Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The earthquake

There might be some political discussions relating to the earthquake in Sichuan that are appropriate right now, such as questions regarding freedom of information and press restrictions.  However, I think---and I say this with some trepidation---we should take our cues from the people in Sichuan and from China's general discussion of the tragedy.  And just watch how events unfold.  

Unless we (I use the word "we" to mean people discussing China but not in China, knowing this does not apply to all readers) have something absolutely vitally important to say, some fact about the earthquake that we have uncovered and no one else knows, or an interview with someone in regards to the tragedy that must be heard... we should keep our thoughts respectfully focused on the victims and their families.  

And by all means save the political predictions and comparisons with the Tangshan earthquake and re-warmed Chinese philosophy stuff about the Mandate of Heaven for later.

Right now, everyone---here I mean "we" in its most inclusive sense---should just try to understand, as much as is possible for us human beings with a limited ability to absorb loss beyond our own lives, what it means for over 20,000 people to be extinguished just like that.

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