Our four-geek-one-Pennsylvania-Dutch-cobbler Oil Spill Expedition team has really gelled over the past four days. But today we had to split up to cover more ground and air. KK, Pinar and Duncan took to the wing to fly to “the source” and buzz the islands in Barataria Bay to capture what we all need to be seeing more of. I got a sneak peek in the geek truck on the ride back down to Grand Isle and heard the crazy stories, but will leave it to them to tell it firsthand.
Daniel and I headed west on I-10 to Baton Rouge, LA to sit in on an oil spill rally. Here’s my take on that event.
My rental car – a blood red Ford Escape – cost $12.00 for the day. I didn’t correct their mistake. We’d have to rush to make the 11.30 kick-off of the “march on the Louisiana Capitol building,” which would start at the old capitol building and end on the steps of the new one. But actually we had plenty of time because there was a scheduling error and last-minute change of plans which moved the march until Friday but kept the rally for today. We didn’t quite understand the strategy but wanted to see how it would evolve.
It’s strange. If ever there was a time for this country to take to the streets I would think it would be now. A few did. But not many. I’m not a child of the 60s nor have I spent much time pounding the streets and raising hell in the 90s or in this decade, but this didn’t quite meet my expectations. Part of it I suppose was the late change of plans. Part of it was the mid-day heat and the mid-day jobs. And part of it, brought to my attention by my fellow expedition member Kris Krug, is the fact that motivations have changed.
These things used to be about a large social group venting about something that was rocking their world. Today it’s more about trying to garner media attention and strategically reach a much wider audience. The strategy for change might be effective over the long run, but it certainly gives the event a clunky feel. That said, the two dozen folks that did manage to make it to the capitol’s steps were earnestly pissed off and we’ll do our part to cast their message far and wide.