Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oily Anger

Normally I am not surprised, nor do I get angry, at anything big business or government does these days. But the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has tipped the balance for me.  After three weeks, I confess I am now officially angry.

I am angry with Obama. I am angry that he is sitting on his hands waiting for disaster to reach shore. Why leave the fixing of the leak in the hands of those who caused the leak? I am no engineer, but it seems to me that the resources of the US government must be able to come up with a better idea than pantyhose filled with human hair!

Second, I am angry with Obama for announcing shortly before the disaster that oil rigs don't cause oil spills because of their "advanced technology." Yeah, we have seen their advanced technology in action the last few weeks.

I am angry that Obama announced plans to expand offshore drilling so that other parts of our coast can be devastated. (Just for the record, I was upset at this before this spill. I signed a Green Party petition to that effect before the Deepwater Horizon explosion occurred.)

But it is not just Obama. He is just the latest stooge of the government-oil company coalition. I am angry with Bush before him, Clinton before him, Bush the First, Reagan, Carter and back and back, ad nauseum ... literally. 

I am nauseous at hearing BP, Transocean, and Halliburton avoid responsibility while oil spews forth. I am sick at the sight of self-righteous congressmen pointing fingers at the oil companies while taking their campaign contributions.

There, I have said it. The Obamites will voice all kinds of reasons why it is not his fault, and they will blame the Republicans. The conservatives will blame the liberals, and vice versa. They will both find others to blame. Blah, blah, blah. It is exactly this type of tit-for-tat politics that makes me angry.

Now that I have voiced my outrage, I can examine the real source of my wrath. My anger is like oil spilling forth from the depths - a mile beneath the surface of my consciousness. My soul has sprung a leak. It cannot be capped or plugged. 

I can corral the pollution at the surface and burn it off. I can place booms to protect the shoreline of my relationships. But these are only partial and temporary fixes. I can blame others, but that does not change anything. The source of the anger is me... not others.

Quite some time ago I learned an important truth. I get angry at the qualities in others that I refuse to acknowledge in myself. When I get most angry, I am really angry with myself - my shadow self, that is. I blame others to get myself off the hook - the same thing the Dems and the GOP do so well. It is a diversionary tactic.

The truth is that I am the problem. Nearly everything I purchase is manufactured and transported with the use of oil. I have two automobiles, and I want inexpensive gasoline. In fact I usually get my gas from BP. It has such a nice "green" logo and environmentally friendly reputation. I falsely believed that British Petroleum's crude came from the North Sea. Not that it really matters in the global scheme.

In the end I have no one to blame but myself. I can sign a Green Party petition to assuage my conscience. I can get angry with others to avoid personal responsibility.  But I caused that spill - you and me. As Pete Seeger sang, "When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?"

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