Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An Audi commercial inspires Eric B. of Michigan Liberal to expound on Michigan's roads and James Howard Kunstler

I'm in a mood to blog about driving tonight.

Reblogged from Audi: You are all acrewed; we're here to guide you through America's decline affordably on Michigan Liberal.
I caught this commercial last night during football:



It's ... remarkable. Audi, a car manufacturer, has created an entire ad campaign around the fact that the nation's infrastructure is crumbling, and Audi apparently believes that the country's populace as a whole has no faith that it'll get turned around any time soon. It is as damning a statement about the future of this country as I've ever seen, and I used to be a regular reader of James Howard Kunstler's weekly declarations that the country's decline into chaos is always just one week away.

This is especially poignant here in Michigan, where our roads are so bad from winters in which they are frozen and cracked and occasionally caked in salt. Here, things have gotten so bad that the state Chamber of Commerce has actually gotten behind a hike in the gasoline tax to turn things around. What do we get from the state Legislature? Last week, the House spent a considerable amount of time passing a bill to strip local governments and school districts of the power to extend same-sex domestice partner benefits, entirely driven by bigotry towards homosexuals. Audi's response was an appeal directly to the people of Michigan: Your government has comprehensively failed to deliver on its basic mission, and we know that you have no faith in their ability to do any better and would like to offer our assistance in making sure their incompetence costs you as little money out of pocket as is necessary.
Since he mentioned Kunstler, I couldn't resist responding.
I still am [a reader of Kunstler's blog]. I swear Jimmy gets hard at the idea of collapse, although he's also afraid of it. It's interesting to watch that dynamic play out on his blog. If nothing else, I can pull out one or two paragraphs of good observations a week out of all his dyspeptic ranting about impending DOOM as inspriation for my own blogging. I also can get at least 50 of his readers to surf over to my blog every week.
Hi, everyone coming over here from Clusterfuck Nation! :-)
So what induced you to give up on him, other than his long history of failed predictions--the racist commenters he attracts?
If you want to know who I'm talking about, read this.

Eric B. answered my question.
Sloth, really. I always took Kunstler as a big picture kind of guy. That is, his predictions that the world will next next week were amusing, but the big picture he based it on is something he has unusually keen insights on. Also, "Geography of Nowhere" is a book that I think any thinking adult ought to read.

At some point, I just stopped reading him. Maybe it was because I'd gleaned as much insight as I thought he had to offer. I occasionally pop back to his blog to see what he's up to -- he had a post last year that talked about the decline of American civilization using a wedding he observed as an example -- but with hundreds of people worth paying attention to, it's hard to stick with any one person for too long.
I have to admit, Jimmy does get repetitious, to the point where I wrote Karnak predicts what Kunstler will blog about this week back in April. I was right on two out of three points.  I'm sure I'll do it again and bat 1.000 one of these days.

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