Monday, March 14, 2011

A Post A Day

I've been watching Naz's image a day photoblog with interest and fascination and it's inspired me to try something similar, only with words. In recent months I've put off writing blog posts with the justification, to myself at least, of not having enough time.

It's one of those amusing ironies in the life of a blogger, or at least in the life of a blogger who mostly writes a "diary" type blog such as this; that the more that happens in life, the more interesting and chunky subject matter there is to write about, but the less time exists in which to do the writing.

So I'm going to take a week as a starting point and try to write a post a day. Without the usual time and effort that I put in to posts, which believe it or not is a fair amount when I do one.

I'm going to try and chuck out some random thoughts each day, some might be big, others small and inconsequential.

Today's is about the tragic tsunami in Japan and the contrast between the coverage of it compared to the Sri Lankan one.

I've been watching a lot of news over the weekend and it dawned on me from Friday how this Japanese one has seemed like a "live" event. Some, if not all of this, is clearly because of the wealth of Japan in contrast to the wealth of many of the areas affected in the Sri Lankan tsunami.

We've watched the nuclear power plant explosion, we've watched people being rescued and possessions being swept to oblivion. So far I haven't seen an onscreen death but I'm not sure if this is by design or accident and wonder if it's just a matter of time.

And this "publicity", if that's the word, is it good or bad or both?

Perhaps it has helped to make the rest of the world feel more sympathetic towards Japan's disaster, maybe by making us feel more involved we're more likely to help if we can, all else being equal.

Of course, for me and most other Sri Lankans, we're connected to Lanka so things aren't equal. But, from the view of many in the world who have watched things in the media as they unfold it really seems as if the Japanese tsunami has been more vivid and more real.

And I'm not sure if that's good, bad or just fact.


Anonymous said...

Sad that you would want to make a comparison of people's misery irrespective of good, bad or fact

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Anon - thank you for the comment. To clear up any misunderstanding I want to make it clear that I'm not comparing peoples' misery, rather I'm comparing the media coverage of the Japanese event with the coverage of the 2004 tsunami.

Anonymous said...

Just perhaps it's nothing to do with wealth. The outpouring of support financial and otherwise to the tsunami affecting Sri Lanka (be it many promises of financial aid never reached its destination) was extraordinary. Has that happened for Japan? Not yet. Perhaps it's simply that the last tsunami and this one have occurred in a relatively short time span which makes it feel more real. If anything, in my opinion, more publicity is being given to the nuclear reactors than the deaths and devastation as it did for Sri Lanka and its neighbours. I don't think the coverage is to do with wealth. I think that you're being biased in an unpleasant way due to your Sri Lankan background. But that is just my opinion.Perhaps that is down to my roots.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Anon - I'm not sure if you've misunderstood me, I meant that the increased coverage of the Japanese event is influenced by the wealth of Japan and therefore the technology easily available, cameras and the like.

Yes you're right, the nuclear reactors adds a dimension that didn't exist for the SL tsunami. What are your roots, as I don't quite get what you mean when you say I'm being biased?

Anonymous said...

Obviously Japanese. Yes my extended family could be more wealthy than yours. But they have or some have died. Does it matter that they are/ were more wealthy? Both died. Do you perceive coverage to do with wealth or is it that over 6 years on technology has advanced? Or is it that you deep down want to feel that a poorer country got less coverage? I seem to recall the tsunami of 2004 was continuously covered. Think deeply, is it wealth,cameras, or are you making a case for poverty thus not important? I'd say 10 000 people have died. That's important. That deserves coverage. I would say will the reactor go off or not doesn't. That creates fear. Does one seem more real to others or not- No I don't think it does. I think that's you wanting it to be.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Anon - I didn't realise that your roots are Japanese and please accept my genuine condolences for any losses suffered by you and/or your family.

To answer some of your questions, it doesn't matter to me about the wealth of people who have died or have suffered, I think it's a tragedy regardless. And I think the increased coverage is a consequence of both wealth and the fact that it's 7 years on since the other one.

I guess it's all about perception, both are tragedies with massive losses of life, I was merely commenting on my observations, not judging the value of life or anything similar. Thank you for commenting.