Plastic in the Pacific

I always get the impression Jim’s method of coping with the collapse not proceeding as he envisioned or a fast as he forecast is to double up on his bets, ratchet up the rhetoric and pretend that nobody noticed he said the same things last week about this week. For weeks he’s been slogging the same material about the hedge-fund boyz and the financial sector. I wish he’d take a deep breath and take stock of how history has been playing out.

Depending on how one views things, this present financial “crisis” has been unwinding since between last June and August. The housing bubble has been bursting since 2006. A recession hasn’t happened yet and if we are in the midst of one, it won’t be officially confirmed for another 4 months. The price of gasoline is $3.30 – it was $3.00 in 2005, two-and-a-half years ago. There is plenty to go around. Gasoline demand in the US has dropped just slightly in the last month from its 2007 levels after rising for at least 4 years. It’s unclear whether or not this is simply a statistical variance. GM and Ford continue to sell cheap over-powered, overweight monstrosities even as they mismanage themselves into the ground.

If this is a Long Emergency, it is a really long, really slow one.

Some things I wanted to talk about when I get around to it.

Respond to Nudge about fuel-efficiency article I posted the other day.

Hitchens article on Clinton’s Tuzla sniper-fire trip.
Hitchens article on Obama.
Taibbi article on Presidential race.

60 Minutes on tortured German detainee / tie-in with WWII / Retribution

60 Minutes on Bill James

Nightline piece on Plastic in the Pacific.

Badr vs Sadr in Iraq.

8 Replies to “Plastic in the Pacific”

  1. Uncle Yarra,

    Based on the rules of your proposed triathlon, in a matter of hours, Staniford would move enough rocks to build a full-scale replica of Hadrian’s Wall, or perhaps a crude double-walled barrier along the U.S./Mexico border.


    Retired from CFN? The energy over there is so sinister/weird right now… I don’t blame you.

    Although I praised his post (he did turn a few choice phrases), I also found it troubling that JHK has sunk to pandering to the mindset of murderous miscreants just to get a laugh. Almost like the week-after-week predictability of a Benny Hill skit, he shamelessly recycles his beloved theme, namely, fanning the flames of class envy impulses in a mythological lumpenprole who somehow manages to trek all the way from his suburban hell hole to take a personal revenge upon the trophy wife of an equally implausible crab cake eating Hamptons dwelling Big Boy.

    What happens in next week’s post? Does some leader of a prole home invasion force do a Bob Guccione’s Caligula impersonation, force feeding Mr. Big Boy (with a funnel) ten bottles of expensive wine from his Subzero wine refrigerator, and then slit his stomach open? In theory, SF should be outraged by the violence. I’ve said enough for tonight.

  2. I liked Jim’s post this week, but I’m guessing he was drinking and angry when he wrote it. A few bong hits would have tempered things. His turning of a few choice phrases (I agree Holmes) made me wonder if he’s been reading the comment boards at CFN, due to slight similarities in rant style use of colorful verbiage. I know that if I read CFN comments long enough my reports at work start looking like chapters out of Fear and Loathing. Yes that was the real reason I had to step back. (heh, just kidding) Anyway, good call JR on the escalating rhetoric and a commentary that keeps getting imatiently out ahead of the long sloooow emergency.

  3. Totally agree (and with Holmes). The financial stuff is fine (it might even turn out true), but I don’t understand why he has to do it every week. Why not some more work on the Presidential campaign, the War, TV, kids wearing baggy pants, salad-shooters.

    There is of course a huge risk with the financial/housing meltdown theme – that it will bottom out in the next year or two and won’t quite be the catalyst for the apocalypse, but rather the demand-reducing recession-starter that will put off the effects of peak-oil for even longer (if peak-oil is in fact happening now in the first place).

    Good one on djcrow22. That started a flood of hilarious posts. You beat me to it. When I saw that I attempted to come out of retirement but as usual Typepad blocked me.

    @Holmes – well maybe not retirement, but vacation or something. I’m actually feeling much more productive and useful the less I post there. And I just end up fighting with someone the longer I stick around. But sometimes I just can’t help myself. It’s too fun.

    On WMBH, I’ll eventually get around to writing about that. But for the time being, I enjoy/agree with the comments of You/SB/and Doom on the subject (although I’m not sure he has read it yet) as well as the reviews on Amazon.

    I don’t know where I saw it, but someone mentioned how it was ironic that JHK believes that one catalyst for the collapse will be the fantasy life we insist on living, but ironically has created a post-collapse world that is fantasy.

    There is much in the story and Union Grove that is just not believable. To me, the most important aspect of good fiction, even if it is science-fiction, is that it is believable, unless it’s goal is simply to make you think.

  4. Is there any story in WMBH, I mean a GOOD story (strong plot & character development, etc)?
    Or could he have conveyed as much information with a 3rd person fictional document like “the annals of Union grove”?

  5. Yarra,

    I’m not sure if I’m understanding you. Are you asking having not read the book, or is it rhetorical? If you haven’t read the book, I would say, no, there isn’t a good story. The first half was adecent buildup, It actually got me quite excited, but then from about the halfway point it was all down hill and probably the most loose threads left at the end that I have ever seen, and not in a good way. It could have used being twice as long. The short chapters and low word/page count makes the length in pages deceptive. Maybe there will be a sequel.

    Or could he have conveyed as much information with a 3rd person fictional document like “the annals of Union grove”?

    There are numerous ways this could have been done better.

  6. Roger that, on the productivity, it all starts blending together. It gets in my head. You know there’s one thing I’ve learned from it, and that’s when preparing technical documents for a client’s docket, you shouldn’t rely too much on words like “anyhoo” and “just sayin’”. Thanks a lot Dave.

  7. Well, since I’m here and reading comments… Yes, I have WMBH but have not even cracked it yet. I have too many other books in an almost-finished stack to complete first, plus I’m expecting to be inundated with technical proposals to read pretty soon. Also, I’m getting the distinct impression that I’ll be disappointed with the thing. As you all know, I think JHK has skipped a lot of interesting times to get there, where the story is located, which is also the same mental trick that I have bashed the CFN Green Brigade over in the past. My second part to that objection is we all will likely have to live through the coming troubles. Call me selfish, but I’m a whole lot moron concerned and interested in these “end times” than in some post-PO apocalypse world assuming this and that turns out OK, etc. So, I’m damning the damn book before I’ve read a word of it. How about that?

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