Friday, March 07, 2008

Shilling For Shell

Glenn Beck is the gift that keeps on giving. Yesterday I caught him talking about how he wants to live in a "Safety Tree." In the Safety Tree, people can say whatever they want and won't be criticized by reactionary liberals, so long as what they say is grounded in FACT. The Safety Tree is particularly nice because conservatives love arguments based on FACT (this means you, Evolution). Pay no attention to the FACT that five minutes later Glenn himself dismissed global warming as nonsense and hubbabaloo. We're in the Safety Tree. In the Safety Tree, FACT Is King.

Truly a modern-day Swift. Yes, Glenn, we SHOULD eat all the babies!

Why is Glenn so upset? He hates it when liberals criticize oil companies, because FACT: millions of Americans own stock in oil companies, and FACT: oil companies employ everyday working-class Americans. Um, so does the Mafia, dude. I need a little more from a company before I invite it over to my place and we cuddle to a Meg Ryan movie.

I'm guessing people aren't pissed at oil companies because they help lots of Americans put food on their tables. You never hear anyone pissed at Microsoft for employing people. I'm thinking it has to do more with the FACT that they market a product that is harmful to our environment in both the short and long term, and makes us dependent on a lot of countries that don't like us for 90% of our energy supply. Or maybe it's because, instead of helping to solve these problems, the oil companies have chosen instead to invest their profits in lobbying and misinformation and general maintenance of the status quo? Could be.

Have you seen the movie Michael Clayton? Remember the commercial from the evil agribusiness U-North? "U-North promotes healthy living! " "U-North feeds the world!" "U-North loves your children! " Isn't U-North wonderful? So what if U-North also knowingly sold a product that kills its consumers? FACT: Fuck Abe Lincoln, U-North freed the slaves!

Farcical, right? Not so much. The past six months Chevron has been peddling a similar commercial. "Chevron is the largest producer of geo-thermal energy! " "Chevron is investing in alternative energy! " Oh, Chevron! You get such a bad rap. You're not part of the problem. See! You're part of the solution! You're investing in alternative energy and renewable resources! I'm sure it has nothing to do with your public relations campaign or because of a shifting economy that's beginning to realize it doesn't want your services. No! It's because you care. You care about the planet. You want to leave this earth just a little greener than it was when you got here. And that's all right with me.

JOSH: What are you doing?
SAM: Protecting oil companies from litigation. They're our client. They don't lose legal protection because they make a lot of money.
JOSH: I can't believe no one ever wrote a folk song about that.


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