Ben, I wouldn't ask that the thread be taken down. Not at all. I know not a single one here meant any harm. I can't imagine that people would be heartless.
But you haver to remember that humor is seen in different ways around the world. The Japanese rarely use sarcasm and I don't know how many people would see the humor in what people have posted. Even though I'm a native English speaker, when I first went to the States from Japan when I was 19 it took me about two years to finally "get" what my American friends were joking about. Before that it just seemed like a bunch of people being heartless and mean. That's the way a lot of Japanese would interpret stuff here.
To give you an example, just imagine a week after the planes hit the buildings in New York and I put up a site, for the benefit of my friends who were nervous about more crazy stuff happening, jokingly depicting graphic alternative ways for the buildings to have been destroyed. Would all of you have thought it was funny at the time? I mean, I was vehemently attacked by several American friends when I quietly suggested that they try to stay calm and not jump onto an immediate outcry to attack Afghanistan. I still stand by what I said back then, two days after the New York tragedy. But, I also understand the immense grief everyone was feeling (I felt it, too, after all), and how my suggestions could easily have been interpreted as being insensitive.
This disaster has hit people very hard here. A great many people, including my partner, are in complete denial. It was too big to get your mind around. And unlike 9/11, it wasn't a single incident, it was practically half of the country's landmass, everyone going through a truly awful series earthquakes that continue even now (just had a real shocker yesterday that I thought would be another huge one), though not as bad as the area up north of Tokyo. Then the tsunami, which was far, far worse. The images on the TV brought it home in a way that no other way could have. Then the nuclear power plants. It was really too much.
I need a laugh... MAN, do I need a good laugh! So please, continue with the horsing around here. It's great to see people enjoying one another's company, everyone good and alive (I REALLY appreciate that now). But please, all I ask is that you tone it down a bit about things here. That's all. At least until the enormity of all this gets processed a little and we have the capacity to rib one another and stop breaking down weeping every time we see images on TV.