I ended up watching that Derrion Albert snuff footage again just now, after I read on Gawker that you can hear his skull crack open.

As I mentioned yesterday in a post on my own site, I'd already watched the video like 15 times, yesterday afternoon, out of morbid curiosity, and to get the sequence of events right for my post. (You guys know my commitment to accuracy.) Heartless bastard that I am, even I couldn't help but feel sick watching it. I didn't even think I'd be able to wring any humor from it, for the sake of journalism, but I somehow managed to pull myself together.

I wonder if this is the kind of anxiety faced by embedded journalists in Iraq, like in the HBO miniseries Generation Kill. Probably, right?

It took me a couple more viewings, but I think I did find the part where you can hear Derrion Albert's skull crack open. It's not as loud as you'd think. Being both huge and clumsy, I've broken a few bones, and it's usually louder than a motherfucker. Maybe it was in this video, but you just can't tell, because the quality isn't very good. There's definitely a certain point, when they're stomping the shit out of him, when everyone collectively just kinda goes oh shit and takes off running. But you can't really see what it was that freaked everyone out, because it's been blurred out.

I checked YouTube just now, to see if I couldn't find an uncensored version of the video, but I'm assuming that the one that's on World Star is the only one that's out there. Come to think of it, if there was an even worse version, you know good and well World Star would have been had it. They probably got the version they got from the local evening news in Chicago, who (I read) bought it from the kids who shot it for $300. Supposedly, the reason the evening news aired the video was because someone might be able to identify the suspects, but you'd have to think the main reason was because they knew so many people would be interested in seeing it. I doubt 5-0 would have had any problems finding the kids who did this if the video wasn't all over the Internets, for your viewing pleasure.

It makes me wonder, if I were in the same position Derrion Albert was in, would I have ended up in a video on World Star getting my head cracked open? I read on Gawker, where I get a lot of my information (obvs), that Derrion Albert had just kinda gotten wrapped up in this fight all of a sudden. He just so happened to be leaving school at the moment when these two rival gangs were converging on one another. It's not like he could help the fact that the school he went to was in the middle of a war zone - just like I couldn't help occasionally getting attacked by farm animals, while waiting on the bus to take me home from school. Not to compare my own personal plight to this poor bastard. I'm just saying.

As disgusting as it is to watch Derrion Albert get clocked with a 2x4, then have his head split open to the white meat, the worst part might be the moment right before he gets hit with the 2x4. You want to scream at him, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING? GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE! CAN'T YOU SEE THESE KIDS HAVE GONE FUCKING BATSHIT? Not to sit here and Tuesday afternoon quarterback, as if it could save Derrion Albert, but if I would have been in that same situation, I would have turned around and booked it in the opposite direction. I don't even like being around people when they're not wielding 2x4s. Fuck that shit!

Nas, who couldn't be bothered to rap on either the Blueprint 3 or (more importantly) Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II, wrote an open letter to "young warriors," which has been posted on Global Grind. Nas' message is something to the effect of: we need to stop killing each other, because violence is bad, and there's more important things we can be doing, mmkay? A better, more useful message would have been more along the lines of my post from yesterday, but perhaps without the jokes, if you don't enjoy laughing at things. Those kids shouldn't have been wilding out in the first place, but the best way to avoid getting hit in the head with a 2x4 is to not be in the proximity of someone swinging a 2x4 I get the fascination with watching kids beat the shit out of one another, but I do it from the comfort of my own home, where I'm out of harm's way.