Sunday, June 05, 2011


No, it’s not your imagination, Pilgrim.

Chevron really is trying to get into your head and control your mind, yea, possess the very essence of your soul.

And I’m not talking about the cute cartoon cars, either, although one can argue that those lil' suckers are Big Oil's version of Joe Camel.

I’m talking about the wickedly insidious mass manipulation tactic that Chevron likes to call its “We Agree” ad campaign.

There’s no escape. If you watch any TV channel with commercial breaks, there they are. Thinking that PBS may be an exception? Nah. You will see the entire spots, same as the ones they show on paid TV, right before and/or after the programs on your local public broadcaster. Open up any of the largest daily newspapers. Oh, look, there’s a print variation on the TV ad, facing page bottom. Turn the page, and gee, there’s another half page ad in the exact same position on the bottom right of the page! And yet again, one more time, a THIRD half page ad, same place, same size, same “Can’t we all get along” brainwashing attempt. Don’t bother going online, there’s no escape. Click through ads on practically every major web site, and especially the web versions of the newspapers taking all of that Chevron ad cash.

Every televised ad has the same premise. On the right side of the screen, a “real person” who is genuine folk, outside of the sphere of Big Oil influence (or at least that’s what you, the viewer, are being persuaded to presume). On the left side of the screen, some paid executive or employee or something-or-other for Chevron. Each party simultaneously states his or her case from his or her side of the TV screen. Hey, Right Side Common Person is concerned with the environment. Well, hey, Left Screen Company Person sez that Chevron is developing clean energy alternatives. (Then they’re allegedly turning around and patenting them, then shelving said technology or using it in limited quantity to lower competition and keep costs high.) Big oil is making lots of profit, Right Side Common Person declares, and is concerned about that too? Well, hey, here’s a big multi-billion dollar figure to throw at ya from Left Screen Company Person to show how much that Chevron is putting back into the businesses that they buy stuff from! (Of course, that’s called “operating costs” and does nothing to explain why Chevron and the other Big Oil conglomerates think that it’s perfectly cool to pull in and accumulate billions in tax-break-facilitated profits from jacked up gas prices due to rampant speculation.) But, we need safe energy alternatives right away, squeals Right Side Common Person? Left Screen Company Person counterpoints, well, hey, Chevron’s pulling natural gas out of Australia that, like, can provide fuel to lots of people and shit! (And who cares about that silly tree hugger talk about fracking? Natural gas is totally safe to use! Just ask all those folks in San Bruno, California! Besides, just because drinking water becomes flammable, that doesn’t guarantee that people will die from it. Just don’t drink so much.)

Chevron wants you to recognize and respect their existence in your world, John and Jane Q. Public, and goddammit, they are going to make sure that you are seeing and hearing it from every corner of the planet Earth’s media that you pass through.

One who chooses not to keep up with current events, or simply is too busy with the necessities of everyday life to contemplate them, may not be wondering why Chevron is so concerned with their PR image, or care for that matter. Fair enough. After all, it may or may not be very important to note that this whole “We Agree” ad blitz was conceived largely due to the $19 billion dollar fine given to Chevron (thanks to acquired subsidiary Texaco) by the Ecuadoran court system for fucking up Amazon rainforest resources. The suits outta San Ramon are real nervous that this could somehow spill into the American consumer spotlight somehow, and they want to make sure that their share of your hard earned dough continues to get into their bank accounts via your filling the ol’ jalopy’s gas tank using their extortion-level-priced pumps at the local Chevron station.

Look at it another way. There’s no telling that Chevron’s sins of the soil could manifest itself in the American justice system sooner or later, especially if people take a good hard look at the company’s track record in the U.S.A. alone. As a matter of fact, since Chevron has no assets in Ecuador, it could likely be decided by an American court to go after Chevron’s money in this country after all, in order to satisfy the Ecuadoran judgment. We could well be witnessing the most widespread and expensive attempted proactive jury tampering attempt in world history.