Some of you may have recently read a small bit in the papers about some
hoopla that went down outside the well groomed convention the Democratic
Party is holding in L.A. this week. Something about some protesters,
whining and grinding about something or the other. No big deal, just the
usual know-nothing WTO leftovers, all in all a mere distraction from
otherwise happy pages full of happy yippity-yap about how Gush'n'Bore
promises a Bright New Fresh Start for America. Seems some people can't get
down with that, so they held a protest to Rage Against the Hype or
whatever, and trashed the place. So the cops rounded them up for Failure
to Violate the First Amendment, or Obstructing an Officer's Right to
Indiscriminately Arrest, or some such charge. Troublemakers? In this
glorious economic boom? Serves 'em right, I say!
But wait a minute, I swear I saw something interesting down near the end
of yesterday's Seattle P-I story about the protests. Something about the
protesters being "upset by...Al Gore's family's ownership of stock in
Occidental Petroleum Corp." Very intriguing stuff. Too bad the P-I
couldn't be bothered to explain what's so upsetting about an honest guy
just trying to make a buck to feed his family.
Hold on. Back up. Time for a tactical digression. (Now stay with me on
People, let me tell you a story 'bout a man named Al. Seems a few years
back, perhaps after a row with his lovely wife Tipper, Al decided to get
tippled. And boy did he ever. Got himself drunk. I mean just blazin',
rip-roarin', sleepin' in the doghouse drunk. But instead of sleeping it
off, you know what he does? He stays up all night writing this book,
y'see? Stays up all night and finishes the whole thing. Calls it "Earth in
the Balance". All about how we've all gotta save the environment before
it's too late. Socially conscious, y'see. Ol' Al gets so excited he sends
the book off to the publisher right then and there. Then he stumbles off
to bed. Wakes up the next day, hungover as a hellhound, and whaddya know
-- he forgets about the whole damn thing! Five years down the road and he
still hasn't read his own book, apparently. Funny story.
Which brings us back to this whole Occidental Petroleum thing with the
silly protesters. I had to do a bit of digging around to make up for the
P-I's own journalistic lost weekend, but here's what I eventually found
out: Occidental Petroleum currently has grand plans to tear up a good
portion of the rain forest in Columbia (you know, the one in South
America) to do massive oil drilling, over a billion barrels worth in
fact. While being no tree-hugging sissy myself, I gotta admit, that sure
sounds like some pretty hefty environmental destruction to me. And the
funny thing is, Al Gore and family own half a million dollars worth of
stock in this very same Oxy Petroleum. And protesters, it seems, have been
protesting ol' Al to divest from Oxy for quite some time now. But he keeps
ignoring 'em, y'see. Too busy rhetoricizing about the danger George
W. poses to The Environment to listen to some silly protesters who
probably don't know what they're talking about anyway.
Hey, wait a minute! Al Gore claims to defend the environment, but his
family makes the big bucks from destruction of the rainforest? And all
these here protesters who I thought was misinformed and didn't know what
the hell they we're talkin' about -- why, turns out they know about stuff
even the big time newspapers don't know about!
Now I am thoroughly confused! All of a sudden, I can't tell left from
right or right from wrong! Seems like there's nothing left for me to do
but, well... go dunk my darn head in a bathtub full o' vodka. And, hell,
while I'm drinkin' vodka, I just might read me a little Trotsky while I'm
at it. Maybe even a little Bakunin for a chaser. Oh, heavens to
Murgatroyd, I just don't know what it means to be an American anymore!
Oh, well, guess it's time for me to go get tippled and raise a ruckus. See
y'all in the paddy wagon!