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!