Earthquake-Sized Rants


Happy St. Patrick’s Day, people!

It’s the first thought that blew through my mind, after I looked at the calendar and realized what day it is. March 17 already. The sun comes up in an hour. Baseballers moved Daylight Savings Time so they could sell more tickets, so we sprang forward without a decent Spring. What a morning. Coffee just stopped dripping its splooshy goodness through the machine, and the cats are done frantically and aggressively begging me for food.  Now is the time to sit, and to write, and see what happens.

So far, a row of Conestoga wagons hasn’t run over my head. What else is going on?

I’m typing this on my new computer. There’s a new thing! I bought it Tuesday, after 14 months of being without one.

I promised readers a certain blog about a week ago. It hasn’t happened yet. It may never happen. I lost my nerve for it, and my stomach was in knots as I composed it. I am letting it rest and moving on.

My mind is turning toward fiction writing. I found a trove of old blog posts, which I will transfer to my site, by measure. I glanced through them and realized I was quite depressed when I wrote many of them. It seems to permeate my writing between 2005-2007.

Today, the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear incident in Japan is weighing most heavily on my mind.

Last Friday’s huge earthquake has left the entire world reeling. It’s been a week now and I’ve watched hours of coverage about the quake, and the Japanese people scrambling to make an atrocious situation into a livable one.  As we speak, aftershocks of 5-6 on the Richter scale are still occurring. The flood of the northeastern part of Honshu has left thousands without homes, and tens of thousands have been evacuated because of the still ongoing nuclear plant explosions and malfunctions. My heart and mind are with the Japanese people.

But, you guessed it, there are a few reactions of other human beings that have me furious. Four rants follow.

It really annoys me when people so easily break this quake down to economic impact, as if we could assign a dollar amount to the human lives, and loss of property due to this disaster. Bugs the hell out of me in fact. I mean, it inevitably will come to a cost tally, and infrastructure will need to be replaced; homes rebuilt, and cleanup must happen. Yet, the earthquake happened Friday: by that morning on the east coast, people were already wailing, “Yeah, but how will this affect Wall Street?” Huh? you’re kidding, right? This coverage was happening less than twelve hours after the initial 9.0 earthquake. It’s like watching a seven year old crash his bike and break his arm, and then wondering how his accident will hurt your lemonade business.

People on the news try to make things worse than they are. Exaggeration sells more papers and gets more Internet traffic. Yet, I find it abominable when, for ratings, you find newspeople rooting for the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear incident to be worse than it was.  The Newsmongers were out, in force, that morning:

Scientists: The tsunami is going according to all our predictive models. We evacuated just to be safe.

Newsguys: Yeah – but the worst could happen, right?

Scientists: Of course. Anything is possible.

Newsguys: Yeah, but the worst could happen, right?

Right, newsguys. It ALWAYS could have been worse. We know that. We don’t need to be reminded of this every minute of the day, just to satiate your neurotic 24/7 news-cycle vision of being the first out with a breaking story. Cover well–don’t cover loudly–and I’m more apt to watch your coverage.

Last night, the media was reporting Rush Limbaugh, who was making light of the Japanese quake refugees for recycling. Try taking ⅓ the US population and for kicks, let’s stick them all in Indiana (the size of the habitable portion of Japan). Now let’s destroy the infrastructure and, instead of stacking the people on top of each other, we all have to live on the ground floor together. Given this scenario, Of course, to live with your neighbors, you’d try to keep some semblance of order in your life, and probably by recycling. We should cheer these folks for caring for their environments even in dire situations.

Then, last, and possibly most memorably, Tuesday featured Glenn Beck telling his viewers that “God was trying to send us a message” because of the tsunami. He doesn’t know what the message was, but he was sure the message was there. Maybe the message was “Glenn Beck should keep his yap shut!”

For now, I’m going to keep my big yap shut. Blessings to you all, especially to the Japanese people. Wish me luck as I move forward and write.

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2 thoughts on “Earthquake-Sized Rants”

  1. Brian-

    When 9/11 happened, I found myself glued to the television for hours. And then I finally decided that I could not take one more minute of the pain. Every channel was showing news footage, or pundits, or both. Except for Hallmark. They ran a Golden Girls marathon. Now, I know that GG was *not* everyone’s cup of tea, but I found great comfort in the familiar characters and story lines. Honestly, it was the one thing that kept me sane. (-ish)

    So when NPR reported about the people sorting recycling, I thought: ‘good for them’. When tragedy stops by for a visit, we all need to cope in our own way. Whatever works, whatever we need, whenever we need it. If it brings peace and comfort – let it be.

    Those who choose ridicule over compassion are not my friends.

    Peace, from your tree-hugging, granola-crunching, mossy friend.

    Like

  2. By all means, move forward and write! You are on a roll, I think! 😉 I agree completely with your sentiments about the media coverage of Japan, and it’s one of the reasons I choose not to watch news much of the time. I’d rather be naive by choice about world events than scared silly about things which I cannot greatly impact.

    Like

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