Book/video review: “Singing CIA Agent George Shrub Speaks” and “Singing CIA Agent George Shrub Explains the World Away.”
By Janet Bates & Anne Schupack
Have you ever wanted to take a walk down memory lane through the misadventures of the American imperialistic maladministration… and have a bit of fun along the way? These books by “Singing CIA Agent George Shrub” are the ticket. And the price is right: gratis.
When I first heard George Shrub in the 1980’s, it was a revelation. I was just learning about the history of CIA interventions and their anti-democratic activities in Central America at the time. I was angry and horrified. Then I saw George Shrub perform his Iran Contra rap. I laughed so hard I cried; I saw the value of satire as a political tool and I was hooked.
Decades before the Daily Show and Colbert Report, George Shrub provided a new and original way to expose the serious events happening in the world in a way that helped me understand and contextualize their meaning, while finding humor and camaraderie with kindred spirits.
Political singer/comedian Dave Lippman was shadowed by the singing CIA agent for many years; these books recapture that entertainment occupation. There are transcripts of the “News Speak” portions of the shows, essays on the divine right of the rule by Washington Deceit, the odd (very) rap lyrics, and embedded YouTube videos of song, dance and elegant disinformation.
I would call this “stealth activism” — an attempt to bring the populace up to speed about what goes on under the propaganda blanket. The man is not just extremely entertaining, he’s also extremely well-versed on political events. Because the media refuse to report the real deal or to put it into perspective, Lippman and Shrub must do this for us. To this day, we get more truth from comedy than from the “news.”
We must arm ourselves with knowledge about how we got to where we are now; Shrub provides an excellent re-entry to the Reagan years, a time that marked a major turning point for the United States. His caustic commentary continues through two Bushes (or are they Shrubs?) and the more obscurely imperial reigns of Clinton and Obama. As the infamous Virginia Cholesterol of Ladies Against Women notes, “Shrub’s uncommonly authoritative briefings keep all our brains squeaky clean.”
What luck that he has finally, forcefully occupied the internet.
The books can be read and viewed at shrubspeaks.pressbooks.com and shrubexplains.pressbooks.com. No charge.