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Kunstler: Boomer Elegy

General Ideas

History will probably record that America’s Baby Boom generation threw one helluva party; Gen X was left with the sorry task of cleanup crew; and the Millennials ended up squatting in the repossessed haunted party-house when it was all over. On behalf of the Boomers, let me try to explain and apologize.

We came along at the end of history’s earlier biggest trauma, the Second World War, following the hard stumble of the Great Depression — which, by the way, for those of you unsure of chronology, followed the First World War, an epic, purposeless slaughter that utterly demoralized Western civilization. What a set-up for my parents’ generation.

My stepfather, the man who raised me, was an interesting specimen of that gen. Fresh out of college in Boston, he joined the army, became a lieutenant, and by-and-by found himself trapped in the German offensive through the Ardennes Forest, known as the Battle of the Bulge. Unlike some WW2 vets, he was willing to talk about his experiences. His most vivid memory was the difference between the sound of American and German machine guns. Ours went rat-a-tat-tat, theirs went zzzzzzzap, he said, like you couldn’t even detect the interval between the bullets coming at you. It scared the piss out of his men, not a few of whom were cut to pieces. My stepfather merely caught several chunks of shrapnel in his arm and thigh, and was still on the scene when Germany finally surrendered in May, 1945. He was awarded a silver star for valor, but never bragged on it. (My mother barely participated in my upbringing, but that’s another story.)

He went straight to New York City when it was over. His gen’s victory dance was to get straight to work in the economic bonanza just revving up — because the war had happened elsewhere and all our stuff was intact, ready to re-start, to make and sell anything under the sun to the shattered rest-of-the-world, and lend them money to buy it — quite an opportunity for young men highly disciplined and regimented from their recent travails of war. My stepfather became a classic Mad Man, as in the TV series, working in media, publishing, and PR, a hard-drinking cohort of mostly military vets who would knock down three martinis over lunch with clients (a nearly inconceivable feat, actually, when you think about it), but that showed what the war had done to the soldiers who survived. He died from it at barely sixty, and from smoking two packs of Camel straights a day, another habit of battle.

We Boomer boys had his war as movies and comic books: Sergeant Rock and John Wayne on the beach at Iwo! We had all the fruits of that postwar bonanza. We had Disneyland, the 1964 World’s Fair, the Carousel-of-Progress, and Rock Around the Clock. We eventually had a war of our own, Vietnam, but it was optional for college kids. I declined to go get my ass shot off, of course.

You have no idea what a fantastic bacchanal college was in the 1960s. Let the sunshine in! The great anti-war protests gave us a chance to pretend we were serious, but, believe me, it was much more about finding someone to hook-up with at the teach-ins and the street marches. The birth control pill was a fabulous novelty. We ignored the side-effects — especially the social side effects that led later on to an epidemic of divorces and broken families. When you are a young man, sex is at least half of what you think of minute-by-minute. I was on a campus where all you saw were waves of nubile, joggling breasts coming at you beneath those sheer peasant blouses (which, you understand, suggests that the women were in on it, too, being every bit as incited by their own frisky hormones).

Personally, I was not altogether on board with the hippie program, though I let my hair grow. A lot about it gave me the creeps — the lurid posters of Hindu gods with elephant heads, the dumb-ass “Hey, man,” lingo, the neurotic sharing of everything from clothing to money, the wooly armpits, the ghastly organic cuisine…. I mostly eschewed drugs, never dropped acid, and smoked pot infrequently due to a chastening episode of frightening paranoia early on. Anyway, after Charlie Manson’s caper, the whole thing lost its luster and by the early 1970s there wasn’t much left but sideburns, and by then many of us were in an office of some kind.

Which is probably where things really went off the rails. The Boomers should never have been allowed in those offices, especially the ones within ten miles of Wall Street. That’s where the cleverest among us came up with the signal innovations that have now wrecked the world. The corona virus is a very bad thing, for sure, but it’s really nothing compared to the deliberate wickedness that engineered the so-called financialized economy — a supernatural matrix of something-for-nothing swindles and frauds that purported to replace actual work that produced things of value. The great lesson of the age was lost: the virtual is not a substitute for the authentic.

And now the Boomer geniuses of finance are scrambling frantically to hurl imaginary money into the black hole they have opened with their own reckless wizardry. But black holes are nothing like ordinary holes. They are unfillable. They just suck everything into a cosmic vacuum that resembles something like death — which, in its implacable mystery, may just be a door to a new disposition of things, the next life, the next reality.

Of course, not all of us Boomers worked on Wall Street or in its annexes, but we did more or less go along with all that wickedness because we never really made any earnest effort to stop it. The Dodd-Frank bill? Don’t make me laugh. Maybe it’s just impossible to apologize for the mess we left behind after the party we enjoyed. I’m not a Christian in any formal sense, but perhaps only that kind of fathomless, unconditional forgiveness might avail. I am sincerely sorry.

Kunstler



74 Comments on "Kunstler: Boomer Elegy"

  1. makati1 on Sat, 4th Apr 2020 7:02 pm 

    SRC, India knows shit! It is a ploy to curry favor with the US. India wants to put its head up the US asshole, and try for the lottery at the same time. Same odd of winning big.

    A money grab from a dying Indian economy. Ain’t gonna fly or win. No proof. Never will be. If anything, it is a US bio-weapon loosed in China in the first act of WW3.

    If you haven’t noticed WW3 is well under way. No bombs you can see but a lot of bio/cyber/financial/etc. bombs going off. I hope you have a shelter and are prepared. This decade is going to radically change the world you live in in a negative way.

  2. I AM THE MOB on Sat, 4th Apr 2020 7:08 pm 

    Mak

    Its a great strategy. Just lock everyone down and then tell them how bad everything is on the outside.

    LOL

  3. makati1 on Sat, 4th Apr 2020 7:12 pm 

    SocialRevolutionComing on Sat, 4th Apr 2020 6:08 pm
    Above supertard sock obv

    It’s a muzzie lovin sock
    Muzzies went on rampage and killed two in france but supertard sock said nothing

  4. makati1 on Sat, 4th Apr 2020 7:50 pm 

    7:12pm is not me, obviously.

    Yes MOB, Amerikans are gullible fools for the most part. A few exceptions.

  5. Pure DavyScum on Display on Sat, 4th Apr 2020 8:18 pm 

    JuanP on Sat, 4th Apr 2020 3:25 pm

    Chuck Schumer needs to catch the virus. He deserves it.

  6. I AM THE MOB on Sat, 4th Apr 2020 9:13 pm 

    ‘It’s all fake!’: Chinese official heckled by residents on visit to Wuhan – video

    Vice-premier Sun Chunlan toured a residential community in the Qingshan district of Wuhan on Thursday while residents appeared to shout ‘fake, fake’ as well as ‘it’s all fake’ and ‘we protest’ from their apartment windows.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2020/mar/06/chinese-official-heckled-by-wuhan-residents-video

    Hilarious!

  7. Abraham van Helsing on Sun, 5th Apr 2020 12:08 am 

    “China Donates 1,000 Ventilators to New York“

    https://www.breitbart.com/health/2020/04/04/china-donates-1000-ventilators-to-new-york/

    The US has a Chinese shoulder to lean on, a comforting idea.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8187983/Rishi-Sunak-war-Matt-Hancock-best-way-coronavirus-lockdown.html

    “Rishi Sunak is at war with Matt Hancock over best way out of coronavirus lockdown: Chancellor claims that unless a path is mapped out for a swift return to normal activity it could cause lasting damage to the country“

    He is right.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8188035/We-facing-biggest-financial-crash-100-years-economists-warn.html

    “’We are facing the biggest financial crash for 100 years’: Economists warn the UK economy could shrink by an eye-watering 7.8 per cent overall in 2020 making it the most severe hit to livelihoods since 1921“

    Anti-body testing is now the most pressing task. Identify the healthy and let them get back to work immediately.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8188185/Britain-pursue-Beijing-courts-coronavirus-compensation-study-claims.html

    “China owes us £531 billion: Britain should pursue Beijing through international courts for coronavirus compensation, major study claims as 15 top top Tories urge ‘reset’ in UK relations with country“

    As soon as the virus is somewhat under control, expect the guilt question to pop up in full force. Could turn very ugly.

    UK wants to “reset relations with China”, after they did so with Europe before. Fortunately there is always Congo to fall back upon.

  8. Abraham van Helsing on Sun, 5th Apr 2020 3:00 am 

    Mobster has found himself a new nick. What I call CW2, he calls SocialRevolutionComing.

    I can live with that.

  9. Davy on Sun, 5th Apr 2020 5:24 am 

    “SRC, India knows shit! It is a ploy to curry favor with the US. India wants to put its head up the US asshole, and try for the lottery at the same time. Same odd of winning big.”

    LMFAO, Mr. virus ain’t shit and its a CIA virus, just swallowed his dentures! You dumb fuck anti-Americans get so many things wrong because you live in a altered reality of a gaming instead of real life. No wonder you and juanPee are such forum failures.

  10. Davy on Sun, 5th Apr 2020 5:25 am 

    “Mobster has found himself a new nick. What I call CW2, he calls SocialRevolutionComing.”

    Another hollow skull of intentionally supporting the lunatic juanPee. cloggo, this sock is juanPee, dummy! juanPee, loves when you stroke him.

  11. Davy on Sun, 5th Apr 2020 5:28 am 

    “China Donates 1,000 Ventilators to New York“ “The US has a Chinese shoulder to lean on, a comforting idea.”

    Yea, after many years of he US pilling investment and donations into china. China is what it is today because of the US, stupid.

  12. I AM THE MOB on Mon, 6th Apr 2020 1:58 am 

    Nobody knows anyone who even has this virus. Yet nearly the entire world is on lockdown.

    This doesn’t add up.

    Or could it a massive plan to depopulate the earth because global oil production peaked Nov 2018?

    5 Billion useless eaters will die. But the ends justify the means.

  13. I AM THE MOB on Mon, 6th Apr 2020 2:00 am 

    shamdemic

    The flu is a northern hemisphere seasonal virus. So India will not really be infected. They are just playing along because they know WHO’s the boss. And WHO is behind the WHO.

  14. Abraham van Helsing on Mon, 6th Apr 2020 2:04 am 

    “And WHO is behind the WHO.”

    China!

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/china-helped-put-man-charge-world-health-organization%E2%80%94-it-paying-136002

    “China Helped Put This Man In Charge Of the World Health Organization—Is It Paying Off?”

    Now on your knees for the new masters of the world, mobster, while we in Europe begin to organize containment measures!

  15. makati1 on Mon, 6th Apr 2020 2:32 am 

    MOB, it has been over 90F here for the last 3 weeks yet the virus is still here and infecting more and more people. Maybe you need to get educated?

  16. makati1 on Mon, 6th Apr 2020 2:35 am 

    BTW: Bill Gates has bought the WHO, not China.

    “Bill Gates donated $100 million to Fauci’s NIH and $13.5 million to CDC.”

    https://www.theburningplatform.com/2020/04/05/unprecedented-power-grab/#more-215702

    Get educated, not brainwashed.

  17. makati1 on Mon, 6th Apr 2020 2:43 am 

    Oops! Bill Gates also has Chinese connections and likely influenced the WHO in other ways. Only time will tell, but Gates is the current Satin who wants to decimate the world population. He should be the first to go. Any offers?

  18. Abraham van Helsing on Mon, 6th Apr 2020 2:49 am 

    BTW: Bill Gates has bought the WHO, not China.

    “Bill Gates donated $100 million to Fauci’s NIH and $13.5 million to CDC.”

    https://www.theburningplatform.com/2020/04/05/unprecedented-power-grab/#more-215702

    Get educated, not brainwashed.

    In your linked article is not a singe reference to the WHO.

    Learn to read.

  19. Davy on Mon, 6th Apr 2020 5:40 am 

    “BTW: Bill Gates has bought the WHO, not China.”

    China is a criminal nation that needs to pay for the lies and cover ups that made this a global pandemic. makato-one is again on the wrong side of the issue yet again. China bought off the WHO and made a mockery of its world leadership. Maybe the Chinese people will roll heads.

  20. Abraham van Helsing on Mon, 6th Apr 2020 8:22 am 

    Britain, the next Italy/Spain?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8189549/UKs-coronavirus-outbreak-set-overtake-Italy-France.html

    “UK’s coronavirus outbreak is set to overtake Italy and France: Worrying graphic suggests that three weeks since Britain hit 50 deaths it is in danger of being in a worse state than ‘Europe’s epicentre’ was at the same point”

    https://nos.nl/artikel/2329585-de-coronacijfers-van-6-april-laagste-sterftecijfer-van-afgelopen-week.html

    Encouraging figures for the Netherlands.
    More than enough ICUs, death toll, hospitalization and new infections plummeting.

    Most deaths in bracket [80-89], hardly anybody dies below 50, so why not let these people loose on society, certainly if they have anti-bodies.

  21. joe on Mon, 6th Apr 2020 10:53 am 

    Could be the death of bojo. I hope not. It’s not looking good for him though. Choking to death with pneumonia might be one of the worst deaths there is.
    When the truth comes out that we are living through Chernobyl 2.0 then China will have to be punished by losing its position as a trusted and responsible trade partner. India is a democracy, let’s build them up…

  22. Duncan Idaho on Mon, 6th Apr 2020 11:14 am 

    “His administration is now entirely staffed by embedded ideologues, fringe players and loyalists who will just keep swinging the wrecking ball, no matter what else is going on. Not even a deadly global pandemic will stop them from fulfilling their pledge to fulfill the president’s whims and desires. If they can sneak in some longstanding right-wing extremist goals while nobody’s looking, that’s just frosting on the cake.”

  23. Cloggie on Mon, 6th Apr 2020 12:46 pm 

    Memory hole problems again…

    Just listened to a Dutch discussion program on television. Someone made the point that corona has shown that it is very well possible for the entire planet to act, if a real crisis comes along. Thinks that the corona momentum could be sustained, not to go back to BAU and unrestricted economic growth but the now really tackle the problems we have been talking about for decades:

    [part 1]

  24. Cloggie on Mon, 6th Apr 2020 12:48 pm 

    pollution, working online from home, overpopulation, wild life protection, excessive flying, mass tourism, mass car, private ownership, energy transition

    [part 2]

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