18 months later

A seven mile walk is, well, easier if there’s an audio stream accompanying the relentless fall of the feet. I usually load up the MP3 player with something fairly current –recently acquired music or podcastery– but this morning I looked in the Archives and (thinking about recent bloggery) pulled out James Kunstler’s 14 July 2006 appearance on BazookaJoe’s Small World, mostly concerned with issues raised in Kunstler’s The Long Emergency: Surviving the converging catastrophes of the 21st century (2005). I recall listening to this when it first appeared, and thinking Kunstler a bit alarmist, but one time’s alarmism is another time’s prescience… For example:

[since the book’s publication in 2005] The one thing that really has yet to occur is that the bottom hasn’t fallen out of the American consumer economy, but I think that we’re very close to seeing that, and that the inertia of the last couple of decades has been tremendous and is sort of carrying things onward, you know, running on fumes. But I think we’re on the verge of seeing a great deal of trouble in the… among the homeowners who have bought houses in the last 5 years, using creative mortgages, and they’re going to get in trouble I think with their mortgage payments, and we’ll see a great deal of carnage out on the real estate scene, where a lot of American individual wealth is invested. You know, that’s going to be reflected in this consumer economy, which is 70% of our economy, so I don’t think we’re far from seeing trouble with that, and as that occurs, you know, the political trouble is going to ramp up… [41:30-42:28]

(The podcast is archived here and makes an interesting hour, whether one’s motivations are Schadenfreudian or social-historical)