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Why are we so fascinated by the suffering of others?

Ok, I'll admit it: I am fascinated by the destruction of nature. Ever since I was a small child I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up. I get excited when a massive storm draws near. When the tsunami hit, I was glued to the images of the waves crashing ashore. When Katrina swamped New Orleans, I had a smug feeling of vindication. My first reaction wasn't one of horror or sympathy. Instead, the first thing that came to mind was, "I told you so."

Obviously this fascination is what makes me so focused and dedicated to this site. It has driven me to levels of success that many dream of acheiving. With this look into my mind, I refer you to an article from the Washington Post:

What is it with our obsession with big weather? After this season's record-setting onslaught of tropical storms and hurricanes -- 23 from Arlene to Katrina to Wilma -- and after the hurricane-induced mega-disaster of New Orleans, one would think we might want a respite, an end to disaster for a time. Yet as another giant storm plowed into the coast of Nicaragua last week, we watched again with awe -- and perhaps, I will risk venturing, with an unacknowledged yen for apocalypse, a yearning that dares not say its name. But it has a name.

Call it catastrophilia.

There is still nearly a month left in hurricane season, which will give way to nor'easter season, followed by winter storm season, each with its own array of rain, snow and flu-season advertising tie-ins, which will bring us all, as the Earth moves around the sun, to the main disaster lineup of the year, tornado season. Hundreds of people will fly in from all over the world to chase tornados, as I did during the spring of 2004 while doing research for a book about the culture and commerce of severe weather disasters in America. And catastrophilia will reach its full flower.

- Read the full article -

Thanks to Brendan Loy for finding this article.

Posted by Bryan Woods | Permalink