Originally posted on August 20, 2012.
Someone posted a story on facebook about a member of the tea party who had gotten into some legal trouble. Above the story he wrote as a comment “another tea-bag in HOT WATER..” It seemed to me that was a natural slogan.
Then we went to Skowhegan for our weekly Bridges for Peace vigil. (…that is, if it’s still a vigil even though it isn’t silent.) Anyway we were the first ones there and I was thinking about slogans. I was thinking that I wanted to make a new sign to carry. I was thinking about the characteristics of a good sign…..of a good slogan. It had to be succinct. Cars are driving across the bridge. We are standing there, over the river. The cars can’t slow down to read a sign because the cars behind them will be held up. So one has to find a way to say it with a few large words that are easy to read from afar in a few seconds. We have to invent clever advertisements for peace. A tanker truck drove by that was filled with liquid Carbon Dioxide.
One of the reasons why so many people drive around in such nice cars, one of the reasons they can afford to do it is that there is so much cheap oil. Even when the price goes up, even when it’s hurting people, it’s still cheap enough to allow everyone to drive around. One of the reasons why public transportation isn’t financially feasible is that we’re still getting drunk on cheap oil.
But we’re all like addicts. We rob and pillage to satisfy our addiction. We go to war to maintain our supply of oil. We drill in ever and ever more precarious places to get our fix. We watch our planet heating up more and more but do nothing, like some junkie whose family is being destroyed but who can’t stop. We turn food into fuel while people starve, to get our fix. And yes, we drive to town to stand on the bridge for peace.
There’s some cycle here. We stand on the bridge to protest the war waged to keep the oil, but we have to tailor our message so that passing cars can read it on the fly. We need to invent slogans.
Something else happened there too. I’m not sure why I think it’s pertinent, but I do. Our friend Lisa pointed out to me that there were drops of blood on the sidewalk. Somehow we got into a Nancy Drew mode. We followed the trail of drops of blood down the sidewalk of the bridge, onto the main street sidewalk, up to the crosswalk (where there were a bunch of drops) across the street on the crosswalk, and onto the sidewalk on the other side of the street. All the way, every few feet there was another drop of blood. The line of drops was weaving back and forth. In front to the bar, there were a whole lot of drops and some broken glass. Obviously it was the place where something happened that caused someone injury.
I guess it seemed as if the desolation that caused people to get too drunk and to want to fight instead of singing and dancing was in some way strongly connected to our bleak addiction to oil.
So what should the new sign say?
Addicted to Oil
or the original
No Blood for Oil
Any good ideas?