Sunday, July 29, 2012

Vacation Plans

The fiscal year is coming to a close soon, which means I have several weeks of vacation days that I need to burn through in short order.  The good part of this is that I get away from work for a while to recharge my batteries.  On the down side, I haven't really taken the time to plan a real vacation, so other than a nebulous intent to visit with family, there's not much in my vacation plans this year.  There are so many places that Heather and I would like to go visit, but that will have to be for another season, when I have more time to put in some deliberate thought.  I've been so run down from work that I just haven't had the energy to do serious travel planning.

One place that I know we won't be visiting for a vacation anytime soon is the deep South.  Technically, living in San Antonio I suppose we are already there, but I consider this the Southwest, a different region from the areas east of the Mississippi.  I refer specifically to the Gulf Coast areas that were hit hard by the oil spill fiasco a couple of years ago.  I know BP garnered some major legal woes from the incident, with devastating economic and ecological impact, but I find their "Come On Back to the Gulf Coast States" commercials not only disgustingly disingenuous, but just plain annoying.

Each time I have to see a wide-eyed local representative of Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi or Alabama touting whatever their local tourist department has decreed to be the most promising aspect of their state "In Florida the beaches are even more relaxing", "In Louisiana the Creole makes you feel even smarter" I am reminded of how real actors aren't as overpaid as we think they are.  And how do you make beaches more relaxing, anyway?

Can we just have some shots of pristine beach interposed with guys with goggles and hardhats working on an oil rig and a nice voice-over from Tim Allen about how BP is committed to meeting our nation's energy needs while increasing their vigilance to protect our fragile planet?  Maybe throw in some kids giggling while making a sandcastle or something?  I wonder when the marketing geniuses will realize that all these commercials do is remind us that BP was responsible for releasing millions of gallons of oil into the ocean.  Please, BP, help us all move past this tragic incident and stop peppering us with these annoying "Sure we unleashed mass pollution and destroyed livelihoods with one unfortunate accident, but it's all better now" commercials!