March 14, 2016

Interview with Derrick Jensen


Blogger jml said...

Wonderful interview. I could've listened to you two talk for hours. His "Culture of Make Believe" and your "Reenchantment" are two books that allowed me to realize that I wasn't crazy the culture I lived in was.
You never know how many people you reach.
I ran across a quote by Freud this weekend:
"America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen, but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success."
Was not aware he wrote or commented on our predicament/way of life.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


He also wrote, "America is a mistake, a gigantic mistake, but a mistake." This around 1909. Smart guy.


11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Derrick Jensen's work is great and I am actually surprised that he was so little mentioned on this blog so far! A Language Older Than Words was a transformative read for me. My only problem with DJ, just like with our friend Chris Hedges, is that he could really use a few extra jokes here and there in his discourse... I mean why do things have to be so serious and gloomy?

Meanwhile, in case you Wafers missed it:


12:53 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

The Craw-

No, no, the street fighting is a reference to post-WW I Weimar Germany. We are not quite there yet, but give it a bit more time.

Yr right that Bernie has not directly called for his campaign to shut down Trump rallies, but Bernie's incessant calls for a so-called "Revolution" and "justice" could incite followers to do so. Chants of "Bern-ie! Bern-ie!" were, in fact, seen and reported at the Chicago Trump rally; this would suggest that these folks *are* from the Sanders campaign, no? And what about the hashtag campaign shut-it-down? Pawns of Moveon is squarely in the Sanders corner, and should be criticized for the violence as well, IMO. Clearly, Trump is a rank obscenity, and his followers dangerous imbeciles, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that if you disrupt his rallies, flip off his audience, yell and scream when he is speaking, his followers are gonna react and fight back. These tactics only burnish Trump's bogus image as a brave victim of *progressive* political correctness. I tell ya, progressives are smart cookies...


2:28 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I was never a Star Trek or Star Trek:Deep Space Nine fan, but came across a reference to the "Ferengi Rules of Acquisition." Focussing on the "acquisition," I thought this term might bear looking into. When I did so, I decided that perhaps others here might enjoy taking a look for themselves. A link is below, with a few sample rules as an amuse-bouche:

[Rule] 6. Never let family stand in the way of opportunity.

13. Anything worth doing is worth doing for money.

28. Morality is always defined by those in power.

34. War is good for business.

81. There's nothing more dangerous than an honest businessman.

Live long and prosper, yo.

4:16 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Re: Humor

I seem to recall that parts of Derrick Jensen’s live talks were hilarious. Perhaps he’s more gloomy these days, but he can also be very funny.

Re: Ferengi

There’s an episode of Deep Space Nine, in which Doctor Bashir is treating a meek, low-confidence Ferengi named Rom who allowed a serious infection to go untreated because his employer and older brother, Quark, doesn’t allow time off for medical care. Bashir is appalled at these conditions and tells Rom that he needs to stand up for himself because he could have easily died. Bashir goes on to suggest that Rom should consider setting up a union. Rom is baffled by this. So, Bashir attempts to explain it to him as a way of stopping the exploitation.

Rom is amazed by the doctor’s ignorance and tells him, “You don’t understand. Ferengi workers don’t want to stop the exploitation! We want to find a way to become the exploiters.”

7:30 PM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

bernies getting slaughtered at the polls. looks like it'll be status quo v pitchforks CEO. oy vey

7:59 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Miles - You are spot on when referencing the street clashes in Weimar Germany. Most of those clashes were between paramilitary organizations run by the Nazi, Communist and Social Democratic parties, most of whose members were from the working classes. Three things are really of note here:

1). All those doing the fighting had much more in common with each other than than they did with the aristocratic douchebags running the country (kind of like Bernie and Trump supporters).

2). It was the refusal of the two major German left wing parties to cooperate that helped create the conditions that allowed the Nazis to come to power as a minority, coalition party (Bernie and Hillary supporters come to mind here, as well as voter apathy about the "lesser of two evils" keeping the overall voting percentages way down.).

3). Once Hitler did finally take control, his idiot supporters failed to notice that he was leading them over the abyss until it was far too late (will Trump supporters be any smarter? I'll take THAT bet).

God Bless America--it could certainly never happen here.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

Terrific interview.

On tonight's election results it's official. It's come down to the Walking Dead vs. Charlie Chaplin's version of Mussolini. I also know now what Hillary as well as Obama mean by - let's work together - let's unite behind those great American values - it's code for lets sell more and more of our politics and culture to hypercorporatism, what else could that mean. Hillary's message should be - definitely not a progressive, co-destroyer of FDR liberalism along with hubby Bubba, but definitely not Trump. What a fabulous country we have deevolved into or emerged to be what we always have been just becoming more crystal clear everyday- as been said a thousand times, a nation largely of douchebags with an emerging trend extrapolating into hyperdouchebaggery. What a fantastic day to be an American.

10:40 PM  
Anonymous The Craw said...


At the risk of beating a dead horse, please review the news reporting on the aborted 3/11 Trump rally in Chicago. Several scuffles broke out inside and outside the auditorium. Punches were thrown. Two Chicago cops working crowd control were bloodied. Unconfirmed reports said that cars parked around the arena had their windows smashed. Not rioting, per se (large scale street fighting) but fighting nonetheless.

I find it improbable that the avuncular, near 75 year old egghead (Univ. of Chicago, class of 1964, poli. sci.)from Vermont inspires that kind of rage, calls for "revolution" notwithstanding. (BTW, Bernie ain't calling for violent upheaval, he's calling for change within the system.)

Long story short: I believe the chants of "Bernie" and the fighting were part of a false flag operation meant to discredit both Trump and Sanders, all for the benefit of the preferred establishment candidates, Cruz and Hillary. In the aftermath, Cruz and Hillary both made statements which made them appear rational and presidential compared to Trump and Sanders. How convenient!

My apologies Dr. B for going on so long and for engaging in a dialogue with Miles.

Onward and downward, everybody!

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

Did everybody in here enjoy rubios ass wooping in Florida? I did. I think his career is over.

2:01 AM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

Trump rolls on!
I can't wait till he rolls over hillary and bill.
We are tired of corrupt politicians who are in public offices to enrich themselves at the expense of the country. If Trump will bring the nation down faster, so be it, since those who parade themselves as educated and smart have been the worst politicians ever.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Trumpeters all.

Monday night's Full Frontal (TBS) interview with college-educated supporters of Donald Trump. Samantha Bee (ex-Daily Show) does a sitdown with American youth.

Make America great again!

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Zeke said...

Liked the interview - not the biggest fan of DJ but he is a good host. And while I've said it here before, its worth repeating: twilight of american culture and your other writings did make me feel far less out of place in modern society, around friends, with family, etc.

In other news, I found a scathing review of a Walking Dead episode that briefly discusses the show's morality in a way WAFers might like:

"The Walking Dead franchise is the most morally repugnant thing on television.

The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead send the message to a society in the throes of endless war, openly nativist and racist politics, and mass gun psychosis that the only way to ensure the survival of you and your loved ones is to act with maximum brutality at all times. It’s not that I’m saying these shows are turning people into killers; on the contrary, everyone involved knows damn well that this is decadent nonsense... But the same is true of the NRA or Donald Trump or Ben Carson, who for political and financial profit fuel the paranoid, masturbatory murder fantasies of a country full of gunfucking shut-ins terrified of the unwashed, undead masses flowing over the border, out of the ghettoes, and into Main Street USA. Ideologically, Rick Grimes and George Zimmerman are just a zombie apart."

Has "zombie fandom" ever been discussed on this blog? Comedian/filmmaker Bobcat Goldthwaite (maker of the WAFer beloved God Bless America) once said he thought people liked zombie movies because of their inner Charles Whitman, their desire to start blasting neighbors away. I definitely think historians will look back on the zombie craze as evidence of some deeper illness of the culture. Have felt that way since I started seeing framed zombie-ear-necklace props sold as "collector's items".

10:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Jumbalay, crawfish pie, me-o my-o
Well tonight I'm gonna see my cher ami-o
Drink fruit jar
Play guitar
And be gay-o
Son of a gun
We'll have great fun
Down by the bayou.

(Sorry, cdn't help myself)


10:33 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Perpetrators claiming victim status. Hustlers becoming suckers.

White man's pathology.

When not white enough.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

Mr. Craw-

Well, I guess anything's possible...but I don't know if I buy yr false-flag operation theory. I need evidence, not yr *belief* that this is the case. Are u saying that political operatives from the Clinton and Cruz campaigns are behind the Trump rally disruptions? Have elements of "Black Lives Matter" suddenly been co-opted by the Trump campaign? What? Seems like a stretch, as far as I can tell.

The more likely scenario is the fact that many progressives and folks on the left are not too interested in the right of free speech or open democratic exchange of ideas anymore, sad to say. This kind of stuff (shutting and shouting down opposing views) happens all the time on college campuses and public forums. This blog, in fact, has documented many examples of this this behavior as well. I recall one recent example: a black female student completely flipping out on a professor over some trivial thing... Jesus, talk about douchebaggery. In any case, again, if it's a false-flag op to discredit Trump, it's not working out too well.


Many thanks for the historical analysis. Jesus, this shit's getting creepy, no? We are, as John S vividly points out: "a nation largely of douchebags with an emerging trend extrapolating into hyperdouchebaggery."

MB, Wafers-

Remember when Obama predicted that Russian intervention in Syria would fail? He said: "An attempt by Russia and Iran to prop up Assad and try to pacify the population is just going to get them stuck in quagmire and it won't work." Putin has, yet again, pulled off another coup and shown the world that he is more adept than Obama -- the man John Mearsheimer once described as the "man w/the midas touch in reverse." Cue the laugh track now, I suppose.


2:35 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Good Day Dr. B: I read your new novel last night in two sittings, with our usual mall walk in between. I enjoyed it very much and honestly teared up several times as I imagined we the people allowing the better angels of their nature to rise to the top in order to actually create a new birth of freedom. But then I supposed that Chapter 34, if written, would feature George being squashed like an insect or ending up in Gitmo. Meanwhile, I can report that our dying mall's three kiosk-style cell phone outlets and three actual cell phone stores were doing a brisk business. PS- I don't think the real "Colton Farnsworth" would enjoy Chapter 7- ouch.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

>Several scuffles broke out inside and outside the auditorium. Punches were thrown. Two Chicago cops working crowd control were bloodied. Unconfirmed reports said that cars parked around the arena had their windows smashed. Not rioting, per se (large scale street fighting) but fighting nonetheless.

How long will it be, I wonder, before the cops fail to suppress the protests to Trump's satisfaction, giving him the excuse he probably dreams of to outfit his own version of Hitler's brownshirts? Seeing as how he claims that since he has hired the hall, he gets to dictate what happens in it, this wouldn't be much of a stretch. Even megachurches have been known to maintain their own bouncers-- er, uh, "security staffs".

5:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Glad u enjoyed it. Publisher and I talked abt putting a sticker on the front cover: READ THIS BEFORE YOU VOTE. But it probably wdn't make much difference. Meanwhile, we are overworked, getting out George Haskel T-shirts, lingerie, coffee mugs, underpants, range of pasta sauces and swimsuit wear. Not to mention bowling balls and a small electric car. Whew!

As for ch. 34, maybe I shd write a sequel. Hmm. Not to worry abt Colton, in any case: check out the disclaimer on the copyrt page, This is a work of fiction etc.

One friend wrote me that the bk was a gd mixture of my most outrageous fantasies and cutting-edge cultural analysis. Really, there is only 1 question facing the US, and it's not who will be pres or whether Hillary's face is filled with Botox. It's this: Can douchebaggery be reversed?


6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MB, Wafers,

If you haven't watched ABC's TV series called "American Crime", I highly recommend it. I just finished season 1 and the show really goes down to the core of some of the themes we discussed here like negative identity and the fact that the racial issue never really ended in the US. The actors are all absolutely terrific.


9:27 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@MB - "The more likely scenario is the fact that many progressives and folks on the left are not too interested in the right of free speech or open democratic exchange of ideas anymore, sad to say."

I try to be open minded. For instance I read and some other (non-Koch Brother compromised) libertarian sites to try and balance the views I get from left wing sites. That said, I just can't deal with the beyond irrational garbage that spews forth from the likes of Fox News, Breitbart, Rush Limbaugh the Washington Times, etc. How do you even begin to have a rational argument with people who deny basic science backed truths like global warming and the benefits of vaccination? Additionally, how do you coherently argue with someone who backs such ludicrous policy positions as Wisconsin's new proposed statewide ban on plastic bag bans that appears to exist for no other reason other than to piss liberals off.

But that is also the reason why right wing politicians/media figures continually throw their rhetorical stink bombs. It generates liberal outrage, which predictably generates a conservative backlash, rinse repeat, that is deliberately aimed at keeping the proles safely divided and conquered. Unfortunately for the Republican Party, they are now losing control of that process--and yeah, now they are looking for ways to sabotage him, though they are rapidly running out of time since he currently has half the delegates he needs to secure the nomination.

New slogan for the election: "What a horrible choice...on the one hand you have someone who is a corrupt, incompetent fraud, and on the other is Donald Trump."

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Barry said...

Dr. Berman and others have noted that if revolution comes to the US it will be a right wing revolution since the right are the only people capable of pulling one off. If it does happen do you think it will be an outright military coup or will there still be a facade of civilian leadership?

1:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


That quote is not from me.


11:13 AM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

"I used to believe in trade agreements. That was before the wages of most Americans stagnated and a relative few at the top captured just about all the economic gains.

The old-style trade agreements of the 1960s and 1970s increased worldwide demand for products made by American workers, and thereby helped push up American wages.

The new-style agreements increase worldwide demand for products made by American corporations all over the world, enhancing corporate and financial profits but keeping American wages down."

The fact is, recent trade deals are less about trade and more about global investment.

11:39 AM  
Blogger librarian@play said...

Michelle Obama suggests that hustle is a political act.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Re The Trumpenfuehrer: what you resist, persists. Actually if I were TD, I would secretly orchestrate the protests, because the more protestors there are, the more it increases his supporters’ devotion…it works to his advantage. Like they say, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Sorry MB, obviously I meant MD on that last one. Fat fingers.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


I actually think there's something to this. It's been fairly well-documented that DT paid actors to cheer and support him when he first declared his presidential candidacy:

If there's one thing DT is particularly good at, it's phony publicity and controversy. I wouldn't put it past the bastard to hire phony protestors to rile up his featherbrained audiences. At this point, I think it's clear that DT is capable of anything.


I finished TMWOQ today! I hafta say, I think it's a brilliant distillation of yr ideas, and a sharp-witted work that captures the American scene with stunning clarity and simplicity. Jesus, it has a mix of everything: it's relevant, laugh-out-loud funny, joyful, sorrowful, incisive, humanistic, and brutally honest. It's a Wafer dream come true; and you don't hafta be a Wafer to understand it! Excellent work, and many thanks for writing it. I'll write an amazon review of it soon.


ps: Lorenzo Riggins just wrote me and said how terrible he feels that he wasn't chosen by Obama for the Court. Poor, poor pitiful Lorenzo...

6:06 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

If Trump became president, what would happen? Or if we take the red pill, or launch Skynet, to use other metaphors, what might happen? Instead of Trump the video game, the walking circus, the reality TV show, Trump would be president, we might wanna call it Trump reality TV nation, the Trump house. Since Trump has no policies, just a series of random ID grunts, let’s see what some of these might mean. A president has a bully pulpit, if not for the people, still definitely for Wall St. and the markets, so what Trump might say might have ramifications far beyond what he might actually do. Keep that in mind.

Trump ID statement 1 – Build the giant wall, make Mexico pay for it. Implications – Trade war with Mexico, possible massive disruptions in goods shipped to the US, needless to say, giant stock market jitters.

Trump ID statement 2 – Round up an expel all those 11 million or so Mexican rapists and murderers. Implications –If he succeeded, besides the massive protests and inhumanity, massive disruption of agribusiness and meat production, could lead to huge hikes in food prices, food shortages, massive runs on supermarkets.

Trump ID statement 3 – Trade war with China. Implication – given that multinationals created China, and they own a substantial amount of our T bonds (over a trillion), they are an authoritarian regime, it’s easy to see what a trade war would mean, massive disruptions in imports, stock crashes, runs on Walmart, etc.

Trump ID statement 4 – half baked massive tax cuts mostly for the rich. Implication – while this has much in common with the other rethugs, it means of course massive increases in the deficit, massive government layoffs, crash of the economy.

Trump ID statement 5 – ban Muslims, kill terrorist families, Implication – global Islamic intifada and boycott of the US. You could see the Saudi’s reinstitute a global oil embargo on the US and Europe.

Trump ID statement 6 – repeal Obamacare. Implication – as bad as Obamacare is, immediate repeal would cause millions of Americans to immediately lose healthcare including medicaid, probably a massive skyrocketing of both emergency visits as well as premiums for everyone, stumbling of Heath insurance stocks which will impact the rest of the market as well.

And I haven’t even considered the darker things that could happen, martial law, nuking the middle east, detention and imprisonment of a new Trump generated enemies list, massive social riots and protests, and food lines like we’ve never seen before. And there won’t be a FDR humpty dumpty to put the pieces together when it’s all over. It will probably take decades if ever to even begin to put together the pieces again.

Well, that was fun. It might be reality soon. Ready to launch Trump Skynet.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

Interesting interview. I don't typically follow Sam Harris but ran across this excerpt of Jonathan Haidt who is a social psychologist and Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business. An appearance on the Waking Up with Sam Harris podcast He discusses the alarming rise of a vindictive, authoritarian kind of political correctness, different from previous generations. Plus the emergence of the social justice movement as a type of secular religion.

Safe Spaces — Sam Harris and Jonathan Haidt on the Disturbing Trend of Vindictive Protectiveness.
about 20 min.

at least one reason why rational discourse is impossible and why we wound up with a country of children....

7:51 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

Free trade has never been about lifting most boats but about minimizing wages. Automation has never been about lifting more boats but about minimizing wages. Income inequality is a result of the two happening simultaneously over the last 30 years and the refusal to redistribute the wealth that those savings provided to mostly the upper classes; for that matter the technological white collar jobs replacing them are not even paying what these blue collar jobs used to pay back in the 60's. . Pickety's Capital notes how inheritance and wealth will become the only means for success in an increasingly unequal society. The notion that a college education will save most working class kids isn't happening already. Half of college graduates think their degrees are worthless. Robert Reich must be dreaming.

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

Americans get what they deserve when they chose Reagan . His trickle down economics is what destroyed blue collar Americans and what's now destroying middle class Americans . They voted for him out of spite for blacks.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

>Mohamed said...

>Did everybody in here enjoy rubios ass wooping in Florida? I did. I think his career is over.

Yes, indeed, I enjoyed it. And I doubt that he can run back to Jeb for advice and support, either. During their long period as friends, they had only one serious disagreement. It was over the Freedom Tower in Miami and whether the state should spend $7 million to help Miami Dade Community College buy it. Jeb said no, it was a boondoggle. Rubio said yes, it was historic especially for Cuban-Americans. Rubio didn't get the funding, but private monies helped the college buy the building. He announced his candidacy for President there. It was almost certainly a jab at Jeb. (See

12:13 AM  
Anonymous The Craw said...

“Are u saying that political operatives from the Clinton and Cruz campaigns are behind the Trump rally disruptions?”

Not anyone directly on either of their respective staffs. Plausible deniability requires that there be no immediate connection between the candidate(s) and the individuals running the “dirty tricks campaign” (q.v.).

“Have elements of "Black Lives Matter" suddenly been co-opted by the Trump campaign?”

Never said anything of the sort. Trump is a target.

The fact that his popularity increased despite the ugly confrontations in Chicago just means that the forces arrayed against him have to step up their game, or find a different formula - one that works.

Skullduggery and Presidential elections are as American as apple pie, and just as commonplace:
Nixon – sabotage of the Paris Peace Talks; Watergate
Reagan – Arms for Hostages Deal with Iran
G. W. Bush – Florida purge of voter rolls; Gore vs Bush

One final note to all those gathered here: Just to be clear, I'm not defending/apologizing for/promoting Trump.

Onward and downward everybody!

1:29 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

I attended a high school talent show a few evenings ago. It was actually billed as "Students Vs. Teachers". Almost all the students did some form or rap music; either singing, dancing, making their own lyrics, etc. Amazingly, when students danced to it nearly the entire audience knew all the words! I mean that is some accomplishment as the songs(?) are of such high speed it's nearly impossible to understand a single word. Yet, I am certain that if I showed these students a world map they couldn't even locate Canada. But the most depressing part of the evening is that the teachers also did some form of rap music! I mean maybe a Gershwin song? It reminded me of something Mc Cluen (sp)wrote that there were so many slaves in Rome that eventually slave culture became the dominant culture. Still, there was one student who played a Chopin Etude nearly flawlessly. Of course, that was the time for students to quickly use the bathroom and buy some snacks. The American people don't deserve even a Trump.

8:09 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

Just a brief remark ---

I loved when Derrick Jensen mentioned that his single source of hope is the realization that it's very expensive to maintain a lie.

I was reminded by this interview that you haven't done a podcast with James Howard Kunstler in awhile.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, a pretty gd portrait of the US today, sad to say. Most teens and young adults know all the characters on "Jersey Shore," can't name the Vice President.


In future pls limit yr posts to half a page. Thank you.


Very happy to hear you enjoyed the bk. I'm thinking I shd send Lorenzo a copy, cheer him up.


12:29 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Listening to a popular radio talk show this morning, I was offended by the cavalier way the discussion was being conducted. (I suspect you could level the same criticism against the show--or any other confabulation of talking heads--on any other day of the week. And against any similar gabfest in any other medium.)

The tone made me envision a group of bystanders talking among themselves as they watched a house burn down or as they observed bleeding car crash victims being extracted from wreckage and being transported away. Very dispassionate, occasionally joking, often using words or expressions that suggested a total lack of involvement in the events and developments under discussion.

Without knowing anything about these individuals apart from their names and the papers or media outlets they work for, I can imagine they are all college-educated, are being paid reasonably well, belong to the middle class (or higher), and probably don't know anyone who is suffering in an immediate way from the effects of the disaster this country has become.

Am I wrong to feel any resentment toward such people, even allowing for the fact that the people of the US are getting the government they deserve and are victims of their own stupidity?

1:43 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

The Craw-

Many thanks for the clarification, Craw. Agreed; skullduggery in presidential elections *is* the hallmark of the American system. Incidentally, one of my favorites is when Nixon asked aide Chuck Colson to find a way to blame George McGovern for the Wallace shooting back in '72. Within hours of the shooting, it's alleged that Nixon's dirty tricksters planted pro-McGovern literature and Black Panther Party newspapers inside Bremer's apt. Also, it does seem the establishment is stepping up its game to derail Trump. One of his supporters warned: if they try to take away the nomination from Trump, "We'll burn the place down." Should get *very* interesting...

MB, Wafers-

1. U can't make this stuff up dept.:

2. Obama sucks dept.:

Sure, Bernie has little chance against Killary (unless she's indicted over Libya), but Bernie is the only candidate who has critiqued both imperial and plutocratic forms of concentrated power. Hillary's critique is nothing more than racial and gender-based identity politics. I recall a great quote by Adolph Reed, in an article MB suggested aways back. Something like: the Obama administration represents a "desiccated leftism" and the "triumph of identity as content." Truer words were never spoken.


1:59 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

>Bill Hicks writes

>@MB - "The more likely scenario is the fact that many progressives and folks on the left are not too interested in the right of free speech or open democratic exchange of ideas anymore, sad to say."

Genuine MB quote or not, it's an understatement. The left has practically paralyzed academia. It has enabled fainting-couch students to claim that any statement or subject which is the least bit offensive could "trigger" a panic attack, so that they must be warned in advance and be allowed to opt out by retreating to a "safe space." Children always love another excuse to avoid homework. Meanwhile, academic freedom has been shredded. It's a relief to be retired, because I'm the type that could easily have gotten into trouble by shooting off my mouth.

One even hears of females in graduate law schools who, finding it just too uncomfortable to study rape law, demand a right to skip it and get their diplomas
anyway, remaining in blissful ignorance of the subject. We gotta hand it to them, sometimes they stumble upon a great idea in spite of themselves. ;-)

Yesterday, I got an e-mail exhortation to write a letter
of protest to the administration of a small Lutheran college
I'd never heard of, for allowing a Donald Trump rally on campus.
According to the writer, this event is inappropriate, un-Christian,
and therefore not to be tolerated.

Instead I protested to the writer. Disinviting speakers with whom one disagrees-- or failing that, shouting them down with noisy disruptions in the hall-- has become a bad habit of the left, to the point of being a first resort. One day when I was an undergraduate, George Lincoln Rockwell held forth in our college chapel, and the
entire student body was urged to attend. We courteously heard him out. Did this mean the administration was pro-Nazi? Hell, no. Rather, they respected and trusted us enough to be confident that we would see through his lies and fallacies, as we did. Obviously that was a long time ago, a far cry from today.

For all I know, the administration of this college hosted Trump in the same spirit, as befits an institution of higher learning. If the spirit has survived in some benighted backwater, it should be applauded and supported. You won't find it often anymore among the Ivy League or its wannabes. (Brown) (Rutgers) (Mizzou) [in this
case however, I think a bizarre faculty member was let off
too easily]

3:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In future, pls limit yr posts to half a page. Also, post only once every 24 hrs. Thank you. ps: college campuses are jokes, these days.


8:29 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@John S - you just hit on why I have a difficult time taking Trump seriously. If he did all the things you just mentioned, the globalist economy would completely collapse, and I can't believe he would want to be responsible for that.

On the other hand, who knows? Now he's now taking his feud with Megyn Kelly to an astonishing level:

I originally figured this spat was another bit of inane political theater, but obviously not. Much as I hate Kelly and the rest of Fox News, this is nothing short of insane. Boycott her because she is "sick?" Just how big is this guy's ego going to get?

As for Trump's supporters, it's like Ian Welsh wrote on his blog yesterday--you can't keep repeatedly kicking 140 million Americans in the nuts economically and not expect them to start biting back:

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

This is the same David Brooks who bought a $5 million house. Tell me how a journalist earns enough salary from journalism to be able to afford this kind of expensive lifestyle. In what other nation in this world does a journalist live in such a lavish/expensive lifestyle? If America finally implodes and fail, it will be because of crooks like Brooks.

"The question is: Should deference be paid to this victor? Should we bow down to the judgment of these voters? Well, some respect is in order. Trump voters are a coalition of the dispossessed. They have suffered lost jobs, lost wages, lost dreams. The American system is not working for them, so naturally they are looking for something else.

Moreover, many in the media, especially me, did not understand how they would express their alienation. We expected Trump to fizzle because we were not socially intermingled with his supporters and did not listen carefully enough. For me, it’s a lesson that I have to change the way I do my job if I’m going to report accurately on this country.

Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisers, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa.

Trump is perhaps the most dishonest person to run for high office in our lifetimes. All politicians stretch the truth, but Trump has a steady obliviousness to accuracy."

11:45 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

Hooray!! Marco Rubio the person time magazine dubbed republican savior is leaving the senate and becoming a private citizen. One dougche bag down many more to go. He was such a weesle I couldn't stand him

5:18 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Bernie offers little alternative view. He rightfully calls out inequality, but his vision is for everyone to have a slice of the industrial pie. At this point, anyone spouting that kind of stuff and running for office is a joke. Clinton is an even bigger joke. Sanders will be done soon, it's clearly Trump and Clinton and Clinton will win.

7:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check it out:


10:20 AM  
Anonymous Edward said...

Dr B, the article at the by Christopher Ingraham is fascinating and confusing at the same time. Let’s look at two of the findings:

1) “the more social interactions with close friends a person has, the greater their self-reported happiness”

If Americans put away the cell phones, the computers, the computer games, the ipods, etc, and meet other people face-to-face, they will be happier and they will not shoot each other with guns. In other words, Americans will see no value in buying more guns and killing each other when they abandon technologies.

2) "more intelligent individuals were actually less satisfied with life if they socialized with their friends more frequently." In other words, “when smart people spend more time with their friends, it makes them less happy”

We know that most Americans are not happy (since they constantly kill each other with guns and since they want a leader like Trump). Therefore, Americans are not smart people (since it is a fact they spend less time socializing in person with each other (bowling alone))

1:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think it may have been a British study, but no matter: we're talking abt Anglo-Saxons. Anyway, studies by Sherry Turkle and many others have shown that Internet and cell phone use, etc., makes people depressed and non (or even anti) social. But in terms of being social=being happy, this apparently doesn't apply to a very small group of people who are very smart; altho it might have more to do with introversion/extraversion than raw gray matter, I dunno. For example, I'm a classic introvert, and I'm probably happiest when I'm by myself, rdg and wrtg. I do find it a joy to have dinner w/friends, sit around shooting the breeze; I just don't want to do it every day. As far as Americans in general not being terribly bright: this is (literally) a no-brainer. Nor do I mean simply ignorant. No, they are actually dumb, as sticks. Here are some aspects to this, altho I acknowledge that the evidence is a tad iffy:

1. Hustling makes you stupid. If your life revolves around that, yr IQ drops. We've been hustling for more than 400 yrs.
2. Screens make you stupid, and Americans have been glued to them since the late 40s. Research has turned up things like changes in synaptic connections, neural firing response time, and so on. Screens in large doses alter the brain. Check out ftnotes in Nicholas Carr's bk, "The Shallows." Also some work by Mary Anne Wolf at Tufts.
3. Long discussion, wh/I've hinted at before, on Lamarckian inheritance of acquired characteristics (see movie, "Idiocracy"). Not strictly Lamarckian: neo-Lamarckian mimicry, epigenesis, etc. After 400 yrs of pursuing dumbness, does it really matter any more if it's genetic or environmental?
4. There was an IQ comparative study done some yrs ago by a prof at U of Exeter in England. Of course he was quickly condemned as a racist, and there's no way the UN wd ever fund such a study; but his data suggested that different peoples had different avg IQ's. I think Indians (as in curry) were the brightest of any group he studied. I don't know if Americans were included in his data base.

And to think that for so long, bozos ruled the world. Trump may be their last gasp, and a fitting way for us to go out in a blaze of inglory.


1:21 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Our discussion of Merican dumbness led me to pull my yellowing copy of Rochard Hofstadter's Anti-Intellectualism in American Life" off the shelf. Hofstadter wrote in 1963:

"What matters is the openness and generosity needed to comprehend the varieties of excellence that could be found even in a single and rather parochial society. Dogmatic, apocalyptic predictions about the collapse of liberal culture or the disappearance of high culture may be right or wrong; but one thing about them seems certain: they are more likely to instill self-pity and despair than the will to resist or the confidence to make the most of one's creative energies. It is possible, of course, that under modern conditions the avenues of choice are being closed, and that the culture of the future will be dominated by single-minded men of one persuasion or another. It is possible; but in so far as the weight of one's will is thrown onto the scales of history, one lives in the belief that it not to be so."

4:39 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Any thoughts on the $115 mil award to Hulk Hogan for the sex tape published by Gawker? It's amazing that so many people get their news from basically tabloids and other online garbage, tho this is really nothing new. When your view of the world is shaped by your personal opinion and tabloid trash, seems like that's sure to make things worse.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

MB writes:

>different peoples had different avg IQ's. I think Indians (as in curry) were the brightest of any group he studied. I don't know if Americans were included in his data base.

This is not surprising. Don't you wonder sometimes what over a thousand years of monasticism and clerical celibacy have done to the gene pool of Christian Europe? If we assume that people who gravitate to these positions have somewhat above-average intelligence, which I think is reasonable, it's like breeding against IQ.

Milo Yiannopoulos believes that gay men are above average in intelligence and creativity, and worries about the effect of same-sex marriage in this regard (vs the past, where they would stay in the closet, marry women, and reproduce). I think it is rather inconsistent of him to do so around such a new phenomenon without considering the older one, and if I ever meet him or catch his attention would like to bring the matter up, especially because he is Catholic himself. I happen to admire clerical celibacy along with Roman Catholicism generally, but aren't the genetic implications a little troubling?

Ditto re introversion. I love an occasional get-together with friends, but need a lot of solitude to recharge my batteries. Once a week is usually plenty.

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talking about low IQ, check this out:

I wonder if americans realise how dangerous those people will become when shit *really* hits the fan.


8:34 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

From the police blotter:

[Or, From sea to shining sea, just another week in America]

1. The daughter of an Illinois state legislator and her boyfriend face three felony counts after they assaulted a man running for the mother's seat when he confronted them as they were posting the mother's flyers outside the Chicago office of the opponent.

2. A San Diego 5-year-old was suspended for five days on Thursday as a result of his pointing a pellet gun at his school's principal as the children were preparing to leave for the day, telling the man that the gun was used to kill people.

3. A 61-year-old Temecula, California man was sentenced to a six months' sentence on Friday for a 2014 incident in which he pointed a shotgun at a 7-year-old Girl Scout who had approached his door selling cookies out of her Radio Flyer wagon.

Oh the humanity!

8:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Someone needs to start a blog called DBOOC: Douche Bags Out Of Control.


10:07 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@James Allen--what depresses me is how in that last story the DBOOC only got six months in jail. He needs to be locked up until he's too old be a threat. I'm not big on warehousing criminals for decades on end, but at 61 you should be WAY past the age where you should know better.

@Kanye--like Octoberfest, white Americans have appropriated a "holiday" that they know nothing about and are using it it as an excuse to get drunk and even more stupid than usual. Last year on SPD, another couple and my wife went out to dinner in Arlington, VA, and already at around 6:00 P.M. there was a huge pile of puke in the vacant parking spot next to ours, and we saw an idiot 20-something drunken woman fall down in the street as we were walking to the restaurant.

Of course, the ones doing all this mindless drinking are largely the privileged children of the upper middle class. They will continue to live in their bubbles of relative luxury until the day comes when the shit really hits the fan.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check it out:


4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Yes when shit hits the fan, those are the people who will behave like enraged animals in the streets and who won't hesitate to push elderly people on the ground in food stores to steal what food is left. That's something that really scares me actually - the amount of pent-up rage and frustration held by the vast majority of the population that's ready to explode at any time. Behind the vanity and enthusiastic hustling, most people walk around like ticking time-bombs ready to explode at any minor change of circumstances. I dare any Wafer to walk up to an average douchebag, take their iphone, smash it on the ground in front of them and see how they react!


5:56 PM  
Anonymous Wacko Tobacco said...

Mr. Berman,

listening r/now to the intervw; i suggest you to stream the "Star Suckers" documentary: it shows the evolutionary reason Kim Kardashian, far for being nothing, well: it is everything for primates. :-)


6:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Even that isn't necessary. Just go up to them and suggest that technology may be taking them away from the real world, and isn't healthy. The epileptic fit that will follow might be worth recording for YouTube.


6:15 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

Trump wins the general election and, as President, is spending his first night in the White House. He's about to turn in when, all of a sudden, the ghost of George Washington appears.

Being an opportunist, he asks George, "How can I best serve my country?" Washington says, in a ghostly way, "Never tell a lie." Oh, that's Hillary's problem, Trump responds. You are a real disappointment, George. I'm going to sleep.

The next night, the ghost of Thomas Jefferson appears... Trump says, "How can I best serve my country?" Jefferson says, in a ghostly way, "Listen to the people." Why should I do that? I'm a really smart guy - usually the smartest in any room, Trump continues. Heck, I went to Wharton! Thanks for nothin'. I'm going to sleep.

On the third night, the ghost of Abe Lincoln appears...Trump says to himself, I'm finally going to get a straight answer; this is honest Abe, after all. And so he asks one more time, "How can I best serve my country?"

Lincoln responds, in a ghostly way ....... "Go to the theater."

6:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Good stuff! Reminds me of that old joke, "Aside from that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?"


Pls say more, if you don't mind. Rt now, I don't have time to watch a documentary, being up to my eyeballs in work. I like to keep an open mind; perhaps there is something abs. fabulous abt Kim that I'm missing.


7:20 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Anyone seen the movie "Chloe & Theo"? I was impressed that it's theme was climate change, and how it criticized modern civilization.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

WAFers and Dr. Berman ---

Only rarely does a documentary get the highest score I can give, but this one qualifies:

"A deep-green/deep-time, highly cerebral discussion of the environmental crisis,

The Cross of the Moment

attempts to connect the dots between Fermi’s Paradox, climate change, capitalism, and collapse. Interviews with top scientists and public intellectuals are woven together into a narrative that is challenging, exhausting, and often depressing as it refuses to accept the easy answers posited by other overly-simplistic climate change documentaries. No fancy graphics or distracting introductions detract from what is essentially an 80 minute constructed conversation among a group of highly informed experts on the most important topic in human history; will our species survive catastrophic climate change?"

"Interviewees are Don Brownlee, Roger Carasso, Robin Hanson, Mark Jacobson, Derrick Jensen, David Klein, Bill McKibben, Guy McPherson, Bill Patzert, Gary Snyder, Jill Stein, Peter Ward, and Josh Willis."

The film takes its title from a stanza of W. H. Auden’s poem The Age of Anxiety, published in 1947 :

"We would rather be ruined than changed; We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment And let our illusions die."

3:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for the ref. I quoted Auden as the epigraph to QOV.


6:15 AM  
Anonymous teri schooley said...

Dr. Berman,

One more example of US collective madness: 15 year-old kid was reported to local cops, who then report him to Das Homeland Security, for being dumb in the way teenagers are. He uttered "ISIS" during the morning's Pledge of Allegiance instead of "United States of America". (Don't even get me started with the whole idiotic Pledge thing.)

Now he has a dossier with HS and the school makes him take his classes in isolation, as he is permanently suspended from taking classes in the main building with the other kids.

6:33 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

"People are strange: They are constantly angered by trivial things, but on a major matter like totally wasting their lives, they hardly seem to notice."
--Charles Bukowski

After a four-month investigation, a University of Kansas professor has been cleared by university administrators of charges of racist speech. In a November 2015 classroom discussion a day after a heated campus townhall forum on race, the professor had used the N-word, observing that she had not seen the word spray-painted on walls at Kansas (University) and as a white woman she found it difficult to relate to others' challenges.

The investigation found that the professor had used the word in an educational context and that it was not intended in a racist sense. Despite this finding, the university recommended that the professor undergo "cultural competency training," reëvaluate her orientation curriculum to include more "diversity support," and pair up with a faculty member.

Finally, in an irony that WAFers will appreciate, it was reported that some of those who signed the complaint letter that set the investigation in train were not present in the class at the time of the discussion in question.

Read more here:

9:30 AM  
Blogger Chad In Chicago said...

Thank you for the interview. I look forward to listening to it when I get off work.

I haven't been on this blog in quite some time, but I did want to write in and express to you how much I'm enjoying The Man Without Qualities. I would have paid full price for the chapter where you publicly humiliate your Chris Hedges stand-in. God, what a sanctimonious, humorless douchebag that guy is.

That chapter reminded me of an experience of mine a few years back. My friend and I are old lefties I guess you could say. He was in town so we visited the communist book store for kicks (yes they do have those). The poor, deluded owner tried to win us over to the cause the minute we walked in the door, using the same stale and out-dated language of the communist demagogues of decades past. We were even informed that Mao really wasn't that bad of a guy and all those people he killed were a fabrication of the imperialists in the west.

We beat a hasty retreat. It just so happened that around the corner were several sports bars with patios and large open windows. The intersection was packed. My friend Tim, great sense of humor this guy has, turned to me with arms outstretched and said "Chad? Can't you feel it! The proletariat is about to rise up!"

Who the fuck does Hedges think he's kidding? What mass movement against the corporate state? What revolution? Reading his column in Truthdig every week is like visiting fantasy land.

Anyway I've rambled too long. Thanks again for the excellent book.

Like the Tina Fey quote. I also will not tolerate douchebaggery.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually, his analysis is often quite gd. It's just the prognosis that is in fantasy land:

As Garrison Keillor once wrote, "Here in Lake Wobegon we have the ability to look reality right in the eye and deny it."

Jas, teri-

Politically speaking, the whole country is masturbating. These are 2 more gd examples of this.

O&D,amigos; O&D!


10:27 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Zeke - RE: The Walking Dead. It is a show about every prepper and anti-gubbment weapon hoarder's secret fantasy come true. A world with no rules and no one to stop you from "testing your skills" (or supposed skills) of survival, weapon lust and whathaveyou.

In a similar vein, see this:

It's a bit snarky and "I am a rebel" because I used to be vegan ... but the underlying male rebel thing, which fits with the Walking Dead thing is true.

10:28 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello WAFers:

I've been watching a couple of old TV shows on Crave that I hadn't seen before - "OZ" and "Eastbound and Down" - that y'all might appreciate. Kenny Powers is the personification of the American Dream, and "OZ" is about the US prisoner system. My missus installed the Crave on our TV. I don't know how she did it, but it involved witchcraft that includes spells such as "Why Fie?" and "Ethernet" or some such incantations.

If you want to hear classroom anecdotes...while discussing Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale the other day, I asked the students (all high school grads with a year of post-secondary education behind them, including having studied Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four with me last year) why they thought Atwood would write a book about a future theocratic dystopia that oppresses women in such perverse ways. The best they could come up with was that Atwood thought she had a story inside her that she wanted to tell, or that she wanted to make money.

Another response was that we shouldn't cover this book at all, because it features the oppression of women, as does Ethel Wilson's "Mrs. Golightly and the First Convention," where a nice, genuine Canadian woman goes along with her non-entity Babbitt of a husband to a convention in the US, and becomes corrupted and superficial along with all the other hustlers. That part didn't register, though. We shouldn't read the story because Mr. Golightly didn't pay enough attention to his wife.

Furthermore, they bristled and made excuses when I told them their cell phones were tools of their own oppression and that they are being enslaved by that which they love, as in Huxley's Brave New World, so that the violence of Orwell's dystopia isn't necessary to keep them subdued.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Joey said...

I've been reading a lot about the life/death of Hilary Putnam, who just died a few days ago. Fantastic guy.

12:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


And these kids are our future!


12:45 PM  
Anonymous Wacko Tobacco said...


it's a documentary abt celebrity culture, although with an evolutionary psychology twist. The argument is that everyone is wired for fame, no matter how much they deny it --bcause media stimulus nature mingles with primate impulses. So there's this fascinating experiment, which shows that primates watching screens while eating only stop eating in presence of two images: dominant males and female butts.

So evolutively speaking, americans worship kim kardashian not entirely because they're dumb --and i do believe that americans are dumb-- but because is a primary impulse.

In a surreal reading, i wd say that all the american version of the megamachine is a clash of desert/forest ecologies/cultures, and that forest is using pornography as its main weapon.


1:50 PM  
Anonymous Bollywood Fan said...

Re: Classroom Follies

I currently work at an experimental private school geared toward "student-athletes" (interesting conceptual grouping!). The students essentially have 3 hours of gym class built into their schedules, or "athletic training". They then go off to their various sports and teams for several more hours of practice after school.

My students are high school-aged, and I largely sympathize with them and their struggles to comprehend their situation. The enrollment is low, so I can be somewhat more personally engaged than in the average school.

Overall, no matter how intelligent or promising they may be, they overriding struggle everyone faces is a total lack of context to make sense of anything. Just stick an app or quiz in front of them and the world starts and ends there. This has to be the first totally contextless generation.

My Millennial generation still had pre-digital experiences, so we had a context in which to place the relevance of information. I remember real, tangible locations and personalities in my K-12 experience. We had libraries and librarians. Getting in trouble meant going to an office and having a real discipline procedure, not getting an email sent home. There was an Archimedean point outside of our immediate experience through which to comprehend the world.

Meanwhile, now nobody has any scruples about disguising the fact that school is all about sport. The attempt at a scholastic context is already deeply undermined. Clearly the classes are just a necessary chore, so why would you bother? Disobeying classroom policies means you get an email sent home to your parents, but then that really means nothing to them anyway.

Then there's also the meaningless point grading structure. Official word from on high is that we are supposed to deal with all these maladjustments by creating elaborate point-based behavior systems. But this obviously just feeds the problem. What to the points mean? Nobody knows, so nobody cares, and their parents really have the same mentality. Points=dollars.

It's all a recipe for floating consciousness and a totally debilitating solipsism. Everything in the society is an algorithm, so where does EXPLICITLY it say that I shouldn't tell other students to F off and go on dating apps in class?

(BTW, today I told them that I can't really correct their cursing when they clearly learned it from the GOP debates...)

1:59 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Al, save your breath, anyone who isn't pursuing hustling is seen as an idiot. I've learned to not talk to anyone, most people are so wrapped up in the industrial hustling system that their brains are totally warped.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

High on a cocktail of heroin, pills and whiskey, Barbara Arellano led New Mexico police on a high-speed chase. After crashing her car, a completely naked Arellano then fled on foot screaming "Jehovah":


5:07 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B & All: Trump questions the need for NATO; is that sacrilege, or what?

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Surprisingly clear-eyed remarks from Trump here:

Actual quotes:

"So, I know the outer world exists and I’ll be very cognizant of that. But at the same time, our country is disintegrating, large sections of it, especially the inner cities."

"I think we were a very powerful, very wealthy country, and we are a poor country now. We’re a debtor nation."

"China feels very invincible. We have rebuilt China. They have drained so much money out of our country that they’ve rebuilt China. Without us, you wouldn’t see the airports and the roadways and the bridges. The George Washington Bridge, that’s like a trinket compared to the bridges that they build in China. We don’t build anymore. We had our day."

5:36 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Give me a child for the first seven years…

5:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Try not to toss yr cookies dept.:


6:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


As you know, I'm doing a rdg from TMWQ at Bluestockings Bkstore on the Lower East Side, April 4th at 7pm. The whole world will be watching. But I now have news of a 2nd rdg in Bklyn, at Book Thug Nation in Williamsburg, 100 N. 3rd St. This will be on April 5th, also 7pm. So for those of u who can't make the 1st, there's always the Bklyn option. Post-food orgy on April 4th will be Rosario's Pizza; in case of April 5th, we'll need to hunt down a pastrami joint.

Hugs to all,

6:23 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

I have friends who are likely to switch from Bernie Sanders to Hillary Clinton when the time comes. I won't do that. I would more likely urinate on her shoes (Dr. Berman's suggestion?) than vote for her. I feel an obligation to vote even if it's for a fictitious character. Most likely I will vote for Jill Stein.

An interesting perspective on Donald Trump is given by John David Ebert ---

Ebert :

"Trust me: Trump will get the nomination and he will not just beat Hillary Clinton, but he will beat her by a landslide. After that, it might be wise to just stay indoors."

Trump's foreign policy advisers are a collection of monsters ---

3:49 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Americans may not change, tho there's this: "Fewer than half of voters feel especially enthusiastic about what any of the candidates would do if they were elected president."

7:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Jeff-

Many thanks for great review on Amazon! Very kind of you.


9:42 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

"Trust me: Trump will get the nomination and he will not just beat Hillary Clinton, but he will beat her by a landslide. After that, it might be wise to just stay indoors."

Glad I am not the only one who sees it. But the polls, the polls Christian!!?? Yeah yeah, the polls that have been horribly wrong this entire election season. One has to remember the purpose of polling isn't to find out what people think, it is to try and influence what people think. No one would pay all this money just for an honest appraisal of voter leaning. And if they are, boy are they getting screwed.

The late Christopher Hitchens wrote a brilliant article about this years ago for Harpers I believe.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...


My comments today aren't related to anything particularly current here but are examples of the craziness I often meet just by walking out the door. Was buying some shoes yesterday when a lady with a dog in her arms was bragging how she enrolled her dog for a year of classes in a dog socialization program. Damn it didn't work; pooch still barks! Lots of dinero down the drain.


3:03 PM  
Blogger Chad In Chicago said...

You're correct about Colton. I own several of his books and have learned a great deal from him. His analysis is spot on and I should be appreciative of that.

I've just grown increasingly put-off by his schtick and how it doesn't even remotely resemble the world we inhabit. I think you had it right in your chapter where you said Colton was preaching to the already converted. Anyway, I believe I overreacted in my post.

An interesting film that Wafers may like based on Colton's writings. Really gets cracking at about the 10 minute mark:

Colton's .45? Sounds like the name of a good folk song.

James Allen -

Thank you for sharing the Samantha Bee video. Really funny.

And what empty people. Condescending as hell too. Just like their hero.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


So many douche bags; so little time! (You probably feel the same way.)


3:47 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

From the Library of Congress website, by way of background:

"Each year since 2002, the National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB) and members of the public have nominated recordings to the National Recording Registry. The depth and breadth of nominations received highlights the richness of the nations' audio legacy and underscores the importance of assuring the long-term preservation of that legacy for future generations.

Recording Registry
Each year, the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress chooses 25 recordings showcasing the range and diversity of American recorded sound heritage in order to increase preservation awareness. The diversity of nominations received highlights the richness of the nation's audio legacy and underscores the importance of assuring the long-term preservation of that legacy for future generations."

Why should this be of interest to the readership?

Because in a decision that should restore some small measure of hope that not everyone in government is a tool or criminal, the Board has selected the following for inclusion in the Recording Registry from among the 2015 nominees:

Class Clown"—George Carlin (1972)
In the late 1960s, George Carlin stepped back from a successful career as a mainstream standup comedian and reinvented himself with a much funnier, but far riskier, countercultural style. "Class Clown" was the second album of this phase of his career, and contained his "Seven Words* You Can Never Say On Television" routine, a discourse not only on those words and their power to offend, but also on the varieties and vagaries of the English language itself. At the time of the album's release, Carlin had actually been arrested on a charge of obscenity for a live performance of this routine, though the charges were ultimately dropped—yet those words still cannot be spoken on broadcast television.

May Joe Pesci bless George, wherever he may be.

Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Good stuff, thanks. Pls watch length in future: 1/2 page max.


12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello MB, Wafers,

I know you've got plenty to follow with our friends Trump and Hillary in the US, but things are pretty crazy in Europe at the moment with the latest terrorists attacks in Brussels. I really wonder how much longer Europe will survive if more bombings like this take place. It'll be interesting to see how things will play out. Perhaps you were right MB, Japan may be the only last refuge after all!

ps. This is interesting


1:09 PM  
Blogger Chad In Chicago said...

Kanye -

Things are pretty crazy in Europe but the effects of the bombings are bad here as well. I'm travelling to NYC tonight for work the next couple of days. I talked to my boss in NY this morning and he said his block was full of jack-booted soldiers in automatic rifles.

Not much for making him feel safer. He said the military-like presence only made his wife and kid scared.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


I think Latin America would also be a nice refuge. I recall a remark that MB once made: something along the lines of Mexico having *no* reason to fear Islamic radicalism. Unfortunately, European countries (France & England in particular) were the colonial powers in the Middle East. This hasta factor into the equation of why Europe is continually getting hit by terrorists. Slaughter, such as yesterday's attacks in Brussels will increase, as far as I can tell. Speaking of Kerry, this is an eye-opener:


5:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I don't post Anons. You'll need to get a real handle. Thanks.


6:09 PM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

Chad In Chicago: "I talked to my boss in NY this morning and he said his block was full of jack-booted soldiers in automatic rifles. Not much for making him feel safer. He said the military-like presence only made his wife and kid scared"

The thing is that Europeans and the Americans are so delusional about Muslims and Islamist jihadist mindset that reactionary tendencies are their defense against Islam. Who does not know how UK and US killed democratically elected Mohammad Mosaddegh of Iran in August of 1953? I tell ya, Karma is real because chicken, they say, will always come home to roost. Here is the most recent news:

"Estimates range from 400 to 600 Islamic State fighters trained specifically for external attacks, according to the officials, including Goulet. Some 5,000 Europeans have gone to Syria."

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Frankistan -

Mohammad Mosaddegh was deposed and subjected to house arrest. He died in 1967.

7:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Blowback, it's called. Check out the section on Iran in DAA. As for who doesn't know about the CIA and Mohammad Mosaddegh: 99.9% of the American public. Because Americans have no interest in history (theirs or anyone else's), the Islamic world is simplistically viewed as Evil, end of story. Any actions that world takes is contextless, for Americans; it just (amazingly) comes out of nowhere, whether it's 9/11 or anything else. Americans are so stupid, that when the Iranian hostage crisis erupted in late 1979, they were offended; they felt personally insulted. That such an event might have a cause: that never enters their minuscule little brains.

No American politician can talk in these terms, and still remain in politics. What 322 million dummies understand is, "We must fight these evil monsters." So even Bernie vowed to destroy ISIS, when I'm assuming he knows better. The more you talk about banning Muslims, patrolling them, destroying them, etc., the more votes you get. The crux of the problem remains the man or woman in the street, who has dogshit inside his/her head; who is, in the last analysis, a walking joke.


7:35 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

At the beginning of this year, I thought that a stock market crash prior to the election was the Republicans' best hope to recapture the White House. And while that could still happen, I'm now thinking that a Paris or Brussels-like attack in the U.S. would probably do it even better. For all of Hillary's "tough gal" bullshit, I just don't think that independent non-lefty voters are going to look at her and feel "safe" despite her incredibly belligerent record as a Senator and as SecState. Which means we can have our "Reichstag Fire" moment even before we elect our Trumpenfuhrer, with the added bonus that we already have our first concentration camp in Guantanamo thanks to chickenshit Obama's refusal to shut it down.

On a side note--has anyone noticed lately how it has become acceptable for movie stars to make television commercials? There was a time not that long ago when seeing the likes of George Clooney hawking coffee makers, (former Black Panther) Samuel L. Jackson humping credit cards (which help devastate the same poor, black communities he once claimed to care about), and Matthew McConaughey pimping Buicks he'd never be caught dead driving would have seemed shocking.

Today, however, I saw a new low. There was George Takei--American concentration camp survivor as a child, prominent gay rights activist in later life--advertising Taco fucking Bell, among the worst junk food on the planet. Oh my, indeed.

It's like they all subliminally know the gravy train is coming to and end soon and are, to paraphrase the immortal words of Roger Waters, "grabbing that cash with both hands and making a stash" while they still can.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous jim jim said...

"The documents, declassified in 2011 and given to George Washington University research group under the Freedom of Information Act, come from the CIA's internal history of Iran from the mid-1970s and paint a detailed picture of how the CIA worked to oust Mossadegh.

In a key line pointed out by Malcom Byrne, the editor who worked through the documents, the CIA spells out its involvement in the coup. "The military coup that overthrew Mossadeq and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of U.S. foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government," the document says, using a variation of the spelling of Mossadegh's name.

Even 60 years removed, the 1953 coup still hangs over U.S.-Iran relations. Iranian politicians and religious leaders still use the coup as a way to foment anti-American sentiment. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranian president from 2005 until earlier this year, demanded apologies from the United States for "crimes" the CIA committed in Iran during the 1953 coup."


More sources:

Sometimes I wonder what gives some people the divine right to meddle in the internal affairs of other peoples in other cultures. Is it not your control of thousands of deadly weapons and nuclear bombs?

12:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks. Only problem is that all that was fully known prior to 2011. DAA was published in 2006; I used no primary sources in the (re)telling of the tale.


4:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

There isn't enough urine dept.:

10:45 AM  
Blogger Alogon said...

>things are pretty crazy in Europe at the moment with the latest terrorists attacks in Brussels.

I'm listening now to a Youtube discussion of the rape (?) of a 13-year-old German girl by three Muslim immigrants. The German government is bending over backwards to deny it.

An imam preaches that it was her fault because she was dressed in the western manner and smelled so nice that the men couldn't be expected to control themselves. So now we have people advising western women to imitate Muslim women in order to become less attractive.

Even stranger, the greatest supporters of Muslim immigration are American feminists. Does not compute. But what's new? I'm convinced that we are in the throes of a collective death wish, just as MB noted in Twilight.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

MB wrote: "Americans have no interest in history (theirs or anyone else's)."

Jus' graded an essay about Great Depression politics: student wrote Wendell Wonka instead of Wendell Willkie. I shit U not!

This is kinda neat:


4:57 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

This story has been making the rounds lately with the opening of the play, but still worth a few minutes:

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dear All-

Here's an interesting slide show that captures America's decline-

5:47 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

In a world of privilege and corruption where dreamers dream and believers believe, one pistol-wielding Colton will seize the revolutionary moment and lead us into glorious battle. Bruce Willis is General Colton in the made-for-television movie, G.I. Farnsworth: Revolution.

Dr. Berman,

Loved your new novel. Despite having read all of your previous books, I didn’t see this one coming. It’s quite a delight.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

"Amerikans will remain willfully ignorant of that big red-white-n-blue dik that's being jammed up their ass'oles everyday."
Dark Ages America -George Carlin.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Glad you enjoyed it. It was fun to write, as well.


9:58 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

re: 'not enough urine in Georgia'

That made my day....the bit about ‘mindfulness indoctrination.' was precious.... I'm sure these people need to get out more often and maybe hug a tree or something but I'm afraid they'd just shoot it.

Maybe the Shinola people could help us out on this one. call it a 'secret ingredient' for that lasting shine? there really are too many 'targets' to visit in person....

11:19 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Alogon - There was a time in American history when immigrants (like my own German ancestors) couldn't assimilate fast enough. It is actually a regret of mine that despite having four full-blooded German grandparents that nobody in my family spoke the language when I was a child thus enabling me to easily pick it up.

Flash forward to modern day America, and thanks to political correctness immigrants are encouraged by nitwit liberals to assimilate as LITTLE as possible, and to think of themselves as "hyphenated Americans," with their original identities coming before "American." I'm not saying than maintaining a memory of where you come from or even identifying with it a bit isn't a healthy thing (thus my lament at not growing up learning to speak German as a second language), but when it takes first precedent it can be very unhealthy and divisive to a nation-state, especially one as relatively young as the Unites States.

It is one of the few areas in which I am largely in agreement with mainstream conservatives--yes, take that stupid hijab off when getting official photographs; learn to speak and read passable english; don't expect to automatically get holidays of your religion off of work if they are not official national or state holidays (I say that as an atheist who doesn't care that Christmas is an official holiday); don't expect America to be politically or militarily hostile to the government of your home country just because you hate it; teach your children to be good citizens of your adopted country FIRST, not second or third or whatever, etc.

But the Democratic party (especially) loves its dead end identity politics, and will fuck that chicken until the whole rotten edifice collapses.

12:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is neat:

"Union leaders are particularly worried about increasing online abuse of teachers by parents. More than half reported receiving online abuse from parents, up from 40% the previous year."

Happy Easter!

6:33 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Dr. B,

In honor of your upcoming trip to the Big A, I thought you might enjoy this:

The 10 Best Places to Get Pastrami in NYC:

Of course, as a connoisseur of pastrami, you might disagree with these rankings, but I thought this was fun.


7:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I just contacted the 1st on the list, Katz's Deli, which is located 2 blocks from Bluestockings Bkstore, where I'm doing the rdg of my new novel on April 4. That's at 7pm. At 4 pm, Katz will provide me with a large bathtub of pastrami in their back room for me to soak in for 2.5 hours, to prepare for the event. By the time I begin the rdg at 7, I shall be fully cured. Thank you!


10:41 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

I'm listening now to a Youtube discussion of the rape (?) of a 13-year-old German girl by three Muslim immigrants. The German government is bending over backwards to deny it.

That is pretty much the norm these days. The Left doesn't want to face up to the fact that multiculturalism is a complete failure so they stick their fingers in their ear and go "la la la la la."

If it had been a group of football players, instead of migrants, the Left wouldn't hesitate to use it as an example of the West's "hypermasculine rape culture."

The Europeans are basically screwed. The Islamization of Europe is an existential threat to Western culture and I am not sure how the Europeans can deal with this without throwing out everything that makes their civilization superior (I have no issues saying that) to theirs.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Still reading follow-on stories concerning the suicide bombings in Brussels and feeling a bit unsettled over the whole thing, I was relieved when I read that the number two man* in ISIS had just been killed by US forces in Syria.

Read one account here:

Defense Secretary Ash Carter, reporting this news to the nation at a Pentagon press conference Friday (25 March), said that we were "systematically eliminating [ISIS/] ISIL's cabinet."

Exulting in this triumph, I then recalled similar stories from earlier conflicts in other locations whose importance was captured in the following story:

[Lower-ranking fighters no doubt will see the latest number two's demise as representing an opportunity for advancement.]

*There seems to be an almost endless supply of men of this rank.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Wife hits her husband in the back of the head w/a Taco Bell burrito; husband retaliates by stabbing his wife in the hand w/a fork. Portions of the burrito were strewn about their house. Both were arrested:

Some lighter news: jazz great, Chet Baker, bio-pick hits theaters today:

Here's a bit of the *real* Chet:

Stay cool, Wafers...


3:58 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Good essay regarding that Emory thing (Scared of Chalk), but it also fits in with some of our discussions here:

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Wolfgang Streeck on the future of Germany and Europe here:

7:13 PM  
Blogger Chad In Chicago said...

Back to Mossadegh...

Sorry I've been away a few days but wanted to chime in on this. I have attempted a couple of times to bring up the coup, the reasons for the Iranian revolution and why Iran has a problem with the United States. In response, I get mostly glassed over faces or outright hostility. One guy told me he "didn't fucking care" what the reason was.

Nice people. Willfully ignorant and indifferent. Let's just bomb everyone and get it over with. I mean, what are we waiting for?

7:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Over and over again, I hafta keep saying what the progs ignore: the core of our problem is the man in the street, who is basically a jackass, an ignoramus, and a douche bag. The progs refuse to acknowledge what I saw on a bumper sticker in DC, ca. 2004: YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID.


7:38 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

I live in America ur blog and books bring sanity in my life . Thanks

7:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Add pastrami and ur life will be complete.


8:31 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

True, true, true. I was asked to spend an entire day watching a 5th grade class and the female students had a game. The game was to open the window fully and perform exotic dancing hoping to cause a traffic accident! I'm not kidding. Throughout the entire day I kept saying, "Do your exotic dancing at home. A school is no place for exotic dancing!" And I needed to get a Masters degree in elementary education for this?

1:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

What a punk dept.:

3:34 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers: The only thing worse than a Botox face is a Botox mind:

11:50 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Jesus, did Hillary flee the sanitarium? We need to put Hillary's mind on lockdown and increase her Haldol drip.

MB, Wafers-

Here's a good article about how our Middle East interventions trigger devastating blowback:

Brass Tacks: American/Western military intervention drive suicide terrorism more than anything else.


1:09 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Just got back from a funeral of the father of one of my wife's best friends--whom I had never met and she only met a couple of times. When it came time for the eulogy, this middle aged douchebag who was a friend of the deceased proceeded to go on a 25-minute ramble, mostly about the fishing trips the two of them took together. The whole thing was more about the douchebag than his friend--he even went so far as to brag about the time he caught four times as many fish to his friend's frustration. He hardly mentioned the poor man's family at all despite the fact that his two adult daughters were sitting front row center right in front of him.

He eventually transitioned to talking about what a great Christian the deceased was, again with no mention of the family. When he finally shut up and sat down, the Baptist minister took the opportunity to basic repeat the last portion of the eulogy, even though the only real example either of them cited of him being good, generous Christian was the fact that he for years volunteered to mow the grass on the church's rather large property using the church's riding mower--another boring, pointless anecdote that seemed to go on forever.

After close to an hour of such nonsense, my wife signaled that she was ready to leave, and when a couple of other people used the beginning of a hymn to head out to bathroom, we took the opportunity to sneak out behind them. My wife said it was the first time she had been to a funeral service of someone she barely know that made her actually dislike the deceased, although my ire was specifically directed towards his buddy's self-aggrandizing speech.

Apparently even in death it is impossible to escape the douchebags.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hillary is so transparent that you can almost see the silhouette Mr.Bush.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Chad In Chicago said...

I just wanted to echo Mohamed's point. Thank you for doing what you do.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mohamed, Chad-

Thanks for yr appreciation. It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it.


As I've said many times, there just isn't enuf urine...I really believe Americans are brain dead.


Thank for providing that link. Jesus, will ya look at that face? We're gonna have 8 yrs of that face! The horror, the horror.


6:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This morning I did a fone interview with Judith Regan in NY. She's had me on her show a couple of times b4, and we always get along very well. I actually like her a lot. I wd send you the audio link, but apparently tech difficulties are making it impossible to access (boo hoo). Anyway, you remember I said that I'm doing 2 rdgs for TMWQ: April 4, 7pm, Bluestockings Bkstore on the Lower East Side, and April 5, 7pm, Bk Thug Nation in the Williamsburg section of Bklyn. Well, Judith got very excited abt this, and said she was gonna show up for the rdg at Bluestockings and definitely buy a T-shirt. So those of you who wanna hang out w/her, mark it in in yr little agenda bk. (We'll head over to Rosario's Pizza afterwards, but I dunno if Judith is down for that as well. Cd be.) Just so you know, the T-shirts that will be available at both stores bear the following legend:


Meanwhile, I've been working w/my publisher, Oliver Arts and Open Press, to develop a line of George Haskel swimwear, underwear, coffee mugs, toilet paper, and a range of pasta sauces and salad dressings. Also electric doggie bags. So stay tuned, as we hustle our way into a villa in Tuscany (to which all Wafers will be invited).


6:59 PM  
Blogger Rosegarden said...

I had a wonderful experience yesterday at the grocery store. An older woman was pushing the type of cart that has a little plastic car with a steering wheel at the front. I could hear the woman talking to the child. “We need bread for Pappap.” She got a loaf of bread off the shelf, walked to the front of the cart, showed the bread to the child. “Is this the kind of bread Pappap likes? Does it look familiar to you? Should we get it for him?” The really neat part was she paused to wait for an answer! It takes forever for little children to process and come up with an answer.

I couldn't help myself. I walked over to her and thanked her for talking to the child instead of handing her a screen. She said she was a grandmother to six children. She hates how they all have a screen at dinner in their own homes. When she gets them for a week in the summer, she takes them to camp, where they walk in the woods, wade in the creek, and turn over stones. No screens allowed. Yes!

9:50 PM  
Anonymous xypeter said...

Better stay at home. Make sure you don't put up a do not disturb sign when traveling -- the Department of Homeland Sequeerity may look through the trash from your hotel room. As part of the "Safe Action Project," hotel staff are being asked to spy on you? I guess? What a great way to avoid, uh, i'm not sure what?

11:57 PM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

Guns allowed in RNC convention

3:29 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

MB - have you written much on life in the American south between the Civil War and WWII? I've heard these weren't good times.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Understatement of the year, but I didn't do much on the Civ War beyond WAF ch. 4.


That's gd, but I'm hoping it includes AK-47's. Otherwise, no big deal. Drones wd also be gd.


It's abt checking up on sex trafficking, supposedly: staff shd check up on used condoms in wastebaskets. But this is gd for me to know, since I'll be staying at a hotel in NY during April 2-7, and will undoubtedly use up 15-20 condoms during that time, at a conservative estimate. So I'll just take them with me, after use, and toss them in a garbage can outside the hotel. "Land of the free" is getting more surreal by the day, I guess.


10:15 AM  
Anonymous Brian said...


Can't wait to put the kids to sleep tonight, as they sure do love a good ol' fairy tale, replete with beloved characters of yore (e.g., Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel & Gretel) . . . packin' heat.

Enjoy; O&D--


P.S. For a bit of levity, my spouse and I play this game where we summarize articles in the popular press and then ask each other to guess whether the article came from (a) a "legit" press or (b) The Onion. I failed this one big time . . .

11:30 AM  
Blogger Meera said...

Hi morris,
I am an avid listener of all your interviews available on the web. In one of your interviews i recall you saying that once when u had leg surgery and were in a wheelchair the person walking ahead of you did not even have the courtesy to hold the door for you. I used to live in a very posh building in battery park in downtown nyc and i noticed the same empathy deficit in my building residents. Once i happened to be standing next to the elevator banks waiting for the elevator when a lady nearby suddenly collapsed to the ground. She had fainted. I rushed to help her but i noticed that people in my posh building just continued to walk past as if she did not exist at all. Finally i had to go and get the man behind the front desk. By then the woman had recovered enough to be helped by me and the man to her apt. Then i called 911 and waited for the paramedics to arrive. But what was really strange was that even though i helped this lady so much...she seemed awfully callous too. I did not so much as hear a thank you from her (after she had recovered) even though i had given her my apt number.
Today i came across another gem highlighting the tremendous empathy and sympathy deficit in society. Parents trample children to grab easter eggs

It seems adults are no longer behaving as adults. They are self centred adolescents who ought to be put in into a keep kind of mental rehab. The breakdown has happened as you explain.
Thanks for your work

1:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dear Meera,

Thank u4 yr thanks; I appreciate it. I think I was on crutches rather than in a wheelchair, but same difference. For an elaboration of the empathy problem, check out the chapter in QOV (A Question of Values) called "Ik Is Us."

After careful observation, I concluded that most Americans needed to be beaten to within an inch of their lives, and then thrown on a dungheap.

Keep blogging,

2:10 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Mexicans torch a Donald Trump in effigy:

Can Wafers burn an effigy of Hillary?

Y Jesús lloró,


2:13 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...


A woman I was dating told me about a “game” she used to play with her girlfriends in junior high and high school. The goal was to kill an elderly person who was sitting or walking alone in a park by inducing a heart attack through terror and fright by scaring, startling, stalking, and rushing them. The rules of the game dictated no touching as that could put them at a greater risk of punishment. At first I thought she was putting me on or exaggerating, but she was deadly serious and had no remorse. Perhaps most disturbingly, this person, at first glance, does not come off as having a severe personality disorder. She’s intellectually gifted and skilled at becoming popular. Today, she has her doctorate in a field that is a perfect hiding place for her. Of course, I’ve broken off all contact with her.

Maybe back in the 90s America’s youth were more willing to get up close to their victims even if they wouldn’t touch them, but today they prefer to induce injuries from a greater remove and from behind windows.

I really don’t understand this place.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous GMO Labels Are Dumb said...

Looks like the anti science anti intellectual left has finally gotten GMO labels. This was done out of ignorance, nothing else. This will simply push up food prices which will hurt poor people. I think this whole campaign is actually harmful for getting people healthy food. Like it or not, people are better fed by industrial society than at any other point in time.

6:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm quite surprised that this bk was published nearly 3 yrs ago, and we are noticing it only just now. A major theme I've advanced in my work is the rel. between macrocosm and microcosm: that what's going on on an individual level in the US is reflected by what's going on in our institutions, and vice versa. The real core of the American dream is not merely to succeed, but that you do so by crushing others under the heel of your boot. It has made for a very sick society, but also for very sick individuals. K, if you were to ask your ex-girlfriend, "How would you like to be that elderly woman, getting harassed and possibly killed by high school girls as part of a game they played?", chances are she wouldn't understand what you were talking about.

A degraded society produces degraded leaders, of course.


6:42 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

In yet another example of clueless Beltway Insiders verbally masturbating at each other, here is Alan Greenspan's wife spewing forth to douchebag Meet the Press host Chuck Todd:

“He (Trump) is completely uneducated about any part of the world,” the MSNBC host lamented.

Yeah, Andrea, and so is about 90%+ of the entire American population. In fact, I'll bet a majority of Americans would cite Trump's supposed ignorance of the rest of the world as a reason to vote FOR him not against him.

Meanwhile, the once occasionally sensible Robert Reich has apparently gone completely senile:

"So how did the People’s Party win the U.S. presidency and a majority of both houses of Congress in 2020? It started four years before, with the election of 2016."

12:20 AM  
Anonymous shenjingbing said...

Meera -

The empathy / sympathy deficit you describe is evident not only with the current generation or even the baby boomers, but also with the elderly, as I recently discovered to my surprise when I entered an elevator alone. Just as the doors began closing an elderly woman shouted from across the lobby to hold the elevator, which I did while she slowly made her way inside. As the doors began closing again, another woman shouted from across the lobby to hold the doors (there was only one elevator), which I again did. No sooner had I pressed the 'hold door' button than my fellow occupant informed me in a nasty voice that she was in a hurry and not to hold the doors for this other woman! We then had a short conversation in which I noted that she hadn't complained when I held the door for her.

1:15 AM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Re genetically modified "foods" this website provides all of the information that one needs to know that they are, and will by their very nature be bad news, with all sorts of inevitable negative consequences - consequences that will not be able to contained, controlled, or put back in Pandora's box.

And look at the human-and-life-friendly outfits that are promoting and benefiting from them. Companies which are essentially the leading-edge vectors of the toxic world view that Derrick Jensen quite rightly reviles.
And by the way Lewis Mumford also cautioned us about the hubristic human and cultural implications of genetically modified engineering.Derrick Jensen credits Mumford as one of his early primary influences.
Morris also frequently lauds the work of Mumford too.
And, by the way, the I-sis site has some very interesting stuff on leading edge quantum science.

1:23 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


We've talked a lot recently abt the cruelty and callous indifference of Americans, and how it reflects the cruelty and callous indifference of America and its Way of Life. Americans, of course, like to think of this in terms of "a few bad apples," not willing to entertain the possibility that the whole orchard is rotten. Recently, Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond wrote "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City," which was reviewed by Jason DeParle in the NYRB for March 10. After relating the story of the massive destruction of human beings by the American housing and banking system, as depicted in the book, DeParle concludes that "Evicted"

"is a stirring reminder that the US accepts as ordinary a depth of poverty that is extraordinary and cruel. At its heart is a simple message: 'No moral code or ethical principle, no piece of scripture or holy teaching, can be summoned to defend what we have allowed our country to become.'"

A degraded country; a country of fools, and just plain nasty human beings.


4:59 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

allright WAFers, I'm finally breaking down. I found someone for whom the term simply fits. I don't like to use the term "douchebag" much but this just had to be done.

George Clooney is a DOUCHEBAG ---

I never trusted him anyway. His face is plastic and phony like that of Hillary. He stinks of money, privilege and opulence. Is he a good actor? Heck if I know, and I don't give a sh**.

5:11 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...


"An Easter egg hunt hosted by Pez [Candy Inc.] turned into a shoving match [at its Orange, CT visitor center] on Saturday when greedy parents "rushed the field" and allegedly left some children hurt."

The company had to cancel the hunt in the face of the chaos.

Jesus wept.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


That's neat. I love Americans. But the real Q is, WHAT WOULD GEORGE HASKEL DO? Get your T-shirt while supplies last.


10:45 AM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

has anyone read any of Dr. Leonard Shlain's work? i found this lecture very interesting. he seems obviously biased and narrowly focused at his own whim but still highlights some interesting correlations

The Alphabet vs. The Goddess Lecture by Dr. Leonard Shlain

12:10 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

While the country goes to shit, touching vagina has become the latest fad. watch them giggling ecstatic and having soooo much fun.
On a side note....​A pediatrician I dated some time ago had what looked like a nice flower-thorn bouquet tattooed on her low lower back. One day on closer examination I was appalled to read the words GO-BABY-GO mischievously hidden amongst the petals. I guess character goes hand in hand with taste. Knowing her strange quirks that is only revealed in intimacy under "closer examination" I wouldn't risk taking my baby goat in need of medical attention to her. ​ I have known university professors and engineers whom if you knew of their unbefitting deceitful tastes would wonder if their is any chance for redemption of our people. ​

​When societies heads for the dump their people are afflicted by malaise of 3 basic functions of existence, -input / output disorder and the disorder of the in-between. Input disorder are related to eating disorder including gluten-free and gluttony maladies. Output disorder are related to improper bowel movements and many associated evacuation problems -a shitty mind resides in a shitful body. The in-between disorders are to do with all sorts of sleep and sexual perversions. These hippocampus limbic-system abuse and malfunctions are well documented in the chapters of Sodom n Gomorrah

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This just came out in The Guardian:

"The CIA declined to comment for this story"


5:43 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I'm currently reading Nikolaus Wachsmann's excellent book, "KL - A history of the Nazi Concentration Camps." Most people are not aware that prior to just before WW II, Jews were not normally singled out for deportation to the camps simply because they were Jews (there had to be a different justification). But in light of our discussion about empathy in America today, I thought everyone might be interested to know whom the Nazis first sent to Dachau and the other early camps.

1933: left wing political prisoners, mostly communists and Social Democrats. These made up the overwhelming majority of the camps' population throughout most of the 1930s.

1934-35: gay men--in light of the Rohm purge, the Nazis began a witch hunt for male homosexuals.

1935-38: "asocials"--some of these were career criminals, but most were the poor and the "work shy," who were imprisoned after having their welfare benefits reduced or cut off altogether.

Late 1938-1939: Jews. In the wake of the Kristallnacht the Nazis finally started arrested Hitler's favorite enemies in large numbers simply BECAUSE they were Jewish.

So you can see, during history's most notorious fascist regime, the national lack empathy led to poor people ending up in the most nightmarish prison system ever created, where they were routinely beaten and tortured. Food for thought.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Zoete Tand said...

Greetings all,

Here are some clownish commentators reporting a somewhat interesting study that concludes that "Baby Boomers" use their fones during dinner more than "Millennials" do.

One of the aforementioned talking heads offers a plausible causal explanation for this disparity: hustling. The "Millennials," she says, aren't hustling as assiduously as the work-obsessed oldsters are.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I believe that b4 Hitler went after the Jews, he went after handicapped people, to "weed out weakness" from the Reich.


11:13 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...


Thanks for the reference to the Leonard Shlain video. I read the book years ago and loved this refresher course. These kinds of references to videos and books is part of what I appreciate about your blog. Thanks again.


11:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually, I think it was someone else who posted the ref, but that's OK.


12:16 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dan - As distasteful as some musicians can be, I find the comparison of rap music to "slave culture" to be so devoid of inquiry that it is lost in its own narcissism. Whatever musical taste and geographical knowledge have in common, you have yet to prove.

Esca - As far as tattoos and physical touching in general, I consider them to be part of the somatic experience, as physical contact chosen by the individual as a body knowing. How this applies to entertainment and views, I guess somebody has to teach people to become comfortable with the bodies of others. The therapeutic value shouldn't be lost. Lastly, the biblical reference to nutrition leaves little to be gained. I would recommend picking up a book on nutrition, such as "How Not to Die" by Michael Greger, M.D. It was published last year and goes through actual peer-reviewed science to gain insight into healthy eating decisions as methods of disease prevention.

Dan Henry - Thanks for the link. I enjoyed his lecture. Currently I'm reading the chapter "Cathars and Troubadours" in Coming to Our Senses and I found the overlap between the two works intriguing. Hopefully I'll have more to say once I've finished reading and have had more time to compare/contrast.


12:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Every day, life gets better in the US:


8:25 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

I think someone posted an excerpt from this guy's book earlier, but if not it is worth reading:

"Professional-class liberals aren’t really alarmed by oversized rewards for society’s winners. On the contrary, this seems natural to them -- because they are society’s winners. The liberalism of professionals just does not extend to matters of inequality; this is the area where soft hearts abruptly turn hard."

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

What could possibly go wrong dept.-

4:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I ask u2 look at this face. Just *look* at it:


5:25 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Wafers-

This is amusing:


Re: cops stealing stuff

I love it! I tell ya, it's as if the entire nation is being gangbanged.


7:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorta like it's gang banging itself into oblivion. Toynbee said when a civilization went under, the crucial factor was that it committed suicide.


7:56 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@MB - yep, the handicapped and other "defectives" ended up in the euthanasia program. Not the subject Wachsmann's book (just mentioned in passing as it those killings did not take place in the camps before the war), but certainly another result of the regime and the country's lack of empathy.

8:41 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Pastrami on Rye is dying. Soon to be replaced by iconic Macaroni on Cheese.

Katz's is just a block from Bluestockings. Open until 10:45 night of the 4th.

11:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Tempting, but I think we're gonna go to Rosario's Pizza after my rdg instead. Maybe next time. Of course, if there's an enormous groundswell for Katz's, we'll go to Katz's.

Meanwhile, I just watched Season 4 of "House of Cards." I've enjoyed this in the past because it shows just how corrupt American politics is, and how callously Americans treat one another. Season 4 seems to have 2 additional dimensions: That *we* are the cause of terror in the Middle East, and that Americans are absolutely mindless. They just mechanically cheer and rave for their presidential candidates, when it cd hardly matter who is elected, ultimately.


12:41 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

MB -

I've wondered why you are against generational conflict. Seems to me things radically changed after WWII. I really blame the people who would now be about 67 to 90 years old for most of the issues we have for all the decisions they locked us in with. Funny thing, we're building out all these nice retirement communities for the people who screwed over future generations the most.

I understand the history before this, but it still seems like we could've chosen a different path once we won the war. A lot of people today are stuck, there's no other path to choose when you're in debt and have no power. If I sold everything I had now I still wouldn't be able to afford a kid or a house, and I'm definitely not one of the worst off by a long shot.

I think in 1968, all these people were used to riding the gravy train of the previous 20 years, and they weren't about to choose a different path.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Zoete Tand said...


Here is a better link to the "Baby Boomers Use Fones at Dinner More than Millennials Do" thing. The link I gave previously was fakakta, apologies.

And here is the link to the Nielsen survey results:

12:03 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Proof that there are still great entrepreneurial opportunities in America:

Also, this is an excellent documentary well worth watching:

Finally, one of my favorite online writer/bloggers you might enjoy:

12:35 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

WAFers and Dr. Berman :

Chris Hedges recently interviewed economist Michael Hudson ---

A dark age is probably coming in the USA. The economic parasites (Wall Street) are winning and the host is dying. We're in a slow financial and economic collapse already according to Hudson.

A sad message from intellectual John David Ebert :

"I am officially retiring from writing books. I have one more retrospective collection of essays forthcoming and then that's about it. It's been fun but clearly there is no longer any market for the sort of thing I write, which was modeled on the tradition of Daniel Boorstin, Lewis Mumford, Joseph Campbell and Marshall McLuhan. Clearly, those days are dead and so is my career, such as it was. Goodbye, all, It's been a pleasure."

12:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, maybe Hedges will learn something from him, stop preaching revolution, who knows. As for Ebert: I feel something similar. I'm grateful to various high-quality small presses for being willing to publish my work, but it's clear that my days as a mainstream author--i.e. publishing with Norton or Wiley or Bantam or whatever--are over. Americans don't read anymore, and those who do fill their heads with self-help books. In a nation of dunces, I can't be anything more than a niche author, really. Which isn't the worst thing...having a small audience of Wafers and fellow-travelers is definitely a plus...what Max Horkheimer once called 'communities of the abandoned'. I even started another novel, much to my own amazement. I mean, at age 71, I'm probably not going to open a bowling alley.


I thought the transliteration from the Yiddish was verkakte, but I cd be wrong.


I didn't realize I was opposed to generational conflict. Hey, the more conflict the better, I say! Bring it on!


1:10 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr MB and fellow Wafers:

Take hope, now a majority of Americans agree with Mr. Trump with banning all non-citizen Muslims from the United States, the same poll also found strong support for Sen. Ted Cruz’s proposal to “patrol and secure” Muslim neighborhoods, with 45 percent of Americans in favor.

Remember my mantra : America is increasingly stupid and you cannot fix stupid!!

If you pay attention, it's verified every day!

2:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In 1989, in CTOS, I wrote that "Americans are the driest tinder imaginable for fascism." And now, here we are.


2:51 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

From the climate change front, this item from today's Guardian website (link below):

"According a study, published in the journal Nature, collapsing Antarctic ice sheets are expected to double sea-level rise to two metres by 2100, if carbon emissions are not cut.

The bad news is that in the business-as-usual, high-emissions scenario, we end up with very, very high estimates of the contribution of Antarctica to sea-level rise” by 2100, [study lead and U-MASS Amherst professor Robert] DeConto told the Guardian. But he said that if emissions were quickly slashed to zero*, the rise in sea level from Antarctic ice could be reduced to almost nothing."

*Good luck with that, sez I.

For those who find this whole climate change thing so much hooey, you'll find you have a powerful ally in Senator James Inhofe (R-OK). See this clip from his February 2015 speech on the floor of the Congress:

4:49 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

troutbum - Two-thirds of Americas now also support torture:

Really, if you are Muslim living in America you really ought to start thinking about emigrating before Trump, Cruz and Fox News start talking about establishing concentration camps, because that is where this bullshit is likely headed. After all, there's already one at Guantanamo, which doesn't seem to bother most Americans very much.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Sorry WAF-ers, I don't have much time at a computer these days so I'm stuck just posting links ... but this one is good (and presaged by you know who):

"Why has Obama not been torn apart by the left for continuing the policies of Bush? It’s because for the identity politics of the left, you cannot severely criticize a non-white person in public office without being called a racist. In the discipline of critical thinking, identity politics is claiming that if the source of authority seems credible (in this case race), then any condemning information about their policies (the logos part of the rhetorical triangle) doesn’t count."

5:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Plus one in Illinois, and one in Indiana. Have been in operation for some time now. Political detention camps, is what they are (aka CMU's).


5:48 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wafers, Wanna go down with a bang or a whimper?​

Ass'oles Ass'oles everywhere, whom should we choose?!?

To Amerika I say "bring 'em on baby".

9:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Always send messages to the latest post. No one reads the old stuff. Thanks.


10:31 PM  

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