Sunday, May 23, 2010
The Orange Alligator (4)
The reddish chunks are showing up everywhere. Seeing the images of coastal desecration, a word, suddenly remembered from childhood, pops into my head: it's DISGUSTIPATING. Disgusting and nauseating and constipating to have to look at this. Voices speaking on TV: This could do us in. The President needs to step up. If BP can't fix this, they need to get out of the way. Obama is dragging his feet, rags Sarah Palin, while brainiac Michael Steele is complaining that government should have stepped in immediately, even though that is exactly what they did. The air is thick with burning oil and lawsuits. James Carville and Chris Matthews -- two reliable Obama defenders -- have issued withering critiques of the administration's "lackadaisical" response, complaining that they seem to be inconvenienced by it all, and demanding a Plan B, given that BP's efforts are not succeeding.
The criticisms can't be contained any better than the shit-color oil. It's all pollution. Bobby Jindall screaming from his helicopter, the government needs to do something, while some 22,000 people are out there, working on it, 24/7. But trying to lock the barn door after the horse has run away isn't working. Even the robots are finding it too hard. We have run out of meaningful solutions, because there never were any. If there is something more the government could possibly do, it would already have been done. Nobody wants to stare into the true shit face of the Medusa. Instead we get pyrotechnic displays of outrage. Minute by minute, day by day, each bit of the world we lose becomes a chip off the old sublime. Don't bother to cry, mate, because it won't help.
I sent an email to Bill McKibben, hoping to elicit a response:
Dear Bill, I recently read your new book and found it remarkable, for the reasons described below. I am taking the liberty of sending you a group of 4 blogs I have written incorporating my responses to the book, and to the oil spill, which occurred just as I was finishing reading it. I am wondering how you feel about what is happening now, and if you would consider responding to these blogs in some way--I would definitely want to use any of your thoughts in another post. Please don't feel any pressure if you are too busy, or whatever. But if this grabs you, I would love to engage. Thanks for your excellent work. Most sincerely, Suzi Gablik
On May 20, 2010, at 3:32 AM, Bill Mckibben wrote:
Gretings from inner Mongolia
These are very good meditations especially after two days when I saw the worlds largest coal mine and the largest solar hot water heat plant. Im glad i have my work at 350.org to keep me busy!
Sent from my iPad
I wrote back. Thanks so much for responding. I definitely understand your feeling about how actively doing something constructive is the only antidote to massive feelings of helplessness and despair. By the way, FYI, Resurgence has just accepted a shorter version of my review of "Eaarth" for publication. Happy times in Mongolia!
“You can’t sleep no more; that’s how bad it is,” said John Blanchard, an oyster fisherman whose life has been upended by the monstrous oil spill fouling an enormous swath of the Gulf of Mexico. He shook his head. He was speaking to Bob Herbert, a New York Times columnist. “My wife and I have got two kids, 2 and 7. We could lose everything we’ve been working all of our lives for.”
"No one knows how much of BP’s runaway oil will contaminate the gulf coast’s marshes and lakes and bayous and canals, destroying wildlife and fauna — and ruining the hopes and dreams of countless human families," writes Herbert. "What is known is that whatever oil gets in will be next to impossible to get out. It gets into the soil and the water and the plant life and can’t be scraped off the way you might be able to scrape the oil off of a beach."
Even the Nazis couldn't accomplish that, opines Anne Frank.