March 09, 2014

215: I Miss Mittney

Hola Wafers!

As we were approaching 200 messages on the last post, I thought it was time to start a whole new discussion. But about what? I have no idea. I'm still collecting rejection letters from publishers for my book on Japan; I still can't manage to get the paperback edition of WAF up and running on Amazon, tho' they tell me it's imminent; and rumor has it that the Pulitzer committee will once again be by-passing me for their annual award. It's not entirely clear why I shouldn't shoot myself, and there are, of course, millions of people across the U.S. who would be only too glad to assist me in that endeavor, and who (as you know) have the firepower to do it. Packin' heat, as they say, tho' I'd prefer to be taken out by a drone. More prestige, I guess.

On the bright side, I leave for Japan/Vietnam in a month, to give some lecs at the U of Tokyo and complete some interviews for my Japan book. (Will give you all a report on the new rage that is sweeping the nation, corned beef sushi.) Also, after years of tendonitis in my right ankle that refused to heal, it finally did, and I'm back on the tennis courts--one of life's greatest pleasures (my forehand is still a little stiff, however). I've already sent Andy Murray a telegram, to the effect that there's a new sheriff in town. So it ain't all bad.

Another bright spot is the trolfoons, who simply won't go away. I feel like I'm playing Whack-a-Mole with them, but it's actually kind of fun. To see how little learning takes place with these morons is one of the high points of each day (or every other day).

As for the title of this post: well, it sounds odd, but it's true: I do miss the guy. To see that haircut walking around, with nothing underneath it, and spouting nonsense: honestly, it's guys like Rom that made America what it is. Though it's quite clear that that clown in the White House ain't a bad second, in that category. To have a president who stands for nothing, in a country that seems to stand for even less (well, OK, genocide, plutocracy, widespread internal violence, militarization of the nation, destruction of the poor and the vulnerable, fear and hatred of the Other, and Kim Kardashian's buttocks--but let's leave all that aside for now)--how can this not bring a warm feeling to the hearts of all Wafers? Clearly, we have much to celebrate.

Let us, then, enjoy our Waferdom, and move boldly into the future. Wafers Rule!

-mb

24 Comments:

Anonymous Rev Bernays said...

A Friend in Austin, Texas made this rant, a Corporate Pig Tazers a Over Zealous Cash Customer....WE ARE LOST!

Published on Dec 14, 2012

In this rant, I cheer on the security guard in an Apple store who tasered a woman with his stun gun after she had the nerve to try to buy more than her allotted maximum of two i-phones. Good for him -- that's one bitch who will think twice before buying more of this planet-eating crap.

1:15 AM  
Anonymous ConfusedDrinkards said...


Thank God Russia is still alive! If not, the world would have been turned into the wasteland they have turned the US.

Thank God more people are waking up to the sinister plot of some satanic forces in the west, especially inside the US.
============================

Tens of thousands of people in Ukraine have held rival pro-unity and pro-Russian rallies, as Moscow continues to strengthen its grip on Crimea.

Pro-Russia supporters beat up their opponents in Sevastopol, Crimea.

In the eastern city of Luhansk, pro-Russian activists seized regional offices forcing the governor to resign.

UK and German leaders telephoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to urge him to pull back from Crimea. The region is to vote to secede next week.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26503478

1:46 AM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

Just watching a documentary, Narco Cultura... Astounding, scary, sick, sad, incredible. I hope this "culture" is as contained and as quick to die as the violence in Juarez, though this film argues otherwise. It certainly paints a sad picture of Mexican and Mexican-American youth.

1:59 AM  
Blogger Val said...

Dr. B, I've had a brainstorm about some more investment opps. that brilliantly exploit the vulnerability of the poor. As you may know, parking tickets and traffic enforcement are now major cash cows for fiscally shriveled municipalities all over the USA. The relevant police departments are often more collections agencies than anything else. So I figure since there's already a private prison industry, why not privatize parking & traffic enforcement, and registration regs as well? It's just plain foolish to let that money go into the hands of city governments or state agencies when we could be lining our own pockets with it.

It's commonly motorists with little money who have trouble keeping up with registration and maintenance on their vehicles, and I think we should go especially after them, on account of they can't defend themselves. A little smoke from your tailpipe, a faulty muffler, a broken side mirror, a few dents in your fender, an expired reg. sticker, a patchy paint job, and you're pulled over; you gotta pay up buddy or we take away your car right now, plus make you pay $500 a day storage until it's fixed at our cousin Bernie's garage for astronomical fees, plus fines, plus tax. Plus if you don't shell out on the double you'll be compelled to borrow from our agency at 27 percent interest compounded daily, with the possibility of going to jail if you fall behind. What's more, you still have to pay insurance on your vehicle in perpetuity even if we take it away and compress it into a small compact cube of metal.

A nice bonus is the entertainment value. In America's car culture, where driving is practically mandatory for everything, can you imagine these losers trying to hold onto a job without wheels? It'll be a fucking laff riot!

With backing from the right too-big-to-fail financiers (operating at taxpayer expense of course) we could go public within a year. It's time to start the PR campaign right now.

P.S. - Rev Bernays' friend is right. The Apple store is holy ground. It's no accident the interior with its displays of sacred electronic gnostic devices resembles a collection of shrines with a crypt beneath, containing the hallowed remains of Saint Steve Jobs. That woman's lucky she didn't go to jail for profaning a temple, like Pussy Riot.

4:04 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Val-

You do have some great ideas, but a more efficient way to deal w/the poor might be to fly drones over the sections of every city in wh/they live, and just take them out! No muss, no fuss. As for Steve Jobs, I understand the USPS is going to put him on a postage stamp. This is wonderful, of course, but we also need stamps of iPhones and tasers, along w/one of Lorenzo Riggins and another of Kim's buttocks. Wafers are encouraged to suggest other possibilities, and perhaps even design a few themselves.

mb

6:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps:

Some gd stuff today on Truthdig:

1. Chris Hedges on the nature of Putin, and the Putin regime

2. Greg Palast on censorship by 'progressive' websites, if you puncture their sacred cows

3. An article on My One True Love, Sarah Palin (may she run in 2016!)

4. Report on a study linking Facebook use to eating disorders among college girls

5. An animated cartoon by Mark Fiore on how to talk abt the Ukraine in sound bites

6. Nothing on mass CRE among the American population, sad to say.

Extra! Extra! Read all abt it!

mb

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Mo Ronich said...

Here's a relevant article. I admit I have never heard of the field of agnotology. I was ignorant of it...

"Cultural production of ignorance provides rich field for study
Robert Proctor is one of the world's leading experts in agnotology, a neologism signifying the study of the cultural production of ignorance"

An interesting, if unsurprising, point in the article is that there is a backfire effect in that when people are presented with a factual refutation of some ignorant idea they hold, they often cling to the idea more strongly. Perhaps this might give some insight into reaction to wafer concepts and trollfoons?

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hiltzik-20140307,0,1622098.column#axzz2vYrU15LF

8:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mo-

We do need a funded university dept. in Dumbology, I'm thinking, w/Dumbo as its patron saint. In the case of the trolfoons, yes, they are a pretty slow-witted bunch; but also, I'm finding, lacking in any self-respect. After all, if I knew I wasn't wanted somewhere, I wd just go away. Not the trolfoons! They debase themselves, keep knocking at the door of this blog, begging for a hearing. Frankly, I don't even read their stuff; when I see the message is from a trolfoon, I hit delete immediately. But nothing can stop them, because in the core of their being, they fear (correctly) that they are nothing; hence, the desperate need to get heard, get Daddy to love them, to be accepted as Wafers. Poor shmucks; never gonna happen. But lower than this, I doubt a human being can go. This is the end-of-empire garbage that washes up on various blogshores (not only this one, I'm quite sure).

On another topic: I've been reading stuff of an alternative nature regarding Israel-Palestine; I mean, alternative to the Zionist narrative that one gets in the US and Israeli press. Ilan Pappe's "Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" is a real shocker; I wd also recommend "Goliath," by Max Blumenthal. He does, BTW, have some interesting stuff to say abt Mr. Putin, tucked into a discussion of the extreme rt-wing Israeli politician, Avigdor Lieberman:

"Both men demanded total compliance to the system of crony capitalism and social repression they sought to impose, exploiting every regulatory and bureaucratic mechanism at their disposal to neuter civil society, especially the pesky human rights NGOs that produced embarrassing English-language human rights reports every now and then. Most significant, perhaps, was the terrifying street-level atmosphere Putin and Lieberman cultivated in their respective societies. While Putin oversaw Nashi, a proto-fascistic and occasionally violent youth group that provided his authoritarian regime with the veneer of grassroots appeal..."

Not exactly a positive picture of the guy, we'd hafta conclude.

mb

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Edward said...

Data show poorer families are bearing the brunt of college price hikes
By Jon Marcus and Holly K. Hacker

America’s colleges and universities are quietly shifting the burden of their big tuition increases onto low-income students, while many higher-income families are seeing their college costs rise more slowly, or even fall, an analysis of federal data shows.

It’s a trend financial-aid experts and some university administrators worry will further widen the gap between the nation’s rich and poor as college degrees—especially four-year ones—drift beyond the economic reach of growing numbers of students.

“We’re just exacerbating the income inequalities and educational achievement gaps,” said Deborah Santiago, co-founder and vice president of Excelencia in Education, a nonprofit group that advocates for Latino and other students.

The shift also runs contrary to an Obama administration push to make a college degree more affordable for low-income students. At a White House summit in January, college leaders and others promised to find ways to make degrees more affordable for the less affluent.

In fact, lower-income and working-class students at private colleges and universities have seen the amount they pay, after grants and scholarships, increase faster than the amount their middle- and upper-income classmates pay, according to an analysis of data that institutions are required to report to the U.S. Department of Education.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/09/tuition-poor-families_n_4932128.html

America is supposedly a free and fair country that invented democracy, education, and progress. Greed, materialism, and madness have taken over the soul of the nation.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Bossu said...

MB leaves open the topic of this blog.

Among other things it could be about what you do to keep from sinking down under the weight of stuff like this..

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/09/cia-america-fighting-shadows

There is a key phrase in this chilling article " The monster the US has unleashed on the rest of the world is steadily devouring its own."

We know that phrase on here, pointed out by MB as recalling Goyas's 'Saturn Devouring his Son'.

For relief from all that, my solutions are modest. I try to find out the positive things in the world, I listen to a variry of music from classical, world, blues, jazz, rock etc. I like to drink wine,to read. I do from time to time go back to long walks in Spain (up to 1600 kms but usually less) on the Caminos de Santiago, that medieval pilgrim route across Europe. I am an atheist, as are many pilgrims, but this walk has something special. I have trekked in the Himalayas and other dramatic places, but the caminos of Spain are special. The camino almost died but since the 1980s there has been an enormous revival. I think it has to do with looking for something in like other than consumerism.

Sadly, there is an element of commerce creeping in, and some of it is promoted by US citizens, selling guided walks, spiritual guidance, 'encounter the earth' type crap, instead of leaving people in peace to do something special in their lives which shouldn't involve the cash nexus. And for most it doesnt. I've seen on pilgrim websites that these people talk in brand names. If someone asks advice on boots or rucsacs, they are not answered in general terms, but with logos and brands. It's sick.

But these types can and are avoided by most walkers. They are not representative. I take heart at this, and sometimes I really need some reassurance, so great are the devouring forces of the world, from Putin to Obama.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bossu-

You might want to read the section of the Twilight bk dealing w/the NMI.

mb

12:22 PM  
Anonymous KarmaKing said...

Throughout history, those who spoke the truth in totalitarian states—people such as Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning—have been silenced and persecuted and those who parroted back the lies and served the system have been rewarded with lives of luxury and debauchery.

The rise of criminal elites is global. Vladimir Putin is a megalomaniac and a thug who is filling his personal coffers while he is the leader of Russia, and Barack Obama, who has more polish and sophistication, will fill his own pockets, as did the Clintons, with tens of millions of dollars as soon as he leaves office. The banks and corporations for which Obama works are as criminal and corrupt as the Central Bank of Russia, which calculates that perhaps two-thirds of the $56 billion that left Russia in 2012 might have been from money laundering, drug trafficking, tax fraud or kickbacks.

The Western political and financial elites, Putin knows, will not touch him. He and they are in the same decadent oligarchic class. They hold the same values. Europe depends on Russia for 40 percent of its natural gas, most of which passes through Ukraine. European bankers and corporations have no intention of jeopardizing that flow, or any current or potential trade deals. Corporate profit is the driving engine of foreign policy. Our elites do not care about human rights or civil liberties, not to mention the illegality of pre-emptive war, any more than Putin. Ask the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia how much moral authority the United States has to denounce the violation of the territorial integrity of a sovereign state.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/welcome_to_satans_ball_20140309

12:28 PM  
Anonymous JWO said...

Boss: You hit that nail on the head, it is a very American thing to go all tech-guru on something supposedly spiritual. One cannot go hiking without a $200 carbon fiber walking stick with leather strap and suspension shock-cushioning when a stick laying the ground or a piece of bamboo from the hardware store would do just as good. There is also that story MB talks about with the Zen master driving a luxury car...

1:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Karma-

Just to avoid confusion in future, when you quote a source, it's best to put "quotes" around the text. Thanks.

And speaking of Hollywood finally catching up to WAF, Counter Punch recently did a review of recent films that portray an America based on hustling, and show how tawdry our culture and its people are. These include:

Wolf of Wall St.
Spring Breakers
Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Blackfish
Passion
Dallas Buyers Club
The Iceman
Nebraska
American Hustle

The collective description is pretty grim: a sick ideology and a nation of degraded buffoons.

mb

3:02 PM  
Blogger Metagnathous said...

Kardashian's buttocks are old (ass) hat. The new hip thing is apparently people having sex with their pitbulls. Some guy down in Florida was out in his yard having carnal knowledge with such a dog, as his neighbors begged him to stop. Elsewhere, a couple were arrested for filming themselves doing likewise, and in the UK a woman discovered a video on her boyfriend's phone of similar dubious endeavors. I try to maintain an open mind but I'm afraid I've met my limit with these canine/human shenanigans.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Meta-

Well, better than dachshunds, I suppose.

mb

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Blair said...

Still relevant after all these years: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/09/richard-hofstadter-and-america-s-new-wave-of-anti-intellectualism.html

7:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Blair-

A great article. In the wake of the 1st Eisenhower victory over Adlai Stevenson, someone wrote that the election represented "the victory of shoe salesmen over intellectuals." Running in 1956 a 2nd time, he was told by a student at Vassar, "Governor Stevenson, you have every thinking person's vote." "Won't work," he shot back; "I need a majority." Hofstadter, BTW, referred to the US as a "democracy of cupidity," foreshadowing the hustler thesis. But he unfortunately believed that Americans were not inherently stupid--a big mistake, as Mencken had noted decades earlier. Mencken never actually said, "They have poop in their heads," but he came pretty close. I think if Hoffie were alive today, he'd agree w/Mencken's assessment, and probably even have a post-it on his bathrm mirror.

mb

8:15 PM  
Blogger Val said...

I'm posting this here because it would be too off-topic for the latest post. This from Club Orlov:

"It appears that the US State Dept. gave $5 billion to Ukrainian neo-Nazis who used some of the money to hire mass murderers who massacred protesters, policemen and bystanders in order to provide a rationale for overthrowing the democratically elected government of Ukraine and installing an anti-Russian puppet government."

2:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Val-

According to Victoria Nuland, the US gave the Ukraine $5b in foreign aid. That it gave the entire amount to neo-Nazis is very unlikely; I'm wondering if it even gave $5 to them. Orlov shd probably give us a few ftnotes, I'm thinking.

mb

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Bossu said...

JWO said

" One cannot go hiking without a $200 carbon fiber walking stick with leather strap and suspension shock-cushioning when a stick laying the ground or a piece of bamboo from the hardware store would do just as good. There is also that story MB talks about with the Zen master driving a luxury car..."


Spot on JWO! This made me laugh because your random examples and reference on sticks are precisely sychronous to what I do on my long secular pilgrimages in Spain and France.

Rather than carry a fancy telescopic baton, I cut a stick, thumb thick, to fit just under my armpit. With this I walk, the stick lending rythmn to my steps, and it has enough weight to deter up to medium sized dogs.

As for Zen masters driving luxury cars, that is also neat. My experience here was not with a Zen master, but with Tibetan Buddhist Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who I saw at Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland, a half century ago(gulp!). He went to the US, found money, fast cars, women, and the demon drink. Died in a car crash I believe!

"Don't follow leaders, watch your parking meters"!

6:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bossu-

Actually, he died of alcohol poisoning (cirrhosis of the liver). I used to argue abt him w/Francisco Varela, who held that his drunken stupors were episodes of 'insight'. Yeah, my ass. It's an interesting question as to why gurus are typically full of shit, and also how they manage to lead folks who shd know better around by the nose.

mb

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Bossu said...

MB raises an interesting point about gurus.

Like MB , I have seen people, *way* superior to my intellect, fall foul of accepting what the 'guru' says as 'truth'. There may be no evidence, no provenance, but there is an eager acceptance from some who should know better, of frankly ridiculous assertions and claims made by gurus.

From gurus, it is often smoke and mirrors, but it is swallowed wholesale by otherwise sound people. I really, really don't get it. There's something important at the root of this madness,this suspension of disbelief, but I don't know what it is. Thousands flocked to Sai Baba who performed vibuti (holy ash) tricks and did some dodgy stuff backstage with adepts' children.

I can't understand why academics (especially) suspend all evidential norms when they encounter a guru who appeals to them.

I am interested in medieval Europe, and I used to marvel at great minds (eg Roger Bacon)who believed in the most laughable and fantastic things. Of course, religion played a great part in twisting their minds. Newton who changed all our lives also believed in really wacky stuff. There's hope for me yet.


It's actually quite worrying, but also informative. Don't trust anyone, including yourself! (how bleak).

3:08 PM  
Anonymous friv 3 said...

I will bookmark this page and share it with a few of his friends, hoping that they could help. Thanks for sharing.

3:36 AM  

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