The Earth Quakes in the South, We Feel It in the North

An earthquake in Chile left me limp. The world seems to be doling out one disaster after another. We are bombarded with bad news on a daily basis, to a point where we are anesthetized to reality and we seek out mind-numbing reality TV or a zillion western world distractions. Crises like Haiti, global warming, Iraq-astan, health care bills, Governor Patterson’s campaign or massive chunks of melting arctic ice, go in one ear and out the Grey Goose bottle, unless we are able to put a face on it. Celebrities usually provide that face and we come to know the magnitude of the disaster through their words. Rarely do we know someone personally affected. In the club scene, we happen to have a Haitian friend or two, in the form of a club owner, DJ or promoter, who made it a more personal tragedy for us. There is no such connection with Chile, a place so foreign and far away to most of us that it seems almost mythical. Yet a quake 500 times the magnitude of the quake that devastated Haiti, has left at least 700 dead, many more injured and people sleeping on the streets of Chile for fear of aftershocks. We barely blink. Figure skating and snowboarding scores are far more important to the world.

Clubdom does have at least one familiar face in Chile. On February 10th, a date that seems such a long time ago, this column congratulated Scott and Rande Gerber for the opening of three new properties within the W Hotel in Santiago. Our friend Lindsay Risk, (an incredibly appropriate surname), is down there opening those joints up. Back then I wrote, “If I ever find myself in Santiago, Chile, maybe visiting my friend Lindsey Risk, I’ll stay at The W and visit the Gerber Group’s Whiskey Blue, W Lounge and Red 2 One. I know I can expect high design and great service.” Just a couple days ago, prior to the disaster, she asked when I was going down to visit and I replied “Never.” She told me she’d be “coming home to Soho real soon.” Her Facebook page has been a major source of communication for us while she was down there, now her Facebook page is filled with concerned friends and family trying to reach her.

Last month’s distraction, Rachel Uchitel, pleaded with Lindsay on her Facebook page to contact us. She wrote, “LINDSAY. YOUR PHONE ISNT WORKING. UPDATE YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE AS SOON AS YOU CAN SO EVERYONE KNOWS IF YOU’RE OKAY. I’M CALLING THE W NOW…” Lindsay finally responded to everyone, “Love u, thanks for reaching out. So scary. Felt like the world was ending, but everyone is OK here. So much help needed. Will send you fundraiser info. Xoxox” That was Saturday night and there has been nothing since. My prayers go out to Lindsay and Chile and to all of us. Our world seems to be teetering under the weight of our psychosis. All this just feels like the tip of one of those giant icebergs that have just broken off Antarctica.

The new iceberg has been described as being the size of Luxembourg in Europe, or the state of Connecticut in the US. This could spell trouble for the oceans, scientist told media on Friday, as it could affect global ocean circulation with the melt from the ice.

And we’re worried about a little snow.

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