Oystermen in Louisiana: Nothing to do but wait for the end

In oilpocalypse by summerburkes1 Comment

Stardate June 23, 2010. Well, it’s happening. It’s literally raining oil in Louisiana now.

In three days, a full moon lunar eclipse occurs, inside of a rare and powerful cardinal cosmic-cross alignment of planets which we don’t quite understand but which sounds like serious astrological business.

On the same day, according to Dug, because the water’s so hot in the Gulf right now, the year’s first tropical storm 92L is destined to become a tropical storm.

Hate to shuck and run, but …

For the Collins Oyster Company in Golden Meadow, LA, the end-times message came recently, when Governor Bobby Jindal opened up a freshwater diversion system in a bid to keep the oil out of the marsh. But it won’t keep the oil out — that’s the general consensus among the oystermen. It will only de-salinate the water to the point where it kills off all the oysters that hadn’t yet been defiled by the oil.

This yard in front of the Collins family compound would normally be full of oyster lovers stopping for lunch on the way to their Grand Isle summer vacation. The grey fridge-truck, where they store the oysters, is empty.

this is the boat in the last picture, during its oyster-harvesting heyday.

BP just announced they were going to deliver the net profits from the oil they harvest to some new wildlife fund. 1) this is another BULLSHIT cover for their money-laundering schemes, just like everything else they do; and 2) What about the PEOPLE who are losing EVERYTHING? I mean the oil-covered pelicans are a sad sight… but REALLY. Little wittle animals, poor them, is a diversionary tactic, to get you to pay attention to the most sensationalized bit of the story and neglect the meat of it. Meaning, we are all about to go DOWN. Like I said, it’s RAINING OIL.

Captain Wilbert’s son shows off his prize — this baby was probably 100 years old when they caught it.

The Collinses are beside themselves with worry. Just like everyone else down here, they’re rendered nearly catatonic at the scope of the destruction that’s coming, still coming, and getting bigger with every seafloor-eroding second of the day. The oysters in Louisiana, the ones not coast-side and affected by the oil, might have been alright to eat … before this oil-rain started anyway. Then Jindal executive-ordered another press-friendly act of renegade-governorship that was TOTALLY the wrong idea. But nobody can tell him anything. He works for himself, not us. He’s a fake party-chat talking head trying to ape Billy Nungesser’s / James Carville’s / Riki Ott’s / Charlie Melancon’s REALNESS. I consider myself to be a patriotic American whose beliefs constitute a post-two-party-system of personal responsibility for everyone … and I don’t trust Jindal worth a damn.

Here’s a giant map of all the oyster leases in the marshes and bayous. The Collinses own the rights to a nice grip of these.

Thursday, the Collinses told us they would take us out on the boat the next morning to check and see if their oysters had died yet. However, when we woke up on Friday after sleeping in the map-room, the Collinses were all gone. They went to check the boat, and SOMEONE HAD CUT THE POWER AT THE MARINA. This is the marina where all the oystermen are parked — the ones who are getting in BP’s way in order to go handle their usual routines of checking their crops.

Mr. Wilbert Collins, such a nice gentleman, smiling through it all. How does he do it? How do any of these people do it? It’s part of their magic. And it is going away.

Ya heard me? Someone cut the power at the marina. We are dealing with some gangsters who don’t give a SHIT about ANYTHING except making more money. And they are STILL IN CHARGE OF CLEANUP.

These oystermen, they don't need these burlap sacks any more. Ever. They're garbage. So they gave them to me.

These oystermen, they don’t need these burlap sacks any more. Ever. They’re garbage. So they gave them to me.

A Eureka moment in Golden Meadow occurred for me: I had been searching for burlap sacks to put unmeshed hair boom in, because mesh is something you have to buy and, for this DIY homespun cleanup effort education-and-distribution system we are trying to get off the ground, I wanted to implement Cajuneering technology using only found garbage. Burlap sacks full of boom can be made into levees, hung against boat docks, and stuffed in unwanted crab traps to build oil-filter walls.

Or this. The hair boom idea is catching on in Alabama and Florida … I think Louisianians just have too much to think about to give this any energy. But with oil raining down from above, what in our squishy marshy waterworld can be saved now?

Sad, helpless, oily pelicans … we feel your pain, but BP is using you — shaking you in front of us like a baby’s rattle while they KILL EVERYTHING ELSE TOO. This oyster situation is but one slice of the example of the Apocalypse that’s coming.

Oh yeah! Just another little tidbit. This is where paranoia and real life intersect. A 15-to-20-mile gas bubble is reportedly forming under and around the oil-cano. What happens then?

*All photos by Craig Morse, Culture Subculture

Follow Summer Burkes on Twitter.


  1. Let us pray that the area of “disturbed weather” out in the Gulf doesn’t come our way… Hope you don’t leave Nola, although, Jesus, we may all leave Nola like it or not. Sigh.

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