Thursday, June 26, 2008


I was listening to an npr radioshow that I often listen to--"left, right and center"--and they were talking about offshore drilling. One commentator asked the other about if he supports offshore drilling, then what will happen to the coastline off of santa barbara.

This reminded me of when we used to visit california from hawaii, when I was young, and I'd see the "oil horses" along the sides of the highway. When I just google'd "oil horses," apparently that's not what others call them. The are referred to as "nodding donkeys." How bizarre. But very evocative.

I remember that those black machines seemed almost alive. They were so foreign to me, having always seen the landscape of sugar cane fields, ocean, and volcanoes growing up on Maui. I loved seeing those oil horses; it was like getting to see aliens, for me. The slow-moving horse, actually a machine, against the backdrop of the ocean or the green fields, along the highway.

Today, in the nytimes, there's an article on offshore drilling, with an amazing photograph. In the same way that the oil horses (or apparently nodding donkeys) made me see some perverted beauty, I see it here too: the horror of our greed for oil, and the beauty of what we must destroy for it.

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