Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Reader Request: Address the Oil Spill, Part 1: DO SOMETHING!

Gulf Coast pelicans wait to be de-oiled. Wonder how many will survive?

Thanks to the "Daily Beast" for this poignant image of a pelican attempting to overcome its oil-soaked state and take flight on Queen Bess Island, Louisiana.

When a reader speaks, I listen. I also love hearing from you all!
Reader & follower (and really old friend, I'm talkin' Junior High School) Thomas Dobbler asked via facebook: "Hey Liz, how about this for your next blog? 'Where are all the entertainers lining up to get the oil spill stopped & cleaned up at BP's expense?' "
The line doesn't seem to be forming anywhere that can be pin-pointed, Tom. BUT don't despair, because as readers know, my lines aren't always the straightest or the simplest, but they always have a destination, a point, and a purpose. I guess my lines make up tapestries of thought, and hopefully, truth and solutions.
Let's start with what I know from experience, or simply by perusing the morning headlines.
  • I know that the oil spill's residuals have reached Pensacola, Florida and will soon soil & smother the entirety of Florida's Gulf Coast, the Keys, and likely the Atlantic.
  • I know that several, if not many, celebrities live along the path of that ill-fated current. When I worked at a newspaper (circa 2004) in Vero Beach, FL, on the state's mid-Atlantic Coast, I interviewed John Walsh (America's Most Wanted/ Center for Missing & Exploited Children), who also has/had a residence in Vero. I know that Gloria Estefan (apologies if that's misspelled) lives and has/had business interests in Vero. Arlo Guthrie frequents an Ashram (place of prayer & retreat) a stone's throw from Vero, in Sebastian, Fl. I'm guessing he may have a residence nearby, too. Vero Beach is known as "Dodgertown," the winter home/training camp of the L.A. Dodgers. Port St. Lucie, just south of Vero, is the winter/training home of the N.Y. Mets. I did a stint at the paper's Daytona office, about an hour, maybe an hour and a half if memory serves, up the coast. Auto racing finds its roots on the lovely sand beaches of Daytona (more accurately, neighboring Ormond Beach). It blew my mind, coming from L.I. where beach driving is restricted and frowned on, that anyone -and I mean anyone - could drive on the beach in Daytona. So the race car circuit (NASCAR) and its enthusiasts should have an interest in keeping that beach oil-free. John Travolta lives in Ocala, a fairly straight line west from Daytona, in the middle of Florida, but not far from the beautiful Gulf Coast. My daughter worked at a popular sushi restaurant in Ocala, and waited on Travolta and David Cassidy. Maybe the former partridge lives nearby. I know that Jerry Springer has a house near Sarasota on the Gulf Coast. Tiger Woods, Jimmy Buffet (about - meaning any day now - to open a resort near Pensacola!), Tom Petty (a Gainesville native), you get the picture.
  • I know that entertainers, public figures, sports personalities, etc., all care about the Earth, don't they? I know they care about their fans. I know they are grateful for their talents, their fortunes, their ability to use their fame to help others and to champion causes.
  • I know that people, both regular Joes and Janes and the famous, use the press to further their causes and to bring attention to themselves. Whether its a 4-H bake sale, a book sale to benefit a local library, a gallery opening, a benefit Polo Match for a children's charity, a resort opening, a concert, or a political campaign or cause, people turn to the press for support and coverage.
  • I know that people write, pay attention to, ponder and heed letters to editors of newspapers.
  • I know that many people believe that all things happen for a reason. I'm beginning to see (thanks again, Tom) that the reason for this oil spill is clear. It's time for regular people to take a stand. It's time for Joe and Jane Q. Public to hold the celebrities WE MAKE FAMOUS and the politicians WE ELECT accountable for the glory we have bestowed upon them and for the trust we put in them and for the fortunes we have helped them amass. It's time for the regular folks to stop aimlessly paying taxes and watching programs on TV and buying music and movies and products that make the famous and powerful and greedy more famous and powerful and greedy. It's time for us to stop offering our sons and daughters as easy and endless fodder for the war-machine that distracts us from the great, big giant joke that's being played on us and at our expense. Its' time to say "Stop, enough is enough." It's time to start glorifying ourselves and holding ourselves in high esteem and empowering ourselves and paying attention to ourselves and lining our own pockets and saving our own world. Stop being lulled into oblivious submission by People Magazine or celebrity tweets or Paris Hilton's latest hairstyle or designer puppy or the bimbo de jour's umpteenth plastic surgery. What you are submitting to is the destruction of your prosperity, your life, the lives of your descendants, your planet - and it's time to stop! Seriously folks, this may very well be the common man's final chance to save our world. God helps those who help themselves. And the politicians and the famous have been helping themselves to our blood, sweat, tears, prosperity, climbing on our broken backs and stepping on our blistered hands and on our furrowed brows long enough. Wake up! It's time for us to take control of our own destinies and responsibilities as citizens of planet Earth. If we don't, you can sure they'll (the famous and powerful) all continue fiddling - and laughing at you and me - as Rome burns.
OK, this is what I'm going to do as step one in this process of taking back our world and taking responsibility for our own fates.
I'm writing a letter to the editor of every newspaper in Florida ( and other places where I know the famous live and play, such as my former home of East Hampton, NY, where I also was a newspaper reporter), putting the politicians and celebrities on notice that we the people expect them to start really and truly giving back to us and to our world.
I'll be , and I am here & now & TO YOU, calling for a boycott of television and its advertisers (I survive without it- I have for two years!); of buying music; of going to, buying, renting, paying to download movies; donating to political campaigns; following stars on twitter or facebook; reading and buying celebrity rags such as "People," etc.
I'm also calling for a boycott of BP and its subsidiaries, which include: Amoco (owned by BP), Gulf stations in south east U.S. (BP owned), BP Solar (includes Lucas Energy Systems and Solarex); ampm convenience chain; Aral (BP's retailer in Germany); ARCO (BP owned in western U.S. and West Coast); BP Travel Centers in Australia, which include Wild Bean Cafes, McDonald's (yes, the Golden Arches), KFC (yes, the home of the Colonel), Nando's and Krispy Kreme; BP Connect and Wild Bean Cafes in the UK (in partnership with Mark and Spencer as "M & S Simple Food," ), Europe, U.S.A., Australia, New Zealand, Bosnia/Herzegovina; and in the U.S. being transitioned into ampm convenience stores. Also, BP Express, BP Shop, BP2Go, CASTROL OIL and lubricants (yes, the Castrol many of us use), Air BP & BP Shipping, The Standard Oil Company. And let's not forget BP's top institutional stock holders: State Street Corp.; Fidelity Management & Research Corp.; AXA Financial, Inc.; UBS Warburg, LLC; Morgan, Stanley, Dean Witter & Co.; Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney & Strauss, Inc.; BANK OF AMERICA Corp.; CITIGROUP, INC.; First Union Corp.; STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE Company.
I will be making form letters to editors of newspapers that "call out" celebrities and politicians, and boycott information available to readers. If you'd like a letter/information packet, e-mail me at NEPAFollies@gmail.com.
More tomorrow regarding celebrities, politicians, what seems to be pre-explosion/spill/ April 20 insider trading of BP stock by its CEO and by Goldman Sachs, political contributions, what BP is paying up and the government help it's receiving to expedite the claims process (of course, a multi-billion dollar company can't possibly process claims in an efficient manner without the help of the government - SAY WHAT? Can you say "RED TAPE?" I feel another hand in my pocket!!! and the like.
In the mean time - DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!!!
Sources: corporatewatch.org; Jacky Jasper Hollywood Street King.com; MSNBC; The Daily Beast

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