We Are the Pea

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Published : July 01st, 2013
709 words - Reading time : 1 - 2 minutes
( 23 votes, 4.2/5 ) , 13 commentaries
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Category : Editorials





The political air lies thick and heavy upon us, like the subtropical wedge of atmospheric sludge that has bogged down the northeast USA for weeks of soupy gray days when there is nothing to do but wonder when things will become unstuck. If the world is an organism, something is wrong with its blood. That blood is money, which allows the “developed” nations to run their advanced techno-industrial economies. Only the “money” is not exactly what we suppose it is, that is, colored paper coupons representing claims on future work or tangible collateral. The “money” is a matrix of counterparty entanglements so abstruse and impenetrable that all the vicars of Christendom (plus the mullahs of Islam, the monks of  Mahayana, and the Op-Ed flunkies at The New York Times) would not avail to describe its metaphysical substance. Rather, a cosmic shell game is being played and we are the pea.

     Unlike other commentators, I don’t see this as a conspiracy of one-percenters, Rothschilds, Bilderbergers, and United Nations intriguers. Rather, it is just a sticky pass in world history. Things have gone a certain way for us for a long time, and now they can’t, and the inertia from all those decades of doing and being what we were persists in the illusion of motion, like the sound of a truck that still rings in your ears after it has passed by. So we, the pea, sit in the dark under our cosmic walnut shell, waiting to see what happens next.

     When the Great Bernanke spoke not long ago, an ominous rattling was heard throughout the banking system as of things shaking loose. Even if nobody quite understood exactly what money was anymore, an intimation wafted on the still, muggy air that there was liable to be less of it, at least in the form that The Wall Street Journal pretended to understand — a particular digital carry-trade between the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve. Markets puked at Bernanke’s mild utterances as though he was Thor flinging a thunderous hammer at them. The gold market, already punch-drunk, went reeling into the roadside weeds, covered indecorously in its own vomit — leading many to suppose that gold would soon be as precious as sheetrock. Then, the Great Bernanke, via subordinates, tapered his tapering talk and a nervous, tentative, march forward resumed into the summer pea soup of events. Here we are, waiting, waiting in the murk, for the sound of shoes dropping.

     If you listen carefully enough, you can hear a few things in motion distantly. The mobs roistering in surprising places — Sweden, Turkey, Brazil — ought to unnerve even the quants immersed in their charts and auguries. Something wicked this way emanates from Japan. It has the outline of a political death-wish and is being played out with the sharp instruments of capital. The Japanese, I suspect, have at least had enough of uncertainty and have elected to move toward resolution, whatever that may hold. One thing it will mean is that the hands of bankers elsewhere around the world will be forced by what Japan does. Interest rates, for example, do not exist in exquisite isolation but only in relation to other things, most particularly that money earlier alluded to, of which nobody knows the value. The answer to that may lie in the riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma known as derivatives.

     My own guess is that we’ll discover the value of gold is not equivalent to its weight in sheetrock. The third quarter of 2013 might go down in history as the great moment of price re-discovery in a world that thought — for a while — that the price of things can be whatever you say it is. Historians of the future, squatting in the plastic and silicon midden-heaps of bygone technocracy, may note that FASB Rule 157 provoked a four-year psychotic episode of worldwide accounting fraud in which anything could mean anything. That only goes on so long until civilizations shudder and fall. The pea under the walnut shell can’t see much outside, but it can certainly feel the earth tremble



Data and Statistics for these countries : Brazil | Japan | Sweden | Turkey | All
Gold and Silver Prices for these countries : Brazil | Japan | Sweden | Turkey | All
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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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A fine writer indeed. Great command of the language. Communicates his point well.
One can disagree with the subject, the sentiment, and even with the man himself but we can't deny the guy can write.

His articles get a lot of comments - so he's inspiring thought and discussion in his audience and should be proud of that fact alone.
I see a lot of long (boring) articles fly by this site without so much as a single response.

Besides, what's the point of reading stuff that simply reiterates one's own opinion in explicit detail? Do we learn anything that way or are we just seeking intellectual reassurance for our own point of view?
Rate :   4  0Rating :   4
Kunstler monosyllabic? No. But neither was Hitler in Mein Kamptf or Marx in Das Kapital.

Rate :   6  3Rating :   3
What is is with so many here and JHK? Anyone who was taught proper English - the parts of speech, sentence/paragraph structure and the proper format for an essay, etc can rarely legitimately evaluate his work negatively on a technical basis. He is a very fine writer. That alone makes his work a treasure to me. A writer with a command of the language today is more rare than gold. Read the classics in whatever style and format, and find me anything that comes close any more.

Sadly, I have always been forced to admit that good writers need good readers; just as good orators need a good audience. Perhaps if he drew little stick figures, you might understand. I'm betting even money that were you to hear Churchill say ... up with which I will not put ... you would not know there was anything he had deliberately done to mangle the structure of the sentence for emphasis.

I realize you may not be able to see or comprehend a lot - other than the most literal and mono-syllabic, but can you at least feel the earth tremble? Or I could sell you a picture of a can of soup I have here that you might be interested in owning. They tell me it is pure genius. I don't grasp it. But everyone will know what it is...that will make it simple for you and people like you to admire from all angles and discuss the genius of Warhol. I'm told people today are much into genius - as self-evident by the price tag on a thing!

Rate :   7  3Rating :   4
I can only guess that you are addressing Jim C with your comments. If this is indeed the case then it should already be clear to you that Jim C, whether male or female is one of the less fortunate in society. This individual has seemingly never taken the value of a post and considered it for the value of what it contains, rather any comment Jim C makes is pointed at what he suspects the author believes. Addressing the points made in a post would be contrary to this persons agenda, to slander, smear, and create outright lies about the author. Jim C is one of those people that thrive on making anyone that has achieved a higher education than he/she look like a fool in an effort to cover their own short comings. Fortunately none of the regular readers of this forum are ignorant enough to fall for this blatantly obvious load of crapola.

Yes JHK does write well, he does also make many valid points. I may not always agree with them but I am intelligent enough to form my own opinions without the aid of some moron like Jim C. I look forward to reading each post by JHK, it may not be in line with my own opinion but it does allow for the development of a discussion. Like Obama and any HS department that may wish to quell any discussion of matters that they wish to hide, Jim C also attempts to quell discussion and a furtherance of opinions contrary to his own. I could put this down to Jim C lacking self confidence, competence, or even continence but its more than likely due to a lack of oxygen at birth and the resultant defects this caused that Jim C will not allow opinions that run contrary to his own to be published without an attempt to punish the author.

JHK Brings forth many items that others are not willing to touch. Controversy doesn't hold him back from putting his opinions out there. Unlike JHK, Jim C has never put his opinions out there for others to view. I can only opine that this is due to fear on Jim C's part. Fear that he would be found a fool.

Write JHK, and keep writing. Even when we don't agree we do agree that everyone is allowed an opinion and only through presenting our opinions can we have discourse. All the other yipping and yapping is noise from fools.

Rate :   8  4Rating :   4
I was indeed addressing Jim C on this occasion, although I dis include right in the first sentence a clarification, that others of a similar ilk guilty of the same kind of attacks against the author I have seen here before, might consider themselves included. It is not the first time I have seen JHK slammed for all the wrong reasons. Disagreements on fact, I accept. A backhanded compliment to JHK - which was what my post was really meant to be - I assumed would be acceptable. Should I clear all future posts with you in advance?

The attacks on JHK were adhominum, not for the first time either, and I still feel justified in jumping anyone who can't think, who clutters up you seem to consider discourse, with tripe and mindless aggression. I find your last sentence somewhat opaque - who is it who discriminates between opinion, discourse and "yipping and yapping"? Why can't we all just behave like big boys and girls, i.e. civilly, and stick to facts and remarks that are relevant to said facts. There is rarely, if ever justification for a full frontal assault on a creative writer of such high calibre attacks? Too much to ask???
Rate :   4  3Rating :   1
Down arrow wasn't mine but I can venture a guess as to who's it is.

I would have though that my last sentence was clear. Presenting opinions that are pointed at the topic presented are welcomed, mindless comments composed for nothing other than an attempt to discredit the author and derail a discussion are the yipping and yappy I refer to. this is essentially why I and others have labeled Jim C a troll.

Since I was in agreement with you and have not taken issue with your comment I'm not sure why this would make you feel that I should be consulted in advance of any postings you wish to make.

Rate :   9  2Rating :   7
OK. Peace Brother.

Rate :   3  3Rating :   0
You said, "everyone is allowed an opinion." Apparently only if it agrees with yours. It's clear any deviation from the liberal line is met by you with invective and slander.

Apparently it is fine for Kunstler to denigrate others -- but let someone respond in kind and you liberals have a panic attack.
Rate :   8  2Rating :   6
Once again you show that you have no grasp of who or what I am. Labeling me a liberal is, well at the very least it is moronic. And since you seem to be missing the capacity to understand a basic concept such as 'everyone is allowed an opinion' as it relates to a specific topic let me spell it out for you. If you were to post comments based solely on the topic, and did so for several weeks in a row, no one would take issue with you for making such posts. However you are seemingly, based on a reading of your recent and not so recent past posts, incapable of staying on topic. JHK could tell us of the miracle that is cement rail road ties and you would skew it to mean that he is really pushing to go back to using wooden rail road ties made by hand no matter how beneficial he says cement is. You see, this is how moronic your comments are. You rarely stay on topic and when you do it’s for one sentence and then you immediately regress to putting words in his mouth and begin slandering the man.

On the few occasions where you were on your meds and stayed on topic you'll find that the discussion was civil. The problem is keeping you on topic, you have such passion to slander anyone you hate that it seems to take over your ability to think like and individual that welcomes civil discourse.

So there you are, I've said it several different ways, you’re the problem and as evidence that it’s I’m not the problem go back over your many posts and look at how many different people have pointed out you’re constant irrelevant drivel and pointed out that you’re the one who needs to be reined in.

I would also ask what it is you believe in, you seem to dislike liberals in this post, you take shots and conservatives and libertarians alike, and you do your best to slander anyone with even a slight bent to anarchy. So what is it you believe in Jim C? Choose a point and stick with it. You slander Ron Paul every chance you get yet you voted for him. You slander JHK for once upon a time voting for Obama even though he has admitted his sin and complains about the man. You rage on McCain yet wont cut JHK slack for voting for the only opposition, Obama. You attack anything to do with Romney yet offer no alternative other than the mental midget Santorum who had less of a chance of winning than Ron Paul.

Your a very confused old curmudgeon.

Rate :   6  4Rating :   2
Whoa Nelly. Looky here, Jim C is once again accusing someone of exactly the one thing he does in every post me makes, trashing the person instead of the topic. Nice one Jim, once again you show how incapable you are of reading and internalizing the post.

All you do is denigrate others and scream bloody murder when someone else does it, how hypocritical, how liberal of you. Proof again that your nothing but an Obama groupie.
Rate :   6  4Rating :   2
Still mono-syllabic myself.
Working at it.
Duo-syllabic soon.
JHK is a fine writer. If only I had his talent.

Rate :   4  1Rating :   3
I suspect that the price of walnuts, peas and sheetrock will be much higher a few years from now.
Rate :   4  2Rating :   2
What in the heck is Kunstler talking about? The price of gold worth no more than sheetrock? My opinion is that Kunstler has been and is undergoing a major case of depression having nothing to do with the outside world and everything to do with personal issues, maybe even heath ones as he has regaled us of in the past.

Talk about personal issues: BART (Bart Area Rapid Transit) went on strike this morning disabling the commute for thousands of San Francisco Bay residents. These union individuals make a minimum of $75,000 a year, untold benefits, plus a pension plan that would make Asad of Syria drool. And public transportation has been the mantra of Kunstler in countless articles: give up your auto and enjoy the safe and reliable public transit systems of America. Just last week some idiot stripped naked and did backflips in one of the BART cars. Well, might has been entertaining to some.

But in one regard Kunstler is right -- he IS the pea.

Rate :   10  2Rating :   8
Latest comment posted for this article
A fine writer indeed. Great command of the language. Communicates his point well. One can disagree with the subject, the sentiment, and even with the man himself but we can't deny the guy can write. His articles get a lot of comments - so he's inspiring  Read more
dom1971 - 7/3/2013 at 1:09 AM GMT
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