You know what happens when news coverage of a shocking topic is on 24-7 for months? People become numb to it. They get tired of hearing about it. They feel powerless. Any outrage they may have felt is replaced by resignation.
I know this because it’s how I feel about the “war on terror.” But that’s been going on for almost 10 years. I think indifference is to be expected after that long as there is only so much emotional browbeating people can take every single night on the news. That indifference is, IMO, a form of self-preservation because who can maintain a consistent sense of active outrage for ten years? Most people just can’t.
But the Gulf Oil Spill Disaster (yes, I capitalized it—it deserves to be capitalized) is merely months old and yes, even I have reached my saturation point on many occasions where I just had to retreat and stop thinking about it.
That said, I can, to some degree, understand the indifference I encounter on, say, Twitter when we tweet horrific things about #oilspill but it hurts my heart to see how many people are COMPLETELY detached from what’s going on out there.
This disaster is NOT going away anytime soon and the effects are not going to be limited to MY backyard. The entire world will eventually be affected by this so even if you think this is not your problem because you live in the middle of the country where there are no beaches or fishing industry or stunningly beautiful marine life, you are wrong—it is hurting people YOU know. It is hurting YOUR breathing air. It is hurting YOUR food supply. It is hurting YOUR country.
Again, I understand how easy it is to allow yourself to detach from the intensity of this situation. I really do. I’m guilty of it myself at times but I have to ask…WHERE IS THE COLLECTIVE OUTRAGE? Why are we not standing together AS A NATION and demanding the cover-ups and cost-cutting and responsbility-shirking and victim-blaming STOP? Because THOSE THINGS *ARE* GOING ON.
That’s not to say people aren’t doing anything. There have been a ton of people doing things to try and help but honestly, insofar as I can tell, nothing is going to truly get any better until we demand that our governmental agencies, BP and the media cut the crap—helping BP to cover this up serves nobody’s interests except theirs.
People are getting sick, wildlife is dying, poison “dispersants” are being dumped into OUR water, trained and qualified volunteers are not being allowed to help, respirators are being denied, insurance and loss claims are not being acknowledged and NOBODY SEEMS TO CARE.
Well—and this is where I get nasty—I’m sorry that you’re tired of hearing about this and I’m sorry it’s not as entertaining as, say, The Bachelorette but if you want reality programming…THIS IS IT, PEOPLE. Get off your couch potato asses and write a letter, make a phone call, tweet something, call your representatives, sign a f*cking petition, write a blog post expressing your disgust and outrage—assuming you can muster any up—but please, for the love of your flat screen television, don’t ignore it.
DO SOMETHING—because at some point, this will be YOUR problem, too.
And if you do nothing, you really are letting the “terrorists” (read: BP) win because OUR indifference and complacency is what they’re banking on.
If you want to hear a first-person civilian account of what BP has been up to for the past two months or so, watch these videos. Kindra Arnesen, a Louisiana resident and wife to a Gulf shrimp fisherman, was invited inside the BP machine and apparently they forgot to censor themselves in her presence because she saw and heard things that will shock you. These were already covered by some major media outlets already last month but they speak volumes about where BP really stands on all of this and if you haven’t seen them, you need to.
The first video discusses worst case scenarios in the Gulf regarding hurricanes, acid rain etc. and it’s heavy stuff. The second video is Kindra Arnesen discussing her time as an insider at BP. As noted, what she saw and heard is jaw dropping. PLEASE WATCH BOTH!
These are not ranty, conspiracy nut videos appearing on some left-wing fringe group’s site (as Fox News would have you believe). The web site on which they appear is just a convenient place to send you to see both videos. These have been covered by the mainstream media already (in June 2010). This is the real deal.
We have to do something but like everyone else, I feel largely helpless in the face of such unfathomable tragedy. One thing I DO know? The people living right on affected waterways in places like Louisiana are getting sick from breathing the benzene—and dispersants, I assume. They need to be moved away from there.
Donations to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund will go, primarily, to help the fishermen and residents of the most affected parishes in Louisiana—Plaquemines, St. Bernard, lower Jefferson, Terrebonne, and Lafourche. Please make a donation—if 1 million people gave $10 each, it would do a world of good in helping the sickened residents and those who have lost their livelihoods to rebuild their lives.
If you know of any other reputable charities to help oil spill victims, please let me know.
Just a few of the MANY petitions out there, if you care to sign…
I could post links all day and not even come close to being done so I’ll stop here and get this up. Feel free to share must-see links to news, video, blog posts, petitions etc in the comments.
And I apologize for being so harsh up there. I’m frustrated. I hope you understand.
If you would please TWEET, STUMBLE and DIGG this post, I would be eternally grateful!