Bitch, Please

***Warning: today I am using the blog for purposes of ranting.  If the mild curse word in the title offends you, move on my friend.***

I have a case of “what the fuck does it matter-itis.”  This malady is a result of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  I can’t read about it anymore.  I can’t even imagine what it would be like if my life was directly affected by the slick.  I have a sense of dread that it will be sooner than later, however.  We’re all going to be, because it’s that big.

The enormity of the disaster makes me feel so small.  I have no idea how to fix the problem, and I fear that no one does.  There are people who live environment day in and day out, and they don’t know what to do.  Then I think about all this stuff that I do, all these “little steps” and what do they even matter?  I drive 65 on the highway and feel all smug because I’m getting better gas mileage than the people passing me.  And that saved what fraction of a fraction of the shit that’s now decimating the sea life?

I work for a woman who, at night, after everyone has left, goes through people’s trash and pulls out items she believes are recyclable, and puts them on our desks.  Please don’t get me started on the 10,000 ways that’s fucked up, but the one that gets me more than anything is the futility of it.  Driving into work with the news on the radio, and then arriving to find that the wax paper from my box of tea is sitting next to my keyboard when we’re in the middle of working on a fundraiser…  (In an unrelated story, many resumes are going out soon.)  It makes it more and more difficult to hold on to my shit.

I just can’t get this stuff out of my head, so I thought I’d get it out on the blog.  I know there’s good news out there, but so many bad things are happening at the moment, between this unnatural disasters, the natural disasters, and the political disasters.  I know I’ve got a lot of Greenist friends out there, anyone have a good idea of how not to feel so helpless about all this?

Other, of course, than following “BP Public Relations” on Twitter.   That is some comic gold.  Also, it’s helping that I be thankful every day that I live where I do, where it’s beautiful, and people worked for years to clean up our river, and we’re largely exempt from natural disasters.  But still.  How do you be a citizen of the world in a time like this?

UPDATE: I’m now coping a little better, thanks to Mom’s comment, and to the fact that I just “liked” a Facebook page called Plugging the Gulf oil Leak with the Works of Ayn Rand.

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8 responses to this post.

  1. I can offer no suggestions aside from eliminating plastic and petroleum from your life. However, I think that’s a little extreme.

  2. Posted by elizabeth on June 1, 2010 at 10:18 am

    All I can say is that if you think you have an awful job – just be glad you are not the spokesperson for BP.

    And eat all the shrimp you can this season, because who knows if it will be available in the months to come.

    And keep protecting the Hudson. It’s where you live and everyone should be proud of how they turned the river around in a relatively short space of time.

    And turn off the news and read a book.

    And don’t forget to recycle the wax paper from the tea. (she really did that?)

    Don’t despair; a lot of good people are working to find a solution and to clean up the mess. They need our support.

  3. Posted by Noelle on June 1, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Mom, you are the great comforter when I feel bad. Thanks!

  4. I’m with your mom, be glad you aren’t the person having to spin the whole thing.

    Your worry over it is a little curious. What will affect you is the price of shrimp. That’s it. Then you can get your shrimp from someplace else. The environment is pretty sturdy it’s righted itself on several occasions. Doesn’t mean we should treat the Gulf as a trash can, but you know. Now me, it affects me and my family. We can’t zip down to the beach like we thought we could and not run into stinky oil. Corpus Christie smells that way all the time though.

    BP = a large company. Which means you better have enough money to counter them if you want to do anything about it. Otherwise, you are just making yourself tense.

  5. I start to get into funks like that too, and then they get worse when I realize how good I am at blocking out things that make me overwhelmingly upset. I guess we can only do what we’ve been trying to do all along- the best we can with what we’ve got.

  6. Posted by lizgwiz on June 2, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I’m with you. It’s incredibly depressing. And it’s not just “the price of shrimp.” (Sheesh.) It’s the huge loss of wildlife. It’s the dead zones that are being created even now in the oceans. Ecosystems are complicated, and we need healthy oceans to have anything approaching a healthy planet.

    I don’t know that there’s anything any individual can do, except keep voting against the people who let this culture of destruction continue unrestricted.

    And recycle our wax paper. 😉

  7. I like your mom’s comment, because I feel exactly the way you do. When I’m trying to come up with post ideas for The Greenists, I’ve been staying away from oil spill-related topics because I just don’t want to tackle it. It’s too big. I’m pissed too, but I think all we can do is just continue being responsible environmentalists and doing what we can with what we’ve got.

    Personally, I want to plug the leak with BP executives. 🙂

  8. Oh, Noelle, I know exactly how you feel, with the added heartbreak of growing up in a Gulf Coast town and having that personal trauma as well. I wish I knew ways to cope, but instead I alternate between having to avoid all coverage of the disaster and not being able to look away from it. It is so incredibly awful.

    Incidentally, I have one friend who married into a family that is in the oil business. I almost de-facebook-friended her the other day for posting something about how “- get that this is traumatic, but don’t people understand that accidents happen?”. I think this is beyond the level of “accident” and perhaps even beyond “catastrophe”. What’s worse than a catastrophe?

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