I've been watching the footage rolling in from the Japanese getting hit by this tsunami and I have to say that it is horrific. I can't believe the devastation that has occurred, and unless I had seen it with my own eyes, I doubt I would believe it if somebody just told me about it.
I remember seeing the same thing on Boxing Day, 2004 when another tsunami hit Indonesia and wiped out 250,000 people. I mean, that is mind boggling numbers... That's an entire fair sized city of people, that didn't survive. It really is unfathomable...
It took about a day of so, but then, as it always does, the shitty jokes come filtering in about the destruction that some people are facing in their lives. Then there are always those people like Gilbert Gottfried, who use it as a spotlight with tasteless jokes, and say things like:
“Japan called me. They said ‘maybe those jokes are a hit in the U.S., but over here, they’re all sinking.’”
“I was talking to my Japanese real estate agent. I said ‘is there a school in this area.’ She said ‘not now, but just wait.’”
"I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, 'They'll be another one floating by any minute now.'"
Tasteless jokes like this are just bad business. And then there are wastes of flesh like Joan Rivers, who defend such stupidity by saying, "That's what comedians do!!! We react to tragedy by making jokes to help people in tough times feel better through laughter." -What a horrible human being she really is... I mean, how can you defend something like that? -Would she think it's funny to poke fun of Holocaust victims, seeing that she's Jewish? How would that go over with her? And whom do you think that this type of tragic humour would enlighten? -The enemies of the Japanese perhaps?
And speaking of which, I think that with the World War 2 history of the Japanese, it would seem to make it easier to not like them. It could leave a shadow of thought that maybe they deserved this for Pearl Harbor'ing the USA, or for the Bataan Death March to the Philippians, of the British troops in Singapore they tortured, or the Chinese they tried to wipe out with genocide. -I don't seem to remember anyone making Indonesian jokes when the Tsunami hit them in 2004... Because Indonesians haven't really DONE anything to anyone!
So, how long would you think that a tyrannical government subjects its nation's legacy to history before it is forgiven for the actions of its leaders at the time?
The answer is probably never.
With the information put at our hands, and so readily available at any moments notice, it leaves it wide open that people can chose to remember these acts at any one given time, which makes forgiveness tough.
Ask any German born after 1945 if they have ever encountered a remark about being a Nazi, even though they were born in an era free of that generation. In fact, every German I have ever met or encountered feels shame about their country's involvement of what happened almost 75 years ago. -And the sad thing is, it probably won't ever go away.
I bet you that the tasteless jokes coming from these people would probably not have been said if Japan had not had the history that it has in the 20th Century. And the sad thing is, that most of the people left in Japan who would be old enough to remember the atrocities that its government committed would be almost 90 years old now. That's almost a century ago...
My, how long the human memory can hold a grudge...