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May 10, 2010

BP/Gulf Coast: Now It’s Getting Ugly

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Patrick Semansky/AP
Patrick Semansky/AP

Black whitecaps and bird that scream Exxon Valdez.

Up to now, the oil spill in the Gulf — with the exception of photos of discolored water — has been mostly abstract.  With the disaster finally making itself seen, however, expect the visual media to assume a much larger role now, with a corresponding gut punch to the American public and the political powers that be.

Also, if the crisis offered more visual parallels to Katrina last week, expect to see a lot more  pictures dredged up of Alaska and the Exxon Valdez.

(caption 1: An oil soaked bird struggles against the oil slicked side of the HOS Iron Horse supply vessel at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana Sunday, May 9, 2010. caption 2: Black waves and brown whitecaps are seen off the side of the supply vessel Joe Griffin at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill containment efforts in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, Sunday, May 9, 2010.  caption 3: Tony Phan, left, and his father, Lanh, wait outside of a BP claims center for Tony’s mother, Lai Nguyen, not pictured, the captain of their commercial fishing fleet, in Boothville, La., Sunday, May 9, 2010. Nguyen was making a claim with BP representatives for work lost due to the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.)

  • bystander

    This tears at my very soul, because it didn’t have to be. I hope the media lands photographs like this one on the front page of every newspaper and leads every broadcast the same way. The public needs – and deserves – to have this jammed right under their nose in each morning newspaper and every single night’s newscast until we’re ready to rethink our corporate regulatory environment.

  • Shashinka

    Sadly, the mass media has already lost interest on the incident and has moved on to other things. Suppose if Bush was still in office, the media would be all over this, but since Obama is in office, no one really seems to care. Just shows the double standards that the media has.

    • Gasho

      The idea that the media was tough on Bush is utter BS. He started an unprovoked WAR. He is a WAR CRIMINAL. Last I heard, he’s walking around as a free man. Don’t even frickin’ TRY to rewrite the history on that.

    • ashley

      thank you

  • Sharon Van Lieu

    I do hope that this ends President Obama’s plans to drill off the east coast of America. We all need to learn to use less oil instead of finding more oil for us to consume.

    Sharon Van Lieu
    Nantucket, Massachusetts

  • g


  • Annie

    Myy heart is aching for the animals and birds affected by this oil spill, all dying or struggling. This is so very sad. Absolutely tragic.

  • Megan

    The red of the side of the ship looks like blood, setting up the comparison to that other viscous fluid, oil. Does that vertical scrape on the hull look almost like a crucifixion to anyone else, with the bird’s outstretched wing continuing the theme?

    Then, with blood and the crucifixion called to mind, I have to wonder. What are we spilling the Blood of the Lamb (wildlife, Gaia, perhaps, if oil is her blood, innocents either way) for?

  • carol beatty

    I am so sad about all the damage to the wildlife,the environment in general and absolutely livid that this has happened!!! What is our world coming to? What does it take for our govt to get it??? I would rather never drive a car again than have our earth polluted like this. No more off shore drilling!!!!!! Make the oil companies pay big time. But no amt of money can make this tragedy be ok.

  • lytom

    Sadness is not going to clean up the mess!
    The irony of it all is that the status quo is drill, drill, drill. It was not coming out of only the Repubs’. but also Demos’. At present time, when the damage is already done, it may only be subdued, but it is still there in both parties. In other words, the birds, the marine life and the living populations depend on what politicos decide and brainwash others to support.
    The picture has an orange tint of Guantanamo, the status quo of what we can expect. The picture is quite clear and we are bit by bit anesthetized to it.

  • Michael Shaw

    At this point, I think this shot of the bird (with the vivid Gitmo orange crucifixion vibe) could become the iconic photo of the oil spill, the kind of shot you’d be looking to show up on the Newsweek cover. I see it, at least for now, as a lot more activating than anesthetizing.

    • yg

      it’s weird to see you smiling and happy while discussing a tragedy.

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