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Tag Archives: American Culture

KunstlerCast #83: Jane Jacobs, Urban Thinker

The Death and Life of Great American Cities Released: Oct. 8, 2009. Planetizen, an urban planning website and book publisher, recently conducted a poll about the Top 100 Urban Thinkers. Jane Jacobs, author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, made #1 on the list. Kunstler explains the story and importance of Jacobs. more »

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KunstlerCast #79: Packin’ for France

Is Now A Good Time to Leave the U.S. for Good? Released: Sept 10, 2009. A Listener caller asks James Howard Kunstler if now is a good time to emigrate from the U.S. to France. During his response, Kunstler poses the question: exactly what allegiance do you owe to your country if your country is more »

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KunstlerCast #78: Litter & Pollution

Trashing Places We Don’t Respect Released: Sept 3, 2009. James Howard Kunstler says one reason why American cities are so dirty is because we do not have a firm agreement about how to treat the public realm in this country. He believes that people will literally trash a place that they don’t like or respect. more »

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KunstlerCast #77: Idiocracy

The Diminishing Returns of Information Technology Released: August 27, 2009. James Howard Kunstler believes that stupid Americans are exerting their political and cultural tyranny over the rest of us. No other society has produced a larger group of stupid people with as much money and means to express their thoughts, pleasures, ideas, biases, delights, and more »

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KunstlerCast #76: Man Caves

Andrés Duany & The Dilemma of Male Space Released: August 20, 2009. A “man cave” discovered in a government complex made national news earlier this month. Eminent new urbanist planner Andrés Duany was prompted to speak out in defense of the man cave and “male space” in general, which he sees as a disappearing habitat more »

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KunstlerCast #75: Jet Skis in the Wilderness

Traffic Jams and Plastic Weenie Stands in the Woods Released: August 13, 2009. Even during a recession, Americans are pouring into our nation’s “wilderness areas” with jet skis and cigarette boats in tow. After returning home from a visit to the Adirondack Mountains of New York, James Howard Kunstler serves up some thoughts on the more »

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KunstlerCast #72: Sprawling to Obesity

The Burbs are Bad for Your Health Released: July 23, 2009. This May, the Committee on Environmental Health of the American Academy of Pediatrics confirmed that the design of U.S. communities (i.e. car-dependent suburbia) negatively affects the health of children (i.e. makes them obese). James Howard Kunstler explores the relationship between suburban sprawl and the more »

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KunstlerCast Grunt: Jacko

Sweeping Our Bad Decisions Under the Rug Released: July 16, 2009. James Howard Kunstler joins host Duncan Crary for a quick KunstlerCast “grunt” to react to the recent death of pop star Michael Jackson. Kunstler thinks Michael Jackson represents many of the bad choices that America made about itself and also its difficulty in telling more »

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KunstlerCast #70: Commercial and Corporate Art in Public

Art & the Human Form in Our Modern Streetscape Released: June 25, 2009. James Howard Kunstler takes a look at various types of public artwork on display in Troy NY, a small American city. Kunstler notes that many public murals in America attempt to put a human face in places where people are noticeably absent. more »

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KunstlerCast #69: Public Art & Public Eyesores

Art As A Neurotic Response to Deactivated Cities Released: June 18, 2009. James Howard Kunstler discusses public art in our cities and towns. Modern public art often lacks artistry and is an ironic representation of our 21st century junk empire. But Kunstler says we don’t need any more irony. We need a dignified public realm. more »

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KunstlerCast #60: Bad Behavior & Urban Policing

The Broken Window Theory, Car Cops and Rising Tensions in Tough Times Released: April 16, 2009. James Howard Kunstler often advocates for a return to urban living arrangements. But urban living often bring residents into close proximity to bad behavior. The situation can be especially frightening when people inhabit cities that aren’t fully repopulated yet. more »

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KunstlerCast #47: Credit Crisis

How the Suburbs Were Loaned into Existence Released: January 15, 2009. James Howard Kunstler believes the credit orgy that was the background and basis for our era is over. It will become increasingly harder to lend money into existence and Americans will probably have to pay as they go with what they have. Kunstler explores more »

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KunstlerCast #42: Victorian Stroll

19th Century Urbanism in 2008 Released: Dec. 11, 2008 James Howard Kunstler joins host Duncan Crary for the Victorian Stroll in downtown Troy, NY. During this annual event, the city evicts the automobile from the streets and 21st century people discover how pleasurable it is to explore this 19th century urban fabric on foot. Kunstler more »

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KunstlerCast #41: Private Property

Community ownership and the diminishing role of government? Released Dec. 4, 2008. James Howard Kunstler says the notion that Americans have a long tradition of being able to do whatever they want with their land is a fallacy. This false notion is really just the result of a propaganda campaign by the promoters of suburban more »

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KunstlerCast #38: Obama

JHK Reacts to the Election of Barack Obama Released: Nov. 13, 2008 James Howard Kunstler shares his feelings about President-elect Barack Obama. For now Jim is hopeful that Mr. Obama can set a good example for decent behavior as he takes the helm of a functionally bankrupt government. In order to reform the systems of more »

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KunstlerCast #37: Impotent Politics

The Increasing Irrelevance of our Two Political Parties Released: Oct. 30, 2008 James Howard Kunstler muses on the increasing irrelevance of the two political parties in America. Neither party seems to be truly facing our energy predicament and the coming obsolescence of suburbia. Yet this is with the complete connivance of the voting public, which more »

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KunstlerCast #29: Tattoos and the American Costume

Violent Clowns, Oversized Babies and Other Nonconformists Just Like You Released: Aug. 28, 2008. James Howard Kunstler addresses the proliferation of tattoos on the American main street. He thinks the fierce looking tattoos on young Americas are actually a sign of how deeply insecure we are as a nation. They’re also a form of “non-conformist-just-like-you” more »

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KunstlerCast #27: Anti-urban Bias

The Honeymooners, white flight and the “inner city.” Released: Aug. 14, 2008. This installment attempts to explore America’s anti-urban bias. Topics include: environmentalists and the human habitat, suburban-style housing projects in “the ghetto”, white flight, and Ralph Kramden’s apartment in The Honeymooners tv show. James Howard Kunstler also gives advice to those of us who more »

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KunstlerCast #26: From Hippies to Yuppies

The Worst Generation Ever? Released: Aug. 7, 2008. How did the granola crunching nature-loving hippies of the 1960s become the gas guzzling, McMansion dwelling, suburban yuppies of today? James Howard Kunstler reflects on his own generation. Kunstler also shares some of his own groovy stories from the Age of Aquarius. [Note: This episode mentions sex, more »

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KunstlerCast #22: Handicap Access

Inadvertantly Promoting Sprawl Released: July. 10, 2008. James Howard Kunstler explores the consequences of handicap access laws and codes, and how they have unintentionally promoted suburban sprawl throughout much of America. In many instances, developers feel it’s easier and cheaper to just build one-story buildings rather than multi-story handicap accessible buildings. These laws can also more »

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KunstlerCast #19: Wishful Thinking

Jiminy Cricket, Cargo Cults, Prayer & Other Ways to Get Something for Nothing Released: June 19, 2008. Religious activists are praying at Washington DC gas stations for cheaper fuel. James Howard Kunstler says that type of neurotic behavior isn’t much different than the behavior of cargo cults in the South Pacific. The concept of getting more »

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KunstlerCast#12: Gentrification

Cities are not just for the poor Released: May 1, 2008. A listener from Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. wants to know about the ethics of gentrification. What happens to the poor people who get pushed out of the cities when wealthier people move in? James Howard Kunstler addresses how abnormal it is that American more »

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KunstlerCast#11: Picturing Suburbia

Painting the landscape of our time Released: April 24, 2008. When James Howard Kunstler isn’t railing against suburban sprawl, he’s painting it. Vincent van Gogh painted the peasant sleeping by the haystack because he was living in a landscape populated by people. Our landscape is populated by cars. So, as a sur la motif painter more »

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KunstlerCast #10: Children of the Burbs

Suburbia: a punishing environment for our children? Released: April 17, 2008. Is raising children in suburbia a form of child abuse? What happens to developing people when public space is the berm between the Wal-Mart and the K-Mart? When school looks like a maximum security “facility”? When parents are chauffeurs? James Howard Kunstler addresses these more »

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