Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sinkholes, Earth Shifts? Have a Beer: Marginalizing Earth Changes

I'm fascinated by the weird disconnect some exhibit towards the subversive, surreal or anomalous. Even while acknowledging -- for how can one not, it's literally staring you in the face with physical evidence -- strange occurrences, some people trivialize the incredible. Here's an example from the UK's Telegraph; an article by Peter Foster:Are there any reasonable explanations for spectacular sinkholes in China?

The sinholes aren't in question; China has been experiencing a weird series of sinkholes lately, confirmed by photographs.  Combined with the sinkhole in Guatamala, as well as the general and dramatic earth activity we've been witness to recently globally,  something profound is happening. How we interpret "profound" is up to us, but it's ignorant, I suppose, and irresponsible, to ignore what's happening. In our despair, our panic, our confusion, our attempt to both face what's happening and then respond, we offer up answers. As Foster reports, the Chinese and  speculate on the causes of the sinkholes:
Closer and closer to 2012” warned one commenter on the Netease platform. “Will what was the ocean become land and what is now land become the ocean?,” asked another. “Do aliens come out of these holes?,” questioned a third.
On and on the comments go: “God is very angry with earthlings polluting behavior and has decided to punish earthlings,” said a fourth, and “Let’s organize ourselves and quickly go to Tibet to find the ark,” enjoins a fifth.
And so on. Foster does admit feeling uneasy about the literal shifting of our planet:
. . . looking at the pictures, I half-share their collective shiver of anticipation that these things are unnatural portents of catastrophe.
Quoting more speculations and theories found on the internet, Foster concludes:
That’s if you like that sort of thing. Me, I’m off for a beer while I wait for the earth to swallow me up.
I just wonder what was the point of this piece? I suppose one of my coping mechanisms to the forever -life -changing global events is a paranoid response to pieces like this. Marginalizing the strange is shallow and ignorant, but is it also a distraction, an intentional disinformation campaign? Some days I wonder if that isn't the case.

Somewhat round about related note: watching one of our three local news channels last night, I was not surprised, but nonetheless astounded, that the lead story was about a local college football player's explusion from the team. That was big news, not BP and their crimes in the gulf. After about fifteen minutes of sports as lead in and some other local stuff, there was about 60 seconds worth of middle of the road "news" on the oil spill. No commentary, just news wire stuff.

What's my point? I'm not sure; sadness, fear, helplessness, outrage, anger, confusion, ... easy to understand denial and flip, trivial crap like the above article, or fanatical responses to local athletics. But while I can understand, to a point, some of that response, I don't get it, and can't excuse it. DO something; rant, pray, scream, but wake up.

No comments: