2011-03-15

It’s inevitably human

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by Neil Godfrey

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Some events are just too horrific to comprehend, we all know, so I suppose it’s only human to invoke the gods, or ancestors.

Tokyo Governor Sorry For “Divine Punishment” Comment

Mr Ishihara, 78, said yesterday that Japanese people were becoming “greedy” and highlighted the case of people who continue to pocket their parents’ pensions by delaying death notifications.

“It is necessary to wash away the greedy mind… by using the tsunami,” he told reporters.

“I think that it is divine punishment.”

Fortunately he had the good grace to “deeply apologise”, acknowledging the comments had hurt the victims.

Maybe it’s a cousin of the scapegoating propensity we fall in to when things go wrong. Many of us have traditionally blamed the Jews, the socialists, progressive schooling, the foreigner, the down and out. But when the horror facing us is too much death itself, we have nowhere to look but to the divine executor. So why did this angel of death do this to us? Because of the Jews, the socialists, the down and out . . . . or whatever their appropriate substitute in the mind of the one trying to make sense of it all.

But there’s no sense to any of it. It’s all totally random. That ought to be the humbling fact that burns our flesh to share the pain and tenderness of our common humanity.

 

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Neil Godfrey

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2 Comments

  • Bob Carlson
    2011-03-16 02:38:30 GMT+0000 - 02:38 | Permalink

    Here in the US, a comedian lost his job as the voice of Aflac supplemental health insurance commercials for tweeting jokes about the tragedy in Japan. The fact that Aflac is big in the Japanese insurance market leaves the comedian looking like a real dim-whit, although this article suggested that another voice is used in the Japanese commercials. In a YouTube video a person who calls herself TamTamPamela thanks the God she loves for answering her prayers by taking out atheists in Japan and says the atheists in the USA and Europe are next. Some seem to think she is being sincere, while others conclude that it is intended as satirical humor.

    • Bob Carlson
      2011-03-16 07:57:41 GMT+0000 - 07:57 | Permalink

      Slate has reported that TamTamPamela has come clean.

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