Sunday, May 23, 2010

BP, economic rage and -- pancakes

Are you angry at BP and its massive oil disaster destroying our environment?

Day after day, there’s more bad news – and no hope of fixing the problem. We see photographic evidence of the goop and gunk washing up on shore. It scares me to think about the damage going on beneath the water. Can our planet survive this?

Can anyone solve this problem? It’s not like we can trust BP. They’ve lied about everything. So who else can we blame? Wasn’t anyone watching for things like this? Doesn’t anyone have a plan to deal with offshore oil leaks?

From Katrina to people dying from tainted food AGAIN AND AGAIN, to product and vehicle recalls, and now this. The message is clear: The government can’t protect us from everything. Companies are operating in ways that hurt people. They think the risk is worth their bottom line. The truth is we’re on our own, folks.

Some people are talking about boycotting BP. But how do you boycott the fourth-largest corporation on the planet? With $239 billion in annual sales and revenues, this company is mammoth. Its brands include BP, Arco, Amoco, Aral, Castrol, AM/PM, and Wild Bean CafĂ©. It’s into everything – energy, shipping, and even asphalt – and operates in 30 countries. It makes $93 million A DAY in profit. This spill may be killing our planet, but the cleanup cost is not even a “drop” in the bucket for a company like this.

I’m not sure what I’m most angry about – that it happened, that no one can fix it, that the government didn’t protect us or that we can’t do anything to stop it. What about you?

Economic rage
I sense a similar kind of anger out there over the economy. People are so worried that they’re looking for someone else to blame. It’s the banks, says one person. It’s greedy homeowners, says another. The government let us down, others contend. And so on.

The rage is showing up in the voting booth and even on our roadways. We’re angry, we feel helpless, and we want someone else to fix this. But who? Can any group of elected officials really make a difference? Is the problem just too massive?

Are pancakes the answer?
When I get feeling like this, I often find I need something in the food variety to cheer me up so this weekend I persuaded Husband No. 1 and my parents to join my quest to taste the famous pancakes at Robie’s Country Store in Hooksett, NH (even Saveur magazine wrote about them).

We were delighted to discover the quaint store on the National Register of Historic Places and its walls are lined with political memorabilia from years of visits from presidential and other state and national candidates.

We weren’t disappointed by the pancakes, either. Although I generally avoid eating things that are bigger than my head, these huge buttermilk pancakes were fabulous: light, fluffy and cooked in lots of butter. Did I mention butter?

And yes, they did make me feel better.

Hooksett (located outside our state's largest city of Manchester) isn't exactly a tourist destination, but I'd make the 50-minute trip to eat breakfast there again. The town is home to what some describe as a "consolation Old Man of the Mountain" replica of our most famous natural landmark that collapsed a few years ago. The Hooksett version is located outside a place called Profile Storage. I'll admit we actually went out of our way to find it, but it made me wonder if we should stopped instead at the other "attraction" (and I use the word loosely) I found in my research about Hooksett -- the X-ray of Muhammad Ali's broken jaw that apparently resides with other memorabilia related to the boxer in a car dealership there.

1 comment:

Karen Kullgren said...

Yum, pancakes, the ultimate comfort food :)

Have a great time at your bookstore event!