Monday, 7 September 2009

TV: 9/11: Phone calls from the Towers

Why are we drawn to the mawkish? Because it's ALL that awaits us. Death, or watching everyone you know die. Take your pick. Those are the only two choices you got. To hide from that; well, you're just fooling yourself.
Imagine calling your partner to tell him you're going to die; and they don't pick up. I reckon I'd be pretty pissed off. But I'd still say I love you.
Why is it so important to say a final 'I love you' ? The people you love know it. But still; it's so important. And there is something wonderful about that; that counteracts the two choices above.
So many bodies on 9/11, equals so many stories. And it's visceral nature leaves a footprint on the mind stronger than any bomb after, even the 7/7 one; even though I lived, and still live in London at that time. That just felt like a slap, 9/11 was a kick in the guts somehow; I suppose because we were innocent then, but also, very much so, the spectacle of it.
Looking at the towers burn, you just think 'get out, get out' but they were being told to stay put. 'Sit tight, we're on the way.' WHY? English people are naturally suspicious of skyscrapers, and with good reason. They are precarious. They defy logic. There should never be a ninety-seventh floor of anything.
'Please hurry.' Just heartbreaking. 'Put a towel under the door'.
The randomness of who died seems so unfair. But the whole thing is. How could that mother have not been tempted to turn on the telly? I don't think I could have stopped myself. I know I couldn't.
I liked the extreme bravery of the friend who called the guy called Shimmy, how calm he was. If I'd been on the other end of that phone I'd be going 'FUCK! GET OUT OF THERE!' but he was so controlled. He really made a difference to the end of that guy's life; what a gift to have a friend like that.
WOW that Jim Gartenberg thing on the news was pretty amazing; just how he didn't know the extent of the damage and was telling people to chill out from inside the tower. That was brave and attention seeking, and a great legacy.
Oh that poor guy who didn't answer his phone. That would be me, I NEVER answer my phone. How could you forgive yourself?
'We're young men in here, we're not ready to die.' That guy sounded angry, not calm. And who can blame him?
I found this programme a struggle after about an hour. It reminded me of that documentary 'The Bridge' about suicides on the Golden Gate bridge, just relentless sadness. I think you do need light and shade in a programme; just a phone call from one survivor would have helped. And if that sounds trite, I'm just trying to hide from those two facts. It's you, or your friends and family. Take your pick.

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