Scores of hours have passed since the last live body was prised from the ruins of Christchurch, but in press conference after press conference politicians and aid workers continue to insist that they are running a 'rescue' and not a 'recovery' operation. The first word expresses the hope of finding further buried survivors of last Tuesday's quake; the second would represent the acceptance that there are no survivors left to find. There is a sort of comfort that can be gained from the continued use of 'rescue', even if the word has lost any real purchase on reality.
The situation in Christchrch is so sad that I thought it was worth relaying one piece of good news to emerge from the city in the past twenty-four hours. A week or so ago I blogged about a wild gig that a reformed lineup of Bill Direen's legendary band The Bilders played up in Auckland. The keyboardist at that gig was Mick Elborado, who graced The Bilders for a short time in the mid-'80s before helping to form another cult Flying Nun outfit called The Terminals. Mick popped up in the comments box under my post to say hello, and to query my use of the adjective 'Tolkienesque' to describe his beard.
By the time he was making his intervention on this blog Mick had returned from Auckland to his hometown of Christchurch, and after last Tuesday's quake Bill Direen and other friends were soon firing off messages asking after his well-being. For three long days, Mick's whereabouts were a mystery, and the enquiries continued. This morning, though, a relieved Bill sent me an e mail announcing that comrade Elborado had turned up safe and sound in Christchurch.
It seems appropriate to post the video clip for one of The Terminals' best-known songs: