Thursday, May 22, 2008

The end of national mourning

The third and final day of national mourning officially passed, which means TV stations can begin broadcasting sports and entertainment again -- much needed by now, I think. I recently spoke with the president of the American Sports Institute, and he said as much: it's important that countries which have endured national trauma find some way to return to normalcy, through sports or whatever other means. It's unfortunate that China's domestic sports leagues are largely ignored by the populace, otherwise sports could act as a channel for catharsis. As is, gatherings like Monday's crowd at Tiananmen Square will have to do, when chants of "Long live China!" and "China, let's go!" rang long and hard until police asked folks to move on.

Yet even as we move on -- all of us, because it's only natural that we do -- it's important to realize that this story isn't over. There is no normalcy in cities across Sichuan and won't be for a while, as individuals attempt to recover what they can, assess what they have and rebuild however possible. Rolling aftershocks are also sending tremors up and down the land, causing dangerous landslides, and the threat of flood has become very real in the past few days as rain falls from the sky.

There is also this: even as the feverish activity that defined the last week and a half subsides into a tedious, backbreaking grind that'll captivate just about nobody, the fact that bodies are still being pulled out of ruins and rubble alive and breathing should be recognized as nothing short of miraculous. Needless to say, survivors who have gone more than a week without food or water are all in perilous conditions, but that they're alive should provide grist for the media for at least another week. It'll be interesting to see how many make it through this ordeal.

Your links for the day:
  • Two from Daily Kos: Of Deadly Chinese Aftershocks, 9/11, and Tibet; and an article by what appears to be a Chinese national expressing some heartfelt thanks to the world.

  • From an American perspective now: (just the name of the site, nothing more).

  • There's a theme with these links today: via Rebecca McKinnon, Asia Media reports on the international media's reporting on the earthquake.

  • And finally, Peter Hessler of The New Yorker writes in The China Beat.

1 comment:

Mikey K said...

hey tao, nice reporting on the quake. take it easy meng.