Evil Oil Executives Are Everywhere You Look in Popular Culture

By Markets Fool.com

He'll drink your milkshake, and liquidate an entire city's economy for access to the well it's built on...

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In this clip from Industry Focus: Energy, Taylor Muckerman and Sean O'Reilly list off as many evil or off-their-rocker oil tycoons they can think of from popular culture, and touch on what this bizarre trope means.

A full transcript follows the video.

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This podcast was recorded on Aug.4, 2016.

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Sean O'Reilly:It's pop-culture week here on Industry Focus, and for today's show, we're seeking to answer the eternal question, why are oil barons always the bad guy?

Taylor Muckerman:That is a good question. They're not all bad.

O'Reilly:You would not know that, looking at pop culture. Actually, I was pretty proud of how you and I prepared for this show. We did a lot of research this week.

Muckerman:Well, it's something we don't already know a lot about.

O'Reilly:Right. You stepped up to the plate with some of these names. Just going down here, we came up with every evil oil guy or gal or whatever we could think of. I'm sure there's more. And they're not always evil, but they're sometimes just weird. When we came in here, I was thinking about the Texas oil guy in TheSimpsons, with the giant 10-gallon hat, and he's like, "Yee-haw!"

Muckerman:You're either evil or you're a big joke.

O'Reilly:Yeah, that's the bottom line. And then, of course, there's the other Simpsons episode where there's oil underneath the school, and they have all this money to do education and Mr. Burns steals it all.

Muckerman:A nuclear baron.

O'Reilly:Perfect, same thing. Actually, we should add that to the list. Anyway. When we were brainstorming for this week, the first guy that came to my mind was Daniel Plainview of There Will Be Blood.

Muckerman:Obvious choice, yeah.

O'Reilly:"I drink your milkshake." You saw that, right?

Muckerman:Yes. I didn't for a while, and I was an energy analyst at Fool.com, and Joel South and Robert Coleman...

O'Reilly:Made you watch it? [laughs]

Muckerman:...berated me until I watched it. Every week: "Have you watched it?" "No." "Have you watched it? Oh my God, watch it."

O'Reilly:It's awesome, but that ending, man. I'm not going to spoil it for anybody, but...hoo boy.

Muckerman:Tweet us your thoughts.

O'Reilly:Tweet us your thoughts and don't go bowling. The Muppets, that Jason Segel Muppet film that came out in...2011?

Muckerman:It was fairly recent.

O'Reilly:Yeah. Tex Richman, he's actually the villain.

Muckerman:Great name, by the way.

O'Reilly:Yeah, points for originality.

Muckerman:Low-hanging fruit, there.

O'Reilly:Oil was underneath the Muppets' studio, so of course you have to bulldoze it. He's not quite a villain, but he's interesting. J.R. Ewing of Dallas. I never actually watched that, because I was 2. Actually, I was googling for this show, and there's actually a musical artist called Evil Oil Man.

Muckerman:Why not? That has to be some Texas cover band.

O'Reilly:I think, it's techno-y hipster-type stuff.

Muckerman:Oh yeah?

O'Reilly:Yeah, it was weird. Elektra King in the Bond film The World Is Not Enough -- it's a horrible film; don't see it -- she kills her father to take over his oil business and then destroys Istanbul to monopolize the oil market.

Muckerman:That's no small feat, destroying the biggest city in Europe.

O'Reilly:No, it's really tricky, setting off a nuclear weapon and all that.Victor Mattiece in The Pelican Brief. I've never seen that, either. You came up with this one. Do you like Aquamancomic books? How did you find this? [laughs]

Muckerman:No, just Google.

O'Reilly: Alright. Jordan Wiley is an enemy of Aquaman, and he is, of course, a deep-sea oil driller, which messes up Aquaman's home.

Muckerman:Yeah, so they try to destroy his offshore oil rigs.

O'Reilly:This character was created in the '80s, but it really hits home with the Deepwater Horizon.

Muckerman:I can only imagine how unstable offshore oil rigs were back in the '80s.

O'Reilly: Oh, you're right! Has safety improved a bunch since then?

Muckerman:Yeah, of course.

O'Reilly: That actually hits close to home.

Muckerman:And they're not being attacked by a mischievous, mysterious superhero who lives underwater.

O'Reilly: And can talk to fish. And, I'm sure there's more, but the other one we came up with was the villain in the animated film Cars 2, who was basically big oil.

Muckerman:Big oil vs. renewable energy, yeah.

O'Reilly: Oh dear.

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