23 Oct 2006

Robert Newman's History of Oil

Watch this - it's fucking great. Hilarious and informative.

He theorizes that Gulf War II is America's attempt to mete out mafia-style punishment, by making an example of Iraq. You can see how it looks good to trigger happy fools like Cheney: easy to invade, easy to destroy. (Not easily rebuilt, occupied, or governed, but THAT isn't the important part.) And why make an example of Iraq? Buying and selling oil in Euros would devalue the Dollar, with catastrophic consequences for American capitalism, or so Newman says. (Really? Catastrophic? Does that mean an income downgrade from 7 figures to 6 for the upper 1 percent?) Saddam's Iraq was the first of several nations (3 of which are now in Bush's "Axis of Evil") to consider the switch.

Yeah, but the war was a mess and America is weaker because of it. What kind of example did it set? Is anyone supposed to believe the US would or could invade every country that refused to prop up its currency? That's where I have trouble with the theory. But Newman acknowledges this angle too, by impersonating a taunting Venezuela. Maybe he thinks the ruling faction (is it the neo-cons or the Bush Cabal? Skull 'n Bones?) were so delusional and hubristic that they really thought their bravado would work - and they could actually whip a little cultural imperialism, or just plain imperialism, on Iraq and call it democracy. Sufficient cover for the sheep back home, sufficient hegemony in the middle east to ensure fear and respect. Is it too much of a stretch to think they were so lethally naive?

There's so many other possible reasons for the war. And Newman did say it was
a cause, not the cause. But when you think about it, it does fit into a pattern of foreign policy. Well, I'm not a political commentator, that much is obvious. But I like to try and keep up with the world, when I can.

"Robert Newman gets to grips with the wars and politics of the last hundred years - but rather than adhering to the history we were fed at school, he places oil centre stage as the cause of all commotion. This innovative history programme is based around Robert Newman's stand-up act and supported by resourceful archive sequences and stills with satirical impersonations of historical figures from Mayan priests to Archduke Ferdinand. Quirky details such as a bicycle powered street lamp on the stage brings home the pertinent question of just how we are going to survive when the world's oil supplies are finally exhausted."


Matthew Rounsville said...

Wanna try for an apartment (& corresponding gov't bribe for permanent visa?) with some Dali cheques?

Hector the Crow said...

It's a signed Hippie Craque original - surely that is worth a measly green card, officer!

Matthew Rounsville said...

Ok, ok, so you're not going to let me keep it, sir, but what if I paint the card red--with maybe some almond-colored highlights--could I keep it then?

I kept at it.

For some reason they gave me "accomodations"--rather drafty though--when I painted a hot pink phallus on the statue of liberty.

Tasha Klein said...

we can smoke it away!


Maybe I do wanna be a sucker. Maybe it's better than a pointless sense of superiority. Miserable sense. Maybe better to get suckered in ...