In response to the 8.9 earthquake in Japan, which I saw live on TV only hours ago, I must say that this is quite a tragedy. My heart goes out to those affected by it directly and indirectly. Tragic as any unforeseen disaster may be, the inevitability is always the real kicker. Disaster strikes with no warning and no matter how much we humans prepare, the reality is harsh. People die and properties are damaged. In tumultuous times, we must stay strong, support those who need it, keep a positive attitude and help out if possible.
As I sit and watch the quake-caused tsunami’s destruction unfolding in Japan, I can’t help but think of all those suffering. It seems as if the camera is shooting from a helicopter, panning the bigger picture. The wayward water is sweeping up everything in its path, looking like a giant blob engulfing cars, large and small items and other debris. Because the camera is capturing a very wide angle, it looks like nuts, sprinkles and marshmallows are floating atop melted chocolate ice cream. But watching this footage actually leaves a sour taste.
But as the newscast spills over the allotted time, I start thinking if it’s necessary for the news to continuously center on the carnage. It’s almost like watching an execution, but instead of an inmate receiving a lethal injection by the state, we’re watching Mother Nature slowly unleash her wrath on Japan. Luckily, footage of people screaming in panic and scrambling for safety was not televised. Around 1 a.m., the Emergency Alert System released a Tsunami Warning in the Bay Area. It was the first time I saw a real one and made me slightly uneasy.
As a society, we can’t help but be enthralled by the sudden drama of it all. Like any good story, conflict is key. It’s obvious that the destruction is something to behold because it’s really unbelievable, and even a newscaster noted that they are not featuring the areas that the tsunami missed, because really, what is there to see? Untouched buildings? People safely standing around? Dry land? Boring. From a journalism standpoint, sensationalism sells. Do we really need a play by play of the fight between Mother Nature versus Japan? I’d imagine that any footage featuring devastation affecting many people will only garner feelings of sympathy, shock, disbelief, sadness and on a positive note – a need to help.
Here are some really helpful links: