Friday, October 2, 2009

FARCES of Coal

I shouldn't have to come up with reasons for why you don't want to be a moron. Or a dumbass. You should care about whether you are a dumbass or a moron or not. I mean, if you're really dumb or you're really moronic, I realize that maybe hard to do. You know, what with genetics and all. But it's important that you pay attention and you try to stay if not a step ahead, than at least caught up. Otherwise, unscrupulous groups and organizations with nothing else to gain except for their own personal interests will try to take advantage of you and your soft, soft head. If you need a helmet, please put it on now and I'll explain to you how things like this work. Let's begin.

There is a group out there called FACES of Coal. FACES stands for "Federation for American Coal, Energy and Security." Catchy. They're pro-coal. Now, if you've been following the shrieking of the environmentalists lately (and by "lately" I mean "always") you have undoubtedly heard that coal is bad. Or maybe you've heard that coal is very bad. Very, very bad. It's only good for putting in naughty children's stockings. I had heard that one of their slogans was going to be: "Coal: The only energy source used to punish those who misbehave."

Before I continue, I would like to state that I don't know enough about coal to say whether I'm pro-coal or anti-coal. I am definitely anti-coal in my stocking, that much I can state with great assuredness. Other than that, I don't know. I know coal is dirty and soot-y, but I also know it gets hot as hell and is a fabulous heat source. If you were to ask me if the soot and what not is a fair trade for the warmth and heat, the answer might be "Probably not." But an awful lot of folks rely on coal as a way to keep warm, including our delightful lawmakers. Tell you what, as soon as the folks up there on Capitol Hill start acting concerned that the Capitol building is heated by the Capitol Power Plant which runs on coal, then I will act concerned as well. But as long as we're keeping the fat, rich asses of our Senators and Congress folk all nice and roasty warm with coal, I don't see this country's usage of coal going anywhere anytime soon, whether I agree with it or not. But that doesn't mean that I want to be lied to about it.

The folks over there at the FACES of Coal have a website which shows pictures of all sorts of folks. Folks that I suppose we're just supposed to assume are pro-coal. The really weird part about it? They don't have any pictures of miners. No pictures of miners families. No pictures of mines. Now granted, mines and miners (when they're working!) are not the cleanest things you've ever laid eyes on. Coal is a dirty business. Literally! So that could be why. But couldn't they have at least thrown in one of those helmets with the cool light on the front of it somewhere in some photo? What about one of those little picks that I always see little cartoon miners carrying around? Something like that? Nope. Nowhere.

Instead you get photos of things like a woman standing out in front of a flower shop with a bunch of flowers. Flowers that would never grow that pretty and that bright if they were all choking under the dark cloud of coal soot.




Photos of people all congregated together and all wearing white and looking quite spiffy and clean. They'd never be that white if they were working in a coal mine. I can't imagine that they'd even be that white if they were working anywhere near a coal mine!


Photos of people...white river rafting? Those people are in favor of coal? Really? I don't know that they really are. Are they sure about this?


Wait. Firefighters are in favor of coal power? They are?


So are kids doing science projects? (At least they're wearing goggles. Now if we can just get some of those helmets with lights on them, then you'll really be on the road to convincing me!)


So all of these people support using coal as energy? Interesting. See, now if we had craniums that were just as soft as melted ice cream, we'd believe this. But we don't, do we? No. Of course not. We're going to want to know more about these alleged coal supporters. And while we might not be softheads and might be very inquisitive, we might also just be a little lazy and hope to God that someone else does this work for us. All hail the mighty Grist.org. They seem to be the folks that sort of noticed that these random people might not have been so random after all. In fact, these people were deliberately chosen to be the faces of coal for the FACES of Coal website. But not because they actually suppose using coal, but because their pictures were available at iStockPhoto.com. Behold!


The people in the white hallway? The ones who seemed just a little too clean (and way too diverse)?
Oh, what the hell?! Even fireman guy?!


Are you kidding me?! The science kids? But they had goggles!!


Aw, not the white water river rafters too!! Say it ain't so!!


All right, now cut that out! The last three were compliments of the folks over there at Appalachian Voices. Wow. People who want us to support using coal think that we're just idiots. When in reality, folks, this is the Internet. If I have learned one thing from the emergence of said Internet, it's that lots of folks have lots and lots and lots of time. Just the sort of time that you need to put in a little thought and a little effort so as to uncover scams like the FACES (or should that be FARCES) of Coal folks. (By the way, those folks that have that kind of time would seemingly not include the folks over there at FARCES of Coal because they couldn't even take the time to go out and take pictures of real coal supporters and could only squeeze in enough time to raid the photographic coffers over at iStockPhoto.com. Don't get me wrong; those people in those photos could very much be supporters of coal as an energy source. But I highly doubt that they were found under the "People Who Really Like Coal" category at iStockPhoto. Just a hunch.)

So keep that helmet on if you need it and just keep on paying attention! It'll get better for you. It'll get easier. And if you're helmet free because you're not a softhead, well, congratulations. I'm sure that reading this blog was of great help to you! (Actually, it's probably because you're not a softhead that you've read this blog. And it's because I'm not a softhead either that I'd like to say thank you very much and I appreciate it.) Either way, don't believe everything you read and if it's on the Internet, be very, very skeptical, especially if someone is trying to get you to join "their side". Always think twice. Then run. Quickly. In the other direction. As fast as you can.

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