‘The Midwest is heartbreaking’

'The Midwest is heartbreaking' James Kunstler by David Lias James Kunstler told a capacity crowd at the Vermillion Chamber/Vermillion Development Company Banquet at the Coyote Student Center April 6 that America is changing � for the worse.

"Anyone who cares about this country has probably not failed to notice that we have inherited something audacious in the last 50 years that has really changed the face of the nation," he said.

Kunstler, the author of Home From Nowhere and The Geography of Nowhere, has traveled extensively across the United States.

The United States � once a nation of great cities, dynamic towns and family farms � has been systematically disassembled and transformed into a landscape of throw-away cities and dying small towns. This change has allowed corporate farming and corporate retail to flourish, "which has exterminated the local retail classes all over the United States," he said.

America's cities and rural areas are now occupied by "an immense quantity of cheap and vulgar architectural garbage that is destined to fall apart in a little more than a generation," he said.

"The Midwest is especially heartbreaking, because there are so many fine cities and towns that were just recklessly thrown away, thrown in the garbage. It's very sad to see."

Kunstler said Americans are aware that something terrible has happened in the country's towns and cities. "I think we really don't know what to do about it," he said.

The United States is increasingly composed of thousands of places that are increasingly not worth caring about, Kunstler added.

"The problem is that these places are beneath our standards. They're beneath the standards set by our predecessors," he said. "The ultimate destiny of a nation that is made of places that are not worth caring about, is, guess what? A nation that is not worth defending. That's where we are headed with this behavior and that is very, very serious."

Kunstler said Americans aren't dealing with society's problems. They are in denial, and continue to build housing subdivisions drenched in purposeless, monotony and repressed rage.

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