Thursday, May 27, 2010


Dark Water - Galactic (mp3)

I am not an environmentalist. I am not Green. I am not someone who values animal rights or plant rights over those of humans who scratched and clawed our way to the top of the food chain.

I don't hunt, but I have no beef with dudes who get off shooting Bambi. I don't fish, but hoorah for dudes who sit out all night, drunk, on a small motorboat, to catch a few bass.

So why is it that someone like me, someone entirely non-leftist about our environment, finds myself beginning to boil with rage about The BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster of 2010?

I'm mad that it took me so goddamn long to get upset about it. I'm mad that I'm in a very large majority of equally-apathetic people.

It's been five years since Katrina, when all of us discovered the ineptitude of the Bush Administration.

Five years later, our entire country has turned into the Bush Administration, where we're all slow to give a shit and even slower to react and do anything about it. It's like we were all out on our verandas, sipping mint juleps and wearing critter pants, our sweaters tied around our shoulders, when our butler walks out and informs us that our son is strung out on heroin in the pool house. And our collective response, as the citizens of the Greatest Country In The World is: "Meh." And then we go back to checking on our 401k mutual funds and scheduling our next pedicures. Our son will be fine. He's just going through a phase.

What the hell's the matter with us? And why does it feel like our collective lack of vitriol -- or anything beyond a symbolic grimace and flashing look of concern, really -- might well be the real beginnings of our own Fall of Rome?

Raise taxes, and by God you'll get the wrath of every red-blooded red state redneck this side of the Canadian border. Show pictures of a Mexican-looking man getting treated in an ER at cost to taxpayers, and you'll enrage more than a fifth of our national population. Say the word "evolution" or "abortion," and you'll have self-righteous people marching all over your ass until it's jello.

But say "bigger environmental disaster than Exxon Valdez," and people kinda shrug and say "tsk tsk that's a shame" and then go back to working on that bugger of a Sudoku puzzle.

On the larger scale of politics and news, I totally get why no one is stoking this fire.

A Democratic "Socialist" President attempted to mollify Republicans by announcing an expansion of drilling in the Gulf. Republicans love oil, and they love drilling, so the absolute last thing they want is to spend energy making Obama look too bad. Hell, it's easier to find a politician beyond Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana to criticize Obama on his choice of shampoo than it is to find one who will go on record questioning this crisis.

The left, meanwhile, is scared to complain too much, because the mood of their voting bloc is already dubious enough, and scaring away too many voters by excoriating their leader could lead to more talk about crap like "Tea Party mandates."

So no politicians want to complain. And BP is so intertwined up our government's ass, that we can't really be too mean to BP without causing serious problems for the fuel needs and costs of our beloved Pentagon. There aren't many other big corporations out there dying to throw stones at BP, either, because those skyscraper headquarters are still mostly made of glass.

And the six large news corporations remaining only seem capable of doing compelling stories on Jesse James or the Salahis. Anything that gets us too worked up risks motivating us to get our asses off the couch. Which kills ratings. Which kills ad revenue. Which is dying fast enough as it is, thank you very much. They need to keep us on that couch.

This isn't a conspiracy. It's a collective, shared, desperate desire to keep us from giving too much of a shit. And it's working because we're complicit in it. We the citizens of the United States in the 21st Century are desperate to do as little as possible. Sure, we'll give some money. Just make it easy for us.

We'll happily text five little numbers to give $10 to Red Cross, and then we'll congratulate ourselves like we're the next Nelson Rockefeller 'cuz we're so damned charitable. But if you ask us to get off our couches and kick in to the effort? If you ask us for any kind of personal sacrifice for the betterment of our environment or our children or our country's fiscal health? Bugger off already. The NBA playoffs are on!

Here's my peeps on Morning Joe talking about it. And, even though Mika and Joe sound like they don't really know what they're talking about towards the end, it's just nice to see 'em getting worked up about it.


Jason said...

I am glad that you agree with my views on the media Billy:)

What are you going to do when the government essentially says that it is helpless in the situation and there is nothing they can do to fix it nor speed the process? The whole situation seems like a lose lose lose lose proposition for every side imaginable.

troutking said...

Too many people obsessed with Lost. ;-)

Bob said...

Conservatives want a laissez-faire approach to business: leave these people alone and let them make some money for all of us.

But businesses and corporations, left to their own devices do not treat either their own employees or our world with any respect. That's easily proven through a multitude of historical examples.

Conservatives also do not want "big government" interfering with their lives and affairs.

But, I guarantee you, they expect the government to step in and handle this problem caused by a corporation that was left to its own unethical devices and then they will criticize "big government" for not intervening enough.

troutking said...

Republicans suck. Except Barry Goldwater, but he's dead.

Randy said...

You are so out of touch, Billy. No one does Sudoku anymore.

goofytakemyhand said...

Goldwater's death didn't stop me from writing him in on my 2008 Presidential Ballot, trout.

If he were still alive, he'd throw one of his Kachina dolls through his TV screen when Sar-Bear or Rand Paul are spouting nonsense.

troutking said...

A-U-H20!!! Best political cheer ever. Unfortunately, tea partiers would see knowing the periodic table as elitist. 2nd best, the anti-Garfield: Where's my pa, off to the white house, ha ha ha!

goofytakemyhand said...

Tea partiers also find education as elitist. Why would they want to expose themselves to a "liberal arts" curriculum?

Amazing to think Goldwater would be considered a liberal in today's political climate.