Oil's Well

When life gives you lemons, you don’t sit around arguing if the lemons were created by shoddy government oversight, greedy corporations, or a curious octopus just trying to have a little fun. You make lemonade or sell the lemons to dumb kids and let them worry about it. Such is the case with the BP oil spill. We need to focus less on the negative and more on the positive.

We’ve never seen an oil spill of this magnitude, so who’s to say what will happen when the shores of Louisiana, Texas, and Florida--and probably the entire East Coast---are soaked with black gold? Maybe oil-drenched beaches will be the cure for cancer or chronic dry skin. You don't know, and don't pretend you do. Maybe when this much oil mixes with sand it becomes delicious. Maybe the oil will eat away at the sand, and reveal priceless treasures such as crowns, scepters, and more oil.

And what about all the good BP is doing for the economy right now by creating jobs and hiring an army of public relations associates? Prior to this event, the most a graduate with a degree in PR could hope for was to work for a mismanaged pharmaceutical company. But now? Whoa boy! These young spinnakers have the opportunity to defend one of the most hated companies in the world! No better PR gig exists, until news leaks that a certain brand of popular gum is made from children’s tears and spiders. (Hint: It’s not Trident.)

Plus, BP is subsidizing The New York Times with its full-page ads. Without BP’s support, the Times would crumble. Rumor has it that several Times reporters were seen covertly diving into the Gulf with big hammers, perhaps to widen the leak and prolong the situation, thus prolonging their jobs. This new corporate tactic is called the "Eh. Why Not?" maneuver, and will be discussed at length in the forthcoming journalism text book entitled "What? Stop Looking at Us Like That."

And think of the children. This happy accident has taught American’s school students the difference between crude oil and sweet oil, and is boosting other vocabulary skills across the board. This past weekend, a precocious 7-year-old girl was seen on the news saying things such as "accountability", "protocol", and "Will this be the final nail in the Democrats' coffin? We’ll have to wait until the November elections to find out. I like macaroni."

Workers at the Minerals Management Service, while trying to look sad and tense, must secretly be ecstatic that people actually know their agency exists. MMS employees can now finally tell others where they work without adding, "It’s a real thing. No really. It’s not about multiple sclerosis. Where are you going?"

And finally, we need oil. And now we’re literally drowning in it. If you’re starving and spot an overturned pie truck, do you stand around complaining that the pies are damaging the eco-system? Of course not! You eat! And when you’re full, you toss as many pies as you can into your van and speed away. So get down there to the Gulf and press those oily pelicans into big profits. 
Dan Bergstein often smells mustard when no one else does.

April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.