BP, Chickens, Roosts

I’ve been reading about the BP Oil Spill down in the Gulf of Mexico, about how people discussing where in the litany of  biggest single oil spills ever the current one fits in [1], about how it might hit the Gulf Stream and spread all around the Atlantic, about how painful it is to see it.

Well, I’ve held my tongue, but I’ll be honest, folks. When Malcolm X said that thing about chickens coming home to roost, maybe it was impolitic. It’s probably impolitic for me to use his words now… but that’s because it’s true.

This is what happens when you are addicted. This is what happens when you get stuck on a substance that is bad for you. It ruins your life, it messes up your body, you become dependent on it to do anything (to the point where you’ll do anything to get it), and it stops you from thinking and acting rationally. You structure your life around it. You get used to disaster, and stop wanting anything better for your life. Poverty becomes inescapable. You might revel in it, embrace the destruction, or find it a turn-on. You react to your flare-ups the same way, time and again. You might deny there’s a problem, and deny it sky high,  until such time as you can’t anymore.

And then, folks, it kills you.

You’re lucky if see the disaster coming. It gives you a chance to pause, and say, do I really want to live this way? Is there some better thing to center my life on? You have the chance to back away from the precipice.

Because guess what? All that oil that’s been spilled in the Gulf? By the Exxon Valdez? IT’s a drop in the bucket compared to the oil spilled everyday on the streets. (And among the many other spills that happen worldwide… and if only oil spills were the worst of it.) The point is, as is pointed out here: the BP spill is a symptom.

We could sit around blaming the bastards who are producing, supplying, or dealing the drug, but when it comes down to it, they’re in business because of our mass addiction. We pay for them to kill us… at a premium.

So… who is to blame? There’s a log in each of our eyes, folks, visible a mile away. Maybe we should stop worrying about it and do something with a little more vision.

[1] People might argue whether the ongoing BP spill is the second-worst or third-worst or fourth-worst single case spill, but Nigeria’s been living with oil spills — to the tune of over 500 million gallons — for half a century now. (Link courtesy of N.K. Jemisin.) And by the way, the biggest ever was much bigger… and in America, but a century ago, so apparently nobody remembers it… Well, you know that they say about not remembering history.

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