July 24, 2016

276

Wafers-

As I said, time for a new thread, and hopefully a new topic. Kim's haircut might keep us busy for a while; or perhaps the deep sadness of the trollfoons. Or maybe the fact that we are headed for a disaster of major proportions. Multiply Kim's haircut, or any trollfoon's sadness, by many millions, and you are staring at the future of the US. Really, Jefferson had absolutely no idea.

-mb

185 Comments:

Blogger Earthwalker said...

Getting back to the election, up-to-the-minute insightful analysis from 11 years ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1RO93OS0Sk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hp_c8-CfZtg

In our hustling culture perception is everything. Therefore a master bullshit artist will trump a perceived liar ;^)

Off the mark or bullseye?

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Dr.B,

What would it mean if Kim K were to adopt Kim J's haircut?

Would this be an inflection point in civilisational decline?

1:24 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Believe this will fit nicely into the line launched by fellow WAFer Earthwalker.

It appears that Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wassermann-Schultz may be watching the Democratic convention from her room in the Philadelphia Airport Motel 6 ("We'll leave the light on for you"). Her appearances have been scrapped, and Ohio Representative Marcia Fudge has been named convention chair in Wassermann-Schultz's place. (I guess Debbie can forget about that Secretary of State job on her bucket list.)

A hacker using the handle "Guccifer 2.0" hacked the DNC system, and Wikileaks published committee emails that resulted from the hack on Friday (22 July). These emails showed that senior committee members were out to fuck Bernie over. It's thought that Guccifer is a name adopted by the cyber elements of Russia's FSB (foreign intelligence service) and GRU (military intelligence).

[From The Guardian website, 24 July]

"Emails released by Wikileaks on Friday showed members of the DNC trading ideas for how to undercut the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders, who proved a resilient adversary to Clinton in the Democratic primary. In one email, a staffer suggested the DNC spread a negative article about Sanders’ supporters; in another, the DNC’s chief financial officer suggested that questions about Sanders’ faith could undermine his candidacy.

“I think I read he is an atheist,” the staffer wrote. “This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew* and an atheist.”

Clinton campaign blames Russia for leaked DNC emails about Sanders
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/24/clinton-campaign-blames-russia-wikileaks-sanders-dnc-emails?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

So much for the distinction between Republicans and Democrats.

*Should be pronounced as Lewis Black pronounces it in his sketches to achieve desired pejorative sense



2:00 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello WAFers:

I know, wrong empire, but the Franklin Expedition - some guys going outside for a rip and disappearing into the great white nothingness - is a cornerstone of our national identity.

Inuit press claim for co-ownership of Franklin artifacts
Parks Canada has begun talks about which HMS Erebus artifacts are to be kept permanently by the U.K.


http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/franklin-hms-erebus-inuit-parks-canada-hms-terror-1.3689503

I suppose the Englishmen think that Nineveh is a county in Essex, and that the Elgin Marbles were made by Nigel Elgin, a 19th-century mason from Dorset.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

I watched Woody Allen's latest film "Café Society" last night. Critics gave it mixed reviews, but I enjoyed it. It's a beautiful impression of Hollywood and NYC in the 1930s; an ode to a time an place never to return... Weirdly, the theme of the film kinda reminds me of a line from the old Stephen Stills song from the 1970s: If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with (ha, ha). The soundtrack is, as usual for Woody's films, exquisite. Also, it's beautifully shot by the great cinematographer, Vittorio Storaro. Storaro shot one of my all-time favorite films, "The Conformist." Anyway, I hope you guys get a chance to see it.

Miles

3:14 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Idiocracy in action--a reporter at a State Department briefing on ISIS was caught by the departmental spokesman playing Pokemon GO:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/22/pokemon-go-state-department-reporter?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link

American empathy in action--two paramedics were fired and face criminal charges for taking selfies with incapacitated patients in the back of their ambulances. Some of the photos were made to humiliate the patients:

http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/national/2-fla-paramedics-charged-for-taking-selfies-with-incapacitated-patients?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link

5:21 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I've been thinkng a lot about Bobby Fischer as a prototypical American. When he was at the top of chess, he was literally a one man island. Where the Soviets had teams with a whole state budget, Fischer had some books, a few totally outmatched sparring partners, and himself.

That is what it takes for an American to achieve greatness. The ability to exist alone in your pursuit or obsession, completely alienated from the wider society, and eventually breaking down from this unhealthy lifestyle.

Of course, Americans just obsess about their own silly internal games (basball, football), and certainly nothing more intellectual, so this comparison to 'supportive' countries is lost. But in real international games like tennis and (real) football America doesn't make a dent. Far too much cooperation need.

If we are anything, we are Fischer, brilliant only in isolated escape.

5:49 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Here’s an article from the 1950s that may be of some interest to Wafers.

It’s about the strange and sadistic practices of the Nacirema.

“Body Ritual Among the Nacirema” by Horace Miner from American Anthropologist, 1956.

http://www.sfu.ca/~palys/Miner-1956-BodyRitualAmongTheNacirema.pdf

5:58 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Secretly, the real reason I want Trump to win is on the off chance he can normalize relations with NorKor - the two worst hairstyles on the planet in one photo op!

General asshattery - https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/national/ga-man-blows-off-his-leg-in-shooting-stunt-gone-wrong/2016/03/30/16ba3286-f666-11e5-958d-d038dac6e718_video.html

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Why are the Neocons, the NYT/WaPo, and even supposed left-wing web sites like "Democratic Underground" doing everything they can to gin-up a new Cold War? Isn't it kind of risky to poke a bear or pull a tiger's tail?

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

What do you think America will be like in 10 years?

Here are my predictions:

1.) Hatred and morality will be seen as one and the same, while compassion will be equated with treason (communism, socialism, or another allegedly evil ideology). Intellectuals that decry the brutality and excesses of capitalism will be put in labor camps or shot. Racist ideologies will be taught at schools, beginning with kindergarten. Hate groups like the KKK will be officially sanctioned by the government.

2.) The Constitution will be rewritten, abolishing universal human rights and giving the elite the legal right to literally do whatever they want. The President will also be above the law, while Congressmen will be immune to prosecution for anything short of rape and murder. It will likewise become legal for the police and the military to murder ordinary civilians (non-elite) whenever they feel like it.

3.) Pleasure will be entirely confined to sex. Children will lose their virginity, on average, by age 12. Music will become nothing more than pornography set to a beat. People will get married primarily to have fuck buddies. Teen and pre-teen girls will waltz around in bikinis, not only at beaches, but everywhere else as well.

That's just a partial list of what I think will come to pass. Anyone care to add to this?

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

More incompetency in Americas "exceptional" institutions http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2016/july/24/like-the-f-35-us-latest-and-most-expensive-aircraft-carrier-doesnt-work/

8:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle, such as Chopped Liver.

Jim-

Blog will be closed down, and I'll be sent to Guantanamo.

Birney-

In a sense, war and oppositionary mentality is all we know. Check out essays in QOV for more on this. However, also keep in mind that Americans are simply not all that bright--the one factor that keeps being omitted from analyses of the US. Robt McNamara had a sky-high IQ, and was a dummy.

Comrade-

I do hope that we finally attend to Ted Koppel as well.

Golf-

It wd shake civilization to its very roots. (Roots meant as a pun)

mb

10:01 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Meanwhile:

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/25/politics/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-poll/index.html

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/25/us/fort-myers-nightclub-shooting/index.html

The collapse is almost in high gear...

mb

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Mike R said...

Thinking about The "sharing" and "caring" us économy. Most of the populous is stuck at a certain Level of maturity whereby growth is not an option. The lust for dinero is mandatory to be part of the cult.. Share your home, share your body, share a bedroom, Share a car, minimum stay requirements, à la carte bicycle fée, Towel fee, Breathing fee, cleaning fee, etc...all about hustling for a dollar-there are too fee jobs available, or those that are available Pay little-hence, share the bedroom, while the founders/ owners rével in their billions. America is all about financial shake downs-nickel and diming its' tax and debt slaves and the slaves then do onto others. If the hamster wheelers could share ther mother for a buck they would--complete with a us administrative fee, procesing fee, document surcharge, application fee, and if the mother is a MILF, then charge a beauty fee! Go freedom and greatness!

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

America in 10 years? I dunno if anyone's been reading the Druid's Retrotopia series, but if I had a hope for the US in 10 years (after the second Civil War) it would be something like the Lakeland republic.

Here is the first one: https://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2015/08/retrotopia-dawn-train-from-pittsburgh.html

Chapter 2: https://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2015/09/retrotopia-view-from-moving-window.html

Goes up to chapter 20 so far.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

WAFers might like this:

Decline of the West podcast number 3:

http://www.declinecast.com/2016/07/25/3-spengler-pt-1/

"Books mentioned in this episode:

The Age of Catastrophe, by John David Ebert
The Decline of the West, by Oswald Spengler
A Study of History, by Arnold Toynbee
Art and Fear, by Paul Virilio
War and Cinema, by Paul Virilio
Spheres, by Peter Sloterdijk
Homo Sacer, by Giorgio Agamben
Did we mention anything by Gianni Vattimo? If not, check out Nihilism and Emancipation."

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Troll O'Foon said...

MB wrote:

"The collapse is almost in high gear..."

Not so fast, MB. According to comments left in the last post by Mohammed, there is a very good possibility that not only Donald Trump could be president but that also David Duke could be senator in Louisiana! David Duke AND Donald Trump...AT THE SAME TIME!!!
I'd say things are looking up, which in all honesty not only warms a Trolfoon's heart but gives it a:

HAPPY FACE!

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So much for the "sad trolfoon" claim...

2:29 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Jim has a pretty good list, but I think much of it has already happened. People don’t need to get married anymore for a fuck buddy, they can stay single and use dating apps on their smart phone to find hookups. I know co-workers that live this way already. I don’t think the constitution will be physically re-written as there is no need to. We are only a couple of Antonin Scalia’s away from a complete destruction of the 4th and 5th amendments. Presidents, and now Secretaries of State, are already unaccountable to the law. Middle School kids are already sexually active. The gradual decline in empathy and, by extension, an inner moral voice are well under way and will only continue for the foreseeable future. Intellectuals have already long since sold out—even Chomsky is endorsing Hillary—and the ones that haven’t are largely irrelevant.

In addition, the atomization and isolation of Americans and their lives will continue to lead to a dark place of anger, anxiety, depression and all sorts of mental illness. The social cracks we see in the US will become veritable chasms in the future. The negative characteristics of American life will be less and less uniquely American. I wouldn’t be surprised if in 20 years the cultural differences in American life and life in other countries will be more linguistic and culinary than anything else. The American Dream is the Neo-Liberal dream and it seems to be almost irresistible. Outside the US, Europe will continue to slide into demographic suicide, the natural world will continue to be poisoned and destroyed, the implications of global warming could lead to huge swaths of the Middle East and Africa becoming uninhabitable with all of the misery and chaos that implies.

It’s things like this that deserve far more comment and attention than who the next president will be, the outcome of which I regard with complete indifference. I’m not depressed though, I have come to terms with it. It is what it is and in between the crisis and catastrophe one might as well enjoy a glass of wine.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Jim_Jardashian,

I think another big development will be the use of virtual reality and other techniques to keep people pacified.

More and more people will become unemployed or only casually employed as anti-labor policies and technological disruption of old employment patterns put more and more people into poverty. "Good jobs" will increasingly disappear or will be turned into temp jobs. Mass shootings will probably become even more common.

In order to deal with the misery and violence that will result from this scenario, the elites will push more electronic opiates on people that will make Pokémon Go look like hopscotch. Entertainment technology such as virtual reality will be used to try to pacify more people and to avoid outbursts of violence or revolution. The state may even give people a Basic Income Guarantee just to keep them alive but it will be coupled with surveillance and other draconian police measures.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

I notice Bernie and Hillary are off to a rousing start with the "Trump is a Bigot" theme. Of course he is a bigot, but nobody cares most Americans are bigots - this brand of identity politics framework simply doesn't matter- will they ever learn. Better Trump is a quintessential American, rich tycoon buffoon. Better to focus on how Trump's impulsive clownery will lead to stock market jitters and trade wars, and the fact that presidents have nuclear launch codes. Not that any of that would work any better, but it would be better than Trump insults everyone, which is silly because we know that doesn't matter to voters.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous The Craw said...

Cheer up everybody!

Per Ray Kurzweil, things only seem to be bleak because our information is better.

Just wait til scientists reprogram the "outdated" software that is your DNA!!

In the meantime, embrace your "brain extenders" i.e. smart phones, until the next generation of such devices can be directly implanted in your brain!!!!

What could go wrong?

Doc, I think we have an strong front runner for that moron prize you were talking about.

http://www.geekwire.com/2016/ray-kurzweil-world-isnt-getting-worse-information-getting-better/

5:16 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

da Obama diggity for sho dept.:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-obama-idUSKCN10518K

Hillarygasm dept.:

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

Miles

ps: Dio: be sure 2 c the film "Pawn Sacrifice" about Bobby.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Speaking of America in 10 years, I am now reading The Mandibles, the plot of which begins in America circa 2029. I must say that Lionel Shriver has really done her homework in creating a very plausible account of where so many trends in American society are headed.

Meanwhile, in the here and now, we have a roadhouse waitress fired for tweeting that she wishes she had a night where she could kill as many Mexicans as possible:

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/07/texas-roadhouse-waitress-fired-for-fantasizing-online-about-killing-mexicans-in-a-purge/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=im&utm_tracker=1737131x84899

And a near fatal car crash caused when the passenger started beating the driver while they were out on the highway :

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_FREEWAY_CRASH_FIGHT_AZOL-?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-07-24-18-36-57&utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link

8:40 PM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

I actually have friends who are upset about the DNC leaks, blaming Putin for trying to intervene and get Trump elected. No anger towards the party or Clinton.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Roasted Pnut said...

https://www.amazon.com/Animal-Oppression-Human-Violence-Domesecration/dp/0231151896

Man, the Capital Animal v. All Animal

7:11 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

looks like people are starting to see Clinton for who she is. You might need to change your timeline on collapse, Trump could actually win.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Japanese man stabs 19 disabled people in care center telling police "it's better that disabled people disappear"
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/25/tokyo-knife-attack-stabbing-sagamihara

Another terrorist attack in France meanwhile, with priest getting throat slit:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/26/men-hostages-french-church-police-normandy-saint-etienne-du-rouvray

On a lighter note, not to miss for your pets Wafers! You gotta love the app's name.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/26/technology-industry-trolling-pooper

8:21 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

What explains Trump's appeal? There seem to be lots of factors at work. Xenophobia. Nationalism. General feeble-mindedness.

One of them almost certainly is wage stagnation and the 1 percent-99 percent phenomenon. This story--admittedly but one example in a very large economy--may be suggestive:

http://nypost.com/2015/08/25/chipotle-cvs-and-discovery-have-highest-ceo-pay-gap/

When e. coli took a 23% bite out of Chipotle's share price over the course of a year, the two co-CEOs suffered the consequences: Steve Ellis saw his pay "fall" from $28.9 million (2014) to $13.8 million (2015), and his co-CEO Marty Moran saw a similar effect, his pay falling from $28.2 million (2014) to $13.6 million.

I did some back-of-the-envelope calculations, with the following result. If you assume that an entrepreneurial genius like Mr. Ellis is always working, you get 8,760 hours of work per year (365 x 24), yielding an hourly wage of $1,575. If we assume that his typical worker gets $15 per hour, then Ellis gets 105 times more for his efforts. Plus he doesn't have to deal with the general public day-to-day, a blessing whose monetary value is difficult to assess, though it is not inconsiderable.

For those interested, the website glassdoor.com has compiled some salary comparisons for major Standard and Poors 500 firms' management and employees.

American worker productivity rises, real wages remain flat, executive pay packets get fat. Result: misery and moronic choices.

8:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

lack-

Fingers crossed!

Troll-

Like most of them, yr not very bright; and I'm quite sure you and all the trollfoons on this blog are very, very sad people (nor is denial the best strategy you cd adopt). What else is a Trump and Duke election, but collapse in high gear? (Which to me means things are looking up, if you had been following this blog.) No ability to think straight, you poor trollfoons.

mb

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Nuke Gingrich said...

http://weburbanist.com/2016/07/25/beyond-chernobyl-15-design-concepts-for-a-post-nuclear-world/

techno-buffoonery , but still freaky-deaky

11:06 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@Marc

I've been all over those podcasts. Also really enjoying Cooper's Israel-Palestine series.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Mikel R said...

Dog fèces or cat fèces. Those are the two Failed corporation/country choices. Emblematic of the disintegration. rather discuss summer Time lawn care, how to mâke a good hot dog, and which bachelerorette got voted off the Island. Thérè's only so much St. Johns wort to go around for all the american mental derangements. I'm lovin' it.

11:34 AM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...


Sorry to hear you are dealing with Trolls again... hope this cheers you up...

Trump, Trump, Trump...

Michael Moore's latest blurb has this to say about why he thinks Trump will win ... not that logic has anything to do with it but I think #5 and his departing statement says it all...

"Coming back to the hotel after appearing on Bill Maher’s Republican Convention special this week on HBO, a man stopped me. “Mike,” he said, “we have to vote for Trump. We HAVE to shake things up.” That was it. That was enough for him. To “shake things up.” President Trump would indeed do just that, and a good chunk of the electorate would like to sit in the bleachers and watch that reality show."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-moore/5-reasons-why-trump-will-_b_11156794.html?utm_source=zergnet.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=zergnet_1121381&

ya think it might finally be sinking in there, Mike?

O&D

12:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

pol-

They'll be the death of me, really. One troll is dumber than the next.

Esca-

Pls send messages to most recent post. Thanks.

mb

1:17 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


What if Bernie had grafted a voluptuous vagina on his forehead with a matching golden cross tattooed on his chin? Would Debbie then have considered him to be a fairer competition to Hillary?

Such simple attention to details which he ignored and he expects to lead this great nation of the free?! ​No wonder the DNC mockingly commented on Sanders that he “never got his act together, that his campaign was a mess”.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

@ Tom Servo

I had to go to a wedding shower the past couple of days, and one of the highlights the day after was a pair of VR glasses, which nearly everybody tried on & proclaimed "Awesome!" -- while complaining of a certain dizziness afterwards. Look for more digital distractions & more dizziness to come. It's what Neil Postman warned in "Amusing Ourselves to Death" decades ago, in citing Huxley's dystopia as one where we'll be ruled by what we love (or have been taught to love & buy) -- soma of every kind, enough to keep us at a safe remove from anything real or meaningful. Count on it, people will pay corporations damn near everything they own to have their devices surgically implanted before long. And they'll have it done to their kids at birth.

@ Jim J,

I've noticed that when a lot of young progressives speak of "romance" it's usually couched in terms of power relations & intricate distrustful negotiations. When I asked a younger friend whether anyone ever talks about things like passion, yearning, rapture, mystery, tenderness, etc., with regard to love -- whether anyone ever uses the word "love" itself, without any irony, for that matter -- I got a very strange look, as if the words were vaguely familiar, but utterly outdated & empty now. Who could believe in them? Who could want them? Isn't there an app for that?

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Murika said...

https://t.co/LayY88XMUc

Turkey issues warrants for 42 journalists in relation to failed coup

Looks like Turkey could be a 'natural' experiment for Klein's "Shock Doctrine". really scary shit

3:44 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Troll-

Shouldn't u be on a ledge somewhere?

Miles

4:41 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


Dr. Berman : Are you sure that "Troll O'Foon" was not just being sardonic? When I read his comment it did not seem offensive to me. I thought that he was disagreeing with your "The collapse is ALMOST in high gear...", claiming instead that collapse is already upon us. He did go to quite an effort to make that picture though.

So much for "family values" :

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/7/24/1551611/-25-Fox-News-Employees-Come-Forward-Forced-Dates-Demands-for-Oral-Sex

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

An interesting essay:

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/paul-edwards/68272/the-kinetics-of-empire

Quote from article-

"Kipling wrote of Brittania waning but his words frame the end of all empires:

'Far-called, our navies melt away; On dune and headland sinks the fire: Lo, all our pomp of yesterday, is one with Nineveh and Tyre!'

Imperial America is functioning predictably, robotically, on kinetic principles it cannot alter. The Last Best Hope of Mankind has evolved into a cruel, blind, autonomic Death Star, hurtling inexorably toward its end. Ironically, the fact of the Exceptional Nation’s demise will be entirely unexceptional."

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

Christian,

You have some excellent points, but then again, the TPP doesn't really need to be signed to ensure maximum corporate profit, does it? It seems more like a symbolic/psychological gesture than an economic one to me. International corporations already control everything. They are already unaccountable for their actions and completely unassailable. There's no physical need to create the TPP, just psychological needs. And in order to satisfy those needs, namely a limitless lust for power, I do indeed think the Constitution will be rewritten exactly as I have described (though the changes will not be limited to those I have listed).

James,

Indeed, part of Trump's appeal is justifiable rage at severe (and ever increasing) economic inequality, poverty, etc. But part of it, I think, is a subconscious death wish. Obviously, a man who has made 10 billion dollars fleecing and exploiting the poor will not enact laws that give lower class whites better wages. In fact, Trump has made it quite explicit that he won't: he opposes raising the minimum wage, opposes social assistance programs for the poor, etc. Trump expresses their rage, yet he also holds the alluring promise of total collapse, chaos, and death. Americans are sick and tired of living, and they'd also like to go out with a bang, taking as many people as they can with them. And as far as dead Americans are concerned, this is highly justifiable: the average American would, ethically speaking, be better off dead than continuing to live as he does. I'm not advocating violence or suicide or anything approaching it; I'm merely declaring that the American way of living is not only worthless, but contradicts everything it means to love.

11:28 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Interesting analysis on France in the Guardian and why it has been targeted by terrorism so much lately:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/22/attacks-france-colonial-past-war-terror

Could be summed up as "you reap what you sow"

MB, what are your thoughts on the massacre in Japan? It's the biggest massacre in the country since WW2.

Kanye

4:46 AM  
Anonymous Benjamin said...

http://www.powells.com/post/lists/25-books-to-read-before-you-die-world-edition

Very nice International list

10:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle. Chopped Liver might be gd.

Kanye-

This does sound like the work of a lone lunatic, but again, cultural context is never far away. Japan has always stigmatized the weak and the disabled, as being shameful in some way. Anything hinting at death, including those who work with death (embalmers, butchers, etc.) are put in a class of burakumin, untouchables. For a powerful antidote to this, check out a film of a few yrs ago called "Departures."

Jim-

That Trump represents a death wish is probably spot-on.

Birney-

What Woody Allen calls "Ozymandias Melancholia."

Marc-

You cd be rt, but I found his post not offensive, but illogical and incoherent, and I'm losing patience with that sort of thing. It takes a lot of energy to untangle confused or confusing messages; I just don't have it these days. He probably needs a blog where his cryptic, subtle mode of expression will be appreciated.

Meanwhile:

http://nypost.com/2016/07/26/trump-overtakes-clinton-in-presidential-race-poll/

mb

11:22 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/07/the-war-on-stupid-people/485618/

This obviously runs contrary to the theme of proud stupidity often discussed here, but it seems to make good sense.

I think both theses may actually be correct. How?

1. Educated Americans aren't really educated, so they need to exaggerate their sense of superiority.

2. Intelligence is not meant to be used, just broadcast as a credential, so it's only useful if everybody adopts a servile, peasant attitude towards Yale University.

3. The most intelligent today do not compare to the moderately intelligent 40 years ago, so the myth of progress is collapsing on those driving it.

If there's one group I despise, it's the credentialed technocrat. My intelligence has always placed me in proximity to that class, but I think the average coal miner in West VA is much more spiritually healthy. My life has been strange enough to see both up close...

12:27 PM  
Anonymous ennobled little day said...

I thought I should share this website for a L.A. bookstore:

http://lastbookstorela.com/

"The Last Bookstore: What are you waiting for? We won't be here forever."

I was in L.A. recently and was shocked to see that two university bookstores sold mostly food, school material and anything that can carry a university logo. I bet they only sell books during the school year, when students need them four courses.

I bought books on Hamlet, introductory philosophy and current events from those same bookstores back in the late '90s and early 2000s. Now, their most sophisticated non-coursework books are on cooking and comedians.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Jim,

re: subconscious death wish

I used to tell people that humans had at the cosmic level hit the self destruct button. That sounds a little new agey, which isn't where I'm at. So, to state it another way, I think the energy that is intrinsic to all of us and all things, that connects everyone and everything, would certainly make us aware on some level that we, as individuals and as a species, are bringing a negative disbalance to the universe that cannot forever be abided.

I don't think that opinion puts me in league with the anarcho-primitivists though. Humans are not inherently a plague on the planet, in my opinion. I think it's more a matter, as I believe someone here recently discussed, that our technological "advances" happened to too far outpace our psychological, emotional and philosophical development -- thus making us too destructive, too negative of a force to survive.

What we are essentially doing now is instinctually pecking at and pulling out our exposed innards in order for the universe to "survive." It may not be pretty, or all that pleasant to live through; but, it's beautiful in its own way. I suppose you could call it the most natural and ultimate form of justice there is.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

re: death wishes to a dead country/corporation---Most Americans are already dead, hence, their funerals will be a sham. Can one imagine having the keys to your own prison, a house that you really dont own, a job with no security thanks to employee at will laws (only in the US), sky rocketing for profit us "health" "care", and 6 fig non dischargable student debt to feed the chancellors, deans, auto-pilot professors, Presidents, sports facilities, etc....) and each day you hamster wheel it--thinking someday, someday. Yet, that day never comes. Cancer comes, stroke comes, an audit comes to help keep the american tax/debt slaves in line. that's the reality. Gustav Mahler asked in Symphony #2 (basically a death march), (paraphrased) to this live, how have we lived? Most Americans are so profoundly stupid, emotionally stunted, and mentally deranged that in between angry emotional outbursts (angry drunk uncle) and stuffing their obese faces with corn syrup, they would probably say--I gut a house, i gut a car, i gut, this, that, the other and remain fat and happy watching millionaires hitting balls, and seeing a scripted "interview" of another hustler. The brightside syndrome and smiling vacuous faces. Perhaps, a "vacuous truth"permeates the American culture--I worked really hard, so my boss will give me a raise and promotion, and I will make it big time. Enjoy the decline.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Lone wolf attacks becoming more common and more deadly.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/lone-wolf-attacks-are-becoming-more-common-and-more-deadly/

Looks like we have a new medical condition. "Selfie elbow" is the aching feeling you get from taking too many selfies.

http://www.techly.com.au/2016/07/27/selfie-elbow-proves-narcissism-alive-well/

A good audio interview with psychologist Jean Twenge on the narcissism epidemic.

http://www.npr.org/2016/07/12/485087469/me-me-me-the-rise-of-narcissism-in-the-age-of-the-selfie

Here is the transcript of the interview for those who are interested: http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=485087469



3:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Have y'all noticed how *sophisticated* Americans are?:

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/27/us/mom-beats-daughter-facebook-live/index.html

mb

4:06 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB - if the momma in that video is a single parent, I know someone she can hook up with--namely a rapper who shot himself in the face (through the cheek) and posted a video of it on YouTube. So far, the video has been viewed over one million times, because of course it has:

http://www.theindychannel.com/news/local-news/watch-ft-wayne-rapper-shoots-himself-for-music-video?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link

I'm almost finished with The Mandibles. I really love the concept of the novel, which is aimed at getting American readers to imagine what it would be like to live in a world turned upside down, with America becoming a third world shit hole ruthlessly exploited by foreign nations the way Americans economically subjugate other nations today. I particularly liked the idea that some Americans would become so despondent over their meager circumstances that they would save up money so they could be put to sleep in a facility for several years in order to escape their shitty lives.

If I have a criticism of the novel, its that I think Lionel Shiver greatly understates the amount of gun violence a sudden economic collapse would cause, which is surprising given that one of her previous novels was about a school shooter. That quibble aside, it's an important book that paints a very realistic picture of America's potential near future.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

Clearly, in a karmic sense, the US needs to be punished for what it has done to other countries; as well as to its own citizens. And I'm quite sure it will be. The problem is that given the limited level of American intelligence, Americans won't get the lesson, when it finally arrives. Gore Vidal once said: "Americans never learn; it's part of our charm." Instead of "Gee, maybe we did something wrong," the response will be: "It's the Jews/Muslims/Mexicans/blacks/you name it." Which means, really, that the punishment will be wasted. In the postwar period, only Jimmy Carter suggested we take a look at ourselves. This didn't go over too well.

mb

9:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Only in America dept.:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/07/28/beauty-queen-shaved-head-faked-chemo-in-lucrative-2-year-masquerade-as-cancer-patient/?hpid=hp_hp-morning-mix_mm-story-f%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

Heads in rumps dept:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/27/us/politics/democratic-national-convention.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=b-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

Brief moment of reality dept.:

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-democratic-convention-partying-20160728-snap-story.html

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

This speaks for itself, I think.

Quartz: Millennials are obsessed with side hustles because they’re all we’ve got

On weekends, Colleen teaches fitness classes. Mary builds websites. Luke sells vintage video games. Tony designs and 3D-prints custom Star Wars miniatures. I write for the internet.

Among my friends, and 20- and 30-somethings as a whole, the side hustle–the gig you work in addition to your day job–is so ubiquitous that, in April, Glamour Magazine posed the rueful question: “You don’t freelance on the side… What kind of urban-dwelling Millennial are you?” Failing to participate in the trend might even lead one to a “Millennial identity crisis.”

...

12:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

Cdn't post it. We have a post only once in 24 hrs rule here. Thanks.

mb

12:44 PM  
Blogger Ed-M said...

mb-

The Archdruid, John Michael Greer, has posted on his weblog the following article, Climate Change Activism: a Post-Mortem. One of the commenters, a certain zerowastemillenial (7/27/2016 5:24PM) mentioned in his very excellent comment, "All I know is that you're leaving out what is, to my eyes, a huge swath of America that have not yet put two and two together."

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@DioGenes,

I am glad the article you linked mentioned Michael Young and his book "The Rise of the Meritocracy." In 2001 Young wrote an article stating that people failed to see the satire in his work and took the meritocratic dystopia he wrote about as the blueprint for a utopia.

See Young's article: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2001/jun/29/comment

Economics writer Chris Dillow has also written a bit against the idea of meritocracy and how people tend to underestimate the role of luck when they succeed.

http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2016/06/beyond-meritocracy.html

http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2015/01/not-seeing-luck.html

I am also not too fond of the technocratic/professional elite. Their arrogance is off-putting and to be honest they are often not as bright or cultured as they think they are. But they have the credentials and the money so that gives them their big heads. In fact, the behavior and attitudes of the elites sometimes makes me more sympathetic to the plight of your average American person and I sometimes vacillate between thinking the American people are victims (the typical lefty, progressive point of view) and thinking that they are knowing accomplices in the decline of America.

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

Although in one sense the punishments will be wasted, in another sense they won't. Failure to learn from past mistakes causes further punishments, and America's inability to learn means that it will continue to be punished forever. Furthermore, Americans simply being who they are is itself a very harsh punishment. Their punishment consists of having to exist in a state of hatred, despair and fear every waking moment; being completely isolated from everyone and wholly lacking in social support; not having any meaningful passions, like art or literature; being incapable of experiencing empathy, love or compassion; and being so imprisoned in these negative patterns that anything better is unthinkable, and therefore impossible. That's quite significant, especially because these punishments will only become more intense with time, no matter what happens economically and politically.

And then you have to account for America's eternal political and economic future: brutal fascism, horrific poverty, rampant disease, and the impossibility of anything better. The neverending nature of America's coming punishments hardly makes it wasted, IMO. Portions of humanity may actually learn something by observing what happens to America. After all, because America will be punished forever, they'll have all the time in the world to observe and learn.

10:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Chopped Liver-

Sorry, cdn't post yr messages. 2 impt rules on this blog: maximum length per post, half a page; and post only once every 24 hrs. Thanks.

mb

10:03 AM  
Anonymous James said...

Dear Mr B,

Just thought I would contact you to congratulate you on Neurotic Beauty, which I recently finished. It's a fascinating book that should be read by anyone with an interest in Japan.

I have just been watching a succession of "progressive" celebrities praising the corrupt, venal and psychopathic warmonger that is Hillary Clinton. It makes me feel like I have entered a parallel universe in which reality has been turned on its head. Watch out for a potentially disastrous showdown with Russia when she becomes President.

On an unrelated matter, I'm not sure whether or not this will interest you but I thought I would include this link to an article written 25 years ago about my native England. It touches on one of the themes in your writing - namely, the way negative freedom can lead to a society emptied of meaning. At any rate, it gives an indication that if "America failed" then Britain failed a long time ago, and despite being a society far more concerned with equality and "social justice" than the United States:

http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/21st-september-1991/9/nasty-british-and-short

Best,

James

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

The amount of US propaganda- Eddie Bernays style is in full swing to help maintain the Edwin Powell doctrine/manifesto. For students of psychopathology, the US presents an excellent case study of mental derangements. Dull, plastic knifes who see everything as either, good, or bad, white or black. Sizzle without the steak. Most americans are so deranged and work addicted they cannot discern subtle differences, or various viewpoints nor use critical thinking to arrive at an educated opinion. Everything is yes or no, bad guys or good guys. The narcopathic populous cannot and will not accept reality nor look inwardly. They are not self critical, and obturately incapable of really doing a deep dive into their own pathology and mental derangements. The PC happy talk culture permeates the cesspool. Most Americans are functional and socialised psychopaths; loss of contact with reality, yet most can perform their day 'job' and daily life functions (eating, hygiene, conversation, etc…)--and only want to hear happy talk with some minor window dressing challenges. Could you imagine going to the PC dentist, or the PC plumber--you don't have cavities, your brakes are fine, nothing to worry about. Yet, this is what the masses eagerly desire and voraciously consume. Anything viscerally critical is marginalised, trivialised, and placed in the corner or branded as, drum roll….. “negative.” Most Americans live in a 5 gallon aquarium merely accumulating drek and remaining profoundly stupid. They robotically revert to a programmed defensive posturing stance E.g., the SODDIT principal--some other dude did it. Denials and delusions are part of the robotic repertoire of the dead American daily "life." In a bizarre Twilight Zone vacuum, the deranged populous really believe they’re awesome, great, and anything is possible with 'hard work.' Cue: hysterical laughter.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


Robert Reich is whom Hedges calls "the 1 percent's useful idiot".
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/short_note_bernie_supporters_equate_hillary_clinton_donald_trump_20160724
Just read any of the 1000 comments and find me one that agrees with this f'kn idiot.

Reich, the master bullshitter, positioning himself to "service the account".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPrRxhYJMkQ

Useful Idiot: Even the pocahontas, elizabeth warren lied. The "progressive" lemmings just love to be snookered to the ledge of the precipice.
http://www.truthdig.com/report/print/the_1_percents_useful_idiots_20160726
http://www.democracynow.org/2016/7/26/who_should_bernie_voters_support_now

The Jesse Ventura Effect : Count me in!!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-moore/5-reasons-why-trump-will-_b_11156794.html

Kurt Vonnegut: "There's a shitstorm coming."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jtfzDaBZ3o
http://www.truthdig.com/report/print/the_world_after_me_eternal_wartime_in_america_20160727

11:35 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Ed, thanks for posting a link to Archdruids latest. There is a lot to agree with in that essay. I disagree with the person who said that people in so-cal haven't put two and two together, my guess is that they have but prefer not to think about it and probably resent being reminded of it. I know I am pretty sick of the whole global warming thing. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen. We are not, as a species, going to collectively wake up one morning and say "well, that was fun, I guess the party is over and its walking and bike rides and no more air travel from here on out." Aint gonna happen.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I guess my last post was too long.

Try this:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/07/29/my-fellow-americans-we-are-fools/

I got nuttin' to add.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Tom Servo - "...people tend to underestimate the role of luck when they succeed."

That is absolutely spot on. I am a retired member of the professional class who did quite well (though I always planned to retire early because I didn't much like it), but I always felt very, very lucky to make it as far as I did. I was a liberal arts major who was fortunate enough to graduate from college during the last years in which just having a decent undergraduate GPA was enough to land you a good career. Had I graduated 20 years later than I did, I would have been as screwed as so many Sanders supporters are today.

I also think the suppression of the notion that they were at all "lucky" is why there is so much Millennial bashing by the professional class today, as you can plainly see in the disdain that the Hillary camp has for rank and file Sanders voters. If you loudly assert that recent college graduates saddled with huge student loan debt whose only job prospects are as Starbucks baristas are "lazy," "spoiled," and "entitled," that absolves you as a supposedly good liberal from any responsibility for their plight despite the fact that the neoliberal policies relentlessly promoted by both your presidential and vice presidential candidates are primarily responsible for it.

That's the real difference I see in 21st century America versus when I grew up in the 1970s. The right wing has always lacked empathy for others. It was in the 1990s when the Clintons began convincing the left to do the same that America became truly damned.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Loving Jeff St. Clair's reports from the convention:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/07/29/she-stoops-to-conquer-notes-from-the-democratic-convention/

"The chants of USA, USA!! during Khizr Khan’s moving and powerful speech about his slain son is revolting. Do you have to be a “patriotic” American Muslim to enjoy the rights of the constitution that Khan showed? If you are a “patriotic Pakistani” does that protect you from a CIA drone strike?"

2:15 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

https://youtu.be/_m-42A37zxM

Keep in mind, this is the alternative to the mainstream. This is the new media of the young and tech savvy.

Part of the hopelessness here is that every alternative is so stunted and marginalized that they will never bloom.

Sanders is a good example. In any parliamentary system he would have won 15 odd percent of the vote for years, and had great organizational experience as his electoral prospects rose. He could have existed entirely outside the Dems.

But everything here is designed to sheer away those alternative buds.

It's a binary society. Ya want chicken or beef?

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Well, here I am donning my tinfoil hat again.

I am even more convinced by the events of the last week that the fix is in for Her Royal Botoxesty. Selecting Kaine, immediately appointing DWS to a high ranking spot in her campaign despite the DNC email scandal. These aren't the moves of someone who has any fears whatsoever of losing the election. Throw in the fact that Comey has pre-emptively declared her above the law and Trump's non serious campaign (no policy proposals, skeleton campaign staff, etc.)...

I got a feeling.

Sure, I suppose it could be hubris and/or tone deafness; but with the Sanders movement and the Brexit vote, it's hard to imagine her and her handlers being that obtuse.

Anyway, last night's flag waving, "USA" chanting crowd of mentally compartmented, cognitively dissonant liberals gorging on a buffet of cherry-picked reality, a glorifed, reverent meme of identity politics, a reimagined personal history, and a drummed-up red scare to boot, was a chilling sight to behold. Is this post-modern fascism on the march? We've all been looking to the right to bring us a reactionary, authoritarian regime on the back of an ignorant, knee-jerk, frothed up populace; but is it charging right up the center, right now, before our very eyes?

2:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

The posts are flying thick and fast. I think we can all agree that Hillary is a botoxed douche bag. I'm pulling for the Trumpo, but I have a sinking feeling it's going to be the Botox Queen for 8 yrs. Jesus, an actual turkey would be better. Once again, Geo Carlin: "Where do you think our leaders come from? Mars?"

Jas-

Thanks for kudos on Neurotic Beauty. I think it's my best, altho perhaps in a dead heat with Wandering God, I dunno. Meanwhile, I'm reading a fabulous cultural history of Russia by Orlando Figes called Natasha's Dance. Highly recommended.

Note to Jeff-

Accidentally ran across a foto of Juliette Greco and Miles Davis in Paris, 1949, by Charbonnier. It was at a club called the Seyles, or something like that. What chemistry between them; a very moving shot.

mb

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Chopped Liver said...

ok, trying to obey length rules. I am not sure when was the last time I tried to post, if is post is rejected due to timing issues, I will just try again in 24 hours. Simply put what bothers me is that it seems your treatment of America is unfair. First, you ignore far worse violators of human rights, as longe as they oppose the USA - say, Putin's Russia, Iran, the worldwide Jihad, etc. Second. claiming the USA is made up of evil zombies (in effect). This is simply not true of the many Americans I have met in my long time in the country. As a foreigner, much about American culture was peculiar, even silly - such as junk food or the latest "self-help" fad - but much was delightful and insightful, from baseball and football to the treasures of the reading room of the NYPL - which was always full.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Nothing will probably stop the "fix" unless there's someone out there ready to go "full-Ellsberg" with information so damning that it cannot be overlooked. Wishful thinking, I'm afraid.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Dearest MB and Wafers,

Well, it's Hillary or Trumpo (sigh). As for me:

I sit in my chair
And filled with despair
There's no one could be so sad
With gloom everywhere...

Yes, I think I'll let Ella bring it home:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eImEnIYBNY

MB-

Next up is Bakewell's "At the Existentialist Café" for sure. Meanwhile, I made the fortunate mistake of picking up "The Mandibles"; like Bill, I can't seem to put it down. Jesus, what a clever novel. I could be wrong, but I can't imagine Shriver didn't read yr trilogy on the American Empire, MB. It goes w/out saying, of course, that the real warning, the original prophetic examination, and the handwriting on the American wall was provided by you.

Miles

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

It seems like the whole world is veering toward totalitarianism. Trump, Hillary, Putin, Hollande, the Polish government, ISIS, Shinzo Abe, Narendra Modi, Viktor Orban, the new Polish government...things most certainly weren't this bad 20 years ago. America's global cultural victory is nearly complete: as far as I can tell, most countries are now trapped in a Manichean, fascistic mindset. In particular, Europe, the Islamic world, and East Asia have become much more right-wing over the last 20 years, and much more Americanized. What does the future hold? A third world war, of course.

12:41 AM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

I am millinal and I used to side hustle. I used to sell sports cards, watches on eBay and I would work odd jobs and get paid on a daily basis

5:06 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

The conclusion of the article says it all...
http://qz.com/741650

Kanye

6:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Chopped-

I agree with you, there are a lot of positive things in American culture, but they are the hangovers of an earlier era. Not very much new is gd, imo. As for my alleged unfair treatment of America: here's the deal. This blog is about one subject, namely the collapse of the American empire. For the most part, it's not about anything else. 2nd, as Chomsky says, I can't take on the whole world, and it's not my place to criticize Russia or Iran or whatever. I'm an American, so I try to reach Americans (with little success, but still...). It's up to the Russians (Garry Kasparov, e.g.) to criticize the Russians, up to the Iranians to criticize Iran, etc. My territory, appropriately enuf, is the US. 3rd, comparisons with what other nations are doing bad is neither here nor there; they prove 0 abt the US. The fact that the US is not as bad as Auschwitz or Nazi Germany or whatever is of cold comfort to me. We are a genocidal plutocracy, and what we have done in Vietnam or Chile or etc etc (Nick Turse, Stephen Kinzer, Berman, Wm Blum...) has been butchery beyond belief. 4th, as for Muslim violence: check previous posts and comments. We have done this subject to death, and I have suggested we move on to other topics, since no one changed their mind anyway. Finally: yr welcome to contribute to this blog if you play by the rules, but I do have a feeling that given pts 1-4, you won't be very happy here. There are 1000s of blogs that praise the US and criticize all other countries, for example, or who think comparison with other violent nations makes sense. Just in terms of yr own enjoyment of dialogue and conversation, those blogs may serve yr purposes much better than this one. Just a suggestion.

mb

11:12 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


"we need everybody to come together and 'puke on the devil"

This one clip defines the soul of 'murika...a country with 10000 nuclear weapons and a squirrel's testicle for brains.
Selfie + ShitStateArizona + 6BillionDegrees + DevilToTheRescue + DisenfranchisedUneducatedDB
http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2016/07/25/entire-usa-heat-wave-warm-forecast/87528944/
I pity her suffering which seems very real.
One day this joke will be on all of us when facing catastrophic disaster the president will call in a special session of congress to "rebuke the devil".

United We Stand!! USA! USA! USA!
http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/the_mural_of_the_story_20160728
Read Mr.Fish's comment. Cold n Dry -the indifference that is 'murika.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

GMO labeling: the liberal version of climate change denial. I hear so any conspiracies thrown around regarding GMOs, it goes to show that scientific illiteracy is a problem in major urban areas.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/obama-signs-bill-mandating-gmo-labeling/story?id=41004057

1:55 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Chopped - I suggest you take a good hard, clear-eyed look at whatever country it is you are from originally. I have no idea what country that is, but unless it is either Russia, China, Iran or a few select others I'll be willing to bet that a good share whatever negative socio-political trends there are there have their origins in ether American corporations exploiting the population for a buck (smart phones turning people into techno-zombies; the spread of fast food chains and sales of flavored sugar water and cigarettes making the population more unhealthy; mindless Hollywood action movies legitimizing violence as a way to solve problems; etc) or the U.S. government striving to undermine national sovereignty through "free" trade and "security" agreements, helping build up the local surveillance state to spy on the population and selling the local government expensive and unnecessary armaments.

Referring to what Dr. Berman said above, the number of positives about America is relentlessly shrinking, as has been my whole adult life. You mention, for example, the full reading room at the NYPL--that's great, but I suggest you leave the NYC metropolitan area and try to find a decent bookstore. THAT is a true needle in a haystack exercise.

You want to know what America is all about these days and what it really thinks of you as a foreign national, read the article linked below, and remember that this kind of exploitation of young foreign college students by predatory companies has been going on for years with NOBODY in authority doing a damn thing to stop it:

https://www.splcenter.org/news/2016/07/27/splc-complaint-cultural-exchange-students-south-carolina-exploited-cheap-labor

2:46 PM  
Blogger Edward Davis said...

Morris--We communicated some back in the early nineties. Sorry to send you a message this way. I live in Colombia now and would like to know if any of your books (most particularly the Reenchantment of the World) are published in Spanish, and where to get them. Muchas gracias amigo. Ned Davis


3:21 PM  
Anonymous xypeter said...

MB -- I hope you have your blog backed up. As you see here, Google thought nothing of canceling Dennis Cooper's blog and witholding all the data, and might well do the same to you or any of us who have "unusual ideas." And when they bar bloggers, they don't even let them have their own writing. Thanks for squat, Google!

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/30/opinion/sunday/the-blog-that-disappeared.html

3:27 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

I made the mistake of posting this on FB yesterday and all hell broke lose: "If we can't vote against corporate domination and the military industrial complex -is all this political theater ultimately meaningless? Money has replaced the vote. I'm with CHRIS HEDGES who recently said [in regards to the election] "I don’t think it makes any difference. The TPP is going to go through, whether it’s Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Endless war is going to be continued, whether it’s Trump or Clinton. We’re not going to get our privacy back, whether it’s under Clinton or Trump. The idea that, at this point, the figure in the executive branch exercises that much power, given the power of the war industry and Wall Street, is a myth. " There is no available vote for peace in this two party corporate con."

I know the opinions on Hedges here vary but this pessimistic (and realistic) view I quoted seems pretty on point. People on FB went through the usual talking points about how bad Trump would be and how I should fall in line but no one really addressed my original post about corruption and my own loss of faith in our governance. Are we Wafers the only people looking at the big picture?

3:43 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

I have a theory to support DAA...I'd like to think it's an original theory that I came up with as I haven't seen it anywhere else described, but maybe not original. It's this...

We are now living in what I call "The Age of the Body" (as opposed to one of the Mind)...everywhere you look over the last 15 years (maybe more) the vast majority of young men (and now many young women) are obsessed with building and developing their bodies with huge muscles and six pack abs. Everywhere you look you see and hear about P90X, and CrossFit, etc. They spend an inordinate amount of time in gyms, learning about, and discussing all things BODY, almost to the complete exclusion of anything related to the mind. Almost zero of this population is reading poetry, the great novels, philosophy, they're not exchanging gray matter with deep discussions in cafes, etc. it's ALL about building up a muscular and esthetic body, and how much sex I can have. There is nothing wrong with exercise and building muscle for health purposes, but that is ALL young people are doing these days...that an some of these body worshipers are also studying STEM exclusively, and the Instrumental Reason that comes out of it.

I believe this "Age of the Body" is another indicator of the Barbarism taking over society.

Am I being original in my theory? Hope so.

Thoughts?

3:47 PM  
Blogger Ed-M said...

Christian,

Actually if you read that whole comment, it's when he presented others with Sanders' plan that his listeners were capable of putting two and two together -- and resenting it. Even the working class guy whom Sanders' plan was intended to benefit. But otherwise, he reported that they were just complaining about the various conditions, thinking of them as outliers, freak events. They weren't even going so far as putting two and two together, such as the blackouts and their use of air conditioning, or the water restrictions and frequent, extended heatwaves and climate changed caused by THEIR use of fossil fuels... and ours, too.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Darby said...

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jul/23/paul-kingsnorth-imagine-how-land-feels

Paul kingsnorth ___ Imagine How The Land feels


4:28 PM  
Anonymous Tiberius Gracchus said...

More insane killings in the United States. This time it looks like the gunman knew his victims and had broken up with one of them.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/3-dead-1-hurt-in-shooting-near-seattle-suspect-in-custody/ar-BBv37Yp?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=HPCDHP

As I was writing in my earlier post, sometimes I think Americans are victims but then stories like this one and my personal experiences dealing with other Americans makes me think that they are mostly selfish narcissists with no regard for other people and that they get the government and leaders they deserve.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Chopped Liver said...

MB - my problem isn't that you criticize the USA and not every other wrong on the planet, but that you seem to excuse all violence done *to* the USA as it "having it coming" - including that done by people who explicitly say their reason to the USA as the "great Satan" is that it opposes "Allah"'s will of worldwide Sharia. Surely opposing the likes of Iran's Ayatollahs, at least, is a point in the USA's favor. Also, are *all* good things there due to a past era? The modern USA ended segregation - which was commonplace in the past - and invented the greatest equalizer in information and knowledge between rich and poor in history, the Internet (to name two examples). The logical problem with your blog's arguments - as I see it - isn't not pairing the USA, but the "strawman" fallacy: it is not hard to prove the caricature USA described in the blog is evil, but the question is how accurate the picture is.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Nathan-

Yes, we are. I agree with Hedges, except that there is one possibility with Trumpo that doesn't exist with Hillary, namely full-blown fascism. Hill is a douche bag, and has no more vision than Obama did, namely crisis management. Trumpo, on the other hand, cd do us a tremendous amt of damage, which is perhaps just what we need.

On the other hand (again), his worst programs might be stymied by bureaucracy. Everyone was terrified by Goldwater in '64, but he wd in fact have been a much better choice than LBJ. The argument here is that there's only so much any president can do.

As far as Facebk goes, those people have shit for brains.

xy-

I shd be so lucky. Eventually, I expect this blog to be closed down, while I'm being tortured in Guantanamo. Wafers, let's enjoy the only truly intelligent blog in the blogosphere while we can.

Ned-

"El reencantamiento del mundo" is published by Cuatro Vientos Editorial in Santiago de Chile. If you have any trouble getting hold of a copy, write me at mauricio@morrisberman.com, and I'll contact the publisher myself.

mb

5:46 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Nathan-

It's almost pointless to make people see what you described in yr FB post. Wafers are confronted on a daily basis w/the question of just how it is that the American people have failed to notice the turmoil unleashed upon the world by Obama and Hillary? Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Pakistan, etc., even Ukraine in many respects -- all of it, evidence that Obama and Hillary are bloodthirsty warmongers. And what do the Democrats do, reward Hillary with the nomination, chant USA, and pave the way for her to achieve even greater power and bellicosity. I tell ya, it's a sick joke. We have no brains, morality, or virtue.

Miles

7:32 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@jjarden

The cult of the body is true and growing.

And the irony is that it comes when the body has been rendered absolutely useless by the techno-corporate machine. The best life in this systen is bodyless, sedentary and existing as a digital abstraction.

The society is artificial, and so is ordered by the most superficial structures of the mind. The body really has no place except as ornament.

Almost none are so lucky today to experience their body as a vessel of deep connection and intimacy with the world.

Btw, I think the whole obesity trend is the flip side. Rejecting the body and closing off the possibility of intimacy by segregating yourself in a universe bound by its own size and gravity.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

Jjarden,

That's a good hypothesis. We do indeed live in an age where the mind is neglected, abused, and scorned. And yet, are people really living in their bodies to compensate? People spend every waking moment looking screens, and refuse to connect with the people and objects physically present; that is physical disconnect, not physical preoccupation. I would therefore argue that we actually live in an age of unreality where people are disconnected not only from their minds, but also from their bodies and their physical environment.

People might have become more obsessed about their appearances, but it's not as if people are physically healthier than they were 20 years ago. By all accounts, they are far unhealthier: more obese, more sleep deprived, more dependent on huge medication regimens to stymie death. Furthermore, their physical obsessions mostly relate to inauthentic images they see on electronic screens, (i.e., Kim Kardashian's Botox-inflated ass, steroid-enhanced muscles of professional wrestlers, etc.) not to genuine aspirations arising from increased awareness about physical health or even aesthetic beauty. It's all about looking like famous people at any cost.

The Age of the Body you describe probably existed in the 1960s (sex, drugs, rock and roll); we are now living in a far more degraded age. If only people could reconnect to their bodies, America might be a somewhat less vicious place...but that is now impossible. It's all Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus videos, all the time.

12:29 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Interesting article on the forgotten victimes of the 1st atomic blast in New Mexico. I didn't even know this took place.
http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/the-forgotten-victims-of-the-first-atomic-bomb

Jjarden, I don't think that being focused on taking care of your body is necessarily a bad thing. Sure, my gym is also packed with protein-shake-drinking schwarzeneggers, but they are the exception rather than the rule. I think that for most people the gym is actually a form of therapy.

Kanye

10:24 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Chopped-

As I said b4, we had the Muslim violence argument out day after day on previous posts, and if you want the whole thing pro and con, yr best bet is to go thru those comments. I just can't do that one any more. You'll find an exhaustive study of what we did to Iran in DAA, along with one of Stephen Kinzer's bks. The Internet did not equalize things between rich and poor; that's an illusion, and has also been discussed in a # of bks. As for the ending of segregation: did it really end? I don't have that impression. But the official ending, in any case, is certainly from an earlier era.

We can continue debating all of this, but there are a couple of problems: one, yr not well read; yr not really informed abt much of what yr talking abt. In the past, when this happens, I've tried to provide discussion and esp. bibliography (which wd be crucial in yr case); unfortunately, the other person doesn't go and do the research, but instead just repeats his previous uninformed beliefs. Two, there is no straw man here; this is merely your interpretation, which I believe is inaccurate. As I said b4, I don't think this blog can make you happy, and there are thousands of them out there that can, I'm sure of it.

mb

11:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: you might also want to think abt what Bill Hicks wrote, above.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Psych ops, corporate brainwashing, and the someday someday myth permeate the narcopathic US populous.The religious zealotry of, 'I gut mine Jack' is the mantra--perhaps, replace that with the BS freedom and awesomeness us propaganda-repetition of lies are paramount (Bernays)--as long as the imbeciles actually think they're making their own decisions.

Hofstede's--Power Distance Index (PDI) may explain some of the tuchas kissing and subservient nature of many Americans--the boss is always right, over respect, be careful what you say, never disagree, smile, clap, nod, group think, yes "manism." Because America has an 'employee at will' work situation and very few employee rights, it creates wage slaves; any reason, no reason, any time, no time, halitosis, you enjoy burritos, etc...you can be shit canned--only in the US. They are slaves to corporations and that contract to death, a mortgage (mort gage-death pledge).

So, smile, clap, and nod, and as Tommy Tune would say, 'Tap those troubles away'--watch endless sports, take narcopathic selfies/foodies, obsess over who can sing, who can dance, how's Kim's psoriasis, try to justify/rationalize mentally deranged behaviors, and which political narcopath is telling ya watcha wanna hear. I know what will work--I am gonna Work really, really hard because someday, some daze my boss/partner will recognize all my contributions, and that pot of gold (shit) will be waiting for me!

11:21 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

MB -

what are your thoughts on a true ecofascist government taking over at some point? The term now is overused, but I'm wondering if decades in the future we could get someone who puts in a plan to shrink the population and reduce our dependence on industrial society through violence.

I've had the thought that either things collapse uncontrollably (which is the most likely case), or a dictator will come in and purge millions and force cities to become more compact, less industrial, and will smaller populations.

Personally I could see an eco dictator taking power, they could probably start w/ standard green party talk, then institute purges and strict border controls once in power. I feel like this could easily be done in the name of national security after collapse truly begins (i.e. GDP only goes down, less oil extracted each year, grocery stores aren't open, water not coming from tap, gas stations closed, unemployment 50% etc.).

I picture this situation happening in maybe 30 years time once things start to become obviously very bad as climate change and resource shortages become extremely dangerous.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Though it has application in the common law, I've always thought this Latin phrase could be used tellingly in all sorts of situations where neither lawyers nor courts are involved. The term, from Black's Law Dictionary (Bryan Garner, ed.):

res ipsa loquitur (rays ip-sə loh-kwə-tər). [Latin "the thingspeaks for itself"] (17c) Torts. The doctrine providing that, in some circumstances, the mere fact of an accident's occurrence raises an inference of negligence that establishes a prima facie case. — Often shortened to res ipsa. [Cases: Negligence1610.]

And here's the case where I think it could aptly be applied, with Donald Trump saying X and the NFL saying Not-X. Of course, we know that Trump has a shaky grasp of both facts, truth, and reality, so who knows. Hustling trumps--forgive the pun--politics. Res ipsa.

As Fox News likes to say, "We report, you decide."

NFL Denies It Sent Letter to Trump Over Debate Schedule

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/nfl-denies-it-sent-letter-trump-over-debate-schedule-n620391?cid=eml_onsite

Judge Sheindlin might say "One of you has to be lying."

12:57 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


I suspect chopped_liver like many empire's apologists drank too much 'murikan koolaid to fall in love with "jonestown". What books was he/she reading in NYPL? Baseball n football books? That same library has multiple copies of Zinn's "A People's History of the United States"; often all copies are checked out. There are dozens of books in the library on amerikn history, which is a saga of brutality of a serial killer comparable to the worst through time. Who dropped the atom bomb on civilians on purpose? Just for once set aside the koolaid glass and take a look into the abyss...

http://www.sheepletv.com/why-we-fight/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gJIlfoEQk4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2ghdM66U4Y
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0

1:11 PM  
Anonymous brainDecay said...

One of the many great recommendations on this blog— Alexander Lowen's work (esp. "Depression and the Body") / Bioenergetics

"The depressed person, says Dr. Lowen, is out of touch with reality- and especially with the reality of his or her own body."

As for screen usage, I'm quite self-aware as to how I must be perceived by other people. I work for a small retail business on "Main Street USA," in a relatively well-to-do area. And lemme tell y'all, if you want a front-row seat to collapse, look no further.

But if most Americans are indeed walking jokes, shouldn't Wafers then cut people some slack for escaping through screen usage? While I'm at work, for instance, I've no tolerance anymore for humouring our decadent, histrionic, and mentally ill clientele. After a certain point, it just becomes utterly exhausting to indulge and validate these people's narcissistic and inappropriate behavior. Immediately after I'm finished with one of these surreal face-to-face interactions, I escape to my phone or tablet (where I'm usually reading Wafer-ish material, blogging, writing emails to friends, etc.) in order to recover from the exhausting daily routine of playacting with non-humans.

What I've observed, however, is that when most people are escaping through screen usage it's in the form of Candy Crushing, Tindering, Snapchatting, Pokemon Go-ing, 140-characters-or-less Tweeting. I agree that any kind of screen usage isn't ideal, but I think a distinction should be made between people who get caught in pleasure-seeking dopamine loops and people who use their devices to at least further their knowledge of something.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Some words of wisdom:

"In the long run, it is much easier to undo the policies of crooked leadership than to restore common sense and wisdom to a deceived population willing to elect such a leader in the first place."

-How Do You Kill 11 Million People: Why the Truth Matters More Than You Think

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Chopped Liver said...

MB - The segregated Black underclass persists due to "progressive" educationalists, promoting single motherhood, ghetto slang, etc., as normative (for others, never for their own children), with the expected results. It is the same catastrophe which they visited upon the *white* underclass in Britian; see the writings of the philosopher Andrew Oldenquist, English professor Richard Mitchell, or social critic and psychiatrist Theodore Dalrymple. Certainly the underclass doesn't persist because Americans remained as, or nearly as, racist. Oldensquist notes that all old enough to remember the 40s or earlier know blacks were inevitably menials, many whites honestly believed they naturally smell bad, etc. A Black president or a back middle class were inconceivable.

Bill Hicks - a Hobson's choice: unless I come from some totalitarian one-party state, like China, Russia, or Iran, then my contry has, surely, been "invaded" by evil USA consumerism. Well, if those are the only two options, I will choose the USA's evil machinations. Cellphone brainwashing is indeed annoying, but is far better than the same done in reeducation camps; McDonald's food is lousy, but preferable to mass famines; Trump's crude views about gays are stupid, but better executimg them as per Sharia law. Besides, os the USA is an all-powerful worldwide force for evil, or a spent country at the point of collapse? MB seems to argue that it is promoting worldwide imperialism *because* it is at the point of collapse, but I find this unconvincing, rehashing Lenin's "Imperialism, the final stage of capitalism".

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Carlton said...

Paul Kingsnorth has a new book out as well as a couple essays published these last couple weeks, WAFER friendly , like this one,


https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jul/23/paul-kingsnorth-imagine-how-land-feels


4:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Chopped-

As far as desegregation goes, in case u hadn't noticed, we are practically on the verge of race war in this country. Hard to see that as progress. Plus, I for one don't look upon Obama as progress of any kind, any more than Hillary will be a blow for women (I'm more interested in what they actually stand for, and whose interests they are promoting, than the color of their skin or their possession of a vagina). In addition, altho some advances in race relations do exist, this doesn't change the relations of power in the US. Civil rts has been an attempt to get into the system as it exists, not to change the system; which shd be the real pt of social change movements, I think (a conclusion MLK came to just b4 he died). Not happening. It's also not clear that a black underclass exists for the reasons you state--that is certainly up for debate. I very much doubt it's the fault of progressive educationalists. (Cf. the Moynihan Report, from 1965, which was very influential. It certainly didn't advocate single motherhood--just the opposite.)

2nd, the US was promoting imperialism ages ago, way b4 it was in a state of collapse, and I never made the argument that you say I am making. I do think its imperialism gets more frenzied and senseless toward the end (this is the historical record, as Toynbee showed years ago), but it hardly takes a collapse situation to create imperialism. Lenin was not arguing this either, BTW.

It's rather revealing that you tend to ignore the arguments you lose, brush them aside, and then move to other topics. Not quite kosher. For example, Internet as agent of social equality? Don't kid me. Since the intro of the Net, social inequality has skyrocketed. The 20 richest individuals in the US own as much as the bottom 50%. Where was yr fabled Internet during this process? And a # of authors have argued that the Net has actually served to deepen social inequality. Abt this, you say nothing.

Or the issue of the US 'courageously' opposing the ayatollahs. Ha! You've got to be kidding. But then, you did not take my advice, read the Iran section of DAA, or Stephen Kinzer's brilliant bk, "All the Shah's Men." Does the name Mohammad Mosaddegh ring a bell? Probably not. Once again, silence from you.

The problem is that (a) yr pretty fixed in yr position on the US, even tho it's basically the stereotypical position of The Man in the Street, John Q. Public--heavily misinformed and inaccurate; and (b) yr playing a game of bait and switch, as indicated above. This is very tiresome, amigo; I just can't keep trying to get thru 2u, since there is no way; so--I won't. Maybe other Wafers will take you on, but it seems like a fruitless venture. (I'll leave it up to them.) There is a tendency most Americans have to not take info in; which is, I suspect, a major factor in our decline.

lack-

I experienced "sprouts fascism" when I lived in San Francisco in the 1970s. I didn't much care for it.

mb

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@brainDecay,

I also engage in screen-based escapism. I spend a lot of time reading stuff on the Internet. But I admit that I watch a lot of TV too. I enjoy sitcoms like Married... with Children and Seinfeld. I suppose you could say those two shows were WAFer-ish because the characters seemed to represent various American types. I also enjoy older TV shows. Sometimes I feel so depressed about the modern world that I escape into the relatively gentler TV shows from the 1950s and 1960s. I do try to read quality books, although I should probably read more.

I think what bothers me about modern escapism is the narcissism on display on things like Facebook. I used to have a Facebook account but closed it when I realized that FB was mostly used for grandstanding of the "look at my perfect life" sort.

For example, I just got back from a destination wedding for the daughter of a close family friend. The wedding was unbelievably lavish even for an upper middle-class family. You’d think it was a royal weeding if you didn’t know any better. The bride was competing with her friends who also had lavish destination weddings. Of course this competition is played out on social media. It was really ridiculous.

Interesting article on Facebook depression and social comparison: http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2015/04/08/new-study-links-facebook-to-depression-but-now-we-actually-understand-why/#5edb823e2e65

7:28 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

brainDecay - you make a legitimate point, and in fact I am highly grateful to the Internet for expanding my range of knowledge much more than would ever have been possible without it. I'll even cop to using my smartphone to read up on things whenever I have downtime and don't have a book handy, such as in the doctor's waiting room. Unfortunately, however, the 'net and modern electronic devices are just like television. The fact that there are a few worthy documentaries and an occasional brilliant show like Breaking Bad doesn't come close to offsetting the fact that 99.9% of the content is mindless BS.

It isn't just the fact that so many people are playing Candy Crush or Pokemon GO, it's that the way the devices are being used by the vast majority is further eroding people's ability to concentrate and to decipher accurate information about the world around them. Every mind, even a WAFers, needs some form of distraction from the pressures and stresses of everyday life, but it has reached the point where most people seek ONLY total distraction when not engaged in whatever line of work it is that they hate.

I remember growing up in the 70s when my parents (who lived in a small midwestern town and were not intellectuals) would sometimes have other couples over for parties, and they would be just as likely to discuss the latest serious bestselling novel or mainstream movies like Network, Serpico or All the President's Men that had real substance. Even their favorite TV shows, like All in Family or MASH, were not only hugely popular but were unafraid to tackle serious issues. As a kid I thought all that stuff was boring, but I'd give anything to revert to a time when I could have serious, in-person conversations with other American adults on a regular basis. It just isn't possible today, so I doubt that more than about 0.01% are using their easy 'net to increase their knowledge or improve their minds.

8:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

The US, moving ahead into the future:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jul/31/rural-us-counties-hiv-outbreak-cdc

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

In a lovely little Thai town called Udon Thani in the north-great food, exquisitely mannered Thais and great parks. Last night I went to the most popular park, Nompajak, and to my amazement few were running, walking or riding a bike with ear plugs in. So refreshing. As nature is so much a part of Udon Thani culture I sumise they felt they were somehow being disrespectful to the park who seems to shout "Hey, look how beautiful I am!"
Another wonderful moment occured in a food court. A friend and I sat down at a table for 6. There was one man sitting there as well so we figured he was alone. Suddenly, 5 people from his family arrived and, although I don't speak Thai, I could see that his wife was annoyed and probably said something like, " Why did you let those men sit here? YOu were supposed to hold the table for us." But it was so typical Thai. The man probably said to himself, "It's not my table. I have no right to claim it. These men came here so I need to submit to what has naturally occured. In any event, I'm sure we can find another table and more that likely will since I performed a kindness by allowing these men to sit here. We'll probably be rewarded, in fact, with an even better table ." Think that could happen in the USA? It's the ususal "These seats are taken" crap even if the party is 100 miles away with little chance of arriving before the store closes.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous John Frum said...

The comments from Chopped Liver warm my cold, dead heart, yessiree. It's wonderful to see an "ima-gant" adopting the mainstream view 'Muricans have of themselves. Gosh, we may have nuked civilians, injected syphilis into developmentally-disabled African Americans, overthrown a legitimate government in Iran to install some friendly to our own "interests", but that's all just fancy tawk. The real thret is that them Eyerainians gonna nuke us coz they Islamofascists. That's what the Faux "News" says, yessiree.

12:46 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


honorary WAFer department :

Robert Hunziker :

https://zcomm.org/author/robzik/

an article worthy of this blog :

http://www.muslimpress.com/Section-opinion-72/105321-the-upcoming-election-marks-the-beginning-of-the-end-of-american-empire

excerpts :

"The past 40 years has served as a setup for a quasi-fascist candidate like Trump. This setup commenced in the 1980s, which is essentially a reversion to 19th century frontier anti-intellectual, anti-immigrant, rugged individualistic, praise-the-Lord politics. This strain of politics has a long history in America; for example, the great American historian Richard Hofstadter traced anti-intellectualism back to the beginning of America.

America is not universally outraged about street killings as much as it is universally outraged by loss of opportunities in the workplace and in society at large. This signals a total breakdown of moral values throughout society. It’s when people turn to madmen for answers!

... the upcoming November election may very well be one of the most significant turning points in American political and social history. It likely marks the beginning of the end of American Empire, similar to the end of the Roman Empire as society degenerated, losing its moral compass.

On a fiscal basis, on a moral basis, on a socio-economic basis, on a political basis, America becomes increasingly bankrupt with each election cycle. This is comparable to a slow-moving spiral downward into a pit of despair, the Roman Empire redux."

1:23 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Marc-

Nice to see other social critics are finally catching up to me, but I think the beginning of the end was Reagan. We are now in the middle of the end, as far as I can see. So next, we need to have the end of the end, and Trump may just be the guy for the job!

John F.-

Yeah, I agree, it's disheartening, watching an immigrant parroting the mainstream "analysis" of the US, with literally no understanding of the history of US foreign policy (or much else). As for the race question, Theodore Dalrymple's ideology is a familiar one: blame the victim; and saying the cause of black poverty is 'progressive' educators encouraging single motherhood and ghetto slang is pretty racist. It also shows a deep ignorance of how things work, sociologically speaking (Chopped has never read Elijah Anderson's work, "The Code of the Street"--you can be sure of that). Anyway, as I said above, I don't think there's much pt in debating him; he's frozen in a right-wing mold, and is clearly going to stay there. Why he bothers w/this blog, when he can find thousands of blogs that 'confirm' his world view, is beyond me.

mb

3:25 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

But Pokémon GO is going to bring us all to Love, Peace, Harmony, and Al Tings Good! --

http://www.salon.com/2016/07/31/strange_but_true_pokemon_go_is_a_ray_of_hope_in_a_bleak_world/

I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I read something like that load of self-deluded cobblers.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim-

Several things are needed to cause a civilization to collapse. Among them, these 3:

1. Most of the citizenry has its head rammed up its ass, with Pokémon, smartphones, and everything else.
2. The president has a 'black soul'.
3. The left, such as it is, is convinced that there will be a left-wing revolution.

We just hafta get Trumpo into the Oval Office, and we'll be off and running.

mb

9:06 AM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

How did chopped liver's vocabulary and syntax go from pidgin to phd in 3 or 4 posts? I smell a rat.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

comrade-

Yeah, me too. I think he's getting coaching from right-wing American friends, perhaps trollfoons who have been on this blog b4, w/o much success. Which wd explain why he ignores my suggestion to find another blog. I may just hafta expunge him. This is probably fun for his 'advisers', but a tiresome drag for me. How do you educate a brick wall?

But it has been at least some comfort to me, to see how widespread these self-destructive views are, and how there is no getting these folks to see beyond their slogans and formulas. The more popular they are, and the more rigid, the faster our decline.

mb

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Jerry Robinson, DDS said...

Dr. Berman, you have been spot-on with your premise about Americans always having been hustlers. It's almost as if we can't help ourselves. I'm a dentist and other dentists usually can't help but talk about new ways to drum up business. Marketeering speak (misspelling intended) is the lingua franca of their world. A couple of examples: when Prince croaked one guy with a lighted fountain in front of his office changed the LED lighting scheme to purple. He said that you "should never miss a chance to market your office." Even off of someone's death? Next up, the recent Pokeman Go craze has been a source of internet postings about ways to set up your office as a base or whatever so that people are led there, thus free advertising.

All of this make sme want to puke. The hilarity is that most of these clowns blow their money on idiotic status symbols like $100,000 cars or obnoxious wakeboard boats...

1:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jerry-

Funny, I just came from my dentist. He put in a new crown, charged me very little, and is not into making a killing. He has a wife, 2 daughters, and a motorcycle, and enjoys his life.

The truth is that Americans are not merely hustlers; they are also jerks. Don't tell me they are not getting the gov't they deserve. And when I hear Chris Hedges et al. talk about how we're gonna have a revolution...spare me, I can't laugh that hard; all my teeth will fall out.

The fact is that we've been hustling on the American continent since the late 16C, as I show in WAF. The pattern has become more intense over time, and now we are (hopefully) abt to elect the biggest hustler in the country's history. Pls don' tell me how all this is gonna be reversed...

mb

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Humph, just randomly came across this MB interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AXJgm4Hftg

and many of the comments are from the past 6 months. Perhaps we are seeing a new interest in the books and maybe some new people on the blog.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pastrami-

I don't doubt that there is a "Berman revival" underway, as the country suddenly emerges, en masse, into true intelligence and dialogue, and the old way of life is shattered--as described in my latest novel, "The Man Without Qualities." I tell you, I'm so excited; altho I regret not making any refs to deli meats in that interview. Maybe next time. (Flying pastrami sandwiches do figure in the novel, however--I'm proud to say.)

mb

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Creating and defining needs-hustling. Speaking of shysters, I remember a lawyer telling me--there's America, then everyone else--in this regard- at whim (will) employment, world taxation, no work-life balance, no health benies, nothing etc...You're on your own Jack. I gut mine a-hole. Hence, contributing to the pathologic addiction to hustling and opportunism.

Most americans, are profounded mentally deranged narcopaths; they cannot pause, reflect, and talk story. They speak as if they are a crack addict looking for their next fix. 'Yah, yah, yah, umm, umm, yah, yah,' in a rapid, eye's darting, pressured speech elocution--indicative of mental illness. Sound bytes, and 'spits' of barely cogent sentences.

Regarding the esteemed dentista WAFer--yes, even in death, Americans try to make a buck off of someone's demise--not just the sick and the infirm, but the dead too! Get that foam #1 finger out and wave it proud! It is no surprise that many cannot even afford to die in america given all the outrageous fees, service charges, certificates, coroners fees, embalming (that's an american thing $$$), and other BS fees, surcharges--hustling. Funeral directors and bereavement (SALES) "counselors" are hustlers. You wanna knotty walnut coffin or maple, we also have special coffin 'wax' to prevent decomposition for an extra....and, of course--guilt trip sales tactic-- you want the best for Uncle Albert, the gold plated fastener drek. The cardboard boxes and particle board coffins are out of sight, of course, because money is everything and the hustlers much showcase the expense drek for the us dipshits. Glad I'm gettin' out. Enjoy the decline.

7:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Unknown-

I don't post Anons or Unknowns. You need a real handle. Perhaps Beef Stroganoff?

mb

8:52 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Shoppers arm themselves w/baseball bats in a 30-person Walmart brawl:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/07/07/total-chaos-30-person-walmart-brawl-includes-metal-bats-thrown-canned-goods/

Miles

8:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

A very enjoyable video, and a microcosm of the US: degraded buffoons in action! And people wonder where Trumpo came from. Yes, what a mystery.

mb

9:10 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I just found a perfectly American story. It includes, 1). mindless violence, as a man has his house blown up by a former coworker for no apparent reason (the coworker shot himself in the head during the attack), 2). utter callousness, as 14% of those who read the story rated it, "Hilarious," and 3). the stupid intrusion of politics, as the first comment on the story celebrates the fact that there will be one less Trump voter this fall:

http://www.newser.com/story/228937/man-has-no-idea-why-former-coworker-blew-up-his-home.html?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=im&utm_tracker=1735409x84899

Or maybe it is this story: Miss Teen USA is found to have sent out racist tweets using the N-word. She blamed "personal struggles" as the reason she's a racist moron:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/teen-usa-called-n-word-twitter-article-1.2733384?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

So hard to choose these days.

10:10 PM  
Blogger pg said...

Hi Dr Berman,
like Ed I drifted over to yr blog while the archdruid was on break. Greer has referenced you at least once, and not entirely approvingly (tho he does say yr "Enchantment" is the best thing out there. Well, I like to see for myself.
Also, I taught (happily, I really believe learning to think via writing is a good thing; & I was weird in that I liked grading English comp papers) Engl, ESL, Holocaust Lit, German, Spanish--but am retired now and trying to catch up on reading what I missed when I had no time or energy to read anything for "me."
So, after listening to your talk I read _In Praise if Shadows"-- to deep delight. Can't tell you how much this'll help talking with my artist sister. Then "Twilight" and "Values"-- and just wanted to thank you for the felicity of your language, the ease of expression... Your turns of phrase make me happy, even giddy (as when I read Melville, whose B-day is today). I seriously considered changing my handle to Average Armadillo. I love wit.
So, thank you very kindly. I really appreciate what you said about C.Vann Woodward and E. Genovese. But that was a long time ago. Tho' I do miss the crepe myrtles. Among so much.
Skimmed DAA, but feel I should get Reenchantment and CTOS into my brain first. It's really a wealth of good reading & thinking. (And I grew up on B. Brecht.)
Thank you for all this energy, and the sheer fun of the language. Good writing matters to me--when and where-ever.
If there's space: to yr Q abt Kim's hair--could he be alluding to some historical figure/style? Like NL Beatrix choice in ruffled neckwear and weird broad hats---echoes to Dutch paintings....

10:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

pg-

Many thanks. Gd to know my work has been of some interest 2u, and I appreciate yr appreciation. As for Greer: I've read very little of his stuff, but when I cited it (once, I think), I footnoted it. A # of folks have written me that he has drawn on my stuff a # of times w/o attribution, but I've never bothered to check it out (I've never read his blog). Doesn't inspire warm fuzzy feelings, however.


Bill-

I guess douchebaggery knows no limits, in the US. And I hafta say that Miss Teen looks like a dolt, a total moron. Even a bit scary. I suspect she'll go far.

mb

11:15 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

I've never heard the term "sprouts fascism". What movement were you referring to?

12:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

lack-

It was more of a bowel movement than anything else. You know, you go into a health food store, and if you buy sprouts and veggies, the cashiers smile at you approvingly, and if you buy hamburger or whatever, they are cold and brusque. Anyway, I coined the phrase "sprouts fascism" for this behavior, but feel free to quote me.

mb

12:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Depressing news dept.:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/hillary-clinton-opens-point-lead-trump-national-poll/story?id=41053374

5:45 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

An Arizona couple left their 2-year-old son outside in 96-degree heat to play Pokémon Go. Apparently the child was left outside in the heat for about 90 minutes. Perhaps the most telling part of the story is this quote:

“Deputies found a phone number for someone they believed was the boy’s dad,” the statement said. “When they called and told him his child was found abandoned, he replied, ‘Whatever,’ and hung up the phone.”

For the full article see:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pokemon-go-child-abandoned_us_579f5976e4b08a8e8b5e8ff9

8:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Chopped-

Sorry, amigo, I just can't do this any more. Yr an energy drain, and I don't have energy for the sort of ping pong game yr playing. (I also suspect yr a mouthpiece for someone else.) This will go on forever, because yr locked into a rigid rt-wing framework that doesn't allow for learning or flexibility. Yr arguments are not hard to refute, and if you read the scholarly literature on them--Iran, the Internet, social inequality, or whatever--you might see this; but yr not interested in doing that, and I'm not interested in going back and forth w/u for the next 10 years. Brick walls tend to be unlikely subjects for dialogue, sad to say. I do understand, now, why yr not addressing this stuff to other blogs: there's no game in it 4u if they agree with you, and it's the game that yr after. I don't feel this is a genuine conversation, in other words; and I'm quite sure that on yr deathbed, you'll be saying much the same stuff that yr saying now. Gd luck, in any case; karmically speaking, I think yr gonna be walking a fairly dark road.

mb

10:44 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

What’s with Paul Craig Roberts? I’ve always appreciated his take on things, different from what we hear from the MSM. Of course this excludes his extreme blind spot when it comes to Ronald Reagan, which is almost understandable because he was part of the Reagan administration and it serves to protect his ego.

But, he ended his latest column with the following statement:

“Why is it Donald Trump, the candidate who says he wants to avoid dangerous conflict with nuclear powers, who is being demonized?”

Has he not paid attention to any of the other things this vicious, arch narcissist has to say?

Roberts seems to think that Killary is the only one who’ll start WWIII, but obviously he has no knowledge of narcissists. First of all, narcissists are pathological liars, and even worse seem to believe their own lies, so you cannot trust anything Trump has to say (Hillary, on the other hand, is your typical mendacious politician who has elevated lying to an art form). But, more importantly, there are no lengths to which a narcissist will not go to extract revenge if they FEEL shamed, and there’s no way of knowing what will provoke that feeling. Just what we need leading our genocidal country.

With either President Killary, a psychopath, or President Trump, a narcissist, the chances of starting WWIII increase exponentially.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Mike B. said:

Here is an article by Jane Mayer from The New Yorker that reports on what Tony Schwartz has to say about Donald Trump from his daily association with Trump to gather information to ghostwrite "The Art of the Deal". Trump comes off as an easily bored, lying, using, shallow hustler with a short attention span. Sounds like an average American on steroids.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/25/donald-trumps-ghostwriter-tells-all

11:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sar-

Well, I do think Roberts' question is a fair one, but obviously Trump is being attacked for other stuff as well--such as his recent awful treatment of the Muslim couple whose son died in the Middle East. I don't think Hillary is a psychopath, but she certainly is a warmonger, and that doesn't bode well for the world, to say the least. For what it's worth, she is now leading Trump by something like 5% in the polls, tho it's not clear why. Some say it's the post-convention 'bounce'; others think Trumpo may have shot himself in the foot with his callous treatment of the Khans. As I've said b4, I think her election is a foregone conclusion, but we'll hafta see if Trump can play catch-up in the 3 mos. left b4 the election.

In the last analysis, it's one big yawn anyway. Like Obama, both candidates will represent the Pentagon, Wall St., and the corporations--all of which are the real victors in this election, tho you and I don't get to vote for or against them. The crucial difference is that Hillary will continue the pattern of slow decline, whereas Trump can probably be counted on to speed it up.

mb

11:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

Just think of how many Americans wd love to *be* Donald Trump!

mb

11:16 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

After reports that a Trump son had offered John Kasich both the foreign and domestic policy portfolios in a Trump administration, leaving Donald Trump to handle the task of making America great again--reports now denied by Trump junior--we can breathe easily once more with the news below from the canyons of Manhattan and the pen of Andy Borowitz.

USA! USA! USA!

["Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups."

George Carlin]

"NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—After stumbling badly on an interview question about Ukraine, the Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump attempted on Tuesday to reassure voters about his geopolitical expertise by adding the retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and the former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to his team of foreign-policy advisers."

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/trump-bolsters-foreign-policy-team-by-adding-carson-and-palin?mbid=nl_080216%20Borowitz%20Newsletter%20(1)&CNDID=24465181&spMailingID=9291284&spUserID=MTA5MjQwMjQ4MjkxS0&spJobID=980138584&spReportId=OTgwMTM4NTg0S0

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

Morris,

That's one of the biggest reasons Trump is popular: his voters are really voting for an idealized version of themselves (obscenely wealthy and powerful, famous for being an asshole, but absolutely no difference in character). They don't really care if Trump destroys their lives as long as they can experience obscene wealth and power vicariously. These same Trump supporters think they are so unique and special that Trump will somehow make them individually rich, even though he earned his fortune by fucking over tens of millions people. Finally, the unconscious death wish I mentioned, combined with a desire to take as many people with you as possible, is the other major reason why Americans support Trump.

Basically, the idea behind voting for Trump is that you'll either become Trump and fulfill all your megalomaniacal desires, or finally be put out of your misery, taking most of the world you hate along with you. Ironically, this is the precisely how ISIS, and people that eventually become suicide bombers, think - the very people Trump supporters hate more than anyone else. Of course, being psychopaths, Trump supporters will never understand this, or anything else for that matter. Their minds are more impervious to reason than any other group I've ever seen or read about. I honestly think that even the Nazis were more openminded, compassionate and self-aware than Trump supporters.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

I have a question about Jimmy Carter. He was the first president I have any real memories of. I know that interest rates where really high his last two years in office but I do not recall unemployment being horrible or people having to struggle with getting basic foodstuffs like they do now.

I know the Iran Hostage Crisis is what finally did him in but here is the question. Carter did not get the hostages free until after the election but none of them died either. Yet Carter was perceived as a weakling because of it. Ronald Reagan a couple of years later ran away from Lebanon after 250 marines are killed and no one thought Reagan a weakling. And he went on to trounce Mondale in 1984. What gives?

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

Oh my god it feels like a dream. A dream I don't want wake up to because it's fun. I was hoping he would choose one of them as vp, but advisors is good enough for me. I hope he makes one of them Secretary of State

1:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

BH-

You need to read the Carter sections of DAA and WAF; I think you'll find the answer to your question there. Carter was sunk by much more than the hostage crisis, but in any case Reagan made a secret deal with the ayatollahs, to hold the hostages until after the election.

Jim-

Yr probably wrong abt the Nazis; check out "Hitler's Willing Executioners," by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen.

mb

1:17 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

What if we see a reverse of 2000? Then the Dem Gore lost the electoral vote but won the popular vote. The same may happen to Trump this time. It would take a small miracle for him to actually win the map, but he may win the popular vote with landslides in the south and mtn west.

That would mean another, perhaps final blow to the government's democratic legitimacy.

Also, this:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-obama-donald-trump-unfit-serve-president/story?id=41066637

Hard to imagine a peaceful transition of power...

1:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

Very few Americans care abt the govt's democratic legitimacy, or lack thereof. A recent scientific study revealed that 99.9% of the American public has fruit compote in their heads. I contacted a neurosurgeon abt this, who told me that if you have fruit compote in your head instead of gray matter, it's very hard to think clearly. See the New England Journal of Medicine, 16 June 2016, article entitled "99.9% of the American Public Has Fruit Compote in their Heads."

Mo-

Not clear what yr referring to.

mb

1:45 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers of the World,

MB-

It's unfortunate that such a good handle -- Chopped Liver -- was chosen by such a poor and amateurish person. I don't think I can forgive Chopped for such a terrible breach of etiquette.

MB, Wafers-

Mr. Khan versus Mr. Don:

I tell ya, we're being cheated, Wafers! Just think, we were standing on the precipice of Armageddon, one of the greatest events in human history: the election of Donald J. Trump to the American presidency, and the complete and total disintegration of the US in short order. I hadn't expected it to be so easily undone by the straightforward words of a Muslim. Anyway, poor, poor Trumpo. In some non-political, purely human region of my soul I feel ashamed for what's being done to him. He's a fool and a douche bag, of course, but what a relentless formidable enemy the NYT has become, yes? I mean who needs outright assassination when this kind of persecution hasta be endured.

Miles

3:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Yeah, poor Chopped. He needs a decent education plus 10 yrs of therapy, at least. And altho I'm gonna be deleting his future posts w/o rdg them, you can be sure he'll be sending us messages on a daily basis. This is a guy w/a lotta time on his hands.

As for The Donald, I think he may have shot himself in the foot w/his intemperate remarks to the Khans. Does it get dumber than that? Meanwhile, not only the NYT, but the Wash Post is in full swing with anti-Trump propaganda; they are so obviously terrified, they won't let up. And so the dream of so many Americans--Fascism Now!--will be cruelly thwarted.

mb

3:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

This is my kinda pope:

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/08/02/pope-francis-capitalism-terrorism-against-all-humanity

I just wish he had added, "And by the way, Americans are douche bags."

mb

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

We're in a septic tank that is not backed up, no amount of pumping can undo the severe amount of compacted fecal matter. Edward Bernays-father of US propaganda wished to make the dull citizenry want something they didn't need. He was a maestro of the constantly hungry, more/expansionist mentality that is ingrained in the mostly dipshit populous. Bernays fits the hustler concept to a "T."

Bernays came from Austria for all that "opportunity....," took 'lessons' (sussing up the situation (Berman) during WW2 from Hitler's propaganda campaigns, and then coined a softer term, "public relations and/or marketing as propaganda was toxic to the average lemming--needed a little window dressing to put lipstick on a cochon.

Moreover, Bernay's is the reason why we have bacon for breakies (healthy, yummy, pork industry was in trouble-$), the myth of "democracy," (need tax and debt slaves $, employee at whim country $), "freedom," (sell BS Horatio Alger myths to the dreaming/hoping immigrants and the happy, clap, nodder crowd $), and those down trodden/low wage/no rights womyn--light those freedom torches up (buy Lucky's $) and feel like a person with a penis, and get lucky!

In fact, he was quite clever and used doctors who lusted after notoriety ($) and relevance ($) to partake in bullshit surveys with confirmation bias stating how great smoking ciggies were with no ill effects. He used the survey data to support the marketing/public relations campaigns. The lamestream press aid/abetted the propaganda as their advert dollars were subsidised by the corporations' adverts and "news" reporting about the "benefits." Where's my #1 foam finger?..usa usa usa.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

This article is stupid on a number of levels, but it says that if Canada were a state in the USA, Hillary Clinton would win the election in a landslide:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/grenier-canada-us-election-1.3699457

Of course Canadians wouldn't support Trump. What do we care if "America" is ever great "again?" We aren't interested in owning the finishing line (a Democrat said that, I believe) or being the greatest country in the history of the planet, or any of that other hyper-nationalistic nonsense that Trump taps into. Even saying something like "God Bless Canada" sounds weird to us.

We aren't scared of Mexicans, or "the Blacks," although Muslims make many of my compatriots nervous. Little of what Trump is selling has any appeal to us.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

Cdn't post it (24-hr rule). Sorry.

mb

6:25 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

“I don't think Hillary is a psychopath….”

Well, Dr. B, I respectfully disagree with you. Hillary is a psychopath…one needn’t be Hannibal Lecter to qualify. Basically, a psychopath is someone who doesn’t have a conscience, which describes Hillary Clinton to a T. She’s the perfect out-picturing of the American psyche.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sar-

Online definition is: "a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior." This doesn't describe Hillary. Absence of conscience = sociopath; in wh/case, she might qualify.

mb

9:32 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Mike Burgess says:

WebMD has a article which compares the psychopath with the sociopath and the prime differences is that sociopaths have a weak conscience (a sociopath might actually feel some remorse or guilt after doing wrong) while psychopaths have none. Psychopaths are much more goal directed and able to play along with others to get what they want than are sociopaths. According to this article psychologists use "anti-social personality disorder" rather than psychopath or sociopath.

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/sociopath-psychopath-difference?page=2

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Dear MB and Wafers,

Clinton wins, Trump loses, who cares? I'm still voting for Shaneka. For those of you who may have forgotten (unlikely) here's the lowdown, a golden oldie:

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2015/04/prison_for_woman_who_fired_gun.html

As you can see from the pictures, she has podium skills and a certain, shall we say, stage presence. Vote Shaneka!

11:09 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jim, Dio-

Cdn't post it (24-hr rule).

Mike K.-

I adore Shaneka. What poise!

Mike B.-

I'm getting a tad psychotic just trying to sort all that out.

mb

12:49 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Monbiot slowly ditching the prog. hat and turning into a Wafer?

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/03/climate-crisis-media-relegates-greatest-challenge-hurtle-us-collapse-planet

His latest piece basically says "we're fucked" and he seems to be accepting it. O&D with MB on the guitar, Monbiot on the drums and Kingsnorth singer! Who knows, maybe Hedges on the bass one day? That's what he gets for jumping on the bandwagon so late. Apologies for offending MB if you have another instrument of choice.

Kanye

12:56 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Why the hell would I vote if I have no desire to be ruled in the first place? If this year's election had three boxes on the pres ticket - Trump, Hillary, and None of the Above, NotA would win not just a plurality, but a majority.
...I wanna see a national campaign for NotA.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

My post on the New Yorker piece by Andy Borowitz ("Trump Bolsters Foreign Policy Team by Adding Carson and Palin") either alarmed or excited a fellow WAFer, and perhaps both. Mohammad wrote in response:

"Oh my god it feels like a dream. A dream I don't want wake up to because it's fun. I was hoping he would choose one of them as vp, but advisors is good enough for me. I hope he makes one of them Secretary of State"

Borowitz is a comedian; his New Yorker article a satire. Which is not to say that Trump might not choose one or both of these individuals for precisely that sort of role (foreign policy adviser), should he win the election. Trump might do any number of crazy things. It's part of his American charm (pace Gore Vidal).

For something different, the following story. A felicitous marriage of two American obsessions: small caliber firearms and self-absorption. Enjoy.

"A Florida woman was taken to the hospital with injuries to her hand after deputies said she shot herself while posing with a gun and taking photos for Snapchat."


http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/state-regional/florida-woman-shoots-herself-while-using-snapchat/nr8Tq/

1:26 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

So, for those of you who want to see Americans punished for everything wrong in the world, you might consider voting for Hillary rather than Trump. Trump is starting to come across as the more sane candidate. He is agasint TPP, against expanding the war in Syria and putting the US military at the disposal of religious maniacs (the so called moderates like Al Nusra), wants to reinstate Glass Steagall, wants to dump the F-35 (you could build ten walls for the cost of that sucker), force pharmaceutical companies to bid for medicare reimbursement, improve relations with Russia. All of this is music to my ears. It seems like Hillary, the lying, corrupt, corporate shill dedicated the neoliberal policies that have been so destructive, is much more likely to accelerate the decline.

It’s also quite funny to watch videos of Michael Moore, Cenk Uygur, various pundits and celebrities freak out as it finally dawns on them that The Donald has an excellent chance to win.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

I played classical guitar for 3 yrs. Maybe the whole world is turning into Wafers.

mb

4:09 PM  
Blogger Neil 0421875644 said...

Any thoughts on Theodore Roszak? Essay on Apple interesting ...

4:10 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Mike K.-

Aww, thanks for the Shaneka memories... In terms of wuvable buffoonery, Shaneka is at the top of the Wafer list, no doubt about it. Incidentally, I think it's time Wafers compile a *best of* book, so to speak; a greatest hits anthology consisting of wonderful Americans in action. We could call it something like: "American Douche Bags: The Ultimate Collection, 2006-2016."

Here are a few more entries:

1. James DePaloa, 55, flipped out on his wife for making his grilled cheese sandwich too cheesy:

http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/ga-man-arrested-after-argument-over-how-to-make-grilled-cheese-sandwich/286336016

2. Misty Childs, 41, dumped boiling hot soup on her boyfriend. Jesus, the guy wound up hospitalized in critical condition:

http://www.fox13news.com/news/local-news/184402407-story

Miles

4:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Misty Childs, my new hero. Her boyfriend probably criticized her nail polish, got what he deserved. Check out her eyes: one sees the future of America therein. Meanwhile, I suggest a Wafer pilgrimage to Michigan, to visit Shaneka. I may propose to her. As for James DePaloa, if I had a wife and she served me a too-cheesy grilled cheese sandwich, I'd beat her within an inch of her life and then throw her in a dumpster--as wd any true-blooded American male.

Neil-

I did meet Ted once, I think in the wake of my Reenchantment bk, but he was terribly shy, and I cdn't get a lot of conversation out of him. I think he was a very private person, and when "Counterculture" got lionized it was a bit too much for him. Scholarship-wise, its a bit sloppy, and certainly off the mark in terms of where the hippies actually were at; but it served an impt purpose in questioning the scientific worldview. Courageous in its time. At least he wasn't Charles Reich, much to his credit.

Note to Jack L.--

Just received yr 'care package', amigo; great stuff, thank you. Yr artwork is beginning to soar into sublime regions. See note from Miles, above: you probably need to start on an "American Douche Bag" series.

mb

6:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Wd someone pls tell me what planet this guy is on?:

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/08/03/why-we-must-heed-call-moral-revolution

6:35 PM  
Blogger pg said...

Worse (2 me) than no fuzzies: misrepresentation. Quotes, concepts, ripped out of their contexts, then pilloried. A method he's used repeatedly, on Joe Campbell, too. And UR right: as I read U'r books I think Oh, that's where it's from. Maybe it's his Asperger's.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

pg-

Folks who plagiarize have devouring egos, are very insecure. They hafta have all the ideas in the world, all the credit for themselves. They talk of a better world; at the bottom, the real center of it all is self-aggrandizement. Much like the old world, unfortunately.

mb

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Jerry Robinson, DDS said...

Are you taking about Greer?

8:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jerry-

General observation, but scroll back.

mb

8:34 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


Take a look at amerika... Shaneka's pastor.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1sJDhJ-6iE


10:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Esca-

Seriously? How did you find this? This shmuck cd be the biggest turkey in the whole of the US. I still love Shaneka, tho, and once she's outta jail, she and I are gonna get us some guns and hose down every McDonald's in Michigan. There's gonnna be no more bullshit abt serving cheeseburgers w/o bacon, no siree!

mb

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

Morris,

I've seen much worse than the guy Esca mentioned. There are thousands of people on conspiracy websites where they talk about imminent alien takeovers, Illuminati black magic, Mason devil summoning, rings that grant immortality, the liberal homosexual transgendered queer penis bestiality agenda, etc. Although I'll grant you that that guy is hilarious, and even more hilarious when you consider people actually take him seriously.

1:46 AM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

I have read all of Theodore Roszak's books

His Making of a Counter Culture is featured in the further reading list of Lewis Mumford's The Pentagon of Power. This is Mumford's assessment:
"Widely documented, sometimes acute:but Roszak's evidences for anything that could be called a culture capable of counterbalancing the existing order are unsubstantial - and hardly hopeful".

And then he published Where The Wasteland Ends which was very impressive - see the Amazon reviews.
In many ways it covers the same themes that Morris writes about, especially in The Reenchantment of the World and Coming To Our Senses - which is to say that he was definitely an original Wafer

6:13 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


WAFers are entitled to a few moments of humor occasionally :

Fight over fart leads to blows at Sloppy Joe’s :

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/florida-keys/article83320742.html

Another one :

Florida man’s flatulence in bed sets off wife, leads to arrest :

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/deadline-miami/article51042745.html

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Noble Savage said...

https://t.co/Z9L9SQkkag

Rousseau Predicted Trump

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Have there been any rigorous, non-American filtered studies regarding the vast amounts of severe mental derangements in the country especially those who are functional and socialised yet mentally ill.

Most of the "studies" are bought and paid for by us corporations, or tax dollars-hence, biased, or marginalise the seriousness of the problem, or state "we're just like, etc..." to minimise the issue. Another form of propaganda-public relations (thank Eddie Bernays) for the hamster wheelers.

For example, compare ADD in the us v. France, Japan, NZ, Luxembourg, etc..--it is massively skewed to the US. Cluster ABC mental derangements are vast in the failed corporation/"country"-narcissism (narcopaths), sociopaths, psychosis (loss of contact with reality), and OCD/ADD are on huge display in any us work place, public places, social media, "news," etc...

Rapid, pressured speech patterns, eyes darting/flashing, incoherent sentences, psycho-motor agitations, bizarre micro-expressions/twitches, blank-glazed smiles (Zoloft smile), believing they're 12' tall and on top of the world, loud voices/angry articulations, hyper- aggression and/or aggression disproportionate to a situation, and a heaping of delusions and denials--I am love, I am amazing, I exude money, I am powerful, we're the best, we're doing good, etc...

Moreover, were these plentiful mental derangements always present in the us, or exacerbated and now presently more fully given the lust for social media and palm starring?

10:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike R.-

Some years ago I read an article by the Amer. Psychiatric Assn. that claimed that at any given time, 25% of the American population was mentally ill. I don't know how that figure was arrived at, but I remember at the time thinking that it must be a misprint; that they must have meant 75%.

mb

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hello MB and Wafers,

Miles, I knew you would like a replay of Shaneka. How about her running mate:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7cAeqcBfpk

I've been thinking about Shaneka. Now that she's in jail, maybe she'll end up reading and become this century's Malcolm X. Malcolm X later became el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz and led the Nation of Islam. Will Shaneka have a similar awakening in prison? Naw, probably not.

Esca, loved the video of Reverend Manning. Growing up in the south as I did, it brought back some sweet memories of hellfire and brimstone preachers, both black and white. It wasn't what they said; in fact it was mostly just babble. It was the way they said those crazy things with such conviction that could turn almost anyone into a true believer.

Marc, here's some more humorous American antics for you and all Wafers. And yes, do we ever need to laugh:

http://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/184982063-story

1:31 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

At one point in a discussion I was having a few years ago with a woman in France, she used a new word in the French lexicon to describe her feelings: "le stress." They didn't even have a word for this condition 20 years ago, and so had to import one from English.

I'm currently reading Joseph Heller's Closing Time, a sequel to Catch-22. It's about both the ageing and decline of the "Greatest Generation," as well as the decline and impending death of the USA.

Wafers oughtta find it interesting.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike K.-

The Lorenzo Riggins story 1st broke on this blog thanks to Miles, if I remember correctly. Abt 3 yrs ago. We have been cheering him on since then, and have thought abt nominating him as a presidential candidate. I can't see that he wd be any worse than Trumpo or Hill, and I mean that sincerely. But then, Shaneka McBurger el-Shabazz needs her moment in the sun too. Really, the elite have laughed at her, looked down on her, failing to understand the imptc of bacon on a cheeseburger for the underclass. I mean that sincerely as well: when you ain't got shit, and you feel like shit, lack of bacon is no minor issue. Trumpo didn't come from nowhere, my friends. As for Freddie Wadsworth, takes me back to that old Woody Allen movie (Gene Wilder).

Noble-

Terrific article, thank you.

mb

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

African Americans an minorities drank the cool aid . There we'll never be another Malcolm x. The goal of modern blacks and Hispanics and Asians is not be free from the plantation and start a new civilization , but to join the master class. Poor whites are embarrassed millionaires and minorities are embarrassed whites. That's why when a minority achieves economic and educational status the first thing they do is marry white, bleach their skin if they are Asian get eye surgery

2:33 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/08/04/us/politics/donald-trump-supporters.html die Weimarer Republik

The whole wall fixation is interesting. It clearly corrolates to a deep existenstial fear of boundary violation. Very fragile egos.

And it has nothing to do with solving any actual immigration problem. That would be so easy- fine any business hiring illegals in excess of one million dollars, with ten percent going to the reporter. Done, no wall needed.

Ofc, that will never happen, since these dolts don't realize that the entire business commumity loves and is complicit in the immigration system, Trump included.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

Worth reading, Andrew Bacevich "The Decay of American Politics."
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176172/tomgram%3A_andrew_bacevich%2C_pseudo-election_2016/#more

3:35 PM  
OpenID atearinrain said...

I was listening to this song and the lyrics "Better chewed up in pieces than blown up in the oven" reminded me of something you, Dr. Berman, posted about wholesome kids and nervous breakdowns some months ago. So much so that I had to go back and dig it up:

"In the early 70s I was a volunteer at a Montessori schl, kids of 3 turning 4. As the months went by, they became happier, stopped attacking each other and being so aggressive. One of the other counselors said to me: 'Are we doing them a favor? In this culture, kids like this will be having nervous breakdowns by the time they're 12.' Food for thought, indeed."

Food for thought, doubly indeed. Good band, great lyrics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fPgZd-TR9E

Here's another. With the possibility of $Trump$ as our next President, we just may get what we deserve sooner rather than later. And it takes a jab at the pathetic materialistic view of human nature as well.

https://vimeo.com/3610495

4:41 PM  
Blogger C. J. Timmins said...

Dr. Berman,

I've just finished Neurotic Beauty. Once again, excellent work. I was especially captivated by your succinct take on "greenwashing" for the sake of corporate profit: "there is no real interest in disconnecting from growth, and it is growth that is the core of the problem."

Interestingly, these "trends" in capitalism are taking on new facets. PR agencies are now advising CEOs on how to be activists. From the Chief Bullshit Officer at Weber Shandwick (aka Chief Reputation Officer): “Our new study, The Dawn of CEO Activism, establishes guidelines for CEO activism. At a time when the world is growing more complex, polarized and politically charged, the research provides an early roadmap by which CEOs may chart the costs and benefits of speaking up on contentious societal issues [emphasis mine]. Weber Shandwick wanted to take the pulse on where Americans stand on this evolutionary shift in attitudes towards business involvement in social issues. With this baseline understanding, we counsel clients on how to engage in the public sphere while protecting their company reputations.” Here's the full report for those looking to induce moral nausea: http://www.webershandwick.com/uploads/news/files/the-dawn-of-ceo-activism.pdf

Again, just another exercise in testing how gullible the consumer is. The strategy of capitalism today seems to be: if 99% of the world wreaks of bullshit, then it becomes impossible to sniff out the authentic 1%.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cj-

Glad you enjoyed NB. Writing it was a profound experience, for me. As for greenwashing etc.: Marcuse once said that capitalism was able to integrate everything, even its opposite. See also work of Thos Frank on commodification.

ps: remember to send messages to most recent post. No one reads the older stuff. Thanks.

mb

6:41 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


When the whole world was all ga-ga and la-la over the first negro hustler-in-chief in the White House it was only Chomsky and this goof'ball Rev.Manning who rang the alarm bell on O'bummer way back in early 08'. Nobody listened, instead they gave him the Nobel peace price putting him in league with Mother Teresa and Dalai Lama. Many of the goofy's rants are pre-election; wonder what set him off?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lomUE6MoxvA

The prime example how gullible the amerikn voter, aka consumer, is when they elected the "Long Legged Mac Daddy" based on his advertisement. And who said LLMD is black? What about his apple-pie midwestern white half? 50-50, yet we never hear of his whiteness. And the other half is African-arab; not amerikn. He was conveniently peddled to the public as though he was MLK black from the southern ghettos.

MacDaddy's report card: David Bromwich and Cornell West's Assesment.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRlfyR4v0rE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMuuaO-YLKE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sA6MCjGEsTg

Heard of "double tap" in drone strike? We already have Section 1021(b)(2) of the NDAA; One day not too far we'll have double-taps on amerikn soil. And that is LLMD's legacy for which he'll be remembered.
http://www.truthdig.com/report/print/the_ndaa_and_the_death_of_the_democratic_state_20130211

11:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jim-

Cdn't post it (24-hr) rule.

Esca-

Pls send messages to most recent post. No one reads the older stuff.

mb

3:08 AM  

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