Friday, May 28, 2010

Tickling the Tongue of a Dragon

I saw a Facebook post: Boycott BP.

I wonder why?

Revenge, as in "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth?" Will this make the world a better place?

They will have less money for the cleanup effort. They may have to sell wells to companies that will not serve their customers so well.

Is it a compassionate response to a company that is dealing with a catastrophe? Even if the catastrophe was self-imposed? Suppose a speeding car struck a tree and you could help the driver? Would you pull her out of a flaming car, or leave her to fry because she was speeding?

Will it regulate other companies to be more diligent? What may cause companies to be more diligent will be the lessons learned... that certain failsafe techniques may not work.

In defense of BP, they had two systems to shut off the well in case it exploded. Neither worked. Maybe they were careless. But the entire idea of drilling oil is risking. It is like tickling the tongue of a dragon. Sometimes the dragon will awaken and fire will start coming out in your face.

And then, I wonder, if any one of us is so good as to be able to criticize another? What does it say in the bible about a splinter and a log... "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

Any opinions out there?


Anonymous said...

My friend, Kim is a wise man. I was having a discussion with my wife last night when she announced that she was boycotting BP. I said I would continue buying their product because they give me a 5% discount. "Tickling the Tongue of a Dragon" has given a wider perspective to the question. H.

Kim Mosley said...

In retrospect, I wonder who the dragon is... or if there really is a dragon... or if we are the dragon.

Kate Freeman said...

Why are you defending BP? Dragon’s avocate?

I am absolutely certain that there are better ways to fund the shut-down and cleanup of this oil geyser than to continue to buy BP product as if nothing has happened.

I wonder, if any one of us is so good as to be able to criticize another? --- Mr. Kim

I read on the facebook (and then later heard it repeated on Charlie Rose) that the American People are just as much to blame for this catastrophe as BP because BP just feeds our gluttony for gas.

My hands might be a bit dirty here. But they ain’t black with a 22-mile-ever-gushing-posion-60+days-nightmare. That ain’t me. I am good enough to criticize.

Try not to think of the action as a boycott. Try to think of it as freeing yourself from an addiction to a deadly toxin.

Anonymous said...

Why Boycott BP: Revenge? This is not an eye for an eye. There is no amount of "eyes" on BPs face which could be equivalent to what they have done. NO, it won't make the world a better place, but perhaps it will make it a safer place if other oil companies see that people will not buy from companies who value making money more than safety and human/wild life.
"They will have less money for the clean up effort" ?? Oh BOO HOO! They should be totally penny less at the end of this. They should have thought about how expensive this event could be before they started drilling in a place where no man could go to fix it if it broke. The other oil companies who they sell their wells to may be forewarned to be more careful if people vote with their feet.
Compassion for me is something that you have for individuals. When you have a company as huge as BP, compassion is not what is needed. Where was their compassion for all the people and wildlife who they have killed by ignoring safety?
The car/driver crash analogy is not remotely equivalent. It would have to be a speeding car which kills 11 people, then catches the tree on fire, which starts the biggest forest fire in US history, sending smoke into the atmosphere which would rain down pollution for the foreseeable future. The US has never seen environmental destruction equal to this. Sure pull the driver out of the car, then send him to prison for life. AND, why did you make the driver a WOMAN??? I have not seen one BP executive who is a woman.
You need to go watch the interview on "60 Minutes" with a BP engineer who was on the rig (and almost died) when it blew up. He talks about BPs attitude toward safety. He says they specifically ignored blatant sighs of broken equipment designed to prevent this kind of catastrophe. On that day, the BP executives were in a meeting where they demanded that a procedure which would put speed before safety be used. There is a mountain of evidence that proves BP was more concerned with money than safety. It's not a question of "maybe they were careless", it has been shown beyond a doubt that they were careless: multiple safety violations by inspectors. Because oil drilling is so dangerous, they needed to have safety as their number one priority.
I doubt that you would eliminate our entire system of laws because of a biblical quote. We have to be able to judge right from wrong or humans, who are basically selfish, would kill each other and all life on this earth.
My hope is that BP will spend every dollar they have trying to fix this catastrophe. They need to be put out of business as an example to other companies involved in "risky" businesses to be more careful. I also think that there should be a nationally televised court proceeding where people can hear from the employees who were in a position to know, saw safety being ignored. I don't know how, in a company as big as BP, you finally pinpoint the blame, but someone should go to jail for this. Yes, you're right, this will not "make the world a better place", but it might be a warning to future CEOs of companies who profit from risky business.

sue skinner said...

During the 1993 flood a Quincy man was charged and eventually give life in prison for causing a catastrophe when he blew a hole in the levy.
Legally BP may not have directly caused with intent the spill, but by neglect. Perhaps
The drilling technology has certainly been in front of the spill or blow out , clean up.
I do think if the other companies can't help with the solution even with knowledge, off shore drilling should stop until a solution is found.
I personally think all the oil companies with off shore drilling should have a part in the clean up.
It is to their best interest because of their shared risk to share in the cost.
I don't have a feasible solution to oil usage. Not in my very rural life.
I am as much to fault as all oil users

Anonymous said...

I see this less as BP problem than an American, especially Republican, problem. We greedy, ignorant Americans finally got what we deserve for our Drill Baby, Drill frenzy. The American people have become subservient to the corporations to where, under the Republicans since Reagan, they have vigorously pushed for the lifting of all regulations, controls and oversights over our corporations, especially the oil and energy companies. Americans learned nothing when the lifting of financial controls over the Savings and Loan sector caused a big bust there. Nor have they learned much from the recent collapse of our and the world's economies, brought about by Republican deregulation. Americans have continued to swallow the nonsense that the private sector is in the best position to control itself, and that the government should be kept out of it. In other words, Americans were made to believe that the best guard of the hen house is the fox. Not only that, but under Dick Cheney and Bush the oil companies were given free reign to do whatever. Republicans were constantly demanding unrestricted offshore drilling. They all went into a frenzy when that Alaskan moron chanted Drill Baby, Drill. After decades of pushing the government out of the private sector (an especially sacred tenet of the Tea Partiers), those Tea Partiers and their Republican run-alongs are now the first and most vocal to scream for government help and intervention. Not only that, they have the gall to want to blame the very people, the Democrats and Obama, for what they, the corporation subservient Republicans, have created. Why doesn't Palin and her Tea Party crowd now go to the Gulf and use their tea spoons and tea bags to sip the oil from the gulf and from our marshlands? Perhaps Dick Cheney with all of his Halliburton knowledge can stick his dick into the Horizon hole and stop the oil flow.
This will be not just an American disaster, but one that will affect much of the Atlantic area. If and when this oil does destroy the coastal areas of other countries, as well as our and their wild and marine life, all these countries should not only sue BP, but the US as well for damages to the tune of hundreds of trillions of Dollars.
I don't understand why the Drill Baby, Drill crowd now expects help from the government that they despise so much? There is nobody in our or anyone else's government that has the knowledge or technology to address the gulf oil spill. What little knowledge there is about such things is strictly within oil and drilling support companies. What is it about the American psyche that Americans always look to blame someone else for their, pardon the expression, fuckups? This oil spill is nobody's fault but our own. Face it and accept it. We took a risk and lost big-time. Now we and our descendents have to live with the consequences.
Basta! (as the Italians say).

Kate Freeman said...

Who are ‘we’ identifying with? In addition to the whole pollution nightmare and non-solving solutions, I think this BP oil geyser disaster has also sort of forced this question to the fore of my consciousness.

Who are ‘we’ to criticize? Aren’t ‘we’ just as responsible as BP because ‘we’ use oil? Didn’t ‘we’ greedy people finally get what ‘we’ deserved? It’s nobody’s fault but ‘our’ own? ‘We’ took a risk and lost?

Who is all this ‘we’?

I didn’t take a risk. I was not even given the opportunity to vote on the operations of the Deepwater Horizon rig that I do not own and did not operate. I didn’t take any risk.

It is not my fault. Again, I do not own or operate any oil rig let alone this oil rig. I didn’t support off shore drilling. I did in fact openly oppose it. Because I am caught up in a system whereby oil drilling happens, it does not make me at fault.

I dare someone to tell me that I am so greedy that I deserve to have the land base on which I live poisoned for years to come. I dare you. We can compare all our sins if you want, but if you tell me that I am so greedy that I deserve that. . . you are an asshole. It ain’t my greed that caused this.

I am not as responsible for this disaster as the people who run BP. To say otherwise is absurd.

And who are ‘we’ to criticize? I’m Kate, that’s who. And this BP nightmare is ridiculous. If this criticism makes me less spiritually pure . . . so what. I’m fine with it.

And all this ‘we’ are just as much to blame and ‘we’ got what ‘we’ deserve and ‘we’ are greedy. . . I wish everybody would just stop for a second and ask yourself who you are identifying with. Because it seems to me that you are identifying yourself with BP. Or in a larger sense, you are identifying yourself with a system or an organization which is exploiting you and your land base. Why are ‘we’ doing this? It’s not you.

From my point of view. . . It is not the case that ‘we Americans’ are eager to blame others for ‘our’ problems. . . It is that ‘we’ are too eager to take the blame for what others do. Stop identifying with The System.

Kim Mosley said...


You seem passionate and angry about this we/them issue. I always feel responsible when anything goes wrong, thinking I could have done something. That's my issue. I like this definition of responsibility:

Responsibility begins with the willingness to be cause in the matter of one's life. Ultimately, it is a context from which one chooses to live. Responsibility is not burden, fault, praise, blame, credit, shame or guilt. In responsibility, there is no evaluation of good or bad, right or wrong. There is simply what's so, and your stand. Being responsible starts with the willingness to deal with a situation from the view of life that you are the generator of what you do, what you have and what you are. That is not the truth. It is a place to stand. No one can make you responsible, nor can you impose responsibility on another. It is a grace you give yourself - an empowering context that leaves you with a say in the matter of life.
-Werner Erhard

Kate Freeman said...

You seem passionate and angry about this we/them issue. --- Mr. Kim

When you say I seem ‘angry’, do you mean it in a negative way? Because I would say I am angry. . . But I don’t feel bad about it because I don’t think of anger in the same way you do. So yes, I am angry. But I really think that if you’re not angry about this, something’s wrong. I mean, what are you feeling? Happy? Sad? Numb? Indifferent? What are you feeling?

It does bother me a great deal that people seem more willing to blame themselves (or not blame anybody because it’s ‘bad’ to pass judgment) than to blame those truly responsible for this disaster. And I am not exactly sure why people would do this.

“It is a grace you give yourself - an empowering context that leaves you with a say in the matter of life.”

I think that part of my responsibility in this situation is to try to get people to realize that they are more willing to identify with the BP oil executives (the ‘we’ that keeps popping up) than they are with the victims of the BP-created disaster (which is a more realistic and more closely associated ‘we’ in this situation). People seem more willing to defend their abuser than admit they are being abused. It’s a bit odd to me. Why do people do this? Because I am hearing it not from everybody but from a good number of people.

And I think a big part of the reason this makes me angry is because I feel it moves people away from dealing with the situation in responsible way. Self-loathing isn’t helping. Stop fighting yourself and start fighting the system.

Kim Mosley said...

June 9, 4am I wrote about responsibility and intention. I think intention is the element that I left out. And I really didn't address Kate's comment that people inordinately blame themselves. That's like the builders of the twin towers blaming themselves for 912 (bad analogy maybe?). Or the butterfly blaming itself for the tornado.

The consequences of our actions do go on and on. I stopped going to one pharmacy because they were so cold and rude. I started worrying yesterday that it might rub off and I might start acting that way, And then what... when will it end.

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