Friday, June 25, 2010

Don't Call it a Spill, Call it a Blowout

"Words matter,"  See

"This is not a spill. A spill is what happens when your toddler knocks over a tumbler of milk. A spill is what happens when you turn over that bucket of soapy water while washing your car. It’s not what happens when you leave the water hose running for days. Or weeks. Or months. A spill is what happens when a fixed quantity of fluid accidentally escapes its container. Connotatively, spills are small."

Yes, technically a "spill" could be huge and out of control, but thisisnotaspill gets it right - we think small when we think "spill".  "Don't cry over spilled milk!"  "Spill the beans [and tell your secrets]."  "Spill your guts! [and make your confession]."  We need to start using language that conveys the enormity of this global hemmorage, no that still says it too small: this gaping bleeding wound, no that's not it, this disasterous massive... come to think of it "blowout" is too humble a term, too.  BUT, it's a start.

Thank you Kathy Gill, for reframing the story more appropriately (and for the photo above captioned: "Thick oil in the waters and marshlands along Louisiana’s coast, near Pass a Loutre (19 May 2010). Via Gov. Bobby Jindal's Office").  Thank you also to Spyra for drawing attention to the thisisnotaspill.
And hang on a minute: how did we make ourselves vulnerable to this kind of money-first global management strategy?

Also see the Rolling Stone article: "The Spill, The Scandal and the President: The inside story of how Obama failed to crack down on the corruption of the Bush years – and let the world's most dangerous oil company get away with murder."

And in another some-odd few years, when people start chanting about "government regulations threatening our freedom!" you can mention the catastrophe above (or go back a year and a half to Wall Street, which we're still paying for.  Note to self: pay credit card at 26% interest by the 20th to avoid $30 late fee), or you can simply agree with them.  Say, "Yeah!  And let's start by getting rid of all those damn government run traffic signals!"

No comments: