Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tomorrow and Christchurch

Am  I  hard-hearted, or just experiencing a natural reaction to force-fed sentimental voyeurism?

Various media have 'advertised' to me that tomorrow is the anniversary of the February Christchurch earthquake and what their associated publicity ventures will be. How they will track personal outcomes, talk to those who lost loved ones, those who rescued survivors, those who  left Christchurch, those who went to Christchurch...

Sorry. I'm not interested.

Christchurch has gone through a terrible time. Terrible. Many of us have made individual practical demonstrations of our sympathy. Silly slogan-like statements like, "...we haven't forgotten you Christchurch" get on my nerves. If I lived there I would be sick to death of people flying in, telling me how much they empathise, and flying out.

And why agonise on an anniversary anyway?  Real care is ongoing.

The commemoration of tragedy, not confined to Christchurch by any means, is starting to take on a strange religiosity in a largely secular country. Perhaps it fulfils  the same emotional need that collective worship does. Whatever. It is an emotional need  I am obviously devoid of.


Kiwiwit said...

Well said, Lindsay. The media would be better focusing on the reasons why the rebuilding work has barely begun.

Sam P said...

Bravo Lindsay. Same here.

Anonymous said...

The media would be better focusing on the reasons why the rebuilding work has barely begun.

you mean the aftershocks?

yeah. let's blame them on Key & the Nats. why not?

Manolo said...

Add me to the list of cold, frigid and devoid of sentimentalism. :-)

Will H said...

Couldn't have put it better myself - will be avoiding NZ media even more than usual for the rest of the week.

New series of Grand Designs starts tomorrow- more inspiring viewing for Cantabrians than schmaltzy rubbish from John Campbell!

Anonymous said...

You voice my sentiments quite well Lindsay - and I live in Chch. We suffered through them all, lost a friend in the PGG building, lost in income, etc.

However we have friends and great neighbours, the sun is shining, we haven't had an aftershock in a good while, and I'd rather focus on the future.

No place I'd rather be right now.

All this lame media "empathy" irks me.

+1 for Grand Designs!


Kiwiwit said...

The Japanese have not let aftershocks slow them down - witness this: http://inhabitat.com/japanese-workers-take-just-6-days-to-fix-earthquake-shattered-road/

Paulus said...

Fully agreed - am getting tired of noticing "entitlement".
Rebuilding CBD (Central) cannot be considered for at least 10 years after the last aftershock of any noticeable magnitude.
Someone is going to have to think right out of the square for a city to be called Christchurch.

brian_smaller said...

I agree with you Lindsay. Last time I saw that was at the Boxing Day bike races at Wanganui and there was a minutes silence for people killed in some road crash or something. While I felt sorry for them, I didn't knowo them or their families. My silence and standing would hav ebeen a meaningless gesture of faux-sympathy and empathy.

Anonymous said...

Anzac Day has become a religious occasion in a secular country as well. Well said Lindsay.