Sometimes there just seems nothing worth writing about. Oh, sure, hell an’ all is going on, but the internet is awash with the stuff and what’s the point of one more blogger weighing in on dross that’s done to death, anyway?
Then, on the other hand, there’s too darn much to write about. Everyone knows that blog readers lose interest after half a page (unless you can throw in a juicy sex scandal or a couple of pornographic photos, and Sparrow Chat’s not really into that stuff) so a long catalogue of disaster isn’t going to curry too many votes in the ‘Blogger of the Decade’ award.
And then, NBC chose to waste much of their damn half hour of evening “news” coverage running an infomercial for fracking, involving an overweight oil billionaire from Oklahoma interviewed by an unsurprisingly stupid reporter asking the most inane questions of Mister Oil Barrel, while every so often stooping to scoop up the hundred dollar bills that fell from Mister Oil Barrel’s eyes each time he blinked.
According to Mister Oil Barrel, fracking was the best thing that ever happened to America (for ‘America’ read, ‘Mister Oil Barrel’) and there was more oil under the US than in the whole of Saudi Arabia.
“Why,” he cried, “we can leave the Middle East to its own devices. We don’t need ’em anymore!”
Quite right, Mister Oil Barrel, you don’t need them anymore. Now, you can concentrate on ruining the lives of your fellow countrymen for a change.
Of course, Mister Oil Barrel makes much of the jobs he brings to his fellow citizens. Chickasha, Oklahoma, is now a booming oil town with jobs to spare. No-one mentions it’s just one small US town out of thousands. Many of which are rapidly dying.
But that’s what NBC News is all about. While America is still reeling from the ‘bank-ruptcy’ of 2008, they’ll always find a good citizen, somewhere, “Making a Difference”. It’s the one ‘hero’ that matters to NBC. Sod the other 299,999,999 who also happen to live here.
Sadly, no-one’s making a difference in Detroit, Michigan. This week we learn that city workers, including firefighters, police, and other civil employees will lose most of their pensions as the city filed for bankruptcy. The media made sympathetic noises, but not one anchor paused to remind us that the pension money that’s mysteriously disappeared from the city’s coffers belonged to those employees – had been paid in by them throughout their working lives. Not one bothered to ask the simple question: “Where’s it gone?”
I’d like to ask another question: “Why aren’t the city’s lamp posts festooned with the swinging corpses of those responsible? Why is America – this supposedly gun-toting, macho, no-nonsense, citizenry – so passive when blatantly robbed and plundered by those they trusted to govern them? In most countries of the world the blood would be running down the streets by now.
Still, maybe Mister Oil Barrel will find black gold under the Penobscot Building and bring the city back to life. The methane released by fracking can make spectacular fiery fountains. Just the job for a Thanksgiving Party, or perhaps a summer barbecue.
To close, I’d like to ask for a moment’s silence for “Burt’s Bees”. For those not familiar, Burt’s Bees
is was a manufacturer of some of the nice things in life: natural shampoos, body lotions, soaps, and other little luxuries one could be sure were formulated not to damage us, or our environment.
I’ve used their toothpaste for years. This week I ran out and tried to order more, only to discover it’s no longer available. Oh, there are a few sharks on Amazon and eBay offering it at $75 a tube (while stocks last!) but Burt’s Bees Natural Multicare Fluoride Toothpaste is no more.
Why? Because in 2007 Burt’s Bees was bought out for $925 million – in cash – by CLOROX! Clorox has decided, like all multinational corporations, that profits are all that matter, and their toothpaste just doesn’t cut it.
Clorox manufactures some of the most environmentally un-friendly products in the market place, so users of Burt’s Bees body lotions may like to think twice before rubbing it into their pores, or, at least, check out the ingredients on the label first.
Meanwhile, I’m off to “Tom’s of Maine” for my next tube of toothpaste. After I’ve made sure they’ve not been bought out by Chevron, Exxon, or British Petroleum, of course.