As one reader pointed out, I haven’t – on either blog – posted about the recent earthquake in Christchurch. A few of you have been super sweet about getting in touch, but just to put it out there, I’m nowhere near where the quake happened. I’m in Auckland, which is up up up on the North Island. Christchurch is on the South Island, and thankfully, many, many hours away.
Obviously Christchurch is still all anyone here is talking about. The news, the radio, people on the street, shopkeepers, bloggers and tweeters. The whole situation is crap. Really, really crap. A lot of people have died and I can barely watch the news because it hurts my skin to see the wreckage and people sobbing and bleeding on the streets. It takes me back to 9/11, where I couldn’t get hold of my parents and we’d all sit there dreading the guidance counselors who would solemnly take random kids out of school because someone in their family had been found.
Back in 2001, there was barely a blogosphere. I didn’t even have a computer, nevermind an online presence.
I wonder what it would have been like.
The response to Christchurch has been a really beautiful meld of people coming out of the woodwork to do their part. People have offered up their homes on Twitter. Google launched a people finder which had around 1,000 records the day of the quake and is now at over 11,000 at the time of writing.
Best of all, I’ve come across the greatest bunch of posts, all written with a certain amount of humor and lightheartedness. People cracking jokes and being “wildly inappropriate.” This puts a huge grin on my face because, sometimes, wildly inappropriate is the only way to be.
Check out these three amazing posts all post-Christchurch.
First off, the always brilliant Bloggess shared an email she received from a reader, Ally. Ally is based in Christchurch and wrote the best request for help I have ever read. Just go to said post and read.
My favorite line: “We had a big earthquake and now it turns out that while the good thing about an earthquake is that you can be completely obnoxious then say, ‘Oh, sorry, that’s the earthquake talking’ there are also bad things, like it squashes your central business district and also some of your friends.”
Today is my birthday!
Of course, I then had to find Ally and turns out we’ve already chatted on Twitter! I blog stalked her and found an even better, funnier, more poignant post on the quake that she’d written more for herself than anything. It was hilarious and beautiful. Please check out her blog, follow her on Twitter and donate to the Red Cross should you have a second and some extra cash on hand.
My favorite line: “I learnt that ‘essentials’ is a very flexible term. We went into a friend’s central city, cordoned-off flat to get ‘essentials’ and came back with teacups, electronics, clothes… and a shisha pipe, a gas mask and a bag of bacon.”
But I also can’t leave out her briliant last paragraph:
On the highway to Picton between Seddon and Blenheim there is a hill which has a cluster of white stones that people use to spell out messages. It’s usually sporting HAPPY BDAY BAZZA or something equally entertaining, but when we drove through this weekend it read, KIA KAHA CHCH.
It roughly translates to ‘stay strong, Christchurch,’ and Christchurch will.
Then I somehow came across this AMAZING post on Trade Me (New Zealand’s version of eBay) and seller Phil Johnson has up for auction a “landscape rock” that appears to have landed in his living room post-quake.
The auction is complete with hilarious description on where you might place your new landscape rock, photographs and dozens and dozens of bidder questions that only show the incredible support of the people in this country.
My favorite line: “Suitable for garden feature, or as in our case a magnificent addition to your living area. Rocky will enhance your ‘indoor outdoor’ flow considerably, especially if you load him in through the garage roof like we did.”
In a disaster, sometimes the only way to function is to be a little inappropriate. During 9/11 it was all horror and death and barely any communication with the outside world. Thanks to Twitter and blogging and auction sites, we now have access to people who can – if even for a second – put a smile on our faces. As Ally said in her brilliant post, “Some of it is a little bit funny because even in tragedies funny things still happen, and that is how I deal with crises, and goodness knows we all need a bit of a laugh at the moment.”
God, I love that.