Can I throw stones at the fat cats?

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Karen’s Quest

Karen Smith

Here it comes. I’m ready to give those scum-pumping, dirty-dealing, money-grubbing frackers what’s coming to them. I’ve been reading about what they do.

Don’t they know that I have a family to care for with the well water on my property? What do they expect me to do when I can no longer pump clean clear water into my home?

I like all that water. I like it cold. I like it hot. I like to drink it and cook with it and soak in it. I especially love to clean with it. I love clean dishes and clean laundry and clean floors and clean kids.

So what I do, for these various jobs, is mix some chemical or cleaner or soap or detergent or ‘wash’ or ‘cleanser’ with lots of clean water, warm or hot. Then, I use it liberally to either dump on dirty stuff or dump dirty stuff in it and when all the stuff I care about is clean, I release the nastiness back into the earth. And then I laugh maniacally at the power I have to corrupt and degrade the innocent environment. And they want to take that away from me!

No! I don’t laugh.

It’s more likely that I fall asleep, not from all that work, but because of my moral exhaustion. I’m deeply conflicted about how I misuse my power (however limited it feels.) But, the truth is, I don’t face the conflict. I’m in denial about how much I have and how poorly I use it. I don’t fight the status quo. I don’t challenge the rules that I know are sloppy and permissive and not rigorous enough. I really don’t want to. But that is precisely what I want from the fracking companies. I want them to raise the bar on the standards they follow. I want them to close the loopholes they sneak through. I want them to do their business safely and cleanly or not at all. Then I could go on sleeping. That would be nice.

But I have not earned a peaceful sleep. Nor have I earned the right to throw stones at the fat cats. I am not blameless. The only difference between us is the relative power. I represent one household, one property, one well. They represent much more. But are they any more evil than I am? Am I misinterpreting their ambivalence as something more intentionally sinister and destructive? Are they, like me, just abiding by standards that are not good enough for our planet or me or you?

I set out thinking I was against the big bad guys and it was time to stand up and fight for my rights. And I will. But not before I bow down and submit to my own conscience. Now please excuse me while I look up recipes for homemade laundry soap.

Peace .


Karen Smith is on a quest for personal truth and boundless consciousness. She’s feels lucky to live with her family in Truemanville. Her column will appear bi-weekly in the Amherst News.

Organizations: Amherst News

Geographic location: Truemanville

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Recent comments

  • Steph
    October 27, 2013 - 16:02

    This is great Karen!!! Thank You! ps-I sell soap nuts at flow:)

  • noodle
    October 26, 2013 - 18:58

    You had me right up until you ended your column with: "Peace." It's not that I don't want peace, it's just that I don't want people to cheapen the word "peace" trying to make their words have deeper meaning to me. You don't need that, everything up until then made you insightful and cool. Adding a "peace" at the end looked desperate and needy and took the cool factor down to lukewarm. Still, you have a potential fan in me, just please stay honest to who you are.

  • donna
    October 26, 2013 - 13:16

    awesome look forward to next post :)

  • Julie Johnson
    October 26, 2013 - 11:23

    Something to think about. Thanks for that, Karen. PS : soap nuts.