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Ho ho ho! It’s that time of year again. Here’s JHK’s holiday classic: A Christmas Orphan.

11-year-old Jeff Greenaway hears his mom and dad argue one night after an office Christmas party. He infers from their garbled squabble that he is an orphan, found in a willow basket on the welcome mat outside their New York apartment. Thinking now that his parents are imposters, he steals away to Grand Central Station and buys a train ticket to Drakesville, Vermont, where he intends to start life all over again.
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JHK’s lost classic now reprinted as an e-book
Kindle edition only


 

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Behold  the winner of eVolo Magazine’s 2016 Skyscraper Competition. I know… “Say, what…?” you say.
This latest exercise in techno-narcissism by trendster architects Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu imagines the massive excavation of New York’s Central Park and the re-fashioning of its bedrock into a fantasy sunken wilderness landscape with a 1000-foot high glass wall around the whole shootin’ match. Maybe the genetic engineer techno-narcissists can be enlisted to supply a King Kong and a few tyrannosaurs to liven up the scene. (Or just set Donald J. Trump loose in it when the GOP mandarins pull the plug on his crusade for the White House.)

Note that one sign of cultural collapse is the widespread inability to distinguish mental health from mental illness.

We are so in trouble, Amercia.

Since there is literally no more to say about this self-evidently unspeakable lunacy, here are a couple of more down-to-earth vignettes from around the Anglo-American world as a sort of PS.

Thanks to reader John Egan

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Thanks to reader Stephen Flood in the UK

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Coming in June
World Made By Hand 4 (and final)

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Praise for A History of the Future:
Kunstler skewers everything from kitsch to greed, prejudice, bloodshed, and brainwashing in this wily, funny, rip-roaring, and profoundly provocative page- turner, leaving no doubt that the prescriptive yet devilishly satiric A World Made by Hand series will continue.” — Booklist

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My local indie booksellers… Battenkill Books (Autographed by the Author) … or Northshire Books
or Amazon

Also: Published as an E-book for the first time!
The 20th Anniversary edition
With an entertaining new introduction by the author

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Bargain Price $3.99

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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

8 Responses to “April 2016” Subscribe

  1. DurangoKid April 3, 2016 at 7:01 pm #

    Did anyone consider the hydrostatic forces at 1,000′ below the surface? There are seismic faults below Manhattan and should they move this conceptual wet dream becomes a lake. Of course it’s going to leak. This requires pumps that will generate 1,000′ of head. Unfortunately, the hacks that dreamed up this never to be realized monstrosity will of course turn their attention to something less ambitious but equally preposterous.

  2. Peter VE April 4, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

    This is a “Skyscraper”? I thought the definition of “skyscraper” implied height above ground. The next hurricane/superstorm will fill it up with water, and drown the delusional wealthy who bought into the the Deluxe Lifestyle.

  3. jayrome April 4, 2016 at 1:27 pm #

    As the oceans rise and there could be a leak in the dike surrounding Manhattan, after a hurricane or massive “NorthEaster”, O ooo!
    A little bit of EMP to knock out the water pumps, O ooo!
    So. . . Ok. . . they spend a trillion dollars for this project, Hummm. Too many unintended consequences with this idea. Better it be left as a concept draft for the New Age Jetsons. I like the idea of it becoming a salt water lake so all the deluxe towers will have lakeside views.

  4. JimInFlorida April 9, 2016 at 9:09 am #

    Even more damning than the adolescent fantasy that this represents, is the computer graphics technology that enables such adolescent fantasies to be presented as a serious proposition.

    The so-called “judges” of eVolo magazine never did a lick of real work in their lives. NONE of them ever thought about HOW will all the dirt be removed? It would take THOUSANDS of dump trucks going through the city! Just imagine the road damage and smell of diesel exhaust. Forget the road bonds. They can’t compensate for the YEARS of traffic disruption that would take place.

    All they left out of the scene were Beautiful People riding unicorns in the park and multicultural groups hiking the artificial mountains while singing Kumbaya.

  5. malthuss April 9, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

    nice image, bad idea.

  6. swhite April 15, 2016 at 10:30 am #

    Unspeakable lunacy indeed; one can say no more. Central Park is a great public resource and why anyone would deliberately destroy it is beyond comprehension. I would place my bet that this is so over-the-top outrageous that even Americans will balk at it.

  7. smoothtom April 24, 2016 at 8:57 am #

    Funny commentary, but the “plan” is a thought exercise, not something ever intended as a serious idea.

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