J.H. Kunstlers' latest blog

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Tango3, May 21, 2010.

  1. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    If you are not in line with us( "rumor swilling") "doomers" perhaps myou may want to reconsider:

    Ifyou don't want to get an opinion outside the msm "jobless recovery/happy land"[boozingbuddies] you needn't read any further:

    Something Happened

    By James Howard Kunstler
    on <abbr class="published" title="2010-05-17T06:42:33-05:00">May 17, 2010 6:42 AM</abbr>

    Everybody in the world is broke, except for maybe Lloyd Blankfein, and he may not end up broke so much as broken -- by a political meat-grinder that is revving up to turn the world's woes and swindles into a new kind of Long Emergency sausage, to be distributed among the roiling, angry masses as a synthetic substitute for nutriment. Call it a synthetic non-collateralized political obligation.

    Something snapped in the world last week and a lot of people around the world sensed it -- especially in the organs of news and opinion -- but this ominous twang was not very clearly identified. It was, in fact, the sound of the financial becoming political.

    The macro-swindle of a worldwide Ponzi orgy now stands revealed and the vacuum left in its place is about to suck everything familiar into it -- standards-of-living, hopes, dreams, not to mention lives. The political action will be a desperate scramble to determine who and what is able to escape getting sucked into this black hole of annihilation. It's very suddenly shaping up to become an epic in human history.

    Meanwhile, a giant oil blob lies quivering in deep waters off the Gulf coast, like some awful amorphous Moby Dick full of malice waiting to sink Pequod America -- or at least the economies of five states. A few months from now, the BP corporation will wonder why it didn't go into something safe and predictable like the pants business instead of oil exploration. They will surely question the viability of conducting future business anywhere near the USA, and the USA will enter a wilderness of soul-searching about the drill-baby-drill strategy that only a few scant weeks ago seemed to be a settled matter.

    Tough to have your future hoped-for energy supplies evaporate at the same time that your hopes for future prosperity get sucked into a black hole.

    I've maintained for a long time that the folks down Dixie way are the the most dangerously crazy people in America and the Deepwater Horizon oil blob is not going to improve their outlook when it slops over their beaches and bayous. They'll blame Obama for it by syllogism. Anyway, they are only marginally more crazy than the rest of the folks in the USA. Those folks are warming up for an election season that is going to send a horde of exterminating angels into the halls of congress and the governor's mansions, and before too long those merchants of retribution are going to appoint their inquisitors. It's going to be a heckuva spectacle. In retrospect, Mary Shapiro's SEC will look like the Council of Trent. You can be sure that if ten gallons of gasoline remain to be found in America a few years from now, they will power the last GMC Sierra to drag the captains of Wall Street through the sawgrass prairies of Collier County, Florida.

    What has gone on in Europe the past few weeks is nothing more complicated than a waking-up to how broke they are. We're not quite there yet on this side of the Atlantic. They fired one last bazooka of wishfulness at the enveloping monster of debt and the monster laughed at them, and now they are standing in the windows of palatial edifice of the Euro Union waiting to see who will jump first. Here in the USA, we're still dazed and confused. What for a long time had looked like a game of musical chairs is morphing into something more like a national Chinese fire drill, a pointless running around in circles in the hope that sheer motion will be an adequate substitute for conscious action. In any case, both Europe and the USA are out of bazooka ammo now. Nobody can bail out so much as another lemonade stand. From here on governments really start to crumble.
    As in any time of severe turmoil, all political bets are off. There are insinuations in the press, for instance, that the communists will rise up in Greece and overthrow the elected government. That's rich, since communism was flushed down the human race's credibility toilet twenty years ago. The Greek opposition may even call themselves communists, but what on earth could they mean by that? There are no "means of production" left in a country whose economy consists solely of cab-drivers, bellboys, and waiters. There's no "wealth" to redistribute, only the pain of collective economic loss when the tourists stop landing.
    Elsewhere in Europe, each national house is being outfitted with a procrustean bed of austerity. The various publics are not going to like lying in them. They ain't no Tempurpedics. History being the shape-shifting demon that it is, I imagine that this time around the Brits will be the ones who elect Nazis --or something like them -- while the still-chastened Germans find themselves in the odd position of becoming Europe's moral guardian -- its sole-surviving "good parent" figure, striving to maintain some residue of collective goodwill in Europe's once-ritzy gated community. Great historical figures always arise from unexpected places -- Corsica, Kentucky. Maybe some great unifying leader even now warms a seat in a Norwegian law school.
    God knows what the Europeans will make of the helter-skelter scene playing out here in the States. Perhaps some species of schadenfreude tinged with regret for the missing stream of tourists. My own guess is that there may not even be a president of the US after Mr. Obama. Rather, events will get so gnarly and disordered so fast that somebody like General Patraeus will have to step in for a while and keep the reincarnation of the Ku Klux Klan from trying to murder every non-Cracker from sea to shining sea. Of course, once that happens, we probably don't go back. It's not Imperial Rome (release 2.0) after that, either, because even the mighty US military will be too strapped for a means of support to continue operating. Instead, it's the devolution of the US into functionally autonomous regions and states -- and even that scale of governance may be too great for the stringent economic realities of the years ahead.
    There remains, of course, the very great question of what the rest of people of the world -- the non-Western world -- do as the West spins into insolvency and tribulation. The Islamists will do everything possible to make things worse, and there's a lot they can do, from restricting their oil exports (maybe cutting them off altogether) to provoking the immigrant populations of Europe into political violence to possibly setting a few nukes off in their enemy's front yard.
    The Chinese will affect to referee the collapse of the West, but soon they'll be sucked into their own implosion of population overshoot and resource scarcity. India you can forget about out -- zero oil. Russia gets to kick back in glorious isolation and enjoy the methane fumes of the melting tundra. South America will heed the wise words of a forgotten 18th Century Viceroy of Mexico who explained his method of administration thusly: "Do little, and do it slowly!"
    The Long Emergency has now up-shifted to second gear. Wouldn't you know it, I have to go to Europe at the end of the month. And I'm supposed to get paid in Euros -- oh, snap! This week I'll be cavorting with my homeys, the Congress for the New Urbanism, at their annual jamboree in Atlanta (ugh!) and will be reporting on the doings there in this space next Monday.
    A sequel to my 2008 novel of post-oil America, World Made By Hand, will be published in September 2010 by The Atlantic Monthly Press. The title is The Witch of Hebron.

    Something Happened - Cluster**** Nation
  2. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    I find Kunstler irritating.

    Oddly he has a lot of good insight, but his prejudice against the South reeks of Northeastern liberal elitism.
    There's a lot more civility here than say.. Chicago, LA, New York, DC...
    The stereotype of a bunch of racists waiting to rise again has got to be dispensed of. As does his penchant for describing a Mad Max world and putting it on next year's calendar.

    Yes, I'll probably still read him, just grit my teeth through it.:mad:
  3. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    He does back Obama in the face of direct criticism, I mostly started reading him for his anti suburban peak oil stuff..
    I'm Still searching for the next Hunter S. Thompson...
  4. fireplaceguy

    fireplaceguy Monkey+

    Agreed. Kunstler likely emulates Thompson, but he has yet to approach Hunter's "****ed, broken and driven from the land" style.

    And yes, Kunstler's an elitist prick. His condescension and prejudice has severely limited his audience. What he misses completely is that there's nothing wrong with Americans. Any similar set of humans would have produced the same result in our circumstances, up to and including the urban sprawl, energy dependence and political corruption.

    That, and he's just too damn hopeful. He was SO hopeful that Y2K would be our downfall, and now he's equally hopeful that peak oil will do it. I don't disagree with that assessment, but I can't abide someone who squirms in anticipation, who actively wishes to see humanity suffer the way he does.

    I've read him, but won't recommend his work to anyone.
  5. Tommy Jefferson

    Tommy Jefferson Monkey+

    That's because he is a member of the Northeastern liberal elite. :)

    I started reading Kunstler in 2005 when I became interested in Peak Oil.

    He is a product of his past, just like us. Kustler is half Jewish, raised in New York City, hung out with communists most of his life.

    His views are predictable... southerners are racist morons... the world will be better after society collapses and America reverts to the idyllic 1950's small-town Vermont Yankee model run by educated Socialists.

    Kunster's myopia is as silly as the Christian fascists who want society to collapse so American can revert back to Andy's Mayberry where there are no homos or Meskins, and beloved Big Daddy U.S.America always put a biblical whoop-ass on any naughties just like Daddy used to whoop us kids.

    Kustler always gives the impression society can't last more than six months. He never actually writes a date that critics could point to later, but he does try to convince people there won't be a Christmas this year, every year.

    I quit reading his doom stuff. I actually like his architectural criticisms. I never realized how completely ugly metal buildings are until he pointed out how trashy and sad they look after 20 years.
  6. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    You know I'm not religious (at all),"conservative" but "religious right " doesn't apply. I grew up in the 60's( in suburban N.J .no less), we had one (ONE) divorced broken family on my street( and there was a bit of a "stigma" attached to the "broken" part). When my younger daughter was in school she didn't have any (NOT ONE) single friend (classmate) whose family didn't include: "That's Gary" (mom's boyfriend)."baby daddy" ( what a ridiculous concept "the Father") is no whereto be found. We fished,camped and rode our dirtbikes where we wanted without fear. Gas for the bikes was .37/gallon. Even young kids could scrape up enough scratch in the couch cushions to ride all summer.

    My point being before you go trashing "the way things were"in ("the idyllic 1950's small-town Vermont Yankee model"or" Andy's Mayberry where there are no homos or Meskins, and beloved Big Daddy U.S.America )...

    You might consider: homo-phobic conservative "Mayberry (or Vermont; hell even N.J.) was PRETTY GODDAMN GOOD!

    Obviously the response is "yeah unless you are an elitist lefty "homer-sexual"...

    The "America hating" has about reached its limit with me.
  7. Tommy Jefferson

    Tommy Jefferson Monkey+

    Oh really? How do you know this?
  8. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    You said it Tango!
    Nothing wrong with longing for traditional values.
  9. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Who are you to ask such a question?:rolleyes:

    Because I was there. My experience counts.

    I'm describing my life experience,.. none can tell me I didn't experience a different imo "better" America.

    Millions of white middle class families did "better" for their kids than their WWII parents. just because WE were white middle class doesn't mean this whole block of Americans having good lives doesn't count as as a systemic success. I assume If we were a black family in a rundown flat in bed-stuy my opinion wouldn't be questioned?

    I was completely expecting: "well in the rest of the world "life sucked".
    Which I think is what you are implying.

    Natural selection: every organism seeks it own advantages,If it doesn't it doesn't get to reproduce.In this country we were mostly free to make our own decisions find our direction and our niche.
    I am not "heartless"; I just don't feel guilty for hunger in Africa. or lack of opportunity in Mexico
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I lived it. Nuff said.
  11. Tommy Jefferson

    Tommy Jefferson Monkey+

    How old were you in 1955?

    I'm 44 right now.
  12. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    (-5) I'm 50; Sorry I took you for a much younger liberal[own2], my error.

    So instead of me reading into your one line posts ( bad habit left over from my many years as an azzhole; I'm in "group" and recovering now) why don't YOU fill us in on your opinions?
  13. eclipse

    eclipse Monkey+

    I'm with you all the way. Born in '57. The 60's and early 70's are great memories.

    My parents and I lived in a small town of less than 7000 including dogs and cats. I had friends from broken homes, but these homes were broken because of a death. I don't think we even heard of anybody getting divorced till I was in my mid teens.

    The politicians and ACLU are doing their best to ruin this great country!
  14. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    That makes three "greedy selfish American boomers" who took advantage of their incredibly good luck of being born in a "wealthy nation" during a time flush with cheap petroleum. I'm not here in any way to start a fight though sometimes( time of the month)I do indeed read too much into phrasing and how something is written...Lately I've been wrapped up in the oil catastrophe. Feeling kinda disgusted and down hearted...

    We're starting to hear from the fringes;the "Sorcha faal " like sources are predicting hydrocarbon laced rain in the entire eastern seaboard. Guess its possible. Pretty sure we areNOT looking at just a leaking pipe in the gulf( it explains alot: like the lack of effort to jump on cleanup.) I think BP figures it just went out of business. "So what can you do to me mate?"
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