Saturday, April 25, 2015

Big Earthquake in Nepal

I haven't heard from my Didi in Nepal and have no way to contact her. I have checked her FB page and tried emailing but from Guardian reports a lot of people are sleeping outside their houses tonight for fear of the aftershocks and a possible second wave of earthquakes.  My Didi has a well built house but it is on the edge of a sharp declivity in the valley leading down to a few open fields. Its quite posible that her house, or the house she built next to it for her brother, could just have slid down into the fields.  This is a worse earthquake than the one that happened while I was there in 1986-89 and Kathmandu itself is more densly populated and has even taller and more shoddy buildings. My Didi is also the governor of a school and residential house for orphans.  Those buildings, too, were simple and sturdy and not too tall but the children are extremely vulnerable and have no where else to go. I can't imagine what is happening right now.

The Guardian is reporting that half the buildings in Bhaktapur have fallen down. It makes all the other things I was planning to do, or to write, seem vaporous and meaningless.  Years ago one of my friends in my village said to me "when you leave here it will be like a dream that you had."  I didn't believe her but of course she was right. When I think about Nepal and my friends there its like a dream--I can revisit it but only in fragments. I have only been back once in the last few decades and that was about four years ago? with my oldest daughter. A powerful and moving event that was like being tossed, drunk, in a blanket for a few days.   Now I wish I had been going back regularly. If I weren't an atheist I'd be praying for my Didi, her family, and everyone else in Nepal.


  1. Have you heard anything yet? Keep us posted.

  2. Hi Aimai. I know this post is a month old and the comment way off topic, but thank you ever so much for this:

    I'm an occasional LGM reader, don't see all the posts or know all the regulars, but I knew Loomis was on the labor beat and generally had a good opinion of him. But I was absolutely floored by the sneering, condescending tone of his post and subsequent replies in the thread. And by how morally blinkered it all was, too: If one stops going to sweatshop nail salons and opts for self-service, then that money is no longer going to sweatshops. That's a good thing, if small in the grand scheme. But still: good!

    If people add to that heightened awareness with political activism: Much better! Yet not doing so doesn't negate ceasing to subsidize sweatshops. It still amounts to a small, positive step - but Loomis angrily insists over and over that not only is it nothing at all, but it's a net loss because it somehow makes them more likely to ignore the issue going forward. ??? Aren't the ones ignoring the issue the ones who still go to the sweatshops even with this new knowledge?

    If you already care enough it to change your shopping habits over it then presumably you are open to additional action. That might mean signing a petition at the grocery store, factoring in a candidate's position on it when voting, etc. But Loomis' contemptuous remarks make it seem like they all have to turn into Samuel Fucking Gompers or they're a bunch of frauds.

    Oh man, I've never had my opinion of a blogger change so much all at once, I can't tell you how big of a jerk I think he came across as, just totally turned off.

    Again, thanks much for your comment. I've seen you at various other sites and threads over the years, and always admired your take on things, so I may as well just say this is also a general purpose fan mail. And of course Joe Klein, always and forever.

    Dan (Pruning Shears)

  3. Thank you, Dan. It was a weird thread but Loomis's work is really good and very important. I think the same about him today as I did before--every body can get overinvested in a single point of view and defend it once they are attacked. I very much admire what he does and most of his posts and I think he just got cranky and defensive when it would have been just as easy to say "oh, yeah, that was harsh." I think he did try to make up for it by front paging Karen's comment. So though I thank you for your comment and praise I don't think you should take Loomis's remarks to heart. He's one of the few labor writers I know and I think he's irreplaceable.