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How Humor Helps Us Cope with the BP Oil Spill

The world processes the Gulf Coast disaster the only way it knows how… through humor.

There’s nothing funny about the oil spill in the Gulf, but a little levity every now and again doesn’t hurt. It seems we, as human beings, rely on humor to deal with tragic situations. Whether to vent our frustrations or point out the absurdity of an issue, humor helps keep us sane and grounded.

Currently, the most popular example is the satirical Twitter account @BPGlobalPR. Created by a fellow named “Leroy Stick“, @BPGlobalPR is “promoted” as the Twitter account for BP’s PR department. The tweets are witty and irreverent, which is difficult to do in 140 characters or less. Leroy has accumulated over 160,000 followers in matter of months, and not only is the Twitterverse hanging on his every tweet but so are the mainstream media and BP, itself.

@BPGlobalPR has been featured in The New York Times and The Huffington Post. The higher-ups at BP have contacted Twitter and Mr. Leroy asking for the account to be shut down. Since they refused, the giant oil company has asked Leroy to make it perfectly clear that @BPGlobalPR is not an official BP Twitter account… I think we get it.

Now, @BPGlobalPR is selling satirical t-shirts with all the proceeds going to the Gulf Restoration Network. Gotta love a man with a sense of humor and a compassionate heart.

Another BP parody that has gone viral on the internet is the YouTube video of the great “BP Coffee Spill“. It actually pokes fun at BP’s response to the Gulf Coast disaster and the ridiculousness of it all.

And today, I happen to stumble on (literally) this set of new BP business cards on, a printing price search engine. I couldn’t help but smile.

The nightmare in the Gulf is expected to go on for months. Who knows what other comedic gems wait for us on the horizon. As Mark Twain once said, “Humor is tragedy plus time.” Ain’t that the truth!

Feel free to share other humorous tidbits at BP’s expense. They can obviously afford it.

Follow Cindy Tickle on Twitter @ethicalbiz
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Written by Cindy Hoots

With more than 10 years experience working for a major Fortune 500 company, Cindy specializes in socially and environmentally responsible business strategies. She has developed successful corporate communications and stakeholder engagement strategies on contentious sustainability issues and has worked with a number of NGOs and activist organizations on how to effectively partner with multinational companies. Cindy frequently writes about topics ranging from what is corporate social responsibility to sustainable supply chain and measuring a company's environmental impact. She believes business plays a vital role in the health of our communities and our planet.


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