The Monster Mash
James Howard Kunstler
The sad reality is that last week’s Pittsburgh synagogue massacre is only the latest float in the long-running parade of ghastly homicidal spectacles rolling across this land and will be just as forgotten in one week as was last year’s Las Vegas Mandalay Bay slaughter of 58 concert-goers plus over 800 wounded and injured, a US record for non-military acts of violence. The Pittsburgh shootings elbowed the mass pipe bomber, Cesar Sayoc, out of the news cycle — but then Sayoc didn’t manage to actually hurt any of the high-profile figures he targeted with his mailings. What I wonder — and what the news media has so far failed to report — is just how incompetent a bomb-maker Sayoc was. Fake news meets fake bombs.
One of the strange side effects of an epic American political hysteria is this strange ADD-like inability of the public to focus on anything for more than a few moments, even the most arresting atrocities. The hysteria itself is too compelling, like the actions of a human limbic system driving the collective public psyche from fight to flight on the wild horses of pure emotion. Reason has been discarded by the wayside just as a super-drunk person will shed his clothing even on a freezing night. Total culture war now beats a path toward all-out civil war, with the looming mid-term election as a fulcrum of history.
The country is not “divided,” it’s sliced-and diced like a victim in one of the Halloween bloodbath movies now so beloved by movie audiences that they must be regularly updated. It’s hardly a stretch to say that the US public sees its collective self as a throng of zombies lurching across the ruined landscape in search of a dwindling supply of brains, and they even seem to take a certain comfort in that endeavor, as though the zombies were performing a meritorious public service ridding the nation of as many brains as possible.
The Democratic Party could not be more in tune with this monster mash of collapse politics. The party has been living in a haunted house of its own construction for much of this century, and methodically adding to its roster of resident blood beasts month by month in an orgy of monster creation. They remind me of the chanting and stomping “natives” in any of the long line of King Kong movies, summoning the giant ape to the gate of their Great Wall so as to scare off the party of feckless white adventurers from faraway Hollywood. Only in this edition of the story, King Kong is the Golden Golem of Greatness at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and it annoys him greatly to be summoned by these tiny savages beating their drums. Of course, America-the Horror-Movie doesn’t add up as a coherent narrative. And so the nation sinks into bloody incoherence.
The Democratic Party war on white people and their dastardly privilege has been the theme all year long, with its flanking movement against white men especially and super-especially the hetero-normative white male villains who rape and oppress everybody else. Anyway, that’s the strategy du jour. I’m not persuaded that it’s going to work so well in the coming election. The party could not have issued a clearer message than “white men not welcome here.” Very well, then, they’ll vote somewhere else for somebody else. And if it happens that the Dems don’t prevail, and don’t manage to get their hands on the machinery of congress — then what?
For one thing, a lot of people get indicted, especially former top officers from various glades of the Intel swamp. It shouldn’t be a surprise, given the numbers of them already called before grand juries and fingered by inspectors general. But it may be shocking how high up the indictments go, and how serious the charges may be: sedition… treason…?
These midterm election may bring the moment when the Democratic Party finally blows up, at least enough to sweep away the current coterie of desperate idiots running it. It’s time to shove the crybabies offstage and allow a few clear-eyed adults to take the room, including men, yes even white men. And let all the shrieking, clamoring, marginal freaks return to the margins, where they belong.
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.