Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Geography of Nowhere


Ah, the future of humankind: do we really want to know? Here's a shot of Jenny Agutter from Logan's Run (1976). Given the laziness of Hollywood, there's a new version of this dystopian tale in the works, loosely scheduled for a 2010 release. Thanks to JC ("not that one") for the Ms. Agutter suggestion . . . .

I was happy to find recently a used copy of an old favorite think piece, James Howard Kunstler's The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape (1993). There's a lot of pithy writing and much to contemplate re: strip malls and roads to nowhere . . .


Logan's Run is almost preferable to what we've done to the land and sea . . . but not quite. Jenny Agutter looking pensive here. From Kunstler's first chapter, "Scary Places:"

Eighty percent of everything ever built in America has been built in the last fifty years [add another fifteen to that now], and most of it is depressing, brutal, ugly, unhealthy, and spiritually degrading . . . commuter tract home wastelands, the Potempkin village shopping plazas with their vast parking lagoons . . . junk-food joints, the Orwellian office "parks" featuring buildings sheathed in the same reflective glass as the sunglasses worn by chain-gang guards, the particle-board apartments rising up in every meadow and cornfield, the freeway loops around every big and little city with their clusters of discount merchandise marts, the whole destructive, wasteful, toxic, agoraphobic-inducing spectacle that politicians proudly call "growth" (p. 10).

Hard to beat an opening like that . . .
. . . But, if much of the world is a squalid cesspool or plundered habitat, might as well be addicted to love among the civilized ruins. Happy birthday to Polish actress Joanna Pacula, more effective than a stun gun and featured in the Robert Palmer music video "Addicted to Love."


Happy birthday also to another looker, Tia Carrere (b. Althea Rae Duhinio Janairo, 1967).

Today's Rune: Possessions.

Are we having fun yet in 2008? Iowa Caucus tomorrow. . . . .

6 comments:

Lana Gramlich said...

"The Geography of Nowhere" sounds interesting. I'll have to see if we have it at our library (where I work.)

Pythia3 said...

Happy 2008 Erik! I'll be back . . . just checking in after the holiday season and the New Year ;)

the walking man said...

I suppose some saw the present as a portent of the future. You'll have to define fun because you never know who is reading these days.

Peace

mark

Charles Gramlich said...

I really enjoyed Logan's Run, and I have the books as well. I thought the woman was very attractive. Loved the clothes.

Beth said...

I can't get as excited as you about all the hotties ... but the Kunstler book sounds good.

You're in North Carolina and didn't call?????

Sidney said...

I had a serious crush on Jenny Agutter when the movie came out. I always liked the dedication pages in the books, thanking everyone from Tarzan to Dangerous Dan McGrew, I think.