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Friday, April 22, 2011

Getting-Over Disaster Fatigue

The steady, plodding stream of grim news tends wear you down. It's the kind of thing that you learn to tune-out after a while. If you don't, you'll just lose your mind.

Fortunately, we had the sakura come-out onto the trees not very long ago. Really, that's the nicest 2 weeks to be in Japan. Sitting under the sakura is especially good when you've got copious booze to keep you company.

There never seems to be positive news coming-out of Fukushima; sorting good information from bad is well-nigh impossible. The cable news in the U.S. has not done much to help matters, either.

All I know is that the people who work at Fukushima are doing so under extreme conditions, dealing with multiple, cascading problems. This unprecedented nuclear disaster has thusfar required a great deal of improvisation and, really, they're in way over their heads and are basically hanging-on by their fingernails. These are the kinds of conditions under which critical mistakes can be made. It's the kind of thing you just try to forget about because, if you don't, you won't be able to concentrate on anything else.

What also stinks is that Fukushima is the name of a perfectly decent city and prefecture. The name, by reputation alone, is going to be tainted more or less forever.

Anyway, Golden Week is coming-up. It's a stretch of three days off in the middle of the first week of May. Some months ago, back before the disasters of March 11th, I was planning to head down to Kagoshima. It didn't quite feel right to me, so I'm going to be spending those three days doing volunteer work in town. The people of Kobe, who know something about earthquakes, have been putting together some charity projects so I plan to be getting involved with those.

Here, have s'more sakura:


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