Monday, July 11, 2011

Impaling Vlad, or With friends like this, Kunstler hardly needs enemies


In James Howard Kunstler swims against the stream on marriage equality, I pointed out three areas, marriage equality, hard currency, and immigration, where Kunstlers ideas didn't square with his self-professed liberal identity. I emphasized his issues with immigration policy in Happy 4th of July from James Howard Kunstler's Tea Party!, in which I commented on the following passage from My Tea Party.
My tea party would reduce legal immigration to a tiny trickle and get serious about enforcing sanctions against people who are here without permission...The truth is that neither party really wants to do anything about the extraordinary influx of Mexican nationals because they want to pander to a growing segment of Hispanic voters (or secondarily want to maintain the pool of cheap labor for US businesses). My party does not believe in unbounded multi-culturalism. My party also views the lawlessness of the current situation to be corrosive of the rule-of-law generally. My party views the global population overshoot problem as a condition that requires a more rigorous defense of US territory, sovereign resources, and even whatever remains of American common culture.
One particular paragraph of my response bore directly on this paragraph.
There is already an answer to the Tea Party based on critical thinking. It's called the Coffee Party...They quite agree with Jim about the major parties being hostages to political money, and would also agree about many of his goals. The only thing they would not agree with Jim about would be severe restrictions on legal immigration, as Annabel Park, the Coffee Party's nominal leader, is Korean-American and would not get on board with any policy she sees as immigrant bashing.
Given that background, it should come as no surprise that Kunstler himself would bring up his zero tolerance stance on immigration, however indirectly, and that I would jump on him for it.
Old Allen Ginsburg got it right fifty years ago: "America, go fuck yourself with your atom bomb," he said. Even back then, in the age of purple people eaters and the weird neutered figure of Ozzie Nelson lurking in kitchen with nothing to do but drink endless cups of coffee, all was not so well. Freedom to cruise for burgers turned out to be a pretty trashy thing, considering all the blood and sacrifice that preceded those days of fun in the California sunshine. Look at California now: Nathanial West Meets Aztlan (coming soon on home video). Who put that locust in my burrito?
I'll let my response speak for itself.
"Look at California now: Nathanial West Meets Aztlan (coming soon on home video). Who put that locust in my burrito?"

As an expatriate Angeleno living in Detroit, I resemble that remark. For years, when I ran into another person who had moved to Michigan, I asked them, "So, do you miss Mexican food?" and they invariably answered, "Yes! Do you know where any is around here?" They also missed cheap Cantonese food, too. I was always happy to steer them to the nearest good examples of both.

Within the past decade, Chinese takeout places run by immigrants from the mainland have sprung up all over southeast Michigan, to the point where two of the three small towns on the outskirts of Irish Hills each have one and the next small town I moved to had one as well. Also, Mexican food has become common enough and people have developed enough of a taste for it that the local blues joint that served ribs has become a Mexican restaurant. I no longer run into Californians who can't find the food of home; it's now all around them. I personally consider this to be an improvement.

All of the above reminds me that I've twice before remarked about your anti-immigration stance and how it conflicts with your self-identification as a liberal, the first time a year ago in "My Tea Party," an entry of yours that I really enjoyed, and two weeks ago in "Man Down," in which I found three of your paragraphs about gender equality troubling and also conflicting with your political identification.
Four commenters responded to me. The first was negative, the second was positive, the third was incredulous and the fourth was, well, see for yourself.

And Aslan had to die in torment because Edmund couldn't resist sweets.
I found that one downright strange. The only context I had for it was that the person making it, Vlad Krandz, is notorious on Kunstler's blog for bing an indefatigable White supremacist. Since I have a philosophy that it's sometimes better to have the right enemies than the right friends, as having the right enemies can get you the right friends, and that Vlad made for a good "right enemy," I decided to play with him to see what he was really on about.
"And Aslan had to die in torment because Edmund couldn't resist sweets."

Aztlan=Aslan? Impaler, I don't know whether to compliment you on the creative pun or tell you that you are being silly.
Yes, I call Vlad "Impaler." It comes from my long history of giving nicknames to kooks I encounter on the internet. Vlad qualifies. Besides, it fits his user name and points out how foreign it sounds, something ironic given his schtick.

In response, Vlad apparently thought I was being stupid.
Chronicles of Narnia - Aslan is the Lion Christ.
This gave me another opportunity to play with him.
Oh, I know that. So are you saying that you accidentally made a silly pun?
Vlad finally made his meaning clear in his reply.
Are you saying that your tongue and belly are more important than safety, survival and sovereignty? A litte bit selfish of you....
With that, Vlad showed his true colors, which prompted me to get serious.
Well, Impaler, it took you a while to get to your point. I suspected that's what you were getting at, but decided to play with you first to see if your creativity was intentional or accidental.

As for my safety, survival, and sovereignty, let me address those in order by telling you some stories. First, when I lived in East Bakersfield, a mixed working-class White and Mexican-American community, nearly 30 years ago, it wasn't the Mexicans who scared me. To them, I was just another White guy, and not their problem as long as I minded my own business. It was the working class Whites. They were the ones who could tell that I wasn't from there. They were also the ones who were likely to confront me about it. They were also the drunks and wifebeaters. I was happy to get away from those people. The "diversity" wasn't my problem, the "uniformity" was.

Speaking of Bakersfield, the most memorable T-shirt I ever saw there read "Bakersfield isn't the end of the world, but you can sure see it from here." On the other hand, Detroit's most famous T-shirt is "Detroit, where the weak are killed and eaten." I've survived 21 years in southeast Michigan, including 15 years working and living in or next to Detroit. All of us here in Metro Detroit are starting to realize that we're all in this together and that the survival solutions Detroiters devise will be the ones exported to the rest of the continent, a theme I've explored on Crazy Eddie's Motie News multiple times and will explore again. Diversity will be a big help here and respect for diversity will be an even bigger one.

So, I'm not worried about my survival here. We'll do just fine and teach you all lessons in how to survive based on what Detroit, ground zero of the post-industrial future, has learned.

As for sovereignty, I have two things to say. First, why are you picking at the people at the bottom of the social order and not the people at the top? They're the ones in charge of sovereignty. That's the federal government's role and right now, they're too busy making sure the rentier class is made whole while everyone else suffers. Those are the people borrowing from foreign investors and it will be the calling in of those debts that will be the threat to national sovereignty more than immigration.

Speaking of immigration, if you really want to frame sovereignty in terms of ethnic identity, I want to know what percentage of your ancestors are Native American/First Nations? If it's more than 12.5% and you've maintained a connection to your ancestors, like my ex-wife, my longtime ex-girlfriend, and my second wife, you can talk, but then your talk would look very different from what you're doing now. Otherwise, you are just another descendant of immigrants, just like most of the rest of us, and your spiel becomes "We stole it fair and square" and "I got mine, screw you." On that note, as someone born in California, I will remind you that the Spanish and Mexicans were there first, not the Americans.

As for American culture, it is an amalgamation of immigrant strains from all over the world. Are you saying the American culture is now so fragile that it can't still accomodate immigrants? Do you hate America that much?
Yes, Vlad ticked me off, but not so much that I didn't continue to play with him. After all, I was trolling Vlad with those last two questions, and I wanted him to bite on them. He did.
Good ending Vinnie. That's exactly what I'm saying. We can't take anymore diversity. Way too fragile. We were a White Anglo Saxon Nation that somehow (it wasn't easy) accomodated other European Groups. The Anglos changed a bit but by definition, the other groups had to change more. That's the difference between immigration and colonization. We're being colonized now - we are that weak. And some of the weakness came from trying to accomodate too may people who could never have fitted in.

This is the Earth, a place of conflict. A Nation by definition is a group of sucessful fighters. Why apply the screws to Whites and Whites alone? The Sioux got screwed by the Ojibwas, fled the Woods, and then screwed the previous residents of the Dakotas. A dog barks, the Caravan passes. Grow up.
You could have knocked me over with a feather.
"Good ending Vinnie. That's exactly what I'm saying. We can't take anymore diversity. Way too fragile."

I'm stunned. I asked that question to back you off a rhetorical cliff and you kept walking in reverse and fell. I haven't done that online in years, so I didn't know if I still had it in me. Looks like I do.

"This is the Earth, a place of conflict. A Nation by definition is a group of sucessful fighters. Why apply the screws to Whites and Whites alone? The Sioux got screwed by the Ojibwas, fled the Woods, and then screwed the previous residents of the Dakotas."

You didn't claim Native American ancestry, but making you face the issue did change the kind of talk you engaged in. In both cases, I admire your honestly, even if I find your views repugnant.

Since you conceded both of my points above, and refused to address the rest of my thesis, I've decided that discretion is the better part of valor, so I declare victory and depart the field of battle. I'm looking forward to finding out if you're up to the challenge next week, when the debate starts all over again. See you later, Impaler!
Shorter me: You have been trolled. You have lost. Have a nice day.

Of course, my comment gave Vlad the opportunity to get in the last word.
I do it all the time, Vin. Blacks accuse me of racism and I just smile or say "Sure just like you". What can they say? It's true. That's what you Liberals don't get. Whites aren't the most racist people in the world but the least. What other race would give their whole Civilization away as we are doing now?
Ah, Impaler, ever cheerfully full of fail! Racism isn't just about racial prejudice, it's also about power and privilege. With friends like you, Kunstler hardly needs enemies!


  1. Yes, hover your mouse on over to this, (going here first). In the second row from the bottom of my tabbed menu; last entry on the right. The one marked 'TNSW'.

    The same menu where there is a link to you.

    1. Thanks for that link to your blogroll and reading list. Given the links around the one you directed me to, I gather you think that "Janos/Vlad" is not just a sockpuppet, but an actual disinformation agent/provocateur. As Captain Jack Sparrow would say, "That's interesting. That's very interesting." That hadn't occurred to me.

      Even so, I'm not convinced. I think the man behind the vampire persona is a sincere and intelligent racist. He's been at this way too long and comes off as too old to be some enlisted man or junior officer punching a clock at a terminal. Besides, where else have you seen him in action? He wouldn't be trolling just CFN.

      That written, I'm glad you have a link to this blog here and in a location where the context says "not a disinformation agent."

    2. Not to worry my friend. I'd not put anyone in that context that did not deserve it.

  2. Here's a comment I made on this entry's link on the blog's Facebook page.

    "One of the odd things about Kunstler's blog is that he's supposedly a liberal (he isn't really, but he doesn't fit with current ideas of what a conservative is, either), but his blog attracts a lot of right-wingers. Racists, survivalists, and other bigots and malcontents populate the comments section. About the only way they get into trouble is when they become blatantly anti-Semitic. In that case, they got what they had coming to them."

    So far, Vlad/Janos, despite being something of a Neo-Nazi, has managed to keep from getting banned. Clever and lucky man.

  3. Are there any blogs to piss and moan about Kunstler's writing? I respect his foresight. "The Long Emergency" shaped the way I now look at the world. Which is no mean feat, because I was over 50 when I found out about it, and my opinions were already deeply founded. He can still bang out some excellent prognostication or reflections about society. As I'm writing this (mid-2019) he seems to be doing one Big Picture post a week, alternating with a Grumpy Old Fart Redstate "I Hate Political Correctness!" post.

    I don't comment on his blog after he slapped me down for neologisms. I don't blather on most sites, just obscure ones like yours (no insult meant.) I see no point being part of a welter of voices at places like the Archdruid's. JHK comes up peripherally sometimes in the monthly get-together of JMG aficionados we have Down Undahere. But I wish there was somewhere that I could whinge about his bad stuff, praise the good, and see how other Kunstler admirers are thinking. Forget reading comments on CFN (for me, at least.) Same reason I only dip lightly into ZeroHedge comments from time to time. To see what the racists and shit4brainez are saying, so I know the outer limits of reich-wing talking points. And to see if you scored the first comment on JHK's blog! After a few minutes of comment-scanning, though, I come to the conclusion that what I am learning does not justify the molecules of greenhouse gas created by my use of electricity to light the screen, and I click out.

    1. This is as good a place to complain about Kunstler as any. Not only did I do it in this entry, I did it in 'Inconvenient Truth 2' being released next year and 'Treasures of the Earth' to replace 'The End of Suburbia' in my classes , just off the top of my head. Go right ahead and find any entry with either the james howard kunstler or clusterfuck nation labels and whine away!

      Yeah, I don't like a lot of the other commenters at his blog, either. Janos/Vlad isn't the only one who gets on my nerves. I have a higher opinion of most of the people who comment on JMG's blogs, even if they are a bit too woo-woo for my tastes.