A Review of Upton Sinclair’s Oil!

There Will Be BloodThe much ballyhooed movie There Will Be Blood is supposedly based upon Upton Sinclair’s 1927 novel Oil!, but it surely miscasts Sinclair’s focus and technique. The movie limits itself to a study of a manic, ruthless oil prospector, more a personality study, but the novel is a much wider socialist attack on corporate power and labor suppression, top-to-bottom government corruption, and corporate control of war, universities, and Hollywood .  The social and economic concerns read just like the present even though it is set in the World War I and 1920s era, mostly in the early California oil fields. 

George Carlin 1937 – 2008

George Carlin 1937-2008George Carlin, the American comedian, died of heart failure on June 22 at the age of 71. His fans will remember him for many things, from his “Seven Dirty Words” act, to narrating children’s television programs. His routines often dealt with a wide sweep of social, political and cultural topics, from abortion rights to fast food and fad cultures. He started off fairly straight-laced in the 1960s  before his more well-known rebellious and critical style in the ‘70s until his death, calling out what he often termed “bullsh*t”.

Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)

Woody Guthrie

This song, written by Woody Guthrie in 1948, documents the treatment of several "illegal"deportees both before and after their death.