lump of rock hurtling through space

Loyal reader Nick pointed this out:
The deadly Asian earthquake may have permanently accelerated the Earth's rotation, shortening days by a fraction of a second and caused the planet to wobble on its axis, U.S. scientists said Tuesday.
and says
Jesus Fucking Christ! An earthquake can change the planet on a global scale? ... Kind of reminds you we all share this big lump of rock hurtling through space doesn't it.
I find this earthquake/tsunami event absolutely stunning. Many progressive bloggers are complaining about the media coverage, but I find nothing exceptional. CNN reporting that "celebrity vacations were shattered" was surreal, though predictable. But mostly it's been a lot of individual stories, which illustrate the vast numbers and make them real, which in turn motivates viewers to donate. There are the usual local angles (people killed from one's own country), the science info, the "could it happen here" scare stories.

Carping about the faces the anchors make as they report, I just don't get. What would we have them do? Laugh? Remain emotionless like automatons? I hate the mainstream media as much as the next lefty, but I don't think they're being particularly awful now.

I've been wondering how many events of this magnitude have occurred in recorded history.

I've also been thinking about how I felt on September 11, 2001, how I spent the whole day in front of the television, crying, how obsessed New Yorkers were for days, weeks... and how, now, while this is happening on the other side of the planet, we go about our daily lives. As the rest of the US and the world must have done while New Yorkers were still suffering and in shock.

I'm not saying this is wrong or making a judgment about what we should or shouldn't do. I'm just trying to empathize with victims in a situation that taxes the limits of imagination.

1 comment:

allan said...

Fear not -- Bush says that after he gits bin Laden (and clears some more brush), he's gonna smoke that terra-rist 'Sue Nammi' out of her spiderhole.