Gathan Beaga


The curious monkey in me wanted to see some of the home video footage that’s been posted around the ’net from people caught in the tsunamis.

Yes, I suppose it’s kind of a weird response to what will be counted as one of the 21st Century’s biggest natural disasters but I don’t think I’m the only one responding in this way. We need some way to put this into perspective; to bring it home. These media files are one way of doing just that.

I don’t feel that I can write anything here that will make a shred of difference to the survivors. All I can do is give money. Which I have done, and will probably do again. (And you can do it online, here.)

So this posting was to have veered off into a safely geekish zone in which the technical method of obtaining the files was to be discussed, rather than any thoughts on the disaster itself.

But I don’t think I can do that now. It’s just too big.

Yet the movies themselves are compelling viewing. There’s one in particular in which you can almost imagine what’s going on in the mind behind the camera: he starts off as a concerned observer watching others getting swept away, then he realises that the water’s rising and he’s in real trouble – the camera gets wobblier, and ends up with him standing on a table with the water swirling around his legs… and then it cuts out in a pixellated blur.

And now to imagine that same fear experienced by many hundreds of thousands of people around the rim of the Indian Ocean, and to think that for maybe 100,000 of them that fear was the last emotion they may have experienced in their lives.

You can’t. It’s too big.