Friday, March 18, 2011

Tragedy in Japan

It's difficult to blog about anything this week other than what has happened in Japan last Friday. I don't have too much to say on the subject besides that it is obviously horrible and devastating for so many people whose lives have been ruined by this tragedy. Here's a photo essay that really shows the devastation affecting the area.

I read an article in Newsweek yesterday about how likely it is that this will happen in the United States. As much as I don't want it to happen, I think it's only a matter of time. Considering that Japan is one of the best-prepared countries in the world for earthquakes, it's amazing to see the damage that still occurred. I hope the United States sees this tragedy as a warning, and begins to prepare for potentials earthquakes and tsunamis on the west coast.

That said, over time the coverage of what has happened in Japan will die down, and people will move on with their everyday lives. I think we tend to forget when things like this happen. And it often takes years for areas to recover, if they ever even do. Look at Haiti, and even New Orleans. I hope that as time goes on Japan receives the help it needs to recover.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

How Much is Too Much?

Along with just about everyone else, I've been following all the drama involving Charlie Sheen, his kids, his TV show, his ex-wife, and of course, his "Goddesses". What a mess. It probably goes without saying that the only people I feel sorry for in this situation are his children, because even at just two-years-old children can understand a situation much more than we realize. I really hope they are given some sort of protective custody far, far away from both their parents.

That said, the inundation of stories about Sheen has inspired two main thoughts — at what point should our private lives become public? And why do we value the revelation of private information?

In all this discussion about Sheen, I checked out his Twitter page and saw among his crazy rants about "winning" and tiger blood" that within 26 hours he had one million followers. That's right, one million followers paying attention to what this drug-addicted, alcoholic, psychotic, and just all-around screwed up "unemployed winner" had to say. I even clicked on one of his Twitpics with the 22-year-old Goddess he currently lives with, and unfortunately wasn't surprised to see all the comments were about how Charlie is indeed winning, and the haters are just jealous, and that the Goddess had better boobs than Denise Richards.

When I envisioned myself entirely losing faith in humanity I didn't think it would happen a) in a span of 90 seconds b) at just 24-years-old, but if I may add 2 years older than a Goddess, and c) as a direct result of Charlie Sheen.

With the expansion of social media and outlets like Twitter and Facebook, I find myself often asking how much is too much? Does privacy exist at all anymore, and is there any integrity in leaving some things to yourself? Even on a smaller scale, I have Facebook friends constantly updating their every move — "Just woke up, soooo tired," "Going to take a shower," "Working until 3. Hate my boss tho"... And so on, and so forth. There is a compulsive need to share everything going on in one's life, and it really bothers me. And much like the positive reinforcement given to Charlie, for one reason or another there are those people who will "like" Facebook posts about things that just shouldn't be shared.

In the end, I want to know how much is too much? It's a cyclical process — share, react, share, react. But it seems like we just share more and more, and react stronger and stronger. I don't see how this process could possibly reverse itself since it only becomes more shocking.

A note to end on: Yes, I do appreciate the irony that I will now be posting this on my Facebook and Twitter accounts, in case you were wondering.