Bill Totten's Weblog

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Slip of the Tongue

Clusterfuck Nation

by Jim Kunstler

Comment on current events by the author of
The Long Emergency
(Atlantic Monthly Press, 2005) (April 14 2008)

My new novel of the post-oil future, World Made By Hand,
is available at all booksellers.

Barack Obama caught hell last week for daring to tell the truth about the ragged thing that the American spirit has become. He said that small-town Pennsylvania voters, bitter over their economic circumstances, "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them" to work out their negative emotions. He might have added that the Pope wears a funny hat (see for yourself this week), and that bears shit in the woods (something rural Pennsylvanians probably know). Nevertheless, in the manner lately prescribed for those who slip up and speak truthfully in public (and in contradiction to the reigning delusions), Obama was pressured to apologize for his statements.

The evermore loathsome and odious Hillary Clinton, co-owner of a $100 million personal wealth portfolio, seized the moment to remind voters what a normal, everyday gal she is - who would never look down on the small-town folk of Pennsylvania the way her "elitist" opponent had - forgetting, apparently, that the Clinton family's consigliere, James Carville, famously described the Keystone State as a kind of redneck sandwich with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia as the bread, and Alabama as the lunch meat in between.

As I mull over all this, I begin to think that Hillary is exactly what the USA deserves and, that should she manage to winkle away the nomination and get elected president, the outcome would be instructive and salutary. For one thing, she will be buried under an avalanche of political woe, beginning with the basic financial insolvency of everything in the nation except the Clinton family. Then she would proceed straight into an oil-and-gas clusterfuck that could take this society back to the eighteenth century economically.

This would have the positive effect of forcing the American public to look elsewhere for governance than the usual parties in Washington, DC. It's time for a national purgative, anyway. In fact, it's way overdue. Are the Democratic and Republican parties anymore necessary than the Whigs? Neither of them can really articulate the problems we face (and when their honchos slip up and come close to the truth, they're persecuted for it).

A President Hillary will also go a long way to defeating the popular delusion that a world ruled by female humans would be heaven-on-earth. (It would be more like one of those chaotic single-parent households in Section-8 housing, ruled by a harried and distracted mom, with a shadowy man in the background molesting the little ones while she was off working at the WalMart.)

I'm very sorry that Barack Obama apologized for his remarks. It compromised his authority. They were truthful and correct. He might have added that the anxious and bitter lower classes were also neurotically hung-up on cars, and that his first act as president would be to shut down the Nascar tracks by executive order in the interest of national energy security.

It's been illuminating to see how almost nobody has come to Obama's defense in this matter - hardly anyone in the press, anyway. It shows what the mainstream media's interest in the truth is close to zero.

In the background of these sad and sordid campaign doings, the financial sector - and the dog's-body economy that the wagging financial tail used to be attached to - is whirling steadily down a big wide culvert, along with the rest of the debris shaken loose by the spring rains. Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Chris Dodd have been putting together mortgage rescue schemes that are gut-bustingly hilarious because they don't seem to take into account the basic fact that nobody knows who the lending parties to all those distressed mortgages really are. (Hint: they're not the "servicing" companies who send out the default notices.) So when they say that the government will "negotiate down" the principal owed on a house hemorrhaging dollar value, who exactly did they have in mind as the negotiating partner?

These are issues that would, in a more mentally-healthy republic, occupy center stage of the political conversation - not whether a cohort of Cheez Doodle addicted rural Pennsylvania morons prays out loud for God to shoot all the Mexicans.

Bill Totten


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