Japan

This post was first published on Tumblr on March 11th 2011

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I think by now it’s pretty fair to say that what has happened in Japan is a catastrophic disaster. Watching footage of the tsunami powering across the country is hard to take, and it really demonstrates the staggering scale of such an event.I love Japan. I was lucky enough spend some time working there and it is, without a doubt, my favourite country in the world. My thoughts go to the millions affected by this tragedy – although quite what those words really mean in the face of such insurmountable destruction and death I don’t really know.This morning I sent several comedic tweets about the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, and I was quite rightly taken to task for being so flippant by a number of followers (including @claire_j_b and @ferrouswheel).

I’d like to apologise to those followers who found the jokes offensive – if I was caught up in such a disaster, or had friends or family who were, I’d find the idea of a guy making smart arsed comments on one end of an iPhone pretty fucking insulting.

So yeah. Fair cop.

At the same time, though, I kind of want to point out the reasons I run this account. I’m not here to make sick jokes, or just be glib and pithy; whether it’s interpreted by the readers or not, I aim to make a point with my headlines – I’m not just another person making Godzilla wisecracks.

They say you shouldn’t explain your jokes – well fuck it, I’m going to.

BREAKING: powerful earthquake hits Japan, tsunami warning in place for Pacific Basin – Cameron expresses shock and concern for value of Yen.

This is just a gag about how the business community reacts to disaster, and who is a better emblem for capitalism at any cost than Cameron? In much the same was gold traders were making millions after 9/11, this tweet was just reflecting the mood flying around the financial sector as news broke which, by the way, is pretty fucking disgusting.

BREAKING: Japanese tidal wave could result in illegal immigrants flooding Britain for benefit handouts warns MigrationWatch.

This was a reaction to the Mail’s attempts to paint the Egyptian revolution as an immigration problem for the UK. Tabloid Watch covered it perfectly here. The Mail will tie anything to an immigration threat.

BREAKING: religious leaders baffled by Japanese earthquake as the country already has a low tolerance of homosexuals.

This was a take on the (possibly fake) website which blamed New Zealand’s earthquake on their tolerance of homosexuality. It was also a comment on the ridiculous ways in which spiritual leaders try to claim events as proof of God’s wrath, or God’s love, or the evil of one religion over another… oh, and the Japanese don’t have a low tolerance for homosexuals, in case you were wondering.

CHAOS THEORY: police hunt for butterfly that caused Japanese tsunami.

This one was just a joke. I feel bad about this one. I just thought of something funny and raced to get it on Twitter before anybody else which, really, is not the first thing you should be doing when thousands of people are losing their lives.

After that, when it became apparent that this really was a horrific event, I stopped. Satire is one thing, but I don’t want to look like a prick.

And finally – no matter what you may have made of my tweets – nothing NOTHING is as offensive this slice of absolute sci-fi bullshit served up by my namesake (thanks to @kerin) – warning, link contains real Daily mail:

Is the Japanese earthquake the latest natural disaster to have been caused by a ‘supermoon’?

Find me something more offensive, opportunistic, irresponsible and factually inaccurate written today by a national newspaper then I’ll apologise for everything I’ve ever done in my entire life.

That headline, by the way, inspired the last tweet I wrote – which is a direct reference to Stephen King’s Maximum Overdrive, which it appears no-one got. Harumph.

BREAKING: reports coming in from across the globe of machines coming to life and attacking people. Is the “MegaMoon” to blame?

Thanks for reading.

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