Friday, December 31, 2004


There's an interesting group called Digital Global that supplies images. The tsunami that happened on the 26th generated some good stuff. This link from their web site is one of the retreating water at a place called Kalutara, Sri Lanka. Just looks like another day at the beach, don't it? I guess that what is interesting about the pictures is the fact that they're so pure and distant. The technology tends to connect the facts of an event without really communicating the horror. Neutral and without the horrors of reality. Just some good stuff from overhead. The body count is now well over 100,000 and still going up and all the school kids are sending the contents of their piggy banks to the Red Cross. Curious. What are they supposed to do with the money? Send the grieving relatives to the movies? Do they need shovels? Really?

I suppose the problem that I'm grappling with is one of perception. Because we have a chance to actually see such an event we can look inside ourselves and feel empathy. But the 2 million who have died in Central Africa in the last year didn't even make a ripple in the Indian Ocean. No TV there. No dramatic footage. No pictures from space. No made for TV movie? Where's Bruce Willis fighting his way through another disaster?

Seriously, what can they do with the donated money? Buy all the survivors iPods? Bluetooth earplugs? A boombox to go into each coffin to make the trip across the Styx more enjoyable?

Sigh. Happy New Year.