Break into song
July 13, 2010 8:53 PM   Subscribe

The Oil Spill Commission held its first hearing on the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico Monday at the New Orleans Hilton. During the public comment portion, local residents came forward to tell their own stories of loss and fear and frustration over the oil spill and the moratorium. When words failed, music prevailed.
posted by nola (12 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, DAMN.
posted by yhbc at 9:30 PM on July 13, 2010


Fantastic. Loved the song. The personal connection to the subject matter is undeniable, and the song is really well written. Loved his voice, too. I found both the song and his delivery very reminiscent of John Prine, and that's not a bad thing at all.

I really, really like this guy. Thanks for posting, nola.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:48 PM on July 13, 2010


Oh, and the lady that follows him on the podium: she's obviously a really strong woman, which makes her story all the more heartbreaking. Powerful stuff.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:15 PM on July 13, 2010


Guh. Lived there three years. Seemingly everybody can sing an play and tell a story. The men dance without guile. And people there work hard. "My second job" is an ordinary expression.
New Orleans and the surroundings are polyglot country cosmopolitan.
I miss it terribly.
posted by vapidave at 10:45 PM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Agreeing with flapjax at midnite
While I loved watching him intelligently making his statement

.. the gal just hit them in the mouth with reality
Bless her. Strong woman!
posted by will wait 4 tanjents at 11:06 PM on July 13, 2010


I know you were just quoting the linked article, nola, so please don't take this personally in any way, but this...

When words failed, music prevailed.

...is stupid. What was the guy singing, fer chrissakes? Words. Words that he worked on, just as sure as he worked his fishing boat. Words that he sculpted and crafted, and prepared to present. Sure, he sung them, and accompanied them with some guitar chords, and that's why he made it to our attention. But words didn't fail this guy. Not at all. He is a master of his words, unlike the lazy journalist or whoever who wrote that sentence, without even thinking about of this.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:02 AM on July 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


that's "any" of this...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:03 AM on July 14, 2010


I saw this on C&L earlier. The fate of New Orleans over the last half decade is indeed saddening. I finally got a chance to visit the city this year, ostensibly for Mardi Gras, which was really great btw, after the Saints won the Super Bowl and all that. Quite the party. I also got to visit a National Historic Landmark in the San Francisco Plantation - not too far from New Orleans.

That aside, prior to visiting I read Douglas Brinkley's "The Great Deluge". A superior work. Utterly amazing in my mind. I do love Brinkley. So when I visited New Orleans I had that book in my mind, as I had just finished it. It really added an element of heartbreak to my trip. How could we as people let such an amazing, unique and culturally significant part of history just drown? Brinkley did an awesome job of showing why the flooding that was a result of Katrina was not a natural disaster but a man-made one, driven by greedy corporate penetration into our government. Driving around the city I was taken aback by how much remains . . . just destroyed.

Then this oil spill happened. I just don't know what to say anymore. It's just too sad. I wish the people of the Gulf Coast the best. I wish there were more I could do. It all makes me feel so helpless. Thanks for the post nola.
posted by IvoShandor at 3:19 AM on July 14, 2010


I know you were just quoting the linked article, nola, so please don't take this personally in any way, but this...

When words failed, music prevailed.

...is stupid.


Yeah, it is. I wish I'd gone to the effort of writing anything rather than using that. Oh well, live and learn.
posted by nola at 4:33 AM on July 14, 2010


The oil spill was a disaster, but it was not a catastrophe. It is becoming a man-made catastrophe because of a failure to clean-up the spill and respond quickly to the environmental damage being caused by the oil that makes landfall. While there are many people, from private contractors to the Coast Guard, working tirelessly to support the states in protecting their coastline, for many in the federal bureaucracy it seems like business as usual—or worse.
How come the US can blow up shit all over the world but can't look after its own.
posted by adamvasco at 6:16 AM on July 14, 2010


How come the US can blow up shit all over the world but can't look after its own.

Because the people running the government have the notion that blowing up shit all over the world IS looking after its own. That it's a monumentally incorrect notion just doesn't get through to them.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:54 AM on July 14, 2010


The oil spill was a disaster, but it was not a catastrophe. It is becoming a man-made catastrophe because of a failure to clean-up the spill and respond quickly to the environmental damage being caused by the oil that makes landfall.

I really don't like where this recent narrative thread is going. It presents a convenient escape hatch we can take to get back to ignoring how deep and immediate our energy future problems really are and perpetuates the spin that a failed response is ultimately to blame for the damage. That's not true. When there's a catastrophe on this scale, the best any response could have hoped to do was put a small dent in the resulting ecological damage--in the absence of the entire world dropping everything to come together and mount a response, it's just not possible to prevent a spill this size from having serious, long-term consequences, and the more we let the focus shift away from that reality, the more successful the powers-that-be (abetted by much of the mainstream media) will be in their already vigorous efforts to get back to some equally profitable variation on business as usual.

This song is great. I wish it didn't have to be sung. But if it somehow ends up being used by the anti-moratorium crowd, I'll be miserable about it. Right now, we literally don't have any resources to respond to another spill if one happened, because all the oil companies spill response plans counted on tapping the same finite pool of resources in their responses. God forbid some kind of major sea floor seismic event ever triggered multiple large leaks--the current plans don't even account for such a contingency.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:25 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


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