Observations by Key Monroe~~Home of Right Opinions, Cynical Viewpoints, and TMI in Hefty Doses
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January 03, 2005

Tsunami Dreams

The news, the pictures, the numbers, the inability to process it all... It has just seemed surreal. And, believe me, I hesitate to use such an overused - trite even - term, but I'm using it more appropriately than the teenagers from Dawson's Creek anyway.

I have had giant tidal wave dreams for as long as I can remember. Not every night, but occasionally and consistently since childhood. The giant wave always hits a small town, and I'm always standing on the edge of the town closest the shore. I see the wave, and I run. And everyone around me runs and screams and falls over each other, yet keeps looking back.

Why do that? It slows you down, right? We have to see it. We have to see the magnificent freak of nature (that is about to consume us) hit the shore. And each time, just as the wave is about to swallow me, and I can take no more of the sheer panic that is jolting my system, I wake.

So I stared at the coverage in disbelief as this nightmare of a dream came to life and stole tens of thousands of lives.

And I sure as hell wasn't going to write about it. I had nothing to say. Humbled by nature I was.

But however daunting Ma Nature, it is we humans who must clean up after her. Where to start, what to do?

Bodies. That got me. I understand and reluctantly agree with the necessity of the burn piles and mass graves, but I don't like it.

And I do not glorify the body once the life is removed and the soul is no longer there, but I believe that even the most minimal respect for the dead demands identification.

So when Velociman tackled the topic, I was comforted (in more than one way) when the following comment was posted:

Cholera is an almost automatic consequence of leaving decomposing bodies exposed longer than absolutely necessary.

There are teams in Thailand taking a finger or tissue sample from unidentified bodies to hopefully provide later identification for next of kin.

The luxury of "dignified" burial is not available. The Thais will nod politely at these requests (orders) by the Euros, and will get on with the job.

I can't believe that I am actually writing this, the scale of this disaster is almost beyond comprehension.

And, BTW, thank you, Americans, for your incredible generosity to the various fundsproviding relief.

I know that my corner of the world is exceptionally grateful.

-Pedro, from Australia

I hope the comment and the information within is legit. I want to believe that the bodies will later be identified. And I also want to believe that - outside the UN anyway - there is an appreciation for us much-loved Americans.

posted by Key on 12:24 AM | Comments (5)
» Truth, Lies & Common Sense links with: Tsunami Dreams
» suburban blight links with: Love Tap

As I have written before, Americans, as individuals, are very generous, and are thought of as so by the world. However, the Bush administration has fucked up an opportunity to show how the American government is not the imperialist "America only and to Hell with everyone else" government that has recently become the predominate perception. People are smart, and they recognize the difference between the population and the government, and the initial response of the American government (Bush not making any statements but instead staying on vacation, the first numbers on aid being less than 10 times what we are NOW offering) DID look mean and stingy. This is not to lend legitimacy to the comments of that idiot from the UN, but we have missed a golden opportunity to "gain face" in the Muslim world. The War on Terror isn't all about killing people, just as the Cold War wasn't won with bullets only, but also with McDonalds and Coca Cola.

I just wish people would stop being defensive and try looking at things from the point of view of people who don't have so much wealth they have television shows on how to remove "clutter" from their lives.

Posted by: Jack at January 3, 2005 09:19 AM

I think that long before we "lost face" in the Muslim world, people were literally losing their heads in the Muslim world. They've burned American flags in the Middle East for every administration over the last 20 years or so. If it's not this administration, it's America's ties to Israel. For many there is, and always will be, something to excuse this behavior. So let's not get too carried away with the choruses of Kumbaya.

I do agree, though, that the War On Terror needs to be approached from the "McDonalds and Coca Cola" aspect as well. It's an area in which Bush has failed and I really hope that he gets off his rear end and does something about it.

One question, though...if the Bush administration *did* start pushing a "McDonalds and Coca Cola" approach, how long do you think it'd be before the majority of the media, the Democrats and the left in general started slamming him for such capitalist aims. "How dare Bush impose his Western ideas on other cultures? He just wants new places to dump American goods, obtain cheap labor, and steal their natural resources! He's exploiting these poor people in the name of his colonial, hegemonic ambitions! Why, he's just evil!"

My guess...the knives would come out long before the Bush administration ever finished outlining its plans.

Posted by: zonker at January 3, 2005 12:27 PM

It is typical of the news to just report the facts that favor a little finger pointing. What the news failed to report and the UN failed to mention is that sending a Carrier Group to give aid and comfort is not free. It takes big bucks to move and support those ships not to mention the other expenses that will be born by the United States. Just moving that Carrier Group into the area will cost in excess of a billion dollars. If you want to know why they are moving a Carrier group I suggest going to a few WEB sites to realize the capablilites in producting electricity, water, medical and food.
The United States Government and the people of the United States have no reason to feel ashamed of cheap. There will always be those people who hate us, because they failed.

Posted by: James Old Guy at January 3, 2005 01:34 PM

Perhaps I over-simplify, but I can't help but to look at so many other countries as wayward children (yeah, even though they're older than us).

They don't want our guidance, our ideals, our capitalism, or our opinion, but when tragedy strikes, they want our money. This may be an unpopular opinion, but it is mine, and I own it.

And while a good parent will not withhold funds in a time of need, I do believe that we should encourage self-sufficiency. If these countries don't like the methods we've employed to obtain it, they need to come up their own, lest we are eventually bled dry.

As Sam indirectly pointed out, there will be no comparable aid coming to our rescue should a ten pointer split our country open and deliver mass carnage.

Sympathy, yes. Workers, yes. MONEY? Ha. Personal contributions from overseas, sure. Not millions or billions from other nations.

Having said that, I'm all for helping out with the tsunami relief. Yes, even conservatives have a heart. To feel for these victims and to want to help them is human. While I'm all about tough love and decreasing dependency in ANY category, I'm NOT about kicking anyone when they are down. Help them up, then put them on the right path.

My opinion as described above is a general one, and shouldn't be applied directly to this situation, other than understanding it as a mentality. It's difficult to discuss money in ANY conversation about ANYthing without sounding insensitive, which is why I intentionally left it out of my HEARTFELT post!

I certainly didn't intend to go there in depth anyway. But I actually appreciate the feedback on this, and certainly invite more. I have wondered what others have been thinking on what has turned into such a delicate matter.

... Still, sometimes I HAVE to wonder if Jack ONLY reads the last line of my posts! ; )

Posted by: Key at January 3, 2005 02:36 PM

I've also had dreams of this nature since I was a kid. After reading your post, I've come to realize what a blessing it must have been for my dreams to have ended where they do. I've never seen the aftermath, until this year.

Posted by: Cyberchip at April 13, 2005 02:41 PM
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