Sunday, March 20, 2011

What's Going Down In Tokyo-town?

What does one do when they have too much time on their hands? Read? Sew? Design a more efficient way to make ice cubes? No. The answer: BLOG. When this equation is reversed, it is made very clear that the general population has more spare time than they can handle. This surplus also leads people, yours truly included, to be permanently connected to a steady stream of sensational slop that tends to take our minds away from the rational and on to the Hollywood-inspired-end-of-days-omg-irrational (I would quote Oscar Wilde if I thought the word "art" was appropriate. Oh, where is mimesis when you need it?). How could a world so gifted and blessed act like such cattle? Because it's easy.

We live in a "developed" world of convenience. For those of us in the "developed" world, developed really means the size of the seats required to accommodate the increasing jeans sizes that have "developed" in the last 20 years. Perhaps over-developed is more appropriate? This has led us to the inability to perform basic tasks that were once requisite of almost the entire populace (Rockefeller-types excluded). While news reports of food shortages in Tokyo were spread about the world-wide-web, my wife went to the local bakery and bought fresh bread. We ate veggies from our local stand. Milk was obviously absent (and is still missing in many places) but for a culture that is dairy-ily challenged, I shall have to let that go. Rice is also short but is still available at all of the MANY restaurants that are still open everyday. This most certainly has made lives a little more challenging in T-town but we should not forget the bigger picture: there are also hundreds-of-thousands of people in the Tohoku region who are living in far more basic conditions that should get priority.

It does bother me that the headline about the current crisis in Japan is more about a "potential" threat from the nuclear disaster that could be rather than the "kinetic" catastrophe from the tsunami that IS. Unfortunately, this post-emergency amnesia is all too common in our world of 24 hour news. Anyone remember the 2004 tsunami, the Haiti earthquake, or even Hurricane Katrina, not to mention our servicemen and women in Iraq and Afghanistan? We move on so quickly that we often leave behind the most important part of any golf swing: follow through.

I guess that this rant will have to come to a point. Otherwise, you will quickly move on to the next post, blog, or tweet-maybe you already have-DOH! Now, the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster (Yes, disaster because "incident" is indeed too "incidental") is and will be a huge problem for the region. I am no scientist and won't postulate on the half-life of Cesium but I will say that the everyday pattern of life for people in Fukushima/Miyagi/Iwate will have to change. It will be a challenge and may have some impact on lives elsewhere but barring any Book of Revelations movie script scenario, life will go on. Please keep your wits about you and remember that most of what you read, and are reading, is opinion.

Be well,