By Logan Holloway
Sometimes, things just don't work out for people. Sometimes it just seems like everything's going to go wrong. Sometimes life just hands you the lemons, yanks them back out of your awaiting fingers, and then squirts you straight in your unsuspecting eyes, cackling madly, and then leaves you there to rot in blind agony. Sometimes.... sometimes.
There are a variety of ways from which we can receive this sort of turmoil. People can screw you over; your employer can withhold what you're worth from you; Tony Romo can break his collarbone TWICE IN THE SAME SEASON!
Still also there are the times when it's as if God himself has it in for you. Hurricanes, tornadoes, Luke Kuechly on a linebacker blitz; all disasters no mortal being is equipped to handle. Such is the journey of man; there's no rhyme or reason to it but we must always expect and prepare for the worst. Murphy's law and all that jazz.
But what about those disasters, the ones that happen on a colossal scale, that aren't some random act of a mightier entity, nor the intentional cold shoulder from your fellow brethren? What about when a corporation gets careless, a government gets greedy, and a town gets tarnished?
To whom are we to look at for answers and aid then?
Vanishing Pearls: The Oystermen of Pointe a la Hache, a documentary about a crisis of this very nature, asks these questions, speaking both to people responsible for one of the greatest man-induced disasters in recent memory, and to the general public at large. The film follows the lives of a community of fishermen residing on the Louisiana gulf coastline in the wake of the British Petroleum oil spill. It is the story of a group of men and women - who for generations have depended on this God-given paradise of oysters, shrimp, crabs and all other delicious delicacies that can only be found in the ocean - and how this gargantuan screw up threatened to destroy their way of life. What may be most upsetting about this yarn isn't necessarily the destruction of an entire climate (still pretty darn upsetting though). It is the lack of effort both by those responsible (BP) and those who have been elected and charged with our cumulative well-being (the federal and state government), to do their duty in resolving this crisis. It's a sad, and at times even sickening, look at the blind eye that is constantly turned to these "little men in the fight" when billions of dollars are at stake.
The movie, which was written, directed and produced by Nailah Jefferson, is a serene experience; well made and smartly crafted, and is a story told with passion that truly allows us to connect and empathize with the people of this small, coastal community. While the ramifications of this disaster continue to this day affect those in its shadow, letus hope that our ignorance and naivety in the face of the careless destruction of our environments does not. The Earth is a home to all of us; from the president of our country, to the CEOs of the world's biggest corporations, to the lowly fisherman who merely harvests his catch from the depths of the sea, and as such it is all of our duties to preserve what we have left of it. It's our job to protect it and God help us all if we fail that miserably.