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The Oil Spill with a Heart of Gold

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The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been going on for over 40 days now. In that time, at least six celebrities have died, 27 banks have failed, and Fox has canceled two Joss Whedon series in spite of strong fan support.

It's the story that won't go away, mostly due to the fact that BP officials have yet to come up with a workable solution that doesn't include pumping oil unabated into the gulf while their lawyers change the company name and invoke the rarely used “No Tagbacks” legal maneuver to avoid future fines and litigation.

In the past weeks we've heard about the spill, how much is spilling, what BP plans to do to stop the spill, who is to blame for the spill, who else is to blame for the spill, whom we should really blame for the spill, who is to blame for the failed efforts to stop the spill, and how the spill is effecting celebrities. Sure it looks grim, but there have to be some positives to this story, right?  

Not really, but it doesn't hurt to look.  Gawker recently posted a query from CNN searching for stories about “the good side of the oil spill.” In most disaster situations there are some human-interest stories that highlight the happy side of the destruction: a pet reunited with its displaced family, or a treasured family heirloom that miraculously survived a fire. Although the impact on people has been limited thus far, if you look closely enough you can still find some positives in this story that illustrate the triumph of the human spirit in the face of tragedy:

More Oil

We've all heard the saying, “You have to spend money to make money.” The same can be said for oil. Perhaps we need to spill oil to make oil.  

How so? Remember that oil is a fossil fuel. And where do fossils come from? Dead animals and vegetation. What is the biggest tragedy we face from the growing amounts of oil pouring into the gulf? Lots of dead animals and vegetation. They may be dead seagulls and dolphins now, but with time they'll be gallons and gallons of sweet premium crude that will power the jetpacks and rocketships of the future! 

So rather than view this as a disaster, BP should be trying to spin this as an effort to insure that future generations will have plenty of dead animals from which to harvest oil in the coming millennia. Also a positive: with their bumbling of the cleanup process, odds are good BP won't be around in the future to botch the drilling for these future reserves.

Tarball Fights!

We all remember our ol' Grampy's stories about working the West Texas oil fields in the early 1900s. He would spend hours reminiscing about the time when all the kids would gather in the fields during their midday 15-minute smoke break and fling tarballs at each other in the scorching sun. Then the foreman would whip them and send them all back to finish their 18-hour workday or die a horrid death as a result of poor work conditions. Those were simpler times.


That crab that nipped your toe on Spring Break at Panama City Beach back in 2004? It’s dead now. You've had the last laugh.

A New Celebrity Collaborative Charity Song

The “We Are the World” remake for Haitian earthquake relief sucked. There, I said it.

Flaming Tarball Fights!

With a simple failure of a negligent blowout preventer, the next generation of extreme sports is born.

World Record Fish Fry

The only things standing between us and the largest fish fry in the history of the world is a well-placed lit match and a large strainer to scoop up the tasty fried bits. Place a nun at the entrance with an empty Folgers can next to a sign that reads “All You Can Eat $5” and we're good to go.

So even in the face what may be the world's greatest man-made environmental tragedy, we can rise above and find some good in it. We aren't a bunch of pessimistic downers who can't see that every tarball has a silver lining. So chin up, America! The glass isn't half empty, it's half full.

Just ignore the thick oily film across the top.

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About Chris Carlisle

  • This was very well written. I found the entire concept extremely amusing and I particularly like your conclusion – who doesn’t love a good fish fry? I really enjoy your writing Chris. Thank you for the smile this morning! 🙂

  • Marcia Neil

    Less oil = less vinyl = less entertainment racketeering, plus southern Louisiana’s coastline collapses as the oil streams forth and the French Quarter survives no more.

  • Yo, Chris Carlisle! This is where you ended up. Me too!