26 February 2011

The earthquake

It's unbelievable, and all the words I string together about it are kind of feeble in the shadow of it. It was a week spent flicking between things on the internet (I learned early on that I couldn't bear to watch television coverage), and then trying to not keep reading things on the internet, because it wasn't really helping anyone. Twitter really came into its own though - I got better information from there most of the time than from the media sites, and it helped people get in touch with each other and help each other.

Fortunately, all the people I have direct contact with in Christchurch have come through ok. Unfortunately this isn't true for everyone - when I heard on Wednesday that a colleague's father-in-law had died, it really brought it home. What can we say to people who have lost people, or their houses, or their jobs and livelihoods, except we're so, so sorry.

Actually, I've noticed a lot of people have been doing more than that. Straight away people were finding ways to raise money to help. On Thursday I gave some money to a girl on Cuba Mall, who was singing and collecting money, because she just wanted to do something. Some creative people have gotten really creative about this: some local writers are going to publish a fiction anthology, Tales for Canterbury and gamers have put together a bundle of RPGs, both with profits going to help in Christchurch. I think it shows how much most people, despite our own petty selfishnesses, do really care about each other. And, in relation to other events this week, I don't think we actually want New Zealand to be as unequal as it has become.

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