If you have nowhere to turn but me, to be informed about shit that’s going down in Japan right now, or how to donate and help the thousands of people who are having their lives fucked up and homes destroyed, then you have problems that go beyond my capacity to assist you.
Having said that, the latest update from the British Red Cross as I post this is that they currently “cannot accept donations specifically for Japan”, until they’ve been formally asked for international donations by the Japanese Red Cross. The American Red Cross seems to be able to do more, though, and are accepting donations for all those affected by the earthquake and tsunami. And if you find other legitimate organisations seeking funding to help people, knock yourselves out.
The hashtag #prayforjapan has been trending on Twitter all day. The fundamental feeling behind it, of compassion for others on witnessing their suffering, is unquestionably a good one, and I don’t doubt that the majority of those tweeting it also understand the importance of taking action beyond simply asking for divine help.
But, as well-meaning as it might be, and as important the compassion, it’s worth re-emphasising that praying’s not enough.
Any god who can do anything to help in response to your prayers either couldn’t stop this disaster from happening, couldn’t be bothered, or deemed it a just and righteous expression of his wrath. Either way, this was not his finest hour.
Although, this one thing doesn’t prove that there is no loving god, any more than was already obvious.
Whatever. Let’s make this one of those days where we don’t get bogged down in all that. Let’s make this a day where decide to be the kind of people who see this happening and think: fuck it, I can spare something to help.
I am really uncomfortable being this earnest for this long. I’m having to struggle not to title this post “Japandemonium!” or something shit and wacky like that.