I think he's talking about this actual hurricane - Gustav. You don't hear so much about how it tore through Jamaica and Cuba and wherever else. You hear about the death toll, and then you get talk about how it's headed for NO. I'm not sure hypocritical was the right word, but I get what Bel is saying.
There is also the sort of watching of disasters that works on the same kind of triggers as porn. I find it happening with myself anyway. There's a certain need for them to be bigger and deadlier in a way. If 100 people die in NO this week, there will be a little voice in me that says - is that all? And then I will await the next big disaster. It's just the way the media works these things. I've been trained to be jarred by the unfathomable, and then taken to the next story, or maybe an ad for Jello pudding, as if it was nothing. There's the little burst of opiates in the brain with the initial excitement and stress, and then the recognition that I can just continue on in the usual lull, but that to and fro becomes almost necessary, and in the end the reality of the situation just gets completely lost. That's why I find alternative media sources, and in-depth media sources so important. But still it's a pretty cold world in the big scheme of things. And the strangest thing is that when I'm able to really connect with parts of the world that go through a lot of desperate situations, through the travel I've been lucky to enjoy, then I find that there is mostly a richness and depth to life that is just utterly missing here. But of course I find all that amidst some misery that I pretty much need to avert my eyes from - and there is absolutely no opiate-effect when real misery stares you in the face up close.