International Writers Magazine: Reality Check
BE TO OIL BARONS
Why Chairmen Of Huge Oil Companies Should Be Worshipped As Gods
And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed
after thee, the land wherein
thou art a stranger, all the land Canaan, for an everlasting
possession; and I will be their God.
I have finally found
religion, and with it, a god I can bank on.
The religion? Oil profits. The emissaries of this god are the chairmen
of the companies showing these miraculous, some might say, sanctified
profits. Yahweh has nothing on these guys. Allah? A piker. Jesus? Well,
he did say, "Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name."
Of course he was talking about retired Exxon Mobil CEO, Lee Raymond,
who recently collected a $400 million send-off package. This is not
a typo. $400 million. Really. What invisible omnipotent monotheistic
patriarch can deal with that? None. What new age nonsense peddled by
nincompoops like Tom Cruise can provide this kind of beatific joy? Nada.
The Bible says Abraham was a grossly wealthy man, but even he couldn't
hold a menorah to Lee Raymond.
If there is such a thing as a kingdom of heaven it resides at Exxon
Mobil, and/or Conoco or Chevron, who have all reported records profits
over the past calendar year and recently set all-time records for cash
flow. These companies are not just in the black, they are in the deepest
of black, the blackest of all black, or as Nigel from Spinal Tap might
say, "None more black".
How black, smoky?
According to the Wall Street Journal, the bible of our new and improved
religion, this past January, Exxon posted the highest quarterly profits
of any public company in history: $10.71 billion for the fourth quarter
of 2005 and $36.13 billion for the full year. The highest profit margin
in history. History! These people are printing money. Not even drug
dealing, pornography, or gambling rakes in that kind of scratch. This
is why the American people see this as some sort of crime. It has to
be. "The rich bastards are insatiable fiends!" Bullshit. Not
a crime - perfectly legal, or the perfect crime, if you will.
Perfection. This is the aim of all the world's religions. But they suck
air compared to this. I dare say sex sucks air compared to this. Can
we call it the greatest thing known to living man? Sure. Why not? World
record profits from something as asinine as refining a natural resource?
It's insane, but true. It makes raising Lazarus look like a bad David
All big-time oil companies are riding high, but the true god is Exxon
Mobil Corp. This past week it posted the fifth highest quarterly profit
of any public company in history, and with oil prices above $70 a barrel
it could go down as the company's weakest quarter of the year. It's
a goddamn down-turn and Exxon Mobile is in the top five earning periods
ever! Stockholders are outraged! "Christ, what has become of our
golden cash cow? Send Moses up the mountain for a few more tablets!"
Thou Shall Not Point The Graph Downward.
Profit is no crime. HUGE profits...no crime. It is masterful business
practice. It is as pristine as transmogrification. Better. Transmogrifying
is crap. Ascending into heaven? Why? When you can have more money then,
say, God? Yeah!
Remember, all of the world's religions started out as some kind of crime
against the cultural landscape. Have an open mind here. It's all I ask.
Jehovah's Witnesses are always yammering on and on about eternal rewards.
To hell with that, jack, true rewards come in the black gold! These
numbers are so off the charts and gas prices are rising at such an alarming
rate that Congress is now investigating and the president is making
speeches standing at the pumps. Congress? The president? Are we supposed
to buy that these whores aren't on the take? All of a sudden after years
of generous government appropriations, environmental regulation rollbacks,
conglomerate tax breaks, and Middle East wars that there isn't enough
moolah to spread around? Right. And the AMA isn't pushing Pfizer products.
Halliburton isn't making a windfall from dead soldiers. Yes, sir. Everyone
The perfectly legal crime.
No crime. Religion. Feel the love. Open your hearts and wallets. Past
the basket! Praise the Petroleum! Give 'til it hurts. Volatile flammable
liquid hydrocarbon mixtures for believers! Infidels be damned! Face,
it, the only crime here is that you and me aren't in on the take. You
pump uncontrollably into these gas-guzzling monstrosities I see you
dingbats trying to parallel park on Third Avenue, and for every gallon
the gods take in 9.5 cents. Nearly 10 cents a gallon profit! And then
they grease these robotic anti-environmental, capitalistic mouthpieces
to defend your right to own as big a vehicle as you want. "Don't
let the tree-huggers tell you that you can't drive a Hummer! Drive whatever
you please! As long as it takes gasoline, sucker. Lost and lots of gasoline."
Have you accepted Exxon Mobile as you personal savior? Well, then...you're
shit out of luck, pal. Get on board. Get born again! It's all the rage.
But instead of some silly non-profit salvation, you get to buy mansions
with high brick walls surrounded by moats and sail yachts and purchase
small islands in the pacific so you can treat people like lepers.
I read in last month's Forbes that Chevron's CEO David O'Reilly
pulled in $37 million in total compensation last year while doing the
moonwalk across the main office's water fountain. He might have healed
the sick and the lame, but you won't find too many infirmed at the company
picnic this year. Their souls are safe as milk. Business Week
also ran a series this past winter on James Mulva, Conoco Phillips'
CEO, who received $17 million for a Christmas Bonus. There is no truth
to the rumor that he was visited by three wise men, but there is plenty
of evidence he was able to move several miles of the Rocky Mountains
rather than take the long walk himself. "Forget Mohammad,"
Mulva proudly stated. "He only moved one mountain! I moved a whole
friggin' range!" Later in the six-page spread, Dick Chaney was
incensed to find an unflattering artist's rendering of Mulva in the
Washington Post. The vice president was quite adamant that any cartoon
depiction of Oil Barons would be grounds for death. Many Chevron employees
considered rioting, but they were too busy at the bank.
© James Campion May 8th 2006
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