"The BP oil spill has been a daily reminder of our toxic relationship with decomposed dinosaurs. On just about every blog and every cable news show, we've watched in shock-horror as 75,000,000 gallons of oil spew from the top of the Deepwater Horizon's blowout preventer. We see it. We cringe. Some of us shout, 'Why, oh, why?!' Others curse Tony Hayward and BP. Maybe some of us curse President Obama or former President Bush. A clear majority of Americans are pissed off, and they're taking it out on everyone except themselves: the ones actually buying the oil."
-- Bob Cesca
I've made a point similar to this before, in the comment section, but Cesca's ability to sum it up far more articulately than I have the time to at the moment deserves a place on the main page here. The fact is that while BP is indeed a monolithic multi-national that will always put profit ahead of people, simply because that's the nature of the beast, the addict it's dealing to is us. We're the fat-and-happy assholes who demand that oil be cheap and plentiful; who wouldn't be able to fathom a world in which we couldn't get in our cars and go wherever we wanted whenever we wanted; who don't like to be told that driving a Suburban Assault Vehicle that sucks down a finite resource by the barrel and spits it out the other end as poison gas just might be irresponsible.
Look, I'm as guilty as anyone: I drive a Dodge 1500 pick-up and I couldn't muster much more than a shoulder-shrug at the demise of the Hummer last February (a fact which some thought should've cost me every drop of my Center-Left street cred). I get that people should be entitled to live their lives, for the most part, however they see fit; if they want to cart their litter of kids -- or an abnormally small penis -- around in a tank or some other gas-Hoovering monstrosity, so be it. But you have to accept the consequences of your actions -- and the consequences of a Plainview-esque, Milkshake-gulping greed for oil is that companies like BP will occasionally gang-bang your beaches and water supply raw and will inevitably bleed the planet dry. There's just no way around either of these realities. The only hope is for a major sea change -- no pun intended -- in the way we as Americans think. And since these days "sacrifice" is little more than a word -- one you'll find in the dictionary somewhere between "fuck" and "you" -- that's highly unlikely.