Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chauncey DeVega's World of Ghetto Nerds: The BP Oil Spill is the Skin of Evil

I liked Obama's speech on the BP oil spill. It wasn't that moving. It wasn't that inspired. Nor, will it enter the pantheons of great speeches such as Churchill's invocation that "we shall fight on the beaches":

But ultimately, Obama is a centrist technocrat in the increasing mold of Adlai Stevenson. But guess what? President Obama (I still get chills typing that by the way...who would have thought?) got at least 20 billion dollars out of a bunch of criminals who should go somewhere and commit seppuku. History will make of that what it will.

As I watch this unending oil spill, lurch, dirty, kill and destroy, I have had two thoughts. The first is imprecise and half-formed, but for the same reason that I use a blackboard and not that damned Powerpoint when I teach, oftentimes half-formed thoughts in progress that we have to work through are far more instructive and powerful than those perfectly formed and presented on an LCD screen. Here, and every time that I watch footage of the oil spill and those poor suffering animals and imagine a lifestyle and economy now destroyed, I keep thinking of disaster capitalism. I know it is not a perfect fit for Naomi Klien's theories, but a big corporation made this mess--as they have others--and another multinational will fix it...for great profit at the American tax payer's expense.

My second thought veers directly to my ghetto nerd credentials. In one of the worst Star Trek episodes ever filmed--close to Spock's Brain in its level of horribleness--Tasha Yar, soft butch, damaged sex pot of The Next Generation was killed by Armus, a "malevolent entity." As anticlimactic as it reads on the screen or page, when I look at that sludge I think of him. 'Nuff said.

Thus my question: What monsters come to your mind as you watch our ecosystem destroyed in a crime of almost incalculable dimensions and consequences?


CNu said...

Deepwater Horizon may well be an ELE.

No one (in "authority") is telling the truth about how bad this is yet. But I hope everyone noticed how quick BP shifted from management disputing the amount of liability to the Chairman of the Board forgoing dividends for the forseeable and ponying up $20 Billion.

The relief well and recapping effort (remember first top kill (biggest ever) categorically failed) is severely reality constrained, unless of course you believe that hittiing a 20 inch column 18.000 feet below the seabed and under a mile of ocean is highly likely. With those extraordinarily improbable odds (ghetto nerd enough f'ya?) the undisclosed truth of the matter is that this deposit is going to empty out and there's nothing BP or anybody else can do about it.

Obama told Svanberg "youve got one more chance, and then we nationalize your assets and operations, since we've already socialized your externalities" and that's what changed everything.

Watch, and remember where you heard it first....,

Anonymous said...

It's always interesting to see what the news reports AREN'T saying. Why no news on it hitting the Keys - Miami - Ft. Lauderdale - Myrtle Beach and the Outer Banks? Etc. And, the government's limiting all access to the spill, on land and in the Gulf. It's kind of like the Close Encounters of the Third Kind security set-up. And the corporate-controlled press follows along like little doggies...

Bigger question: Is there any strategic import behind cleaning out all African-Americans from the Gulf? I.e., first the ethnic cleansing of the Katrina response, and now the wipe-out of fishermen, shrimpers, and etc. on the coast.