OK, enough. Congress: shut up. Everybody: shut up about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The finger-pointing, hearings, posturing are all disgraceful. Handle it. It’s epic, and it may not stop. Get every genius you can find. Make it a Manhattan Project. We can fry BP later. That part’s easy.
Think of this: you turn on a faucet and the knob breaks off in your hand, and a geyser of hot water shoots up and starts flooding the kitchen. You run outside and try to cut off the water at the main, but the valve breaks there, too. Water keeps flooding your house. Would you stand there arguing with the fam while your home is being destroyed by water? Maybe your wife/hubby/partner could call a hearing on how you’d been told that thing needed replacing 8 times. Maybe they’d call and complain to the water department that their cutoff valves are poorly maintained. Certainly your family leadership should be called into question right then, eh?
That’s what we’re doing now. We have a fantastic disaster unfolding, unprecedented, really. We need our smart people. I don’t care about BP’s negligence right now. I don’t care about the money, where it comes from, or if “the President’s response has been appropriate.” None of us should. We don’t have the luxury, not right this second. We need smart and courageous folks to figure out what can be done, and tell us. A couple days ago, I overheard a guy at the gym say, “They can go to the moon, but they can’t plug that well.” His oversimplification notwithstanding, he has a point: this is America, and we figure shit out. So let’s figure this one out, shall we?
If an earthquake obliterated, say, Memphis, everyone and his aunt Susan would be starting benefit efforts, loading trucks, texting $10 contributions and designing t-shirts. This is about as bad as that, or Haiti. No, it’s probably worse. We can’t even tell yet. We’ve never even seen this before. The Valdez spill may look like a spot in the driveway before this ends.
So, please, Congress: shut off the cameras. Mr. President: stop speaking to Gulf Coast groups and eating shellfish and carrying on. Tell us you’re getting the best people you can together to do one thing: make it stop.
Anderson Cooper: get off the fucking beach. Go stand outside a door to a room where people are trying to figure out what may be an intractable problem. Tell me every hour what they’re doing in there. Put a camera on the door with a live feed, like the one on the spill down on the Gulf Floor. Every time the door opens and somebody comes out to pee, make them have to look at the camera and say, “Nothing yet.”
All of you: think of the firefighters on 9/11 right after the WTC collapsed, or Churchill, or Captain Sully when a bird hit the engine. Act like them. Go. Because the rest of us feel really, really helpless right now.