Monday, March 14, 2011


The catastrophe that befell Japan late last week came on the very anniversary of another: the March 1945 bombing of Tokyo, in which perhaps 100,000 people perished by fire. I had intended the raid to be the subject of this week’s column — complete with a sober assessment of the realities of wartime Japanese imperialism — but when the earthquake, tsunami and now, it appears, partial meltdown of at least two nuclear reactors occurred in the past three days, I recalled something George Orwell said during the London Blitz: that there was much to criticize about England and its history, but now was not the best time to do it.

As of now, the official death toll in Japan is approaching two thousand and many thousands more are missing. The horrific images of the tsunami sweeping remorselessly over towns and fields, devastating everything in its path would, one would think, be enough to move even the most cold hearted reactionary to tears. But a quick perusal of message boards on CNN and Youtube suggests that a great many people are positively busting at the seams to sign up the next time the Brown Shirts role around. A small sample, shall we? (Brace yourself.)

Theres a meltdown going on in America, can you news people focus on that instead of other countries news, we need to think about U.S. FOR A CHANGE....

What goes around comes around nips! Remember, Pearl Harbor, nips? Yeah....

Hasnt been that long ago old Tojo and his slaant eye folks were trying to killl all us Americans. They killed a whole lot of our grandparents. Please think before you start praising these people. BY THE WAY . . . THE BIG RED 1 WAS THE HONORED FIRTS ARMORED DIVISION. AMERICAN HEROES.

TheCityhunter08 1 hour ago

Who cares about the Japs and their bastard kids!!! They all deserve to die and the ones that r still alive need to melt from those reactors! Whoever does not die, we need to Nuke them to rid these Japs from the world. Justice for Pearl Harbor Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
notre2010 4 hours ago

And so forth. Need I even get into the immense number of replies that contained the words “God” and “Jesus” “wrath” “revelation” “end times”, etc? Oh, what the heck:

i dont know much about japan but our preacher says they must have done many bad things for God to smite them in this manner. he says that many Japanese are atheists it is no wonder God would eventually take notice this should be a warning to all unbelievers. i pray for the japan people and that they will accept Jesus Christ.
ptl8888 7 hours ago

Until Japan becomes an Islamic nation, it will continue to experience the wrath of Allah

We are living in a time of history like no other. We are living right at the very end of time. We are that last generation. Every time that God has brought judgment, he has warned the believers (1 Thess 5: 1-5). God is warning the entire human race that the Rapture of the true believers is going to occur on May 21, 2011. That will be followed by what the Bible calls the Day of Judgment after which, on October 21, 2011 God Himself will destroy this entire cosmos. (more info at familyradio,com 
horseandhisrider 5 hours ago

As Jesus approached the boat where the disciples were, Peter said, "Lord, if it's really you, tell me to come to you, walking on water." Jesus said, "Yes, come." Peter than walked toward Jesus on the water, but started to sink when he was frightened by the large waves. "Save me, Lord!" He shouted. Jesus grabbed him. "You have so little faith..."
racenuke 8 hours ago

this is only the start of it, earthquaqe, tsunami, earth axis change, vulcan eruption, nuclear plant explosion, and more too come :( the peple are greedy and fill they pockets with money, but what cann you doo with money now ? man kind doesent concentrate on the future :( the power and welth drives us twords selfdestructin :( 2012.12.21 is aproching :( god take care of all japanese victims who didnt hade a chance. PEACE

Now, stay with me. A very large number of postings argued that the real truth is being concealed by the main-steam media, with its corporate (or socialist, take your pick) agenda. In response to a terrifying Youtube video, one poster commented:

In a world full of lies few seem to know the truth. And the truth is simple - this video is fake.
Antikrew 1 hour ago

While others grafted their own social concerns onto the catastrophe since the corporate fat-cats who pull the news-anchors' strings wouldn’t:

These are the Great Revenge of WHALES' AND DOLPHINS' HOME. Don't forget THE COVE movie. If Japan won't stop killing these animals there will be another GREAT REVENGE AHEAD.

And don't get me started with the numerologists, who found all sorts of associations using variations on the date of the earthquake and other catastrophic events. For example:

If you add 9/11/01 and 3/11/11 you get 12/22/12!

December 22nd, 2011 being the supposed date of the end of the world. Or, rather, the day after. But never mind.

One idea that many, many posters alleged (try Googling it) is that the earthquake was the result of secret military testing, probably the HAARP program. Officially, this unclassified program involves research of the ionosphere, but, as everyone in the tinfoil hat brigade knows, HAARP is responsible for the earthquakes in Haiti, New Zealand, and now off the coast of Japan, as part of an evil experiment being conducted by the CIA. I'm not sure why they're doing it. Just because they're evil, I guess.

Luckily, the world’s celebrities took to Twitter to solve this whole earthquake business whatever its real cause — overnight. For example, in British Columbia, the cast and crew of the forthcoming Twilight movie were relocated a little further inland as a precaution, as elevated sea-levels might pose a mild risk to the west coast when the waves arrived in a few hours’ time. Thinking fast, an actress from the film Tweeted that, if this was to be her last Tweet, she wanted her family, friends, and fans to know that she loves them. Confronted apparently, with the paranoia, self-absorption, and absurdity of this shout-out — did she really want what she apparently thought might be her last message to be a Tweet? — she replied, in another Tweet, that she was just “speaking her peace.” No doubt this gave her piece of mind. Or peace of mind. Like, whatever, LOL. Who has time for correct spelling when the cold, steely embrace of Death itself is closing in?

Well, at least the news of the earthquake did something that even the emerging civil war in Libya could not: keep the most appalling and most boring of Hollywood stars – Charlie Sheen — off the front page. For two or three weeks the antics of this raving conspiracy theorist, who starred in two overblown Oliver Stone epics in the 1980s and nothing of worth since, made headlines everywhere. But, no wonder. Read the message boards. He has a potential audience of millions who think just like him. He’s the most famous Internet troll in the world, and gaining greater and greater fame not for the quality of his mind but for having completely lost it.

Some day, I fear, all of this internet chatter will make fodder for a thousand PhD dissertations about the collapse of Western Civilization. They will tell the story of how the healthiest, wealthiest, most educated people in the history of the world decided to make a howling wasteland out of a garden, and all because of their incapacity to stop and think.

Incidentally, one very popular HAARP conspiracy video making the rounds on Youtube is narrated by one Martin Sheen. I admonish my students not to use cliches, but here it seems inevitable.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.