May 3, 2010

Look Away?

Look Away?
picture these men covered in oil
The destruction of the oceans has always been the thing I can't stand to think about. We all have something like that. My sister can't stand to think about hungry children, she just can't deal with it, she says, can 't figure out what to do, what not to do, where to send money where to expend energy-- her solution is to erect completely useless barriers in her mind, not read those articles, not look at those images.... me I can look at pictures of starving children, I can stomach even the most sensational photos of famine and war, families ripped apart, absolutely desperate children but ask me to look at pictures of polluted water, of marine animals with toxic boils, of fish washed up and whales struggling on beaches and I descend into a nearly bottomless pit of darkness and misanthropy. I weep. I get angry. I want to look away, I can't look away.

Here we are almost two weeks in to the oil "spill" in the Gulf, and how many of us are trying to look away? How many of us are looking away from those images and our own culpability? Yes our consumerism, our daily driving, our petroleum based lipstick, our trips to Aruba and Santa Fe-- but also and perhaps worse! our passivity-- passivity that lets trash gyres in the Pacific bigger than Texas remain a cocktail hour topic of wonder rather than a battle cry. And now this "catastrophe"-- and we act amazed, How can it be? How did this happen? As if any bookie worth his salt wouldn't have totally bet on this happpening, sooner or later. There is no surprise here. None. Thats right folks the Jack in the box pops out of the box at the end of the song! Everytime!

So I admonish myself for crying, grief is not the point, all the grief in the world would not be enough---5000 dolphins are calving in the gulf right now, just trying to find a place to give birth--- there are giant sea turtles washing up on shore, thousands of migrating birds will not make it home to nest this year...

I hope the techno worshipers are bearing strong witness , those who think technology will save us.... can we really engineer our way out of this?