Yesterday one of my colleagues expressed how one has to watch the footage of the tsunami to really understand the scale and power of what just happened in Japan. Up to that time, I had read about it, but not watched any footage. I decided to do as he suggested, and was immediately horrified and dismayed at what I saw.
I have since watched some more, and today I was reflecting on the ridiculousness of how the web asks me to respond. I am presented, on almost every site I visit, with various buttons or links, suggesting that I Like/Dislike or Up Vote what I’m seeing. I understand this when it’s a music video or a dog on a skateboard. I don’t understand what these categories even mean in the face of what is happening in the frame these buttons surround. In the face of this thing I am not capable of like or dislike, of a vote or pre-made response. The categories are washed away, only the experience is left.
Sitting before these images, I am left only to watch, only to live and bear witness.