Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tea Party, anyone?

Ah, you poor souls. Did you think you were being invited to a lovely English tea presided over by yours truly? I apologize for my deceptive methods of drawing you in.
You see, I really wasn't referring to the kind with lacy white table-cloths, hand-painted delicate teacups, or delicious lemon squares a la carte.

I've been thinking a lot recently about the Boston Tea Party. When the earliest generation of Americans said "enough is enough and we're not gonna take it anymore." I've been wondering if that spirit of justice still resides in the heart of current-day Americans. I've been wondering about our collective spines. I've been looking at a gallon of milk nearly at the $4 mark, the head of broccoli for $3.68, the gallon of gasoline that is ever nearing the price of $4....and on and on. I've been thinking of the oil companies that POCKETED BILLIONS OF DOLLARS LAST YEAR. Exxon Mobil alone reported an annual profit of $40.6 BILLION dollars, which was equal to earnings of 4.6 million dollars PER HOUR last year.

I'm only one with you, and you, and you.....but I love to close my eyes and remember that in theory the power really is supposed to belong to the people of this country. Somehow, we've just relinquished it slowly but surely. I don't know how a "rebellion" is supposed to work. I don't know if it starts from the top down: meaning with a leader organizing and mobilizing the folks; or if it starts from the bottom up: meaning the people just start coming together by the hundreds, thousands, millions and lifting our voices in one massive roar demanding justice. I love to imagine it, though.

Food for thought: what if we picked a day, any day, week-day or Saturday, whatever....what if we all..every American...said that on this one special day we weren't budging from our homes. What if those oil companies lost one entire day of profits?? What if we tossed a ball in the backyard instead of going shopping? What if we baked cookies instead of having our nails done? What if we played Scrabble instead of going to the theme park? FOR JUST ONE DAY. Not one single drop of gasoline sold. Would it matter? Would it make a difference?

Yeah, I'm in the mood for a good hot cup of relaxing tea now. Aren't you?! :)


jenny said...

We are so gasoline dependent at this point I don't know that it would make a difference...the next days profits would probably make it up. I would LOVE to meet you at the pumps and have a good roar together, though! I hear you sister...and feel your pain.

One more thing, try Aldi if there's one in your area...milk (for example) is only $2.49. :-) I have a LOT of friends who are making the switch...we can handle not being pampered to drive down the bills.

Could we handle driving less? Great question...

Kimberly said...

I don't think it would make any difference either...sadly. But I'm with you in the outrage!!!! Now, before anybody helpfully points out how the oil companies use all that profit "for furthur exploration" I'll say....yeah, right!:) Fundamentally, we must understand that there will always be inequaties/injustice in any profit based system....and of course any other type of system as well. But no use pretending this one is just peachy. I do hope some of the election attention will prompt some good ideas, but somehow I doubt it. (Of course there IS a war going on in the very area we are dependant on..."perhaps" that is a factor!) (Now I better go have some green tea and calm down a bit....I've had too much coffee today!:)

(btw, let me say isn't it fun to not necessarily be "boxable" on all these issues! And you are a too much in jumping into these very controversial issues....much braver than I):)

Kim M. said...

I am considering becoming Amish. :-)

Tara said...

Yeah, sadly I know ya'll are right: we are so dependent on oil right now that a one day "sit-in rebellion" probably wouldn't make much difference.

And I'm too dumb to have any real solutions, Kimber, so I don't really consider myself brave for simply voicing the outrage that SURELY most Americans must feel right now! I don't know what it would take at this point to turn things around. I don't want to be naive enough to believe that any one politician has our best interest at heart. And I agree with your observation about inequities in our system. That's just par for the course....AND I keep reminding myself that with all its flaws and failings we still have the best thing going! It's just hard to remember sometimes when you're being bled like a turnip! :)

It's all so frustrating! :)

Kelly S said...

You rebel! Actually, I've been thinking along the same lines this week. It's very frustrating! What to do, what to do...

Juwah said...

Hmm I don't know, I think I'll be the optomist. I think we can pitch a fit of sorts to make a difference. AFA does it all the time and big companies like Wal-Mart buckle. Some people have to drive everyday. But don't we all drive way more than what is needed? I run to town several times a week, lots of folks in town drive when they could ride bike or walk. We've already started limiting our trips to town and carpool more on longer trips due to prices.

As mad as you are at big oil companies, I'm equally mad at our insane dependance on other countries for oil(surprisingly, most of our oil comes from Canada & South America). We have lots of resorses right here at home at a cheaper price. GRRRR!

All righty then, I'm with Jenny tell me when and where and I'll meet you at the pumps! :)

kayla said...

We're looking into getting one of those cars that runs on french fry grease. McDonalds never gets boycotted.
I think your idea has some merit. If everyone participated the oil companies would at least feel outnumbered and there is power in that. Kind of like in "A Bug's Life". How profound is that.
I truly feel your pain. I now measure my paychecks in gallons.