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Song of the Day: Fela Kuti, “I.T.T. (International Thief Thief)” [updated]

Like so many people these days, I’ve been following the unfolding disaster of BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico with fascinated dismay. So I thought to make my “Song of the Day” more topical by posting a song having to do with oil spills or the oil industry. You’d be surprised how hard it is to find a good song on oil… But Nigeria is a country that has long suffered from problems associated with the oil industry there – ranging from spills and environmental damage to political corruption to the assassination of political and environmental activists. Nigeria is also the source of Afrobeat music and one of my favorite musicians, Fela Kuti. And Fela has a song attacking the impact of foreign corporations, which I thought was appropriate. Given how BP is stealing the Gulf of Mexico from the future, despoiling it for generations, and trying to evade responsibility – financial and otherwise – they certainly qualify as an “International Thief Thief”

Fela Kuti, “I.T.T. (International Thief Thief)” [link fixed] (the song starts out quiet, so don’t be fooled into thinking there is a problem with the link) [download original album-length version in high-quality here]

More info….

More music…

Filed under: Song of the Day, ,

2 Responses

  1. The Destructionist says:

    While watching the latest news about the BP Oil spill, a frightening thought came to mind: what if we can’t stop the oil? I mean, what happens if after all the measures to cap the pipe fail, (i.e., “Top Hat”, “Small Hat” and “Top Kill”). What then? An accident this problematic is new territory for BP. The oil pipeline is nearly a mile down on the ocean floor, accessible only by robots. Add on top of that the extreme pressure at which the oil is flowing out of the pipeline and there you have it: the perfect storm.

    Moreover, scientists also claim that they’ve found an enormous plume of oil floating just under the surface of the ocean measuring approximately 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick. (I’m no math genius, but I bet one of you reading this could figure out just how many barrels of oil that is…)

    There are new estimates that the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico is anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil a day: that’s a far cry from BP’s estimated 5,000 barrels a day. If BP’s estimates are correct, the total amount of oil now in the Gulf would be approximately 150,000 barrels (or 6,300,000 gallons). That’s barely enough to fill 286 swimming pools: sixteen feet, by thirty-two feet, by eight and a half feet deep. That wouldn’t cover an area the size of New York City, let alone an area the size of Delaware. Obviously, the spill is much larger than we are being led to believe. If the leak can’t be stopped, in a year’s time, we’ll have roughly 18,250,000 barrels of oil (or 766,500,000 gallons) in our oceans, killing our marine and animal wildlife. Such a calamity would be environmentally and economically disastrous. I’m not a religious man, but I pray that BP and our government work fast to end this catastrophe.

    http://www.calculateme.com/Volume/Barrels(Petroleum)/ToGallons.htm

    http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2010/05/17/latest-news-from-the-oil-spill-in-the-gulf-of-mexico-is-grim/

    http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/dailyloaf/2010/05/20/scientist-says-oil-spill-is-leaking-100000-barrels-of-oil-a-day-not-bps-estimate-of-5000/

    • zerode says:

      Thanks for that. I’ve been following a lot of the issues you raise (and writing about them elsewhere), and it really is quite awful. And BP’s continued insistence that the spill is minor – just a tiny drop in the ocean – against the raising chorus of scientists who estimate the leak is spilling oil at 5 to 14 times BP’s estimate – well, it’s infuriating. But hardly surprising, I think. After the global financial crisis, AIG, Lehman, Enron, etc., I suspect few of us will be surprised at that shoddy, lying behavior of a big company…

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zerode by nick chapman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Oh - and hello to Jason Isaacs.

The 400 Blows

zerode

is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, cinéaste, and former poet. Raised in San Francisco on classic film, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in coffee shops with his laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.

 

What's in a name... The handle "zerode" is a contraction of Zéro de Conduite, the title of Jean Vigo's 1933 movie masterpiece about schoolboy rebellion.

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