Something That Can’t Reflect Too Well On Me, I’m Sure

Why is it that, at the same time I’m reading a story in which it’s announced that the death toll in the South Asian earthquake and tsunami now tops 80,000, and is expected to rise well over 100,000 before all is said and done, that my eye is drawn to a story announcing the death of Jerry Orbach?

Is it that 80,000 is just too much to comprehend? Is my mind balking at the impossible vastness of the devastation? Or is it the comparative invisibility of those 80,000 people in the American cultural imagination, and the relative ubiquity of Orbach in his Law & Order incarnation?

Either way, I feel about this big. Thanks, though, to Liz, for pointing me toward more helpful responses.

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