Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Superstition and Disaster

It has taken a commendably long time for extraneous influences to make themselves felt in Canterbury. But they have shown up - and I am not talking about burial rights.

The first person to mention God in connection with the quake, at least on TV, was Barak Obama. Some Americans mentioned they felt "blessed" to be alive. This just shows you how superstitious that country is. Nobody seems to be wondering about God's attitude to those who were killed though ... what: were they not Christian enough? Perhaps they were very good people indeed: good enough to be promoted to Heavenly existence right away?

The CHCH Cathedral professional superstitious person (you know the one: dressed in black, white dog-collar) actually did not mention God at all when he spoke to the press, appealing instead to basic human values. Thats very secular of him, and provides a marked contrast to the US. Interestingly, this Anglican cathedral is being blessed in a pagan ceremony (to "lift the tapu"). I don't see how Maori superstitions are any more valid than anyone elses. Presumably some Church bigwig will also be spreading incense around. But, on that note, they are no less valid that each other either. If you are going to have a religious ceremony you could do worse than one almost nobody actually believes in.

Psychics have already been claiming to have predicted the quake or, at least, the last one. The noise from the lunatic fringe is quite small at the moment but I expect things will pick up.


  1. Yes, I've been wanting to see a psychic for some time now, but none of them have been good enough to call me yet.

  2. In other news..."Queues formed at cash machines in the Australian city of Sydney after they malfunctioned and began giving out large sums of money" - bwaahaha.
    But this is no joke:- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12606735

  3. It's only allowing people to overdraw their accounts, and only by the cash-advance amount. In NZ that would be about $500 ... though if someone went around the ATMs withdrawing money and skipped the country, they may get away with it if the sum was small enough.