Monday, August 27, 2007

Kunstler's Latest Prophecy

There will be so many assets up for sale across the USA in the months and years ahead that the very sun in the heavens will take on a K-Mart blue-light-special glow. Houses with miles of granite countertops, Maybach automobiles, cabin cruisers that burn thirty gallons of diesel an hour, and much much more. There will be so much slightly used (or barely "pre-owned") stuff for sale that manufacturing another unit of anything (or importing it) will seem like a sick joke. Alas, there may be very few buyers, at least here among the current natives of North America. And so you get "new pricing," and a deadly downward spiral.

Of course, all that creates a problem for the masses of human beings who theoretically support themselves by working to produce new things of value to be bought and sold . But let them watch Nascar! Let's take whatever little remains of our tax revenues (or bonding ability) and build a dozen more speedway ovals around the country, and tweak the stock car engines so those suckers can run on ethanol, and shower the fans with Little Debbie snack cakes as they count the laps. ...Believe me, the public will be so deliriously entranced by the spectacle, they won't notice anything else going on in the background of our nation.

This is how America enters the Long Emergency -- in a Nascar rapture...I apologize for what has been a rather excessive spewage of mixed metaphors this week, but the extreme abnormality of events has just got me going. The bottom line, though, is simple and straightforward: things may appear normal for the moment, but we are heading into a shit-storm as sure as Sam Walton's descendents contracted to buy all the three-ringed loose-leaf binders made west of the international date line. America, you're about to go back to school the hard way.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Back in School

Eight years after I graduated with a baccalaureate in English I'm enrolled in two classes at the local community college. Both are held Mondays and Wednesdays. One is in the mid-morning, the other in the late afternoon.

In other matters, welcome back, Hattie.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hipster Neighborhoods

On a whim many days ago I took The Hipster Handbook (New York: Anchor Books, 2003) off my bookshelf, and have been reading it off and on ever since. Page 93 lists the "Indigenous Zones of the Hipster in the United States and Canada." The title isn't quite accurate as "indigenous" implies that hipsters always have been living in these neighborhoods. I took the liberty of alphabetizing the cities' names, and providing links and comments. This is the 1997 Utne Reader list of the fifteen hippest neigborhoods in North America, from which the Hipster list is apparently adapted.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Broadsheets Not So Broad

7 August update: Ann Althouse opines:

It feels like the first step toward the seemingly inevitable day when there will be no paper version. You know I still feel bad about the downsizing of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. What great fashion magazines these were back in the 1970s when they were huge and you could see what was in the photographs. [And I remember the oversized issues of Interview when I was a subscriber in the early '90s--P.Z.] What's the point of getting fabulous models and clothes and lighting and poses for a Newsweek-sized format?But the effect of shrinking the NYT is almost nothing... until you get to the editorial page. I can't shake the feeling that the editors are encroaching on the letter writers.