Hold the Teddy Bears & Candles

In a nation afflicted by fads, crazes, manias and rages, mass murder is the jackpot for nihilists, writes James Howard Kunstler.


Memorial for victims of school shooting at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, February 2008. (Cafebaro/Wikimedia Commons)

By James Howard Kunstler
Clusterfuck Nation

James Howard KunstlerIn a nation afflicted by fads, crazes, manias and rages, mass murder is the jackpot for nihilists — begging the question: why does this country produce so many of them? Answer: this is exactly what you get in a culture where anything goes and nothing matters. Extract all the meaning and purpose from being here on Earth, and erase as many boundaries as you can from custom and behavior, and watch what happens, especially among young men trained on video slaughter games.

For many, there is no armature left to hang a life on, no communities, no fathers, no mentors, no initiations into personal responsibility, no daily organizing principles, no instruction in useful trades, no productive activities, no opportunities for love and affection, and no way out. This abyss of missing social relations is made worse by the everyday physical settings for everyday lives based on nothing: the wilderness of parking lots that America has turned itself into. Such is the compelling myth of the New World as a wilderness that we obliged ourselves to re-enact it, minus nature, including human nature, especially what may be noble and sacred about human nature.

(BagoGames/Flickr)

The old truism sticks: when nothing is sacred, everything is profane, and what could be more profane than slaughtering your fellow humans en masse, for no good reason? Just because you felt like it at the time? Another time, you might feel like scarfing some tacos, or checking in on the free porn sites, or tweaking some crushed-up oxycontin. One message from the culture of anything-goes-and-nothing-matters comes through loud and clear: if it feels good, do it! And if you feel bad, do something to make yourself feel better.

Grotesque Landscape

The wonder is that the way we live these days hasn’t turned more people into homicidal maniacs, considering how many are out there feeling bad in this grotesque landscape of incessant motoring, vivid purposelessness, and lost aspiration — unless these bloody skirmishes are the precursor to some more general outbreak of murderous havoc. It’s not hard these days to imagine the political animus ratcheting up to something like a new civil war. If it works out that way, it will be the most psychologically confused political event of modern history.

Gladstone, Missouri, Walmart. (Walmart/Flickr)

Walmart is the perfect setting for these ceremonies of nihilist wrath. The sheer size of these places makes the “consumers” inside feel small, and informs them that they are at the mercy of colossal forces for their pitiful daily needs, their Hot Pockets, their disposable diapers, their roach spray. The shooter is just a momentary concentration of everything else grinding the dignity and meaning out of American lives. The bad karma in these dynamics compels some periodic release. Cue some young man jacked on his own hormones and a comic book conception of human power relations.

I’m not persuaded that a ban on gun sales will do anything to prevent more of these deadly episodes because there are already too many firearms loose in America. But it is probably necessary to make some kind of statement, say a ban on military-type weapons, and I rather expect that will happen. But the political process of recognizing what really ails this society is mired in bad faith, idiocy, and neuroticism. And the political actors are signaling their ineptitude clearly, which only adds to the sweeping demoralization of everybody else.

We await a restructuring of American life into real communities of people working together at things that matter, and it will require the demise of the things that have worked so hard to destroy all that, namely, the tyranny of the giants, the town-killing Walmarts, the suffocating monster of government, the media manipulators of reality, the too-big-to-fail banks. The people alone won’t loosen the grip of these monsters and, honestly, they lack the will to even imagine life without all that. But history onrushing will do it for them, first in the form of a financial fiasco that upsets the meaning of what “money” is, and all the instruments calibrated in it; and then with an economic collapse of supply lines and activities that we can’t afford to carry on anymore.

The people may have to be dragged kicking and screaming into that new disposition of things, just because it’s so hard to let go of what you’re used to. Something like this appears to be underway now in global business and markets. For a while, it will only add to the confusion. Clarity is a lagging effect.

James Howard Kunstler is author of “The Geography of Nowhere,” which he says he wrote “Because I believe a lot of people share my feelings about the tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities, and ravaged countryside that makes up the everyday environment where most Americans live and work.” He has written several other works of nonfiction and fiction. Read more about him here.

This article first appeared on his blog, ClusterfuckNation. 

Before commenting please read Robert Parry’s Comment PolicyAllegations unsupported by facts, gross or misleading factual errors and ad hominem attacks, and abusive language toward other commenters or our writers will be removed.

90 comments for “Hold the Teddy Bears & Candles

  1. Coffee Marcus
    August 11, 2019 at 11:59

    Fantastic perspective, I.

    The theory of “divide & conquer” by our entrenched bureaucrats has come to the forefront this past decade.
    The ‘Blue Donkey’ and ‘Red Elephant’ political masses are so polarized by their leadership that the majority of common folk (ie: us, you,me) can no longer see the forest from the trees.
    As opposed to taking on “common sense”, big impact, large perspective legislative issues to make our nation more viable and a welcomed global partner…we dwell on the proper wording for labeling restrooms and street-sewer covers.

    A sad truth still is not a lie.

  2. August 11, 2019 at 11:00

    Fantastic perspective. ?

    The theory of “divide & conquer” by our entrenched bureaucrats has come to the forefront this past decade.
    The ‘Blue Donkey’ and ‘Red Elephant’ political masses are so polarized by their leadership that the majority of common folk (ie: us, you,me) can no longer see the forest from the trees.
    As opposed to taking on “common sense”, big impact, large perspective legislative issues to make our nation more viable and a welcomed global partner…we dwell on the proper wording for labeling restrooms and street-sewer covers. ?

    A sad truth still is not a lie. ?

  3. Dave Hormsan
    August 9, 2019 at 22:40

    Final thought (thankfully.)

    When you promise someone something great and even call it “The Dream” that’s one thing.

    When it turns out to be a lie, that’s another.

    When the reality will be poverty, unemployment, maybe even hunger we are in a new landscape.

    When there is no realistic possible escape we are finally there.

    How does that contradict a nihilist philosphy even slightly. It a postmodern cultural relativity for all those Jordan Peterson fans in Canada.

  4. Dave Hormsan
    August 9, 2019 at 22:06

    Correction and cite:

    Josh *Clark*
    “EP10: Simulation Argument (Epilogue)”

    https://www.theendwithjosh.com/podcasts/ep10-simulation-argument-epilogue.htm

  5. Dave Hormsan
    August 9, 2019 at 21:58

    Regarding nihilism, the truth of this in a non-sentient universe is hard to dispell.

    I do believe that can be a trigger in splitting disorders. We don’t all have the resilience and tool set to cope with that storm.

    It reminds of the folks of deep faith lost. It’s a crisis. Myself? I was depressed for months and that simply doesn’t happen in my life normally.

    • Dave Hormsan
      August 9, 2019 at 22:01

      I was depressed about macro nihilism not God.

      I speak to The Great God of the Grand Simulation (Argument) all the time. I tell people that Josh Peters saved me!

  6. Dave Hormsan
    August 9, 2019 at 21:33

    James Howard Kunstler (Clusterfuck Nation) this is indeed the “root” issue.

    ‘For a while, it will only add to the confusion. Clarity is a lagging effect.’
    You nailed it.

    ‘But the political process of recognizing what really ails this society is mired in bad faith, idiocy, and neuroticism.’ I would have said greed and narcism.

    ‘unless these bloody skirmishes are the precursor to some more general outbreak of murderous havoc.’

    Re your speculation, Geofascism and a hard right populace are happening now.

    HOWEVER:

    ‘Answer: this is exactly what you get in a culture where anything goes and nothing matters. Extract all the meaning and purpose from being here on Earth, and erase as many boundaries as you can from custom and behavior, and watch what happens, especially among young men trained on video slaughter games.’

    Okay fine, but this entire article presupposes that nihilism is incorrect.

    I think you have a sound argument that these things are related and create tendencies but not that you are correct and they wrong. In fact better education (scoff) accounts for part of this.

    Within their subculture, and you in yours, both are correct.

    I quite agree with your conclusions about what is needed and will occur for change. It matters not

  7. countykerry
    August 9, 2019 at 19:30

    /S

  8. countykerry
    August 9, 2019 at 17:15

    I am reading ‘The Geography of Nowhere’, James Howard Kunstler, looking very hard to find the racism.

    Haven’t found it yet, but will keep trying !

    • countykerry
      August 9, 2019 at 19:26

      /S

    • Dave Hormsan
      August 9, 2019 at 21:45

      That was very coherent CountryKerry.

      Where did you get Postmodern-fascism is from? As a term it is more descriptive (and unused) than either Geofascism or Neofascism (Neoliberal.)

      We must define our terms musn’t we. It is more sciency.

  9. IOANNHS
    August 8, 2019 at 21:09

    RESEND (slightly revised version, y can ignore the original version, which has not been published so far)

    Dear Consortium News,
    1. Here’s one the best analyses / explanations of the two shootings currently around (goes beyond Kunstler’s, complements it):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj4wKe-mjIo

    One can always quibble about details, but overall, in the current atmosphere of lies and totalitarian globalist propaganda (in these “post-truth” times), this video is an island of sanity & reason.
    [My thoughts on Netflix etc ditto Peter’s (at least for ALL post, say, after 2015, US-made movies … NOT A SINGLE GOOD MALE MODEL MOVIE, NOT ONE … not a figment of one’s imagination. BTW, remember “The Simpsons” where all males are either stupid or evil, including black men (the “doctor”) … It’s like smoking five (5) packs of cigarettes a day, for a while, and then wonder why you got lung cancer (mass shootings).
    Behind all this is liberal globalization (the last and most hubristic part of INDUSTRIALISM), a sure recipe for unhappiness (alienation —> atomization) plus poverty and unfreedom, a recipe to better divide & rule us, and, eventually … eliminate us, a global nightmare. See #5 below, for details.

    2. In view of the diametrically different politics of the two mass shooters, the usual GLOBALIST (liberal, new left, neo-con, “antifa”) arguments about “racism”, “fascism”, “white nationalism/supremacism” etc don’t hold any water, they are ignorant/self-serving b.s. disproved daily by the facts, i.e. the national shooting & killing statistics, especially in places like Chicago, Baltimore etc (see # 4, below on who is who in mass killings etc). [BTW, the Ohio shooter has quietly disappeared from the big media …]

    3. If your CULTURE and POCKETBOOK are threatened by OPEN BORDERS and AUTOMATION, AND YOU HAVE NO SOCIAL SUPPORT (e.g. a strong labor union), hence have no future, and you are 20 years old, it’s very easy to “go postal” … Because, when the liberal and leftist globalist scumbags abolish the national borders the working class becomes “the deplorables”, “fascists”, “racists” etc … In the real world, you cannot have a successful social program (e.g. social security, medicare etc) with uncontrolled immigration.

    4. WE’RE BEING FED PURE BOVINE EXCREMENT BY THE BIG MEDIA:

    • TYPICAL MASS SHOOTER:
    https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/typical-mass-shooter-a-white-male-think-again/

    • DAYTON MASS SHOOTER:
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-05/dayton-shooter-was-pro-satan-leftist-who-supported-warren-sanders-antifa-and

    https://summit.news/2019/08/05/ohio-shooter-was-a-radical-leftist-who-supported-elizabeth-warren/

    • As national data show, the big majority of shooting crimes in the US are carried out by NON-WHITES, but big media either under-report them or do not report them at all, because that’d demolish their globalist narrative (“diversity is our strength” b.s.); same as they do with the migrants’ crimes in Europe. Also, in absolute numbers, the US police is killing more unarmed whites than blacks. That’s why “identity politics” is dumb and self-defeating (i.e. divide and rule, as in “black lives matter”).
    • However, there are “stylistic” (cultural) differences between the violent crimes of young WHITES (e.g. high school mass shootings with Kalashnikov’s) and the violent crimes of young BLACKS (e.g. inner city gang warfare via handguns) … and the latter exceeds the former by far … Again, no one dares to talk about this, and no one tries to explain it; the facts run against the globalist big media narrative; just like we can’t discuss the lies / hoaxes of September 11, of WMD (Iraq, 2003), of Russiagate today.
    In the land of the free, it has been made impossible to discuss our most important problems, from possible WW3 with Russia & China, to border control / immigration, to our daily relations with fellow citizens … another “triumph” of “diversity” …

    5. SUM: Today’s (postmodern) fascism, unlike classical fascism, comes from the liberal CENTER — today’s world is not afraid of a few thousand pathetic KKK clowns in the US, no, today the world is scared of the neoliberal globalists in Washington + Brussels + London etc, of EU & Náto, who have surrounded Russia, China etc AND, who are also in bed with the real fascists in Kiev, the Baltics and elsewhere …
    RHETORICAL QUESTION: Who has killed more innocent people, the KKK (& similar in Europe) OR the liberal & new left globalists in Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc etc and are now pushing for war (WW3 ?) with Irán, Russia etc ?????????????????
    Today’s fascists wear Armani suits, carry laptops, fly first class & destroy countries & societies, & whoever resists is “fascist” …
    No, it’s not about “racism”, “white nationalism/supremacism” etc. It’s all about western neo-liberal globalization … and the new left (incl. “antifa” storm troopers) are its useful idiots and/or useful prostitutes …

    • Dave Hormsan
      August 9, 2019 at 22:08

      My comment t you (IOANNHS) was accidentally directed to CountryKeey above.

      What do mean Postmodern-fascusm?

    • IOANNHS
      August 10, 2019 at 00:35

      Dear Dave, Here’s a layman’s summary (I’ll try to pack several paperbacks in a few paragraphs! This is no academic paper):

      1. CLASSICAL (“low tech”) fascism means pre WW2 fascism (mainly Mussolini’s Italy, and secondarily Hitler’s Germany).
      THEN, think of, say, a pyramid: POLITICS was on TOP (master) and ECONOMICS was at the BOTTOM (servant); the latter was dependent and subservient to the former.
      2. TODAY, however (roughly after the 1970s, electronics, computers), in the age of (western, neo-liberal) globalization and ITS POSTMODERN CULTURE, things have been turned upside down: in today’s postmodern (high-tech) fascism, Economics is the master, on top of the pyramid, while Politics is its servant, at the bottom — it’s no accident that today’s Western politicians are all midgets, clowns, e.g. Bush, Obama, H. Clinton, Trump, Biden, K. Harris, J. Trudeaux, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, France’s Hollande & Macron, EU “leaders” … No Churchill’s, no De Gaulle’s, no statesmen in the West.
      Further, and this is important, today Economics has been almost completely separated (made autonomous!) from Politics … This AUTONOMIZATION of economics from politics (society) is the essence of the new / current / post-modern fascism: a merging of economic and political power …
      [Most people today use the term “fascism” for political authoritarianism (militarism etc), á la “1984”, without understanding its historical roots and meaning; it’s become an all purpose insult for evil etc … highly emotional term .]
      3. A distinguished political scientist, Prof. Sheldon Wolin (see e.g. you tube videos), has termed today’s situation INVERTED TOTALITARIANISM.
      4. Further, this (high tech) globalism is the last stage of INDUSTRIALISM, a process started in the West several centuries ago … FURTHER, in a FINITE world (the Earth) this will unavoidably lead to TRANS-HUMANISM (“enhanced” humans, e.g. bionic arms, legs), and later META-, or POST-HUMANISM (all man made, nothing natural) !
      All of today’s upheavals: From transgender restrooms, THE ATTACKS ON EVERYTHING FAMILIAR, the attacks on “toxic masculinity” (even attacks on BIOLOGY, e.g. “today I’m a man, tomorrow I’m a woman”, etc etc), no red lines, no moral borders (e.g. shameless praising of pedophilia in parts of Europe!), the attacks on national borders and social identities (e.g. citizenship), the political correctness, the “safe spaces”, “diversity”, “inclusion” bullsh!t; all the way TO the mega hoax of “Russiagate”, to the war in Ukraine, the current attacks on Irán, Venezuéla, Russia, China (WW3 in near future ?!) etc;
      ALL these phenomena are parts of this neoliberal western (industrialism —>) globalism … The endgame is a GLOBAL DICTATORSHIP of the big (private) CENTRAL BANKS etc — global fascism, 21st cent. style. Afterwards (or gradually, with various excuses) they plan to micro-chip us, and eliminate cash … We’ll have become completely domesticated like dogs (then cats will be smarter than us …) But human history is not deterministic, there’s still hope … there’s pushback for a multipolar world. I suggest you re-read “1984”, also “Brave New World”, and relevant videos of Aaron Russo etc (you tube); turn off your TV, discuss it with friends, stay informed … I.

  10. August 8, 2019 at 11:23

    My brother struggles with bi-polar disorder and schizo-affective tendencies. He is a sweet person who occasionally has asked me why people expect him to act “normal” in such an insane world.

    • Dave Horsman
      August 9, 2019 at 21:15

      I hope you told him normal is a myth.

  11. August 8, 2019 at 11:19

    Right now, U.K, EEUU,Sweden and the actual government of Ecuador are committing a crime by letting Julian Assange’s health deteriorate in prison, with a treatment that no one can supervise, isolated, being treated as a true murderer. The government of Australia, the United Nations, the groups of journalists around the world must pronounce themselves immediately and prevent this crime from being consumed. These four states are behaving like a true illicit association, conspiring to slowly kill a notable journalist
    Free Julian Assange NOW. Don´t let them kill him in prison.

  12. michael
    August 8, 2019 at 09:57

    Actually the universality of “the white supremacist” mass killer is a fake media trope (may have value for SERIAL killers, although the FBI has backed off their profiling, since it allowed Malvo and Muhammed to roam free in their killing spree).
    The vast majority of recent mass shooters (using the old definition of at least four dead victims within 24 hours) are People of Color and Immigrants or children of immigrants:
    At least Fourteen Mass Shooters were People of Color: Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer (mixed race), Daylon Delon Gamble, Anthony Watkins Jr, Terrance Wesley, DeWayne Craddock, and Gary Martin, Jarrod W. Ramos, Gerry Dean Zaragoza, Jose Larin-Garcia and Esteban Santiago, James Cloud and Donovan Quinn Carter Cloud, Nam Le, Chi Dinh Ta (not sure what % of Immigrants count as POC? )
    At least Eight were immigrants or children of immigrants (two overlap): Dimitrios Pagourtzis, Arcan Cetin, Omar Mateen, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, Nam Le, Chi Dinh Ta, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. Possibly nine (Zephan Xaver??)
    At least Eleven were “white” men: Ian David Long, Devin Patrick Kelley, John Robert Nuemann Jr, Dylan Roof, Patrick Crusius, Connor Betts, and Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer (mixed race), Nikolas Cruz and Stephen Paddock, Robert Bowers, Dakota Theriot.
    These are people whose crimes were profiled by the Los Angeles Times and ABC News, to be glorified and mimicked by a subculture of young men who follow these murderers like my generation followed baseball statistics. Their motives were varied and all sorts of agendas can be fed by how their crimes are discussed.

  13. August 7, 2019 at 21:20

    Since some of y’all seem to be a bit slow on the uptake, here’s a cartoon meme which nails it in a couple of sentences folks, because it ain’t that difficult to understand.

    https://theopensocietyorg.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/king-of-the-hill.png

    • Anonymot
      August 8, 2019 at 11:46

      Accurate, but superficial. Unfortunately, most graphic artists are at a loss for words; hoping the drawing will make up for it. It’s visual twitter talk. There are but rare Crumbs.

    • Dave Horsman
      August 9, 2019 at 22:10

      Is your site down? You clearly understand the importance of imagery (or memes) in communications.

  14. August 7, 2019 at 19:02

    This is the best commentary I’ve read about this. Read it twice.

    • August 7, 2019 at 20:21

      Do you mean it is the best commentary you’ve read which glaringly leaves out the overt fascism and racism espoused in the manifesto of the El Paso mass murderer as the reasons he killed these people?

      http://osociety.org/2019/08/07/fascist-violence-goes-mainstream/

    • Northern Observer
      August 8, 2019 at 11:29

      Ahhh, … Anis Shivani. What is it with south Asian intellectuals and anti white bigotry bordering on genocidal intent? Is it the narcissism of small differences? Whereas the Chinese or African intellectual has the comfort of his or her distinct phenotype to differentiate themselves from the “evil white” the south Asian looks in the mirror and sees a disturbing resemblance to the despised European racial enemy. And so fearing that he is somehow polluted with the sin of whiteness, the south Asian ratchets up his euro-phobia to prove his racial bonifides; his revolutionary zeal will separate him from the hated white man and save is soul.

      The real question is not the racism of the shooter. The real question is why has race been allowed to substitute for immigration in the American political debate. My sense is that it is an attempt by inter-sectional elites to try and keep African Americans inside the Democratic open borders camp. Since from a purely political economy perspective, native born African Americans are a natural pro immigration-restriction community, one that is directly and immediately harmed by central american mass immigration to the USA. By yelling race and racism at any and every occasion, going so far as to platform Richard fing Spencer on CNN, the inter-sectional party aims to throw sand in the eyes and souls of America’s black voters, especially suburban professional black women, who are more susceptible to racial slights, regardless of their veracity. We will see if it works.

    • Dave Hormsan
      August 9, 2019 at 22:16

      No O. They mean it speaks to root cause not emergent social phenoma.

      I know you “get it.” Avoiding this under the umbrella “don’t rationalise” hasn’t worked so far.

      The article is weak though and completely lacking in solutions. Thanks for your content.

    • Dave Hormsan
      August 9, 2019 at 23:07

      Another great article O, I will read the cites.

      I again besiege you to consider that all this high level psychological and ideological analysis is accurate but futile.

      Solutions matter. They are found in neurological structures and executive pyschological skills in early development.

      So a (parenting) civil rights and educational issue essentially as much as an ideological solution.

      And yeah, get rid of the guns. They are obsolete anyway.

    • Dave Hormsan
      August 10, 2019 at 00:16

      Hi again O. RE:

      Trump and Mussolini: The same, only different? Eleven key lessons from historical fascism

      “Italian fascism provides a better model for our moment than Nazi Germany — and the comparison is not encouraging”

      Anis Shivani
      March 5, 2017 8:00PM (UTC)

      I didn’t find new info but that was by far the clearest explanation of why (IN TOTAL) left ideologies are more vulnerable to the fascist highjack.

      It was a bit misleading in making the point, extreme religious sects and classic conservatives mentioned as part of Trumps base. Both in that category. Corporatists too.

      In fact we find that centrists (globally) have a slight opposition to democracy statistically.

      So what is left? Not much. The author ignored fascism’s pre 20th century history too.

      My point? That set of attitudes and strategies we call fascist is just another social human trait. It’s built in.

      No solutions? Yeah. I agree it’s a process / cycle of empire.

      We are proto-fascist O. It’s clearly over. Take cover.

  15. Paolo
    August 7, 2019 at 17:15

    Dostoyevsky had predicted: if God is dead, then everything is permitted.
    Perhaps he was right. CNN or the NYT would probably comment that his was pre-Facebook anti-American propaganda to help Trump defeat Hillary

  16. Jimmy g
    August 7, 2019 at 17:04

    These young killers are demonstrating a glorified behavior: waging war.
    Almost none have been subjected to the horror of combat.
    Glorification of war, war as a solution to any problem, has brought this about especially when exacerbated
    by the Ambien, Zolof, and other psychotropics being handed out to children.
    Racism? The Dayton killer was leftist and antifa fanboy.

    • August 7, 2019 at 22:31

      The Dayton murderer is white, isn’t he?

      I haven’t even looked to see. Don’t need to. We all know he is. Without having to look.

      I quit looking at their names and faces long ago because they’re all white guys. From Charles Manson with the swastika carved in his forehead down to whoever this Dayton mass murder is. You can call’em crazy all you like, thing is, they’re still all white guys.

      So there’s that.

    • countykerry
      August 8, 2019 at 02:13

      And what does race have to do with murderous intent ? Nothing.

    • countykerry
      August 8, 2019 at 02:26

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zebra_murders

      A different time, perhaps different reasons , nonetheless an intent to kill.

    • August 8, 2019 at 10:35

      What’s that then? Have you gone to a Trump rally and dug up the Black Man called Michael trope to prove something other than yes, there are some crazy black people too?

      https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/blacks-for-trump-founder-michael-the-black-man-returns-for-trumps-orlando-2020-rally-11199599

      Sure, every white guy has “my one black friend” which proves he really truly indeed can’t possibly be a racist because this one black guy he knows or whatever. It’s how we justify racism. By pretending “it’s OK because They do it too.” Is this what you’re up to countrykerry? Because I’m familiar with the cliches already…

    • August 8, 2019 at 09:48

      There all white aren’t they? These so-called lone wolf right wing extremist fascists who mass murder folks, they’re white aren’t they? Hitler was white, Mussolini too. Dylan Roof Charles Manson…

      wecould go on …

      That’s what race has to do with it, troll called countrykerry.

      Mass murders at schools and shopping malls is a white thing, isn’t it?

      I haven’t seen pictures of the El Paso murderer nor the Dayton murderer. Betcha $10000000 both are white. Wanna bet?

    • countykerry
      August 8, 2019 at 14:29

      Osociety, perhaps instead of looking at the exterior, we would do better by looking inward at the heart to grasp what is missing. And, I am not trolling, I simply have a different point of view.

    • michael
      August 8, 2019 at 09:56

      Actually the universality of “the white supremacist” mass killer is a fake media trope (may have value for SERIAL killers, although the FBI has backed off their profiling, since it allowed Malvo and Muhammed to roam free in their killing spree).
      The vast majority of recent mass shooters (using the old definition of at least four dead victims within 24 hours) are People of Color and Immigrants or children of immigrants:
      At least Fourteen Mass Shooters were People of Color: Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer (mixed race), Daylon Delon Gamble, Anthony Watkins Jr, Terrance Wesley, DeWayne Craddock, and Gary Martin, Jarrod W. Ramos, Gerry Dean Zaragoza, Jose Larin-Garcia and Esteban Santiago, James Cloud and Donovan Quinn Carter Cloud, Nam Le, Chi Dinh Ta (not sure what % of Immigrants count as POC? )
      At least Eight were immigrants or children of immigrants (two overlap): Dimitrios Pagourtzis, Arcan Cetin, Omar Mateen, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, Nam Le, Chi Dinh Ta, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. Possibly nine (Zephan Xaver??)
      At least Eleven were “white” men: Ian David Long, Devin Patrick Kelley, John Robert Nuemann Jr, Dylan Roof, Patrick Crusius, Connor Betts, and Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer (mixed race), Nikolas Cruz and Stephen Paddock, Robert Bowers, Dakota Theriot.
      These are people whose crimes were profiled by the Los Angeles Times and ABC News, to be glorified and mimicked by a subculture of young men who follow these murderers like my generation followed baseball statistics. Their motives were varied and all sorts of agendas can be fed by how their crimes are discussed.

    • Northern Observer
      August 8, 2019 at 11:03

      Tell it to the Tutsi you racist bigot.

    • August 9, 2019 at 17:37

      countrykerry~

      Fair enough. We can have different points of view. No worries.

      Kunstler’s essay here is well-written and makes sense. I have no problem with it in and of itself.

      What I have a problem with is looking for zebras when there’s a barn full of horses. The El Paso murderer told us exactly why he did it. So why pretend it’s video games or something else like Kuntstler and Trump do?

      It’s white men filled with hate. This is not my opinion, rather it’s what the data say:

      https://news.yahoo.com/heres-the-data-the-trump-administration-wouldnt-give-congress-on-white-supremacist-terrorism-235254627.html

    • August 9, 2019 at 17:43

      Fake trope? Are you high? Maybe step away from the keyboard awhile, Mike. Let the adults talk. Thank you.

      Here they are. Names. Dates. Everything.

      “Department Homland Security report. The document, dated April 15, 2019, shows 25 of the 46 individuals allegedly involved in 32 different domestic terrorism incidents are identified as white supremacists.

      https://theopensocietyorg.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/white-terrorists.jpg

  17. August 7, 2019 at 15:03

    Humanity today is like a cake you were baking and instead of adding a teaspoon of salt the you added a cup. The entire cake has to be thrown out. Today we are at the point where the earth would be far better served if the human race were to just disappear. Then the planet would stand a chance to heal itself and in another million years or so produce an intelligent species that would give it the respect it deserves. The earth and all of the other species on it would not miss the human race for a single minute. Sometimes it would seem like a nuclear holocaust might be the blessing this planet needs to get rid of the human race.

    • Dave Horsman
      August 9, 2019 at 22:25

      I can help with that. Be careful what you ask for.

      Reality is still experienced regardless of the very best mental and emotional preparation. Put another way, all doesn’t matter much.

      I am not saying you are wrong but I would not encourage this any more than a Wal-Mart gig.

  18. SPENCER
    August 7, 2019 at 13:50

    Other countries –after a similar shooting–take the guns away from everyone except the police—like what they did in NEW ZELAND and Australia .

    • rosemerry
      August 7, 2019 at 15:22

      This would be disastrous in the USA, where the police are so often involved in the mayhem.

  19. Annie
    August 7, 2019 at 12:50

    We never fail to be amazed, shocked nor fail to ponder the reasons of mass shootings in this country that leave, 10, 20, 30 dead. Nor do we fail to give these events widespread media coverage, and feel we have to do something, yet we never question the 15-16 thousand murders that occur each year in this country. Perhaps the answer is that these shootings are random and anyone of us can be in the line of that fire, while the thousands of murders that occur yearly in this country are relegated to the “other” that we seem to care little about. I also wonder at our sense of pathos when these horrible shootings occur, but our lack of it when it comes to the death we’ve inflicted in our many wars. Of course the answer is once again, it’s the other who is slaughtered.

    • Dave Hormsan
      August 9, 2019 at 22:31

      That’s it actually Annie.

      We don’t know when that random event might occur but it involves us.

      This relates to numerous cognitive processes (gambling for example) where the anticipation greatly effects and affects our thinking.

  20. robert e williamson jr
    August 7, 2019 at 12:44

    Litchfield: The guns are not going anywhere soon, too many everywhere. And more being bought and built everyday.

    Go see Justin King https://thefifthcolumnnews.com/2019/08/lets-talk-about-a-bizzare-working-theory/ he discusses 50 years of data from The Violence Project. Hard data here not “Trumpesque” lies!

    In addition. See this: Eddie Glaude @esglaude

    https://twitter.com/msnbc/status/1158535659704999937?s=03 Tweeted @ 7:30pm Aug 05, 2019

    Eddie says: “It’s easy for us to place it all on Donald Trump’s shoulders … This is us. And if we are going to get past this we can’t blame it on him. He’s a manifestation of ugliness that’s in us. @esglaude says white people must reckon with the presence of racism in the U.S.”

    What we can blame on Trump is his grotesque ignorance of other human beings. Which in my mind is enough to get him fired !~ Or sent to prison for inciting violence through sedition!

  21. August 7, 2019 at 12:38

    It’s not like the mainstream media hide the racism plain as the noses on our faces, is it? How much more obviously racist can you get than publishing a manifesto telling all about your plan and the mass murder of peoples specifically because of the color of their skin, the language they speak, and the culture in which they live? Not like it’s obvious or something, is it? Hmmm…

    https://osociety.org/2019/08/06/white-supremacy-is-aided-by-mainstream-institutions/

  22. August 7, 2019 at 12:34

    There is no question James Howard Kunstler has a long well-documented history of coming up with any and every topic he can find to talk about to explain away American racism. Why this topic makes up the entirety of chapter 11 in this very book…

    https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781315408705/chapters/10.4324/9781315408705-16

    Cuntstler is a racist. There you go. Documented. Ahem…

    • countykerry
      August 9, 2019 at 17:15

      I am reading ‘The Geography of Nowhere’, James Howard Kunstler, looking very hard to find the racism.

      Haven’t found it yet, but will keep trying !

    • August 9, 2019 at 17:44

      Here’s the racism:

      “Department Homeland Security report. The document, dated April 15, 2019, shows 25 of the 46 individuals allegedly involved in 32 different domestic terrorism incidents are identified as white supremacists.

      https://theopensocietyorg.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/white-terrorists.jpg

  23. Marshall
    August 7, 2019 at 12:17

    Doesn’t mention racism or fascism once, instead mentions video games. This author does not have a clue.

    • Josep
      August 10, 2019 at 16:22

      Other countries have those same violent video games, and yet they don’t have as much gun crime as does the US.

      While some of the shooters were indeed under the influence of certain video games, however, it serves as a grim reminder of how today’s parents are afraid to be, well, parents. They just buy the games for their kids without checking their content, let alone age rating, and let them play them without consideration for their well-being. Wiser parents would not buy such games for their underage children in the first place.

      The issue here, to me, is not so much that children are being exposed to violence at an early age as parents are increasingly neglectful of their children.

  24. robert e williamson jr
    August 7, 2019 at 12:11

    Ditto’s, Maura Tierney,. Specifically that is to you media comment. However Trump is an instigator, hateful and distorts facts by lying constantly and the media ignore that fact by repeating what this idiot’s racist rants.

    Trump needs to shut the hell up or put up! Being racist is like being pregnant, you are or you’re not. This guy is a bullying racist who is causing trouble and plenty of it. Now get over it and kneel before YOUR emperor!

  25. August 7, 2019 at 11:35

    The destruction of nature, replacing the natural world with electronic words and pictures, a steady diet of war and violence, does not lead to healthy and happy people. The native people, stuck on their reservations, aren’t even discussed in this reparations diatribe, and it’s from them this land was seized.

  26. August 7, 2019 at 11:30

    Stop blaming President -.Chuck Schumer and media are hateful and distortion promoters.

  27. Litchfield
    August 7, 2019 at 10:56

    “I’m not persuaded that a ban on gun sales will do anything to prevent more of these deadly episodes because there are already too many firearms loose in America.”

    I agree.
    Somehow I don’t think the real problem is firearms, as much as I do wonder why Americans are so enamoured of them.

    I do think the problem is classic “anomie”:
    “lack of the usual social or ethical standards in an individual or group.”

    Daignosed a long time ago, but now it feels like it is the prevailing “mood” in American society—esp. among those who have never heard of it.

  28. August 7, 2019 at 10:37

    ‘[T]his is exactly what you get in a culture where anything goes and nothing matters.’

    That is not what I perceive around me at all. I take it the rest of the article is a rant about how awful everyone else is. There are certainly a lot of problems in this country, but the nihilism and anomie here seem minor compared to the violence and passions of those committed to patriotism, capitalism, racism, empire, the police state, and ‘our’ many other such hobbies. And these in turn are but psychopathic outbreaks in a broader context of large numbers of a diversely variegated people trying to get along in life more or less reasonably. True, the Walmart parking lot is not a great place to live. Why don’t you move?

    • Lululuna
      August 7, 2019 at 11:34

      There perhaps is not anywhere else to go.
      In so many ways we are trapped. This is the end of this road.

  29. August 7, 2019 at 08:35

    How to End Gun Violence Immediately

    https://osociety.org/2019/08/07/how-to-end-gun-violence/

  30. August 7, 2019 at 08:12

    No need for us to ponder Kuntzler’s piece and wax nostalgic. I know how to end gun violence in the US immediately:

    *Buy every single African American male membership in the National Rifle Association.*

    The NRA organization could not survive without its all-white constituency; hence, it would fold. The madness would end. We could have responsible gun ownership laws and society without these ammo peddlers and their Smith and Wesson lobbyists paying the politicians to look the other way.

    Done. We all know it’s true.

    https://www.theroot.com/more-black-people-have-been-purchasing-firearms-since-t-1792806818

  31. Walter
    August 7, 2019 at 08:12

    I would add a link to Wallace’s NYT essay about our future and fascism and this quote>

    “Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-Saxon imperialism and eventually for war with Russia. Already American fascists are talking and writing about this conflict and using it as an excuse for their internal hatreds and intolerances toward certain races, creeds and classes.”

    How about that!

    https://michaelcaster.com/2013/01/20/the-danger-of-american-fascism-by-henry-a-wallace/

    Well, here we are…

    And now the nazis (well, they are, just not German nazis) want to remove the last significant political power of the people (you remember how Mao put it, where political power comes from) . The German nazis called this concentration of power gleichschaltung. They also said Heimat (Homeland) a lot…pure coincidence?

    And their newspapers covered lurid pornographic stories about the priests buggering the kiddies…thus removing that significant political force…

    How about that!

  32. Walter
    August 7, 2019 at 07:44

    Jim understands that people act according to perception of circumstance, and that these events are essentially political theater…most people who get shot get shot by either soldiers or cops…period. They have zero causation from gun availability…anything can be a weapon. The SSRI doping of the population does have such an effect, it is causative. So does a fascist culture impoverishing the multitude. So does an empire decaying in moral nihilist pederasty, blackmail, murder, rape and plunder.

    Two relevant quotes>

    William S. Burroughs “After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military”.

    Which is, of course, why pols love shooting sprees, and probably why the ElPaso event first report said three shooters all dressed up in black masks and vest…aninsidejob? Well, after murdering 3000 people in NYC, what’s a few schmucks in Texas if it distracts from scandal (Epstein) and builds consent for disarming the people and suspending the Bill of Rights?

    “Everything which is not forbidden is allowed” is a constitutional principle of English law—an essential freedom of the ordinary citizen or subject. The converse principle—”everything which is not allowed is forbidden”—used to apply to public authorities, whose actions were limited to the powers explicitly granted to them by law.

    And now in Murka?

    Burroughs put it> Nothing is true, everything is permitted. It’s the Assassins Creed – which figures, eh?

    see> http://www.phinnweb.org/neuro/assassins.html

    Pirates or Assassins? Is there a difference?

  33. David Otness
    August 7, 2019 at 01:27

    Go, Jim, Go!

  34. countykerry
    August 7, 2019 at 01:16

    “They paved paradise
    And put up a parking lot
    With a pink hotel, a boutique
    And a swinging hot spot”

    “They took all the trees
    And put ’em in a tree museum
    And they charged the people
    A dollar and a half to seem ’em ” Joni Mitchell

  35. geeyp
    August 7, 2019 at 00:30

    As I have stated in the past, the real drug crisis in this country is from psychotropic drugs, not opiates. So many of these shootings stem from this. I hate to see the onslaught of civil war when so many (most?) of the “antifa”/”identity politics” types have no clue of history and what has transpired along the way.

  36. geeyp
    August 7, 2019 at 00:16

    I suppose in a country where former agent Peter Strotck (sp.) ( recall this weirdo?) can sue the United States for violating his first and fifth amendment rights, then anything can happen. Yes, a day of reckoning will come and I hope it is, at least, evenly spread over the ones that caused this and not just those of us who had nothing to do with this chaos.

  37. firstpersoninfinite
    August 6, 2019 at 23:49

    Excellent analysis. Probably best not to be too discomfited by “nihilism” itself, since that is the only avenue to the “transvaluation of all values” necessary for actual human-sized solutions. We are 140 years into the 200 years predicted by Nietzsche needed to transpire before we can escape nihilism. We still have a lot of government surveillance and consequent inaction on other things to go; probably a theocracy or two (the United States of God can’t be far from realization), and we are already experiencing numerous attempts at caliphates in the Middle East. Between the two there is no difference worth mentioning. Fortunately, the Israeli government is probably the most nihilistic government on earth, and should show us all the crash and burn model born of ultimate nihilism by default. The only other option is Armageddon, criminal surveillance across every inch of the earth, and “revolutionaries” playing guitar under shadeless trees. Nietzsche, by the way, was never an anti-Semite, he was anti-German. No great philosopher can ever be anything else besides pan-human.

    • Josep
      August 10, 2019 at 05:14

      Nietzsche, by the way, was never an anti-Semite, he was anti-German.

      I must honestly admit I have not read much about Nietzsche, let alone accusations of anti-Semitism. But him being anti-German despite being one himself? Never heard that one either until I saw your comment.

  38. Ann Garrison
    August 6, 2019 at 23:47

    Good description of Walmart.

  39. Lars Frogner
    August 6, 2019 at 23:03

    As a Norwegian living in the U.S. trying to better understand American gun violence I see one glaring difference between the U.S. and the rest of the world: The way Americans perceive guns. Other countries like Switzerland and Norway have guns too, lots of them. They are for hunting and sport and not for self protection. You do not take the law into your own hands and kill people.
    Guns are not for killing people outside of war and war is not something you go looking for.

    American gun culture is very different and saturates society. From it’s dark roots in slave patrols and the colonization of the West. The glorification of the armed forces through action filled advertisements on TV. Cops killing unarmed citizens with impunity and perhaps most important. The father cleaning his weapons while telling his 7 year old how he’s ready to “take on” the intruders, the others. It’s okay and heroic to kill the bad guys. It’s a God given right. Junior’s a sponge, he’s got the message. America is full of these fathers. Good, hard working people, sitting on their arsenals. Itching for the right guy to walk in that door so they can exercise their 2nd amendment rights.

    Now who’s to tell who the bad guys are? People overseas that hate us? The guy who wants to steal your stuff? The LGBTQ community or the Mexicans invading the country? The guy who sleeps with your wife? The difference is, some people it is legal to kill, it can even be fun, according to General. “Mad dog” Mattis. Others are not. The reasoning behind pulling the trigger is the same.

    Hate speech, video games, mental health problems, racism, action movies, internet groups, the whole world’s got those things. The lack of regulations on semi-automatic rifles and handguns in particular, does of course help make it easier for Americans to shoot people. Guns are to gun violence what alcohol is to drunk driving. Should we ban alcohol? I hope not. Just don’t drink and drive. And get it out of your heads that’s it’s okay to kill people. It’s not.

    To further underscore my point. The bad guy behind the mass shooting in Texas will without a doubt be executed and America will call it justice served. Get ready for the next one.

    • AnneR
      August 7, 2019 at 08:56

      Lars – “American gun culture is very different and saturates society. From it’s dark roots in slave patrols and the colonization of the West. The glorification of the armed forces through action filled advertisements on TV. Cops killing unarmed citizens with impunity and perhaps most important. The father cleaning his weapons while telling his 7 year old how he’s ready to “take on” the intruders, the others. It’s okay and heroic to kill the bad guys. It’s a God given right. Junior’s a sponge, he’s got the message.”

      Quite. It really isn’t only the presence, availability of guns (of all sorts, mind), albeit that their very ease of purchase can’t but exacerbate the deep underlying culture of violence, death, slaughter and its glorification since the first colonizing, ethnic cleansing Brits landed in Roanoke then Plymouth Rock. The US’s deathly, lethal violence has its cultural roots in the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans and in the slave patrols and lynching and police shootings of African Americans (this latter has never ended).

      This country was not only established, expanded and maintained through ethnic-cleansing, racist imbued violence but it has continued this cultural state of mind throughout its existence. Its wars, invasions, bombings, coups (bloody and otherwise), especially since WWII have only increased the glorification of violence – so long as it is inflicted on those “others” far from US shores.

      The worship of the military has grown exponentially with its becoming wholly mercenary (voluntary). “Warriors” (puke making terminology) indeed. But what, or rather for whom are they warring?

      And the MIC which profits so well from the never ending killing by the US and its sidekicks are so embedded within the political structure and in many of the general population’s lives via their pay checks. Killing is a way of life for America as a political entity, for many, all too many, Americans as a means of living.

  40. CitizenOne
    August 6, 2019 at 22:44

    What’s with all these people writing manifestos? Writing manifestos is not nihilism but extremism. What we are seeing is the result of decades of deregulation of gun laws that make owning military assault weapons easy peasy combined with an internet crammed with hate sites that spout propaganda the likes of which Adolph Hitler would be proud.

    When you have a society with easy access to military grade weapons and easy access to a 24/7/365 hate rally going on in their basement that they can attend any hour of the day or all 24 hours of every day to be steeped in hatred and egged on to take action we should not be surprised when occasionally one of the members of these tribes of radicalized persons decides to do something about it and takes matters into their own hands.

    Even worse is the Roger Stone doctrine which is not unlike Nazi dogma that hate is more powerful than love and a national party that decides to forge a republican path to victory not unlike the Nazi path to victory which also utilized the power of hate to win its objective of complete domination of a national government.

    This root cause for mass shootings is surely not the only one and nihilists do commit such crimes for banal reasons of pointlessness and meaninglessness but these folks are harder to predict and even harder to prevent.

    Meanwhile we have a political structure that is emerging that condones acts of horror complicity by failing to take responsibility for their part in the creation of a culture of hate and its inevitable outcome.

    I think that a political party that stokes hatred is a better more obvious target than some flunky. It is also a much more lethal force if it degenerates into a Nazi style hatred applauding the demonization and dehumanization of entire classes.

    Next easiest target is websites that stoke hatred and homicidal rage. The sick part is they do it for the same reason that Roger Stone did it. It gets more viewers and voters.

    Next easiest target is enacting common sense gun laws that prohibit ownership of military weapons. Yes this would include field artillery guns and plastic explosives. Go figure. Your own personal nukes would also be banned although I’m sure the NRA would defend that as an inalienable right.

    Finally we can drill down to the sick individuals that are the ones doing the harm. Why wait till last to round up these folks? It’s like whack-a-mole. You have to fix what is creating all the crazy moles before you roundup the stragglers because if you don’t you will end up just playing a game of… you guessed it, endless whack a mole.

    This epidemic does not have to be complicated to fix. But it becomes difficult when the most powerful people in society and politics are benefiting from the results of the carnage every day.

    To view this carnage of violence delivered by suicidal mass murders armed with military weapons aimed at killing innocent civilians it is best not to focus on the individual but the larger theater of operations where they get their orders from and just who those field generals are who are commanding the kamikazes are and the reasons they are doing it.

    We are not living through randomness and indiscriminate killings. There are powerful psychological tools that were developed by our PsyOps military special forces. Psychological operations (PSYOP) are operations to convey selected information and indicators to audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. These tools are now being employed to change the behavior of individuals who frequent the internet.

    That is why I propose a top down approach to the problem that begins at the highest levels of politics.

    Reference material:

    Netflix documentary: “Get Me Roger Stone” explains Roger Stones rules
    Netflix documentary: “The Great Hack” shows how psyops was used in the last election. It is being used today.

  41. Sally Mitcheell
    August 6, 2019 at 21:54

    Start getting automatic guns out of the market place and not in the hands of mentally unstable persons. How do persons with mental ill health acquire guns. From their parents who might also have mental ill health around racial discrimination

  42. August 6, 2019 at 20:34

    Interestingly enough, Kunstler’s explanatory soliloquy doesn’t mention racism as a putative causation. You know, good ole American Us vs. Them fascism.

    The fact someone coild write an essay all about the making of all-white mass murderers and conveniently leave this main part out tells us a great deal about the nature of rationalization in clusterfuck nation.

    So there’s that….

    https://osociety.org/2019/08/06/white-supremacy-is-aided-by-mainstream-institutions/

    • Mark M Giese
      August 7, 2019 at 09:36

      Excellent observation, O Society.

      I have found Kunstler to be racist:

      “…I daresay that in my lifetime this country has bent over backwards to assist, accommodate, and uplift the demographic that styles itself nowadays as people-of-color. None of that has managed to abolish significant economic inequality. But, really, what else can be done? Spend trillions more promoting fatherless households? …”

      https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/final-voyage/

      In a private e-mail to him, I tried to point out as one for instance how cops seem to bend over backwards to put as many bullets into a black suspect as possible. This led to an argument.

      Even aside from that issue, there are many others as I am sure you well know such as mass incarceration of blacks as the new Jim Crow (fatherless households are one result).

      And a few years before Kunstler was born, the GI Bill was largely a for-whites-only effort.

      And redlining, and so forth.

      Another quote:

      ‘“Impeachment is too good for him,” Nancy Pelosi declared of the president on Thursday after “his lapdog” — as she styled Attorney General William Barr — refused to be whipped by grandstanding Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee. What did Madam Speaker have in mind then? Dragging Mr. Trump behind a Chevy Tahoe over four miles of broken light bulbs? Staking him onto a nest of fire ants? ***How about a beheading at the capable hands of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN)?***’

      https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/deeper-into-the-dark/

      Need I say more?

      (I wonder why Consortiumnews contact link is broken.)

    • geeyp
      August 8, 2019 at 00:36

      Mark M. Giese – That’s right. Go on looking for issues that don’t exist. You’ll find something, I’m sure. Knock yourself out.

    • August 8, 2019 at 10:00

      No need to search. Read a book. Here’s one now:

      ‘‘The Multicultural Dilemma’: Ignoring Racism in the Works of James Howard Kunstler’ in Violence Against Black Bodies

      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311611582_”The_Multicultural_Dilemma’_Ignoring_Racism_in_the_Works_of_James_Howard_Kunstler’_in_Violence_Against_Black_Bodies_eds_Sandra_Weissinger_Elwood_Watson_Dwayne_Mack_to_be_published_as_part_of_Routledg

    • August 7, 2019 at 17:15

      I dunno why the Consortium News contact link is broken. There obviously have been some troll attacks and technical difficulties the last couple of weeks.

      I wouldn’t assume anything personal. That goes for everyone, we usually get whining about “where’s my post” right about this time…

      In the meantime, maybe Kunstler is a racist trolling on the edge of whatever he can get away with and blaming the PC police for what he doesn’t get away with, hmmm…

      https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/race-hustle/

    • Mark M Giese
      August 7, 2019 at 19:19

      What was or is broken is their contact us link leaving one to have to use postal mail to send them a message.

    • Ml
      August 8, 2019 at 09:53

      I read this link of JK’s article. You are correct and I concur with you 100%. This author is a racist and the commenters below his article are almost all haughty, educated racists as well. Pretty horrifying because one would think they’d be beyond such thinking. And not that it matters, but I’m white and grew up in the South… I know racism when I see it.

  43. Spike
    August 6, 2019 at 17:47

    Please don’t include blame for it on an overbearing government. The government is weak and laissez-faire, to a small but still apparent and important extent concerning certain harmful behaviors of citizens but mainly concerning the factors that give rise to the other causes you cite.

    • Mary Saunders
      August 7, 2019 at 10:23

      When a government can condemn private property for a box store, a pipeline that might explode, a wall, and other hurtful stuff that cannot accomplish the objective the government states? A government with the highest incarceration rate on the planet and with a record of takings worse than that of what it calls crime? Do I need to go on here? How can any thinking person condone willful contamination of water to feed an international concrete cartel, while putting the system in so much debt that the infrastructure itself is at risk of being foreclosed on? What you are writing as a call for censorship that is grossly harmful to constructive change. How would a person who reads things on this site do that?

  44. hetro
    August 6, 2019 at 16:17

    All this entrenchment in anything-goes-and-nothing-matters was vividly brought home to me one night a few years ago with a young male driving past my place blasting loud music at 3:oo a.m. once again interrupting my badly needed sleep. He would stop just up the way from me at the next abode so one night, in a rage, I tore myself out of bed and rushed over to fix him with a flashlight and confronted him. What do you think you’re doing? I said, not too effective at diplomacy there. His answer: “Freedom. This is America.” My interchange so annoyed him he subsequently threatened to shoot me. My neighbor, a friend of mine, responded: “We’ll take our baseball bats to his knees.” He then drove up behind me several times as I was driving into my driveway, coming on in a violent speeding manner, and just swerving off at the last moment (wrecking a fence in the process). This was life in the country. What sticks with me is his definition of America’s essential meaning at “Do whatever you want to, this is freedom,” which I think the Founding Fathers might have disagreed with. Along with Camus: freedom is a burden. Then again the Founders probably had not envisioned Big Capitalism and what’s needed to sustain it in terms of anything-goes-and-nothing-matters.

  45. Jonathan Larson
    August 6, 2019 at 15:46

    The fish rots from the head.

    Why should we expect young males to behave any differently than the State Department. You have to wonder if these folks are deep down inside expecting to have someone clap them on the back and say, “Thank you for your service.”

    There’s a price to pay when the capital city is crawling with war criminals—many expecting to run for the presidency.

  46. robert e williamson jr
    August 6, 2019 at 15:28

    Very chilling, hearing it like it really is.

    Nuff said!

  47. Em Sos
    August 6, 2019 at 14:35

    By definition, sociopaths have no conscience.
    When the so-called head of state of a self-proclaimed, self-designated, exceptionally civilized nation state, unilaterally claiming world leadership, for itself, makes statements such as the following; in response to acts of those within its jurisdiction, who unconscionably commit mass murder through arbitrary gun violence, by now surely we are experientially aware enough to recognize that we have all the proof required to know that in his speeches, we are in fact dealing with the personification of sociopathy:
    “Mental illness and hate pull the trigger, not the gun” and then from the other side of his mouth makes an oxymoronic mockery of factual reality:
    “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy… These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America.”
    Either his own mental illness prevents him from making the connections between words and deeds or, the genius in his con-artistry, is in the psychopathology that willfully permits him to disconnect his animate derogatory verbiage, from inanimate objects, such as guns, without seeing that it is active words, such as instigator, that in actuality pulls the trigger.
    The definition of Leadership by example is – to act in a way that shows others how to act, for the better, or worse! For the 2 years and almost eight months he has held office, some followers, both locally and worldwide, have taken the latter path, by actively taking to heart his insanely vitriolic talk, and walking his talk.
    When even the so-called democratic US Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, in reference to the pro-democracy protests taking place on the streets of Hong Kong, expresses her glee at the protests, by calling them “a beautiful sight to behold” yet remains silent, and even slickly attempts to smear and disparage her younger, recently elected democratic peers in the American House of Congress – who are forthrightly and legitimately speaking out for the radical changes necessary in the American political superstructure, surely by now, rather than even later, we, the people, will at last finally cotton on to the fact that the entire system has long been defunct.
    We know from the over inflated egos of the likes of these, two-character types of individuals, that they serve the interests of the same cohort; and it is not us, we, the majority of the people of the world.

    • Raymond Comeau
      August 7, 2019 at 10:30

      Thank you, Em Sos

      I believe this is probably the best and most coherent description of the actions of USA President Donald Trump that I have read to date. And, you have described the vile antics of Nancy Pelosi exactly. They are peas in a rotten pod! I wish the USA had millions of sane and wonderful people such as you.

    • Em Sos
      August 7, 2019 at 14:32

      Raymond Comeau,

      I certainly appreciate the effusive generosity of spirit with which you have replied to my essay.

      Speaking then, without ‘exceptional’ entitlement to such categorization as one of the so-called “millions of sane and wonderful people” in the US, or any place else, I feel I must pose the question: how are we, all of us, no longer only in the West, but globally, to overcome this massive alienation, purposefully and systemically instilled into each one of us as individuals; which goal it has always been, since at least the establishment of biblical time, to separate us one from the “other” – to split us off from our inclusive Homo-sapiens condition into paranoid, fear-filled, greedy, power-seeking ‘wild animals’ to coin the phrase?

      Animals in the wild are not naturally cannibalistic, even given they are led without forethought, solely by the nose of natural instinct, unlike us, we, the people.
      So, what then has gone wrong with the processes of the so-called civilized thinking (contemplating) species of animal?
      One can only deduce that the errors are to be found in the application of the neural ‘thinking’ apparatus itself.

      Speculation! Mere speculation!

    • rosemerry
      August 7, 2019 at 15:56

      Surely the attacks on Russia, China, Iran, N Korea, Venezuela,Cuba, whether “economic” or military or even constant threats of “sanctions” to anyone who dares resist, all completely illegal and with no regard to international law or any decency, by the latest “US administration” must inspire the propagandized population to act as well.

  48. Drew Hunkins
    August 6, 2019 at 14:06

    “the wilderness of parking lots that America has turned itself into.”

    Superb line.

Comments are closed.