—Tony Hayward, BP CEO
So would we, buddy.
Avoiding this topic was like avoiding a Michael Jackson song during the summer of 2009. Or the traffic jam at Hempstead Lake State Park’s Summer Run Series last week, which diverted cars over sidewalks, grass, around bonfires, picnics, water fountains and held us hostage in a makeshift parking lot in the middle of the woods under a basketball hoop for two hours while hundreds of purple-faced runners—who didn’t seem to care about 100-degree temperatures—sprinted by.
It didn’t work. It’s not going away. And we just can’t do it anymore.
It’s been three months since the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and up until a few days ago, it was still leaking. No, gushing. And during those two hours waiting out the race with a dead iPod, next to a 90-lb. man in electric blue spandex, 2.8 million gallons of crude oil leaked into the ocean—adding to the 94-184 million gallons already there. Then it gets capped. Then it springs a new leak and slowly seeps into the ground, while BP execs cross their fingers the ocean floor holds out under the pressure.
We don’t even know which rant to begin with, and there isn’t enough space anyway. So, instead, meet Adam Quirk, a local who attempted to vent the world’s collective frustration and make a splash across the pond, as only a New Yorker can, while raising money in the process.
Quirk, a Brooklyn-based video producer, is behind the campaign Vuvuzelas for BP.
The goal: raise money to help clean up the Gulf of Mexico and to buy as many vuvuzelas—responsible for the annoying drone on every World Cup broadcast—as possible, pass them out around BP headquarters in London and have people blow on them every single second of every single day, nonstop, until BP fixes the leak.
Donations poured in, and on Tuesday, July 13, it happened.
Hordes of people in bright yellow “BP Blows” T-shirts took to the streets, armed with their vuvuzelas and blasted BP headquarters.
“For almost 15 minutes (until the cops showed up), they blew the most annoying sound into the air directly at BP headquarters—you made that happen,” said Adam Quirk in an open letter to his backers. “All told, you raised $6,846 for the Gulf Disaster Fund, kept public attention focused on BP even while basketball players were traded and Justin Bieber rumors swirled, and exacted a bit of public punishment on some of the most egregious destroyers of the planet.”
By the time this paper makes its way to the stands, the leak may be gushing again. The 75-ton cap may have blown off, or that seep two miles away in the ocean floor could have created a gaping hole that swallowed us all. And there is little any of us can do about it—local gas station owners continue to lose business, as residents, angry at executives, and feeling helpless to do anything else, boycott their neighbors. But the one thing everyone can do is speak up. To make your voice count, contact your representatives at https://writerep.house.gov and www.senate.gov—because we all have the ability to be annoying, even without a vuvuzela.
To watch video of the event visit: http://www.babelgum.com/vuvuzelasforbp