Geopolitical history, though critically important to understanding real life today, is generally pretty boring. Stand-up comedy, though highly enjoyable when done well, is generally pretty meaningless. Robert Newman’s genius is in combining the best of both worlds on the subject of oil: “the terrifying 100-year history brought to life.”
In a scant 45 minutes, Newman covers a lot of ground. He starts by highlighting British and US adventurism, interference, and warmongering from WWI, through the 1953 CIA replacement of Iran’s democratic government with a dictator friendly to the US, to the present occupation of Iraq (sold by governments and corporate media to the public with a straight face and no apparent shame as “bringing democracy to the middle east.)
He also touches on peak oil, its implications on our food production, and the fact that “there is no way out.” His coverage of the problem is good, though he concludes with a plea for society to pursue widespread implementation of green technologies and renewable energy. (See the Deep Green Resistance presentation “False Solutions of Green Energy” to understand the problems with that as a solution.) It’d be great to see him instead work the strategy of Decisive Ecological Warfare into his pitch.
Though you may already know some or much of what Newman presents, he probably has some surprises for you, too. This is a very pleasant way to brush up on history, even for those who consider themselves apolitical and normally uninterested in this sort of thing. Share with your friends and family!
This track from the Modern Man album by the filthy politicians echoes much of the wisdom expressed in the recently featured video Earth: Land Is Life. The song argues that our modern notions of “progress” have led us far off track from relationships with the human and non-human animals around us. It ends in a call to fight on the side of life and resist civilization and its destruction. Truly music for a culture of resistance.
In 2007, David Fridley of Lawrence Berkeley Labs and San Francisco Oil Awareness presented a well researched and thorough debunking of the idea that biofuels are sustainable, environmentally friendly, good for farmers, or a path to energy independence. Fridley and his audience approach the issue from an industrial-human-centric standpoint concerned about peak oil, rather than from a holistic earth-centric and anti-civilization perspective, but his presentation is excellent for what it is. This is a great way to get up to speed on the dramatic, across the board problems and limitations of biofuels.
The March 25, 2013 episode of Liberation Radio focused on the war in Iraq, in commemoration of the 10 year anniversary of the US invasion. Alla Baker shares her perspective moving from Iraq to the US and feeling shocked by the ignorance people displayed of conditions in Iraq, and especially of the effects of US imperialism in other countries. Kevin Baker (no relation) describes some of the horrific aftermath in Iraq, and presents the March Forward campaign to help active service members resist deployment.
Mike Prysner, a veteran of the initial 2003 invasion, provides an outstanding analysis of the war. He begins by recapping the lies, now well known, about the US mission in Iraq, fed to young service members and citizens in general to justify the invasion. Less often heard is the story of radicalization of soldiers on the ground. The reality of serving on a violent occupation force and the daily contradictions with the official US story led Prysner and others to the understanding that Iraqi resistance is fully justified. From there, they came to realise that this invasion was not a mistake led by a specific administration gone mad, but that the entire system of capitalism depends on such wars, and that the US soldiers sent to secure foreign resources and markets for American interests have more in common with the Iraqi people than they do with those who direct and profit from the invasions.
Though this is an old episode, it has a lot of value in its retrospective analysis. Listen below, or browse all Liberation Radio episodes.
In a thematic follow-up to the interview with Culum Brown, Derrick Jensen’s August 17 Resistance Radio episode features Con Slobodchikoff. Slobodchikoff studies Gunnison’s Prairie Dogs as a model for understanding animal language, and shares some delightful and amazing observations on the complexity of their relationships and communication. For example, the prairie dogs can tell each other the equivalent of “Here is a tall thin human walking slowly wearing a blue shirt coming towards us.”
Jensen and Slobodchikoff discuss the reasons for mass die-offs, habitat destruction, and ongoing intentional eradication of prairie dogs, a topic especially heartbreaking (but important) in light of their intelligence and highly developed social structure. They also examine their role improving pastures and prairies as a keystone species in their landbases, a great bonus to their being just plain cute.
The conversation touches on many other subjects, including language in other species, what actually constitutes language, the assumptions and inherent values of science (Slobodchikoff was pressured to deafen young prairie dogs to see how it affected their language development; he refused), and the many ways science and other institutions of civilization reinforce the arrogant myths of human supremacism.