Saturday 27 Feb 10

I've been online a lot today reading and watching the reports of the earthquake and the tsunami.

It's made me feel so strangely vulnerable. Well, not just me personally, but all of us, inhabitants of this planet. The Earth seems in such flux this past week. And I can't imagine anything worse than waiting for a tsunami to hit you.  Earlier I spoke to my friend Michael, who lives in Honolulu, and he was doing just that.  Of course it seems that, luckily, the damage was minimal there, but all I could think of is thank goodness he lives in a tower block.  It reminded me of something I read about all these tower blocks that nobody wants to buy anymore in Miami, especially as, wth the gloomy projections of climate change, the first few floors will be underwater ere too long.

I have been in a couple of earthquakes. Nothing like the 8.8 one that Chile just endured, but a couple of big-ish ones, the worst with an epicentre in the California desert near to where I was staying at my friend's ranch in Ojai, so it was pretty intense, with floorboards rippling and this awful gurning noise.  It was about 3am and I had been enjoying the relaxing properties of all  that California's rich soil has to offer, plus I was in the middle of a marathon viewing session of Pee Wee's Playhouse, so - and I feel very guilty saying this - I actually enjoyed the experience.  At least I wasn't gripped with fear, more with wonder.  Of course I wouldn't feel the same if the house had fallen down on my head or I was about to be swept away by a huge curtan of water.

The other thing I was thinking about today is how I hope that our attention is not turned away from the devastation in Haiti because of these new horrors. I didn't know this, but Chile has earthquakes quite regularly, and has what one article called 'earthquake consciousness'.  It also has better standard of building than in Haiti, and so the devastation, and certainly the numbers of dead, will be less dramatic, though no less tragic of course.  The awful thing about Haiti was the terrible poverty that already existed before this huge catastrophe came along just compounded the woes of the poorest country in the western hemisphere.  So once again, I'm asking you to go to Maria's Tupperware page and buy some cool plastic, and if you do before next friday ALL the proceeds will go to the Haiti relief effort. (I think I may have been putting the Tupperware home page address up rather than this specific one for our money raising plan together, so if you went there and didn't understand, I apologise.  On this page there is a message from Maria about me.)  So come one, buy some cool plastic and save lives!!

Last night I went to a swanky Hollywood party, a sort of warm up for this coming week of Oscar mania.  I ran into Greg Shapiro, one of the producers of The Hurt Locker, who is hotly tipped to be taking the stage at the Kodak Theatre next Sunday to pick up the Best Picture Oscar. He reminded me that the two films we made together never got released, so I am glad his fortunes have changed with this film!! I went back to my hotel and filled out my Oscar ballot - which of course I cannot discuss with you - though I will say that I think this new rule of having ten contenders for Best Picture is not only a very tawdry attempt to earn more cash by being able to add the Best Picture cachet to more films, but it is also really disturbing in that, due to the complicated system for voting, the winning film will probably win mostly because of the votes of people that didn't name it as their number one choice. I liked the old way better.

Here, to cheer us all up, on this sad and upsetting day, is Honey's latest publicity still...