Decline and Fall

Decline and Fall

Decline and Fall
by John Michael Greer

p.2 – The language of politics these days consists largely of snarl words. When people on the leftward end of the political spectrum say “fascist,” or “Empire,” for example, more often than not these words mean exactly what “socialist” or liberal mean to people on the right – that is, they express the emotional state of the speaker rather than anything relevant about the object under discussion. Behind this common habit is one of the more disturbing trends in contemporary political life: setting aside ordinary disagreement in favor of seething rage against a demonized Other on whom all the world’s problems can conveniently be blamed.

p.4 – The 5 percent of humanity that lives in the United States of America uses around a quarter of the world’s energy and roughly a third of its raw materials and industrial product. This disproportionate share of the world’s wealth doesn’t come to us because the rest of the world doesn’t want such things or because the United States manufactures some good or provides some service so desirable to the rest of the world that other nations vie with each other to buy it from us. Quite the contrary: the United States produced very little during much of its empire’s most prosperous period, and the rest of the world’s population is by and large just as interested in energy, raw materials, and industrial product as Americans are.

237 Replies to “Decline and Fall”

  1. regarding the rest of the world, they do, however, understand the ditty: “this is my nuke-laden delivery system, this is my gun, this one’s for fighting, this one’s for “The Cosby Show”.

  2. there’s nothing contemporary about demonetization, it’s as old as the hills.

    the usa has provided a center which the rest of the world has organized its’ efforts around. this system is falling apart. it cannot hold together during times of decreasing energy density.

  3. perish the thought, so to speak, but maybe the first to go are the americans, with the highland tribes of papua new guinea and irian java as the last to go. i think there’s some logic to that supposition.

  4. from site:

    Easy Living
    Sun, Nov 16, 2014

    The disparagement of my work, hence of me, reaches a fervent pitch during a speaking tour. Although I love interacting with new people, any road trip brings me to the attention of deniers who react harshly. And not merely to the message, but of course to the messenger. It’s as if I’m inventing the information I cite.

    A line from Farley Mowat comes to mind: “We’re under some gross misconception that we’re a good species, going somewhere important, and that at the last minute we’ll correct our errors and God will smile on us. It’s delusion.”

  5. yeah, the whole nthe thing never sits quite right with me. i mean, humans will go extinct. i have no problem with them doing so. but humans, if nothing else, have a large bag of behavioral and metabolic tricks up their collective sleeves. i think that there’ll be pockets of humans around for awhile. but who knows?

  6. eating live frogs is one of those tricks, i guess. yup, below a certain population level, just about all groups and species go extinct. also, most species rarely live more than 2 million years. homo as a genus has been around for about that long already, h. sapiens for a few hundred thousand years by now. h. erectus gone, h. neanderthalensis gone.

    the modern civilization that h. sapiens has built (the possible last in a series spanning most of the holocene) has allowed great numbers and great consumption of natural resources on this planet. what’s getting clearer is that civilization is now in trouble due to increased complexity needed to operate (for most–a bad sign in itself), decreasing resources (peak everything) and pollution increases that are affecting the climate. the steadily creeping climate chaos is very dire becuase it not only adversly affects already strained resource consumption (i.e., food) but at some point even the habitat of h. sapiens goes beyond comfort to hazardous to our health.

    guy mcpherson is one of the few people out there to raise the specter of climate’s dire affects on human civilization. because of his vision and honesty, he is of course ridiculed. this is to be expected.

  7. i smell like a dead cockroach this morning because the dog insists on a morning kiss on the face. i did not know she had earlier killed a cockroach and rubbed her face in its guts. dogs are weird. i thought she just had bad breath.

  8. eating live frogs reminds me of the idiot(s) in china that tried eating live eels. well, unlike the frogs, the eels had teeth and promptly did an “Alien” job on the idiot’s insides, trying to escape. another Dawin Award finalist, if not winner that year, dunno. most awards given postumously, to qualify.

  9. one of the many underlying assumptions JHK makes is there will be a surviving population of humans to retool at a lower level of complexity after the Big Crash. a few others are challenging that view, including McPherson, Tverberg, Hanson, yours truly, etc. it’s just another of JHK’s many blind spots, like Isreal and 911.

  10. anthropogenic global warming: an event hits close to home

    a true story submitted by: me

    so i’m working on this report, which involves some measurements of dissolved methane, a potent greenhouse gas. to couch my new data in the results from others, a do a bit of googling and get a few key references to cite (tanks be to Wiki). so i’m making a pretty plot of the data, and i plot the range of ocean surface values from a paper published in 2003. then, i plot some recent, unpublished data from a colleague. it’s double the value from the 2003 paper. maybe there are regional effects, but both sets involve many samples, and are from fairly open ocean sites. the most obvious source is atmospheric methane, for which i also have corroborating data from other air gases measured. so i’m thinking maybe someone’s got an analytical problem, but both groups are known to be very careful. humm….

    it may be anthropogenic methane added to the ocean from the atmosphere since 2003, a doubling. if so, then 2014-2003 = 11 years as the doubling time? that translates to: doubling time = 70/growth rate (%), using Bartlett’s rule of 70. so, growth rate = 70/11 = 6.4%. per the Wiki (and IPCC), atmospheric CH4 has gone from 750 to 1800+ ppb from about 1800 to present. that’s an approximate doubling in about 150-200 years. it’s much lower but recall we’re working with an exponential, so a moron time-averaged value would appear lower, i think.

  11. The Raven

    Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
    Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
    As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
    “‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
    Only this and nothing more.”

    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
    And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
    From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
    For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
    Nameless here for evermore.

    And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
    Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
    “‘Tis some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door—
    Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
    This it is and nothing more.”

    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
    “Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
    But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
    That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
    Darkness there and nothing more.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
    Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
    This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
    Merely this and nothing more.

    Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
    Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
    “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
    Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
    Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
    ‘Tis the wind and nothing more!”

    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
    In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
    Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
    Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

    Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
    By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
    “Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
    Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
    Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
    Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
    Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
    For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
    Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
    Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
    With such name as “Nevermore.”

    But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
    That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
    Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
    Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
    On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
    Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

    Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
    “Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
    Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
    Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
    Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
    Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

    But the Raven still beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
    Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
    Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
    What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
    Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

    This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
    To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
    This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
    On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
    But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
    She shall press, ah, nevermore!

    Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
    Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
    “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
    Respite—respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore;
    Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
    Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
    Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
    Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
    On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
    Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
    Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
    By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
    Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
    It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
    Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
    Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
    “Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
    Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
    Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
    Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
    Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
    On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
    And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
    Shall be lifted—nevermore!
    —Edgar Allan Poe

  12. mio dos centavos over at OFW comment thread:

    doomphd says:
    November 27, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Maybe Putin will organize an international nuclear spent fuel pool rescue squad that will be mobilized as soon as any nation-state fails and its nuclear power plants need new baby sitters? Then, an emergency spent fuel to dry cask storage program is launched to rid global reliance on wet storage in uncertain times. Seems to me that some precautionary steps could be taken, like when away for some time, you turn off the gas and drain the water from the radiators.

    Agree that nuclear fission power has been a showcase for hubris by the PTB. Recall when the Soviet Union collapsed, plant workers kept on the job without pay, to keep things stable until a new political appartus was in place. That’s because they knew what was at stake. The big question is will similar responses take place elsewhere, e.g., Japan, USA, and can we count on them to come through? I assume the military has contingency plans for their nuclear stuff.

  13. RE: anthropogenic global warming: an event hits close to home

    please disregard that post. upon further review, there’s so much regional methane variability (not to mention with water depth) that those two studies’ datasets fall on top of each other. oh well,…

  14. haha, what’s that old joke? “i don’t have to be faster than the bear. i just have to be faster than you.” something like that.

  15. so the koreans want me to sign a long-term contract with them from 2016 on. i’m not sure things will still be running by then. guess we’ll watch the crude oil price and find out.

  16. Yippy-Ty-O-Ty-Ay

    Problem with Montana is that it is part of the survivalists/”patriots” “American Redoubt” and at their core is a fundamental incompatibility with, counter-intuitively, liberty.

  17. Besides, with all this *cough* global warming, the climate won’t be suitable for growing dental floss bush much longer anyway. Pygmy ponies on the other hand…

  18. indonesia has better looking women than korea, and cheaper, too. gotta get some contracts going down there.

    i guess that sounds rather shallow and sexist, but let’s play those balls where they fall…

  19. speaking of sweaty palms stuff, i was visiting my friend bern in germany once, and there was a picture of him rock climbing in the alps. he was strattling two vertical rocks with his feet, and in the far distance was what looked like an aerial view of austria or germany. so i asked “bern, how far down?” he replied: “far enough.”

  20. corny christmas joke:

    “So remember this when you decorate the tree this Christmas…Ho Ho Ho

    When four of Santa’s elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure. Then Mrs. Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more. When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where. Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered. Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a glass of cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the rum. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom. Just then the doorbell rang, and an irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree. The angel said very cheerfully, ‘Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn’t this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?’

    And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

    Not a lot of people know this.”

  21. i’ve caught a couple of crows in my life. let them go without putting a band on their respective legs. does that make me dumber than a crow? not that that’s anything to be ashamed of. crows are pretty smart. i think.

  22. looks like gold price has been tracking the deflationary trend since about 2012. before that, back to about 2004, it was tracking inflation of the petrodollar rather steadily.


    the gold-to-oil price ratio since about 1945 shows that our troubles began in about 1970, when oil production peaked in the USA. before 1970, steady, growing oil production kept the price of gold low and constant. after the big awakening that energy was finite and depletible, gold price volatility has ruled, despite or perhaps because of government-private sector attempts to manipulate the price. at least, that what is looks like to moi.

  24. yeah, i try to put my thoughts into as few words as possible. anyhoo, as the $ loses status as the world’s reserve currency (i think this is unavoidable.), the relative cost (in relation to the $) of gold and oil can do nothing but rise. i think the point that tiveberg, etal, miss is that all these values are relative, they float, one against the other. the $, in and of itself, without, primarily, military backing, has no intrinsic value. gold and oil, particularly oil, have value on their own merits. i think.

  25. yeah, and our two-faced government (the fed) says gold is not worth much but scrambles to get/steal as much as possible, in the background, e.g., germany’s holdings gone, ukrain’s gold gone, iraq’s gold, libya’s gold, the WTC holdings looted.

  26. we were just lamenting with the waiter at a local idy restaurant last night about how we couldn’t get fresh venison out here in the isles. of course, we know a friend who hunts, so we get to try some once in awhile. his venison jerky is awesome.

  27. Gold. Yes.
    Silver. Yes.
    Fiat. As long as some fool accepts it.
    System D. Yes.
    For everything else there’s lead/copper/brass/chemical propellant assemblies.

    JR – do you know the Russian mnemonic equivalent to Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (or What The Fuck)

  28. System D = ???

    Agree on need for propellent assemblies to protect gold and silver, fiat investments. Protective dogs help, also, along with fire-proof vaults too heavy to move easily. Under no delusion about locks stopping anyone, maybe slow them down.

  29. Dont’ get a safe with an electronic keypad that doesn’t have a backup mechanical means of opening it without the keypad. EMP will fry a keypad. I prefer old school anyway. Keypads tend to eat batteries like candy.

    System D means anything from simple barter to adaptability to change.

  30. I have stopped going to Moscow. Its just too weird, except in select suburban bars. But that’s not good enough. Not when you can go to Belgrade or Sophia.

  31. upon further review, i see that the stupid live deer decided to hook up with the antlers of a stupid dead deer, its head apparently left lying around in that clearing, like poor Crassus or Pompeii, after being hunted and its body dressed/packed out. but perhaps the dead deer was an iffn genius among his peers, real leadership material, and just got unlucky, or couldn’t run as fast as the other deers, dunno.

  32. what owl? where? we’re supposed to believe that over thousands of years of trial-and-error, this owl got his/her cammo down to that level of perfection? i mean, all the slightly pink or blue ones were spotted and starved to death because their candidate prey went like, “Oh hey, nice cammo on that owl, but the slightly pink/blue hue is a dead giveaway, let’s get out of here!”

    hard to believe there has been such a large pool of owls over time so that natural selection could work that way. light versus dark moths on tree trunks that change their shade due to pollution, say, that seems plausible, lots of insects to spare, and has been demonstrated. are/were there equal numbers of owls? i think not, but i’m not a biologist.

  33. nice collecton of old cars, AU, but in serious need of some TLC.

    the BMW test driver in JR’s piece above is very polite about it, but is basically saying that the older car is the better one.

  34. yeah remus, people search the world over for love and weirdness, when all the love and weirdness they’ll ever need is busy staring them right in the eye. something like that. i think. maybe.

  35. that may be true about love and weirdness, but exotic you have to travel some to find.

    one of my favorite sayings: you’re never lost

    you’re never lost. settle down, marry a local girl. now you’re not lost. you’re home.

  36. “If oil prices do [NOT] recover and quickly, the US shale miracle will rapidly turn into a shale bust. The decline rates on these wells are ferocious. With that loss of production will go the entire narrative that says our energy predicament is safely off in the future and that we can safely ignore it for now.

    And with the loss of that fantasy will go the sky-high valuations we currently see for stocks and bonds. After all, the operative question always should be what is the value of these stocks and bonds in a world without growth?”

  37. There are probably a few necessary stages leading up to and bringing about the dire scenario of cannibalism that you are foreseeing. I would submit that getting through those stages are probably of more immediate concern.

  38. edpell says:
    December 10, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    David Stockman:

    “We are now far advanced into the third central bank generated bubble of the last two decades, but our monetary politburo has taken no notice whatsoever of its self-evident leading wave. Namely, the massive malinvestments and debt mania in the shale patch.”

  39. hey Bif, looks like i might be travelling to Munich and Prague next year on separate trips. any suggestions for good bars and brothels? remember, i’m on per diem.

  40. i just think it’s kinda funny, how she’s sitting there smiling like: “hey, yeah,what? me? i’m good. no really, i’m fine. can i get another glass of water? hold the lemon.” something like that…

  41. so i had an MRI scan done on my bum knee. the lady asks on the phone: “are you clastrophobic?” i replied: “clautrophobia is a relative, sliding scale. i think anybody will go claustrophobic if the walls begin to squeeze in on you ala Star Wars episode 3.” a better question would be: “so just how clastrophobic are you?”

  42. ask her to get in the machine with you to see how claustrophobic you can be together…unless she’s a fat bitch…or something like that.

  43. good idea, but it’s done already. we have a lot of 300+ pound beauties out here, so the island has an MRI scanner with extra large aperture so they can fit inside. prolly cows, pigs and horses, too.

  44. at least the stupid got lucky and still has use of both eyes. when i was about 11, a fellow classmate was playing with his new bow & arrow set (steel tipped) with another classmate. one shot an arrow upward, into the sky, the other then tried to spot it. he missed seeing it, but the arrow found him in his left eye. they made a glass eye for the poor, unlucky, stupid guy. made quite an impression on the class.

  45. Most hunters won’t wait very long to look for deer. Other hunters can find the downed deer and claim it as their own. Happens quite a bit. A know a good deer-hunting story along those lines…

  46. i thought that might be blood near its nose, gb, but it could have been a red leaf, also. why not a “mercy shot” to the deer’s head, to put them out of their misery? we used to finish off rabbits with a boot heal on the head. seems kinda cruel, but so was shooting them in the first place. beats watching them suffer.

  47. Agreed Doom.

    What’s the story? OK here goes.

    As told to me by my old boss from my auction days…we’ll call him DC:
    DC was quite a hunter. So DC is out deer hunting in a heavily hunted area east of Saratoga. He shoots a buck. The buck takes off. DC waits a bit and then follows the blood trail. A while later while following the trail he comes upon the downed buck and a hunter standing by the now dead deer. DC says to the man, “I shot that buck”. The hunter claims he shot the buck, the deer belongs to him, and if DC knew what was best for him he’d move on – while pointing his deer slug-loaded shotgun in DC’s general direction.
    DC was dismayed by this turn of events, but keeps his cool and keeps talking to the hunter…the timing of the rut, the weather, the mast crop that year…whatever. So DC, still chatting, then casually puts a cigarette in his mouth and instead of reaching for his lighter pulls out of his vest a shiny Smith and Wesson .357 magnum ( or something similar, I can’t remember the exact pistol) and calmly cocks it and aims it at his adversary’s head. “Now whose buck is it?” DC asks. A moment of silence. Then the other hunter has an epiphany and agrees that the buck really is DC’s. The hunter walks off. DC waits a bit until the man is out of sight and then quickly tags and drags his deer away to a more secure location to gut it out.

    That’s it, with perhaps some poetic license utilized.

  48. how about some forensics on the bullet? deer slug versus rifle bullet? i guess with waving guns and threats being bandied about, the Smith & Wesson was a good choice to settle the argument.

    we used to watch Spade Coolie back in the early daz of TV, 1950s. he had a local, LA area, musical variety show. his wife, a singer i believe, was cheating on him and he found out about it. he was so mad at her that he was smoking and put the cigarette butts out on her skin, not sure if that was before or after he killed her. he was convicted of murder. naturally, his show business days were over. when asked in an interview for any wisdom about the whole affair, he (kinda famously) said: “when you see trouble, just walk away.”

    that made an impression on me, as relayed from my father, a big Spade Coolie fan.

  49. From dave’s link – “Most people learn to save themselves by artificially limiting the content of consciousness.”

    Yeah, pretty much.

  50. last spring, i had a co-ed engineering student obviously texting during my lecture on resources depletion, limits to growth, and TEOTWAWKI. i was summarizing gail tverberg’s recent posts on the matter. it was so ridiculous that i found it amusing to see someone in such a state of denial, so i let her continue to do it. she might as well had put her hands over her ears and worn a blindfold. it was awesome.

    these young college students have a lot invested in BAU going forward, and won’t be denied the opportunties promised by the system. hopefully, they’ll be shooting drowning polar bears off the bow of their new offshore drilling rigs, and having the time of their short, dim-witted lives, and not killing or torturing the messengers.

  51. personally, i’m looking forward to all the BS (Bolloxed Shit) that they’ll be spewing about how those golden opportunities they worked so hard to achieve just suddenly dried up. they’ll come up with just about anything than the real reasons.

    well, not really looking forward to it, just anticipating.

  52. meanwhile, our BAU in-denial cheerleaders in the department broadcast email announcements of just about anything that looks like a job. someone retires at school X and the school miraculously still retains the position to advertise, federally-funded (with funny-money debt, backed by nuke-equipped military) program Y at school Z has an opening for some entry-level data mongers. go team! no stone unturned!

  53. i have no clue of wtf she’s singing about. “oh. i don’t like the feel of a sardine in the crack of my ass…” something like that…otherwise good..

  54. wow, two hollywood talent power couples in the sme room, at the top of their form. so i’m musing about how come lucy and desi had such a long, accomplished career, and ernie and edie did not. they were amazingly talented, but comparatively a flash on the scene. then, i looked up ernie’s biography. killed in an auto accident at age 42, widowing poor edie.

    driving one of those “unsafe at any speed” cars, a corvair.

  55. I picked up a chaw and snuff habit long ago when working 10-12 hour days building schools (electrician) on the Navajo reservation. The buzz kept you going in the middle of nothingness, but damn, it was a hell of a habit to break.

  56. i still smoke cigars, occasionally. i only smoke “good” cigars that i can barely afford. most cost about $10+ each at box and duty free discount. i was wondering if old ernie smoked muriel cigars, or better ones. i suspect that muriel are cheap cigars, like white owls, robert burns (my dad’s favorite), etc.

    iffn cuban cigars almost got me in trouble with the US customs and Canadian border agents a few times. one time i was asked about my cigars: “they aren’t cuban, are they?”. oh no,…

  57. Not that many chicks play bass, much less a 5-sring.

    I used to play a fretless 4-string back in the day. Never played a 5-string.

  58. so it was 1960. i’m just a punk kid. my mother and older sister want to see the new Hitchcock thriller, so they go to the mantinee. i’m home (not invited, wouldn’t have wanted to see it anyway). they come home, and they’re acting all adgitated and talking among themselves nervously about this movie. so i make a mental note: must be a pretty scary movie, must go see it too. something about a shower scene.

  59. so it’s now 1975. my date (and future wife) and I are at this new scary movie called Jaws. so far, it’s the only time both my wife and myself have literally jumped out of our seats at a movie. congrats to mr. speilberg and mr. butler.

  60. this is telling, i think. in hong kong, 2 million (yuan, i guess) accidentally spilled onto the street. people on the street helped pick it all up, so few notes went missing. this was apparently a big surprise to the PTB, as they expect poor people to have the same moral values and ethics as they do, which are very low. so the story makes the headlines in the MSM, because they’re always so shocked that these people don’t behave like they would, obviously, when given the chance, which they take often. that’s why they’re the rich PTB!

    i especially loved this line: “Thirteen people — 10 men and three women — had voluntarily handed over the money. They would likely face no charges, police said.”

    awful nice of them, huh? i hope the PTB get “the Crassus treatment” when the time comes. all the liquid gold you can drink!

  61. this website is fucked up or something, i think. it takes a long time to load and sometimes i think it locks up my browser. not sure. i think that this was happening before and bif, or some other smart guy like that, certainly not me, fixed it somehow. not sure. the problem might be on this end. not sure. fucking wizards can do shit that i would never dream of.

  62. You can have power, privilege, great sums of money and still be discontented. In fact, I think that you would find that to be the most common condition among people of this sort.

  63. maybe it’s because we have like a bazillion youtube links on display on this thread. we could try moving comments to another thread, although i don’t completely understand why this should help the site speed.

  64. dave, a suggestion. I use Firefox with various plug-ins, one of which is “NoScript”. Java is needed to run most YT video embeds, so with Java blocked, things are much faster. AFAIK, it is available for both Windows and Linux flavors of Firefox.

  65. joke: “Will I Live to see 80?

    (Here’s something to think about.) I recently picked a new primary care doctor. After two visits and exhaustive Lab tests, she said I was doing fairly well for my age. (I am past Seventy).

    A little concerned about that comment, I couldn’t resist asking her, ‘Do you think I’ll live to be 80?’

    She asked, ‘Do you smoke tobacco, or drink beer, wine or hard liquor?’
    ‘Oh no,’ I replied. ‘I’m not doing drugs, either!’
    Then she asked, ‘Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?’
    ‘I said, ‘Not much… My former doctor said that all red meat is very unhealthy!’
    ‘Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, boating, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?’
    ‘No, I don’t,’ I said.
    She asked, ‘Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?’
    ‘No,’ I said…
    She looked at me and said, ‘Then, why do you even give a shit?'”

  66. maybe someone could start a new thread every week or so. then so much shit wouldn’t get piled up in one place, something like that.

  67. dave, tl;dr = too long; didn’t read

    doom, she has a point. but what, exactly, constitutes ” a lot of sex”? I’m a firm believer in health through happy endings.

  68. i hope that no one was offended when i posted the hooker scene from full metal jacket for probably the 90th time on this site.

    keep rattling, UR. as a troll/major comment contributor, i enjoy just about any attention given here.

    please follow my next comment post on the december thread, unless you like seeing your PC freeze up.

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