August 27, 2013

The Huff Post Review of SSIG

Wafers! This just in:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-van-buren/morris-berman-spinning-straw-into-gold_b_3822936.html

Enjoy!

-mb

37 Comments:

Blogger xey oval said...

Dear Wafers,

I feel a deep urge for sharing this video with you:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OINa46HeWg8

Enjoy!

Alexey

5:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Alexey-

This may have already been posted here, but no harm in a little repetition. "Douche Bags on Parade" might be a good title for it.

mb

6:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Pls post only once every 24 hrs, thanks.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Bryan said...

I should read the book. I will, eventually.

I have no choice but to slow down, think more, and purchase less. I'm a broke-ass motherfucker.

I'm anxiously awaiting the juicy insights that are sure to be found in the HuffPost comment (kiddie/cess/recessive gene) pool.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bryan-

Be sure not to miss the Appendix: my mother's recipe for chopped liver. (I guess I shoulda called it a Liver, rather than an Appendix, ha ha.) Anyway, if u wait 6 mos., it'll be selling used for one cent (maybe less).

mb

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Edward said...

ellen stated: "So the drums are beating for Syria now"

I started typing this in response to ellen; then I had to go somewhere only to return to see a brand new topic here.

Anyway, Obama has now completed his dance with destiny and lies. Any person who does not know that Syria is their planned conduit to Iran must be in a deep slumber. Based on what have been done to the people of the United States and how "they" have brazenly and systematically pillaged and destroyed the people of the United States, I really feel sorry for Iran, Syria, Gordan, Iraq, Lebanon, and other surrouding nations. Anybody who does not understand by now that the noises in Egypt and Syria are all about destroying Iran from the backdoor should take his/her head off kim kardashian's fat a'ss.

I will give my opinion on the Huffpost article next day.

9:14 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

Don't know if this was discussed on a previous thread, but it's priceless:

http://rt.com/usa/north-carolina-police-arrest-homeless-019/

11:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Do we need to institute a Wafer Douche Bag Contest? Wafers are encouraged to compile a list of their 10 favorite douchebags. E.g.:

1. Thomas Friedman
2. David Brooks
3. Lorenzo Riggins
4. Michele Bachmann
5. Donald Trump
6. Rom Mittney
7. Miley Cyrus
8. Kim K.
9. Latreasa Goodman
10. Bunmi Laditan

Alternates:

-Lloyd Blankfein
-Lawrence Summers

11:43 PM  
Blogger Jarid Wagner said...

Here's my douche bag lists:

1. Dick Cheney
2. Larry Summers
3. Lance Armstrong
4. Oprah
5. Koch Brothers
6. Alan Greenspan
7. Steve Balmer
8. Thomas Friedman
9. Rush Limbaugh
10. Joel Osteen

12:15 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

AS-

File it under This American Life. My feeling is the cops shoulda used a drone, just taken the church ministry and the homeless people out, no muss no fuss. That's probably 5 yrs away, wh/to me is un-American: you have weapons, you use them, rt?

Jarid-

That Joel guy has some very white teeth, no?

mb

3:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Speaking of douche baguettes, here's the face of America today (well, #2 after Lorenzo Riggins):

http://videos.huffingtonpost.com/how-old-is-too-old-517892513

4:57 AM  
Anonymous ellen said...

Dr B,
A very good write-up from Peter Van Buren. I'm going to have to get hold of your book through alternative channels (Amazon.com being inaccessible to UK buyers)

I love the notion of 'douche baguettes,' it could almost be a term of endearment.

Edward,

Press TV (Iranian outlet) had its licence to broadcast revoked by the British Government on Friday.

http://www.presstv.com/section/BritainAgainstPressTV.html


This is, of course, a re-run of the 'Great Game' that so arbitrarily carved up the Middle East a century ago, causing today's intractable problems there. Plus ça change.

5:50 AM  
Anonymous Maurice Ravel said...

Hard to come up with just 10, so I'll mostly cover 10 douchebag types.

1. The average American yo-bro-dudeguy frat monkey and his female counterpart, the "like, like, oh my god" girl.

2. The above-mentioned "like, oh my god" girl's tattoo.

3. Lady Gaga, as representative of any manufactured-out-of-thin-air corporate pop star.

4. Donald Trump & his ilk of rentiers and investors, or any loudmouthed useless bags of skin who own stuff for a living.

5. The average militarized US police officer.

6. Adam Sandler, with his mean-spirited moron movies/product placement vessels pitched directly at #1.

7. The Geithners, Dimons, and Blankfeins of the world, and anyone aspiring to be like them.

8. Paris Hilton, Kardashian - almost anyone who is "famous for being famous."

9. Rupert Murdoch and the other billionaires who own the corporate media.

10. The average American lawn freako and his loud douchebag lawn mower.

6:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ellen-

I just got sales list for July from Amazon, and there were a few sales to UK, listed in sterling. I'll need to pass yr comment on to my publisher, because it shd be do-able. Pls send me a note at mauricio@morrisberman.com, and we'll get the ball rolling. Thanks, yr a wonderful little douche baguette (toasted, w/butter).

Maurice-

Great list. Love yr music, mon cher.

mb

9:09 AM  
Anonymous James Newlin said...

I used to work with a bunch of Ph.D. engineers -- their favorite author was Thomas Friedman, especially the bosses. To these people, if you are poor, you are a loser, and if you aren't at your wage job 50+ hours a week, you're lazy. One guy (Ph.D. in engineering from a major university) liked to give the "French salute" regularly (putting hands behind head) and talked about how lazy French workers are. The CEO once got up in front of the whole company and told us the military is the only thing government should do. Reminds me of the time I was in a megachurch in Houston, and the pastor got a big roar from the crowd in support of the Iraq War.

This all happened in a downtown office tower in Houston, at a company that builds some of the largest infrastructure in the world. Morons aren't limited to the burbs -- the people coming out of our top universities are complete idiots as well.

These idiots also see money as a game. Sitting in my bosses office after he got a deal, he would just giggle and be thrilled to death, it's all just a game to these people, asking why to these people would be taken as an attack, you have to keep your mouth shut.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas-

Time 4u 2 c a film called "Margin Call."

As for morons, 99.9% of the country falls into this category, regardless of IQ or where they live. This means, at a generous estimate, that 0.1% are not morons; roughly 315,000 people. This is probably too high. In WAF, I estimated the non-moron population at 200,000 (which still may be too high). If u were to walk down the st. w/a butterfly net, swoop up the first person u saw--regardless of age, gender, religion, race, socioeconomic status, ethnic group, etc.--took them off to a hospital and removed the top of their cranium, the odds are probably 100,000:1 that you would find dog poopy inside instead of gray matter.

mb

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Re: the future senator from my home state of NJ:

http://www.salon.com/2013/08/28/cory_booker_is_tired_of_cynics_and_bloggers/

The final paragraph sums it all up:

The simple answer is that Booker is "one of them." He’s got the cultural and educational background of a finance guy or a successful attorney. But he also attracts the do-gooder liberal types, like [Matt] Damon and Oprah. And I think it's because Booker is essentially a motivational speaker disguised as a politician. He speaks like a high-priced management consultant, or a guy leading an expensive corporate retreat. ... He's a vague speech about "innovation" in a suit. He will be very successful in politics.

Sadly accurate, sadly true. He's clearly gearing up to be the next Obama somewhere down the road. This is what passes for progressive these days.

I'm going to go make some art now, perhaps put on some Medieval sacred music to put me in the proper NMI mood ...

12:11 PM  
Anonymous sanctuary! said...

Shocked that no one put this guy on the top 10 list:

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/don-t-get-caught-using-eco-friendly-light-bulbs-in-glenn-beck-s-office-130852793.html

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Capo Regime said...

James,

Very astute observation. I too have noted the moronic tendencies among many of the "elite" but am also heartened when encountering really bright people in the most unexpected of places. In fact my being introduced to MB's work was quite accidental and due to a comment to check out Bermans work from a big farmer in Mexico in the course of a conversation where I shared my observations of conditions in the U.S. I of course thought he was talking about Boris Berman and Ilike a moron I went on about Russian intellectuals and their afinity for Mexico and understanding the U.S. and how perhaps Borris Bermans work in music attuned his brain to historic rythms. He corrected me and said no Morris not Borris and he lives in Mexico. This followed with my being proud of Mexican Jewry but then he corrected me again.....We are all morons to some extent the extent of the moroness (?) is the kicker. i.e. being a complete moron as opposed to the partial morons we all are...

12:39 PM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Greetings Dr. Berman and Wafers,

James Newlin-

The universal *nature* of the American corporate CEO is telling. Your phrase "you have to keep your mouth shut" is deadly accurate.

I worked as a store manager, mid-1990s, for a retail clothing chain based in California. In a district-wide meeting, I "questioned" a line of T-shirts that the store was selling. My first question revolved around the price that the store was charging and the profit that they were going to make considering where they were made. Second, the shirts basically depicted, in cartoon-style artwork, gang banger and thug behavior, i.e., baggy pants, hats on sideways, crude hand gestures, and some characters holding smoking revolvers and automatic handguns. Good Lord, you would have thought that I had upset the balance of the universe with my disdain for this crap! My questions so provoked the ire of the CEO, that he simply walked out of the meeting after shouting at me with a smile on his face. Later that day, my district manager told me over the phone that I was being put on probation for insubordination. I lasted less than a month before I was fired.

Jarid, Maurice Ravel-

Boy, you guys covered some serious ground with your lists...

I didn't know about the douche bag Steve Ballmer. Talk about a douche bag! This guy is a douche bag's douche bag. He's the kind of douche bag other douche bags look at and say, "Now THERE'S a douche bag."

Whew, now I need a drink...

Jeff

1:03 PM  
Blogger Jarid Wagner said...

Lol Joel does have some white teeth.

I just love the Gospel of Wealth him and others preach. Jesus wants us to be rich? What about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven? It must take so much cognitive dissonance to reconcile christianity with a hustling lifestyle. Just part of the existential strain.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous JWO said...

A good little essay on the wannabes on the left (i.e. the "I'm liberal but marxism and socialism are bad" type) and income disparities:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/08/28/liberals-class-problem/

a good quote from above: "When liberals see inequality as a problem, they not only point out that they do not want to be confused with wild-eyed socialists who would level all incomes; they also reject any connection between inequality and capitalism."

Yep.

Sorry MB, only one comment on the huffpost article so far - but considering that 5 of the top 7 most read "articles" are about Miley it might take a while for the review to filter through the moronity.

3:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jwo-

Hey, I'm on Miley's side. The greater the dreck, the faster the collapse.

Capo-

But I *am* a Russian intellectual (in terms of ancestry). I'm just waiting for the CIA to come by with an ice pick. Wonder if my house will also be made into a museum, after.

mb

3:57 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

MB wrote:

"As for morons, 99.9% of the country falls into this category, regardless of IQ or where they live."

I just finished watching a BBC documentary entitled "Stupidity"; it's available on YouTube--ain't everything?--and fellow WAFers/-ettes may find it interesting.

Some info, from the film and from the reading it inspired, for what it may be worth:

Idiot (from Ancient Greek idio, "person lacking professional skill," "mentally deficient person incapable of ordinary reasoning")--person with IQ between 0 and 25

Imbecile (from Latin imbecille, "weak, feeble"--person with IQ between 26 and 50

Moron (from Ancient Greek moros, "dull")--person with IQ between 51-70

In California, idiots are 1 of 6 types of person judged incapable of (wittingly) committing any form of crime

In Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Ohio, idiots don't have the right to vote.

And finally, from someone who we might agree was neither idiot, nor imbecile, nor moron:

"Only two things are infinite: the Universe and stupidity. And I am not sure about the former."
--Albert Einstein

4:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas-

I cd be wrong, but I thought that in Attic Greek, an idiot was a person who was unable to live a social life; who was narcissistic, lived only for his own purposes. Most Americans, in short.

mb

4:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps to Jas Newlin: Thanks for Amazon review, very kind of you.

mb

5:58 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hiya Wafers:

Did anyone else get the impression that van Buren's review was not unlike a lotus in a cesspool, just in how it is physically surrounded on the computer screen by a foetid swamp of rotten moronity disguised as magazine articles?

The passage on the bucket-maker was interesting. The craftsman did something because it was worthwhile to do so, not because of its monetary reward, something the bank executive in this article would never understand:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2013/08/26/mb-grads-majors-employment-pay-winnipeg.html

That said, this sentence from the article ought to read: "Indeed, you walk away with the feeling that while the author has much to say, if you're too stupid to listen he could probably NOT care less."

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pick said...

Well, if we're going to talk about Leon Trotsky, and ice picks, and ears burning, then we have to reference this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg2np37JNEg

6:25 PM  
Blogger Boris the Spider said...

Poor Miley, if only she'd read that review before her performance. But, as you say Mr. Berman, she's is serving the onward and downward cause, so I guess we should keep your book from her at all costs.

It's hard to top the Top 10 Doucebags lists. So much weight is taken up by Friedman alone. Trump certainly needs to be on the list, although the recent revelation about his Trump University scam risks waking people up to his hucksterism before they're bled completely dry, so for the sake of O&D he might need to tone it down a little lest he give away the whole game.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...

Dr. Berman, shep, et al—

Re: China following the American Way

Will WAF become China’s next ‘Little Red Book’? (Study Belman’s writings, follow his teachings, and act according to his instructions!) Well, even if it doesn’t, there do seem to be some influential Chinese who just might be interested.

I’m no expert, but I’ve recently become interested in Alfred North Whitehead’s ‘Process Relational Philosophy’, which, among much else, holds that “everything that exists is interrelated and that people are personally and communally responsible for the common good.” It’s come my way from various sources – including Jungian depth psychologists and liberation theologians.

Back in 2010 I happened on an article in (of all places) “Christian Century” magazine. Titled “American Export: The Chinese embrace process thought.” It featured process theologian and philosopher John B. Cobb and said that some leading figures in China “see process thought (called ‘constructive postmodernism’ there) as a philosophical framework for dealing with that nation’s burgeoning economic growth and the problems of modernization.”

Cobb, who organizes many conferences for Chinese intellectuals in China and the US, states that the Chinese needed certain aspects of Western Modernism, but that they are well aware of the massive negative consequences. Many important Chinese intellectuals and academics are very serious about looking for alternative paths. Reading WAF might redouble their determination.

Anyone despairing of China ever getting off the path to the American Nightmare should spend a fifty-minute-hour listing to Ken Rose’s September 10, 1012 interview with Professor Cobb on “What Now?” He doesn’t say a whole lot about constructive postmodernism itself, but he does describe its deep and widespread influence in many Chinese universities and its use in school curricula. (WAF as required reading? – Who knows?)

Very interesting; check it out at:

http://whatnowsolutions.org/?powerpress_pinw=258-podcast

David Rosen

9:07 PM  
Blogger pinkpearl said...

The thing about the "I Forgot My Phone" video (known to WAFers as "Douchebags on Parade" is that it's not just showing a bunch of phone addicts. There is also the young woman, trying to genuinely connect with others in most of the scenes. But she's SOL, because there is no one to connect with. We're that far gone.

Ugh - just had a horrible thought. We already have a generation that does not remember life before the internet. The generation that won't know life without smart phones is being born right now. If they ever see the douchebags video, they won't even know what the young woman was attempting. Wonder what that will do to their worldview and basic mental health.

10:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pink-

We are creating a race of idiots. Regarding the Greek defn of this word, a Greek colleague of mine (teaches in the US) wrote me today:

"Idiot = someone not interested in the public affairs, in the life of the commons, a private person, not a citizen." Woman in the Douchebags video is the only nonidiot there.

mb

11:22 PM  
Anonymous shep said...

Dovidel,

I have very rapidly become the worst cynic on the planet. Seems to me that the Chinese are inevitably doomed as the USA.

The US collapse has begun to advance at warp speed and it looks as if every large organization is rotten to the core. I'd almost bet that the CIA handled the Syrian gas attack. TEPCO, the Japanese, nuclear energy disaster company, it turns out, is simply bald faced lying. The spectacle that took place today over 3-4 hours today in Washington of the re-enactment of the 'Dream' speech was horrendous. Everyone is a sycophant!

My point is that throughout the ages there has always been a small good group trying to sound the alarm but avarice always takes over. The USA today is probably the worst country in existence and it started with such seeming promise. As an example we have gone backwards on race since Carter left office. Nothing has been accomplished for black AND poor people since then.

Sounds like the Chinese Dr. Belmans are blowing their horns as loud as possible, but, I think it is all clanging cymbals and they too will do down, down, down with the thieves running right over them like they have done from the beginning of time? They have tasted the spoils of rabid greed and cannot turn back.

I wish it were not so but then again, I'm not an optimist by any stretch because of what I have observed, nor am I a bright guy, but what do I know.

This I know for sure. The Chinese are apparently on to the right guy.

Hope this makes a little bit of sense.

P.S. At least our maestro's sales will P.U.


BTW, anyone heard from Julian?

11:35 PM  
Anonymous ellen said...

I, on the other hand, have great hopes for the Chinese. I first heard about Daoist beliefs, which are based on the fundamental interconnectedness of all things, from a Chinese person so Professor Cobb may be teaching to a choir already steeped in this stuff.
They also have a great sense of their own painful history, it is built into the everyday language with the common greeting being not 'How are you' but 'Have you eaten' from the times of famine, many within living memory.

The common propaganda view of a cowed and quiescent people under authoritarian rule that you get in the west is just that, propaganda. There are countless daily rebellions, strikes, uprisings and unrest that go unreported in that enormous country.

Chinese people, having long been subsistence farmers, have a visceral understanding of their connection to the earth and yet also have a history and record of astute and canny commercial dealings in all of the many countries that they have migrated to.
I'd say that they are ideally suited to weather difficult times, they have had a lot of practice.

4:18 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

MB wrote:

"I cd be wrong, but I thought that in Attic Greek, an idiot was a person who was unable to live a social life; who was narcissistic, lived only for his own purposes."

You also responded to Pink along the same lines, noting that a Greek colleague had written you providing a definition for the Greek word from which "idiot" derives as "someone not interested in the public affairs..."

My brief post on the BBC documentary "Stupidity" and the various gradations of retardation I learned about after watching the video didn't give either of these two definitions, but I did see both of them in my post-documentary reading.

Thanks for adding them to the conversation in your comments after I submitted mine.

I think we always benefit from possessing as expansive a vocabulary as possible as we seek to identify--and, to the extent possible, avoid--the morons (idiots, imbeciles, or cretins, your choice) who may move among us.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ellen-

Well, here's hoping! You cd be rt. Rachel DeWoskin, in "Foreign Babes in Beijing," says that in her 5 yrs in China, she wd regularly read coverage of the country in the NYT online, and it never corresponded to what was actually going on in China. I don't think they pay much attn to Daoism in actual practice, however.

mb

9:34 AM  
Blogger Judy Sacco said...

Ellen, what do you mean Amazon.com is inaccessible to the UK? Here it is: http://www.amazon.co.uk/

8:00 PM  

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