As I said on facebook a few days ago, I think BP executives should have to live on floating rafts of debris in the middle of the oil and exist on the raw flesh of dead marine life in the area. And then anyone who suggests lifting the temporary ban on offshore drilling should join them, first and foremost Sarah Dipshit Palin. I’m serious.
All of us who know this area, the Panhandle region of Florida, are in a state of shock over this, hoping the oil isn’t going to come this way, that the landscapes we love and have, in many cases, known for decades–that have given us our sense of place and our bliss–aren’t going to be utterly and forever devastated by what’s happening. It’s hard to focus on things like deadlines in the face of it, and I’ve gone from throwing myself into work to being frozen.
Connie May Fowler, a writer and resident for many, many years has said this all more eloquently than I possibly could, and I urge you to read her blog entry.
What does the edge of the world look like? A sacred knot, a watery maze of rivers, estuaries, bays, oyster reefs, and wide-open sea. The complex cocktail of nutrients flowing from freshwater rivers into saltwater shallows helps create a biodiversity studied by scientists worldwide.
It’s true that we’re all responsible because we all depend on oil, but it’s also true that BP Oil didn’t need to drill there, that the government didn’t need to approve that drilling, and that all of the subsidiary companies involved in coming up with fail-safes and making sure equipment was properly maintained didn’t do their jobs. And that no one, apparently, could grasp the essence of what to them was an abstract and now is obscene reality. And that they still fucking can’t grasp that reality, because their words, their actions, and all of the rest, doesn’t match up with this central idea: This can’t happen again. We can’t afford for this to happen again. And that requires rethinking the paradigm. Will this happen? I’m not hopeful. This is why the scenario at the beginning of this post is part of the point–there’s a disconnect between reality and the fiction going on in these people’s heads.
I feel a little battered at the moment, and a little guilty, because these deadlines are the worst of my life and I have to make them to put food on the table. What I want to do is go out to St. Marks, what I want to do I can’t do because of everything else, until July. But I can give a little money, and you can too–check the links on Fowler’s post.
Another thing I’d like to address is this…those of you who actually rushed to the beach to enjoy it before it all goes to hell. I understand the impulse and it’s a genuine one–although some of the people I saw on the news standing in front of their SUVs on the beach seemed imbued more with the true American spirit of using something up and moving on to the next disposable thing–but for my part I’m not going out there until the danger is past, or it’s upon us and being out there will help document what’s going on. I know what St. Marks looks like unpolluted. It’s in my head. What I’m not going to do is abandon it if it all goes to hell. I’m still going to be there, I’m still going to be here.
I know I might not be making sense anymore. I’m angry and upset and I want these people held accountable–all of them.