And here's a Monday morning riddle for you. What would you get if you combined Dr. Seuss with Schoolhouse Rock with bad corporate behavior? Litigation Mitigation of course. BP, who has yet to send a contractor out to begin the coastal cleanup project in Louisiana that local environmental groups have been told to abstain from, has already sent out their litigation mitigation team. They're authorized to hand out up to $5,000 to local businesses and property owners who will be impacted by the spill in exchange for a signature on company paperwork. And what do you bet that paperwork includes? I'd be willing to bet that there's some sort of carefully worded release of liability hidden somewhere in that paperwork. And as long as we as a society keep pretending like oil spills are tragedies that can neverthless be cleaned up and recovered from in a relatively short time frame, BP will experience a slight, temporary blow to it's public image, write a few checks, send out a contractor to "clean up" the beaches and local wildlife, and then move on to the business of cranking out a few ads that will repair their image and put this all behind us. And the media will quickly move on to more interesting stories. But what will happen to the coastal communities that will be impacted by all this? Well they might look to Alaska to know what to expect. Yep, in Alaska there are still communities and businesses and families that are feeling the impact of that one oil-spill that happened when I was a wee teenybopper. I suspect that BP has learned a thing or two from the Exxon disaster (the PR one, not the environmental one), and the quickness of their litigation mitigation teams is a reflection of this.
Besides being Blogging Against Disablism Day, Saturday was also May Day. The fact that we don't celebrate May Day (we have Labor Day instead) in America is ironic and speaks to the power capitalism has in our cultural framework. Most Americans don't even know the history of May Day in America, so here's your chance to read up and educate yourselves.