As a rule, we don't encourage the emotion of anger, as it is, in all ways, devoid of YUM.
Anger is an essentially useless emotion, except for the surge of energy that often accompanies it. That burst of potential power can be harnessed to great effect. The trick is to change impotent anger into potent, passionate action.
The danger, in the case of the current BP-Halliburton-Minerals Management Service clusterf*#$, is in thinking too small. It is not enough to boycott BP, only to fill your tank at Chevron, Shell, etc. There is, currently, only one source for oil – Earth. While boycotting BP might hurt their shareholders, it won't do a thing to fix the problem of our dependence on oil. Shutting down drilling along the Gulf Coast will only increase drilling in the North Atlantic, off the coast of Mexico, etc. For decades now we've enjoyed the increasingly mercurial global hijinks of the Petrol Dictatorships our dollars support as we watched our air turn grey and our water acidic. Punishing one of, or even a handful of players isn't the answer. We need a new game.
As the political branch of the Yummish Faith, we want to do our part to spread the YUM and protect our precious home. At the same time, as devoted Yummish, we don't want to do anything too terribly difficult, aka un-Yummish. Below are some suggestions we thought sounded both easy and effective:
Shop locally. Patronize local businesses, area farmers' markets, garage sales, etc. Do as much of your shopping as you can as close to your home as you can. If possible, select local producers and manufacturers over foreign and far distant business.
Yummish benefit: Puts you in closer contact with your neighbors, allows you to spend less time in your car, reminds you about what is cool/unique/special about your home community.
Revolutionary action: Reduces oil consumption, strengthens local businesses and business owners, supports state and local governments, including schools.
Walk or Ride a bicycle. Take alternate transportation whenever it is practical and occasionally when it isn't. Research bike lanes, well-lit sidewalks and public transit in your area. If they're missing, contact your city, county and state representatives.
Yummish benefit: Better looking butt and thighs, increased calorie expenditure justifies the eating of yummy desserts, less time hunting for parking.
Revolutionary action: Reduces oil consumption, reduces crime by increasing community awareness, reduces air, water and noise pollution.
Set up a shopping carpool. Batch errands in order to reduce the total number of car trips taken in a week. Invite others to join you when going to the grocery, etc.
Yummish benefit: Shopping with friends is more fun and can involve long (and boozy, at least for the non-drivers) lunches, time formerly spent running out for “one or two things” can be used to bake cookies, eat cookies, blog about cookies, etc.
Revolutionary action: Reduces oil consumption, reduces pollution and traffic, maximizes the benefit of the energy produced by fossil fuels.
Celebrate Gulf Day. Earth Day was established 40 years ago as a reaction to an oil spill off of the coast of Santa Barbara, California. That spill was devastating enough to prompt a moratorium on drilling off of the California cost. As horrendous as the Santa Barbara spill was, all reports -- even the low-ball numbers coming from BP -- indicate that the current Gulf disaster is many, many times worse. Therefore, the reaction needs to be many, many times bigger. The Cocktail Party proposes celebrating Gulf Day each and every month of the year. Gulf Day is a day selected by the celebrants and dedicated to appreciating and protecting our precious and fragile home. That's one day a year set aside in honor of each of the 11 men killed on the Deepwater Horizon and one day for Gulf environment. Should a future disaster steal any more husbands and fathers away from their families in the name of Big Profit (the BP we should be most concerned with going forward) add another day.
Yummish benefit: Any excuse for a celebration!
Revolutionary action: Remember yourself and, through your actions, remind others of the true blood-cost of oil, reduce the big profits of Big Oil.
These are just a few suggestions. The Cocktail Party encourages you to examine your daily habits and come up with your own. Taking even a single step to reduce your oil consumption does infinitely more good than driving your car over to the protest about BP or (as in our case) yelling rude things at the snotty British guy on the television. Leaving your car in the driveway is the most powerful statement you can make about this disaster. Making permanent reductions in your use of fossil fuels forces Big Oil to make permanent changes in the way they do business. Demand more accountability from business and government investment in renewable energy sources. Speak your mind, follow your conscience and never apologize for doing what you know is right
Today's Yummish Exercise: Walk to a local business and buy something yummy. We recommend doughnuts, but, as always, let your conscience be your guide.
Next: Another one? But... I want my life back!