Sometimes my friends and family suggest I’m a tad morbid and pessimistic. Perhaps. I feel observing our civilizational decline is my comfort zone, individually empowering for me at least know what’s happening and why. And, in another wrinkle of complexity, I’m very cheery by nature. It’s all a bit of a puzzle. But we must agree, I’m no Jim Kunstler. He’s a great writer and entertaining, because he’s so nuts; here‘s his 2010 Christmas prognosticating:
At this time of year, who can fail to understand the wish to forget all the woes and fiascos of our time, and to retreat into the cozy firelit nooks of Christmas, where a pint or so of grog, or egg-nog, or even seven fingers of Williams ‘Lectric Shave in an empty jam jar might avail to wash away the frightening specters of debts, and banks, and, trade imbalances, and countries with economies composed mostly of losses?For now, America is a rug stretching from Maine to California, under which we’ve swept the filthy detritus of money matters and governance. It worked most of the year, though the rug has grown as lumpy as a landfill. Nothing is more important for the moment than provoking millions of people with no means for carrying their current obligations to ply the malls in search of Christmas merchandise, so the little ones will not be disappointed on the Great Day. Who could fail to understand this, too, since the sorrows of children only magnify the failures of the adults who love and fear for them.President Obama’s tax deal with the corn-and-pork-fed mental defectives of the Red States has been spun into an historic act of political ju-jitsu – a sharp trade to great advantage for the slick city operator against the avaricious rubes – but to me it was just another act of Santa Claus Theater. You have to love the conceit that all this fuss about money is finally settled. So we can settle back in the raptures of flat screen high-def 3-D TV and imagine that we’re like the characters in Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life – which, by the way, in case you never noticed, is a story about a banker who gets into big trouble financing the first larval manifestations of suburban sprawl. If only Frank Capra had lived to see the Federal Reserve’s Maiden Lane portfolio, a sack of shit so monumental it would make the fabled swag-bag of Kris Kringle himself look like the descending colon of a pygmy marmoset.