|Spinning Death with a Twist|
|Saturday, 05 June 2010 07:45|
We accept it. We live with it. We don’t even complain much about it.
We have known for some time that the six year old war in Iraq – encompassing Afghanistan and surrounding areas – was launched with spin. The WMD spin. Katrina ignored, militarized, and then abandoned, a human disaster and subsequent abandonment absorbed primarily by African Americans and poor whites, was sufficiently well spun to induce inattentiveness among the majority of voting Americans. Now, belatedly, again, the “Spin Master” has half-heartedly taken on what was for him an otherwise avoidable horror – the destruction of the American wetlands.
The candidate who was against offshore drilling (and whose transition manager’s brother – Podesta - received 16 million dollars from lobbyists for BP and related corporate interests), had to be nagged by advisors to take a gander. Then, to brush up on the facts and....create spin. Just as Obama has openly and arrogantly neglected the middle and working classes after whipping many of them into a frenzy with “I’m the second coming” campaign spin, he has had to be pushed to get his much self-touted, Ivy League hands dirty. And in the last 48 hours, the spin has evolved so as to be effortlessly, even unconsciously absorbed by the inconvenient, albeit manageable masses. As of the time of this writing, the spin-supportive reportage has turned a corner. Dodging a bullet, the Office of the President has succeeded in convincing most Americans, both on the coast and watching from afar, that “BP did it”. They, BP et al, are the bad guys. The not exclusively British company, with a known safety and environmental track record tantamount to and as legendary as boxer Mike Tyson’s historically infamous social skills, was supported, encouraged, and left to its own devices by the President. He and those around him knew BP would probably create a problem. However, the risk was acceptable, and increasingly calculated.
So, the President is lying. Gladly, I am way down the list of responsible voices uttering the grim fact that Barack Obama advertently miss-speaks, smears facts, and creates false scenarios with the pragmatism of a deluded mobster. Somehow, however, this latest spin, though counterproductively successful, seems more disgusting, untenable, and in a guttural way, twisted. Why is this? What is it about us as powerfully primitive mammals that draws us in, closer and with intense sentiment, when living beings of the non-human varieties are involved? Why do the images of half-dead , stunned, and “gooped”-to-paralysis pelicans and sea turtles evoke at least as much emotion as do the stories of forever lost, generational livelihoods? The breaking down of a tough fisherman when asked to express how he felt about what has been done to his ancestral geography , to his family, and to his self-respect as a skilled fisherman, shook me up. But I actually weep or turn away every time I see yet another innocent, uncomprehending, glazed eyed creature of the wetlands suffocating in poisonous, black syrup. Do they wonder how this happened? Do these wise and otherwise resilient living creatures blame us?
If the fact of natural genocide hits you the same way it hits me, honor the wildlife. Keep yourself honest. Spin doesn’t compute with the more innocent species, living creatures that have repeatedly survived our egocentricity and imprudence. Only human animals are amenable to spin. We need it. Spin becomes reality to the stupefied. We need good guys and bad guys. We thrive on blame, not on uniting to find creative solutions. Nor, more importantly, do we demand consistency, accountability, and reasonable caution when it comes to the actions of arm-in-arm government and big business.
In relation to the case in point, affected humans are buying into the spin. We have a fundamental need to make sense of the inexplicable and inexcusable. However, “BP did it!” doesn’t cut it with precious wildlife virtually tortured into extinction. For and to the species murdered (and to be murdered) by this and other acts of human profligacy, it is simply and unequivocally apocalypse now – with a sick twist called spin.
Photo: AP Charlie Reidel