Monday, February 1, 2010

Reality Check: Kunstlerism of the Week

Location: James Howard Kunstler's Blog

I'm fond of Jim's turns of phrase, and I read his blog, "Clusterfuck Nation," every Monday as soon as I can.

Since he writes too about invented worlds--the American delusion that oil is infinite and suburbia is sustainable--I find a clear connection to the forever-young, forever-awake world of Second Life. Reality is, of course, a little harsher than SL, as Kunstler reminds us this week:

Do you really think that more suburban sprawl makes this a better nation? When our soldiers bleed out in the sands of Central Asia, will their last thoughts be of the curb cut between the Best Buy and the Burger King?

Read Jim's "Jive Economy" (seems that the Lindens DO copy reality in this, too) for more insights by one of our most acidic, and overlooked, social critics.

Maybe I'm just grumpy because my local bus-line reduced service and my employer must provide shuttle service to co-workers who might otherwise lose their jobs, even as many of the students on campus are so affluent that they'd never be seen dead on a public bus.

Even among my well educated colleagues, too few of us leave our cars parked and commute by bike or foot. Too few shop from local merchants, not on suburban strips that will become unworkable and boarded-up shells, with cheap oil's demise.

When that occurs, or when China stops subsidizing US debt, "Too Big to Fail" may become "Too Broke to Not Fail." Then, perhaps, we'll see how invented "reality" has been in our Strange Land.

1 comment:

TUJscottie said...

Thank you for mentioning Mr. Kunstler's essential blog. I too have looked forward to each Monday's posting since discovering the blog last year.

Just recently I found the podcast he does with Duncan Creary: Kunstlercast. The past two installments have featured a performance of his play, "Big Slide." If you've not heard this podcast yet, it might be worth a listen.