Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mourning for Japan

I've gotten so many emails, texts, phone calls from folks saying how glad they are that I am not there to go through this.  And, of course, I'm also happy to not be there during this horrible devastation.  But I am so, so sad for the Japanese people.  I don't know what to say that could possibly describe it.

My blogging daughter did a better job than I could do.  Click here to see her eloquent post.  Also, she is selling a photo print from her Japan series, with 100% of the price going to Japan relief.  If you're interested in getting more information about this, click here.

On the news, commentators seem amazed by the attitude of the Japanese people because they are calm and patient under the worst possible conditions.  I don't profess to be an authority on Japanese culture, but after 4 visits to Japan, if someone asked me before the earthquake how the Japanese would react to a terrible crisis, I would have said that they would be calm and patient.  This is a very different culture from the USA.  These people are all rule-followers.  At an intersection with no cars in sight, not one person will step off the curb until the sign says to go.  No one would even think of crossing until allowed to do so.  Crime is very minimal.  Bicycles are left unlocked, and no one takes them.  It's a different way of thinking and a different world.  These are strong, brave people but it's hard to wrap my brain around what's happened there.

I always say that from something bad, something good always comes.  But sometimes, like now, it's really hard to find the silver lining in this enormous cloud.  I've never been a supporter of nuclear energy because, just like in Japan, things go wrong.  Shit happens; it's not always totally foreseeable.  I don't care how safe its proponents say it is, when the genie comes out of the bottle in the nuclear world, watch out.  Maybe this event will make us reconsider nuclear energy and put our focus on safer sources, like the wind and the sun.

(c) Mike Lukovich

On a much lighter note, the somber news has finally gotten the media to focus on something other than crazy Charlie Sheen, as the brilliant Mike Lukovich points out above.

I hope for better days for the poor people of Japan.

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