Bossy is very into two things. One of those things is history, and the other thing would be complaining about events in history.
This book was a gift from Bossy’s Original Gay because he knows how Bossy likes to rail against ignorant city planning, suburban sprawl, and the lack of reverence for open rural green.
This book, by James Howard Kunstler — who coincidentally Bossy used to stalk when she first founded the country of I Am Bossy and stumbled upon his blog whose name is so crude Bossy couldn’t possibly type the words in succession, except to say it rhymes with Buster-Duck — details how the individualistic immigrant spirit and the coinciding events in history systematically contributed to a United States landscape nearly devoid of functioning towns.
And so every night Bossy likes to curl up with this happy little book it has taken her more than one year to read. This a little glimpse of why. Shall we? Ahem.
A romanticism for popular consumption mixed this new view of the landscape with political idealism and cooked it all up into the dream of Arcadia. Is that wind? Because if that’s wind, Bossy wonders how the ancient tree above her bedroom skylight is still standing. Maybe it’s not wind, maybe it’s the basement sump pump. But democracy itself soon proved problematic when it came to country living. If that’s the sump pump then water is still trickling down the rear basement steps and dumping into the French drain. If that drain overflows, the carpet will be ruined. Northerners could not easily metamorphose from small farmers into country squires. Did Bossy remember to lift those Christmas boxes to an adjacent table or are they sitting on the soon-to-be-saturated carpet, when the French drain overflows? Northerners could not easily metamorphose from small farmers into country squires. Nope, that’s definitely the wind. If that’s the wind it could knock out the power and then the sump pump won’t even work! A New England family could not operate a farm on the scale of a Carolina plantation. If it’s this windy tomorrow there’s no way Bossy wants her son riding in a double-decker bus down the New Jersey Turnpike. A New England family could not operate a farm on the scale of a Carolina plantation. Seriously, it’s not as if Bossy’s son didn’t visit just last weekend. A New England family could not operate a farm on the scale of a Carolina plantation. Even if Bossy’s son and his sister have a date to see the Delightful One’s ballet performance on Saturday. Aww. That is why northerners gravitated first to maritime trade and then to manufacturing when new mechanical inventions made it possible. Wait a minute! Won’t Bossy’s daughter miss an interest meeting if she attends the ballet anyway? The Arcadian ideal had barely established itself in the popular imagination when farming entered a swift decline in New England. Wind. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.
MidLifeMama saysFebruary 26, 2010 at 3:03 pm
Bossy has the same thoughts as MidLifeMama on nights like that. And we need to get a battery back up for our sump pump too.
WebSavvyMom saysFebruary 26, 2010 at 3:03 pm
–>You’re not the only one! I have resorted to the fact that my reading for pleasure (that isn’t online, Hi BOSSY!) is romance novels because there usually aren’t too many characters’ names to keep track of….ah hem.
Meg saysFebruary 26, 2010 at 3:10 pm
Oooh look, shiny! Hey, is that a squirrel? *wanders away from book AGAIN*
km saysFebruary 26, 2010 at 3:16 pm
I have a very big history of US involvement in the Middle East that I need to go into hospital or a padded room or something to get the peace and quiet and block of time needed to digest it. Adult ADD???
I’m on a horse.
Sofia saysFebruary 26, 2010 at 3:28 pm
That was the first book I had to read freshmen year of college, and I marked it up with green color pencil (and it was my dad’s copy). While everyone else hated it, and it was very hard to read, I loved the message. Actually that book is one of the reasons I wanted to visit Portland, OR, and lo and behold I totally fell in love with the place.
So it’s kinda exciting that you’re reading it too, and yeah, I really had to force myself to concentrate to understand exactly what he was trying to say. But I still loved it. (I am a school nerd.)
Linda saysFebruary 26, 2010 at 3:31 pm
I love you Bossy.
Winter just creeps into my brain and I have the same kind of running inner dialogue through everything I do. And if you think my 13 week old appreciates me staring off into space when I could be feeding him, well, you can guess how that story ends.
Audubon Ron saysFebruary 26, 2010 at 3:34 pm
It’s probably best you don’t read any of my blog posts. EVER.
kate flynn saysFebruary 26, 2010 at 3:45 pm
I love this book! Build residences above businesses? Mixed income building? Hello? This is radical? Yes, because America has sunk to mass-suburbia-think. I hear ya’ sistah. Make me choke to see how far wrong we’ve gone. There was a wonderful female alderman in Chicago in the 50s who railed against housing projects and cried for mixed income construction. How wonderful had we listened?
foolery saysFebruary 26, 2010 at 4:34 pm
Sump pump? Come to think of it, base…ment? Double-decker what now? Turnpike? It’s a good thing Foolery is visiting the east coast this summer. Foolery doesn’t understand any of this.
GrandeMocha saysFebruary 26, 2010 at 5:11 pm
My friend gave some several programming books on a jump drive. I can get to chapter 3, then ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.
rory saysFebruary 26, 2010 at 5:26 pm
I fell asleep trying to figure out the first sentence.
Little Miss Sunshine State saysFebruary 26, 2010 at 7:56 pm
This is exactly why I haven’t finished reading the book on Lifesaving Crews on the Outer Banks of North Carolina during the Civil War, who became the earliest members of the US Coast Guard.
Shannon saysFebruary 26, 2010 at 8:21 pm
I can’t believe you’re talking about Kuntsler! I knew I loved you for a reason! I chose my home, neighborhood, lifestyle after reading his book Home from Nowhere in college. I love this guy! I love my neighborhood! I love my life! (except for the last month and a half of one winter illness after another – in FL – what’s up with that? Rotten little kids who don’t wash their little handses – that’s what!) Feelin’ the love. Spring must be in the air. Can you tell I’m cabin feverish?
Kate@And Then I Was a Mom saysFebruary 26, 2010 at 8:41 pm
You people with your fancy FRENCH drains.
linlah saysFebruary 26, 2010 at 9:29 pm
Even without the weather turmoil I can see why that might take a while to get through.
Jenn @ Juggling LIfe saysFebruary 26, 2010 at 10:00 pm
If Bossy loves this, she might want to pick up a book on peak-oil production when she’s done. You know you should learn all about it, but geez-louise it’s a tough slog.
Michelle M. saysFebruary 26, 2010 at 10:52 pm
Just looking at this book makes me sleepy.
Jim saysFebruary 27, 2010 at 12:10 am
Oh the wind!
Does This Blog Make Us Look Fat? saysFebruary 27, 2010 at 8:56 am
Bossy has Monkey Mind – like me.
corrie saysFebruary 27, 2010 at 10:18 am
My theory is developing that the world, it’s history on the myriad of levels (political, cultural, etc) has become too great to absorb, process, and really understand. Now the world is too immense and changing too rapidly for people to be able to effect changes from any lessons learned from history. Bring on the pharmaceuticals and alcohol in order to deal with reality. Thank you to Bossy for eliminating another book relevant to man’s destruction of the earth from my list of ‘to read’. It’s a struggle every day to stop myself from sliding down the slippery slope of depression about this topic.
P.S. Jones saysFebruary 27, 2010 at 11:38 am
I’m the kind of reader that library check out limits were made for. . . but I don’t think I could have gotten through that book with a gallon of coffee and a buttload of No-Doz. More power to you!
Martie saysFebruary 27, 2010 at 11:47 am
My geeky, political nerd of a husband would find that book vera, vera interesting. I on the other hand…would rather read trashy novels and Cosmo. We both try to educate the other. hee hee.
meredith saysFebruary 27, 2010 at 3:50 pm
omfg, #7, @km — “i’m on a horse!” ever since i saw that commercial, i end, like, every story with “i’m on a horse” now.
Gramps saysFebruary 27, 2010 at 5:16 pm
HAH!!!! I’m reading “THE ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG” Same problem. Love some of it, and my mind will just not focus on the rest.
I’ve decided that I’m just not smart enough to figure out what the words mean. Or, I just don’t give a damn
Chesapeake Bay Woman saysFebruary 27, 2010 at 10:13 pm
Buster ducks are usually found in ponds created by failing sump pumps. I have some swimming in my basement.
AmberStar saysFebruary 28, 2010 at 12:23 am
I’m pretty sure you just put half the world asleep with that book. Thank Gah I didnt have to read that one when I was at university. We had some deadly ones, but not that one.
Glad you are home…you are home…or have you started worrying about the hospital’s french drains? I’m off to bed now…
Erin Browne saysFebruary 28, 2010 at 12:30 am
New reader here 🙂 I have enough trouble staying awake to read novels that I’m totally interested in, so I applaud you for sticking with this one for so long!!
dobes saysFebruary 28, 2010 at 4:44 pm
Is it wrong of me not to be amused when people seem proud of not being able to think?
km saysMarch 1, 2010 at 10:45 am
shouldn’t that be freedom drains ? communist !
ShallowGal saysMarch 2, 2010 at 11:25 pm
I kid you not. My neighbor recommended that book to Vuboq at my birthday party, which was also attended by, you guessed it, Kevin Bacon! Me, Bossy and KB all within 6 degrees of separation!