James Howard Kunstler -- World News Trust
Oct. 23, 2017
It’s interesting to see how, in a culture so pornified that any nine-year-old can watch sex acts on-screen all the live-long-day, we discover that decorum is absent in American life.
This, at the same time that the more Gnostic political Leftists want to transform human nature by erasing sexual categories in their quest to create a utopia of hermaphrodites.
Sex is bothersome, you know. It comes between people literally and rather awkwardly, and it is fraught with tensions so primitive that it can frighten and shame us. Is it any wonder that these tensions will manifest in a workplace where men and women spend their waking hours? Are you really surprised that sexual attraction is a currency for advancement? That it tends toward the naked exchange of favors?
I’d submit that the wreck of Harvey Weinstein is a dramatic representation of collapse of the movie industry as we’ve known for nearly a century. The two-hour motion picture exhibited in a large room with a lot of seats is in its death throes. It joins the long-playing album of recorded music and the book-length literary exercise called the novel in the elephants’ graveyard of art-forms. The fall of HW is just the period at the end of the sentence.
The past month has been a bloodbath for the theatrical release of movies. Supposed blockbusters are being pulled from the empty cineplexes like guest speakers from the college lecture halls. The struggling middle-class doesn’t need movie theaters anymore, and the flat-screens at home enable them to get lost in whole fictional worlds that grind on in weekly episodes year after year like so much bratwurst. Who knows how long that phase of showbiz will last. In evolution, remember, the climactic form of an organism is often supersized. Think: Baluchitherium, titan of the Oligocene land mammals. (And imagine sex between two creatures the size of tractor-trailer trucks!) The fate of television “content” like Game of Thrones probably depends on the fitness of an electric grid that is looking pretty sclerotic these days. Personally, I think the show-biz of the future will tend toward puppet shows.
Fortunately (or maybe not, depending on your political ideology) sex will still be with us, and its eternal tensions with it. What is more subject to change is the division of labor. Most adults I know accept it as axiomatic that social changes they’ve seen in their lifetime have become permanent installations in the human condition. That was Tom Friedman’s “narrative” about globalism, which is now fracturing and withering. The same is true of the Gnostic Leftists, who believe they are on a trajectory to exterminate the detested cissexist heteropatriarchy. How do you suppose things will work out in a nation of eunuchs and trannies?
You’ll be surprised, perhaps, at how not permanent these trends may be. The decadent USA, lacking discipline and decorum, lost in raptures of grandiose techno-narcissism, broadcasting its twerked-up gangsta fantasies while it sucks finished goods from other lands in exchange for janky bonded debt, is becoming the international pariah. It’s a good bet that the tensions arising out of that dynamic will, one way or another, provoke the blow-up of the trade and financial systems that nourished the phase of history now passing -- with plenty of collateral damage in all the other realms of daily life.
In the meantime, America sinks into a swamp of sexual excess, sexual preoccupation, sexual confusion, sexual recrimination, and sexual remorse. The one thing that none of the combatants can agree on is what might pass for sexual normality. The very notion would be taken for a war-cry.
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James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.