AuthorTopic: You Think Itís All About Guns? - James Howard Kunstler  (Read 457 times)

Offline Golden Oxen

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You Think Itís All About Guns? - James Howard Kunstler
« on: May 23, 2018, 03:54:23 AM »
From the masterful pen of a brilliant and extremely perceptive author.


You Think It's All About Guns?




Is it possible that we Americans only pretend not to notice the conditions that produce an epidemic of school shootings, or is the public just too dumbed-down to connect the dots?

Look at the schools themselves. We called them ďfacilitiesĒ because they hardly qualify as buildings: sprawling, one-story, tilt-up, flat-roofed boxes isolated among the parking lagoons out on the six-lane highway strip, disconnected from anything civic, isolated archipelagoes where inchoate teenage emotion festers and rules while the few adults on the scene are regarded as impotent clowns representing a bewildering clown culture wrapped in a Potemkin economy that has nothing to offer young people except a lifetime of debt and ďbullshit jobsĒ ó to borrow a phrase from David Graeber.

Santa Fe, Texas, High School

The world of teens has been exquisitely engineered to steal every opportunity for colonizing the chemical reward centers of their brains to provoke endorphin hits, especially the cell-phone realm of social media, which is almost entirely about status competition, much of which revolves around the wild hormonal promptings of teen sexual development ó at the same time they are bombarded with commercial messages designed to prey on their fantasies, longings, and perceived inadequacies. All of this produces immersive and incessant melodrama along with untold grievance, envy, frustration, confusion, and rage. And, of course, where the cell-phone universe leaves off, the world of video games begins, so that boys (especially) get to act-out in ďplayĒ the extermination of their competitors and foes.

I will venture to say ó against the tide of current sexual politics ó that adolescence is much tougher for boys these days than it is for girls. Every boy in one way or another faces his archetypal heroís journey, the hard-wired seeking to become powerful in one way or another, to accomplish something, to prevail over adversaries, to win the goodies of life. This country used to be a place where young men had many useful and practical paths to follow in enacting that eternal script.

That has changed utterly in a couple of generations. Young men are being out-competed by young women who enjoy the advantage of being hard-wired to cooperate with others in the hive-like corporate workplaces that require tractable drones who will just follow instructions. The smart ones can easily avoid pregnancy, too, and still enjoy sex and all the exciting social games it entails.

For young men, beyond the repellent corporate world of work are only fantasies about triumphing in pro sports, show business, or the drug trade, with pornography and masturbation in place of the tension-filled process of mate-seeking. There is also plenty of opportunity these days for archetypal acting-out in warfare, but our wars lately are devoid of valorous story-lines, and instead of dying nobly for a cause, our soldiers are more likely to come home with shattered brains and bodies from campaigns of no discernable meaning.

And so high school is the launching pad for all that, though in this era of protracted adolescence, mass murders also take place on college campuses. The part of the forebrain that regulates judgment generally doesnít complete its development in young men until sometime in their early twenties. And college is swiftly becoming as meaningless as high school, given the economic landscape, and the debt racketeering now deeply associated with higher education.

Itís all part-and-parcel with an American way-of-life that is not what it advertises itself to be. Itís become a cruel hologram of a distant memory of a land that sold its soul for a few decades of comfort and convenience, and ended up in a wilderness of addiction to cheap hits of pleasure. Pleasure is not happiness and the constant seeking to satisfy pleasures is not a journey to meaning. The catch is that this toxic way of life has poor prospects for continuing as a practical matter. History is catching up with our foolishness and history will prove to be even more wrathful than a lonely, confused, seventeen-year-old boy with a pistol and shotgun.

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/you-think-its-all-about-guns/  :icon_study: :icon_study: :icon_study:


Offline edpell

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Re: You Think Itís All About Guns? - James Howard Kunstler
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2018, 04:38:01 AM »
Yes. At long last someone names it. Thanks James.

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: You Think Itís All About Guns? - James Howard Kunstler
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2018, 05:03:24 AM »
Yes. At long last someone names it. Thanks James.

 Indeed!    :emthup: :emthup: :emthup:

Offline Eddie

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Re: You Think Itís All About Guns? - James Howard Kunstler
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2018, 05:50:35 AM »
I think there's certainly something to that, the whole loss of the coming-of-age rites of passage thing for males. And of course the lack of male role models in most families. The Santa Fe shooter's father was on the scene to some degree, but he's a businessman.  Sort of the quintessential self-made immigrant type. I got the idea that this kid is his second family with the trophy wife.

I thought it was interesting when I read that he has a rap sheet for assault himself. I think I read he's been arrested several times over the years.

I think JHK tends to overstate the fracture between the sexes. But with the emphasis in our culture on physical appearance and clothes and cars and money, it's true many boys don't have much of a chance to achieve the kind of life experience TV teaches them they should have.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Surly1

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Re: You Think Itís All About Guns? - James Howard Kunstler
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2018, 07:24:05 AM »
From the masterful pen of a brilliant and extremely perceptive author.

You Think It's All About Guns?

Itís all part-and-parcel with an American way-of-life that is not what it advertises itself to be. Itís become a cruel hologram of a distant memory of a land that sold its soul for a few decades of comfort and convenience, and ended up in a wilderness of addiction to cheap hits of pleasure. Pleasure is not happiness and the constant seeking to satisfy pleasures is not a journey to meaning. The catch is that this toxic way of life has poor prospects for continuing as a practical matter. History is catching up with our foolishness and history will prove to be even more wrathful than a lonely, confused, seventeen-year-old boy with a pistol and shotgun.

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/you-think-its-all-about-guns/  :icon_study: :icon_study: :icon_study:

JHK has been wearing me out with his constant PC-whining, but this time, he's spot on. Good find.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: You Think Itís All About Guns? - James Howard Kunstler
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2018, 07:33:39 AM »
From the masterful pen of a brilliant and extremely perceptive author.

You Think It's All About Guns?

Itís all part-and-parcel with an American way-of-life that is not what it advertises itself to be. Itís become a cruel hologram of a distant memory of a land that sold its soul for a few decades of comfort and convenience, and ended up in a wilderness of addiction to cheap hits of pleasure. Pleasure is not happiness and the constant seeking to satisfy pleasures is not a journey to meaning. The catch is that this toxic way of life has poor prospects for continuing as a practical matter. History is catching up with our foolishness and history will prove to be even more wrathful than a lonely, confused, seventeen-year-old boy with a pistol and shotgun.

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/you-think-its-all-about-guns/  :icon_study: :icon_study: :icon_study:

JHK has been wearing me out with his constant PC-whining, but this time, he's spot on. Good find.

Yes Surly , We all have our weaknesses and pet peeves, but overall I just can't stop admiring this guy.

His amazing skill at writing is such a precious and admirable gift, an exceptional author in my view.

A true Wordmeister, that reveals an extraordinary "Awareness"

Offline K-Dog

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Re: You Think Itís All About Guns? - James Howard Kunstler
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2018, 08:07:06 AM »
From the masterful pen of a brilliant and extremely perceptive author.

You Think It's All About Guns?

Itís all part-and-parcel with an American way-of-life that is not what it advertises itself to be. Itís become a cruel hologram of a distant memory of a land that sold its soul for a few decades of comfort and convenience, and ended up in a wilderness of addiction to cheap hits of pleasure. Pleasure is not happiness and the constant seeking to satisfy pleasures is not a journey to meaning. The catch is that this toxic way of life has poor prospects for continuing as a practical matter. History is catching up with our foolishness and history will prove to be even more wrathful than a lonely, confused, seventeen-year-old boy with a pistol and shotgun.

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/you-think-its-all-about-guns/  :icon_study: :icon_study: :icon_study:

JHK has been wearing me out with his constant PC-whining, but this time, he's spot on. Good find.

Totally agree,  the PC whining I can overlook because he has been an actual target of it.  His game of: I'm not a Trump supporter, I'm a dyed in the wool Democrat, but what they are doing to him isn't fair is weary.  When I read him Monday I though of Eddie saying much the same thing about guns here at the same time!  It is not all about guns.  It was very good Monday in both places.

There is an Avatar over at Kunstler's place called 'Janet' who waxes and wanes between being provocatively outrageous and delightfully rational.  One minute it could be intelligent insight and another a Vatican sex ring rant from her.  She has 'Charm' if you get what I am saying.

Practically both the symptom and the disease need to be treated.  It is not all about guns goes from a clever insight to the same accepted false logic  of 'guns don't kill people do'.  It is the same statement but with different words, an observation from which we can understand nothing will change.



Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline Surly1

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Re: You Think Itís All About Guns? - James Howard Kunstler
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2018, 08:43:49 AM »

Practically both the symptom and the disease need to be treated.  It is not all about guns goes from a clever insight to the same accepted false logic  of 'guns don't kill people do'.  It is the same statement but with different words, an observation from which we can understand nothing will change.



Yup. We're just buying time, and paying for it with the lives of children (and many others.)
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

 

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