Thursday, May 27, 2010

Are we a nation of observers?

Is it just me or do other people think we have become a nation of observers instead of participants?

Latest example: The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Last night for the first time I watched Rachel Maddow on MSNBC.

She had a report on the 1979 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Her staff restored old video news footage of the oil spill that was, up to that time, the worst spill in world history.

It took nine months to finally end the spill by drilling a relief well. In the interim, the oil company tried to put a large funnel over the leak to capture the oil (then it was called a sombrero, today we call it a top hat), they tried dispersants and booms to round up the oil. All failed.

Not only was this leak in 200 feet of water, but no new plans have been developed to stop an oil leak in the last 31 years.

The only thing that has changed, as Ms. Maddow pointed out, is that we now drill wells deeper under the surface of the ocean. Instead of risking a major ecological catastrophe at 200 feet, we drill at 5,000 feet, making it that much harder to contain an ecological nightmare.

We have another oil pill at 5,000 feet and all we do is watch and wait.

Now we have the Internet and we can view a TV picture originating on the bottom of the ocean that shows the oil spewing from a broken pipe.

Then, BP officials debate what might work and why it might not work instead of getting off their keisters and doing something.

Don't just stand there, do something!

If the "something" doesn't work, then try something else. But don't allow the Gulf of Mexico to die just because BP officials want to protect their financial bottom line.

Our attitudes have changed for the worst and those attitudes are reflected in out TV shows and in other art forms.

In the 1960s, TV gave us "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" and the nuclear-powered submarine "Seaview" and its crew actually did things.

In the 1960s, TV gave us "Star Trek" and the crew of the "Enterprise" did things.

In the 2000s, TV has given us "Stargate" and people dive into other worlds just to do what? To observe!

Don't just stand there, watching, do something!