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photo by Sheri Dixon

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Let the Spin Begin

So, there's this oil spill, see?

Not a little one- like the iridescent amoebas floating in puddles under parked cars-but one of truly epic proportions and with no end or edges in sight.


This one is a horror all around- men have lost their lives because of it, their families changed forever by the deaths. Men and women are getting sick because of it, working tirelessly to assist in what can't even be described as a "clean up" because cleaning up is something that's done after a fact, and this is still firmly in the middle of "during", and can't even be described as "containment" because something this huge, this transient-yet-suffocating cannot be boxed, vacuumed, skimmed or dissolved.

Whole communities that depend on the Gulf for a livelihood are facing a very long haul before they can fish there again, though people who live on the ocean face disaster every season from hurricanes, from Acts of Nature- literally farming the waters is as tenuous as farming the land, and as harsh.

And there is one more industry that depends on the Gulf waters and beaches for its income- the tourist trade.

So it shouldn't have come as a surprise last night when a tourism spokesperson for The Sunshine State came smiling on TV for his interview- assuring people that Florida's Gulf Coast was still a prime vacation choice- that unlike those nasty stinky gooey blackened beaches of Louisiana, the waters of Florida are still clear, the beaches still pure- only a "shimmer" of oil on the surface.

Really.

No shit.

He said "shimmer" with a straight face- encouraging families to come frolic in the waters-turned-liquid-rainbows because of the shimmery magic of petroleum.

You know- like the surface of your bathtub shimmers when you add that scented Calgon Bath Oil.

So I tried twisting my brain into Tourism configuration...

"Hey, ladies! Yanno how swimming in the ocean is so DRYING to your skin? Come to the Gulf Coast- where our shimmering waters will naturally moisturize your skin while you enjoy our salty surf- like a day at the spa".

"Hey, Kids! Yanno how your parents are always ruining your fun and not letting you swim when all those poison jellyfish come ashore? Not THIS year!"

"Hey, Dad! Yanno how your favorite vacation pastime is setting shit on fire? Imagine your family's wonderment when you actually set fire to WATER! Top THAT, DisneyWorld!"

That's as far as I got before I threw up a little in my mouth and felt a tiny portion of my soul withering up and blowing away, so I stopped there.

Guess I'm just not cut out for Public Relations...

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