Sunday, June 13, 2010

besieged by the brown tide

This past Friday, upon a second reach for the snooze option of my cell phone that was placed on my nightstand, I was simultaneously awakened by a chirpy Cardinal outside my bedroom window at 6am. I waggled myself downstairs and slipped into my flip flops in order to retrieve our morning paper. Quietly, I reached among some plastic cups in the dish washer, trying to avoid clanking glasses and waking others before their set times. I poured myself some juice, changed into my running clothes and sneakers, then embarked upon an early 5k.

Half an hour or so later I returned home to grab a vitamin container and make my son’s breakfast.The morning quiet was broken when my favorite first grader allowed the toilet seat to slip from his hand while I was preparing his cream cheese on a bagel. Concurrently, I gained a lipstick marked cheek from my lover as she gleefully departed for work. After about 10 minutes of munching cereal and reviewing spelling words, I handed off a field day lunch cooler to the antsy elementary school student, and off we walked.

Once the school drop off was complete I headed back to my driveway to begin my search for another coffee, plus an onion roll from a local bakery, even though they use the polystyrene cups that I detest. I was grateful though that I could once again enjoy a hot drink in my car, as the a/c has been repaired, and the black dashboard no longer feels like an enemy combatant.

Suddenly, on the way to the business Expo I was attending for the day, I remembered my boss and his obsession with shoe polish. Luckily, I was able to dig out a quick shoe-shine sponge, which I had tucked away beneath a bag of golf balls in my trunk.

I spent much of my day trying to drum up new clients, giving away ball point pens and observing some of the more lavish displays among vendors. When garden hoses and pumps are brought in to support a fountain, first prize might be achieved-but then regretted come knockdown time.

For me, dismantle meant simply turning off my laptop. Before heading off I needed to fill my sedan’s 16 gallon gasoline tank, which was near empty, in advance of any attempt to transverse the end of week rush hour traffic. I then made a short stop for pizza on my way home, along the many miles of asphalt roadways encircling New York City.

After dinner I decided to upload some pictures from my camera, as I prepared some web page changes to mark my return from a mini sabbatical away from blogging. I also needed a distraction from the 24 hour news reports, detailing the seemingly incredible and insincere actions and inactions associated with BP’s continuing catastrophic oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, so I played an all acoustic CD for background music as I logged onto my desktop.

Just then, my mind gained a bit of clarity, as I heard Alanis Morissette on track 8 while I peered into my monitor. And I was reminded that the attack on our shore lines is ‘a little too ironic…and yeah, I really do think’ that if we don’t change our ways soon we may well be holding ‘a death row pardon two minutes too late.’

*items highlighted in brown are a mere sampling of products commonly made from petroleum.

© 2010 Christopher’s Views

This post was included as a Post Of The Week. Please visit Hilary, the host, at her wonderful site: The Smitten Image.


  1. I thought you were playing a meme -- and then "wow" when I read that explanation! For years I've avoided plastics and petroleum products whenever possible, prefering natural materials -- so a real basket for laundry instead of a plastic one, and corningware instead of tupperware, etc. Unfortunately whenever I've explained why, friends and family look at me like I'm a lunatic. I don't know if something like the horror in the Gulf makes a difference to how they'll shop, but...

  2. I can only echo what Susan has written -- we do tend to think alike -- all three of us! And, yes, friends and relatives look at me like I'm a lunatic, too! When will people start taking crap like the Gulf seriously for what it is????
    Have a great week, Christopher!


  3. Now there's perspective. I seriously hope you toss some of your posts at publications--even as letters to the editor; the population at large needs to sit up straighter on this issue.

  4. Talk about making a statement, Christopher. This is so poignant, it should be published for all to read everywhere. Should be an eye-opener for many, but I fear most wouldn't "get it". I mirror Susan and Sylvia's feelings, always looked upon as 'different'. Today, I'm glad I am. ~karen

  5. You do have a way with words, Christopher.

    I have to second - or third or fourth - the previous comments. It just strikes me dumb when others snicker or roll their eyes at me when I try to express the importance of these matters. No. They don't, or won't get it.

  6. I'll join the choir
    I just had a ridiculous conversation with someone over plastic grocery bags and how she "just doesn't have the time" to remember to bring her cloth bags

    I didn't know that some of those objects came from petroleum - wow!

    I like the new look - very clean and open

  7. If only it were possible to backtrack to a pre-plastic era - to have foreseen what we now realize, too late. The evidence of our dependence on petroleum products is everywhere and the tiny efforts I make (inconsistently) to reduce that dependence feel barely even symbolic. Certainly they make no difference at all, but I don't want to give in to that hopelessness.

    I like the softer background, Christopher. Much easier to read but still just as classy. Glad you kept the header photo - it's perfect. (It is the same one, isn't it??)

  8. What a busy day. Amazed by all the things we use daily that are made from petroleum!

  9. What a clever post. I could tell you were showcasing items in the photo but had no idea where you were going with this. Clever you!

  10. I agree with everyone else. Very, very clever. Great post!

  11. What a wonderful post and so true. We need to think and be aware!
    Congrats on your POTW

  12. Well stated, it's hard to believe how much we rely on petroleum. Congrats on your POTW.

  13. Well said. Congratulations on the potw.

  14. I also thought you were doing some sort of meme, and found the truth to be far more interesting. There are greener versions of many of those things available, thankfully.

    By the way, I found this to be a really fun way to make your point. We give little thought to how we interact with things throughout our daily lives. Objects are just there, we reach for them mindlessly in most instances.

    This was an interesting, mindful story :-) Congratulations on the post of the week mention over at Hilary's blog.

  15. Congrats on the POTW mention from Hilary .. you have a great blog!

  16. Have you heard CA has banned single use plastic bags? check it out here.

    Great post Chris!