Enter the Old White Knight

Enter the Old White Knight by James Howard Kunstler

They say he has beheld the weenies of the field and found them wanting — no, dangerously feeble, limp, insipid, deluded unto a kind of hebephrenia — and now, just maybe, Michael “Mike” Bloomberg will don the old steel breastplate and Kevlar jockstrap, take up the lance, and sally forth in a Lincoln Navigator to slay the Golden Golem of Greatness stalking the land… the last Great Hope of the Boomer Gen! That’s the scuttlebutt, anyway, or maybe more like a fevered dream of the restive elites stewing in their private equity aeries amid all this bothersome talk of wealth confiscation far out in the primary state flyover thickets.

Here’s what is generally misunderstood about Michael Bloomberg’s mayoral career in New York City. He did not so much manage or personally direct the fabulous post-9/11 revival of Manhattan and Brooklyn, the renovation of all those skeezy neighborhoods, the construction orgy of so many gleaming new apartment towers, the wondrous buff-up of Olmstead’s green gem, Central Park, the cleanup of the disgusting precinct around Times Square, and the defeat of common street crime — palpable improvements for sure — as he presided over the financialization of the economy run from those elite aeries on Wall Street, to the prodigious advantage of Old Gotham as all the assets stripped from the sclerotic industrial USA outlands got converted, abracadabra, into an infinity of digital dollar credits on the Too Big To Fail bank balance sheets, of which the revival of New York City was a mere byproduct. And so, Mike Bloomberg is now called to defend the empire of money under grave threat from these yipping midgets of socialist Jacobinism come to infest the Democratic Party. Or something like that. (Isn’t it all about narratives these days?)

People seem to forget that Mike was a Republican when he presided over all that glory, but let’s face it, maybe what the other party really needs is a less democratic approach to the situation at hand: the epochal inequality of wealth and the sickening twilight of the long “American century,” and all its usufructs.

Of course, at 77, Mike also represents the arch-hobgoblin of Wokesterism, the religion of the neo-Jacobins, namely, old white men — the horror and effrontery! The ultimate slap-in-the-face to all those roistering trans-humans on campus, the lame, the halt, the mis-gendered, the perpetually victimized, the intersectionally oppressed, the over-phoned! Will they stand for this billionaire ringer being sent into combat by all those top-hatted, silk-stockinged villains of Capital? More precisely, will Bernie call “foul,” as he kind of failed to do in 2016 after Hillary’s DNC stooges flooded-the-zone and drowned him in super-delegates? Will Elizabeth Warren break out in a war dance? Will Hillary find a way to deliver 7.5 grams of lead to Mike’s medulla oblongata?

And how does Mike measure up against his old Boomer Gen fellow New Yorker and sometime adversary, Mr. Trump? For all of his gilded trappings, there’s no denying that Mr. Trump is beloved by what used to be known as the Salt of the Earth — more lately the “Deplorables” — despite the fact that the president may have actually never been on a New York Subway once in his well-padded life, while Mike was a renowned “strap-hanger” in his city hall glory days. The awful irony! Also, President DJT is almost never seen dressed in anything but that straightjacket of a business suit and tie, gold cufflinks and all, while Mike has often appeared in Hamptons casuals of perfectly distressed blue jeans, polo shirt, and Gucci loafers which, these days, is tantamount to hippie garb.

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James Howard Kunstler

James Howard Kunstler says he wrote The Geography of Nowhere, “Because I believe a lot of people share my feelings about the tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities, and ravaged countryside that makes up the everyday environment where most Americans live and work.” Home From Nowhere was a continuation of that discussion with an emphasis on the remedies. A portion of it appeared as the cover story in the September 1996 Atlantic Monthly. His next book in the series, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, published by Simon & Schuster / Free Press, is a look a wide-ranging look at cities here and abroad, an inquiry into what makes them great (or miserable), and in particular what America is going to do with it’s mutilated cities.