I think I might just be in a bad mood for the rest of the week as I try to get my head around the insensitive, selfish fuck-tards who seem to inhabit some parts of cyberspace here in New Zealand.
These past few weeks has been pretty awful, with the deadly quake in Christchurch and now the awful events in Japan. Like nearly everyone I know, I spent that Friday night glued to the telly, watching the drama unfold but barely able to believe what I was seeing.
That there are people taking to the net to proclaim “oh, it’s just Mother Nature getting her own back on Japan for the whaling” or “well they were cruel to the POWs during the war so they deserve this” is almost beyond comprehension.
Let’s start with the whaling argument: Yes, like most decent Kiwis, I’m against whaling: it should be banned. However, I’m not stupid enough to blame every Japanese citizen for a government that allows this to take place and the crews that actually do it.
I used to have a lot of respect for the work of the people involved in the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, including Kiwi Peter Bethune. However, after the group officially saying Bethune was banned from its Antarctic anti-whaling missions during his trial for doing naughty things on a Japanese whaling ship last year then turning around and saying “oh, that was just a legal ploy to get him a lighter sentence” as soon as he was back in NZ kind of did away with a lot of that respect.
If you have principles you want to stand up for, don’t know it in a half-arsed way. Do you think we’d all look on the likes of Nelson Mandela with such admiration if he’d renounced his beliefs to escape jail?
Then there’s Sea Shepherd head honcho Paul Watson and his poem about Neptune being angry and causing all this. Punishment for killing whales, apparently.
Get a grip, it’s not every Japanese citizen who hunts whales. Those poor people were simply unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time: just like the victims of the Christchurch quake.
As for the “remember the war” crap, I can’t believe there are still idiots out there who think this way. Yes, there were some bloody disgusting atrocities during the war but that was long ago. You can’t blame an entire nation for the actions and decisions of governments and armies of the past: the world has moved on and so should we.
If we were to be held accountable for acts of war by our ancestors, those of us with Maori ancestry would probably be in the pooh with some of the other tribes and our English ancestry would pretty much get us ditched from the Christmas card lists of every nation in the Commonwealth because let’s face it, the Poms invaded and degraded pretty much every country they went near.
Some poor bugger going about their business in a fishing village in Japan 10 days ago was no more to blame for what happened in the war than I am for what happened at Culloden.
What’s happening in Japan right now is truly awful. We saw the terrible devastation from the 2004 (was it really that long ago? Doesn’t it seem like it was just a couple of years ago?) Indian Ocean tsunami in videos that were shared after the event but this was the first time we saw it all happening live.
Of course, things have become even more frightening with the nuclear power plants stealing the headlines for most of the week and while I’m with the rest of the world in hoping the experts manage to pull things back from the brink of disaster, it’s still the sight of houses being washed away and knowing there were terrified people sheltering within so many of them that sticks with me the most: your home, that place where you should feel safe, turned into little more than a pile of matchsticks in minutes.