December 14, 2015

260

Wafers!

Nothing on my mind these days except Kim Jong-un's "haircut" and Peruvian fish soup. Feel free to elaborate on either of these topics.

hugs, berm

75 Comments:

Anonymous new blog gal said...

Hi guys and gals, names Shauna. Lived in the USA previously, but due to work opportunity [yoga studio start up] moved to New Zealand! This b4 I came to your books, Mr.Berman. getting thru your political books now, having absorbed all the consciousness books the year before.

Greatly identifying, and I'm sure I'll fit right in here.

I particularly like all your sources, including a lot of great stuff like like Mircae Eliade.

I know your work has connected you to a lot of other fantastic thinkers, iconoclasts; did you ever meet Terence Mckenna? The consciousness books/their references all reminded me of his interests


You'll certainly hearing more from me!

Shauna

6:35 PM  
Blogger Michael Le Flem said...

Morris,

I've been meaning to thank you for helping me get through the final stages of Rome II's demise. I think the final circle was when I went from being homeless and living on the floor of my friend's basement shucking corn for $7.00 an hour with a Master's degree in intellectual history, to finally getting back on my feet, and teaching your books to (believe it or not), receptive American students. Just wanted to share that. I too am ready to jump ship - looking to return to the Bahamas and become a mystic in a cave, ha. Trump, Hillary, Sanders, they can all kiss my ass. The game is rigged, and as you say, I'd rather watch it from the outside, with high powered binoculars.

Be well.

P.S. What is the best way to share an article I am trying to publish with you? I think you'll like it, since I have always been influenced by your take on this weird nation.

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Albondigas Caliente said...

Did you try the Peruvian ceviche? I've never had ceviche anywhere else that comes close.

I recall you one wrote that you weren't too fond of Chile. Has this trip changed your perspective? I ask because I'm considering SA as an option to escape the US. Strategically, considering climate change I'd prefer to be farther south.

On a different note, I love Matt Taibbi:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article43713.htm

"It's not an accident that his (The Donald's) attention span lasts exactly one news cycle. He's exactly like the rest of America, except that he's making news, not following it – starring on TV instead of watching it. Just like we channel-surf, he focuses as long as he can on whatever mess he's in, and then he moves on to the next bad idea or incorrect memory that pops into his head.

Lots of people have remarked on the irony of this absurd caricature of a spoiled rich kid connecting so well with working-class America. But Trump does have something very much in common with everybody else. He watches TV. That's his primary experience with reality, and just like most of his voters, he doesn't realize that it's a distorted picture."

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Deadthoreau said...

I would like to draw attention to a blog which is right up wafer road, it's called the Hip Crime Vocab and there are some gems.

"Everything is famed as personal failure, thus the dieoff is just a million stories of individual failure with no overall pattern. Nothing to see here, move along. Study and "work hard" (whatever that means), and you'll be okay. Certainly that fear is behind the epidemic of overwork, presenteeism and grinding hours of unpaid overtime Americans are putting in at work in the hope of not being next. It's like being the model prisoner in a concentration camp, though."

"And although framed as a tragedy, I wonder if to some extent this behavior on the part of working class males is a logical response to living in the kind of society that the United States has become. In a society that has no use for them anymore and where they have no sense of purpose and no hope for the future, it seems like suicide is a rational response. After a certain age, you realize that you have been sorted to the "losers" pile. If you live in the vast suburban flatland of Middle America, you likely live in a decrepit house somewhere in the anonymous miasma of strip-mall suburbia, buy disposable plastic crap made in China from baleful fluorescent-lit Dollar Stores, drive an older model pickup truck or SUV with a bad muffler and bad brakes over potholed streets and under rusty bridges, while all the jobs around you aside from the hospital and the university (which are mainly female-staffed) are minimum wage, dead-end jobs where you have to smile and wear a uniform. You realize you're never going to meet the girl of your dreams since hypergamy is still baked into female mating choice, despite what some feminists claim. You realize you will never get that that great job that will allow you to be upwardly mobile and live in relative ease and comfort, and life is a bitter, hard struggle relieved only by the occasional joint and video games. Or you're divorced and paying child support to your former wife who's managed to keep herself presentable enough to hook up with one of the few remaining alpha-males, and half your income goes to support the kids you never see. Or your deadbeat loser children have been working multiple McJobs and living in the basement for years with no hope of even affording a one-bedroom apartment, and between them and the wife you never speak to anymore, you can't even get into your own damn bathroom. You realize that, like most Americans, you will never afford to retire and will have to work your boring, dead-end job under your asshole supervisor until you literally drop dead. So why wait?"

http://hipcrime.blogspot.ca/2015/11/the-dying-americans.html?m=1

11:37 PM  
Blogger centralscrewtinizer said...

That is a kind of soup to nuts kind of invitation. Sorry, all I can muster.

12:05 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


Kim Jong-un's "haircut" ? :

The barber never finished the job. He did the edges and never got around to the top. Maybe the barber said something he ought not to have said? Actually it's not the haircut that bothers me. It's the constant look of opulent stupidity, lack of education and unrestrained brutality that lurks underneath. If the unexamined life is not worth living then Kim Jong-un should get busy reflecting on his life or put an end to it. Even Joseph Stalin would be disgusted with him.

Peruvian fish soup? :

sounds interesting. It is likely to become less varied over the next several decades as the edible fish large enough and tasty enough to be hunted commercially disappear from the nearby Pacific ocean.

If the soup looks anything like this I'm all in:

http://www.marthastewart.com/330211/peruvian-sudado-de-pescado-peruvian-fish

It includes shrimp and Halibut.

1:59 AM  
Anonymous Rusty Snag said...

So glad you're back Dr. Berman! Your last post was titled NB is Back, at long last. I was hoping this new post would be titled MB is back, at long last. Nevertheless, you're back. I don't post much, but I enjoy reading this blog every day. If you hold another Wafer summit in NYC on or about April 30, I will make every effort to be there. I was so sorry I had to miss the summit on Labor day weekend. Welcome back! I don't know anything about Kim Jong-Un's haircut or Peruvian fish soup, even though both sound intriguing.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Brilliant article here:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/15/alienation-despair-and-american-greatness/

The article author on a book titled "Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide".

"Basically he calls for a subjective revolt — an anarchism of individual subjective thought. Think for yourself. Make art. Give up on the old, tiresome political methods and those crazy conspiracy theories. And most important: Don’t let it get you down. Live with courage and 'dystopian irony.'"

11:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Rusty-

If the NYC gig comes thru, it will probably be the week of April 5.

Meat Ball-

Yes, had ceviche at Mama Olla in Miraflores, in Lima. Chile fine for me because of friends, but I find the place too much like the US, in general.

Flem-

mauricio@morrisberman.com

Shauna-

Welcome! As our memebership expands, our world political power and influence also increases. I'm still waiting for Trump to ask me for my endorsement.

mb

11:07 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Bull-

MB's "Counting Blessings" is on its way. It should arrive w/in 3-4 days.

MB-

Congrats on landing a new book deal for "The Man Without Qualities." Is this the political satire u mentioned in an earlier post? If so, a March 1st release date is absolutely perfect because it will coalesce w/the 2016 election. Can't wait to read it!

Also, I hope the NYC gig comes thru. The Bronx Zoo in April is fab. I'm an expert on the mannerisms of the African spotted hyena, also known as the laughing hyena, BTW. I'll prepare a lecture on the many similarities of Hillary and the Tanzanian Crocuta. Sure to be hit w/Wafer Summit attendees...

MB, Wafers-

Look at the faces of these douche bags:

http://www.thenation.com/article/goodbye-middle-class-hello-donald-trump/

Miles

1:55 PM  
Blogger Shane Neuhaus said...

"Soulless Harris fails to understand the subtle point that all major problems are ultimately the fault of white goyim and their sick Enlightenment project, their sexual hangups, their stuck-up ways, their table manners, their cold, cold societies, and above all their atavistic racism."

The neocons responsible for the Middle-East wars and disasters were approx 50/50 - Jews/shabboz-goy-shkotzim. The "1%" (Forbes 400) responsible for the financialization of the US economy is about 45% Jewish. Academia has a substantial Jewish presence, particularly in the Social Sciences. The culture industry (Hollywood) is a near-Jewish monopoly, etc...

But who cares about facts when we can just blame the dumb goyim...

2:38 PM  
Blogger centralscrewtinizer said...

"Actually it's not the haircut that bothers me. It's the constant look of opulent stupidity, lack of education and unrestrained brutality that lurks underneath."
I think Marc Bernstein just hit on a good thumbnail sketch of Trump. It would be nice for all concerned if both subjects took the advice offered by Mr. Bernstein.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Hello Dr.B,

This only tangentially intersects with your main areas of interest, but I thought you might find it interesting from an academic point of view:

http://newleftreview.org/II/95/wolfgang-streeck-why-the-euro-divides-europe

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Calib Lan said...

@ MB just finished the article, "Channeling Nation's Ugliness, Trump More American Than You Think" I saw you cited in the last post. How do you think it holds to this Grist piece? Just more proof Hillary already has this in the pantsuit?

https://grist.org/article/dont-freak-out-about-president-trump-the-polls-are-wrong/

4:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Calib-

Cited where?

mb

7:03 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Toady's WAFer ready headline: Former Business Consultant and University of Iowa President Advocates Shooting "Unprepared" Professors.

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/12/business-consultant-turned-college-president-apologizes-for-saying-unprepared-professors-should-be-shot/

The money quote from the story: "The hiring of Harreld — who has no background in academic adminsitration – earlier this year has been contentious, with critics saying he lacked the qualifications to lead a major U.S. university.

"Prior to his hiring, Harreld served as an executive and consultant with IBM, Kraft General Foods and the Boston Market Company restaurant chain. Harreld did spend time as an adjunct business professor at Harvard and Northwestern University, but not as a administrator or department head."

Mind you, this what not some piece of shit for profit diploma mill, but a major public state university. Go ahead kiddies, put yourself deep into debt to help pay this asshole's salary. I'm sure it will be WELL worth it.

9:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

central-

Informal rule on this blog: pls don't post more frequently than once every 24 hrs. Thanks.

mb

11:50 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

Morris can u write an article on ur thoughts on trump? I'm very curious on what u think of him and his supporters.

12:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mohamed-

I wdn't waste the ink. He's an utter jackass, and a dangerous one as well. Appropriate for the White House in these times, in other words, as he wd put the disintegration of America into high gear. But I don't think he can win, just yet; perhaps in a few more yrs.

mb

6:38 AM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Welcome back, Dr. Berman. I’m excited to hear about your new novel. I’m looking forward to reading it.

Regarding Trump, he may not be able to win yet, but here’s an article from when you were traveling that touches on the Trumpiness of the Democrats (e.g. support for internment camps and the erosion of freedom of speech).

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/12/10/hillary-clinton-called-out-hypocrisy-islamophobia

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Rusty Snag said...

Dr. B - I don't know where I got April 30. April 5 is also a possibility although my wife and I had tentative vacation plans that week. Vacationing in NYC and visiting a Wafer Summit could be a good way to use vacation time.

P&C - I read the Counterpunch article you recommended. Very good read that explains much of what we all think about all the time.

Mohamed - Here's my two cents worth on Trump ( I was going to post this on Facebook but figured it would be ridiculed): I think Donald's Trump's campaign is a great social experiment for TPTB to see just how deranged, degraded, delusional and desperate the rabble really are. TPTB need this information to help determine just how much they can mess with us. No matter what bile this cretin Trump spews, the public just keeps licking it up. Onward and downward, America!

The only other explanation I have is that Trump is a Hillary Clinton plant to mess up the GOP. Seems to be working if that's the case.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous COS said...

MB: Bienvendido a casa a Mexico! Glad you had a great trip. Anticipating your novel! I notice the title--"A Man Without Qualities". Is it in sync in some fashion with Musil's great work by the same name? I can see potential parallels--silly activities, narcissism, and a society/empire in collapse. Do tell?

I am surprised that you let slip by the posting by one Shane Neuhaus above seems like a thinly veiled anti-Semitic screed. Per that comment it would appear you and I are somehow responsible (and yet again) for the world woes. While Hollywood may be very Jewish, I think Mr. Newhaus can take solace that Branson Mo, Nashville and world wrestling federation (and Trump) are mostly goyish...

12:10 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Got any thoughts on this guy?

http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015-george-hotz-self-driving-car/

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Hi MB & WAFers--

Progress, folks, progress (URL provided below). My spouse and I have this new game where we select a few carefully chosen (and audacious) headlines each day, and the other has to determine if the headline came from a "legitimate" news source or a satirical rag like "The Onion." I failed this morning's quiz miserably on this one; I swear I can't really tell the difference between the 2 anymore . . .

https://news.vice.com/article/beijings-air-is-so-bad-the-sale-of-fresh-canadian-mountain-air-is-soaring

O&D--

Brian

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Interview with Chad Hill, author of Hipcrime Vocab blog, here: http://c-realm.com/podcasts/crealm/407-distinguishing-collapse-from-catastrophe/

6:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

COS-

Yes, it's playing off of Musil's novel, wh/is mentioned in my own. As for Shane: well, he's not entirely wrong, you know: lots of American warmongers were close to the Likudniks, after all (see stuff by John Mearsheimer, e.g.). I figured I'd let other Wafers take Shane on, inasmuch as I'm tired from lack of oxygen in Cuzco. But it's a tricky question. Having lots of Jews in politics or banking or Hollywood etc. doesn't mean they are nec working together, a la Protocols of Elders of Zion; and synchronicity is not nec = causality. Easy to string dots together, of course, and anti-Semites have been doing that re: the Jews for centuries. But in the case of the Iraq war of 2003, or the influence of AIPAC on US politics, there's definitely something there; and just as I'm wary of goyim who claim there's a world Jewish conspiracy because there's a Rothschild Street in Tel Aviv or whatever, I'm also wary of the American Jewish tendency to start screaming "anti-Semitism" every time the existence of Jewish influence is pointed out. I guess the problem is that there is a lot of b.s. mixed in with the truth, in this particular case.

mb

9:15 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

A few personal observations on Trump: I was talking to a former colleague of mine the other day who is a lifelong Republican, but not an unhinged wingnut. He is horrified by Trump, and Trump's statements on Muslims and Mexicans in particular, and doesn't think Cruz or any of the rest are much better. Another Republican-leaning former colleague of mine said to me a few weeks ago that the only Republican in the race he has any respect for is Kasich, who is nothing but an afterthought.

Meanwhile my wife, who is a liberal Jewish New Yorker and whose whole family are lifelong Democrats, has very little use for Hillary and told me a lot of her friends feel the same way. So basically you've got both parties determined to nominate repulsive assholes who no rational supporter of that party would ever vote for if the alternative was not viewed as being even worse.

I liken Trump's potential nomination to what happened to that piece of human garbage Le Pen in France, who got unexpectedly pasted when the turnout in the second round of their elections went up by 10% with nearly all the additional vote going against her. With participation in U.S. presidential elections hovering around 50%, it is turnout that really decides who wins. If Trump does get the nomination, I think there will be a similar surge of voters so disgusted by him that they'll hold their noses and vote Hillary.

The real danger is that the fascistic path Trump is blazing that will almost certainly be followed down the road by someone far more dangerous and dedicated to turning America into an openly authoritarian state.

11:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

I'm just thinking out loud here, but I just can't imagine Trump having these fantastic poll #s when the entire country is involved, and not just the GOP. As I said earlier, the country is composed of more than 99% douche bags. This has been scientifically demonstrated. But this fact hides an equally significant one: the crucial (for electoral purposes) divide between the douche bags and the hyper-douchebags. At the present time, there are many more ordinary d.b.'s than hyper ones. Hence, in the runoff between Trump and Hillary, Hillary will win, because she's got the ordinary d.b. vote.

Which means 8 more yrs of Obamism, aka crisis management. Trying to keep the lid on things as those things get increasingly worse.

However, yr abs. rt abt Trump blazing a trail. Under what conditions could the scales tip, and the hypers overtake the regulars? Another economic crunch, I wd think. As things fall apart, and the center cannot hold--which I regard as inevitable--Trump-like fascistic candidates will emerge, and they will be attractive to the voters. So even if Trump will, by then, be a has-been, Trumpism will be alive and well. And once a Trumpistic candidate takes office, the pattern will no longer be limp-along crisis management, but Full Blown Crisis and accelerated self-destruction. I can't imagine it will be pretty.

I think a Trump victory in 2016 wd constitute what we've called on this blog, a Suez moment. I'm guessing that moment is still a few yrs away.

mb

1:30 AM  
Blogger Shane Neuhaus said...

There isn't any grand conspiracy, nor is Jewish opinion monolithic. Most people do have, however, ideological biases that make objectivity impossible. When exercising power, these bias have an effect. For example, Steven J. Gould (non-goy) imputed fraud and ideological bias in Samuel Morton's measurement of skulls, accusing Morton of falsifying data to "prove" that Africans have smaller cranial vaults. Gould was so righteous and emphatic in his claims that nobody tested his hypothesis, until a few years ago, when a group of group of undergrads remeasured the skulls that Morton measured. Turns out that Morton was objective, and that Gould had fraudulently imputed fraud.

Gould, like Jared Diamond and Franz Boaz, all belong to group of very high IQ Jewish scientists that have been at the vanguard of "proving" that no racial differences exist. But how, then, do we explain how Jews have excelled in intellectually-demanding professions and are disproportionately overrepresented amongst Nobel Prize winners -despite temporal and geographic variables- if no such group differences exist? If one denies group differences, he or she confesses ethnocentric networking as the default explanation. Does this mean that there is a conspiracy to hoodwink the goyim? No, but it shows that for Gould, the political agenda was paramount. One may counter that Gould was acting as a "light unto nations" by undermining scientific racism, but it looks a tad hypocritical when the Isreali government admitted this year that it was involved in a secret eugenics program to sterilize Ethiopian-Jewish women without their consent under guise of "immunizations." This was discovered when some curious people started asking questions as to why the Ethiopian Jew birthrate had fallen more than 50% in the last decade. This was barely reported outside of Israel, and the cynic in me wonders what the outcry would be like if modern-day Europe or America were caught decimating their black populations in a undercover eugenics program.

2:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Shane-

Well, yesterday I said "Feliz Navidad" to the owner of a café I frequent, and he said to me, "But yr Jewish." I told him, "I can still wish you a Merry Xmas, no?" "Why is it," he asked me, "that the Jews are smarter than everyone else? Why do they always rise to the top of the professions?" "I dunno," I replied; and I don't. But statistically, yr rt; there was a major study done on this some yrs ago, including lots of different cultures, and the Jews always manage to be in the lead. It does sound genetic, but I'm not a scientist, and I have no answers.

As for the 'forced sterilization', check this out:

http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/02/07/lets-get-the-facts-straight-about-ethiopian-jews-and-contraception/#

and also this:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/brendanoneill2/100200874/how-true-is-it-that-israel-deceitfully-gave-ethiopian-jews-birth-control-injections/

Regarding Gould: cd u provide a reference?

mb

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

A little jetlagged coming from my semi-annual meeting of the International Jewish Bankers Conspiracy (IJBC). Why they can't serve onion bagels gets me every time. Hey, Kasich's a moron. In that joke of a debate in LV he said that instead of having an international conference on global warming, they should have been discussing what to do about Isis.
As for me (drumroll), I went back to work. I found a lovely charter school where they stress the lost art of writing. What a crock retirement was! Big deal-I got to get up late. Then what? All day with no-one to talk to. It got so bad I actually looked forward to my 10-15 minute phone call with my 91 year old mom discussing sales at Target (we traded information). Now I'm back working with some lovely children who pour their heart out in their journals. I couldn't leave if I wanted to. They would feel betrayed given that they had shared such personal information to someone who left mid-stream.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

Way to go. Congratulations. I'm still waiting for Jewish organizations to serve bacon bagels, BTW.

mb

9:06 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

I'm at my 3rd job where I know my boss is Jewish. For whatever reason Jews are good at working and running companies. I haven't figured out why it's so important in Jewish culture to become a doctor or owner of a company, but it seems there is pressure in families to succeed. Maybe they are smarter and maybe there is cultural pressure to achieve, something like how Mormons are also high achievers. I just see workaholics and people focused on their work, nothing evil.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

First things first:

I want to wish WAFers everywhere, Yhudi and goyim alike, a Happy (your holiday or observance here).

And for your general amusement, an article linked below from "The Nation" on the continuing saga of the Republican clown car and its zany occupants. But before you read the article, take a guess as to the author of the following statement(s):

"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

Answer can be found in the comments section of the article.

http://www.thenation.com/article/there-was-no-winner-in-the-gop-debate-but-there-was-one-clear-loser-the-american-public/

And now I'll settle down to read the legislation currently being debated in the Congress. I have reason to believe that the tax cuts proposed will benefit me, strengthen our job creators, make America great again, and help clean up a nasty case of eczema that afflicts me.

O & D, homies, O & D.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Deadthoreau, that HipCrimBlog is awesome, thanks for posting the link!

12:19 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Shane-

But what about Jewish intellectuals who *do* argue for some form of biological/racial intelligence determinism or scientific racism? Here are a few: "Bell Curve" author Richard Herrnstein, Seymour Itzkoff, Hans Eysenck, and Arthur Jensen. Stephen J. Gould was about as secular as one could be, BTW; same could probably be said about the individuals that I listed as well.

Anyway, most 19th century craniometry was conducted to *scientifically* justify the segregation of society based on race. I believe most of that stuff has been systematically decimated. A neighbor of mine, who was a boy in Berlin in the 1930s, revealed to me about learning what the Nazis called "race theory" in school. Quite literally, his skull was measured, along w/his German classmates, by Nazi scientists to *prove* that they had the biggest brains. Can u imagine?

Dan, MB-

I believe in an International Jewish *Bakers* Conspiracy. Still can't get those cream cheese Vatrushkas out of my head... Jesus, I musta ate a half dozen of them while in Seattle.

Miles

2:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

But do they contain the blood of small Christian boys in them? This is what we need to consider.

lack-

I have the impression that folks in the Middle East in general are historically v. gd at being merchants; Turks, for example, as well as Arabs. As for the Jews: yes, I've also wondered abt the cultural angle, not only the possible genetic one. The Chinese, for example, lead the pack in terms of school performance, SAT's, career success, and so on. What do the Jews and Chinese have in common?:

1. Culturally, huge respect for education.
2. And for your family, your parents; you are supposed to do them proud.
3. There is also cultural encouragement to contribute to society.

These things must have an effect, I'm guessing.

mb

8:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: speaking of My Favorite Goyim, and Xmas music to die for, check out "Spem in alium" by Thomas Tallis, ca. 1570.

"Spem in alium nunquam habui praeter in te..."

"I have never put my hope in any other but you..."

I'm telling you, you'll go st. to heaven.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

I just finished watching the interview of Vijay Prashad by Chris Hedges. Prashad is worth listening to. WAFers should find the whole youtube interview intriguing. My sense is that Prashad's knowledge of history is a bit overwhelming for Hedges, who knows quite a bit of history as well.

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

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

I'm sure that Dr. Berman knows about Prashad's work.

7:24 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Buffoons in action dept.:

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/18/us/virginia-school-shut-islam-homework/index.html

Allah Akbar! (Also, Jeff and Akbar!)

mb

8:11 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

MB-

Kimberly Herndon for President! What will Kimberly do when she finds out that Algebra is actually al-jabr? American buffoonery is now total, I fear.

Miles

PS: Home of the Brave, right? Allah, alas, don't make me laugh.

Miles

12:21 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear MB,

Another entry into the Buffoons in Action Dept:
Pa. school drops 'Huckleberry Finn' over use of N-word

https://www.rt.com/usa/326043-huckleberry-finn-twain-ban/

Himanshu

1:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Himan-

That's been going on for a long time now, actually. In addition, I think 'cleaned up' versions of Twain have been published as well. No upper limit to American intelligence, clearly.

Jeff-

It's also the root of our word gibberish; which constitutes more than 99% of American dialogues these days. Or as Sarah Palin once put it, verbage.

All Wafers: Despite the horror, it's impt to recognize how *funny* the collapse of a civilization can be. But enuf verbage for now.

mb

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Rockets RedGlare said...

MB wrote:

"Himan-That's been going on for a long time now, actually. In addition, I think 'cleaned up' versions of Twain have been published as well. No upper limit to American intelligence, clearly."

Have any of you ever read the "N-Word of the Narcissus" by Joseph Conrad??

Seriously, that's how some publishers have mutilated the title of that great book in order to appease the douchebags for whom race makes up everything in their worthless existence.

I don't know if they've changed John Lennon's song to "Woman is the N-Word of the World" yet....but give it time.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Something to think abt dept.:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/20/opinion/sunday/militant-jihads-softer-side.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region&_r=0

5:56 PM  
Anonymous James Galeano Glean said...

@Rocket RedGlare,

What you describe is what happens when Leftist dreck achieve positions of authority. They're the ones who have always destroyed societies from within with their perverse, Orwellian political correctness as one of the many tactics they use.

Read all about it:

"La izquierda: Azote mundial que empobrece y destruye"

http://www.amazon.com/La-izquierda-mundial-empobrece-destruye/dp/1598353268

8:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas-

But also Rightist dreck, no? A great deal of textbk censorship, or the furor over studying Islam (including calligraphy, wh/is quite beautiful) in school, etc., amounts to right-wing destruction of society as well, I'm guessing. The issue is probably more a question of dreck than of whether it's coming from the left or rt. (A synonym of dreck is religious or ideological fundamentalism.)

mb

9:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: It also needs to be said that altho most Americans are not terribly bright, this is esp. characteristic of those on the Right:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/18/republican-voters-bomb-agrabah-disney-aladdin-donald-trump

9:15 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB - The poll showing that 30% of Republican voters favor bombing the fictional Disney kingdom from the movie Aladdin really demonstrates the difference between leftist and rightist extremism--at least as both are manifested in modern America. While leftish douchebags run around snipping the N-word out of classic literature and wanting to change the name of "Lynch Hall" even though it was named after a guy who had nothing to do with slavery, the rightists often favor flat out killing the people they disagree with. This is why I get so angry at mainstream douchebags like Jon Stewart who propagate the stupid notion that the extremism of both sides is equally deplorable. I can just picture a poor Iraqi university student saying, "shit man, cut the hell out of my copy of Huckleberry Finn, just stop bombing and killing everyone I know already."

On a related note, for those who still think Trump is the most dangerous man in the presidential race, I would counter with this little tidbit from Chris Christie, who now favors potentially starting World War 3 over Syria. Better to bomb Disney studios for making that subversive radical Islamic movie, I would think.

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/politics/chris-christie-says-he-would-shoot-down-russian-planes-syria

11:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

Yes, gd pt. I've often said that the diff between the 2 parties is that the GOP is insane, while the Dems are merely full of shit. As far as the internal Islamic threat goes, however, I'm thinking it might be time to make all Muslims wear a yellow star in public.

mb

2:41 AM  
Blogger Shane Neuhaus said...

Here is the sauce on Morton/Gould: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/14/science/14skull.html?_r=0

On the nature/nuture question, genes and culture probably coevolve. If you are culturally contrained to certain professions, you would expect to see genetic selection take place on those lines, or at least you would in the Middle Ages -no EBT cards back then. Also, Gentile elites, particularly the British elite, often intermarried. Look at PM David Cameron's bio. Another example are the daughters of both (likely) candidates, Trump and Clinton, who have married Jews. Not that Trump nor Clinton exude "cream of the crop," but we are talking about the US, where the average person spends 5 hours in front of the TV each day, nursing Budweisers and a KFC super-value bucket. The bar isn't very high...

On Arabs being good merchants, a list of top businessmen in México is a good case study: Carlos Slim Helú, Arturo Elias Ayub, Kamel Nacif Borge, Isaac Saba Raffoul, Jean Succar Kuri, Pépé Abed. The curious detail is that all of "los susodichos" are Lebanese, and more specifically, either Druze or Maronite Christian. You will see the same thing with the wealthiest 14 families in El Salvador, la oligarquía latifundista: all are either Jewish or Lebanese (Druze or Maronite). Armenians also get a notable mention, but they have nothing on the Ashkenazim.

4:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Shane-

Sauce? Salsa? I love it!

But thanks for NYT article on Gould; gd stuff. Stuff regarding Jews is fine, but obviously doesn't prove any conspiracy going on. Theory of gene-culture co-evolution wd suggest the opposite. Mexico: someone told me Slim was Lebanese Jewish, which surprised me. But hey, why not?

mb

8:45 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Shane-

More sauce and some guacamole added to the Morton/Gould controversy:

https://cbs.asu.edu/sites/default/files/PDFS/remeasuring-man.pd

http://philpapers.org/archive/KAPGOM.pdf

The first paper makes a pretty convincing case that Gould's arguments against Morton are sound. The second paper argues that although there were methodological problems w/both Morton's and Gould's work, much of the criticism against Gould by the original study is "misleading" and "irrelevant to an evaluation of Gould's published work."

MB-

Re: The softer side of militant jihad

Many thanks for this unique and important article. Who floated the idea that the jihad was just about virgins in Heaven? Always thought there was a whole lot more to it than that...

In many ways it resembles the work of the great historian, George Mosse. Long ago, Mosse detailed Nazi Culture from an intellectual, cultural and social angle. Anyway, this is the angle from which to look at the allure of jihad.

Miles

12:33 PM  
Blogger madame o said...

ps: It also needs to be said that altho most Americans are not terribly bright, this is esp. characteristic of those on the Right:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/18/republican-voters-bomb-agrabah-disney-aladdin-donald-trump

The pollsters and news organizations are also ignorant it seems, as there is actually a town in Jordan called ''Agrabah.'' (Or,''Aqrabah'' depending on one's Arabic accent: there is no standard transliteration from Arabic to English.) It is about about 8 miles from the city of Irbed (the 2nd or 3rd largest city in Jordan). It's a town of peaceful farmers. ''Agrabah'' means ''spider'' in Arabic and there are very likely other towns or villages in the Middle East called ''Agrabah.'' I don't want them to bomb Agrabah....for so many reasons. Jordan is our ally too and hosts bases for the US military. The pollsters should ask those who support bombing Agrabah, why? And what's the benefit? And what are costs? But I guess it didn't fit on the form.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

madame o-

We thank you for your enlightened contribution; shukran!. All I can say is insh'allah, as well as allah akbar. Also mumtaz.

Jeff-

Thanks for links on Gould; more fuel for the fire, I suppose.

I dunno if I wd compare jihadis to Nazis; the diffs seem greater than the similarities. But I liked the article because it suggests the richness of cultural background which any Muslim, jihadist or not, lives in. As in the case of the Vietnamese, poetry pervades their lives. Americans, the govt and media included, choose to see our enemies as cardboard figures; it makes the war machine a lot easier to operate. Nor do they have the slightest interest in poetry. And then all of those parents going nuts over a school exercise involving copying Arabic calligraphy. At this pt I doubt the average American even knows what 'culture' is, let alone the specifics of any particular one. There's a great film called "The Physician," abt Avicenna (played by Ben Kingsley) and the Arabic golden age (11thC); I can't imagine even 0.5% of the American public ever having heard of these things, or--if they were to be informed abt them--ever being interested in them. Or, for that matter, in Sartre, or Goethe, or John Stuart Mill.(A large % of the American public, however, is able to identify the Three Stooges.)

mb

2:58 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

MB -

With the new star wars as popular as it is, it makes me think about how much adults love childish things. People say it's just a fun sci fi movie, but it seems like people go from one childish thing to another, w/ people mostly reading books/blogs on the same level - fluff & childish entertainment.

Where do you draw the line between enjoying some fluff now and again, to making it basically all you do in your free time? Plenty of adults in their 30s/40s don't seem to spend time w/ anything w/ difficult themes, people are happy w/ simplicity, trivia, novelty, and children's entertainment.

I still just get blank stares from most people if I bring up any of your work or authors you recommend, or people get defensive and go on the attack.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

lack-

Go to Paris and watch the French crowding into FNAC and other bkstores. They aren't glued to their screens, or reading only lightweight stuff; they buy lots of physical bks, ones that are intellectually challenging.

Americans are lightweights; they fill their lives w/trivia, and it's likely that they don't have the brainpower to do much else. Basically, children. At work, if you shd make a reference from literature or mythology, your co-workers will hate you. (Just try it.)

mb

7:59 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

As someone who is both leftish and of Lebanese descent, I find the current discussion fairly amusing. For one thing, I don't have an entrepreneurial bone in my body, nor are any of my relatives in business (except for a cousin who makes and sells murder weapons http://www.beshknives.com/). Furthermore, I detest political correctness; as proof, here's a playlist from one of my radio shows from a few years back:

•Sissy Man - Josh White
•Masculine Women! Feminine Men! - Irving Kaufman
•Mañana - Peggy Lee
•Egyptian Ella - Ted Lewis and his Band
•Mr. Wu's a Window Cleaner Now - George Formby
•Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love) - Rudy Vallée
•Mississippi Mud - Paul Whiteman Orch.
•The Sun has Got its Hat on - Ambrose and his Orch/ Sam Browne voc.
•Chinese Blues - Irving Kaufman
•Two Cigarettes in the Dark - Bing Crosby
•Smoking Reefers - Larry Adler
•Was I Drunk? Was he Handsome? - Georgia White
•Slap 'Er Down Again, Paw - Arthur Godfrey
•She Wouldn't do What I Asked Her To - Original Memphis Five/ Billy Jones voc.
•Shoot Him High, Paw - Rosalie Allen
•Hong Kong Blues - Hoagy Carmichael
•Swinging on the Reservation - Chick Webb Orch. /Ella Fitzgerald voc.
•Totem Pole - Lucille Hegamin
•Oh, is She Dumb - Eddie Cantor
•The Cake Walk - The Victor Minstrels
•You've Got to Beat Me to Keep Me - Trixie Smith
•Since Ma is Playing Mah Jong - Original Memphis Five
•Complainin' - It's Human Nature - Sophie Tucker
•Run, Ni***er Run - The Skillet Lickers

I don't promise such an outrageous lineup on this Sunday's show, but I'm pretty sure WAFers will be hep to the jive if they tune in.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Shane Neuhaus said...

Bloomberg Business has its finger on America's pulse with this article, entitled (drum roll please):

"How to Make Millions by Marketing Yourself as a ‘Douche Bag’"

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-18/penny-stock-guru-tim-sykes-embraces-role-of-rich-douche-bag-

"[H]e'd turned his bar mitzvah haul into $1.65 million, before taxes"

9:38 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

I finished reading the book “Neither Wolf nor Dog – On forgotten roads with an Indian elder” by Kent Nerburn. The book is the first of a trilogy where the author shares his conversations and experiences with an Indian elder named Dan who lived on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. I encourage all Wafers to read this gem of a book. In one of the chapters Dan has the following to say about the dominant culture’s view of Indians:

“ For white people there are only two types of Indians. Drunken bums and noble Indians. In the old days, we used to be savages, but that’s gone. Now it’s drunks and noble Indians. I like the white men better who think we are all drunks. At least they are looking at us as people. They’re saying what they see, not what they want to see. Then when they meet one of us who’s not a drunk, they have to deal with us.

“The ones who see us all as wise men don’t care about Indians at all. They just care about the idea of Indians. It’s just another way of stealing our humanity and making us into a fantasy that fits the needs of white people. You want to know how to be like Indians? Live close to the earth. Get rid of some of your things. Help each other. Talk to the Creator. Be quiet more. Listen to the earth instead of building things on it all the time.”


Thank you,
Himanshu

11:11 PM  
Anonymous David G. said...

I was at a professional conference this past week -- the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. One event people could choose was a special screening of the new Star Wars film. This seems to me to be a scary new thing -- an intrusion of childish trivia into an elite scientific intellectual realm. The vendor area also contained a couple of the biggest, baddest giant video displays I have ever seen -- one by NASA and one by Google. Besides sucking loads of electricity, they also seemed to me to appeal to the more childish dimension of people, attracting them with bright lights and things that go beep. While I enjoyed the conference in general, I was disappointed and conflicted to see these kind of bar-lowering attractions being integrated into a high-level intellectual milieu.

1:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Himan-

Thanks for the ref. "Possessions are a disease with them"--Sitting Bull.

Shane-

Also thanks for ref. I'm very excited that the term 'douche bag' is finally making it into the MSM, where it belongs, altho I wish these people wd at least give me a ftnote. Also note that it is showcased in my new novel, "The Man Without Qualities," scheduled for release in March. Hopefully this will really put the term on the map.

In all of American history, only 4 social critics made the claim that the country was going to the dogs because its population consisted of douche bags: H.L. Mencken, George Carlin, Gore Vidal, and me. But only one--me--specifically used the term 'douche bags'. It's time to call a bag a bag. Pls note also that Tina Fey (my heart throb), on "30Rock," said in one episode: "I will not tolerate douchebaggery." Tina! Marry me! Have my babies!

mb

4:24 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

I'm Jewish and also don't have any entrepreneurial skill. Hell, I lost my shirt investing in color radio and then tried to set up a glass factory along the San Andreas fault. Now I'm reduced to being a lifeguard at a car wash.
Although I love my new school, techno-buffoonery is reaching epic proportions. A few teachers there hold their I-phone while teaching! Gee, think you can send a better message that the corporate-consumer-techno lifestyle is the "best of all possible worlds"? I only hope their charges see them as moronic and not become moronic in turn. Parenthetically, one teacher went completely berserk when a student used her electric pencil sharpener without permission. Great way to teach the concept of sharing.
I know I mentioned this earlier but it still amazes to see young black men walking with headphones. Don't they realize there is a concerted war against them?
Pepe Escobar said Putin is ready to go nuclear if Turkey or any Nato country downs another Russian plane. And with that, Merry Christmas!

10:14 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I'm really excited about Donald Trump's idea for building a wall to keep Mexicans out of the United States*, and especially enthusiastic about his making the Mexicans pay for it. We're a long way from the election that will decide the next president, but a man can dream, can't he?

As the circus rages around us and we try to avoid personal injury, perhaps a comic interlude is called for. A six-minute YouTube clip of a Doug Stanhope bit on nationalism and immigration. Note that he uses the word "douchebag," a sign that he is attuned to the douchebaggery around him. Enjoy.

http://youtu.be/Z_iBOEDb7PM

*the Greatest Country on this planet

11:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas-

I share yr enthusiasm for Trump, but it is becoming increasingly clear that Hillary will defeat him. Jesus: 8 years of what may be the most grotesque face on the American political scene since Ronald Reagan. I shudder, my friends; our long national nightmare is about to begin. Or continue, I suppose I shd say.

mb

11:59 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Season's Greetings my fellow Wafers,

From this Wafer to you and yours, a holiday tune to get u thru the final stretch:

"Let It Go"
(sung to the tune of "Let It Snow")

Oh, the future of America is frightful
But the Wafers are so delightful
And since it's a wonderful show
Let it go, let it go, let it go

It doesn't show signs of stoppin'
Douche bags shootin' and shoppin'
And who knows what next week will bestow
Let it go, let it go, let it go

When we finally kiss it good-bye
How I love going out in a storm
But if you wanna see a sight!
Sit tight, sit tight, sit tight

The empire is slowly dying
And my dear, there's just no denying
Soon we will have el Trumpo
Let it go, let it go, let it go

Anyway, u guys get the point.

Merry Christmas!

Miles

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

My wife and I take nightly "mall walks" to get the kinks out after a day in the old cubicle. You really get to see the end of civilization at your local dying mall. Last week, we saw Mennonite girls in their long dresses and bonnets transfixed by their "smart" phones, and Santa himself was checking out his phone between a screaming toddler and a fat bulldog next in line.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birney-

One way of making the collapse tolerable is to realize that the US has become a parody of itself, and therefore that what you see around you needs to be treated as a joke. As someone said, You really can't make this stuff up.

Even when Dan Quayle was VP, it was unimaginable that someone like George W. Bush cd ever be president, or that someone like Donald Trump cd be a serious contender. You look at their faces, and it's like yr seeing a comic book (of the horror variety).

mb

5:55 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


Himanshu ---

Thanks for bringing to our attention “Neither Wolf nor Dog – On forgotten roads with an Indian elder” by Kent Nerburn.

Do USA-ians have a special problem with authenticity, is this difficulty characteristic of people living today within Western Industrial Civilization, or is it inherently human to become captivated by superficially enticing forms of self-deception?

I have yet to answer this question satisfactorily. Being authentic is bordering on the impossible in the USA these days, unless you try and actualize Morris Berman's "new monastic option". The stench of pretense (progress is good, money is the measure of a man, etc.) is ubiquitous here. It shackles the spirit. However, there is pretense elsewhere too. I'm tempted to say that an inability to be authentic is a peculiar characteristic of people living within Western techno-industrialized, Abrahamic religion-based culture, at a time in which it is becoming increasingly obvious that the collection of global ecological crises is intractable.

English philosopher John Gray might disagree.

from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gray_(philosopher) :

"Gray sees volition, and hence morality, as an illusion, and portrays humanity as a ravenous species engaged in wiping out other forms of life. Gray writes that 'humans ... cannot destroy the Earth, but they can easily wreck the environment that sustains them.' "

So it's the old question: is human nature hopelessly flawed or are features of the so-called dominant culture the culprit in humanity's coming ecological catastrophe?

12:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Marc-

Most societies on earth were homeostatic until the Industrial Revolution. Maps of ecological destruction show this: the growth curve is fairly steady down to abt 1750, then explodes exponentially during last 250 yrs.

mb

2:49 AM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

I came across a poem titled "Facebook Sonnet" by Native American writer and poet, Sherman Alexie. I thought Wafers and you might enjoy it.

The Facebook Sonnet


Welcome to the endless high-school
Reunion. Welcome to past friends
And lovers, however kind or cruel.
Let’s undervalue and unmend
The present. Why can’t we pretend
Every stage of life is the same?
Let’s exhume, resume and extend
Childhood. Let’s all play the games

That preoccupy the young. Let fame
And shame intertwine. Let one’s search
For God become public domain.
Let church.com become our church.

Let’s sign up, sign in and confess
Here at the altar of loneliness.



Himanshu

7:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Himan-

Abs. terrific poem; thanks for sending it in. BTW, pls note that I too am a Wafer.

And in the end-of-empire-foolishness dept., we have this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zKaWc_43UI

mb

8:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

And in the Signs of the Times Dept.:

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/14/politics/donald-trump-new-poll-monmouth/index.html?iid=ob_article_footer_expansion&iref=obnetwork

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/21/middleeast/afghanistan-taliban-control-helmand/index.html

8:40 AM  
OpenID vwclown said...

Hello Dr. Berman and all Wafer friends.
I hope you are all healthy and happy-ish as we come to the end of 2015. Just thought I'd stop by to lament another loss to the world of people who have bothered to care about society; Howard Leibowitz. (Wish such people would stop dying...) He seemed to have a very consistent moral code of decency and kindness with a determined attitude, you know, a real life social worker. I know, the US is too far gone to appreciate such high-minded contributions, but we Wafers can always take a few lessons from others, like Howard, as we try to make do with what's left of us for NMI and/or dual-process living. Happy New Year. -- Fruit Girl
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-dreier/howard-leibowitz-political-advisor_b_8884758.html

3:50 PM  
Blogger David Parent said...

Happy New Year Dr. Berman and all Wafer Friends from Vancouver Canada!
Well my Scratch and Win Xmas gifts I asked everyone to give me for Xmas (Set for Life) came up Nada! So I wont be happily fleeing to Mexico this year! Hoping it happens in 2016.. Saw this story and just kept thinking about not so red flags that come up in Why America Failed and this one truly needs to be considered as a talking point... http://fox17online.com/2015/12/01/man-charged-with-felony-for-passing-out-fliers-in-front-of-courthouse/
and then of course this which is another bizarre court drama that is now turned into this...
http://thefreethoughtproject.com/mow-down-americans-critical-police-killings-beg-feds-slaughter-citizens/
Clearly Dr. Berman the US Court system is starting to become something that hates freedom that interferes with US Govt. Tyranny!

10:49 PM  

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