James Howard Kunstler

Empty Pagentry – James Howard Kunstler

     The press wet its small-clothes over Mitt Romney’s ebullience in last Thursday’s so-called debate, as these joint interview contests are styled these days. What a jaunty fellow Mitt came off as, compared to poor Mr. Obama, cloaked in presidential gloom, the wearisome woes of high office and all that – or perhaps just…

In Full Flight – James Howard Kunstler

Flying at higher platitudes in the thin upper air of his own mind last week, Republican candidate Mitt Romney remarked apropos of airplane travel: “[T]he windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous.”      It turned out that Mitt meant the remark as…

Duty – James Howard Kunstler

I drove the eight miles from Cambridge to Greenwich, New York, around eight o’clock and the night was bell-jar clear. A scrim of deepest blue sky backlit the landscape of tender hills and valleys while on the ground I wended the twisting two-lane state highway 372 with my brights amplifying the yellow road signs and the iridescent lines on the pavement, alert for deer, who can kill you. The Talking Heads spastically warbled one…

Dancing Shoes – James Howard Kunstler

So many shoes are dropping out there that reality is starting to look and sound like the tap-line in a Busby Berkeley production number. The meme-scape, too, is humming with viral transmissions of dire doings. Is JP Morgan unwinding like a 1911 knitted woolen Yale varsity sweater? Did it booby-trap the credit default swap universe in the process, and is that getting ready to blow? The whole world is hanging by its fingernails, refusing to be dragged into the future.

Still Standing Amid the Wreckage

     The New Urbanists held their big annual meet-up for four days last week and I stomped a big carbon footprint flying down to West Palm Beach for the doings. I don’t know who exactly picked West Palm, but it was at once peculiar, disheartening, instructive, and exhausting.   The Congress for the New Urbanism has been throwing this yearly fandango since its founding in 1993 as a fire-eating reform movement dedicated to transforming the…

Elegy – Clusterfuck Nation

Reposted with the kind permission of James Howard Kunstler A few weeks ago I flew to Chicago, hopped into a rent-a-car, and navigated my way on the tangle of interstate highways to the now mostly former industrial region in the northwest corner of Indiana just off lowest Lake Michigan between the towns of Whiting and…

As If Nothing Matters

     The world gave the appearance of doing nothing and going nowhere over the past month – apart from the sensational liaison of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, which, some believe, augurs a dazzling speed-up of the much prayed-for economic recovery, return to full employment, $2.50 gasoline by summer, and the selection of Jesus Christ as VP running mate by Mitt Romney – but, in fact, so much trouble is roiling under the surface…

Strange Jubilee

Is there a Baby Boomer so dim in this land of rackets and swindles who thinks that he or she will escape the wrath of the Millennials rising? The developing story is so obvious that only an academic economist could fail to notice. Here’s how it will go: some months from now, as the financial unwind worsens, and the mirage of gainful employment shimmers away to nothing, and the technocrats of Europe meet…