December 29, 2003
3,000 Americans did not die this weekend

I've been in Los Angeles, away from any form of regular internet access, for a little more than a week now, but, I swear...didn't I hear something about roughly 25,000 Iranian people dying this weekend? I mean, I couldn't have imagined that, right?

Based on an assessment of the major dailies' headlines and a perusal of the cable news networks' coverage, reporting on this natural disaster seems to have nearly dried up. With only a handful of exceptions, there's been no indefatigable documentation of scores of volunteers sifting through the rubble, trying to locate loved ones and instead turning up dead bodies. Does anyone know the Farsi word for "telegenic"?

Earlier this weekend, however (when not watching the "People on CNN" coverage of Nicole Kidman's resilience in the face of divorce), I may have seen a snippet or two regarding "thousands dead in Iranian quake" and then some closing commentary about President Bush's willingness to send humanitarian aid-despite that nation's being on "the axis of evil," as the commentators consistently reminded viewers when fleetingly discussing the massive amounts of deaths.

I guess I missed the correlation there. It couldn't possibly be as base and simplistic a matter as "we Americans are helping those whom we have unilaterally declared to be our enemies," right? And it most certainly couldn't have been some second-tier implication of "they deserved it"?

We all ought to be thankful that this was an act of God and not the work of evil-doers, and that Iran isn't under the sway of any sort of Christian sense of vengeance, lest we should see Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the democratically elected, though effectively useless, President Mohammad Khatami declare an endless "War on Seismology".

Look out, faultlines.

Posted in a Grave fashion.

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