2015. Acrylic on canvas, 20 X 16″
As the calls to frack intensify worldwide, I feel hoodwinked to a posture of silly for entitling this exhibition Capillary Reaction: Hyrdofracking and Irrevocable Loss. I remember my wife and I sitting in the brown window chairs brainstorming an idea the morning after the ArtRage gallery director asked me to come up with a title to the show. Sure, it’s a good one to teach a lesson about toxicity and parts per million, how just a little chemical goes a long way in a glass of ice water. It is good to know about the half-lives of radioactive elements—20,000 years is a long time to be a carcinogen. I think everyone gets the science. Documentary’s like Gasland and Gasland II provide a basic scientific overview of “what if?” And no sane person will lie to another with the claim, “benzene is harmless, here let me drink a gallon straight to prove it”. We are told that the industry is not mandated to list the chemicals used in the process, but some are known. For instance, toluene. No one debates its use in hydrofracking. Here is what science says about it (from EPA chemfact sheet 1994):
Repeatedly breathing large amounts of toluene, such as when “sniffing” glue or paint, can cause permanent brain damage. As a result, humans can develop problems with speech, hearing, and vision. Humans can also experience loss of muscle control, loss of memory, and decreased mental ability. Exposure to toluene can also adversely affect the kidneys. Laboratory animal studies and, in some cases, human exposure studies show that repeat exposure to large amounts of toluene during pregnancy can adversely affect the developing fetus. Other studies show that repeat exposure to large amounts of toluene adversely affects the nervous system, the kidneys, and the liver of animals.
In Gasland II we also learn a little bit about civil engineering. A typical frack well is encased for protection by an inch of cement, and if groundwater is never to be compromised, this wittle-bitty cement lining cannot crack until the end of time. Capillary Reaction: Hydrofracking and Irrevocable Loss point made. End of debate. End of story. Well is broke, chemicals leak into water supply, ecological disaster creeps up all over the country. We get it. Capillaries—streams, tributaries, rivers, the sea! A moral to the science story: Hydrofracking is bad for your health. So are nuclear weapons. Everyone knew radioactive fallout was bad, but Eisenhower and Kennedy still went ahead with thermonuclear detonation celebrations in the atmosphere. Why did my parents and grandparents duck under their desks and beds like frightened puppies? What made them cower for something that need not have been inevitable?
For an answer, I shall rename the title to the exhibition. I should have sent this one instead, but at the time I didn’t fully develop my artistic hypothesis. Basically I intend to prove that the people in power, real power, do not work for the common welfare. They represent the darker side in the duality of human nature. They are bad men and women.
Here’s the new title:
Pigs at the Trough: Hydrofracking and the Greed Mash That Squeals Cash
Positions of power held in the U.S. are heavily lopsided towards attracting bad people. A good one or two can sneak in, but most are bad, driven by low human qualities, such as avarice, greed, pride, etc… We all know someone close who is admired by others in our families or communities for being, calm, rational, kind, and selfless to a degree that he or she would make a very good leader. But for some reason, these people never end up in politics. Why is that? Well, for starters… They are humble, just, and seeking a life of fulfillment which might include a little bit of wisdom building along the way. They shun politics. It is bad for their humanity.
The potential harmful effects of Hydrofracking are not a subject for debate no more than the potential harm an asteroid the size of Guam would cause to denizens of the earth after impact.
Okay. So the low among us, with the help of a very lazy, profit driven media, steer the debate away from reality. Politicians from fracking states will say “Aw, what a bunch of killjob scientists. Anyway, it’s just not true!” They will tell the lie because they are bribe-sniffing, dirty rotten human beings of the lowest order. And the media houses like Fox TV and MSNBC will repeat the lie because they are owned by bribe-sniffing, dirty rotten human beings of the lowest order. Do not for an instant think that New York State is free of dirty rotten human beings of the lowest order. Our two senators, just by virtue of their senatorostorship alone, as prerequisite to this high job in a federal oligarchy, sold out to the highest bidder long ago. Both Schumer and Gillibrand side with the winners. Katko actually used hydrofracking to campaign with the repeated lie, “It’ll bring jobs and it’s safe”. Fox did the leg work. People who think they are conservative, but are really just effective televisions watchers, heard of the “debate”, did not get information about potential rise in leukemia rates, and voted in the majority for a bribe-sniffing, dirty rotten human being of the lowest order. But no worries, Maffei was and is one too. No different at our state level. Cuomo need not care what the voter thinks because no one votes philosophically anymore. New York votes party, and both parties are overrun by bribe-sniffing, dirty rotten human beings of the lowest order. In a perfect vacuum, when asked about the environment, there is not one adult alive besides psychopath, who would deny the hope of the cleanest air, water and soil for their children and children’s children. However, the debate gets spun, the words “jobs” and “economy” pop up over and over in rapid media succession, and the great debate on human health is manufactured and maintained by the quintessence of avarice in the flesh—our “representatives”. At the last gubernatorial election, who in the two-party system debated clean air? Clean water? Healthy soil? Was there just one informational meeting on how best to steward the environment? Yet all constituents care about their air. All voters want good health.
Dear reader, know thy pigs at the trough. The only participation one should have with a high elected leader today, is shame heckling.
I Lung For Pennsylvania is my Milton Glaser design for promoting Keystone state anti-tourism in the future. It should remind everyone to stay the hell away from all Pennsylvania has to offer. Also, know this my fellow New Yorkers. As long as you keep voting for criminals, you will get exactly what you deserve. Your next corporate governor will sell your state to the highest bidder. Count on it.