Wendell Berry and Brian Volck Ponder the Gulf Oil Spill

Here’s a four-minute video of Wendell Berry responding to the oil spill.

And here’s what Brian Volck says about the disaster in today’s Good Letters post:

The wisdom of twelve step programs lies in the embrace of a moral dimension to addiction. If Deepwater Horizon is exclusively a failure of complex science, technology, and regulation, those of us who are not petroleum engineers are left without any hope to claim as our own. …

The vast, swirling, and toxic mess euphemistically named the Gulf oil “spill” calls to mind Dante’s infernal law of contrapasso, which punishes those who refuse God’s mercy by finally giving each sinner what he wants—albeit in unanticipated ways. We wanted lots of oil; now we have what we want, though not where we wanted it.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.

  • Rick Ro.

    Thanks for those, Jeffrey. I’ve been mulling on the oil spill a lot lately, feeling there’s something profound and deeply spiritual in this man-made disaster. In trying to satisfy our lust for oil, we just hit one of the Earth’s arteries and have no idea how to stop the bleeding. Both of these help articulate what I’ve been trying to think through.


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