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Thank goodness for relatives, friends and strangers who maintain some semblance of sanity and humanitarianism in today’s world. That they exist was confirmed during conversations about the Japanese earthquake/tsunami and nuclear disaster. Instead of focusing on the resulting monetary losses, as the news media did, relatives, friends and strangers focused on the loss of human life, the pain and sorrow of those who survived and their ominous future due to material losses and threats of nuclear contamination. Compassion.

In comparison, newscasters babbled on and on about the effect of the Japanese disaster on the stock market, fault lines in the United States, what could happen if a similar 8.9 (upgraded to 9.0) earthquake struck in the U.S.; where tsunamis would occur here as a result of the Japanese earthquake (rational warning; unheeded by some on the West Coast who wanted to watch); where tsunamis could occur in the U.S. (remembering that Hawaii and Alaska are states); questioning how safe our nuclear plants are; what could happen in a nuclear accident in the United States; how the nuclear accident in Japan compared to the Three-Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania (the Japanese nuclear situation was initially reported as lower in scale than the Three-Mile Island accident); and on and on about anything and everything that focused on the United States.

It is not ridiculous to be concerned about tsunamis and the safety of nuclear plants wherever they exist. However, when thousands of people on earth (fellow humans) have died as a result of a natural and/or man-made disaster, it is ridiculous (insane; inhumane) to diminish the suffering of these people by sensationalizing the potential for such a disaster here.

I am also grateful for those relatives, friends and strangers who expressed their dismay and disappointment in people who condone Charlie Sheen’s antics. They questioned the sanity of people who upheld that which is vile.

As to the new religious (?) phenomenon called “pole-dancing for Jesus,” readers can probably guess what the opinions of my relatives and friends are.

Sanity, sanity, where art thou?

Peggy Tarr

Peggy Tarr has been a columnist for the Evanston RoundTable since its founding in 1998. Born in Bruce Springsteen's hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree...