Archive for the OIL Category

Battlefield Iran

Posted in OIL with tags , , , , , , on January 23, 2012 by pajazzoproductions

This is a State of Grace-moment, with Gary Oldman/Jackie Noonan blowing the glowing tip of his cigarette, tiny sparks whirling around in a longstretched hallway drenched in gasoline, he´s looking over at Sean Penn/Terry with a slightly demented smile, threatening to drop his smoke: “You wanna race? Huh? You wanna race Terry?”

We´ve got an mexican stand-off in the middle east; a gang of broiler beach-bums flexing their muscles, fake-tanned and full of testosterone. But the real danger comes when the posturing of this nuclear chicken race turns into a mosh-pit of decapitated poultry flapping their wings around in fear and panic.

The fifth fleet of the american navy recently passed through the strait of Hormuz. That´s the gateway for 17 million barrels of oil a day, it´s one fifth of the worlds consumption. The Iranian government threatens to close it down if the oil-embargo against them becomes a reality. The Israelis are lurking next door with itchy triggerfingers. Everybody´s holding their breath.

Nuclear or oil. The top two reasons for the west to meddle in the middle east, but nuclear is an easier sell for popular support on in-house western markets. Oil can at best be the sidebar to a more noble issue: like democracy.

Iran really spawned the first seeds of the Arabic Spring. They had a green summer of hope in 2009, when the upcoming elections brought about a wind of change. Opposition candidate Mousavi seemed to be heading towards an overwhelming victory.

Then the internet system was shut down. Mobil phones went flatbarred. Foreign journalists got a one way ticket out. And president Ahmadinejad was declared the winner with some 3,5 million votes, 69%.

During the protests swarming the streets in the wake of this rigged charade, activists, busdrivers, schoolteachers, students, old people, kids- many of them got to see the inside of the infamous Kahrizak prison. Some of them didn´t make it out again. Some of them were raped with bottles our sticks, or when the inspiration wasn´t there, just the good oldfashioned way.

In the meantime: Greece, Spain, Italy, harvesting 60% of their energy demands out of Iranian soil. Everybody happy to see the pipelines flow.

Despite everything, we western voters keep doing it the Matrix-way, swallowing whatever colour of the pill that validates a selfimage we can live with, although the breastnotes of nobility has been wearing weak and unconvincing for a long time, in front of rolling cameras. But we still can´t quite muster up the courage to see the bottomlines of the democracy our representatives are crusading: money, oil, pussy, people. In that order.

Bahrain was also a part of the arabic spring. People took to the streets, gathered around the Pearl roundabout. Before police and militia opened fire straight into the crowd. The Royal Family declared the only public hospital treating the wounded as a nest for terrorists. Doctors and nurses working there got beaten up, kidnapped, killed.

A female poet who read a few lines at a rally at the Pearl roundabout, were held in detention, questioned by a couple of policemen whom pried open her mouth and took turns spitting in it. The coalition forces of the Arab Gulf states provided the military capacity needed for the Royal Family to maintain its position. At the helm of the military wheel sat Saudi Arabia. USA had its fifth fleet stationed in Bahrain.

In the meantime: the Khadaffi regime had been ousted. Obama held a pressconference, stating: “Wherever there are people longing for freedom… they have a friend in America.”

Well, well. Swallow your pill.

In State of Grace, Jackie flicks away the butt of his cigarette and they do a hundred yard dash through a hallway engulfed in flames.


Battlefield Arctica

Posted in OIL with tags , , , on January 21, 2012 by pajazzoproductions

As they say in The Wire: “The game the same. It just gone more fierce.”

And the hustle is for the final source of untapped fossil fuels, more potently addictive than any laboratory magic ever invented, there´s not a single soul who´s not directly hooked on the highs it brings to the table. The cornerboys of this drama are the drill-operators up to the lobbyist pushing their heart out to keep selling you the dream; they´re just on different streetcorners, in different parts of the nittygritty.

The Big Kahunas are not the corporate suits, it´s the guy with the Texan drawl dallying on into the office with a hawaii-shirt and a stetson hat and a harem of russian mailorder brides- no he´s not a polygamist, rules don´t apply to him, he´s bigger than life.

The Big Kahunas isn´t the CEO of some mesely bank making a hundred million a year- they scoff at him at their weekly Freemason gatherings- it´s the hedge fund broker making a billion. So there´s your players.

I read some excerpts of an interview done with a representative of The Stockholm think-tank. Renowned for their take on issues concerning the future of High North, the rep didn´t seem too worried about the scenario of military presence crowding around the multinationals.

He based his conclusions on the same merits that made some top dogs back in the day proclaim the 20:th century as the era of peace: just a few years prior to World War One. They deemed conflict between the leading nations virtually extinct since everybody had money and hands in eachothers pockets.

Now we´ve gone a couple of hundred degrees more globalized since, but I think there´s a danger in underestimating the deep roots of patriotism, its near primal functions, it´s not only an opium for the masses but cuts through social layers all the way to the top.

In a tense environment of a dog-eat-dog scramble for resources, the intertwinement of nations in oil and gas-companies isn´t like antibiotics to chlamydia. And a gut-reaction of torned patriotic pride could in pressing circumstances snowball all over the diluted hope we put in political common sense.

But I agree that we´ve evolved into a species were greed has got the upper hand on almost anything else, so fingers crossed, the thirst for that gooey black gold will keep any military dealings at a low-intensity cold war level, just as a show of potential force; nuclear submarines under a variety of flags navigating below the surface through a thick forest of oil rig pillars cemented deep into the sea-bed.

After a shift the captains of said submarines can share a beer in some harbour boomtown on Greenland, bragging on who´s sitting on most megatons, giving away government secrets at closing time after rounding it all up with a tray of tequila-slams.

The Pipeline Palooza Hangover

Posted in OIL with tags , , , , on January 21, 2012 by pajazzoproductions

It seems to me president Obama didn´t say “no” to the Keystone XL Pipeline- this massive stretch of an oily steelsnake running a proposed course from the western canadian tar sands over enviromentally sensitive areas in Nebraska and finally hawking up its crude bitumen in refinerys way down in Texas and the Mexican Gulf- he said “wait a minute”.

Because much like Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon, he likes to get kissed when he´s getting fucked, and he didn´t appreciate the rushed deadline slapped on to the approval-decision by republicans and Big Oil. In short: he didn´t want to be bullied into it. And he wanted to wet his finger, put it up in the air to see where the wind blows.

And the supporters of yet another major investment in a dead-end industry was so sure that if their humanitarian cause of creating tens of thousands of new job-opportunities wouldn´t make Obama buckle under pressure, the energy security issue would.

I´m afraid it will. He´ll force them to draw another route avoiding the pinpointed strip in northern Nebraska, trying to score some political goodwill in both camps. The alternative just isn´t there, and environment has not only taken a backseat, it lays gagged and bound in the trunk of a big wheeled cityjeep ready to devour every last drop of organic muck we´re able to suck up.

With recession and unemployment, there´s no time like the present to make a sound economic argument- not only that hippie tree-hugging shit of saving mother earth- to going all in for a green industry, but the Durban-summits was sort of the final curtain for rallying worldwide signed/sealed support for this transition. It didn´t happen.

There´s a lot of numbers in the air surrounding the pipeline project, how many jobs it actually would create in the long run, after the initial phase of getting the structure in place, but maybe the tar sands is the way to go since it appears a bit more labour intensive than the maintenance of a pipeline or an oil rig. The tar sands swallows whole communities of Indigenous people, making shareholders out of hunters.

Then, after the arctic is really opened up and we dig our heels in and do a solid job of spills and thrills, the post Exxon Valdez 25 year clean-up raid will seem like nothing, so we´ll have a steady workforce stationed up there  picking up oil-drenched birds and dead fish long after the last oil rig left to rot and rust crumbles into the Arctic ocean.

At least when the time comes, we can light up our cigarettes, fill up our tanks and let our combustion engines roar as we speed towards the sunset.

Slowly roasting like little baby-chickens.

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