A time to shut the fuck up.

In the comments to this post, Geoff Honnor got a bit cranky, and it provoked the following exchange:

At this time of year, I think the probable deaths of upwards of 50,000 people in an horrific natural disaster might rank higher than what Gerald Henderson – or even someone other than Gerald Henderson – might be writing about John Howard.

I’ve spent the day tracking down people and places I love and I guess I saw this post as being pretty deeply beside the point.
Posted by Geoff Honnor at December 28, 2004 06:48 PM 1

I mean Gerard Henderson (sigh)
Posted by Geoff Honnor at December 28, 2004 06:49 PM 1

fair enough, Geoff, in one way. obviously everyone’s moved and saddened by the natural disasters and it sounds like you’ve had a hard day so I feel for you. I guess, though, Mark and Scott already had blogged on that and other things happen in the world that are worth talking about. I don’t think there was any intent to diminish the weight and sadness of concurrent events, though.
Posted by yellowvinyl at December 29, 2004 12:00 AM 1

Well Geoff, if you don’t like what yer reading here now, post something yerself…please.
Posted by Nabakov at December 29, 2004 04:01 AM 1

Yes Nabs. That would be the most constructive way to proceed. My apologies Mark. There’s actually nothing more tiresome than people whining about content when they’re advantageously positioned to do something about it. It’s no excuse, but yesterday was a long day.
Posted by Geoff Honnor at December 29, 2004 05:02 PM 1

Its not so easy to write content about a terrible tragedy about this. What can you say for so many people dead, so many lives smashed, so many dreams shattered, and the pain of those left behind?

Fuck all, thats what.

Consider this poor bloke (opens in new window). He’s lost the lot- parents, wife, children and siblings. Probably his job is ruined too whatever that was.

What could you possibly say to him? I’d shut the fuck up, myself.

So if you are wondering why bloggers are not saying anything much; that is perhaps why. Sometimes, even a blogger knows that words are not enough, or even appropriate.

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Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2024 years ago

Knowing when to shut up is a major virtue. I intend
to acquire it.

2024 years ago

Hmm there also is the problem that if you do comment on the event you can come off looking like you are using it to score political points.

(because France really needs to be mentioned at a time like this)

Nic White
2024 years ago

Precisely why I have said nothing. There is nothing TO say.

Everyone who has said something so far (unless they themselves are actually involved somehow) has been ranting about gobal warming and free trade with a disguise of just spreading the news and paying respects.

Francis Xavier Holden
2024 years ago

Its hard to know what to say. As I’ve mentioned elswhere my daughter is over there and unharmed. Disconcertingly for me she is also relatively unconcerned. I was worried for a day until I got a text from her.

Now I have been ringing and speaking a few times each day and she is getting sick of me as it all seems normal over there. She had been out on an island Ko Chang Island with no electricity (normal)and no mobile reception.

They had heard some vague rumours of “trouble” . A day later they got a boat back to Ranong:

At Ranong all services are normal, with apparently a bit of denial going on amongst locals (or possibly just cultural thing), so they are proceeeding with their holiday, another day in Ranong, then train booked to Bangok, a couple of days in Bangok then back to Taiwan.

She has only seen much by watching CNN on TV in net shops and it seems the public concern has reached a higher level here, but will probably escalate in time over there. She is concerned that many of her expat collegues from Taiwan, mainly bushiban http://www.aacircle.com.au/bushiban.htm teachers were in Phuket area and appear to be missing.

Its hard to know what to do, but it does stop the blogging urge.

Having been involved in health disasters and everyday emergencies I see the need for some people to run around like headless chooks, usually getting in the way, but somehow assuaging their own guilt and anxiety. Its much harder to actually do something useful and save lives. It involves not neccessarilly looking busy and acting like a hero as if one was on TV, but it does involve stepping back , thinking, planning and then possibly doing or giving. Sometimes its getting covered in blood whilst being covered in mud or shit. Or as some of my ambo mates have found out getting kicked in the nuts whilst saving a drug overdose then being abused and spat on afterwards for spoiling ahit and getting called back 2 more times that day to the same person for the same abuse.

Its easier to take the high moral ground and critises governments and others on a blog or talkback radio.

Just stop, think, see what your skills are. The needs will be even higher in a month or much later when most of the hysterical people have lost interest. Get involved then.

I’ll probably be volunteering, quietly, not immediately and after a lot of thought, as part of a health contingent to do what I can do best. I won’t be ringing talkback.

2024 years ago

Holden FX’s last two sentences are pretty much what I would have said if he hadn’t said it first.

So I’ll shut up now.

2024 years ago

Never read more eloquence in a blog post, or associated comments.

2024 years ago

The triumphant right are already criticising the UN as useless and unworthy of donations.
Don’t you love the humanity of the right in the midst of this crisis?

2024 years ago

Tsunamis, History and Hope

The Sumatran quake and resultant tsunami echoes another infamous, catastrophic natural even that occurred on the same area 121 years ago. That is the eruption of Krakatoa which killed