Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's not about us

Former All Black Pita Alatini and his family were evacuated from their home close to the epicentre of the 8.9 magnitude Japan earthquake.

The former test player was in Kamaishi, one of the worst hit areas, with his wife, popstar Megan, her mother Barbara Kirchner, and their two youngest children Tiara, 7, and 6-year-old Trey.
This is the news. Here is the front page of last week's Horror on Sunday. In Japan, thousands of people were missing, the death toll was thought be as high as ten thousand (it is now thought to be much higher) and a nuclear power plant was in a very bad way (it is now worse). What's more, twenty New Zealanders were among the missing. But look on the bright side: a former All-Black, his popstar wife and their children are safe. Here is a video showing something of what happened in Kamaishi. Many died there, but at least two Kiwi microcelebrites were not among them.

Or, to put it another way: when Christchurch had an earthquake, Japan sent some of its people to help. Now Japan is suffering, the HoS might have shown some solidarity, some compassion. But no: what matters is celebrity, however small. When weighed in the media balance, the lives of thousands of Japanese people are lighter than those of two New Zealanders who had been famous for a while.

Worse still, the front page of the Herald website displayed a page link with this text:
Best video from the quake / tsunami
A compilation of some of the most unmissable video
to emerge from Friday night's disaster in Japan
That's entertainment, folks; disaster porn at the click of a button; don't miss it.

1 comment:

Stephen Stratford said...

"Disaster porn". Yep.