I was playing Pokemon when I read about the earthquake in Japan. Chad sent out an email to all the Destructoid editors, making sure Dale North was okay. He lives in Japan, so this is scary shit. Don't think he can get email, but he's been Tweeting that he's okay. I tweeted at him that I'm glad he's alright.
I went back to playing Pokemon, because I didn't really know what else to do. Tweeted some bullshit about losing an online battle, and kept playing. Someone tweeted at me, probably quite disgustedly, "You know there was just a massive earthquake in Japan, right?" and I fired back something about how "No shit. What do you want me to do, go buy a bucket and a plane ticket?"
Then I started watching the Al Jazeera video feed, and I got that tight feeling in my chest. I deleted my tweets, because they seemed insensitive, and I felt like a dick for sitting there playing Pokemon while horrible destruction was going on. And then I felt like a dick for deleting the tweets to protect whatever image I might be trying to maintain.
And then I just watched the video feed, and read Twitter, and felt worse and worse about everything.
Japan is an amazing place. There's nowhere else I want to visit as much as Japan. It's Japan. It's awesome. Obviously, I love video games and anime, and they come from there. Now there's a big fucking disaster ruining peoples' homes and nobody's even mentioned the word "body count."
It doesn't matter if my favorite things come from Japan, or if I appreciate its culture. What matters is that human beings, somewhere, are suffering a great deal. The knee-jerk reaction is try and help -- which is something I intend to do however I can -- but at the same time, Japan is five thousand miles away.
There's a tsunami warning for San Francisco in seven hours. That's a scary fucking concept. SF is fifty feet above sea level and I live about a mile and a half from the water. I'm sitting here, reading the internet, and getting scared.
I've lived through a tsunami warning before. I was playing bocce ball on Venice beach sometime last year. We had the time the wave was predicted for, down to the minute, and we stood there watching the ocean. Nothing happened.
Reading the official bulletin, a tsunami "watch" is the lowest level of alarm. Sort of like the neighborhood watch, except instead of a break-in, the worst case scenario is a killer fucking tidal wave.
The information age has brought forth a lot of amazing things. We know what's going on around the world, as it's happening, but that's not always for the best. I've lived in California for ten years, and in that ten years, I've felt two earthquakes, and one of them I wouldn't have realized was an earthquake if I hadn't checked Facebook.
Assuming I don't get washed away by something out of a Roland Emmerich movie, first thing I wanna do tomorrow is talk to someone at Revision3 about doing some charity fundraising shit. Right now, though, there's really not much I can do that's productive. I looked around for some kind of charity effort, and nobody's listed anything official yet.
Aside from my absolute terror at the thought of a tidal wave hitting SF -- seriously, I have fucking nightmares -- there's still that long-distance feeling of guilt. Before the internet, it wasn't like this. Yes, regularly scheduled program would be interrupted with emergency broadcasts, but it wasn't like Twitter or Facebook.
Maybe that was for the best, but I think ignorance is bliss. And they just bumped this up to a Tsunami warning. What the fuck does that mean? I don't know. I need to get off the internet. It's just making me worry.
I wrote this because I just needed to write something, so if it looks really stupid in the morning, please disregard it.