Jeremiah was a bullfrog...

Submitted by lmcshane on Sun, 03/14/2010 - 17:43.

Perhaps, my sisters can remember my ultra fine singing rendition of the Hoyt Axton/Three Dog Night classic, Joy to the World:)

For the uninitiated--here are the lyrics:

Jeremiah was a bullfrog

Was a good friend of mine

I never understood a single word he said

But I helped him a-drink his wine

And he always had some mighty fine wine

Singing

Joy to the world

All the boys and girls, now

Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea

Joy to you and me

If I were the King of the world

Tell you what I'd do

I'd throw away the cars and the bars and the wars

And make sweet love to you

Sing it now

Joy to the world

All the boys and girls

Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea

Joy to you and me

You know I love the ladies

Love to have my fun

I'm a high night flier and a rainbow rider

And a straight-shooting son of a gun

I said a straight-shooting son of a gun

Joy to the world

All the boys and girls

Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea

Joy to you and me

My audio summary of James Kuntsler's presentation at Cleveland Public Library today:)

AttachmentSize
Picture_049.jpg35.55 KB
Picture_051.jpg27.73 KB
( categories: )

Jeremiah--the long emergency

I would have liked today's session to have been more of a Q&A--the first part of the presentation by James Kunstler described the crisis we live with--post peak oil production and the societal transitions we must address to survive. 

I would hazard a guess that most of the audience was familiar and in attendance due to  Mr. Kunstler's social theory books--Geography of Nowhere and The Long Emergency and less for his fiction, which he featured at length.

For the second part, Mr. Kunstler read three chapters from Witch of Hebron, his sequel to World Made by Hand. And, he lost some of the audience on his fictionalized future vision. 

For some reason, his presentation made me want to go back and reread Otto of the Silver Hand.  Don't ask me why, but the author's own description of his writing style as a "ripping good yarn," makes me think of those boy-books my father loved...Howard Pyle and all.

Jane (Jeremiah) Jacobs

One questioner asked about Kunstler's meeting with Jane Jacobs and his views on her work. In response, Kunstler dismissively related a story about what a lovely woman she was, how polite, well informed, etc. But what he brought away that apparently still stings is that during the entire meeting she failed to let on that she was about to publish (in 2004 right before The Long Emergency was published in 2005) Dark Age Ahead. From his tone, it sounded as if that really pissed him off and still does. 

I spoke with him on the phone several weeks back to ask what his topic would be, and he said he was coming to talk about his new book because that is what the library had engaged him to do. I had wanted to inform him about the suburbanlike Opportunity Corridor that is planned for our town. He said that I should be prepared for the thing to go through like so many other stupid ideas that city fathers cannot let go. Despite his determination that suburbia is dead he said that suburbia continues to be ramped up and that sort of planning is still seen as the savior of any decrepit areas of a city. I told him that his applause for new urbanism was in part misguided and he should know what was at Seaside before there was Seaside. I do know. I lived there. He should take a closer look at the history of the St. Joe Company, because they are a bunch of swindling cash suckers destroying Southeastern natural habitats. Ooooh... probably a bit too strong for his comeback - "I know the St. Joe Company."

The graphic swashbuckling reading of three whole chapters from the book lost me a bit, too. One would have been sufficient. I spoke with someone afterward about Kunstler's dire predictions and his disdain for any potential actions we might take. He eschewed the reliability of the internet calling it a time suck ( I agree to an extent), but find it interesting that Kunstler uses it so prodigiously. And the World Made by Hand novels (Witch of Hebron is number two in a series of four) is his way of sucking cash out of the reading public while the world goes to hell in a handbasket. 

I do wish that he would have given a bit more information about the hope he recommends we maintain. He'll write more novels and do more book tours and continue to dash the hopes of our student scientists, innovators and urban planners. He won't recommend that we fight to stop opportunity corridors and save high rises. When I told him that Breuer is still standing because we fought the demolition, he said there is no place for high rises in our future (no energy for elevators) and he has been blunt about his disdain for modernism (Pruiit Igoe), but I told him that someone had suggested that I might become Cleveland's Jane Jacobs (a suggestion at which I blushed and stuttered - no freakin' way am I anywhere near her competence or tenacity!). I said, without Jane Jacobs there would be Robert Moses's freeway instead of Soho, the Village and the Lower Eastside in NYC. He agreed, but said in the long run it doesn't matter. Now I get it - his dismissal of Jacobs with the wave of a hand. She pissed him off. That doesn't sit well with some men - a woman beating them to the punch.

From our 2009 correspondence:

I have been reading your opus - Geography of Nowhere, The Long Emergency (almost finished) and  World Made by Hand, which I refer to as the palliative care required after reading The Long Emergency. Enjoyed enjoying them all. Thanks. And yes, reading Orlov, too and yes, apprenticing as a farmer for mid life career change in a shrinking rustbelt city full of corrupt leaders who think a silver bullet medical mart in our downtown will "save the city". We struggle forward in a sea of stupidity here in Cleveland, Ohio.

Thought you'd be interested to see this good move in a shrinking city, our shrinktastic neighbor, Youngstown, Ohio

Cheers,

Susan Miller
Cleveland, Ohio

PS This morning's NYTimes lays out your precient vision of caved in exurbs as Obama's foreclosure prevention plan leaves out those new big houses on the fringes - reduced in value left to be  picked apart just as entire neighborhoods have been picked clean by the hard working unemployed scrappers here in Cleveland. I don't want to seem smug, but there's a smidgen of social justice in knowing that the rich are falling behind, too, not just us artists in recovery. World Made by Hand, which I refer to as the palliative care required after reading The Long Emergency.

Susan-- That was sort of my idea, too. I've been to many places like Youngstown. I think, however, we will be too short of capital to convert many big box stores into libraries and roller rinks. Thanks for being a reader!!! Jim


I stood in line to have my copy of The Long Emergency signed just for old time's sake because you know it won't ever matter to me or anyone since it will eventually be used for heat or insulation. He had also asked me to introduce myself when he came to do the talk. When we met he said, "Oh, you're Susan. You don't look like a crank, you look like I can't recall, but it was something like a 'regular Jane'." I nodded and thought, Mr. Kunstler, Looks can be deceiving and you don't strike me as one who would judge based on looks, but then, maybe you are a just a normal guy. Probably puts his pants on one leg at a time, too. Anyway, he makes for a good debate.

 

Trains

Thank you Susan for your take on the James Kunstler presentation at Cleveland Public Library. 

There is definitely a gender bias to his world view and I am a bit worried that he is slipping into male fantasy escapism...but for such a cranky guy, he did offer some hope with his encouragement of the jobs that would be provided by reconfiguring our automotive mentality to a train mentality. 

I really wish he would have applied some of his analysis of societal behavior to our local situation as you encouraged him to do...ironically--we need to look back to look forward. 

Kuntsler's presentation inspired me to look through the JSTOR archives for material on the Hanna family, which lead to the following citation list.  I am working on it, but it seems we are constantly making the same mistakes. 

I want to hope for civic revival in Cleveland. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

  • 1.
  • Title: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Cleveland
  • Author(s): Barney Warf, Brian Holly
  • Source: Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 551, Globalization and the Changing U. S. City (May, 1997), pp. 208-221
  • Publisher(s): Sage Publications, Inc. in association with the American Academy of Political and Social Science
  • Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1047948
  • Abstract: Cleveland, Ohio, long the quintessential blue-collar, working-class American city, has been fashioned through a series of periodic transformations tightly linked to the changing rhythms of the national and global economies. After a brief review of the city's historical development, this article explores Cleveland's descent in the face of massive and traumatic deindustrialization. In the 1990s, as the midwestern economy has become thoroughly restructured around the prerequisites of post-Fordism, Cleveland has enjoyed an unexpected renaissance, including an incipient high-technology sector, producer services, and as a center of cultural consumption. A consistent theme throughout is that the details of Cleveland's experience can be understood only in reference to the city's changing competitive position; in this light, it offers a lens through which national and global tendencies conjoin in unique local contexts.

 

  • 2.
  • Title: The Civic Revival in Ohio: What Happened to the Civic Revival
  • Author(s): Robert H. Bremner
  • Source: American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Jan., 1956), pp. 195-202
  • Publisher(s): American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc.
  • Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3484931

 

  • 3.
  • Title: The Civic Revival in Ohio: The Street Railway Controversy in Cleveland
  • Author(s): Robert H. Bremner
  • Source: American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 10, No. 2 (Jan., 1951), pp. 185-206
  • Publisher(s): American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc.
  • Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3483842

 

  • 4.
  • Title: The Civic Revival in Ohio: The Single Tax Philosophy in Cleveland and Toledo
  • Author(s): Robert H. Bremner
  • Source: American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Apr., 1950), pp. 369-376
  • Publisher(s): American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc.
  • Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3483675

 

  • 5.
  • Title: The Civic Revival in Ohio: The Political Techniques of the Progressives
  • Author(s): Robert H. Bremner
  • Source: American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Jan., 1953), pp. 189-200
  • Publisher(s): American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc.
  • Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3484731

 

  • 6.
  • Title: The Civic Revival in Ohio: The Fight for Home Rule
  • Author(s): Robert H. Bremner
  • Source: American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Oct., 1951), pp. 99-110
  • Publisher(s): American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc.
  • Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3483613

 

  • 7.
  • Title: The Civic Revival in Ohio: The City, Hope of Democracy
  • Author(s): Robert H. Bremner
  • Source: American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Apr., 1953), pp. 305-310
  • Publisher(s): American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc.
  • Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3484909

 

  • 8.
  • Title: The Civic Revival in Ohio: Tax Equalization in Cleveland
  • Author(s): Robert H. Bremner
  • Source: American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Apr., 1951), pp. 301-312
  • Publisher(s): American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc.
  • Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3483876

 

  • 9.
  • Title: The Civic Revival in Ohio: Self-Government
  • Author(s): Robert H. Bremner
  • Source: American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 10, No. 1 (Oct., 1950), pp. 87-91
  • Publisher(s): American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc.
  • Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3483443

 

  • 10.
  • Title: The Civic Revival in Ohio: Reformed Businessman: Tom L. Johnson
  • Author(s): Robert H. Bremner
  • Source: American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 8, No. 3 (Apr., 1949), pp. 299-309
  • Publisher(s): American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc.
  • Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3484188

 

  • 11.
  • Title: The Civic Revival in Ohio: Municipal Ownership and Economic Privilege
  • Author(s): Robert H. Bremner
  • Source: American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 9, No. 4 (Jul., 1950), pp. 477-482
  • Publisher(s): American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc.
  • Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3483553

 

  • 12.
  • Title: The Civic Revival in Ohio: How Privilege Fights
  • Author(s): Robert H. Bremner
  • Source: American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Jan., 1952), pp. 203-214
  • Publisher(s): American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc.
  • Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3483359

 

  • 13.
  • Title: The Civic Revival in Ohio: Honest Man's Story: Frederic C. Howe
  • Author(s): Robert H. Breamner
  • Source: American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Jul., 1949), pp. 413-422
  • Publisher(s): American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc.
  • Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3483525

 

  • 14.
  • Title: The Civic Revival in Ohio: Harris R. Cooley and Cooley Farms
  • Author(s): Robert H. Bremner
  • Source: American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Oct., 1954), pp. 71-75
  • Publisher(s): American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc.
  • Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3484247

 

 

  • 15.
  • Title: The Civic Revival in Ohio
  • Author(s): Robert H. Bremner
  • Source: American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Oct., 1948), pp. 61-68
  • Publisher(s): American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc.
  • Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3483823

 

  • 16.
  • Title: Humanizing Cleveland and Toledo
  • Author(s): Robert H. Bremner
  • Source: American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 13, No. 2 (Jan., 1954), pp. 179-190
  • Publisher(s): American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc.
  • Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3484230

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

These records have been provided through JSTOR.


 

 

 

COOPs real and imagined

And, is this the future for most women??...

the New York Times called it the Femivore's Dilemma.

Otto of the Silver Hand

Read it again...and I  have to say...I still love the book--can I get a one-eyed, super-human Hans? :)