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No Stranger to Fiction: “The Water Is Wide”

Kevin M. Brettauer
Real Big Splash: Marvel's Namor might and a jaundiced but ultimately caring view of the ongoing environmental damage caused by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

A note to surface-dwelling users of this “Internet”: Regular “No Stranger to Fiction” blogger Kevin M. Brettauer is currently indisposed and will be unable to complete an entry for this week, at least until his skull heals up. Til then, I, a True and Avenging Thane of Atlantis, will fill his human “shoes” in an attempt to elucidate you.

“Blue, green, grey, white or black; smooth, ruffled or mountainous; that ocean is not silent.”

-- Howard Philips Lovecraft (1890-1937)

The oceans are my home, and the Atlanteans are my family, and a pox on any who think otherwise.

In 2007, the United States of America, despite producing some of the bravest men and women I have ever fought alongside, consumed 20,680,000 barrels per day. That same year, 302.2 million people were estimated to be living in that nation.

That same year, China, a nation of, then, about 1.3 billion humans, used 7,578,000 barrels of oil daily.

Do you land-dwellers understand what I’m trying to say?


Look at the numbers again.

How does a nation of, comparatively, so few, use so much more crude oil than the most populous country in the world?

I would not know. I have no use for it.

Princes England, Princes Atlantean: Could this open letter from an 'Atlantean Prince' be the work of Namor?

However, we must return to my question of comparative statistics. How is this kind of oil use possible? Why does it happen? On most occasions, I would say it’s an issue of hubris, of pride, of the arrogance of man.

But even after all this time spent enraged at the surface-dwellers’ destruction of the planet they share with countless other lifeforms, it comes down to one simple, unavoidable fact: it’s not every air-breather’s fault, no matter how easy it is to blindly blame all of you for this, to place a blanket of responsibility over your kind and make you see your accountability. Unfortunately, it is far too simple and terrifying to see the real culprits here.

The real culprits sit in various thrones of power, be they political positions or even boardrooms. American law states that your “corporations” are legally people, and as such have all the rights and privileges afforded to your legal citizens. I must wonder if these corporations are allowed to engage in matrimony, depending on their sexual orientation or if they must present authorities with legal documents whilst traveling in Arizona.

I wonder if they can be held accountable for terrorism. After all, no one is taking total responsibility. Would it not be a simple matter to press charges against those involved, or even those who could have stopped it? The evidence is insurmountable and everywhere. It is not to be ignored.

And what of those who have admitted partial responsibility? Should they not be rendered guilty instantaneously? They are killers, butchers and destroyers. If it were up to me, they would pay most fiercely.

Yet, it is not up to me. Would that it were.

So I must issue a mandate to you: change. Change or die. Not at the hands of an Atlantean army, for my army is scattered to the wind and my people in exodus. No, you would find yourselves dead at your own hands, for you will have destroyed the planet we share. Your oil consumption, your reliance on fossil fuels, your ridiculous society of instant gratification, your abuse of energy all must be halted for the good of the many. As one of your fictional creations, who seems to have borrowed my distinct appearance, once said, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

You are not just killing whales, dolphins, fish and seaweed. You are not just poisoning your waters and destroying the financial well-being of untold humans. You are destroying your home as surely as if you had set your mansions ablaze and blew your residences to smithereens.

Work with your planet, not against it. Help the cause in whatever way you can. Contribute to fundraising efforts to save our animals and support the search for renewable energy sources.

But most of all, change. For none of us ever really knows how long we truly have left.

You have my thanks.

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