Today, March 19, 2011, CNN World online journalist Emily Smith wrote:
The disclosure Saturday by Japanese authorities that milk and spinach have shown higher-than-normal levels of radiation contamination has raised concerns about food safety and supplies in one of Japan's most heavily populated regions.
Tainted milk was found 30 kilometers (18 1/2 miles) from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and spinach was collected as far as 100 kilometers (65 miles) to the south, almost halfway to Tokyo. The plant was badly damaged after a 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit the coast on March 11.
Japan is facing a major crisis as a result of natural disasters.Thousands have died and the amount of property damage is astronomical. Earthquakes and tsunamis are beyond the control of humans, but the choices we make regarding politics, economics, and ecology are not. The Japanese people and the world populations have been told by nuclear energy proponents for years that power plants are safe. Warnings of the potential dangers that could occur from using nuclear energy, even if coming from nuclear scientists themselves, was silenced or marginalized. The full impact of what may result to Japan and other parts of the globe remain uncertain. Continual existence for the human species is not guaranteed any more than it was for the dinosaurs. Revolutionary politics may be the only thing that can save us. Business as usual really must change.
I wrote this poem after feeling emotionally overwhelmed from reading current events.
Beauty Contest After the Apocalypse
The next Miss Universe Pageant
Will be held in Japan on the fault line
Near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility.
The world will see the tantalizing allure of
The hottest three legged women with sixteen eyes
And one that looks like melted candle wax.
The popular rebellions taking place
In North Africa and the Middle East
Will have been properly crushed.
Arabic poetry is better written by exiles
In London pubs and Paris cafes.
The snuck out manuscripts
Coming from hidden dungeons
Have a certain zing absent in poetry
Wrote while enjoying freedom.
Miss Universe can recite one of these poems
Or a Zen haiku to show she is sentimental
And then thank American business men
For patronizing the arts and donating food
To limbless Afghanis and Haitians.
Al Jazeera will not be allowed to cover the event
Nor any journalist favorable to labor unions.
Thai teenage girls will service the ceremony’s guests
Wearing pink dresses cut above the knees.
Jewish West Bank settlers will cater
Making an abundance of kosher rice
Covered in teriyaki sauce.
Special fish dishes will be served
Bought from Scandinavian fishermen
That cleaned out the waters
Belonging to Somali pirates.
Roma will clean up the garbage.
Mexicans will do the landscape work.
The entire event will outdo
The last Olympic Games
Held in Red China.
Cups of water will be sold
For twenty bucks each.
From the auditorium walls
Will get seven watchful cameras
Keeping an eye on their safety.
I want the melted wax looking girl to win.
She will sell many books about her life
After she does a televised interview with Oprah.
Her next accomplishment will be
Adopting Chechen and Iraqi orphans
Before she kills herself
Once her novelty is overlooked
By the next spectacular sensation.
It's the possibility of situations like this
That make living in these times
So incredibly fucking great.