Wednesday, May 14, 2008

on disaster

just a note about all the crazy disasters happening in the world. first myanmar, then the tornadoes through the U.S. midwest, then the earthquake in western china.

i posted briefly before about being in japan when the earthquake happened in kobe. i watched the city burn and resolved to organize my high school to send aid. we raised several thousand dollars and sent a dozen volunteers to help rebuild over spring break.

something sinister is happening in the world. i can't help but feel like the earth is taking out her anger on humans for fucking with her for so long. the fucked up thing is, it seems the disasters hit the people who aren't really to blame: poor folks, rural folks, people of color, children, people of the third world.

as first world citizens, it's times like these that it's really important to at least attempt to account for our role in chaos. i don't know how possible it is to be completely accountable. when oe kenzaburo wrote about okinawa and post WWII, he talked about how it was a type of sacrificial lamb. about how japan was trying to use it as a perpetual indulgence, rather than grin and bear a full-on confession in search of absolution.

somewhere between absolution and perpetual indulgence lies charitable donations.

the first and easiest thing we can do as first world citizens is provide capital. and so, in line with kristina wong's post, i am requesting you readers to please donate. kristina follows the l.a. times in donating to unicef. i am following suit. unicef seems most strategically placed to provide for aid in myanmar. but now that there's so many disasters, the red cross and doctors without borders would lend tremendous help, too. funds are tight in my life right now, but i have a home and food and my health. i'm asking you to at least match kristina's donation of $20, as i just did.

bloggers, please re-blog kristina's call for matching donations. as individuals, many of us don't have the funds to give what we would like, but as a collective, we can raise a substantial amount in micro donations. let's do this, y'all!

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