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Tue Apr 3, 2012, 10:44 PM

Standard Oil Co.

[font size="1"]Standard Oil Bulletin – September 1936[/font size]

Standard Oil Co.

When the drill bored down toward the stony fissures
and plunged its implacable intestine
into the subterranean estates,
and dead years, eyes of the ages,
imprisoned plants’ roots
and scaly systems
became strata of water,
fire shot up through the tubes
transformed into cold liquid,
in the customs house of the heights,
issuing from its world of sinister depth,
it encountered a pale engineer
and a title deed.

However entangled the petroleum’s arteries may be,
however the layers may change their silent site
and move their sovereignty amid the earth’s bowels,
when the fountain gushes its paraffin foliage,
Standard Oil arrived beforehand
with its checks and its guns,
with its governments and its prisoners.

Their obese emperors from New York
are suave smiling assassins
who buy silk, nylon, cigars
petty tyrants and dictators.

They buy countries, people, seas, police, county councils,
distant regions where the poor hoard their corn
like misers their gold:
Standard Oil awakens them,
clothes them in uniforms, designates
which brother is the enemy.
the Paraguayan fights his war,
and the Bolivian wastes away
in the jungle with his machine gun.

A President assassinated for a drop of petroleum,
a million-acre mortgage,
a swift execution on a morning mortal with light, petrified,
a new prison camp for subversives,
in Patagonia, a betrayal, scattered shots
beneath a petroliferous moon,
a subtle change of ministers
in the capital, a whisper
like an oil tide,
and zap, you’ll see
how Standard Oil’s letters shine above the clouds,
above the seas, in your home,
illuminating their dominions.

– by Pablo Neruda, Canto General, 1940
Translated by Jack Schmitt (n Octafish)

PS: Who, apart from Prescott Bush Sr., would've thought we in 2012 would still be fighting wars for the petroleum extraction racket?

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Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply Standard Oil Co. (Original post)
Octafish Apr 2012 OP
Octafish Apr 2012 #1
CanSocDem Apr 2012 #2
Octafish Apr 2012 #4
raouldukelives Apr 2012 #3
Octafish Apr 2012 #5

Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Apr 4, 2012, 12:16 PM

1. No one likes poetry? Even if it names names? Corporate names?

The United States went to war for oil.

"Well, Iran has made little secret of its desire to gain hegemony in the
Persian Gulf, the critical oil and natural gas producing region that
we fought so many wars to try and protect our economy from the adverse impact
of losing that supply or having it available only at very high prices..." -- John Bolton, "ambassador" by default

Humph. Not all that original a thought, seeing how Henry Kissinger said the same thing,
as did Alan Greenspan and a whole bunch more satraps of the 1-Percent.

PS: War for oil is not OK if a Democrat does it, either.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Apr 4, 2012, 12:24 PM

2. Good poetry.


Beats the shit out of my own effort on the same subject.

We'll kick your ass
For cheaper gas.


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Response to CanSocDem (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 4, 2012, 01:16 PM

4. That's beautiful.

And yours is good poetry,
for it is truth.

Here's some prose on the subject from Roberto Rodriguez: The Legacy of the Iraq War

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Apr 4, 2012, 01:05 PM

3. The song remains the same.

Our methods have become so much more sophisticated since then yet the game remains the same. We can now use remote controlled robots to conceal the pain. From ourselves that is not those born to our terrors. We apologize in advance if our machines make errors. Sweet profits to be made and retirements funded. No knowledge of death to make us encumbered. Not even Pier's Salo could imagine it so sweet. It's all nice & neat from our side of the street.

Hey, I never said I was Longfellow!

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 4, 2012, 01:21 PM

5. Very moving, that.

Don't worry about the rhymes, pentameter or whatever. Your words are true.

Unfortunately for my social ambitions, my calling has been in pointing out the crimes or a certain, er, class. Prose from a Friend:



As with our response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, and to the overthrow of Siad Barre in Somalia, a war in Afghanistan (or new ones in Somalia and Iraq) will not be to relieve the suffering of its population or to defend against a serious threat to democratic and civil rights. In the name of terror's victims, war will be pursued to protect future profits for those making, as well as those reporting, the decisions.

-- ER, September 16, 2001

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