September 11, 2014

Our Success Is Legendary


Far be it for a modest soul such as myself to brag, but I think, at this point (the 230th post), it might be time for a little horn blowing. Yes, I know: there are only 138 registered Wafers on this blog, and I'm always saying how minor we are in the larger scheme of things. Which I'm sure is true. But consider these incontrovertible facts: since the inception of this blog in April 2006, we have received almost 1.5 million hits; and last month alone, nearly 38,000. So while few are active, millions drool. They want to be Wafers, but are not sure how to go about it (the trollfoons, of course, don't have a clue, simply because they are trollfoons). But that's OK. It's nice to know that we have a rather vast, and appreciative, audience, one that is fully aware that this is the only blog worth following.

Today, of course, is the 13th anniversary of 9/11. When I consider how much more wretched and stupid and brutal we've become since that event--well, it's quite overwhelming. Al-Qaeda succeeded beyond its wildest dreams, because our reaction to the attack was 100% self-destructive--played into their hands perfectly. And now, of course, Cheney is back as an unofficial adviser, and Obama is replaying the same self-destructive script with ISIS, for reasons I laid out pretty clearly in A Question of Values. He's little more than a puppet on a string, as are nearly all of our fellow countrymen and women, who are basically unconscious. Wafers watch the nation doing the very things destined to push it down the tubes, and shake their heads. Remember when George Costanza decided to do the opposite of everything his instincts told him, and as a result everything turned around for the better? Well, my friends, the U.S. is definitely not going to go that route. It will pursue its instincts to the grave, which is what we are witnessing on a daily basis. Like an alcoholic, the U.S. will "hit bottom" on the other side of death.

But enuf o' that. Let me give you a brief update of my own (modest, as always) little activities, and then sign out. As follows:

1. The Spanish translation of SSIG is about to appear. My editor and I are working on the illustrations at present, sorting out what the artist sent us, and trying to work up a mock-up of the final version of the text. I anticipate an Oct. or Nov. publication, followed by a "lanzamiento" in Mexico City, probably at a major bookstore such as Gandhi or El Pendulo. All of you hispanohablantes living in the DF, please take note.

2. The Japan book grinds on. Publisher and I have an almost-finished pdf of the text (it's a long mother: something like 500 pages); illustrations are (again) the current concern. My photographer is trimming, cropping, tightening (resolution) and etc.; and then there is the matter of the index, which is no small thing. I'm hoping for a Thanksgiving release, but it may be Xmas, at this rate. With a little luck, the debut will take place in Portland (OR) in December, but March is frankly another possibility, depending on scheduling possibilities at Powell's or wherever. Stay tuned, chicos.

3. On Sept. 24 I fly to Costa Rica to give a public lecture on the 25th, followed by 3 days of workshops at the Universidad de La Salle. Public lecture is open to all you hispanohablantes in the area; workshops are for grad students pursuing doctorates in history/psych/political science and the like.

So let us carpe diem and all that, as we sadly put summer behind us and embrace the changing leaves of fall. Life goes on; and Wafers, by definition, are at the cutting edge.

Love you all, mes amis-



Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, 9/11 inside job discussions are not welcome on this blog, for reasons I discussed at length some yrs ago. You might wanna re-send the other part of yr message, tho. Thanks.


8:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Not much of an apology, I fear; just sarcasm, really. There was nothing true in yr original observation, and my response was hard-hitting because after yrs of people like you attacking myself and the blog, I'm quite tired of it. The subject of this blog is the collapse of the American empire, not me or the blog. As for you, the truth is that yr an asshole, and there is really nothing you can do to change that. And you'll die an asshole, rest assured (while thinking how clever u.r.). Anyway, go somewhere else; there's no place 4u in a blog devoted to serious social and political issues. And if you write in again, I'll just delete it unread. The detritus that late-empire America throws up is really depressing. Yr pretty representative of it.


10:05 PM  
Blogger Seligne said...


You would have a great many more official subscribers if readers had a clue as to how to sign up. I have been reading you for years and maybe just now cracked the code.

10:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I confess, I don't have a clue myself, altho I'm glad u cracked the code. But the truth is, I don't really care how many people are "officially" signed up. It's enuf for me that people just come and go, teach and learn, engage in serious (and frivolous) discussion, and generally have a gd time. Wafers are pretty recognizable--esp. from what's *between* the lines!


10:24 PM  
Blogger KJ said...

Mr Berman, you may be interested in the latest blog post of Bill Valicella, the 'Maverick Philsopher'. He praises you fulsomely, but also takes you to task for a slovenly use of language in one particular instance.

3:40 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...


Insulting snarkiness does seem to pass for cleverness & wit these days, doesn't it? Just read the comments section of any story on the Internet, and the nastiness & callousness emerge immediately, as if someone pried up a huge rock to reveal the id of America. And most of those making such posts really do seem to believe they're genuinely clever & witty! Of course, considering the social model they get from popular culture, how could they think otherwise?

There's very little real discussion online -- or in person, for that matter. people merely talk past one another, not listening, not weighing what the other has said, merely trying to score points. It's like a videogame -- the sole purpose is to beat/destroy everyone else & rack up points that make one a "winner" -- whatever that means today.

And it serves The Powers That Be, too. People latch on to the illusory feeling of anonymous power they get online, while changing precisely nothing about the world or themselves; anger, resentment & fear are continually stoked & stirred, making people more easily manipulated; and of course it trains people to "think" in the smallest bits of information, while erasing their ability to piece those bits together into real thoughts & ideas.

I believe this is called the Dunning-Kruger Effect, described as "the finding that the poorest performers are the least aware of their own incompetence."

8:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I tell ya, I'm getting so tired of these people, who are little more than clowns who think they are insightful. Over and over again, I keep saying that this is a forum for discussing the collapse of the American empire, *not* one for discussing me or the blog. But Americans are not very bright. Ideas don't appeal, just trivial interpersonal conflicts. There is seemingly no end to the trollfoons.


His real objection seems to be that I'm "left-liberal" (whatever that is, anymore), which is a misreading of my politics. So, hard to take him *too* seriously. But thanks for the link.


9:09 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

MB -

Please consider a mini book tour! Portland is too far and I'd like to hear a talk. I don't blame you for not wanting to stick around in the US for very long.

Regarding the shamanism/psychedelics, it seems like the drugs could be a way to help some people to snap out of it. Though for me I didn't have to be high to see how stupid we are and how we're headed straight for collapse.

I went back yesterday to some of the speeches Bush gave back in 2001. While he sounded like a complete idiot, I was surprised how he kept insisting that Islam was peaceful & this wasn't a war against Muslims. Did things change over time? Or was the population suspicious of Muslims all along? I'm just wondering how we manufactured this enemy and where the root of it came from.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous PleasedToBeefYou said...

Just read this article on Ebola. As you know, this is a massive problem now in W Africa, and MSF/WHO are begging for help.

For all we say about freedom, peace, and benefits of industrial civilization, here is the result:

> On Sunday, President Obama said the U.S. government would deploy military assets to establish isolation units and deliver additional supplies. This is an important development, but it must translate into immediate concrete action on the ground. So far, the Pentagon has pledged only one 25-bed unit for Liberia, to be used just for health workers.

I think this shows where the priorities of the empire are.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You'll find a history of our meddling in the Middle East in DAA; plus you might wanna read the bks listed in the notes to that particular chapter. As far as a bk tour goes, the problem is that I don't really have any $ to speak of, and the Portland trip, if it happens, will be pd for by someone else. I'll go anywhere to talk abt the Japan bk, when it's out, and w/o any honorarium; but someone is going to hafta pick up the airplane tab, and they aren't exactly banging on my door. I might, however, be able to get LA into that Portland trip, but thus far everything's up in the air. Such a pity, that I'm not in the upper 1%, eh?


12:55 PM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Greetings all,


Okay, let me get this straight: The Maverick Philosopher is in the middle of reading the Twilight book, appears to be enjoying it, and then pulls out a passage about a *form* of censorship and accuses MB of a leftist slant and "verbal inflation." He then proceeds to demonstrate his point with an idiotic reference about choosing a particular tool in a toolbox. WTF!? Not only is this a straw man argument, it is intellectual masturbation of the first order. Jesus, I can't wait for his full critique of the the book. Suffice it to say, I think the Maverick has spent too much time in the Sonoran Desert...


12:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks. The guy seems like a bit of a pedant, frankly. But I also received an e-mail from a prof. at Georgia Tech saying that if The Maverick really doesn't understand the concept of free-market totalitarianism, then he's too intellectually out of it to bother with. I guess I shd just be happy he's not a trollfoon, wanting to talk abt the the blog itself, or abt me personally, etc.


1:12 PM  
Anonymous JWO said...

RE: Maverick Philo. I try not to read too much into something that was originally published in 2004 ... as the immortal Dude said, "New shit has come to light, man." But, don't be waiting for the full review anytime soon.

Another book recommendation for the WAF-er crew, I'm reading Don DeLillo's Americana right now and it is quite good so far. White Noise is one of my favorite books so it will be interesting to see if Americana stacks up. FYI, I liked the movie version of Cosmopolis better.

Here's a review of Americana and an interview with DeLillo to get y'all started:

1:56 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

Just looking for some advice. I mentioned before a young family member who doesn't really engage in a dialog, but simply ignores my ideas and keeps hammering me (robopathy). What do you think of his latest tactic:
He sends me links to articles that he's "sure" I will find "thought-provoking." It is quickly obvious to me that he sends the articles because he thinks they support his view that I am totally wrong in believing that something is terribly wrong with the USA. He's latest was an Adam Gropnik article entitled "Does It Help to Know History?"
I think the money quote in Gropnik's article is, "The real sin that the absence of a historical sense encourages is presentism, in the sense of exaggerating our present problems out of all proportion to those that have previously existed..."
So my relative is insinuating that I have no historical sense, etc., which explains my dire views. The article overall is pretty mediocre, to be honest. But you get my drift.
My impulse was to finally call him out on being smug and condescending. You see, he's a high school history teacher. I don't think he knows I studied history and social thought at the graduate level. So he sends such thinks with such lines as (direct quote),"I'm sure you will find the read thought provoking."
Why is he so sure of himself? Am I overreacting? Am I right in simply ceasing to respond, or should I actually analyze my reaction to Gropnik's article, and call him out on being smug and condescending? If my kid were his student, I'd pull him out and get him another teacher, after having interacting with him as I have.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Manolo Cabeza de Huevo said...

Professor Berman,

Ah the stupidity and cupidity and how predictably it descends into nastiness and outright cupidity. It is frighting to contemplate that people of the sort of Maile are the majority. They are vicious, half literate,fully ignorant, narcissitic, stupid and dangerous inflamatory dolts. Just this morning heard three douches in a cafe going on about how their project can work! Why? Well Warren Buffet started with $11.00, Bill Gates with $3500 and Jeff Bezos with nothing and if these guys could so could they. I wanted to interject that Warren Buffets father was a congressman and well heeled, Bill Gates father a founder of a major lawfirm and multimillionaire and Jeff Bezos a Princeton Grad who worked on wall street and had multimillionare grandparents are hardly Horatio Algers....But alas, Douches are impervious to reason. The psyhologists are probably right that people would rather blindly stand with the group which denies reality than independently accept reality (Fromm?).

If these douches were not in the process of endangering human kind it would be very funny. Instead watching king douche Obama is like watching a self satisfied coginitively impaired boy driving a full bus with a gun and bottle of whisky at his his side....

2:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Somebody told me that Gates' mother was well-placed at IBM as well, so there's also that (if it's true). Yes, the nation is awash in Mailes--self-righteous and completely clueless. It means a faster decline, however. If the Maile-to-Wafer ratio were reversed, it wd be a very different country. Hopefully he has, by now, found a blog where they sit around and discuss the blog itself, and nothing intellectually substantive. He's happy, I'm happy, and we can move on. But I've said it b4: you wanna know what the nation consists of? Start a blog!


Gopnik did an article abt a yr ago in the New Yorker attacking the declinist position. There were no facts that I remember; it was just wishful thinking. He's scared, quite obviously. Meanwhile, it's not clear to me why you are still bothering w/yr family, when you cd be buying a one-way plane ticket outta here. Go where the (positive) energy is, is my motto.


2:31 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

Your favorite celebrity Sarah Palin makes the news again, but probably not in a way she would have wanted to. (Too bad she didn't have her guns with her? It would certainly have been an even bigger news story then.)

The Guardian: Sarah Palin family in Alaska brawl

Palin family members were present at a party where 20 people ended up in an alcohol-fueled melee in the front yard, police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro told the Alaska Dispatch News.

Sarah Palin herself got in on the action, ABC News reported in an interview with a party attendee, who quoted the former governor as screaming at unknown combatants: “Do you know who I am?!”

Palin was the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee and currently is host of Amazing America with Sarah Palin on the Sportsman Channel. She and husband Todd are the parents of five children, at least two of whom were central protagonists in the weekend brawl...

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Herbal Panda said...

The "Maverick" Philosopher is actually anything but, at least when it comes to his political convictions: he is a dyed in the wool American conservative who is obsessed with "culture war" issues, sees Obama as a dangerous left-wing socialist, etc. It's this conservative, culture war mentality that most likely has drawn him to MB's corpus; many conservatives also talk about the "decline and fall" of American culture, but they are more likely to blame things like political correctness, immigration, gay marriage, gun control, and Obama as the prime causes of this decline.

And while I'm sure we all agree that the current occupant of the White House is certainly emblematic of the general trajectory of the nation, it's not because of his "left-liberal" policies, but because he's an empty suit, a shill for the entrenched interests of the ruling political and financial elite.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


That's my gal! I bet she's sorry now that she didn't accept my marriage proposal, back in '08. I told her we wd honeymoon on an ice floe in Alaska, and make love among the meese, with Ed Meese present. Well, u.c. what she's reduced to now. And to think she cd have been a Waferette. Maybe I'll propose to Bunmi Laditan instead.


4:02 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Sarah Palin herself got in on the action, ABC News reported in an interview with a party attendee, who quoted the former governor as screaming at unknown combatants: “Do you know who I am?!”

As I read that I had a flash of Palin as Chazz "Sonny" Palminteri in A Bronx Tale looking down at a guy lying among his wrecked skidoo, saying "Look at me! I did this!"

Did anyone else think that Hollobama, in his call to bomb Syria and Iraq some more, looked exactly like GeeDubya when he said it was necessary to bomb Iraq in 2003?

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro - The Facile Yet Sympathetic Poster said...

I can't believe people on here are condemning The Maverick Philosopher for being, well, a maverick.

Obviously he should be taking contrary and unjustifiable positions on Dr. Berman's work. Otherwise, he would be The Conventional Philosopher. Or, maybe, The Perceptive And Nuanced Philosopher.

But he isn't. He's "The Maverick." And, therefore, he makes a delightful change from all the workaday, dreary, conformist philosophers like Nietzsche, Gramsci, Foucault etc.

5:34 PM  
Blogger John Cougar Melonhead said...

I propose that the Statue of Liberty be torn down and replaced by a generic fake-breasted reality TV star with the caption "Don't you know who I am?!" To be fair, the caption should be misspelled.

6:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The guy is clearly cutting-edge. Nietzsche was so ho-hum. Me, I'm still working on the collected volumes of "Mittnism: Theory and Practice."

In other of the sweetest films I've seen in recent yrs: "At Berkeley," documentary by Fred Wiseman (2013). Highly recommended.


7:04 PM  
Anonymous tam said...

Большой привет, дорогой Морик! Молодэтс!

(quick flashback ^ to an earlier area-of-interest of yours – still familiar?. ;))

I'm first-generation American, an only-child, and pretty-much just a "curious-observer" since day one on this planet. (I might add that my brain is ultra-sensitive to any attempts others may have to wash it.)

I don't have any links or brilliance to post today. Just another observation.

So, how about those real-estate predators? What's all that talk about "staging"??? They compel property-owners to "stage" their abodes. ... Why? ... I, for one, have never had trouble envisioning an empty abode/piece-of-land with my own vision.

Seems that Americans are so devoid of imagination and personal creativity, that they can't buy real-estate without someone else loading up the property with temporary pieces of furniture???

7:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Moris, not Morik, my little galupchik.


This is neat:

Next step: just gun down students as they are walking to classes. Who needs 'em, anyway?


7:46 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Under the heading "Armed School Teachers: Threat or Menace?", the following:

An elementary school teacher in the Salt Lake City surburb of Taylorsville somehow managed to discharge her weapon while in the teachers' lounge, wounding herself. Utah is among the states that allow people with concealed-weapons permits to pack heat in public schools.

Further comment superfluous.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


We're almost at the pt where everyone will be gunning down everyone, including themselves. But this shd be a source of joy, since it means we are preserving 2nd amendment rts.

I found this novel very absorbing, also extremely well-written: Colm Toibin, "Brooklyn." Side benefit is an interesting snapshot of Bklyn in the 50s.


9:46 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Fellow Wafers & Waferettes,

My cousin, a liberal (Obummer’s failures, if any, are the evil Republicans’ fault), just sent me a link to a Goldman-Sachs sponsored NOVA “documentary” on vaccines. Of course, he thought it proved conclusively that vaccines are safe (he knows I have my doubts), but I found enough holes in it to drive the proverbial truck through.

I’m not bringing this up to start a discussion about vaccines, but rather to once again express my amazement that people can be intelligent and yet abysmally ignorant all at the same time. How could he not recognize such obvious propaganda for what it was? I sent him a reply pointing out the questionability of what they had to say and how it was said, (“Parents weigh what’s best for their children, while health officials worry about saving lives.”), but doubt he’ll respond because it’s lil’ ol’ me questioning, gasp, NOVA.

I’m not sure which I find more astounding: the far-right-wing stupidity of my husband’s family (they’ll believe ANYTHING, no matter how ridiculous, if it reinforces their delusional version of reality), or the naïve gullibility of mine. In the meantime, either they’re so distracted by red herrings that they totally miss the big picture, or they willfully ignore the evidence that the country is collapsing around them.

I know, I know, I shouldn’t be surprised….

On another note, I went to see a new doctor to get registered for MMJ, and what a pleasant experience. The practice was Hispanic and, as opposed to the zombies who work at my regular physician’s office, everyone was smiling, warm and friendly. Hopefully, dear friends, I’ll be stoned when next I post a comment.

6:46 AM  
Anonymous ennobled little day said...


I am a high school teacher. I have only been one for a bit over a year, but it seems that we have to talk to teenage kids a certain way for class management and credibility reasons.

Maybe your relative has been a teacher (in America?) for too long?

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Constance said...

I've been reading Reenchantment, and to make science historically the villain for the brain-dead techno-antics of obese Americans (and w/very few exceptions - the Yanomami, a stone age tribe, is the only one I can think of - every world culture readily jettisons its age-old ways for the slick trinkets and anomie on offer) is unjust. We don't get the Mandelbrot set for 0.000001 of the population without twinkies and cell apps for all the rest. Twinkies or Mandelbrot iterations at base is the choice for each of us, and for one group (us) to implicitly advocate socially/spiritually strait-jacketing and football-helmeting the vast, vast majority of people who like things the way they are just fine (they just want more *of* it, infinitely) to 'protect' them 'from themselves' is self-deluding (almost vicious) neo-patriarchy. A world without twinkies and cell apps; without depleted uranium weapons, idiots leading idiots.... is a world without (google) last lights on - Mandelbrot fractal zoom to 6.066 e228(2^760) (watch all of it); without the Hubble telescope and the images it retrieves; without personal computers on which screens we compare disdain, or aircraft to segregate ourselves from (American) hoi polloi to embrace quainter hoi polloi abroad (at least until the American dollars run out). Personally I don't want to live in a world without Mandelbrot sets, and when it ends, as it surely will, I expect to die of grief that our reach toward God's hand is so humanly ended.

The way the world is is our collective choice.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm not sure what yr critique of the Reenchantment bk is, exactly, from what you wrote (yr language is rather cryptic); but it doesn't sound like anything I was advocating, in any case. However, if I were to rewrite the bk today (not very likely), it wd be a very different bk, altho perhaps not along the lines you wd advocate (wh/I don't actually understand, but...). You know, times change...I was writing that bk 40 yrs ago. I think the central argument probably still holds, but there is a lot that wd hafta be revised, 40 yrs on. In any case, it's going to appeal to a few people, but surely not to most; tho--oddly enuf--it is the only best-seller I ever had.


12:19 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

"Carol Jumper, who lives in Hopewell Township, Pennsylvania, was diagnosed with cancer impacting her pancreas, liver and ovaries in August. According to her fiance, Dennis Smerigan, Jumper received a letter from her boss, Dr. George Visnich, in which the oral surgeon said he was laying her off without compensation."

12:23 PM  
Anonymous not a he said...

I apologize for the brutality of my remarks. No sarcasm. I'll not trouble you more.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Greetings Dr. Berman und Waferschein,


The latest from "Papa" Monzano:,36903/


We'd love to have you in LA for a stint during a possible west coast book tour! We hafta find some flush hippies or well-heeled Native Americans to sponsor a lecture tour out here. Word also has it the Bunmi *may* be in town over New Year's... I might be able to swing a get-together w/Bunmi at Canter's, if you're not opposed to B's breastfeeding in public, of course.


2:30 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Hackenbush said...

lack of coherence (from previous thread)-

"Why are psychedelics the wrong way to go? Are the ayahuasca ceremonies not useful? Or just not useful for dealing with modern industrial civilization? What do you think of Terence McKenna?"

You might find the site interesting. Jan Irvin & co. have done a lot of research on behind-the-scenes of the the 60s counterculture. If you scroll through their podcasts, articles and videos, you will come across info on McKenna (they speculate he was connected to, IIRC, the Tavistock Institute, and "on the payroll", in the capacity of a charismatic propagandist and social engineer. They also play a quote from him where he admits as much, but with a grin so that it can be passed off as ironic or something. Maybe... or maybe the brash confidence of the master manipulator.)

It ties into Brave New World and was/is a plan of reducing the children of the middle classes to an irrational, ineffectual mass of morlocks. According to Irvin.

They present lots of referenced info though --- LSD apparently came out of the mil-indust-complex, and was "rolled out" to the public as part of a mass cultural experiment and/or psy-op, which may have been largely manufactured from above, in order to get us to where we are today.

As a side note to that conceit, check out Dave McGowan's excellent article series about Laurel Canyon (the real birthplace of the 60s music scene, not Haight-Ashbury) on his site (just search his name, the address is weird.) McGowan claims most of the pop idols still revered today were children of military intelligence families, and that much of that scene was manufactured. Frank Zappa seems to have played a key role as a sort of godfather to the movement.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Edward said...

This guy is a typical American:

"New details have emerged in an alleged road rage incident involving Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman.

On Tuesday, Zimmerman allegedly threatened a motorist's life during a road rage incident. Matthew Apperson, 35, said he was listening to music in his car when he was verbally assailed by two men in a truck at a stop light in Lake Mary, Florida.

Police spokeswoman Bianca Gillett told CWKMG that the man recognized the truck driver as Zimmerman. The man said Zimmerman, who was carrying a gun, asked, "Do you know who I am?" before saying, "I'll f***ing kill you.""

4:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Apology accepted, and I am sorry if my own response was a bit over the top. It's just that when you try to run a blog devoted to specific intellectual issues, and you constantly get a stream of crap abt yrself, the nature of the blog, the language you use, how u.r. interacting w/other people & etc.--man, sometimes it's just too fucking much. I have a stone wall in my garden, and there are times I just wanna go out there and beat my head against it for 10 uninterrupted minutes, just to chill out (or pass out). In any case, there are probably 6 million other blogs out there, and I'm sure you'll be able to find one more suited to your interests and particular focus. So no hard feelings, and godspeed.


I suspect I'm gonna hafta miss the display of Bunmi's tits, inasmuch as New Yrs in LA/Portland is looking increasingly remote. Tho my publisher *does* want me to do some gigs for the Japan bk, so perhaps March will work out. I'll keep you all posted, in any case, and in the meantime you shd know that I never take my Canter's hat off; wh/creates problems in the shower, but what can ya do. Meanwhile, u shd know that I've been looking for a hippie millionaire all my life, sans succes.


Non of this wd surprise me, tho I think the deliberate conspiracy angle may be a bit of a stretch. As for McKenna, yrs ago someone handed me a tape of his, asking what I thought, and characterizing his voice as "reptilian." I found it sick; quite scary, in fact. Shamanism has some interesting and valuable aspects to it, but its capacity to slide into totalitarianism or absolutism is quite formidable. In any case, I don't think it offers any cultural solutions at this pt in history.

On another note, Wafers might wanna check out Connie Bruck's essay in the Sept. 1st New Yorker, on the influence the Israeli lobby (AIPAC) has on American elections and U.S. foreign policy. Quite sobering.


4:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Zimmerdouche seems intent on imitating OJ's post-acquittal behavior. It's eerily reminiscent of Raskolnikov. Knowing what we do abt him now, it's clear he shdn't have gotten off: he is a guy w/a short fuse running around looking for trouble, and Trayvon was clearly in the wrong place at the wrong time. But given enuf rope, Zimmerdouche might, a la OJ, just hang himself.


4:37 PM  
Anonymous Kneel Jung said...

Dr. Hackenbush, MB,
Indeed, Zappa's father was involved in the chemicals dept. at Edwards AFB, and his wife Gail's dad was also some kind of military personel...but Frank was a vehement critic and satirist of american culture, and also an outspoken critic of the drug culture of the time (lsd, etc.) he once said, "I was the villain for saying Flower Power sucked" he considererd the whole hippy drug culture scenario a phony sham and a detriment to creating serious music...
Kneel Jung

7:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Miner for a heart o' gold-

The real question is: Where is Moon Unit?


8:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This looks interesting:

"Aspiring Adults Adrift," by Arum and Roksa.


9:40 PM  
Anonymous sundriedtomato said...

Hackenbrush -

The McKenna CIA connection has been debunked. The quote where he supposedly admits it was a joke reffering to the mushroom itself. Jan Irvin's other point, that McKenna was on the run from the law and joined the CIA to get out of trouble was also proven untrue in Dennis McKenna's book Terence turned himself in and gave info to to the cops to get off on probation. Jan Irvin and Gnosticmedia in general are pretty paranoid in my opinion seeing massive conspiracies everywhere.

10:24 PM  
Anonymous tam said...

Morris, in my native tongue, "-ик" is a suffix of endearment/affection. (Your uni-lingual roots are showing. )

Which kinda brings me to the peeing-thing. Probably I just missed the earlier origin of an ongoing joke throughout your blog. But, peeing on stuff is *really* American. I didn't think ya had it in ya.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I thought the Russian diminuitive was 'chik', as in galupchik (and then carried over into boychik, etc.). But perhaps I'm wrong. Altho I hafta say that over the yrs I had quite a few Russian instructors, and none of them ever suggested that a person named Morris could be called Morik. In addition, let me assure you that I have multilingual roots, and the extensive credentials to prove it.

As for peeing, it certainly isn't uniquely American, and it was hardly any americanism on my part that generated the discussion of hosing down Obama's shoes, etc. I don't identify much w/the US anymore, in case you hadn't noticed.

Do svidanya, Toma-


11:01 PM  
Anonymous tam said...

Violating the 24-hour rule, I know. But this is just for you, anyway. :)

Let's take the word "stol" (table). If a Russian sees a small[ish] table, it's highly possible for him to refer to it as a "stolik." So, yes, the "-ik" is a diminutive suffix.

There are umpteen ways for Russians to add diminutives/endearments to words/names. Whereas in English all objects are neutral; in Russian, objects have a gender (male, female, or neuter). So the suffix is slightly altered, accordingly.

In your closing, you called me "Toma." That, right there, could be read as a sign of affection. There is also: Tomik, Tamochka, Tasya, Tamarochka ... and so on and so forth.

Just to add: there's no "galup" – it's golub (golubchik – small pigeon). Pakoiniy noch, Morisik! :)

11:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Dobroe utro. Since this is an emergency of sorts, I guess a violation of the 24-hr rule is OK. Yes, I'm aware that Russian nouns are gendered, amazingly enuf (along w/Spanish, French, etc.). And glad to learn one says stolik, and not stolchik. But whereas one can say Morisik, I don't think Morik is quite kosher; which is what I originally objected to. Yes, my mistake on pigeon: of course, golubchik. But there is no 'pakoiniy noch' that I know of, however; the correct phrase is 'spokoinoi nochi', or 'spokoynoy nochi', depending on the transliteration system from the Cyrillic (there are two). Of course, you may be referring here to some bizarre dialect from Azerbaijan or wherever, wh/is beyond the limits of my Slavic expertise.

Anyway, nice to have settled all that, lyubimaya; unless you have more edits for us (in 24 hrs, pazhalusta).


6:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Best to send messages to most recent post, since no one reads the old stuff. Thanks. As for Cain, if he's running for prez you can be sure I'll be out there, knocking on doors, and trying to get him into the W.H. He is definitely what the US needs at this pt in time, and *I am not kidding!*


6:20 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

I found this article interesting, that tech executives limit/ban use of tech by their kids. It seems the people who know the most about the dangers of tech agree with you.

"Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent"

11:33 AM  
Blogger Jake said...

Wow, people can really suck here. Does this kind of thing happen in Mexico?
A guest (a friend's partner) was over last night, and mocked my son's recent propensity to pray. He's going to a religious school, and the atmosphere there is joyful. Full of music, great literacy programs, innovative math programs.
My son will, of course, make up his own mind about religion and spirituality, just as I did. My upbringing did not "brainwash" me.
But where do people get off on mocking an 8-year old's beliefs? "Who is he praying to," the snide a-hole kept saying. He even brought it up later at the concert we attended.
I should have accidentally tripped him and sent him flying into the street.
Another "friend" warned me about letting my son be brainwashed.
Don't this idiots realize that mass schooling indoctrinates and tries to "brainwash" people, in both private and public schools? Does it not occur to them that parents and children can discuss what they learn critically and avoid being brainwashed that way, not just by schools, but by marketing, governments, and groups?
It's almost like I suddenly realized that 90% of the people around me, even those whom I thought friends, are actually douchebags.
I really need to reassess how I assess people.
I recall with nostalgia, already, the Danish teacher this summer who said that he would never mock a student or judge him harshly, no matter what beliefs or ideas the student came up with. He would simply ask the student to explain and defend and discuss.
I feel sick, thinking of the guest and my friend's attitude towards my child.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Polite, maybe, but certainly not very bright. Hey, yr an American! Listen, pal: the function of this blog is to discuss the decline of the American empire. In my opinion, a blog devoted to discussing the blog itself (including the language, personalities, etc.) is worse than tautology; it's masturbation. And if you think it makes sense for a blog to do that, then you shd direct yr attention elsewhere, because you definitely aren't going to find that here. Personally, I find such activity, and your support of it, pathetic; but that's yr choice. As I said, yr an American. My choice is to have a serious discussion, and that's what we're going to stick to. So gd luck in yr search; I'm sure there are thousands of blogs out there that will cater to yr needs.


It's more like 99%. Americans need urine (on their shoes), as I keep telling u. Time for a 6-pack of Bud Lite, amigo.


2:30 PM  
Anonymous Manolo Cabeza de Huevo said...

Senor Jake,

You have great insights but you seem intent on banging your head against the wall. You seem frequently surprised that the people you encounter are dolts and even that family members are insensitive and even cruel. Seems you are some denial want want to reason with assholes and bring them around and then you are also continuously surprised by the douchebaggery you encounter and want to get reassurance or reality test.

If Marcus Aurelius and Seneca are any guide, assholes have been around forever and so a bit of stoicism and viewing from afar may be in order. You may as MB has repeatedly pointed out---move. You can also of course reduce contact with family and make new friends elsewhere or focus on your immeidate nuclear family and personal skill building or what not. You seem to need to take the leap to be in the words of Erik Fromm , free "from" individuals who limit you or in more common parlance, toxic assholes.

Break free already vato.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tamitza, med pirog-

Izvinite, I cdn't run it (24-hr rule). Try again later (altho I was aware that pokoinoi was colloquial, also noch). Lish uvidel vas...


4:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: or pirozhki, better.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

And our next president is:

probably not Huck-a-Shmuck. It's ol' pasty-face, fer sure--the liberals' delight!


4:36 PM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Greetings all,

MB, Wafers-

I stumbled on this review of a new book, "The Impulse Society" in today's LA Times. Might be a bit too much pop sociology, but it does look interesting:

Meanwhile, a few quotes by Ronald Reagan from the Perlstein book:

* Reagan on opposing expansion of Redwood National Park in 1966:

"A tree's a tree. How many more do you need to look at?"

* Reagan on the Watergate conspirators:

The conspirators were not "criminals at heart." They were "well-meaning individuals committed to the reelection of the president."

* As governor of California:

"Unemployment insurance is a pre-paid vacation for freeloaders."


4:50 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Hackenbush said...

Kneel Jung- I think it would be hard to make any simple cut and dried assertions about Zappa. Seems to have been a complicated figure. If he really was involved in running a massive psy-op, you obviously can't take his statements at face value. Or maybe he intended overt statements for one audience, and other implicit/covert messages for other audiences? It would probably take a book to say anything about it. If you listen to McGowan in interviews, Zappa (during that period in Laurel Canyon) lived in a giant house (with literal secret passages!) called the Log Cabin.. From whence they mentored a cavalcade of "superstars" that passed through. Could be all innocent, but it was also a scene that included Charles Manson, cult behavior, the aforementioned Intel connections... Like I said, complicated. Maybe Zappa was pure as the driven snow... I tend to think probably it was yellow snow, as in his song "don't eat the..."

sundried tomato- Yah, Irvin thinks everything is a giant conspiracy. However, when you consider that civilization itself is sort of the mother of all conspiracies, maybe he's onto something. Or do you think society/civilization is NOT basically a racket? A raw deal? Read "Wandering God" for one...

4:50 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I just started reading "The Knowledge," by Lewis Dartnell. I heard it was some sort of guide to life following the collapse of kind of book.

A few pages in, however, I came across a passage indicating that this guy is mainly interested in reproducing the technology of our civilization, in a future he calls "Civilization.2." I'd rather read something that shows how to allow a culture to survive the crash of civilization without a lot of modern technology.

Dartnell went some distance in losing me when he related the story of a guy who built a toaster from scratch, smelting his own metals, making his own filaments and wires, etc. i thought about my grandparents, who used a two-pronged fork as a toaster. They'd stab the bread slice, open the lid on the wood stove, and put the bread over the fire. That was the best toast I ever tasted.

In other news, I read Chapter Four of WAF last week and was inspired to dedicate a set on the radio show tonight to "southern" themes. If'n you're interested, and want to hear "When a Lady Meets and Gentleman Down South," "It's an Old Southern Custom" and "Sleepy Time Down South" performed in the 1930s, follow the link on my name in about three hours (1900h CST).


6:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Keep in mind that the bum regularly comes out on top in "Who's yr favorite president?" polls. Tells u something abt The American People, eh? (To get trash in the W.H., you hafta have trash in the streets.)


6:07 PM  
Anonymous Kneel Jung said...

Dr. Hackenbush,
I never considered Zappa as a psy-ops mastermind, but nothing would surprise me anymore...and just think of all the yello snow Wafers could provide on the WH lawn this winter! I'm envisioning a massive Pee-In, certainly more effective than the attempted "levitation" of the WH by Ginsberg & co. back in the day.
Regarding Reagen, my favorite was when Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys would refer to him as "Grandpa Caligula". See also "Fucked Up Ronnie" by Canadian
HC band D.O.A., or Gil Scott Heron's "B Movie" lyrics
(RayGun, etc.)

7:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Miner for heart o' gold-

I think it was the Pentagon Alan was trying to levitate.


The 1st bk Lewis Mumford wrote, in the early twenties, was called "The Story of Utopias," which criticized the Western utopian tradition as one-dimensional, projecting futures based purely on technological development. A very different type of Lewis, clearly.


8:05 PM  
Blogger NearFar said...

MB (& Wafers)-

Ok, well I need to interject my opinion re: trollfoons & these displays of trollfoonish behavior, although, let's be frank, do we really want to 'go there'? Why should we let them win & let fruitful conversation devolve into this kind of sadism? Isn't that the whole point of 'their' destructive behavior? Here's what my next post was supposed to be abt: I wanted to tell you abt Christopher Lasch's book "Plain Style: A Guide to Written English" and that my Permaculture teacher (who was raised in Rochester, NY near to where Lasch lived) dated one of the Lasch daughters for many years. Or that when my teacher related this interesting little anecdote to me, it generated a discussion about Wallerstein and my perception of MB's 'take' on the concept of 'dual process' & why I think Permaculture will be part of that phenomenon. But no, this destructive trollfoonish behavior is too distracting and so now I'm saving Lasch for another day.

Look, I think all of us here can make a long list of the various ways that this Disease manifests itself (and I'm talking abt the Disease which is America itself; or what Tim Lukeman referred to in another context, I believe, as 'the disease that we are'). Certainly troll behavior (especially b/c of the internet) is at, or near, the top of anyone's list as one among hundreds of manifestations of this disease. If you want to learn more about the hidden coordinates of this behavior I recommend the Wikipedia article on trolls (internet). In that article, for example, there's a discussion of recent studies (w/ footnotes) of what's referred to as the troll's display of the 'dark triad': a group of three personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. But MB, I think there's another kind of troll behavior that is epitomized by the likes of recent folks like 'maile', or 'Polite,' or 'semi,' or 'Michael P' (who, you may recall, Bidley Spop tried to defend...a defense, btw, that surprised me in a way that is itself, rather ironically, suggestive of this kind of trollish meta-talk abt you and this blog). Anyhow, I actually have anecdotal evidence supporting my own particular thesis abt this particular brand of trollishness (as displayed by these characters) that I'll put forth in a future post (tho not sure when that will be MB & Wafers, b/c I can think of a better use of my time, obviously).

9:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Much can be said abt trolls, of course, and their unending attempts to sideline the real focus of this blog with a "meta-blog" that wd have us discussing the blog; wh/is what I'm doing rt now, thanks to them. So I'll try to be brief. One thing that strikes me abt "Polite" and most of the other trollfoons who want to change the way we do things here is the sheer ego involved. They have a vision of what the blog shd be abt, how I shd run it, and actually believe I'm gonna listen to them and alter things accordingly. Jesus, what are the odds of that, really? Their sense of self-importance is staggering.

The 2nd aspect of their ridiculous behavior is its relentlessness. It just doesn't matter to them how often I say, This is a blog abt the decline of the US; it's not abt the blog itself; if you don't like that, just find a blog that you *do* like and leave us in peace. But no: with mind-numbing repetition, they keep doing it over and over again. This combo of egomania and idiocy is a sight to behold, folks, and strikes me as being a particularly American trait. I mean, I just don't get it. If I were writing into a blog and didn't like its basic format or m.o., I'd find another blog (or perhaps start my own, conforming to my own rules and values). What cd be simpler? Apparently, not only do these morons have mile-high egos; they also have shitloads of time on their hands, to keep beating their heads against the door here, over and over again. Honestly, Americans are a (sad) joke, and trollfoons are the cutting edge of that. No common sense at all; basically, just a collection of shitheads.


9:56 PM  
Anonymous comrade simba said...

Finished Twilight and started in on WAF. (Couldn't find Dark Ages, yet) Great books - comforting may be an odd word to describe them but I've been alienated for quite awhile.
Thanks to you, and the guy who pointed me your way!

10:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, it's always gd to have comrades, I think. DAA shdn't be difficult to locate: used copies are selling on Amazon for one cent(!). But I don't think it's abs. nec. to read them in sequence, in any case. I wd suggest, however, rdg QOV, 1st half, because that supplements the trilogy w/stuff on the American psyche. Anyway, thanks for writing in.


10:55 PM  
OpenID atearinrain said...

Lately I've been thinking about the beginning of Wandering God, that part dealing with how many aspects of U.S. culture are rooted in the dawn of civilization. It was interesting to read that, since I've long thought that what has made the speed and scale of Western (and U.S. in particular) hegemony possible is that it functions as a modern-technological-civilization so smoothly. I'm no historian, but seems to me that today's 'system' performs remarkably well at what civilization's have strived to do for so long (to hell with what we human beings want). The best example I can think of is how effectively U.S. society implements hierarchy. Instead of directly forcing people to do something, with a tiny elite on top and the rest on the bottom, Western coercion seems to be remarkably subtle and indirect. Again, I'm no historian, so Wafers should feel free to point out instances where soft power was more intense than it is today. Moreover, hierarchy has been spread out with the formation of the middle class, bringing more of the population into the fold (thus mitigating the possibility for revolt). This relates to the lack of ability Americans have for understanding subtlety, depth and complexity—this type of stupidity exist for a good reason, and is passed down from generation to generation because it serves an important purpose. For all complex societies need hierarchy in order to exist; and if our system maintains obedience in an indirect and subtle fashion, then the majority needs to be too stupid to comprehend subtlety. Otherwise they will be aware of their slavery and thus rebel.

11:47 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

"...used copies [of Dark ages America] are selling on Amazon for one cent(!)."

And speaking of books and authors, I'd be failing in my WAFerly duties if I failed to alert the cohort to a literary event that has been the subject of excited comment and exhaustive--and exhausting--reportage*: the planned publication of a 352-page book entitled Kim Kardashian Selfish, a collection of selfies of her own self. Publisher is Universe, pub date 7 April 2015. Available for pre-order on Amazon for a scosh over $15.

Save your lunch money, kids; I know you're gonna want a copy for the clubhouse.

*Remember when the scribblings of scribblers were simply called reporting? When did it become necessary to introduce the French into the thing. (reh-por-TAZH). Sacré bleu!

10:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm very excited abt this. All Wafers shd get at least 2 copies, 1 for kitchen, 1 for bathrm.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Jake said...

@Manolo Cabeza de Huevo: I appreciate your advice. FYI, I do realize that I am banging my head against the wall, metaphorically speaking. I freely admit to being a Dostoyevskian "idiot," by choice.
I tried classical stoicism for a while in my life, and the attempt made me even more depressed. Lowering one's expectations, resignation, and living without being moved emotionally by much didn't suit me, although stoicism always has a place as part of a mature personal system. But anything can be overdone, and I think it is not healthy to implement it totally.
By still being surprised by the scumminess of most Americans, I leave myself open to the occasional exception.
And I am in the process of planning our escape. If I were not a father and husband, I'd be gone by now. But I'll keep y'all posted.

@Tear: good observations. I would add that a lot of techno-utopians believe that high tech can actually reduce hierarchy, while preserving the specialization necessary for a technological civilization. I think they are deluded. Those specialists with the real control, the technocrats, will always become corrupted and arrogant.
And it's worse, and will get worse: the US middle class will be eviscerated by automation. Once they are no more than consumers, and are neither homo laborans nor homo faber (Arendt's "man the laborer" and "man the maker"), they will be useless to the overlords, and used either as cannon fodder, or perhaps actually eliminated. The real psycho techo-utopian singularity types see themselves as a future higher species. Scary stuff.
One can only hope that peak resources throw the wrench into their evil machine. And we must discard representative democracy, which is neither representative nor a democracy, and become directly involved in politics locally as leaders and actors.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Nice one from JHK, with a reference to Kim's rear end. Dr. Berman, you should consider a blog joint venture with him! Or sue for copyright infringement?

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Manolo Cabeza de Huevo said...

Reading your books Professor Berman and greatly enjoying them. Learning a lot and gaining clarity from my inchoate thoughts and impressions of living in the U.S.A. Compared to say relatives living in a small town outside of Colima or Monterrey I am privy to a high standard of living. However my quality of life is low--people confuse the two I think. So while I am able to earn a good money and all of that jazz live is boring and mostly solitary. My relatives do not have the latest gadgets, nice cars or a amex card and often eat very modest meals--a lower standard of life one would say. Their quality of life though is phenomenal. They have lots of friends, an extended kin network and for the most part happy with kids, neighbors. They socialize a lot and laughter is a large part of their lives. In the U.S you can have a high standard of life so long as you don;t mind 10 hurs in a cubicle, long commutes, student loans and the ability to down anti-depressants and watch a lot of TV--nice stuff and spiffy clothes, cool gadgets and an utterly meaningless, empty and isolated life.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Here's something you might like; fellow Canuck, I think:

Kneel Jung-

Many thanks for Gil Scott-Heron's "B-Movie" memory. Jesus, I haven't heard it in years... All Wafers must watch the following video for a beautiful take on Mr. Ray-gun:

MB, Kneel Jung-

The Fugs exorcising some Pentagon demons:


1:33 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

A new high-water mark for both hustling and stupidity. A bunch of wanna-be Randian Objectivists were caught in a scam claiming to be a project to found an independent community like Galt's Gulch from her (in)famous novel, Atlas Shrugged...

Alternet: What Happened When Some Libertarians Went Off to Build Ayn Rand's Vision of Paradise

In what should be an unsurprising outcome, it didn’t turn out very well. That news comes (via Metafilter and Gawker) from a blogger named Wendy McElroy, who writes that she bought some property in Galt’s Gulch with her husband and then learned that it never had legal rights to the property in the first place. A visit to Chile revealed that many of the area’s local vendors had also been defrauded by the Galtians.

As Gawker’s headline puts it, “Ayn Rand's Capitalist Paradise Is Now a Greedy Land-Grabbing Shitstorm.”


3:00 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Hackenbush said...

Dr.Berman- I find it interesting you give some credence to Jan Irvin & co.'s theories about McKenna, shamanism and 60s counterculture; albeit you said you tend to discount the idea of it being by design, or any sort of (that endlessly inflammatory word) conspiracy. This seems to be a common thread in your comments, that you view things more in terms of systems, that even those with relatively more power are also automatons, almost as if they/we are just obeying historical forces, not consciously acting to shape history. I'm probably not exactly on point, that's just the sense I get from various comments.

In a sense, I can certainly see that if one were born into a fabulously wealthy, connected family, you would be almost as trapped in your "condition" as somebody born into a lower class. But then there would be a choice -- you could just coast, and enjoy the high life; or, if you were pathologically "cathected," as you describe in WG, maybe you would become a scholar of the art of mass mind control and rule, and attempt to bring about some kind of awful world of pure reason, or some shit like that, just to have something to do. Set up a Tavistock Institute and talk about this stuff with your aristocratic pals. Get all "Eyes Wide Shut" on the public's ass. I dunno, just how it strikes me.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is from *The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte*, by Karl Marx, 1852:

“Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.”

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Troutbum said...

Dr. MB and fellow Worldwide WAFers:

Today, I bring to your attention Mr. Bob Lefsetz who I proudly nominate as an honorary WAFer. Bob writes about a page a day mainly about the music business but today Bob nailed it squarely. Titled "Why is everybody a scumbag?", I am quoting from today's note :

"But a good case can be made for going back to Reagan, who legitimized greed. The baby boomers went from love one another to screw one another over the course of his Presidency, and our society has never been the same since. Income inequality began with his tenure, and now the gulf between rich and poor is so deep, those on the wrong end have no hope, they don't believe they can get to the other side.....what bothers me is the way lying has been legitimized......We never turn the spotlight upon ourselves, ask ourselves about our behavior, what we can do to make things better. And primarily we don't do this because it doesn't pay. In today's society, if there's no economic benefit, people are out.....the shenanigans of the rich and powerful have infected the rank and file. ....It's every man for himself in America today. And since those lauded in the media are shaving points, those further down the economic totem pole believe this is legitimate and do so themselves."
Yep, Bob is worthy of an honorary membership.It's all here:

5:15 PM  
Blogger Yamato Kusoatama said...

@John Cougar Melonhead ... thanks for your link John, very insightful post by JMG ...

5:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


He meant, "Why is everybody in the US a scumbag?" I meet great people every day, but they aren't in the US. A follow-up article might be, "Why are Americans completely full of shit?" Chris Rock once remarked, "In the US, when you talk to someone, you are actually talking to that person's agent." America has turned into a very bad, and actually very boring, soap opera.


6:24 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

Here's a question (relating to the 'trollfoon' nonsense and nutjobs who feel it necessary to visit this blog (and others) but certainly not limited to blogs, emails, or the internet for that matter. I lump it all together:

Con artists, trolls, spammers, junk mailers, telemarketers, etc...I suppose you could include lawyers and other similar supporting cast members but they are more sidelines that feed off the gut problem... What is it about these types of "industries of harassment" and why do they proliferate so? I'm sure we (America) are not unique in this regard (is it just systemic?) is our experience here in the US extreme or is it worse elsewhere? Is there any place free of or a sane alternative to these daily intrusions?

Seriously, every day it's enough just to weed through this stuff and for what? are these real jobs? do people really enjoy harassing other people? what's that about? Maybe there's no answer to any of this. The 'troll attacks' just remind me of every time I get home and there are a dozen calls logged on my answering machine from robots, or the 20 pages of ads and fliers I have to throw away from my mailbox, or someone trying to sell or hustle me for money if I go into town. Minor nuisances?

I still work a day job but also have a blog for artwork I do but it is basically for showcasing that I specifically direct people to from personal contacts ...and that's it... no discussions... no (displayed) contact (for now)... I just haven’t felt ready to –go commercial- beyond this approach and have been a bit concerned with having to deal with jerks who might want to fuck with me for whatever reason, mostly money I suppose?...

Anyway, sometimes I wonder wtf is the point? I don't know how others deal with on-line business related stuff like this and to what end they have to go to protect themselves... It just seems everyday is trash day...

NMI in the wilderness...

7:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Here's what I think is going on. Americans try to put a gd face on it, but the truth is that deep down they are really miserable. Hustling has backfired, spiritually speaking; it just hasn't delivered the gds. You know, in "Two Cheers For Capitalism," Irving Kristol wrote (this is 1978, I think) that while capitalism supplied money [to whom?] and political freedom [a debatable pt], it failed on an existential level to satisfy basic human emotional needs. Hence, it deserved only 2 cheers, not 3. Well, we are seeing that today. And because Americans are hurting and angry and deeply unhappy, and also--apparently--have tons of time on their hands, they bombard each other w/shit. As I said above, the trollfoons never stop. It's like an addiction w/them. Being a trollfoon is its own drug, I guess.

A (sort of) related story. Many yrs ago I was at a party (in Seattle? I can't recall), rather bored w/it all, when suddenly a tall, gorgeous woman in her 30s, looking very Los Angeles (lacquered nails, skirt slit up to the top of her thigh, etc.) and carrying an attache case, came up to me. "Have I given you my card?" she pointedly inquired. I cd barely answer. She took out a slender, little gold case, extracted a card, handed it to me, turned on her stiletto heels, and left. I looked at the card. All it said, in large block capitals the size of the card itself, was: MY CARD. I burst out laughing. I tried to find Brunhilde, was going to ask her to marry me, but she was gone.

This is a true story.

Yrs later, after being worn down by trolls and buffoons of every possible variety, I thought of printing up my own card. All it would consist of wd be the following legend, followed by my phone #:


Maybe it's time to retitle the blog...


UNCWITHM = Unc with him!

8:26 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Sadly, MB, I wouldn't get too excited about having 1.5 million "hits." Since I contracted pancreatic cancer two years ago, I withdrew almost completely from the Internet, except for occasionally commenting here as "The Dude." I'm actually the blogger who goes the alias "Bill Hicks" and runs a blog called "The Downward Spiral: A Requiem for the American Dream."

Anyway, my point is that my blog has received nearly 1.2 million "hits" since its creation in 2011, and that's despite me taking the last two years off (currently free of the cancer after two awful years, I've just restarted blogging). Despite those numbers, I estimate that MAYBE I've got about 100 regular readers, at least a few of whom I suspect are also WAFers.

As for the decline of the empire, did you know that prescription painkillers are now the number one cause of "accidental" death in America? I think it's a fitting way to go--when the existential pain of losing the rat race gets to be too great, pop a few dozen Vicodins, wash 'em down with a fifth of vodka and presto, that pain is gone for good!

12:12 AM  
Anonymous I dunno said...

Dear MB and WAFERs,

This is my first post even though I’ve been reading your blog for years, and have read several of your books.

The issue is my 20 yr old grandson. He thinks he is gonna get a degree in B S and be OK.

For years I’ve encouraged my grandchildren to learn Russian or Chinese and to prepare to flee, but they haven’t.

Do you and WAFERs think it would be irresponsible for me to push the Russian option on my grandson? I’m not talking about Moscow, but the middle or far East.

Perhaps he could meet a beautiful Russian girl and they’d live the Russian Dream. I dunno.

Sadly, I don’t think there’s anything for him here.

I dunno

1:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Not sure what B S is; bullshit? Yr rt, there's nothing for yr grandson in America, but I doubt that learning Russian is the answer. I also doubt that the Middle East is a great alternative at this pt in time, altho opening a hi-end deli in Amman might bear looking into.


Congrats on being cancer-free, at present. A huge relief, to say the least. As for my 1.5 million hits, yes, I'm sure a lot are bots; the question is, what %? I have no idea. Perhaps all we have here are 138 registered Wafers. Boo-hoo.


4:55 AM  
Anonymous Pilgrim said...

@ Jeff T…
>> Reagan on opposing expansion of Redwood National Park in 1966: "A tree's a tree. How many more do you need to look at?" <<

Oh, that's a classic! I'm committing that one to memory. How can you think of a redwood forest and not feel at least a twinge of awe and spirituality?

>> Alternet: What Happened When Some Libertarians Went Off to Build Ayn Rand's Vision of Paradise <<

This reminds me of the Baffler article here which talks about the desires of a group neo-reactionaries to, basically, turn the nation's government over to Silicon Valley CEOs and run the country as a business - or to create their own nation from scratch. Known as the California Confederacy, they question universal suffrage, egalitarianism and pluralism. They are "explicitly courting wealthy elites in the tech sector as the most receptive and influential audience."

“If Americans want to change their government, they’re going to have to get over their dictator phobia.”

"We want to show what a society run by Silicon Valley would look like. ... to set aside a part of the world for unregulated experimentation. ... The world is going to see an explosion of countries in the years ahead—doubled, tripled, quadrupled countries."

Reminds me of Dr. Berman's comment, in his talk with Chris Hedges as I recall. Paraphrasing, the gist was that the wealthy care not what form of government the nation assumes, so long as they stay on top.

WAFers may enjoy another Baffler article here. After all of that yammering from the NRA about "jack-booted thugs", ever wonder why they've been so silent on Ferguson?

2:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I cdn't post it. We have a once-only-every-24hrs rule here. Thanks, and repost later on.


He also said that trees cause pollution. As far as his spirituality goes, he had none, and wanted the rest of the country to be like him. He succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.


2:11 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

what's your take on scotland breaking away?

at what point do you think chunks of the US will break away? people tried before w/o success (south), but maybe in the next 20 years, after a major depression and the world goes off the dollar, we might see places start to break away.

maybe TX will be its own country again? or the NW will finally split?

3:56 PM  
Anonymous truman sparks said...

Howdy. I've been lurking here for about four years and have bought a couple of your books, so I figure it's time to boost the wafer total up to 139. I have enough faith left in my fellow Americans that within 5-10 more years you can get that number up to 150 or more. Maybe.

Don't have much to contribute- all of my relatives & friends are staunch conservatives who dislike everyone who is not exactly like themselves, so I've learned to keep quiet for the most part. Couple of weeks ago I told one of them that the faster the USA collapses and disappears into the dustbin of history the better off the rest of mankind will be. We'll see how long it takes before I get socially ostracized due to that. That would suck- what would I do without my 50 text messages a day? Might have to go back to reading books.

Thanks for all you do, MB. My favorite blog.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Welcome aboard. It's indeed possible that by 2024, we'll have 150 registered Wafers. Stranger things have happened. In any case, thanks for writing in, and for your kind words. Keep in mind that if u stand up for reality, you'll be a pariah in short order. But then, so what?


We've actually discussed secession here at some length. It may take 30-40 yrs in the US, but I hope sooner. As for Scotland, I'm on the edge of my seat.


5:52 PM  
Blogger NearFar said...

Hi Wafers,


Well, I *was* working up a thesis re: trollfoons. But as a thesis it doesn't hold water. As it turned out, it wasn't a thesis; instead it was an explanation of trollfoonish behavior which in turn becomes an 'explanation' which does little more than restate the problem. You quoted from Marx's 18th Brumaire recently so here's another quote from Marx: "all that is solid melts into air." Yep, adios my dear thesis.

So what was the 'explanation'? I don't remember. It involved reading some of the reviews of your books. That was the anecdotal evidence. Now I'm sure you know that each particular review on amazon provides it's own link for further comments, so that each review can also have a meta-review, or meta-commentary abt the book review. And then if you want to venture further into this hall of mirrors, there's another link provided after each meta-review (!!) asking if this particular meta-commentary 'adds to the discussion' (yes or no) and, yes, the rabbit hole goes deeper, because... but I'll stop there, I'm getting a headache.

So get this: some bonehead makes a meta-comment about someone's review of a particular review of one of your books MB...(note to self: ask MB if he'll let me borrow his wall to smash my head in)...and get this: this same bonehead (this same shit-for-brains) rattles on abt some nonsense & then quotes our very own cubeangel and then quotes your response to him MB as 'evidence' of some sort of point he/she was trying to make. I mean are you kidding me? Let's face it folks: you don't need to come up with any kind of elegant thesis or explanation of why someone's an asshole. If you're an asshole, then you're an asshole. How about this as an explanation: you're a loser? How abt a degraded, pathetic loser? Or, if you prefer me to go all elegant up in your ass, let's replace the scarlet letter "A" with the letters "CRE" and tattoo it into your chest? Hey, works for me.

Meanwhile, b/c from another perspective this is "no laughing matter," I've come up with another thesis which I'm testing (seriously) involving Melville's 'Billy Budd,' but I need to reread it again, and think on it some more. So I'll get back to you.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm happy to say I escaped that particular hall of mirrors, by not rdg the 'comments' section of the Amazon revs, and in fact, much of the time, by not rdg the revs. (A brief sampling of the negative ones typically reveal they missed the pt, or they think emoting is the same thing as reasoning.) But what you wrote confirms my impression that (a) for many Americans, if you hate the author, or are bothered by his work, then he's automatically a bad writer and/or individual; (b) many or perhaps most Americans are filled w/terrible rage and pain and are looking for targets on which to unleash these emotions; (c) because I make fun of Americans and call them turkeys and worse, I make a very obvious target for all this; and (d) lots of people out there apparently have shitloads of time to indulge these obsessions. I can't imagine expending all of that time and energy on me or my work, or on someone equally inconsequential; but there you are. Point (c) is vindicated over and over again.

An analogy. I think most of you know what I think of Werner Erhard and est. But he did do one thing that (this is hearsay, mind u) I thought was neat. A friend of mine who (moment of weakness) signed up for one of these douche seminars yrs ago said that Erhard strode into the room and bellowed, "Yr all a bunch of assholes!" What then occurred? People w/any self-respect wd, at that pt, leave the seminar. But no: 250 people began jumping up and down and screaming, "I am not an asshole"--thereby, said my friend, proving that they were! (He told me he watched this exhibition of douchebaggery in utter amazement.)

Given what you said abt the multiple levels of commentary, and the volume of energy expended on this one extremely minor individual and his work, I have the impression that this little vignette is relevant. Of course, I'm assuming that some of the counter-commentary is there to defend me from the trollfoons, and if that's so, I definitely appreciate it. But as you point out, the trollfoons are basically assholes, and very little can be done abt it. It's 100% mechanical behavior, completely programmed and unconscious.

Well, I have another bk soon to appear. Clearly, yet another field day for the trollfoons, on regular levels, meta-levels, and meta-meta-levels. What else is there to do w/one's time, in particular if one is sad and pathetic and unconscious? I guess jumping up and down in self-righteous rage must be cathartic in some demented way. Or at least, for the moment. Jesumaria, what a world.


8:34 PM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Greetings Dr. Berman and Wafers,

MB, Near-

You're right, it's best to avoid engaging anti-Wafer assholes on the Amazon comment section; a never-ending meta-level wormhole. I remember responding, I think, to the person you are describing in your recent post. I didn't respond in a mean way, I basically asked the guy to reconsider his attack on MB and the blog... I guess I shouda just called him a douche bag, threatened to urinate on his shoes, and been done with it! Now here's the really *weird* part: a year later, shep (remember shep?) responded, and basically agreed with the asshole! Sadly, shep now thinks Waferism is a cult, and MB a narcissist. Jesus, the lengths some folks will go for a cheap shot reprisal, yes? It appears that capo *pegged* shep with the accuracy of a carpenter's ruler. Jesus, I miss capo...


ps: CRE tattoos for trollfoons are good. I would also suggest a hard kick to the balls!

9:59 PM  
OpenID atearinrain said...


Yes, peak resources seems to be a problem that is finally (at long, long last) going to do civilization in, thanks to the incredible short-sightedness of modern Western civ. And there seems to be an endless and growing list of other fatal problems as well. These things will not be solved because the supposedly intelligent elite simply don't understand what the problems really are, let alone what's causing them. Today's paradigm is so completely out of touch with reality. Hence, those running the show, so to speak, have an understanding of reality that makes sense in the convoluted context of our effed up society—and they benefit materialistically from it—but their understanding of reality is actually insane in the context of wider reality (not my own idea; I think I heard it in an interview with mb). It's hopelessly unsustainable. For example, the Human Genome Project was supposed to be a path to a higher level of manipulation, and we were supposed to reap so many 'benefits' from these new godlike powers. But it was a bust because the scientists were confused, and proved unworthy manipulators of nature because of their failure to understand it. Ditto for all the other problems facing our society, many of which should be pretty obvious. Such as the self-destructiveness of the growing wealth gap. Letting most of the population go broke = most of the former consumers are no longer able to participate in consumer capitalism. Yet we can't redistribute the wealth because that would be a crime against the laws of nature. That the 1% don't understand that FDR's New Deal is not the enemy of capitalism but, in fact, saved capitalism tells you a lot about their level of intelligence (and lack of ability to solve the problems facing the societies they 'lead'). What's much, much more depressing is that the general populace is at least as stupid. Not only are they getting kicked in the teeth every day, with no light at the end of the tunnel, but all they can think about is crossing over into the 1%. Their everyday experience should be screaming System Failure at them, but they are just as opposed to authentic community and sustainable living as the Wall Street pigs. I couldn't agree more that the Dual Process simply ain't gonna happen in the USA; it's gonna be a Single Process of straight down the shitter.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


My friend Joel Magnuson explored the possibilities for genuine alternative expts along the Dual Process line in his bk "The Approaching Great Transformation." The results are mixed, and in my view rather anemic, but probably the best the US can do, given its history and ideology. (The presence of serious Green parties in Europe, as opposed to America, is just one indication of this.) Following the model of the Roman Empire, the reawakening, sometimes called the revival of the cities (11thC), occurred not in Rome but in northern Europe--i.e., elsewhere. This is likely to be the case this time around as well. Some other nations are capable of seriously thinking abt homeostatic economies, 'degrowth', eco-sustainability, and so on; in the US, these things constitute a rejection of the American Dream, and are thus viewed as grim death. We're not a very flexible or creative people, and are thus screwed, as you pt out.


Wow! How sad. I always felt bad abt shep disappearing, but I think he was probably humiliated in a losing argument w/Capo, hence the 'reprisal', as u put it. But the bipolar switching from enthusiastic support to wholesale condemnation is characteristic of some fans, as a general phenomenon; or at least, I've seen it b4, and so have many of my fellow-writers. These folks, like shep, fixate on someone and think he's perfect (it was shep who made us into a cult, after all, at least in his mind; I have no interest in guru-dom whatsoever); then they swing 180 degrees the other way, declare he's the devil. The possibility that he's just a human being w/strengths and weaknesses like everyone else doesn't really serve their 'religious' (i.e. Manichaean) needs. Adolescent behavior, in a word. What a shame; shep is basically a nice guy (I still believe). Well, maybe he'll find Perfection somewhere, who knows.


2:11 AM  
Blogger Val said...

Yesterday evening I chanced to hear my neighbor hysterically screaming at - er, I mean disciplining her child. I know from prior experience that she (the parent) most abundantly qualifies for the term "douchebag." What did the child do to deserve such a parent?

It's a tragedy that millions of kids are being raised to be Americans. It's a form of abuse - a human rights violation, really. We should take it to the international court of justice at The Hague.

2:31 AM  
Anonymous TheFrontLines said...

Found this "cute" quote by Toynbee that I think resonates with the subject matter of this blog:

America is a large friendly dog in a small room. Every time it wags its tail it knocks over a chair.

8:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Updated version: large hostile dog...


8:29 AM  
Anonymous Pilgrim said...

@ Dr. Berman...
>> He also said that trees cause pollution. As far as his spirituality goes, he had none, and wanted the rest of the country to be like him. He succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. <<

Yeah, I know. I know. I understand this intellectually. I'm also honest enough to understand (or glimpse) how one can anesthetize oneself to one's own humanity. But my heart will always be shocked by these attitudes. I agree with Emily: ... "narcotics cannot still the tooth that nibbles at the soul".

9:41 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Under the heading "Mile Markers on the Descent," the following:

Not something that screams "collapse" in and of itself, yet enough to demonstrate that the cancer infects even our healers.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

I realized I never recommended A Good Year on here, one of my favorite films.

I also watched Hunger for the first time last week. Wow.


Thanks for that link, beautiful poem.

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Dawgzy said...

Pilgrim- I feel the same way. Part of me is still shocked/hurt by people whom the country must trust (among others) act so cynically. It creates a dissonance for me. (Is this a flaw? It is a shred of innocence and I won't give that up because of of creeps' bad acts)
I would like to think that I can go through life maintaining an open and accepting attitude toward others. This operates in part in a dimension of trust/credulity and skepticism/suspicion/fear as "poles." I tend to operate on the accepting side of things and it takes a lot of work to keep my balance. I'm 67 and still growing up, part of which involves navigating this.
A trap that decent people find themselves in is that it goes against their nature to identify sociopaths (for lack of a better word) until we see their teeth. Identification is one of the primary mechanism that we use ("unconsciously") to sort others out. While a whole lot of peoples' style is to look for similarity in a more or less sympathetic manner, there's at least as many who are consciously and unconsciously looking to exploit this. K. Rove comes to mind in politics, many others in all aspects of life of course.
Part of this polarity is navigating among "homies" on the one hand and nemesis on the other. A lot of good americans, particularly activist "progressives" (e.g., chomsky, goodman) make it their task to confront nemesis. I think that the game is up in america and that Jon Mitchell was an accurate prophet ("This country will go so far right you won't recognize it.") Nevertheless, I admire those folks. I don't think that they're deluded (though many of their ilk are.) One of the rules of the game that they've chosen is that one doesn't forsake hope, at least for publication. If nothing else they are laying down manuscripts that monastic types might keep as a warning for generations to come.
I'm sure that most of this isn't new to you. I'm using the dialogue to clarify it for myself.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous PleasedToBeefYou said...

Hopefully this doesn't lead to anyone killing themselves, but Kim released a free video game through Apple.....

it made $2 million in 5 days.

"One analyst estimated that the game could bring in as much as $200 million annually."

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Blair said...

In case anyone has missed it, here is that spooky ISIS video that we`re all supposed to swallow in preparation for more intervention abroad and a greater police state here in the "homeland."
Honestly, could a nation of even moderately educated adults respond with anything but laughter to this?
Has everyone forgotten the constantly morphing "bin-Laden" who continued to make (Israeli-produced) videos years after his death from renal failure?

5:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, I'm not convinced that the official version of the assassination of Osama is bull; one problem w/these conspiracy theories (and let's not get started again with 9/11, por favor) is that if the official version were baloney, someone wd have spilled the beans. It's very hard to do a phony assassination and not have that info leaked, it seems to me; you just can't shut up, or pay off, enuf people. But here's a decent analysis of the ISIS situation on the part of Fareed Zakaria, arguing that ISIS is baiting us to go to war:

I personally think that al-Qaeda understood that if it attacked us, the greatest damage the US wd sustain wd be in how it *reacted* to the attack. They were rt; we basically did ourselves in. ISIS just wants to continue this pattern. They have clearly read my bks, and are saying: "Hey, Berman shows the US is on its last legs. Let's draw them into more self-destruction, muchachos. They will deliver their own knock-out punch!"

Certainly, they can count on scare videos, and buffoons like Ging Newtrich and John McCain to beat the war drums. Meanwhile, Obama has said, "No ground troops," but how long will that last? Consider the most damaging self-inflicted event of the last 50 years, namely Vietnam. As the US pursues "perpetual war for perpetual peace," the quagmire will deepen, and the pattern of the Roman Empire will emerge in full force (imperial overstretch). So eventually we'll have 500,000 soldiers in the field, Russia and China will be emboldened to threaten us on other flanks, and the Roman lesson--wh/we are foolishly ignoring--that you can't control the entire world, will lead to implosion at home. America will start to break up; troops will be dispatched to various cities (another open flank will be the home front, in other words), and chaos will reign victorious. McCain recently said that ISIS will "bring abt the complete collapse of the modern American empire" (direct quote), and--he's rt!

You know, when u think back to what the US has been doing since 9/11, the correct response wd have been, in every case, to do the exact opposite of what we did (the George Costanza Syndrome). (Of course, this applies to Vietnam as well.) But as Americans are not very bright, neither is the govt (gee, what a surprise). It can be counted on to commit suicide, and war w/ISIS is just the most recent development in this process. It's why I keep writing letters to the Pentagon that we need to take out Paris and Toronto, and then move on to San Francisco and Biloxi. In short, why not just speed the whole thing along?


7:35 PM  
Anonymous I dunno said...

@Dr Berman 4:55 AM

Thank you for your reply. I was referring to a Bachelor of Science degree (yes, AKA bullshit).

I meant the middle or east of Russia. Perhaps he could open a deli in Irkutsk. He’s a pretty good cook.

I’m no expert, but my feeling is that when the US bites the dust, Europe will follow. Politically and economically they are Siamese twins.

8:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I hear Putin needs a valet...

BTW, Scandanavia is much less tied into the US economy than Europe, and was relatively protected during the crash of 2008. This might help him get started:


8:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Loss of control of urine dept.:

Waferinos, we suddenly acquired two new Wafers. Yes. Overnight, we went from 138 to 140. Today the blog, tomorrow the world. Our influence will soon be felt in every corridor of power. But I feel sad abt the spontaneous loss of all that urine, due to my excitement, when it cd have been more properly directed at Obama's shoes. Still, a small price to pay. 141 is surely on the horizon. We march boldly into the future.


5:13 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Bin Laden…I don’t know, Morris, the whole scenario seems unlikely to me. Following are my own personal observations:

First of all, the bin Laden shown in various videos over the years was obviously not the same guy - it’s so obvious that I wonder how anyone could believe it was. If nothing else, he seemed to be getting younger over the years.

Then, with his importance as the 9/11 mastermind, why kill him? You’d think that the guy would be a treasure trove of information. And let’s not even visit his supposed Muslim burial at sea.

As far as Seal Team 6 is concerned, three months later a helicopter crash in Afghanistan killed many members of the bin Laden compound raid unit. (Maybe they started asking each other who was in on the raid?)

Lastly, there’s the fact that the white house photo of our Glorious Leaders watching the raid was an acknowledged fake; it was staged.

I think it can be very difficult to break the conditioning of brainwashed patriots. I need only look at family members who, despite any evidence to the contrary, stick with their beliefs – defined here as conviction without evidence.

As I’ve said many times, I automatically assume that anything the government tells us is a lie unless proven otherwise: Claims of withholding information for “national security” purposes is a joke. If the government had any evidence to back up their claims, believe me, they’d show it in a heartbeat.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Thanks for the link, Jeff T.

I just had a flash of insight. Praise Allah, or Vulcan, or Ahprodite, or Shiva...y'know, one of those guys.

While reading one of the above posts, I asked myself, "Self, why are yanquis so prone to be obsessive about conspiracies?"

My answer is that with the death of God at the hand of modernity, there isn't any mystery left in life. Life may not be interesting enough if we don't have unanswerable questions to keep our minds occupied. Conspiracy theories fill the void left by the death of God.

As for Frank Zappa being part of such a conspiracy, could he have written "I'm the Slime" or "Inca Roads" if he were?

23 skidoo

12:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I guess I'd rather praise Shiva than sit Shiva, I dunno. But yes, people are always looking for meaning and pattern; conspiracies are a way of connecting dots. Of course, historically, some of them are true, but most are paranoia--literally, "like knowledge." I.e., the connections are imaginary, but, as u say, comforting. Thos Pynchon's work is very good on depicting 2 types of paranoia: one, where nothing is related to anything else, and there's no meaning at all; two, where everything is related to everything else, and there's no place to hide (too much meaning).

But I shd come clean abt my own conspiracy. Most of u are unaware of it, but I'm extremely wealthy, and I engineered the attacks of 9/11, i.e. provided the $ and materiel to al-Qaeda to do it. Then, I continued to supply al-Qaeda, but only in the form of Jewish foods that I had airlifted to Islamabad on a weekly basis: gefilte fish, pastrami, knishes, matzo ball soup, chopped liver, and gribenes. This reduced their antisemitism to some degree, I'm happy to say.


1:08 PM  
Anonymous Blair said...

To shut up those knowledgeable about criminal activities on the part of the government, I don`t think it would take much more than a subtle (or not) threat to such individuals` children or Significant Other.
In fact, such a threat is probably tacit.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

did you read about the lone wolf survivalist who killed the cop in PA?

3:38 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

"Well, I'm not convinced that the official version of the assassination of Osama is bull; one problem w/these conspiracy theories (and let's not get started again with 9/11, por favor) is that if the official version were baloney, someone wd have spilled the beans."

Dr. B, There is a flaw in your reasoning to this and here is what it is. All one has to do is make those who spill the beans into comical fools and the butt of people's jokes. All one has to do is to promote a certain conspiracy as so unbelievable and comical that anyone who tries to offer empirical evidence will be laughed at and seen as a joke no matter what evidence is.

Look at alien abductions, Roswell and area 51. Even if someone spilled the beans about these things it would be to unbelievable and people would make it into a stupid joke and make corny movies about it. Actually, the CIA has come out and stated that there is an Area 51 after all of this time but they claim it is for experimental aircraft. For a long time, our government denied its existence and it was seen as a joke. Your logic Dr. B is well thought through about conspiracies I can't agree because it assumes no one has already tried to spill the beans. I don't claim any conspiracies are happening. I am giving you the null hypothesis to your hypothesis.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cube, blair-

Well, all that's possible, but not much more. That folks "in the know" don't come forward is not proof that there are folks who cd come forward. It seems equally likely (or more likely, to me) that there are no such folks. Major operations of this sort wd require shutting up very large #s of people, and I think sooner or later, things wd unravel.


5:12 PM  
Anonymous Manolo Cabeza de Huevo said...

Who needs conspiracies when you have massive stupidity and indifference? Corrupt institutions and a media serving poweful interests and more interested in advancing ideology and entertainment? I don;t know of any major issue in the last 50 years where the narrative advanced by the government and media in the U.S. is not either a lie by commission or omission.

I like you MB don't think there was a conspiracy but neither do I think the"official narrative is honest--it has so many holes you can drive a truck through. All was somewhat hanging together save for that 50 story building up the street hit by nothing which suddenly was pulverized for no apparent reason--very odd. I digress, I am sorry.

As for folks coming forward, the case of Snowden should show that ain't no easy thing to do. What with the new laws against whistleblowers and control of the narrative---who would somebody come forward to? There are many, many whistle blowers in the U.S. who came forward and had their lives, career and finances destroyed. Not for the faint of heart. Hell the murder of the kulaks by Stalin was for known by many but even western journalists who knew of this were silenced or looked the other way.....Recall the New York Times reporter Walter Duranty who portrayed the USSR under Stalin as a paradise of freedom and who overlooked genocide and murder? Many came forward about this but who listened--they were kooks and against progress.

I know very little of these things but I do suggest that if in fact the U.S. is a nation of imbeciles led by sacks of do-do then it behooves us all to be a bit skeptical about the stories or perspectives of events peddled by the government and the official organs of opinion such as the Wapo, NYT, New Yorker and CNN. Recognizing the nation as one populated by idiots while simultaneously believing official narratives is unwaferlike.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I don't believe all conspiracy theories are nec. wrong, and certainly not that all official versions are nec. rt. But overall, I wd opt for Occam's razor (rule of parsimony), rather than trying to connect dots and fashion 'explanations' that aren't much more than speculation. In addn, I must confess to being bored by these discussions, since they typically aren't conclusive one way or the other, and just lead to more (endless) discussion. So, I suggest we all agree to disagree and move on...


6:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: anyway, this is kinda nice:

7:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps2: This cd be contagious!

9:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps3: Latest dispatch from the human garbage front:

9:07 PM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Greetings Dr. Berman and Wafers,


Remember when Sinatra sang "It Happened in Monterey" back in 1956? Jesus, he sang it in a good suit & tie! We've basically plunged from Ol' Blue Eyes to Miley's rump and desecration of the Mexican flag in a mere 58 yrs.

MB, Wafers-

How in the world did the US wind up with so many stupid people in it? Large numbers of Americans, in fact, now demonstrate the complete inability to absorb or assimilate anything of importance. Read it and weep, Wafers:

Goodnight Irene,


10:06 PM  
Anonymous Kyle said...

MB- I think that Miley Cyrus is the perfect figure to represent America today. Nasty, Disrespectful, Immoral, Stupid, and Degenerate. As someone who has lived in Virginia their entire life, that sums up the state of social relations around here pretty nicely. I remember you saying in an interview with Chris a year back that the Huxley model of control was dominant today. That's wrong it is pure Orwellian control at this point. The proles are kept in check through the prison system. The Outer party works for the corporate state as its managers and the inner party are the owners/sociopaths at the top. NSA means thought police.

11:55 PM  
OpenID atearinrain said...


Cool, I think I'll be checking that book out.

Land of the free?

1:23 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd pt, except when I see the American population wallowing in cell phones and anti-depressants and celebrity trivia, it's Huxley that comes to mind.


1:49 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Before we “move on”….

Dear al Qa’bong and Morris,

Hey, this is just about a difference of opinion…you accept the government’s bin Laden story, I don’t, and I gave my reasons why. Like I said, at this point I now automatically assume that anything the government says is a lie unless proven otherwise. No need for snark, implied or otherwise.

BTW, al, I don’t think God died, because the Judeo/Christian/Islamic god never existed to begin with; it’s a concept for children unless, of course, you’re into psychopathic deities.

And, paranoia – really, Morris!?! If you’re not at least a little paranoid today you really do have your head stuck up your ass.

So, gentlemen, please do not project your speculations and unsubstantiated theories onto me.


5:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Speaking of snark, you must be the all-time champion, eh wot?
I suspect it's you who has the case of CRE, not me. But in any case, it's like I said: people (e.g., you) will continue to believe what they want, and discussion of conspiracy topics will *not* clear these things up. Is it all right to move on *now*, then? Gee, we thank you.


10:03 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

OMG, Morris…that was meant to be a general “you,” not you personally. I’m so sorry that wasn’t clear! Also sorry for breaking the once a day post rule, but this is important.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous PleasedToBeefYou said...

MB -

What's your thought on Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait funding ISIS?

It's really bizarre -- we're allies with these people (to get the oil), but then we allow them to fund these groups like ISIS, which we then go to war with! It seems truly insane, and the American public is *still* clueless about what's going on.

I mean it seems perfect. Convince Saudis to give us oil, ignore Saudi funding of terrorists, then pay defense contractors to make weapons to fight the wars.

I have this bad feeling that Republicans will take the white house in 2016, and they'll ramp up wars in the middle east. We (e.g. Paul Bremer) created this mess, now things are *worse* than in 2003.

and all the while most Americans are easily distracted by new phones, and don't care to understand what their government is doing. It's really insane.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I know we really oughtta be moving on, but I just had to point out that "BTW, al, I don’t think God died, because the Judeo/Christian/Islamic god never existed to begin with; it’s a concept for children unless, of course, you’re into psychopathic deities" isn't any different than saying that God died at the hand of modernity.

God didn't literally croak, of course, but the belief in God did, hence the need for some other ineffable concepts to believe in.

I don't really care about 9/11 or gods much one way or the other, although I'm a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs, so I know that Satan is real.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

Re: Huxley vs. Orwell

You have to remember how long ago both of these works were written. Both Aldous Huxley and Eric Blair/George Orwell grew up before even radio was deployed as mass media. The most they were exposed to as children was newspapers. So while they saw the trends as adults, and made some pretty good guesses where things would go, they cannot be expected to have foreseen all of the possibilities of mass media for control of populations.

The important point about this in comparing which of them was "more right" is that both of them predicted a sort of revolution being staged and their imagined system being imposed as an absolute, exclusive thing. As we can see now, this is not necessary. What we currently have is really a combination of elements of both of their predicted systems, as complements to each other. And it was established without a formal revolution.

Different parts of the populations are susceptible to different approaches, and those groups are played off against each other. Instead of having an exclusively 1984 world of fear and hate media, we have the rightist media treating the other part of the population, the "left", as the enemy to be feared and hated. No need for the two-minute hate of the imaginary Goldberg, there are those horrible "Liberals" as a convenient target of the continuous hate. People susceptible to this way of thinking are sucked right in. There is no need to prevent other sorts of media from existing. (Most of us have seen Fox News, I think? And talked to people who watch it regularly?) On the other side, people more susceptible to the continuous amusement and distraction of the Brave New World model get plenty to keep them occupied, and of course the occasional story about those weird Fundies trying to shut down some part of the entertainment is part of the entertainment.

Since this constant strife can be presented as "political factions" it has substituted almost completely for genuine public discourse and policy making over the last few decades and actual political process is paralyzed. This is fine with TPTB of course, because with the system for changing who is in power permanently stuffed up, they can just stay in power. Now that they have pretty throughly divided up the population according to the type of manipulation they respond to, by "gerrymandering" voting districts, they can have all the "elections" anyone wants and still keep themselves in power. And so there was no need for a literal revolution to abolish the old system and install the new one.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I agree, that what we've got is combo of Orwell and Huxley, both of them very prescient. On another matter, pls limit posts to half a page max--thank you.


Thank you for yr kind words abt SSIG etc. I wish I cd have posted your message, and wd love to respond to some of the issues you raised; but I don't post Anons. Suggestion: pick a real handle, and re-send the message. "SSIG Lover," e.g., or perhaps "Pastrami on Rye." Thanks.


Cdn't post it, tho it was interesting, but u violated the 24-hr rule. I suggest reposting it later on, thanks.


Well, and you have Iran wanting to join the US in fighting ISIS. Check out my essay on "9/11 and Counting," which I gave last Nov. at Wash & Lee U (it's in the Archives somewhere). I discuss the work of Akbar Akhmed, which talks in terms of intertribal conflicts that Americans, who can only think in B&W, monolithic terms, can't understand. We don't really have skilled, subtle people in the State Dept. or the govt in general; it's doubtful we ever did (wh/is what drove Geo Kennan, Wm Lederer, et al. up a wall). This is how we do ourselves in; tho the fact that we are blockheads serves certain machiavellian domestic purposes, as I'm sure all Wafers understand (and wh/99% of American citizens do not). Our unconscious programming (see QOV) is as fierce as any addiction, and will not be abandoned (or even recognized) any time soon.


Thank u4 clearing that up. It certainly *sounded* like a personal attack, but I'm happy to put all of this shit behind us. You (happily, apparently) don't fall into the hysterical/ad hominem category, but I can tell u that I've received tons of email along those lines. I.e., since I don't accept the conspiracy versions, and since the evidence for them tends to be rather shaky (imo), my protagonists typically revert to attacking me personally--a sure sign of their own insecurity. At the end of the day, it's largely a waste of time, for a whole bunch of reasons--but in particular, that (as I said) these discussions do not lead to clarification or definitive conclusion.

General Notice to All Wafers-

I think we all know that this is the only blog worth paying attn to, and for that reason there is a great passion among us to contribute to it. This is gd, of course. But it has led to a problem for me, in that I seem to be constantly saying to contributors:

1. No Anons, pls
2. Half page max, por favor
3. Post only once every 24 hrs,

And, I'm getting a bit tired of it, quite honestly. So I need for all of us to be *very* conscientious, and not violate these rules. Thank you.


1:48 PM  
Anonymous Kneel Jung said...

-al, Sav, MB,

Forget Orwell vs. Huxley, Debord and Baudrillard are where it's at! The Spectacle/Simulacrum have conquered us long ago and it only gets worse as you and others here already know...

Kneel Jung

1:58 PM  
Anonymous JWO said...

Regarding the blog rules, perhaps they could be inserted under the "Leave your comment" text, like Orlov has the "... Any comments mentioning Mad Max or Waterworld are deleted automatically." thing above the comment box. Someone who knows more about the Blogger program could chime in on how/were to do this.

Anyway, I found this pretty good article on unintended consequences of technology:

2:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, we are finished discussing conspiracies, whether abt bin Laden or anything else. When I said let's move on, I meant just that. However, I'm guessing there are lots of blogs out there that wd be happy to hear from you on the subject, if that's any consolation.


4:21 PM  
Anonymous Manolo Cabeza de Huevo said...

On a ligher side, my father in law (aka Capo) who in addition to turning my wife and I to your work had a bit of an antic sense of humor but in the spirit of being a Balnes. He had a scheme he mentioned but did not live to pull off--he had it planned for the fall. He had some success raising money for Haiti earthquake relief using sponsored twitter tweets (as he but it a marketing weasel suggested this idea). He had it in his mind to engage Mike Tyson to do a tweet on your work--Bermans work is a knock out. He also considered getting a Kim Kardashian tweet but the price was excessive, though he told my wife that the sister Klhoe and Snooki had more affordable tweets. He envisioned scores of imbeciles buying your books and being completely baffled. His biggest laugh was imagining the Alter Boker in Mexico freaked out at the news that tens of thousands of his books were flying off the shelves and attempting to understand why this was so. Shana Tova Doctor Berman--this is in fact a true anecdote. I thought of doing this in the spirt of Papa but alas my pockets are not nearly as deep as his were.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous dnnddmps said...

MB and WAFers,

Cn i b 143?
Jst 1 rlly: cmtrls!
I say know more.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I have no idea of what yr talking abt.


u.r. indeed what we call in Mexico a 'personaje'.


7:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This American Life:

7:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Wafers! I can't believe this. We're actually up to 141. Where will it all end??!


9:31 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Schools are prisons. Why does the warden seem so nervous? Who does he fear? Litigation, maybe?

I think I signed up on this blog but perhaps the magic formula didn't work. Just tryin' to boost the cause!

9:36 PM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


A little bird just told me that once yer Japan book hits the shelves, there's gonna be a earthquake felt in Urals and a tsunami of new Wafers from the ends of the earth. Even the Arctic Chukchi are gonna stand up and take notice. Top delis around the world are preparing for this epic event. This is the God's honest truth!


9:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm encouraged by all of this, but if the bk fails to launch a chopped liver sushi restaurant in Roppongi Hills, all my efforts will have been in vain.


You have done a wonderful thing. I am actually fainting as I write this.


10:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Everybody seems to be stealing my lines dept.:

12:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ooh! Ooh! Must have!

5:22 AM  
Blogger Val said...

I'm very disappointed with iPhone 6. Widgets are so 2012. Where's the remote control app for my drone? It should be called BugSplatz.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Americans are so classy dept.:

7:34 PM  
Anonymous yeshivas-R-us said...

Just listened to this podcast -- it's about Orthodox Jewish control of a school board in NY, and cutting property taxes for the public schools.

This doesn't give me much hope for future direct democracy in America, although people talk about this as some future possibility. If anything it seems things are likely to break along racial lines during a collapse.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


As of Sept. 23 I'll be relatively outta commission thru abt Oct. 5, as I'm giving lectures/workshops in Costa Rica and need to focus on that. It's also possible I might fall into a volcano. Whatever the cause, I wd be grateful if you held back on yr postings during this period, as I won't be able to get to them, and don't want hundreds to pile up in my absence. I realize that there is a lot of excitement out there regarding the rel. of Kim's buttocks to the War on Islam, but I'm thinking it can probably wait 10 days or so for extended discussion and analysis. I thank you all for your patience, and for yr commitment to The Greatest Blog on Earth.


3:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Speaking Truth-

Yes, the iPhone is a worldwide phenomenon, to be sure, and we have never claimed otherwise. But the US is the cutting edge of this phenomenon, as everyone well knows. My pt 2u is that you can't get on this blog by being sarcastic, or by attacking the blog or the Wafers. This is called shooting yrself in the foot. Dumb, amigo; dumb! (Americans are also the cutting edge in stupidity.)


7:10 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

Listen to the interview with Richard Rodriguez aired today on the NPR program "On Being."

He is a compelling speaker with insights into American culture which will resonate with us here.
Example: the contrast between the "romance of being on the move, leaving home" glorified in Huckleberry Finn, and the hostile reception given to children at the Mexican border. "We don't even recognize our own myth." He comments on Las Vegas as a frivolous denial of desert experience, which is now being imitated in other wealthy desert cities like Dubai. And upon Americans' addictions to drugs, both legal and illegal, which he sees as a manifestation of widespread despair in the midst of material plenty, and as an ironic negation of their putative optimism. It has made thugs into billionaires in Mexico and elsewhere. He also understands the corrosive effect of our favorite technological gadgets such as cell phones and "Kindle machines."

11:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, wasn't able to post yr 2nd message. We have a 24-hr rule here, so pls wait a day and re-send. Thank you.


7:29 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Your thoughts on the People's Climate March yesterday? It seems completely stupid to me. It's like they're saying, "Exxon and BP are evil! Look what they're doing to us! If we only had solar panels everything would be better!!" Such a joke.

Counterpunch has a good article here (sample: "no mention is made of why this economy needs to use such a tremendous amount of energy in the first place. Why, for instance, are people compelled to rush around all the time?")

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Seeking Sanity said...

Just finished The Circle by Dave Eggars and thoroughly enjoyed it. Makes me want to stay off the computer and other "networking" gadgets as much as possible. Thanks for recommending it.

11:49 AM  
Blogger NearFar said...

MB (and Jeff) -

Thanks for your response to my vignette. I continue to think through your analysis as a part of my own ongoing critique of this very troubling behavior on the part of our fellow Americans. Yes: this is American behavior, or at least that's been my experience. And so I've stopped thinking of it in the generic sense of "troll' behavior. And thank you for your input too, Jeff. More to follow...

Kneel Jung -

If you would, please check out W. J. T. Mitchell's essay "The Spectacle Today - A Response to RETORT," (Sorry, I couldn't find a copy on the internet), b/c I think Mitchell makes some valid points re: how today's "Left," in their conduct of contemporary political analysis, will often resort to using (rather lazily & thoughtlessly I would add) certain framing concepts as representative of the "fundamental Imaginary structures of capitalist modernity." Mitchell names these four framing concepts as primary: 1. Marx’s figures of the commodity fetish & the camera obscura of ideology; 2. Benjamin’s “exhibition value”; 3. Horkheimer & Adorno’s “culture industry”; 4. Debord's "spectacle." Mitchell doesn't discuss the first three (my impression was that he thinks they're still useful) but has a fundamental problem w/ #4: (quote)

"Debord’s spectacle is too powerful, too all-explanatory. Like every idol, it seems to take on a life of its own... [but] we are stuck with the language of Modernity, Capital, and Spectacle as the “idols of the mind” we have inherited. I do not imagine that they are open to any straightforward demystifying tactics, to any ruthless critique that will restore them to some kind of abstract purity, descriptive passivity, or analytic rigor. ...So I propose that we treat these as “eternal” idols in the Nietzschean sense, as icons that can be sounded but not smashed with the hammer: no amount of polemical critique will make (for) a recognition of the way they lure us into magical thinking, melodramatic scenarios of imminent crisis, and oversimplified analysis... We must reconceive the spectacle as the site of struggle, the contested terrain, and stop personifying it as a Baudrillardian “Evil Demon of Images” that will be dissolved by our ruthless criticisms or trumped by our long-term predictions that history will ultimately vindicate us."

2:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I have the impression Chris Hedges did an article abt the march, 1-2 wks ago, claiming that it was being sponsored by major corporations, and was therefore a farce.


6:14 PM  
Anonymous Pilgrim said...

>> It creates a dissonance for me... <<

(I apologize for my delay in responding). I fully understand the dissonance. I spend a good part of my life feeling like I've landed on the wrong planet. I too am feeling my age, and the older I get the more urgent the need for meaning. I've stopped looking for support from the culture around me (except for books, etc). The problems I want to face are soul-sized, and most folks around me aren't that interested in contacting that level of themselves.

But then I open a book, and there it is. There's what I've been thinking and feeling. Clear, concise, and full of humanity. So we're not alone, although it seems we've worked ourselves out to the fringe. As the good professor says in SSIG, our road may be a solitary one.

@Dan Henry…
>> Thanks for that link, beautiful poem. <<
Glad you liked it. I'm returning the favor. You, and a few others, mentioned Greg Grandin's The Empire of Necessity, which I'm now reading. In fact, you also mentioned the Louis Theroux hunting program, which actually dovetails (in my mind) with Grandin's book. Here's a particularly haunting passage from his chapter on seal hunting…

"They are gregarious, very intelligent, sociable, and affectionate"; they are "curious"; "when churchbells ring, they swim to the shore"; they "kiss each other, and die with grief at the loss of their young." "I have myself," said one traveler, "seen a young female shed tears abundantly, whilst one of our wicked and cruel sailors amused himself at the sight, knocking out her teeth with an oar, whenever she opened her mouth. The poor animal would have softened a hear of stone; its mouth streaming with blood, its eyes with tears."

A part of me wanted to weep when I read this, and this is nothing compared to what the slaves had to endure. What we've done, not just to one another, but to our fellow creatures, for the sake of profit and status!

8:16 PM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

Someone mentioned the documentary "The Big Men" on here recently. Its available to watch online for free through PBS for one more day, well worth watching.

4:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dear Waferinos-

I leave for Costa Rica tomorrow morning. If you all cd hold off on yr posts until Oct. 5-6, I'd really appreciate it. In the meantime, be sure to read yr post-its.


12:10 PM  
Anonymous PleasedToBeefYou said...

MB -

There's a really good post over at Dmitry Orlov's blog. I think you'd enjoy it -- the conclusion is basically that Americans are idiots, we're headed for collapse, and the only solution is to leave the US.

He gave this advice:

"Whatever you do, go speak to an immigration lawyer as soon as you can. Find out exactly how to get on a path that will lead to permanent residence and eventually citizenship in the country of your choice."

Is it worth speaking to an immigration lawyer about getting out?

I once renounced citizenship to a European country (was a dual citizen) and they said I could get citizenship after going back to live for a few years. Maybe I should make a trip to the consulate.

Lawyers? Consulate? Best steps here?

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Kneel Jung said...


Thanks for the WJT Mitchell info, I'll try to hunt down a version of the essay elsewhere... And I agree, those two are overly fetishized as glib buzzwords for many lazy analysts to toss about...Debord himself vents on this in
"Comments On The Society Of The Spectacle" (Verso, 1990).

MB, thanks again for this blog,
Enjoy the Costa Rican excurssion!


7:24 PM  
Anonymous kyle said...

This is an interesting website that gives a thorough explanation of Waferdom. The author recommends leaving the country so you know he has the right idea. Here is a gem from the article,

"Mentally, you are truly imprisoned. You don’t even know the degree to which you are tormented by fears of medical bankruptcy, job loss, homelessness and violent crime because you’ve never lived in a country where there is no need to worry about such things."

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Pal 1501 said...

Safe traveling, sir!

Possibly you could leave us w/ some thoughtful film suggestions, as you sometimes do, to hold us over...

Caught your recommendation of Sundays and Cybele, checked it out. That was phenomenal!

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Blair said...

In what cannot possibly be considered a violation of "house rules", I offer this observation by atty. John Whitehead. It may be taken for granted by a certain tier of WAFers, but deseves a wider readership:
Americans are schooled to revere and aspire to authority; they`re a pushover for tyranny.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

6:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Seeking Sanity said...

Nomophobia, the up and coming trend. It reminds me of something I came across in the 1990's. In the mid-90's I volunteered to help out with a large long distance, multi-day bicycle ride. Many of the riders in this event came from a very large city. However, there were portions of the ride that traveled through very rural countryside where very little to nothing human made could be seen for some distances. The ride organizers started putting volunteers along these remote sections of the route to reassure riders as many became very uneasy being so far from "civilization". At the time I found this concept fascinating since I am the kind of person who is very uncomfortable in large cities and who rates his outdoor experiences higher if I encounter fewer people or man made objects. I often wondered how some of these folks would have fared on some of my more misanthropic backpacking trips back in the day.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Duke Nossle, DDS said...

Has anyone noticed that the various female talking heads on the news networks appear to have been chosen for their, ahem, physical qualities above all else? Sexist as it is to say this, I must, as it almost seems as if they were pulling from the central casting of late night soft porn studios.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Biddly Spop said...

Some time ago, I said something on this blog about how my mother is infinitely more aggrieved at moving into a slightly smaller house than the several times I almost died due to illness. Someone here - I don't remember who - suggested my family consists of sociopaths, narcissists and/or borderlines - and it turns out he's correct!

I stopped to think rationally about my experiences with these non-people: nonstop verbal attacks from my father, nonstop control freak behavior from my mother, and sadistic, devious, treacherous behavior from my brother. I've stopped talking to all of them, and many of my psychiatric problems have disappeared!

MB: I remember that you claimed in at least one of your books that America literally makes people mentally ill. I can say for a fact this is true, but one more thing needs to be said about this. There are certain mental disorders - namely, psychotic disorders - that are thought to be largely genetic and biochemical in nature. I have one of these disorders, but most of the symptoms disappeared once I stopped talking to my family. Methinks that the American medical establishment is lying to everyone about the real root of most cases of psychosis. Methinks that prolonged, severe emotional abuse, and not genes or even most types of environmental toxins, is the true cause of most psychotic disorders.

I'm currently living with my gf, who happens to be sane and fully aware of America's decline. You see, when she sees 7 year olds running around half naked in a pizza parlor, singing Miley Cyrus songs, while their mothers appear not to care (since they are too busy texting to be aware of their childrens' behavior), she correctly labels this cultural decline. When she sees people intoxicated with a sadistic lust for war and torture, she correctly labels this psychopathic behavior. We're just waiting for me to finish my college degree, and then we're leaving for Latin America...

3:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm still in Costa Rica. Lectures and workshops went well. A bit difficult, since I was swimming in Spanish and trying to keep my nose above the water line. But I think I succeeded, more or less. Went to see a volcano the other day, decided not to jump in. Today, went to a nature reserve, which was abs. fabulous. I was eye to eye with a toucan, a mere 4" away. And as I looked into his or her eye, I realized there was more intelligence, creativity, imagination, and sheer decency in that eye than in the 636 million eyeballs that inhabit the US. I wanted to kiss his beak, but was afraid he might bite my dick off, so I refrained. But it was neat. Now I hafta ask u guys once again to hold off until Oct. 6. Tomorrow I plunge into the forests of Costa Rica on a 4-day trip. Country is lush and beautiful, but there won't be any Internet where I am, so pls give me a bit of breathing space. We'll pick up with the sad story of the US in just abt a wk, so pls hang in there a bit more. If u can download pics of toucans, you might find something to tide u over.

besos, chicos-


5:40 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Check this out by Autistic Hoya:

This is one anecdotal example of America's decline that I think can be added to the list. No one actually showed up or cared.

She believes she will get others to care. It will not happen. In the past, others would have showed up. If this isn't symbolic of a declining and heartless society I don't know what is. I bet in other societies others would have showed up and genuinely cared.

Look at this as well. See how America is declining. This can be added to the list as well. People will be horrified for a while, state that the people who did this deserve to have their ass kicked and then it will be all forgotten.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

I couldn't believe the title when I read it. The guy is on track to receive $50,000 in funding for this!

5:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Once again, pls hold off till Oct. 6. I return to Mex City tomorrow, then will be home 3 days after that.

A brief update regarding the nonacademic part of my Costa Rica trip. I just got back from 4 days in the forest. They told me 1/3 of those who go in don't come out. I thought trollfoons might like this, i.e. if I die or come close to it, so I went in. (I like to get trollfoons all worked up.) Poisonous snakes, tarantulas, toucans, sloths, wild animals. Also precarious walkways over the forest, from which many plummet to their deaths. I was attacked by a puma, but my yrs of training in krav maga paid off, and I dispatched the poor beast with a few well-placed kicks. This afternoon, a small bus picked me up for ride back to San Jose. 2 American girls in their 30s sat in row in front of me, talked nonstop for 4.5 hrs. I was beginning to wish I lost the fight with the puma. Some observations:

a) Content of their conversation was absurd. Trivial, vapid, imbecilic.
b) Oral addiction to the max. Inability to tolerate empty space for 2 seconds. When one wasn't talking, the other was. It was exhausting to watch.
c) No consideration for other people on bus. Everyone had to listen to this dreck.

It's terrifying, to see how unconscious Americans are. Knowing it intellectually is one thing; seeing people in action is another.


11:03 PM  
Anonymous Capt. Spaulding said...

MB - More data for future Chinese historians (50 years hence):

10:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Neat! I love it. Meanwhile, I'm finally back from Costa Rica, lived to tell the tale (see above). All Wafers now free to deluge this blog with end-of-empire info. Trollfoons: time 4u guys to get active again. As Gore Vidal famously said, "Stupidity excites me."


7:35 PM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Greetings Dr. Berman and Wafers,


Welcome back! It sounds like you had a great trip to Costa Rica, MB. I'm happy to read that you survived the encounter with the toucan as well as the puma attack. Of course, nothing could have been more terrifying than being trapped on a small bus with 2 yacking Americans...

I believe Capt. Spaulding's contribution provides an excellent summary of the latest in American buffoonery. Indeed, American incompetence is simply off the charts. Hopefully, this last comment will serve as some effective trollfoon bait. Fingers crossed for a tro-foo-tack by midnight!


10:37 PM  
Anonymous Dawgzy said...

Hi, all. Glad that you're back safe and sound, MB.
We returned today from Timberline Lodge and Trillium lake in the Oregon Cascades.
Being at that lodge reminded me that it had been used for exteriors in Kubrick's "the Shining." It's an subversive, disquieting movie with eerie resonances that transcend the horror genre. (Sounds so 'review-y')
The 'skeleton key' to it is yet another movie, the documentary 'Room 237." It's an examination of several viewers ' reactions and interpretations of TS. It is persuasive in regarding Kubrick's movie as a subtle, at times subliminal commentary on a sort of murderous American impulse. "Room 237" is a worthwhile hour and a half. I've had the feeling with a few of his movies that there was more going on than I was conscious of (particularly "The Killing.") I felt much the same way after seeing The Shining. It's interesting how a few a few educated and capable people who had the same itch went ahead and scratched it, eventually becoming aware of each other, then being noticed by the filmmaker.
Had dinner tonight with a musician friend, an NMI. He invited someone who had hosted house parties that were mini-concerts of his music. Great music in a great atmosphere. If I told him he's a new monastic type he'd look puzzled, shrug, maybe say "I guess so."

1:51 AM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

Has anyone read any of William Irwin Thompson's work? I can't get a stable read on him, too many esoteric metaphors too often. He takes some shots at Wendell berry and Terence McKenna in this interview, though to be fair he seems to have had fairly extensive relationships with both of them. He is definitely an odd bird category wise, a sort of psychedelic new age American who doesn't approve of drugs! He talks a lot about post industrial society and hopes for an evolution in consciousness after the coming/current crisis. He's very suspicious of technology, mentions marshal McLuhan more than a few times here. He also believes cell phones cause cancer.

3:16 AM  
Anonymous ennobled little day said...

Funny, but also disconcerting...

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

My contribution is not so much about stupidity as creeping totalitarianism. The stupidity parts comes later, as "the people" get their final warnings and don't react. James Bamford, author of The Puzzle Palace among other classics in the field of investigative journalism, has published an account of his involvement in some of the earliest revelations of what was really going on inside US "intelligence" agencies. Hint, it reads just like today's headlines. Warrantless spying is not at all new, just easier now with everyone communicating electronically. And lying to the supposed oversight authority in government is not new, either.

Read it now, you may not be allowed to read it in the not-very-distant future.

The NSA and Me
By James Bamford

12:42 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Nice one from adbusters:

9:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Great essay, thanks!


10:08 AM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Good day MB and Wafers,

MB, Wafers-

There's a tear in my Cel-Ray... Mittney said he will *not* run in 2016:

Why? Why? America needs Mittney! America is Mittney! The magic has left my life. My sadness is so immense, that even a pastrami sandwich, a couple of potato knishes, and a Cel-Ray tonic cannot raise my spirits... I wuv Mittney more than life itself.


4:39 PM  
Anonymous JWO said...

Welcome back MB, here are a few essays to get us back in the swing of the blog:

Good one on the fate of reading:

a quote from the above that really hits home for me: "I began this provocation by describing what I think of deep reading – the kind of reading that serious books demand, and I promised that I would also discuss writing, the kind of writing that's intended to be read deeply. But really, there's no point in this, because such writing depends for its existence on deep readers, and in the near future such deep readers will be in very short supply."

A short interview y'all might like and his "glossary" is pretty funny, "betaphobia" and "tandem talk" HA!

5:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Very prescient: check out Sven Birkerts, "The Gutenberg Elegies" (1994 or earlier, I think).


I may run out and kill myself.


7:09 PM  
Anonymous Pilgrim said...

>> Nice one from adbusters: <<

Nice article. Thanks.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Biddly Spop said...

I think that complete cultural disintegration has already occurred, and that the growth of something called Anticulture has begun. What I mean by this is the proliferation of flagrant sleaze, and open veneration of said sleaze by the population: the incredible popularity of people like Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, and many others, and how these people are venerated with such intensity in America.

It's kind of like walking into a restaurant with fine decor and waiters in tuxedos, and seeing hundreds of people gorging themselves on horse shit, while shouting praises about how they are savoring the most delicious and healthful food ever to exist. This is why I say we've crossed an invisible but very important line in the last few years, the growth of Anticulture.

As further evidence, I'd like to point out that most American families I know have undergone partial or total disintegration within the last six or seven years, mine included. It's right in front of everyone's eyes, but they can't see it as a large-scale problem rooted in cultural collapse, even if you held a gun to their heads. This sort of unconscious attachment to a narcissistic concept of national and personal perfection, the kind that is impervious to reality, the kind that desires to kill all who think differently, is truly a terrible thing to behold. We saw this in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, and we are seeing it today in the Land of the Unfree and the Home of the Debt Slaves.

1:23 AM  
Anonymous JWO said...

Another good article along the lines of the one from yesterday:

"Now, however, books are suddenly at our fingertips, though our eyes can go no faster than before. Moreover, the mountains of words are more menacing because we now have the tools to work with them, the drills to mine them, without the mind to comprehend their depths. Greater storage may be like a bigger brain, and faster retrieval a better memory, but neither can produce critical reflection, and we are left with something like savant syndrome—a prodigious power of recall that far outpaces our ability to think."

10:13 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Hello Wafers,

Don't know if you know about this book, but it's a pretty spot-on analysis on the cult of tech and gadgetery that permeates our culture. It's written by a guy who worked in the Sillicon Valley for over 20 years. He is clearly a Wafer:

10:34 AM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Well, Ebola victim Thomas Duncan has died at a Dallas hospital. Not really a surprise... Meanwhile, media talking heads and the proverbial Dr. Sanjay Gupta explain to anxious viewers that the risk of this disease becoming airborne-transmitted is extremely small. The following article in the LA Times, however, disagrees with that assessment:

Also, is this not a classic case of the mindless US health care system? I'm speculating here, of course, but I wonder if Duncan had serious medical insurance? My guess is no. As a result, he probably was just given a cursory glance and a perfunctory examination and let go. Poor guy. The failure of the system to dig deep and really get at the problem of what afflicted him is the issue.


3:22 PM  
Anonymous tam said...

The USA doesn't even have the sense to avert a WhiteHouse intruder. And I'm supposed to have full confidence in its ability to fight the horror-show going on in the Middle East?

Not to mention the ebola debacle...

Yay, USA! So exceptionally adept! (not) HA

6:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yr back! Bozhe moi! I thought you had said proschai, end of story. I wept bitter tears, like a character in a Dostoievski novel. But now that yr back, I feel restored.

Think of ebola as a metaphor: a dangerous illness creeping thru the entire system.


6:42 PM  
Anonymous kilo_mega_giga said...

MB -

Welcome back!!

I wanted your thoughts on this:

Paul Krugman recently had a blog post about how degrowth is stupid because it's not growth that's the problem, but that we're just consuming the wrong things:

In contrast, Degrowth 2014 was recently held at University of Leipzig202

America is fucked and totally unable to even talk about anything else. It's scary to think about where we're headed. Krugman is one of the top progressive voices, and this is all he has to say? Fuck.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

My previous post was just the warm up. In reference to our previous discussions, this new revelation is probably closer to Kafka than it is to either Orwell or Huxley. Originally I discovered this from an article on the news aggregator site Slashdot, which ought to be read for the comments. But the original article on Techdirt has a more comprehensive treatment. It's decades old, and it's an absolute classic of bureaucratic sophistry.

Techdirt: Executive Order 12333 Documents Redefine 'Collection,' Authorize Majority Of Dragnet Surveillance Programs

"Collection" is now defined as "collection plus action," rather than the way it's been defined for hundreds of years. "Information held" is not a "collection," according to this document. It still isn't collected, even if its been gathered, packaged and sent to a "supervisory authority." No collection happens until examination. It's Schroedinger's data, neither collected nor uncollected until the "box" has been opened.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Let me start by saying that a gd friend of mine, a "real" economist, recently wrote me the following:

"Paul Krugman is a douche bag."

No prompting from me at all. Those were his exact words. (I can't tell you who it is, for obvious reasons.)

Unreal economists win Nobel Prizes: Krugman, Stiglitz. Basically, like Robt Reich, these 'progressives' are just pastel-colored capitalists. They are firm believers in the growth economy and in consumerism. The notion that growth is the problem rather than the solution--they are scared of this; the truth of it haunts them. So they come up w/ways of dancing around the system, i.e. protecting it. But Paul Krugman's head is rammed firmly and deeply up his buttocks, and meanwhile he and his pals, who are also rolling around like donuts, are proclaiming the brilliance of their vision! WHAT a joke!

It reminds me of that line from Garrison Keillor: "Here in Lake Wobegon we can look reality right in the eye and deny it."


10:11 PM  
Anonymous DiogenesTheElder said...

A great series that really puts we human folk in our place:

A wonderful antidote to the hubris of our ways, particularly North Americans.

Tambien, Penelope Cruz esta hablando en Espanol en la pelicula de agua: "Soy agua. Para los humanos, siempre estoy ahi." Tiene fuerza y potencia.

Please keep the links and articles coming - they are greatly appreciated.

AOBTS (All Over But the Shoutin')


9:50 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Jeff T--My guess is the nurse in the ER in Dallas didn't even know where or what Liberia was or why this would be important information. I'm serious. The fund of general information is very low even if the person is relatively "educated" and I know very few people who watch the news. A friend at work just last week asked me if my daughter, who's recently moved to London to get married, will have to learn a new language. And she has a degree!

11:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


That's actually pretty typical. I cd tell you dozens of stories in that genre. When I lived in the US, I had to struggle to avoid gasping several times a wk. By now, for most Wafers it's probably several times a day.


12:10 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

I recently finished reading WAF (Read DAA a while back), I have to take issue with your citation of the Global Trends 2025 report as definitive proof that America will be a second class power before we know it. Don’t get me wrong, it will happen of course, but the report has considerable issues:

1 – The timing. The report was published in I believe October or November of 2008, the height of the crisis. Granted, things have not gone swimmingly since then, but we have not gone through a second Great Depression. We have had a continuation of the 80’s and 90’s, i.e. an aggregate increase with incredibly lopsided distribution. This is not good for the economy or sustainable in the long run, but certainly better than the worst case scenario analysis that was trotted out in intelligence thought exercises at the time.

2 – The lack of critical scrutiny of the other challengers to American power. The report did not forecast any of the considerable issues that Russia, China and India have faced since 2008. Russia is on the verge demographic disaster, and is in the business of desperately trying to preserve its sphere of influence while its economy falters. China has a housing bubble that will make ours look like Sesame Street, and India is finally having to face its political problems head-on, and I don’t think grandstanding Hindustani thugs are going to be able to solve them. All three countries are comically corrupt, and I say this as no apologist for the farce of a system we have over here.

America is #1 at least as an economic and military power for the foreseeable future if for no other reason than the dysfunction of everyone else. What good this does anyone is another question of course, but just my 2 cents.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You cd be rt, altho there was a sequel to that report, a few yrs later, and I wonder whether it modified any of its earlier forecasts. But I think we *did* go thru a major depression, if one looks at real as opposed to govt figs. For example, the actual unemployment rate is 18%, and economists predict these folks won't find jobs for another 10 yrs, if ever. As for other countries: Japan and China together are guaranteeing our debt, something like $3 trillion in T-bills and other securities, and cd pull the plug at any time, if they wanted to. Our economy is a paper tiger, in short, and it wdn't surprise me if the world currency standard shifts from USD to renminbi or euros w/in the next decade. I'm also guessing we'll face another 2008-style crash b4 too long, since Wall St. is pursuing derivatives, CDO's, credit-default swaps and so on w/even greater zeal than before, and that lay at the heart of the crash. As for our military: also a sham. We can't even win the two small wars that we have been waging for more than a decade now, and have stupidly launched a 3rd one--a clear case of imperial overstretch. The Taliban is back in force, and ISIS is a great case study in blowback. In fact, the US hasn't won any serious conflict since WW2, and can only pick on minor nations and tinpot dictators as 'enemies'. Its power is largely technological, with ranks of a professional army low in both spirit and intelligence. (Something like 30 military suicides a day, I think I last read.)

As you say, our decline is inevitable, and as I've said b4, it will be largely via the 'death of 1000 cuts', altho occasionally punctuated by major traumatic events. Yr rt, dysfunction elsewhere might serve to slow the process down, at least for a while; but I do think we are living on borrowed time.


3:26 PM  
Blogger NearFar said...

Umair Haque's adbuster essay is terrific (thanks Kanye) & a real gut-check b/c it warns me, once again, to just *stop* wasting time on bullshit, sell my possessions, emigrate or otherwise get off the 'grid' somehow. I also thought I should reread SSIG (wow, MB you talk about Yablonsky's 'Robopaths'. I'd forgotten, my apologies). But whenever I hear an intelligent discussion re: the 'existential strain' of 'boredom' like Haque's piece, I recall the first time I read George Oppen's poem "Route," & being just blown away. The literary scholar Henry Weinfeld makes the point that, in some of these poems, it's Oppen's intention to say that: "in order to solve the problems that *impoverish* us as a species, we have to accept a somewhat “impoverished” conception of ourselves, one that forgoes the old systems of salvation that are now holding us back." Anyhow, here's section #4 from "Route":

Words cannot be wholly transparent. And that is the

‘heartlessness’ of words.

Neither friends nor lovers are coeval . . .

as for a long time we have abandoned those in
extremity and we find it unbearable that we should do so...

The sea anemone dreamed of something, filtering the sea water through its body,

Nothing more real than boredom—dreamlessness, the experience of time, never felt by the new arrival, never at the doors, the thresholds, it is the native

Native in native time . . .

The purity of the materials, not theology, but to present the circumstances [...]

3:35 PM  
Anonymous tam said...

Дорогой МБ,

You took a commercial-break of sorts (ya know, like: "Stay with us, we'll be right back."). And when the big cheese takes a moratorium, I feel free to go crackers elsewhere. ;)

Yeah, I can imagine that encountering Americans on a bus in Costa Rica (or anywhere we go to escape them) must leave one feeling like taking a long shower. Hope you washed that ick off of ya.

I've become rather adept in predicting what will emerge from an American's mouth. Most assuredly, within the first sentence or three, will come "amazing," "unbelievable," "awesome," and/or "incredible." (And always about things that are *not* amazing, unbelievable, awesome, or incredible.)

If you're unfortunate enough to have to listen longer, they will talk about money. How much this or that costs, what they spent... and often having the gall of asking you about your own finances.

Then, especially if you're within earshot of middle- or senior-aged citizens, they will go on-and-on about their various ailments. (I'm guessing that they're exposed to so many advertisements on television talking about leaky bladders, diarrhea, etc., which is why they feel quite comfortable elaborating.)

I have a boatload of empathy, but for those who lack class, there's just no cure...

In a culture where sex, politics, and religion are considered taboo, I suppose I understand why they can't find anything interesting to discuss.

So grateful to have been raised in a culture where we talked sex, politics, religion – whether at backyard picnics in shorts & tanktops, or in ballrooms in tuxedos & gowns. :)


4:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, I prefer to think of myself as the Big Enchilada, but perhaps cheese will do. The two girls on the bus kept saying 'like' all the time. Shd be a capital crime, in my bk. It just bothers me that douche bags don't *know* they're douche bags. If they did, their conversation wd improve 800%, I'm guessing. Anyway, tseluyu back, golubchik.

ps: Wafers are invited to construct imagined conversations between 2 douche bags who have recently become aware that they are douche bags.


Just by way of ps, I can't help thinking that these future studies tend to overlook the social and psych dimension of the American situation. We are the cutting edge of the corporate-consumer-extractive-expansionist-technoeconomic way of life, and so are probably more liable to Jimmy Cliff syndrome (The harder they come, the harder they fall). The American Dream is a neurosis such as was never seen in China, India, or Russia, historically speaking; their capitalism is mixed in w/other values. But as I show in WAF, this (empty) way of life is all Americans have ever known, making it much harder to give it up. (Zen austerity is a big part of Japanese history, for example.) I think this lies behind the daily shootings in the US (including shooting of citizens by cops), the road and other rage, the riots that break out at Wal-Mart sales (over a pair of sneakers!), and so on. The Pentagon already has contingency plans for crowd control, mass migrations, food and water riots, and so on, and there are some hints on the Net of actual training exercises for these situations in the Southwest. (Not clear evidence, but I wd frankly be surprised if such training were *not* being held.) The mentality of the population, in short, is a major factor in the survival capabilities of any nation, and I just don't think that the infantilized population of the US is up for any Reality. The US may *look* strong (actually, not), but I think it's a phony strength, masking deep fragility. Feet of clay, bro.


6:21 PM  

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