Imagine the hit theme song, sung by Susan Boyle, from the blockbuster film Deepwater Horizon. directed by James Cameron and starring Kevin Costner. Full-scale surface and underwater sets will be built and principal photography will take place off the coast of New Zealand. You'll marvel at the cgi renderings of oil-drenched pelicans and beached dolphins with bubbling crude oozing from their blowholes. Ee-vil corporate villains with British accents and majestic score composed by James Horner will tell the story of greed, love and betrayal in the age of corporate sovereignty, set against the worst man-made environmental disaster in US history.
The elevator pitch for such a film—if it weren't so utterly absurd, so utterly horrific, so utterly true is likely to be circulating among Hollywood execs just like the millions of gallons of crude circulating in the gulf at this very moment.
The uncertainty of what lies ahead for the gulf and the dread of what lies beneath its surface is not something that VERTICAL can consciously ignore. Our mission is to celebrate all that is precious and sublime in Tampa Bay. Preservation of the environment is intrinsic to the fulfillment of that mission. We are reminded by this tragedy that the gulf is our goodwill ambassador. To sustain our way of life, the gulf must be sustained. Though, not just for the sake of our leisure and our business, but for the sake of the gulf itself—and its is-ness.
Originally published in the Summer 2010 edition of VERTICAL Tampa Bay magazine. Republished here with permission.
Photo by Braun Tomlinson