THE TAR SANDS in Alberta, Canada, have been in the news a lot lately, since they appear to be a promising source of energy for the United States, a nation hungry for a fuel derived by despoiling pristine forests, fouling fresh water sources, and enriching oil executives. (Nobody said capitalism would be pretty. Cute and cuddly, perhaps, but not pretty.)
Actually, I’m not familiar with this new type of energy source. Is it the tar we want, or the sand? Probably not the tar, since it’s too sticky and is mainly used as a preservative for saber-toothed tiger skeletons in California, something I learned in an eighth grade history book with lots of pictures. (I like pictures.)
So it must be the sand, which one day our cars will run on, to which I must add: Are our scientists brilliant, or what?!
Unfortunately, extracting this energy source domestically could be a direct threat to our beaches, the nation’s principal source of sand. Which is why I plan to Occupy the Beach of My Choosing later this summer, and stand in powerful protest—or, after a heavy picnic lunch, lie on a blanket in powerful protest—against exploiting this valuable resource.
Come to think of it, Saudi Arabia has lots of sand. So maybe we can get it from them.
BUT ENOUGH ABOUT energy. It’s an election year and things are heating up. So let’s talk politics.
Sojourners’ attorney: Let’s not.
Me: Uh, who are you?
Attorney: What, you can’t read? And it’s in bold face, for crying out loud.
Me: Well, I’m trying to write a column here, so why don’t you go work on some legal briefs. Or are they boxers?
Attorney: Look, my job is to protect Sojourners’ nonprofit status, which is at risk if you show the slightest partisanship in your ... “humor.”