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In a nation afflicted by fads, crazes, manias, and rages, mass murder is the jackpot for nihilists — begging the question: why does this country produce so many of them? Answer: this is exactly what you get in a culture where anything goes and nothing matters. Extract all the meaning and purpose from being here on earth, and erase as many boundaries as you can from custom and behavior, and watch what happens, especially among young men trained on video slaughter games.

For many, there is no armature left to hang a life on, no communities, no fathers, no mentors, no initiations into personal responsibility, no daily organizing principles, no instruction in useful trades, no productive activities, no opportunities for love and affection, and no way out. This abyss of missing social relations is made worse by the everyday physical settings for everyday lives based on nothing: the wilderness of parking lots that America has turned itself into. Such is the compelling myth of the New World as a wilderness that we obliged ourselves to re-enact it, minus nature, including human nature, especially what may be noble and sacred about human nature.

The old truism sticks: when nothing is sacred, everything is profane, and what could be more profane than slaughtering your fellow humans en masse, for no good reason? Just because you felt like it at the time? Another time, you might feel like scarfing some tacos, or checking in on the free porn sites, or tweaking some crushed-up oxycontin. One message from the culture of anything-goes-and-nothing-matters comes through loud and clear: if it feels good, do it! And if you feel bad, do something to make yourself feel better.

The wonder is that the way we live these days hasn’t turned more people into homicidal maniacs, considering how many are out there feeling bad in this grotesque landscape of incessant motoring, vivid purposelessness, and lost aspiration — unless these bloody skirmishes are the precursor to some more general outbreak of murderous havoc. It’s not hard these days to imagine the political animus ratcheting up to something like a new civil war. If it works out that way, it will be the most psychologically confused political event of modern history.

The Walmart is the perfect setting for these ceremonies of nihilist wrath. The sheer size of these places makes the “consumers” inside feel small, and informs them that they are at the mercy of colossal forces for their pitiful daily needs, their Hot Pockets, their disposable diapers, their roach spray. The shooter is just a momentary concentration of everything else grinding the dignity and meaning out of American lives. The bad karma in these dynamics compels some periodic release. Cue some young man jacked on his own hormones and a comic book conception of human power relations.

I’m not persuaded that a ban on gun sales will do anything to prevent more of these deadly episodes because there are already too many firearms loose in America. But it is probably necessary to make some kind of statement, say a ban on military-type weapons, and I rather expect that will happen. But the political process of recognizing what really ails this society is mired in bad faith, idiocy, and neuroticism. And the political actors are signaling their ineptitude clearly, which only adds to the sweeping demoralization of everybody else.

We await a restructuring of American life into real communities of people working together at things that matter, and it will require the demise of the things that have worked so hard to destroy all that, namely, the tyranny of the giants, the town-killing Walmarts, the suffocating monster of government, the media manipulators of reality, the too-big-to-fail banks. The people alone won’t loosen the grip of these monsters and, honestly, they lack the will to even imagine life without all that. But history onrushing will do it for them, first in the form of a financial fiasco that upsets the meaning of what “money” is, and all the instruments calibrated in it; and then with an economic collapse of supply lines and activities that we can’t afford to carry on anymore.

The people may have to be dragged kicking and screaming into that new disposition of things, just because it’s so hard to let go of what you’re used to. Something like this appears to be underway now in global business and markets. For a while, it will only add to the confusion. Clarity is a lagging effect.


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About James Howard Kunstler

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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.

970 Responses to “Hold the Teddy Bears and Candles” Subscribe

  1. John of the West August 5, 2019 at 9:32 am #

    There are going to be no ready solutions for this sort of things, simply because our culture is too broken to actually generate them, much less support them. This is the sign of a culture and civilization in decline. See darkageprep.com/2019/08/05/deadlock/ for more on this topic.

    • SoftStarLight August 5, 2019 at 10:00 am #

      There is no shared culture anymore.

      • TiredOfTheTreadmill August 5, 2019 at 11:15 am #

        I think there is a shared culture out there these days, but it is based on negative attributes. The main attribute most everyone I encounter shares is hustling. Whether it’s trying to hustle someone out of a buck or hustling to stay a few hours ahead of bill collectors/homelessness, everyone seems to be running at top speed to just stay even, let alone get ahead.

        Another attribute seems to be information oversaturation and overload. TV screens are everywhere these days bladting us with how inadequate we are and how much better we’d be if we’ just by this crap right here. It also helps to create endless debates over shite that doesn’t matter, like sports teams, and political nothings the create more division and rile up people over crapnthey likely wouldn’t care about at all if not constantly prodded.

        Also, we are an angry and cruel culture. A large srgment of our population loves punching down. With vengeance! They want people who have suffered to suffer more, and put it on TV so they can watch and feel superior to those losers. Don’t believe me? Start checking out the bumperstickers on the cars running around out there. You’ll see a lot of fingers flipping you off, and other nice, joyful memes and imagesnreflecting anger. I’ll bet the angry one ones outnumber the innocuous or pleasant stickers three to one or more.

        Considering my observations over the years, I personally am betting things get much uglier for a while before they get any better.

        • TiredOfTheTreadmill August 5, 2019 at 11:17 am #

          Apologies in adavance for the typos in my screed above. I know better than to try typing on mytablet.

          • Paul August 7, 2019 at 2:08 pm #

            I had noticed any typos reading it the first time, TiredOfTheTreadmill, so I went back for round two and found a couple of typos that you probably had in mind. I actually misread on one of them, but as a result we have coined a new word, and you are entitled to all of the credit (or blame) for: the typo was ‘crapathy’. Congratulations!

            EX: “I’d put down my Mega-Soda and Monster-fries, get up off of my ass and actually ‘give-a-shit’ about something, but I’m feeling SO crapathetic just now! Like everyone else it seems, I’m just filled with Crapathy!”

        • Walter B August 5, 2019 at 11:25 am #

          Human beings seem to be far better at morning tragedies than in preventing them. And don’t worry about typos, it is content that matters.

          • K-Dog August 5, 2019 at 11:51 am #

            Evening tragedies are also bad.

          • Walter B August 5, 2019 at 3:48 pm #

            I meant mourning sorry, but you knew that.

          • devon44 August 5, 2019 at 11:04 pm #

            Typos actually matter a lot because they have a strong affect on the content of what you’re saying. It only took me about 2 seconds to realize that you meant ‘mourning’ instead of ‘morning,’ and in that 2 seconds of confusion, I completely lost the thread of what you were trying to say.

            Not that I particularly care, and in any other circumstance I wouldn’t have bothered pointing that out. But in this case, the fact that you tried to tell us that words don’t matter, and that somehow ‘content ‘ is separate from your actual words being correct and making sense, I thought it was worthwhile to point that out.

          • Walter B August 5, 2019 at 11:45 pm #

            Thank you for pointing that out Devon, and I understand that this can be the case, but when you consider the magnitude of stuff that I (or we) have to get through each day, losing a few because of spelling errors in a post is simply a sacrifice that has to be made. In fact, not to be dismissive in any fashion, to lose those that would be lost under such circumstances may be sad, but expected. Again, thank you.

        • SoftStarLight August 5, 2019 at 2:12 pm #

          Yes, I see what you are saying. We have a common culture solely geared toward what we can produce economically. We do not have a culture that values the actual people who produce things. Nor do we appear to value actual community. So with that being said I imagine that you are exactly right when you say it will get much uglier before it gets any better.

          • TiredOfTheTreadmill August 5, 2019 at 6:00 pm #

            I try not be so cynical about what I see out there, and there are lots of good people doing good things. But seeing the larger picture and trend is something I have always done fairly well, and the larger trend is kinda scary. I hope we can change our trajectory, but I have also hoped I could play drums with someone like Boz Skaggs, win the lottery, be an adventurer like Indiana Jones, etc… Still hoping on those. Hope is nice, but I don’t rely on it.

          • Majella August 7, 2019 at 3:15 am #

            SSL:

            what do you mean? Who is stopping any ‘shares culture’?
            Is someone/ thing/massive Uber governmental force stopping you from barbecues with you and your racist white supremacist family & cohort?

            No. I didn’t think so. ‘You need to refocus and recenter’…

        • JackStraw August 5, 2019 at 2:43 pm #

          Yes, we are a nation of sociopaths with little actual feeling for others. What you see is simply self-promotion in the form of virtue signaling.

          Look at Bill Maher, darling of the woke crowd, who has stated numerous times that he wants an economic meltdown in order to remove Trump. When reminded that this would put hundreds of thousands out of work, and make many of them homeless, he replied, “It’s worth it.”

          Of course, he won’t suffer at all.

          • TiredOfTheTreadmill August 5, 2019 at 5:29 pm #

            It’s not just the Left. The right wanted Obamacare to fail no matter what. Yes, it’s not perfect healthcare, but they just wanted it to fail or be killed so it couldn’t work. Both parties are in it to make only themselves look good. They don’t care about the toll on us. Just as long as they personally win.

            Which brings up another point about our culture. We are at a point where winning in itself isn’t enough. No, the loser must be raped, pillaged and plundered. Everything is defined in terms of war metaphors: business, sports, politics, etc… It’s winner take all and screw those worthless losers, who cares if they can provide for their family, we won. Screw ’em. Looks like we’re reaping the rewards of such thinking.

          • SoftStarLight August 6, 2019 at 12:12 am #

            I agree with your assessment though it seems like the spoils of the “war” go only to those at the top. The bases of both parties are left basically unfulfilled. The rich keep getting richer and though they feign competition they’re on the same team.

        • abbybwood August 6, 2019 at 2:42 am #

          This afternoon I was at a local Mexican restaurant in Marina del Rey and a family came in with their ~7 year old son. He had a new haircut for school. A full-on Mohawk style. He sat at the table with his IPhone on his lap, neck bent down as if he was studying the circumference of his navel. Once in a while he would pop up to take a drink of his Shirley Temple, then back into the position.

          The adults chatted away as he enjoyed his tech time. I tried to imagine how his neck/spine/brain will impact his future if he keeps this up. Then I recalled a recent study saying that future generations may well be impacted with this abnormal musculoskeletal arrangement, permanently.

          Just 30 years ago I was bringing my kids to this same place and they spent considerable time sitting at the table eating and talking and occasionally tearing around raising hell. And today they still sit straight and enjoy talking amongst themselves and their friends.

          I think over time we will discover not only the social/mental deficits having these phones has caused, but the actual physical problems as well.

          Chiropractors, I predict, will be prospering well into the next thirty-forty years just trying to undo the damage these devices have done to our upper bodies. As to the social/mental problems, we are talking years of intensive therapies to help the current and future generations to heal from the damage tech gadgets have wrought upon the human race. Face to face, heart to heart connections, once lost in wasted youth can never be retrieved again.

          Sad.

          • Majella August 7, 2019 at 4:13 am #

            There’s a space of cement on a wall on the road where I park for work. It’s constantly being graffitied and painted over. Last week, the graffiti was: ‘We only create (large heart – love, I’m guessing) OFFLINE. Friends, family, workmates’

            It was painted over by last Monday…policy, I suppose.

          • Paul August 8, 2019 at 11:02 am #

            The other day, I found myself in a waiting room with about 12 other people. For some reason, I had left my cell-phone at home, so I had no choice but to look through the magazine pile for something to read. As usual, nothing: People, US, Vanity Fair, etc. Sclocky rags devoted to the cult of personality. Giving up, I had no choice but to settle back into the moment and observe: every one of the 12 other people in that waiting area were totally absorbed by their cellphones. Had I remembered to take my cellphone with me when I left the house I would’ve been No. 13. Maybe I learned something that day.

      • Chinaman August 6, 2019 at 11:17 am #

        “Everywhere I go, every town I visit, you don’t see any industries,” he said in the interview. “You don’t see any factories. You don’t see anything. We don’t make anything. We are really the poorest country on earth, but people refuse to see that. We are only surviving. We are only looking good because of our military might, because we are an empire. But this force cannot go on forever. It should be so obvious that we’re only chugging along, bullying people into lending us money and sending us stuff that we don’t deserve, that we haven’t earned. How can we survive? Hundreds of thousands of Americans have been reduced to living like savages in this self-proclaimed greatest country on earth.”

        Martinez Celaya

    • Neon Vincent August 5, 2019 at 10:05 am #

      I enjoyed reading your your response to the weekend’s mass shootings. I had a different reaction, which was to see if I could reconcile my plan to write about entertainment on Sunday, as I usually do, with trying to address the shootings. I was able to do both, as I found that ‘Point of View: Sandy Hook Promise’ was among the Emmy nominees for Outstanding Commercial. That was a chilling public service announcement, but it did the trick. It won’t win, though. I think that’s between Nike’s “Dream Crazy,” which Colin Kaepernick narrates, and Netflix’s “A Great Day in Hollywood,” which recreates the photo A Great Day in Harlem with African-American stars of Netflix shows. If it were up to the viewers, the former would win. Since it’s the Television Academy, I think the latter will win. I think the television professionals will not be able to pass up something that tells a good story about themselves that they want to believe.

      In other collapse and decline news, the latest government statistics confirm a record low U.S. birth rate during 2018. On the one hand, zero population growth. On the other, not enough people to sustain business as usual. I should be careful what I wish for, I might get it.

      • K-Dog August 5, 2019 at 11:27 am #

        I took a different approach too.

        chasingthesquirrel.com/

        And Neon, don’t worry about worrying about business as usual. It does not matter what you think. BAU is going to be changing with or without you.

        • K-Dog August 5, 2019 at 12:18 pm #

          Now this is interesting.

          8ch.net/index.html

          is down.

          I was able to read the manifesto early Sunday morning. The fool thought he was a revolutionary.

          You guys do know about the manifesto?

          • K-Dog August 5, 2019 at 12:19 pm #

            Foolish me, of course you do!

          • Walter B August 5, 2019 at 6:56 pm #

            I did not have to read Mein Kampf to realize that eliminating Hitler was the wisest course of action.

          • K-Dog August 5, 2019 at 11:30 pm #

            Good for you. If everyone had been as smart as you then there never would have been a Mein Kampf in the first place.

            I read the manifesto as well as several case studies of other crazies from FBI files. Posted at 8ch.net/index.html it was. A personal mystery was solved too. The FBI uses facsimiles of documents. They even index them. That is something I have seen before. Now I think I was supposed to make the connection.

            You can read the manifesto. It is not so deep that you might drown.

          • Walter B August 5, 2019 at 11:47 pm #

            There are many fire hydrants over that way that need to be watered my friend.

          • abbybwood August 6, 2019 at 12:11 am #

            It was on Drudgereport. For the whole World Wide Web to see.

      • ZrCrypDiK August 5, 2019 at 1:13 pm #

        “The people may have to be dragged kicking and screaming into that new disposition of things” No mentors? No discipline, no self-control, no *sacrifice* . It is soooo unfortunate that ‘they’ eat that lamestream media’s BullSH! characterization of ‘reality.’ Insatiability – entitled imbeciles, spoiled rotten bratz. Unabashed consumerism to the point of a mantra – Amerika or the highway, moFo.

        2.5 years left – and they gunna be *PHUN* …

        • K-Dog August 5, 2019 at 1:26 pm #

          Hi Z. Long time no see but you were never far away.

        • SoftStarLight August 5, 2019 at 2:15 pm #

          How do you know its not actually 2.58 years left?

          • ZrCrypDiK August 5, 2019 at 2:43 pm #

            SSL – ain’t that a digital acronym as well?!… At Any Rate (AAR – heh), It’s gunna be *PHUN* . And U no *IT* !

        • elysianfield August 5, 2019 at 2:19 pm #

          “The people may have to be dragged kicking and screaming into that new disposition of things” No mentors? No discipline, no self-control, no *sacrifice* . It is soooo unfortunate that ‘they’ eat that lamestream media’s BullSH! characterization of ‘reality.’ Insatiability – entitled imbeciles, spoiled rotten bratz. Unabashed consumerism to the point of a mantra – Amerika or the highway, moFo.

          2.5 years left – and they gunna be *PHUN*

          …what HE said…I think….

    • TraffickingInDivinity August 5, 2019 at 10:06 am #

      This will happen more and more – as Sartre said, without an infinite reference point, no finite point has any meaning. This is a meaning crisis.

      • BornToKillPeace August 5, 2019 at 11:43 am #

        Sartre was 5 foot tall and thought the Black Panthers the coolest.
        i.e.. He was a weiner.

    • ZrCrypDiK August 5, 2019 at 12:51 pm #

      “especially among young men trained on video slaughter games” Noooo. They’re all incels, but they prolly play a few video games. Cause? 2-ton death metal coffins, hitting a daily 1.5 gallon gasohol quota, on asphalt-concrete-metal-glass desert suburbia sprawl. And don’t forget, cell phone delinquency.

      Exponential extraction, which *NEVER* figures in external costs, leading to exponential depletion, pollution, and destruction, this is the cause. Literally burning anything left on the surface.

      • SoftStarLight August 6, 2019 at 12:17 am #

        May the Forests reclaim the asphalt-concrete-metal-glass-desert suburbia sprawl.

    • gonetohell August 6, 2019 at 10:57 pm #

      You’ve been reading JHK far too long. It’s hilarious to watch him squeeze his same old talking points into whatever has happened lately. Everything that’s bad is happening because of suburban sprawl, happy motoring, the gender confused and of course, evil Democrats. JHK is a hard right old man for whom there’s is no joy on the horizon. You may have noticed that Kunstler went to the same excuse for these mass shootings as every Trump apologist on cable. And THEY got the idea from Trump’s soulless speechwriters. That excuse is of course that’s its those vile video games that are to blame. It’s again the very definition of a shell game. Look over here while I’m doing this over there. Race baiting, gays in the military, revisiting a woman’s right to choose. The right is masterful at pushing that which doesn’t matter to the forefront, and with slight of hand pushing what matters out of sight.

  2. malthuss August 5, 2019 at 9:35 am #

    And a naysayer shared this,

    The government would have us believe that flamboyant gays present at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando were suddenly not taking cell phone video of themselves during the standoff that went on for several hours.

    The allegedly ‘killed on scene’ gay-hating Islamic perp Omar Mateen was the son of a former US intel asset in Afghanistan.

    A female ‘cardiologist’ and DEM candidate for the FL House Sidt. 48 named Elizabeth McCarthy, who was also ‘interviewed’ on TV about her work saving the victims of the Pulse shooting, has now been outed as having made up her story.

    • abbybwood August 5, 2019 at 12:25 pm #

      I believe Mateen also worked for the largest private security corporation in the world, G4S. Bigger than Academie (formerly Blackwater).

    • ZrCrypDiK August 5, 2019 at 2:50 pm #

      Damn d00d, that’s almOAst as k00ky as the moon landing hoAxerz@@

      • abbybwood August 5, 2019 at 9:56 pm #

        Hey BRUH!!!

        Mateen not only worked for G4S but it turns out that G4S was sued by the families of victims in the Pulse nightclub shooting.

        And in reference to the “human moon landings” in the 1960’s and 1970’s, I think it is all a huge crock. When NASA scientists are asked now why we haven’t been back in 50 years! they say, “the technology is just not there.”

        And there you are, BRUH!!! 🙂

        • benr August 6, 2019 at 7:07 pm #

          Hey bruh the tech is there the money is not.
          Obama all but gutted nasa!
          What is on the moon exactly that can be used to make more money?

          • benr August 6, 2019 at 7:10 pm #

            Put it in context new f-35 is a billion dollar per plane investment.
            Cycle that up by 100 times what it would cost to land people on the moon now and you are looking at a 100 billion or more no incentive.

  3. hmuller August 5, 2019 at 9:48 am #

    I agree with everything you said, JHK. But until someone solves the problem of societal ennui, the old principle applies.

    To stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun.

    It may be counter-intuitive and unacceptable to many people on this site. But a lot of responsible, vetted citizens walking around with concealed carry licenses (and their guns) just might be able to stop the crazies before the death count goes sky high.

    • montsegur August 5, 2019 at 10:14 am #

      the problem of societal ennui

      Does this mean we gave peace a chance and found it too boring for our instincts?

      I’ve read that American society was headed for trouble when the frontier disappeared. Could be we would have encountered this social fragmentation earlier had World War II not occurred.

      Cheers

      • butter56 August 5, 2019 at 11:53 am #

        Actually at the time of World War II , we were taking a break from immigration. Society was much less diverse and immigrants largely assimilated. The frontier era ended a hundred years ago, the age of industrial jobs had been in decline for fifty years, so the need for mass immigration of poor people is now an obsolete paradigm. We obviously have plenty of poor folks who need rehabilitating to the new reality in this country. One might have to mow yards and hang sheetrock instead of playing video games and taking opioids.

        No one raises the question of how many people do we need in this country. Is society toning to be better in fifty years if we let a million more poor people , their offspring , and extended family in every year. That might mean a hundred million more. Even the Chinese know there are too many Chinese, if you get my drift.

        I sometimes wonder what LBJ and Ted Kennedy were thinking when they changed immigration laws in 1965. They must have been so eaten up with victory disease that they thought inside every person in the world was an American waiting to pop out. Turns out , not so much

        • malthuss August 5, 2019 at 6:08 pm #

          TK and LBJ were fools or knowing pawns for TPTB.

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  1. John of the West August 5, 2019 at 9:32 am #

    There are going to be no ready solutions for this sort of things, simply because our culture is too broken to actually generate them, much less support them. This is the sign of a culture and civilization in decline. See darkageprep.com/2019/08/05/deadlock/ for more on this topic.

    • SoftStarLight August 5, 2019 at 10:00 am #

      There is no shared culture anymore.

      • TiredOfTheTreadmill August 5, 2019 at 11:15 am #

        I think there is a shared culture out there these days, but it is based on negative attributes. The main attribute most everyone I encounter shares is hustling. Whether it’s trying to hustle someone out of a buck or hustling to stay a few hours ahead of bill collectors/homelessness, everyone seems to be running at top speed to just stay even, let alone get ahead.

        Another attribute seems to be information oversaturation and overload. TV screens are everywhere these days bladting us with how inadequate we are and how much better we’d be if we’ just by this crap right here. It also helps to create endless debates over shite that doesn’t matter, like sports teams, and political nothings the create more division and rile up people over crapnthey likely wouldn’t care about at all if not constantly prodded.

        Also, we are an angry and cruel culture. A large srgment of our population loves punching down. With vengeance! They want people who have suffered to suffer more, and put it on TV so they can watch and feel superior to those losers. Don’t believe me? Start checking out the bumperstickers on the cars running around out there. You’ll see a lot of fingers flipping you off, and other nice, joyful memes and imagesnreflecting anger. I’ll bet the angry one ones outnumber the innocuous or pleasant stickers three to one or more.

        Considering my observations over the years, I personally am betting things get much uglier for a while before they get any better.

        • TiredOfTheTreadmill August 5, 2019 at 11:17 am #

          Apologies in adavance for the typos in my screed above. I know better than to try typing on mytablet.

          • Paul August 7, 2019 at 2:08 pm #

            I had noticed any typos reading it the first time, TiredOfTheTreadmill, so I went back for round two and found a couple of typos that you probably had in mind. I actually misread on one of them, but as a result we have coined a new word, and you are entitled to all of the credit (or blame) for: the typo was ‘crapathy’. Congratulations!

            EX: “I’d put down my Mega-Soda and Monster-fries, get up off of my ass and actually ‘give-a-shit’ about something, but I’m feeling SO crapathetic just now! Like everyone else it seems, I’m just filled with Crapathy!”

        • Walter B August 5, 2019 at 11:25 am #

          Human beings seem to be far better at morning tragedies than in preventing them. And don’t worry about typos, it is content that matters.

          • K-Dog August 5, 2019 at 11:51 am #

            Evening tragedies are also bad.

          • Walter B August 5, 2019 at 3:48 pm #

            I meant mourning sorry, but you knew that.

          • devon44 August 5, 2019 at 11:04 pm #

            Typos actually matter a lot because they have a strong affect on the content of what you’re saying. It only took me about 2 seconds to realize that you meant ‘mourning’ instead of ‘morning,’ and in that 2 seconds of confusion, I completely lost the thread of what you were trying to say.

            Not that I particularly care, and in any other circumstance I wouldn’t have bothered pointing that out. But in this case, the fact that you tried to tell us that words don’t matter, and that somehow ‘content ‘ is separate from your actual words being correct and making sense, I thought it was worthwhile to point that out.

          • Walter B August 5, 2019 at 11:45 pm #

            Thank you for pointing that out Devon, and I understand that this can be the case, but when you consider the magnitude of stuff that I (or we) have to get through each day, losing a few because of spelling errors in a post is simply a sacrifice that has to be made. In fact, not to be dismissive in any fashion, to lose those that would be lost under such circumstances may be sad, but expected. Again, thank you.

        • SoftStarLight August 5, 2019 at 2:12 pm #

          Yes, I see what you are saying. We have a common culture solely geared toward what we can produce economically. We do not have a culture that values the actual people who produce things. Nor do we appear to value actual community. So with that being said I imagine that you are exactly right when you say it will get much uglier before it gets any better.

          • TiredOfTheTreadmill August 5, 2019 at 6:00 pm #

            I try not be so cynical about what I see out there, and there are lots of good people doing good things. But seeing the larger picture and trend is something I have always done fairly well, and the larger trend is kinda scary. I hope we can change our trajectory, but I have also hoped I could play drums with someone like Boz Skaggs, win the lottery, be an adventurer like Indiana Jones, etc… Still hoping on those. Hope is nice, but I don’t rely on it.

          • Majella August 7, 2019 at 3:15 am #

            SSL:

            what do you mean? Who is stopping any ‘shares culture’?
            Is someone/ thing/massive Uber governmental force stopping you from barbecues with you and your racist white supremacist family & cohort?

            No. I didn’t think so. ‘You need to refocus and recenter’…

        • JackStraw August 5, 2019 at 2:43 pm #

          Yes, we are a nation of sociopaths with little actual feeling for others. What you see is simply self-promotion in the form of virtue signaling.

          Look at Bill Maher, darling of the woke crowd, who has stated numerous times that he wants an economic meltdown in order to remove Trump. When reminded that this would put hundreds of thousands out of work, and make many of them homeless, he replied, “It’s worth it.”

          Of course, he won’t suffer at all.

          • TiredOfTheTreadmill August 5, 2019 at 5:29 pm #

            It’s not just the Left. The right wanted Obamacare to fail no matter what. Yes, it’s not perfect healthcare, but they just wanted it to fail or be killed so it couldn’t work. Both parties are in it to make only themselves look good. They don’t care about the toll on us. Just as long as they personally win.

            Which brings up another point about our culture. We are at a point where winning in itself isn’t enough. No, the loser must be raped, pillaged and plundered. Everything is defined in terms of war metaphors: business, sports, politics, etc… It’s winner take all and screw those worthless losers, who cares if they can provide for their family, we won. Screw ’em. Looks like we’re reaping the rewards of such thinking.

          • SoftStarLight August 6, 2019 at 12:12 am #

            I agree with your assessment though it seems like the spoils of the “war” go only to those at the top. The bases of both parties are left basically unfulfilled. The rich keep getting richer and though they feign competition they’re on the same team.

        • abbybwood August 6, 2019 at 2:42 am #

          This afternoon I was at a local Mexican restaurant in Marina del Rey and a family came in with their ~7 year old son. He had a new haircut for school. A full-on Mohawk style. He sat at the table with his IPhone on his lap, neck bent down as if he was studying the circumference of his navel. Once in a while he would pop up to take a drink of his Shirley Temple, then back into the position.

          The adults chatted away as he enjoyed his tech time. I tried to imagine how his neck/spine/brain will impact his future if he keeps this up. Then I recalled a recent study saying that future generations may well be impacted with this abnormal musculoskeletal arrangement, permanently.

          Just 30 years ago I was bringing my kids to this same place and they spent considerable time sitting at the table eating and talking and occasionally tearing around raising hell. And today they still sit straight and enjoy talking amongst themselves and their friends.

          I think over time we will discover not only the social/mental deficits having these phones has caused, but the actual physical problems as well.

          Chiropractors, I predict, will be prospering well into the next thirty-forty years just trying to undo the damage these devices have done to our upper bodies. As to the social/mental problems, we are talking years of intensive therapies to help the current and future generations to heal from the damage tech gadgets have wrought upon the human race. Face to face, heart to heart connections, once lost in wasted youth can never be retrieved again.

          Sad.

          • Majella August 7, 2019 at 4:13 am #

            There’s a space of cement on a wall on the road where I park for work. It’s constantly being graffitied and painted over. Last week, the graffiti was: ‘We only create (large heart – love, I’m guessing) OFFLINE. Friends, family, workmates’

            It was painted over by last Monday…policy, I suppose.

          • Paul August 8, 2019 at 11:02 am #

            The other day, I found myself in a waiting room with about 12 other people. For some reason, I had left my cell-phone at home, so I had no choice but to look through the magazine pile for something to read. As usual, nothing: People, US, Vanity Fair, etc. Sclocky rags devoted to the cult of personality. Giving up, I had no choice but to settle back into the moment and observe: every one of the 12 other people in that waiting area were totally absorbed by their cellphones. Had I remembered to take my cellphone with me when I left the house I would’ve been No. 13. Maybe I learned something that day.

      • Chinaman August 6, 2019 at 11:17 am #

        “Everywhere I go, every town I visit, you don’t see any industries,” he said in the interview. “You don’t see any factories. You don’t see anything. We don’t make anything. We are really the poorest country on earth, but people refuse to see that. We are only surviving. We are only looking good because of our military might, because we are an empire. But this force cannot go on forever. It should be so obvious that we’re only chugging along, bullying people into lending us money and sending us stuff that we don’t deserve, that we haven’t earned. How can we survive? Hundreds of thousands of Americans have been reduced to living like savages in this self-proclaimed greatest country on earth.”

        Martinez Celaya

    • Neon Vincent August 5, 2019 at 10:05 am #

      I enjoyed reading your your response to the weekend’s mass shootings. I had a different reaction, which was to see if I could reconcile my plan to write about entertainment on Sunday, as I usually do, with trying to address the shootings. I was able to do both, as I found that ‘Point of View: Sandy Hook Promise’ was among the Emmy nominees for Outstanding Commercial. That was a chilling public service announcement, but it did the trick. It won’t win, though. I think that’s between Nike’s “Dream Crazy,” which Colin Kaepernick narrates, and Netflix’s “A Great Day in Hollywood,” which recreates the photo A Great Day in Harlem with African-American stars of Netflix shows. If it were up to the viewers, the former would win. Since it’s the Television Academy, I think the latter will win. I think the television professionals will not be able to pass up something that tells a good story about themselves that they want to believe.

      In other collapse and decline news, the latest government statistics confirm a record low U.S. birth rate during 2018. On the one hand, zero population growth. On the other, not enough people to sustain business as usual. I should be careful what I wish for, I might get it.

      • K-Dog August 5, 2019 at 11:27 am #

        I took a different approach too.

        chasingthesquirrel.com/

        And Neon, don’t worry about worrying about business as usual. It does not matter what you think. BAU is going to be changing with or without you.

        • K-Dog August 5, 2019 at 12:18 pm #

          Now this is interesting.

          8ch.net/index.html

          is down.

          I was able to read the manifesto early Sunday morning. The fool thought he was a revolutionary.

          You guys do know about the manifesto?

          • K-Dog August 5, 2019 at 12:19 pm #

            Foolish me, of course you do!

          • Walter B August 5, 2019 at 6:56 pm #

            I did not have to read Mein Kampf to realize that eliminating Hitler was the wisest course of action.

          • K-Dog August 5, 2019 at 11:30 pm #

            Good for you. If everyone had been as smart as you then there never would have been a Mein Kampf in the first place.

            I read the manifesto as well as several case studies of other crazies from FBI files. Posted at 8ch.net/index.html it was. A personal mystery was solved too. The FBI uses facsimiles of documents. They even index them. That is something I have seen before. Now I think I was supposed to make the connection.

            You can read the manifesto. It is not so deep that you might drown.

          • Walter B August 5, 2019 at 11:47 pm #

            There are many fire hydrants over that way that need to be watered my friend.

          • abbybwood August 6, 2019 at 12:11 am #

            It was on Drudgereport. For the whole World Wide Web to see.

      • ZrCrypDiK August 5, 2019 at 1:13 pm #

        “The people may have to be dragged kicking and screaming into that new disposition of things” No mentors? No discipline, no self-control, no *sacrifice* . It is soooo unfortunate that ‘they’ eat that lamestream media’s BullSH! characterization of ‘reality.’ Insatiability – entitled imbeciles, spoiled rotten bratz. Unabashed consumerism to the point of a mantra – Amerika or the highway, moFo.

        2.5 years left – and they gunna be *PHUN* …

        • K-Dog August 5, 2019 at 1:26 pm #

          Hi Z. Long time no see but you were never far away.

        • SoftStarLight August 5, 2019 at 2:15 pm #

          How do you know its not actually 2.58 years left?

          • ZrCrypDiK August 5, 2019 at 2:43 pm #

            SSL – ain’t that a digital acronym as well?!… At Any Rate (AAR – heh), It’s gunna be *PHUN* . And U no *IT* !

        • elysianfield August 5, 2019 at 2:19 pm #

          “The people may have to be dragged kicking and screaming into that new disposition of things” No mentors? No discipline, no self-control, no *sacrifice* . It is soooo unfortunate that ‘they’ eat that lamestream media’s BullSH! characterization of ‘reality.’ Insatiability – entitled imbeciles, spoiled rotten bratz. Unabashed consumerism to the point of a mantra – Amerika or the highway, moFo.

          2.5 years left – and they gunna be *PHUN*

          …what HE said…I think….

    • TraffickingInDivinity August 5, 2019 at 10:06 am #

      This will happen more and more – as Sartre said, without an infinite reference point, no finite point has any meaning. This is a meaning crisis.

      • BornToKillPeace August 5, 2019 at 11:43 am #

        Sartre was 5 foot tall and thought the Black Panthers the coolest.
        i.e.. He was a weiner.

    • ZrCrypDiK August 5, 2019 at 12:51 pm #

      “especially among young men trained on video slaughter games” Noooo. They’re all incels, but they prolly play a few video games. Cause? 2-ton death metal coffins, hitting a daily 1.5 gallon gasohol quota, on asphalt-concrete-metal-glass desert suburbia sprawl. And don’t forget, cell phone delinquency.

      Exponential extraction, which *NEVER* figures in external costs, leading to exponential depletion, pollution, and destruction, this is the cause. Literally burning anything left on the surface.

      • SoftStarLight August 6, 2019 at 12:17 am #

        May the Forests reclaim the asphalt-concrete-metal-glass-desert suburbia sprawl.

    • gonetohell August 6, 2019 at 10:57 pm #

      You’ve been reading JHK far too long. It’s hilarious to watch him squeeze his same old talking points into whatever has happened lately. Everything that’s bad is happening because of suburban sprawl, happy motoring, the gender confused and of course, evil Democrats. JHK is a hard right old man for whom there’s is no joy on the horizon. You may have noticed that Kunstler went to the same excuse for these mass shootings as every Trump apologist on cable. And THEY got the idea from Trump’s soulless speechwriters. That excuse is of course that’s its those vile video games that are to blame. It’s again the very definition of a shell game. Look over here while I’m doing this over there. Race baiting, gays in the military, revisiting a woman’s right to choose. The right is masterful at pushing that which doesn’t matter to the forefront, and with slight of hand pushing what matters out of sight.

  2. malthuss August 5, 2019 at 9:35 am #

    And a naysayer shared this,

    The government would have us believe that flamboyant gays present at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando were suddenly not taking cell phone video of themselves during the standoff that went on for several hours.

    The allegedly ‘killed on scene’ gay-hating Islamic perp Omar Mateen was the son of a former US intel asset in Afghanistan.

    A female ‘cardiologist’ and DEM candidate for the FL House Sidt. 48 named Elizabeth McCarthy, who was also ‘interviewed’ on TV about her work saving the victims of the Pulse shooting, has now been outed as having made up her story.

    • abbybwood August 5, 2019 at 12:25 pm #

      I believe Mateen also worked for the largest private security corporation in the world, G4S. Bigger than Academie (formerly Blackwater).

    • ZrCrypDiK August 5, 2019 at 2:50 pm #

      Damn d00d, that’s almOAst as k00ky as the moon landing hoAxerz@@

      • abbybwood August 5, 2019 at 9:56 pm #

        Hey BRUH!!!

        Mateen not only worked for G4S but it turns out that G4S was sued by the families of victims in the Pulse nightclub shooting.

        And in reference to the “human moon landings” in the 1960’s and 1970’s, I think it is all a huge crock. When NASA scientists are asked now why we haven’t been back in 50 years! they say, “the technology is just not there.”

        And there you are, BRUH!!! 🙂

        • benr August 6, 2019 at 7:07 pm #

          Hey bruh the tech is there the money is not.
          Obama all but gutted nasa!
          What is on the moon exactly that can be used to make more money?

          • benr August 6, 2019 at 7:10 pm #

            Put it in context new f-35 is a billion dollar per plane investment.
            Cycle that up by 100 times what it would cost to land people on the moon now and you are looking at a 100 billion or more no incentive.

  3. hmuller August 5, 2019 at 9:48 am #

    I agree with everything you said, JHK. But until someone solves the problem of societal ennui, the old principle applies.

    To stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun.

    It may be counter-intuitive and unacceptable to many people on this site. But a lot of responsible, vetted citizens walking around with concealed carry licenses (and their guns) just might be able to stop the crazies before the death count goes sky high.

    • montsegur August 5, 2019 at 10:14 am #

      the problem of societal ennui

      Does this mean we gave peace a chance and found it too boring for our instincts?

      I’ve read that American society was headed for trouble when the frontier disappeared. Could be we would have encountered this social fragmentation earlier had World War II not occurred.

      Cheers

      • butter56 August 5, 2019 at 11:53 am #

        Actually at the time of World War II , we were taking a break from immigration. Society was much less diverse and immigrants largely assimilated. The frontier era ended a hundred years ago, the age of industrial jobs had been in decline for fifty years, so the need for mass immigration of poor people is now an obsolete paradigm. We obviously have plenty of poor folks who need rehabilitating to the new reality in this country. One might have to mow yards and hang sheetrock instead of playing video games and taking opioids.

        No one raises the question of how many people do we need in this country. Is society toning to be better in fifty years if we let a million more poor people , their offspring , and extended family in every year. That might mean a hundred million more. Even the Chinese know there are too many Chinese, if you get my drift.

        I sometimes wonder what LBJ and Ted Kennedy were thinking when they changed immigration laws in 1965. They must have been so eaten up with victory disease that they thought inside every person in the world was an American waiting to pop out. Turns out , not so much

        • malthuss August 5, 2019 at 6:08 pm #

          TK and LBJ were fools or knowing pawns for TPTB.

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