A National Culture of Addiction

And here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world.   President George W. Bush, State of the Union address to Congress, 31 January 2006

If a fool pratters on long enough, even the fool will speak something intelligent.  While reading some of the blogs and websites regarding Mr. Lindsey Williams and Gull Island, that phrase from the 2006 State of the Union address keeps resonating in my head.  Other phrases, uttered by less well-heeled and less well-off people, heard in in the backs of ambulances or on city park benches, follow afterwards like postscripts.  “Just one more hit, then I’ll walk away.”  “I’ll go clean tomorrow, no more drugs.”  “It’s not my fault, say he’s not dead.”

Addiction breeds paranoia of losing one’s supply.  Paranoia breeds conspiracy theories.  Addicts are never responsible to themselves.  Their addiction, and all the accompanying paranoia and crime and fears, are always attributed to someone else.  “Mistakes have been made”, not “I made a mistake”.  You can pick out addictive personalities in a group of people by listening to their speech patterns.  Addicts blame the results of their own bad decisions on someone else.  If there isn’t enough oil to keep the price of gasoline low, it must be because there is a secret conspiracy, not because we are profligate consumers of oil.

As a country, we are addicted to cheap oil.  And the cheap oil is running out.  Ergo, conspiracy theories sprout.  I have yet to see an article supporting Gull Island that is a) technically correct, and b) based on something other than Mr. Williams’ book.  People who would believe the second- and third-hand reporting of a former missionary over the technical analysis of professional geologists who have reviewed the relevant well data first hand are exhibiting behavior more in common with heroin addicts than rational people.

Here’s the truth, folks:

  1. Elvis is dead.
  2. The earth is not flat.
  3. Gull Island does not sit on top of some huge secret pool of oil.

Get a life, folks, and deal with it.

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