Saturday, February 27, 2010

Waiting for the tsunami to hit

I admit it's somewhat surreal watching live coverage from Hawaii's coastline as they wait for possible tsunami waves from Chile's massive earthquake to hit. In this age of richly interconnected conventional and new media, the resulting spigot of information - from television, Twitter, Facebook, wherever - makes for some insane juxtapositions.

To wit: Canada just won two gold medals mere minutes apart - men's long track speedskating pursuit (Mathieu Giroux, Lucas Makowsky and Denny Morrison) and parallel giant slalom snowboarding (Jasey Jay Anderson) - and, considering the national navel-gazing over perceptions of success at these games, you'd think this would prompt a week-long coast-to-coast-to-coast block party. Yet overlaying extreme success on ice and snow with extreme threats from Mother Nature makes it hard to know what an appropriate response is.

Do we grab the nearest keg of beer and celebrate without regard to anything else that's going on in the world? Or do we put the games on hold while we focus on the very real tragedy that began unfolding with one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded (8.8...beyond belief) and continues to spread across the Pacific Ocean?

Life offers up an endless litany of contradictions. Today's technology makes it ever so difficult to navigate cleanly.

Your turn: I think I'm overthinking this. Thoughts?

7 comments:

Kay said...

the olympics are still going on? it is a valid point you make here, it is times like these i wish i participated in television, as i eagerly search for updates on-line of what is going on in Hawaii...as well as the irreparable damage of which has already been had.

it's devastating, and sombering.

MB said...

Technology has made the world seem so small.

I'm still glued to the winter games and simultaneously praying for the victims of the earthquake and those anxiously awaiting a possible tsunami. I can't even wrap my head around an 8.8 earthquake.

We are constantly living between joy and sorrow and can only hope the percentage of joy is greater in the end.

Breeze said...

I celebrate and feel guilty and then watch an update from Hawaii and then some alpine skiing and work hard to allow myself the pleasure when I know there is so much sorrow...I guess that's where you learn that pleasure and empathy are not mutually exclusive. Tough lesson.

Breeze

Ms. Kathleen said...

I would say enjoy while you can. Years ago I lived in Hawaii and experienced a tsunami. It took me 4 hours to get home on a bus, which lost it's breaks as the water was coming in the bus, followed by 2 weeks with no electricity. Fortunately we could grill everything. Stay safe!

potenta said...

hope the measures they take will prevent any catastrophic events...

God Bless!!

srp said...

I feel great sadness for those lost in Chile, Haiti and all natural disasters..... but I couldn't help but wonder at all the build-up and anxious waiting for the wave in Hawaii. It almost reminded me of the first moon landing.... though we couldn't actually see the exact moment of touch down from the vantage point of the moon....obviously. The emotion of hearing those words and eventually seeing the results was amazing. The "hype" for the tsunami wave was just that...."hype" to fill the never ending hours of so-called news....
I am grateful that none of the countries affected by the "waves" was seriously impacted. I am even more saddened to hear of the small towns and villages completely destroyed in Chile...
But, you cannot survive thinking only of the sorrow... there has to be a balance... so... congratulations to Canada on the great Olympics and to the US Bobsled team and to both hockey teams... whoever wins. I enjoyed them... it seemed that everyone tried to do their best and except for a certain Russian male figure skater, everyone showed a greater degree of sportsmanship than I had seen in some time.

And I must secretly admit that I have been completely drawn in to curling... have no idea how they score it or exactly what the point is... but it really sucks you in. Superficially, it reminds me of shuffleboard on ice.

Catherine said...

There were many, many more countries on tsunami watch than just Hawaii. Canadian news must be very American focused. Here, I don't stay tuned to the TV all the time, so I wasn't aware until late in the day that there was a tsunami warning out in Christchurch - we are far enough from the coastline that we wouldn't have been affected, and as the biggest surge came at low tide, fortunately it didn't come to much.