Low Class Oil Trash and the Politico-Aesthetics of the Fossilized Proletariat


In the context of the climate crisis and the rise of the far right, scholars have warned of a "nascent fossil fascism" that combines far right authoritarian politics with fossil fuel boosterism (Daggett). In Canada, this conjuncture expresses itself, in part, through extractive populism, a reactionary political project to counter the environmental left (Gunster et al.). Low Class Oil Trash stands out among other extractive populist entities for its foray into cultural production, having written and produced an original song, "Gassed Up," an "anthem for the oil and gas industry." This article does a close reading of "Gassed Up" and Low Class Oil Trash's social media posts. I use Andreas Malm and the Zetkin Collective's terms "fossilized proletariat," "fossilized whiteness," and "fossilized masculinity" to analyze these petrocultural products, exploring why some members of the working class, despite the threat of climate change, cling to fossil fuels. 

This article “Low Class Oil Trash and the Politico-Aesthetics of the Fossilized Proletariat” originally appeared in Poetics and Extraction Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 251 (2022): 97-118.

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