In Full Flight

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Published : October 01st, 2012
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            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 a gag. But it sheds some light on the hazard of trying to be funny by saying the opposite of what you mean, and also on the essential character of Mr. Romney who, to put it as plainly and directly as possible, is the sort of person commonly described as "an asshole." Hence, the thought that must be flashing through many people's minds these days when Romney's off-kilter, square-jawed, grinning visage floats over the nearest flat-screen: Who would vote for that asshole...? Being given to more baroque taxonomy, myself, I would be satisfied in calling Mr. Romney an empty vessel in a vacant room in an abandoned property in a forsaken land, and leave it at that.

 

It happens that his opponent, Mr. Obama, is a genial fellow with whom almost anyone might like to have a beer. Despite his winning smile, though, the president has managed to cripple due process of law, make war on the nation's own citizens, let Wall Street criminals run amok, and sell out the electoral process to a corrupt corporate oligarchy. I wouldn't vote for him again if he water-boarded me in a Jacuzzi full of Schorschbräu's Schorschbock 57 beer ($275 a bottle). But he's welcome to come over to my house and watch the baseball playoffs if he brings his own six-pack and a bag of Cheetos.

 

And so it goes on the backstretch of the emptiest election contest in memory. The nation simply can't contend with the existential problems it faces and doesn't want to hear about them. As far as I can tell, nobody is paying attention to the campaigns, not even the reporters, certainly not the bloggers, who have their eyes on the riots and other kinetic unravelings related to the money crisis in Europe. Here, where anything goes and nothing matters, everybody just goes through the motions of electoral politics. It all has the odor of a ritual that nobody remembers the original purpose of - namely, to govern, i.e. to manage society's collective affairs. These days, nobody believes that our affairs are manageable, and their perception is probably correct, especially when it comes to paying for it all, since accounting fraud is now the basis of all financial operations.

 

But I don't mean to just deplore the situation. It is what it is, and we are at a certain juncture of history because of the choices we have made, and we'll have to see how the consequences roll out. Here's how I see some of them.

 

The Romney election fiasco will destroy the Republican Party, just as the Whig party fell apart in the last days of Millard Fillmore. The religious nuts and Dixieland ignoranti will demand the expulsion of all non-extremists and Karl Rove will be left at the Nascar track with Honey Boo Boo on his lap and a dwindling "base" of shrieking microcephalics awaiting the second coming of Adolf Hitler in a green satin Mountain Dew race-day jumpsuit. Respectable conservatives (they exist) will have to take their pleadings elsewhere, the venue or party yet-to-be determined, perhaps off-shore somewhere where the downtrodden sew blue jeans and counterfeit Louis Vuitton handbags.

 

Meanwhile, genial Barack Obama glides to victory and then presides over four more years of implacable contraction that will make the Great Depression look like an episode of Cake Boss. The contraction is upon us because peak oil is for real and shale-gas / shale oil is what used to be known as "a bill o'goods" which one is sold by underhanded means and, boy, was this country sold. BP, Chevron, Exxon-Mobil and the gang carpet-bombed the cable news networks all year with shale propaganda and now everybody and his mother thinks we're going to run Walmart indefinitely on the rectified rock-farts of North Dakota. The sharpies over at Spin Central haven't figured out yet that true "energy independence" means living without the oil you need to run your stuff.

 

In reality, the roughly 300-year fiesta of an expanding fossil fuel energy supply is over, and that model of an economy with it. We'll also soon discover the hard way that technology is not a substitute for energy. No matter how many apps you can cram into a little pocket-sized box you still need juice to run it. In any case, the folks who elected Mr. Obama will be furious when they learn the truth of our predicament. The Democratic Party may not blow up quite like the Republicans, but it could become the front organization for the imperial return of Bill and Hillary Clinton. I've maintained for over decade that Bill Clinton will get back into power despite the 22nd amendment because the nostalgia for the 1990s will be so overwhelming and irresistible in a harsh age. The only thing I wonder about is whether Bill or Hillary will succeed in getting the other bumped off. Otherwise the regime could develop into something like the brief joint Roman emperorship of Pupienus and Balbinus (238 AD). Eventually, I expect bankruptcy, political paralysis, and social disorder to become so extreme that a Pentagon general will stride into the White House and put an end to the freak show. A Navy Seal team spirits away Bill and Hillary to a dumpster in the ruins of Opryland... and it's on to the new dark age.

 




James Howard Kunstler's newest nonfiction book, TOO MUCH MAGIC, is  available in stores since July 2012. To find out how you can help support local bookstores with your purchase, CLICK HERE.




 

 

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James Howard Kunstler has worked as a reporter and feature writer for a number of newspapers, and finally as a staff writer for Rolling Stone Magazine. In 1975, he dropped out to write books on a full-time basis. His nonfiction book, "The Long Emergency," describes the changes that American society faces in the 21st century. Discerning an imminent future of protracted socioeconomic crisis, Kunstler foresees the progressive dilapidation of subdivisions and strip malls, the depopulation of the American Southwest, and, amid a world at war over oil, military invasions of the West Coast; when the convulsion subsides, Americans will live in smaller places and eat locally grown food.
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Glad im not an American voter and from where im seated Mr K seemed to sum it up quite well.
Mr Romney from what ive seen is a loathsome war monger and the very last person you should vote for as president, unless you enjoy the thought of more innocent people (on all sides) in the middle east being blown to pieces!

As for Obama, who knows, at least he has not allowed that nut Netanyahu the opportunity to start the fireworks yet! Anyways what will be will be, no point getting stressed im just neverminding.
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James - I always enjoy your writing. Quite on the money with your analysis. I believe the GOP shot itself in both feet and then hacked off their nose at the Convention by totally dissing ALL of the Ron Paul followers. He needed each and every one of them to win and they are the ones most likely to actually vote. The campaign ended then and there. It really is - as you point out - just a carnival act as the real president of the USA is now Ben Bernake, Vice President is Tim G and the Congress is the connected (by IV lines to the Federal Reserve) moneyed interest few. The Federal reserve represents the elected Congress by law since 1914 and by as much campaign donating, book deals, free trips and elite perks allowed by it's own vote. It's all about staying out of the way of these SocioPathetics so they don't run over you or kill your children or grandchildren in the endless wars on their way to infinite power and global control . Elections are now for the uninformed who are being robbed by devaluation.
Looking forward to the soon to be released movie Atlas Shrugged....
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Kunstler begins his cogent and highly intelligent analysis of the current political scene with this: "Mr. Romney who, to put it as plainly and directly as possible, is the sort of person commonly described as "an asshole." Very, very deep.

To make sure his readers did not miss his erudition he reinforced the above with this: "Hence, the thought that must be flashing through many people's minds these days when Romney's off-kilter, square-jawed, grinning visage floats over the nearest flat-screen: Who would vote for that asshole...?" I see the Pulitzer people looking at this very carefully.

To his credit Kunstler also indicts Obama with this: "...the president has managed to cripple due process of law, make war on the nation's own citizens, let Wall Street criminals run amok, and sell out the electoral process to a corrupt corporate oligarchy." Adding, " I wouldn't vote for him again..."

WOULDN'T VOTE FOR HIM AGAIN????????!!!!!!! Now who is the asshole?

When it was obvious to any with half a brain hemisphere that Obama was a Socialist and would ruin the country, Kunstler voted for the man -- and the brainless Biden!!!!!!

Excuse me while I take a bowel movement.

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Kunstler has the guts to admit, on more than this occasion, that he voted for Obama and now regrets it. It’s refreshing to read an article where the author admits to making a choice he now regrets instead of trying to disassociate himself from his past actions. He tells the truth and you use this in an ongoing effort to shame and discredit the man. I enjoy his point of view on the matter of the coming failed elections and the added humor. Humor it would seem some people are incapable of detecting.

Who did you vote for Jim? And tell us why you voted for this person? Oh wait, you may have decided not to vote you little anarchist. We need guvamint dagnabit so you better have voted.

Question is do you have the kahona’s like Kunstler to share with us the who and why or will you play the part of the coward and avoid the question and prove that JHK is a better man?

In the future please keep you’re bodily functions to yourself, your annoying enough without knowing when you're headed for the washroom to create another one of your comments.

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Lately, James, it's become a LOT easier to spot a THROWN ELECTION. It's the same as spotting a "thrown" sports game or "thrown" race. When the OBVIOUS winning possibility gets trashed, ridiculed and dumped (Ron Paul) you can easily tell the outcome of any election. Here, in Indiana, it was the Jill Thompson vs. Mitch Daniels circus that put me wise to how the POWERS work. Hell, a chimp could have beat Daniels in that one.

Lament not. It's obvious THE POWERS want Obama and the Democratic Party to be in charge of THE GREAT COLLAPSE. The FALL GUYS have been chosen. Oh, and Mitt is an Obama Clone; or vice-versa, depending on who's Health Care Fiasco is the template.
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Latest comment posted for this article
Kunstler has the guts to admit, on more than this occasion, that he voted for Obama and now regrets it. It’s refreshing to read an article where the author admits to making a choice he now regrets instead of trying to disassociate himself from his past a  Read more
Hart - 10/1/2012 at 5:27 PM GMT
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