Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ho Ho--Oh No

In the spirit of the season, I present a couple of snippets from the latest post from James Kuntsler. Ho Ho, if you will.  I will not need to be glum myself during this holiday season; I'll just let him be glum. But maybe I'll allow myself a comment or two.

I sat in a bar Friday evening with a financial reporter from a national newspaper, trying to explain the peak oil situation and what it implied for our economy.  He had never heard it before. The relationship between energy resources and massive debt was new to him. (It also came up in conversation that he could not tell me what the Monroe Doctrine was about, despite a history degree from Yale.) There you have a nice snapshot of the mainstream media in this land.

It's difficult for me to imagine any competent financial reporter not having ever heard of "peak oil." You have to wonder where in the world such a person has been for the past ten years or more. And good Lord in highest heaven, you don't need to tell me about the ignorance of college students, er, make that college graduates. It doesn't matter where the degree is from. Harvard or Yale, in this particular case, is equivalent to Slippery Rock or the University of Eastern Topeka. So-called college graduates coming out of schools today are, I'm sorry, as dumb as dodos. Can you imagine having a history degree from anywhere, much less a celebrated and ridiculously expensive Ivy League mainstay such as Yale, and not knowing about the Monroe Doctrine? I wonder what else (s)he doesn't know? Gives me the shivers. And this, mind you, is the PRESS, the supposed watchdogs of our democracy. 

The other current embodiment of national character failure, Tiger Woods, golfer, has also dazzled the American public. Personally I find it much more interesting to learn that he was a really lousy tipper than that he got a lot of action on the side with opportunistic bar girls, porn stars, and other denizens of the sports-entertainment netherworld. Is it not also amusing that golf is even taken seriously as an athletic pursuit? I mean, why not pancake-flipping?  Or dice? Or shooting rats at the landfill? This is the kind of knucklehead culture we have become after six decades of the softest life imaginable.

I have studiously avoided comment on this situation, not even wanting to appear in the least degree similar to the the salivating crowd from all points of the compass who have been rolling in this story like a dog on a rotting carcass for weeks. But like Kuntsler, I find it interesting that this mega-billionaire stiffs working class stiffs on tips. Sorry. This marks the guy as a perpetual asshole in my book, even if he was as faithful to his wife as a eunuch. 

Knucklehead culture? Come now. That's too kind. And think about that phrase, "the softest life imaginable." Doesn't conjure up images of hearty Americans girding up for truly hard times, which, I fear, are coming. 

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