September 11, 2003


Sheila O’Malley says it all. If you only read one thing today about September 11, make it this.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 11, 2003 04:31 AM

Whoa, there. I watched the same thing, and had precisely the opposite reaction.

O’Malley is totally exagerating.

Look, search the transcript yourself. The word "hubris" occurs only three times, all during the discussion of the buildings' design way back in the mid-1960's. These were discussions of the architectural design, as well as the decision to build such a large building where the real estate market didn't support it.

I'll admit (and I pointed it out in my post) that the term "globalization" (and related terms) occur an awful lot in the transcript, but the commentary clearly indicates that the attacks were completely unjustified. Much of the discussion of "globalization" is in the sense that the building had absurdly become symbols to crazy people.

I'm sorry, I think O’Malley is exagerating. How can she portray the show that way when the transcript includes this:

"A side of me was not believing it. It was a very strange blend of feelings. One was the sorrow, the horror at witnessing human life being obliterated for no reason like that. And I felt something beyond words. I felt almost an alive part of me being squeezed to nothing, being extracted, an evisceration almost."

and this:

"I was totally devastated by the fact that all those people were in there and this building that I had designed was perhaps falling on them. The buildings were not so important to me. I-I'm good at buildings, but people are another matter. It was a terrible event. Absolutely terrible."

and this:

"there was the mayor down at the site helping solve the way to think about it. When he was asked about how many casualties there would be, he said, "More than any of us can bear." That was the most important sentence by a public figure, because it put sorrow into the story, not just empty rage, not just, let's go kill somebody back, which a lot of people felt, including me."

Posted by: Mike Smith at September 11, 2003 at 05:28 AM

well, it's still sept 10th in ny. i'm sad to say that the weather is almost as beautiful now as it was in 2001; i'd really prefer a drizzle. i didn't watch that show, but i watched a cnn show on saturday and cried all over again.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at September 11, 2003 at 06:03 AM

I, too, watched the PBS show and Sheila has it right, imo. I've seen other shows dealing with the towers and what happened to them, some from an engineering perspective that were very clearly addressing what happened to the structures themselves, others dealing with the human asects. Difficult as they were to watch none of them made me angry in the way the PBS show did. I felt a tone of 'blame the victim' which disappoints me. I'd hoped for better from PBS.

Mr. Bingley, the weather here in Northern Virginia is beautiful as well. Odd, isn't it, how striking the memory of the glorious weather of that day is.

Posted by: Retread at September 11, 2003 at 06:32 AM

all the little details crystalize in one's mind

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at September 11, 2003 at 06:39 AM

I'm with Sheila, too. I found the documentary so infuriating, I had to switch it off.

Posted by: Emily at September 11, 2003 at 06:43 AM

Wait a minute. Aren't the tallest buildings in the world in Kuala Lampur? As far as I know that's not in the US. Yet.

Posted by: Full Auto at September 11, 2003 at 06:59 AM

ick; who'd want it?

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at September 11, 2003 at 07:03 AM

On Sheila's comments, Sheila and I have more or less agreed that our different reactions are typical of humans; just a little more focus on this or that. She agrees that the program had some good points, and I agreed that it some of the text may have been bad.

The opinion seems almost unanimous that the program included the largest concentration of horrific imagery shown of 9/11 on American TV for years, and that this was good.

Posted by: Mike Smith at September 11, 2003 at 07:41 AM

yes, The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur are, at 1,483 ft, now the tallest buildings in the world, and have been for some years.. At the time of September 11, the WTC were NOT the "tallest buildings in the world". A lot of people said they were, but Petronas had beat them in ... 1996 or something like that.

Posted by: red at September 11, 2003 at 07:42 AM

Oh, now, Sheila, just when we were playing all nicey-nice, you gotta go and say something like that.

As a native of the Windy City (which originally meant "City of Boasting"), I feel the need to inform you that the tallest building in the world is the Sears Tower in Chicago. See for yourself:

The "World Council on Tall Buildings" is probably all French or something.

Posted by: Mike Smith at September 11, 2003 at 08:12 AM

playing nicey-nice? what? I have never "played nicey-nice" in my life. i got my information from a CLEARLY flawed website. But here's another website, with an interesting quote:

"Even within "traditional buildings" there is some controversy. Conventionally, decorative structures count toward height, but antennas do not, giving the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, built in 1997, at 1,483 feet (452 m) each, the official lead. However, if rooftop antennas were included in the total height measure, the Sears Tower in Chicago would take first prize at 1,730 feet (527 m). Many Chicagoans also point out that their Sears Tower has the highest occupied floor, at 1,431 feet (436 m), and the highest traditional roof at 1,454 feet (443 m)."

Posted by: red at September 11, 2003 at 08:25 AM

Bugger that! If you read ONE thing today about September 11, make it THIS. Enjoy!

Posted by: Adam at September 11, 2003 at 01:52 PM

Enjoy? What a mind-numbingly stupid thing to say.

Perhaps you might like to read Christopher Hitchens.

(It's at Slate if the link doesn't work.)

Posted by: ilibcc at September 11, 2003 at 02:39 PM