Just past noon as the sun soared high I walked away from the Boulder Courthouse, addled with camera gear, feeling small as a gnat.
*Heretoforth, all instances of the “f” word are in reference to the other f-word….word thatâ€™s a verbâ€”itâ€™s not four letters but five and rhymes with â€śattackâ€ť. Itâ€™s the f-word that deserves nothing but lower case and is not speakable as a whole for that would be offering too much attention to a word deserving none. Not enough info? Here you go: the oil and gas industry loves to â€śfâ€ť.
In normal life, it would have been just another perfect Boulder dayâ€”blue skies, agreeable spring-time temps, happy with my chosen path and my girlfriend by my side. The Flatirons, bear sightings, the whole bit!
But the â€śfâ€ť bomb struck and I was relegated to gnat status on May 21, 2013â€”Boulder and I were snuffed in an instant by one fell strike of a gavel.
Now, after 12 hours of steering my former happy self back into semi-workable human form, I have decided to release a series of insights into the Rights, Ways and Rules of the World After Boulder Got itâ€™s â€śfâ€ť Cherry Popped.
Here goes numero uno, with more to follow in future posts:
1. Money, business and politics are so intertwined that theyâ€™ll make Plain Looking Janes prescribe poison for the same land they were elected to serve.
As today proved, the hellish trifecta of money, business and politics will make three educated women vote to do something in a highly populated area that is known to be extremely harmful to human beings in highly populated areas.
Some like to say that because this style of â€śfâ€ť-ing that uses horizontal penetration just reared itâ€™s head in 2005, we have not had a sufficient period of time for adequate studies into the health and safety impacts of said “f”-ing.
In my opinion, that alone would have been fair enough reason to extend a moratorium on â€śfâ€ť-ing in Boulder County. However, the commissioners decided that a fair study of health and safety impacts was not a prerequisite to opening the floodgates of â€śfâ€ť fluid.
I call bullshit. Our neighbors in Weld County, home to some 18,000 oil and gas wells, are evidence enough of the perils of â€śfâ€ť. They are suffering horriblyâ€”cancer, respiratory illness, organ failure, the list goes on.
Somehow, the life or death implications of the â€śfâ€ť word were once again swept under the rug today. By mothers nonethelessâ€”and thanks to a heavy dose of money, business and politics.
I can only surmise for I donâ€™t know the whole of it (the â€śfâ€ť industry loves it this way), but I wonder if the the ladies posing as Boulderâ€™s Board of Commissioners might have made such an unreasonable decision to allow â€śfâ€ť-ing in Boulder because the trifecta from hell is so much bigger than them and these women just have to see the view from the top.
Deb Gardner, Cindy Domenico and Elise Jones expect a big oleâ€™ cut of the bottom line for themselves. They want piggy banks the size of Big Bill, who was the worldâ€™s largest pig at 2,552 pounds until he broke his leg and they put him to sleep (itâ€™s true, look it up on Wikipedia, more reliable than the â€śfâ€ť industry).
The weight of money can break legs just the same as the worldâ€™s most grotesque pig belly, but money has gleam! Itâ€™s got sheen! Those ever-calling beams are what draws these women in! So…golden! Vast oceans of gold coins! In gazillions of piggy banks the size of Big Bill!
What else could explain such an irrational decision to â€śfâ€ť our county?Â Nevermind the health and safety of the â€śfâ€ť word.
Boulderâ€™s a college town. Home to a party college at that.
â€śfâ€ť now and study later.
Or maybe these three women yearn after higher political office and more supreme honor? Maybe theyâ€™re stuck amidst a mid to late-life crisis of a power trip? Early onset dementia? Or maybe itâ€™s something I canâ€™t quite put my finger on because I donâ€™t harbor it within myself.
The only certainty being that the something that these women want is for them and it is to be hoarded by them. And itâ€™s related to money, business and politics. Anything to the contrary?
â€śfâ€ť the land we walk on!
If these women thought about the people they were elected to serve then weâ€™d not be lying awake tonight. Wondering where the first wells are to be â€śfâ€ť-ed. Whose faucets will flame first. Whose health will be ravaged first. And when theyâ€™ll start draining our precious water reserves and poisoning our aquifers in a careless gesture of â€śfâ€ť-ing it all to hell.
Hellâ€”the same place that money, business and politics join forces and prevail. Not so different from the many â€śfâ€ť-ed territories in the rest of the world. Except somehow we were lullabied into thinking it would be different here. For this was once a mecca called Boulder.
Before May 21, 2013, Boulder was a reliable safe haven where â€śFâ€ť-ing (note the capital) was but an experience of great pleasure. â€śfâ€ť-ing meant love-making, soft or hard, gentle or rough, however you prefer.
Now thereâ€™s a new â€śfâ€ť word in town, thanks to money, business and politics, all intertwined in the most disgusting orgy of all. And Boulder, sweet little Boulder, shall be subject to testing of the most violent form of â€śfâ€ťing ever borne down.
This blog was inspired by a certain event at our humble Boulder County Courthouse on May 21, 2013, when three women and a gavel strike said:Â â€śfâ€ť you, â€śfâ€ť your land and â€śfâ€ť your water and air, too! To be continued…
Rob Jackson is a documentary filmmaker based in Boulder, Colorado. In 2012, he co-produced and editedÂ Streams of Consequence, a solution-based documentary on the rivers of Patagonia and the opportunity for Chile to be a world leader in renewable energy. More recently heÂ edited the DVD Extras forÂ Chasing Ice, the renowned Boulder documentary about climate change. RobÂ is currently working on educational yoga videos with Amy Ippoliti and 90 Monkeys and has a multitude of other projects brewing.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise