Who Runs America?

A poem by Allen Ginsberg, Braniff Air, Denver—Dallas, December 3, 1974

Oil brown smog over Denver
Oil red dung colored smoke
level to level across the horizon
  blue tainted sky  above
Oil car smog gasoline
  hazing red Denver's day
    December bare trees
      sticking up from housetop streets
Plane lands rumbling, planes rise over
      radar wheels, black smoke
        drifts wobbly from tailfins

Oil millions of cars speeding the cracked plains
Oil from Texas, Bahrain, Venezuela Mexico
Oil that turns General Motors
    revs up Ford
  lights up General Electric, oil that crackles
thru International Business Machine computers
      charges dynamos for ITT
  sparks Western Electric
      runs thru Amer Telephone & Telegraph wires
Oil that flows thru Exxon New Jersey hoses,
rings in Mobile gas tank cranks, rumbles
        Chrysler engines
shoots thru Texaco pipelines,
    blackens ocean from broken Gulf tankers
spills onto Santa Barbara beaches from
      Stand of California derricks offshore.

Bombs Away!

bombsI have been reading that the war hawks are being fueled for take-off, ready to bomb Syria or Iraq or Iran or someplace else that will look good on television and has a lot of oil (if lacking in oil, there are some preternaturally oily American companies that will gladly make their obscene profits providing substandard food and supplies to innocent troops who blindly assume the real enemy is the guys on the other side).

It is well that we remember this pathetic truth: the enemy on the other side just wants you to butt out of their conflict and will kill you if you don’t leave, whereas the American corporation will not kill you until you have contributed the time and effort required to make them an unconscionable profit … and then they could care less if you live or die.

Do you remember this photo:

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Upton Sinclair

Upton SinclairMost people know Upton Sinclair for his “muckraking” novel, The Jungle, and now a few more know of his novel Oil! which was made into the critically successful movie, There Will Be Blood, but very few people know just how prolific Sinclair was: he wrote fiction, essays, even a few dramas. To give you an idea of his impressive output, here is the list from Wikipedia:

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