Pure Americana

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Published : August 13th, 2012
886 words - Reading time : 2 - 3 minutes
( 26 votes, 3.4/5 ) , 5 commentaries
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Category : Editorials

 

 

 

 

At the core of the manifold paradoxes swirling around American governance is the harsh reality that we just can't keep running our shit the way it has evolved to run. Neither candidate for president is honest enough to spell this out and indeed both act as though easy work-arounds exist for sustaining the unsustainable.


In the case of Mr. Obama, it's paying limitless TBTF ransom money to overgrown banks to avoid the constant threats of collapse that they whisper in his ear - essentially a hostage racket. A policy of managed contraction is probably the only way to avoid unmanaged and uncontrollable collapse, and would include dismantling all the TBTF banks, but Mr. Obama won't acknowledge the imperative of contraction and the difficulties it represents. So he stands by hoping that Fed Chair Bernanke will keep shoveling ZIRP privileges, "twist' ops, bail-outs, and bond buying interventions to the "primary dealers" - a line-up of flimflams so abstruse that all the Paul Krugmen-type economists who ever lived might puzzle over them around the clock until the end of time and never unravel their inner workings.


Mr. Romney subscribes to a set of fantasies out of the Chamber of Commerce playbook that all the familiar activities of status quo wealth generation could easily continue via the marvelous invisible hands of unfettered corporatism, if only the deadweight of government restrictions and the squandering of borrowed public "money" were swept away. His choice of running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan, is meant to embody all those notions -- but more than that appeal to the inchoate mob of Tea Partiers who want to get the gubment's hands off their goshdarn medicare. Anyway, the net effect of Mr. Romney's business fantasies are so inadequate to the contractive forces underway that they would amount to pissing up the massive rope of history in a hurricane of events.


So, as the election race sets up for its terminal lap, expect a completely incoherent debate over the fate of the nation from a couple of characters who personify all the hapless contradictions of the public they will be pandering to. Romney's story appeals to me a little more in its strange psychological dimensions; Obama's role as a living, breathing wish-fulfillment of the liberal imagination is too obvious in comparison.


First there is the issue of Mitt's family. His Dad, George Romney, was among many avatars of big business (it used to be called) in its post-WW2 heyday, as CEO of American Motors, the car company that was a clownish fourth to the "big three" of that day (GM, Ford, and Chrysler). American Motors produced joke cars for losers, foremost the Rambler, featuring seats that folded down flat with the implied use as a rolling bedroom. George Romney got himself elected governor of Michigan at a time when the state was so flush with revenue it would have been impossible to misgovern - though he set up the conditions for a later spectacular collapse into the ash-heap of broken dreams it represents today. He battled Richard Nixon for the Republican nomination in 1968 and became a laughingstock by claiming he had been "brainwashed" by US officials and generals into supporting the Vietnam War on a visit there in 1967. It was an unfortunate remark, coming only a few years after the release of a popular movie called The Manchurian Candidate, about a Red Chinese plot to use brainwashed Americans to subvert a US presidential election. Game over for George.


So, in this age of creeping dynastic ambition, of Kennedys, Bushes, Browns, here we have another case of a son reenacting the family ambition. You'd think the American public would be getting a little sick of this routine, that is, if we were really the independent and "exceptional" people we pretend to be. But, alas, here you just get the worst natural human tendencies to institutionalize social hierarchy amplified by the idiotic celebrity culture of mass-media, pointing to the conclusion that we supposed lovers of "freedom" and "liberty" crave domination by hereditary rulers. The cheekiness of it all by such "regular guy" phonies like Mitt would be enough to provoke a real political upheaval in a nation less medicated than ours.


Then there is the question of Mitt Romney's so-called faith, the preposterous fairy tale called Mormonism. Nobody in the news business today really wants to state plainly what a laughable package of childish incongruities this belief system is - though Adam Gopnik came close recently via a scholarly disquisition in a recent New Yorker that left out most of the comedy - because it is a cardinal rule of our anemic culture that any and all belief systems are equally valid. But the story of Mormon "prophet" Joseph Smith is so rich with inane occult hustling that the Coen Brothers would be hard pressed to satirize it. Of course, it is the perfect religion for a man who now vehemently denounces the very same health care reform policy that he championed a few years ago as governor of Massachusetts.


Anyway, bear in mind that, whatever else is going on out there right now in the three-ring circus of presidential politics, events are in the driver's seat, not personalities, and the seeming quiescence of things on the late summer scene is an illusion that will soon dissipate.



 

 

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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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Ride 'em, Cowherd Boy!
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Unlike certain commenter’s that focus solely on one aspect of a writers philosophy, and select certain comments to further their slander of the individual, I find the above somewhat informative. I found a few snippets of information that I was previously unaware of as I don’t have enough time to dig through every individuals history. That said, the point is that neither man offers voters a real choice for president. The US is in a state where no matter which way it votes, the result is more mayhem, escalated control of the individual, money piped into bankers hands, and a continuance of blaming the other guys. Neither individual has the balls (there ya go Jim, a reference to bodily parts for you to drool over) it will take to do the right thing.

Democrat or Republican, they all come form he same mold these days. Choose your poison, either way it ends badly for the world with the exception that Obama, not faced with running for re-election in 2016 will allow him really unleash his hatred for the people of the United States. He will bring REAL change this time alright, and I’ll bet that even the enlightened Oprah will be wondering what happened.
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There is no one who wants more control over the individual than Kunstler. Re-read his articles about forcing people into mandatory public transportation. Re-read his rants against technology and molding society to his environmentalist mindset.

You defend the indefensible.
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I'm not sure how you confused my comment with a defense of Kunstler? The article reads as it does, there is nothing in it that would indicate the author wants or even endorses any kind of public control. He may harbour that kind of philosophy but it is not included in the in the article. Commenting on anything beyond what was written is senseless, taking something from past, or even in the here and now, that is not promoted nor even mentioned is ludicrous. What was written is what's of concern, in this case the author makes points that are focused on two candidates (one for certain and the other almost for certain) that are running for the presidency.

There is no need for him to offer any kind of a solution. This is merely a commentary on the leanings of both men.

When and if he writes a piece about the subjects you keep bringing up, that’s the time to criticize him on those particular subjects. By continually bringing up what’s not in the article it simply makes you look like a braying donkey.
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Kunstler's obsession with bodily functions continues:

"...we just can't keep running our shit the way..."

"...they would amount to pissing up..."

How erudite can you get!

And he ends this week's incoherent diatribe with this: "You'd think the American public would be getting a little sick of this routine." Naturally he rarely offers a solution, but when he does it almost always involves a jettisioning of technology and a return to the simple life of using leaves for toilet paper.

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Ride 'em, Cowherd Boy! Read more
Tamoharadasa - 8/14/2012 at 3:07 AM GMT
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