I have neither the ability nor the words to appropriately comprehend, assess or pay tribute to the human loss in southern Asia and around the Indian Ocean brought about by the underwater earthquake and subsequent tsunami on December 26.
We were at the wedding of a good friend on New Year’s Eve and the exceptional band did a cover of the Weather Girls’ “It’s Raining Men.” Caught up in the merriment, excitement, good will, and champagne of the evening, the lyrics of the song washed over me without making much of an impression, but that night while I slept these lines kept crawling through my head:
God bless Mother Nature
She’s a single woman too
She took over heaven
And she did what she had to do
She fought every Angel
She rearranged the sky
So that each and every woman
Could find the perfect guy
I tossed and turned as this whimsical, clever scenario did battle with the REAL Mother Nature, who while benign enough to allow a terrestrial environment supportive of life, is also a stone cold murderous Queen Bitch capable of slaughtering, at last count, over 155,000 men, women and children with the equivalent of a hiccup.
All of our plans, hopes, dreams — our very lives — are contingent upon cooperation from this merciless ball we live upon, and that is cooperation we can never take for granted, only continue to improve our ability to respond and react to its movements and gestures, with no more control than fleas on a dog.
Upon further reflection, the song that best captures this tenuous relationship is an old one by Sparks:
When she’s on her best behavior
Dont be tempted by her favors
Never turn your back on mother earth
Towns are hurled from A to B
By hands that looked so smooth to me
Never turn your back on mother earth
(“Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth” – Ron Mael)
Please consider responding by donating as you can to any number of worthy agencies, including UNICEF via the ad on our left sidebar. Various relief agencies can be found here, you can keep up with breaking news here, blogs covering the disaster and aftermath here, and CNN has a list of national information hotlines here.
Our own coverage will continue to be accumulated below:
The fine print behind Tsunami relief
Driving back from the city, I caught an NPR “Marketplace” segment concerning the heavy tariff burden the U.S. places on countries devastated by the Tsunami. Apparently, the average U.S. duty rate on products from rich nations is about 1%, while…
Posted in Blogcritics on January 13, 2005 08:31 PM
Wharton has a fascinating if oddly clincal (they are a business school, after all) look at the logisitcs and economics of disaster relief, the long-term developmental needs of the areas hit, and aspects of disaster planning. Though highly informative throughout,…
Posted in Blogcritics on January 13, 2005 01:34 PM
What is tangible are the insinuations and outright scolding heaped on various nations and entertainment and sports superstars who haven’t ponied up what is perceived to be an adequate amount. Those assertions crackle, are real, are something we can really associate with.
Posted in Blogcritics on January 13, 2005 08:46 AM
Krakatoa, The Day the World Exploded – by Simon Winchester
Simon Winchester could not have known, when he wrote this book in 2003, that the earth would move in Indonesia, so soon and so tragically. His topic is the explosion of Krakatoa on August 27, 1883, which obliterated an island…
Posted in Blogcritics on January 10, 2005 08:55 PM
“How Could God Let This Happen?”
The question that arose instantly, among people all over the tsunami zone, after the December 26 disaster. “God is always the fall guy,” Greek Orthodox theologian Costas Kyriakides in Cyprus told Reuters. Indeed, this has proved to be so among…
Posted in Blogcritics on January 8, 2005 03:32 PM
Tsunami Carnage: A Blogger’s Perspective
The recent Tsunami tragedy is unprecedented in modern history and of truly Biblical proportions. Thanks to technology, never in the history of mankind has the world witnessed such an epic event.
Posted in Blogcritics on January 7, 2005 09:46 PM
Onward Christian Soldiers.. aka the Tsunami victims will go to hell
I can’t even believe this, it is so antithical to any Christian beliefs, but, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, in his twisted version of God’s will, chose to grace us with this verse from the Bible at a Congressional Prayer…
Posted in Blogcritics on January 7, 2005 12:41 AM
Text messaging technology helped link people and information during and in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster, and texting may become part of a warning system for the Indian Ocean: Sanjaya Senanayake works for Sri Lankan television. The blogging world,…
Posted in Blogcritics on January 6, 2005 05:58 PM
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN…?
While the body count from last week’s tsunami continues to rise, the intelligence level of our newscasts on the event continues to fall. We’ve gone from reporting on the disaster, to reporting on our financial response to the disaster, to…
Posted in Blogcritics on January 6, 2005 12:19 PM
Tsunami Affects Some of Asia’s Last Stone Age Tribes
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Andaman Sea are home to Asia’s last Stone Age tribes. There are six main groups : 1. the 270 strong Jarava; 2. the 100 member Onge; 3. the 50 – 250 member Sentinelese;…
Posted in Blogcritics on January 5, 2005 10:39 PM
Doesn’t God Care?
As poignant as it is inevitable, a recurring question after natural disasters of the magnitude of the Indian Ocean tsunami is “how could God allow this to happen”? Isn’t such wanton destruction of innocent life proof that God doesn’t exist,…
Posted in Blogcritics on January 5, 2005 04:50 PM
Celebrity Tsunami Donations, Benefits, Fund Raisers
The celebs are falling all over themselves to give money, stage benefits and the like for tsunami disaster relief – I assume no motives other than good will are in play: Steven Spielberg is donating $1.5m to be split between…
Posted in Blogcritics on January 5, 2005 12:13 PM
Tsunamis & Coffee cups
Help out with Tsunami relief and get quality software, too.
Posted in Blogcritics on January 5, 2005 11:04 AM
The earthquake off Aceh, like the explosion of Krakatoa and the Lisbon and San Francisco earthquakes seems to be resonating in Western culture, perhaps more than other natural disasters. Krakatoa was within sight of Batavia, the Dutch colonial capital of…
Posted in Blogcritics on January 4, 2005 08:44 PM
Powell Tours Tsunami Zone
I think Bush is very lucky Sec. Powell is still around – this mission to the tsunami-devastated areas is exactly where his weight and prestige on the world stage is most effective: Secretary of State Colin Powell said Tuesday the…
Posted in Blogcritics on January 4, 2005 02:28 PM
The Face of the Wave
Our 5 year-old daughter is now totally into monster and superhero movies, and so we were watching The Return of the Mummy the other night. The scene where the reconstituted mummy, who has powers and shit, raised up the waters…
Posted in Blogcritics on January 4, 2005 12:51 PM
Hope, Healing and Solidarity
From the wires, President Bush enlisted two former presidents for an ambitious private fund-raising drive for victims of the deadly tsunami on Monday, asking Americans to open their wallets to help the millions left homeless, hungry and injured. “The devastation…
Posted in Blogcritics on January 3, 2005 06:25 PM
Charles Darwin’s Tsunami Narrative
Whilst on his expedition aboard the Beagle, Charles Darwin witnessed an earthquake / tsunami in the Pacific, where they are much more common and where warning systems are currently in place:Shortly after the shock, a great wave was seen from…
Posted in Blogcritics on January 3, 2005 11:43 AM
2005 and Biblical Shit
There’s no time for Noah; nope, just enough time for God’s Cosmic Flyswatter to return some balance to the population.
Posted in Blogcritics on January 3, 2005 09:22 AM
Biting the Hand That Feeds You?
[ Thought provoking comment ] [ZZ NewsPortal]: We came across a comment in Tim Blair’s blog we thought worth sharing. Especially with our EU friends. Yes, we do have friends in the EU. We suspect more and more Americans are…
Posted in Blogcritics on January 1, 2005 09:43 PM
EVERYTHING ELSE… Pales into insignificance… Really… 125,000-DEAD… AND THE TOLL’S STILL RISING… A baby is ripped from her father’s arms… Claimed by an angry ocean… An Indian couple… Carry their dead children… Shaking… And… Pleading… With them… To wake… Just…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 31, 2004 09:29 PM
Earthquakes and Tsunamis
An earthquake in the fjord-like Lituya Bay, Alaska, on July 9, 1958, generated a tsunami wave 524 meters (1719 feet) high, moving at a speed of 160 kilometers per hour.
Posted in Blogcritics on December 31, 2004 07:39 PM
What you can do to help with relief for the greatest disaster of the twenty-first century
Posted in Blogcritics on December 31, 2004 05:31 PM
AF&O’s The Year that Was: Top News of 2004
All Facts and Opinions’ take on news in the year that was.
Posted in Blogcritics on December 31, 2004 03:10 PM
“The Year the Earth Fought Back”
Simon Winchester, author of “Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded,” wrote a very interesting and provocative piece for this past Wednesday’s New York Times Op-Ed page about last weekend’s earthquake. He suggested that a kind of global, subterranean “Butterfly Effect”…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 31, 2004 11:16 AM
Blogging the President’s Last, Great Press Conference of 2004
“Thank you all very much. For those of you coming to Crawford, I look forward to not seeing you.”
Posted in Blogcritics on December 31, 2004 09:19 AM
States of Fear, Bad Science and Perceptions of Reality
A review of Michael Crichton’s “State Of Fear”
Posted in Blogcritics on December 30, 2004 08:30 PM
Another Loss to the Wave
India’s southernmost point, Indira Point, was a 100 sq. km island 51 km from “Point Zero” at Campbell Bay and 140 km from Sumatra. This island has also been known as Parson’s Point and Pygmalion Point. It is a…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 30, 2004 12:30 PM
Why We’re Stingy
Helping the poorest nations on earth overcome one of the largest natural disasters in history is less important than the Bush inauguration. The inauguration of Bush is more important than rebuilding the lives of millions.
Posted in Blogcritics on December 30, 2004 11:10 AM
The endangered, possibly lost, tribes of the Andamans
Posted in Blogcritics on December 29, 2004 12:56 AM
The South-East Asia Tsunami and Earthquake
A terrible, terrible disaster. So many wonderful places wiped out and so many lives lost. As one of the Blogcritics in the region (though, thankfully, my city was sheltered from the waves), I’m thankful that those of my loved ones…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 28, 2004 01:59 PM
Blogging and Bloggers Raise Disaster Relief Funds
Bloggers are an interesting lot. We have a lot to say about everything and anything. One noteworthy satirst however is doing something about the tsunami disaster off the coast of Sumatra, and not just writing about it either. Scott Ott,…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 28, 2004 12:16 AM
Jet Li Reported Missing
I know I said I wasn’t going to post this week, but I had to give a quick word regarding the tragic earthquake that has taken place in Asia. As I type this, the death/missing toll is in the vicinity…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 27, 2004 07:36 PM