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Peak Oil to “Zero.Dark.30” to “Argo Fuck Yourself”, vol 25a

April 29, 2013

If you thought Argo was a football film, you must be a Canadian Boomer.

My wife wanted to see the latest box office films, so like a good husband, I ripped them off the
internet. I started with the  latest Bond film, “Skyfall”, is a lesson in never moving back home again, no matter what age you are. It will kill your mother.

While downloading the oil genre films, it occurs to me again that we are way past peak oil, and appear to have only learned one lesson from that mess. Peak oil, by my definition, is
cheap oil at any quantity. Technology will assist us in continually finally new oil, but it will not be cheap. $30 oil is gone forever. The lesson in this is that while oil was cheap and plentiful, we could have a job recovery, we could have a technology revolution ( see Apple and Google ) and we maintained wage equality – at least we slowed down the Capitalistic grinding away at the wage gaps. In other words, we need a new technology revolution, or we are
handicapping ourselves to oil.

But I digress. The effects of oil prices on our economy are well known. What strikes me is the pseudo-histories as told in the two spy classics, and the lessons renewed. Essentially, the
middle east is an ongoing Orange versus the Greens religious war. Catholics ( interestingly, the world just picked a pope, and I had to look up how to spell Catholics – talk about being
out of the news lately ) and non-Catholics fought for market share for centuries. Sunnis and Shiites have also been fighting this war for popularity for a long time, but lacked the modern business tools to really make a go of it. Its a wonder what some cash flow and communications technology will do to gain the upper hand in this campaign.

The Sunnis got their money first, from oil. In Zero, a CIA operative is discussing with a colleague that the Saudi’s understand the nature of the conflict, that they “get it”,
and to leave a particular problem to them – “they know how to kick ass” !  I realize that we are being exposed to the film writers propaganda, but it sure sounds real to me. In any event, I am sure that the religious figures in Saudi Arabia are as powerful as the Iranian Ayatollahs, but since the House of Saud has more free cash flow, they get to preach from spots of isolation from the West – they are not exposed as the crazies that the Ayatollahs are. Lastly, their citizens are bought off.

The Iranians, on the other hand, came to the money thing  last, and proceeded to screw up the business model.  All they had were religious zealots who were willing to do anything for their demi-gods. We can argue which path has been more effective, especially in light of the Western sanctions now limiting Iranian options. One wonders if this is a Saudi strategy of not allowing Iran to have the zealots and the money.

For me thought,  the real joke of Argo was the fact  that a US film just told all Iranians to go
fuck themselves – its essentially the last line of the movie – and I did not hear of one fatwa !!! Last I heard, some Iranians were going to sue the film makers. What a difference from a few years ago.

By the way, today’s joke centers on a CFL football team, the Toronto Argonauts, who, when they were losing, picked up the catch-phrase “Argo fuck yourselves”. After the cheerleaders would yell out the teams catch phrase Lets go Argos, the crowds  would add the last two words.  Classic, and more fun than a bouncy stadium ball. I am sure there are many such slogans in the NFL or the Premier League.

Pull back for a second, and it is easy to see almost all of the middle east as a consequence of the Sunni / Shiite war for power. Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and all the minority sects ( the Alawite of Syria ) in the region have an affiliation to either camp, or must be affiliated to survive politically ( see Iraq, sub. Saddam, sub.sub Ba’ath party ).

Focus on Israel for a moment, and one can see a strategic solution of just keeping your head down and letting the Muslims fight it out – classic divide and conquer. The Muslims have
tried to use Israel as an enticement to keep the West involved in the conflict. A great questions
for Conservatives to answer here is who has the most to lose if the West continues its move to Asia. Obama’s pivot, both militarily and business wise away from the Middle East in general, and Israel in particular, is huge for the region, a strategy for Israel safety, and a strategic box for the religions in the region. It gets the US out of the way of an Israel attack on Iran, tells everyone that the US is not beholden to  the Saudi’s for oil anymore, and all at a savings to taxpayers. Amazing. Now if we only had a solution for our expensive oil
problem, we would be set !

Next time on Boomers – wtf !, why Paul Krugman needs a Re-boot:

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One Comment
  1. Hey Tom, You still need an editor but I love the light approach. Way to go buddy!
    Peter

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