While we all must be extra-careful about giving the tens of thousands that descended on Ultra their due, we shouldn’t (or at least I as a practicing journalist should not) over-romanticize the crowd.
Case in point: Last night, ABS-CBN ran some footage of what looks like the immediate aftermath of the stampede. At the back of the screen, right in the center of the now-wide-open gates, you could somewhat make out a heap or a crush of people; there is a density there that is unmistakable. But in the foreground, you could see people half-running (or in some cases, even sauntering) into the Ultra driveway. Some look relieved, some look positively triumphant that they had gotten in. It struck me that some of the very "survivors" I was looking at could have played a part in the death of others, could have done the trampling, could have, unwittingly to be sure, but also culpably, done some neck-snapping.
Of course, that is only to be expected of a stampede. Some of the "survivors" in a crowd have a fatal relationship with the victims. But in a crowd, they are anonymous. And anonymity masks the individual’s responsibility. In last night’s footage, however, some of those you could see onscreen were no longer part of the crowd. That’s what made it so chilling.