The oil in the Gulf of Mexico is most definitely not gone.
Just accept it. It is fact.
While trolling a bunch of Alaska-based blogs last night, I found this one that is a must-listen despite its dating to the time of charter boat captain William Kruse's suicide at this time last month. What is also fact is that the implications on the individual and collective psyches of Gulf coast residents will be quite damaging for possibly longer than the oil will be in the Gulf waters. On slowly making my way through The Spill, a book of personal accounts of those involved in the Exxon Valdez disaster, I am sadly reminded of how little things have changed in 21 years. And even with the residents of Prince William Sound taking matters into their own hands despite Exxon and saying, "Screw this, we'll pick it all up in 5 gallon buckets if we have to," there will be many more years of eviscerating emotional disasters to come:
On Thursday, May 20th 1993, Bob Van Brocklin left a suicide letter.Indeed. It is all we have left.
“The stress from Exxon which brought about my financial stress, was too much to deal with alone. The end should be good and maybe my spirit will live. I have a lot of fear right now, but faith is all that is left. I wish I could have done more good for others but I guess my time is up.”
He was the former mayor of Cordova, Alaska. He shot himself.
He sat in Cordova High School on the 28th of March 1989, four days after the spill. Don Cornett had been sent by Exxon to talk to local fishermen and families.
Mr. Cornett lied to Mayor Van Brocklin and everyone else that day.
....Domestic violence, bankruptcy, alcoholism, and collective depression washed up for years following the Exxon Valdez crisis. Twenty one years later, the herring fishery in Cordova is still decimated – genetic lines of fish erased.
This is only the beginning. Being a fisherman isn’t what you do, it’s who you are – the Gulf of Mexico or Prince William Sound is just geography. The toughest fishermen can’t win; they drown in court. The erosion of identity is invisible compared to the black wake of an environmental oil disaster. My father told me suicide was a permanent answer to a temporary problem. The BP disaster isn’t temporary though. There is no end in sight.
Take care of each other.
I'm proud to announce, in close proximity to the anniversary of 8/29/2005, an anthology representative of the hope many local writers and bloggers kept alive in those trying times after the storm and the Federal Flood is being published. Details of the reading are below:
Gallatin & Toulouse Press announces the publication of A Howling in the Wires: An Anthology of Writings from Postdiluvian New Orleans. This collection combines the vivid post-Katrina experiences captured by the best New Orleans bloggers with the work of traditional writers from the same period, cataloging some of the best-written and most powerful reactions of the people who experienced Katrina.
The book launch reading will be Thursday, Aug. 26 at 7 pm, upstairs at Mimi's in the Marigny. Open to the public.
Proceeds from the book will be donated to Hana Morris.
Cover image by graphic artist Greg Peters.