Red Starbucks Cups, End Times, and Exxon-Mobile

Snow arrived in Durango last night. About twenty miles north of town, trying to drive home to Silverton through the mountains, my mom’s battered truck started fishtailing so bad, she turned around, drove to my house, and stayed the night. My house has been such a busy place lately, with comings and goings — and I just wish I had things like donuts and Folgers coffee on hand, when my mom is here. Donuts and dark roast Folgers coffee are the stuff of her happiness.

The sight of snow reminded me of this picture I found while I was working on my cover for Mark of the Pterren —

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It’s from Getty Images, which sells stock photos online, so this picture is kind of ruined a bit by the tag. But still. Snow, stars, mountains. This is a photo from the Arctic, not Colorado, but it’s so crazy beautiful, I just needed to use it to represent winter.

Some pictures would be better labeled “God” than “Arctic image,” don’t you think? Because that’s what I see when I look at this photo. Divinity, timelessness, energy, magic. God.

My mom arrived around 11:30 last night, and I was in the midst of scrolling through Facebook posts at the time — and yesterday, Facebook blew up with the Red Starbucks Cups drama, and this ongoing saga of the War on Christmas in the United States. If you’re unaware of the red cup Starbucks drama, then just let Ellen DeGeneres fill you in — she summarizes what’s going on perfectly in this video.

Red cup lunacy aside, I’ll be on the road myself tonight — driving to Montrose, and then tomorrow morning, I’ll be getting up really early, and driving to Boulder.

My husband is worried. The snowstorm has cleared here, but he thinks I’ll be driving into one heading to Boulder on Thursday, and he wanted me to cancel my trip. I said, No way.

Because I’m going to see this lovely woman —

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Rainbow Rowell!!

Isn’t she so stinking CUTE?? Look at that adorable smile!! What the heck is a snowstorm, when someone like this is waiting on the other side of the mountains?

Rainbow Rowell is a young adult author of AMAZING books.

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These two books are my favorites of hers — Eleanor & Park and Fangirl — *especially* Fangirl. Oh my, how I love Fangirl. The love, the love, the love. Joy pressed in paper. That is Fangirl.

And I did read Rainbow Rowell’s newest book, Carry On.

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My friend April, better known as my Reading Angel, because she reads all my first draft chapters, which are crap, and she helps me to make them less crappy — my Reading Angel sent me a copy of Carry On last month, and we read it together.

We were crazy excited about this book because it follows the fanfiction story from the novel Fangirl — a same-sex love story modeled on Harry Potter, featuring a wizard named Simon, and a vampire named Baz.

I devoured Carry On in two days.

I find I just adore reading about boys falling in love with each other. I have a great many things I love in life, and boy love stories are definitely one of them. Now I just need a YA author to write a novel like Carry On, or Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, but starring two girls falling in love with each other instead, and life will be cherries jubilee.

I know, I know — I should just write one myself — agreed. I feel so behind in my writing life, with all these books I want to write, and the demands of real life, and everything else.

And speaking of writing — I *did* work on my mer novel last week. And it was fabulous work. I enjoyed it. But I had a critique meeting Thursday night, in which I discussed my vampire book, so after my meeting that night, I went back to my vampire novel. And that book consumed my whole weekend.

Well, almost my whole weekend. On Friday night, I attended a showing of the brilliant documentary, Waking the Mammoth, by Larry Ruiz, which played at the Durango Arts Center here in town. You can watch the trailer and read more about the film here.

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Since I’ve been reading so much climate change literature, and consuming information about the massive amount of extinctions currently taking place on the planet (and I’m especially horrified with what’s going on in the ocean), this film was heartening to watch Friday night. Larry Ruiz is a friend of my husband’s, and this is the second documentary he has made — I highly recommend this film to anyone to watch, of any age level.

The film was followed by a presentation by renowned author Craig Childs — and that presentation was equally wonderful. I still haven’t read House of Rain, but I did pick up his newest book, Apocalyptic Planet.

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Obviously, I just can’t get enough of End Times literature. I’ve never been a fan of the rapture, or the divine destroy-the-world-in-vengeance idea a lot of religions tout. But human-caused climate change *is* causing huge problems, and I’m not the only one freaked out by what’s going on. And the thing is, human beings are not going to destroy the planet, so the phrase “Save the Earth” is pretty silly. It’s not the earth we need to save, but ourselves. We are currently on a path of extincting ourselves, as well as the majority of life on this planet. The future projections of climate change caused by greenhouse gasses is totally, totally scary.

Humans are hopeful creatures. (And I am a hopeful creature.) So of course, we’re going to do our faith-in-the-future thing. Wishing on stars, and all that.

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But holy cow. Holy cow is this scary. What’s happening right now.

So how about we agonize about red Starbucks cups instead, yes? So much easier to b*tch about snowflakes and elves decorating our lattes, rather than what we’re doing to the earth’s atmosphere, burning fossil fuels and dumping garbage everywhere.

Climate change features in my mer novel, and my vampire novel, and my beta-readers know that “pollution” (both physical as well as ritual pollution) is the driving force of my novel Mark of the Pterren. Environmental issues didn’t power the plots of my first two novels, but they sure play big roles in my current ones.

Oil giant Exxon-Mobile was recently subpoenaed by New York’s attorney general, in an investigation of whether the company has intentionally downplayed the risks of climate change. This story broke weeks ago, and was featured in a PBS Frontline documentary. A summary of the need for this investigation featured on the PBS NewsHour last night, and you can watch that video here.

It was hard for me to watch this NewsHour report last night. Really hard. I found myself shaking, my heart racing, tears in my eyes, close to sobbing.

I don’t need a court case to know that Exxon-Mobile committed fraud. Anyone with a brain can look at the documents that have been released, and see the truth.

At the end of the report, I stood up and pointed at the TV, yelling, “You’re going DOWN, Exxon-Mobile!! You’re going DOWN!!”

If there was ever a corporation that deserved to die, that corporation is Exxon-Mobile. Like the lying tobacco companies, Exxon-Mobile has done abhorrent things in the pursuit of astronomical profits. But no one on earth has ever done anything so evil as Exxon-Mobile. We’re talking about mass extinction here, including the mass extinction of humans, when we talk about climate change. When we look at what the science is showing us.

The decades of billions upon billions in annual profits for Exxon-Mobile, and other fossil fuel companies, corporations that pay no taxes, and receive billions of dollars in subsidies, corporate welfare, even though these are the most profitable companies in human history — these profits have caused the deaths of millions of animals, millions of plants. Seismic testing, drilling, oil spills, trains exploding, derricks blowing up, the toxic wastelands of extraction sites, the poisoned water, the ruined earth. And the deaths of thousands upon thousands of people. The massive storms, the droughts, the wars being exacerbated by drought. The domino effect of trashing the earth, when renewable energy exists. But Exxon-Mobile didn’t care. Money. That was all that mattered. Money, money, money.

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Public outrage is brewing, I can feel it on the horizon. Outrage against Exxon-Mobile, and all these fossil fuel companies. Like the outrage against the lying tobacco companies in the 1990s. I know it’s coming. I know that a corporation that has behaved as badly as Exxon-Mobile will be called to account for its actions in the court of public opinion. And public opinion won’t be fooled.

Like the effect of the film Blackfish on SeaWorld, which saw attendance numbers plummet since the release of that film, and has now decided to phase out its orca shows by 2017, Exxon-Mobile has an ugly future ahead. The divestment movement is building. Growing. Surging ahead. Green energy is moving, spreading, finding new places to take root. The lies Exxon-Mobile spread to repress renewable energy are coming to light.

Exxon-Mobile is going down. Down, down, down.

And as that corporation dies, human beings just might have a chance. Not to save the planet, because earth is earth. Earth will be fine. Earth doesn’t need us.

It’s our children we need to save. It’s ourselves.

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2 Responses to Red Starbucks Cups, End Times, and Exxon-Mobile

  1. Elissa Florence says:

    Melissa, just discovered your website, ( via looking up Jen Sincero online). I love your writing, point of view, etc. Your good- natured strength, charm, integrity and sensitivity (& creativity) is a pleasure to discover. ( for this too-long of a hermit I’ve become). I found Jen Sincero’s book last summer (2014) while working (on road) in New Jersey. Just started reading it more seriously.
    Looking forward to reading your work. I want to write to you but not for public display , not sure if possible. ( my writing has always been poetry, since age 8, non-fiction; some dance/movement related, (M.A.), & intensive classical / therapeutic astrology. Haven’t tried to get published. Ever. I don’t think I’m a very good writer ( except maybe the poetry). ( got into brief summer intensive at Harvard while working at a hotel etc, a long time ago). Hope to buy your work & give to friends also. ( numerous injuries after MA, thus I foolishly thought the degree was useless. worked
    FT in healthcare. I related to your struggle with working so hard, but – you are incredibly strong on many levels. LOVED your writing re: Exxon / Climate Change; Rainbow Rowen (sp?) ; etc. Thank You for your website & blog , writing. – Elissa

    Like

    • MelissaStacy says:

      Hi Elissa,

      It’s so nice to hear from you, thank you for your beautiful comment on my blog post, and I hope you enjoy Jen Sincero’s book! I think she’s fabulous! ❤

      And *YES* you may definitely send me any correspondence you would like to, you can email me at the_etiquette_of_wolves@yahoo.com — I hope to hear from you!

      Very best wishes,

      Melissa

      Like

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