December 26, 2003
Earthquake in Iran
This is the best site I’ve seen so far for news on the horrible earthquake in Iran. The site is going with reports on Iranian television that at least 4,000 people have been killed and 30,000 injured.
Update: In case you hadn’t heard. 20,000 people dead, by latest official estimates. With that, I’ll stop the depressing count of death. What a sad thing.
Update II: OK, I lied. 25,000. I know, I know. This doesn’t help. If you’re like me, your mind reels. You can neither fathom 25,000 dead, nor muster up anything but a vague sort of concern. We think of ourselves as thoroughly decent people, yet we can’t even summon up any sort of tears for this massacre, when just last week, we were fighting them back watching Gandalf cheer Peregrin Took in preparation for certain death. How awful am I, we think, if the imminent deaths of two fictional characters cause more emotion than the very real deaths of 25,000? In fact, we’re more concerned about our relative lack of concern than about the Iranian apocalypse itself. (Yes, I know, I’m projecting. Bear with me.) Well, yes, no bones about it, we’re awful, as sentient beings go. But, as humans, with a few fortunate exceptions, we’re mostly all this awful. So what are you going to do?
No guilt trip here, see? We’re all aware on some level of our considerate shortcomings, and if you’re again like me, you can find some strange sort of frightening solace in the knowledge that one possibly-imminent day you too will die, and with a few fortunate exceptions, no one will be all that concerned.
Meanwhile, give a little. Pretending to care at least is something.