AS I SEE IT 1/11: Disaster in Paradise...and how you can help
AS I SEE IT
As I said last week, those of you reading this column (just on PWBTS.com alone) come from 89 nations and territories, including Malaysia and Indonesia. Those people who've read my site may well have been tourists visiting those countries from anywhere in the world...there's little way of knowing. But most importantly, they are human beings.
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
On December 26th, at 7:59 am local time, a 9.0 magnitude underwater earthquake struck northern Sumatra, the planet's most powerful in over 40 years. The earthquake in turn generated a major Indian Ocean-wide tsunami which devastated Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and Bangladesh, as well as parts of Australia, Africa, and the Arabian peninsula.
The tsunami has killed at least 160,000 as of this writing (over 105,000 people along the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island alone), and has left thousands from 52 countries dead or missing.
Some islands have been totally destroyed with other literally havaing their physical landscapes changed forever.
The United Nations has suggested this catastrophe could end up being one of the deadliest natural disasters ever recorded in world history. They have also warned that another 150,000 people could die from cholera and other waterborne diseases.
Under the circumstances, it is more than a little appropriate to show people that wrestling fans are...well, people...people who are concerned with their world, and are not just the stereotypical obsessives that many view us as being... concerned with nothing more than what HHH is doing on next week's TV...engaging in petty bullshit to help a local independent promotion steal 200-300 fans from a competitor...if Jeff Jarrett is going over on the next TNA PPV...or whether or not a certain Ring of Honor match deserves **** or *****.
I'm running a cube banner on PWBTS.com that will directly link to the tsunami efforts of UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Fund), which you can see besides this text. American Jewish World Service
I selected this particular charity to post on my site, because of UNICEF's longterm role in helping those most affected by famine, war, poverty and natural disasters throughout the world...and because of the international readership of my flagship site, PWBTS.com.
I also did so because I've felt haunted by the picture of the children, both tourist and native, who have been killed...or survived...but who lost one or more parents...and whose lives will thus be changed forever.
As I said at the beginning of this column, the almost surreal possibility exists that someone who read my column only a week ago...might well have been killed in this tragedy. When you write a column about something as inconsequential in the cosmic scale of things as professional wrestling, and consider that there are people from all over the world that read your opinions, it's mindblowing to say the least.
But as the very Internet that allows me to share that column has made us all citizens of an electronically linked world...it's also made us responsible as humans for the things that happen in parts of it we'll never see, except through a computer or TV screen.
Please...please...as many of you as will do so, please feel free to beg, borrow, or outright steal that code from the above graphic...and place that cube banner on your own company's website...your own fansite...or on any message board that will allow it.
PWBTS's Eric Walker is using Amazon.com's system to do so on his Wrestling Belt World site, as are Jimmie Hughes on his BGWwrestling.com site and Peter Staniforth with the International Red Cross, after a mailing I sent to the PWBTS staff, for which I thank them.
Additionally, for those readers that are concerned that their donations go to the victims of the disaster, and not to charity bureaucrats; here is a list of other organizations reviewed by the group Charity Navigator for their efficiency in delivering service to those they serve, with links to the websites of the organizations in question:
American Red Cross
Catholic Medical Mission Board
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières
Feed the Children
Lutheran World Relief
Save the Children
Let's all forget about being wrestling fans for a moment, and remember to be human beings first.
Please take some time as you read this column...and find it in your heart to send UNICEF (or another charity of your choice) some money to help those hundreds affected by this catastrophe; and find it in your heart to post the above link to the UNICEF site on your own website (or, again, another charity of your own choice) and help those hundreds of thousands affected by this catastrophe.
Until next time...
If you have comments/questions, or if you'd like to add the AS I SEE IT
column to your website, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)