Meet James Howard Kunstler, non-partisan, equal opportunity curmudgeon who writes and lectures on subjects I find interesting – urbanism, energy, social pathologies, economics (intelligible for the rest of us) and the general stupidness he sees around him.
In addition, he’s a painter, a gardener and a long distance bike rider (all the things I wish I were!). He posts every Monday at his website *Clusterfuck Nation. I love the guy.
Here are some outtakes from recent posts (unlinked, sorry).
ON MEDIA FAILURE:
We’ve never had more media outlets in the history of this land, or been more poorly informed. Mental fossil George Will fired off a salvo last week against fixing the US railroads. He thinks it’s just a sinister ploy to snatch the people’s “individualism.” Perhaps George hasn’t noticed that other things are operating out there in the polity-space to turn the folks of this land into zombies. After all, they were long ago transformed from “citizens” into “consumers” – without a peep of complaint from anybody – so, having already surrendered their duties, obligations, and responsibilities to anything beyond their hunger for Cheez Doodles . . .
ON WW III:
The café layabouts of Italy, the flaneurs of France, and the bratwurst-devourers of Germany may now have to militarize and get into the action in places where American boys have been bleeding out in the sand for decades. The truth is, we could stand some reinforcements. Something that smells an awful lot like World War III is shaping up around the Mediterranean and spilling over toward the Indian Ocean. German cruisers are already out there plying the seas off North Africa while the ghost of Erwin Rommel scratches his head on the gritty shores of Tobruk.
ON CONTRACTION LEADS TO DESTRUCTION:
The idea of what exactly money is, is becoming increasingly clouded everywhere as compound interest fails in the face of contraction. And as compound interest fails – in the form of loans that can’t be repaid – the banking system implodes. This implosion has been artfully papered over with enough accounting tricks so that many citizens do not even perceive it as being underway. The results are insidious: falling living standards, no role to play in the economy (that is, a job), and a shocking array of social pathologies ranging from nearly universal family dysfunction to men acting like babies to obscene discrepancies in income.