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January 4th, 2005


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08:27 am - Tsunami, etc.
I admit. Like fred_smith, I have trouble conceptualizing the Tsunami. I feel disconnected. Obviously, I'm supposed to feel something. Hell, everyone reading this journal seems to be sickened, saddened, or stupified by the thing. About the only "S" word I haven't seen is "sleezy". I think I'm happy that no one feels "sleezy" about the Tsunami.

I gave up worrying about it, though. I don't think it's a failing as a human being. I don't think I'm less of a person. Heck, I don't even think that I'm expected to feel bad about the whole thing.

Is it because I didn't lose a loved one? Is it because I have a really dark sense of humour? Is it because I still haven't mailed out Christmas cards? Is it because I secretly think that these people were dirty and unwashed and could use a good bath? Is it because I'm actually a Republican?

I don't think it's any of those reasons, but then, I'm not known for understanding things.

In the end, I tried to care. I really did. I looked at the pictures, watched the news, and whistled a low whistle at the numbers, shaking my head at the initial offer of $35M of aid. I had all the outward signs of a genuinely caring person. Yet try as I might to care, I failed miserably.

What was my first thought when I heard about the earthquake? "Isn't that near Krakatoa? I'd like to visit there someday." What about when I heard about the tidalwave? "Didn't they expect that?"

I'm sorry, my friends. I just don't feel it.

Think of me what you must.
Current Mood: hopefulLookin' up.
Current Music: "Little Egypt", -JB

(26 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:fionnabhar
Date:January 4th, 2005 01:42 pm (UTC)
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It is hard to, well, grok something of that enormity. We have a bit of a connection in that while living in Kodiak, Alaska, for six years, we had tsunami sirens going off every Wednesday for civil preparedness. Tales of the actual tsunami that wiped out the downtown and signs along the major streets indicating the 100-feet-above-sea-level mark (the safe zone up the mountain) made it a subconscious part of the milieu of life. When the alarms would go off for real, it was unnerving. We'd just sit in the living room and watch the bay to see what would happen. We had a couple of real ones, but not enough really to flood anything. Still nearly 200,000 bodies stacked up around the Pacific Rim is something I can't quite wrap my mind around either.
(Deleted comment)
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From:kallisti
Date:January 4th, 2005 02:57 pm (UTC)
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Um...try three to six YEARS, at least.

Everything that we have experienced for those not of the age to remember World War II, this is *the* biggest event that has happened in our generation!

The last thing that was this big was WWII.

And I stare in horror as the news media has no idea how big this is, either.

ttyl
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From:raydon_12
Date:January 4th, 2005 02:51 pm (UTC)
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I guess I'm like you. I just can't internalize it. Intillectcually I understand it, I can even visualize the sequence of events from shifting rock to the wave hitting shore. But I don't FEEL it. I didn't FEEL 9/11 either. My sister on the other hand is the opposite. If homeless person gets hit in a dark alley in some remote part of the world she almost starts bleeding sympathetically. I"m not sure which of us has it better.

The whole thing is just so remote to me. I feel sorry for the victims, but there just isn't anything I can do about it.
[User Picture]
From:kallisti
Date:January 4th, 2005 02:53 pm (UTC)

The media is also suffering from the same thing...

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Virtually no one understands the enormity of this disaster. I was lucky, I spent a year in a university level geology class in grade 11. I have always been facinated by earthquakes, and tsunami's are one of their many results. I may not be an "expert", but I do have some knowledge about the subject.

When they stated it was a 8.9, then a 9.0 level earthquake, I was shocked. I was even more shocked when the numbers of dead came in. They were way to freaking low!

I know the density of the population of the Indian and China Sea areas, I know that for every 1 "civilized" resort area, there are at least 100 additional villages and towns on the coast. I've predicted that it will be a quarter million dead from the initial quake and tsunamis...and between 2 and 6 million dead from the after effects; the hunger, the disease, the injuries...and the wars. Yes, there will be small wars fought over scarce resources.

It's ugly now, but it will get far worse over the next few years.

I wish there was more that I could do...

ttyl
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From:tosk
Date:January 4th, 2005 02:59 pm (UTC)
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Why would that be a failing? Life ends. Death happens. Does it really matter how it happened? All 140,000 people were going to die someday, why should it be a big deal that they all died from the same big wave? The circle of life must have death included, otherwise we'd be a planet overpopulated by a bunch of apelike creatures that think that digital watches are a really neat idea.

I saw an interesting archeology show about sites being uncovered in the islands near Crete. Apparently an entire advanced civilization was decimated by a tsunami, their world wiped out and gone for thousands of years, alive now only as filler for the History Channel.

May they all join Eris in the Void, like tired children, just home from a very wild circus. ;-)

Hail Eris,

Ratatosk
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From:anivair
Date:January 4th, 2005 03:00 pm (UTC)
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I'm with you on that, as I have said on several occasions on many lj's. I just can't bring myself to care. 1) it's over. 2) this was a natural disaster. Sure, the death toll is high, but mother nature is a bitch. get over it. Ahh well.
From:ravenlaughing
Date:January 4th, 2005 03:39 pm (UTC)
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I do understand. Yes, it was a horrible tragedy, but thank the Gods I don't have any friends or family actually involved. I must admit, I did think that for coastal and island people, the sea receeding so far so rapidly should be an instinctual warning.

But then, I didn't cry when Kurt Cobain died, either.
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From:geedeck
Date:January 4th, 2005 03:53 pm (UTC)
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I feel bad, but shit happens. Between the floods, the forest fires, the constant color alerts... I'm tapped out on worrying.
From:occipitaldruid
Date:January 4th, 2005 04:39 pm (UTC)
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I was just talking about this with someone yesterday. The sheer numbers of people lost...it's like 1.5 times our city. My brain simply cannot grasp it. But I haven't grieved. I've been trying to figure out why it hasn't rolled a shock wave into my psyche. I don't know if it is because I don't really have any emotional ties to Eastern Asia or if it is because I didn't know anyone there... I've almost felt badly because I think I should feel much worse about it.
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From:smithing_chick
Date:January 4th, 2005 05:24 pm (UTC)
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IT's a hard thing to wrap your head around. My first concern when I first heard about it was that it hit Japan, where one of my very good friends from school is right now. (The first reports I saw just kept saying that it hit "Asia", which is a rather large area). When I found out where it did hit, I wondered about a couple friends I chat with regularly who are from India (one lives there, one's a local student from there). It's the only way I've found to relate to it.

It's too big to take in otherwise- sensory overload.
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From:duriyah
Date:January 4th, 2005 05:29 pm (UTC)
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I think your reaction is probably healthy. I wish I didn't care. It hit me hard at first and I couldn't get enough news on the disaster. Now I'm having to limit my news consumption because it is making me upset. I'm ready to get on with my life.

When the Columbia shuttle exploded I felt the way you do. But that was only 6 people who knew they were at risk anyway.
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From:hearthstone
Date:January 4th, 2005 05:33 pm (UTC)
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I wouldn't say that I've grieved, either--been shocked and saddened, yes, but not grieved. We had our holidays, celebrated the new year, focused on our own concerns. It's just so big, so unimaginable, that you can't really understand it--maybe the brain stops trying after a while. Maybe it's also the distance or the fact that it wasn't a direct personal loss, and maybe that does make me a hard person in some ways, I don't know. Might also be that I haven't been following the story in depth--I've checked headlines on Yahoo, but I haven't had CNN on in weeks--so I've missed a lot of detail that other folks have been seeing. Could be a lot of things, but I don't think the main one is me not being a nice person, at least I hope not. I think that different people respond to different things...differently.
From:bloodlikerain
Date:January 4th, 2005 06:39 pm (UTC)

well, i like to THINK i'm a compassionate person

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although this comment may prove otherwise

I acknowladge that it's a tragedy, in the sense that thousands of people are dying.

and really, thats about as much as i acknowladged that sept 11 was a tragedy too.

i guess mass trgedies just have no effect on me. in fact, when i first heard of the tsunami, i cracked more than one joke about how god was smiting asians for all their patriarchy and child abuse. i cracked jokes on sept 11 too.

maybe i have a dark, disturbed sense of cynical humor, maybe i'm not horribly opposed to mass deaths because of world over-population, maybe i'm un-compassionate and heartless.

if one person dies who i don't know i think "suck" and move on, if 50,000 people die who i don't know, i think the same thing. sorry for people who are closely connected tot he loss, but i don't know anyone who is either. i don't even know anyone who knew anyone on sept 11th. and this is why i'm starting to get irritated by each person i know who post some long memorial about sept 11 every year when they didn't know anyone who died, nor did they know anyone, who knew anyone, who died.

humans suck up resources and commit horrible atrocoties and ignore the fact that we're mortal.

speaking of being flooded out, i thought of this song by tool....

Some say the end is near.
Some say we'll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will.
I sure could use a vacation from this

Bullshit three ring circus sideshow of
Freaks

Here in this hopeless fucking hole we call LA
The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.
Any fucking time. Any fucking day.
Learn to swim, I'll see you down in Arizona bay.

Fret for your figure and
Fret for your latte and
Fret for your hairpiece and
Fret for your lawsuit and
Fret for your prozac and
Fret for your pilot and
Fret for your contract and
Fret for your car.

It's a
Bullshit three ring circus sideshow of
Freaks

Here in this hopeless fucking hole we call LA
The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.
Any fucking time. Any fucking day.
Learn to swim, I'll see you down in Arizona bay.

Some say a comet will fall from the sky.
Followed by meteor showers and tidal waves.
Followed by faultlines that cannot sit still.
Followed by millions of dumbfounded dipshits.

Some say the end is near.
Some say we'll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will cuz
I sure could use a vacation from this

Silly shit, stupid shit...

One great big festering neon distraction,
I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied.

Learn to swim.

Mom's gonna fix it all soon.
Mom's comin' round to put it back the way it ought to be.

Learn to swim.

Fuck L Ron Hubbard and
Fuck all his clones.
Fuck all those gun-toting
Hip gangster wannabes.

Learn to swim.

Fuck retro anything.
Fuck your tattoos.
Fuck all you junkies and
Fuck your short memory.

Learn to swim.

Fuck smiley glad-hands
With hidden agendas.
Fuck these dysfunctional,
Insecure actresses.

Learn to swim.

Cuz I'm praying for rain
And I'm praying for tidal waves
I wanna see the ground give way.
I wanna watch it all go down.
Mom please flush it all away.
I wanna watch it go right in and down.
I wanna watch it go right in.
Watch you flush it all away.

Time to bring it down again.
Don't just call me pessimist.
Try and read between the lines.

I can't imagine why you wouldn't
Welcome any change, my friend.

I wanna see it all come down.
suck it down.
flush it down.


From:purge_chic
Date:February 3rd, 2005 03:23 pm (UTC)

Flush it all away....

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Yeah, is it too much to ask the child-raping patriarchy to learn to swim?

Naaah. I think its a beautiful thing that the tourist industry was absofuckinglutely smashed, torn asunder...

The money coming into the area should more than offset the losses, actually. Economic forecasts haven't changed for many of the areas, probably because with all the debt forgiveness and aid efforts, there will be massive economic stimulation in areas that really matter to the wellbeing of the people.

Most of the shit that went down, the sex tourism, took place along the coast... Its a shame that legitimate tourism was hurt so badly, but there will be relief funds, and the people who have lost those jobs will be able to change job fields thanks to international investment in the area.

I bet the paedophiles won't be getting too much in international relief funds though. The rest of the world isn't too sympathetic to their agenda.
From:bloodlikerain
Date:February 3rd, 2005 08:11 pm (UTC)

Re: Flush it all away....

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there really is a problem with child abuse there. glad i'm not the only one who sees it...

how'd you come across my lj, btw?
From:purge_chic
Date:February 4th, 2005 02:31 am (UTC)

Re: Flush it all away....

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Actually, I was searching for Tool lyrics in conjunction with the word Tsunami limited to site:.livejournal.com because I wanted to see if anyone else made the connection...
From:bloodlikerain
Date:February 4th, 2005 02:36 am (UTC)

Re: Flush it all away....

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lol. AWSOME

thats the best thing i've heard all day, someone out there take tool lyrics to heart like i do.
[User Picture]
From:autumnfey
Date:January 4th, 2005 06:42 pm (UTC)
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I'm with you on this one chronarchy and am heartened to see so many others as well. I think that for me, part of it is that I have no direct ties or experience with the area. Also, I have not seen a single news story on it, even the day it happened. I've seen a few headlines but that is all. It isn't so much the numbers that my brain can't wrap itself around, it is actually more the tsunami itself. I keep trying to picture the big wave and can't. Also, my cold and scientific self pipes up that yes, 150,000 is a big number, but compared to the overall population, not so much.
[User Picture]
From:ninjer
Date:January 4th, 2005 07:11 pm (UTC)
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My first thought with the tsunami was "don't those always happen after big earthquakes?"

It sucks to know someone who died, but really, yeah- the death toll is so high now that I have no way to imagine it.

It's like Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That must have sucked. It must have scarred the national identity of Japan. Or the firebombing of Dresden. I imagine that was a literal Hell on earth. But that kind of destruction and death is of such a magnitude that I have no way to think about it except as a very vague, undisturbing concept.

I don't think this is a human failing. I think it'd be more of a failing if everyone knew exactly what 100,000 dead bodies looked like.
From:tanrinia
Date:January 4th, 2005 07:59 pm (UTC)
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my own thoughts fall somewhere between shock and horror and 'sucks to be them.' i don't think anyone can be faulted for simply feeling what they feel.

From:tanrinia
Date:January 5th, 2005 03:53 pm (UTC)
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oh, and yes...it's because you are a republican :)

*smooch*
[User Picture]
From:kstanley
Date:January 4th, 2005 08:36 pm (UTC)
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Well it is unfortunate that you can't feel sadness; your capacity for joy is directly tied to your capacity for sorrow. Emotion is emotion. But do I scorn you? No. If you have never experienced tragic loss how you can be expected to understand what it is like?

When I was a child and teenager, I remember feeling guilty because I didn't feel sorrow when my best friend's grandmother died. But then people I loved started to die and I knew. And now when someone dies, I know what is feels like lose someone forever and I can empathize.

It's helpful that I have just come out of an ecology class where we spent considerable time studying the environmental problems of the third world. The second I heard about this tragedy, I realized how big of an impact it was going to have--because I knew about the lack of infrastructure and wealth in the region.

I think it is worth making an effort to get your head around chronarchy.
[User Picture]
From:kstanley
Date:January 4th, 2005 08:37 pm (UTC)
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around this tragedy I mean. Hopefully you have your head around yourself.
From:fred_smith
Date:January 4th, 2005 09:08 pm (UTC)
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My first thought was, "This is historic, tragic and massive. I wonder if my neice will rememeber anything about this when she's older."

Its easist to think of whats close to home. I think.
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From:unnamed525
Date:January 5th, 2005 04:25 am (UTC)
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The most emotion I've had about this whole situation is the feeling that it must really be horrible for those who survived the tsunami. I'd rather die in a screaming wall of watery doom than have to deal with dehydration, starvation and disease.
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From:qorinda
Date:January 5th, 2005 05:53 am (UTC)
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I admire your honesty.

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