Just like with every other event-turned-saga in the modern world, the Gulf oil spill has entered into the realm of the ridiculous.
First, BP can’t get a break. Every single thing it’s tried — from the big crazy straw gadget to the giant cement box thingamajig to the “top kill” — has failed. The latest effort stalled Wednesday when the saw BP was using snagged. Workers finally cut the section of pipe with a giant set of shears, but even that got fouled up so no one knows how tightly they’ll be able to seal the well.
And yes, the fact that the company is having little luck is no surprise given that its plan for a disaster like this apparently was to hope that it didn’t happen. With that in mind, the government announced this week that it would investigate whether criminal charges should be levied against BP.
I don’t know if BP acted criminally or not. I think negligently is probably a safe bet. But either way, I believe the company has enough on its plate. Can we at least let it get the leak stopped before we haul its people into court? And if BP can’t stop it can we find someone who can?
Which brings me to the next bit of absurdity: James Cameron.
Reports conflict on whether Cameron volunteered or was asked, but either way the Academy Award-winning director met with about two dozen deep sea experts this week in Washington to brainstorm.
Cameron is known for underwater projects, most famously the movie “Titanic.” He’s made a number of deep-water dives himself and considers himself to be an expert on the subject. He’s also an environmentalist who tried to save a fictional planet in “Avatar,” so who knows, maybe Cameron can direct us out of this mess. Or at least make a really cool movie about it.
Then there’s Kevin Costner. The Academy Award-winning actor, who also directed a monumental flop called “Waterworld,” claims to have a machine that can separate oil from seawater. No word yet on whether he’s right, but I do know this: If America ever finds itself in some sort of crisis concerning washed-up baseball players, I’m calling Costner.
It’s not just Hollywood that’s felt compelled to help. BP has been bombarded with thousands of suggestions for ways to stop the oil. And I used the world bombarded on purpose because one suggestion that seems to be gaining support is to nuke the well.
No, you didn’t read that wrong. Apparently the Russians have done it. So now there’s a group that backs putting a nuclear bomb into the Earth and detonating it, the idea being that the intense heat would melt the rock and seal the well.
Here’s an idea: While we’re being crazy, let’s combine Hollywood with the nuclear bomb idea and call Bruce Willis. After all, he actually played an oil driller who saved the world in “Armageddon.” And how’d he do it? Drilled into an asteroid and blew it up with a nuclear bomb.
It’s perfect. Someone get Cameron’s people on the phone.
E-mail Nate McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Fridays.