repping Gulf Coast oil spill victims at SF’s Wiccan new year

In oilpocalypse by summerburkes4 Comments

We were invited to participate in a large Wiccan gathering on the day before Samhain / Halloween this past Saturday night in San Francisco.

While we were handing out flyers by the altar we built (the “water element” – mucho oil and plastic in the display – delightfully creepy), the Wiccans began to go through a guided meditation together.

The words “guided meditation” always make us think of the penguin scene in Fight Club, and who’s really a fan of engaging in the vulnerable act of closing one’s eyes in a large crowd.

Indeed, we’d never been to a Wiccan gathering before (it was really nice and sweet and magical, actually) and we were only there to convey concrete information about how to help the Gulf Coast, because we know that unlike most people out here in the non-Corexited parts of America, the Wiccans still care about the situation and are horrified and want to do something. They love, love, LOVE this planet. But guided meditation?

What are we, xenophobic against Wiccans? Let’s just go with it. Anything we can do to sort out our insides is good for the planet, according to common wisdom. Formless spirituality, after all, isn’t the kind that causes fights.

the more marsh grass dies, the more Louisiana shrinks, the more drilling opportunities pop up. pesky Cajuns in the way. not for long.

“Go into the water,” the meditation-guide-lady said. “Push off from the shore and get into the boat. You have started on your journey.” No no no, don’t go into that water, our subconscious said back — it’s poisoned! You’ll get sick! Go straight from the dock onto the boat and wear a kerchief around your mouth if you don’t have a respirator! don’t even trail your toes or rinse your hands in the water!

“You are now on the water, crossing to the far shore,” she said. “Observe the infinity in front of you.” The infinity of the Gulf Coast, our subconscious replied. Remember that expansive feeling, in the speedboat with the boys, looking for oil and dead pelicans, wishing we’d discovered this magical land sooner, and that we’d brought a respirator…

“Now you’re nearing the far shore,” she said, “through the mists. What do you see? Who is there to greet you? Your ancestors, with loving, open arms?” … No, our subconscious replied, surprised. We had been wishing to see our relatives, especially our father, whose work boots we were wearing.

It’s a bunch of pissed-off-looking birds and dolphins and fish, onshore. Ganged up. Some of them are carrying billy clubs?!? … They’re glaring at us expectantly, like they’ve been waiting. WTF. Everyone else is probably seeing stars and flowers and reuniting joyously with their mighty and beloved Dead. Why does even our subconscious have to be such a Viking all the time?

“What are they saying to you?” she said. “What is the message they’re trying to get across?” … Now we’re going to clear our thoughts, just to make sure this insanity has a mind of its own. Clear away the angry animals, forget Fight Club, and just relax again. … Oh … oh hi, angry animals. We guess you’re not going away. What say you, then?

“Avenge our deaths.”

… and how shall we do that? (We cleared the mental chatter and waited again … The answer came through, one word, unexpected, and clear as a bell.)


What? COMEDY?, our subconscious said. … That … that sounds like a huge relief, actually. Not sure what you mean but we like it. Thanks, infuriated Gulf Coast ex-fauna! [end scene]

it’s early November and this coon ain’t got no friends. it’s lonely, the fish taste like lickin’ a battery, and her innards are as black as night. Is there a witch doctor in the house?

Meanwhile, in the outside world, Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert pulled off a national St. Stupid‘s Day Parade of epic proportions, the San Francisco Giants won the World Series, and we unexpectedly and non-violently acquired some riot practice on Mission Street.

On the next day, Election Day of the Dead, we marched in the world-famous Dia de los Muertos parade, in Daddy’s boots. More flyers were handed out, and hopefully some of them made it to sympathetic, action-oriented people who realize THE OIL IS COMING IN WORSE THAN EVER, THE GULF OF MEXICO IS STILL MURDERED, and ACTIVISTS TRYING TO GET THE TRUTH OUT DOWN THERE KEEP GETTING REALLY REALLY SICK. Also, Cajuns HAVE NO FISH TO EAT.

They are sick and hungry and America needs to help them. That’s it, we’re done beating a dead Gulf. We’re going to try to shut up and focus on the Ladies’ Guide to the Apocalypse, and COMEDY. Somehow. Or maybe music. But not ranting, unless it’s FUNNY ranting. Not bitterness, unless it’s FUNNY bitterness. Wisdom is cynicism minus anger. Anger is tiring and useless.

Please take the message out to your communities, though. We’re all getting really discouraged that most people seem to have forgotten about the Gulf Shores, or that it’s too ugly to deal with. It’s ugly, but apathy is uglier, and so is cognitive dissonance, and Mithras — excuse me, Christmas — is a time to BE LIKE JESUS AND GIVE PEOPLE THINGS THEY NEED.

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” – H. Jackson Browne

As for Election Day of the Dead: It’s no surprise the Tea Party (a.k.a. the Kochtopus Serfs) shook up Congress and solidified our position as the world’s only corporate-oligarchy superpower. If you study Jay Gould, Rockefeller, the robber-barons of the past, the monopoly bust this time last century, and Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, you already know we’re going down.

So let’s make it fun, shall we?

After all, like the Wiccans said this past weekend: There is no end to the circle. There is no end to life. So Happy Samhain, Merry Mithras, and may Goddess help us all.

prayers and condolences to Dean the Shrimp King and his family, all of whom are sick, and also because BOTH their family dogs died from liver failure after jumping into the Gulf this past week.


‎”I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.” – Jay Gould, 19th-century robber-baron


LINKS. swallow hard.

HuffPo: Gulf oil spill: Recent photos show disaster is far from cleaned up

FOSL: “Every person I was dealing with was sick,” says outreach volunteer in Grand Isle – “People that are living there, heaven help them”

this fish passed the ridiculous “smell test” — can you smell if there’s pizza in here, in the middle of a pizza parlor? — and this is what they look like when you open them up. Enjoy!

YouTube: The Gulf Blue Plague – it’s not wise to fool Mother Nature

What is going on at West Sirius? (Hint: a new drilling rig at the Macondo site. Technically informative article about things going on out at sea which are VERY F-ING FISHY, no pun intended. Perhaps Matthew Simmons was right?)

IPS News: Despite heavy oil, Louisiana keeps fisheries open Reappearance of huge plumes of oil is making it hard to pretend that the problem has disappeared (+ lots of juicy links)

Daily Kos: Gulf Watchers Wednesday – EPA Whistleblower crucifies BP on safety ***

Conclusive evidence that BP capped the wrong well, and by grouting the faults, they are spreading the oil far and wide

Official spill investigation: Halliburton ignored well flaws too

Oil spill commission finds Halliburton’s cement was unstable, failed multiple tests before Deepwater Horizon disaster Drilling rig inspectors had vast gaps in knowledge, oil spill panel finds Security zone set up around Deepwater Horizon wreckage

this picture of the “capped” well was taken October 24

Youtube: Dahr Jamal interview

Webdiary: Halliburton’s secret deal for Iraq’s oil


‎”In democracy, we get the government we deserve.” -Alexis deTocqueville


California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says D.C. politicians are ‘wimps’ against Big Oil

OnEarth Magazine: Louisiana oystermen: out of work, out of options

Influence Organizations (this is an AMAZING site – enter a politician’s name and up pops all their corporate sponsors)

(pause for a breather; sing along. shhh it’s okay, shhh)

Truthout: Fishermen report Louisiana bays filled with oil

Shocking Gulf photos from October 22 LSU specialist concludes it’s algae, not oil, in Gulf

BP grant money expected to finance dispersant research at LSU

Bloomberg: Oil royalty agency threatens fines in wake of spill and corruption scandal

NPR: Reminders of BP’s oil spill linger along Gulf Coast

Falling Awake: 4.9 million gallons of oil + 1.0 million of toxic dispersant

ProPublica: The questions BP didn’t answer


“Competition is a sin.” -J.D. Rockefeller


Gulf Breeze news: Fort McRae oil very toxic to humans

St. Petersburg Times: BP fails to learn lessons of disaster

MSNBC: Halliburton admits skipping test on Gulf well cement

YouTube: USM – Darth Vader-like deep-sea creature “is replacing red crabs in the habitat we have sampled”

et voila, the Darth Vader-like isopod bathynomus — a formerly deep-sea scavenger who feeds on the dead. There are no crabs where crabs should be, but these creepy-crawly, previously-unfindable Vader-pods have suddenly near-surfaced in droves … Coming to a plate near your children, sometime soon? No need to grease the pan

Al Jazeera English: BP dispersants ‘causing sickness’ (Al Jazeera = more honest than American lamestream media about what’s really going on)

Our Stolen Future: Background on BPA — what is it, how it is used, and what does science say about exposure risks

Florida Oil Spill Law: “You’re gonna realize it later I guess, it’s gonna be a big shock to everyone … it’s gone; it’s done” (VIDEO)

The Consumerist: Post-spill, Gulf Coast residents vomit brown, bleed from ears (this writer personally had brown stuff coming out of her ears)

“In a Republican district I was a Republican. In a Democratic district, I was a Democrat. But I was always for Erie.”
-Jay Gould, 1870s robber-baron / controller of the wildly corrupt Erie Railroad

Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper: Evaluation of the results of whole blood volatile solvents testing (i.e. yes everyone down there is being poisoned)

YouTube: Make big oil pay – Rev. Kenneth Davis (this is how the oil-refinery town of Richmond, CA does it)

FOSL: It’s Back – “orange oil” for miles, “a signature of the spill” returns – BP, Coast Guard not responding, say captains (VIDEO)

“Machiavelli said…. have enemies who fear you more than you fear them, and you will be safer. He also said one can buy off the blinded populace by doing seeming good deeds with much public fanfare. He also said that befriending the most hostile of one’s own kingdom and provisioning them, will give a king an able army to defend the king if attacked.” – Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

FOSL: 7-year-old “covered in blood,” mother with rashes over “entire body” — tests found elevated hexane, xylene, octane, methane from nearby gas well (not Deepwater, just related, as in the Earth is exploding and pipes are corroding everywhere)

News Inferno: Chalmette refinery accident poses danger to those already ill

LA Personal Injury Lawyer Blog: Limited details emerge from Chalmette refinery death, chemical leak (i.e., 2 serious chemical incidents this summer having nothing to do with the BP oil gusher all around them)

Gulf shrimp lab testing — digestive tracts — test results (answer: 193 parts per million of oil and grease)

UK Reuters: Toxic chemicals found deep at BP oil spill site (the last paragraph = lol)

YouTube: Nighttime sand washer operations in Grand Isle (smells terrible apparently; has made many people and animals sicker; as stated, two of Dean the Shrimp King’s family dogs jumped into the surf last week and both died that night of liver failure) Firm that certified safety of BP oil rig in Gulf of Mexico to do blowout preventer autopsy (GAAAAHrrrrRRRRRRrrrr. Grr.)

ugh, biodiesel already

Stuart Smith blog: Bayou Indian tribe has stopped eating Gulf seafood because of contamination fears

The Epoch Times: BP oil spill taking toll on Louisiana Indian tribe

Science News: BP gusher left deep sea toxic for a time, study finds

YouTube: The Fix — Robert Redford reflects on the oil disaster (p.s. make it a point to watch young Redford’s ’70s oil-crisis movie “Three Days of Condor”)

California Emotional connections — nurses find mission to Gulf changed their lives after Katrina

ProPublica: Two companies seek trade secret status for fracking fluids in Wyoming

The Onion: Last remaining politician must rebuild entire government following bloodiest midterm election in American history



“There is something behind the throne greater than the king himself.” -Sir William Pitt, House of Lords, 1770


NPR: ALEC shaping state laws with little scrutiny 6 secret monopolies you didn’t know run the world


Follow Summer Burkes on Twitter.


  1. Hi.
    I kinda stumbled on to your blog.
    Could you direct me to some ways to help?
    Are there some organizations you trust that do work that helps?
    I get mentally paralyzed if I think too hard about the repercussions of the spill/ing…but I don’t want to feel like that. I want action to replace the apathy.

  2. Hi thanks! … I’m glad to hear it. How about going to this Website to check it out:

    If you have been following the Oilpocalypse story at all, you’ve likely seen Kindra Arnesen speak — the Gulf’s most furious angel, fisherman’s wife turned activist, and all-around powerhouse of action (even when she’s sick and chemically poisoned). Well, she and her 2 friends established the Coastal Heritage Society of Louisiana, and they’re having a food/toy/medicine drive. from now until whenever.

    What I’m going to do is to call up / email all the churches in my area in the phone book, and the fire dept locals and police dept locals, rotary clubs etc, and any fishermen’s guilds (I’m currently in the Bay Area, CA – holler somebody if you’ve got a town covered) to let them know the people of southern Louisiana need help. With that information, they can take it upon themselves as to whether they’d like to pitch in and kick off a food drive, or whatever else they’d like to do. Sometimes all people need is to be pointed in the right direction.

    Attach the text of Kindra’s letter to the American people below your letter to the churches / clubs / etc…

    as far as Clif’s Notes, film clips galore can be found on Project Gulf Impact’s page. I know and trust them; we worked together. They are relentless, and pure of heart.

    and there you go! thanks for rocking. bless.

  3. Summer,

    Thank-you for your work/passion/concern on this issue. Did you actually make the altar, too, at the Spiral Dance? It was very impressive. I built the “For-Giving Altar” and I think you handed me a little blue flyer which I finally found time to look at last night and explore this website and the others that you have recommended.

    I found out a couple of interesting possibilities to perhaps leverage our efforts to help people impacted by the Gulf Oil disaster.

    First Dr. Riki Ott has actually pallets of her award winning book- Sound Truth and Corporate Myths available to non-profits. The book looks like a great expose on The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill – exposing oil as a human and environmental health hazard, based on stories of key witnesses and participants in the environmental tragedy that struck Prince William Sound in 1989. If people read them- they would certainly learn more about just how horrible the Gulf disaster is and how harmful the long term effects of oil and dispersants on human and wildlife can be. They could also be used to entice more donations to the victims.

    I also found out that the folks who make those booms have a full warehouse of them- they don’t even want more materials donated to them, but they could use help getting them out to people who could use them… like maybe those folks in Louisiana????

    I also met a woman, not too long ago who started the 93 dollar club- check it out on Facebook… It wasn’t something intentional- she was just helping another woman out and mentioned a story to friends and before long the story spread and people were inspired to donate money- eventually over $100,000 to the local food bank. Her husband works with my husband and they invited us to dinner, not too long ago, and she has learned how to leverage the donation dollars… so that the money actually doesn’t buy a few cases of tuna at Costco, but truckloads of food wholesale. I’m thinking that we could use help figuring out how to ship stuff to where it is needed to leverage donations. I have started 3 non-profits, but they are not charity organizations, and the one that I am most involved with recently lost its 501c3 umbrella and we’re breathlessly awaiting another to do the paperwork, so that folks can give us tax deductible donations, but unfortunately I don’t think this effort would fall under our umbrella (the group is the Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance).

    I would like to do a radio show or two on the topic, maybe one on the hardcore facts about what happened/lies/cover-up/impact and another on the grassroots response, how people can help- our local efforts. I post regularly on Indymedia, which is having an event this Saturday- I think to celebrate its tenth anniversary. Let’s talk about maybe pulling our resources together to help these folks out. Please give me a call- 650-857-0927. My radio show is called Community Currency and it is on the Progressive Radio Network 2-3 pm Thursdays (in California).


Leave a Comment