The important thing to remember about this photograph of a still living but doomed bird on the beach at East Grand Terre Island, Louisiana, taken by Charlie Reidel of the Associated Press, is that it's just one bird. Sure, it's sad, but one bird doesn't matter. It would have died in a few years anyway.
...Well, no, actually, the most important thing is for photographers to stay away from the Gulf region, because we're not welcome. Everyone's doing their best to downplay the regrettable industrial accident that no one meant to happen, and photographers like Reidel who do ridiculous things like personalize it using one stupid bird aren't doing any oil companies any favors. And besides, the wildlife photography at places like East Grand Terre Island is not the best at the moment, so why would you want to go there anyway? We hear Prince William Sound is nice this time of year.
...Okay, okay, no—that might not be the most important thing. The most important thing is to remember who's really suffering here: BP. Have you seen its stock price lately? Now that hurts your heart. We've got to limit BP's liability, help prop up its stock price, and make sure that its poor suffering CEO gets his life back. Congress will be working hard at this. They'll do the right thing and protect BP.
...Ah, jeez, damn it, forgot—even more important is that Americans be allowed to pretend it's 1970 for as long as humanly possible. That's the most important thing. We've spent a good 37 years patriotically ignoring the handwriting on the wall and resolutely refusing to even think about preparing for an inevitable future, and the crucial thing here is that we continue to do so, come what may.
Finally, one thing that's of absolutely zero importance would be to consider a clearly stupid idea from a dead philosopher. Sorry, a dead French philosopher. Talk about double-irrelevant. Like it's our fault.
Hope that helps set your mind at rest. This'll all be over in a jiffy, and then we'll laugh.
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Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.