You probably have heard about fake BP Twitter account, that has much more followers than the real one. Newsweek proposed a quiz, I’d like you to join. Take a look at the list below and see if you can pick out which attempts at damage control are from BP—and which are fake. The answers are at the end of this post.
1. “We regretfully admit that something has happened off the Gulf Coast. More to come.”
2. “What the hell did we do to deserve this?”
3. “Are people mad at us for drilling in the ocean? Maybe God shouldn’t have put oil there in the first place.”
4. “We will fix it. I guarantee it. The only question is we do not know when.”
5. “The environmental impact of this disaster is likely to have been very, very modest.”
6. “Here’s the thing: we made $45 million A DAY in profits in 2009. This really isn’t a big deal.”
7. “Catastrophe is a strong word, let’s all agree to call it a whoopsie daisy.”
8. “There’s no one who wants this thing over more than I do. I’d like my life back.”
9. “We’re all disappointed that the “top kill” operation didn’t work. We failed to wrestle this beast to the ground.”
10. “All ideas for alternative solutions welcome on (281) 366-5511.”
11. “The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume.”
12. “At night the gulf really doesn’t look that bad.”
13. “You don’t go drilling 5,000 feet underwater with the tools you want, you do it with the tools you have.”
14. “We will only win this if we can win the hearts and minds of the local community. It’s a big challenge.”
15. “People are upset, so we are working nonstop to make as many ‘BP cares’ shirts as we can.”
16. “Food poisoning is a really big issue when you got a concentration of this number of people in temporary camps, temporary accommodation. It’s something we have to be very, very mindful of.”
17. “So, I actually haven’t been watching the [live feed] video.”
18. “I actually don’t know, this moment, what we’re actually doing.”
19. “We are dedicated to helping the wildlife in the gulf. Any birds that need cleaning must report to 287 Quartemain St., Baton Rouge, LA 70801.”
20. “Louisiana isn’t the only place that has shrimp.”
How was it? I had some problems with telling real from fake... Now read this news:
Poverty-Stricken Africans Receive Desperately Needed Bibles
MARADI, NIGER—More than 60,000 urgently needed Bibles arrived to allay suffering throughout the famine-stricken nation of Niger Friday, in one of the largest humanitarian-relief operations ever attempted (...) An exuberant Clarkson said the Bible drop was the culmination of one of the largest and most aggressive grassroots fundraising drives ever undertaken by the organization, which was able to fund the mission largely through local charitable events, such as bake-offs, barbecues, and pie-eating contests.
Eight Million Americans Rescued From Poverty With Redefinition Of Term
WASHINGTON, DC–Approximately eight million Americans living below the poverty line were rescued from economic hardship Monday, when the U.S. Census Bureau redefined the term. "We are winning the war on poverty," said bureau head James Irving, who lowered the poverty line for a four-person family to $14,945. "Today, millions of people whose inflation-adjusted total household income is less than $16,780 are living better lives."
U.S. Asks Africa Not To Cash Aid Checks Until After Tax Day
WASHINGTON, DC—Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. urged leaders of all African nations receiving U.S. aid to "hold off" on cashing their humanitarian aid checks until after April 17, when the U.S. government is expecting "a whole bunch of money to come in" from 2006 tax returns.
All above news is fake, of course. It comes from an excellent satire magazine The Onion. Their articles comment on current events, both real and imagined, and parodies traditional newspaper features.
Millions Of Shrimp Airlifted From Oil Spill Disaster Zone (The Onion)
But we live in such an absurd world, it’s easy to be taken on. According to Wikipedia, the Russian news site Russia.ru repackaged clips from The Onion video piece "New Anti-Smoking Ad Warns Teens 'It's Gay to Smoke'" as legitimate news. In 1998, Fred Phelps posted the The Onion article "'98 Homosexual-Recruitment Drive Nearing Goal" on his "God Hates Fags" website as "proof" that gay people were indeed actively trying to "recruit" others. An article on Harry Potter inciting children to practice witchcraft was believed by many to be real and was the subject of a widely forwarded email which repeated the quotes attributed to children in the article.
Well, in the light of Newsweek quiz, The Onion’s latest news on BP seems hardly fake at all:
BP Pledges To Continue Being Huge Profitable Corporation: LONDON—Embattled BP officials assured the public Thursday that despite the setbacks of the past month, the company was still "fiercely committed" to remaining an enormously powerful moneymaking industrial conglomerate. "We promise the good people of Louisiana or Texas or wherever that this horrific oil spill will not, even for a moment, stop us from pursuing unspeakably massive profits," BP spokesman Reginald Clacton-Thorpe told reporters.
In the end, there are links to some articles on development I liked. Some remind me of the topics from Think3 platform Although fake, they are food for thought too. I believe it has nothing to do with mocking poverty or environmental disaster – sometimes absurd may be a nice cold shower on some overheated brains.