August 18, 2015

Berm Hits NY; Crowds Go Insane

That's right, folks; I'm coming to the Big Apple. 1st event is the 2nd NY Wafer Summit Meeting & Lunch on Sept. 6, so if you are a regular on this blog, and want to participate, write me at mauricio@morrisberman.com and I'll see if I can squeeze you in. From all accounts thus far, it's promising to be the Society Event of the fall season.

And then there's the talk based on my Japan book on Sept. 7, 7pm, at the Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen St. (Lower East Side). It's located between Stanton and Rivington, 1 block south of Houston and 1st Ave. Given what I've been hearing, we may have to move the whole thing to Yankee Stadium, but for now Bluestockings is hoping to accommodate the surging mobs.

And that will conclude my Northeastern Sweep for 2015. I look forward to seeing lots of Waferinos, and having a great time.

Besitos, chicos-

mb

167 Comments:

Blogger Steven Schuldt said...

I can only hope the NYPD can control the surging crowds. This could quickly get out of control.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Good luck in NY! Too bad I'm on the other coast!

Here's a story -- is there really anything more American than this?

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/technology/inside-amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-in-a-bruising-workplace.html?_r=0

3:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Steve-

You and me both. I've asked them not to use attack dogs.

mb

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Ariel Ballesteros said...

It happens to be my birthday on the 6th. What cd be a nicer present? I will try to come from Bahia de Kino, Sonora, México. Greetings waferinos!

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

That Amazon article is shocking, and I don"t shock easily.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Well, here's a shock, eh?:

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/08/19/new-docs-reveal-undercover-officers-routinely-spied-black-lives-matter-nyc

Gee, I really can't imagine it!

mb

7:43 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Wafers-

Jus' like Chubby Checker usta shout:

Wiggle like a stick
Wobble like a duck
That's what you do
When you do the Hucklebuck

Mike Huckabee is a blithering idiot. Among other ridiculous reflections, he called Russia the "Soviet Union"! As MB once remarked, if u took an axe and split open American skulls w/it, you would find dog poop packed inside. What the heck is in Hucklebuck's head?:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/19/mike-huckabee-blunders-his-way-through-israel-press-conference

MB-

Re: Big Apple Summit Meeting & Lunch

I'm working on changing Beverly's mind; giving her the ol' Miles charm...

Miles

8:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Tell her we love her and we'll miss her badly if she doesn't come. I personally will wear sackcloth and ashes to lunch, gnash my teeth, and weep bitter tears into my chicken soup. Huckabee is a Great douche bag, and a true American.

mb

8:51 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

From the (electronic) pages of salon.com, this report:

"A man guarding a 'Muslim-free' gun range in Oktaha, Oklahoma accidentally shot himself while practicing poor gun safety...The man belonged to a group that volunteered to stand guard outside of Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gear after the store's owner received death threats for installing a sign denying Muslims the right to patronize his establishment...

Muskogee County Sheriff Charles Pearson, commenting afterward, told reporters that he wasn't surprised by the accident, noting that the guards were holding their weapons with fingers on triggers. "It's like the Clampetts have come to town," he said.

One of the range's owners posted to Facebook that the injured man was a close friend who had come over to help fix a door in her office; while bending over, his weapon fell from a "malfunctioning" chest holster and discharged upon hitting the floor.

And in related news, it appears that Dr. Ben Carson, appearing at a Phoenix, AZ rally, may have endorsed using drone strikes to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. Whether his idea would extend to taking out pregnant braceros and other illegals in the family way was not immediately clear. No doubt a position paper will clarify and further define his immigration control policy.

As the saying goes, you can't make this shit up. We should give thanks that our downward spiral will continuously be punctuated by such amusing events and utterances.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Check out an interesting film from last yr, "While We're Young," which depicts an America in which hustling and deception are no big deal, just part of the air we breathe. It cops out at the end, but most of it really is abt a world in which (as one reviewer said) lifestyle is confused with life. To which I wd add, authenticity becomes just another mode of manipulation. I found it intensely creepy, but a pretty gd portrait of how meaningless American life is. If one is thinking abt decline, one can measure things like the national debt, or the gap between rich and poor; but then there are also the intangibles that can't be measured, and reveal the Death at the center of it all.

mb

10:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This American Life:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/08/18/eating-alone-is-a-fact-of-modern-american-life/?hpid=z5

10:34 PM  
Blogger Jacob James said...

Sounds like something that could be solved with an app. It would probably have a name along the lines of "lunch buddy" and people would show up just to disappear into their phones.

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Crazy Eddie said...

Dr. Berman told me a few posts ago that America wasn't ready for Donald Trump...and yet here he is, weeks later, still riding high in the polls....higher, in fact, than the rest of the clown car of candidates.

We're closer to Trump presidency than ever before!

Onward and Downward!

5:28 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB and fellow Wafers:

Now, at last there's a scorecard : http://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings/

The Wash Post is trying to track police shootings, the current total is 621 people shot by police this year.

Why are we afraid of "the terrorists" when we already have 30,000 gun deaths per year?

5:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ed-

I wish u were rt. As I explained, we have a nation filled with Douche Bags and Hyper-Douche Bags. The HD's are very excited abt Trump and are creating high poll no's for him rt now. But once the election is on for real, which is to say abt a yr from now, and it's ol' Pasty-Face vs. The Donald, the D's, who outnumber the HD's by abt 5:1, will take over, and he'll easily be defeated. I'm hoping I'm wrong, amigo, but as whacked out as this country is (clearly indicated by a collection of GOP candidates that constitute little more than a freak show), for now the D's rule. Hillary is a douche bag and will continue the feeble pattern of crisis management, in which the US goes out w/a whimper. Trump wd have taken us out w/a bang. Myself, I'm a bang kinda guy (at least it isn't boring).

mb

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Last night was Temple University at the Phillies. There I saw the entire Temple girls soccer team walk by. I swear EACH girl was carrying her cell phone. At least when I saw Temple's male football team hardly anyone was carrying a phone as they were more interested in forming comradery.Thus, at the risk of being labeled sexist, I conclude the following:
1. American women are far more materialistic than men. They actually need to hold onto crap.
2.They are always on the look-out for a better deal. Though they were with their teammates, they found the experience less than fulfilling and thus were waiting for a call that would provide more psychic satisfaction.
3. They are remarkably superficial. Again, I quote from "A General Theory of Love":...electronic sewards are the emotional equivalent of bran: they occupy attention and mental space without nourishment...Mechanical companions are unworkable relationship substitutes for for adults and children alike." I will be most interested to see how Temple's girls soccer team does this year. More than likely they will not do well since most of their attention will be on techno-crap than actually working together as a team.
4.American women cannot handle even a nano-second of being alone with their thoughts. The silence terrifies them since silence gives the soul the opportunity to reveal their true selves. Better to have a life of constant stimulation rather than even a moment of self-reflection.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Zeke said...

Maybe I should just let this PC conversation die, but I wanted to throw out a few links. Jeet Heer over at TNR wrote a good article called Stress Test, but I think by focusing on clinical history he perhaps misses the mark. Lindy West wrote an amazing take which she introduced on twitter as "I'm not pro-trigger warning so much as anti-anti-trigger warning." http://gu.com/p/4bj2v/stw

She argues that its no big deal to preface content, that it expands rather than limits engagement with the material, and that it all comes down to just being respectful. Her take is more feminist-centered, and I'll just say that IMHO the epidemic of campus sexual assaults that "trigger warnings" are a response to is way more threatening to the academic environment than the warnings themselves.

Finally, trans author Julia Serano focuses on the comedy side of things, writing that "'political correctness' is merely a pejorative wielded by those who wish to protect the status quo," something constantly evolving. https://goo.gl/6Mz3uU

So many hot takes! Ah! Maybe this dead horse has been successfully beat. But to me, this discussion is rarely about the effectiveness of trigger warnings. They are definitely deployed in a silly way. But often the occasional overreach is used to castigate the whole concept, and generation. In my eyes the kids leading these movements are the exceptions to academic decline. They're underrepresented students (or those supporting them) critiquing and engaging with the content their professors present. When most kids on campus are tuning out and thinking only of themselves, they are speaking up about things they find problematic and attempting (sometimes poorly, sometimes smartly) to fix them.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Trout and Wafers,

The Guardian newspaper maintains a constantly updated, and probably the best documented, count of U.S. police killings here:
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/01/the-counted-police-killings-us-database#

As of the morning of 20 August, the count is 732 killed.

Meanwhile, the Trump-fest continues:
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/20/donald-trump-new-hampshire-event-jeb-bush

I never thought I'd see another "Summer of Love." ;-]

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Al B. Tross said...

IMO, I think “The Donald’, while not inevitable, can win. I think he is tapping into an undercurrent in this country, which I liken to Richard Nixon’s “Silent Majority”, and he is exploiting this into making him extremely popular, especially amongst the media and my fellow douche bags.

Both parities misinterpreted the angst amongst the d-bags in this country. The parties lazily decided to roll out a Jeb vs. Hilary election, where it doesn’t matter who wins, because they were cut from the same cloth. The parties assumption was to have them speak empty platitudes about “jobs”, “middle-class”, and “terror”, win the election and let the douchebags go back to sleep for 8 more years . However, Trump saw the void in not speaking the douchebag language, and he pounced on it.

Therefore, the parties are panicking because:
a. It is possible for Trump to win Rep. nod
b. Hillary can lose the Dem nod; V.P. Biden and Gore have to be rolled out to stop surging Bernie Sanders.
God help us….

12:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Al-

We're at a pt where, if Trump were to pee on Hillary's shoes, his poll #s wd go up and hers wd go down. Which wd be a gd thing, I think.

Dan-

No question that American women are pathetic. But then, so are American men. Just in a slightly different way, I'm guessing. The % of nonpathetic people in the US is vanishingly small.

mb

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Julie said...

Hi Mr. Berman,
Any chance that you are going to publish your books in audio? I'm particularly interested in Re-enchantment of the world which I read in the early 90's. I have the book. And I have to say it's been one of the most influential books in my life and work that I have ever read. But I'm becoming more of a hermit and L.A radio sucks! I don't watch television. So I'm surrounding myself with good books and audio. Since I paint and draw, it's difficult to read a book at the same time so I'm looking to have my favorites on tape. BTW, I love eaves dropping in and reading this blog. Cheers!

1:53 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I'm envious. We're having a federal election in October, but our cast of characters can't match a contest that includes a cream-faced loon, a shag-haired crafty kern, and a host of lean-witted fools and traitors to the name of God.

Speaking of the Clampetts, we had grits again the other day, and I actually said "Pass the grits, please" out loud. I realise that for centuries, deli meats have been the sacred food of Wafers, and thus grits may be considered a sacrilege and an abomination unto the spirit of Wafism. And yea verily, though I have scanned the holy texts, from the earliest clay tablets to the recent tome on Japan, "Torah Torah Torah," and have found no reference to hominy, may it be said that grits is a splittist food among the sect of neo-Wafers?

Perhaps when Wafers convene in Nicaea, er, NYC, they can hash this out.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

A blogger who calls himself "The Rude Pundit" makes some priceless comments about Donald Trump:

http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2015/08/donald-trump-is-dumb-lying-piece-of.html

An excerpt:

" Because, see, it doesn't matter if Donald Trump is a fucking idiot. In fact, in his CNN interview with Chris "The Less Evolved" Cuomo yesterday, Trump may as well have answered a question on how he gets his foreign policy information with 'I sit on the toilet and, when I'm done having the greatest shit ever, really, it was something, you wish you could shit that way, I watch my gold-plated TV and learn everything I need to know.' "

David Cay Johnston was interviewed by Amy Goodman yesterday on "Democracy Now!" . Johnston has been following Trump for over 25 years and wrote an article called "21 Questions for Donald Trump" :

http://www.nationalmemo.com/21-questions-for-donald-trump/

Here's number 6:

6. Trump Tower is not a steel girder high rise, but 58 stories of concrete.
Why did you use concrete instead of traditional steel girders?


If you look up the business history of "Fat" Tony Salerno, you can see why Trump used concrete:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Salerno

"He (Anthony Salerno) controlled S&A, a concrete contracting company, and Certified, one of the two major concrete suppliers in Manhattan."

I can't remember which of Woody Allen's movies had a reference to concrete, but it was funny if you understood the peripheral allusions.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Julie-

I believe WAF is on audio; I don't know abt the others. But perhaps you cd have someone read 2u :-)

al-

But hominy grits did you have, exactly?

mb

4:51 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB-

Well, charm can only take a guy so far...

Upon reading your response, MB, I broke down. To see you swathed in sackcloth, sitting in an ash pile, and hunched over a bowl in despair is, well, too much... Jus' thinking about it, I began to grieve, moan, and wail. Clearly, yr words and yr ideal spurred me into a deep state of godly grief; an acute sense of sadness, that only the likes of superior deli meats could help alleviate.

I decided to summon my Wafer courage; gird up my loins; blink toward the heavens; and say to Beverly: "I am worn out from groaning; all night long I've flooded our bed with weeping, and drenched our couch w/tears." As I wiped my blurry bloodshot eyes, I softly pleaded, "Will you rescue me from this wretched loneliness? Will you help prevent MB from wearing his scratchy blanket, and crying in his chicken soup? Will you go w/me to the Wafer Summit and Lunch?" After a brief pause, that seemed to last an eternity, she said, "Change your mourning to laughter, my dear, and turn yr gloom to joy. My plans fell thru, and there's nothing I'd rather do, than hang w/MB, the Wafers...and u."

Now ain't that the cat's meow!

Miles

9:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Upon rdg yr message, I lost control of all my bodily functions.

mb

10:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Courageous Guy:

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/08/20/politics/jimmy-carter-cancer-update/index.html

11:58 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Though under normal conditions of temperature and pressure Americans require no special stimulus to commit acts of violence against one another, here's a case where two Boston brothers took their cue from The Donald and let one homeless fellow know what they thought of him.

"Police in Boston say that one of two brothers who allegedly beat a homeless Hispanic man cited Trump’s message on immigration as a motivation for their attack. “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported,” Scott Leader, 38, told officers, according to a police report cited by The Boston Globe.

Leader and his brother, Steve, were arrested and charged with multiple assault charges after police said they urinated on and then assaulted a 58-year-old homeless man they found sleeping outside a T-station as they walked home from a Red Sox game. They allegedly beat him with a metal pole, breaking his nose and causing other injuries. According to the Globe, Scott Leader told police it was OK to assault the man because he was Hispanic and homeless. Both men, who have extensive criminal records, pleaded not guilty and said the homeless man started the confrontation."

You can get further details from The Atlantic here:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/08/a-trump-inspired-hate-crime-in-boston/401906/

9:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas-

Lovely. W/Trump in the W.H., we can finally usher in the descent into total barbarism.

The fact is that Great Transitions, such as the shift from capitalism to a no-growth society, which I think is inevitable, is going to be accompanied by mass violence, martial law, and a lot of ugly stuff. You don't get history for free, as it were. The unrelenting police murder of black people, and really of all people (5000 nationwide between 2001 and 2010), as well as the ritual massacres that are occurring, are part of this pattern. It'll get a lot worse b4 it gets better. I'm as sure of that as I am of the law of gravity.

mb

10:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

I like this sorta thing: since we can't change the things that really matter, we focus on the things that really don't:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/21/nyregion/topless-in-times-square-a-legal-view.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

New T-shirt:

Front: THE DEEPER THE CRANIO-RECTAL INSERTION...
Back: THE FASTER THE COLLAPSE

(This wd also apply to media coverage of the Bernie Sanders 'revolution'.)

mb

10:41 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Interesting discussion of free speech vs. political correctness in Aug. 10/17 New Yorker, "The Hell You Say," by Kelefa Sanneh.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Lamarck Got a Bum Rap Dept.:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/aug/21/study-of-holocaust-survivors-finds-trauma-passed-on-to-childrens-genes

3:20 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers-

Wow! Lotsa good stuff.

MB-

"The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth were set on edge."
~ Ezekiel 18:2

Rachel Yehuda is absolutely brilliant. Many thanks for the article.

MB, Wafers-

Re: Bernie's Revolution

Personally, I feel that Wafers are set apart from the rest of the voting public by our insistence that there is literally *no* point in voting. Would electing Bernie really change things all that much? 10 Bernies? How about 100 Bernies? Jesus, after 7 yrs of Obama-style reform, we would need, at minimum, 150,000 Bernies...

The only political activity that an American Wafer should seriously entertain is: a) working for Trump b) organizing yr local community to secede from the US. In other words, exiting the US w/out exiting the US. Could this be a viable option? The 101st Airborne division could be a sticky wicket, tho. Anyway, secession could possibly buy us a little time. Check out MiddleburyInstitute.org.

Miles

10:00 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

not sure if you've selected a wardrobe yet for your NYC trip, but I highly recommend this hat

http://shop.donaldjtrump.com/product-p/dtc-odtrh-rd.htm

10:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

lack-

Too expensive. Also, I was thinking of wearing a vomit pail, w/4 words on it:

MAKE AMERICA DISAPPEAR, FINALLY

mb

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

@Marc L Bernstein, thanks for this link:
http://www.nationalmemo.com/21-questions-for-donald-trump/

Donald Trump has not been in charge of Congress and Whitehouse for the past 60 years.
He did not turn the members of Congress into millionaires and billionaires. He did not send innocent Americans to die in unnecessary wars so that some people can make some money on defense contracts. He did not empty the funds on Social Security. He did not cause the financial crash of 2008.

Unlike Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, and others, Trump has been operating and managing his business affairs in the private markets where he made his money. These other "politicians" have been living off the government like parasites. No matter what you say or write about Trump, the alternatives are not better - whatever can be said about Trump can be said 2000 times about the alternatives because these other people have been the problem destroying America. I do not support Trump, but the alternatives will change nothing.

3:21 AM  
Anonymous Dawgzy said...

Hello, everybody! There's a review of "the last love song" a biography of Joan Didion in the New Yorker. Louis menand subtitles his piece "the radicalization of Joan Didion." there's reference to her book "where I was from" recounting her seeing through the pioneer myth she (5th generation Californian, Goldwater adored) grew up believing. Menand writes," Part of the wagon train morality was leaving the weakest to freeze in the mountain passes. Survival, not caring is what Didion thinks that ethos finally boils down to-'careless self interest and optimism,' the California mentality." The shift occurred when she was 37 or 38.

4:35 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Haters gonna hate (or, Existential strain revisited)

I have often said, on this blog, that if you want to get some idea of what’s out there, in the US, start a blog. It has really been an eye-opener for me. The general dumbness of the population was no surprise; I had already written abt it in the Twilight book and DAA. But the depth of hatred out there, the poison in the American soul—this I was not quite prepared for. It was kinda scary, and I learned a lot abt America from it, because I regard the reactions to this little blog (rightly or wrongly), with all of 167 registered Wafers out of a population of 321 million people, as a microcosm of American culture. It has of course seemed odd that the trollfoons would focus their pain and hatred on the books/writings/persona of an individual who is completely irrelevant to the American cultural scene, and is totally absent from its radar screen. But perhaps the target is not the issue, since if—as one of the characters in a favorite novel of mine repeatedly says—“Haters gonna hate,” then any ol’ target will do, really; at least, any ol’ target that shows signs of life, and of enjoying life. This in particular throws the haters into a frenzy.

I visited this theme some time ago in an essay I wrote here on “Existential Strain.” I do feel that this is a very powerful force in American life. The idea is that the individual, or his writings, are calling on you to become larger, to be the best person possible; to love, really. But for the trollfoons, and for probably the majority of Americans as well, this avenue is closed off. The bitterness in their hearts, and the poison in their souls, is really all they have, and if they give that up, it wd be like committing suicide. Hatred is better than nothing, is the idea here; hatred is a known quantity, whereas nothingness is terrifying. They would like to be Wafers, but they don’t really know how to go about it. So, haters gonna hate.

Personally, I experience two reactions to this. The 1st is sadness, because the America of my youth was a very different place. Sure, there were lots of arguments and antagonisms, but I don’t remember this level of dishonesty in reviews, for example, or of rage and personal animosity masquerading as intellectual critique. Much of the latter has been facilitated by virtual media, in which anything (apparently) goes, slander included. But it’s larger than the technology, which I think really reflects (as well as reinforces) the loss of sensibility that now abounds in America. Culturally speaking, we are dying, and this is why I take the reactions to me, my writings, and the blog, as a microcosm of what’s happening in the US at large. I am indeed sad abt it; I just can’t help it. It was my country, after all, and in the fifties, it was a very different country indeed.

My 2nd reaction is well-known to Wafers: What the heck, let’s just get it over with. The poison that fills the American soul, and that seems bottomless, is a sure-fire way for a society to die, to commit suicide; and since the fix is in, so to speak, we might as well accelerate the process. The haters are clearly doing that, so in that sense, we shd appreciate their efforts.

But Wafers are not haters; they are lovers, and the Wafer creed is a very different animal. This blog is not abt me, per se, but in the interest of this larger point, let me tell two little stories that I think illustrate this. (continued below)

3:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

I was asked to give a lecture on the Spanish translation of SSIG in a bkstore called Profética, in Puebla, on Aug. 7—which I did. I was struck dumb by the store. Room after room of beautifully displayed books, with 40’-high ceilings, a bar, couches scattered around the place, and customers wandering in and out, enjoying themselves. Profética is gorgeous, one of the most remarkable bkstores I’ve ever visited. (Forget mole poblano and talavera; Puebla is worth the trip just for Profética.) I was invited to give this lecture by the owner, whom I’ll call JL—*una buena onda*, as we say in Mexico. And JL told me an amazing story, one I wd never have imagined. It turned out that the Spanish translation of the Twilight book, which was published in 2002, was the inspiration for the store. JL was working in a textile factory in Puebla when he read the book, and the chapter on the Monastic Option hit him like a lightning bolt. He quit his job, bought this large, gutted building, and rebuilt it from the ground up. It opened in 2003, and has been going great guns ever since. I was (happily) flabbergasted. This, I never saw coming.

Whatever our occupation is, or our path in life, we can never know what effect we might have. I have written a dozen books now, and have lectured all over the world. But my books sell in very limited amounts, and audiences at my lectures are typically small. I can’t imagine I’ve had much of an impact, overall. But once in a while, I’ll get a surprise of the JL/Profética variety. Someone will write me, “I thought I was completely crazy until I read your book ________, and suddenly I didn’t feel alone anymore.” Or someone will come up to me after a public lecture and say, “I have to tell you that your book ________ changed my life.” True, it doesn’t happen very often, but it happens, and it makes you wonder who else is out there that benefited from your efforts.

2nd story: this is really a letter that arrived in my Inbox out of the blue. As you guys know, One Spirit Press screwed me royally—published Neurotic Beauty and then stole my royalties. I finally hired an attorney, who had Amazon pull all 3 OSP books off-line, so the publisher couldn’t steal any more money from me. What next? NB was on a roll and now that got severely interrupted, blown out of the water. How was I going to republish it? Well, someone I’ll call MG read my blog, and wrote me abt the possibility, inasmuch as he was co-publisher of a small, very fine press that dealt with East-West issues (negotiations for this are currently in progress; Wafers pls stay tuned for further developments). MG was a teaching fellow in the Japanese Studies Program at Harvard in the 80s. He wrote: “Your book is a perfect introduction to modern Japanese history and it would have been a great aid to teaching and learning at that time.” He went on to praise the chapter on Kyoto School philosophy, and concluded his letter by saying: “Thanks for the consistently crisp and clear expository prose that is a hallmark of your brilliant and courageous books.”

Obviously, this felt pretty good, esp. in light of the vilification NB has received at the hands of the trollfoons; but as with the JL story, it illustrates a larger point, the one I make in SSIG: our job in life is to take the “straw,” the raw material inside of us, spin it into gold, and give it to the culture at large, for better or worse. This, not hating, is the work we need to be doing in the world, and it is the Wafer creed. The Wafer path is a combination of love and truth, whereas for trollfoons, and for far too many Americans, the path is a combo of hatred and dishonesty. For the time being, the latter will win, and this will contribute significantly to the collapse of the American empire. In the long run, however, I think it will lose; and thank god for that, if there is still to be a human race on the planet, after all this hatred and dishonesty writ large.
(continued below)

3:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

I came across a stark example of the latter in an email I received from a friend in Hokkaido, who was reading thru the online Comments section after the publication of the review of NB in the Japan Times. The writer had appeared on this blog some time ago, to complain about my kidding about how Asians reverse their r’s and l’s—Belman instead of Berman, for example. I think I wrote him that I was sorry if he was offended, but that I was not much into political correctness, and I didn’t see it as that big a deal. I certainly didn’t see it as racist, I have a # of gd Japanese friends, and I don’t care how they pronounce their English (my pronunciation of Japanese, I’m sure, is a source of great mirth to them). I also have enormous respect for Asian cultures in general, the dark sides notwithstanding. This guy then writes a letter to the Japan Times that my books are ‘paranoid’ and ‘hysterical’, and that on my blog I ‘spew racism and sexism’. Wow. I wrote back to my friend in Hokkaido: well, read my books, and tell me if you really think they are paranoid or hysterical; read my blog, and tell me if you think I’m spewing racism and sexism. Who, indeed, was spewing poison here? This letter was nothing more than slander, and it’s the kind of thing that (I believe) virtual media tend to encourage. Readers not knowing any better wd probably not want to buy the bk; Japanese publishers wd probably be put off from doing a Japanese translation. And since I can’t afford to sue, the writer gets to do material damage to me with impunity, never mind how dishonest it all is. In fact, any extremely minor ‘public’ figure such as myself can be smeared and hurt in this way, and the target can’t really do that much about it. Haters gonna hate!

In the end, one just has to follow that old Arab proverb: “The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.” Man, there sure are a lot of dogs out there.

The Wafer caravan, as all Wafers know, is abt love and truth, to the best of our ability, and the determination to celebrate life, and the Life Force. When the haters see this, they are caught in existential strain: they would like to be on the caravan as well, but since all they have inside is hatred, they have no other way to respond. Suggesting that they behave otherwise won’t make any difference at all. Indeed, they would probably just redouble their hatred (I think we can bet on that). I have tried to explain to some of these poor souls that resistance and attraction have the same root; that hatred is merely love denied, love gone wrong. They just can’t grasp this. It enrages them further.

Anyway, as I said, this blog is abt the collapse of the American empire; that’s all it’s ever intended to be, so I apologize if I’ve indulged in discussing myself here, since I’m not impt and am hardly the issue. But I do think that Waferdom is an attempt to be lovers and truth-tellers and life-affirmers, even in the face of such hatred and dishonesty. For all 167 of us on the caravan, we know we’re on the rt road—a path with a heart, as Carlos Castaneda once wrote—and I thank you all for joining me.

mb

3:35 PM  
OpenID vwclown said...

Dr. Berman:
I don't know what to say. I'm truly sorry someone has decided to pursue this particularly derisive tone with you and your writing. Please continue to indulge yourself (and other Wafers) by discussing yourself here. It is your blog, after all. I practically love you, so I'm completely without bias when I say that I find you witty in your perceptions and we simply must laugh at the absurd.

Here; I saw this guy play some guitar last night; maybe it will lighten your heart too. -- fruit
(he starts playing at around 2:30...)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qybz7FaKnrs

1:30 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

MB-

Imagine a world in which the majority were people of high calibre such as JL, owner of Profectica bookstore. Or MG, possible future publisher of Neurotic Beauty. These are two wonderful stories...and evidence that you are registering with real and authentic people, as opposed to humanity's lowest from: the despicable *comment section* trollfoon. We can only hope that there's still enough honest readers out there who can see thru these slanderous attacks on you and yr work, and will regard these trollfoons for what they are: douche bags of the first order.

May the Wafer caravan continue to grow.

Miles

2:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff, Fruit Woman-

Many thanks, I appreciate your support. As for the music: FW: didju know that I played classical guitar for 3 yrs? I really hafta get back to it...

mb

5:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: On an unrelated matter, let me recommend the latest remake of "Far from the Madding Crowd," starring Carey Mulligan, along with the modern 'takeoff' of the story, "Tamara Drewe," with Gemma Arterton.

6:07 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Hello MB, Wafers,

I am sitting in a café in Copenhagen and had the pleasure of discovering this beautiful city this weekend. I've rarely seen people as friendly and welcoming as the Danes. We got lost with my girlfriend in the city centre and upon seeing us look at a map, a woman kindly stopped by to help us with directions and asked us to follow her as she was going in the same direction. In London you're more likely to get shouted at for looking at a map in the middle of the street! Copenhagen is also very green and bicycle-friendly. There are very few cars in sight. The vibe in the city feels great. There are cafés everywhere full of people laughing while drinking beer and eating herring on rye toast in the sun. I have put Copenhagen very high on my list of potential places to emigrate to in the future and strongly encourage Wafers visiting Europe to see the place!

On another note, I finished a book that I highly recommend: "Citizen Coke: The Making of Coca-Cola Capitalism". A great investigation into American corporate hustling and its invisible consequences. This book brilliantly and ironically exposes the douchebagery of Americans who rebel against any kind of State intervention against their "personal freedom" as consumers, while being blatantly unaware that the most successful American companies benefited more than anyone from government subsidies and taxpayers' money.

May indeed the Wafer caravan continue to stroll!

Kanye

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Edward said...

@Dr B: You wrote,
"This letter was nothing more than slander, and it’s the kind of thing that (I believe) virtual media tend to encourage. Readers not knowing any better wd probably not want to buy the bk"

Yes, virtual media is a jungle that brings together all kinds of people. Some people do not have the ability to think or reason. Others do not have the ability to express their true thinking in writing. Some are simply not educated enough to know or understand concepts and issues being discussed. There are some people who are not equipped to handle any issue. This makes social media a jungle of both useful and useless writings. The way you handled the slanderous letter writer was the best strategy.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Ah, metaDarkAges!! I love it! -- further evidence of collapse right here!! Should you expect anything else from a collapsing world that has been so influenced by America?

That being said, this person needs to get the stick out of their ass. At least he understood the urine on shoes joke wasn't a serious call to violence, but maybe that'll be the next charge against you.

Maybe it's just too close to the bone for some Japanese, such as the talk of the Civil War here in America.

The blog is of course joking around, but your books, with obviously much research/time put into them, are fantastic sources of information and understanding. Your books have pointed me towards other writers and thinkers. I'm glad now that I purchased your book immediately, as it's no longer available!

11:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

lack-

Hopefully, it'll be back in print soon. Meanwhile, I'm sure there are a huge # of people out there who really believe that I wrote the Pentagon, urging them to nuke Paris and Toronto. As for the stick-up-ass crowd: very prevalent on college campuses, as Jerry Seinfeld pointed out, but also a widespread American phenomenon in general, because self-righteous identity politics enables these folks to think they are doing something political, when it doesn't amt to shit.

Ed-

Well, this twisted character still gets to hurt me (perhaps significantly) with impunity. Even if I were to sue, and he were to apologize publicly, the damage is already done. What I wd have preferred was that the Japan Times had written him that they couldn't run his letter because they read my work, and my blog, and found no substantiation of these charges.

mb

12:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: I also want to add that if anyone wants to write in, making fun of an American accent, or a Yiddish one, I will enjoy it greatly.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

Dr. Berman,

Thanks so much for sharing the stories on the Existential Strain and the personal consequences of living in reality. Haters' egos are too invested in falsities to open up to truth and love. In America is so much easier to be a hater than a lover today. Hustling and consumerism are hollowing our hearts and minds into meaninglessness. Your blog and your writings are an Oasis. I truly enjoyed reading Why America Failed and Dark Ages America- have a few others on my reading list- and feel less lonely as a result, not to mention that they have encouraged my intellectual curiosity into many other works. I have tried to get people interested in your books and shared your YouTube lectures with others. There are people who are receptive but unaware. And others who simply hide from reality and wouldn't bother to read them if I gifted it to them. Don't you feel that because the numbers are not large that the content is any less impacting on the lives of the fortunate ones who have read them. And if you have gotten haters must mean that the message has greatly impacted them as well. Hate is not a convincing argument or rebuttal to your work. It is just an excuse for their intellectual laziness that in the end leaves them in the darkness of their own unrecognized Selves. I look forward to reading NB and Twilight which are next on my list and I hope your new publisher rights the wrongs of the previous one who turned out to be a case in point of your critiques.

"Wafers are lovers."

Right on!!

JC

3:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

JC-

I remember after Twilight came out, someone wrote in a review that if the bk were successful, the thesis of it must be wrong. He didn't define 'success', and the bk did have some 'midlist' sorta sales, but if we are talking success as major impact, then I'm safe: I didn't have it, and the thesis of the bk is correct. As the last 15 yrs, since bk was 1st published, have abundantly illustrated.

As for the hate reaction: what these sad little shmucks don't get is that repulsion and attraction are hardly in opposition. They both have energy, and if the sad little shmucks hate the bk that much, it suggests that they truly love it (and me). The opposite of hatred is not love--it's apathy, or detachment. This, they definitely don't have. And so--supreme irony--MB remains very important to them and their lives; but being sad little shmucks, they just can't see this. Altho these folks are tedious (and so predictable), I can't deny I'm a bit flattered. I mean, the New Yorker or the NYRB or whatever is hardly expending any energy on me these days, and very likely never will.

In any case, as Lenin once remarked, "If they don't come after you, you must be doing something wrong." Now *that's* success!

Finally:

1. Wafers are lovers; like flowers, they move toward the light.
2. Trollfoons are sad, bitter people, living in darkness (like moles).
3. NB is hopefully soon to reappear (along with SSIG and Counting Blessings).
4. There *is* a god, but s/he ain't supernatural. Speaking of which:
5. When I was in Amsterdam in May, friend I was travelling with took a picture of me standing in front of the statue of Spinoza. We decided to call the foto, "The Two Great Jewish Thinkers of the Last 400 Years." (Spinoza was definitely attacked by the trollfoons of his day. There are always, always trollfoons.)

mb

3:52 PM  
Anonymous drnguyen said...

As an Asian growing up in America, I was tormented by white and black kids in school, and one of the things they would do is make fun of how foreign asian people speak and apply it to me, even though I speak perfect english. I also know that my experience is not an isolated incident, as asians are bullied more than any other group in school in America. You consistently mock douchebags, which I applaud, but it is kind of douchey to make fun of how foreign asians pronounce english. I like your work and agree with much you have to say, but you're a hypocrite on that particular issue and I cringe whenever I read your "belman" joke, which you repeat ad nauseum. I think you're a better person than that.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

drn-

Well, once again, I'm sorry if I offended you, but I really doubt it's that big a deal, or that Asians are bullied more than anyone else. I don't think I'm a racist or a hypocrite, but I can't change yr mind on that, I'm sure. As I said, if you wanna write in and make fun of American or Yiddish accents, be my guest; I'm not hypersensitive or bothered too much by political incorrectness, and I think you might consider being just a bit less sensitive yourself. As for the Belman joke: I'm sure I overdo it, but it's hardly abt Asians any more; I just like the sound, think it's kinda silly, and I doubt I'm a lesser person for repeating it. But hey, that's just me. Hopefully you won't write a hate letter to the Japan Times(!).

mb

8:43 PM  
Anonymous no grow said...

http://aeon.co/video/society/growth-is-not-enough-how-gdp-misses-what-we-really-care-about/

What ya guys think ?

11:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

no grow-

Well, I take it yr coming a bit late to the party, but what the heck: these are the sorts of things we shd be discussing here--which we do. In terms of no-growth, we're way ahead of this little film, nifty tho it is. Pls read thru past posts/comments on Dual Process, also ch. 7 of my Japan bk (when it's back in print, dammit) on post-capitalist formation. Growth sucks; this much is clear. It's no better than cancer, at this pt.

Historically, it's kinda interesting that the 1st public figure to say that the GDP was meaningless was RFK. Of course, this was ignored.

On the bright side, thank you for not writing abt political correctness, or trying to shame me, all the while thinking that u.r. doing something politically impt.

mb

6:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: This is how nuts political correctness can be:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/08/21/to-the-new-culture-cops-everything-is-appropriation/?hpid=z9

And how *dare* I write a book on Japan!!?

mb

6:26 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

MB-

I don't know, MB... Yr reference to 'growth' as 'cancer' is, well, deeply offensive to growth.

MB, Wafers-

This just in:

Market Upheaval Intensifies:

http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/24/investing/stocks-markets-selloff-china-crash-dow/index.html

Ah, casino capitalism! Why do we keep insisting that exponential growth is sustainable?

Have a glorious day, Wafers!

Miles

11:00 AM  
Blogger Jacob James said...

This actually reminds me of a question I had.

Why hasn't cultural appropriation - in this sense the importing of diverse cultural phenomena managed to create a set of meaningful traditions that one could equate with American life?

11:28 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I don't often watch this TV show, but there was once an episode of "Modern Family" in which the gay couple told the others that they were naming their adopted Vietnamese baby "Lily." The dumb gringo real estate salesman character said that was a bad idea, because the kid wouldn't be able to pronounce her own name.

This just in, and it's a beaut:

Two men linked to violent threats directed over social media at people attending the Pokemon World Championships in Boston were arrested last week on suspicion of illegally possessing an AR-15 rifle, shotgun, and hundreds of bullets, police said on Sunday.


http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/pokemon-gun-arrests-at-world-championships-in-boston-lead-to-firearms-charges-1.3201499

I've long argued that boring sports such as curling and figure skating could be spruced up by including the element of body contact, but this story has given me a new idea.

Chess could be made more interesting if the contestants were allowed to carry revolvers. In addition to saying, "check" when it all looks over, contestants could say "draw" at any time during the match.

O&D

11:41 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Reading the Washington Post article I found myself lamenting those we have lost: people like Bruce, Carlin, Hedberg, Hicks. Comics who surely would see this sort of silliness and call out those who engage in it for the douchebags they are.

I suppose we should count ourselves lucky that the hostility inherent in the criticism of "cultural appropriation" manifests itself in essays, op-eds, strongly worded letters to the editor, or vitriolic comments on blogs and not in acts of violence involving guns or other weapons.

As you often observe, this is a very angry country. White guys who can see a future in which THEIR kids are members of a minority and are frightened of the implications. Folks of other pigmentations who have their particular grievances, real or imagined, who see a system that seems insensitive and incapable of change.

In short, a society of frustrated citizens who think someone "oughta DO something about it" but have no idea what exactly. With this level of underlying tension and fear rampant in the country, it's almost incomprehensible how any of us has the courage to leave our homes on any given day. It hardly seems an exaggeration to say that we're one angry wacko away from harm as we move through life.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Shawn McDowell said...

It was my until Dr. Berman and a few other social critics pointed out how ubiquitous hustling is in America, that I realized how much it pervades people's friendships.

I just had a rather strange exchange with a friend that drives the point home. My wife recently recovered from severe back-pain which had put her in the hospital, and temporarily made her disabled. I told my friend, who happens to be a meditation and yoga instructor, about what had been going on and she offered to speak with my wife about stretches and excerises she could do to help prevent future episodes. After putting the two of them in touch I've just found out that they have had no dialogue, it swiftly turned into a sales pitch to get my wife in her classes, complete with class schedule and her rates. The awkward part about was that you can see from the email exchange that my friend had cut and pasted her pitch from somewhere else!

My friend was the first person I told when was going to propose to wife. I even showed her the engagement ring ahead of time. I am not offended, just taken aback that this was her reflexive response.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al-

Probably depends on the age of the baby. In any case, Riry is a lovely name. Meanwhile, as regards p.c., I'm thinking of hosting a Political Incorrectness Day (PID), in wh/we wd insult as many groups as possible. E.g.: Why do Jews have big noses? Ans.: Because the air is free. Ha ha.

Jas-

I often felt that fear when I lived in the US: that something nasty was bound to happen, and occasionally, it did. I never feel that in Mexico.

Sean-

Be offended; be very offended. This is the norm of human interactions in the US, and it is disgusting. Sometimes it's more subtle than at other times, but there always seems to be an 'angle' involved. "I-Thou" relations left this country long ago.

mb

2:08 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

what are your thoughts on the recent stock market crash?

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/aug/24/dow-us-stocks-down-black-monday

I think it's interesting, the media is basically repeating the same phrases like "this is simply a correction" and "people just have the jitters" or "fundamentals are strong", and other bizarre phrases like this as all stock markets have dropped at least 10% recently. The commentary is all about how this is no big deal because China was artificially inflated. No one seems to ever want to talk a bigger picture, except to say, "in the long run, the stock market will ALWAYS increase!"

It's strange to me, it's all out denial that this could possibly be for bigger reasons. There's total denial that there is any problem whatsoever.

This morning I heard another popular libertarian radio show, they were talking about how forests and animals are actually thriving because of our consumption, that we're increasing the abundance of nature by consuming more and more. I was thinking, "aren't we in an extinction event now?" It's amazing, while things get worse, people are saying they're actually getting better!

4:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

lack-

If u keep in mind that in the US, even the smart are stupid, a lot becomes clear.
Why do people get all excited abt Joe Stiglitz and Paul Krugman and Robt Reich? They are all capitalists; they all believe in 'growth'. But 'growth' has no future; all it's managing to do is destroy the planet and create political instability. However, the paradigm of endless economic expansion as an inherent gd, and the way of the world, has been with us for a very long time now, and is one of the unconscious programs I discuss in my work (concept of the endless frontier in the US, but European antecedents go back to 16C). No-growth, or de-growth, enters the brains of these people as = death, and thus must be denied at all costs. (Consider how the "Limits to Growth" report of 1972 got vilified, for example.) The notion of a vibrant, homeostatic society (Tokugawa Japan, e.g.) is one that our economists simply cannot grasp; it's just an oxymoron to them. As a result, their 'solutions' fall into the category of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. We have hardly recovered from 2008, altho these economists argue that we have; and what lies ahead is the repeated battering of the economy until finally, we won't have an economy. That's when things will get interesting. Meanwhile, in the words of a friend of mine who is an economist (this is a direct quote, not prompted by me): "Paul Krugman is a douche bag." (Feel free to use this quote in whatever context u wd like.)

mb

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Johanna said...

Speaking of no growth and diminishing natural resources, Mr. Berman what do you think about the discussions about "peak oil". It seems to me as oil becomes more scarce to find and drill, the more hysterical the cancer cells called capitalist are. They are just trying to avoid the inevitable. It eerily looks like a dying patient looking for any means to keep themselves alive for a while longer. So "puling the plug" (heh) is not an option.

6:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

J-

That may be at the center of the hysteria. Check out works by Michael Klare.

mb

6:54 PM  
OpenID vwclown said...

Hi Dr. Berman and all Wafers:

To inure ourselves from insults, maybe we could be politically incorrect one day every week and call it FU Friday or Make Me Cry Monday or...

And, no, you haven't shared that you had played classical guitar, but I do hope you will pick it up again. Guitar music is always lovely and it must be wonderful to play.

Here's my early contribution to your "PID"...
-- Fruit Woman

Van Gock:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOyw6Q8qWpM


6:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Fruit-

Not sure; are we making fun of Dutch people now? Well, why the hell not, really? Next: Walloons! (How many does it take to screw in a light bulb?)

Meanwhile, the professors are finally catching up to this blog:

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/08/24/mass-shootings-dubbed-dark-side-american-exceptionalism

mb

8:05 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

Moscow Region Bus Drivers Ordered to be More Polite

"Bus drivers in the Moscow region are now officially prohibited from being aggressive, malevolent or arrogant toward their passengers, according to new service standards released by the local transportation authority."


http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/moscow-region-bus-drivers-ordered-to-be-more-polite/528127.html



No wonder the US views Russia as an "existential threat."

12:37 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Wafers-

PID contribution:

God knows I can take a lot, but two groups that I can't tolerate are:

1. Freedonians (Any good jokes about Freedonians?)

2. WASPs

Q: Why don't WASPs have orgies?
A: They'd have too many thank-you notes to write.

*WASP fun fact: The first published mention of the term WASP was provided by Wafer hero Andrew Hacker in 1957.

Great Story Dept.:

84-year-old-man collects own urine and uses it on unruly teenager:

http://www.courierpress.com/news/local-news/crime/police-urine-attack-suspect-84-says-he-uses-liquid-for-selfdefense_57860166

Miles

11:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Charles is my kinda guy. That's what I'd be doing in 13 yrs (or less), if I had stayed in the US.

What's a Jewish American Princess' definition of natural childbirth?
Ans.: You don't wear makeup during the delivery.

What does a Jewish American Princess make for dinner?
Ans.: Reservations.

Etc.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

When I saw that Commondreams article I asked myself, "Dark side? What is the BRIGHT side of American exceptionalism?"

Hmm, self-deprecating politically incorrect jokes, eh? I don't know any, but back in the 1990s, a student colleague asked me if I saw myself as a camel jockey or as a rug rider. I thought the gag was funny at the time, but I wouldn't today. I recommended this person for a job last year, and now she's a work colleague of mine, so I believe I have proven that I don't hold a grudge...well, except for that Crusades thing.

Some humourless feminist posted this blog article in response to my expression of amusement at the antics of Donzo Trump on another site:

http://www.shakesville.com/2015/08/quote-of-day_14.html

Gack.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al-

Bright side: morons get to feel like they are worthwhile. As for self-deprecation: I don't know what a camel jockey or a rug rider are, 2b honest. As for blog article: humorless indeed. Feminists do tend to be pretty grim, in my experience, but then all p.c. folks do. Not a lick of fun in their brittle bones, amigo, and all part of the general sadness that is America today.

mb

2:03 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

Dr. Berman,
I think that cultural appropriation is just another morphed form of the self esteem movement along with its accompanying lack of common sense, nuance, ambiguity and imagination. The education system is churning out robots who think in black and white. Why wouldn't they become culture cops? If they had art they wouldn't be so neurotic. And far less sad.
On a similar point, Americans also have a problem separating an artist or writers' private life behavior, politics and or personal life from their art. I can appreciate a piece of art, song, music, film or a book without agreeing with the artist's personal choices. Nowadays we need our artists to be immaculate in order to admire their art, writings, etc. One strike and they are out. People must all be saints for they to have become so unforgiving! Nowadays there are so many ways to be offensive! Is there any wonder why many artists just become hermits, addicts or just hang themselves.

@sean,
I can so relate to your story of ubiquitous hustling among friendships. You'd be hard pressed to find friends who give or do something without expecting payback. I had a friend who volunteered a few hours for a school. When I praised her on it she was almost offended by the very suggestion of altruism- she was using the volunteer hours to get ahead on her next job not because she enjoyed it- she said. It was a means towards an end. And that's how they see you. As MB said there's always an angle and an agenda behind every relationship in the USA. If it isn't money they are after, it is to one up you, or to use you for a photo- op they can post to social media. Little celebrities doing their own pr.

JC

8:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Juliet-

Well, I've been thinking of what other groups we can insult besides the Dutch, Walloons, and Jewish American Princesses, and then it hit me: why limit our insensitivity to human beings? Why not stretch out to the animal kingdom in general? For example, penguins. What arrogance! They walk around on the ice in these tuxedo outfits, looking like elitists. Down with penguins! Nor will I be roped into penguin sensitivity training sessions, I can tell u that.

Wafers are encouraged to ridicule bees, wildebeests, or any other animal group that strikes yr fancy. This may also be extended to imaginary animals, such as unicorns and yetis. E.g., didju hear the one abt the priest, the rabbi, and the sasquatch who walked into a bar, and...

mb

8:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Since I've been trashing Jews as of late, let me tell u guys a pro-Jewish joke, just to balance things out. (This has nothing to do with shame over my rabid anti-Semitism; I just like to tell jokes.)

It's the Middle Ages, and some town in Germany decides that all the Jews in the town hafta leave (there's a surprise). The Jews petition against this, and finally the town council decides they can stay, but only if they can defeat the leading Christian theologian in a public debate. They hafta choose one Jew to represent them, and he or she will confront the theologian. In addition, to make it interesting, this will be a debate w/o words.

Well! This threw all the rabbis into a tizzy. None of them felt adequate to the task, for the theologian was famous throughout Germany. Finally, the town chicken plucker came forward--a simple man, but as no one was willing to take on the theologian and the chicken plucker was, what choice did they have?

The plucker and the theologian met in the center of the town square. On one side were the Jews; on the other, the rest of the town. The theologian stepped forward and made a large, sweeping arc with his finger. In response, the plucker stamped his foot. Heavy murmuring throughout the two camps.

Then the theologian held up 3 fingers; to which the plucker held up one. Ohs and ahs from the crowd.

Finally, the theologian took out a glass of wine and a cookie, ate the cookie and drank the wine. In response, the plucker took out an apple and bit into it.

At this pt, the theologian said, "OK, you win, the Jews can stay!" Pandemonium broke out. The Christians ran up to the theologian and asked him, "What was that all about?" "Well," he replied, "I never imagined a chicken plucker cd be such a brilliant dialectition." "Fine," the Christians said; "but what actually happened?"

"Well," said the theologian, "1st I moved my finger across the horizon, to indicate that God is everywhere. By way of reply, he stamped his foot, in effect saying: Not in hell. Then I held up 3 fingers, to demonstrate the power of the Trinity, and he held up one, meaning: Only one God. Finally, I argued for redemption via the Eucharist, ate the body of Christ and drank His blood, whereupon the plucker bit into an apple, thereby reminding me of original sin." Everyone oohed and aahed.

On the Jewish side, the Jews also wanted to know what happened. "Well," said the chicken plucker, "it proved to be a lot easier than I imagined. He waved his finger, indicating: The Jews gotta leave; and I stamped my foot, so as to say: We're staying rt here! Then he held up 3 fingers, telling me: You've got 3 days to get outta here; and I held up one finger, saying to him: Not one of us is going. Finally, he switched his tactics, and decided to be friendly: he took out his lunch. So I took out mine, and the debate was over."

8:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps2: We may have a new Wafer on our hands, folks:

http://www.mintpressnews.com/retired-army-general-says-hes-ashamed-to-be-an-american-after-brutal-arrest-by-police/208846/

I also think this story is pretty gd as well:

http://www.mintpressnews.com/92-year-old-woman-kicked-out-of-church-for-not-tithing/208842/

The whole country is turning into douche bags!

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

@al-Qa'bong, thanks for this article:
http://www.shakesville.com/2015/08/quote-of-day_14.html

I read the article and some of the comments therein. Trump is not the problem of America, period. Anybody who thinks Trump's bombastic speeches pose a serious problem for America is an idiot. All the social and economic problems killing this country were designed and introduced by politicians who talk "smoother" than Trump; politicians who are more "intellectual" than Trump, more educated than Trump created the problems destroying this country.

To matters worse, almost more than 99% of the same politicians who created the problems in America have never achieved up to 10% of what Trump achieved in private market economy or in raising his college-educated children.

Please try hard to debunk specific claims of Trump instead of making generalizations copied from Trump's haters. Most of what I read in the article posted above (by al-Qa'bong) sounds like the bad review that Dr B's hater sent to the Japan Times - it is only generalized accusations with no concrete evidence therein to support the accusations. To make an evaluative claim about Mr X without any supporting evidence simply says more about you than about Mr X. Produce concrete instantiations of what you think Mr X said. I am sure Dr B had to seek for Visa before entering Mexico. I am sure Dr B is not now demanding that Mexicans in Mexico adopt English language as the official language in Mexico. Just like Japan or Germany, every nation has the right to protect its borders - whether or not you believe it or like it is immaterial.

2:43 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


I find Paul Krugman to be light reading, which suggests that today's Nobel prize winners, at least in economics, can be rather stupid for supposed experts. Krugman is light reading because

(1) He's a nice guy who means well (am I being generous?)
(2) He always says more or less the same thing, which is that only fools don't realize that Keynesian economics solves most if not all of today's economic problems.
(3) His articles these days are typically not well researched, presumably because he's already done all or most of the research he intends to do.
(4) Krugman apparently does not understand either Peak Oil or the inevitable end of global economic growth.

Krugman had a brief written exchange several months ago with Richard Heinberg and Post Carbon Institute. I read the exchange and came to the conclusion that Krugman is a lightweight intellectually compared to Heinberg. Predictably of course, it is the lightweight who gets most of the attention in the mainstream media.

This country is a lost cause. The wise persons are ignored and the buffoons get all the attention.

Heinberg's rebuttal to Krugman:

http://richardheinberg.com/museletter-269-paul-krugman-and-the-limits-of-hubris

2:54 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

On religious jokes:

A vicar is appointed to a new parish in Norfolk, and being conscientious, decides to go out and meet the villagers. While walking along the docks, he sees a fisherman in his boat, and asks if he can talk to him. The fisherman replies "I'm about to go out to sea Padre, but if you'd like to come out with me step on board!" The vicar steps on the boat, and they both go out to sea. The vicar chats to the fisherman while he carries on with his work. Suddenly, the fisherman's net twitches, he gives it a quick yank, and a huge fish lands on the deck.

"Look at the size of that fucker!" cries the fisherman. The vicar crosses himself and says in a shocked tone "you can't use that language in front of a man of the cross!". The fisherman then explains "Oh no, Padre, that fish is called a 'Fucker', that's its zoological name." The vicar apologizes for his presumptuousness, and the fisherman then says "tell you what Padre, why don't you take that fish home with you as a welcoming present?"

The vicar agrees, and takes the fish back to the church vestry where he lays it on the table. Suddenly, the Dean comes in, and the vicar proudly says to him "look at the size of that Fucker! I helped catch it this morning." The Dean crosses himself, and says in a shocked tone "you can't use that language in the house of the Lord!" The vicar then says "Oh no, that fish really is a 'Fucker', that's its zoological name." The Dean sighs with relief, and replies "well, I'm an expert at preparing fish, I'll gut it and fillet it for you, and we can cook it later."

So the Dean sets to work on preparing the fish, when the Bishop pops his head around the door. "Look at the size of this Fucker!" cries the Dean. The Bishop is outraged, and shouts "don't you dare use that language on consecrated ground!". The Dean then explains that "Fucker" is the proper zoological name for the fish. The Bishop sighs with relief, and says "I tell you what, I've got the Archbishop of Canterbury coming round for tea. I'll cook that fish myself, and you and the vicar can join us and share the feast!"

Later that evening, the vicar, the Dean, the Bishop and the Archbishop of Canterbury are sat around the table, with empty plates and bellies full of fish. The Archbishop looks around the table and says "You know, that's the best piece of fish I've ever eaten."

"Well, I caught the Fucker!" announces the vicar,
"And I filleted the Fucker!" adds the Dean,
"And I cooked the Fucker!" adds the Bishop.

The Archbishop of Canterbury looks at each one of them in turn, takes a big gulp of wine, leans back in his chair and says:

"You know what? You cunts are alright."

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Rusty Snag said...

Hello Wafers everywhere:

Being of Irish extraction meself, I thought Wafers might like some laughs at my expense...

1) What do you call the Irishman who lives in your back yard? Paddy O'Furntiure!

2) What is an Irish seven-course dinner? A six-pack and a potato! (insert rimshot here)

3) There are two classes of Irish - lace curtain Irish and shanty Irish. How do you tell them apart? The lace curtain Irish always move the beer before they piss in the sink!

There you have it folks! Some politically incorrect, ethnically insulting jokes to start your day.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Rusty-

Yeah, I forgot abt the Irish. Gd political incorrectness. Tho I tell ya, a couple of yrs ago I spent abt 10 days in Ireland, and it was fab.

Golf-

Hee hee.

Marc-

People who do columns in the NYT, like Brooks, or Friedman, or Krugman, get to do so because they fulfill a crucial function for NYT readers, who are mostly the professional classes: they reassure those readers that everything is basically OK. If u violate that (check out the review of DAA in 2006), yr simply beyond the pale, and either can't get a voice (unwilling to publish my rebuttal) or just get marginalized out of existence. In this way, the input that cd save the country, or at least make its collapse less traumatic, is completely stifled. And this, too, is part of our decline--as I argued in WAF.

Frank-

My 1st choice remains Lorenzo Riggins, but I'll take Trump in a pinch. I suspect he'll continue the damage done to the US, but at an accelerated pace. Unfortunately, what we're probably gonna get is Hillary (Jesus, that face!) and more crisis management.

mb

9:16 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

al, Frank, anybody-

Help! I'm confused... What specifically did al say about Trump? I can't find it anywhere on the feminist blog, unless *al* is really *Bryan Cranston* (in which case, I'll say, good morning, Mr. Heisenberg). Can either of you guys help me out here? Anyone?

Miles

ps: Here's a good story about how wealthy Americans entertain themselves at family reunions:

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-tank-runs-over-man-20150824-story.html

10:40 AM  
Anonymous SeekingSanity said...

Dmitry Orlov's latest blog post from a former Russian who lived in the US a while and moved back to Russia is something all Wafers can appreciate:

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2015/08/corn-madness-revisited.html#more

11:28 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

the daily carnage continues.....

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/wdbj7-reporter-alison-parker-photographer-killed-moneta-live-broadcast-n416221

11:30 AM  
OpenID vwclown said...

Dr. Berman, Wafer Village-people:

This has to be one of the best, good-natured ridicule threads ever facilitated on a blog. While laughing at Wafers' self-deprecating jokes re their roots of origin, I remembered looking up my family tree before the ancestry business began charging for public records... another hustler bone to pick... Anyway, I traced my maternal grandfather's family clear back to a date in the late 1400s, England, where a young man with a beautiful surname married, "unknown wench". I can't help but believe I've at least lived up to the family's expectations! HA! Let the "unknown wench" jokes begin! I can take it. -- Fruit

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Deborah said...


Another shooting - http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/26/us/virginia-shooting-wdbj/index.html. As the escaping gunman fled through our county my son's school was put in lock down. How soon before the whole country begins to feel like Chicago during prohibition? And to think I told my husband 2 years ago I'm out of here when we hit a massacre a month. I'm working on my escape plans, but not yet free to exit.

Regarding the stock market crash - it should crash 80% but the Fed Reserve will probably ride to the rescue again. The world economy is a house of cards as Nomi Prins and many others have pointed out. Denial seems to be the name of the game across the board in this country which I imagine is why politically incorrect Trump is so popular.

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Jascal said...

Marc L Bernstein says: "This country is a lost cause. The wise persons are ignored and the buffoons get all the attention"

There is more to the disagreements among scientists and economists, especially disagreements concerning vital issues affecting the nation. Just watch the documentary here to understand the rest of the following comment:

http://video.pbs.org/video/1302794657/

I do not disagree or agree with you concerning Paul Krugman. Rather, I do not think your claim that the “wise persons are ignored” is correct. What is defined as "wise". As far as I know, wisdom is associated with education, knowledge, and skills.

Alan Greenspan, Bill Clinton, Robert Rubin, and Larry Sommers are highly educated in the best schools of the Western world. Just Google and search for the educational backgrounds of those 4 men. Those 4 men were also considered smart and wise. Greenspan, Somers and Rubin were on the spotlight and in charge of the most vital financial and economic institutions of the United State during the 8 years of Clinton's presidency. In fact, some of them were regarded as the best wisest men ever. In fact, because of the type of wisdom and prestige they commanded, those three men were able to frustrate a woman named Brooksley Born out of office precisely when she was trying to save the nation from the then impending financial crash of 2008. How anybody defines "wisdom" is a question of who is in charge of the narrative and power, not who is smart or dumb. Both dumb and smart people can be wicked and greedy beyond belief. I think the problem is that sociopaths are everywhere.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Al B. Tross said...

Dr. Berman,

Your astute assessment of the editorial staff at the NYT reminds me of this quote from Elizabeth Warren about a diner conversation with Larry Summers:

“Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People — powerful people listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule. They don’t criticize other insiders”.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2014/12/14/elizabeth-warren-is-changing-washington-without-giving-up-her-outside-status/

p.s. I read this in a comment section of news blog:

" Donald Trump's plan to remove illegals is toupée them".

Cheers,

Al B.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

As some of you know , I recently retired from the Philadelphia Public School "System". Normally, I travel through SE Asia in the summer but this summer I had to spend time trying to find a financial institution to handle my hundreds of dollars. Still, after nearly 2 months I have not yet found a group that I feel comfortable with. Most present me with financial products that are actually designed to pauperize me in later life. Finally, I decided to meet the advisor who handles both my mother's and brother's finances. I shied away from this since it seemed a bit too incestuous. Anyway, I went to his office where-upon he said, " Everyone is trying to sell you financial products. I am not. I want to sell you (drum roll) wealth management." He then presented his plan which was probably the worst I encountered all summer.Another hustle, in other words, but dressed up just a little better.
Great that you mentioned I and Thou. I read I and Thou in college and it had a profound effect on me. For those unfamiliar, I and Thou refers to a philosophy promulgated by a Jewish philosopher named Martin Buber. Briefly, I and Thou holds that I don't live and you don't live. Both together we live. Life, in other words, is what occurs between people. "There is no I without you" if I recall one of his lines. And the life is not I-it; that is, treating someone like an object. The life is a deep, profound understanding of each other. Yeah, in a world where it's now nearly impossible to have an uninterrupted conversation due to cell phones and the like and if you do it's usually trivial, I and Thou has surely left the building. So sad, that young people today will most likely never have an I-Thou experience throughout their entire life.

5:44 PM  
Anonymous ennobled little day said...

Here's a joke...

Let's say a fly land on a glass of beer.

If you're English, you turn it down.
If you're Scottish, you remove the fly and drink the beer.

Guess what you would do if you're Irish?

6:44 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Will Rogers took a dim view of his national government. He is reported to have said "There is no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you."

I think Andy Borowitz is a worthy successor in the tradition of critics holding up politicians to ridicule, and commend him to your attention. Borowitz' latest contribution (in the New Yorker) is entitled "Nation Needs Cheaper Way to Find Worst People," and opens:

"MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report)—With U.S. Presidential elections now costing more than five billion dollars, there must be a cheaper way to find the worst people in the country, experts believe.

According to Davis Logsdon, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota, the United States could use current technology to find the nation’s most reprehensible people at a fraction of the five-billion-dollar price tag."

You can read the rest of the piece here:

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/nation-needs-cheaper-way-to-find-worst-people?mbid=nl_Borowitz%20(39)&cndid=24465181&mbid=nl_Borowitz%20(39)&CNDID=24465181&spMailingID=8017652&spUserID=MjczNzc1NTI4MDMS1&spJobID=743132156&spReportId=NzQzMTMyMTU2S0


6:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jesus, I can't leave u guys for 6 hrs without u flooding the blog. But I understand: Wafer consciousness is the most developed form of spirituality on the planet.

ennobled-

What abt Jewish? Put a matzo ball in the beer?

Dan-

Being the wheeler dealer that I am, I may have a Hot Tip 4u. Remind me abt it on Sept. 6.

Fruit Woman-

What an illustrious ancestry. Only thing that wd have been better was Juicy Wench. Meanwhile, Wafers are encouraged to submit politically incorrect wench jokes.

mb

7:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Anon:

1. Always send message to most recent post. No one reads the older stuff.
2. Never use Anon. Get yrself a real handle.
3. Regarding disappearance of Japan bk: scroll thru comments on latest post, all is explained there. Bk shd be reappearing shortly, in any case, tho perhaps not in Kindle.

mb

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Rusty Snag said...

Dr. B - I'm posting this late so I hope I don't violate the two-post per day rule. Hopefully you won't see this until Thursday AM. I went to Ireland meself thirty years ago and it was wonderful. The people and the land seemed inseparable. One of my fondest memories was of old men cutting peat on misty plains. Then the peat fires at all the homes smelled so sweet. Almost magical it seemed. I still dream of going back and I may well do that when I retire.

ennobled little day said...

Let's say a fly land on a glass of beer.

Guess what you would do if you're Irish?

I'll take a stab at the punch line, and I promise I didn't google. Two possibilities:

1) You kill the little bastard because he's drinking your beer. Then you eat him because, hey, more beer.

2) You in generous Irish nature let him have a few sips and invite him to join you in singing Tura Lura Lura.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

I wonder if this columnist has been reading Dr. B-

http://smartremarks.lancasteronline.com/2015/08/26/virginia-shooting-social-media-gone-completely-insane/

And how about this-

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/08/25/flamethrower_ban_in_troy_michigan_xm42_commercial_flamethrower_provokes.html

We are definitely No. 1!

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

I hope it's not a glass factory along the San Andreas fault. I already lost my shirt investing in color radio.

11:11 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Miles, I didn't say anything in that link I posted; someone on another board posted that link in response to something I said there.

Here's where:

http://enmasse.ca/forums/viewtopic.php?t=11739&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=450

Most of the comments are written in Canadian, though, so consider yourself forewarned.


Q: How do you get 50 Canadians out of a swimming pool?

A: Say, "Please get out of the swimming pool."

1:34 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

To Dan regarding financial management:

The very first thing to ask a financial advisor is : Are you a registered investment advisor operating under fiduciary rules?
Get it in writing. If they are not fiduciary, then you are subject to the suitability rules, which means is this investment appropriate for someone like you. The difference is a fiduciary must always put your financial interest first, so they may recommend Vanguard with fees under 1/4 of 1%, otherwise, you may get a recommendation for a variable annuity with 3% + fees, 12x more!! Not sure how much money you're talking about, you can go directly to Vanguard and get advice.
I also recommend this book, free for an ereader : http://amzn.com/B00JCC5JKI

9:53 AM  
Blogger Shawn McDowell said...

Someone just pointed out to me that Trump has personally donated to both the Republican and Democratic parties over the years, including to the Clinton Foundation. Here are a couple of links I just found verifying this. I know folks here are pretty well-informed but this is news to me. I already knew our electoral politics has become a joke. Trump has helped fund his own opposition...how bizarre is that? How have people still not caught on to this game yet?

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/247336-report-clinton-foundation-keeping-trump-money

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/jul/09/ben-ferguson/donald-trumps-campaign-contributions-democrats-and/

12:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

If there's one thing I like, it's hot fecal matter in my food:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/food/how-safe-is-your-ground-beef

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

troutbum,
Thanks so much. I will ask this question. Yes, I pity anyone who signed up for a variable annuity-talk about grand larceny. I have till the end of September to decide who to go with. I must admit though, I have dealt with superb salespeople. I mean talk about the ability to "smile as they kill"(Lennon, Working Class Hero). Not a trace of remorse in these people as you hand over your hard earned money just to see it evaporate over the course of about 10 years. My 90 year old mother's monies are decreasing. Think her financial advisor might call her for a little hand holding or even suggest a different strategy? Of course not. Anyway, thanks again.
PS. Thanks also to the Wafer who suggested I read "Dino". I can't put it down. May I recommend besides the great doctor's books, "Daydream Sunset-the 60s Counterculture in the 70s." It appears only Dylan and the Grateful Dead tried to keep the spirit of the 60s alive in the 70s. Everyone else basically sold out and what the corporate world could not commodify they marginalized to near extinction. The book is particularly harsh on Springsteen who I always suspected was a fraud.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Edward said...

@Birney Zouave

You rock! I will love to own the 50 lb model X15:

""My concern is that flamethrowers in the wrong hands could cause catastrophic damage either to the person who is using it or more likely to the person who is being targeted," he said.

Well, that's a fair point. But is there anything that can stop a bad guy with a flamethrower besides a good guy with a flamethrower?"

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/08/25/flamethrower_ban_in_troy_michigan_xm42_commercial_flamethrower_provokes.html

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Dawgzy said...

I will be in DC on 9/6-7, probably unable to get to NYC, though. I will be tuned to the vibrations, however, and though I don't expect it, might waken on 9/8 to the Dawn of a NEW New Age. (I'll thereupon say,"Who knew?" and answer, "Waferinos, that's who!"

Will there be music at the gatherings? As nominations, there are 2 contrasting songs that are stuck in my head- on the Yang end of things, there's Sinatra's "That's Life," about as good a statement about what it means to be a real American. (I really do like it, because of its zeitgeist, it's Sinatra, and it's a killer arrangement.) The other is Wilco's "California Stars," which has some relevance for NYC. The lyrics are by Woody Guthrie and were discovered sometime in the 90s(?) i by his daughter who was looking through some of his effects. This was on Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island where WG had lived and which gives the name to the album put together by Billy Bragg, chosen by WGs daughter for the task of setting words to music. He hired Wilco as the band, though apparently BB was not in on the California Stars recording. The album version is the preferred one. Jeff Tweedy is so 'not-Sinatra' on it, sounds a bit sedated at first, but gets going later. (Also "Walt Whitman's Niece" and "Way over yonder in the Minor Key.")
I first heard CS at the end of a long drive from Portland into California's Central Valley, where WG spent some time. There were cut alfalfa and other sweet things in the air when it played- Kismet.

Have fun. Play hard. Play fair. Nobody hurt.

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Interesting piece on unhinged PC:

http://www.spectator.co.uk/columnists/mary-wakefield/9619312/the-contagious-madness-of-the-new-pc/

6:20 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Everyone, if you you want to see an awesome movie made in Brazil I recommend seeing Astral City: A Spiritual Journey.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/364775

It's about a doctor who dies, wakes up in drek and then begins a spiritual journey in death.

7:05 PM  
Anonymous MK Justin said...

Some people are referring to Trump as a hater and a racist.
Is Trump a hater? Is he a racist?

One related issue:- MSNBC reported today the following:
1) that 59% of African-Americans living in New Orleans says that the Hurricane Katrina recovery is not yet completed.

2) that 79% of the whites living in New Orleans holds the opposite view - they say that Hurricane Katrina recovery is completely finished.

3) that before Katrina New Orleans was the city with the highest volume of African-American home ownership in the United States

Did Trump demolish and buy all the homes belonging to American Americans in New Orleans?

12:24 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Next step: singing children lullabies in C++

http://www.information-age.com/it-management/skills-training-and-leadership/123460073/python-overtakes-french-most-popular-language-taught-primary-schools

O&D!

6:07 AM  
Anonymous Novalis said...

Death of the humanities in Japan?

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002376592

11:18 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Thanks for that article on political correctness gone mad, Golf Pro.

I'd guess that today's youth's tendency to being chronically offended is a consequence of being raised by "helicopter parents." Their being so easily offended seems similar to those kids who die from being near peanuts. Because they have been raised in a sanitised environment they haven't developed a healthy immune system.

Here, therefore, are some gratuitous links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGMgXSg9TgM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X29lF43mUlo

2:52 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Here's what Merica really cares about:
http://www.tvguide.com/news/kim-kardashian-uterus-cut-out/

Time to print a few more buttock Kardashian notes to circulate as legally tender.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Dawgzy:

Your suggestion regarding Woody Guthrie reminded me of my favorite Guthrie song, "Pretty Boy Floyd." I just listened to his version to refresh my memory, then played the version I prefer: the arrangement by the Byrds, with lead vocal by Roger McGuinn and banjo work by session man John Hartford (some session man, eh?). This song appeared on the Byrds' 1968 album "Sweetheart of the Rodeo," which you might enjoy.

Interestingly, Guthrie's praise for Floyd's good deeds for the poor ("...Christmas dinner for the families on relief...") but especially his criticism of the rich ("Some rob you with a six-gun, some with a fountain pen") would seem to have relevance in any age.


4:29 PM  
Anonymous ennobled little day said...

Rusty-

I like your "stabs" at the question. The way my wife tells it is that the Irish shake the fly over the beer while saying "GIVE IT BACK!!!" or something like that.

Dr. Berman-

I had to google matzo ball... Forgive my ignorance but I still don't get it. By the way, I recently bought your Twilight book and just finished the prologue. :D It took me almost half a decade after learning about you for me to buy this book...

Kanye-

The article is on UK parents. The same may apply to US parents, though. I don't know about the UK, but in some US states it's getting harder to find science teachers at the high school level. (The Washington Post did an article that covered Indiana recently.) I've heard it's practically impossible to keep a programmer teaching in a high school.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

MK Justin-

Trump is no more a hater than Hillary. Yesterday, she compared GOP candidates and their positions on women w/terrorists. You know, ISIS, the folks who behead anthropologists, blow up Roman ruins, and practice slavery. Seems like a pretty extreme statement to be making, but does anyone give a shit? No! This whole entire election is a farce

Dan-

Nice to read that u are enjoying "Dino." In terms of Springsteen, I just read that it was 40 yrs ago, this week, that "Born to Run" was released. Jesus, time flies...

al-

Many thanks for the clarification. I particularly liked the photo of the guy who hanged himself in front of his TV. Imagine Hillary's face as the last thing one sees b4 the neck snaps!

Miles

9:22 PM  
Blogger W5AWG-johnnysjazz said...

I just found a Post on SF Craigslist that sends Chills Down my Spine.
It is on one of my Blogs, so I will try a Link here. To only the Particular Page.
http://seeing2crazy.blogspot.com/2015/08/cl-bay-area-francisco-raves-account-x.html

4:58 AM  
Anonymous Mo Ronich said...

This article is interesting and a bit disturbing, regarding the decline effect in replicating scientific results. It's almost enough to turn one into a postmodernist.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/12/13/the-truth-wears-off

8:45 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

cold-blooded murder, just the daily norm in the US:

http://abc13.com/news/hcso-deputy-fatally-shot-at-gas-station-in-nw-harris-county/961336/

9:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Pls note that I don't post Anons. You need a real handle, like Chopped Liver with Onion. Then you can re-send yr message, and we can all enjoy it. Thanks.

Golf-

Gd article, showing how nuts p.c. finally is. I think we had some fun over the last few days on the topic, but folks like those who wrote in abt "Belman" etc., and/or wrote hate mail abt me to the Japan Times, are never gonna get it. They cd smile, or groan, or exclaim: Boo hoo, u hurt my (tender) feelings! They'll be choosing the last option till the day they die. The death of humor is the death of a culture, however, so it fits in well with Kim's buttocks or Trump's haircut. O&D, I say!

mb

10:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Think last days of Rome:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/30/fashion/the-battle-for-the-soul-of-the-hamptons.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

11:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

The face of a douche bag:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/29/us/george-w-bush-visiting-new-orleans-praises-school-progress-since-katrina.html?hpw&rref=education&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Dr. B,

Perhaps you should gather all the trolfoon comments together, and read them out at the end of your lectures as an encore.

This is how it's done:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78Puggk5MCA

1:58 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Personally, I hate political correctness with a passion and it triggers my rage and anger. If one censors words which really are visual and auditory symbolic representations of ideas then how can one question ideas and discuss them to determine which are sound and are not sound? Since I'm triggered by PC I think we ought to ban PC and instead use logic and rationality and have rational discussions on various ideas so I and others won't be triggered.

In addition, lets go for some pastrami and rye and fling feces and urine on the PCers because they trigger me badly. I am so traumatized by them. Dr. B, Jeff and others I need comfort for my triggering.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Golf, cube-

I fear there is no way to stop the trollfoons and the p.c.'s. They are the Death Force, the farthest one can get from Waferdom. The problem is that they think they are creative, intelligent, and hip, so there's really nothing that can be done. They may have a moment of awakening just as they are dying, but--don't count on it. The US is literally drowning in dogshit: trollfoons, p.c.'s, douche bags. For every Wafer, there are probably 100,000 of these grotesque morons. Ora pro nobis.

mb

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Dawgzy said...

Dan, James- re music and the spirit of the 60s 70s: I recently watched " the wrecking crew" about the elite LA studio musicians of that era. The Byrds were one of the many acts that had only to sing their parts for recordings That's not a reason to dislike any of their songs, but they never caught my attention.

3:03 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB & all Wafers worldwide :

There's a delicious article in Harpers which has captured the fraud of the current state of Higher Education in America.

Quoting : "This is education in the age of neoliberalism. Call it Reaganism or Thatcherism, economism or market fundamentalism, neoliberalism is an ideology that reduces all values to money values. The worth of a thing is the price of the thing. The worth of a person is the wealth of the person. Neoliberalism tells you that you are valuable exclusively in terms of your activity in the marketplace — in Wordsworth’s phrase, your getting and spending. The purpose of education in a neoliberal age is to produce producers."......"If college is seldom about thinking and learning anymore, that’s because very few people are interested in thinking and learning, students least of all."

It's all here and it's worth your time : http://harpers.org/archive/2015/09/the-neoliberal-arts/?single=1

6:51 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

PC is not only words. It can also include gestures. I recall playing a game of charades in graduate school in 1993. The Phillies had a player called John Kruk who was famous for pulling on his athletic supporter before each pitch. So I imitated John kruk the same way. The next day the professor told me how offended the female students were by my actions. By the way, I think my 90 year old mother is about to do herself in. She clearly remembers FDR who she deeply admired. To watch her face as she views Trump is almost to see an entire life's work disappear. Personally, Trump brings to mind that great line from I Claudius: "Let all the poisons of the earth hatch out."

8:30 AM  
Anonymous turnover said...

On a new subject, Yuval Noah Harar writes about the decoupling of intelligence from consciousness. Harar's got a best selling book and is apparently hot in Israel. I confess utter ignorance about this gentleman. His idea is interesting:

"The only ones who could play chess, drive vehicles, fight wars and diagnose diseases were conscious - aware - human beings. But intelligence is now decoupling from consciousness. We are developing non-conscious algorithms that can play chess, drive vehicles, fight wars and diagnose diseases better than us. When the economy has to choose between intelligence and consciousness, the economy will choose intelligence. It has no real need for consciousness."

He continues: "Within a century or two, Homo sapiens will disappear and will be replaced by completely different kinds of beings. Beings more different from us than we are different from Neanderthals."

Don't know that I'd agree with him on that one. He assumes there will be no major discontinuity on our path to the stars.

If anyone has read Harar and and has an opinion, please don't be shy.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Here's a terrific new documentary, "Rosenwald":

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-rosenwald-review-20150828-column.html

I watched this film yesterday. It chronicles the life of a great man, Julius Rosenwald. Don' miss it...

Miles

11:24 AM  
Blogger Paul Easton said...

Morris I was excited to see from the Bluestockings email today that you are coming. I have read all your stuff on Harper's and you are certainly my favorite contemporary philosopher. But when I looked for a review of the book I found it is not for sale on line, and Bluestockings says they don't have it. So what is going on? Was the publisher forced to withdraw it? I don't see anything about that here.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

Troutbum and Turnover

Harper's essay- excellent, btw- and the YN Harar's concept of decoupling consciousness from intelligence seem to intersect. After all the learning and thinking that lead to living an independent and courageous life is what a conscious education is supposed to be about. I especially enjoyed this paragraph:

“Creativity,” meanwhile, is basically a business concept, aligned with the other clichés that have come to us from the management schools by way of Silicon Valley: “disruption,” “innovation,” “transformation.” “Creativity” is not about becoming an artist. No one wants you to become an artist. It’s about devising “innovative” products, services, and techniques — “solutions,” which imply that you already know the problem. “Creativity” means design thinking, in the terms articulated by the writer Amy Whitaker, not art thinking: getting from A to a predetermined B, not engaging in an open-ended exploratory process in the course of which you discover the B."
As such, ensoulment is the counterrevolution. By design students hate to think- which is to say, they don't want to confront where they stand inside of the status quo. They don't want to know reality. We have an over abundant quantity of "immediate men" or "philistines"-which according to Becker's The Denial of Death are folks who completely accept what culture has assigned them as their purpose in life. In those conditions the artist- a conscious being who has stripped off society's lies- is the conduit back into that place called reflecting. (In other words: The counterrevolution is Waferdom!) unfortunately, the philistines have developed a lot of defense mechanisms to shun the artists out. One of them being PC. which is why Intellectuals like MB live in Mexico today. I hate to say it, but there aren't too many artists left. No artists, no ensoulment.

Ever seen the movie Pleasantville? A black and white PC universe where people finally found the courage to be different. The ending: what happens next? Where is point B? Answer: Explore life.

JC

Dr. Berman, I lol on the chicken plucker and theologian duel. How lucky for the ch. plucker not having to explain himself! Ha ha!

7:21 PM  
Anonymous morrisbermanuglyjew said...

Oh please, everyone is anti-PC until someone talks shit about their tribe.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Al B. Tross said...

This country is filled with some of the most demented and evil collection of douchebags on Earth:

http://wtvr.com/2015/08/30/michelle-carter-justiceforconrad-hashtag-surfaces-after-messages-appear-to-show-teen-urging-boyfriend-to-kill-himself/

10:03 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
H.L. Mencken

Last week, one of the national spotlights shone on Concord, New Hampshire, site of the trial of an alumnus accused of raping a 15-year-old freshman girl in May 2014. The accused was found not guilty of felony rape, but was convicted of misdemeanor sexual assault. He is to be sentenced in October, and may have to register as a sex offender.

I was drawn to the story by the school's status as an elite prep school--are there any that aren't so described?--that had such as alumni a Kennedy, several Vanderbilts, former FBI chief Robert Mueller, Secretary Of State John Kerry, and cartoonist Garry Trudeau.

The accused was a straight-A student and captain of the soccer team at the time of the incident. According to one source I read, he had planned to attend Harvard to study--wait for it--divinity. And for an additional dollop of irony, the father of the girl involved was himself a graduate of St. Paul's.

For any who might be interested, here's a link to a Vanity Fair article on the school by an alumnus. It seems that behind the ivy and brick there's seediness and scandal aplenty.

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2006/01/st-pauls-school200601

You always hope that the country might be saved by entrusting its leadership to its best and brightest, only to have that hope dashed by stories such as this.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ugly-

Oh really? Then how do u acct for my posting antisemitic jokes here? And for someone Irish posting anti-Irish jokes, etc. Who, really, is ugly? Do u enjoy being this grotesque, this repugnant? Does it improve yr life, do you think, to be a total douche bag? Is collecting poison in your (shriveled) soul a gd use of yr time? "Haters gonna hate!" Jesus, what a number yr parents must have done on you. (And BTW, jackass, most Americans are probably p.c., rather than the reverse.)

Note to Wafers: u.c. the hatred, the poison, that is out there? Welcome to America!

JC-

Actually, the plucker did explain himself, i.e. explained his version of what happened in the debate, at the end.

Paul-

Long unhappy story, as the bk had to be pulled to keep the publisher from stealing any more of my royalties. However, 2 positive notes: I managed to purchase 3 copies of the bk off Amazon b4 it got pulled, so at least 3 people can buy it. Plus, I'm currently negotiating with another publisher abt doing a republication of the bk, so eventually, it will go back online. For the whole story, scroll back thru the Comments.

mb

11:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

How long b4 folks like myself get caught up in an arrest net based on a new criminal category, "intellectual terrorism," and get sent off to Guantanamo? Paranoia, or reality?

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/29/west-point-professor-target-legal-critics-war-on-terror

mb

12:04 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Well, in addition to a Trump-Palin possibility in 2016, we now can look forward to Kanye & Kim in 2020 - a Kardashian in the White House.
http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/aug/31/vmas-2015-kanye-west-reveals-political-ambitions-as-minaj-insults-cyrus
Talk about society of the spectacle and loads of potential Wafer fun from the sidelines.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Then there's this:

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/how_too_much_electronic_screen_time_is_making_kids_moody_crazy_and_lazy_201#.VeR7cuKvAis.email

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Rico T. Spoons said...

To Turnover,

I think the Israeli you are referring to is called Harari.

Here is a link to an interview he gave on edge.org earlier this year.
http://edge.org/conversation/yuval_noah_harari-daniel_kahneman-death-is-optional

Some of what he says is indeed the wet dream of the 0.1%,
but when he veers into trans-humanist religion,
I have to hop off the bus.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Jack-

Kanye could learn a thing or two from this guy, President Camacho:

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

MB-

Unbelievable! If there's one person on the marble in deep need of yr tutelage, it's Ugly. Will he listen? No! What a complete and utter nudnik! Actually, nudnik is too endearing a word for such a worthless turd. I tell ya, I've had excrement floating in my toilet w/more humanity than this asshole.

Ugly-

Hey, go fuck yerself, you sad, miserable, little person.

Miles

4:54 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Jack,

Oh, am I so proud of the username I've chosen!

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Rusty Snag said...

Dr. B and Wafers,

I know it won't do much good to say so, but I feel sorry for a person like Mr. Ugly who posted above. He reveals much about himself in his short post:

Anonymous morrisbermanuglyjew said...

Oh please, everyone is anti-PC until someone talks shit about their tribe.

First, he is so typically American. By calling you an ugly Jew, Dr. Berman, he is using stereotypes that Americans find so useful in ordering their messy little lives. Further, by being unable to understand the value of laughing at oneself, he/she demonstrates the typical American lack of sense of humor and need to defend one's turf at all costs. Finally "talks shit about their tribe" reveals a typical shallow, one-dimensional way of thinking so common to American idiots.

Dr. B, you usually spare us the rantings of these tollfoons, but once in a while it is a good thing to share their nonsense, if only so we can see how fortunate we are to have each other here in Waferland.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Good guest post over at Orlov today:

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-howling-wilderness-of-mind.html

"So even though they are poor, in debt, and only able to move in a tiny world, mentally they are all little aristocrats. Therein lays the genius and opportunity of a frontier. If in the early 1800s you were a plantation owner in Virginia or a financial tycoon in New York, how do you simultaneously gain access to all those resources west of Appalachia, reduce pressure for social reform and of course not do any of the work yourself? The social architecture of the frontier answers all three questions elegantly, but it concomitantly makes a hollow society, a government without a nation underneath."

9:36 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Thanks for the link to the Harper's article, Troutbum.

I don't know if this is being reported within the Great Satan, but Scott Walker is apparently trying to outflank Donzo Trump on the north.

He wants to build a wall along the Canada-US border.

I'm not sure that many Canadians would be displeased by this development.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/scott-walker-canada-u-s-border-wall-worth-considering-1.3209152

The Gauleiter of Hooterville, Jason Kenney, doesn't like the proposal though. I loathe Kenney and all he stands for, which makes the idea look even better.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Waferinos-

Regarding Ugly: the guy is so stupid, he probably thinks that if yr anti-p.c., that means yr a bigot--like him. Well, just for the record, neither p.c. nor bigotry is welcome on this blog, and to me the line ain't blurry. Referring to my self as "Belman" is just funny/stupid; calling the Chinese "chinks" is beyond the pale. I shd think this was obvious. But in any case, Ugly is the kind of trash or detritus thrown up by a dying empire. Nor will he ever change--you can count on it. Too many shoes; too little urine.

mb

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Al B. Tross said...


Making fun of PC people can be funny:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/08/30/comedian_colin_quinn_mocks_pc_culture_a_life_form_came_up_to_me.html

However, making fun of bigots can be hilarious:

http://www.vice.com/read/virgil-texas-white-power-facebook-group-troll

3:28 PM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

What's the explanation for the rampant violence (in addition to shootings) by police and how much worse is this going to get as the ship continues to sink?


http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/cop-slams-moms-face-ground-she-dropped-her-kids-school-over-tinted-license-plate

5:57 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

In the 22nd century and beyond the crowds will cheer belman, belman, belman and erect statues of you

7:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bull-

We will see the imposition of martial law, nationwide, in my lifetime. Of this, I have no doubt.

mb

7:53 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Wafers-

Killary supporters agree to get rid of the Bill of Rights:

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

Look at what el Trumpo has helped turn loose in the US:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUj4MtEGwlk

Miles

8:31 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

In honor of "Belman" :

http://www.engrish.com/

example:

http://www.engrish.com/wp-content/uploads//2015/08/bitch.jpg



Borowitz is funny here:

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/nation-with-crumbling-bridges-and-roads-excited-to-build-giant-wall

"While some think that America’s declining infrastructure is a national-security threat, Dorrinson strongly disagrees. 'If immigrants somehow get over the wall, the condition of our bridges and roads will keep them from getting very far,' he said."

10:07 PM  
Anonymous COS said...

Hello all! A horrifying trend not much covered in media or discussed by the several candidates are schools as feral places. In 2012 according to u.s. dept of ed data over 700,000 students assualted/beaten by other students. In that same year about 1000 teachers are beaten/assaulted by students EVERY day......But hey why talk about something like this......

10:42 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

My my, Al B. Tross, those clever northerners certainly made those hillbillies look silly. Nevertheless, their replacing the Confederate flag on that site's banner with an Israeli flag is merely exchanging one symbol of hate for another.

Fortunately I don't believe in human progress, so it's a wash.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Hackenbush said...

Hello MB, Wafers,
I see you're talking about PC, and since I happen to be working on a project concerning this topic, it occurred to me that I might take the opportunity to shamelessly promote it...

It's a sort of cartoon review and comment on a book by a Prof. Giacomo Preparata (The Ideology of Tyranny), which explores PC and identity politics as having their intellectual underpinnings (at least in part) in Foucault's postmodern theorizing (which in turn, he says, is a repackaging of the ideas of Georges Bataille, a fairly eccentric French sociologist and pornographer of the early 20th century.

Check it out, if you like:
http://timrockscomics.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-obscure-origins-and-hidden-agenda.html

(Note it's only about halfway done.)

1:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

COS-

u.c.? How much more cd be accomplished, if everyone was equipped with semi-automatic weapons!

mb

2:42 PM  
Anonymous infanttyrone said...

Give Glocks to the Glee Club and see if Zappa's "If your children ever find out how lame you really are, they're gonna murder you in your sleep." turns out to be true.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

Paul Craig Roberts:

"Welcome to America today. It is a land in which facts have been redefined as enemy propaganda, a land in which legally protected whistleblowers are redefined as 'fifth columns' or foreign agents subject to extermination, a land in which America is immune from criticism and all crimes are blamed on those whom Washington intends to rule."

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/09/02/rise-inhumanes-paul-craig-roberts/


It is no easy matter to form a comprehensive list of all the things that have gone wrong or are going wrong in the USA. Any such list would be so long, nauseating and disturbing that constructing it would leave a person numb.

Sometimes I wonder if Paul Craig Roberts' radicalism as manifested in his writings today are in part a form of compensation for his years in the Reagan administration and his years touting the virtues of the "free market".

Some persons shine with insight and compassion as they age, Jimmy Carter being a good example, and humanity is the better for it, though maybe still not good enough.

1:59 AM  
OpenID vwclown said...

Dr. Berman and Wafers:

By now, I guess you're all probably picking out your outfits to pack for The Wafer Event on Sept. 6. Feeling a little jealous and, well, even more alone when I think about that NY stadium filled with all the cheering Wafers; all those like-minded, groovy people gathering together while I sit here, in the desert. I'll be waiting, frantic for even a shred or snippet of news from the enlightened ones... Maybe you could pass the ol' laptop around over drinks and type drunken messages to the blog for those of us who were left behind. You could even send selfies HA! with Dr. Berman, showing the rest of us just how much fun you're having in the company of decent and wonderful people over piles of deli meats. *sigh* Wafers, have the best time; I'll miss you! -- Fruit Woman

11:23 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

You'll love this:

More Americans are naming their kids after guns
Violent baby names are on the rise as gun-lusting Americans pull the trigger on names like “Magnum,” “Shooter” and “Caliber,” according to troubling new data from Nameberry.com.


http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/violent-baby-names-rise-survey-article-1.2345629

I checked that Colin Quinn sketch on PC. It ain't bad, but to get to that link one must aurum ex stercore colligere a smidge.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Fruit-

Well, it's Sept. 7, but we'll miss you nonetheless.

Ugly-

Sorry, amigo; I deleted yr message without rdg it. You know, Fritz Perls once said that there are poisoned people in the world, and nothing can be done for them. Quite clearly, u fall into this category. What a gd use of yr time, all that bitterness and hatred directed against me. What a pointless, empty life you must lead. Yr a sad, pathetic piece of dreck (gd Yiddish word, just 4u) with a rotten, rotten soul. Anyway, no pt in writing in any more: garbage such as yrself gets an automatic Delete.

But here's a useful exercise 4u: every morning, when u get up, go look at yrself in the bathrm mirror, and say directly to yr reflection: "Berman is rt; I'm a bitter sack of shit." Because that's what u.r., Ugly; it describes you to a T.

What a waste! So many ways to live yr life, and this is what you chose!

mb

1:42 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

My grandparents were either born in this country or came here as children in the late 1800s. They were so anxious to have their children integrate into American society, that neither of my parents learned to speak Italian. As a matter of fact, my little Italian grandmother had a Brooklyn accent: “My knee hoits.”

When I was young we used to get a blast out of Italian jokes. Imagine my surprise when I realized there were stupid people out there who took these jokes seriously,

Anyway, I found the perfect anti-PC T-Shirt at one of my favorite websites (I do so love the bizarre):

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS
IF YOU’RE EASILY OFFENDED NOW WOULD BE A GOOD TIME TO FUCK OFF

https://davidicke.teemill.co.uk/category/david-icke-mens/

4:56 PM  
Anonymous infanttyrone said...

Marc,
I suspect you're right about PCRoberts, although he was still quite dismissive of people bringing up the torture squads and killing of nuns in Central America back in the day.
Of course that was the area of Eliot Abrams, not PCR, but I found it interesting that he didn't deny the events, but didn't express any regrets about them either.
I have this on good authority since I was the one who brought up the murder(s) of the nuns.
But regardless of that, I think he's definitely worth reading/listening to.
-------------------

5:12 PM  
Anonymous K. Bania said...

I don't think Trump can "Make America Great Again" with these supporters:

http://gawker.com/angry-trump-fans-keep-emailing-this-poor-woman-whose-na-1728572462

5:43 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Here's something:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/08/31/the-fearful-and-the-frustrated

White Nationalists are beginning to coalesce around Trump. The more Trump speaks out about the bleakness of America, the loss of America, the frustration that is out there regarding immigration, etc., the more this country will move toward fascism.

"Fascism is capitalism in decay."
~ V. Lenin

Miles

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Lack of coherence said...

This is an old idea, but what do you think about "access not ownership" in terms of Americas decline?

Seems like so many people around me are dead broke, but so long as they have a job and can have access, it doesn't matter that they own nothing and their net worth is negative.

It's amazing, so many people believe it's great, they will just rent everything, so long as they get to go out to eat, get a vacation, and can watch TV.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Not clear to me why everyone is excited abt an election that is 14 mos. away. Am I missing something? Or does the US consist of 321 million douche bags? (Talk abt no-brainers, eh?) I am personally hoping for a Trump landslide, tho I'd much prefer 2c Tracey McCloud in the W.H., myself.

Meanwhile, recent Pew Charitable Trust poll of millennials (ages 18-34) reveals that 49% regard their generation as "self-absorbed," and 43% say they are "greedy." Why this shd be restricted to this particular age group is not clear, however. Also, what % regard their generation as a collection of pathetic douche bags?

Quote from MLK I like: "A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan." Again, this doesn't go far enuf. What abt a civ that produces violent, hostile douche bags? What kind of future does *that* civ have?

mb

12:27 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

Dear Wafers, Dr. MB,

This is an excerpt from an interview of Noam Chomski 5 years ago- some prescient words:

"“The United States is extremely lucky that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen,” Chomsky went on. “Every charismatic figure is such an obvious crook that he destroys himself, like McCarthy or Nixon or the evangelist preachers. If somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response. What are people supposed to think if someone says ‘I have got an answer, we have an enemy’? There it was the Jews. Here it will be the illegal immigrants and the blacks. We will be told that white males are a persecuted minority. We will be told we have to defend ourselves and the honor of the nation. Military force will be exalted. People will be beaten up. This could become an overwhelming force. And if it happens it will be more dangerous than Germany. The United States is the world power. Germany was powerful but had more powerful antagonists. I don’t think all this is very far away. If the polls are accurate it is not the Republicans but the right-wing Republicans, the crazed Republicans, who will sweep the next election.”
I have moderate GOP and democrat acquaintances that think Trump is an honest guy. Is not just the crazies!!

A fun video to watch- a woman goes nuts because the non English speaking immigrants fast food workers didn't know what color of peppers her children demand to have on their kebabs. Something akin to the Michael Douglas burger scene on the film Falling Down but this time on high heels. Enjoy!

http://www.alternet.org/america-and-you-get-it-right-first-time-video-catches-womans-apparent-tantrum-over-kebabs?sc=fb

JC

Ps: I should have said that lucky for the plucker the duel was' silente'- so the explaining afterwards didn't count against him. ;-)

5:02 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Great meeting you on Monday, Dr. Berman! Thanks for the talk at Blue Stockings. Pizza afterward was an unexpected treat--I appreciate the group welcoming me along.

Some info on Banksy's "bemusement" park in the UK I had mentioned:


http://dismaland.co.uk/
http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/08/dismaland/
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/21/princess-diana-s-death-and-other-nightmares-inside-banky-s-dark-theme-park.html

See you all on the internet!

10:19 AM  

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