Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Erl and Water

And speaking of regional calamities, do you ever just not know how or what to feel about something? That's how I feel... or rather how I don't feel... or... how I feel about how I feel about this oil spill. Acute crises bring acute visceral emotional responses. But this sort of ultra-slow-mo trainwreck that seems sort of like it's over but is really very very far from over? More complicated. My personal internal trajectory has gone something like:
  1. News. News. Brief blurb about an explosion on an oil rig. That's near here. That's sad. News. News...
  2. What’s that about an oil spill?
  3. What do they mean they can’t stop it?
  4. This is so horrible I can’t even talk about it. I can barely even think about it. Is this going to screw up everything all over again?
  5. Frak you, you frakkin’ fraks...!
  6. Welcome to the new normal: oil spill reports as part of the routine weather coverage on the local news.
  7. Daily life. Daily life. Daily life. Daily life. Ugh, oil spill. Daily life. Daily life...*
  8. Yeah, they say it’s nearly contained, but...
  9. Has the oil really stopped? I can’t quite make sense of that.
  10. Huh, I guess it really has stopped.
  11. What now?
So how do I feel? Relieved that the acute crisis is ending? Relieved that it doesn't seem quite as bad as our doomsday fears? Suspicious of that sense of relief? Uncertain what's next, how this will play out in the coming years: ecologically, legally, politically, economically? All of the above?

Do you have it figured out?

* Another weird thing about this sort of crisis is how localized it can be, how it can devastate one group of people and leave others, near at hand, largely unscathed. Katrina turned our neighborhood into a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but a few blocks away, things looked very different, and the next parish over, life pretty closely approximated plain-old-normal. Now, with this spill, our lives continue on their workaday ways—seafood's a little more expensive, but there's little other obvious direct impact—but a few miles away, down towards the coast, people's whole worlds have been turned upside down.

1 comment:

  1. pookie9:34 PM

    No, one was distressed over it for so long that when it was finally stopped it was hard to feel anything.