest so i didn't say anything. now, in light of everything that's happnened, i regret that muchly.

our Lufthansa flight to DE was originally on 9/11. when we'd woke up that morning, we were flying down her stairs to quickly leave and try to get to O'Hare in time. then it happened. we spent 5 days in hell there (while the bin Ladens, patriotic citizens they are, were all flown out).

i was frantic--my kitty Peter was alone in Brooklyn waiting to go and only had been given food for the 4 days we were supposed to be gone. it turned out he was fine thanks to a friend i'd given keys to at the last minute. but i didn't know that until 12. september cause some of the phones were fucked up in nyc and our friend wasn't getting my increasingly frantic emails.

what killed me was finally coming back the next week, coming up the subway and seeing the quickly photo-copied pictures of the missing all headed mostly w/'have you seen this person?' i cried from 5th and 23rd all the way over to Lexington Ave and then back again. these posters were on EVERY vertical surface. that was the only time i cried about what happened on that day.

there was a huge media thing going on at Union SQuare, which sickened the both of us. we tried to avoid it but needed to buy an emergency airmattress for cheap (no bed in my old flat as it was already packed in the transatlantic container). i cannot tell you how rudely we pushed aside EVERY media fuck who tried to ask us our 'reactions.' i mean, WTF?

when we finally booked the first Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt from JFK, we felt like we were escaping. thanks to bu$hCo, we left, not on 11. sept but on 20.

little did we know what was in store for all of US.

rimone said...

forgot to say that over here, they're calling it '9/11: the 5 year remembrance' or something like that, w/specials on every night. last night's was 'Al Qaeda: Time to Talk?'

somehow i cannot imagine programmes like the above on in the States. please someone tell me i'm wrong; i'd love to hear that Americans are at least seeing things like this w/a variety of views.

oldschool said...

..I'd love to hear that Americans are at least seeing things like this w/a variety of views."

You're kidding, right?

"On September 10 and 11, ABC/Disney will broadcast "The Path to 9-11, a 6-hour, two-part "docudrama" written and produced by conservative filmmakers who place a lion's share of the blame for the 9-11 terrorist attacks on alleged failures of the Clinton administration".

Why ABC? Who knows - I mean, Fox and NBC have been shown conclusively to be in the pocket of the admin - for the simple reason that they're huge corporations which do news only because they're forced to do news - but if that news can be slanted to support the pro-corpratiopn/big-business POV, then they're all-in. That which is good for their shareholders (and it might be argued that they have a fiduciary reponsibility to those shareholders) is good for Amerika, truth be damned. What could possibly boost their ratings more than the end-of-the-world nuclear attack of Iran?

Fascism is defined, among other things, as the dominance of corporate interests over those of the common man.

Fuck all y'all bitches, we gotta 'nother war to get goin' - it's good for ratings, and, well, if we all die in the process, we will at least have died rich.

rimone said...

'..I'd love to hear that Americans are at least seeing things like this w/a variety of views.'

oldschool: You're kidding, right?

from reading somewhere on Google the other night, i came across that CBS showed this on US TV back in march, i think i remember. i was surprised cause i thought that would've stuck w/me. dunno if it's true or not.

the version i saw the other night had 'extra added footage' to the one that supposedly was shown in the States.

rimone said...

forgot: i know about the ABC/Disney bullshit to be shown. one word: BOYCOTT /and/ boycott those who'll advertise on the coming monstrosity.

oldschool: Fuck all y'all bitches, we gotta 'nother war to get goin' - it's good for ratings, and, well, if we all die in the process, we will at least have died rich.

good one, dude. fuckers.

Kathleen said...


One the last page of Molly Ivins book Bushwhacked, she quotes Mussolini.

"Facism should more properly be called Corporatism since it is the merger of state and corporate power."


rimone said...

lol, Kathleen. 'busholini.' the only thing i'm thinking is, the inevitable explanation when asked to explain it by some of those back home and then afterwards:

'ohhhhh, like Mussolini.'

yeah, genius.

oldschool said...

Ooh - "Busholini" is really quite good. Now, I just have to instil in myself the self-control to not use it at every easy opportunity. It has been said, for quite awile now, that he who first reaches for the "Hitler metaphor" loses the argument. That was very much a true statement when made, back in the ancient past (what, maybe 8 months ago?) but things are evolving quickly. I'm thinking that 'Busholini" will fit into the national discourse quite nicely in, say, early to mid-October.

rimone said...

oldschool: he who first reaches for the "Hitler metaphor" loses the argument. That was very much a true statement when made, back in the ancient past (what, maybe 8 months ago?) but things are evolving quickly.

yeah, the Hitler metaphor loses the argument. apart from when it's sadly true.

sieg heil, y'all. Bart Simpson nailed it: 'it's F├╝hrer-ific'

Kathleen said...


Pleeze, feel free to say Busholini whenever it fits in with what you're saying. It's a little insulting to Mussolini who actually could think and talk
It started out as broken Italian-English for "Shrub", but you know, the petty dictator fits so well. Strutting his stuff.