Oil spill: Imagine it clean.

In oilpocalypse by summerburkesLeave a Comment

That’s a slogan from a New Orleans public service campaign. Twas on a trash can we saw this morning. “Trash your city, trash yourself. Imagine it clean.”

Let that be our sermon to you today. We testified earlier about how Southern Louisiana is like Tinkerbell right now, a winged fairy covered in crude oil, and we need to clap our hands as hard as we can.

Now let’s lay it on you thicker: After spending an extended period of time amongst the Cajuns and Bayou People, a palpable anxiety has only grown. It feels like the Elves are leaving Middle-Earth.

Imagine Dug pointing to minnows in the water, and not oily sheen

For those not nerdy enough to know, the Elves, in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, are in the process of fading into the past. Their way of life — their graceful, almost magical relationship with their land-mother and all things in both physical and immaterial realms — has become obsolete, according to the elders of the tribe.

These same elders refuse to adapt and change with the times, because they think the humans and their evil ways will just spiral out of control (or at least that’s what’s implied). Arwen, the Evenstar, the last princess of the Elves, gives her heart to a mortal man. We don’t want to deliver any spoilers, but Arwen makes room in her heritage for new things.

But what if Stryder (her mortal man) was a dick? What if he whispered sweet nothings and got her pregnant and got his jollies and then left? How would the story have ended differently?

Imagine Dug telling us about the crazy pink bird among all the pelicans hatching their young, and not about how the ineffective picture-ready boom is never applied properly or changed fast enough

Cajuns, Indians, expats, and the Creole people of Southern Louisiana have long been as enamored of the oil industry as oil seemed to be enamored of it. They are still the first to defend the industry, to stand up and protest a widespread moratorium.

Even though they know it’s time to revamp the regulatory systems and make sure nobody else is gaffing and cutting corners, the six-month moratorium on deep-sea drilling is already halting the economy. My talented and passionate photographer friend Darlene‘s husband has been laid off, and they don’t know how they’re going to eat. The drillers will move to South America and never come back. Those wells may never open again, and the people who worked on them will have to scramble for new jobs when everyone else is holding on to theirs for dear life.

imagine Grand Isle’s “Butterfly Dome” as a thriving geodesic wonder of plenty, and never covered in oil from an oilcano hairycane

More people work for the oil fields down here than those who pay their bills as fish-catching land-tenders. Most everybody plays and works on the water on the weekends, though — everybody’s got a boat; everybody eats from the water behind their house. Not only are they charming and open-hearted and winsome and otherworldly, even — they also have much to teach us about the relationship humans should have with their land-mother.

imagine these baby ducks, rescued from their oily dead mamma, proliferating in a newly cleaned marsh, in which humans apply all the best natural lessons and green innovations, and create actual land restoration, to its pristine pre-industrialized state (with oil fields still in the background, but tightly regulated)

Our land-mother, battered already by the Army Corps of Engineers, the damming up of the Mississippi, and her own mom the Earth, has finally started to bleed out. She’s been so strong, but now she’s sitting in the bathtub with a razor blade, her beautiful face hapless with resigned agony as the waters turn red.

The husband spends his money on other whores. The husband goes out at night into international waters, just past the borders, and puts that money somewhere else instead of making sure his wife has clothes to wear — marshes, estuaries, and all the living things which make the place so glorious and keep the ecosystem … uh … a system.

imagine the system allowing humans to still recreate in nature and tend the land as willing and eager stewards, because they learned their lesson once and for all about stomping around like Godzilla

Land-mother has bent and bent and bent to the will of the husband, only finally to snap. The husband is going to have to renounce his evil ways and sit by her bedside night and day until she recovers. He will have to buy her flowers, candy, presents, and a new house — and he will be duty-bound to be really F-ing nice to her, starting right now, lest all the other dudes in the village come to kick his ass if she dies.

imagine me returning to Dug’s dock for another pirogue ride, not because it’s all oily and blown apart and we have to take an “after” picture to wake people up again

So if you’re feeling helpless as to what to do, imagine it clean. Give us some positive energy. That sounds so shitty and New Agey but it’s the era of quantum physics, isn’t it? It’s more likely that this kind of stuff actually helps. And we don’t have anything else.

Imagine it clean, imagine the oil-cano stopped, the rest of it sucked up, the Corexit abolished forever, the American people mobilizing and learning to get along as they come down here in droves to keep the tourist economy alive and clean up the shores and protect the marshes from invasion. Hell, imagine all the predicted hurricanes somehow leaving the Gulf alone this year.

imagine us crowding to the front of the boat not to helplessly document the encroaching oil, but to spray Toxy-Trap dust on the marsh grass and watch it eat the oil and turn it into fish food

If your doubting-Thomas mind gets in the way and starts refereeing, push that monkey-brain to the side and tell it to butt outta your game of pretend. Because maybe if enough people all envision the same thing, it happens. Jesus walked on water because he believed he could. Monks regularly accomplish superhuman feats via meditation. Every time you catch yourself thinking about the oil-pocalypse in the next month, stop yourself and imagine it clean. It’s worth a shot.

imagine Dug’s neighbor being able to concentrate on carving more awesome folk-art stuff, not painstakingly removing the oil from his pristine white house / living art exhibit

This is what you can do to help. Write everybody you’re supposed to write, tell them to stop using Corexit, build momentum for the proposed 28th amendment for Separation of Corporation and State, don’t let this story die in the news, and don’t forget about us.

Imagine the American process working the way it’s supposd to; imagine Corexit being a shitty thing of the past; imagine corporations never being allowed to have this terrible power again; imagine the country and the world rallying around Louisiana because it represents a chance to get something right. And until you’re allowed to get down here and help do something about it … imagine it clean.

imagine the elves never needing to leave

Here’s some links for yall:

Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Dept. of Marine Sciences

Lessons Learned and Needed Actions

NY Times: BP and Officials Block Some Coverage of the Oil Spill

Alabama Fire Chiefs are fired up; fire back

Op-Ed: BP’s emergency plans were not so great

Former Bush Official advising BP on how to defend its interests

Transcript of Adm. Thad Allen’s Friday briefing

Microbes eat oil (and IMHO we should ship more of them in there, like Toxy Trap, to sprinkle on the marsh grass)

James Carville is the man, plain and simple

And finally, here’s where to buy the best tin foil hats.

Follow Summer Burkes on Twitter.

Leave a Comment