Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 11:46 pm
By Williams Rivers PittI've spent the last few days walking around my quiet little Boston neighborhood looking at the houses, the cars, the shops, the trees. I look at my wife, my neighbors, my cat. Then I close my eyes, and in that darkness I see it all wiped out, washed away, obliterated, shattered to kindling and utterly gone. I see a moonscape of annihilation, no reference points in sight, nothing familiar. I see the day after the end of everything, and the horror of it comes nowhere close to the reality that is Japan.
There are no words for this. Only the pictures can tell the tale, but you can't photograph radiation, so even that falls short. It is, quite simply, one of the worst events I have seen in my life, and I am half a planet away. Actually being there, buried in rubble or looking for missing loved ones or staring down a nuclear nightmare, is more than my mind can encompass.
And it's not nearly over. The horror of all this is only just beginning. The funeral industry in the stricken northern region is already overwhelmed, and there are still thousands - if not tens of thousands - of bodies waiting to be found. The process of cleaning up the devastation and then rebuilding will be Herculean in scope. Looming over it all is the seemingly inexorable threat posed by six damaged nuclear reactors.
The destruction and suffering involved here is unspeakable...and so, of course, the ghouls descended.
In this, there are degrees of ghoulishness. Comedian Gilbert Gottfried made some Twitter jokes which failed with such terminal velocity that he was fired from his Aflac spokesman gig an hour after he hit 'Send.' Rapper 50 Cent sent a Tweet about having to "evacuate his hoes," another attempt at humor that fell utterly and obnoxiously flat. The moral here, I suppose, is that celebrities should have their Twitter accounts suspended whenever a disaster takes place, so as to save them from themselves.
These are two fairly nauseating examples of some of the reactions to what happened in Japan, but these pale in comparison to the reactions from a pair of soulless cretins we know all too well. Try to contain your shock, but yes, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh went out of their way to peg the needle on the Ghoul-o-Meter in the aftermath of the Japan calamity.
"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac
"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."
~Harry S. Truman