I am also wondering why they fail to see that there are people in need all around them probably a stones throw away but they choose not to
show any compassion to those people. Why are the Japanese so special that they are worthy of charity but others much closer to home are not?
Because the Japanese are in the public eye much more than others (understandably, due to the magnitude and ramifications of the disaster), and
because people from the "Western" world can identify with them more than they can identify with Turkey or Iran, not to mention Haiti.
You see, the Japanese are one of "us" - almost - while the others mentioned, well, aren't. All this by virtue of their technologically advanced
industry and media. THAT's why they are one of "us", and the others aren't.
This can be easily verified by watching the news on any given day. There'll be, say, a bus crash in Spain or France or Denmark - or, God forbid, in
the USA - in which, say, 20 people die. Tragic, of course. OF COURSE.
But on the same news you will often hear about, say, a mudslide in India, or a flood in Honduras, or an explosion (not war-related) in some African
country where HUNDREDS of people were killed..... and they barely get a mention.
Basically the same thing happens with the proverbial "neighbors".
Those victims that people feel can identify with get preferential treatment; marginals do not. They are the face of society people don't like
recognizing themselves in. And they are a very concrete opportunity to really DO something, which many people find unattractive. They prefer the safe
drama of a distant land in distress, to rhapsodize on the virtues of humanity and solidarity.
Speaking of solidarity... It is true that I do not follow this story very avidly anymore, but I have noticed remarkably few vocal criticisms of
Japan's ludicrous opposition to accept the help it had been offered from the very beginning. (This may have changed by now, but it certainly was true
in the first few days.)
Some equate it - very stupidly - with "pride".
It's not pride, it is something else: something else that is very ugly and unhealthy.
But let's leave it at that.
And the sagas about their "bravery"!
I am sure many Japanese ARE brave, very brave; and I am sure many aren't, just like everywhere else.
But how is simply staying alive and refusing to leave one's land "bravery"?
It is not cowardice, of course, but it certainly does not require bravery - the in-built survival instinct that we all have will do. It kicks in
I know this will be hard to believe, but I am compassionate to my own detriment; always have been.
However this maudlin hand-wringing and hysterical expressions of sudden "love" for Japan, frankly speaking, I find nauseating.
Not because of the Japanese - I wish them every good there is - but because of the hypocrisy of their "Western" mourners.
edit on 19-3-2011 by AdAstra because: (no reason given)