Thursday, January 06, 2005

A Wave of Emotions

I have lots of things I want to post about. I know. You've all heard that before. As B.O.B. pointed out in the comments of my last post "Now you listed a dozen or so things you were gonna blog about a couple of months ago and you've written Step it up man." And I will. That's not a resolution or anything. I leave it to you all as to whether or not I live up to it.

At any rate, I disappeared after Thanksgiving for a bit. Had a busy holiday season. Both sets of parents came to Cali to visit us and I had some serious crunch time at work. My initial procrastination was that we had such a good Thanksgiving, that I wanted to post about that before anything after that. That post is done except for the pictures by the way. It's huge. I'd finally decided that chronolgical order is overrated and was going to just post the damn thing. Then there was the Tsunami...

I've spent a lot of time absorbing that one. And I decided that it deserved my attention more than my Thanksgiving. I was struck by the way the death toll seemed to double nightly during the first week. Lynnea was affected more than I was. Talking about it helped some, but there was this overwhelming feeling that we had to do something. Donate money? Sure. We did that, but there is still a feeling that we should do something else.

Lynnea felt the need to talk to Maya about the events. To her credit, she handled the information well. She didn't get overly scared or obsessed with the dead. She, too, just got the feeling that she wanted to do something. She has suggested lemonade stands and selling hot chocolate and such. Then Lynnea suggested Maya design a T-Shirt and we make and sell them. All profits to benefit the relief efforts. Now, I don't want to derail her efforts, but I can't decide whether or not this is a good idea. I mean, if someone would pay $10 for a shirt and the it costs us $5 to get the shirt, that's a 50% overhead. Granted, they get something back, but why should they have to? On the flip side, if the shirts caught on, would it also be a powerful unifiying force. Large numbers of people wearing shirts in support of helping those in need. Might move even more people to help. Can't reconcile it.

I suppose there are worse things in the world than trying to decide what the best way to help is. At least those close to me want to help and that feels good. Even my office has gotten into the spirit. HR sent around something saying that donations made through Cymer will be matched dollar for dollar for the next couple of weeks. They'll even match donations you made before the announcement. All you need to do is bring by the receipt.

Meanwhile, if you look over on Bil's blog, there is a story about a group that has been strangely unhelpful. Short version is that the wingnuts feel the brown people are getting what they deserve. It's a little more complicated than that and it is jaded by my own disgust with the wingnuts, but there you have it. If you follow all the links in the article, you'll eventually come to a story about how some of the more vocal right wing religious organizations don't have any mention of the tragedy on their front page. They have lots of calls to action, but none for the tsunami victims. They are more concerned about what two adults do in their own bedroom than the 150,000+ that died and the innumerable more that have to carry on in the wake. I was curious about the truth of the assertion, so I sampled the links. Sadly, it was true. As of January 5, there was very little mention on the five or six sites I sampled. The information I did find was buried far down on the page and talked about the tragedy as an opportunity to evangelize.

An opportunity?!? WTF! These people have lost faith in their beliefs because of the devestation around them. So, these jerks are going in and telling them that the problem is they were worshipping the wrong way. If only they had followed the gourd!

Sorry. You can see why this is called wave of emotions. Sadness. Hope. Doubt. Disgust. Anger. I'm sure this train of thought is largely incomplete. But maybe it ought to be.