This morning, at 3:10am, the New York Times reports: "Two trains, one heading from Beijing to Qingdao and the other traveling between Yantai and Xuzhou, collided around 4:40 a.m. outside the town of Zibo, Shandong province. Witnesses said one train derailed on a bend in the tracks and then struck the other, throwing at least ten carriages into a ditch.The crash killed at least 66 people and injured hundreds more, authorities said, making it one of the deadliest rail accidents in recent years."
This is the problem for me with reading international news... there is a lack of immediate connection that I experience because of the epic physical distance that separates me and my life from such a far distant event. That lack of connection, for just a moment, allows my brain to wander unbounded by the rules of decency and decorum. Woody Allen said, "Comedy equals tragedy plus time." I would like to suggest that an analogous equation is: Comedy equals tragedy plus distance.
Here I am in the pre-dawn of a Brooklyn morning, sitting in front of my laptop computer, eating yogurt and reading the online version of this venerated newspaper, and this article about a train tragedy in China that occurred 7,000 miles away from where I live is the first thing I am reading... but because the physical context for this event is so outside my normal frame of reference, my first thought is not empathy or a profound sense of loss... but rather, I think:
"Hmmm, sounds like one of those high school math problems --- If a train leaves Beijing at 3:15am, and another train leaves Yantai at 2:45am, at what time will they collide outside of the town of Zibo in the Shandong Province, and how many people will die as a result?"
Of course, being raised a Protestant, my next thought is remorse and guilt for having had a such a thought, but still... the joke was my first thought.
My Loopt Journal
Saturday, April 26, 2008
|Irish Day Parade|
Kind of disappointing... I expected more Catholic Catharsis.
I went looking for loose women and drinking in the streets, and instead found a family friendly event with a couple of excited (but mostly sober) teenagers passing through the crowd from time to time.
All things must pass I guess...
Friday, April 25, 2008
|The Order of Things|
This is a digital viewing of my book collage (which is better appreciated in analog form). It is a mixture of two discourses; the scientific approach to the human body and the scientific approach to the human dominaton of this planet, all inlaid upon a 1970's children's poetry book.
Hope you enjoy it...