There we were Wednesday. Gloating at having unloaded out long position Tuesday afternoon (2:31 PM Eastern) when it became apparent that the country has been overwhelmed with a new kind of mental disorder.
A strange dysfunction it it, too: People using words like Buffoon-in-Chief and “impeachment” – all very strong and polarizing emotives – verging on insane behavior. No, perhaps we have passed the verge and are full-on crazy now. Reader Mic down in Ecuador was right when he called it…America is fast becoming (criminally?) insane
Does it mean anything other than Obama sour grapes, the push for a soft coup of the proletariat by the corporate press and (as the New Yorker calls it this morning) a revenge of the DC professional class trimmed with distraction, personal attacks and other useless crap? By the time it settles, will the SMS mob (that we label Swarm War/Schwerpunkt) gift itself all the property and the means of production?
No, at least we hope not. But it IS a huge symptom of a long-time topic around here: What makes People Happy? It’s telling us loads about that.(continues)
Several people I know (oilman2, Robin Landry, others) have told me that have as much as quit watching the news. Why? “Can’t be trusted…:” Fair assessment, there. It’s the worst of self-referential ego mania and self-importance and self-righteousness ever seen. All in the name of the ad buck. Too much capacity, too little substance. But with an SMS flash mob, why not take down a sitting president?
Missed is that the media lynch mob is a result of underlying socioeconomic conditions, not leaders of change at all.
The conditions? A kind of social “sensory deprivation tank.” When deprived of meaningful inputs, the human mind will feed on itself. The same may be true at the macro social level, as well.
The underlying problem that no one wants to talk about in America these days is that we are squarely locked in a mindset the DSM-V (the medical standard for such things) could characterize as material overdose.
“Materialism Overdose: A condition wherein a population from as small as a single person (see hoarding syndrome) to a whole electronically-linked world (see collapse and war) begins to hoard THINGS and fails to grasp relationships or hold to durable personal values.”
No Sherlock, a new airtime plan will NOT fix it this time.
Let me give you a prime example of what I’m talking about – a number so you can put something in your reptilian/prehensile to ponder late at night.
“The self-storage industry is primarily a United States-based industry: of the 58,000 storage facilities worldwide in 2009, 46,000 were located in the United States.”
What’s more, they are 90% occupied and people are willing to rent space to store things they can’t presently use. Yet we keep buying and buying and…
Back in my newsing years, I covered the story of a small company called Public Storage, I think it was. Orange logo, black lettering on the logo.
Their CEO assured me in an interview that (circa 1975 when such units were virtually nonexistent in the Seattle-Tacoma-Everett corridor) there would be an eventual market for several thousand such units by the year 2,000. And by golly, they were right. A missed investment opportunity for me, but some hands-on learning, for sure.
Another source suggests modern America is overwhelmed with “stuff” in the home, too. One L.A. Times article a while back argued homes may contain upwards of 300,000 items. I’m not prepared to argue the point because we have almost every tool imaginable here and the ranch. Maybe they counted the grains of rice to hit the big number…I can’t say.
World is awash in STUFF.
All of this STUFF, however, leaves us with a terrible problem: Personal Stuff Optimization. PSO I call it. No one but minimalists are into it.
Oh, sure, we loaded up on 55″ televisions earlier this year due to my eye issues, but come on: When you can buy a UHD TV & monitor for $326 delivered? (They have since gone up, sadly.) Notice however: We have a reason for spending that kind of dough: My eyesight sucks eggs.
Most people will really never wander around their home and ask “Do I really need that [xyz thing]?” The ONLY reason we’re on that track now is that we are considering a smaller home. Who needs a tractor or both gas and electric welders in the city? Out here it makes sense.
Once upon a time, my sisters coined the now overused term “shopping therapy.” They were talking in these terms in the 1960s. Our whole famn damily tends to run a decade ahead of the jackal class.
Shopping therapy has been wrecked by online outfits like Amazon. It’s like having the Holodeck in your living room. Alexa, I was a new (anything) and it shows up.
Not that we’re complaining out here at the “end of the wire,” mind you. In fact a couple of weeks back, Amazon customer service sent us a nice little audit note: “Congratulations! You have already saved $500 on shipping costs this year alone with your Prime membership.” Damn!
Yep – toss in the free movies and other content – a great deal.
Well, except it does bring us back to the problem on the table this morning:
We are in a world – at least here in what is quickly becoming the Useless States of America – where we have a concurrent excess of STUFF and a lack of meaningful PROBLEMS TO SOLVE – and all this has caught us unawares because we HAVE NO CORE VALUES.
Ah!! Sounds kinda like three strikes, don’t it?
This is why the global war that will follow (once we get into the depths of the coming Depression) is so necessary from a long wave economic perspective.
Do you really think the old dudes 10,000 years ago, basically running the same hardware as us but with an earlier software package onboard couldn’t have figured out the remote on the Roku box? GMAFB.
Yes, and even if their Engrish skrills (*sic) would have been weak even by declining educational metrics, they still would have been able to find some peer group in any major urban area….And maybe Neanderspeak as an ESL program could be championed?
We need a war – a HUGE WAR all over the planet – to fix all this stuff.
Let’s run through the grim rationale: (This is like the economic doctor’s prescription and it’s going to taste bad, but go with me on it…)
Stuff: Wars break things
This tills the soil and gets homes off the market. Blows up the electronics in cars, power plants, airplanes, keeping us all from moving around quite so freely. Bye-bye to the grid. Keeps us closer to home and ends the loose talk of “impeach” or even scarier ideas to the PowersthatBe (like “Tax Revolt!”)which is the modern analog to the problems president Hoover faced with the tariff and agricultural (supports) debates during the early months of his tenure.
You see, it’s well understood that “In both the tariff and agriculture debates, President Hoover demonstrated questionable political acumen. The “Great Engineer” had proven as ineffective a politician as he was an effective organizer of exploratory commissions and committees. Instead of convincing Congress that his proposals were sound, Hoover chose to limit his involvement and let Congress legislate. The result, though, was policy stalemate and political tension between the President and Republicans, especially progressives like (Idaho senator William) Borah, who might have been among Hoover’s stronger supporters..”
The Borah role today seems played by Paul Ryan or John McCain.
Does Hoover’s “Great Engineer” descriptor echo with a contemporary personality type you’ve run into lately?
It’s all part of repeating potholes on the road to Depression and thence War to follow. Too much production is dangerous. It was in the Roaring Twenties and it is today as ever before.
Deimming in excess…how do we solve it? Here’s the previous answer:
- Boom! Need a new bridge.
- Boom! Need a new steel plant while you’re at it.
- Boom! Need more humans over here to run the mill…the old batch is gone.
- Boom! Higher food prices and a reordering of political power…
Right now? The storage units are overflowing with crap we either can’t or don’t use. And when the 2nd Depression becomes more evident than yesterday’s little taste or what panic is, people will unload the useless and try to figure out how we all got this way. Look for falling prices to return in places like eBay and CL.
Problems to Solve: War rocks the category
Wars are good because they “shake up the social order.” You go back to the inventors of gunpowder – who could have led a Chinese takeover of the entire planet in lieu of the Europeans – a few thousand years back, and you ask “Why didn’t they?”
Yuval Hurari figures the Chinese society was very classist – if you were born to a mid level life, you died in the mid level life. Since then, China has figured out how to use the political process (the Party) to move up the social food chain – a fact which the owners of Washington – the K Street Law Firms and the congressoids they work – all know very well.
The NEXT war will give us a lot of problems to solve. Big ones. Where to get potable water, how to find radiation-free food, how to keep from having genetically-damaged offspring.
Right now, though? Our biggest “challenge” is which air time package to get. FMTT. That’s the sort of minutia that pins the “social concerns meter” in today’s world. It’s nuts…but it’s also self-evident.
No Core Values: War requires ’em
You will be used as human fodder in a chess game played by global elitists who frankly look at humans more for their marginal product consumption potential and economic importance than their unique, God-given gifts to humanity. You are less “what you create” than ‘what you consumer.” That will change on the backside of global war, though Elaine and I may not live long enough to see it. All depends on the speed of Depression 2.
Those core values, being harder to evolve, have led to the removal of honest metricsfrom Education at all levels. The Lefty’s of Berkeley have become the poster kinds of Generation Brat. Get a freaking job and you shouldn’t have signed those deals with the devil for all those student loans, should you?
To them, the only value that matters, GD it is me, me, me!
And as they all prance across fictional “finish lines together” there’s a mass social failure to comprehend that there was never a race. A joke? Sure. But a real race has winners and losers. Today we do “events.” Races are bad.
Kind of like what….War? Did you say WAR MF’er?
ABSOLUTELY. War IS a race. Life and Death. Dead last, and all those terms. Not an ‘event’ for crying out loud.
People don’t wake up one morning and decide “I want to die for something today…”
…unless there are serious core values to defend. Hitler’s second book well-described his thinking on the importance of the warrior class for maintaining (and renewing) the sexual vigor and identity and machismo of the population. Otherwise the cycle runs from male dominance to demonization over the economic long wave. Where do you think Putin get’s his macho (and anti-gay) spiel? He gets it. It rolls around the long economic cycles.
The coming war on humans, though, was made possible by weapons of mass destruction – along with the weapons of mass manufacturing and over-consumptive behavior.
And as a special prosecutor attests in today’s headlines but mass media – Weapons of Mass Dissemination – even if tainted, not unlike nukes.
Since values are expensive to teach, and since the [Do we vaporize or not vaporize ’em?] decisions will be made by elites anyway, let’s go ahead and trash all forms of leadership so that when global war comes the country will be in (or on the verge of) civil war anyway. It’s what the anarchists and rad left was working toward and still is, so far as I can tell.
(My speeches on politics are under $500 and this week we have a three for $1,300 special going, drop me an email to arrange travel.)
This way, don’t you see, the consciousness of the elites will not be weighed down by feelings of remorse when a few hundred million of us that will fit into the nuclear ash tray by the time its over.
But hey, don’t mind me.
I’m just telling you what the historical reasons for war are: Conquest (thanks Islam), breaking things (which we do nicely), destruction of excess capacity (uh huh), and reducing populations (oh boy, we, the Russians, and the Chinese plus Pakistan, India, Israel, Germany, France, England and Iran plus North Korea have nailed the big hammer that one…).
Going forward into economic crisis the most salient point is that the civilian populations are held hostage by nuclear maniacs like Kid Korea (partly run by China) while we sit at home with no voice in the outcome.
We will instead be led astray once again by a disingenuous national media clown posse that can’t comprehend anything outside the psycho-bubble/babble of the Washington/New York/Baltimore core. Copernicus got the center of the solar system wrong, dear friend.
It’s the self-righteous media.
Gosh, this is all reassuring to think about, isn’t it?
People who should be prepping are wasting their time (and potentially their lives) by focusing on the (language alert!) wrong shit. Buying in as partisans rather than independently sizing up the ‘core survival issues.”
Wednesday was just a little sampler of the worse times to come. Those with “ears to hear” will grok the hint. The rest? Save a space in the nuclear ash tray.
Say, you wouldn’t happen to know how long molten glass needs to cool before you can make popcorn on it, would you? Shouldn’t be a problem for five years, maybe seven, but we like to run ahead of the pack of apes.
Besides, we’ve stockpiled popcorn.
Over-production is the core problem and we’re standing by for Act III. (with extra butter.)
Write when you break even,