Mayday. M’aidez. HELP. Oil in the water. Oil in the marsh. SOS.

In oilpocalypse by summerburkes16 Comments

We just got home from four more days in Point-Aux-Chenes again, after tagging along for various things. This video below is one of them.

Which is huge f-in news for the Little People, the hoi polloi, the regular folk who don’t know their voice is so much stronger than the corporation which is currently telling everybody what to do while they (fail to) clean up the mess they made in our back yards.

The corporation with shills in the government is launching smear campaigns against tiny little non-profits with six employees, and spreading misinformation about the quality of handmade American products vs. the boom they are currently “distributing” in the marsh.

We are so heated about all this that we’re forgoing a special date with a special Army man we’d like to thank for serving our country but will have to thank later. Of course, it’s only the fate of the marsh that’s at stake. And all the animals in it. And the people who live around it and in it and OFF OF IT.

And this watery state of the Union which already has been crapped on enough. And the fate of the oceans. And the planet. And BP is performing an absurdity akin to the apocalyptic version of “cleaning your room” by cramming everything sky-high in the closet, so when Mom opens the door to look at it, something falls on her and kills her.

Make jokes about Louisiana being “America’s asshole” all you want. We are America’s liver.

We take all the poison that drains from the body of Americans and their/our waste and fertilizer and excessive habits of consumption and littering, and we — the landscape where we live — turns it into gold. Black gold. Texas tea. And shrimp, oysters, crawfish, sheepshead, black drum, redfish, deer, ducks, geese, pelicans, and on and on, the animals that call it home are myriad.

Louisiana’s main export besides killer seafood and killer music is oil. Louisiana is a friend to oil. Thirty thousand wellheads or so.


What if the area was cleared out completely so the companies could plant as many oil wells as they wanted? America is in dire straits, as far as getting more of the black crack is concerned.

It was explained to us over the weekend in beautiful Bourg, Louisiana that Saudi oil companies are private and therefore don’t have to cater to the whims of their shareholders — they can set the prices wherever they want. But American oil companies cook the books to please their stockholders — falsely keeping prices low to show a good profit on paper.

This system WILL collapse, and we will all be Saudi Arabia’s bitches. Meanwhile, multinational conglomerate monsters who step on the necks of regular people everywhere are still scrambling to profit off our addiction to oil, like a pusherman in a New Jack City full of junkies.

Who can blame them? We can’t. We only have ourselves to blame, and the systematic, violent suppression of sensible, ubiquitous alternative energy sources like fry-oil Biodiesel.

The greed of monopolistic energy companies has brought us to this. Today we went out on the boat again, well a different boat this time. Different awesome enchanting Cajuns. Yesterday we saw a sheen on the water they said wasn’t normally there — the motor-oil rainbow, vaguely, with specks of dead plankton and flakes of whatever it is tiny fishies eat, but dead.

No visible oil had collected in the marshes where we boated yesterday, or on the grass, rather. We only (“only”) saw the deadly sheen, and a couple big ominous 2-foot-around blobs of reddish-brown death-hue in the gray-green brackish water.

Today the motorboat we hitched a ride on turned to the left instead of the right at that one place — and there it was: Discolored marsh grass sitting in the water like a brown-to-green fade, shortened and flattened and wilting … chocolate-seeped stalks of the only natural barrier-shield which provides southern Louisiana with hurricane protection these days, since coastal erosion wore away and salted out the ancient oak forest and fertile grassland where the marsh now is.

nice respirator, innocent worker / unemployed fisherman. How can you sue BP for dying of cancer once you’re dead? p.s. AP photo, not mine

The same wild horses which help make Point-Aux-Chenes so magical grazed there by the water again today but on the other side. They had swum over the channel to come check out the talented out-of-towner arty kids filming a way-above-hipster-level movie which we can’t talk about because they don’t want to give away the secret but it’s going to be magical.

The wild horses were still just looking at us fearlessly, being all ferociously majestic, and not afraid of people in the slightest, and eating next to the water. Eating the marsh grass which will soon, maybe tomorrow, start to turn chocolate at the bottom.


Jeff LaBoeuf didn’t evacuate when The Storm hit. His parents owned a big brick house he took over when they moved to Florida, and he knew the marsh never floods the way the city did (storm surge, maybe), and he ventured out in 100mph winds to tear something off his neighbor’s shed when ANOTHER shed rolled by and almost killed him.

After The Storm passed, the generator kicked on, and the 30% or so of his neighbors who didn’t evacuate came over, and they all partied and grilled the meat before it went bad and pumped water from a neighbor’s swimming pool and generally had a good time. They know how to do that shit.

Another thing Cajuns and the Native Americans know is how to take care of their land. Jeff came up with the idea of loading boom into a shrimper’s net and trawling open water, like an OIL ZAMBONI. Genius, right? We’ve got lots of ideas. We’re willing to work WITH BP, even though we’re pissed at them, and we promise to play nice.

We’re all trying to figure out how to facilitate a process whereby the people who live in the marsh can clean up their own marsh when they want to, effectively, using hair and pantyhose and hay and miracle dust from Nevada. But nobody knows where to put the oily boom once it’s contaminated, because BP locked down all the dumpsters in the area, and the government and Bayou Polluters will not pony up the money to get the 68 railcars of the miracle dust down here to start distributing it.

The land has been eroding, faster and faster, ever since big oil started moving in. Southern Louisiana is formed, and continues to be reborn or not, from the silt from the Mississippi River, which has been dammed up and jammed up from Minnesota and on down.

The oil men and the Army Corps of Engineers both dug straight canals, too many of them, through the Louisiana marsh to make avenues for “progress,” which pulled in brackish water from the ocean, which killed the freshwater stuff. Nutria, a foreign species of rodent released in the marsh after some furriers gave up on the business, proliferated like an orange-toothed virus and ate the coastline away.

All these things have been causing Louisiana itself to disappear — and allowing for stronger hurricanes. We could still come back from this current state, by rebuilding the barrier islands and backfilling this and that. We could do it. If Obama nixed Corexit, thumbs-upped Toxy Trap, and started a WPA-type project to employ all the fishermen whose livelihoods BP knocked out, the barrier islands would be rebuilt and ready to fish again in a few years.

all photos by AP or somebody, not me

We’ve noticed a lot of people who should be more worried than they are, seem not to be because they’re already almost broken from Katrina and it’s some sort of defense mechanism they possess to keep them from completely going insane. It’s not that they aren’t worried … they’re creepily accepting of the coming doom, and they feel unable to change it. THAT IS WHAT WE NEED TO CHANGE.

Southern Louisiana is made up of some of the best people on Earth, and they are already exhausted. They are Tinkerbell, and it is time for us to CLAP OUR HANDS AS HARD AS WE CAN. Send them love, money, hair, pantyhose, crab traps, chicken wire, barges, dredgers, sandbags, burlap, batteries, generators, rotary-kiln incinerators, solar panels, hand-crank radios, ammunition, cigarettes, and naked pictures of yourself. Just pick someone and send them something.

and out there, it will just keep spreading out and coming in, because they didn’t think to (spend the money to) drill a relief well WHEN they drilled the main well, just in case

HELP. Oil in the marsh. Oil in the water. SOS. We saw it with our own eyes today. It is real. Seagulls catching fish in the oily marsh with dolphins playing in front of the brown slick crude-soaked grass.

Write your congresspeople, fill out this form, and ask them to MAKE the Obama administration MAKE Bayou Polluters “LET” US (god that infuriates me) use the hair boom, 20 warehouses full, all around the Gulf, ready to be deployed by eager and willing Cajuns in the marshes BP doesn’t care about saving.

And to replace Corexit with proven oil-eating microbes. RIGHT NOW; not after tests and reports and figuring out how to make a buck off of it. WE DO NOT HAVE TIME TO FUCK AROUND. Everything in Southern Louisiana will soon be dead. And BP does NOT CARE.

Question: Is this America? Are we really letting corporations who shit all over everything we’ve ever loved and then tried to hide it TELL US WHAT TO DO? Tell us how to best clean up the marsh?

Stymie our efforts, launch smear campaigns against lil’ ol’ Matter of Trust, and dishearten every single person in the world who, in the past month, has sheared their llamas and alpacas, mailed in some hair, shaved their head, cheer-led their whole salon in a boom-drive, or washed their old pantyhose and put them in a box with a stranger’s address on it?

That’s a lot of people. If you are one of those people and you are reading this, please do yourself and your economy and your karma a favor and ring the alarm for everyone you know to hear. It is time. They are APPEASING US with empty mainstream media stories and photo-op cleanup opportunities, all while refusing actual help. When will the American public finally get mad enough at them for taking us to be idiots?

Maybe we are. Since the below video came out, we’ve seen other news reports where the newscaster says the word “workers” and they show some form of this clip of the red-white-and-blue extras hired by BP PR for Team Obama Picture Day.

Why don’t the American people know and have access to everything that everyone in the government knows? Don’t they want to work with us, and learn the lessons, and enforce them? If they’ve got nothing to hide, then why do they hide things? Don’t they work for us? Don’t we pay their salaries? It’s the 21st century.

Oh yes — we know why. Because if the congresspeople started ratting on BP and all their shadiness, BP would pull out their Satanic Ledger of Backroom Deals and play tit-for-tat with the crooked or otherwise somehow implicable and blood-money-accepting politicians who are currently DOING PRETTY MUCH NOTHING about the fact that America’s liver is failing.

America, you need your liver. Without it, you die.

Sorry to be a bummer; return to your regularly scheduled program of complaining to your friends on Facebook without taking any action and then forgetting about it. We’re sure Grandpa Joe Cajun won’t mind relocating and/or starving to death!

if he gets out alive, he’ll prolly die quicker than he would have otherwise, anyway

Gah. Sorry. Guilt gets us nowhere. Let’s not put off anyone who might otherwise help. Of course, you won’t really do anything, will you, until it affects you directly? We wouldn’t, either. We’re all lazy entitled Americans most of the time. Even most people we know in New Orleans are sticking with the ostrich route for now.

Well, the Indians and Cajuns we talked to today are ready to do some serious shit that has not been seen since our founding forefathers and foremothers told England to GO FUCK THEMSELVES. Some of them paid with their lives. This is the kind of rhetoric that is being tossed around in the marshes we just came from.

This is undprecedented and scary. This is the kind of stuff you have to say to yourself right before you decide to stay and fight, even though you know you may die.

Please, please, please do something, Please? Please. DO SOMETHING.

from (the brackish waterworld wasteland soon to be formerly known as) New Orleans

hair, pantyhose, crab trap, floaties. GIVE US THE DUMPSTERS AND THE HAZWOPR TRAINING. The girls and women, the American public, the llamas, the alpacas, and the whole wide world wants to help

Follow Summer Burkes on Twitter.


  1. Where can I stay/camp/live? What can I do? I wasn’t able to help with Katrina besides money/donating blood. My family is from the Gulf Coast. I LOVE Southern Louisianna. This time, I must help. Enlighten me! How?? Thank you!

    1. Get with Matter of Trust dot org and start knowing all the stuff you need to know. We need money to hire captains to jet us around the bayous and marshes to tell the people who don’t have Internet, much less a Spacebook page, about the availability of hairboom. So educate, fundraise, and save your money. Maybe the hurricanes will wait. Thank you, deeply.

  2. “But American oil companies cook the books to please their stockholders — falsely keeping prices low to show a good profit on paper.”

    Low prices to show a good profit? Is this a typo? If not, someone please explain how this works.

    KLL, CPA

    1. I’m not quite sure, being a person who almost refuses to deal with money. What I meant was that private companies can set the prices wherever they like. Public companies have to please the shareholders and be competitive. Somehow in what I’ve heard, this translated into our gas prices soaring when the Saudis are the only ones who have gas, and BP taking advantage of corporate personhood by filing for bankruptcy. Other than that, if you can shine some light on it, please do, because I research facts AND repeat hearsay. Thanks!

  3. Gods, I wish I was able to just pick up and come down there to help out. As it is I’ll try and galvanize my coastal community to donate hair, nylons, and money. And I’ll donate the proceeds from the sales of my publishing company’s books to the clean-up efforts.

    Powell River, Canada

    1. Thank you Katje. Your job is to keep this Apocalypse in the public eye, keep writing letters and badgering your friends and collecting hair and staging protests. Keep it rolling. This is going to last a long time, and Louisianans are frantically despairing that people are already getting bored with it and changing the channel.

  4. I have one more week to go at school. We could collect something or at least write letters of support to the people in the oil zone. Any ideas about where to find a name or address to send something to?

    1. The families who need money to eat… there are too many of them. Don’t give money to the Red Cross; they waste it. Don’t shop BP / Arco / AM-PM etc; vote with your money. Ride your bike; consolidate your gas trips. Check out Riki Ott’s proposal to amend the constitution to deny corporations personhood. Even if Southern Louisiana disappears, please make sure Americans learn this lesson. If you and your school wanted to fundraise for something, St. Bernard Parish Community Center is providing support to out-of-work fishermen and their families with a kitchen, free clothes and food… they need support in order to support. Thank you!

  5. Pingback: Mayday. M’aidez. HELP. Oil in the water. Oil in the marsh. SOS. EVERYTHING IS GOING TO DIE. (via The Ladies’ Guide to the Apocalypse) « Innocence and Immanence

  6. Pingback: Mayday. M’aidez. HELP. Oil in the water. Oil in the marsh. SOS. EVERYTHING IS GOING TO DIE. (via The Ladies’ Guide to the Apocalypse) « Innocence and Immanence

  7. Ag, this pisses me off! I’ll do whatever I can. Spread it around, fill out the forms, spread it to connections in the media, or come down and deal with all that god awful hair myself. Corporate greed will be the death of us all.

  8. Hi Summer!

    I am friends with Dominic DA from back in the day. I forwarded your blog to my friend, Susie, who is a Chemical Engineer from Baton Rouge, LA and owner/founder of a municipal water systems management consulting company. She wrote, “Hazwop training manuals for extracting hydrocarbons from the gulf don’t exist yet. I’m sure she can look up the MSDS for gas and oil and all other unsaturated and saturated hydrocarbons. A respirator (and learn how to wear one), don’t let gas penetrate your skin wear goggles and don’t use anything that creates a spark (lighter, starting a car, etc). I’ll email you what I have.” I will forward Susie’s contact info to your e-mail.

    I am also hitting up a Marine Biologist, another ChemE who is a former Chevron-Texaco exec, and a Biological Remediation scientist. I will forward their info as well.

    1. Hey thanks Soledad. This place is crawling with scientists and stuff but we’d always appreciate a fresh point of view when Matter of Trust needs to get facts from somewhere unbiased. I myself am a dirtbag Bike Rodeo clown who is used to huffing diesel exhaust and sitting in giant art galleries filled with propane-fueled sculptures that breathe fire, so it’s hard for me to put on the Tyvek and mask in 95-degree heat. I looked up the MSDS for 2-Butoxyethanol and benzene when I took my Emergency Cert training last weekend: Scary. But unavoidable. Gotta die somehow, and this is uh, important. We got hair and pantyhose, that’s what we got, and BP told us it’s hazardous material. Crazy world…

  9. This makes me crazy and unbearably sad! Can I just tell you how frustrating it is to be in the north and feel completely useless – aside from sending some money?? I’m on lists to volunteer, but according to those groups, we can’t without the proper training – and the “Gangster Party” is controlling that!

    Thank you for your posts… even though they make me feel worse because I wish I could do more. I am trying to keep it in the eyes and hearts of my friends and family…

    That being said, I do my best to limit my “oil footprint”. I commute by bike, I eat locally (fuck the meat and agriculture industry in this country, man) – and I’m trying to put the word out to people I know. Unfortunately my frustration is also with people who complain about this, and then don’t do a single fucking thing in their lives to change our oil addiction.

    I guess we just keep fucking screaming.

    1. I think my new answer to the question “what do I do from afar?” is yeah, keep screaming. Not everybody wants to be awakened, but for those who do, some need a little help, and information, since there’s been a media blackout of iron-curtain proportions. Awakened to ACTION is the thing, and I’m not sure what action we can take, because we are all waiting for the other shoe to drop. Wait, I know what you can do: Get informed, and put a dress / suit on and start a network with your local churches (GREAT source of community and kind-hearted people) to get ready to receive and/or “adopt” families. There are hundreds of families who would like to leave the Gulf Coast right now but can’t afford it. You could be the person in your town who starts a personalized movement to help them! Now git!

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