Of Interest: The Tsunami Edition

I don’t know why we can’t be brothers here

I know we should be

Answers don’t seem easy

And I’m wonderin’ if they could be

Townes Van Zandt, “High, Low and In Between”


I thought of “Of Interest” to be the place where I lay down all the thoughts on the news of the week that caught my interest.  Of course I immediately got behind…sidetracked by life and other things.  And then this past week I started to gather my list again and then it all got swept away.

Into the sea.

I was up late last Thursday night (the night owl I have now become), so I heard the news about the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan as it happened.  The story “broke” to me not by a major news source, but by Robert Scoble and others on Twitter who happened to be up late embarking on their SXSW Interactive adventures.  I got to see the horror unfold through messages and via live feed from Al Jazeera.  It was a mixture of deep concern with a touch of “I can’t believe Twitter broke major news YET AGAIN.”  My first tweet was about driving home in the rain after a Kenny Chesney concert in 2007.  I had no idea what a major force this medium would become. We have the power to be this global tin-can-with-a-string network, and there is good and bad that comes with that.  Yes, I want to be connected with you and hang out in the same treehouse.  No, I do not want panic and rumor and the branches to break.

The earth literally took us by our shoulders last week and shook us.  Culturalisms of the past are gone; the Japanese made an uncharacteristic move and said “yes, you saw all this too.  It’s this bad.  We need your help.”

The world, as ever, is changing.  Are we closer together or further apart?  I shared the experience, like many people perhaps shared my live experience during 9/11 via the television.  But, knowledge doesn’t always lead to action…we’re all still here, and there are many people across the world who are dealing with the aftermath of a disaster we are only beginning to wrap our heads around.

The high, low and in between…


A few interesting ways to give:

  • SXSW 4 Japan
  • Living Social will match your donation of $5 to the Red Cross for a limited time.
  • Local (Nashville) design company St8mnt has designed some beautiful shirts.  A portion of the proceeds from the shirts sold on Myshirthelps.com will go to the International Medical Corps, Save the Children, and Samaritan’s Purse for relief in Japan.

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