20 Years Hence

[Editor’s Note: This is Holmes’ reply to tipping point’s question.]

By Holmes

I know, I know… it’s foolish to try and predict the future. Knowing full well that I am somewhere between 0% and 100% wrong, here are a few of my thoughts.

In twenty years, most of the people who might be said to have been responsible for the current economic/financial crisis will be dead or, if still alive and relevant, will have reinvented themselves. This is not to say that the old (traditional) ways of corruption will have gone extinct. Going forward, economics and goals perceived mostly as pragmatic, rather than tolerance for excessive individualistic greed, will predominantly drive attempts at societal and other reconfigurations.

Resource depletion and climate change realities will be common knowledge and simply accepted as part of the landscape. Business will continue to be done in consideration of, rather than oblivious to, attendant constraints.

Some grand bargains will be made between nations, America and China, principally. They may involve granting significant security interests, or outright transfers of ownership in, real assets — such as land or mineral rights. Long-term leases, production and supply contracts, and localized or other security agreements may also be part of the arrangement. There will be no war between America and China. If anything, the ties that bind will only grow stronger.

Perhaps after a nuclear accident, future leaders in Iran will drive a hard bargain relinquishing some autonomy in their nuclear and energy affairs and gradually enter into a security agreement with America, Russia, and China. Germany and Japan will probably also be parties to this agreement. The European Union will have collapsed in all but name. Russian gas, indeed.

In the dry regions of America, the watering of lawns will be strictly forbidden. Conflicts over water rights will give birth to a water credits exchange. (I just thought of this now. Honest.)

Speaking of hard limits and finite resources, it seems to me that within the next twenty years there will be quite a lot of natural gas and even oil coming on line, which isn’t to say that we won’t experience supply discontinuities.

Energy and security firewalls, as I like to call them, will be the new de facto borders. But let’s be clear. Nationalism isn’t about to go away. Rather, it will serve more as a tool for manipulating popular sentiment, emotions, etc. than any real practical purpose. Likelihood of significant die-off commencing within twenty years, especially on the undesirable side of the firewalls: high to inevitable. That said, alternative energy solutions were never intended to scale. Nevertheless, some of them will be pursued and implemented with fair success on a limited scale and at great expense.

I need to elaborate on energy demand. Demand destruction has many causes, some psychological or speculative, others not. The price of energy has some influence on demand. So do economic conditions. A maniacal lesson that can be taken from recent events is that energy demand can be dramatically and quickly adjusted downward by bringing about a cessation or slowing in economic activity. This is a weapon that theoretically could be used to “buy more time” to get alternative energy infrastructure in place and at a lower cost. (I find the incessant doom and gloom noises coming out of Washington to be peculiar and highly suspicious.)

America will continue to have a role in international peace keeping efforts, regional cordon off and contain maneuvers, and the occasional “go it alone” militaristic projection (e.g., when it would involve too much red tape to obtain international approval, provided no key interests of relevant business partner nations are unduly compromised).

The mentality of entitlement and unconscionable waste prevalent during the 00’s will be viewed with distain. Perhaps, new phrases such as “How double aughtish!” will become common parlance. Two decades from now, the ethic may be closer to “No Hard Working Child Left Behind” than the current circumstance of enabling a video game immersed youth existence and other varieties of sloth.

Again, to be clear, technology is not going away. These sorts of diversions (and better ones still) will definitely be available, and they will be extraordinarily cheap. Moreover, internet access and rudimentary personal computing devices will be free for everyone throughout the country, if not most of the world. These devices may (or may not) be little more than dummy terminals and graphical user interfaces, if the trend toward remote applications continues or such computing configurations are for some reason required.

The internet is not going to be taken away from you! (I’m seeing a lot of worried thumbs out there.) Government and business are still going to want to be able to shape public opinion, in a timely way, and provide you with needed instructions.

The foundational stones are already in place for mandatory public service for U.S. citizens. For example, legislation may be passed that requires all sufficiently able-bodied persons to perform a term of federal service (by way of example, said service term commencing prior to their 30th birthday and lasting for 5 years). Depending upon a person’s abilities, they may be eligible for one or more of the following: military service, border security, customs enforcement, transportation corridors security, agricultural or manufacturing zone assignment, social services mission, or professional services assignment (either within or external to government agencies, typically requiring specialized education, skills, experience, etc.)

America will be prevented from breaking apart via a protracted process of reassessing and applying some (perhaps adaptive) scheme of economic valuation to the respective contributions made in different areas of the country and by different types of workers. The internal revenue code will be substantially rewritten to impose different taxation schemes (or at least rates) upon different regions of the country, different occupations, etc. The geographic location or perhaps even the nature of the employer can also be taken into account when determining the applicable tax rate. The potential for social re-engineering is nearly endless.

And finally, there’s education. Here’s an industry ripe for consolidation. The elite universities and colleges will survive, continuing to cater to an international student body. As for younger children, part of the quid pro quo of convincing rural areas to not secede will be to provide them with more options in determining how their children are to be educated. With education vouchers provided to all (in need), in certain parts of the country, public schools shut down entirely and armies of previously worthless administrators catch buses to the nearest Federal Service Assignment Center.

82 Replies to “20 Years Hence”

  1. Excellent. I think we have the framework for the first pre-apocalyptic dystopian nightmare. On a practical level and in all seriousness, you’ve obviously spent quite a bit of time on balancing optimism with realism. Well done.

    You need to work on the name for the Federal Service Assignment Center. The acronym, FSAC, isn’t sufficiently evil. I suggest the “Ministry of Love.”

  2. I’ll amend that. I guess I should have said utopian dream. We can’t really have a dsytopia before the apocalypse, can we?

  3. No worries Holmes, we’ll charge through the future on the strength of the collective human IQ, more people = more genius potential. Of course, not my kids, they’ll all be retards, like their mom.

  4. New readers!!! This must be a ZK lucky day.

    utopia, dystopia… whatever, same thing, different sides of the same bed. Like Orlov says, it’s all about context. (Shit! A lot of people say that.)

  5. “Ministry of Love”. Can that be my post? Can I design my own uniform?

    No, Octodad… remember it’s the velocity of ideas, not the number of them or even their vectors!

  6. A bell curve is a bell curve. The central limits theorem talks about things being normally distributed across a bell shape unless there is something that influences it unduly. I am putting forth the assertion here that mother nature is in our finances, she is putting a natural, bell curve shaped, brake on us. Finances, even derivatives, are not unnatural, but an expression of nature as surely as the principle of evolution is.

    I keep wondering if we should just consult the curve, not fight it, not look for it to be a more radical drop on the down side. I say this because we do have increased population drawing on declining resources, HOWEVER our consumption is in a kind of overshoot too. I think there is a whole lot of consumption still to be cut out before we really are bumping up against the margins of survival itself.

    I am not expressing this as well as I want to.

    I saw this article about seniors having to go get jobs. No offense meant to them yet, but I am not impressed with their pain:

    There Goes Retirement
    With their finances in shambles, many in the 60-plus crowd are looking for jobs. Here’s how some are finding work — and adjusting to new lives.

    These folks are “cutting back” and to my way of thinking, still wealthy relative to the rest of the world. If this is what people think is “hurting” no one has seen anything yet.

    Back to central limits. If we scale down because our consumption per person overshot sustainability, could it be that the curve down might, might, be gentler because we have so much room still to tighten our belts before we come up against the limits of “real” scarcity?

  7. “… our consumption is in a kind of overshoot too. I think there is a whole lot of consumption still to be cut out before we really are bumping up against the margins of survival itself.” — MOU

    I’m glad that you mentioned this. It’s important. Orlov packed a lot into his discussion and kind of also commented on this when he talked about how “there are very few things that are positives or negatives per se.” Sort of like how an obese person might be able to starve longer before dying than an already lean person. Look who’s the fat fuck now!

  8. Really nice post Holmes, as plausible as any scenario, and driven up the middle between Mr. Florida and Orlov. I think you could be right about mandatory federal service.

    I think there’s room in such a scenario for the REAL green jobs, and that’s in the areas of agriculture and food production. [i.e. it only takes relatively few of us to manufacture, erect and maintain wind farms, or clean dust and snow off solar panels]. Maybe slowly at first, people will return to the fields, initially perhaps more in the form of town gardens or cooperatives [another form of compulsory service?], but surely as an avenue for many to scratch out a living and a purpose. There will be opportunities to do labor, and agriculture and food production will be the largest need for labor. Or maybe that sort of eventuality is a little beyond the scope of your (or Tipping’s 20-yr.) timeframe. A movement in this direction has to be in the mix relatively soon though because agriculture is presently nearly all industrial, and completely cheap-oil dependant. It would seem this becomes increasingly costly and tenuous rather quickly and there will be no choice but to roll up sleeves and tackle it. But like MOU said about there being huge room still for consumption destruction (I totally agree), and the elimination of huge amounts of outright waste, we might abruptly quit the production of JHK’s cheese doodles and sugar cakes, and so we then buy ourselves another decade or so. In the meantime FSAC will be building rows and rows of Quonset huts at strategic locations throughout the farm belt and screening the pickers who will occupy them. As these agricultural operations will probably include some aspect of stability, security, and protection, it may not be a bad option for many, unless you get hurt, you can’t work, and they evict you.

  9. FSAC will have to be doing something in the agricultural sector don’t you think? If not Quonset huts, something to enable the work of pickers.

  10. For some reason I am reminded of the ending in “The Grapes of Wrath”…

    (so conveniently) from wiki –

    “Rose of Sharon’s baby is stillborn; however, Ma Joad remains steadfast and forces the family through the bereavement. In the end, Rose of Sharon commits the only act in the book that is not futile: she breast feeds a starving man, still trying to show hope in humanity after her own negative experience. This final act is said to illustrate the spontaneous mutual sharing that will lead to a new awareness of collective values.”

  11. Thanks, Bif. Regarding FSAC, yes… absolutely. I did mention that a possible federal service option might be an “agricultural or manufacturing zone assignment.”

    It’s amazing how fast you can write 1,000 words about something, particular if you’ve been dwelling on it for a good part of the last several years. The rest of you should consider responding to tipping’s question too. I’d like to see everyone’s vision of the future.

  12. Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this.


    There is a radical forced selling event going on is Asia. Maybe someone BIG BKed. The price of Silver and Gold keep climbing (as of now I keep refreshing and it keeps going up). Something is up. Maybe something Bad. Seems to be going viral and who am I to not serve my overlords as a prideful vector of chaos and turmoil?

  13. “remember it’s the velocity of ideas…”

    Yeah, MV = Pt (the velocity of money)

    Random clipping from a Fall 2008 Washington Post:

    Peter Ackroyd floats down the Thames.
    Mercenaries run amuck in Iraq.
    Samuel Johnson defines an era.
    Mrs. Astor sends her regrets.
    And young men worry about sex.

  14. My vision of the future involves all women being genetically modified to look like Joan Collins in 1978 and brainwashed to dress like Agnes in The Big Sleep (the one starring Robert Mitchum). I’m working on the other 975 words. Give me a few days.

  15. I posted the Atlantic article because in my mind it was view of the future that we don’t often consider. Namely, things will change but perhaps not the way we (in the collective sense, those that read Kunstler and Orlov) envisioned. Life will not change as quickly as some of us may wish, but it will change… I suppose I was just surprised that a right leaning publication would give so much thought to such a transformation, as opposed to getting things back to the way they have always been. I was even more surprised that y’all got so fired up over it. I thought it would appeal to you since it does address issues such as localization and geographic concentration (specifically the decline of exurb/suburban model of living).

  16. btw, holmes, thank you for taking the time to respond to my question. I appreciate it since it has been quite difficult to get a sense of your philosophies, what with that little furry devil always interrupting. (dont take it personally (bunnally?) bunnbunn, I still love you)

  17. tipping, Florida’s article was certainly worth reading and utilized some interesting structural ideas. For example, the concept of moving east to west, cross country, and discussing possible futures of various cites/regions got things off to a nice start. He is plugged into some issues fairly well, others less so. Naturally, the areas where he is less rigorous in his treatment are going to create the most trouble for him. Just because ZK readers tear into an article doesn’t mean that we don’t appreciate you posting it. I know that you know this.

    I’m not so sure how much of my “philosophy” was revealed in that particular post. I was just trying to make some predictions and be as objective as I am capable of being in such a process. Different facets of a person get revealed over time. You collect them, put them together in some manner, and eventually maybe a picture of something comes together. (You may have happened upon an introductory aspect of Bunn’s forthcoming project. EE, also, is getting close, but in a different way. I will encourage him to impose some boundaries upon this expanding universe of inquiry and finish the damn thing up already.)

  18. (Most of the stuff I would have said to Holmes I just said to Bif on Where and How to Fall.. so ditto)

    I have a pretty good recollection of who is who Holmes but I don’t have enough details about you to flesh out your character in my mind. To that end, your vision of the future helps to clarify an image of you a person, if only to a small degree. Perhaps that’s why JR never gets involved in such discussions, hmm?

  19. You’re too optimistic Holmes.

    We. Never. Learn.

    Nothing is unexpected, Black Swans are dispensation. That than which nothing greater can be conceived has an inverse.

  20. “Perhaps that’s why JR never gets involved in such discussions.”

    I do, but usually on other peoples’ websites, so I can really get out of control.

    Actually, I’ve been busy dictating my vision of the future to myself today in the car with my new custom built Olympus/ Dragon Naturally Speaking/ Facebook-Free/ Apple-Free/Windows 7-friendly/ Look-Ma! No hands system.

    I still need to give it a name, though. My vision of the future, that is. After it is transcribed, of course.

  21. JR- Still maintaing your mystique, I guess. You should call your new system Check it- a cool little swoop thingy and you’ve got an icon… oh wait, stay away from Nike though.

  22. Funny you should mention Nike. I was listening to something on NPR this evening, I’ll see If I can find the link… it’s about the guy who writes the “Cheapskate”column for WSJ. I’ve never read it and he seems quite dull, but the pieces I heard were good.

    There’s no mystique. I’m serious. I’m just trying to stay on the right side of the Taliban while rounding up all women who look like Joan Collins in 1978. It’s all out in the open.

  23. Stopped by to say a quick Hi. We just got hailed on, icecube sized stuff. There will be property damage in the morning.


    Maybe I am just too stressed. Maybe I am looking for permission to get out of some of the choices I made because I fell into society’s rut. I really don’t know. I swear I would love just get my house tight and work in my garden. I can’t. I am a professor and the editor of a journal. I make a decent salary (at least for a chick, the dudes here may not be impressed) and I carry the health insurance for my family. Working in an “institution of higher learning” (this must mean an insane asylum where they teach insanity or something) there is so much ego and lack of truth telling (I’d say it was dishonesty but it is more complicated than that). When you try to point out a nude emperor, no one gives a shit. Integrity is laughed at as naivete, idealism, or just plain stupid. Don’t ask the question “why are we doing this?” Nope. Don’t. I get fucked or called crazy every time.

    I don’t think this is a longing just to be out of this job or this setting. There is a bigger “this” I’d like to be out of. Caring and spending so much time, strategery and resources on appearances (I alway feel like shit the house does not “look right,” I have to produce reports I don’t care about, that I hand to someone who also does not care about them either, on up the line). It is all a crock of shit. But if every one else is stuck in consumerism/pseudoprofessionalism, then by God that is how evaluations get made and resources distributed.

    I’m doing what is important to me. The problem is I am always sneaking it in to my other life and feeling guilty about it. The other life, the hypocritical way of being, brings home the bacon. Meanwhile there is no time.

    So yeah, I wonder if being a little smellier, a little hotter, a little colder, a little closer to the earth, would be worth it. From where I sit, it looks like an either or.

    I can’t let my family down. Gotta work the damn job until they furlough or fire me.

    I bet this perspective is NOT unique. And I count myself lucky because at least I get to work with students and at least there is a creative/writing aspect to my job. Not all bad. Just too many people needing too many things and always on the edge of not making it in time.

    What is killer Tipper, is if/when I lose my job, I will probably freak worse than I have freaked about anything in a very long time.

  24. Like the man said, you’re too optimistic. Better get started on your second 1000 words.

    Me, I figure Pakistan is the war to end all wars. And plague, Christ, we haven’t had a good one in over 500 years… I think.

    But that’s MY vision of the future. You have to write your own.

    WTF is purifying energy? Is that like when I stick a fork in a socket twice a year instead of going to confession?

  25. hail in the middle of the night. That’s pretty freaky.

    MOU, you do sound way stressed. orlov’s wise ass solution would be for you to simply become part of a group of heavily-armed borderline psychotics who take over other peoples houses. I have to admit he thinks he’s funny. That guy cracks me up.

    On one hand, he’s all nonchalant about suggesting that people should be prepared to drop everything and simply walk the earth with a back pack, and then he turns around and makes a cogent case for hanging out and collecting favors like some pre-dystopian Michael Corleone. He is funny though.

    So how do you prepare? Lately, I’ve been hearing from a lot of high-powered, successful people about their various high-powered, successful associates. Usually, the story goes something like this: “My a. financial advisor, b. investment banker, or c. commanding officer has recently a. put all his money in gold, b. bought a log cabin up in the mountains, or c. built a bunker under his house stocked with six months of food and water. Is this normal?” And I tell them, yes, of course, that’s perfectly harmless. He’s just having a mid-collapse crisis. But that’s not really preparation. That’s just someone being colorful in an offbeat, countercultural sort of way.

    God Damn. Only Spengler is better than this.

  26. Orlov does make me smile. Good writing. I got hot headed on the open thread. I think they are maneuvering to nationalize the banks. Can your wrath and furry, as a God, rain hell (or bunny pellets or something) down on them.

    I sound like a fruit cake, but the nationalization thing is rattling me.
    20 years hence, all countries of the world are nationalized corporations (banks, means of production and distribution, military) competing for scarce resources.

    There are also pockets of resistance, people who remember the myth of America and free markets. It ends up being a joke that anyone thought they could live off the grid. The best you can hope for is to look boring enough that they do not spend a great deal of time monitoring you or your activities. They call it the new “transparency” to prevent scams, like the ones perpetrated in the fraudulent “buildouts” of the 80s, 90s, and oughts. http://js-kit.com/blob/_rio_Cu3L2_fTOOJbCbbIp.png We all now know, that many of those houses were never needed. These and shady loan and insurance practices resulted in the fraudulent “bailouts” which then provided justification for nationalization. Everything was crooked because of a lack of transparency. So now everyone was subjected to it (that is the new socialism, surveillance is equal, honest).

    Mostly everyone knows it’s sort of wrong and fucked (with the exceptions of those who benefit from the NWO) and mostly everyone just tries to muddle through. Some folks prep, very carefully, their children for the even worse shitstorm coming, the post carbon era. Ultimately as fossil fuels dwindle, the corporate fascists fail and lose their hegemonic grip. All was folly, the best they can concoct is small feudal fiefdoms that they must constantly defend against attackers who could give a shit about the stuff they have.

    They just don’t like them.

    Enter, from a warship/time machine, EE of DC, Nudge, a terrifying BunnBunn/Holmes mutant creature, Dave, JR, Doom, St. Bif, Yarra, Remus, Octodad, Madonna, MOU, OEO, Nick, XER, Jim, Tipping, Roachman, AU, and a host of other badasses, armed and ready to set things straight. It’s not post apocalyptic, its post carbon apocalyptic.
    Uhh, was that the sort of thing you were looking for?

  27. what the fuck is going on here? i go out on manuevers and the place goes fucking nuts. mou, chill – really. its not your cross.

    check out global guerilla – hesitate on to it. bring out your dead will put music and ring tones. fuck nozzles will pay.

    weed,whites wine is for pussies. bullets, bourbon and bunnbunn. stick your dick in that, mr president.

  28. MOU- regarding your professional dissatisfaction- I have been wrestling with what my ‘calling’ is for a long time. I still haven’t figured it out for myself but you’re lucky to have figured out a goal to work towards, and that’s nothing to sniff at. In the meantime, though the drudgery of dealing with a bureaucracy can at times be overwhelming, you should try to remember that you chose this career as something you liked, maybe even felt passionate about.

    Long term personal and professional relationships are prone to a peculiar sense of ennui. In most cases, there was something there to begin with, you just need to rediscover it. At least you know where you want to go, it’s more that what some of us have.

  29. solzenitsyn is another funny russian. i’ve always thought it funny how he portrays inmates as the most enthusiastic enforcers of camp rules. that could never be. it’s a laugh a minute

  30. Edit, purge, edit, purge, I see someone’s been busy cleaning up the place after the party. Don’t forget to empty the ashtrays and recycle those beer bottles and cans, JR.

  31. I heard the chimp lady’s girlfriend showed up in a new car, with a new hairdo, and held a stuffed animal toy in front of her face as she approached the chimp. Then, for some strange reason, the chimp freaked, got angry with her, and proceeded to tear both her eyes out.

    My question: I know this is tragic, because the chimp was killed, but does one have to die before receiving a Darwin Award? Are they only awarded posthumously to the family?

    JR, please feel free it edit this comment.

  32. I wonder if that couple dave posted on their little electric wheel chair could convert the thing to run on fat?

    Would it smell like fries?


  33. Hi Tipping,

    I’m better. Just some angst that night. I don’t think it is a bad thing to not be sure of a direction. Being too sure can close one to possibilities. But yeah, today I feel pretty fortunate.

    Got two of my colleagues to stop fighting. That is something.

    Everyone at my university thinks the bailout is going to save us. (Sigh)

    I won’t tell you to “take care,” or “hope you are doing well,” that is banned. How about “I hope you and your fucking family are doing well.” If I use that tone, maybe I won’t sound so insincere and maybe JR won’t give me shit. :-)

    I want to meet Octodad. Does he have 8 dicks?

    Or is it more like the first three pictures in this sequence?


  34. Did he seriously give you shit for just being nice? Tell him I said “fuck off!” if he bothers you again. I appreciate the sentiment though. Gotta go read a bedtime story now.

  35. I guess if you’re girlfriends with a loser chick who keeps a chimp for a surrogate child/husband, one day you might get both your eyes torn out of their sockets if you show up and do a bunch of stupid shit like freaking the poor animal out playing peek-a-boo, who-are-you. Jus sayin, of course.

    Some of my friends have pet snakes, like Octodad, he has eight.

  36. You know, the other day was Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday. I’ll make an easy prediction: folks, if there are any still around by then, won’t be making such a big fuss over Darwin’s 300th birthday.

  37. er… you mean rewards? I’m outta here for a week or two, if there’s going to be rewards, or awards (praise god), have your people call my people. 867-5309.

  38. “I hope you and your fucking family are doing well.”

    What the fuck does my fucking family have to with anything? Fuck them. For once can’t you just fucking be concerned with me?

    I’m just kidding for fuck’s sake. Would you all just please relax. Jesus, you’re making me nervous.

  39. Twenty years from now:

    No insulin for diabetics or patchy supply

    No anti-hypertensives

    Fat people risk being hunted down and hacked up for the Sunday roast – that’s if AIDS hasn’t got to them first through lack of double glazing for the males.

    More home abortions through lack of contraceptives – Vera Drake – Mark II

    Bike tyres worth their weight

    School will do the basic three Rs – the rest will be totally focused on practical skills

    The Maldives give up the ghost and drown

    If you can’t or don’t grow it or hunt it you get to do the Ethiopian famine victim dance

    New class of desirable bachelors/bachelorettes emerges: smithies, cobblers, bike mechanics and especially farmers – they’ll be fighting of the opposite sex with sticks.

    A bit hard out but then I’m in a strop at the moment.

  40. “New class of desirable bachelors/bachelorettes ” -very good Mary.

    Twenty years from now maybe all the snow will be melted here and I can start planting.

  41. octodad got that dumb bitch, octomom, to recombine with his his worthless haploids 8 times at once. thereby creating 8 fucking glue sniffing retards in one shot. also, all you fine upstanding tax payers get to pick up the tab.

    octodad is a fucking genius. i wish i was more like him.

  42. If you can’t or don’t grow it or hunt it you get to do the Ethiopian famine victim dance

    that anything like the chacha? 123chachacha. that’s what i always say.

  43. “lack of double glazing…”

    Don’t worry, Mary, there will always be donut shops in the America that I know. And double-paned windows with an insulative layer therebetween.

    Hi GB. What’s the latest?

    dave, give unto cesarean that which is rightfully his!

    Holmes, speaking of taxes, I can see that you’re all excited about going to see your tax guy later today… I hope you didn’t overpay your state taxes.

  44. 8 fucking glue sniffing retards in one shot.

    i wish i was more like him.

    hahhaaahaa. You said more.

    What’s the deal with glue? Is it that good? This moron that wrote my favorite “kill all humans” article of the week started out looking for dope and got turned onto gay sex.

    obviously meth is better than junk.

    sorry. I’m just trying to figure the economic benefits of glue. don’t mind me. I was in a toy store the other day and I noticed they don’t sell toy guns or model airplanes anymore. Scary world.

    If I was a kid these days I’d be bored out of my fucking mind. I’d start lighting shit on fire. Parents don’t let you watch TV. They are too stupid to teach you to read. They are too poor to buy you Playstation. and LEGOS are way out of their reach.

    $149 for the fucking good LEGOS set. Whaaaat! That’s insane. Not the price. It doesn’t have anything good in it.

    It is time to start a massive LEGOS program. I’m starting it today in my basement. It might take a few days to get the details down. I invite Barney Frank and Deval Patrick to come take a look. The sticky point is tying it to books.


  45. “Confidence has been lost across the board. If our government does not act decisively and quickly to restore confidence, forcing the fraud into the open and prosecuting those involved, along with setting forth a concrete path of action specifically addressing the issue of “nationalization” (in any of its various forms of dress) for financial institutions capital flight will accelerate, our financial institutions stock prices will continue on their trip to zero and our markets will crash.”


  46. JR, I read that entire exile article and the comments (which are worth a look, especially if you liked the article enough to make it all the way through). Yeah, Camus meets Thompson, or something like that. Of course Thompson wasn’t afraid to moralize in a more in your face kind of way. (Now I’m starting to actually look forward to Tucker Max’s movie.)

    That bit about it being dangerous to be white in Hollywood was a bit of an oversimplification (so say my sources), but it was a pulpily rendered and funny exaggeration. The speakeasy aspect of the story was a nice twist, by that, I mean it suggests some interesting things about insular yet externally aware (perceiving external things) societies.

  47. I like the exile article too. Good participant observation. It was a good start on an important issue. More linkages could have been made, micro to macro, however that would have interfered with feeling the lived experience of the thing.

    Drug funds historically supporting governments’ covert military escapades
    Drugs creating a privatized prison inmate industry
    Afghanistan, poppy fields, and Obama’s current ambitions

    You could fill in this list better than me most likely.

  48. ya, my mom caught me huffing gas when i was like 5 years old. she was like: “what are you, fucking stupid? nevermind, don’t answer that. but give me that fucking can. the chain saw is outta gas. where’s your father? that asshole. oh, never mind. i have to do every fucking thing around here myself.”

  49. so the moral of the story is, if you can’t find any model glue and a plasitc bag, a gas can, even if there’s no liquid gas in there, will do just fine.

  50. MOU, request noted. Your needs will be met. I promise.

    It would be slightly indelicate of me, I think, to ask for pics back to worship in kind and certainly redundantly decadent… what with me being omniscient and all, plus we’re super down with matters of discretion and confidentiality in these parts.

    Doom, you know how it goes with the Academy Awards… some have said that this is a company town. There’s a lot of bullshit in that statement, but I do know that my TiVo will be recording the Laker game.

    You monkeys and your inhalants. Holmes, have you ordered the liver tonic yet? Just sayin.

  51. this is going to sound a bit corny, but i miss building model airplanes and using model airplane glue for its intended purpose, gluing plastic airplane parts together. fuckin idiots spoil shit for everyone else.

    you know, the mother of the Darwin Award winner for 2005 (at the Blowhole site in Hawaii), she wanted us to seal the blowhole over with a lid. stupid mom, stupid son. thank God no one took her seriously.

  52. Bunn

    Might have been a bit oblique – the double glazing for the males meant condoms – unless i’ve missed the boat on your comment.

  53. Hi Mary, to be perfectly honest, I thought maybe you had the urban dictionary definition in mind, which makes less sense than condoms, but I’m as helpless as JR in the face of your often fascinating terminology.

    Check back in often, it sounds like tipping is going to blow this place open. And don’t be shy about telling us what’s happening on the ground in your part of the world. We live for this kind of embedded reporting, participatory journalism, etc. Trust me.

  54. Thanks to Mary and Uncle Yarra for holding up the Bottom of the Earth and reporting it all to us from “down under”. Mary, I love your terminology, but I’m guessing it just flows out without thinking much of it. As pour moi, I can usually catch the meaning from the context. As dave would say, you two are the shitz.

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