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Poll results: James Howard Kunstler is...

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  • ...an urban planning prophet, a light of hope sparkling through the evil darkness of our suburban hells.

    13 34.21%
  • ...a grumpy old kook bent on polarizing the planning and architecture professions in order to create the requisite controversy that swiflty moves books off the shelves of Borders.

    20 52.63%
  • James Howard ...who?! Never heard of the guy.

    5 13.16%
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Thread: James Howard Kunstler

  1. #26
    Cyburbian Runner's avatar
    Registered
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    Texas
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    566
    I'm with ya, cat!
    Cheers,
    UrbanRunner
    :)
    _____________________________
    WWJJD
    "What Would Jane Jacobs Do?"

  2. #27

    Registered
    Jan 2002
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    Home of the Browns
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    52

    As for Kunstler...

    I really enjoyed "Geography of Nowhere", especially the chapters about the rise of the auto-nation and undesireable places. I think that the man is definitely an insightful writer, but he's not helping the cause at all. Kunstler needs to stop being a complaining pessimist and develop places "worth caring about".

  3. #28

    Registered
    Oct 2001
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    Solano County, California
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    6,468

    Kunstler Strikes Again

    http://www.oriononline.org/pages/oo/...urmudgeon.html

    He is in rare form here. As one of my co-workers put it, "This is a man floating in and stewing in a sea of his own bile".

    Curmudgeons are amazing.

  4. #29
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
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    2,845

    Great Article!

    James Howard Kunstler knows what he is talking about: "...all activity focused inward to the canned entertainments piped into giant receivers -- where the children especially sprawl in masturbatory trances, fondling joysticks and keyboards..."

    Yeah, I remember jerking-off all the time while playing Ms. Pac-man on my Atari 2600. I also had the Popeye cartridge and I couldn't resist beating my meat to love-struck Olive Oyle. I never went outside. My bike collected dust in the garage. There were no sidewalks in my neighborhood. At eleven years old, I was a prolific masturbator. Thank god my parents moved out of the city and into the suburbs. The longest walk I ever took on any given day was from the kitchen to the garage where I took my seat in the 1981 Chrysler Reliant K. I know, Lee Iacocca is a Has-Been, but things really haven't changed that much since then. Thank goodness for the observant eye of James Howard Kunstler.

  5. #30
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
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    Staff meeting
    Posts
    8,165

    POed Kunstler

    He must have been in a particularly bad traffic jam before he wrote that article!

    All that bile he's gurgling must give him bad heart burn. And of course, it is all suburbia's fault.

    My problem with K. is that he repeats many of his own phrases, verbatim, over and over again. But it is definitely fun to read his stuff from time to time.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  6. #31

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
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    Yeah, he has a sort of canned glurge that he repeats a lot.

    I saw him at The Palace Hotel in San Frnacisco-one of those awfully overdone Victorian piles that led to the Modernist "less-is-more" overreaction. He used the same line that he does in all his speeches, about how the (to my tastes) overdone floral carved moldings couldn't be done today. My quiet response was "thank God."

  7. #32
    Cyburbian GeogPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Capital Region, NY
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    1,429
    I think Jim is like Nader...says a lot of things that make sense when you think about them, but from a practical standpoint, we have to find the middle ground first. Jim's "Nowhere" book and a very intersting professor are how I got into this field and how I fell in love with this work...but I've formed my own educated opinions and don't take Jim's thoughts as gospel, but a view to place some thought on.
    Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after and only after the design is complete. (Often called the 'Now They Tell Us' Law) - Fyfe's First Law of Revision

    We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans. -- George W. Bush , Scranton, PA -- 09/06/2000

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