The copy of Mission to Earth: Landsat Views the World that I
had since sixth grade, which inside I kept my original copy of Barry
Walters' "A Better Best Top 100." Shaving cream and razors. Some
battered shoes. A very very large rubber band ball. An Penguin
anthology of American poetry. Some volumes of the World Book yearly
supplements I never sent Dan Rhatigan. A copy of Edmund White's
The Flaneur. A box of Little Debbie "enrobed" cakes, given to
me by my co-worker as a joke. Two "WB! Girls" dolls named Zoe, one a
smaller version of the other -- both were bought because Zoe's frizzy
brown hair comically reminded me of the same aforementioned co-
worker. Our collection of four Bendos that were made especially
for the Haworth
company. Some beach toys given to employees of the company several
years ago. Some prints I bought at the National Gallery back when I
was in college. Pens, one of was given to me by a principal after a
trip to Australia. A cute starfish-shaped bottle opener. A half-empty
bottle of Stress-B Glaceau Vitamin Water. Illustrator 9 for
Dummies. A chocolate bunny. The Unrest Make Coffee Club mug Mark
E. Robinson himself sold me. Two boxes of herbal tea. A canister of
red pepper. The Brio Sampo Fred got me for my
birthday. Original artwork for a fanzine I never bothered to finish,
circa 1993, including an 8"x10" glossy of the fat, mustached guy from
The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo opening his shirt to reveal
a time-bomb affixed to his chest, to which I affixed magnified
photocopies of two quotes: "Whatever it is Americans are, they cannot
be softly" and "'Cause I'm louder than a bomb."
Since I didn't even get a chance to enter Manhattan, apart from the
aforementioned co-worker, I don't know the fate of anybody else from
Mancini-Duffy. We were on the 21st and 22nd floors of 2 World Trade
Center, just low enough to run down the fire stairs without much
trouble, but who knows? I don't think I'm ready to know.
― Michael Daddino, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― suzy, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
Go to 'News Analysis' then Related Articles then 'The Talk online'.
I hope that all of your colleagues got out.
― scott, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― jess, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
A quick aside - have any of the news networks, commentators, etc
attempted to coin a soundbite for the tragedy? eg, "The Oklahoma
Bombing", "The Lockerbie Disaster", I haven't been aware of any
consistency in how the events are referred to. Maybe it's just too
massive to be summed up in an easy-to-remember phrase...
― Andrew Williams, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Momus, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Bill, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Billy Dods, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Dan Perry, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― marianna, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
sorry, i just had to get that out.
― Frank Kogan, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
This is not the kind of fame I would want for starting a net thread.
Indeed, right now I'm envisioning a universe where nothing I posted had
to be in such an article and Mike's name never had to come up because
the article itself need not have been written. *growl*
― Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Ally, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
"[X] was trying to get out of Manhattan yesterday and two military
planes went by. Someone freaked and the next thing you know she has
to run to stop getting trampled on. I am going to try to get home
through Manhattan later. Blocked it off below 14st. They ain't
showing it all on the news. They still aren't giving figures of the
dead but a ferry was leaving Manhattan for Jersey with bodies every
10 minutes last night. This is of course hearsay but quite reliable."
― Paul Strange, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
(sorry no html knowledge at all)
at least some people are being rescued. the commentary also appears
to be fairly hysteria-free, which is why i like the BBC.
― katie, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
have no clothes no passport or tix. I have no way of getting them.
this is not importanat. I just want to cry.
staying with some friends one of whom is a seik (sp. I know please
inform) aparently there have been several attack on seik men in
brooklyn because they have beards and turbans. things could get very
nasty I hope they don't
― ed, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
i knew something like this would happen.
sp = Sikh.
― Richard Tunnicliffe, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
You couldn't see the smoke here, though honestly I haven't cared to
look for smoke very hard.
Before: an uneventful train ride. If it was a normal day, I probably
wouldn't have had anything to tell Mary at work, except maybe for the
loud, smug jerk nattering on a cell-phone. Most likely I would've
forgotten it, but I did give him a outraged stare.
After: the minute I got on the connecting train to Flatbush Avenue,
there was this chubby man on the train said he just got a call from a
friend saying a jet rammed into the World Trade Center.
OK, so it could be a joke. Or maybe not. I mean, I've been scarily
close to lower Manhattan before -- how bizarre could an airline
mishap be? I forced myself to think it wasn't terrorism. It may
not even be real. While we were in the tunnel, I was standing up
so I could angle myself for a good view of the Twin Towers, if
And there it was, outside and getting closer. Indisputable proof.
Holy shit. Entire rows of both -- both -- buildings were smoking up.
One tower seemed to be burning up towards the top while the other was
more towards the middle. How the hell could BOTH buildings be on fire
if only ONE plane hit the towers? I tried pointing out the window to
the guy in front of me so he'd look, too, but it took the prodding of
some of the other guys to follow along. Soon a sea of businessmen
heads turned uncomfortably in their seats and registered shock, and
then uneasy calm. I gradually stopped resisting the idea of going
back home. I thought about e-mailing my mom with my Palm Pilot but I
was going to enter another tunnel soon so there was no point.
I had to call my mom. I knew she'd be relieved, but we talked to each
other in the morning, briefly, so she knew I was late, so she had
that for comfort. Of course, this being New York, only a few phones
worked. Lines weren't big, though...not yet, anyway. I had that
creeping anger I get when I'm in crowds. I was wishing that the woman
in front of me would JUST GET OFF THE PHONE but I soon moved back and
thought you know, I can't act this way, because she might be worse
off than I am. I couldn't get through anyway.
Maybe there was another phone outside. Above-ground, there was a very
clear view of the towers. They were burning, but this time it was a
little bigger and a little more alive than before. Or at least I
suppose. The crucial memories of the buildings on fire are already
fading, possibly being replaced by what I've seen on TV again and
again from all angles, the biggest money shot the stag reel of modern
media has ever seen. Ironically, the entrance to the Flatbush Avenue
is right in front of the Williamsburg Savings Bank, a building my
company designed back in the twenties. A woman was crying, but most
people were just standing around. There was police and sirens for
some reason. I thought at first that I should find a place to sit
down and send an e-mail on my Palm. I changed my my mind and walked
back -- actually ran back, jaywalking -- knowing this would mean I
wouldn't be in touch. I'd like to remember what I was thinking, but I
tried thinking as little as possible.
I had to wait a while before the next train to Babylon left. I was
hoping the train wouldn't be filled with many people and their
chatter. I just wanted to be alone. I asked a woman if I could
use her cell phone; she said sure. I told my mom to try to call Dad
and Fred and Dan to tell them I was alright. I made sure I wasn't
facing the World Trade Center.
There were more people in Jamaica than usual for noonday, yet less
than I would've imagined. I used my Palm Pilot to get some hard news.
ABC.com had some vague stuff about the two planes and a fire at the
Pentagon. USA Today had something over a week old about Anne Heche.
Someone was on a cell phone, hysterically giving the familiar litany
of targets but adding "...and Chicago..." and nothing more. God, not
Chicago. All the bases. Surely there'd be more as 9:00 reached each
time zone. Maybe San Francisco and Los Angeles were next. I had to
get out. Further from Jamaica...maybe it was a target, too. It was
near an airport, after all. The sky would be lousy with planes on a
The streets were more crowded than I had ever seen, but then I never
go to Jamaica during noon. I was looking for a TV. It only took less
than a block to find one. There was a bar, and bars always have TVs.
They told me a tower collapsed. Surely they got it wrong, hyperbole,
of course...no. Only one building was there. Smoke was where the
other should've been. I asked for a whisky. I know nothing about
alcohol so I said I didn't care which. The glass was cracked so she
gave me another. I overtipped her, as I always do.
The news was boring and repetitious. It wasn't saying anything I
needed to hear. Fine, the Twin Towers were on fire, I knew that
already. But at least there was something I could mentally compare
the rumors to. They didn't say anything about Chicago, and said
little about the Pentagon at first. That was a relief. I said I
worked at the World Trade Center, milking it for all the signifigance
it was worth and got some sympathy, I suppose. Every time I looked
back I saw a meaty-faced businessman, also coming from Jamaica, just
gaping at the TV set.
They showed the second plane in footage nowhere near as
pornographically vivid as I'm seeing today. There were the towers, in
a state much like I saw from the train. You could see a bit of the
plane from the back, a little spiky fleck disappear with a pretty red
explosion following a second or two later. I know what most of these
horrible Twin Towers interiors look like, so my brain filled in the
line from point A to point B it went right through it went through
walls windows elevators workstations chairs books files people
and the friction of everything eventually stopping it before it blew
up. People say with an almost tragic lack of imagination that it was
like a movie, but it was more absurd than a movie, even your worst
comic book Jerry Bruckheimer nightmare. Jesus. What kind of retard
does something as melodramatic as fly a plane into a building that's
At first I thought it was a trick of the eye, with the smoke rising
up against the vertical lines of the building fooling me into
thinking that the building was actually moving, but Christ, it was no
trick, it was falling down, with me, here, now, in this dark bar,
miles away but close enough, with my index finger blindly caressing
whiskey I shouldn't have been drinking because I was on anti-
depressants that I was so glad I was on. Somebody was sobbing
hysterically on the phone. I didn't want to know. I didn't think they
would fall down. I thought there would be some damage, and
then after a long time, recovery, no doubt with harsher security than
before. Just like before.
We're headed for a fascist state.
I thought of one of my co-workers -- a firm principal I always liked.
He was an Egyptian by birth, and now a naturalized citizen. I had
asked him, just yesterday, to help a co-worker's daughter come up
with some ideas for her essay about what it means to be an American.
Something propelled me to leave. I got out looking for another phone,
thinking I'd call my parents to have them pick me up here (fat
chance) and I walked for a block in a crowded street before I noticed
the sizable pee stain by my crotch.
Jesus, when did that happen? I couldn't let myself care too much. I
sled my carry-case towards my belly to hide it. It was almost
amusing, in fact, but then I was I finding these slim humorous edges
around everything. I found a phone but didn't bother.
Heading back to the Jamaica station, I had an urge to get a look. I
was already woozy from the whiskey; climbing the stairs was a
challenge. I had to negotiate all the shell-shocked people on
platforms to the very end, where there were only a couple of
construction workers, half-working, half not-working, and a
businessman on a cell phone. Nobody could see it. The smoke trailed
behind a set of trees.
The train came without much of a wait, so I spent much of the hour on
the train, stopping from station to station, relieved that the train
was getting further and further away and getting emptier and emptier.
But people didn't shut up as much as I would've liked. People spin
rumour in spite of themselves, and I just wanted the comfort of the
official news. "There's gonna be a CRATER where those fuckers are
standing!" Sure. What fucking tweezers you gonna use to find them
worms, hoss? Naive people, everywhere. Those Palestinians dancing
in the streets...yeah, enjoy this tinseled glory while you can, kids.
It won't make one damn bit of difference in your life in the long
run, other than to amplify the misery level a tiny bit.
I thought at first that I was so eeriely lucky. (My dad, who worked
at 140 Broadway at the time, was on vacation the day of the first
bombing back in 1993; if he was at work he told me he probably
would've been at the parking garage -- ground zero -- at the time of
the bombing.) I woke up late, usually I wake up around 6:15, 6:30,
but I left my bed at 7:10. I briefly considered not even coming in at
all, because coming in late embarrasses me more than taking a sick
day off, but there I was, rushing around to make a 8:00 Bay Shore
train which would get me into the World Trade Center at almost
exactly 9:40, had everything gone on as normal. Had I not been such a
sleepy boo, and come in the normal late time that I do -- 9:10 -- I
probably wouldn't have been able to get into the building anyway.
Even after therapy and drugs, my ordinary level of paranoia assumed
terrorism was inevitable. After all, I was working in a building that
had been bombed before. My friend Colin, who currently works
as a lawyer in the land of the Baader-Meinhof, told me just a few
years ago when he visted New York: it's gonna happen. It's only a
matter of time, but it's gonna happen, and when it does, America
won't be ready. I think every single time I left the World Trade
Center, for whatever reason, I entertained very brief thoughts about
feeling safer, now that I was away from such an obvious target. I
didn't like being in Penn Station at 9:00 AM. I always tried getting
out of there as quickly as I could. Wherever possible, I would avoid
taking trains during the thick of rush hour. It sickens me to think
of all that mental energy spent on empty paranoia, and it sickens me
to think I was in a sense right: all the scenarios I entertained
about escaping the trauma and that's exactly what happened to me.
I may very well be lucky, but I don't think about it anymore. The
relief ebbed away. I am just here.
Television changes everything. The World Trade Center was always,
always on TV, and yet I never got used to having video intermediary
between my eyes and the buildings-in-themselves. And now I have to
face familiar scene + dirt and debris, making everything just
familiar enough to be sickeningly disorienting. That's the
Borders I used to buy books from, and the HSBC Bank I cashed a check
in as late as last Friday. Only this time I see it being effaced in
angry, billowing debris that people are running from. Those are the
windows from Seven World Trade Center that used to reflect sunlight
into our windows back at Two World Trade. (I should've known the
stone veneer was that thin.) That pit is where I saw the Shangri-Las,
Alex Chilton with the Box Tops, and Glen Branca perform, and now
(even though I can't see them) there are little bits of bodies
everywhere. The arcade with the ridiculous palm trees, the one with
the excellent acoustics and the great lunch areas -- you can see the
sky through the back now. People I knew once fed their nicotine
habits in front of that shard of building. Dad took me to the top of
the building when I was a kid. Not once, but twice. They filmed
The Wiz there. It was once one way, and now it is another.
Repeat to infinite possibilities. Of course this is the way of all
flesh, but usually God gives you the luxury to ignore most changes.
Last night my neighbors got into yet another heated argument -- it
wasn't about the disaster, but I could tell that the extra venom in
their voices, the extra loud door-slams and swear-words -- that all
these things were due to the anger and helplessness they felt as a
result of watching, worrying and wondering ...
Please, whoever you are and wherever you are, and however you feel
about the incredible tragedy that's just taken place : try to find a
_constructive_ way to deal with your feelings -- PLEASE don't let your
rage boil over into hatred and PLEASE don't unleash it on someone
Ironically, the neighborhood kids (who were what the argument was
about), were still gleefully carrying on with their war-games. It was
unnerving lying on my bed with the lights off, hearing BLAM! BLAM!
BLAM! I GOT YOU! YOU'RE DEAD! every few minutes out the window ...
― stripey, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
In the office adjacent to the main entrance (where I'm @ right now),
the TV is tuned to CNN, offering information and adjectives, as
always. Trying to recast the same brutal facts in different, less
numbing packages. I'm going to see if I can donate blood this
afternoon, and then maybe catch a movie or do some frivolous
shopping - just anything to give myself something else to think
about, reclaim (however briefly) some semblance of stability.
― David Raposa, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
You would have to look for groups that are capable of highly skilled
and professional operations like this. Your first thought would have
to be what is called "the Afghans" -- not necessarily the Afghan
government, but that group of people who volunteered to fight with
the mujahedin against the Soviet army and received very sophisticated
training as well as financing from the CIA. This group would include
bin Laden, but there are others as well.
The actions today clearly involved dozens but not hundreds of people.
A small enough group to keep their activities secret as they were
We will desperately look for targets to strike; the pressure for
retaliation will be enormous. But it will be hard for us to pinpoint
the responsible parties. Groups like the Afghans are stateless. You
could strike the Taliban central command, but it's unlikely their top
leadership authorized it. These terrorist networks are purposely not
highly structured. They're like the right-wing militia types in this
country. They may all show up from time to time at the same gun
shows, but there is no mailing list or centralized command.
We failed to kill those responsible for the Nairobi embassy bombing
when we attacked Afghanistan and the Sudan. I think our chances this
time of targeting the right people will also be very slim.
These actions took a tremendous level of precision and
sophistication. My guess is this group put all of its resources into
this; they've shot their wad. It might inspire other groups that view
the U.S. to be the Great Satan to strike, but the numbers who are
capable of pulling off something like this are few.
The Palestinians are unlikely to have been involved in something like
this. Their rage is directed at Israel, the enemy within their sight.
And their military and political apparatus is under immense stress
right now; they have their hands full at home.
People are saying this attack was unprecedented, but there have been
similar attacks against U.S. targets overseas, of course, like the
embassy in Nairobi, the U.S.S. Cole and the military barracks in
This action points less to Palestine than it does to the Saudi Arabia
peninsula, where there is a major U.S. military presence and where
the U.S. is a powerful backer of the Saudi royal family. Among those
like bin Laden who view the U.S. as the Great Satan, in their minds
the U.S. military is an occupying force in a sacred land and the
Saudi family is corrupt and complicit.
I'm very worried about anti-Arab and anti-Islamic hysteria. And I'm
very worried it will radically alter the lives of average Americans.
It will be a long time before Americans ever take a plane trip the
same way or visit public spaces. The fear will lead to stepped-up
security measures and an erosion of our civil liberties.
Americans will struggle with the question "Why us. I thought we were
the good guys?" But for many people in the world, we are a symbol of
evil and oppression. Our vast wealth and power are bound to create
resentment in some quarters. We should ask ourselves what actions our
government has taken over the years that have built up this
resentment. Such as our close relationship with the Saudi royal
family, which many in that country view as hopelessly corrupt and
tyrannical. Since there is no ability to oppose the family's rule in
a democratic fashion, opposition to their rule is bound to take a
― Nitsuh, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Samantha, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
The terrorists involved were many things, but almost by definition
were not cowardly.
― the pinefox, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
And by your logic, the CIA would be the most "cowardly" organization
on the face of this Earth.
― Pete, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Kerry, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
Pinefox -- quite right; I wasn't necessarily defending their aims.
Only agreeing that (a) it takes balls to attack the Pentagon under
any circumstances, so the "cowardly" is perplexing, and (b)
pretending that this is "senseless" and ignoring the very real
political factors and motivations behind it seems deliberately
ignorant and dangerous. By pretending that there are not
reasons for this, we only allow for our country to take more
actions that provoke the same problems in the future, when we will
theoretically again plead ignorance to the situation that's
This lack of information is the worst.
Do you see the gross double standard you're applying just to allow
you to call terrorists "cowardly" (when surely "murderous" is
enough)? A whole lot of Americans sacrificed their lives in WWII,
and we consider that "courageous" and "honorable." Should
they have found "worthwhile reasons for living," or can we
just admit that people, no matter how extreme or indefensible their
views, are not being "cowardly" when they die for things that they --
however wrongheadedly -- believe in?
The guy at the SF office has *already* set up a new firm-wide e-mail
system, and apparently all of the principals will be having a pow-wow
FYI: Macnini Duffy backs up our entire network every month on
computer tape which is sent monthly to an off-site location; in
addition, we have three other offices around the country, so it's not
inconcievable that we can get back on our feet relatively quickly.
I still have no idea if I have a job, though, and if I still do, when
I can go back to...wherever. Mancini-Duffy set up a temporary space
in Midtown Manhattan after the 1993 bombing, and I assume we'll do
the same this time round.
Frank like you I think atheism is a more courageous option that the alternatives, but BOY is that a can o'worms....
As to WORLD DOMINATION, it occurs to me that (possibly) no one is actually left living of the precise org which undertook this
particular attack. For from world dom, they have wiped themselves from the world (of course with countless others).
― mark s, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
Today: September 12, 2001 at 9:20:02 PDT
FAA Unsure When Flights Will Resume
WASHINGTON- The Federal Aviation Administration continued its ban on
flying Wednesday and said it wasn't sure when airline flights would
FAA spokeswoman Diane Spitaliere said agency officials were deciding
when to allow planes to take off.
Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport, a major airline hub, said
it would not open at noon, and Delta Airlines said all of its flights
would be canceled until 6 p.m. EDT, including commuter flights.
Southwest Airlines said it would not fly at all Wednesday.
Another FAA spokesman, Les Dorr, said people should not expect all
flights to resume normal travel, since many planes are at the wrong
"I think it is fair to say there is not going to be a mass exodus of
planes and passengers that have been on the ground because some of
the airlines have airplanes that are literally in the wrong place to
fly their schedules," Dorr said.
He declined to discuss increased security measures, but
said, "Passengers should expect to have to devote more time to the
― Andy, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
> -----Original Message-----
> From: FAST Hotline London
> Sent: 12 September 2001 4:53 PM
> To: London PC Users
> Subject: city demonstration
> Importance: High
> Arab demonstrators are heading to the City and the police have
> to be vigilant.
> Richard Boast
> Fast Hotline
Sounds like more pointless finger-pointing and paranoia to me.
― scott p., Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
Wonderful Michael Moore piece - nail on the head as so often.
And thankyou so much Mr Daddino.
― berbis, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
Mark: I don't think that in itself knowing I'm an atheist tells you
anything interesting about my beliefs, or tells you one way or
another whether I'm complex or simpleminded. And if I believed in God
that wouldn't necessarily make me simpleminded, any more than it made
Aquinas, Augustine, Luther, and scores (all right, millions) of
Also (while in carping mode) I notice an ambiguity in this
discussion's use of the word senseless. I.e., senseless
meaning the opposite of "sensible," in which case the attack does
seem to have been senseless, as opposed to "senseless"
meaning "without reason or cause," in which case the attack was not
senseless, and thoughtful people will try to make sense of it.
Pinefox - the other Kogan says this about his situation: "As it
happens, I work in the CNN building, which has to be the safest
building in Washington."
And Nitsuh, I don't have nearly enough information to have an opinion
on how courageous or not the terrorists were. My point is that
throwing one's life away in and of itself is not necessarily
courageous. I can't imagine that you don't understand this.
― Madchen, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
I believe that Nitsuh's point is that throwing away
one's life in and of itself is not necessarily cowardly.
― Mitch Lastnamewithheld, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
We don't even know who they were yet. Until that time, all bets are
― Graham, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
On television: A young woman is frantically searching for her missing
fiance, tears streaming down her face, the camera shows a list of
phone numbers and pieces of information she's collected. A reporter
shoves a microphone in her face: "And you were to have a wedding
Would it be too much to ask for the media to refrain from gratuitous
exploitation of grief at this time?
― Tom, Wednesday, 12 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
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