The 8.9 magnitude quake, tsunami and nuclear disaster unfolding in Japan this weekend is a human tragedy of a scale that the individual mind can scarcely comprehend.
It puts New Zealand’s Christchurch quake - awful though that was and remains – in the shade.
Art offers a lesson. Ishiro Honda had a very explicit metaphor in mind when he conceived Gojira (Godzilla) and portrayed destruction by radiation. It was founded in post-Hiroshima, post-Nagasaki cold-war fears, but the lesson transcends the era. Donald ‘Buck Dharma’ Roeser summed it up in 1977; nature always shows up human foolishness.
Nuclear plants are installed near fault lines because those making the decision to build have faith in the engineering. It’s rational, scientific, and carefully considered. And most times, that works well.
But not every time.
To me – as a writer and historian interested in such matters - the point sums up quite a bit about the human condition. Damn.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2011