I sat down for a minute after dinner last night in the den. S. was watching Anderson Cooper on CNN as he talked about the Gulf oil spill. Cooper regurgitated the same introductory narrative he has probably said every night for the past three weeks about the spill, then went to a split screen interview with Congressman Ed Markey, where they proceeded to talk about how outraged they both were at BP.
They pay Anderson Cooper millions to tell me shit I can read in a day old copy of USA TODAY?
"They've got politicians on TV talking about an oil spill? What the hell do they know? Why can't they find some experts to talk to? They should have some new ones on every night - the kind of guys who have actually worked on rigs."
S. didn't say anything, probably because she'd already figured by the way I had been breathing right before I spoke up that some tirade was coming.
"Why can't these people put any good information on here?" I was yelling now. "Why are they wasting our time with this pablum? What they need to do is talk about why all that damn boom they've been stringing along the coastline won't work."
I went on to explain to S. what I'd learned the night before from a blogger at one of my favorite political sites, where Mr. Fishgrease, because that's what this 55 year old oil and gas production and exploration veteran calls himself on the web, explained in great detail what goes on at "booming school", where the industry trains its workers on the correct way to use boom during an ocean oil spill.
And as I thought about it this morning, I figured I might do the same for you, and post some excerpts from his diary to counterbalance some of the bullshit you are being forced to watch on cable news networks.
WARNING - if you are allergic to intense and repeated profanity, stop here. Personally, I felt right at home reading this intriguing narrative, probably because it sounded almost exactly like the behind-the-scenes language used by mortgage brokers and stock brokers.
Not only is Oil Spill Booming a large industry in the USA, teaching Oil Spill Booming is a large industry in the USA. Most of BP's production and pipeline employees in the USA have attended at least one booming school. Many have attended two or three. Most oil and gas production employees in the USA have attended booming school. Some of us have attended really good, really extensive, week or two-week booming schools. BP's production employees have attended the best booming schools. I know this. I've seen them there.
BP's drilling folks have mostly not attended booming school. They're sometimes sent to booming school, but they fuck off in the bar and their bosses sign off on that being okay. Because for Drilling Hands, booming is for pussies. This is a generalization. Not all drilling hands think that, but most of them do and I guarantee BP's drilling executives think that booming is for pussies -- and that's if they think about booming at all or even know what it is. That's not so shocking. In the major oil companies, there are likely a few drilling executives that don't even know what drilling is. I'm not kidding. There's good BP drilling people who would, in private, back me up on that.
After this bracing introduction, Mr. Fishgrease goes into the lingo used in the field. If you don't do anything else, or you are tired of reading this, just click on the link to see his diagram. It will show you in black and white (actually, in orange and blue) why you should feel the urge to strangle every TV network executive in the country for showing you the obligatory shot of a lone string of boom strung just off a Gulf coastline every night without explaining what you are seeing.
Then Mr. Fishgrease gets to the heart of the matter.
Boom is not meant to contain or catch oil. Boom is meant to divert oil. Boom must always be at an angle to the prevailing wind-wave action or surface current. Boom, at this angle, must always be layered in a fucking overlapped sort-of way with another string of boom. Boom must always divert oil to a catch basin or other container, from where it can be REMOVED FROM THE FUCKING AREA.
Looks kinda involved, doesn't it? It is. But if fucking proper fucking booming is done properly, you can remove most, by far most of the oil from a shoreline and you can do it day after day, week after week, month after month. You can prevent most, by far most of the shoreline from ever being touched by more than a few transient molecules of oil. Done fucking properly, a week after the oil stops coming ashore, no one, man nor beast, can ever tell there has been oil anywhere near that shoreline.
Where Mr. Fishgrease really becomes my hero is when he explains WHY the boom being laid along the Gulf is being done wrong, but nobody from the Obama Administration to the Coast Guard or the news media will say anything.
Governors, Senators, Presidents and most of all the Piece-Of-Shit-C*nt Media don't know what fucking proper fucking booming LOOKS LIKE! So you can just lay a single line of neon-glo-orange boom out parallel to the shore, for miles, with anchor points every quarter-mile to where a good part of it washes up onto the shore like a huge, dead, orange nightcrawler... and they won't know the difference! Where it manages to stay off the bank, a little two-foot chop you would let your kids frolic in will send all the oil either over or under it! ALL THE OIL! ON THE SHORE! IN THE REEDS! ON THE BEACH! IN THE NESTS! OIL! So what! It's not gonna make CNN send a single correspondent to booming school, is it?
If you've read this, and clicked on the links, you could probably skip the news tonight, because Anderson Cooper or Campbell Brown or Larry King or the chuckleheads over at FOX News or Keith Olbermann and the rest of the gang at MSNBC won't be talking about this. At all.
Although in fairness, Mr. Fishgrease's article WAS mentioned on the Rachel Maddow website yesterday, although whether it was by a staffer or a reader I don't know.
Not that Mr. Fishgrease is looking for any limelight. Because even though he has been open and honest with us about what is going on with the oil spill boom fiasco, I would imagine that another big oil company has probably got all of his retirement money in its hands. Even those these things are all probably true, it was his closing lines that endeared this anonymous stranger to me the most.
All media contacts, please consult actual booming experts. There are about a hundred. If you can't find one in time for your show tonight, you're a fucking bad journalist. Now, finding one that's not afraid of BP? That might be a challenge, but you're fucking up to it.
All I can say is, "thank you Mr. Fishgrease, for showing me why I love these internets so much."
And to Anderson Cooper, and the rest of the network teleprompter readers out there - QUIT WASTING MY TIME BRINGING FUCKING POLITICIANS ON YOUR SHOWS WHO DON'T KNOW JACK FUCKING SHIT ABOUT OIL SPILLS!!!