Yesterday morning, in our little slice of Holy Cross heaven where the Mississippi River meets the Industrial Canal, I walked out the door thinking about something besides the oil spill for a change … and that’s when it hit me. In the face. The day’s first breath of “fresh” air oiled the inside of my nose and mouth with the unmistakable smell-taste of petroleum.
An oil refinery sits a couple miles down the road in St. Bernard, but I’ve never smelled oil in my ‘hood before, not in the year and a half since moving home to Dixie. I’ve been hacking up black and brown stuff too — but it remains to be seen whether that’s airborne oil ooze or human- and dog-hair dander. I’ll get to that part in a minute.
So there’s oil in the Gulf Coast, pouring out from the Earth’s crust into Mother Ocean at an incomprehensibly alarming and apocalyptic rate. We all know that. But what we DON’T all know is that BP, while dragging their feet in every area of cleanup, not having prepared at all for such an “unlikely” situation, is now flying planes overhead 24 hours a day and SPRAYING CHEMICALS onto the oil to “disperse” it and/or make tar balls. They won’t say what chemicals they’re spraying. On the ocean. Our ocean. OUR OCEAN.
OUR FUCKING OCEAN.
(Sorry Momma for swearing. It’s unladylike. Yes. Unbecoming. But I feel stabby.)
The Sierra Club is trying to get the important information out of B.P. and all the rest of the Spillionaires — what chemicals, dude? — but they’re blowing them off. Blowing off the Sierra Club. Not budging. Sorry but, is it okay if we start ARRESTING PEOPLE NOW?
Ya heard me? Does anybody else hear a swishing cape, canned-heat mouth-breathing, and the footsteps of Darth Vader behind us?
Rather than use hay or any other proven cleanup technique which sucks up oil real nice and does no more harm to the environment, the Dipshit Horizon fatcats are flying planes over the “spill” site 24 hours a day, spraying God knows what into our ocean — to congeal the oil into tar balls that sink.
So we can’t skim the oil off the surface, because they’re making it coagulate and drop, where it will hang out on the ocean floor for all time, and eternally wash up ashore on the beach. For the rest of our lives — which may be shorter than we think — kids will be picking up tar balls, throwing them away, believing they’re doing something good and helpful, but they’re tossing toxic waste into public trash, and besides, there’s MILLIONS more tar balls where that came from.
When B.P. could have used hair.
The manliest miners of our great goo, Herculean in both their flub and their lack of foresight, could have been saving — saved by — scraps of hair from off the floor of barber shops and grooming salons. Rather than buying tons of slick plastic half-effectual boom made of PETROLEUM FOR FUCK’S SAKE (from whom? I’m guessing Halliburton) they could have been packing hair into pantyhose.
Hiring the wives of the fishermen whose livelihoods they permanently destroyed. Putting out the all-call like the military did for nylons in World War II. Calling on us to help, because we will, because it’s OUR OCEAN.
Nothing soaks up oil better than hair. LOOK.
That’s where we come in. That’s where the car-driving, plastic-using, air-conditioned and central-heated public could throw some real karma in the coffers, and make prayer into action, if nothing else. That’s where we slap ourselves out of Chicken Little mode and go get Natalie so we can ride down the street to the Lower Ninth Ward Village and try to put our hands on something that may help.
It may be a drop in the bucket, and perhaps we are polishing the brass on the Titanic, but at least it’s something besides weeping and lamentation, which is not productive, and no good for liquid eyeliner.
Hair and pantyhose! The girliest solution to the apocalypse EVER! We’re doing it. We got the first boxes of hair into the Lower Ninth Ward Village.
It’s now been two hours since I stepped out of my air-oil-conditioned apartment into the thick New Orleans afternoon. I’ve got a headache, my throat burns, and I taste petroleum. Psychosomatic? Possible, but probably not. I hardly ever get sick, knock on wood, never get headaches either. Built Cyclecide tough, which is only semi-tough, but definitely not whiny and complainy and headachey for no reason.
Just putting that out there. I LIVE ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY MILES FROM THE DEEPWATER HORIZON AND I CAN SMELL IT.
It’s raining again. Out there in Gulf Fish Armageddon, black stormclouds are pushing all the oil and tarballs around, aerating everything, bringing the ooze ashore. Amidst lightning and still-clean sheets of rainwater, Nat and I just cleared out of the Village yard on this Oilpocalypse thunderstorm afternoon and ducked back in the sticky room with clouds of strangers’ hair flying around. To build giant scary hairy oil-sop turds with it.
It makes us feel better.
Wanna help? Live in New Orleans? Holler at us.
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