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The Fourth Wall

     This week, with a nod to the onrushing holiday, and various freight trains of dread barreling down the track at us, I want to take a break from the usual concerns and talk about something else: why Hollywood exemplifies our worst collective blunder of the historical moment: our techno-narcissism.
     I went to the cineplex at the mall late yesterday afternoon – also a break, after a month of moving and shlepping to another house – to see the new Martin Scorcese movie, Hugo. The story told is a sort of frame for an homage to one of the pioneers of movie-making, Georges Méliès, a French “illusionist” (magician) who made over 500 films at the turn of the 20th century, most of them now lost. He was an innovator, also, of what we now call FX, special effects, employing stop-motion, puppetry, and many optical tricks borrowed from his stage magic act in order to portray wild, dream-like fantasies on the screen. His best-known surviving movie is the Jules Verne-inspired A Trip To the Moon, in which several Edwardian Age explorers make the journey in a giant artillery shell fired from a colossal cannon. The movies of Méliès possess great child-like charm, consistent with a new art-form in its infancy: exuberant, surprising, and often self-consciously silly.
     Scorcese conveys Méliès’s story through the frame of another story about a boy, the orphaned son of a watchmaker, who lives in the attic of one of the great Parisian train stations in the 1920s. Hugo goes about his daily business winding the great clocks of the station, pinching croissants and bottles of milk from vendors, and evading the sadistic Station Inspector (Sacha Baron-Cohen, a.k.a. Borat). Hugo’s doings also come to involve the owner of a toy shop in the station, who turns out to be the movie-maker Méliès (Ben Kingsley), now completely disillusioned and forgotten. The boy, of course, becomes the agent of Méliès’s resurrection to glory and public honor for his pioneering work.
     Scorcese, a leading film historian in his own right, chose to tell this story using the latest movie technology of our day: 3-D and CGI, computer-generated imagery, to wow a contemporary audience. Here, things get dodgy. It turns out that there is a curious relationship between movie technology and the art of cinema story-telling, and it can be expressed in terms of diminishing returns. The more clever we get at applying computer magic to the movies, the worse our story-telling abilities. It has gotten to the point where Hollywood is just about incapable now of telling a story because so many technological tricks are cluttering up the screen that the nuances of human behavior are sacrificed to them.
     In the case of Hugo, Scorcese’s use of 3-D violates one of the cardinal rules of staged dramatic action in its insistence on dragging the viewer through what is called “the fourth wall” in a relentless attempt to induce the illusions of speed and vertigo. The fourth wall refers to an old convention of the proscenium stage, in which the audience is presumed to be viewing the action through an open wall of a sort of magic box. This boundary between “real life” and the life depicted on stage, or on-screen in our time, allows another convention to happen: the willing suspension of disbelief, so that we become emotionally involved in the action beyond the wall. The fourth wall was respected through the glory days of Hollywood and all of the movie classics that Scorcese has paid homage to over the years. Breaking it has impoverished movie-making, a result that was obvious in James Cameron’s ponderous hit, Avatar, which reduced human emotion to a level below the average cartoon of the 1930s while it piled on the dazzling computer-generated images. In Hugo, Scorcese’s camera, or “camera” in the case of all the whopping 3-D CGI shoves the audience through the fourth wall and into the magic box in order to stimulate (or simulate) a sense of wonder about the proceedings inside it. But it only has the effect of wearing you down psychologically, and making you constantly aware of being manipulated.
     One of the ironies of Hugo is that a major sub-plot in the story involves a mechanical automaton – sort of an early robot, animated like a clock with gears and escapements – which Hugo’s dead father had been working on before his tragic death in a fire. Automatons were popular devices in the magicians’ parlors of the early industrial age. They were wondrous machines for their time, but they really couldn’t do much more than deal out a few cards or wave their arms about. The automaton in the movie doesn’t really do much, either, but the story of Hugo hinges on the emotional attachments that the automaton inspires in him and the other characters. And it does illustrate, inadvertently I believe, one of the crucial primary relations of the human project to technology in our time: that the virtual is just not an adequate substitute for the authentic. This will be a hard lesson for us to learn.
     Hugo worships at the altar of his father’s broken automaton, just as the American public at all levels worships at the alter of technology, and it is sure to disappoint us. So great are the comforts and conveniences of our time that we are terrified by the prospect of losing them and, as the hyper-complexities around us unravel, we Americans are willing to believe any preposterous story that promises to keep the cars moving and the lights on. I call this state of affairs technological narcissism. The leading current expression of it can be seen in the incessant propaganda from politicians and the corporations telling the nation that we have “hundreds of years worth of oil and gas” available in North America and that we can easily become “energy independent” if we only drill-drill-drill. The public will at first be disappointed by these lies, and then they will become murderously enraged. Just watch. How it unfolds will be a story really worth telling generations from now.
     For the moment, though, Hollywood has forgotten how to do the one thing that made the American movie industry great: to tell a story. Another irony of the day is that the biggest critical hit of the holiday release season is a silent movie, The Artist, made in France by director Michel Hazanavicius, another homage to Hollywood history, made by outsiders and going back to the basics – just as American life will have to go back to the basics when reality drags us kicking and screaming out of the box we’ve crawled into.

_____________________________


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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 the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

924 Responses to “The Fourth Wall” Subscribe

  1. treuburger December 19, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    First!

  2. goodhumorman December 19, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    First

  3. Leibowitz Society December 19, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    We are steadily sinking into a new Dark Age, as our options and solutions become more and more limited. This doesn’t mean we can’t build a path for the future, but we have to make plans now to weather the storm.
    Visit the Leibowitz Society at http://leibowitzsociety.blogspot.com/2011/12/deep-kimchi.html for information and commentary related to the new Dark Age.

  4. goodhumorman December 19, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    Ok, 2nd.

  5. Neon Vincent December 19, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    Last month, you had an entry with no title. Now, you have a title (a very intriguing one; who’s breaking the Fourth Wall, other than you?) with no essay. You corrected the first. I’m looking forward to your remedying the second.
    http://crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/

  6. kulturcritic* December 19, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    James, I seems as though we want always to look at the other guy as a problem, and not ourselves. kulturCritic
    http://kulturcritic.wordpress.com/posts/mishka-the-russian-winter-and-terror-in-the-homeland/

  7. treuburger December 19, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    Jim is mourning the death of the Dear Leader and the intriguing titile IS the essay as it pays tribute to the minimalist ways of North Korea.
    It’s brilliant.
    Brilliant!

  8. Neon Vincent December 19, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    *Chuckle*
    I was expecting something about the recently departed Mr. Kim, may he enjoy the company of Gaddafi and bin Ladin in the afterlife. Instead, the essay Jim supplied, once he corrected its original omission, surprised me. Bravo!

  9. The Mook December 19, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Ninth!

  10. Widespreadpanic7 December 19, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    The question is, Jim, is when will reality drag us kicking and screaming from this techno-box we are in? Next week? Next year? 10 years from now? Its hard to worry and prepare for something when there is no timeline.
    Speaking of movies, recently saw ‘Shane’, with Alan Ladd . From way back in 1951, based on a short story by western writer Jack Schaeffer. Now that’s what I call a movie!
    –WSP7

  11. Alannala December 19, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    nice essay. btw, i haven’t seen avatar, and i wouldnt if you paid me to. there’s something so ugly about special effects, video games and so forth, that try to mimic the visual world. but they’re taken their visual illiteracy to a technological expression, that well is still um illiterate.
    …and i’m wondering when JHK will get back with his sparrring partner DC for another jolly rant session.

  12. chomskyite December 19, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    KultureVulture, Crazy Eddie, and Fawn Liebowitz, please get your own life. Keep up the good fight Mr. Kunstler.

  13. Jimmy Drinkwater December 19, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    The more clever we get at applying computer magic to the movies, the worse our story-telling abilities.

    Reminds me of something Lewis Lapham wrote a few years back: Why is it the more better off people become materially, the worse they are to each other?
    Cheers to all in this northern, long nights time of year, may your reflections show the way to brighter days.
    http://alttransbikes.blogspot.com

  14. Eric Brasure December 19, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    Stick to fretting about peak oil. What you don’t know about film theory could fill a gasoline tanker.

  15. LKK December 19, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    Good observations. I can’t resist one small correction: One worships at an “altar”, please don’t alter the spelling.

  16. bossier22 December 19, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    Alan Ladd was superior in Shane. As was the whole movie. Jack Palance as Wilson needed to be shot so bad.

  17. VyseLegend December 19, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    In a way, we are going to be pulled into the ‘fourth wall’ of our socioeconomic paradigm, as we are forced not to be be onlookers but active participants in our survival. Or we will just keel over in apathy. I’m placing my bets on the latter, iPads in hand.

  18. Fissile December 19, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    “Drill, drill, drill.” The people who chant this mantra always astonish me. First off, it’s not “our oil”. If you want to get technical about it, it belongs to the oil companies. Second, petroleum is a global commodity, and is sold to the highest bidder. For the first time in decades,the US is now an exporter of refined petroleum products. Third, even if we drill, there is no guarantee that the price will go down. For the price to drop, demand would need to be the same while production in other countries remains the same as well….big ifs. But like you said, people will do anything to delude themselves that they will be able to lights burning in the McMansion and the Suburban chugging its way down to Sonic Burger.

  19. The Mook December 19, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    The politicians are going to work through Christmas. Also, Santa Claus is coming twice this year.

  20. charliefoxtrot December 19, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    you gotta admit he has a point there- i mean, who knows how to produce, much less read, smoke signals? and given finite resources, while technology will still exist for some time; access to it is already narrowing for those of us who are on the bottom fringe of society…hard to maintain an internet connection with no job or home…and don t worry; do something: try to make a difference for someone in your life, start drawing down your dependance on the plug, and learn some physical skills that don t depend on an iphone for a start…as for a timeline, don t forget that two hundred years is a tick in geological time, so be grateful for any warning at all; which is all that mr kunstler has offered in the first place: he s not trying to save us; it s too late for that- he s trying to build a fire under our collective asses in order to give our next generation a fighting chance to exist at all…as i see it, anyway…in other words, if you are looking for a time stamp to know how long you can fuck off til you have to get serious, then you ve missed the point

  21. MissusQuiche December 19, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Last night, V. Kunt said about V. Krantz: …a sad old bigot clinging to some sort of religion and petrified of death.
    Aubade
    I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
    Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
    In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
    Till then I see what’s really always there:
    Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
    Making all thought impossible but how
    And where and when I shall myself die.
    Arid interrogation: yet the dread
    Of dying, and being dead,
    Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.
    The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse
    – The good not done, the love not given, time
    Torn off unused – nor wretchedly because
    An only life can take so long to climb
    Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
    But at the total emptiness for ever,
    The sure extinction that we travel to
    And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
    Not to be anywhere,
    And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.
    This is a special way of being afraid
    No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
    That vast, moth-eaten musical brocade
    Created to pretend we never die,
    And specious stuff that says No rational being
    Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
    That this is what we fear – no sight, no sound,
    No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
    Nothing to love or link with,
    The anasthetic from which none come round.
    And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
    A small, unfocused blur, a standing chill
    That slows each impulse down to indecision.
    Most things may never happen: this one will,
    And realisation of it rages out
    In furnace-fear when we are caught without
    People or drink. Courage is no good:
    It means not scaring others. Being brave
    Lets no one off the grave.
    Death is no different whined at than withstood.
    Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
    It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
    Have always known, know that we can’t escape,
    Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go.
    Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
    In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
    Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
    The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
    Work has to be done.
    Postmen like doctors go from house to house.
    Philip Larkin

  22. cbwim December 19, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    Disappointed…. I came to read the usual new ranting twist on our general collapse with such recent items as the Durban conference, Canada pulling out of Kyoto, etc. and all I got was this movie review for one I have no current plan on seeing. Lame.
    But I suppose a break from all the gloom and doom is healthy, once in a while and Jim, you seem to be in the Holiday Spirit. At least the End Times won’t happen until after New Year’s (except for maybe in the Koreas).

  23. cbwim December 19, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    I suspect Jim will come out Boxing with the usual rant on Boxing Day……

  24. Puzzler December 19, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Wrong!
    The Fourth Wall means the actors don’t acknowledge or interact with the audience.
    It’s always been a one-way process. You get drawn in to the story and characters, but they act as though you aren’t there.
    CGI or 3-D technology doesn’t change that any more than comic books did.
    The decline of storytelling at a time of increasing technology doesn’t prove a cause and effect relationship.
    Pretty thin stuff for an essay.
    I await your usual trenchant wordcraft next week.

  25. DeeJones December 19, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    Its because Americans live in a fantasy life & world. I recently came across a genre of writing called ‘Steampunk’, based on the premise of an alternate timeline where everything is based on H.G. Wells & Jules Verne. But not only this, people truly into it also dress in the costumes of this era, and even decorate their houses like this. Total fantasy involvement. Not having to grow up into a functioning adult is great if you dont have to I guess, but I like where I live now, where the adults actually act & behave like ADULTS, not like perpetual 15 y/olds.
    But who knows, perhaps if the electricity goes off permanently, they might just be better prepared for it with their steam-powered can openers.
    Or not….
    P.S. Avatar was noting but the FX, there, despite some claims, was NO story that made any sense. Saw it on DVD, thank god I didn’t waste the money or time at a theater. Except for a very few independent films, I haven’t seen a good Holowood movie in years..
    😐

  26. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    So great are the comforts and conveniences of our time that we are terrified by the prospect of losing them and, as the hyper-complexities around us unravel, we Americans are willing to believe any preposterous story that promises to keep the cars moving and the lights on.

    That the comforts and conveniences of our time are so great that we are afraid to loose them is certainly an explanation. Another explanation could be that modern life has become so devoid of meaning and empty of real purpose that only the toys of technology remain to comfort. Incessant propaganda of endless supplies of oil and gas are necessary to feed our technical narcissism because without it a feeling of absurdity will slap you in the face.
    Absurd propaganda, misplaced priorities and the lack of any of our leaders having the courage to stand up and do the right things to make our society stable safe and prosperous has caused me to launch a write in campaign for the Presidency of the United States so that I can fix our problems. Readers from previous weeks will recall that I wrote that we should dispense with political parties. I mean by this the highly organized hereditary dinosaurs we now have. At the same time a movement of the people cannot succeed without a name so I need to more properly define my candidacy.
    I am k-dog of the SCP or SPP. This stands for the Sustainable Canine Party or the Sustainable Peoples Party whichever you prefer. I claim them both.
    I am dedicated to a government representative of the people’s needs and to the mission of making our nation and planet fit for future generations to live on for all future time. My goal is to align action leading to a society responsive to the social and individual freedoms of all.
    We have reached an economic crisis requiring a change in plans. Neoclassical economics is a theory built on oversimplified selectively narrowed assumptions which facts now demonstrate to be clearly false. As it is economic theory does not account for the maintenance of public goods common to all. Current economic theory only accounts for private goods which can be bought and sold and because of this cannot function in a scenario of resource depletion and shrinking resources and meet the essential needs of man.
    Engineers, chemists, poets, painters, and candlestick makers can learn about what has already been done to develop a post neoclassical economics and weave the tapestry. It’s time for conventional economists to be unemployed; fortunately there are some non-conventional economists who can lead the way. Continued denial of economic realities will lead to a recession which will never end.
    The goal of making a sustainable society that meets the needs of all is a very well defined goal. All we need to do is accept it as a core value. Development of a society responsive to the needs of all should not be hard if we embrace it as a goal.
    Globalism has betrayed progress. Few have shared in profits while resource depletion, environmental degradation, and a decline in social capital have hallmarked globalism’s sweep across the globe. A tapestry of interwoven environments and cultures has been ripped apart as the ways of life of entire populations destroyed as sacrifices to the god of economic growth. The fragility of the end result of globalism now threatens the very survival of humanity.
    Panegyrics are appreciated.

  27. budizwiser December 19, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    JK,
    You make some pretty silly assumptions. The biggest, and easily the most obvious – is that people go to the movies to be “told a story.”
    The next you’ll do is assert that people buy automobiles to get from place to another.
    Of some note – at least you understand what blundering means.

  28. metuselah December 19, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    Since Hollywood was basically sold to SONY, there hasn’t been a single movie produced worth watching. It’s all drek. The situation is so pathetic, that I don’t even bother wasting my bandwidth pirating that crap.

  29. asoka. December 19, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    Well said, charliefoxtrot!
    And what you say this morning is the reason I gave thanks to JHK several times last week… and to CFNers whose informative posts (like Tripp) helped me make the transition successfully to a non-money, non-petroleum based plan B where it is 75 degrees in December and 75 degrees in July because it is 75 degrees year round at my altitude near the equator. It is heaven here!
    If it weren’t for JHK and CFN, I would still be in the USA bitching about bankers, China-goods WalMart, tailgaters, etc.

  30. ozone December 19, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    JHK sez:
    “The public will at first be disappointed by these lies [about the continuation and furtherance of comforts and ease], and then they will become murderously enraged. Just watch. How it unfolds will be a story really worth telling generations from now.”
    (Sorry ’bout the bracket-ization insert; trying to keep it compact.)
    I would agree; hope someone is compiling a chronological narrative of these multiplying absurdities.
    I ask an obvious question: Why are so few preparing the younger generations for a scaled-back, harder-working and less complex way of life? I had never thought that having “options” and varied skills was a bad thing. Why does it appear that any move in the direction of contraction is forbidden to be discussed or brought to light?
    I submit that it’s in the financial interests of some to keep us on [what will eventually be] a suicidal path of over-use of the only means of our survival.
    As our toys become more complex and technologically “advanced” (I think we should be a bit more careful about employing that word) our estrangement from face-to-face interaction becomes more pronounced. The toys are exceptionally good for exchanging information/data, but that’s generally not what they’re used for, is it?
    Intriguing look into the “technology imitates life” aspect of our rapidly crumbling cultural narrative there, James. “Indicators” abound!

  31. progress2conserve December 19, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    Interesting essay, JHK. I see the symbolism, whether it’s intentional or not.
    Entertainment IS America. All the rest just serves to keep our bellies full, as we try our best to keep ourselves entertained and avoid deeper thoughts about the human story that we are living.
    So – Movie making takes special FX to their logical extreme and then pushes through that logical extreme, to the point that the FX become the story. So, dude, what else is new. We’re Americans, that’s what we do.
    We’re now taking our energy production beyond a logical extreme, with fracking, and that Canada-to-Houston oil pipeline. We’re taking our food production to the logical extreme, with industrial strength food shipped for 1000’s of miles. We continue to force-feed the growth of the US population through excessive LEGAL immigration, even as illegal immigration reverses itself. Our cities and suburbs grow more and more huge, at the expense of our smaller communities.
    Again, we’re Americans. We’re helpless to stop any of this, because “Growth is good.”
    Where it will end is with 400,000,000+ people, crammed into cities, eating factory food, watching amazing special FX on Entertainment Centers; a 3-D reality substitute that finally becomes BETTER than reality.
    All we need is for the power to stay on and for all those food trucks to keep running, forever and ever.
    Yeah – what could possibly go wrong?

  32. montysano December 19, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    Hollywood is still capable of telling a story, as last year’s “Winter’s Bone” demonstrated. But yeah… it’s the rare exception.
    I’m a lifelong Vonnegut fan, and in particular, a fan of “Player Piano”, IMHO the best of the dystopian novels. The current spate of reality shows such as “Call of the Wildman” and “Hillbilly Hand Fishin'” shows us, as did “Player Piano”, a culture completely removed from authenticity, but desperately yearning for it. I suspect we’ll get our wish, and to paraphrase Mencken, we’ll get it good and hard.

  33. schilke7 December 19, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    For some listeners jazz improv is not musical yet many even appreciate free form, keyless ramblings so the comparison James is making is valid but obviously experimentation and focus change will prevail. My favorite movie may be Blue Velvet but I certainly enjoyed Avitar as well. Mozart may be my favorite but I enjoy eccentric Cage experimentation.
    Mr. Kunstler’s tempo change today has stimulated me to find my own priority or “favorite theme” and that is to continue to prepare like the ant or squirrel so my own personal movie will be as positive as possible. My real world is to continue to learn gardening,self reliance and self defense ..Movies are entertainment and food is necessary.

  34. ozone December 19, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    …What YOU said!
    (I type so slowly that the comment section gets waaaaay ahead of me by the time I post and get to read further. Sorry for the redundancy.)

  35. Loveandlight December 19, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    It has gotten to the point where Hollywood is just about incapable now of telling a story because so many technological tricks are cluttering up the screen that the nuances of human behavior are sacrificed to them.
    {cough}Star Wars prequel trilogy{cough}

  36. Truckee December 19, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    Get a Life!

  37. LaughingAsRomeWasBurningDown December 19, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Ah, “beaking the fourth wall” as I understand the term refers to the actors in the play acknowledging/interacting with the audience. I think Woody Allen movies do this a lot, Woody or the actor playing him turns and comments to the audience directly on something that just happened. And why the hate on Avatar? Seems like there was a nice story about empire and resource extraction in there under all the special effects.

  38. comob December 19, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    Very good observations that resonated with my viewing of the film.
    However, you finish with “when reality drags us kicking and screaming out of the box we’ve crawled into”
    From an rhetorical perspective, I think that you missed a chance to better reiterate what I read as your operating metaphor – reality will not “drag us” out of our box.
    Reality will more likely than not strip the box from us in a sudden, rough and irreversible gesture.

  39. Elrond Hubbard December 19, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    I’ve seen Hugo twice now: once in a crummy projection, the second time rather better. What I noticed both times is how restrained the movie is compared to so much of today’s product, not in the effects themselves but in how it deploys them in order to get where it’s going. Jim’s point about Hollywood using special effects and cinema wizardry as a substitute for storytelling is hardly original — any one movie by Michael Bay serves to not just make the point, but drive it home with a jackhammer. I’ve heard Martin Scorsese talk about this and his point is that ever since Jaws and Star Wars invented today’s blockbuster model, Hollywood just isn’t the same business as when he was able to make Mean Streets and Taxi DrIver. He’s decided not to drop out, but to keep making movies within the system, and who can tell him he’s wrong?
    Storytelling and top-notch special effects aren’t incompatible. Case in point: There is nothing more artificial than pure CGI, yet the one studio with the most astonishingly consistent track record of high-quality storytelling is Pixar. Their most inessential products (the Cars movies) are no worse than rock solid, and they have more than one masterpiece to their credit (Finding Nemo being my favourite). Good storytelling will never go out of style, but it’s up to us to see that it’s rewarded more consistently than expensive dreck like the Transformers movies.

  40. Tancred December 19, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    A good antidote to such cinematic excess is to watch an episode or two of Rifleman, seen on both the RTV and MeTV broadcast networks. Some of the sets on that show are so rudimentary as to be comical, especially when compared to all the computer-generated stuff of today. But the sets are not trying to be “just like the real thing,” they merely represent a locale; the actors and the screenplay do the rest. I still prefer Thunderbirds to ANY of this computer crap.l

  41. loveday December 19, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    Hi Jim
    Well I guess you are in the holiday spirit this week, no cranky rants this week. Anyway Avatar has recently been touted as the “Movie of the Century”….whaaat. But aside from the fact that the story was very basic, no subtlies there, the plot clearly shows fascism and the ultimate defeat of that system. The movie at best was grade school stuff, but the very simplicity of the message perhaps is the film’s greatest strength. Even cheeze doodle eaters can’t mistake the clear reflection of most Western governments today. Rampant gov/corp corruption and dominance. However this movie is at best mediocre.
    I enjoy films from an earlier time where the viewer is invited and even expected to think about the film and draw conclusions. Recent films simply spoon feed the audience with a canned message. Sad but completely expected as independent thinking has recently been labelled an illness by the American Psychiatric Association in their latest DSM volume.
    As for the culmination of our current collapse, I try not to worry, just knowing is enough.
    So I sign off with a politically incorrect greeting—
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.
    loveday

  42. Cavepainter December 19, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Be careful of life immitating art when all we have of “art” is technophiles attempting to pass it off as art.

  43. seatrades December 19, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    JHK is , as ever, thought provoking.
    American cinema is all about emotion — not “movies” but “feelies”. And while this art form can generate impressive effects, emphasizing emotion over thought ultimately results in a paralyzed body politic and skewed economic decision making.
    BTW, there is nothing contrary to “dramatic theory” in “breaking the fourth wall”. This is the diff between representational theatre and presentational, going back to Cornish Round House theatres about the time of the Doomsday Book in the nursery of Anglo history. ( And I ask myself why there is no dramatic tradition in ancient Hebrew. Then this Rabbi in my head says: “What, so God’s not dramatic enought for you?”)
    So for us Americans, breaking the frame is a great idea, something we currently call ‘a reality check’ (and I don’t mean some fantasy scribbled onto a Bank of america Postit with bank numbers); we need to take a long look at the man behind the curtain. (Much on this in Chris Hedges’ Empire of Illusion).
    Thanks for all the great blogs, JHK. Happy Hanukkah. Big fan here.
    Ricardo

  44. Cavepainter December 19, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    ….that is, trying pass special effects off as art. Excuse me.

  45. CaptSpaulding December 19, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    Kim Song? Ill?

  46. CaptSpaulding December 19, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    I’m sure that has already been used somewhere.

  47. PatTheExpat December 19, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    Ok by me that Jim breaks from the usual rant to comment on a film he’s seen. And I agree that the most depressing thing of all is ordinary people’s delusion that here is no other way to live than in the convenient, comfortable manner by which we’re destroying the planet’s environment and depleting it’s waning resources. Fuck politicians and corporate leaders. They’re never going to own up and shoulder any responsibility. But the continuing refusal of the general populace to make any changes in lifestyle, for the good of the planet and its inhabitants, is just plain immoral and greedy.

  48. Jimmy Drinkwater December 19, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    And in that vein, perhaps better yet might be episodes of The Twilight Zone, minimalist in staging but almost always a good story and studying Rod Serling’s scripts offers anyone a free 101 course on how to be a screewriter.

  49. charliefoxtrot December 19, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    trust me, i m with you in spirit! i just wish i had internet access 10 years ago, and found this discussion in time to do something like you ve done…as it is, i have always had the vague sense that modern “civilization” is a dead end street, and have consequently lived and worked on the edges; this stupid little smart-phone that has finally allowed me to see i was not alone in the real world is a sick joke and an accident- i ll spare you the gory details…i only hope i can build some community where i am (some progress in the last few months) and get my grubby little mitts on a few of the vital resources unavailable in the forseeable future and help some right-thinking people survive the inevitable rumblings of changes that are already making themselves known…good luck down there, and have a few mojitas for me…

  50. ExtraO December 19, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    Don’t know if anybody else mentioned this, but “The Artist” that Jim mentions in his last paragraph, was not made in France, tho’ it might have been edited there. It was shot in the USA with an American film crew; the director and the two principal stars are French. The supporting cast are all Americans.

  51. ront December 19, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    I agree with you, Puzzler. I noticed this inaccuracy as regards the proscenium arch, as I have heard it called. 3-d effects in film do not break the “wall” just as the 3 dimensional actors on a stage don’t by virtue of their being 3-d. Thornton Wilder is well known for employing the breaking of the arch. In the “Matchmaker” for example, a character will suddenly turn to the audience and speak directly to us as regards his/her motivation for taking some action. The entertaining TV show, Modern Family, uses this technique by having the real time action stop and switching to a sit down interview style of explanation.
    I enjoyed this essay and intend to comment further on its more important aspects. Thank you, Jim, for providing this weekly treat of your open-minded/hearted sharing of your current sense of things.

  52. Tancred December 19, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    Indeed. Twilight Zone sets a high bar. I suggest that there was a “Golden Age” of TV that had guys like Serling, Hitchcock, and shows like Peter Gunn, Naked City, Route 66. Thankfully they are coming back on some of the digital sub channels that nobody seems to pay attention to. The only negative is the spate of commercials for nefarious products and services that accompany them… I know…TIVO…

  53. lsjogren December 19, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    Fascinating observations by Kunstler.
    I have been thinking of late that we have a strange dichotomy where in some respects mankind is making dazzling technlogical achievements and yet in other, more traditional areas our society is crumbling. The problem is that the technological advances don’t match up well with those areas where the greatest needs are.
    I think the choice of animation and this particular motion picture as a symbol of these dazzling advances that are irrelevant to the problems facing mankind was an excellent one.
    The one thing I have to be a bit critical of Kunstler on is why choose “drill baby drill” as an example of techno-narcissism? Certainly it is a legitimate example, since a good part of the rationale behind the contention that we can greatly expand fossil fuel reserves lies in new techniques.
    But those technologies, things like hydraulic fracking are hardly very dazzling examples of today’s technology.
    I would think a far better example of techno narcissism is the preposterous notion of many progressives that we can heavily switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy in the near term. After all, the renewables involve much more dazzling new technolgies- low cost photovoltaics for example, and are promoted by people who are most plugged into the techno narcissist world- the blue coast progressives.
    Who’s a better example of a techno-narcissist: a Blue Coaster using an iphone or an unfashionable midwesterner struggling to figure out how to use his first-generatlon cell phone?
    But I’m not going to accuse Kunstler of being a wuss for using a less than optimum example of techno narcissism simply to avoid ticking off narcissist progressives. I’ve read too much of his writing to believe that he would be swayed by such considerations.
    I have to believe Kunstler is simply more annoyed by the drill baby drill delusion than the “renewables R us” delusion. Fair enough. Personally, I find the arrogance of the ignorant renewables boosters of the left to far exceed that of the drill baby folks and thus I would have ridiculed the lefto narcissists rather than the right wingers. But, that is simply an honest difference of opinion.

  54. noel bodie December 19, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    Interesting re- work of the fourth wall concept which was always a reference to the actor either acknowledging or not the presence of the audience, now it is the audience moving to the presence of the image. Techno-narcissism reminds me of the apes watching the light show on the monolith in 2001 A SPACE ODDYSEY we today are re-cast as the apes! To me the AVATAR was about Amerika in mesopatania with corporate and military interests sitting elbow to elbow at control consoles to get oil, er I mean, unobtania or whatever Cameron called it, complete with the bombing of the trade tower, truly a story for our time. And so now we are out of Iraq and it doesn’t get a ” notice” on Monday morning from CFN. George Burns used to “break the fourth wall” on his sweet old sit-com when he spoke directly to the camera/audience. Happy solstice!

  55. ozone December 19, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    Hope this isn’t going too far astray…
    Rap “music”.
    More insertion of technology substituting as art.
    It’s strident, in-yer-face beat/street/slam poetry, POSING as music. The “musical” portion is stolen creations, sliced and diced with custom-made technology to cobble together a Potemkin approximation of music.
    This is cultural acclimation; it’s accepted; it’s called “music”. More fraud, less meaning. …But, gee, it shore is kewl and whiz-bang crap, ain’t it? You just can’t get more “american” than that.
    “Buy more waste and utter shit today; your country’s economy depends on you!” -Gee Whiz Bush & Co.

  56. rippedthunder December 19, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    “Just another low down Yankee liar”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDDOd8kGBXo
    Hey, I’m not a liar, Them thare are figntin’ wordz!

  57. sevenmmm December 19, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    Interesting.
    My initial thoughts are a fast forward of movies I watched through my life, starting from Clint riding around on a horse (I still use that whippoorwill whistle jingle (when I’m feeling like a man!)).
    You just can’t make a comparison to today’s expensive garbage.

  58. charliefoxtrot December 19, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    i ve noticed about my own tv and movie watching that since i have read this blog and the comments that i have almost no patience for the usual drivel- not that i had much before, and have always detested commercials- but now i see entertainment itself as a large part of our systemic problem i used to have to have the tv on, even when there was nothing i cared to see, if only to have noise going or something to ridicule…having read here about ‘bread and circuses’ really changed things for me, and ultimately for the better- thanks while i don t claim to have killed my television, i do recognize programming, and derivative bullshit, as an actual tool and wedge being used to distract and control a herd of humanity, instead of formerly just wondering why “there s nothing on…” hours are now mine that were not before…soon i should have my whole life back!

  59. wagelaborer December 19, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    I thought that Avatar was a great movie. As others have mentioned, it was about imperialist forces using mercenaries to extract resources from a hunter gatherer society, and the fight against them.
    What’s not to like? Plus, James Cameron walked the walk and went down to Brazil to try to save a hunter gatherer society from being drowned by a planned dam, using the publicity from the movie to try to save ACTUAL PEOPLE.
    It didn’t work, of course. Because on this planet, Mother Earth’s other creatures just go extinct, they don’t join forces to fight back.

  60. wagelaborer December 19, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    Or you could advocate adapting to changing circumstances, applying a mixture of conservation, rezoning, rebuilding and renewable energy to build a decent society without destroying the planet.
    In other words, join the Green Party and work with people who are willing to do the thankless work of petioning, leafleting and debating to change society.

  61. ccm989 December 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    Of course CGI has taken over movies. Plots require concentration, thinking, getting it! Can’t do that and eat cheese doodles at the same time. Keep the masses fat and complacent. That’s the ticket!
    Technology is the quiet devil. The other day my husband got a “smart” TV. Instead of having to go to the library or Netflix to get DVDs, you simply download movies directly into the TV. Discs sent in the mail or rented from a store are no longer necessary. I also have a “smart” phone. It is also Internet connected. I no longer need to go to the library or the book store. I download anything I care to read instantly from Amazon. If I need new clothes, I shop online. If I need to pay my bills, I side step the post office by paying on-line. My paycheck is also directly deposited, saving me a trip to the bank. And I work at home.
    So I am now entertained, informed, employed and on time. My actions (and millions like me) will inevitably cause the following –
    Closing of the US Post Office
    Closing of video stores
    Closing of libraries
    Closing of movie theaters
    Closing of bank branches
    Closing of book stores
    Closing of shopping malls
    Which means millions more unemployed Americans. And since third world countries do not seem interested in achieving Zero Population Growth, the world has more and more people demanding more and more with less and less employment and resources available. Everything will be harder to get, even clean, potable water. Maybe the solution is actually cooperation. We have lots of technology that can help (solar panels/wind turbines, etc.) but cooperation is in short supply. “Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” is a currently popular phrase but no one really lives it. In order for any society to survive/thrive, cooperation is key. But how do you get desperate people to cooperate? Desperate, frightened people always seem to gravitate toward “strong”, flag-draped and/or bible thumping leaders who inevitably turn out to be villains.

  62. Jimmy Drinkwater December 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    Heh, yes Route 66 was like the birth of cool for TV, with heavy homage to Kerouac.
    How about Dragnet, telling those 8 million stories one at a time? Just the facts, ma’am……lol.
    Every cop show since owes a debt.

  63. wagelaborer December 19, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    See, when Christians get all in your face with what should just be a pleasant season’s greeting, it’s basically saying “Fuck you” to any non-Christian.
    It really bugs me that Limbaugh and the like have turned the winter holidays into another hatefest, more hostility towards those who don’t genuflect to the dominant paridigm.
    Peace on Earth, goodwill to men.
    Happy Holidays to all.
    And to you, loveday, whatever you meant, the same to you.

  64. dale December 19, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    It has gotten to the point where Hollywood is just about incapable now of telling a story because so many technological tricks are cluttering up the screen that the nuances of human behavior are sacrificed to them.
    —————————————
    I’ll bet you’ve had a script or two rejected….yes?
    Jim, the truth is; Hollywood just isn’t that into you….or me….or anyone who doesn’t play video games, or buy live action dolls derived from movie content. Stories….please….just blow something up in a new way…that’s where the money is, right?
    Story telling is mostly reserved for European movies these days.

  65. ront December 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    “………If I need new clothes, I shop online……..”
    Where is the need for clothes? :o)

  66. charliefoxtrot December 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    for quite a few years i ve said it all: merryhappy chanukwanzaabuddhahindipagamas! for what it s worth…

  67. dale December 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    Storytelling and top-notch special effects aren’t incompatible.
    ————————————
    I’m amazed anyone could go this long without mentioning: 2001-A Space Odyssey. Massive story, massive special effects. Science fiction without the guns and bullshit alien invader scenario.

  68. helen highwater December 19, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    Not all the people you call “the left” are saying that we are going to be saved by renewables. There are people like Richard Heinberg, Chris Martensen, those in the Transition Town movement, and many others who you would probably consider to be “progressives” who are stating very clearly that the total switch to any kind of renewable energy is as much of a pipe dream as is the drill baby drill mantra, due to (a) the amount of money, energy and political will required to make the changeover, and (b) the length of time required to do refit everything, time which we no longer have.

  69. wagelaborer December 19, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    And a very merryhappychanukwanzaabuddhahindipagamas to you, Charlie.

  70. wagelaborer December 19, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    You’re absolutely right, Helen, but it doesn’t matter.
    They are attacking the strawmen set up for them by Rush Limbaugh and the like. To do so, of course, they have to ignore actual people, but it doesn’t seem to bother them.

  71. Rhino December 19, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    To answer your question from last week no I’m not a reincarnated CASH. I’ve been reading this blog on and off as well as some of the comments for a while. Decided to jump in commenting not long ago.

  72. helen highwater December 19, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    So if you know your “smart” TV and “smart” phone are going to have all those negative effects on our society, why did you get them?

  73. lbendet December 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Nice movie review JHK, on techonology worship from the point of view of someone recognizing the end of technology.–Glad you worked in the new meme that we have a hundred years worth of energy in them thar hills.

  74. helen highwater December 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    Hey Wagelaborer, I agree with your comment about the Christian up in your face Christmas, I prefer to celebrate Winter Solstice, an event created by old Mother Nature herself, but how about some spreading some goodwill towards women too?

  75. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    That’s the “problem”: in real life, the act of observation influences the thing observed. Try watching a quantum particle without disturbing it or a couple having an argument – Brutus might object to this. Thus we go to the movies to be able to just observe and feel without participating. A vacation from Reality which is participatory. Unfortunately, we’ve become addicted to this mode of being and want to be a spectator most of the time – in our politics, economics, etc. Just as we buy a ticket to the movies, we “vote” for a ticket in politics. And think that this is enough.
    Thank God for Woody and the Japanese Monsters that make eye contact with us and bring us back to our humanity. Look at the old videos of people watcihng TV when it was first invented: the lust of full attention – Worship in other words. No wonder we lost our Culture. We gave ourselves away to be programmed. It was so easy, no particpation needed. And fun!

  76. outdoorsjake December 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    This quote runs parallel with today’s story.
    Dr. Matthew Budd of the Harvard Medical School once said, “Inauthenticity is our modern form of plague: it kills life. The human essence of fundamental relationships is obscured by procedures, technology, and regulations. Eight-second sound bytes drive political processes; our families become the focus of justice as the right of children to divorce their parents is affirmed; a Norwegian MIT student is “punched out” to death by a trio of high school students seeking excitement. We are out of touch with the historic roots that give our lives meaning”.

  77. malthus December 19, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    First, Last and somewhere in the middle.
    “So great are the comforts and conveniences of our time that we are terrified by the prospect of losing them and, as the hyper-complexities around us unravel, we Americans are willing to believe any preposterous story that promises to keep the cars moving and the lights on.” Fear is what drives this insanity now and it is the fear of losing the concepts we believe to be true about life. Just mention hunter/gathering and most go nuts. Thanks to the agricultural, and industrial revolutions we can be comfortable and separated from the earth and all its pains and pleasures. have our every wish to come true. Everyone now wants dinner at 7 for their overstuffed butts no matter what. Not caring a wit about the starvation going on in other parts of the world. We were humans when we hunted and gathered. The only hunting gathering most of us can do is at the grocery store but just wait till the trucks stop rolling. We were alive to what was around us and the earth. We were not robot consumers as we are now. We now chase any technological novel thing, more stuff to fill our empty lives. Good read James.

  78. Rhino December 19, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    Asoka,
    Re your reply last week
    Maybe you want to put no obstacles in the way of people making a better life for themselves. That sounds most laudable but your position does not have the benfit of logic so it sounds like it’s right out of the corporate America playbook of adding millions more people to further depress wage rates in the USA. Like I said last week I’ve seen things go to shit over the last 40 years and I saw the steadily worsening lot of the American worker and especially American Blacks.
    Your scoffing last week as to the steadily worsening state of affairs in the US and the world also sounds like someone reciting from the corporate playbook. Don’t worry, be happy. Why? Because the rich have theirs and who gives a shit about everyone else?
    So Mr Asoka or is it Ms Asoka? Your ha-ha-ha-ism makes me wonder who you stand with. The poor? Doesn’t sound like it to me.
    So Lord Ha-Ha (or do we call you Mr Wall Street?) over to you…

  79. wagelaborer December 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    Yeah, I debated throwing in women and also non-human species, but thought that it would be better to stick with the classic that has been defiled by the new hatemongers.

  80. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    No Culture is possible with people who take offence at Nativity Scenes or Merry Christmas. You pretend to be concerend with people’s feelings but only care for the Revolution. Christmas trees should have been accepted as popular civil culture by everyone, but troblemakers insist on making trouble.
    Btw, Menorahs are a religious symbol just like Nativity scenes. Perhaps not appropriate for airports, but both should be allowed in City Parks.

  81. Tancred December 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    Jack Webb. Married to Julie London for awhile, and then that doctor from Emergency married her, but he still directed both and didn’t seem to hold any grudges.
    Some of his rants on Dragnet are classics in conservative moralism; can’t say I agreed with all of them, but he was forthright.

  82. TimBloom December 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    Jim,
    I’m one of those guys who reads your blog faithfully, but doesn’t bother to comment. I buy your books, and I suppose that’s a better tribute than trying to one-up a professional writer who’s speaking out on THE predicament of our time. Thank you.
    That said, I took the kid to Hugo and enjoyed the experience immensely. While I appreciate the analogy you made to Hugo’s worship of the automaton to our collective techno-narcissism, I had no problem identifying with the participants or suspending my disbelief. While watching it, the fakest thing I noticed was the character’s British accents, even though they are French. Please bear in mind that the intended audience of this film wasn’t 60 year old white men. The directors went to no small effort to engage young and old alike, and given that need for balance, I think they succeeded well. That they used the best FX of the day is more a tribute to Melies than an overdone attempt to “wow” the audience as in many other 3D movies.
    The story plot was, of course, more nuanced in “The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick”. Even so, the novel was carefully illustrated by the author. And I was amazed at how diligently the cameras worked to match the illustrations, and the unique perspectives from which they were drawn. The book’s character development was spartan as you’d expect from a juvenile work, but in other respects it’s an innovative masterpiece. You may want to spend an evening reading it. It got my household thinking and the imaginations working without the use of video games.
    I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy Hugo. As an author and social commentator I rely on you to keep my perspective scraped clean of denial, I’m surprised. In listening to the story, try to remember the perspective of the story teller and to whom he is addressing. Even as this age is ending, some of our best works are still being produced, if for an audience of a generation we can only briefly witness.
    Take care, dear mentor.

  83. wagelaborer December 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    This was going around Facebook recently. I appreciated the history lesson.
    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/jon-stewart-takes-the-fight-to-fox-news-and-officially-declares-war-on-christmas/

  84. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    In real life, I can smell PC Feminism a mile away. A word, a tightening of the mouth, the short cropped hair, etc. Evil, nothing less. I take appropriate measures to defend myself – ignoring the sick person when possible and an extremely polite impersonal attitude when forced to deal with them.
    If all men take this attitude, this trait can be bred out of the White Race fairly quickly. Let those who hate men so much get their wish and be without men. Sterility, thou shall serve us well methinks.

  85. noel bodie December 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    You might at least read the content before pronouncing on what is or is not present

  86. Tancred December 19, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    But we live so much longer now. I think it started with the wheel, or that femur bone the ape throws into the air in Kubrick’s 2001. Can’t go back, only forward. Personally, I don’t want to be a hunter/gatherer. Do you? Really?

  87. Buck Stud December 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    A truly outstanding post this week, JHK. And when the motion picture industry does tell a story they frequently present base intrigue such as sex and betrayal. For instance, there is a movie being made about John Ruskin. Although not a Hollywood production – as if Hollywood even knows of Ruskin – the focus of the Ruskin narrative revolves around his wife’s affair with the painter John Everett Millias. Probably no mention will be made of the truly profound thoughts emanating from the essays of Ruskin at his best. “ The Stones Of Venice” and “The Nature Of the Gothic” will no doubt be usurped by the commercial packaging of philandering deceit wrapped up in the illusion of Euro cultural sophistication. And what a shame that is: Very few really penetrated to the core of the Gothic architectural spirit like Ruskin. But the few who did, echoed the profound thoughts of a truly great mind:
    “The rib or vein that holds this leaf as it climbs vigorously, is the sap that transmits life. It boils, it does violence to the leaf that is molded beneath its effort. Who made this masterpiece? An anonymous Gothic artist formed those beautiful openings, those cast or projected shadows! Does anyone understand how much grandeur there is in the holes and lumps by which the simple portrait of a plant is made? There is indeed so much grandeur that these holes and lumps are on a par with the highest thoughts. In other words, Nature is there in her fullness, sensitive nature, outcome of all the forces that work in secret.” – Auguste Rodin on the Gothic stone carvings of St Pierre Cathedral in Beuvais

  88. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    The Universe is running down not up. Devolving not evolving. Sure some genetic mutations are helpful but most are not. In any case, they represent a net loss of genetic information, a lessening, a degeneration. Ultimately life would fail unless the Divine renewed Life here. He/She shall do no less.
    Man was perfect in the Begining and shall be so again when the Dark Lord lifts his Hand, over dead seas and withered land.
    Likewise with the Macroverse. The Galaxies flying away from each other into the Void of Space: it cannot continue forever and it shall not. The curve of his hand shall bring them back.

  89. lsjogren December 19, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    helen:
    I think people like Heinberg and Martenson are more accurately described as “independent thinkers” than as “progressives”.

  90. wagelaborer December 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    The best thing about you and asia and your ilk is that I don’t have to put on hipwaders to visit the slime of Fox News.
    I just look at what you post, and know what filth is being spewed on your propaganda outposts.

  91. helen highwater December 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    It would interesting to see what happens if 7 billion people try to return to the hunter/gatherer lifstyle on a sadly depleted planet.

  92. wagelaborer December 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    Awesome article by a Black guy explaining the kind of moral values that you lack.
    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/12/19-3

  93. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    Metropolitan Anthony hated the Gothic: the Towering Spires, the seeking of God, were all evidence of a rejection of the Incarnation, God’s love denied.
    For him the cupolas and domes of Orthodoxy symbolized the incarnation – the essence of Christianity.
    I see it both ways: I love the Promethean Spirit of the West but it vain to pretend that it perfectly jibes with Christianity. And it can easily become destructive or epimethean. And obviously is has become destructive. We desperately need the healthy conservatism that the best of the Slavs still have – in no small part due to the influence of Orthodoxy.
    To put it in Hindoo terms: we are in love with Brahma and Shiva – creation and destruction. But human life and culture also need the Vishnu factor of preservation. Boring. Can’t make money with that. So our infrastucture, both physical and psychical, slide into ruin. People don’t even have songs in common to sing anymore – just advertising jingles. Can’t even wish each other Merry Christimas anymore – just a bland happy holidays. And if one can’t do better than that – why bother? Better to remain silent within oneself.

  94. ofthehands.com December 19, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    Thanks, Jim, I really like this essay. I’ve heard some good things about Hugo, though not sure if I’ll see it. If so, it’ll be how I see most all movies in the theater–at a second run in Portland, with some pizza and beer, and without any 3D glasses on, whether or not the movie was made for that.
    I saw Avatar in 3D and it was the only movie I ever have. It was a bit interesting, the experience, but it also somewhat made my head hurt. More importantly, while it was a cute little trick, it did nothing to actually make the movie better. If anything, it was there to help mask the extreme deficiencies in character development.
    I’m there for a fantasy revolving around an intriguing world and thoughtful characters, insights and emotional experiences–not for the fantasy that there are things flying out of the screen at my face. I never did understand why people found that so fascinating, aside from it being new. But we don’t seem to require anything other than new these days.
    Joel

  95. helen highwater December 19, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    Wow, now Vlad turns his racist rant towards feminists. He seems to think that oly white males are true human beings. (by the way Vlad, I have long hair, always have) It’s not men we feminists want to be without, it’s men like you.

  96. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    I resent that – Fox is weak Tea compared to me. And I hate them for their warmongering, their gunning for Iran – the Glorious Next Crusade. They quote with amazed indignation the stats about how many civilians died in Iraq: anything that interferes with the Glorious Coming Crusade is evil and stupid.
    Likewise I DO appreciate the efforts of the Left and the Occupiers to stop this madness.
    But let’s face it: once in power you people would go on crusades of your own. You are the opposite side of the same coin.

  97. pam jones December 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    Jim,
    What I found unsatisfactory about Hugo was that I never really felt that deeply invested in the boy. I wasn’t sharing in his emotions. That’s the key to successful story-telling. We have the sentimental orphan missing his dead father stuff, but it seems contrived and the boy is just a device for telling the Melies story. A really great story takes you deeper. Compare AI, for example. And that character wasn’t even a human. I wept when he was sitting at the bottom of the ocean begging the Blue Fairy to make him a real boy.
    And of course you don’t want the cinema technology to call attention to itself, just as in a novel you don’t want technique or over-writing to distract you from the story. But there’s nothing wrong with CGI and even 3D per se, as long as they are used to help create a powerful emotional illusion. Again, Cf: AI.

  98. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    You’re seeing life in black/white dualities again. Killing civilians is wrong – even when Russian Communists do it. And who can forget the campaign of rape carried out during WW2 by North African soldiers against Italian women? Or of Russian Troops against German women? The latter were ordered to do it. Nice people you’re associated with.

  99. ctemple December 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    I think many movies from years ago were better, but it was a different time. Like Elvis impersonators and Beatles tribute bands, you don’t bring back 1964 by aping a sound. Those days ended a long time ago, and apparently there are a fair amount of people who don’t want to accept it.
    My problem with movies is not just that many of them seem to be all special effects, but that we need too many things as a group to give anybody millions to make t.v. shows, it isn’t that important. To glamourize movie stars in the forties was one thing, the country around us is a lot different than the 1940’s. It’s the same thing with professional sports, they’re not worth 200 hundred and fifty million, nobody is.

  100. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    You don’t want boyfriends and husbands – you all want servants and slaves. No Feminist can be a wife – men must go to the other Countries for that now. And even if you try to be a fair and equal partner – it’s better but still not very attractive. Who wants a competitor? Or even a “buddy”? Other men are better for that. More interesting, better conversationalists.
    Equality is a lie – it doesn’t exist in Nature. Women are the last ones to believe about Equality since they really want men who are more than themselves. Hypergamous in other words.
    Women don’t know what they want and men have to give it to them.

  101. ctemple December 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    Have you ever actually watched Fox Network? It’s mostly a bunch of war mongers trying every day to start a war with Iran, or shills for Wall Street trying to demonize the protestors. And I don’t recall Vlad or Asia, (I forget what he calls himself now), trying to start another war, or doing too much stooging for the wealthy, although Vlad has done some, I will admit. They seem to be mostly white separatists, not war mongers, or mystical market forces assholes.
    Not that I expect liberals to see the difference between neo conservative war mongers and real conservatives, not that these two are real conservatives.

  102. envirofrigginmental December 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    Perhaps the reason current movies lack quality stories or content that connects to our humanity because they are produced by people who only know how to connect with others by texting, twittering, facebooking or e-mailing.
    The (cr)apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  103. Mike Hunt December 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    I haven’t seen ‘Hugo’ but I concur with how much special effects have gotten in the way of story telling in movies.
    Last night we watched the 1990 version of ‘Hamlet’ with Mel Gibson as the noble prince. Brilliant! Once you get him out of those action movies you see he is one of the best. All you ‘Mad Max’ fans go check it out if you haven’t already.
    Mike Hunt

  104. Phutatorius December 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    I have yet to see a 3D film. But today seems like a good time to consider what Korea would be like had we not involved ourselves in the Korean war. Would it be part of China, like Tibet? Would it be more like Vietnam? Or like Cuba? Could it possibly be any worse than it is?
    -Phut

  105. azgog December 19, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    Yes, entertaining ourselves to death, so much easier now with “content” sent directly to our “smart” phones and TVs. No need to ever leave the couch, except for food. Oops, the shelves went bare while you were busy watching “reality” TV.
    Thread drift: Last night’s 60 Minutes piece on foreclosures and evictions (again, going on at record pace while you were watching something made to divert you). Can someone explain why The Bank would insist on a foreclosure, leading to a vacant home, leading to a unmaintained and vandalized house and then pay for a demolition? This would seem to be an over 100% loss to The Bank, as well as a huge corrosion of our communities. As opposed to just cutting the underwater mortgage holder a 50% writedown on the paper and thus preserving an asset, avoiding an eviction, ensuring continued payments, and preserving entire communities?
    Since banks employ legions of people all trying to figure out how to lower costs and raise profits, it must be because they make more money on destruction. How is that possible? Perhaps there are more favorable tax consequences for a 100% loss to demolition than a voluntary 50% writedown? Could someone knowledgable comment on this apparent irrational outcome?

  106. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    It’s good that you’re at the equator where it all began. Since you feel civilization is evil, it’s good to be someplace that doesn’t require it. Just reach up a pluck a fruit when you get hungry. The discovery of fire was the begining of the fall of Man to your school of thought. Man is just a weak ape addicted to meat. At least your Black skin will protect you against the sun.

  107. piltdownman December 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    Jim –
    Thanks so much for your pointed take-down of what might have been a fascinating look at Melies. The movie “business” is indeed broken, nearly beyond repair. Last year I was in LA at Christmas and decided to see the “Sherlock Holmes,” with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law — mainly because it was playing at the wondrous old venue, The Chinese Theater. It was stultifying; an insane, mega loud mash-up of high tech movie making. Sound and fury signifying nothing. A complete disappointment as a movie, even though the leads, in the rare quiet moment or two, seemed to have some real charisma. This year THEY’RE BACK, and early reviews indicate that this one is even worse!
    I have friends who work in the movie business and they are generally as disillusioned as you and so many other viewers. They are continually pushed to work crazy long hours and, on most sets, there is little time for rehearsals or retakes. Why bother, I suppose, since performance has been replaced by morphing monsters and continual explosions…
    For my part, I watch Turner Classic Movies almost exclusively. The movies of the 30’s and 40’s, the “golden era,” indeed deserve that moniker, since that was a magical time — when writers, directors and performers ruled — not some computer geek with a bank of servers and the latest “totally awesome” software.
    Enjoy the holidays, Jim, and thanks for another year of great stuff!

  108. wagelaborer December 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    OK, sorry. What about asia and newworld though?
    The only time I watch Fox News is at work, in the breakroom.
    And if no one right wing is there, I change one channel, to the Comedy channel.

  109. JonathanSS December 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    We all have better things to do with our time than rising to the bait of a racialist, misogynist, egomaniacal, OCD driven poster who appears not to have much of a life outside of this digital world.

  110. Shakazulu December 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    “Where it will end is with 400,000,000+ people, crammed into cities, eating factory food, watching amazing special FX on Entertainment Centers”
    Where it will end is with the survivors of the nuclear wars hunkering in their holes. For He will gather the wheat into His barn, and the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.
    We have HIT the wall. Civilization as we know it is finished.

  111. wagelaborer December 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    I do see the differnce. That’s why I think that Republicans should vote for Ron Paul.
    I want Obama to face an anti-war, pro-civil liberties candidate in the election.
    And then I want people to vote for Jill Stein.

  112. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    True Conservatism had to do with particulars – while Liberalism/Socialism is all about Universals. Thus it is a Philosophy of War since all must be made One – and if they don’t wish to be absorbed it must be effected by force. One is reminded of the Borg on Start Trek.
    Conservatism deals with a particular people in a particular place at a particular time. For America that would mean America first – in politics, law, economis (tariffs) etc. For Spain, it would mean Spain first – and respecting Spanish History, Culture, Fokways as well as the items in the first list. This is the definition given by Russell Kirk – a dean of American Conservatism. Once so defined, one can see the similarity betwen it and Fascism so called. The Left knows this and hates it. “Conservatives” don’t know it and hate it too. Bizarre situation. As Christ said, the Children of Darkness are often wiser in their generation than the Children of Light.

  113. Grouchy Old Girl December 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    The number of people posting here who think JHK was providing a straight up movie review is surprising. Look beyond the initial words, there’s more to think about than a comparison with Avatar.
    What’s not surprising is the number of males making posts who are instantly erudite with their vast knowledge of cinema past and present. It’s always amusing to note that for men, there is no topic beyond their immediate comprehension and insight. I can see it already in a twelve year old of my acquaintance, whose bluster is well established even before facial hair has sprouted.
    Now, thank you Helen Highwater for taking blows from Vlad for the female team. How incredibly insulting it is to have one half of the world’s population all shoved together into one tiny box of Vlad’s grim imaginings. No doubt he acquired these dark beliefs as a result of the blow back from a female or two regarding his own behaviour, and has taken their worst moments and declared they represent all of womanhood’s essence.
    Vlad believes all people of colour just love watermelon and all women just love going shopping. No variations allowed in his all-knowing wisdom, it complicates things too much and scares him.
    A good post today, a welcome change from endless bad economic news.

  114. V1ad Krantz December 19, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    Do you not recognize performance art for what it is?

  115. Grouchy Old Girl December 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    It would be better to have a real conversation than just play a silly game. Performance art my ass.

  116. V1ad Krantz December 19, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    I was 10, not 13.
    Also, I remain in a sad state of virginity – hence, the need for performance art.

  117. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Asia doesn’t want war with Iran I think I can safely say. Newworld shows a disturbing Zionism at times so I don’t know what he believes about this issue. He may think that the Jews are actually allies of Whites and advocates of Western Civilization – even though they have worked tirelessly against us.
    You are obviously very conficted about this since Communism and the Jews are like peas and carrots. Other Communists have chosen to stand up for the downtrodden and against the aggressors. You stand up for the downtrodden but never mention Israel and the Jews.
    Why watch anything in the break room? Why not just sip your tea and watch how fast your mind is spinning?

  118. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    Another Vlad has shown up. Notice the 1 in Vlad instead of the l. And the T in Krandz instead of the D. He fooled me for a second too.

  119. V1ad Krantz December 19, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    Who is Vlad?

  120. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    Still think all Races should be merged into a “lovely shade of beige”? And you thought everyone would applaud you! Liberals don’t know how bat shit crazy other Liberals are.

  121. wagelaborer December 19, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    Peas and carrots? Israel and the Jews?
    I don’t understand your shorthand. If it’s not Fox News, where do you get it?

  122. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    He’s a wonderful man – one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met.
    Of all the fake Vlads, I like you the best. Your attack is more subtle, even existential as compared to coarse mockery of Vlad Kramps or the bizzare obscenity of Vlad Kunt. Welcome to the jungle!

  123. V1ad Krantz December 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    I know your secrets.

  124. norman December 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    Azgog, if the banks wrote off 50% of the debt for those underwater, in the name of fairness they’d be required to write off 50% for EVERYONE and ALL mortgageo-holders. I don’t think they’re up to that yet, do you? Giving away half the money they’d loaned out during the past 30 years?
    Of course the Fed could bail them out but at some point the bailouts will go over the edge, if they haven’t already.
    Theoretically I agree with you, you make a good point, but in our “democracy” it would be viewed
    an “undemocratic”.
    This mess is what happens when everyone doesn’t play by the same rules.

  125. Dirk December 19, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    Well…Santa is on his way and he’s loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh… Let’s just forget everything, go out and shop our souls away, and spend money to prop up our economy. Spend, spend, spend, baby. That will ‘save us’ and even if it doesn’t, well…we can rest easy that we did our part to make America great.
    Speaking of that. Can you believe we are out of Iraq? Geologists must have confirmed that all those wells are in final tertiary recovery, too, so what’s the sense of hanging around? Nothing to do. Now… a little birdy told me there is pleeeeeeeenty of oil in Iranian wells so I say we just invade yet another sovereign nation in the name of Dee-mock-racy and git our greasy hands on them bad boys. You know…just to ‘protect’ them for those good folks. Ho! Ho! Ho!
    Merry Christmas…and to all a good night.

  126. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

    Hell hath no fury like a woman who wants “to get on with her life” and has an old shoe ex-husband hanging around wanting to see their kids. I mean they’re HER’s. She decided not to kill them in her womb and so they belong to her. She decides if they get to see him or not. She often decides not especially if she has a new sucker. Then the previous one must be destoyed, accused of assault, pedophillia etc. And of course even after he is barred from seeing them, he still has to keep paying. That’s what he’s there for. Same as what the new one is for.

  127. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    What do you think they’re a gonna eat after the factory food runs out? Timothy, Timothy, where on Earth did you go oh oh oh?

  128. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

    Soon all comments on all internet blogs may be required to be linked to Facebook – a potent way to curtail free speech by curtailing anonymity. The Gays have already done this in Southeastern Massachusetts when they published the names of who voted against Gay Marriage. Even more extraordinary, they got away with it. The anonymity of voting booth is one of the safeguards of our rights.

  129. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    Or you could advocate adapting to changing circumstances, applying a mixture of conservation, rezoning, rebuilding and renewable energy to build a decent society without destroying the planet.
    In other words, join the Green Party and work with people who are willing to do the thankless work of petioning, leafleting and debating to change society.

    There must be an environmentalist in the house.
    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!
    Saving all the plastic bags in the world to clean the North Pacific Gyre won’t make the fundamental changes we need to make in lifestyle to save the planet. We need to worry about ourselves along with the planet because she can get along just fine without us. We certainly need her but she does not need us.
    Leafleting petitioning and debating are important and anybody who is doing that should get two gold stars. But these things are simply not enough. The combined forces of resource depletion environmental degradation and social neglect have combined to make a perfect storm of issues which have to be solved.
    Yes, I advocate “adapting to changing circumstances, applying a mixture of conservation, rezoning, rebuilding and renewable energy to build a decent society without destroying the planet.
    I absolutely agree this is a start but Dorothy, come on now, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Just getting the t-shirt this time won’t be enough like it was in the 70’s. We can’t conserve and sing our way out of this one.
    If we come together as a pack we can easily solve our problems but this requires something more radical and heartfelt than just going green or dropping by an OWS gathering to feel good. It requires deep commitment and changes in lifestyle.
    Our problems require the SustainableCanineParty to rise up and take which was rightfully ours to begin with. It is time to put humanity first.
    k-dog for president

  130. bossier22 December 19, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Prove it. pow. pow.

  131. messianicdruid December 19, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    The rest of the story: [definately not Paul Harvey]
    http://divinecosmos.com/start-here/davids-blog/1022-lawsuit-end-tyranny-ii

  132. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    Even more extraordinary, they got away with it.
    Washington state has also had this happen. The ignorance and sheer number of those who no longer understand the sanctity of the secret ballot is truly scary. It comes from the social neglect storm in my perfect storm trilogy.
    In our case it was conservatives who wanted everybody to know who was supporting Domestic Unions as an alternative to and with identical rights as the institution of Marriage, not those who were against it.
    Yes, The anonymity of the voting booth safeguards our rights. I wish more people knew this.

  133. loveday December 19, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    Hey Wage
    I meant my greeting in the best sense. Simply tired of being unable to express my cultural heritage as embodied by this greeting just because it is somehow “unacceptable”. We hear Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanza, etc, etc. I have no problems with hearing these greetings, I think they are kinda nice. But I do resent being unable to freely express my greetings because of the prevailing so called conventional wisdom. This amounts to censorship of a certain segment of the population.
    As for Rush Limbaugh and his ilk, he is no more Christian than a squid. The guy spews hate, pops pills, engages in other dubious behavior, hardly a Christian. Kristol is of the same crude cloth. True Christians are very few and may not even attend a church, for very good reasons(see recent scandals in many organized branches of the Christian religion). They are those who remember not to throw the first stone, know that in order to lead one must serve, practice compassion for all life forms etc…. Those values are not demonstrated to any great extent in the modern “Religious Right” that pretends to Christianity. There are of course many examples of relgious hypocrisy today and throughout history, rest assured I have a pretty good awareness of those issues.
    So enjoy your Holidays in whatever form is best for you with my heartfelt good wishes.
    loveday

  134. bossier22 December 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    That was a good article wage. I have never been to war and i hope i never go, but I would think that the article simply described the ugly nature of war. americans don’t field an army of saints and neither does anyone else.
    but i am with you on nation building. We have work to do here. nation building abroad through war or aid money is a waste of time and money.

  135. Widespreadpanic7 December 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    Fox News? Fox News?
    The repository of all that is evil in the United States?
    How about the culture crunchers at NPR, NYT and especially MSNBC, shilling for every faggot, alien, left wing cause that comes down the pike? Not much criticism in CFN about those media outlets.
    I wonder why that is?
    –WSP7

  136. anti soak December 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    The hollywood Jews sold out?

  137. anti soak December 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    I saw Chaz Bono on Tv the other day, with the audience gaga for Mr gaga.

  138. anti soak December 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    HOW???????????????????
    and dont have a facebook or dont use yr last name.

  139. anti soak December 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

    ‘I forget what he calls himself now’
    This is lil asia, who lost his Marine cousin in asia
    in the Vietnam war.

  140. bossier22 December 19, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    All but msnbc have been working at it a lot longer than fox news. All news except local is now entertainment or propaganda.

  141. anti soak December 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    Sickening and transparent.
    I posted a review of a Joel Schumacher movie here
    a few weeks ago, reminds me of that.

  142. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    I don’t have Facebook and have no desire or plans to get it unless it serves the SCP.
    I was responding to Vlad’s statement “Southeastern Massachusetts when they published the names of who voted against Gay Marriage.”
    Vlad and I both believe in the sanctity of the secret ballot, a cornerstone of American democracy. He mentioned that the names of ‘Gay Marriage’ opponents in Massachusetts have been published and I was pointing out that in Washington State a similar thing has happened. In our case it has to do with initiatives and voting.
    Federal judge releases names on Washington domestic partnership petition.

  143. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    And will you find k-dog on the list of 137,500 names?
    Yes, I’m there under my human alias.

  144. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    The news article has errors.
    Referendum 71 (R-71) was a vote held in 2009 in which the people of Washington state confirmed Senate Bill 5688, a law extending the rights and obligations of domestic partnership in Washington.
    Concise Description:
    This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations accorded state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage.

  145. malthus December 19, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    Yes Helen it will be interesting and we will probably get to see it the way things are going.
    And to Tancred: “But we live so much longer now.” But is it a quality life? How many Christmases and Fourth of July’s can you live through. Probably forever just like “Ground Hog Day” The great rat race circle jerk. “Can’t go back, only forward. Personally, I don’t want to be a hunter/gatherer. Do you? Really?” I assume you are not a risk taker at all and live to be alive instead of being alive and really living even for a short 30 or 40 years. But then you couldn’t get old enough to go on those eat all you can cruses oldsters are so fond of. A great man said one time to live your life as if someone will write a book about it. Make it interesting.

  146. wagelaborer December 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    OK, then, loveday, the same to you:)
    I am still baffled by your feeling of persecution for being Christian.
    Seriously? When every store is covered with Christmas decorations and lights? When every workplace has a decorated tree and Christmas cards hanging? When you can’t go anywhere without hearing Christmas carols and the streets are lined with wreaths and lights? Did you check out my John Stewart link?
    I have NEVER heard ANYONE say Happy Kwanza to anyone, and I hang in liberal circles!
    And I never had any problem with Christmas greetings until Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, or whoever it was, started whipping up Christian hostility to other religions and Merry Christmas became a in-your-face, pugnacious verbal assault, as I said before.
    Now I have a problem distinguishing between people who are just nice, friendly people expressing good will and the others.
    http://wagelaborer.blogspot.com/2008/12/how-sean-hannity-destroyed-christmas.html
    (Apparently, I used to blame it on Sean Hannity)

  147. asoka. December 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    Wage, I agree with your comment. Those who complain about the “war against Christians” are politicizing the Christian theft of the real reason for the season. Rather than representing the birthday of a human savior of a particular ethnicity and creed, this time of the year constitutes the “birth,” “rebirth” or “resurrection” of Sol Invictus, the “Unconquered Sun,” whose annual journey across our sky can be celebrated worldwide as a truly unifying expression of our global family.

  148. wagelaborer December 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    I don’t see how you took-
    Or you could advocate adapting to changing circumstances, applying a mixture of conservation, rezoning, rebuilding and renewable energy to build a decent society without destroying the planet.-
    And got that I was advocating recycling plastic bags and wearing T-shirts to save the planet.
    ????????
    And, by the way, the secret ballot is relatively new, so not a cornerstone of our democracy. Interestingly, the first state to adopt it was Massachusetts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_ballot
    So, to recap, the Puritans, the first settlers in America, fined people who said “Merry Christmas” 2 shillings, and the first president elected with the secret ballot was Grover Cleveland, in 1892.
    Any other long-established sacred traditions that we just got that people want to defend?
    Oh! I know, I know! In God We Trust!
    Yep, our national motto from the very beginning. Of 1957, that is.

  149. bossier22 December 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    Making life interesting does not mean it has to be miserable. For most who were not raised as a hunter/gather it would be misery not some theoretic adventure. As an experiment go stand out in the woods naked for night and see if it would be interesting enough to write a book about.

  150. wagelaborer December 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    OK. On cue, Marlin spews forth Fox Newspeak.
    Thanks. I’d forgotten you. You’re the ilk.

  151. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    So many petitions so many signatures. At this point I’m not sure what initiative has names released and which does not. I support the everything but marriage approach with a legal equivalency to marriage but under a different name so the sanctity of marriage remains secure and everybody gets what they want. K-dogs privacy may still be secure.
    The important thing to realize is that the petition and initiative process being part of representative democracy in Washington State is threatened by making signatures public.
    Now back to other issues.

  152. Vlad Kunt December 19, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    “No Feminist can be a wife – men must go to the other Countries for that now.”
    So that accounts for some of your bitterness!
    No woman (except the occasional blind crack whore) who you consider ‘worthy’ would have you and so you have had to look further afield. All those Russian or Phillipino brides look so good but are just too darn expensive, what with the cost of visas, international calls, agent fees, international flights etc, leaving you one frustrated and embittered puppy!!
    Oh well Vlad you will just have to continue soiling your keyboard as you watch free porn on the net. (remeber to shave your palms once in a while)
    Methinks the 3rd Vlad is actually you. Thanks for the flattery but a bit boring actually.

  153. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    I was talking about the 70’s when I mentioned having to do more than get the t-shirt. If you still have it on it might be getting a bit ripe about now and perhaps you should change it.
    I still think the secret ballot is a cornerstone of our democracy.
    The Obama Administration has fired its opening salvo against a cornerstone of democracy: the right to secret ballot.
    k-dog the SCP choice.

  154. Vlad Kunt December 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    “She decides if they get to see him or not. She often decides not especially if she has a new sucker.”
    It becomes clearer still.
    So Vlad your ex has been keeping your kids away from you?? Probably because she doesnt want them indoctrinated with your Nazi ideas and subjected to ‘fiddling’ from your Klan buddies at your weekend rallies.
    Face it Vlad your are destined to remain lonely and bitter, you are too far gone to make any positive changes.
    Have a lonely and very unmerry Christmas you smelly little toad.

  155. wagelaborer December 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    Thanks, bossier.
    But I liked his point that when Americans point out that the money used to “nation build” in Iraq could be used at home to help Americans, it implies that that money is really being used to help Iraqis.
    Number one, it’s not, of course. Most of the non-military money was used to build prisons, I guess to make it more like America.
    But, even if it did help Iraqis, the implication is that Iraqis, instead of being the victims of an illegal war, are somehow turned into undeserving welfare recipients!
    How twisted is it that when America goes and destroys a country’s infrastructure, massacres over one million people, displaces four million more, poisons a land, forces farmers to buy Monsanto seed, and all the rest, somehow Americans turn it into a misguided attempt at helping the undeserving?
    How is it that the country with the biggest military on the planet manages to see itself as the most persecuted and vulnerable?
    Oh, wait. Weren’t we just talking about that?
    Merry Christmas.

  156. Vlad Kunt December 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    Oh Vlad I forgot to mention.
    As Absalom said in last week’s post.
    Drip drip enjoy the shower.

  157. malthus December 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    One of the really important attributes of the human species is adaptability. You are telling me that we humans cannot adapt anymore? Misery is more subjective than objective and besides there are many on this planet this very minute that are dying by the thousands of starvation and related diseases. Why? Thanks to overpopulation and to the theory of scarce resources by those control and manipulate those resources and that can be had by only those that are important enough to pay for it. You can thank to modern concepts of governments and those that rule. It will be interesting to write a book concerning the amazing amount of humans that cannot conceive of living any way other than what our over consuming populations live now.

  158. Vlad Kramps December 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    Yeah, his bitterness has revealed his true life situation. Wife took the kids and convinced the judge (probably without much effort) that he’s a dioriented little mental midget with hair-brained ideas about how Whites need to protect their race. He probably copped out of paying child support too, the little weasel. But what more can one say about a slimy curmudgeon whose best friend is his right hand?

  159. Vlad Kunt December 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    “the little weasel”
    Wonderful description.
    I bet he is short, extremely overweight, bad teeth, narrow eyes and can’t remember the last time he saw his old fella without the aid of a mirror.
    Late at night when he reckons he is anonymous he heads out for some $5.00 relief from his favourite crackwhore called Shaneesa who comes from Haiti.

  160. MissusQuiche December 19, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    This appears to me to be a fairly transparent misdirection sock puppet cover post where Rhino (Charlie McCarthy) sits on ProCon’s (Edgar Bergen’s) knee and declares he is not Cash (the 3rd party red herring). Sorry ProCon, not buying it.

  161. bproman December 19, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    Season’s greetings and may your virtual kitchen yield a 3 D enhanced Turkey with enough digital bytes for everyone.

  162. ctemple December 19, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    Sorry I didn’t remember that, I will try to remember from now on.

  163. Vlad Kunt December 19, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    “The Universe is running down not up. Devolving not evolving. Sure some genetic mutations are helpful but most are not. In any case, they represent a net loss of genetic information, a lessening, a degeneration. Ultimately life would fail unless the Divine renewed Life here. He/She shall do no less.Man was perfect in the Begining and shall be so again when the Dark Lord lifts his Hand, over dead seas and withered land.
    Likewise with the Macroverse. The Galaxies flying away from each other into the Void of Space: it cannot continue forever and it shall not. The curve of his hand shall bring them back.”
    What unadulterated codswallop!!
    “Man was perfect in the Begining and shall be so again when the Dark Lord lifts his Hand, over dead seas and withered land.”
    A quote from Harry Potter!!!!!!!
    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    Vlad you have outdone yourself, what next a quote from Cat in the Hat???
    You intellectual Pygmy.

  164. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    Wrong as usual: Right Wingers only started talking about this after the Left (ACLU) started forbiding towns to put up Nativity Scenes or even Christmas Trees. It’s hard to believe you don’t know this.

  165. progress2conserve December 19, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    “Sorry ProCon, not buying it.”
    Well, those are the facts of it, Ms. Quiche.
    I could point out differences in language use and typing style for you, but I’ve got a better set of questions for you:
    1. Why does it matter so much?
    2. Do you have anything to contribute to this week’s discussion besides conjectures about the screennames and their relationships to each other?
    3. Why do we now have 4, count ’em FOUR, Vlads?
    (or 3 Vlads and one L1ad, to be precise?)

  166. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    There are rumours that Hitchens converted on his death bed – many Atheists do when they see the darkness gathering and being to hear the whispering of the demons as they gloat over winning another soul. Listen, Kunt – you will hear them. Just as it’s heaven all the way to heaven – it’s hell all the way to hell.
    LOTR not Potter.

  167. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    Oh and bravo Kunt for showing the depths of psychopathology the Left sinks too. You are approaching the level of Absalom. Why would anyone trust people like this to lead us? Why elect someone you wouldn’t want to sit next to on a bus?
    Feminists are trying to ban the importation of brides from other countries. They don’t want the competition – they know they can’t compete with women who are both traditional and feminine.

  168. Vlad Kunt December 19, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    Vlad you predictable dickhead.
    People like you with your imaginary friend (God)are constantly going on about “rumours of atheist deathbed conversions” Look up Hitchens on youtube he talked about it often.
    Rumours Paleeeeeeeze!!!. The same made up rumour was said of Charles Darwin and many other prominent atheists.
    As I said before Vlad you are worth less than Hitchens’s toe jam.
    Once again Vladster, quoting Harry Potter, that’s a new inetellectual low even for a toad like you.

  169. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    One of the really important attributes of the human species is adaptability. You are telling me that we humans cannot adapt anymore?
    Only one in ten can adapt and only one in ten ever could, the rest have to be shown the way.
    It will be interesting to write a book concerning the amazing amount of humans that cannot conceive of living any way other than what our over consuming populations live now.
    Anybody writing such a book would do well to observe what goes on in this blog every week. We have it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. Many of us spend a lot of time trying to answer the exact question you pose.
    Most important will be to make sure that there are future generations to read the book.

  170. Vlad Kunt December 19, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    “Oh and bravo Kunt for showing the depths of psychopathology the Left sinks too. You are approaching the level of Absalom. Why would anyone trust people like this to lead us? Why elect someone you wouldn’t want to sit next to on a bus?”
    Huh ??????
    You been hitting the crackpipe again??
    “Feminists are trying to ban the importation of brides from other countries. They don’t want the competition – they know they can’t compete with women who are both traditional and feminine.”
    Oooooooohh now we are getting somewhere, methinks there is a grain of truth in my supposition about Vlad and his desire for an ‘imported’ bride.
    Sorry Vlad on your bathroom cleaning wage you will just have to keep masturbating to their pretty images on the net

  171. Vlad Kunt December 19, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

    Come on Vlad not playing anymore, taken your toys and gone home??

  172. anti soak December 19, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    Methinks this Blog is running down, due 2u

  173. Vlad Krandz December 19, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    The role call of honor and shame of those who voted to have the power to hold Americans without trial.
    http://freakoutnation.com/2011/12/16/the-86-senators-who-voted-to-pass-ndaa-need-to-occupy-the-unemployment-line/

  174. Vlad Kunt December 19, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    Are you a shill for VK ?

  175. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    My last comment was intended for you as your quoted words show.
    To conceive of living any way other than what our over consuming populations live now requires a change in Status Quo. Those who lead and can adapt are sadly not the same as those who currently hold power.
    Power is generally shared among the less creative and adaptable because society expects continuity and stability not change in times of calm seas.
    Only in times of crisis is it desirable to have those who think outside the box hold power. Usually violence is needed to remove the tyranny of the mediocre with natural entropy being all that is needed to return to mediocrity when change has been completed.
    Fortunately there is another way. Reason and knowledge employed by good men, women and breeds of all colors can conspire to make the necessary changes in leadership without resorting to violence. Passion and good will can overcome any resistance they meet if they are strong enough.
    k-dog for president The SCP choice.
    This post has been paid for and sponsored by the: Sustainable Canine Party.

  176. Vlad Kunt December 19, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    With the likes of VK its pretty rock bottom already.

  177. malthus December 19, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    Where are you getting your adaption numbers? You could be correct and then that means that if only 10 percent are able to adapt there have been a lot of die offs through history. Wow, we could be living on a planet if everyone was able to adapt of around 90 billion. Naw I know that couldn’t be correct but perhaps we would have 18 or 20 billion alive today. We both know that won’t happen. No where near enough resources. I do know many here do take the problems seriously and do try to find answers. And as Helen pointed out 7 billion running around and hunting and gathering would be impossible given the dependence we all have on delivery systems. To me the life of a hunter gatherer would be interesting but then so would being a pirate in the 16th century would be interesting. Short lifes but filled with interesting exploration and short periods of total fright. But then according to Spencer Wells, a genealogist and a anthropologist writing in “Pandora’s Seed” short term stress is actually good for the body. Its the way we evolved. Long term chronic stress is killing us.

  178. charliefoxtrot December 19, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    darlin, i love and respect ALL women, so i hope and wish you a wonderful solstice

  179. malthus December 19, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    Just read your reply to me after I just replied to your first reply. Reason and knowledge may work and myself think we have gone to far to rely on those factors. I would hope you are correct but am very pessimistic as to the out come. I really don’t think we have the time anymore.

  180. charliefoxtrot December 19, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    hey temp, i did see a quick blurb about occupy hollywood; they re not the 1%- they re .0001%….(included were sports heros, btw)

  181. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    I pulled the one in ten number out of my ass. I don’t know what the actual ratio is or even exactly how it would be measured but I believe in what I wrote.
    I base my claim on my own observation that true creativity is a very rare. Most of what passes for creativity is really a re-packaging of things already invented. True novelty is rare.
    For obvious reasons I consider this conclusion to be one of the most original thoughts I have ever had though I’m sure I’m not the first to have ever thunk it.

  182. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Spencer Wells —– I’m a huge fan of him.

  183. charliefoxtrot December 19, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    hear, hear! i d be interested, too…!

  184. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    I really don’t think we have the time anymore.
    All we can do is try which is what the Sustainable Canine Party is all about. It’s not actually winning or loosing which counts but making sure we play the game to win. That is what really matters.
    I’m tempted to quote “Braveheart” here but that would be a bit much.

  185. noel bodie December 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    “Brilliant”? Mel? Really? Mike, I don’t mean to pick a fight with a complete stranger on things dramaturgical, however IM not so HO, Gibson’s Hamlet hit all the emotional stops from “A” all the way to “B”. And for those who wish to speak of character development, Gibson’s choice of allowing Hamlet to overhear Polonius telling Ophelia to stay clear of the blonde lad, removes one of his major character motives of the feeling of Betrayal by all in the country including his girlfriend/lover.

  186. michael mott December 19, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    “It’s not actually winning or loosing which counts but making sure we play the game to win. That is what really matters.”
    So human existence is reduced to a game?
    This reminds me of the line that to exist on this planet is “to eat or be eaten”
    And I thought that we were able to rise abouve that sentiment, what a fool am I.
    I enjoyed your post this week JHK but I lost the bet with my wife that you would have ranted about the latest military fiscal plan for 2012 which allows for the indefinite detention of American Citizens without recourse of any kind.
    Michael

  187. noel bodie December 19, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    Azgog, I thought of the absolute waste of good housing stock while watching the demolition in Cleveland on 60 Minutes. I thought it obscene. Did you notice that under the looted vinyl siding was good clapboard siding that one could not afford to build with today? Those houses were of an age that also used full dimensional lumber and lath and plaster walls. The horror, the horror!

  188. noel bodie December 19, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    The ressurected sun in December only works if one is in global North

  189. progress2conserve December 19, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    “It is one thing to have Mexicans in America while they still fearful of being deported. They are polite and brown and eager to work. This encourages the tendency to which Americans are prone, to patronize them as just the nicest babysitters and garbage men. Why, they are almost like real people.
    It will be a different thing when they are legal and have a voting majority in the Southwest.”
    -fred on US policy towards Mexico-
    http://www.fredoneverything.net/Pepe.shtml
    Fred lives there. He has a Mexican wife.
    He is not a racist, as sensible people would use that term.
    Apparently, only one CFN poster disagrees with Fred and me. Yet, the problem gets worse with each passing month. I wish someone could show me where my logic is incorrect, without recourse to economic growth, moral platitudes, or ethnic dining opportunities.
    Join NumbersUSA.
    Spread the word.

  190. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    And did you see his most recent work. I could not help but think of Asoka trying to sell his new expat digs when the friendly nice he seems to have found vanishes. Might not be so friendly when most of the dollars leave town.

    The expats have begun moving out. Realtors report large numbers of houses going on the block. If this continues, and I see no reason why it won’t, restaurants will continue to close, maids and gardeners will lose their jobs, and the doctors and dentists that serve the expatriates will leave. Today a local Spanish website reports a fall of fifty percent in trade at eateries. If this continues, tourism, a crucial business in Mexico, will disappear. Already, we hear, the cruise ships have stopped going to Puerto Vallarta.

    No point really, just a hoot.

  191. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    should be: I could not help but think of Asoka trying to sell his new expat digs when the friendly niche he seems to have found vanishes. Might not be so friendly when most of the dollars leave town.

  192. IxNoMor December 19, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    “And then I want people to vote for Jill Stein.”
    You know, I’m such a moron at times, that I might actually write in Ralph Nader for the 4th time (even though I know he said he isn’t going to run this time).
    I’m really hoping the OCCUPY folks come up with some method of identifying the city/state/govt people to vote for. Real people, with no political money – but credentials. I think I’m being too hopeful – so maybe they should just KISS this time, and identify the write-in presidential candidate to elect…
    And yeah, movies totally suxor these days. I completely come up empty, trying to identify a movie in the last 10 years that was worth watching more than once. And I’ve had all movie channels for 5 years, and used to rent at least 1 new movie every week for the 5 years prior.
    The last few movies I did like were Pitch Black, Ronin, Leaving Las Vegas, 8mm, Phoenix, Gladiator, Falling Down, Donnie Darko, Donnie Brasco, Stargate, Suicide Kings, The Man in the Iron Mask, Shallow Grave, Blow, Supernova, and Thunderheart. My all-time favorite classics include Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Dune, Conan the Barbarian, Highlander, Escape from NY, No Escape, Communion, Big Trouble in Little China, Hackers, The Beast, Johnny Mnemonic, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Flash Gordon, Rob Roy, and quite a few Clint Eastwood spaghetti western flicks… Oh, and who can hate Grease (though I haven’t seen it for 30 years, but back then I saw it 20+ times), or 16 Candles/Breakfast Club. The most recent movie I actually liked? Probably The American/Michael Clayton, or Catch Me if You Can…
    Avatar? AI? Star Wars trilogy 4-6 (the crappy ones from the last 2 decades w/ Natalie Portman)? Talk about total and utter CGI garbage. The Matrix was good, only because it demonstrated that technology first – ever since, every movie seems to do that same effect ad nauseum…
    I just saw a real good western the other day, from 1961 I believe. Kirk Douglass, Rock Hudson – The Last Sunset (The Last Texican). I’ll admit, it was very corny at times (as was the very end), but man – it actually made you think, and feel (as opposed to just feeling-only). It’s real hard to find gems in all those old westerns (and I was never a fan of John W. and his same-old, re-run character). I also recently saw a mobster movie called Charlie Valentine, which was OK, but got totally ridiculous towards the end (LA, CA, apparently had only one strip bar to rip off/have drinks in – that’s right, the one his son worked in – small town Los Angeles!!!)…
    Anyone remember those theatres that had the smoke-scents that synced to the movies? Hehe, talk about dating even myself!!!

  193. ASPO Article 1037 December 19, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    Considering the fact Jimbo’s Forecast for 2012 has greater shelf life than these closing rounds of CFN, please allow a few points not on this week’s topic (JHK’s moviemaking comments,followed by crowd entropy)…
    The California discussion of High Speed Rail is largely pointless as a public enterprise because of the financial problems in the Golden State. Getting past the ultimate squelching of the CAHSR effort due to encroaching political realities (does THIS wall have a number?), look for articles about generic rail, the kind Jim talks about now and then and in his books. It is going to happen in California, a reality check opening the door to repairing infamous rail bottlenecks like Tehachapi and Donner and the mudslide plagued rail line up to Eureka. Other places in America will get the drift…
    Electric cars have center stage for a while, not trains, so expect pushback -to pipelines and the drill times three believers, from the electric car panacea gang. Except, when do we get the math on how electric cars pay gas tax for roads & bridges, without the usual trips to the gas station? The Oil Drum page is filled with a continuing stream of hints, words to the wise ones in high places who must be hard of hearing…
    High Speed Rail will be on life support, an example of America’s unrequited love (for steel wheels on steel rails) saved from oblivion by- airlines? Is it logical to think airlines getting whacked by$7.50 Jet A will buy into some 400 mile High Speed Rail lines to hold onto certain flying corridors? SF to LA? Denver to Salt Lake? Portland to Seattle? Trains running into airport basements like Munich? Hmmm.
    There is a website, Suntrain Transportation Corporation, touting “Retail Railways” with such things as railway Post Offices, renewable energy power for intercity trains and- -AIRPORT BASEMENT railway stations. Does that arrangement arrive in time to breathe life into America’s comatose High Speed Rail? Could a mixed technology train revival knock “The Long Emergency” off course?
    How say you, Jim?

  194. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    Real people, with no political money – but credentials.
    YES, THAT’S IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  195. IxNoMor December 19, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    “Perhaps there are more favorable tax consequences for a 100% loss to demolition than a voluntary 50% writedown?”
    I believe what this basically boils down to, is that banks are being allowed to keep toxic assets off-books indefinitely. I’m also assuming the reason behind this, is that the bank had someone like AIG write up “credit default swap” *insurance* to cover the loan. So, if the mortgage is foreclosed on, AIG would have to pay the remaining mortgage debt owed to the bank. Therefore, the bank can’t loose – only AIG can (triple-A!!!)…
    However, it is very well known that these $600-800 trillions in credit default swaps (collateralized debt obligations?) don’t really exist as capital/collateral, and can never be payed off on more that just a very few *insurance* claims. But, they can apparently remain *off-books* (eventually owed debt? haha), so they never show up as a loss on the bank’s quarterly/annual financial statements.
    However, if the bank was to settle with the homeowner, and draw up a new mortgage for 50% of the total, then they would have to *immediately* record that 50% as a loss on their financial statements.
    Seems to make sense – why not float toxic debt (assets – see how they do that?) indefinitely, rather than settle on paper for immediate losses. Now that’s some serious book-cooking (and how can I do it?)!!! It basically boils down to the bank’s stock price, and the bank showing exponential profit growth, quarter after quarter. Oxymoronic duplicity… If you’ve ever played with a balance sheet, you can see how debt can be made into an asset, and assets can be depreciated as debt…

  196. progress2conserve December 19, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    I did see Fred’s latest. It was about how US drug policy had forced Mexico into it’s corner, how the drug cartels are taking over, how criminality in general is on the upswing – leading to the thing you mentioned; the gringos selling out.
    I truly feel sorry for all involved. And US drug policy has been a FUBAR’ed mess since Nixon. It’s another of those things that just keeps rolling on, regardless of common sense or the will of the American people.*
    I actually do envy asoka. for his good fortune, if he is as he says he is. No kids, no family, supposedly fluent in Spanish, black, and with a SS check coming in – he will probably live like a king down there. And, as he said last week, at least he’ll try to discourage the locals from coming to the States – which is a good thing.
    I’m not leaving here. And I’m feeling less admiration for those who do – especially those who plan to fly back to the States on some sort of regular basis. Not for me, anyway.
    And I think it’s time for EVERYONE to think about planting their feet where they are, and trying to make things better where they are.
    As long as the option to flee exists – the best and brightest have a way to dump the consequences and flee – either north or south, makes no difference – because it’s a flight away from real reality, into the fantasy that problems do not REALLY exist – if one can just migrate away from them.

  197. thomas99 December 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

    Jimbo…speaking of schlepping, why don’t you just schlepp up to the cabin on Schroon Lake, shut the Clusterfucker down and leave us all alone? A movie critic you’re not!

  198. progress2conserve December 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

    *the will of the American people
    Yeah – ok.
    I spent about 20 minutes on the phone last night with what sounded like a fairly serious random survey. The topic of the survey was the SPLOST initiative on this next ballot – for a penny sales tax to fund “transportation improvements.”
    Very personable young lady, with a distinct Indian accent. Actually, my wife couldn’t understand her at all, and handed me the phone to see what she wanted in the first place. I just assumed she was in Georgia, I could hear other voices in the background, with other accents. And SURELY they would not outsource a survey on local issues. Would they??
    Anyway – it became obvious about 5 minutes into the thing that a PRO-sales tax group was funding the survey. The questions were pretty well designed – but enough of them were “leading” types of questions to give it away.
    At one point I laughed and told her that the last set of questions had me in a box – it was impossible for me to give a logical or consistent answer to the question we were on – based on my responses to the 3 previous questions.
    (since I’m one person, and not a multitude)
    ——————–
    Thus – does a survey manufacture the answers it seeks to find.
    The next time I see a poll like – 62% of Americans favor keeping pot illegal, for example –
    I’ll be thinking about my experience with the Transit Sales Tax Survey, last night.

  199. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    I’m feeling less admiration for those who do, especially those who plan to fly back to the States on some sort of regular basis.
    The justification would be that they are citizens of the world I suppose and they would consider that to be of a higher calling than that of mere community. I’m taking a wild guess here. I only ever flew first class once and all I learned on that trip was that there is a whole world of wealth I don’t know about. There are actually people who consider first class travel no more significant in their lives than that of an average New Yorker taking a taxi ride or subway across town.

  200. Doug Hill December 19, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

    I am amazed at the posters above who think Kunstler’s essay this week is somehow an escape from the business of looking closely at the train wreck of American culture. What could be more important in a democracy than the utter loss of critical ability in the citizens who ostensibly decide how the country will be run?
    Martin Heidegger talked about the “bedazzlement” of technology, and that’s what we’re seeing not only in the movies, but in just about every aspect of media. Yes, there is some high quality stuff out there, but in general it’s fair to say that hypnotism, escapism, and flim flam predominate. The problem, as Kunstler pointed out, is that what passes for political discourse in the country is roughly on the same level, if not worse. The similarities between popular culture and political culture are far from coincidental.
    I definitely agree with Kunstler that “the virtual is just not an adequate substitute for the authentic.” Here the problem it seems to me is that the authentic is well on its way to being lost for good. No one will miss it because they will never have known it in the first place. At some point technological narcissism becomes technological narcolepsy.
    I think Kunstler’s right, too, when he says that people are going to be very pissed when they’re forced to wake up and see the disaster that’s coming down in reality. That’s beginning to happen now. Not much — the reality distortion field is still mostly intact — but a little bit.
    I was struck by the connection between this essay and an essay by Kurt Anderson in Vanity Fair magazine that’s gotten a fair amount of attention in the past couple of weeks, “You Say You Want a Devolution.” Anderson notes what he says has been a curious stasis that seems to have overtaken popular culture in the past twenty years or so. Whereas we once saw styles change markedly from decade to decade, he says, fashions and ideas seem to have gotten stuck in place somehow.
    “We seem to have trapped ourselves in a vicious cycle,” Anderson writes, “—economic progress and innovation stagnated, except in information technology; which leads us to embrace the past and turn the present into a pleasantly eclectic for-profit museum; which deprives the cultures of innovation of the fuel they need to conjure genuinely new ideas and forms; which deters radical change, reinforcing the economic (and political) stagnation.”
    It’s interesting that two of the movies mentioned in Kunstler’s essay, Hugo and The Artist, are, as many other commentators have noted, both homages to the past as reconstructed self-consciously through different technological filters, one high-tech, the other (apparently) lo-fi. I have no idea if Kunstler agrees with Anderson’s thesis, and I haven’t thought about it enough to come to any firm conclusions of my own. Nonetheless it seems clear that both essays are talking about a culture whose imagination has turned inward, and curdled.

  201. progress2conserve December 19, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    -first class travel-
    Yeah – my first ever flight was on a DC-8 in 1967. We were just in front of the wing, therefore not first class. However, my uncle wore a tie and insisted that I be well dressed for the occasion.
    My point is – that there was less incentive to pay extra for first class back in the day when the other classes comported themselves with more dignity.
    I’m probably about done with flying, anyway. I’ve only flown twice since the TSA was created – the flights were OK, but I have grown to HATE airports – especially US airports.
    ========================
    Posters may call me to task for getting off the subject of JHK’s essay for the week so early. But hey, sue me, I guess.
    So, back to films for a second – it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a film that really made me think and gave me something to reflect on and talk about, even just one day later.
    If I had to go into permanent exile with only one DVD I’d take Forrest Gump. So, sue me again, some of you. Of course I’d have to take a TV, a DVD player, and 24/7 electricity – along with theater popcorn. So it wouldn’t be much of an exile.
    =======================
    ASPO – have you ever looked at the Passenger Miles Per Gallon figures for trains? (PMPG)
    According to some of the figures I see, modern commercial passenger aircraft are more efficient than passenger trains – on a PMPG basis.
    And they both take lots of petroleum.
    Maybe electricity has potential – more than for corridor rapid transit, as it’s presently used.
    Of course, electricity mostly takes coal and nuclear – so there we are again.
    I’m just posing the questions – what do your facts show?

  202. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 11:23 pm #

    E.
    Hubbert’s “spiritual heirs” like Ken Deffeyes of Princeton also called the GLOBAL peak, half jokingly, as Thanksgiving, 2005.
    I thought the peak happened later but no matter I’m not an expert on these things. M. King Hubbert called the American peak spot on as you know. That’s textbook. Clean uninterrupted supply lines from producer to consumer. Then the producer was the consumer.
    Not so with the global peak, the global peak is a different critter. Producers and consumers are in different countries. Political regime change, volcanic eruptions, wars, tsunamis, nuclear disasters, and idiots interrupted the supply lines and kind of fudged things up a bit.
    Now that weak dog I was talking about last week might be whispering that you don’t know what you’re talking about. Just let me drill. You can’t show me a perfect peak so you have to be wrong. Just let me drill drill drill, everything is going to be ok. And those environmentalists are wrong too, it’s nice to be warm. Let me drill drill drill.
    Bite him.

  203. jonabark December 19, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

    Jim
    Why do you never mention global warming? The mad oil addiction to which we have given ourselves with ever more violent desire of appetite and willful denial of consequence seems to be manifesting with equal and ominous power in the greenhouse entrapment of light and heat as it is in the economics of depletion and competition. The world you envision in “..by hand” is not manifesting the storms and unpredictable weather that are already upon us and will be with us for decades and perhaps a century. Are you appealing to a survivalist mentality as delusional as techno fixes or eternal happy motoring? Can we survive on such a population scale without the creation of realist political voices and movements? We are already looking at large releases of methane on arctic waters and similar feedback loops. What gives?

  204. Solar Guy December 19, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    I went to FILM school. Now I run a small solar company. Still might change the world with a camera and the Internet though
    Did you see the lights go out for the big Monday night football game? Twice actually. I wish they would have stayed off…that the whole game would have been canceled and the millions of fans would think about WHY.. And WHERE does the POWER come from…
    Anyway… Go get a Solar Quote…
    PUSH ON. DO GOOD.KEEP SMILING.

  205. progress2conserve December 19, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    “it’s nice to be warm.” k-dog-
    Yeah, no doubt, K. Elaine Supkis posted an intriguing set of ideas recently:
    “At this point in time, I consider the Kyoto Accords to be worthless. They had no chance of reducing actual CO2 because they didn’t propose solutions to what is the real problem: over population in the warmer parts of the planet.”
    http://emsnews.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/ice-cold-canada-leaves-kyoto-accords-for-sensible-reasons/
    Interesting concepts, that I’d never seen in print before.
    ———————-
    I recently posted that China has markedly higher fossil fuel use PER CAPITA – than does Mexico. One should ask – how much of that is simply due to the colder climate in China?
    And it’s yet more evidence that the United States may already be DRASTICALLY overpopulated – as we head into an energy descending future.
    If I were in the warm Global south with my family – I do believe I’d stay there and try to make the best of it.

  206. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 11:47 pm #

    What could be more important in a democracy than the utter loss of critical ability in the citizens who ostensibly decide how the country will be run?
    I liked your post. I was born into a time when the spectacle did not have the narcotic grasp it now does. Entertainment to me has to augment reality not replace it.
    Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451 in 1953. It is typically described as a book about burning books and there was also a movie. In the http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060390/ “>movie the actor Julie Chrisie plays Guy Montag’s wife who’s personality and soul is consumed by wall to wall flat screen TVs.
    I gained a healthy respect for technology when I saw the movie and read the book. A respect that has never left me.

  207. dgmoocher December 19, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    This is all becoming one giant blur. I for one believe that American’s will NOT becoming murderously furious. They are in a standing cultural ethical and mental coma. Sadly, no, there is unlikely to be any uprising or revolution of any kind. Our regime changers will pull smoke and mirrors to create a notion of an acceptable new “normal”.
    It is our fellow Americans as well as our misguided President who are out of touch with reality. And there they are likely to stay, farming or no.
    Always enjoy the banter here! 🙂

  208. bossier22 December 19, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

    Don’t get me wrong, I believe humans are adaptable but they also have ingenuity. I just don’t think we will see the Comanche ride the Texas prairie again.

  209. k-dog December 19, 2011 at 11:57 pm #

    Love the picture of the lodge.
    This is a case of a negative environmental externality” – A cost created by one economic actor that is borne by another.
    I just learned that yesterday.
    Tail wags.

  210. k-dog December 20, 2011 at 12:05 am #

    Our regime changers will pull smoke and mirrors to create a notion of an acceptable new “normal”.
    They can only do this if we let them. If we are honest with ourselves we force their honesty and their deceit becomes transparent.
    k-dog for president.

  211. IxNoMor December 20, 2011 at 12:08 am #

    I used to listen to cassette tapes of Thomas Merton, Credence tapes, that spelled a lot of this sh!t out back in 1968. I wish I could listen to everything he said, he was the master.
    I’m so sorry it has to be as it is now. It might even be my fault, *TOTALLY*. Regardless, I have a thought in my head. Can they steal it – I think *NOT*.
    So Sorry, this is getting to be rediculous. Let’s avoid the mobsters and settle this sh!t, once and for *all*!!! Bwhaahahaha!

  212. IxNoMor December 20, 2011 at 12:09 am #

    Contact me on irc.napalm.biteme!!!

  213. budizwiser December 20, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    FWIW
    The “new deal” is that all good people should ignore and refuse ideas associated with resource or asset allocation based on anything but US federal reserve notes.
    Now more than ever – money buys everything, and also distributed the “ratios” of everything.
    Things like democracy and human rights – as well as anything arising from these constructs is proportional to the wealth of the consumer.
    Welcome my friends – to the “financial-ization of humanity.”

  214. BigAfromPA December 20, 2011 at 12:48 am #

    I don’t like the computer specialized effects in movies now. I love old war movies and miss the ones where they took cameras up in the planes and shot the actual scenes as they happened. Great examples of this were in ‘Battle of Britain’ and ‘The Blue Max’.
    Contrast that with ‘Flyboys’ a movie about the Lafayette Escadrille in WWI with the computer generated dogfights and it just looks so phoney.
    Some thing just cannot be duplicated right with a computerized image.

  215. San Jose Mom 51 December 20, 2011 at 12:50 am #

    Jim,
    Thanks for your observations about animation. It clarifies why I haven’t seen an animated movie in years. I thought I was the only person in the world with no desire to see Avatar. (Haven’t seen it yet, probably never will.) The only animated movie I recall enjoying was Fantasia 2000, I liked the classical music it was set to and I recall being quite stoned while watching it in bed with my husband.
    SJmom

  216. ak December 20, 2011 at 1:12 am #

    Talking about animated movies, did anyone see Coraline?
    Made by Laika of PDX…

  217. ak December 20, 2011 at 1:24 am #

    A better link:
    http://coraline.com/
    [click Enter Site, top center]

  218. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2011 at 1:36 am #

    Where is Lord Gaga? There is a real one – he does video mocking Lady.

  219. k-dog December 20, 2011 at 1:39 am #

    Haven’t seen it yet but have any adult seen Fantasia (in the company of other adults) without being stoned?

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  221. jugular December 20, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    You are a very sick man and need of therapy.
    HUGO ia a brilliant work from a brilliant man.
    I just want you to be happy, James.
    Happy Holidays.
    http://cherigreenlee.wordpress.com/

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  224. Mike Moskos December 20, 2011 at 3:39 am #

    Every time I’m dragged to a “video game” or “gladiator” movie (can you hear the opera music during the battle scenes?), I just remember this: you get what you pay for. Look around at the audience: most of the tickets were bought by young men going out with their dates. Since they’re supporting the movie-making industry by buying the tickets, Hollywood delivers. Hollywood would deliver a completely different “product” if other types of movies were financially successful. If their dates sprung for the movie tickets, we’d get different movies too.

  225. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2011 at 4:14 am #

    Men’s Rights Activists expose a growing evil. Now “ordinary” people wait until things get bad to do anything – even discuss a situation, nay, even name it. That is the downward path followed by degenerate societies and people who are sleepwalking thru life. This group is far, far wiser.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaP9e_KAOeo&feature=related

  226. youmouyixia December 20, 2011 at 7:45 am #

       According to Japanese media reports, the 80-year-old famous Japanese actor Ken Takakura recently during driving collided with a taxi, the accident caused no injuries.
       Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department said Meguro, 15 about 5 pm, Takakura alive Tokyo Meguro Meguro-ku, near the road while driving, because the case did not confirm the safety and the right line, and one is the right side of the driveway straight taxi collision, two vehicles have different degrees of scratches.  solar bag
       Details police were still investigating, but the responsibility for the accident initially determined in Ken Takakura.
       Takakura is a famous Japanese hardcore actor, 1970s in China, showing the "hunt" so familiar to his Chinese audience. 50 years from the film, starred Ken Takakura more than 200 films and more than drama. In 2005 he starred in Zhang Yimou’s film "Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles", in August this year, he took on the director by the famous Japanese film directed by Yasuo lowering of the flag "for you", the film plays to his late wife’s ashes back to the hometown hero. Films will be released in autumn 2012. wedding dress
     

  227. mow December 20, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    fuck hollywood
    i hope that sign burns down to the ground.

  228. flying picket December 20, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    “The decline of storytelling at a time of increasing technology doesn’t prove a cause and effect relationship.”
    Not under laboratory conditions, eh, Puzzler? And scant chance of a peer review.

  229. flying picket December 20, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    “I enjoy films from an earlier time where the viewer is invited and even expected to think about the film and draw conclusions. Recent films simply spoon feed the audience with a canned message.”
    You said it, loveday. It’s seems incredible to be stunned by something so simple, but stunned I was by a scene in the French detective series set in Paris, called Spiral, on a TV channel, here, in the UK.
    Someone got out of a van and crossed the road to briefly talk to someone. When he turned round, to return to his van, he saw that it had been stolen, just vanished.
    What stunned me was that a UK TV director would have rejoiced to show him watching the van being driven away. Just too brilliant an opportunity to ‘spoon-feed’ and make something out of nothing. It seemed an almost embarrassingly-complimentary gesture on the director’s part, to leave the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the theft to our imagination.

  230. Widespreadpanic7 December 20, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    In the past week or so the old ‘Rifleman’ series with Chuck Conners has got a positive mention here in CFN. I might add “Cheyenne”, with Clint Walker, and the “Rawhide” series (remember Rowdy Yates?) as further examples of the fine work produced for the small screen in Hollywood in the recent past. A combination of good writing, strong characters, a sharp contrast between good and evil, a real sense of place and purpose surpasses anything being made today. Shows like that could only come from a confident nation and a strong national culture, for example, a nation that was victorious in WW11. All those westerns made in the 1950’s & early 60s, both in film and for TV, is a curious phenonema which bears further investigation. Did Kenneth Anger write anything about it?
    –WSP7

  231. DeeJones December 20, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    “I’m feeling less admiration for those who do, especially those who plan to fly back to the States on some sort of regular basis.”
    You know, I get kinda tired of the Expat bashing by some here who are probably just jealous that they cant ditch the USA.
    As I have said before, not all us expats are ‘rich’ with plans to fly back & forth. Most of us are folks that have fought the ‘good fight’ and have just given up, its not worth it too keep banging ones head against the wall. We are also folks that if we had stayed in the US would probably just be barely getting by, but as expats, we can live a comfortable life (not live like ‘kings’). The US is headed for Third World status, so why not get a leg up on it and live in a country that is already TW?
    You can keep the USA all to your selves. I wake up in the ‘Garden’ every morning with the parrots, drink coffee grown all around me, and have fresh fruits & vegies to eat. And spend way less than back in the US. And you know what? Its a much SANER life here. You can have your ConsumaNation.
    Say, the bananas are starting to get ripe, maybe I’ll go pick a few for breakfast.
    So you all enjoy your shitty life now, ya hear?
    😉

  232. ozone December 20, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    “We seem to have trapped ourselves in a vicious cycle,” Anderson writes, “—economic progress and innovation stagnated, except in information technology; which leads us to embrace the past and turn the present into a pleasantly eclectic for-profit museum; which deprives the cultures of innovation of the fuel they need to conjure genuinely new ideas and forms; which deters radical change, reinforcing the economic (and political) stagnation.”
    (From the vanity fair article)
    Interesting concept and observation.
    Thanks Doug, I’ll look up that K.A. article.
    This leads me to the rumination: Who benefits from this state of affairs? And by direct consequence, who is ruined by it? The answers should lead to the most important lessons humans may ever learn. (But that’s just my take, most others seem to be obsessed with keeping the status quo regurgitating itself. Which then begs the question… etc.)

  233. Jimmy Drinkwater December 20, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    Indeed. Thawing permafrost is about to become a familiar text in the lexicon.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/17/science/earth/warming-arctic-permafrost-fuels-climate-change-worries.html?pagewanted=all

  234. ozone December 20, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    Well, good for you and continued good fortune.
    However, smugness and hooray-for-me-and-fuck-you’s don’t exactly endear you to anyone.
    Hubris is always followed by Nemesis.

  235. Widespreadpanic7 December 20, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    Hey Ozone, headed out to Canaan next tues.
    Did ya ever eat at that RR car silver diner next to the station? I love places like that but they’re disappearing from landscape.
    There a little prospector store on Canal Street that bears some checking out, run by a young couple trying to make an independent go of it.
    –WSP7

  236. ozone December 20, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    WSP,
    Nope, never did have a munch there.
    I don’t have much to do with Canaan-land, although I went to the John Deere dealer there this summer. Took “the back way” from here with a good local cow-path map; some exceptionally beautiful farms thataway that I had no idea existed. (You just don’t hear much about them, I guess.)
    Check ’em out for excellent map-age:
    http://www.jimapco.com/
    Do you mean “prospector” as in “miner”? That’s entirely original! I’m intrigued…

  237. progress2conserve December 20, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    “You know, I get kinda tired of the Expat bashing by some here who are probably just jealous that they cant ditch the USA.” -deeJ-
    Dee, you missed my main points – I think.
    One, I’m not “ditching” the USA. I will die here, fighting all the way against odds that seem to grow slightly, but incrementally, higher every year. To think of “ditching” my home – warts and all – is an impossible concept to me.
    Two, my comment was directed more against asoka., who having spent 7 years encouraging immigration INTO the US – now runs away.
    Of course asoka. is just pretending, I’m sure – trying out a new multitude. Next month he’ll be translating his CFN posts into Inuit, and learning how to build adobe huts out of thawing blocks of permafrost.
    ==========================
    Bottom line – to each his own, Dee. Just because I live in the US does not mean that I don’t see through and avoid most of “ConsumaNation,” as you so lovingly put it. I can also help my family avoid some of the worst of it.
    And mine comes down to family. Last time I was out of the US I started to examine the long chain of buses, taxis, airliners, and strangers – that were completely indispensable to getting my wife and me back home. It was not a comforting examination.
    Don’t get me wrong – if you can build a LIFE down there, and truly integrate yourself into the local community – well, more power to you.
    And I’d like to visit you, see all the cool sights, talk about politics and that crashed drone, and pick bananas off that tree and feed them to the parrots.
    But, I’m guessing I won’t be doing that – the way things are looking.
    Best of regards to you, though. Truly. 🙂

  238. Widespreadpanic7 December 20, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    Hey Pete I mean prospecting as in panning for gold, in my case metal detecting looking for relics and coins, this year found a bunch of stuff, including 1906 .32 cal. revolver with live bullets still in it, 1801 large cent, 1848 large cent, 1851 large cent, indian head pennies, a large bronze medallion, c.1840, that says ‘Henry Harrison for President’, and many old hand tools and farm implements. That was all in the fields around here where people have been farming since 1639. Next month headed for the beaches in Florida as soon as I can get the time off from work.
    There’s still some pretty good farms out Canaan way. Good book about the area “Housatonic, Puritan River” by Charles Power Smith, 1944. Its in most WConn libraries.
    –WSP7

  239. Widespreadpanic7 December 20, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    Incidentally, Ozone, best descriptions of said diners, the food, aromas, customers, found in Jack Kerouac’s ‘Visions of Cody.'(1972) That’s what I think of when I’m having burger with fries at Collins Diner in Canaan, CT!
    WSP7

  240. Vlad Kramps December 20, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    Vlad dates himself. That is, if you can call chronic and excessive masturbation “dating”. tee hee hee.

  241. ozone December 20, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    About that Vanity Fair article.
    This little quirky thang didn’t get past me, although I tried mightily to keep things contextually “rhymed”. This phrase feels “wrong” regardless of context…
    “This **democratization of culture and style** has two very different but highly complementary results.
    He misses what MADE the drudging mediocrity of it all, namely, the COMMODIFICATION of culture and style. Profit, baby, profit. Just take a [short and sweet] look at what happened to most of the punk music scene, once people with dollar signs in their eyes got holt of it.
    Evolving culture and style is basically about subversion. Spitting in the eye of conventional wisdom and the status quo is the raison d’etre of it. It’s most definitely NOT about making giant piles of lucre for the true innovators.
    (Mayhap Mr. Anderson’s job depends on him not seeing the big picture of decline either; he hints at it, but just barely. “Stylistic” pendulum swing apex reached? Perhaps, but when folks are left without a pot to piss in (or a window to throw it out of), style will be a distant echo to down ‘n’ dirty FUNCTION.
    Got a warm old military parka? Might be a bit tattered and not-so-kewl, but the warmth makes for a not-as-dead sitch…)

  242. ccm989 December 20, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    For the same reason I don’t send telegraphs, technology is a two edged sword. Plus all the commuting and driving I don’t do saves oil and energy. All those unused buildings might get pulled down and the people who work in them might take up organic farming. Since National Geographic projects the human population will reach 9 billion by 2045, we better start training a whole lot of new farmers.

  243. ozone December 20, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    Cool beans, M.!
    And thanks for all the book recommendations.
    So much to read, so much to read, geeeeez, the further I go, the behinder I get!

  244. third_martini_banter December 20, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    This is the Future:
    Humanity will be divided into groups who are allowed to experience a “hierarchy of authenticity.”
    At the top will be the uber-class of super-wealthy people who get to have authentic experiences: real skiing, horseback-riding, travel, food, sex — you name it.
    The rest will get varying degrees of virtual experience. Many will go through life having most of their experiences virtually, e.g. most or all of the sex they will have will be digital, wearing 3-D glasses, and having their genitals manipulated by machines while their minds are transported by manufactured sounds & images.
    And yes, I am aware of the plot of “The Matrix” — which I thought was very perceptive.

  245. malthus December 20, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    “Most of us are folks that have fought the ‘good fight’ and have just given up, its not worth it too keep banging ones head against the wall. We are also folks that if we had stayed in the US would probably just be barely getting by, but as expats, we can live a comfortable life (not live like ‘kings’).” What a very sad statement although true. There was a time not long ago that many people migrated from here to other countries for the adventure of it. For something different, not better or worse. I myself have lived in 5 different countries all on the American Continent and when I lived in them I met others from this country doing the same thing, for the adventure of it all. New customs, new languages, new ways of thinking and living. Different not better or worse. Your definitions of an expat and also calling yourself an expat means you still identify with this country which is certainly not total immersion of a new country. So the term expat is a misnomer. You probably keep yourself at arms length from the culture of the country you happen to be in. Some how it seems now people are running and hiding just to hold on to their concepts of an easy life. If you move to another country embrace it and become a citizen of that country. No one can blame you for leaving here. Although your definition does kind of remind me of cockroaches running from a light.

  246. ront December 20, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Your prophetic vision sounds reasonable. However, we could instead embrace our duty and thoroughly live in accord with the truth and justice that our humanity demands. Together.
    Joy in collapse!
    A clarion call for seeing and participating in the great unveiling that is happening.
    Have a listen and pass it on if you are inspired to.
    http://vimeo.com/33870113

  247. metuselah December 20, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    Sold, and moved out. Rejoice, you’re all on your own.

  248. DeeJones December 20, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    “Well, good for you and continued good fortune.
    However, smugness and hooray-for-me-and-fuck-you’s don’t exactly endear you to anyone.”
    And same to you. And I think you confuse smug with smart. Staying in that hellhole USA is not what I call smart. Moving out is.
    😉

  249. ozone December 20, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    “Jim, the truth is; Hollywood just isn’t that into you….or me….or anyone who doesn’t play video games, or buy live action dolls derived from movie content.” D.
    Mmmmm, I dunno; my niece’s husband did just fine. Story, wedded to geek derivatives. (I must admit though, he IS a true geek-a-zoid outcast from the distant past of techno-geek evolution. Helluva nice guy with intellect to match.)
    http://boingboing.net/2011/08/15/ready-player-one-the-best-science-fiction-book-ive-read-in-a-decade.html
    (amazon, kindle, nytimes book review, etc.)

  250. ozone December 20, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    You’re making my point for me… again.

  251. DeeJones December 20, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    “You probably keep yourself at arms length from the culture of the country you happen to be in. Some how it seems now people are running and hiding just to hold on to their concepts of an easy life. If you move to another country embrace it and become a citizen of that country. No one can blame you for leaving here. Although your definition does kind of remind me of cockroaches running from a light.”
    On the contrary, we live in a neighborhood of locals, NOT in a gated Gringo “community”, out in the country.
    And I don’t see what we are doing as ‘running & hiding’, and belive me, for us life isn’t all that easy here, its work, but its worth it. Plus a little fun on the side.
    As for ‘adventure & discovery’, been there, done that in our younger days, just trying now to have a comfortable retirement, which the PTB are damm well making sure that we wouldn’t have back in the USSA.
    Glad you got to have some adventure when you were younger, but what about when you are older? Life can’t always be an adventure or party, now can it?
    But it also doesn’t have to end in fear and slavery to the PTB either, IF you have the chance to get out while its still possible.
    :[

  252. Vlad Kramps December 20, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    What a lot of folks are missing here is the good side of collapse. For too many years we’ve been living way past our means and the planet’s ability to carry us. It’s time for a dramatic paradigm shift into a slower, saner life. Yes, that means granny is coming to live with you, or you might have to move in with her. And Junior is going to want his bedroom back after college. He might get a job earning minimum wage. If you’re a boomer, and this situation scares you, don’t let it. People lived like this for hundreds of years before our modern era of nursing homes.
    Yes, people had to learn to tolerate one another back before the me, me, me era. This means biting your tongue when your mother in law sasses you on her way to your fridge. Personally I think Americans could use a good dose or two of civility and learning how it’s not always good to give in to your “feelings”. Pool your money and your resources, grow a garden if you can, re-use and recycle. Can’t sleep at night? Try scrubbing the kitchen floor on your hands and knees for about half an hour, instead of taking a pill.
    No meat for dinner? Try putting together some boiled cabbage, carrots and potatoes on the stove. It might trim some of the fat off your ass and your middle. Need entertainment? Fetch a book from the bookshelf, knit a scarf, visit a friend, or get the kids off their ipods and make a contest out of who can draw the silliest face on a piece of paper. Collapse needn’t be all that bad. Embrace change and a slower pace of life. You might find it’s not as bad as you might have feared.

  253. Jimmy Drinkwater December 20, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    Down to the Banana Republic
    Down to the tropical sun
    Go the expatriated Americans
    Hoping to find some fun
    First you learn the native customs
    Soon a word of Spanish or two
    But you know that you cannot trust them
    Cause they know they can’t trust you
    Expatriated Americans feeling so all alone
    Telling themselves the same lies
    That they told themselves back home
    Down to the Banana Republic things aren’t as warm as they seem
    When none of the natives are buying any second hand American dreams

  254. ozone December 20, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    …You must understand, I don’t disagree with your escape or lifestyle or opinion of what’s-goin-on.
    It’s your crowing about it and implying the rest of us “residents” are blinkered fools to be derided that’s distasteful to me.

  255. Vlad Kramps December 20, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Footnote to the above. 50 will be the new 80. Yep, you’re gonna die a lot sooner. Why? You won’t have Medicare to support the outrageous fees doctors charge, along with the insurance companies. Don’t worry about Social Security either. It probably won’t be there for you and few if any are going to live to be 70. It’s not called decline for nothing.

  256. Widespreadpanic7 December 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    DeeJones you and a handful of others are eager to leave the USA.
    Millions upon millions are desperate to get in any way they can.
    Go figure.
    I used to run into those hapless American souls in Central and Latin America who had lost their passports, or didn’t have one to begin with, stateless persons anxious to get out, to go home. Could you help me? Not much we could do, maybe our CO could do something.
    –WSP7

  257. Widespreadpanic7 December 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Pretty good post their, Vlad Kramps (what was your name before?) about the positive side of decline. In some of these small towns in New England we live amongst the ruins of an earlier industrial age, amidst charming redbrick 19th century factories now put to other uses. Maybe something good will come of TLE.
    –WSP7

  258. malthus December 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    “Life can’t always be an adventure or party, now can it?
    But it also doesn’t have to end in fear and slavery to the PTB either, IF you have the chance to get out while its still possible.” Fear and slavery tells it all about your distress. Age is really a state of mind and it really does sound like you have given up on life.
    Again,”Life can’t always be an adventure or party, now can it?” Not if you don’t want it to be.

  259. dale December 20, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    Asoka, Turkle et al.
    If you found alan wallace’s presentation of some of the more provocative possibilities of physics interesting this will intrigue you. A lecture on the evolution of science in the last 400 years, masterfully done.
    I have not met anyone open minded enough to listen to the thing who didn’t admit to being moved and much informed by Alan’s clear presentation of very complex concepts. Quite simply, he is a masterful teacher.
    While he was a professor at UCSB, he would fill auditoriums with students, both enrolled in his classes and ‘auditing’ from the rear. He was quite a force.
    The presentation is called “The conscious universe”, you may need to scroll down a bit. Here is the link, Merry Christmas;
    http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma12/buchmed.html

  260. Vlad Kramps December 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    Let’s hope some good comes out of TLE. For one thing, the corrupt federal government won’t be able to steal your cash (since you ain’t gonna be earnin much or any) and so say “bye bye” to predator drones, attacking oil rich nations (ya need lots of $$$ to do that and the 1% ain’t gonna part with theirs, that for damn sure). So we have to be more local. Thank god for all the guns out there in the hands of the little people. We’ll see how long the feds can bully us when we mix together a posse of fellow rednecks willing to blow the smithereens out of some gubment agent. Hey, isn’t that how we started out? 😀

  261. asoka. December 20, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    DeeJones you and a handful of others are eager to leave the USA. Millions upon millions are desperate to get in any way they can.

    Yes, but they have not been reading CFN every week. Those who want to get into the USA think it is a place of economic opportunity. They have no idea of the coming collapse and die off in the USA. We on CFN know it is coming, we know about peak oil and its consequences.
    But I understand DeeJones better now, and those posters who use words like “cockroaches” “fleeing” “escape” “hiding” are making judgements not warranted by facts.
    I tried to make a go of it in the USA. I am too lazy to chop wood and burn it all winter long, so I moved to the southwest where cost of living is cheap, built an adobe house, and still the winter cold was too much to live without fossil fuel inputs. Then I discovered South America. Now I know why W bought land there.
    It was a discovery, not hiding or fleeing or escaping. It was a conscious strategy to make do with what little capital I have.
    And I will walk back my earlier words, which I believe included “live like a king” … I am in agreement with DeeJones that it is possible to “live comfortably” …
    I am also completely integrated and accepted by the locals, which helps. Being bilingual also helps. I was invited to a get together of a music group that plays folkloric music and we all sang along together, joking, laughing, eating, enjoying life.
    Turns out kumbayah was possible all along… just not in the USA on a $1000 a month income.

  262. Vlad Kramps December 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    “what was your name before?)” Marlin
    Ida, that is before I changed it to Walter when I had my sex change ;). That’s another thing ya won’t be seeing much of in the future is these poor little miscreants who are “trapped” in the wrong body (I wanna be a girl!, no I wanna be a boy!) Fxck that shit!
    Go ahead and do drag if that’s your thing. Likewise, go butch if you’re a dyke. If you’re a guy and you really dislike your penis (I’m tryin real hard not to think of Vlad here), chop it off yourself and save yourself the expense of the surgery. Better yet, hook up with some chick from El Salvador, cheat on her, and let her “bobbit” for you. See how simple life can be? ;D

  263. bossier22 December 20, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

    Many of us have a great life. Different strokes and all.

  264. messianicdruid December 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    “The Obama administration passed another fiscal milestone this week, according to new data released by the Treasury Department. As of the close of business on Oct. 3, the total national debt was $14,837,099,271,196.71—up about $44.8 billion from Sept. 30.
    That means that in the less-than-three-years Obama has been in office, the federal debt has increased by $4.212 trillion–more than the total national debt of about $4.1672 trillion accumulated by all 41 U.S. presidents from George Washington through George H.W. Bush combined.”
    http://www.goldismoney2.com/showthread.php?26400-US-Debt-In-one-term-Obama-tops-Washington-through-Bush
    thanks a lot

  265. Vlad Kramps December 20, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    Au contraire, mo cherie, why not stick around awhile as the party winds down? Rough times will get here soon enough. Nobody ever said that one shouldn’t prepare for TLE. Personally, I think that if you bought a big house in the burbs with little land, dependent upon cars, you’re fudged. I would recommend getting out ASAP. Those of us who rent in a moderate sized city are in a better position to dodge the splatter when the blades of the fan start a spinnin. The South has it over the North in this regard as we won’t be in as grave a danger of freezing to death in the winter. Summer without AC can be a bitch. Old folks sometimes die without it round here. Like I said earlier, 50 will be the new 80.

  266. asoka. December 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    If you are referring to Lorena Bobbitt, she was born Lorena Gallo in Ecuador, not El Salvador. Her ex still loves her.

  267. asoka. December 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    dale, thank you for the Christmas gift!
    I intend to listen to it in its entirety. However, I am now on a 256K modem dial up connection, so it will take a while to download and a while longer to listen.
    I do appreciate so much your sharing this with me and I find Wallace to be a very good dharma teacher.

  268. MissusQuiche December 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    As it happens I too saw “Hugo” this past weekend. I would rate it flawed but entertaining but I didn’t feel the use of 3D got in the way of the story by being excessively gimmicky. Certainly its story was vastly superior to Bwana Devil, the first ever 3D movie, that came out in 1952 with its memorable spears sticking out at the audience beyond the edges of the screen.
    The male lead playing Hugo Cabret is Asa Butterfield a 14 year old Brit. The female lead, also 14 in real life, is the impossibly cute Chloe Grace Moretz who, I was amazed to learn via Google, was born in Atlanta Georgia. The two of them have impossibly cute British accents although their characters are French and the story takes place in a French train station. Go figure.
    Sacha Baron-Cohen does an excellent job of portraying the Station Inspector, a kind of early 20th century Paul Blart Mall Cop who prowls the train station on constant lookout for Hugo, an orphan who survives by pilfering his food.
    The annoyance (the flaw) for me was in the excessively drawn out facial emoting..eye movements, flairing of nostrils, pursing of lips and various other facial muscle movements (no doubt part of Acting School core curriculum) that were supposed to convey a traincar load of internal conflict which somehow escaped me. When the girl asked Hugo “Where do you live? we watched his facial contortions for a good 20 seconds and he never really answered the question.
    Kunstler’s kvetching though, ie how this movie is in some way a metaphor of our time I believe, is a stretch.

  269. malthus December 20, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    I wonder where that 1000 bucks a month comes from. It may be from the U.S. in the form a pension or SS. Either way if the funds stop coming where will you be? And if you are dependent on any type of funds from the U.S. you are more like on an extended vacation. If they do stop which could happen I hope you are good at living by your wits or have a skill that is marketable no matter where you are.

  270. Buck Stud December 20, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    Do they accept old Americans down in South America, Asoka? I know Australia has an age limit -50 something as I recall – so I presume a similar limit applies in other countries?
    Put another way, what could an elderly America ex-pat have to offer another country that would offset the costs of health care and use of other social services etc?

  271. Vlad Kramps December 20, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Are they your new neighbors?

  272. Vlad Kramps December 20, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    Do you get much income from renting out your mud hut in the U.S.?

  273. Buck Stud December 20, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    ” This means biting your tongue when your mother in law sasses you on her way to your fridge. Personally I think Americans could use a good dose or two of civility and learning how it’s not always good to give in to your “feelings”. ”
    Good thing 50 is the new 80, otherwise a bleeding ulcer might strike me down in the middle of a croquet knitting session 😉

  274. malthus December 20, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    If these elderly Americans that participated in destroying this country and then ran for it are any like the ones that have occupied Panama, and Costa Rica. They are doing their damnedest to turn those into southern California.

  275. Buck Stud December 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    Crow-K , too!

  276. asoka. December 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    Buck Stud, it varies by country. Pick one that will allow you to get a resident immigrant visa and also has universal single-payer health care (where you don’t have to pay any private supplementary health care plan).
    I would do the research for you, but my dial up connection is too slow.

  277. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    Yes Kramps – there will be bright sides: no more PC. Minorities will get their karmupance when they “act out” Women wont be able to contract with the State and have men thrown out of their own homes. The best will rise to the top – as is right. The natural aristocracy as Jefferson put it. The Lazy will starve – as is right. Nature. We all like Nature here right?

  278. asoka. December 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    Malthus, you say “participated in destroying this country and then ran for it”
    In what way do you think we destroyed the USA?
    I fought hard to make the USA a more tolerant place that welcomed entrepreneurs. I fought hard for what I thought best for the USA. I worked for 45 years and paid taxes. How was I “destroying” the USA?
    I remember exactly where I was when Reagan was elected. I remember thinking that was the beginning of the end.
    Sure enough, didn’t take long till we had the Savings and Loan scandal, increased national debt, repeal of Sherman anti-trust, union busting, etc. which paved the way for the “greed is good” decade, neo-con economics, offshore tax havens, outsourcing, and collapse of our manufacturing sector.
    My opinion is that those who voted for Reagan and both Bushes destroyed the country, though I know that was not their intention. I certainly had no intention of destroying anything more than Jim Crow and rampant militarism. And I reject any suggestion that welcoming immigrants is “destroying” the country, though I understand feel the need to scapegoat immigrants.

  279. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    Just saw a clip on the news about a group of Americans who go over to England with their metal detectors. Nothing here is more than 250 years or so. Over there they find Viking coins and cups – things even older. A whole cup of silver coins was found recently. Don’t know what the legalities involved are. The guy they were talking to donated everything to museums.

  280. asoka. December 20, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    And I reject any suggestion that welcoming immigrants is “destroying” the country, though I understand some feel the need to scapegoat immigrants.

  281. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    Countries, like eco-systems, have a carrying capacity. In your hatred of Whites, you did everything you could to swamp us with non Whites. It’s evil as are you. Evil hates to admit that it is just that. If an evil person can admit it, they are on the upward path. You have a huge shadow. Own it and begin to recover.

  282. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    Good article by a Pagan on the value of Christmas and how the you know whos have tried to X out Christ and make it into a bland nothingness.
    http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/12/merry-christmas-infidels-2/

  283. asoka. December 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

    Are all Black people evil, Vlad? Do we all bear the mark of Cain?
    Is it a question of owning one’s shadow, or is it something that cannot be overcome? (according to your theology)
    BTW, I don’t hate all white people … but you are a reminder of why I once hated some white people.

  284. ferocious December 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

    Just want to let everyone know that there still are good films out there that do not utilize monster special effects. We went to see “My Week with Marilyn” this weekend and were very pleasantly surprised. Michelle Williams superbly portrayed Marilyn being superb! What a treat.
    I didn’t see Avatar although I would like to – just to see first hand what it was like. I have heard many different opinions about it. I AM getting a bit tired of too much technology. Not just the big stuff but the small stuff like “all music all the time”. I dread going into most markets these days because of the unwanted idiotic music interspersed with commercials. UGH! No-one ever seems to be enraged with the situation as I am. And how about the flashing ads on websites. The Browser Camino gives you the option not to activate them unless you roll over. That’s good technology in my opinion.

  285. Vlad Kramps December 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    How is Mrs. Asoka enjoying your new home?

  286. malthus December 20, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    We are all complicit in the destruction of this country. Every damn one of us. We over consumed, we propped up a system that has destroyed the very concept of this country claims it to be. It was a lie from the beginning anyway. And to blame it on few lying money grubbing politicians is not seeing what your or my hand was/is helping to push it over the cliff. This country should have collapsed 30 years ago. The problem is the invading hoards have not come yet. They will and also where ever you are if you haven’t assimilated into the culture entirely when everything falls apart and believe me when I say everything it will also happen where ever you are. When that does the millions of city dwellers will fan out and be looking for something to eat and someone to blame and guess who that will be.

  287. Vlad Kramps December 20, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    “BTW, I don’t hate all white people … but you are a reminder of why I once hated some white people.”
    Hate is something that must be cut out of your heart…much like an unwanted penis from a groin.

  288. Buck Stud December 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    Asoka,
    Thanks for offering to do research for me but I was hoping you could just write about the policy of the particular country you have apparently selected. I thought my question was sincere and simple enough, and yet your post feels like a cat and mouse response. Perhaps I am reading wrong – it wouldn’t be the first time?

  289. progress2conserve December 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    “Hate is something that must be cut out of your heart…much like an unwanted penis from a groin.”
    -V, of the Kramps-
    You are aware, Mr./Ms. Kramps – that you are exposing some very unfortunate sexual and personality issues on the open internet?
    What is your goal, here?

  290. Vlad Kramps December 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    A few tril here another few tril there. No worries. It’s only money. When we run out we’ll just print some more! It’s like that old saying, “I can’t be overdrawn on my account. I still have some checks left!”

  291. progress2conserve December 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    “the total national debt was $14,837,099,271,196.71”
    -md-
    Tell you what, I’ll write a check for $196.71, and the rest of you can split up the balance.
    Problem solved, right?
    =================================
    On a (slightly) more serious note – where on a logical Earth, did that $0.71 come from.*
    And I have been noticing for the past several years that real estate appraisers, timber cruisers, and other “systematic good guessers” of almost all stripes – have developed a FASCINATION with numbers that look precise.
    I don’t know why. But all of them missed the concept of “significant digits” when it was taught during high school chemistry.
    *And why doesn’t my keyboard have a “cents” symbol??

  292. Shakazulu December 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    What will they eat? Same thing they ate in the past during times of war:
    You shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters whom the LORD your God has given you, in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you.

  293. ak December 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    P2C,
    You mean a symbol like this ‘71¢‘?
    🙂
    (If on Windows, hold [Alt] and type ‘0162’, see Character Map [in Programs->Accessories->System Tools] for more)
    As far as the phony ‘precision’ in numbers, perhaps they (They?) cannot agree what would be the significant digits in this case (tens of thousands?, millions?), so the exact calculated number gets published…
    Just my 2¢

  294. asoka. December 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    Buck Stud, it is not that difficult to research. I did the research for Costa Rica and found lots of pages like this one:
    ================
    RETIRING IN COSTA RICA
    Costa Rica has had a Pensionado (Retiree) and Renitsta program for more than 40 years. This program continues to date as follows:
    If you are planning to retire in Costa Rica and you have a pension or investment income then you may qualify for either PENSIONADO RESIDENCY or RENTISTA RESIDENCY. This program is governed by the New Immigration Law which confers residency status as follows:
    1. PENSION BASED RESIDENCY [Pensionado]
    The Pensionado (Retiree) applicant must demonstrate a permanent fixed income from a pension or similar retirement income of at least US$1,000 per month. The typical applicant in this category has a government, private sector pension or social security retirement benefits. The legal basis for the pensionado category under the new immigration is Article 81 of Law 8764.
    ==================
    I am not playing cat and mouse. As I said, every country’s laws are different so the requirements will vary.

  295. anti soak December 20, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    Many countries have ‘limits’
    Australia I hear is 35!
    Due to ‘free medical’ [supposedly]
    they dont want 36 y.o,.a. and up workin the system.

  296. Vlad Kramps December 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    Must I have a goal here? Who made you the Enforcer of Rules (or is that something that your collosal ego has placed you in the starring role as?)

  297. ctemple December 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    I think most people see movies and t.v. as things that have always been here and we can’t do without, I see them as by products of a prosperous society with disposable income. Things that are now going out of reach. I think Hollywood is, for the most part totally out of touch with ordinary people in the U.S. Of course that is no different than the rest of the upper classes here.
    I read one of Kenneth Anger’s books, Hollywood Babylon I think about thirty years ago. For me at least, he was the craziest most disusting son of bitch I ever read. I don’t know what somebody would have to pay me to read anything he wrote.

  298. progress2conserve December 20, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    Yes.

  299. messianicdruid December 20, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    Some more crap to thank Obama, and those who elected him, for:
    “The most important point on this issue { NDAA }is the same as underscored in the prior two points: the “compromise” reached by Congress includes language preserving the status quo. That’s because the Obama administration already argues that the original 2001 AUMF authorizes them to act against U.S. citizens (obviously, if they believe they have the power to target U.S. citizens for assassination, then they believe they have the power to detain U.S. citizens as enemy combatants). The proof that this bill does not expressly exempt U.S. citizens or those captured on U.S. soil is that amendments offered by Sen. Feinstein providing expressly for those exemptions were rejected. The “compromise” was to preserve the status quo by including the provision that the bill is not intended to alter it with regard to American citizens, but that’s because proponents of broad detention powers are confident that the status quo already permits such detention.”
    http://www.sott.net/articles/show/239123-Three-Myths-About-the-Detention-Bill

  300. ront December 20, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    In an essay by Robert Reich, he describes progressive values in part as believing we all do better when there are “reasonable constraints on Wall Street and big business.”
    What struck me was: Do we need Wall Street activities? Does this serve the needs of the commonwealth? My thinking is that basic banking tasks can be handled publicly for the benefit of the members of the state or community running it. Like a credit union perhaps.
    Can anyone offer a better understanding about what is Wall Street’s necessity or practical purpose?

  301. asoka. December 20, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    MD, did you read what you posted?

    That’s because the Obama administration already argues that the original 2001 AUMF authorizes them to act against U.S. citizens

    And you say we should thank Obama?
    Was Obama president in 2001?

  302. asoka. December 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    Mrs. Asoka is also bilingual and very sociable, and of course she enjoys wherever she is when I am there. I make sure of it.

  303. ront December 20, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    “So great are the comforts and conveniences of our time that we are terrified by the prospect of losing them and, as the hyper-complexities around us unravel, we Americans are willing to believe any preposterous story that promises to keep the cars moving and the lights on.”
    The limiting, separative ego thrives comforts and conveniences, plus you could throw in certainty as well. Of course that is a very short list as ego-identity will grasp anything positive or negative. Still I like this definition of conventional wisdom:
    John Kenneth Galbraith:
    “We associate truth with convenience, with what most closely accords with self-interest and personal well-being or promises best to avoid awkward effort or unwelcome dislocation of life. We also find highly acceptable what contributes most to self-esteem.
    (Economic and social behavior) are complex, and to comprehend their character is mentally tiring. Therefore we adhere, as though to a raft, to those ideas which represent our understanding.”

  304. Vlad Kramps December 20, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    Wall Street’s sole purpose is to make a fortune for inside traders (aka TPTB). If you are a kid who graduated from Ivy League with little or now brains, they park you on Wall Street to “earn” (read steal) money from the commonwealth. Those who are a little smarter and slicker enter politics, others become a CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. You see, it’s all a little charade made up by the 1% for their benefit. The rest of us get to watch them pull the curtain on the show. Note Wall Street’s rally today. Any sane person would run from the stock market like their tail end was on fire. Each and every time the “market” behaves in this manner, a severe crash follows. For a quick history lesson, look at stock prices from 1925 to 1930. Yet still some of the little people think they can outsmart the market. Well, not if you’re not a member of “the club”, as Carlin put it. And we all know that Congress gets insider information long before anyone else does. Like vultures they swoop in and grab the cash, sell, and poof…their gone – like a fart in the wind.

  305. Vlad Kramps December 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    ^little or no brains…

  306. ront December 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    “I think Hollywood is, for the most part totally out of touch with ordinary people in the U.S.”
    Here is a letter in the SF Chronicle from 1/2010:
    ‘COMPLICATED’ MORE FANTASY THAN ‘AVATAR’
    Editor – After seeing “Avatar,” I thought, “What a generous effort put forth by such a talented team to create such an amazing world for moviegoers to experience.” Next, I saw a movie that created a world far more fantastic, utterly far-fetched, leaving “Avatar” in the dust when it comes to escapist fare. That movie was “It’s Complicated.” In “Avatar,” the characters face monumental problems fostering selfless love and great heroism. The most profound difficulties faced by the lead characters in “It’s Complicated” are finding someone to date, with whom to have sex, and deciding what intoxicants to use irresponsibly.
    I figure my chances are greater of running into a tribe of 12-foot-tall, blue Na’vi than witnessing a world of people, all of whom happen to be physically attractive, witty, charming and financially carefree.
    — Ron Greenstein El Cerrito

  307. ront December 20, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    Thank you. In short, no necessity or practical value except for clever thieves or foolish gamblers.

  308. Vlad Kramps December 20, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    Bingo!

  309. Vlad Kramps December 20, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    Charles Hugh Smith has an excellent piece today about our state of affairs in his “Of Two Minds”. A “Must Read” for all C’FNers.

  310. asoka. December 20, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Excellent summation… thanks! WASF! (we are so fucked!)

  311. The Mook December 20, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    I quit going to see movies when NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN came out. All I could think was WTFITS? Why someone would go to a theatre to see digital reproduction is beyond me. Then you see these Ipod yingyangs thinking they are the shit when in actuality they are listening to something that sounds like the transistor radio I prized in the sixties. Movies on film are now shown on few and far between screens.

  312. BeantownBill December 20, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    Today, most people don’t take responsibility for their lives and actions. Technology isn’t a living thing that interacts with us of its own volition; It’s a tool. If you don’t aim accurately with a hammer, miss the nail, and smash your fingers, do you blame the hammer?
    Yet that’s what I see happening here with technology. It’s the misuse of technology by humans that has caused us problems. Blame ourselves, not the tool.
    Greed and uber-materialism has made life in America unrewarding and pointless to the extent that most people HAVE to escape to stay sane. The internet, large, flat-screen televisions, smartphones and computer games provide outlets to avoid feelings, but they aren’t causing the mass disfunction. It’s our value system that’s screwed up, not our technology. So stop blaming it for our problems. Blame yourselves. I really dislike it when bloggers on CFN rag on technology as if it’s an evil entity planning our downfall. Remember, it’s not the size of the wand, but the magic you weave with it.

  313. Vlad Kramps December 20, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

    “Remember, it’s not the size of the wand, but the magic you weave with it.” BB
    One of my favorite sayings when in bed with my partner.

  314. dale December 20, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    I really dislike it when bloggers on CFN rag on technology as if it’s an evil entity planning our downfall. Remember, it’s not the size of the wand, but the magic you weave with it.
    ———————————–
    More to the point perhaps, as Williams James famously said; “for the moment, what you attend to IS your reality.”
    That, of course, would be equally true whether you are attending to the “reality” of popular culture and its artifacts, such as Chaz Bono, or to what people are saying or thinking here on CFN.
    If you don’t care for reality as you see it, then change your point of focus. It’s really that simple, most of the time.

  315. dale December 20, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    Then you see these Ipod yingyangs thinking they are the shit when in actuality they are listening to something that sounds like the transistor radio I prized in the sixties.
    —————————————-
    Mook,
    Don’t know how to break this to you, but its “digital sound”, that is, as good in reproduction as the speakers you use. Which in the case of many quality headphones or ear buds, in as good as this audiophile can hear, and then some. So your analogy is a swing and a miss, sorry.

  316. DeeJones December 20, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    “It’s your crowing about it and implying the rest of us “residents” are blinkered fools to be derided that’s distasteful to me.”
    Never have said that. But hay, if you think I have something to be smug about, then I’m all for smug 🙂
    And if YOU feel like a fool, tho I have never called you one, then, well, perhaps you ARE one 😉
    All I am trying to point out to the new folks here is that you have a choice if you want: You can stay where you are, if you are comfortable with that, and continue swirling ’round the bowl; OR you can bail out and watch the swirly-show from the outside.
    YOU HAVE A CHOICE IN THE MATTER, its up to YOU to decide if its one you can take….
    I made mine and am quite comfortable with it. Are you comfortable with yours? If so, quit bitchin’ ’bout mine, OK! You just sound jealous, which is really sad & pathetic.
    Tho, not quite as sad as Vlads loney life must be
    😉

  317. DeeJones December 20, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    “No meat for dinner? Try putting together some boiled cabbage, carrots and potatoes on the stove. It might trim some of the fat off your ass and your middle. Need entertainment? Fetch a book from the bookshelf, knit a scarf, visit a friend, or get the kids off their ipods and make a contest out of who can draw the silliest face on a piece of paper. Collapse needn’t be all that bad. Embrace change and a slower pace of life. You might find it’s not as bad as you might have feared.”
    Hay Vlad Kr, sounds good to me!!
    Try turning off the TV, we don’t have cable or sat, even tho its here, just don’t want it. Its not necessary after all. Listen to the ‘net radio all day, nice.
    🙂

  318. DeeJones December 20, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    “Age is really a state of mind and it really does sound like you have given up on life.”
    Not at all!! Again, you just sound like one of the jealous ones, reading what I say, but thinking its all about you. You are so wrong. Have you ever been outside the walls of the US?
    Loving life here, away from the lunatic Asylum USA.
    🙂

  319. metuselah December 20, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    Note Wall Street’s rally today. Any sane person would run from the stock market like their tail end was on fire.
    ==
    Very good call.
    This looks to me as a last ditch effort to sell to retain schmucks. Dominique Strauss-Kahn said today, Europe has ‘Only Weeks’ to go. He should know. Once the Euro collapses, the stock market will follow, as will gold, as will silver.

  320. metuselah December 20, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    ..retail schmucks..

  321. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    “Partner” – in other words, boyfriend. Gays are at usually partially stuck at the oral and/or anal levels. That may explain Kramps, Absalom, Kunt et al.

  322. DeeJones December 20, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    “That means that in the less-than-three-years Obama has been in office, the federal debt has increased by $4.212 trillion–more than the total national debt of about $4.1672 trillion accumulated by all 41 U.S. presidents from George Washington through George H.W. Bush combined.”
    Um, you forget that when GWB took office it was only about $4 trillion, and that if he had kept Clintions budget surplus, ALL of the Reagun & Bush I debt would have been paid off by now.
    When W Bush left office & Obama took office it had instead ballooned to over $8 almost $9 Trillion bucks, but hey, the ultra rich got (and get to keep) their tax cuts.
    So, fake druid, you are being disingenuous here, or should I just say you are outright lying…
    :[

  323. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    Do you think Wallace (if not you) has compassion for the Whites in South Africa? Real compassion is without marks – it doesn’t pick and choose it’s objects as do you. Your criterion? What’s PC, what’s In, what’s hot. Wage’s criterion: what some little guy in a cluttered office decides. Her Party Superior decides what she’s going to get outraged about – and what tradedy or genocide leaves her utterly indifferent.

  324. DeeJones December 20, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    “I know Australia has an age limit -50 something as I recall – so I presume a similar limit applies in other countries?”
    First I have heard of this, you don’t think that the Aussies were just pulling your leg, eh? Or just aren’t trying to encourage you to move there?
    But no, I don’t think a lot of countries have an ‘age limit’, if you got the bucks, they go the ‘Welcome’ mats….
    🙂

  325. DeeJones December 20, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    ” Don’t know what the legalities involved are. The guy they were talking to donated everything to museums.”
    Umm, by law you HAVE to donate it to a museum. If you are found with antiquities in your baggage, you might just end up staying a little longer than you planned, but not in the nicest accommodations.
    Its called gaol (or jail) over there.
    😀

  326. k-dog December 20, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    You’ll like this MD
    US DEBT CLOCK

  327. malthus December 20, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    “Not at all!! Again, you just sound like one of the jealous ones, reading what I say, but thinking its all about you. You are so wrong. Have you ever been outside the walls of the US?” You obviously have not read I have written. Go back and take a look. I have lived in 5 different countries other than the US on the American continent alone. And sorry it does look like you have allowed your age to show but then life can’t be all fun. Hahaha that’s a good one. Again I say it won’t be fun and adventurous if you believe it so. Also I ask again, are you living off of a pension or SS from the US? If so you still are dependent on what they send you and you are tied to outcomes here. Some freedom. If you are all you are doing is being a long term tourist.

  328. ozone December 20, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    (sigh)
    Guess I’ll just leave it at “smug” to describe your general style of discourse and call it good.

  329. vnrwandkhb December 20, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    ???????????????????????????????????:????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??? s??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????:????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????——????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????1????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????1??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????:???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????:????????????)???????????:1?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????1??????????????????????????????????????????????–???????????????????????????!????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????nnn???????????????????????????????(?)??????????(???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????1?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????…???????????????????:????????????????????????????????~?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????…???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????(?????(????????)??)?(????????)????????(????????)????? ??????????????????????????????????????????????????(????????)??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????(????????)????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????n????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????? ??? s???????????????????:???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????? ??? s?????????????:??????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  330. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    Everyone hear about the so called “Contagion Virus” just developed? An extrememly contagious form of the bird flu, it is considered possibly the most dangerous diseases in existence. With a mortality rate of only 60%, it is not nearly as deadly as Stephen King’s “Capt Trips” but awfully good for real life.
    Now why was this monstrosity developed? Oh just because. The creator wanted to see “what was possible”. Hmmm. And so proud is he (like any Dad), he wanted to publish many of the details of its creation in scientific journals – accesible to everyone. Double Hmmm. Luckily, the US Goverment which funded him has said no. What a relief – I’m sure it’s safte now. Oh wait, we know why he created it, but why did they fund it again?
    Capt Trips was exactly this kind of thing – just created to hang around. Just because. But Nature abhors inaction. Things tend to get used sooner or later for one reason or another.
    The creation of the disease was madness.

  331. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    Many White Countries are extremely strict about Whites who want to move in. But the same ones are incredibly lax about non-Whites who are streaming in. And people think it’s all just by accident or that there is no agenda.
    Thanks for the clarification about the finds. But I think the Company that found the sunken old English Ship a couple of years ago got a cut. I mean they put alot of work into it. Maybe it’s different with casual finds with metal detectors though.
    What is the law in Costa Rica?

  332. WestCoast December 20, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

    Another failure of movies:
    The digital projection fraud:
    The dying of the light
    By Roger Ebert on May 24, 2011
    Do you remember what a movie should look like? Do you notice when one doesn’t look right? Do you feel the vague sense that something is missing? I do. I know in my bones how a movie should look. I have been trained by the best projection in the world, at film festivals and in expert screening rooms. When I see a film that looks wrong, I want to get up and complain to the manager and ask that the projectionist be informed. But these days the projectionist is tending a dozen digital projectors, and I will be told, “That’s how it’s supposed to look. It came that way from the studio.”
    The most common flaw is that the picture is not bright enough. I’ve been seeing that for a long time. In the years before digital projectors, the problem was often that tight-fisted theater owners weren’t setting the Xenon bulbs in their projectors at the correct wattage, in the mistaken belief that dialing them down would extend the life of the expensive bulbs.
    Not true. If you ran a 3000W bulb at 2000W, you’d extend its life by all of 2.3 percent. Yet when Martin Scorsese used people around the country to actually check theater brightness, he found most of the theaters involved were showing an underlit image. An Eastman Kodak spokesman told me in the late 1990s: “The irony is that their only real achievement is to cheat the customers….”

  333. Eleuthero December 20, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    I’ve noticed that many posts above deal with the idea of leaving the USA, the merits of other countries, and so on.
    My thinking is that wherever you go, make sure it isn’t ASIA. Two of every three people on earth are Asians. It’s only a matter of basic arithmetic to figure out that when resources like freshwater and oil diminish, you don’t want to live in a place where there are too many people.
    The main problem with the USA is that after WWII the country was built around the scale of the automobile which, IMHO, is going to doom us. There are tens of thousands of suburbs/exurbs where people live 2-3 miles from a CONVENIENCE store … much less a supermarket.
    Europe, and I may be one of the few non-Europhiles on CFN, looks to fare better in the LE. European cities are still walkable. Asoka suggests that certain traditions in South America will allow it to survive. I’m wondering WHERE he means because the modern places like Buenos Aires and Rio are either car-oriented or dangerous or both.
    In the USA, I think the best cities will be ones with mass transit and/or smallness like Portland, Oregon or San Francisco. The rest of the Bay Area is just another sprawl and is doomed. Seattle is another sprawl. Very few places in the USA are scaled for walkers or bicyclers.
    Portland, not my favorite place, may be the very best city in the USA from a sustainability point of view. It has a gloomy climate and too damned many goofy New Agers and granola eaters. The TV series Portlandia was a great parody of the place.
    Though the USA has low net population density, I think its remake to the scale of the automobile spells its doom. Berlin, anyone??
    E.

  334. asoka. December 20, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    Asoka suggests that certain traditions in South America will allow it to survive. I’m wondering WHERE he means because the modern places like Buenos Aires and Rio are either car-oriented or dangerous or both.

    Perhaps you missed the post where I said I am in a rural area not far from the equator. I could add that it is a sleepy backwards rural area with many indigenous people who have had no trouble living without petroleum for centuries. They know how to survive.
    I stay away from cities.

  335. asoka. December 20, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

    Ozone, your exchange of posts with DeeJones reminds me of the story of the frog in water that is being heated to boiling. In this case you both would be two frogs.
    The temperature is gradually rising and suddenly DeeJones jumps out of the hot water.
    The water temperature continues to rise.
    DeeJones: “Hey Ozone, it is really better out here.”
    The water temperature continues to rise.
    Ozone: “You sure sound smug.”
    The water temperature continues to rise.
    DeeJones: “Now you just sound jealous.”
    The water temperature continues to rise.
    Ozone: “You sure sound smug.”
    The water temperature continues to rise.
    DeeJones sighs.
    The water temperature continues to rise.

  336. Eleuthero December 20, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    As a now-retired teacher of math and computer science, I fully concur with your estimation of the devastation that pop technology (the personal computer)is exacting on the commercial sector.
    Soon, Barnes and Noble won’t exist either. Amazon is crushing brick and mortar book retailers. And it’s terrible. Books and paper have a place in the world. You don’t take your PC into the head. Books have a great smell, look, and feel. They are works of art independently of the contents. I don’t want to be another asshole taking up a chair in a Starbucks and nursing one coffee over three hours while I type on my PC and NOT socialize with others.
    Suburbs are isolating. Technology is isolating. When you build a world with the subtext that interacting with other people is an IRRITANT instead of a primary, NECESSARY joy in life, your society is going to become morbidly depressed and, eventually, terribly angry.
    Even in Europe, places like Dublin and Berlin and experiencing social death … pubs are struggling and public venues are dying. The founders of Computer Science wrote books where they said that the purpose of the digital computer was to LIBERATE people from technology … to run other machines. If they saw how tech is ACTUALLY being used they’d be rolling over in their graves.
    E.

  337. asoka. December 20, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    According to many posts we have only three weeks left until the shit hits the fan. In early 2012 Europe collapses and brings down the USA. War with Iran is also a possibility, creating havoc with oil supply.
    2012 once seemed so far away. Now it seems 2012 is going to be all it was cracked up to be. None of us can say we were not warned by JHK, and none of us cannot say we lacked information necessary to change. Tripp’s posts were outstanding. He gave us a mini-course in permaculture which went way beyond horticulture.
    Good luck to all when it all starts coming apart at the seams.

  338. asoka. December 20, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    CORRECTION
    War with Iran in 2012 is also a possibility, creating havoc with oil supply. Nuclear conflagration is a distinct possibility given the proliferation of nuclear arms.

  339. Eleuthero December 20, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    I wonder if any of you have a number of foreign “pen pals” who are conveying the idea that social life in ALL corners of the globe is dying.
    Just as the people living in the 1930s didn’t know it was a “Depression” until acknowledged as such around 1936 or 1937. Similarly, what if, in a meaningful sense, the world has already “ended” and we’ll only see it as such a decade or two from now?
    It’s not as far fetched as it sounds. I can tell you that the town I live in, Palo Alto, went from a bohemian paradise of neighborhood cafes, pubs, and eateries with lots of really interesting immigrants, to a place with “thug” bars (full of guys who look like ex-cons), hip-hop discos, chain restaurants, and “laptop village” cafes which have all the life of a mortuary.
    In this touchy season of the year, I feel very sorry for people with few acquaintances/friends because the tone of the times is to have Facebook “friends” … quantity with no depth and no human satisfaction. We live in the LEADEN AGE.
    E.

  340. asoka. December 20, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    CORRECTION
    None of us can say we were not warned by JHK, and none of us can say we lacked information necessary to change. Tripp’s posts were outstanding. He gave us a mini-course in permaculture which went way beyond horticulture.

  341. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

    You are devilishly clever – for years disparaging the idea of collapse even as you made plans to escape to a rural paradise. Does not the Scripture say that Serpent is the most clever beast of the field?
    Think of the karma you sowed if anyone took your bs seriously and didn’t get out of harms way.

  342. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

    At last someone states the obvious and terrible necessary: the Judiciary is not above the other two branches – and that abberant power mad judges should be deposed. Thank you Newt. And yes, he’s probably doing to to strenghten his own vision of Totalitarianism. Why couldn’t a better man have said it publicly first?

  343. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2011 at 11:50 pm #

    The famed social scientist Robert Putnam found that diversity is isolating – a cause of profound loss in social capital. So technology is the only way now since people can’t communicate face to face anymore – just not enough in common. Putnam said that even people of the same ethne lose some capital under diverse conditions. I would guess this is far more true among Whites than the Mexicans. Their star is on the rise; they like each other.
    And even after finding out all this, Putnam is still in favor of diversity! He actually withheld publication of his results for fear that it would strengthen the forces of anti-immigration. The moral? Whom the Gods wish to kill, they first drive mad.

  344. myrtlemay December 21, 2011 at 12:03 am #

    We knew it was a depression as early as l931 or so. And I was just a kid. Doubt it? Give Youtube a try and enter in “Golddiggers of 1933”. You’ll hear the word “depression” is overwhelming in that movie. Friends of mine had dads who lost their jobs as early as l934 or before. Don’t tell me that people didn’t know what the Depression was until ’37 or ’38. We weren’t as stupid then as you people today.

  345. Grapes of Wrath December 21, 2011 at 12:13 am #

    Agreed Myrtlemay
    However they weren’t particularly clever in their initial response, as they introduced the Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act in 1930, to which other countries reacted by increasing their tariffs greatly exacerbated the global depression.

  346. myrtlemay December 21, 2011 at 12:16 am #

    In early 1935 we knew we were in big trouble. Three months from losing the house,
    Dad begged, borrowed and offered ourselves as virtual servants to our wealthier relatives in hopes the’d lend us some cash. We lost the house around early l936. Shortly thereafter my older sister entered the convent at Imaculatta because my folks couldn’t afford to send her to college on their tab. And my dad had always given generously to the church during the boom times.
    I was only a kid, but everything we had in a 10 room house was crammed into a 3 bedroom cold-water flat by l937. I stopped conversing with my old pals who were left in the neighborhood. Their folks had no money, but still held jobs that enabled them to keep their homes. At least for a while longer.
    The era were headed into seems horrifyingly similar to the one I left as a child.

  347. Grapes of Wrath December 21, 2011 at 12:26 am #

    An unforgettable formative experience.
    My Grandmother who also experienced the depression could not bear to throw anything away. She kept all packaging and would even wash andf re-used paper plates (with the clingfilm type of covering).
    She would probably becomes extremely depressed (mentally) if she were alive today to see the throwaway society we have become.

  348. anti soak December 21, 2011 at 12:28 am #

    I dunno from direct experience of pre 1960..
    Id say now is MUCH WORSE [others can add to]:
    endless war
    endless immigrants
    pc
    suburbanization
    rails in disrepair
    huge debt
    biosphere challenged [5 gyres of plastic]
    unsustainablity
    GMOS
    etcetc
    feel free to disagree or add to list

  349. The Mook December 21, 2011 at 12:33 am #

    Nah. Sorry bub, but if you think that shit sounds good you are probably listening to the Black Eyed Peas or Katy Perry. JBL studio monitors, powered by a top of the line Nakamichi, is audio bliss. Ear buds are for joggers. Like I said, it’s like listening to Dark Side Of The Moon on a GE transistor radio. Have you been to a real concert lately or were you too busy playing video games? People like you are the reason we have to put up with sports on TV where they have the crowd noise turned up so it seems as if the NFL game is actually exciting. PS, your posts suck.

  350. Grapes of Wrath December 21, 2011 at 12:34 am #

    I would add
    -melting of the permafrost
    -melting of the mthane clathrates
    -ozone layer still badly damaged
    -fresh water supplies dwindling through over use and climate change
    -nuclear armed states (I include all not just the made as a hatter states)
    -increasing marginalisation of science and the embrace of the dumbed down and celebrity obsessed culture
    -7 billion people versus about 2 billion at that time.
    etc etc

  351. anti soak December 21, 2011 at 12:38 am #

    Nice to meet you….are you new here?
    Elaine Supkis has a recent, great post on permafrost..she welcomes warming.
    1930 might have been 1 billion.
    Nuclear anything is BADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD
    yes..TV and MMA and blablabla..even politicians are more and more like actors.

  352. anti soak December 21, 2011 at 12:42 am #

    ‘The main problem with the USA is that after WWII the country was built around the scale of the automobile which,’
    I disagree….the problem was in 1965 the dems opened the floodgates…and its a pandoras box of troubles since.

  353. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 12:51 am #

    The Black Underclass is out of control. This must be remedied before next summer or else their violence in many places will merge with that of the Occupiers.

  354. metuselah December 21, 2011 at 1:01 am #

    Suburbs are isolating. Technology is isolating. When you build a world with the subtext that interacting with other people is an IRRITANT instead of a primary, NECESSARY joy in life, your society is going to become morbidly depressed and, eventually, terribly angry.
    ==
    It’s much more than that. And it’s been designed that way. Nothing is by accident. Even the separation of pupils from their class piers as they go from class to class and from one grade to the next. It’s all by design. And yet, “obedient workers” can always be found to go along with such malevolent design. The result is predictable.

  355. Grapes of Wrath December 21, 2011 at 1:01 am #

    Hi Anti Soak
    pleased to meet you too. Yes I’m new here have been reading the blog for some time now. The ‘debate’ sometimes gets a little crazy but nevertheless an interesting exchange of ideas.
    I dont think the automobile is totally to blame but certainly is part of the problem.
    I thing the immigration issue is part of the problem as well. Wages in the USA have fallend to such low levels that when people get ill or retire they don’t have sufficient resources to weather the financial storms hence the massive welfare dependancy.
    Poor immigrants benefit the business owners who should be fined massively for employing illegals. Unemployment benefits should be curtailed and assistance only given to the unemployed to move to where jobs are such as agriculture in the South. Also with the loss of manufacturing jobs the only way to keep people employed is to improve their education to reskill in other areas. The massive amounts spent on welfare and defence should be redirected to education. USA can be great again it has all the ingredients, it just seems to lack the willpower.

  356. Grapes of Wrath December 21, 2011 at 1:37 am #

    Elaine Supkis might want the permafrost to melt because it will benefit the communities who live on and around the permafrost but the methane release will have a devastating effect on global temperatures.
    The balmy weather and fertile soil in the permafrost regions created when the permafrost melts will be a short term benefit quickly eroded by the hundreds of millions of climate refugees who will likely migrate there to escape the hostile temperatures closer to the equator.
    Global warming creates winners and losers however the positive feedback loops will likely result in extreme global warming with all becoming losers.

  357. eljxanjgil December 21, 2011 at 1:49 am #

    ???????????????????????????????GA??????????“?ACONFIDENTIAL”?TOKYOMX?GA?2012?1?6????22:00???????????????? [??]“L ACONFIDENTIAL”?????????????????????????WA RO???????????????????TE?????????????????????????????????????????????????????RO??????????RO??????????????????????????TA?????????????????????????????SAN DA PUMP???????RO??NI????????????“?????????????????????????????????????? ??? s????????????????“???? ??? s??????? “????????????????????????????????????????????????????RO?!!!!!”??????????????????n??????RO??????17???????????TA??????????????????????? RO???????????GA????????????? ???DA? PU???????RO??????????·“???????????????????????????????? ????????????????TA??!(*^^*)”·”????NA?????????????NE“*”????????????????????GA TA????????????????“NA???????????WA GA??????? ???????????RU? ???????????TOKYOMX“L ACONFIDENTIAL”2012?1?22???????????? – 22:30 MC?6???RO????????RO??????????????

    ????? ?????????????????????

  358. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 2:00 am #

    Shocking undercover report about seething misandry at the hightest levels of the Feminst Movement.
    http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/radfem-hub-the-underbelly-of-a-hate-movement/

  359. k-dog December 21, 2011 at 2:01 am #

    Whatever you do don’t look up Ressession of 1937 in wikipedia. Not only will your mental health be in jeopardy but you might toss up a Christmas cookie or two.
    It probably will happen again.

  360. k-dog December 21, 2011 at 2:21 am #

    Could indefinite detention be used to put away those responsible for our financial crisis?
    Inquiring dogs want to know.
    I have a bone from a big jucy Habeas Corpus steak. I’m going to chew on it and think about this.

  361. k-dog December 21, 2011 at 2:22 am #

    juicy

  362. anti soak December 21, 2011 at 2:23 am #

    She thinks cold is the enemy, not global warming and that USa was under a mile of ice and its permafrost melted….and now USA is green
    I think she said trees at the north pole will be wonderful…if you want read her essays dec1-20
    on Kyoto and get back to me…thanks

  363. anti soak December 21, 2011 at 2:24 am #

    ‘USA has low net population density,’
    compared to where?
    Honn Kong or Siberia?

  364. anti soak December 21, 2011 at 2:27 am #

    A friend in Santa Clara? says its horrible now..
    riche asians that pay a million cash for an ugly stucco house.
    Its asians,asians,asians..his realty office has lots of East Indians.

  365. anti soak December 21, 2011 at 2:33 am #

    ‘publishers of Radfem Hub frequently profess and promote philosophical solidarity with the late Valerie Solanas, author of The Scum Manifesto, a violent ideologue who advocated the extermination of men. She also gunned down artist Andy Warhol, maiming him for life.
    Some well-known figures are closely associated with the Radfem Hub. Loretta Kemsley, publisher of Moon Dance Magazine, which was given an award by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is listed as having a “board presence” on her public profile there. Sheila Jeffreys, feminist author and professor at The University of Melbourne has a public presence there a’

  366. tegmark December 21, 2011 at 6:04 am #

    Saturated in Logic
    Definition of BRAINIUM: Any possible design, configuration, anything you see is a new Universe since it represents a new Brain design, since the Observer is the Universe, hence a mountain is a new brain, a car tire is a new brain, any event (the football game) is a new brain (made up of others ? but they are all disjoint ? living in parallel universes ?), etc. Everything is a new Big Bang, a new Universe, a new Brain design Observer which implies a new Universe.
    The Principle of Identity states that A is not B, A is different from B, any two things are different (although even “different” may be subject to vagueness, ambiguity, but as always within Metaphysics, nothing is ever really clear…)
    The Principle of Identity, two things are different, distinguished, no confusion between them, the very fact that there are TWO things already distinguishes them, or even more, the fact that any possible bit – entity exists as opposed to another, no matter where in space or time or in your mind or in any possible way, just by its existence (even as a symbol, or in any way possible, even by its non existence, anything) already establishes once and for all and for all of the universe and for all time and for all possible configurations of Observers (hence any possible configuration of Matter, Energy, Matter (or Mass ?) talking to itself) and for all possible states that said Observer – configuration of Matter interacting with itself can be in THE PRINCIPLE OF IDENTITY. Just one bit creates a Logic Saturated Universe.
    This is probably the only real grand unified theory of physics. If you can do away with the principle of identity in a universe, then you have done away with numbers, quantities, signals, all possible interactions and decodifications we can imagine, just by changing that one bit.
    Hence all of our reality is Logic Saturated, all we see, all entities, all measurements and interactions, signals and symbols constantly reconfirm, infinitely and as an infinite internal recursion the principle of identity: this point in space is different from that point in space, this point in time is different from that point in time, etc. This interaction is different from that interaction, etc. Differences produce Existence, as only through differences can existence be perceived.
    But the only way to make the differences count, be alive, is to create an Observer containing pain/pleasure circuits, and associating the circuits to symbols, events, differences. The very nature of “Truth” is deeply tied into pain/pleasure circuits revealing patterns and forms of local logic (local, as the logic applies to only that very specific and particular configuration of Matter talking to itself that the design of the Observer implies) which imply specific planned Interactions, Intentionalities, Signals reacting to other Signals, etc.
    So an Observer without any pain/pleasure circuits can freely exist so then any possible design imaginable, just as BRAINIUM suggests is a complete, real total new Mind Brain, much more real than our Man Brain, as it doesn’t have to respect Truth and the corresponding pain/pleasure constraints. But then, since these kinds of Mind Brains can exist, and Truth no longer exist, they can do away with the Principle of Identity, and exit a Logic Saturated Universe to enter a new one, with very new “laws of engagements”.
    And so the possible spectrum of Mind Brains, or Man Brains can be expanded forever, from pain/pleasure reference system Man Brains living in Logic Saturated Universes, to totally Abstract Symbols living elsewhere, to intermediate configurations of Matter having some pain/pleasure circuits, but also (or in alternative to) some other kinds of circuits, following, some logic but also other logic, etc. or even following some different Principles of Identity, so you can imagine, as in the best tradition of metaphysics, if the number 1 corresponds to the Identity Principle and 2 to an Observer – Universe (since the Observer is the Universe) without the Identity Principle, then there is also 3 and 4 and keep on counting, and each one is a completely new possibility beyond anything you can conceive, and then as BRAINIUM teaches, the car is another “Principle” the pebble another, hence a never ending array of possible Observers – Universes.
    But all of that above was conceived using Logic and the Identity Principle, imagine what can be conceived getting rid of that limitation and constraint ?
    Truth is False, Contradiction and “Non Sense” is Real…Invent all you want, study Brainium…
    As a corollary, there are no absolutes since any rule, or principle would have to be valid in all space, for all time and for any possible configuration of matter (as a configuration of matter would observe other chunks of matter and interact and not “deny the principle”). Also the real size of the universe is the size of all possible configurations of matter as Observers….
    But I am Wrong and I am a 21st Century Schizoid Man…
    TOBOR AN APE MAN

  367. tegmark December 21, 2011 at 6:05 am #

    That was from:
    http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=177699
    QUO VADIS, BABY ?

  368. charliefoxtrot December 21, 2011 at 6:48 am #

    (sigh…) looked good for a second you ve heard the expression that a society s greatness is measured by how the least among us are treated? have you noticed what ‘welfare’ means? to be made well…you seem to have an idea why so many need it, except have somehow equated that with the HUGELY dispropportionate resource drain that is military OFFENSE- the amounts are not even close might i suggest you read the last couple of months of the archdruid report, and pay close attention to what mr greer has to say about thaumaturgy- i think you may be a victim of the big lie about some things…and don t be turned off when he mentions magic- he s not talking about bunnies- if you read the essays they start to make sense…

  369. charliefoxtrot December 21, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    that, mr president, is an excellent question…!

  370. charliefoxtrot December 21, 2011 at 7:16 am #

    hmm…ECB will offer loans to eurozone banks “to provide market liquidity”…they re pissing, guess europe is in for rainy weather…

  371. messianicdruid December 21, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    “USA can be great again it has all the ingredients, it just seems to lack the willpower.”
    America will never vote its way back to freedom because you can’t give Liberty to people that don’t want it.

  372. 8man December 21, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    From:
    http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=177699
    [quote=”Flannel Jesus”][quote=”nameta9″]The Principle of Identity states that A is not B[/quote]
    What principle of identity? You talking about the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_identity]Law of Identity[/url]? That’s not even close to what it says.[/quote]
    Thank you, you may now throw this post away, just like you may now delete all my past 1,200 posts: I like to lie, I like to say Untruths, I suck, I like to suck, I want to deceive people, make them believe in wrong things, just because, just for fun. I do not understand anything of what other people write, let alone what I make up…
    AN APE

  373. ozone December 21, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    “Global warming creates winners and losers however the positive feedback loops will likely result in extreme global warming with all becoming losers.” -GoW
    I agree, lots of very worrying developments in this arena, especially the speed of the warming.
    IMHO, a black swan event is hidden in the climate “troubles”. (Of course we don’t know yet what that might be, but I’m thinking that’s where the unexpected wallop will gestate.)
    WHERE we choose to live (or are deposited) is going to start becoming dicey. I’m sure you’re aware that Fiji will soon become uninhabitable. Without fresh water, you’re pretty much done.
    I won’t be choosing to relocate to Bangladesh (or any place seaside) anytime soon, at any rate.

  374. old69 December 21, 2011 at 8:39 am #

    From:
    http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=177699
    You heard it mods, straight from the mouth of an ape: delete all of Nameta’s posts, he was trolling.
    TOBOR THE 8 MAN

  375. ozone December 21, 2011 at 8:48 am #

    …Which leads me to ask:
    Is fraud the most prevalent crime/vocation on the entire planet?
    We seem to elevate the most successful bullshitters, and bullshit ourselves with stunning regularity. What will be the ultimate price-tag for all these complex and interwoven layers of wanton, purposeful deception?
    (The “financial sector” is shining a burning spotlight on these shenanigans, yet no one seems awakened to this huge transfer of wealth and risk by fraudulent means.)

  376. DeeJones December 21, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    “Guess I’ll just leave it at “smug” to describe your general style of discourse and call it good. ”
    OK w/ me! 😉
    As JKH sayz: IT’S ALL GOOD!

  377. ozone December 21, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    Excellent.
    I will continue to engage you regarding the issues you raise, and disregard apparent “demeanor”. ;o)

  378. DeeJones December 21, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    “…DeeJones sighs.
    The water temperature continues to rise.”
    HA! Asoka, you hit it on the head!! Hope things work out for you, enjoy the Andes!!
    Ribbit!! 🙂

  379. DeeJones December 21, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    “I wonder if any of you have a number of foreign “pen pals” who are conveying the idea that social life in ALL corners of the globe is dying.”
    A Mr (MS) E, you have it right, I was so saddened to see the demise of the Borders stores, also because someone I knew worked there.
    And as you ask above, yes, we now see the younger Tico’s sitting in the Parque Central texting one another. When we first came here several years ago, they would just be learning of amor, that is ‘making out’. Now they walk down the street staring at the cell texting….
    Sad….
    :[

  380. Widespreadpanic7 December 21, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    GOOD NEWS!!!
    After a 300 pt. rise yesterday, the Dow is poised to go up again today!
    ‘Housing Starts’ are up across the USA, and those problems in Europe that seemed so dire just last week, well, it wasn’t so bad after all. And I just heard on the news the broadcaster approvingly announce that “92 million Americans would be traveling more than 50 miles from home for Christmas, the most ever.”.
    All problems have been solved, all fears have been allayed.
    I hope you all feel reassured out there. Merry Christmas!
    –WSP7

  381. Widespreadpanic7 December 21, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    “Is fraud the most prevalent crime/vocation on the entire planet?”- OzoneP
    I’m afraid it is, Ozone … just one big mutual swindle at the highest levels, to the tune, it is said now, of $29 trillion. Just take a look at Senator Corzine. Do you think that scumbag, with his impeccable political connections, will ever see the inside of a jail cell?
    –WSP7

  382. DeeJones December 21, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    You know, one thing I really, don’t miss in the USA is the noise pollution from:
    Some redneck in a jacked-up F350 with those deep, rumbly ‘mufflers’ going by my house;
    Some asshole on a H-D farting down the street, and sitting at the stoplite just revving it;
    Some Wigger in a SUV with those super-kicker bass speakers booming down the street making my windows rattle.
    OK, that was actually 3 things….
    😉

  383. ozone December 21, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    LOL
    S’pose I’d better jump on that ol’ investment bandwagon and get my share of that “free money fer nuthin'”, eh? …Then, book my ticket to Monaco; free gamblin’ dough!
    Thanks for that; I feel better already! ;o)

  384. Widespreadpanic7 December 21, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    Hey Asoka the water temperature ain’t rising much where Ozone is at. In fact, in those cool, green hills of western Mass. the ponds right about now are beginning to freeze over. Before the days of electric powered refrigerators an entire industry existed here cutting ice out of ponds and lakes, stored in sawdust, and used to keep foodstuffs cool in summer. I still find tools for it on sale at flea markets. Maybe someday soon that industry will come back.
    –WSP7

  385. ozone December 21, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    …And pretty soon, we’re talking about some real money. Haw.
    “Just take a look at Senator Corzine. Do you think that scumbag, with his impeccable political connections, will ever see the inside of a jail cell?” WSP7
    In a word? No. (But don’t tell anybody; we’ve got to keep up an appearance of justice and consequences, ya know.)

  386. charliefoxtrot December 21, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    last night i clicked a link on a fb friends wall which goes to youtube: an interview of a guy at occupy who was talking about the apparent psychopathy of our great leaders and ceo s- i couldn t do it justice, and don t know how to post a link with this stupid smartphone, but i d reccomend trying to find it…also, google “george w bush psychopathy”, apparently there is something to it…

  387. ozone December 21, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    You’ve given me some decent leads; I’ll poke around…

  388. progress2conserve December 21, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    I know that there are a fair number of Australians that read and comment on CFN. So this should be interesting:
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/intake-of-skilled-migration-putting-pressure-on-australian-families-says-melbourne-mp/story-fn7x8me2-1226227054260
    “But Committee for Melbourne CEO Andrew MacLeod said cutting skilled arrivals would put local jobs and economic growth at risk” -article-
    I assume Mr. MacLeod has a position in something equivalent to the USA – grow, grow, grow – Chamber of Commerce. Because MacLoed goes on to say, “a spike in migration in 2008 had been a concern, but population growth had fallen and was now in line with a 50-year trend needed for economic prosperity.”
    So, Australian PTB are just as selfish, short-sighted, and clueless – as are TBTB in the States.
    Does MacLeod think 50 years is such a great long while that he’ll be retired or dead – so no one will be still around to reap the negative consequences of the present policies that he is shilling for?
    I’ve got a picture of Australia as huge, mostly arid, and hot – with most of the population already forced to live in coastal cities and already quite dependent on fossil fuel and technology to keep them alive.
    Does anyone have an upper goal for a sustainable population number in Australia, in an energy descending World?

  389. progress2conserve December 21, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Marlin –
    I don’t know much about living in snow and ice.
    I do know a little bit about living in mud in the winter. But it used to be a lot worse down here in the winter, pre-easy-diesel-days.
    Couple of fer instances:
    1.At one time in Georgia, there was a little Baptist of Methodist Church within about 3 miles of anywhere. Part of the reason – besides the fact that Southern Christians were always fighting over something and splitting their congregations –
    But part of the reason was to have a church within easy foot or mule buggy distance of where the people lived.
    2. Westview Cemetery, one of the big old ones in Atlanta – still has a Large old storeroom, built into the side of a hill like a root cellar – that was used at one time to store the corpses of those who died during winter, until the ground could dry out enough to dig the graves and conduct the funerals.
    ================================
    So my point, or my question –
    You’ve said before that your region is underpopulated and has little industry – compared to earlier years –
    My question is – how much of that might be related to the harsh winters, already, even with modern lifestyles?
    And how many people do you think could really make a life up there, winter after winter – without electricity, propane, diesel snowplows, and all the other things that our politicians and population planners take COMPLETELY for granted as always being a part of life, like oxygen?
    Question goes to Marlin, but Ozone could probably give a good answer – and anyone else is welcome to jump in here.

  390. ozone December 21, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    Gots it:
    Hey, he’s got a copy of Political Ponerology. (Dangerous stuff, that.)
    http://thearrowsoftruth.com/occupy-psychopaths-1-ows-vs-the-pathology-of-the-1/
    Although I dunno if I can recommend the guy’s agenda; he’s seriously intolerant of psychopaths. ;o)

  391. Buck Stud December 21, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    Widespread,
    In doomer vernacular it’s termed ” kicking the can down the road”. Sort of like taking your car to the auto mechanic or going to the doc for a medical procedure. At any rate, what a long road it’s turning about to be. Perhaps TPTB have learned the art of cul-de-sac mechanics or Art Nouveau design: Never allow a a complete stop to occur. No slamming on the brakes and no termination of movement, however tepid. When a halt or blockage looks to be imminent, the circles become tighter, compressed, and perhaps slower, but never stop altogether. Eventually the blockage unwinds and the compressed attenuates.
    Moving, moving, moving, keep those doggies moving…the universal rhythm of life is expansion/ contraction, open/ close, kai/he… a beating heart.

  392. ozone December 21, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    M. is the History Dude in this area, so I would certainly defer to him.
    ONE of the depopulation factors (that lead to the migration to the Ohio valley) was deforestation. A Big lesson in what the land might bear for population and profit. Lesson unlearned as soon as possible, of course.
    A rather sparse population moved to these hills loooooooong ago to escape the onerous taxation of the valley burghers to our east and the pestering by local native peoples. (Even they didn’t want these rocky hills and so left the foolish migrants mostly to their own devices to scratch out a living as best they could.)
    Without petroleum, most things will be hard, which is why I’m trying to do some terra-forming while it’s still [fiscally] possible, and why M. is being smart about antique, but well-made and eminently serviceable tools and firearms. We should remember that examples of the results of skilled crafts and trades give important clues to their design and manufacture. It can be done, and not all of our acquired technology is going to disappear; just things that require too much energy to be LABOR-effective.

  393. Widespreadpanic7 December 21, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    BuckStud you have a way with words, unsurpassed here in CFN …
    P2C, currently the population in CT is over 3 million.
    Without liquid fuels the carrying capacity here would be about 200,000, which is what the steady population was before the industrial revolution beginning about 1850. Around 1810 there was a mass exodus out of this state to Ohio, the Western Reserve, reason being, by that time the soil here had already been depleted by rapacious farming practices and the fact that almost every usable tree in the state had been cut down.
    I was surprised to find out recently that the Pilgrims did not intend to land in New England in 1620 because they had prior knowledge of the brutal climate here but intended to go to Virginia or Georgia. Also, that the indians here were already familiar with Europeans because of Portugese, Spanish and Dutch ships tying up in Boston, Maine, Rhode Island and Cape Cod Bays. Until about 1880 Ct maintained its Anglo-Yankee character.
    Colt firearms, a CT company since 1849, recently announced it is moving to Kissimmee Florida. In a heavily (public sector) unionized, high tax state like Connecticut it is not easy to do business. The generous welfare benefits here attract people from all over the world. These benefits were created when we a had an industrial base to support them. That base no longer exists and it will be interesting to see how much longer the Democrats who control everything can keep the welfare state going.
    –WSP7

  394. progress2conserve December 21, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    Excellent article, O3 –
    Here’s an excerpt:
    “Scientists believe about 1 per cent of the general population is psychopathic, meaning there are more than three million moral monsters among normal United States citizens. There is emerging evidence that this frequency increases within the upper management of modern corporations. This is not surprising since personal ruthlessness and fixation on personal power have become seen as strong assets to large publicly traded corporations (which some authors believe have also become psychopathic)”
    One thing the author says with which I disagree is that “psychopaths can’t cooperate with each other.” (paraphrased)
    I think they recognize each other easily on the in-bred Corporate Boards and Upper Level Political Echelons of the Western World – and cooperate by paying one another off ruthlessly, to the detriment of society.
    That would be easy, when there’s so much booty to go around, so far.
    Picture two mad psychopathic wolves feeding on either side of a great dead bull elephant – no problems, right.
    Now – picture those psychopathic wolves fighting over a scrawny deer, still barely alive and kicking in the snow.
    They will finish that deer, then turn on each other – until only one psychopath is left.
    America is going to be that deer, before too long.
    ===================================
    I think this view of psychopathy in Corporate and Political America is the mechanism that Hancock1863 needs to complete his theories.
    Where! Are! You! Hancock1863 !?!

  395. asoka. December 21, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    Hey, WSP7! I don’t doubt survival is possible in the frozen north, but as you say it involves cutting ice, chopping wood, etc.
    Here in the Andes it is 75 degrees year round and while you in Massachusetts are cutting and chopping I will be in my hammock with bananas, papaya, avocados, mangoes, etc. growing all around me.
    And no black swan event will change any of that for me.
    Each to his own.

  396. ozone December 21, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    Those fucking Pilgrims!
    Stubborn bastards; always gotta learn the hard way, eh?
    “How can you keep on movin’, if you don’t migrate too?
    They tell you to keep on movin’, but migrate you must not do.
    The only reason for movin’, and the reason why I roam,
    Is to move to a new location and find myself a home.” -Agnes Cunningham
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0nnasH37Dk
    Pilgrims and the Board of Sanitation… damnit.

  397. dale December 21, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    Have you been to a real concert lately or were you too busy playing video games? People like you are the reason we have to put up with sports on TV where they have the crowd noise turned up so it seems as if the NFL game is actually exciting. PS, your posts suck.
    —————————————-
    The last concert I went to was Clapton about eight years ago. The intro group was so loud I had a headache by their second song. When Clapton came on he was so far away the best view of him was on a jumbo tron, and these were $75 seats.
    While he sang two girls behind me screamed in a more or less constant fashion while dozens of “fans” whistled and hooted, also during the music. It was abundantly clear to me the “concert” was not about music at all. P.S. Concerts suck.

  398. dale December 21, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    The Black Underclass is out of control. This must be remedied before next summer…….
    ————————————-
    Uh huh…..warm up the ovens, here come the fascists.

  399. dale December 21, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    P.S.S. —I would guess I’ve been in the same room with a pro football game on TV a half dozen times in the last 10 years. I wasn’t paying much attention any of those times, so I can’t tell you if the sound of the crowd was amped or not. ———You’ll get a pass on that one.
    For my money, the music and pro football “scene” are both artifacts of a largely empty popular culture. To the extent I pay attention, it is usually with the same detachment I would watch something like the Jerry Springer show.
    One exception would be the concert for the R&R Hall of Fame HBO did a few years ago, and I was much happier watching it on a flat screen with a good sound system from the comfort of my home than I would have been, “holding a candle” or whatever, in the front row live. Mosh on dude.

  400. Vlad Kramps December 21, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    If it wasn’t so early in the day, I’d raise a glass of egg nog to you on that comment. Just when you think idiots couldn’t be more aggravating they somehow surprise you.

  401. progress2conserve December 21, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    “For my money, the music and pro football “scene” are both artifacts of a largely empty popular culture.” -dale-
    100% concur, dale. So – – who in the Hell ARE all of those people at all of those events? What motivates them? Why are they there?
    Maybe if we could understand that, we could understand, better, what is happening to America.

  402. loveday December 21, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    Hey P2C
    I read that article also, it is incorrect in the low estimate of psychopathy in the population. True estimates are around 3-4 % of the population( much higher in prison populations unsurprisingly). See Robert Hare and his work on psychopathy. However most of the rest of the article is correct, these people move among the rest of the population like tigers in the night. Almost impossible to detect until it is too late and you have suffered serious harm because their behavior. Yup almost all the socalled “leadership”- govs and corps- around the world today are psychopaths.
    On a another note re: devolution- can anyone really say that society has benefitted overwhelmingly from computers? I think not. Computers have put people out of work, made society much less cohesive, fostered isolation and depression, decreased the overall intellectual level of the general public( ie they keep their brains in their PC), contributed to the current epidemic of obesity and it’s attendant ills, and proven to be a costly and unreliable technology( yes all computers stop working at some time or another). Just think about the harm that may come about when the medical system is finally all computerized- when the computer goes down, and yes it will go down, someone may lose their life because of that. Aren’t nukes run with computers? Nice thought. The built in mandatory upgrades that guarantee a machine is obsolete 5 minutes after you open the box contributes to the consumer spending frenzy on the latest computer or gagdet. So is devolution really all that bad? Maybe not. I do appreciate that the internet has fostered global awareness, but this is a small thing compared with all the other problems with this technology. According to Jim the net will go down soon anyway, so maybe we should start to learn to let go of computers and the net, living more fully in our local environment. Just a thought, perhaps not politically correct, but there it is-
    take care all

  403. Rhino December 21, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    Missus, you can think what you like. This Cash that you’re obsessed with: I don’t know who this Cash is and I really don’t care. Your problem, not mine.

  404. Patrizia December 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    “Hollywood has forgotten how to do the one thing that made the American movie industry great: to tell a story.”
    I guess that it simply doesn’t tell the story, because today’s people do not want the story anymore.
    It’s like being used to buy frozen food, ready made, and you do not know that food can be cooked too.
    Some years ago I had the visit of my cousin’s daughter from San Francisco.
    She described me as an old style lady that “even cooks for her dog…” because I fed my poodle with meat and rice instead of opening a can of dog food…
    Those are today’s Hollywood customers, they do not read, they do not listen, they look.
    They cannot even write anymore “how r you2day?”
    We wrote letters, today they write text messages, using one finger.
    When they go to “see” a movie they want to have a short message, with a lot of colors and music and the right effects.
    I do not like today’s movies.
    I found most of them naive and boring.
    But I am the lady that even cooks for her dog…

  405. bossier22 December 21, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    My folks grew up in the depression. i gave Mom a book about it one Christmas titled ” We Had Everything but Money.” She laughed and said the title sums it up. The problem today is we don’t have the same cultural spirit.

  406. dale December 21, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    100% concur, dale. So – – who in the Hell ARE all of those people at all of those events? What motivates them? Why are they there?
    ——————————————
    In terms of who they are, Beats me, ask Monk.
    Glitter, glamour, media frenzy…? Anyone or anything which can repeatedly get their image in said media, especially TV, can instantly cash in…and in a big way. Content of image is unimportant….years ago I was approached by a beautiful woman in a bar who was sure I was some actor I had never heard of…..she couldn’t keep her hands off me, wouldn’t believe me when I insisted I wasn’t the guy. It’s truly weird, and I wouldn’t even exclude myself from those who are influenced. It’s a remarkably powerful medium. For many of us, as we age it loses its hold on us, but not entirely.
    ….before anyone asks…no, I left her at the bar. If you’ve ever had the experience of someone being obsessed with you, the most unnerving part of the whole experience is how clear it is the person they are obsessed with has nothing to do with you. It’s all some crazy image they’ve constructed in their head which is completely divorced from reality. Being mistaken for a “star” of some kind is only one form of that nuttiness.

  407. asoka. December 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    Relax, Vlad. Nobody wants to hurt you. Not feminists, not leftists, not Blacks. Just relax, Vlad. Just watch the body and the mind, and remember you are neither. You are the watcher. From your hammock just watch and this already beautiful evening becomes more ecstatic by your watching. Just watching, you will feel utter emptiness.
    The emptiness is the name of buddha himself.
    This silence… you have all become one in an oceanic consciousness. Boundaries are lost, limits are forgotten…
    Collect this experience, because you have to carry it twenty-four hours – in all your actions and gestures, words and silences.

  408. ozone December 21, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    “Glitter, glamour, media frenzy…? Anyone or anything which can repeatedly get their image in said media, especially TV, can instantly cash in…and in a big way. Content of image is unimportant….” -dale
    As to the “why” of attending mob events, I don’t think it’s to observe an entertainment anymore; it’s to be an integral PART of that entertainment. It’s turned into a weird vicarious experience where those of no talent convince themselves that they have talent by proxy. (Magically; just by their presence.)
    Another fraud that attendees are perpetrating upon themselves. It’s kinda chilling, this fabric of fantasy and aggressive delusions.

  409. San Jose Mom 51 December 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    Back in 1970, our family lived on a cul-du-sac near the end of Bubb Road in Cupertino. Only one of our original neighbors still lives there. R.D. is a very nice person, a widow, I used to babysit her kids for $.75/hour. She and my mom still keep in touch. She had an “aha” moment a few weeks ago when she was having problems with her automatic sprinkler system. She realized there was no one she could turn to for neighborly help. It’s Chindia over there and she feels no sense of belonging/friendship with her neighbors.
    She’s going to move to San Francisco to be near her daughter.
    SJmom

  410. ozone December 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    (referencing that same article)
    “Perhaps investors at major financial institutions should require that senior level managers submit to established tests to ensure they are not psychopathic. This is not an issue of civil liberties since the precedent has already been well established regarding drug impairment in the workplace. Likewise, it is not a regulatory issue since private shareholders have every right to demand that executives demonstrate they are not biochemically impaired and therefore unable to carry out their fiduciary duties on behalf of investors. If corporate boards are hiring psychopaths as executive management, they are not carrying out their due diligence and could be held legally liable for their oversight.”
    Helpful dream, but who makes [most of] the rules and happen to benefit thereby?
    (I’ll give you 3 guesses …and the first 2 don’t count.)

  411. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    No. Children are naturaly afraid of monsters and boogie men. These are true fears as the monsters are carnivorous animals and the boogie men are molesters and tribal raiders. We conquered these enemies and created a pretty safe environment here in the West. Then we got slack and imagined that Nature was naturally safe without any effort. Dumbing us down and deleting our history was all an effort in this direction. Now our enemies plan our doom and our children are wards of an increasingly Homophile State. Meanwhile they are attacked and harrassed by other kids who have been ruined by their parents and the media.
    And the bad stuff hasn’t even started yet. You made your escape and now you mock us. You are a Devil.

  412. BeantownBill December 21, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Dale, it’s funny, but I had a similar experience. I was at the casino in Connecticut – this was about 9 or 10 years ago – waiting in line with my wife to get an ice cream cone, when this guy asked me for my autograph. He thought I was some TV actor. I kept denying it. The guy said he understood that I was trying to keep my anonymity, but could I just give him autograph? Finally, to get him off my back, I admitted I was that actor, but that I didn’t give autographs. By this time I was at the counter ordering, so I got away from the guy.
    Thinking about that, it’s sad that people seem to only want to engage you if they believe you are a “celebrity”; all this is brought on because of the personality-driven mass media.

  413. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    But that’s diversity. You’re not criticizing diversity are you? That would be racist. You’re not a racist are you?
    Now think of how many times in your life you have initiated or supported similar accusations against other people. And repent.

  414. asoka. December 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    ozone said:

    It’s turned into a weird vicarious experience where those of no talent convince themselves that they have talent by proxy. (Magically; just by their presence.)

    I don’t think it is to convince themselves that they have talent. It is to participate in an authentic face to face here-now experience, instead of a virtual substitute.
    Attending a sporting event or a concert is much different than watching one on YouTube. There is possibility of interaction with real live human beings, maybe even a sharing, a connection.

  415. BeantownBill December 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    To be more accurate, I believe the empty values of today’s society lead to unfulfilled lives, and our technology is a tool people can use to help them identify with celebrities who appear to lead exciting lives.

  416. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    You are an incorrigible idiot. And far less evolved than you imagine since your compassion is “with marks”. So many marks, notches, rationales, caveats, etc.

  417. progress2conserve December 21, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    “The Black Underclass is out of control. This must be remedied before next summer or else their violence in many places will merge with that of the Occupiers” -vlad-
    “warm up the ovens” -dale-
    Dale, you’re sort of ESCALATING! the argument, here, at least in this particular case. It’s a long way from concern about violent crime to heating the ovens, IMO.
    And I have been wondering how OWS is supposed to maintain traction, credibility, sanity, you name it – when all of their encampments are infiltrated by crazy homeless guys, mostly looking for free food – so. far.
    Speaking of stirring the pot, hehe.
    Here’s a Fred for that:
    http://www.fredoneverything.net/Kreager.shtml
    So, maybe the guy is a racist.
    Or maybe he’s a realist.
    Is there a line between the two?
    ==========================
    And ozone, I know you hate some of this blather. But I think some of it’s important. So does JHK.
    I’m not trying to piss you off – and I’m sure not trying to run you off – ’cause I value your opinions.
    But I would like to know why you’re so touchy about it. Other than the “time wastin’ distraction” of it all.
    And if that’s all that bothers you, I say –
    PARALLEL CONVERSATIONS WORK WELL ON CFN!

  418. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    They are the souless ones. They go to fill up the emptiness within. The bigger society becomes, the less people know each other. People in small towns know more people and understand human nature better than urban dwellers. But they are judgemental and small minded as well. I can understand the claustrophobia many young people who grow up in small towns feel.

  419. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    Amen Prog. We don’t all have to be ONE. Liberals do tend towards a group mind – always increasingly so as they move towards Communism.

  420. asoka. December 21, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    “Now our enemies plan our doom and our children are wards of an increasingly Homophile State. ”
    ==========
    You afraid of homosexuals, too? You a ‘fraidy cat afraid of your own shadow? You need to grow up and learn how to love the Other.
    Gather some courage to make a transition. You are smart, Vlad. You need not live in so much fear of leftists, feminists, homosexuals, brown people, black people, etc.
    It is a big beautiful world full of loving people as I am now discovering.
    The depth of hospitality extended to Mrs. Asoka and myself is truly amazing. Living in “greed is good” North America I had forgotten how human warmth and sharing does not depend on money or petroleum.
    Here in the Andes there is no desert struggle to create compost … here there is life abundant.
    In the Andes there is simplicity and laughter and dance and smiles, an abounding and shared humanity.
    It is beautiful.

  421. progress2conserve December 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    Speaking of pot stirring, that you’ll probably like instead, ozone – you ever seen this website.
    WageL, you’ll like it too, I suspect.
    “The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.” (Deuteronomy 28:27)
    “But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, [even] Ashdod and the coasts thereof” (I Samuel 5:6)
    “And it was [so], that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts.” (I Samuel 5:9)
    Comment
    When Israel felt rebellious against God’s plan, He threatened them with type of plague: “emerods” or by today’s terminology, “hemorrhoids.”
    No wonder why so many atheists consider God a pain in the ass. But then again, Christians and Jews develop hemorrhoids too. If you happen to develop hemorrhoids, then you can trust the Bible that God considers you an enemy.
    http://nobeliefs.com/DarkBible/darkbible4.htm#biblical-pornography

  422. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    Well Soak, one only has to go to the link to read about women seething in hate and their desire to kill men. No they wont do it themselves – yet. But they’ll create policy that leads to it.
    You see technology is helping to awaken people. The MSM can continue to cover for Blacks, but people just have to go to YouTube and see the endless number of clips of Blacks assaulting Whites. And “Agent Orange” has just made life far more difficult for these high level Feminists. We’re going to throw this in their face for the rest of their lives. Btw, some Women are horrified as well. Uniformity of opinion among intellectual women is one of the clever myths perpetrated by Feminists. That’s why Catherine MacKinnon would never meet Christina Hoff Sommers in public debate. Feminists speak for women – period. That gets them the funding Stupid politicians give them.

  423. asoka. December 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    And I have been wondering how OWS is supposed to maintain traction, credibility, sanity, you name it – when all of their encampments are infiltrated by crazy homeless guys, mostly looking for free food – so. far.

    You are escalating the argument, ProCon. Have you been to ALL of the OWS encampments?
    Did you know the police have helped OWS by moving OWS out of parks?
    Now OWS is going main street. The encampments are on front lawns of houses where the home owners are under threat of being evicted and foreclosed on.
    One of the OWS encampments was in front of a house where a police officer was being evicted because the bank foreclosed. OWS was able to prevent the eviction and help the police officer save his house.
    OWS has professionals like lawyers and librarians and union workers and nurses, etc. OWS is not ALL infiltrated by homeless or mentally disturbed individuals. You been watching FOX, PC?

  424. ABSALOM December 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    So isn’t technology but an expression of the way people of divergent or convergent cultures communicate? This week’s inane CFN discussion about why technology is good or bad, especially as it’s used for new media dissemination, dependent on how tightly one clings to dichotomies of in-group/out-group value systems, is pointless. And you will only read conversations that go something like: I like these movies and not those; the way we communicated to one another yesteryear is far superior to today; technology is evil because it has destroyed those (my own group’s) values; remember the good old days? These “new” values (new expressions of technology) serve as an example of why the world is surely doomed! SNORE.
    There is no such thing as devolution folks, only evolution. We do not travel back in time. The good old days don’t exist. Get over it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psSNk3gG87c&feature=related
    Carry on Vladdies,
    ABSALOM

  425. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    But you will never stop talking to us since we are Americans and so are you. The people there will never understand you nor you them in a deep way. Now maybe you can share with some of them on the soul level. Ok. But at the level of psyche, the level of Individuality and Society? No. Enjoying their public festivals is not the same thing. All educated tourists can do that.

  426. progress2conserve December 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    “Now OWS is going main street. The encampments are on front lawns of houses where the home owners are under threat of being evicted and foreclosed on.”
    -asoka.-
    I actually am quite sympathetic to OWS, within broad limits*. I was just making an observation that free food in public areas near large cities is going to attract crazy people. Most crazy people are harmless. Some are stone cold psychopaths. I can’t tell the difference, usually. I suspect that OWS’ers may have even less ability to tell this difference.
    *broad limits –
    Remember I’m a property manager. I’ve got one tenant who’s getting later and later with his rent. It’s not looking real good that he’ll catch up. I’m going to let him slide through Christmas and then start eviction if I have to. He’s a minority. The house is in an area that’s trending minority. (Don’t ask – it wasn’t deliberate)
    So – if OWS and a news crew shows up in the yard of my property this January, trying to prevent the eviction of my tenant, those broad limits* have been exceeded – in a personal, and possibly very damaging, manner.

  427. Eleuthero December 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    Dee said:
    And as you ask above, yes, we now see the younger Tico’s sitting in the Parque Central texting one another. When we first came here several years ago, they would just be learning of amor, that is ‘making out’. Now they walk down the street staring at the cell texting….
    Sad….
    :[
    ***********************************************
    Which Parque Central are you speaking of, Dee?? There’s many in Latin America but I don’t know where you’re writing from. In any case, I think McLuhan’s “global village” has arrived and we can expect “postmodern” blandness in nearly every corner of the globe … including, of course, the ubiquitous staring at cell phones by all manner of passers by.
    E.

  428. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    I have an increasingly clogged sink. I’m meditating on the causes and solutions. I notice also the effects that this problem has on me. If it gets really bad I’ll have to use the bathroom sink. If I can’t cure it, I’ll have to call a plumber. Oh no! Then the alarm subsides and I pretend I’m Dale or Asoka. My fucking heroes.
    In Tibetan Buddhism, one visualizes taking the gook that clogs from the system of other people and putting it into oneself. No thanks for now – I’ll just try to declog myself. That in itself draws the impurities from others onto youself. Darkness hates light after all. Then you make these others aware of what they are doing – challenging the Dales and Asokas to become better men.

  429. asoka. December 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Enjoying their public festivals is not the same thing. All educated tourists can do that.
    ============
    Vlad, I will continue talking to CFN. One clarification: we were invited to a private home for a rehearsal/jam session. We were not attending a public music event.
    As far as your offensive comment: “we are Americans and so are you, here in the Andes everyone considers themselves to be American.
    It is South America, after all. We all share the same Western hemisphere whether North American, Central American, or South American. I have discovered my neighbors here are my brothers and sisters. They have soul.
    PS. Music is a universal language, as are silence, laughter, hugs and smiles.

  430. Eleuthero December 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    Vlad said:
    The famed social scientist Robert Putnam found that diversity is isolating – a cause of profound loss in social capital. So technology is the only way now since people can’t communicate face to face anymore – just not enough in common. Putnam said that even people of the same ethne lose some capital under diverse conditions. I would guess this is far more true among Whites than the Mexicans. Their star is on the rise; they like each other.
    *********************************************
    Putnam is correct because, unlike the immigrants who flocked to America after WWII, immigrants now conspicuously cling to their own cultural enclaves. We have diversity in California but no social mixing. I know many Anglos in Palo Alto whose neighborhoods were bought out by Chinese immigrants. When these rogue Anglos walk their dogs, they are often glared at by elderly Chinese grandmas without a gracious “hello” or “good day” as if the Anglos were the invaders.
    When I go out on one of my typical cafe walkabouts in Palo Alto, it’s like the freaking U.N. out there. In the space of fifteen minutes, you hear Russians, Chinese, Israelis, Indians, and all manner of Europeans yammering in their native tongues. It’s like Palo Alto is NOBODY’S home any more. Everybody is there to get a tech job and buy a grossly overpriced house.
    However, in any cosmopolitan area, like Berlin, Germany, my contacts tell me it’s hardly different in those locales. We’ve got multiple sources of isolation in the postmodern world: technology, ethnic diversity with no melting pot, and the inherent isolation of big box store suburbias.
    E.

  431. SNAFU December 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    Howdy Progressor, Per your statement: “Most crazy people are harmless. Some are stone cold psychopaths. I can’t tell the difference, usually.”
    As I recall in a post to Ozone you mentioned your agreement with the article he linked to about “psychopaths”. As I recall from the article the author specifically excluded psychopaths from a description as crazy. His contention was that they had zero, or nearly so, empathy. I doubt that many if any psychopaths are going to be eating at open air free eats.
    SNAFU

  432. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Asoka believes all Black People should live for free and all Black criminals should be let out of prison since they are innocent even if guilty. Many if not most Blacks feel the same. We have a big problem, bigger than most People can begin to imagine.
    We of the Far Right know and other don’t. But they will learn! No excuse since the evidence of Black carnage is all over the internet. But Leftist Narcicism is without limit and they will only “know” when it happens to them personally. And many not even then!

  433. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    I’ve heard that before. So when Mexican Immigrants say “I’m an American”, Whites think they are assimilating. The Mexicans know they are praciticing dissimulation – and I’m sure you approve. Do you really still think you’re smarter than me?
    What Country are you in btw? Cheap stable Ecuador?

  434. asoka. December 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    “Asoka believes all Black People should live for free and all Black criminals should be let out of prison since they are innocent even if guilty.”
    =================
    Vlad, get some help. You are projecting like crazy. I have never said the words you are attributing to me.
    You only weaken your argument when you say things like “ALL BLACK PEOPLE.” We are not a monolithic block and you know it.

  435. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    Putnam said L.A was the most diverse place on Earth and therefore having the least community. But it sounds like you’ve caught up to them. Of course some of the groups have their own communities. But for the Whites, nothing. And it’s their own fault in a very general multi-generational, zeitgeist way. They have been betrayed but they participated in it as Mr Kunstler rightly points out.
    That we are being colonized is what we all have to realize now.

  436. SNAFU December 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Howdy Progressor, Per your comment: “And how many people do you think could really make a life up there, winter after winter – without electricity, propane, diesel snowplows, and all the other things that our politicians and population planners take COMPLETELY for granted as always being a part of life, like oxygen?”
    Probably about as many as will be able to survive south of the Mason Dixon line in the heat and humidity sans air conditioning. Not too damn many.
    As I live about 10 miles from the Canadian border here in northern NY I was not pleased to hear an article on PBS the other day predicting a shift in the climate up here to one similar to North Carolina in the not too distant future. Fortunately if it will hold off for another 10-20 years it won’t much matter to me.
    So far this Fall we have zero inches of snow on the ground with perhaps a couple of inches that came and went. The other night it was near zero; however, in the main December will likely join the first 11 months of 2011 as the warmest ever recorded hereabouts. This is the eighth winter of heating completely with wood and to this point I have burned perhaps 2/3 of a cord vice the normal combustion of about 1 and 1/2+ by the start of winter.
    SNAFU

  437. ABSALOM December 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    Well, superficial condemnations of how technologies are being used today are really pretty easy, E. Not something I expected from someone with such a vast, and now I see, cantankerous intellect.
    People can bicker all they want about annoying uses of “smart” phones by youth particularly, CGI in films with poor storyline, and other new media noise generally; these are just the effects of commercialization and not necessarily the obliteration of culture. And there’s no denying that the Egyptian revolution, the Arab Spring, and the Tea Party and OWS movement might never have occurred without these media. Ugly as they may be, it’s still better than the throwback mentality people here seem to be arguing for. This is perplexing considering that many here have an insider scoop due to the effective use of the technology they so lament. Sob stories all. McLuhan was wrong in his pseudo-scientific claim that the medium is the message.
    I’ll take any modern science film employing new technology to explain scientific material, over anything of yesteryear. I’ll take Civic Journalism from the likes of Charles H. Smith via the internet over corporate media distortion any day, and I’ll prefer the escalation of revolution via text message over the phony change espoused by politicians controlled by the Power Elite. The gate keepers can keep crying about how best to oversee and usher in change. Fuck’em.
    Nature will just do what she always does — move forward with no sense of favoritism, no sense of what once was.
    ABSALOM

  438. k-dog December 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    That juicy Habeas Corpus bone I was chewing on last night was mouth watering good.
    I’ve figured out that indefinite detention can absolutely be used to put away everybody responsible for our financial crisis and then some besides. I’ll be able to throw any dog who disagrees with me at all in the kennels once things get rolling.
    I won’t have to wait till the thieving crooks leave the country to attend one of those G20 or G8 things or whatever. I’ll just have any dogs I don’t like picked up in the middle of the night and just say they left the country first before I nabbed them. Or I’ll pick them up illegally, rendition their asses out of country and then let them go. Once they’re free I’ll re-arrest them legally before they can run away and put them in my special offshore kennels. In theses kennels dogs who don’t cooperate sit in their own poop until they do.
    While I’d prefer winning dogfights fairly this indefinite detention thing seems too good to pass up. I’ll be able to take a lot more naps because it makes the job of being top dog so much easier. Nobody will be able to oppose me.
    So we have a change in plans. The pack should now help Mr. Obama convince everybody that civil rights are just as easy to vote into law as to vote out of law. This is absolutely not true and it is a false equivalency only fools should believe but with a bit of spin we can sell it.
    Mr. Obama won’t suspect a thing. He will think he’s the one who gets to use indefinite detention but when the k-dog write in presidential campaign takes everybody by surprise and sweeps me in I’ll be the one who gets to use it!!!!!!!!!
    I hope there are other legal principles that get slaughtered soon. That Habeas Corpus bone was delicious and had a lot of meat on it. I’d sure like another.
    WOOF

  439. MissusQuiche December 21, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    Dale, you should have gone along with this beautiful woman’s fantasy..something like this:
    “Well, I assure you — what is your name? (smile broadly) — I am not the person you think I am but if it will make your day I’d be perfectly willing to have sex with you in the back seat of my car.”
    Celebrity status is such a powerful force..no wonder so many seek it.
    Back around the mid-seventies I had an acquaintance of Greek heritage. A swarthy, tall, powerfully built and very gregarious young man named George. He and an entourage of his buddies went to Atlantic City to see some big boxing match (Tyson maybe?). While milling around the casino amongst the fight crowd prior to the event a girl with her boyfriend approached him and said “You’re Franco Harris* aren’t you?” He instantly picked up on it and, gently shaking his head “no,” placed an index finger to his lips and said “shhh.”
    * For those who don’t recall, Franco was a pro-football great who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. His father was black and his mother Italian.
    Word began to spread that, among the many luminaries there that night was Franco Harris. George effortlessly fell into character. He informed one of TPTB that he had come to AC on a lark with his friends but with no tickets for the big fight and “do you think you could help me out?” Long story short, George and all his buds get in free.
    Shortly before the fight the announcer began to introduce various celebrities in attendance. “And we have to my left here, future Hall of Fame running back Frannn Koh Hare Isss.” George nonchalantly rises, smiles and waves to the crowd acknowledging their wild cheers.

  440. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    Not a monolithic block? That’s why even Colin Powell voted for Obama I guess.
    I said many if not most Blacks think that way, not all. You snake.
    Now quitting bullshitting – where are you? I want to come visit with you and talk about this in person. You are my brother for God’s sake.
    Remember Saint Bernard’s four levels of Love:
    Love man for man’s sake. (the lowest level – marx etc.
    Love God for man’s sake. (social gospel, Prog, etc)
    Love God for God’s sake. (the alone to the alone, Advaita, etc)
    Love Man for God’s sake (the last Ox herding picture when he returns to the Market, Ho Tei’s bag of presents, his big belly, the second Ego transcendence, etc.

  441. dale December 21, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    Vlad,
    You take yourself much more seriously than I do. In fact, you take me much more seriously than I do. I can have compassion for you, that’s easy, your fear and anxieties are worn so much on your sleeve. I hope you do get better at some point.

  442. dale December 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    In Tibetan Buddhism, one visualizes taking the gook that clogs from the system of other people and putting it into oneself.
    ————————————–
    Yes, but only as an incinerator

  443. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    The cold can kill you outright – not so the heat if you are healthy of course. But some can take it better than others: the French learned to send their dark Mediteranean men to the tropics since they took it better than Northern Europeans. Of course with heat and moisture come more disease too…
    I took to heart what Tripp said about cold, dry areas: the trees wont grow back fast enough to provide sufficient firewood. You’ll have to guard your woodpile with a shotgun. Of course this problem will lessen as the population is severely selected for intelligence, strength, health, and vigor.

  444. dale December 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    Shortly before the fight the announcer began to introduce various celebrities in attendance. “And we have to my left here, future Hall of Fame running back Frannn Koh Hare Isss.” George nonchalantly rises, smiles and waves to the crowd acknowledging their wild cheers.
    —————————————
    Funny story.
    Regarding the woman in the bar however, I’m glad I didn’t take her home or otherwise. Among the many regrets I’ve have in my life include how I treated a number of women in my younger days. I’m not sure I was aware that anyone else really had feelings(feelings that mattered anyway)until I was about thirty. For the most part casual sex left me pretty cold, strange thing to realize, since I definitely had my share of that.
    BTW—I’ve been compared to Bobby Orr, the resemblence is strong, and me and Bobby?… Well, we aren’t going to turn a lot of heads.

  445. Bustin J December 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    Anyone ever read any books by Eric Sloane? I’ve discovered his “Age of Barns” recently and am kind of in love. Impeccable illustration and scholarship here showing a world made by hand, and how they made it.

  446. dale December 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    I might have done pretty well with the hockey chicks however…….

  447. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    You should take your life more seriously – all the Lam Rim texts indicate as much. Life is a serious business – as is consists of the pain of birth, old age, sickness, and disease. And after death hell in many cases.
    Your pretending that you are beyond all this is fatuous. If you were, your compassion would be limitless and would include Whites in South Africa. But it doesn’t. Your compassion is limited to offically approved groups and individuals. That means you are very from the Bodhi Mind indeed. And if you keep on this track you are heading for the Fire of Absolute Cold.

  448. newworld December 21, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    I doubt Jim reads this melee but if he does he might be slightly interested in that Victor David Hanson mentioned his book in a recent commentary.
    It seems the third world detrious, the tools for genocide against whites are recreating their home countries as a side benefit to themselves by stealing any metal they can get. The main point being that civiliazation is receding in CA.

  449. progress2conserve December 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    Hey SNAFU! Have you been lurking all this time?
    I’ve mentioned you once or twice in the last month or so – sorry if you missed it.
    Anyway, let’s talk definitions:
    Definition of crazy:
    Mentally deranged, esp. as manifested in a wild or aggressive way: “Stella went crazy and assaulted a visitor”
    Definition of psychopathic:
    Relating to or affected with an antisocial personality disorder
    And from the article we are discussing:
    “Psychopathy should not be confused with insanity. It is best described by Robert Hare, global expert and psychologist, as “emotional deafness” — a biochemical inability to experience normal feelings of empathy for others.”
    =================
    So, I don’t know SNAFU – I said I liked the article; I didn’t say I 100% concurred with it.
    And without delving into the manual of APA definitions (which probably doesn’t include “crazy,” anyway haha!)
    Bottom line, though – I’d still say psychopaths are represented in the “crazy?” inner city homeless population, although perhaps at lower rates than among the corporate CEO and boardroom population.
    And I’d say psychopaths, crazy or not, still have to eat – and will be attracted to free food – even though one population in our question would prefer free hot dogs and chips, while the other population would prefer free foie gras and truffles.
    Good to spar with you again, SNAF.
    I’ll get to your climate question in a bit.

  450. anti soak December 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    NW: Can you explain?
    stealing metal statues from churches and cities?
    MS13?
    what?

  451. anti soak December 21, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    B22: ‘We’ are not the same, the dems saw to that in 1965….and with ‘open floodgates’ came Multi culturalism, Multi lingualism, affirmative re action…………..
    See ‘Death Of Common Sense’ at Amazon.
    I really like how the govt booted Mother Theresas order out of the Bronx over an elevator.
    Note to Dale, Denials a dangerous Thing.
    1 in 2 Black men are out of work and 1 in 20 in prison.
    3% of US population commits most of the murdas.
    That % being young black males.
    see…sbpdl.com

  452. newworld December 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    Hanson briefly touches on the fact that indeed it is mexicans out to erase all the civil accomplishments of whites in the central valley of CA. He compares it to the barbarian hordes who overran Rome and he mentions Jim’s book, the part about Kapp’s dump as a comparison.
    These are glorious days my friends we are about to be free (or dead), the empire is dying. For a movie treatment see Fuqua’s “King Arthur”
    Not for much longer will I have to be a slave to the victims of the fact they are not white, Asoka and her Stockholm Syndrome white females (of either sex) no longer have any claim to moral superiority.
    It tis a new world.

  453. wagelaborer December 21, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    I had a good friend in 6th grade who considered herself Mexican.
    I use to drive her crazy by pointing out that Mexico is in North America, so therefore she was American. She rejected that idea.
    I never had any other Mexican American friend who considered themselves anything other than regular old American, so she was unusual.

  454. wagelaborer December 21, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    Another incoherent post by another blithering idiot, bemoaning losing the fantastic okie culture of central California to mexican culture.
    Yeah, what everyone was talking about was the asian invasion, newworld.
    Pay attention.

  455. k-dog December 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    Anyone ever read any books by Eric Sloane?
    Not me, you just turned me on to him. I just peeked at American Yesterday. The online preview looks very interesting.

  456. Widespreadpanic7 December 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    Hey Ozone don’t forget Shay’s Rebellion began right smack dab where your at.
    P2C, to further answer your question, this place was an industrial dynamo for over a century, due mostly to the engineering and organizational genius of the Anglo-Yankee combined with the hard work and intelligence of Jewish, German, Irish, Italian, Scandanavian, Polish, Russian and Scottish immigrants who came here. Colt, Winchester, Sharps, Marlin to name just a few all were founded in Connecticut. Its hard to tell how the climate affected industrial development in New England, but I think the Yankees found out pretty quick that the growing season was short, the winters long, and another way had to be found to make a living beside farming. That certainly gave us an advantage over you in the Civil War, probably the deciding advantage.
    –WSP7

  457. Smokyjoe December 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    “Trust me. I know Christmas. I trod the boards in the role of Scrooge for our sixth-grade holiday play.”
    Dear God. I was Scrooge in sixth grade play, too. Am I doomed to become as big a curmudgeon as JHK? Hope so 🙂
    Two nights ago, strolling down the Ave. of the Americas in NYC, I spotted a mob cheering and snapping pictures around a bunch of bright lights and catering trucks. It seems that Tom Cruise had arrived for a first screening of his latest Mission Impossible fest, where lots of stuff blows up and the plot’s outcome could be foretold by any Crack-addled toddler. I didn’t see Cruise or really pause too long: he’s just a smilin’ Jack with his latest boo-boo bimbo on his arm. NYC has plenty of them already.
    And yet the boobs line up to see this crap, instead of dragging Scientology Tom and air-head date into their midst for some Day of the Locust TLC.
    Well, humbug and God help us, everyone! Merry Christmas!

  458. Widespreadpanic7 December 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    And oh ya, those farmers in Shays Rebellion were the combined tea party patriots and Owsers of their day, armed with muskets, eager to take on the Massachusetts Militia. When I say they occupied town squares in Western Mass. towns, they actually kicked in the doors of courthouses and armories and took them over.
    –WSP7

  459. Shakazulu December 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    “You know, one thing I really, don’t miss in the USA is the noise pollution”
    I think your old neighbor lives next door to me now. If I were old enough to start collecting my govt checks, I’d be in Oregon. The only state by the way that is not in a fallout zone in the most likely scenario for nuclear targeting.

  460. Widespreadpanic7 December 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    Ah, Smokey joe, “The Day of the Locust”, one of my favorites, that little known classic (along with “Miss Lonelyhearts) by Nathaniel West, a man who died tragically, and much too young.
    Pete, good poem about the Pilgrims. Never seen it before.
    –WSP7

  461. Thaddeus December 21, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    Last year’s Academy Awards included Winter’s Bone in the best film category. It didn’t win. But, it should have. It did something the other films didn’t — it told a story. It didn’t have special effects or an over-hyped soundtrack. It was just a good story told well. Old fashioned drama. Great film. Unfortunately, drama isn’t Hollywood’s forte anymore. Programming emotional responses through musical scores and special effects is what Hollywood does best.

  462. Grapes of Wrath December 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    Hi AS
    Yes please let me know the link to the article
    Many thanks
    GoW

  463. progress2conserve December 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    “Probably about as many as will be able to survive south of the Mason Dixon line in the heat and humidity sans air conditioning. Not too damn many.”
    -snafu-
    Snafu, heat and humidity, per se, don’t worry me much at all. I grew up without air conditioning, and I well remember when neither schools, factories, government buildings, nor anything else – had cooling systems of any type.
    And humidity – hey, man! – humidity just means that there is enough moisture in the air that it might actually rain somewhere – which is a very good thing.
    Two things about climate change worry me. One is a temperature increase that begins to lead to the death of the oaks, hickories, and pines and/or other important pieces of natural ecosystems around here. The other is shifts in regional climate that lead to big reductions in rainfall, especially summer rainfall.
    =====================
    OTOH, I don’t mind telling you that cold scares me. Get yourself seriously lost out in deep woods, with sopping wet clothes, wet matches, light freezing rainfall, and a 32 degree night coming on in a hurry. Death may not be sitting on your shoulder, if you keep your wits about you – but it will definitely be hovering around at treetop level, watching.
    =========================
    On a lighter note, SNAFU, did you see that Al Jezera video of that “captured” CIA drone? I say it looks fake. You’re in aeronautics, as I recall. What say you?

  464. MissusQuiche December 21, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    I might have done pretty well with the hockey chicks however…….
    Lots of missing front teeth huh?

  465. dale December 21, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    You should take your life more seriously – all the Lam Rim texts indicate as much.
    —————————————–
    True, the Lam Rim is serious, very serious, reminds me of the “ol time religion” fire and brim stone etc. Trying to practice it, got me out of Buddhism for a number of years. Valid way of interpreting Buddhist thought, but not the only way, and not my cup of tea. A matter of focus I guess. Maybe that’s why I gravitated to the Dzogchen tradition…and please, don’t even try to characterize that, you’ll definitely screw it up.
    If there were any group I couldn’t have compassion for, I think you would agree that you would be in it….but I do my little Vlad, I do.
    But to be more serious for a minute, how do you see Goldfish? Are they a “white” fish… or… er….”colored?”

  466. dale December 21, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    Lots of missing front teeth huh?
    ———————————-
    who me or the chicks? Ol Bobby’s still got his chompers, or equivalents.

  467. dale December 21, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    BTW—don’t mistake light heartedness for a lack of seriousness. I mean what I say and contrary to what George Bernard Shaw said about people lying, I can easily get through the morning without telling one.

  468. malthus December 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    Tico is what Costa Ricans refer to themselves as. I lived there for 5 years in the 70’s. That was a time when there were only about 150,000 living in San Jose. Now there are over a million and half in San Jose. In the 70’s Costa Rica was a real Latin country. I got out before Raygun was trying to take over Nicaragua and filled Costa Rica with many mercenary types. Now when I go through Costa Rica it reminds me more of Southern California there are so many Gringos living there. From there I lived in Brazil for a couple of years and then on to Ecuador. After that Chile and Canada. Still have adventure and fun. I will tell you that in all of Latin America the average age is about 18 or 19 and they all want everything the U.S. has, technology, etc. All in all the leadership in most the Latin countries are starting to wake up and go their own way instead of goose stepping to the US’s tune.

  469. dale December 21, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    …..course I often don’t talk to a lot of people before lunch.

  470. MissusQuiche December 21, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

    who me or the chicks?
    Both, I guess.

  471. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    Ah, pity – the near enemy of compassion. You offer bile not bread. You are so far gone you can’t tell the difference between nectar and poison – unless it happens to you. Narcicism and Egotism both combine in you in an exquisite dance.

  472. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    The cities of the Connecticut Coast are a horror show. Appropriate that Yale, an epticenter of WASP Evil should be surrounded by the savages that their ancestors brought here.
    The Pilgrims had a hard lot. They soon realized that had chosen a poor location: not much of a harbor, poor soil etc. They were soon eclipsed by Boston. I think some of them moved to the New Bedford area and founded another town or two.
    They were a different sect from the Puritans I believe and didn’t have too much contact.

  473. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    Everyone should read Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil”. The Minister donned a Black Veil and never took it off again. It was a symbol of his secret sin. What exquisite humility! He saw a Black Veil on everyone’s countenance. So do I. If only Dale and Asoka could see themselves in this way. How can God love them when they love themselves so much?
    It’s like meeting a chick who’s really into herself – her ideas, her whims, knows that she’s a looker etc. How can you love her since she alread loves herself so much? There’s literally no room for another at that altar.

  474. DeeJones December 21, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    “The only state by the way that is not in a fallout zone in the most likely scenario for nuclear targeting.”
    Really? Don’t tell that to Portlanders. In a full out WW3 scenario from the old Cold War days, it was indeed a target. You don’t think that the fallout wouldn’t drift a little south & east?
    But don’t worry, there won’t be a WW3 now…
    we hope anyway…
    😉

  475. anti soak December 21, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    Google:
    Elaine Supkis
    emsnews.com culture of life blog
    her Dec writings

  476. anti soak December 21, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    LA Times page one when Mexico started dual citizenship………and the mexis in LA lined up
    ‘Ive never been there but I know Im Mexican’
    The LA Times celebrates the end of USA.

  477. progress2conserve December 21, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    It has recently come to my attention that population growth due to immigration may pose some small problems in the future – – –
    -OK, P2C waits for CFN laughter to subside-
    I have been, ever so slightly, obsessed with the negative impacts of population increase for over a year now, on CFN and a couple of other webspaces.
    This has led me to join:
    NumbersUSA and
    Federal Association for Immigration Reform
    Well, folks, in researching my earlier answer to SNAFU on Georgia population, I stumbled upon this webpage from the NPG folks.
    http://www.npg.org/ga_poll/georgia.html
    So – I’ve been living in the coming nightmare – on a smaller scale – at least a decade ahead of the rest of the US of A.
    Now I feel a little better.
    At least I understand my obsession has a rational root cause.
    “Blinded by visions of property tax revenues … public officials ignored the costs that accompany growth. The expense of building new roads, schools, and infrastructure never seemed to enter their minds. The result of all this unchecked, unplanned growth: Metro Atlanta grew into something that many people wouldn’t ever want to call home.” -Athens Banner Herald-

  478. DeeJones December 21, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    “On a lighter note, SNAFU, did you see that Al Jezera video of that “captured” CIA drone? I say it looks fake. You’re in aeronautics, as I recall. What say you?”
    Um, the CIA has already admitted that it was a real drone the Iranians captured. Obama was advised to either bomb or send in SF’s to re-capture it, but evidently decided not to.
    Also the Iranians, according to the Isralies, who would know this, used GPF spoofing to take control of the drone. They also had some Russian system that gave them the ability to detect it in flight. So ‘stealth’ goes out the window now.
    But you can believe your fantasies that, official announcements by the US government to the contrary, i.e. that it was a real drone lost, you can still think its a fake if that makes your life more comfortable.
    ;]

  479. Doug Hill December 21, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    Hey Ozone, I still haven’t focused on the Vanity Fair article, but it’s interesting you mentioned the punk scene. I happen to have done a masters thesis on the punk scene at CBGBs in 1975 (I’m old, and at the time I was usually drunk) and the thing that struck me most at the time was that every band I interviewed was mainly interested in getting rich and famous. They wouldn’t say it in so many words — wasn’t cool — but that was very clearly where they were aiming. I know there were some bands in the punk movement who were sincerely anarchic, but from my experience they were a minority. I mention this only to say that corruption wasn’t imposed on the scene (that particular scene) from the outside, but was inculcated from within. And that speaks to the depth of the problem.

  480. DeeJones December 21, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    On a more relevant note: You have never been on the other side of the concert stage have you?
    (I was just a sound engineer at one point in my life, and never did a really big show as mentioned below)
    It pretty powerful to observe an audience respond to what the band is playing. For an example, check out the Depeche Mode concert in Germany, there must be over 100,000 people in the audience, and they are all moving & singing along with the music.
    Anyway….
    😉

  481. Grapes of Wrath December 21, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    Thanks

  482. ozone December 21, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    Aha!
    Very well then. Thanks for the inside dope.
    Makes me wonder what they [speaking collectively] might have done WITH too much dinero. Stay binge drunk and high for the rest of their [very short] lives, a la Sid & Nancy?
    Very strangest gig I ever did? Opening for Talking Heads as an ACOUSTIC DUO! (One of those very-last-minute disaster/damn-fool bookings.) Pretty funny, in retrospect, and since we had a “regular” full night immediately following, we were able to redeem our sensibilities and re-ground ourselves.

  483. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    okie, huh? That’s hate speech. Your Mexican friends are destroying America. Thanks New World for letting us know what’s going on.

  484. metuselah December 21, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    On the impracticality of a cheeseburger
    http://goo.gl/BfXcr

  485. ozone December 21, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    Good one thar, Met.
    And, as I always say, nuthin’s “easy”.

  486. Grapes of Wrath December 21, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Hi AS
    Elain Supkis seems to think that ‘environmentalists’ want to create a little ice age, yet all we want is to ensure that the earth does not move towards catastrophic climate change that will make this planet a very harsh place for our childreen and grandchildren.
    She rails against the cost of gasoline, forgetting that the externalities (CO2 production) have been free for over 200 years and the only reason so many people live in the very cold zones of this planet is because gasoline and heating fuel has been historically so cheap. Price rises now are largely due to peak oil rather than carbon taxes.
    She says that the CO2 problem results from the overpopulation in the warm zones of this planet. She seems unaware that the CO2 in the atmosphere causing the global warming problem comes from fossil fuel combustion over the past 200 years and the per capita historic CO2 production from us in the Western (colder) world completely dwarfs the CO2 per capita production from those rapidly breeding poor people living in the sunny more equatorial climes.
    Whilst the Kyoto Protocol is flawed, Canada did not pull out of its commitment because it felt the KP was not achieving its aims. Canada pulled out because the CO2 footprint of its tar sands operations will cause Canada’s CO2 production to massively exceed its KP commitments, resulting in financial penalties.
    An interesting article showing the practical issues faced by elderly people living in cold climes starting to feel the effects of energy poverty. However, whilst Elaine Supkis is entitled to her opinions she is not entitled to the facts, they belong to us all..
    GoW

  487. ozone December 21, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Wholly-Moley.
    That’s quite the jump! I should look into that data for this area; I wouldn’t think it to be an increase like Georgia, but, you never know. 1950 to present, eh?
    At least YOU are aware that growth conditions like that cannot go on for long. But the environmental and life-quality degradation will not be pretty. Hope your mountainside will be free from the plague of desperation to come.

  488. Doug Hill December 21, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    Well, not too many people can say they opened for Talking Heads under ANY circumstances, so that strikes me as an experience very much worth having!(Talking Heads was, with Television, by far the band I liked best during my time at CBGBs. Never interviewed them so I have no idea where they were coming from, politically.)

  489. metuselah December 21, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    Yep, a good excuse to load up on them cheeseburgers while we can, ’cause when the collapse happens there will be none. 🙂

  490. Vlad Krandz December 21, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    The purpose of Democracy is to prevent change. The People are hopelessly malleable – putty in the hands of gifted manipulators. And obviously our two party system is the most easily manipulated of all. First the options are narrowed with many issues and solutions just “off the table”. Second the two parties tie into the duality of the mind: good/bad, right/wrong etc. They use this fact with equisite skill. If there were more parties with more complex points of view beyond just being for or against the given issues – well then the whole thing would be much more difficult.

  491. ozone December 21, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    “However, whilst Elaine Supkis is entitled to her opinions she is not entitled to the facts, they belong to us all..”
    -GoW
    Poor Elaine; can she not make up some facts to have for her very own? ;o)
    Rotted minds want to know.
    “I have a bone to pick with Fate;
    Come here and tell me, girlie;
    Is my mind maturing late,
    Or simply rotted early?”
    -Ogden Nash

  492. progress2conserve December 21, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    “Um, the CIA has already admitted that it was a real drone the Iranians captured. Obama was advised to either bomb or send in SF’s to re-capture it, but evidently decided not to” -dee J.-
    Dee,
    All I’m doing at this point is quibbling over the meaning of the word, “capture.” And I’m suggesting that the Al Jezerra video is showing a mock-up, or a “fake,” of the actual “captured” drone – which I suggest is in crashed pieces.
    There’s no doubt that the drone existed. There’s no doubt that the CIA/US has been overflying most of the ME for years with these drones.
    Beyond that – I say it crashed in pieces and the Iranians are showing a crude model to the world.
    (AND that the screen wire covering the “Central Housing Group” at the front of the thing looks like something a kid building a rabbit cage would produce – that’s really why I’m mentioning it for SNAFU’s inspection. The whole “model?” looks amateurish to me. But I’m not a rocket scientist. SNAFU, believe it or not, really is a rocket scientist, according to his self-descriptions.)
    ===============
    You say the Iranians took control of drone, flew it into a safe landing, and put it on display on Al Jezerra almost immediately. I consider that unlikely.
    That was our Pay-Pal bet, at 10-1 odds last week, if you will recall.
    I’m asking SNAFU to judge the video of the drone as “real or fake” and pronounce judgment for us.
    Then we’ll swap PayPal data.
    I may owe you.
    You may owe me. Who knows?
    I may deliver your winnings to Costa Rica and feed your parrots bananas while you take my check to the bank, anyway. 😉
    I may have to spend the night, Dee, if you take all my money, by the way. You think your significant other will mind?
    Mine will not.

  493. Grapes of Wrath December 21, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    Ok she is entitled to a few facts of her own and we’ll call them factslets or Supkisfacts or should that be bupkisfacts. 😉
    My mind rotted a long time ago. I rely of a few marbles clanging around up there.

  494. ctemple December 21, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    Beantown bill said: To be more accurate, I believe the empty values of today’s society lead to unfulfilled lives, and our technology is a tool people can use to help them identify with celebrities who appear to lead exciting lives.
    Well said btb

  495. ozone December 21, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

    LOL!
    I do hope she appreciates the additions to her lexicon, and all the authority that goes with!
    (Glad you have some marbles left to enjoy. I traded mine long ago for a couple six-packs and some low-grade weed.)

  496. ozone December 21, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

    Ps. The counter-party in that trade later complained of being egregiously cheated! Can you imagine such a thing? (Yes, I was properly miffed, mortified and injured beyond belief.)

  497. Grapes of Wrath December 21, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    I used to get my kicks out of six packs but now I enjoy exercise, running and kayaking it keeps me young and gives me a natural high. Painful joints are the price to pay however.

  498. progress2conserve December 21, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    Here’s something else interesting, by a financial writer, comparing the Great Depression to today’s Contractionary Financial Collapse. (tm JHK, I think)
    “What it shows is clear: Personal bankruptcy during the Great Depression was virtually unheard of; today it’s an everyday occurrence. About the same number of people were awarded bachelor degrees last year as filed for personal bankruptcy (1.6 million)”
    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2011/12/13/what-the-great-depression-did-that-this-recession.aspx
    There are 50-something comments that make interesting reading, also. Motley Fool is an investment website – so keep that in mind as you read the comments. Most are a counterpoint to your average CFN poster.
    =======================
    And, yeah, I know I’m posting a lot this week.
    But, hey, it’s a rainy night in Georgia.
    And somebody’s got to make up for you-know-who.
    He’s on dial-up now, you know.

  499. ozone December 21, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    “…that strikes me as an experience very much worth having!” -D.H.
    I would agree, had we had the chance to hang about for the performance and pour some swillage down our gullets. HOWEVER, we had to pack our shit ‘n’ git to make the shot-and-beer joint gig.
    ‘Twas not writ in our stars, (but it was in our calendar).

  500. ozone December 21, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    Thanks for the link.
    Since you’re doing your part, post-wise, I’ll shut the hell up now! ;o)

  501. maomaomao1 December 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    ??????52.html???????????

  502. AMR December 21, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

    I’m one of those assholes, except that I often talk with the baristas or other customers, too, provided that they don’t think I’m being inappropriate for engaging another person in conversation. I also once listened to a dud