Sunday, May 30, 2010

...everybody knows...

So many of us are walking around shocked, numbed, horrified, angered by the on-going catastrophe in the Gulf.  The damage and losses are, to put it mildly, obscene.  It is time for the greatest minds in the world to come together to solve, end and somehow heal this tragedy.

The following true, if cynical, lyrics from Leonard Cohen's song "Everybody Knows" express the powerlessness, hopelessness and dread I feel each time I watch the news reports and images of BP and the gushing, seemingly unstoppable oil well.

Everybody Knows

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you've been faithful
Ah give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you've been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

And everybody knows that it's now or never
Everybody knows that it's me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah when you've done a line or two

Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
Everybody knows that it's moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

And everybody knows that you're in trouble
Everybody knows what you've been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach of Malibu
Everybody knows it's coming apart
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Oh everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows

~Leonard Cohen

P.S.   Don't miss the comments that have been made on this topic!  Some fine bloggers pour their hearts out here ... and YOUR thoughts and feelings are, of course, most welcome.  If only we could bring our collective intellect, talents, skills and creativity to bear to help solve this on-going disaster.


  1. ah, thats a beautiful pic you end with...actually i like the song...was a whole lot more cynical in my teens...yeah, this needs to get out of the hands of the incompetants and we need some creative solutions...

  2. I absolutely believe they could plugged it if they wanted to..they don't want to. They would rather pay the fines and pay the cleanup than cap that well...PB or our government could care less about the ocean, marsh land or animals...they want that oil and are not going to give up. They will come back with a directional drill and you watch...that is what will work..just a big show right now...

  3. Yes, there is so much in this poem which speaks to society's complicity in this disaster. How does one stop the inertia?

  4. It's like we have been caught raping the Earth, and now we can't seem to get her to heal - even after all of our Band-Aids. Everybody knows we are ravenously greedy, everybody knows we will do whatever it takes to sustain our lavish lives, and everybody is watching us....Riveting post, Bonnie. Leonard Cohen's words mean as much today as when they were written. EFH

  5. Very poignant lyrics, Bonnie...and so very true. The photograph at the end is just beautiful.

  6. It's as if the Earth is bleeding to death slowly. I have a feeling of dread whenever I think about it.

    Very appropriate song choice, Bonnie. Sorry I haven't been around much lately - very caught up in an active life here without much time for blogging.

  7. I didn't know, but then I'm usually the last to know.

    However, I suspect a lot.

  8. So, is everybody willing to go without cheap oil in future?

    I doubt it. Since WWII we in the prosperous nations have been exploiting our planet's resources and I can't see us stopping any time soon. Until we are forced to do it.

  9. This is an unimaginable scale of destruction that threatens to only get worse. I don't exactly know how to deal with it - it merely adds a sense of dread to any thought I have of the future. As if war and strife and greed and selfishness weren't already apparent, weren't already enough... but my sense is that the "machinery" of our social system is so ponderous that even if we "squeak by" with some miracle this time, we won't stop. For humans there seems to be only "growth," only "progress." Never scaling back by choice, only by catastrophe or some new fixation that calls our attention elsewhere.

    I doubt that the inability to cap the well was intentional, what was intentional was undertaking a procedure that was so morally wrong (puncture the earth to that depth!!?) before having the capability to deal with a very likely disaster. No sense of "precautionary principle."

    It's getting harder and harder to be optimistic about much. Even into regular, daily life, the slump creeps. I feel split, sometimes - though I have talked with my kids about this disaster, I must still maintain the face of normalcy and not relay my fears of what will happen when the hurricanes arrive and the poison is spread inland and across more water, up the food chain etc. etc.

    I am beyond mad that a few with power and resources can kill the world out from under us. But I still sit at home, doing the housework, the cooking, helping with the homework, working on my part-time editing, trying to gather myself together enough to figure out what to post on my blog that can get to the heart of what I'm thinking and feeling. Yet I feel guiltily unproductive for being unable to generate the necessary mental environment for greater creative work, for something really effective. The fiction and poetry hide and I figure I'm just making excuses.

    Recognizing that it is a luxury, I'm still so grateful for the internet which allows us to reach out to each other and make a connection, even though it's tenuous and dependent upon mere electrons. Every little bit that reminds us of our relations helps in its small way.

    Sorry, this is long and rambling... and I should get back to work now :-) but thanks for making a gathering place where we can just be ourselves and for reminding us that the challenges help make us more wholly ourselves as well...

  10. Let's hope this ushers in a new era with the realization that we are all in this together. It's time to take on the big dogs as a world united in a common goal - to pull the mask off the greedy and manipulative.

  11. Who knows where to begin with this one? The Leonard Cohen poem almost brought me to tears in recognition of what "everybody knows" -- that we are destroying the earth. Just a few years ago, I thought that the worst of it would probably be a few decades ahead of us. Increasingly, however, I sense that doomsday may on our doorstep. Economic calamities, environmental calamities, war without end -- and millions of wealthy Neros fiddle while Rome burns.

    Neighbor's comments were profound and moving as well. I agree with everything said in those comments.

    Most important, a personal note. I grew up in southern Mississippi about thirty miles from the Gulf Coast and about ninety miles from New Orleans. The entire culture of that region is built around the estuarial waters of the Gulf. If this catastrophe destroys the fish and wildlife of that area, destroys the seafood industry, and destroys the regional cuisine that depends upon the seafood, it will destroy a way of life that has existed for well over three hundred years. For friends and family of mine in that area, the loss is devastating. It sometimes seems as if they are losing not only their future, but their memories as well.

  12. Ugh. Yes, this issue totally bums me out. I am no scientist... so I don't know the "hows," but my feeling is that the government should have been mandating/investigating/researching/implementing RENEWABLE sources of energy a long time ago. If we drive cars, use plastic bags etc, we are all part of the problem... myself included. ( though I do try to limit my consumption) But the whole "drill, baby drill" mentality is what got us here. Well, that, and mass consumption of resources, corporate greed, and the affairs of govt & BIG OIL (and big pesticide, big pharmaceuticals, etc.) It is sad... and personally I don't know what to do... and how it will affect our ecosystem... and not just locally... It's not good. I agree with a lot of what "Neighbor" had to say...

  13. yet, we push upward.....

    Aloha from Waikiki, Friend

    Comfort Spiral

  14. I don't know what upsets me the most? The wildlife that is being destroyed or the people's lives that will be ruined. I guess both!! This is obscene and vulgar and murderous! I too wish I knew what to do and that only adds to my frustration. Why didn't they have a plan in hand? How could they have been so irresponsible? Oh the thought of this makes me so angry.
    Sad in New Mexico

  15. Everybody does know and nobody learns. The implications are terrifying.. and they're real. It's unfathomable to think we have the ability to so negatively change the course of life without the taking on responsibility of making sure we don't.


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