“I am a sick man…” – The Depravity of Collapse

“I am a sick man… I am a wicked man.”  So opens Dostoyevsky’s small literary offering, Notes From Underground.  It is, in significant respects, a profound critique of modern rationality, our perverse preoccupation with self-interest, and the crisis currently facing our global community.

In a world that is already bracing for cataclysmic failure, the political and military elites of the most advanced nations on earth are making a mad – that is to say, a sick and wicked – dash to the finish line.  As world economies teeter on collapse, and more primitive polities fall prey to greedy and over-reaching imperial aggressors, the Western hegemony drives full speed ahead, hastening planetary failure through global looting and pillaging of any and all appropriately objectified ‘resources’– natural or human.  It is a game of capture the flag like none the world has ever seen before.

In the face of stark climatic disruption, urban-industrial-induced global warming, and run away resource depletion, the captains of Western industry and political economy are competing for the final bits of increasingly rare, but once plentiful earthly treasures.  The visceral reactions of mother earth, along with the cries of indigenous populations, be damned! And commercializing our circumstance only exacerbates the real problem when, for example, the climate news blog ThinkProgress awards cover of the year to Bloomberg Businessweek for its Monday morning quarterbacking diagnosis that “It’s Global Warming, Stupid.”  We all then dutifully salute, applaud, and go on our merry way living the high life.  It is the same strategy exercised by all the new green companies now peopling our airwaves, including those clean-coal and other energy strategies touting safe ways of extending the parade.

Let super storms wash away the continental shorelines, let tidal waves engulf our cities as well as the placid island holdouts, let fault lines cringe and crack against our drilling and horizontal fracking, let the indigenous and the poor vanish into the black-hole of rapacious commerce; as long as we civilized ones get our stuff! Let the glaciers melt, the oceans rise, homes disappear, and fires rage – so long as we have our way! There seems to be nothing to deflect us from the current path of planetary annihilation.  In a world now peopled with purely profane ‘objects’ for manipulation and control, nothing sacred remains to be cherished except acquisitiveness.  All is expendable in the incessant drive for progress and prosperity in the refined atmosphere of the elite first world.

Yet, this project of constant advancement and the unrestrained expansion of our Western hegemony has become a farce – a fantastical caricature of itself. The clowns in business suits have taken control of the bus and are driving it straight into oblivion with all of us onboard.  Why, even the latest “terrorist” plots are seeming rather farcical, like cartoon characters cobbled together by the hands of our own militaristic propaganda machine.  Even an old and pathetic Osama, gunned down by a crew of professional military SEALS, was memorialized in a fantastic story told by one of the fools, and then sold as a book for self-enriching profit while the going was good.  But what good does such a spectacle achieve?  Of course we had to do it, because the only just alternative was unacceptable – get out of the Middle East.  So, we kill, and we stay, and we kill some more so we can keep up our lifestyle with more oil, markets and commercial successes.  A chicken in every pot has now become a McDonalds, a Subway, or a Cinnabon shop in every city and village across the globe, and armed drones to protect their profit margins and labor costs.

Meanwhile, the mass of the industrialized West stands idly by, even cheering the militarists on, as the aggressive and apparently psychotic Israeli’s decimate the more traditional populations of Palestine, unwittingly accepting as purely objectified ‘collateral damage’ the lives of innocents.  Yet, we continue to justify our own acts of aggression and death-dealing among the innocents in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere, while severely chastising the similar fate of innocents in Syria. Will the hypocrisy of this empire never cease?  Our policies would be comical if they were not so very tragic.  Somebody should consider placing Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama together in a rubber-padded cell to contemplate the depth of their own depravity and inhumanity.  Why not try members of the Israeli government for crimes against humanity… along with Obama, Clinton, Petraeus, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush and the rest of the cadre?  And we have not even touched on the crimes of the corporate elite, the 0.1%

The dissimulation, the sickness, indeed, the wickedness of this charade – this race to the bottom – is as frightening as it is demonic; destructive to the earth and its diverse inhabitants, including ourselves.  OK!  So, we are lost in this labyrinth, my friends.  And what are we to do?  As Derrick Jensen once pronounced: taking shorter showers is not the solution.  Nor is implementation of new salvific technologies.  This will only serve to extend the reign of terror loosed by our Western curriculum.  As long as the politics of salvation, the myth of infinite progress, and a futuristic vision of global expansion continue to permeate our souls, the endgame is already lost amidst the propaganda and the promises.

The only “hope” is to hope-against-hope that the intellectual scaffolding and epistemological underpinning of the system will implode from greed-laden-overload and overly enlightened self-interest.  I understand that my position may seem irrational, indeed inhuman from a certain majority perspective, but majority rule is not equivalent to egalitarian democracy. The irrationality and inhumanity of the system itself dictates that reason may only be the crutch enabling us to forge ahead blindly and happily into the future. On this view, un-reason may be a fundamental requirement to correcting our fatal and fateful course. But, of this, I am uncertain. Why? Because it is a fundamentally irrational position.  And I, too, am Homo sapiens sapiens, a twice wise and hyper-rational animal.

I am a sick man… I am a wicked man. I am an unpleasant man. I think my liver is diseased. However, I don’t know beans about my disease, and I am not sure what is bothering me. I don’t treat it and never have, though I respect medicine and doctors. Besides, I am extremely superstitious, let’s say sufficiently so to respect medicine. (I am educated enough not to be superstitious, but I am.) No, I refuse to treat it out of spite. You probably will not understand that. Well, but I understand it. Of course I can’t explain to you just whom I am annoying in this case by my spite. I am perfectly well aware that I cannot “get even” with the doctors by not consulting them. I know better than anyone that I thereby injure only myself and no one else. But still, if I don’t treat it, its is out of spite. My liver is bad, well then — let it get even worse! DostoyevskyNotes from Underground
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136 Responses to “I am a sick man…” – The Depravity of Collapse

  1. bmiller says:

    Sandy,
    A truly excellent post this week, you managed to combine in a neat summary the impact of our acquisitive two legged race of locusts and our likely hard landing from embracing a particular paradigm that has no parachute options. Like “population overshoot” we are, if you will, also in a “cultural overshoot”. An irrational response is perhaps the most rational response to current events.
    “As soon as the generals and politicians can predict the motions of your mind, lose it”. Wendell Berry, The Mad Farmer’s Liberation Manifesto.

  2. mikesosebee says:

    Hi Sandy – Agree with bmiller above “excellent post”. I’ve been working on a narrative for my film: “Somewhere In New Mexico Before The End Of Time”. Here is a short introductory piece that starts with Aldous Huxley in 1958 and finishes with Chris hedges in 2012. Any and all feedback appreciated.
    with http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBtWFj2PDl0

    • Disaffected says:

      It says, “This video is private. Sorry about that.”

    • mikesosebee says:

      Whoops! Corrected the settings. Please try again.

    • Danielle says:

      Mike, do you believe that humans will be extinct by 2030? Watching the clip, I’m reminded of the National Geographic Channel series called Doomsday Preppers. It’s interesting, but it makes me laugh like Monty Python makes me laugh. I don’t think it’s meant to be satirical, but it ends up being satire, serendipitously.

      • mikesosebee says:

        “Do you believe that humans will be extinct by 2030?” No. If we manage to send our own species into extinction that would mean the rest of life on earth (at least the part that humans care about) would have perished as well. I can’t get my mind around that.

        Yes I agree with you that it is “satire, serendipitously” but a lot depends on the viewer of course.

      • Disaffected says:

        Well, the satirical part of Doomsday Preppers is that it is, by any reasonable definition, a satire. First of all, it’s not really a “Doomsday” worthy of the name if you can, in fact, prepare for it in advance. Second, the parade of comical characters and their obviously amateurish methods are so obviously ridiculous (the fat guy from Nashville who had a two story underground bunker somewhere in the mountains, whose preparation drills consisted of locking himself in the bunker for a few days, sweating profusely, and gluttonously consuming a large amount of his canned food stash, before sweating (and presumably shitting) some more) that I spent my whole time wondering through the one episode I’ve watched whether or not all of it was just made for TV scripted bullshit. And hovering above it all was the unstated overriding question: OK, so let’s imagine you miraculously do survive the coming apocalypse you imagine for a week, a month, a year, or even several. What then new world fat-ass? WHAT, pray tell, are you going to do with your sorry fat ass THEN?

        My take on it? One, these are precisely the sort of people that should be eliminated in any such scenario. Two, the show is just more made for a gullible American audience tripe meant solely to generate advertising revenue. And three, the coming slow motion “apocalypse” certainly ain’t gonna be anything you can prepare for logistically, although physical, mental, and most importantly spiritual transformation might make all of that irrelevant a anyway. Hey, we’re ALL gonna die. It’s how you live the years you’ve got that counts.

      • Disaffected says:

        Sorry, just one more thing. I think it would be an altogether useful thing if human kind could wrap their minds around the idea that it’s at least possible that human kind very well could be on it’s way to an irreversible chain of events to extinction by 2030. Whether or not catastrophic anthropomorphic global climate change is indeed a “fact” or not, even the most truly conservative of mindsets must surely concede now that the odds are growing increasingly favorable that it is, and that unless they’re truly willing to just come right out and state (and win political support for) the idea that we’re willing to roll the dice with the species’ future, a total rethinking of our current path is in order.

        That said, I’m also (the consummate) realist. I fear that die has long since been cast.

        • mikesosebee says:

          A couple of years ago I read a poll taken by the Wall Street Journal asking what percentage of wealth the respondents might be willing to sacrifice to mitigate climate change. 79% said “Not one cent”. We’re not going to change even if there was time to stop what’s coming.

          • Disaffected says:

            Agreed. The current “disagreement” as to the truth of it is merely a subterfuge. What we’re REALLY saying is, it’s too much trouble for me to deal with personally. Let someone else do it, if it gets done at all. Once again, capitalist mindset. Inherently selfish. The capitalist philosophy is the core cancer that will end the human experiment. Write it down.

            • javacat says:

              ‘The current “disagreement” as to the truth of it is merely a subterfuge. What we’re REALLY saying is, it’s too much trouble for me to deal with personally.”
              DA, I think you’ve hit it perfectly. The unwillingness to take responsibility stems in part from the immaturity manifested in this culture, which keeps us focused on ‘me’ and thus unable to see the larger landscape and our connection to it. The other part, I think, comes from the pressure to conform, not only in the sense of not wanting to be different but also a more basic or competitive desire not to let someone else ‘get ahead’.

            • Ivy Mike says:

              The Aral Sea wasn’t dried up by selfish “capitalist philosophy”; socialism/communism has been just as environmentally destructive as market economies.

              • derekthered says:

                the further i go down the road of rationalism the more i question the assumptions i have always lived by (there we go again, that linear thought). give more resources to the proletariat, the more people we wind up with. geez, i guess it’s a mid-life crisis. late life crisis? really there’s more than one principle operating here, socialist philosophy can be correct, and so can species wide behavioral patterns. sometimes i wonder if socialism/communism is not just state capitalism which drags along with it all the baggage of hierarchy and consumption.

    • bmiller says:

      Well, I like the message and the production values. When will it be finished?

    • JohnT says:

      I like. It appeals to my “doomfest” upbringing in America…50, 60, 70’s, Reagan, Bushies, Clinton, Obombya.

      Yes, I was suckled on this. More! More!

      Hedge’s juxtaposed Huxley and Orwell in a speech in Berkeley in ’09 that I acquired through a KPFA benefit. Right on the money describing our here and now.

      Good work.

    • kulturcritic says:

      mike – good trailer; I saw this piece of yours before. When will you make more progress on the film? Sandy

  3. Disaffected says:

    And I, too, am Homo sapiens sapiens, a twice wise and hyper-rational animal.

    I can’t support this right at the moment, but the more we claim to be “hyper-rational” (especially we here in the hyper-rational west), the deeper the steaming cauldron of hyper-irrational neuroses we seek to conceal and deny. And for proof, I think one need go no further than the nearest internet news or cultural site and spend a few minutes. Complete madness is now firmly in control in the west. Has been for quite some time, but it certainly seems to be reaching some sort of end-game as of late.

    Love the Dostoyevsky quote. I possess a certain Russian turn of mind myself (naturally cynical, somewhat pessimistic, and ALWAYS mistrustful of power in whatever form), and in my view, only such a turn of mind will save us here in the US in the coming years, as our cultural frame of mind here can be summed up in a word: adolescent. When it comes to the dealing with the approaching shit storm our mantra among the masses should be: “We’re all Russians now!”

    By the way, caught Oliver Stones latest series on Showtime, “The Untold History of the United States.” having been thoroughly indoctrinated in public schools about the “valiant American effort to save the world from communism and fascism” during and immediately after WWII, I was only mildly surprised to learn of the valiant Russian war effort, especially at Stalingrad, which basically saved the west’s bacon in entirety, and the ruthless selling-out of our Russian allies (not to underestimate the ruthlessness of Joseph Stalin in the least) in the immediate aftermath by corporate America installed stooge Harry Truman, who was little more than the first of a long line of puppet’s puppets installed to further the interests of the then burgeoning MIC. The next episode is titled “The Bomb,” so should be a good one. Anyway, cheers from the home of the same.

    • Disaffected says:

      Back to that final quote, I think it alludes to mass cultural suicide, which I think best explains our current and ongoing non-response to the now obvious threat of global climate change. I think even (maybe even especially!) the deniers know the truth of the matter, and they too sense that it’s too late to do anything about it anyway. But at a deeper level, I think it also reflects an intuitive, perhaps still subconscious in many, recognition that the society we’ve created is so totally devoid of any redeeming core human values that it simply must be destroyed for the good of all. The hyper-irrational is, in the end, hyper-rational (and vice versa) after all! We are all on a relentless march to our own collective destruction at our own hands, commanded by our own better natures. In the end, the old saw is true, albeit with a twist. Our current political, social, and economic order must be destroyed not in order to save itself, but to save us. Although the final outcome remains decidedly to be seen…

    • mikesosebee says:

      I saw Oliver Stone on Democracy Now! last week and I’m looking forward to watching. The information isn’t enlightening but the fact that they’re sharing the truth for a change is.
      http://www.democracynow.org/2012/11/16/oliver_stone_on_the_untold_us

      • Disaffected says:

        Excellent summation of everything in the WWII episode and an excellent preview of what’s to come. The story of Henry Wallace and his betrayal might be the greatest American story of the twentieth century never told. And Truman is now deified among the credulous masses. A fucking self-confessed idiot and failure, and emasculated eunuch who suddenly grew brass balls when he learned of the bomb. Fucking story in a nutshell of the MIC and America in the aftermath of WWII.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Cheers, DA I just returned today to Siberia from my USA sojourn. You are right… we should all be Russians now. BTW. You should read the entire piece by Dostoyevsky. The hero is a reflection of yourself… I think! You will enjoy it; and it is rather short. Best, Sandy

      • Disaffected says:

        Thanks Sandy. “THE HERO” exists within us all, and represents our own awakening to a (continuous, albeit with steps along the way) higher state. And YES indeed, I DO think I’m making some breakthroughs as of late. May we all be HEROES in the days ahead!

  4. “On this view, un-reason may be a fundamental requirement to correcting our fatal and fateful course. But, of this, I am uncertain.”

    The collective consciousness of this world is readying itself to move into the paradigm where mind and heart are open beyond habitual, conventional thinking and self-interest. Intuition, which has always been available and used by some, has been waiting its turn to be embraced universally as humanity’s “master” with reason and sensation in service to it. You thoughts, Sandy, are not un-reason but big picture, expansive and inclusive reason in service to your open heart.

    As America engages in another bit of weirdness call Black Friday, i share this wisdom with you.

    A poem “rendered” by Daniel Ladinsky

    An Insidious Idol
    by Meister Eckhart

    Commerce is supported by keeping the individual at odds
    with himself and others, by making us want more than we need, and
    offering credit to buy what refined senses do not want.

    the masses become shackled; I see how their eyes weep
    and are desperate-of course they feel desperate-for something,
    for some remedy

    that a poor soul then feels needs
    to be bought.

    I find nothing more offensive than a god
    who could condemn human instincts in us that time in all its wonder
    have made perfect.

    I find nothing more destructive to the well-being of life
    than to support a god that makes you feel unworthy and in debt to it.
    I imagine erecting churches to such a strange god will assure
    endless wars that commerce loves.

    A god that could frighten is not a god-but an insidious idol
    and weapon in the hands of
    the insane.

    A god who talks of sin is worshiped
    by the infirm;

    I was once spiritually ill-we all pass through that-
    but one day the intelligence
    in my soul
    cured
    me.

  5. javacat says:

    Your return has brought a deep return.

    Sandy, you’ve outlined well the many symptoms of our illness: the shallowness of response, meaningless gestures, beliefs in acquisition that run so deep that they’ve permeated our very cells and spirit and drive us, well, if not to extinction, at least to drink.

    Collapse may come as a crash, but parts arrive more slowly and with less fanfare. Local crime increases as the boundary of possession dissolves and human life is worth less. The calls to give to charity increase, yet the sum effect is numbing. Then, more quietly, the rough-edged and shy young man who appeared on my porch, selling thin wreaths to support a local homeless shelter. I took a long look, for there may be a time when the distance is not so great. How does one forge allies when the structure crumbles?

    The alleged but alienating ‘self-interest’ is not for the self–long-term at least. On all levels, we’ve developed a vision so monocular that we see only the single corporate model of ‘growth as more’, one that has permeated every aspect of our lives: Families run like businesses. News stories turned over to page views. Schools measured by scores on state tests. It all feels clutchingly desperate and hollow.

    “Sick” takes its early meanings from twisted or bent, and later referred to those who were spiritually and morally corrupt or mentally twisted. This seems an apt word to describe those running the show as well as us taken along for the ride. The drive for more fixes on the future. It is contradictory: a very other-focused drive supposedly to satisfy our selves. This forces a sharp inner rending that we’re so accustomed to that the pain becomes normal and we no longer question it.

    I am frustrated by my own complicity in the system I rant against. “Time’s running out and luck’s running thin,” is what a local musician sings. Un-rational may be the only real way to go right now, even at the risk of being thought the idiot.

    This essay is very good and much welcomed. Thanks always, and all the best. ~JC

    • kulturcritic says:

      Yes, JC! Twisted is a good alternative! We even twist around to consider our own selves first — rational (enlightened) self-interest. The twist of our logic and our ‘progress’ never ceases; we blow whichever way the wind will support our sails… as long as we keep up the momentum. So, in a sense we are twisting in the wind! LOL… I am home, now; and all the necessary adjustments are starting to form. Sandy

  6. John Bollig says:

    Sandy,

    An excellent posting, You understand the bunker mentality that is widespread in our culture. Shows like Doomsday Preppers and the ill fated Jerricho, lend themselves to a post western Civilization outlook. The coming of the end is very very near and the collapse will not be without depravity from the high and mighty. We are in end times and we know it. But, let me ask you Sandy, who will pick up the pieces?

    • cliffkrolick says:

      What pieces do we see might possibly be picked up? Or better yet, Will the picking up be or should it be anything that resembles what we may be leaving behind? How does humanity join forces with nature in a way that is no longer a sickness in a way that is in sinc with Earth/Nature and its remaining resources.

      Humankind could do well to contemplate what’s been our driving plight to oblivion. Finding the thin line, for each our personal path to interupt the madness and unimaginable waste of resources. This may be our temporary future RIGHT NOW. We may have the ability to flip like the 1000 monkey theory but more likely this will occur when small pockets of resistance, humans willing to find survival based on respect and primal management of Earths resouces.

      • javacat says:

        Cliff, you raise good and interesting questions here. Certainly, there must be a letting go of centuries of enculturation, personal habit, indoctrination–no easy task, though dramatic changes in circumstance make things easier. Someone else here mentioned the need to pay attention to intuition–what I tend to think of as sensing beyond the normally ascribed five, that allows us to tap into other energies and information in a reciprocity of exchange between us and our environment.

        i don’t know that humankind as a collective can contemplate anything…we are too big, too dispersed, too displaced for unified thought. I may be moving to the belief that our only change is small and local–maybe the small pockets to which you refer.

        I think that a great part of individual and personal change is what Sandy’s talked about in living in the present, ridding ourselves of the tug-of-war between past and future, to find those experiences in which we can surrender the ego and move in the moment.

        All the best, JC.

    • kulturcritic says:

      That is the “money” question, John!! And what pieces will be reused, and how?

  7. Brutus says:

    Sandy sez: In a world now peopled with purely profane ‘objects’ for manipulation and control, nothing sacred remains to be cherished except acquisitiveness.

    I heard a good line yesterday in reference to the TV show Hoarders (which I’ve never seen). Basically, it’s that we readily recognize the pathology of hoarding just about everything but money. But of course it’s not just money but nearly everything that constitutes the normative Western lifestyle: cars, electronics, marble countertops, excessive wardrobes, etc. We may tut tut in false superiority at compulsives who save empty 2-liter bottles and old newspapers because, well, those things have no value, but meanwhile we acquire to excess everything else of supposed value and sleep soundly in our false, insatiable self-satisfaction. It’s total objectification and profanation of the material world at the expense of the spiritual and sacred. And it only leads to our own ultimate demise as planetary resources and intrinsic wealth are harvested, chewed through, and consumed down to the final morsel.

    There is no wisdom (or survivability) in that approach at all; indeed, it is barking mad if one can get even a little perspective on it. But we can’t stop. It’s parable of the scorpion and the frog writ large.

    • Disaffected says:

      Hoarders is priceless and depressing. My mom’s one (for real!). I’ve come to conclude that the hoarding pathology (and it really is that) stems from a fear of letting go, and ultimately from a fear of death and total meaningless in one’s existence (Since I can’t find meaning in my life, I’ll hold onto things instead!). And that may be American’s true overriding national pathology. In a society that ascribes purely monetary values to everything and thus totally devalues human life and experience, it follows that death would imply loss of all of those things and descent into an existential void which most Americans have been taught from birth to believe simply doesn’t exist in favor of the capitalist cornucopia of MEANINGLESS SHIT in front of them. It also explains their propensity to try to buy their way out of even considering it, and into some imagined celestial heaven by subscription to childish religious fantasies and even more childish (not to mention devilish) pseudo-religious authority figures. Our culture’s sick!

    • kulturcritic says:

      And pathological it is… but nearly unstoppable!

      • Brutus says:

        If “it” is the culture (or the Curriculum of the West), then it’s definitely stoppable. It’s inevitable in fact. But we can’t stop ourselves. It will end when we reach then end of the line either in financial or energy or other resource terms (or all at once), and we will most likely accelerate straight up to the wall/cliff/collapse. That part is unstoppable.

        • kulturcritic says:

          But, where is the end?

          • Brutus says:

            The where part is foreseeable: the collapse of the ecosystem and the human institutions and societies that rely on it. It’s not a place so much as a trajectory. The when part is very hard to foresee accurately. Lots of prognosticators have pinned their beliefs to specific dates or date ranges, but like Chicken Little or Cassandra, they’ve been wrong until at last they’ll be right.

    • kulturcritic says:

      “It’s parable of the scorpion and the frog writ large” Is this leavergirl’s current issue?… extroverts v introverts?

      • Brutus says:

        She can speak to her intent if/when she wanders back into our discussions, but my understanding of her argument is that by virtue of their nature and how they perceive, extroverts tends to steamroll over less dominant and perhaps more risk-averse types because they’re insensitive to perspectival alternatives, whereas introverts, while not necessarily less open to risk and trial-and-error, tend either to allow themselves to be dominated or to withdraw from social dynamics that are unsuitable, inhospitable, or discomfiting to them. So even in experimental living situations, people tends to gather power and authority under the guise of leadership, which is the same old thing story of hierarchy we’ve discussed at some length. Consider it an inescapable facet of human nature when circumstances enable it.

        My suggestion is only slightly different, a lot of it being unstated because I don’t like to labor over arguments others should already find familiar. But to unpack it just a bit, the parable’s message is that we cannot escape our underlying nature and that it’s nonsensical and foolhardy to expect us to. Humans are rapacious consumers, full stop. We will continue until the substrate, e.g., McPherson’s living earth (and the rest of it, too, such as metals and minerals), on which we rely is fully consumed. Another less charitable way of putting it is that we a virus killing our host. That’s not far off, but IMO it misses the tragic character of the parable (talking animals being obvious substitutes for human character types), namely, that we know we’re doing ourselves in even as we can’t stop ourselves.

        • kulturcritic says:

          I would only caution against claiming there is some “human nature” that underlies and gives rise to this scenario. That may be a fallacy, Brutus.

        • Disaffected says:

          Personally, I would always caution against arguing against someone else’s arguments, no matter what you think they are. Argue your own. That’s enough.

          But to the point directly. Yeah, we’re fucked. It’s pretty damn hard to avoid that conclusion at this point if you’ve got a brain in your head.

        • leavergirl says:

          Thank you, Brutus, for summing it up so well. Extroverts tend to overwhelm. And we introverts have been intimidated into pretending to be extroverts. Not so good for the world, esp. governance. We should complement one another; as it is, extroverts dominate just about everything. (And hey, turn down all the damn noise and lights, Es! ;-))

  8. derekthered says:

    not to worry, o my brothers and sisters, we must remember the manifesto was only published in 1848 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communist_Manifesto they were still throwing Christians to lions in 300 CE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diocletianic_Persecution sure we had http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Clara_County_vs._Southern_Pacific_Railroad a bare forty years after dear old uncle karl and brother fred had their say, and a mere what? 60-70 years later we had this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Red_Scare it’s like the hundred year war, don’tcha know?

    problem is the top down feudal system just fit so nicely with industrialization, my fear is not that the system will collapse, but it won’t. that’s the scary part, a hundred or a thousand years of some new sort of insanity, or the few surviving people live in their isolated bio-spheres as in some Asimov novel. maybe Agent Smith is right, remember, wasn’t it a Russian who coined the word robotnik?

    the USA has had a good long run as the world’s last remaining bully boy, it’s time for nobody to take over.

    the Israeli situation is just a real problem, the history is so muddled up, what with mandates, security councils, gotta give it to the old Soviets, didn’t they have the brains to abstain? once again i will take the heretics position, there always should be somebody, and point out the friggin’ absolute most crazy thing about it all, the religion, the religion. Israel is a fact, no matter if the UN supposedly had the power from whatever authority they call upon (who did give them the authority? britains colonial conquest?) so yeah, if i just almost got wiped out by the Nazis, my next crib is going to be right in the middle of my historical enemies, what a goddamned mess. tell you what, i don’t know the answer to this one, but i will tell you, it’s not going to be found soft-pedaling the religious side of things. from the outside? as a long time commie? as one who has watched this whole thing for decades? it’s textbook, that’s the best descriptor i can come up with. the only way this will be solved, even for a little while, is to just say yeah, were giving the Israelis this much, that’s the border, and then enforce it upon both sides. look, the UN stole the land in the first place, no matter what anybody’s holy book says, so what? now everybody is going to be namby-pamby about the solution? looks like they started something in 48 they didn’t think thru, now they won’t man up and just say to the Palestinians, you’re dispossessed, and figure out some compensation. lest you think me hard-heated, think about it, i see people everyday of the week who are dispossessed, really they are, aren’t most of us?
    we are not in as dire straits as the Palestinians, thanks to our appetite for oil, and our war machine, but isn’t that the very mechanism they use to give us our bread and circuses?

    Mr. Hedges says they will make Gazans of all of us, i think he’s a bit late in his prognostications.

    historical inevitability, that’s what it is. any society that comes up with these sort of intractable problems will fail. so sorry, just ignore anything i may have said. the world’s gone crazy, i got nothing. best way i can say it? our society is the prince myshkin, the doctor has pronounced his diagnosis, i concur.

    let the games begin.

  9. I said a similar thing this morning (in a consderably less erudite way), skipping work at big bank because the buses aren’t running. It seems we have come to an impasse of some kind. The Tee-Vee programing I saw last night, Thanksgiving was truly:

    “The dissimulation, the sickness, indeed, the wickedness of this charade – this race to the bottom – is as frightening as it is demonic; destructive to the earth and its diverse inhabitants, including ourselves.”

    Our gleeful, rapacious, wild eyed willingness to sacrifice earth and life, to satisfy our “needs”. I find myself shaking sometimes, at the horror of it. I dance, to calm down. Or sing. Trusting that there are helping spirits who hear me. 😉

  10. Ivy Mike says:

    “system will implode”

    wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapon_design#Implosion-type_weapon

    “It is 5 Minutes to Midnight.” ~Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

    • Disaffected says:

      MIchael Shannon is really coming into his own lately. I hadn’t heard about this film until now (yeah, I don’t get out much), but it looks very provocative. It should be noted (not that I’m taking a side on the matter), that paranoid schizo is a common diagnosis/label to apply to those who may espouse beliefs “outside the mainstream,” which is the/a subject I’m assuming this film attempts to address. Looks good though!

      Regarding nuclear annihilation, that’s been a favorite subject of John Michael Greer, aka The Archdruid, of late. Always the pragmatist, JMG presents some pretty compelling evidence for why it probably won’t happen anytime soon. And I think I mostly agree with him. We’ve certainly had some totally irrational incidents (almost all on the part of the US no less!) thus far with no resulting meltdown. That said, one certainly wonders how long we can continue to roll the dice and get away with it, human nature being what it is and all.

      • cliffkrolick says:

        We’re not really getting away with anything. It is slowly killing people and planet.
        Just because it is not always on the mealcard each and everyday, what you cannot see
        will hurt you. But ultimately death is to be reconed with very differently then we have been forced fed to believe. I find myself building castles in the sands of my life, all the time reminding myself of the immensity of the universe and how very short my life here is anyway. This helps me let go and not grab onto all my creations possessions. Still I want to create

      • Ivy Mike says:

        I could tear apart the whole article, but I’ll rest my case with a couple examples of why Greer needs to do a little better fact checking before pontificating upon a subject on which he has little grasp.

        Greer: “One thing about nuclear weapons that’s too rarely remembered is that they are surprisingly delicate devices, and don’t store well. Certain components of hydrogen warheads, for example, have to be replaced every six months or so because the radioactive material in them undergoes normal decay, and enough of it changes into another element that it stops working.”

        Los Alamos National Laboratory: “…the average age of a stockpile weapon is now 19 years, and some of the weapons are over 35 years old. The nation’s nuclear weapons were originally designed to last for 20 to 25 years…No new warheads have been produced for over 10 years…”

        lanl.gov/quarterly/q_w03/shelf_life.shtml

        Greer: “This is why, in turn, the Peoples Republic of China contents itself with so small a nuclear arsenal.”

        Washington Post: “China’s nuclear arsenal could be many times larger than the well-established estimates of arms-control experts.”

        washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/georgetown-students-shed-light-on-chinas-tunnel-system-for-nuclear-weapons/2011/11/16/gIQA6AmKAO_story.html

        I just published the above examples in the comment section of his article. Think it’ll show up?

  11. mikesosebee says:

    Had a rough cut public showing last Saturday in Las Vegas at Vegas Roots, a community garden. It needs some more work but I should have a final cut done by x-mas.

    • asoka says:

      Woo Hoo!! Celebrate! Celebrate! Dance to the Music!! But not before you drown the kids in the bathtub to save them from the carnage. Right? It’s going to be a Three Dog Night, but first, please don’t forget to spay and neuter yourselves and your children courtesy of Bob Barker.

      • Disaffected says:

        OMG! THE Asoka of ClusterfuckNationLurker.fame? Question? Why in the world don’t you just join the Repubes, get rich, and be done with it? Wouldn’t that be one helluva lot easier than lurking on sites like this and pretending that you’re happy that you’re not? As to the music, VERY GOOD choice!

        By the way, you’re WRONG in just about everything you say, you KNOW you’re wrong, which is why you’re lashing out so desperately, and you’re TOO FUCKING DESPERATE to just admit it and be done with it already. Really dude. Just give it up already and get some sleep. The internet thanks you for it in advance.

        By the way, never had any kids, don’t plan to. Wouldn’t bring ’em in this world. And you?

      • kulturcritic says:

        Oh My… what the Cat dragged in!

        • Disaffected says:

          Asoka’s a latent conservative, aka an apologist. In other words, the worst of both worlds. Hangs out on “doomer” boards only in order to suck conservative dick. Umm, good cum master! May I have another load?

          Why YES YOU MAY Asoka, you cum guzzling BITCH!

      • Greg Knepp says:

        Asoka, glad you signed on. I’m also a CFN’er but I don’t comment on that site often, and I use a moniker. I think you’ll find folks on this end a little touchy. I’m in general agreement with the larger premise here, but I take a lot of flack if I stray from the party line even slightly. They mean well, though.

      • leavergirl says:

        Goodness, asoka, don’t ya get enough abuse on Clusterfuck to fill up your plate? Or has it gotten too tame there nowadays? (shakin’ me noggin)

      • Ivy Mike says:

        There seems little difference between “celebrate” and “celibate” in many doomerati circles, for which a chorus of climate catastrophe is accompanied by refrains of asexual absolutism and buddhist banality. A perfect example is Guy McPherson’s blog/comments, where Robin’s polyphonic platitudes are accompanied by such gems as:

        • “If somebody wants to have a litter of children, ignorantly or fully aware of our dire straits, I have little interest…” ~Guy McPherson
        • “I would only join a community where there are no fucking couples. A community that would be over all the fucking. Hear me, I don’t care what people do, I just wish I could find for myself a non-fucking community knowing pretty well it is impossible.” ~michele/montreal
        • “…stick to abstinence…give up your biological imperative…” ~Kathy C
        • “You’ll first have to give up your beloved life and livelihood and walk away from all your colleagues, friends, and family.” ~Guy McPherson

        Now whitewash such dour para-calvinism with some Celibation time, come on!

      • derekthered says:

        three dog night? really? come on man, let’s get just a bit more up to date.
        http://www.youtube.com/artist/disturbed?feature=watch_video_title

  12. The following quote that I read today reminded me of kulturcritic blog generally, not specific to this week’s theme. Still, I there are thinkers among those who share their thoughts here that might find this challenging or inspiring. It is from Hermann Hesse, Magister Ludi (The Glass Bead Game):

    “Oh, if only it were possible to find understanding,” Joseph exclaimed. “If only there were a dogma to believe in. Everything is contradictory, everything tangential; there are no certainties anywhere. Everything can be interpreted one way and then again in the opposite sense. The whole of world history can be explained as developmental and progress and can also be seen as nothing but decadence and meaninglessness. Isn’t there any truth? Is there no real and valid doctrine?”
    The Master had never heard him speak so fervently. He walked on in silence for a little, then said,” There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived not taught. Be prepared for conflicts, Joseph Knecht–I can see they have already begun.”

    • kulturcritic says:

      Ron – again you have me mystified by this language of “perfection” and the “god within.” I do not know why one would wish to speak of such.

      • Well, Sandy, these terms are associated with mysticism, so being mystified by them would not be uncommon. A thousand years ago mystics kept their thoughts private and hidden within esoteric symbols and poetry. Now that spirituality and mysticism are out there in public without one needing to fear having their head chopped off for blasphemy and such, it will still be found foreign and challenging by some folks, while at the same time flying well over the heads of others. I wonder though if more than the language itself it is my serious “tone” that troubles you.

        I can go in for, and I try to promote, good, solid critical thinking, but my own experience has shown that there exists knowledge/understanding far more significant and meaningful than reasoning. There is a saying I have seen around, maybe on a bumper sticker, that can be applied to say the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, it might be something like: If we keep fighting each other in an attempt to prove who is right, there will be no one left.

        Here is part of a short quote on this theme by Eckhart Tolle:
        “Most people spend their entire life imprisoned within the confines of their own thoughts. They never go beyond a narrow mind-made, personalized sense of self that is conditioned by the past.”

        The modern day mystic continues: “In you, as in each human being, there is a dimension of consciousness far deeper than thought. It is the very essence of who you are. We may call it presense, awareness, the unconditioned consciousness. In the ancient teachings it is the Christ within, or your Buddha nature.”

        • kulturcritic says:

          Ron – I am mystified not so much by the terms in your dictation, but in your willingness to engage in such thoughtless repetition of terms fraught with such a prickly history in the language. It is certainly your choice to mindlessly parrot the”wisdom” of those you believe to be gurus; but, I am not interested in ‘perfection’ or ‘truth’ or even the god-within-me. These all assume either a trajectory of progress or a concept of deity that I find distressing to say the least. But, we will continue to disagree on these points; so please do not try to convince me with yet more quotations. I am more than familiar with all of the mystic traditions from Shamanism to Gnostics, to Theosophists, Ascended Masters, Madame Blavotsky, and Mr. Tolle among others. I do not need a refresher course. Thanks anyway. All my best, Sandy

          • “On this view, un-reason may be a fundamental requirement to correcting our fatal and fateful course.”

            I suppose I mistakenly judged this statement as an opening to: a “truth” beyond, yet encompassing, reason. But then in the next sentence:

            “But, of this, I am uncertain. Why? Because it is a fundamentally irrational position.”

            Maybe this indicates “door” closing and invitation withdrawn?

              “And I, too, am Homo sapiens sapiens, a twice wise and hyper-rational animal.”

            Identity is a powerful dictator not keen on risk or uncertainty. Most of us suffer from this tyranny more or less. Maybe unresolved stress of inner conflicts foster the inhumanity and depravity we are having to contend with. Your best accepted, Brother, and best wishes to you and yours.
            Ron

        • robindatta says:

          One can doubt everything except the doubter. Everything else is dependent upon it.

          Sent from my iPhone

  13. robindatta says:

    Remember the refrain from the Lobster Quadrille?

    “Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?
    Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?”

    Consider it an invitation to celebrate!

  14. cliffkrolick says:

    It seems to me that there will always be different ways of experiencing the same experience. We can look at humans on a grand scale or consider one person or one grouping. What is this thing called perfection anyway? “Perfection is in the eye of the beholder” What the hel… does this mean? They got a perfect score? By who’s scale? And what is satisfaction?

    I can only determine that these concepts tend to have some end, some completion, some finiteness. Eventually neat little straight jackets. As long as we demand answers, look for safety, look for clear delineation we will be asking for the impossible. Why not hold out for the implausible, unbelievable, unimaginable, undefinable. We can choose, always choose and no matter what appears in front of us we have choices. It is probably better to have an optimistic or maybe pessimistic view of humans on this planet? It’s always easier to put a label on it. Is there a place that lies beyond our choices and preferences?

  15. Greg Knepp says:

    Excellent post; I like the quote too. It seems that artists are always way ahead when it comes to discerning great cultural/societal shifts. In addition to Dostoyevsky: Poe, Mahler, Ernst, Dickens (the list goes on) all saw ominous clouds on humankind’s horizon. Consider Mary Shelly’s dark vision!

    It’s also noteworthy that American art continued to project wide-eyed optimism deep into the twentieth century: Gershwin, Rockwell, Copeland, Armstrong, Disney, even Warhol – again just to name a few – all seemed to believe that the good times would roll forever.

    • kulturcritic says:

      And, of course, the Mahler is certainly foreboding.

    • javacat says:

      “It’s also noteworthy that American art continued to project wide-eyed optimism deep into the twentieth century: Gershwin, Rockwell, Copeland, Armstrong, Disney, even Warhol – again just to name a few – all seemed to believe that the good times would roll forever.”

      A historian might say that the American outlook of unrestrained (and perhaps unfounded) optimism in the 20th century came to be because we emerged from two world wars unscathed: no rebuilding, no rationing comparable to that which Europe saw well after 1945. We also had a sense of possibility of the new: set aside how we misused the land and decimated the indigenous peoples…the optimism of the new went hand-in-hand with the opening landscape and seemingly endless resources.

      In discussing art, it’s important I think to distinguish between pop culture and fine arts. Disney, known for propaganda as well as princesses, falls deeply into the former. Warhol…perhaps a naif, but reflected the American obsession with the cult of personality and product. Rockwell, a way we’d like to be or our national mythology; again, popular culture rather than serious art–though pop culture often has greater reach and permeates the society much farther than fine arts usually do.

      There are many examples that support the wide-eyed optimism of America perceptions, yet the tally on the other side suggests a balance of more realistic perceptions: Eliot, Frost, Steinbeck, O’Neill are authors that come to mind. Others can probably offer names in music and painting. I suggest these ideas to let the discussion get deeper into how we form national identity, who manipulates those notions, how the ideas are disseminated, and how those concepts shape world view and self-view–and maybe how we might undo what’s been done.

      All the best. ~JC

      • Greg Knepp says:

        Very good points, javacat, however, I must take some exception to the distinction between ‘fine’ and ‘popular’ art. The proverbial anthropologist from space would most likely observe that the American Artists I listed (and others of their kind and rank) are represented in the culture far more than those you mentioned (though excellent they may be) and that, as art is both a shaper of and a reflection of its culture, those that I listed would have to be considered more important and thus more influential than your candidates, particularly given the specific nature of our culture which, as you know, is based on and controlled by commerce (mass production, a middle class with disposable income, market saturation, the democratization of tastes, etc…) rather than by a small cadre of religious, royal or state elites – the only ones capable of supporting technically sophisticated art prior to the Industrial Revolution.

        In fact, the very concept of ‘fine art’ is a bit of a sham, and of quite recent development. It started with the Salon of Paris – the first art gallery of any note. It was a faux palace stuffed to the gills with painting which were marketed to a growing class of merchants who, with new wealth jingling in their pockets, wanted to purchase art to appear affluent and sophisticated.

        Our anthropologist from space would surmise that our art galleries of today, tucked neatly into their little urban ‘culture districts’ with their wine and cheese openings and their incomprehensible canvasses hanging about, would represent some sort of cultural
        backwater – perhaps vestigal of a past era when class exclusivity meant something. Interesting, but not important to the culture at large…at best a form of folk art.

        • javacat says:

          Wow, anthropologists wearing jetpacks–how cool would that be? GK, we know how often anthropologists get things wrong, observing without context or imposing their own cultural restrictions inappropriately on unfamiliar societies. One could posit that popular culture reinforces the cultural norms of a society, while fine art in all its forms brings about deeper change–Read the essays of John Berger sometime–but clearly you’re more interested in condescension than discourse. Cheers! ~JC

          • Greg Knepp says:

            True, in the area of culture the role of the fine artist might well be compared to that of the research scientist within the realm of technology. But significant breakthroughs in both fields often occur randomly; creative genius is organic and refuses to acknowledge that which society has deemed ‘proper context’. This is why the line between fine art and popular art, if applicable at all, must be kept fuzzy and flexible.

            For instance, on which side of the line would you place ‘Vertigo’ or ‘West Side Story’? We may agree where to place the accumulated works of R. Crumb, but what about Stan Lee comics; how do they rate? Is H. L. Mencken an artist or a journalist…or both? ‘Pinky and the Brain’ is pure genius (of that I can assure you) but it’s a kid’s cartoon. It can’t be high art can it?

            The contribution of Andy Warhol was that he saw greater imagery in the popular cinema and on the labels of common grocery store products that in all the galleries in The Village.

            • derekthered says:

              the genius of Warhol was that he drained reality of meaning, he was an early illustrator of the simulacrum which Baudrillard wrote about. empty space, this was Warhol thing, the vacuousness, or rather the vacuum of consumer culture.

              abstract realism, this is our culture, a contradiction in terms. how do you depict a virtual reality? we are now symbiotes with our machines, which is what Warhol said he wanted to be, a machine. art must be incomprehensible in order to portray a culture no one understands.

              Paul Virilio attempts to address some of these issues in his books.

              some people attempt to delineate between high and low culture as if to abdicate responsibility for what our society is, it’s not working.

              • Greg Knepp says:

                Great stuff, derekthered! I consider the last paragraph of your comment to be required reading.

              • Brutus says:

                derek(the)red sez: abstract realism, this is our culture, a contradiction in terms. how do you depict a virtual reality? we are now symbiotes with our machines, which is what Warhol said he wanted to be, a machine. art must be incomprehensible in order to portray a culture no one understands.

                I don’t want to wade into this discussion of what art is, high vs. low, who got there first, etc., but this comment (the part I quote, anyway) is one of the most insightful remarks I’ve read here in a long time.

      • kulturcritic says:

        It hink JC has provided a great step here in looking at how media (and the pop) arts contribute to our terminal undoing. Would love to hear others feedback. sandy

        • derekthered says:

          art has changed radically over the last 150 years reflecting the cultural changes which have taken place. sure the subjects changed during the romantic period, but now we have changes which are very hard to depict, it’s no longer a case of dealing with perspective as with trompe l’oeil or chiaroscuro; now it is a case of dealing with a non-existent virtual horizon. perhaps paintings must necessarily be incomprehensible in order to depict an incomprehensible reality.

          my favorite is andy warhol (who despite his libertine attitude is said to have attended Mass every day, and dearly loved his mother), warhol managed to depict reality drained of all meaning (virtual reality if you will), which is pretty much where our culture is going.
          my personal opinion is that true art these days must be abstract, realism is pretty much dead, you want a picture? buy a camera; not that i do not very much appreciate the talent and hard work of realists, lots of great “illustrators” out there.

          now? you want realism? fine art that does manage to say something? can’t go wrong with Odd Nerdrum
          http://www.oddnerdrum.com/frame_gallery_mh.htm
          i believe i have posted a link to this guy before, the man is a monster.
          then there is Peter Halley
          http://www.peterhalley.com/
          you should pay attention to him, he’s a professor.
          but he has nothing on this lady
          http://www.karstenschubert.com/browse/_Bridget%20Riley,0/

          enjoy

        • Ivy Mike says:

          Art is a feeble substitute of the real.

          “Neanderthals did not paint their caves with the images of animals. But perhaps they had no need to distill life into representations, because its essences were already revealed to their senses. The sight of a running herd was enough to inspire a surging sense of beauty. They had no drums or bone flutes, but they could listen to the booming rhythms of the wind, the earth, and each other’s heartbeats, and be transported.”

          ~John Zerzan
          Running on Emptiness: The Failure of Symbolic Thought

          • derekthered says:

            good one, succinctly capsulizes many of my own thoughts, and if i may be so presumptuous, much of the thrust of this web site also. having but dabbled in these various disciplines, anthropology and such, i appreciate an author who gives quotes so i don’t have to do all that tiresome work, research; besides, aren’t we becoming more of an aural (oral?) society all the time?
            prehistoric fantasy is all very well, i’ve suffered thru the whole “earth’s children” books. very informative, that’s why people collaborate isn’t it?

            but seriously, the essay ties together some of the frenchman’s ravings for me by explaining how these things probably arose.
            my minor quibble would be men’s desire to control reproduction, to spread their own genes about, but then maybe that just took care of itself, i just think it started earlier, that’s all. the pessimists view.
            but yes, it all depends on the science, the tech, the same tech which may have exacerbated the situation. the media, the informers, whatever, people have written books about madison avenue, theirs a teevee show for chrissakes! the ruling class has experts in psyche? every thing is designed, appeal to desire, the oral fixation, hence the dark warnings about the “nanny state”? such fun. war games, war ads that bend the genres, but just for those who “play by the rules”. i like to analyze movies, adverts, art, all to see what archetypes they are using……………
            now they want to mine methane in Alaska, seriously, saw an article, probably be less polluting to burn it than to let it turn over, lovely pass we’ve come too, huh?
            grab a shovel, dig deep enough, probably find some cool, maybe we can come out at night when the rays subside, battle the nightcrawlers.
            http://www.artflakes.com/en/products/nightcrawler-1

          • javacat says:

            Thanks for this link. The essay and the site as a whole are interesting.
            Art is not a substitute for an ecstatic immersion of the senses. Paul Shepard discusses how art distances the viewer from direct experience, that we look at the framed landscape on the wall rather than the landscape itself. Ditto on photography. On a cyber note, Jaron Lanier, one of creators of virtual reality, decries what the web has become in “You Are Not A Gadget”, both in the limits imposed on human thought by the strictures of computer programs, and the fragmenting effect on human thought by the ascendance of…um…blogs. [Sorry, Sandy! There’s always the exception. 😉 ]
            Others can jump in here, but my sense is that human depictions began as more totemic than symbolic, that the object or drawing was imbued with the spirit, if you will, of what was being depicted. This suggests that we were already moving away from direct experience, seeing ourselves as ‘other’ as we attempted to manipulate or control our environment. Art–high, low or in-between–is part of that change, even though art and music can still move us.
            Modern culture has increasingly insulated us from knowing our senses. Modern science has taught us not to trust our senses. Natural perception can seem most unnatural. Most of us here seem willing to return to, or move through to, a place closer to no distinction–even as we see the contradictions we live.

  16. javacat says:

    Coincidentally, just read Jensen essay in a newly arrived collection. The shift is so clear–once he pointed it out. Like a kaleidoscope shifting to make a new pattern.

  17. Mick Stupp says:

    This post and discussion regarding western culture, values, and the resulting degradation in the actual quality of daily existence illuminates sensations I started to experience twenty years ago and found very difficult to discuss with others. Some tried to convince me it was a midlife crisis, others figured I was just depressed, but the followers of this blog know otherwise!

    • kulturcritic says:

      Hey my friend; glad you are no longer mixed-up!! Welcome, Sandy kC

      • Mick Stupp says:

        Thank you, Sandy. I am a regular at Kunstler’s site and started following his efforts since he was primarily a critic of modern architecture and development. A dozen or so times I have gone to your link from his CFN blog; I appreciate the quality of the discourse here and I intend on being a regular.

  18. Vyse Legendaire (@VyseLegendaire) says:

    “The clowns in business suits have taken control of the bus and are driving it straight into oblivion with all of us onboard”

    Indeed, that is an apt metaphor for the current situation! A frightening carnival both deeply comical and tragic. The extremely dire and packed rhetoric in this post really reflects the exasperation all of us feel, thanks for that. The inmates are running the asylum!

  19. Spot on with our attitude of fulfilling our desires at the cost of the rest of the world and nature. It’s a sickness indeed; and to quote from Scripture, it’s a “Sickness unto death”. Peace.

  20. Disaffected says:

    Latest installment of Oliver Stone’s Untold History on here as I speak. WWII conventional tactics indeed makes you wonder what in the fuck the US ever thought “The Bomb” was necessary for. It will weigh on our collective souls forever, as indeed it does now.

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