It has been four days since Japan has dealt with a massive double blow in the forms of a magnitude 8.9 offshore earthquake and a tsunami. With Japan’s latest natural disaster making headlines on the mass and online media, I want to take the opportunity to say that I hope that Japan will overcome this tragedy and I wish my condolences to those who lost their loved ones or friends in the earthquake/tsunami. At the same time, I also want to point out the issue of insensitive people who take the opportunity to turn a country’s tragedy and misfortune into a joke.
Two days ago, some close friends of mine overseas (along with other people) ranted on their social networking sites about a cartoon which was drawn by a newspaper artist called Zoy (born Mohd Zohri Sukimi according to what I found via the search engine online) for the Malay-language daily, Berita Harian (and got published on it). At first I did not understand what exactly was going on until I had a look at the cartoon for myself. Looking at that picture I found via online not just ruined my mood but also left me appalled and wondering to myself how could people be so insensitive enough to poke fun at a country’s latest tragedy. In case you have no idea why the cartoon in that Malay-language daily is offensive, allow me to give an explanation. If you look at the drawing carefully, Ultraman (a famous fictional Japanese icon and check this information here) actually represents Japan or Japanese people (depends how you see it) trying to escape from an oncoming massive tsunami. I don’t see anything funny at all with this picture since the death toll in Japan right now has reached more than 2,000 and will continue to grow. Besides the angry rants from concerned people via social networking sites (thank goodness for the power of new media and a few nice people who show that compassion is not dead), it has been reported that the newspaper has issued a public apology over their distasteful so-called funny cartoon like what was reported here and this too. However, as a blogger, I believe the artist and the newspaper (partly to be blamed) should have thought twice about allowing a nation’s latest loss and tragedy to be turned into some joke which no one is really laughing at once it got out on print (and eventually leaving some upset people in its wake).
The Malaysian daily is not the only thing that came under fire for making a mockery out of a nation’s latest tragedy. Try reading this from MSN NZ which mentions of American rapper 50 Cent’s insensitive and thoughtless remarks on the Japanese earthquake/tsunami. As a result of what 50 Cent (born Curtis Jackson) did, he not just stirred the hornet’s nest in the world of tweets and blogging but also leave us wondering if this man really needs to grow a proper brain once and for all. If you think he is the only one doing this, here is something better: Gilbert Gottfried getting fired for turning a tragedy into a joke which nobody finds funny at all. Anyway, what says you about the issue of insensitive people making a mockery or a joke out of a country’s latest misfortune/tragedy? If you happen to know someone (a relative or a friend) making a complete joke out of a country’s latest misfortune, how do you react and what do/did you do? Opinions are welcomed (but remember, no profanity please!)