It used to be if you wanted to see some dramatric, over-the-top otherworldly disaster, you’d have to rely on Hollywood.
The movies would try to outdo each other subjecting cities and people to fictional mega-disasters. The movies still do. But depressingly, it seems real life has gotten just as bad over the past ten years.
We’ve been subjected to the horrible spectacle of the World Trade Center attack, the first big tsunami disaster of 2004, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and more.
Recently, the mega-disasters have been coming fast and furious: The floods in Austrailia, the earthquake in New Zealand, and now the tsunami in Japan.
The religious wackos say this is a sign of the end times. They seem to be joyous in the face of all this human death and misery. Frankly, I just want to smack these people. Gawd, using horrible things to smugly justify their own false religious beliefs, or worse, scam money from the gullible.
What’s really going on is everybody has a camera now. Think about it. If the Japanese earthquake and tsunami happened 30 years ago, of course it would be all over the news, and we would have surely seen televised images of the destruction.
Now, everybody instinctively thinks: Media. That’s why so many people in Japan got their cameras rolling as soon as the Tokyo skyscrapers started rocking back and forth like tall grass in a windstorm.
It’s why the television stations over there thought to hop into an airplane to take aerial shots of the tsunami rolling over Japanese humanity. And we get videos that both fascinate and horrify, like this one:
I’m not criticizing all this. Humans want to share. So if they have a greater ability to share their shock, fear, awe and catastrophe, they will.
Now, we have hundreds of you-are-there videos of the earthquake and tsunami at our fingertips. We can’t help watching them over and over again, and finding new videos that are constantly appearing on YouTube and more Internet sites than anyone can count.
We talk about them constantly. “Did you see the video taken inside the supermarket?” “Oh my God, that video shows the wave taking a whole village of houses away.”
We are immeresd in big disasters like we’ve never been before. It makes it so we can’t help wondering if we are next in line to be obliterated in the Next Big Catastrophe.
No wonder a lot of us think Mother Nature is constantly trying to outdo herself to find creative ways to kill us all.