Shell : Hell
Before Shell could begin, two students appeared in front of the glossy corporate displays, one dressed as death, the other sporting a ‘HELL” T-shirt holding a banner reading: “What Shell and Cevron have done to Ogoni people, land, streams, creeks and the atmosphere amounts to genocide. The soul of the Ogoni people is dying and I am witness to that fact.” – Ken Saro Wiwa R.I.P
To everyone’s surprise the main RP-cyborg invited the student protestors to say a few words. Death rose to challenge and explained why he was holding the banner and the significance of it’s message, and then proceeded to read it aloud to the attentive audience.
Then the onslaught began and Shell ‘busted out’ their uber-flash corporate-as-fuck presentation, hypnotising the captive audience with slick animations and extensive use of totally out-of-all-context phrases like ‘community development’, ‘creative challenges’ and ‘culture’.
To everyone's surprise Shell didn't attempt a 'Greenwash presentation' -disingenuously emphasising 'green' credentials and token gestures in renewables development- in the style of corporations like E.ON, but quite bluntly outlined the extent of their Oil, Gas and Chemicals businesses. In fact, the phrase 'climate change' was not uttered once throughout the presentation.
No time was given for questions (they’re clever this year aren’t they!), and the presentation ended with the mesmerized sheep being directed towards the buffet. Sadly it seems genocide, environmental destruction, climate change-profiteering and lies can all be excused or at least forgotten if your buffet is posh enough.
Certainly our intrepid leafleteers and brave banner-bearers will have countered the corporate sheen somewhat, and made the more conscientious students think twice about working for an unethical empire like Shell. But we must not underestimate the power that flashy animations and bourgeois buffets can wield. In honesty, if students still want to work for Shell after reading the leaflets and hearing Death’s talk, perhaps they deserve the empty fate that awaits in the faceless ivory towers of Shell Corporation.
The propaganda war goes on. Shell have learnt some lessons, so shall we.