Has Disaster Chic done got out of hand?

the end is near

Sue comments that I must have drank the Obama Koolaid, based on my previous post, Disaster Chic, which pondered that the current TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) meme perhaps “has done got out of hand.” Other commenters seem to think we’d all have a jolly good time living with no electricity and growing our own food using horses to plow. Or that since some on the planet have no electricity, what right do we have to have any?

Hell yeah. let’s just toss out all the penicillin and other life-saving medications. Unplug all the electrical devices. Let’s do leg amputations with a saw and no anesthetic like our ancestors did. That would surely be a robust, vigorous way to live. No need for those citified conveniences anymore.

As for all of those who don’t have electricity now, sorry, but the doommongers have decreed you shall never have any. The world can’t handle it, so just toss out your dreams and hopes for a better life. We’re sorry.

Ok, I’m deliberately exaggerating. Yes, things are probably going to get seriously weird for a while. But what I was talking about are the doomsters who predict the electricity will go off, transportation will cease, and we’ll live huddled in tiny groups fearful of outside marauders. Gosh, sign me up.

Jim Kunstler seems positively giddy about the prospects about having to go back to horse-powered farming as long as those hideous people in the Hamptons get their just deserts and we all pay penance for our profligate ways. He’s an Old Testament prophet railing against the evils of Babylon. Were his dreams to come true and we all went back to living in isolated rural areas, well, I’m guessing he and he little commune might all be bat-shit crazy after, say, five years of isolation and increasing paranoia. This is not progress nor is it to be wished for.

Housing was a huge bubble. It popped. That doesn’t mean the lights will go out. How did the discussion nationwide get so crazy that we have more than a few on the left, right, and the middle saying we’re screwed, that things are hopeless, and even openly cheering for the collapse of society? As Doug Henwood said about lefties making such predictions, “that’s not leftism, that’s nihilism.”

But if you genuinely want chaos, social unrest and violent revolution, keep moralizing to the Third World. Tell them they can’t have any of the goodies that we have now, but that they’ll be so much happier without all that icky materialism anyway. I’m sure they’ll listen.

spongebob(Since Sue dubbed me Bob “Perkypants” in the previous post for my apparently delusional optimism, I will end by saying this is another blog post from MrBob Perkypants. But given the tone of this post maybe this time it should be MrBob RantyPants. Hmmm.)


  • As far as I’m concerned, it’s hardly blind optimism to say that through work and sacrifice, we can keep everything from going to shit. There are a fair amount of lefties (and some righties) who romanticize the “simple life” to an extent they forget how much blisters on your feet and hands hurt, and how it sucks to not be able to get, you know, food.

  • DJ

    “work and sacrifice” What’s that?

    Seriously, we have built up an untenable economy and lifestyle sustained by keeping the majority of the world in poverty. We are the pharoahs and royalty of today’s world. And we’re spoiled– many Americans have never gone hungry, have never worked with their hands– some have never worked at all! I have a client, the daughter of a wealthy man, who thinks a 4-6 hour day is quite enough thank you, and has absolutely no knowledge of how to work within a budget.

    Bob, I never said the poor of the world can’t have electricity– I said they don’t have it now, and that resources could be used better if there were fewer people to divide among. But that’s a problem of resource limitation, and there are definitely problems of distribution as well.

    When 6% of the population uses 25% of the world’s energy and has 34% of the world’s wealth– well, it’s reasonable to expect some form of redistribution. We COULD choose to do this ourselves in an orderly and peaceful way, but we haven’t yet and we probably won’t. Once again, we’ll leave it until forces beyond our control (probably chaos and violent revolution ) force change upon us. Royalty rarely gives up its priviledge willingly.

  • Ace Armstrong

    The “Doom and Gloom” folks have always been with us railing on the fringe like so many Harpies circling in vulture fashion constantly searching for the next morsel of sustenance. Hucksters and grifters are as integral to our culture as bread and water.
    Mr. Kuntsler has the perplexing notion that he can jet-set about the world in order to expose the consequences of jet-setting. He might sit in coach and sip OJ instead of champagne, but the results are the same.
    I certainly can agree with his view that our modern suburban sprawl is an abysmal display of architecture and development, but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
    In my rural Montana community there was a plethora of survival gear and accouterments in yard sales after Y2K became the most laughable of doomsday prediction.
    At present the most humorous manifestation of D&G is the “Save the Planet” mantra on placards in motel and hotel bathrooms across America exhorting the temporary tenant to re-use the bath towel.
    I suppose if you run with the rapture baptist notion that the earth is only 10,000 years old then anything is possible. But for the adults among us who understand the planet is over 4,000,000,000 years old the only consequence of our actions might be the removal of our species from its surface.

  • Sue

    Irrational Perkipantness.

  • It has long been my contention that the Y2K nuts had it right, they just didn’t quite get their fingers wrapped around it – the end of “america”.

    It’s already over, folks. Gettin’ on with surviving is the day’s order of business.

  • DJ

    “the only consequence of our actions might be the removal of our species from its surface.”

    And that doesn’t concern you?

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