October 20, 2011

My Schedule, and Other Stuff

OK you all, time for an update on what's going on with WAF and related material.

First, before I forget: my volume of poetry, Counting Blessings, has been out of print for a while due to a publisher's miscalculation, sad to say. They didn't order enough books, sold out what they had (at least that's encouraging), and then had to order more from the printer...which is taking a whole lotta time. Anyway, for those of you wanting to read it, I'm hoping it will be once again listed as Available on Amazon before too long. Stay tuned.

And speaking of Available on Amazon: WAF now is, I'm happy to say. Somebody already took the trouble to write a rather hilarious review, in fact. So those of you who got in on the freebie offer or pre-ordered the book during the past month, should be getting your copy in the mail soon enough. Everybody else, please order one for the kitchen, one for the bathroom, and maybe one for the foyer. In addition, if the spirit moves you, and you can spare a minute, I would be forever in your debt if you could write a review on Amazon. I'm expecting to get murdered in the mainline hardcopy press, so a few good online reviews might help offset the damage. Thank you!

Moving right along...let me list my speaking/traveling/radio etc. schedule for the next month, so those of you within striking distance, who want to attend or tune in, can do so. As follows:

Oct. 31, 12 noon pdt: Ken Rose, KOWS, Occidental CA
Nov. 4, 7:00 p.m. pdt: Elliott Bay Books, Seattle
Nov. 7, 10:30 a.m. pst: Alex Jones Show, Los Angeles
Nov. 7, 4:30 p.m. pst: Thom Hartmann, Los Angeles
Nov. 8, 7:00 p.m. pst: Barnes & Noble Westwood, Los Angeles
Nov. 19, 5:00 p.m. est: firedoglake.com, online
Dec. 2, 5:00 p.m. pst: Suzi Weissman, KPFK, Los Angeles
Dec. 4, 1:00 p.m. cst: Robert McChesney, WILL, Urbana IL

That's it for now. There may be a few additions down the road; I'll keep you posted. In the meantime: Thank you all for your interest and support; it means a lot.


Blogger SRL said...

Dr. Berman,

I have just released my new single "Cranial Rectal Embedment" as you suggested a few months ago. You are correct. It is time.

See Here for downloads and lyrics.

Have fun!

9:51 PM  
Blogger Jimi Jones said...

Did Bob McChesney add you to the Media Matter schedule recently? I emailed him a couple weeks ago and asked him if he could have you on. I used to work at WILL (and I still teach as an adjunct for the library school at UIUC) and I was hoping I had a wee bit of pull to help you get on there. Either way, I'm glad you'll be on there. I look forward to hearing you!

10:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A beautiful song; I wept. Now we need the T-shirt.


Many thanx. I did an interview for Bob in 2006, as it turns out. That Nov. 20 date is not 100% sure, but I think they'll go for it. He's a sharp guy, in any case.


10:15 PM  
Blogger Cj said...

Hi Dr. Berman, the last comment I made may belong on the previous thread...

I'd like to attend the get together in April but can't commit at this point. If I go I'll probably spend the week.

Looking forward to your book. I received an email from amazon.com that the shipment date had changed and it should be arriving soon.


10:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Don't worry; rt now, readers are probably checking the last couple of posts. Wd be great if u can make it to Mex City in April. I figure that after New Yr's, I'll ask for a show of hands, and we'll see where we stand with the Great DAA Reunion. In the meantime, enjoy WAF.


10:41 PM  
Anonymous Rossana said...

I'm surprised to hear you say you do not expect to be well received. Consider that your book and your tour conincide with the "hottest" protest going right now.

The OWS protesters have a gripe--as do most of us--about being "hustled." And obviously they need to read your book to find out why! No es cierto?

Best wishes!

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...

Dr. Berman—

I guess this comes under "Other Stuff".

There are some things that are very, very hard to talk, much less write about without sounding 'politically incorrect'. American slavery is one of them. To talk about a 'slave mentality' and its long term effects in an honest way is political dynamite.

Way back somewhere, you mentioned Eugene Genovese as being politically incorrect. I read some of his work a short time before working in Mozambique, and it helped me make sense of a lot of what I saw there. Most people with leftist proclivities like mine, who spent an extended time in southern Africa, came back to the US and decided to just not talk about it. There is no politically correct way, in self-righteous America, to talk about the effects of slavery or colonialism without sounding like a racist who is trying to 'blame the victim'. (I've mentioned this before, but I think the Exodus story of the forty years of wandering in the wilderness, is the story of a people with a 'slave mentality' from their 400 years in Egypt.)

Years ago, a friend told me about attending a debate between Genovese and Herbert Aptheker, the Marxist historian closely associated with the US Communist Party who wrote, among many other things, "American Negro Slave Revolts" which tended to glorify American slaves as revolutionary heroes – a view certainly not shared by Genovese. The whole thing ended with Aptheker screaming, "This is an insult to the Negro People!" I wish I could have been there.

I'm deeply disappointed that you are not going to make it to rural Iowa. Maybe we could arrange a debate between you and Michelle Bachmann about your new book. She would only have to read the title to know what to say.

David Rosen

11:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, a long and difficult (and always explosive) subject. As I said b4, for those w/o nuance (almost all of the US) it will be easy to charge me with supposedly advocating some sort of 'pro-slavery' position, if they want to. Not a lot I can do, except come to Iowa and debate Michele, I guess. Maybe share a corndog w/her. Apparently in the Tues GOP debates she faulted Obama for 'invading Libya and Africa'. What can one say?


Problem is, the protesters won't be writing the reviews. You think the NYT and Wash Post wanna hear that the US was a mistake from Day 1? I tend to doubt it...


11:47 PM  
Blogger Nicholas Colloff said...

Alas, the UK delivery date has not shifted nearer so I will have to demonstrate my emotional intelligence by calmly enduring the suspension of my gratification.

Meanwhile, I am signing up to review it for the magazine 'resurgence' (hopefully)...and will cross post this to Amazon.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Cj said...

Hi, a couple of links that maybe of interest:

An interesting take on the ‘liberation’ of Iraq:.
Is There More to Libya than Removal of Gadhafi?
A link to an article in New Scientist that ‘An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.’

Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world - physics-math - 19 October 2011 - New Scientist


9:16 AM  
Anonymous Shep said...

I understand your avoiding the South, esp. Al. but it would be nice if you were to come at least to Atlanta.

10:40 AM  
Blogger James said...

Headline on Yahoo, “Cost to U.S. Taxpayers for Gadhafi's Head.”

Just like big game huntin in Africa. The meat (oil) will be served up to the hungry natives, the head will be mounted and hung in the White House along with other notable big game (Saddam, Osama, al-Awlaki).

One day they're kissing and hugging them and the next day they're hunting them like animals. Predator drones with missiles, 2000 pound bombs and professional Seal game spotters sure do beat the hell out of a .505 caliber elephant gun.

A new motto for the United States, “The World is Our Game Preserve,” printed within black crosshairs whose ink drips with blood and oil.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm actually not avoiding the South, Atlanta included; it's just that there's no way I can get there w/o someone sponsoring a book tour. And for some odd reason, my fone ain't ringing off the hook!


11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is San Francisco a possibility? I would think The Booksmith would be happy to have you.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous joonsae said...

Professor Berman, I'm sorry to see you appearing on Alex Jones - he strikes me as a bit of a nut - but I'm happy you'll be on the air!

Luckily your appearance on Suzi Weissman's show should make up for Mr. Jones' deranged on-air ramblings about a 'new world order'.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

CJ--About your post about the secret prisons, around 2 to 3 years ago I was watching Sixty Minutes and Leslie Stahl was interviewing a scientist from a prominent CA university, if I remember correctly, it was Cal Tech. He was developing a technology to read minds using CAT scans. Of course this was to protect us from the terrorists and at that stage, was still in its infancy but showing great promise. How long before people are interrogated for "thought crimes" I wonder. I'm not some hysterical paranoid; that said, this is frightening technology. There was no outcry from Congress when an American citizen was killed (along with innocent people in a prior drone attack) and he wasn't even charged with a crime. Today, mandatory flag pins, tomarrow--well, let's not think about it. Really.

A good book to read about what's behind all the squashing of dictators we used to wine and dine is Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins. While it's somewhat self-serving and he pulls a bedraggled little Rabbit of Hope out of the hat at the end, it's enlightening too.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Kelvin said...

Report from the Capital front.

The battle continues and with the help of David Harvey I've managed to seize chapter 3, the notorious money chapter of Marx's Capital, and hope soon to build fortifications.

Derek Jensen remarked that if one could eliminate CEOs they'd still spring back like the heads of a Hydra. I find this supported by Marx. It's not just that CEOs and capitalists lust after gold, the capitalist mode of production requires it. M-C-M (money-commodity-money) is the schematic that describes the circulation of money that capitalism requires. But why would one part with money only to get it back? Because the real circulation is: M-C-M + deltaM. You throw money into circulation to get it back enlarged. David Harvey, somewhat shakily paraphrased by me, says this:

"Out of the relationship between commodities arises this mode of circulation (M-C-M) that is socially necessary in order to resolve the contradiction between money as a measure of value (i.e. a measure of socially necessary labor time congealed in commodities) and money as a means of circulation. Through M-C-M, one can bring money into exchange when it is needed and take it out when it is not needed. The money needed, if it's in equilibrium with the commodities being traded, will keep the measure of value constant." Therefore, it is a systemic feature of capitalism that "money focuses on money (Harvey's phrase)."

4:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


One of my favorite cities, I lived there for 5 yrs; but I can't come by w/o a plane ticket and a hotel reservation, and oddly enuf, nobody's offering to pay for these! I often wonder if in a parallel universe, there's an MB that gets invited everywhere, all expenses paid, with vast honoraria etc. Nah, probably not.

Thanks for yer interest, tho.


6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Berman,

I wanted you to know that the two copies I pre-ordered from Wiley arrived yesterday, the 20th. Very much looking forward to reading WAF.

I've been following this blog since it was created & have been a BIG fan of your work. I first read "Coming to Our Senses" about 10 years ago & it was a revelation.

I'm sorry I've never added to the wonderful conversations here, but perhaps that will change.

Very best wishes on WAF & on the book "tour".... can it actually be called that?


6:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for writing in, and I hope you'll continue to do so. Also hope u enjoy WAF; everybody seems to have a copy of the bk now except yers truly. Yr rt, 2 cities ain't a tour.


10:17 PM  
Blogger diana said...


It is difficult to talk about the effects of slavery and colonialism in the US. Remember some years ago Ali Mazrui had a series ( The Africans) on PBS? Well, that was his first and last show. Too much for the average American and the sponsors to handle.

But I think same is true in most places. I grew up in a former colony in the Caribbean and nobody really wanted to talk about slavery or colonial brutality. Too painful I guess. Still, there is quite a bit written about it by people like Frantz Fannon, Aimee Cesaire, Eric Williams and CLR James to name a few.

But the debate about slavery and colonialism is very much connected to discussions on this blog. Imperialism, capitalism, materialism etc. But what really makes people uncomfortable is the issue of White Supremacy and the idea that Europe is the center of the Universe. most people don't really want to deal with this stuff.

And I really don't believe that most White people want to hear that the brigandry and barbarism we see unfolding in Libya this week has been unleashed on every corner of the planet since the Europeans decided to venture forth and plunder other people land to enrich themselves.

This is painful stuff and the effects of it is always painful to confront. Although we need to do so.

12:19 AM  
Anonymous David M said...

Dr Berman
When one becomes enlightened about the hustling american dream and sees through the BS, it can be disheartening on several levels. I watch only old moivies ( my only screen addiction) and so many have now become painful to watch. An example is a western titled Sargent Rutledge. The theme revolves around African Americans in the cavalry. I used to be inspired by it because it brought-up the issues facing African American. But in order to do this they depict Native Americans as just a bunch of wild savages. I can see through the veil. W.E.B. Du Bois talks about a different veil, but I think similar in "The Souls of Black Folks" when in his youth a white playmate pointed out to him he was different; at that instant the veil was inplace and he knew he would alway be looking through it.

9:55 AM  
Blogger James said...

Viciousness exists within and outside geographic boundaries. There is a constant struggle to claim the wealth and productive efforts of others. To live like a king, plantation owner, or retiree cannot be accomplished without siphoning-off the production of other people. When someone wants to retire and earn eight percent per year on their investments, they're essentially telling their agents “go find workers/slaves willing to toil with my capital and send me eight percent of it per year.” Everyone checks their 401K and stock index daily to see if their capital accounts are holding up. Unfortunately, when the pie can no longer grow, the eight percent return will be accomplished through “austerity” and ever decreasing wages and benefits for the slaves in order to support the lifestyles of the idle.

As the imbalance between return on capital and wages and benefits grows (Wal-mart cuts health benefits) there will eventually be a revolution (OWS) where more return on capital will be shifted back to employees/slaves. But shifting return on capital back to workers will impoverish many that hoped to have at least a few years free from hoeing their rows in the fields.

Eventually it will be impossible to roll-over existing paper capital into assets making more than a fraction of one percent return. There will no longer be a squeezing of wages and benefits at home and moving production to low wage countries. Instead you will see iron-fisted immigration policy, tariffs, massive unemployment and mostly impoverished elderly selling their depreciating unproductive capital to buy the increasingly expensive necessities of life, made possible by what little “productive capital” remains.

People or media can't talk about this either because no one wants the slaves to catch-on to their likely futures and become defensive with their money and assets. Like cleaning out their 401Ks and putting their funds somewhere safe or into productive assets. That would really crash the housing market, which will continue to crash anyway.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Meanwhile, this on Steve Jobs from The Guardian:


A great essay. Tanya Gold writes:

"Jobs's real legacy was the way in which people now routinely ignore each other in public because they are playing with their iPhones and iPads. As ever with a new form of communication, one of the things you can do is communicate your indifference better."

"I have not seen [mass adulation] for a CEO before. Could it be that the eulogies for Jobs are a new expression of pure materialism? It is not enough to love your products; when the people who created them die, you are required to enter a kind of spiritual decline. What does it mean to weep for the inventor of the iPhone? For me it is Apple's greatest marketing triumph and the very opposite of a spiritual experience."

"[A colleague from the press] was amazed that a company should get such coverage or, to give it its proper term, idiotic drooling."

"There is nothing visionary in transferring the manufacture of your products from the US to China, and subcontracting the work to other companies, thereby circumventing labour laws, as Apple did 10 years ago. The working conditions of those who manufacture the products are appalling and ill paid. Not even the glorious design of whichever number iPhone we are on now could keep the "cluster" of suicides at the Apple supplier Foxconn's main manufacturing plant in Longhua out of the news last year. Overtime in these factory cities is often forced, not voluntary, and with every article puffing the i-Must-Embrace-the-Future-Or-Die, there will be more forced overtime as the factories race to meet demand the newspapers create. All the horrors are there, if you look for them. According to China Labour Watch, Apple pays just £3.99 for the production of your £600 iPhone, and it is the workers who pay for their – and our – greed, so we can tweet and be moving dots on a map. As Mike Daisey said, also in the New York Times, Jobs could have done something about this. He could have really changed the world. He chose not to."

I went to a piano concert last night (Francesco Libetta); it was fabulous. Next to me, two girls in their late teens, instead of listening to the music, kept taking out their cellphones/blackberries every five minutes, stroking them, consulting them, treating them like rosaries. One sees how awful, how destructive, this technology is.

Jobs was one of the greatest douche bags to ever have lived. The even-greater douche bags are the ones who drool and adulate. Not a whole lot can be done abt this, I fear.

Onward & Downward!


11:01 AM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...


Who really likes to confront their true history, which leaves nobody smelling like a rose? Remember in 'The Color Purple' (the book) what happens when Celie tried to tell Africans what had happened to her ancestors after they were taken to America as slaves? The Africans didn't want to hear about it because they were descendants of those who had sold them into slavery. Some people distort history to excuse what they have done, others to preserve their status as 'professional victims'. See how easily I can step on everybody's toes!

I read CLR James' 'The Black Jacobins' forty years ago, and I can still remember some of his wonderful one-liners – one of which is, "If the French aristocracy had been white, the bourgeoisie brown, and the masses of France black, the French Revolution would have gone down in history as a race war." Europeans and North Americans love to interpret history in racial terms whenever they can, and then use it to justify what they have done to the peoples of the world.

There was some sort of 'historian' on British TV during the riots and looting in the UK recently. He said that white people who were participating in the riots were 'acting black', and that it was black people's fault that white Britons now felt as though they were 'living in another country'. This shmuck had everything turned on its head. The overwhelming fact of the last 500 years is that Europeans have gone to the four corners of the earth killing, enslaving, exploiting, looting, burning, raping, etc. This is not black behavior. When I see black people rioting, burning, and looting; in my eyes, they are acting WHITE!

It was Aimé Césaire who said, "It is with their heads buried in a dung-heap that dying societies utter their swansongs". Now I'm waiting for Dr. Berman's latest book to tell me WHY ours is acting this way, and getting worse by the day.

David Rosen

2:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Great quote. Check out SRL above, who wrote a song called "Cranial-Rectal Embedment." I'm trying to get him to write the follow-up, HRIR (Heads Rammed in Rumps). In today's America, there is no such thing as "too deep".


3:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Excellent article on Fukushima in Oct. 17 New Yorker: "The Fallout," by Evan Osnos.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

The gale, it plies the saplings double,
It blows so hard, 'twill soon be gone:
To-day the Roman and his trouble
Are ashes under Uricon.

--A.E. Houseman, "On Wenlock Edge"

A thicket of summer grass
Is all that remains
Of the dreams and ambitions
Of ancient warriors

--Basho, 17C

10:47 PM  
Blogger diana said...


No need to worry about stepping on my toes. I have great respect of intellectual honesty. It's what got me interested in Berman's work after reading DAA. In Caribbean culture a hypocrite is much despised. I suspect I still retain some of that culture after all these years away because I can still tolerate the professional victims. The people who drive me crazy are those who one minute talk about the bankruptcy of our political and economic systems, then vote for a savior who will somehow make things right again. As it things were ever right or if it can ever be fixed.

I need to follow Berman's advice and get copies of WAF for the bathroom, kitchen and patio. I seriously need to support his work and this blog. Where else can I find a man who quotes Cesaire and CLR James? Just waiting for you to pull out some Bob Marley and Walter Rodney next round.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


We sure need u in Mexico City next April.

Meanwhile, there's this:

"So as sure as the sun will shine
I'm gonna get my share now of what's mine
And then the harder they come the harder they'll fall, one and all"


12:06 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

I find myself wondering at how higher education has been swept along by the religion of technological progress with hardly any resistance from within. I spent the day yesterday at a professional philosophy conference. Despite a few interesting papers, the one thing that stood out for me was the way that academic specialization and professionalization has the consequence that academic philosophers have constructed their own dream world of techno-discourse within which to amuse themselves while the barbarism of our culture, well documented here, goes unnoticed and uncommented on. In another campus building some kind of tech workshop called “podcamp” (as in Ipod, I suppose) was being held, in which the participants were given the rule that in podcamp “everyone is a rock star.” Meanwhile, a tiny handful of sane and aware thinkers like yourself and the other contributors to this blog raise the questions about our culture that anyone interested in “the life of the mind” in any sense ought to be confronting. But of course almost no one notices. It’s mind numbing.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, as u know, the system doesn't encourage that kind of questioning, and is in fact uncomfortable w/it. And then, people wanna hang onto their jobs, even if they're meaningless.


9:53 AM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...


I'll be honest, if nothing else. I'm afraid I have to leave the Bob Marley to Dr. Berman, and I must confess that I don't even know who Walter Rodney is. My taste in music is eclectic, but I really love what is known as 'classical' music, particularly 19th century Russian like Mussorgsky and Borodin – and I'm an opera buff.

About 'professional victims', I didn't have anyone particular in mind when I wrote what I did. After all, the Christian right likes to paint itself as being persecuted because the government limits their ability to shove their doctrine down our throats. And then there are Jews who have abandoned their religion, languages, and culture but cling only to the Holocaust for their identity – and I say that as somebody who has as many relatives who went up in smoke as I have alive. And how many Americans talk as if the 'white race' is under attack and about to be wiped out. With or without justification, victimhood everywhere – and it is very destructive.

Yes, I too have little patience for people who are waiting for a messiah to vote for. Eugene V. Debs used to say, "Don’t follow leaders. If I could lead you into the Kingdom of Heaven, it wouldn’t do you any good because somebody would just lead you right out again."

By the way, Diana, if you're not familiar with them already, I think you would like Ursula LeGuin's novels – particularly those in the Hainish series. She has been described as a 'trans-human anthropologist' and she draws heavily on history. Several of her Hainish novels are clearly based on the history of slavery in the Americas -- see 'Worlds of Exile and Illusion'. Also, you probably know about this – but back around 1970, Marlin Brando made a movie called 'Burn' (sometimes seen under the title 'Quimada'), and I highly recommend it to everyone.

David Rosen

11:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Obit: Peter Berg (1937-2011)

I just belatedly discovered that an old colleague of mine, Peter Berg, died in San Francisco on July 28, at age 73. We had been out of touch for many years, but in 1979, when I was living in SF, he and I put together a 4-day environmental conference called "Listening to the Earth," that included Murray Bookchin and Gary Snyder among the speakers. Peter, along w/Peter Coyote, was a founder of the Digger movement, and an early member of the SF Mime Troupe; some have called him the 'father of guerrilla theater in America'. He was a kind of irascible genius, known especially for the ecological concepts of 'bioregion' and 're-inhabitation'--living in community, and close to the environment. I found him to be a rather difficult guy, not easy to relate to; but he had immense integrity, and a deep dedication to the notion that there just had to be a better way to live than the way we were living now--a sentiment I obviously share. I greatly mourn his passing.


12:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Just went to a concert by the King's Singers, a fabulous British a capella group. One of their songs is a parody of cell phone use. The poem "Mobile," by Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, was set to music by Jocelyn Pook, and the KS rendition of it is quite hilarious. At the end, 3 of the chaps are yelling (almost) the word 'talking' over and over again, while the other 3 blokes are making typical enervating cell phone noises. After abt a minute of this annoying stupidity they freeze, and you are confronted with the idiocy of this behavior--6 BOPs (Buffoons On Phones), robotic zombies--which is what the parody was designed to show. Everybody laughed, then checked their cell phones. TB (Techno-Buffoonery) Rules!

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Jackson Browne - "For America"
(though I don't hold much hope for the inchoate longing for "our" finding our way):

As if I really didn't understand
That I was just another part of their plan
I went off looking for the promise
Believing in the Motherland
And from the comfort of a dreamer's bed
And the safety of my own head
I went on speaking of the future
While other people fought and bled
The kid I was when I first left home
Was looking for his freedom and a life of his own
But the freedom that he found wasn't quite as sweet
When the truth was known
I have prayed for America
I was made for America
It's in my blood and in my bones
By the dawn's early light
By all I know is right
We're going to reap what we have sown

As if freedom was a question of might
As if loyalty was black and white
You hear people say it all the time-
"My country wrong or right"
I want to know what that's got to do
With what it takes to find out what's true
With everyone from the President on down
Trying to keep it from you

The thing I wonder about the Dads and Moms
Who send their sons to the Vietnams
Will they really think their way of life
Has been protected as the next war comes?
I have prayed for America
I was made for America
Her shining dream plays in my mind
By the rockets red glare
A generation's blank stare
We better wake her up this time

The kid I was when I first left home
Was looking for his freedom and a life of his own
But the freedom that he found wasn't quite as sweet
When the truth was known
I have prayed for America
I was made for America
I can't let go till she comes around
Until the land of the free
Is awake and can see
And until her conscience has been found

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Kelvin said...

Not much to say...just

Maury, I heartily concur re: KS. I'd love to hear that parody! Their musical range is vast, everything from Byrd to Beatles and more.

David R.: I'm a "classical" music aficionado, too. What to call it? When I worked as a cataloger's assistant, I was instructed to refer to it as "Western Art Music." My passion is for Bach through Webern with occasional forays into minimalism (Reich, Adams, Glass). But this weekend I deepened my acquaintance with the artistry of jazz pianist, Bill Evans, and that gem of an album he did with Tony Bennett who reveals his artistry and skillfulness as a singer that I never quite appreciated before.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for great lyrics. We are definitely going to reap what we sowed; in fact, it's happening rt now.


5:01 PM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...


I guess if something goes several generations without going out of style, it's 'classical'. I like 'quality' in music, and I tend to find it more consistently in 'classical' and opera. Of course, you can find quality anywhere – in jazz, kletzmer, blues, various kinds of folk music, or where you look for it. Lightnin' Hopkins singing 'Go Down Ol' Hannah' is real quality – so is 'She's Leaving Home' from Sgt. Pepper’s…

Lately, I've rediscovered German Lieder. The way Schubert, Brahms, or Wolf can take the greatest German poetry and set it to music can be breathtaking. Here's a suggestion; go to Youtube and type in 'Tosti Ideale'. On or near the top of the list is a video of Pavarotti singing Tosti's Ideale on German TV in 1976. That performance is Quality with a capital Q! (I hope your computer has reasonable sound quality, but you won't need concert hall acoustics to appreciate this performance.)

David Rosen

6:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

"Wednesday morning at five o'clock
as the day begins
Silently closing her bedroom door
Leaving the note that she hoped would say more..."

6:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


All gd pts, altho I think it's the Yankees that have all the $, no? Anyway, I look for'd to yr reaction to ch. 4.


8:36 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

No chance the good doctor can't visit us wretched refuse on the east coast?

9:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It may happen, in January. It depends on c-span's schedule, as it turns out. Stay tuned. And thanks for yr interest, as always.


9:41 PM  
Anonymous Kelvin said...


It just occurred to me...quality and German lieder. In Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, the narrator goes crazy because he's obsessed about defining quality. He's on a journey with his son on motorcycle and invokes the words of Goethe's poem, Der Erlkönig, set hauntingly to music by Schubert, as you know. The parallel doesn't stop with child and father on horse back/motorcycle, but extended into Pirsig's real life in that his son, a young man, was murdered. Kinda gives me goosebumps...

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...


That 'truth is stranger than fiction' is not just a cliché. I was going to mention 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' in connection with quality – that is sort of what I had in mind. I read the book a long time ago, and I don't recall Pirsig's use of words from Der Erlkönig. I'll have to go back and look for it.

Here’s another Youtube suggestion; type in 'Jessye Norman - A Portrait - Erlkonig (Schubert)'. Gerald Moore said that if this song is sung and played well, the terror of it will grasp the listener by the throat. Watch how Jessye Norman really captures the terror of the dying child.

David Rosen

12:28 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Kelvin--Thanks for the lyrics to the JB song. Just as true today and it was then:

"The kid I was when I first left home
Was looking for his freedom and a life of his own
But the freedom that he found wasn't quite as sweet
When the truth was known"

Dr. B--I'm going to do my best to make it to Mexico City in April but it will depend on my ability to also visit my daughter in England. Since she's my first priority, I'll have to see if I can do both; hopefully, that will be possible.

Will you be posting links to the radio interviews you do on the blog? I see in the list you have one tonight.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


If the station makes a link available, I'll post it, in each case. But I can't guarantee they will; it tends to vary from host to host.


10:10 AM  
Anonymous shep said...

"Douche Bag Jobs". All wealthy individuals are copy cats. I think, all countries should do like Argentina, and bankrupt. That will, at least, be a finger to the bastards.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Kelvin said...

Hi David,

Thank you so much for the musical references that I just had a chance to follow up on. What can I say? Bravissimo and bravissima! Feel free to drop me a line at molocious@yahoo.com if you'd like to share more thoughts about music. And don't be worried about my email address; I'm a peaceful person although some worry that my address is a portmanteau of malicious and molotov. No doubt, it has already attracted the attention of Homeland Security.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Michael in BK said...


What a great idea! Surely it's the dearth of entrepreneurs that is the problem with America.

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Michael in BK said...

Dear Morris,

Please combine my previous post with this one if you like. You mentioned earlier that China leaps into full-on Capitalism with the fate of poor Yueyue. Then they go and do this:


8:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Reading these, hard to hang onto my lunch.


9:27 PM  
Anonymous Valis74 said...

I hope this is okay to post. If not then toss it.

Podcast of tonight's appearance on KPFT here in Houston:

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheMonitoronPacificaRadio

File name: kpft_111024_190009monitor.mp3

3:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'...it became immediately clear to me upon returning to the United States that the American people have little connection with reality. They live in their fake particle-board-and-drywall homes, they spend money they don't have, they eat fake food made in a factory somewhere, they take fake chemical medicines; their lawns are fake, their neighborhoods are fake, their parks are fake and even their boobs are fake.'

USA vs S. America


7:14 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

These recent posts are wonderful, a reminder of what's truly important & precious to a civilized life. While I'm a lifelong lover of poetry, I'm coming late to classical music, having just stepped into the rivers of jazz a few years ago. Lately I find myself going back in time for works of quality & human depth, in all fields of artistic & intellectual endeavor. Such a treasure trove, so sorely neglected by the majority!

While it definitely is vital & necessary to be aware of the countless ways our culture is crumbling today, we also need an oasis of beauty & depth from time to time. The soul needs nourishment as well as the body.

8:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It got kinda truncated in translation, I fear. But KPFT said they'd send me the link sometime today, and then I was going to post it here. Thanks for trying...


8:39 AM  
Anonymous Art said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Re: nourishing music
My father loves the piano music of Franz Liszt, while I find much of it too frenetic. When I'm listening to King Sunny Ade, he puts his hands over his ears and calls it "jungle music". We both agree, however, that Hugh Laurie's recent album of New Orleans Blues is great stuff!

Talking about music is even more fun than talking about food (you heard it here first!). Earlier this year, I wondered what an NMI soundtrack would be like; not surprisingly, it's all over the map. I've yet to find anyone, though, who isn't impressed by the music videos from the "Playing For Change" project. A good place to start, perhaps, is Episode #48: "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay". Get ready to be moved!

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...


Dr. Berman can be is available at:


Thats: http(colon slash slash) markbebawi(dot)com(slash)

Go to Archives and he’s right on top of the list. You can listen, or download – I already burned it on a CD so I can get away from my computer screen, to where I keep all my music and books, and listen with normal blood pressure. (My body doesn’t tolerate techno-drek very well – not even a computer.)

David Rosen

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't read through the comments to see whether someone else had mentioned this but journalist Chris Hedges and Amy Goodman of Democracy Now got some time on Charlie Rose the other night to discuss the OWS movement from a truly Left perspective. They discussed some of the same things you have. Maybe this suggests that, with OWS issues getting at least their respective foot in the door of MSM, that they might be more open to booking you for a segment, especially since your book is certainly 'on topic' these days. Please ask your publicist to give it a shot.

7:20 PM  
Blogger ge/toronto said...

Are you coming to Toronto to promote your book? I'm an ex pat here and love this city and country and the new book might just be very popular with Canadians and all the former Americans that came here years ago.

If so, see if you can get on the Alan Gregg show "In Conversation with Alan Gregg" a great author interview show on TVO television.

Just now got WAF from Amazon... a great, great read! I so see and understand what you're talking about with these last 3 books that living in Canada
has been one of the best decisions I've ever made.


5:23 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for yer kind words abt WAF. If u can spare a moment, perhaps you'd be willing to post a review on Amazon; I have a feeling I'm going to need all the help I can get.

Congratulations on yr move North. My only regret abt moving South is that I didn't do it yrs earlier. I do like Toronto, have gd friends there; and was also born across the lake, in Upstate NY. As for a visit: since I'm not independently wealthy, it always depends on getting an invitation from someone capable of providing airfare; generally a long shot. Wh/is a pity, because I'd love to come up.

Take care of yrself, and keep writing in (u might do it in the future on the most recent post, since folks tend not to read the dialogue from the older ones).


7:00 AM  
Anonymous Paul Emmons said...

>And how many Americans talk as if the 'white race' is under attack and about to be wiped out.

That wouldn't be any Republican, now, would it? Just to prove that their animus against Obama has nothing to with his skin color, they have become infaturated with a yet blacker candidate. What other reason would they have to make their darling of the month a man who makes a virtue of his own ignorance of foreign affairs and just about eveything else?connected with government?

In other news, Howard Camping's latest prediction fizzled like all his others. He really ought to wait a couple years. If anyone in the current GOP lineup becomes President and then someone warns of the end of the world, even I might believe it ;-)

11:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I tell u, I love it. The GOP lineup is the biggest collection of horses' asses ever assembled as possible future presidents. Cain is such a dunce it's astounding; tho I still have a fondness for Michele. Her latest: "Obama invaded Libya, and now he's moving on to Africa!" I want, and America needs, an absolute moron in the White House, such as we had during 2001-8. Obama is an empty twit; we need a president that can do some serious damage to this country, and any of those GOP clowns qualifies. Michele, I love you!


ps: In future, better to send message to most recent post, as no one tends to read the old stuff.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous meri said...

This is great news! I'd long hoped that Alex Jones and Thom Hartmann might interview you. Now, perhaps the OWS demonstrations have made you mainstream enough? Though neither talk show host is exactly mainstream.
Perhaps we Americans aren't as clueless as you assume, eh?

Excuse me if this has already been posted somewhere and I missed it, but have you spoken at any of the OWS demonstrations yet? We'd certainly welcome you here @the Buffalo or Rochester OWS demonstrations.

10:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


No, "you" Americans are absolutely clueless; of that I have no doubt. The stats clearly back me up on this as well; it's hardly a private opinion. Alex Jones gig finally didn't happen, but check out the links to the Thom Hartmann one.


10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there a link to the Alex Jones interview? I'm quite interested to hear what Berman would have to say when confronted with Alex Jones' conspiracy theory demagoguery.

6:28 AM  

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