August 17, 2016

278

Wafers-

Following up on my very last message, if you'd like to devote this thread to America as a land of degraded buffoons, be my guest. Although I'm certainly open to discussions of deli meats, as well as evidence of Hillary's dementia, which shows up every time she laughs. But then, she may also be contemplating her upcoming landslide victory over Trump, who now emerges as the dunce of the century.

Downward, my friends; Into The Pit!

mb

190 Comments:

Blogger dave warren said...

Hi mb,

Re wandering here again through your various sojourns in American Frankensteinism. We met and had tea at your place in DC a couple years before your move to Mexico on a book idea I was considering and a couple weeks before an emergency heart bypass for me. Anyway, I did a review for "Dark Ages" on Amazon 2 years later and though I did not track your sales acceleration after that review, I'm sure it spiked briefly( at least for that day).

Anyway just wanted to say that reading "Wandering God" in the immediate aftermath of open heart surgery was as close to a transubstantiation experience I've ever had. Was it the haze of anesthesia or was I really transported back to the homunculus of my HG self? Mi no se, but it was as close to outta body I've ever had. Thanks.

Now that I've found your blog I want to hang out here more often. I have one too that I threw up during my trucking years. My best work, (at least self critically) are essays on Homer and Hamlet. Here's my blog if you're interested: truckerschronicle.blogspot.com

Meanwhile, here we go, no? For the next 85 days, the best Real Time TVee we'll ever see in the run up to the Nov 8 charade. The most concentrated of limbic system opiates- the bread and circuses of American decline- are now at a feverish pitch in the last phases of the Great Acceleration before the evolutionary forces of the Anthropocene begins to leaven the debaucheries we have committed upon the gifted wonder that is GAIA. Thanks for your initial works and my cathexis w/ thee deeper memes that broke some eastern light for me of a darkening maelstrom of a sky. Yes, living in the truth can be an elixir of individual happiness amid such a dark surround.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Another proud american moment--Mr. Austin Harrouff, 19, college "student," fatally stabbed a couple at random outside their house and wounded their neighbor Monday night in Miami.

When police arrived, he was biting chunks of the dead man's face off and making animal-like grunts. A stun gun and K-9 dog were initially unable to stop him from continuing to attempt to devour the victim. Four deputies eventually pulled him off of the murdered individual, and arrested him.

A bit verklempt with all that exceptionalism, hard work, and greatness. Keep up that pride america! What was it, Dr. Berman, ~67% of the world's anti-mental derangment meds are taken by americans? Where's my #1 foam finger?

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Obama Administration Gave Nation’s Largest Private Prison Company a No-Bid, $1 Billion Contract

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/obama_gave_nations_largest_private_prison_20160815

More hope and change you can believe in!

Also, I would like to recommend this paper by Brandon H. Hidaka on depression as a disease of modernity. The paper discusses the loss of social capital, loneliness, social isolation, sleep deprivation, lack of physical activity, increased social competitiveness and the switch from a cultural emphasis away from intrinsic goals, such as social relationships, community, and competence, to extrinsic goals, like money, status, and appearance as among the possible factors in the increasing prevalence of depression and other mental disorders in modern populations.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3330161/

3:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

Antidepressants, and it's actually 2/3 in dollar sales, rather than actual consumption of pills; tho I doubt the 2 figures are very far apart. Meanwhile, we're less than 5% of the world's population.

dave-

Gd hearing from you, and glad yr in decent health now. Also glad WG was of help 2u. Some blog rules: post only once every 24 hrs; max length, 1/2 page; and always send messages to most recent post. Particularly favored topics: American stupidity and violence; deli meats, also chopped liver; Hillary's face; stats of US going down the drain; etc. u.r. also free to address me as GSWH (Great Seer of the Western Hemisphere), or "Belman".

mb

6:01 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Here is a great story for our troll buddy, the immigrant who thought America was so great because he saw lots of people reading at the New York Public Library. Reading books in a library is soooooo five minutes ago--better to tweet the NYPL an emoji and have the library tweet back an image of a book cover! The lesson here is that even once great libraries have succumbed to Technodouchebaggery for Tweeter Twits:

http://www.routefifty.com/2016/08/new-york-public-library-twitter-bot/130814/

Meanwhile, also in New York, the so-called greatest newspaper in the world was forced to admit that by obsessing over Trump and the Olympics it completely dropped the ball on one of the worst American weather related disasters since Katrina. The excuse? Well, it's been a "busy" news cycle and reporters go on vacation in August and it's a looooong way to Louisiana and, ya know, real journalism is just so haaaaard. I wish I was kidding:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/16/public-editor/louisiana-flooding-the-times-late-public-editor-liz-spayd.html?hp=&register=google

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

In addition to the violence and savagery that are now America's daily fare, I've noticed a rise in incest and pedophilia in mainstream culture. Donald Trump bragged about wanting to date his daughter, and his popularity skyrocketed. Lena Dunham published a book in which she admits to molesting her younger sister, and her popularity has similarly increased. Now we have Austin Harrouff literally killing and cannibalizing people like a rabid dog. This brings to mind Oswald Spengler's prediction that the "primitive mode of living" will "slowly thrust itself upward into the civilized life".

Here are my predictions:

1.) Incest and pedophilia will become normalized in practice, although police will still imprison people for committing these crimes if they are minorities, homosexuals, liberals, or other "undesirables". In fact, these offenses will eventually mandate life sentences or the death penalty, giving the state yet another legal way to destroy those it hates.

2.) Culture will be comprised exclusively of sex and violence. Orchestras, galleries and other venues of serious artistic expression will become defunct and will eventually be legally abolished as "practices that encourage terrorism and un-American behavior". Books like those of Morris Berman will also be made illegal, and will be rounded up and burned by the police. Pornography and gun culture, however, will be considered virtuous and patriotic. Children will start having sex by the age of 10, while murder, rape and torture will become endemic.

3.) Those people with high IQs will be taken from their parents and sent to special schools that will brainwash and coerce them into becoming operatives for the CIA, the NSA, and other such totalitarian organizations. Those that resist this process will be declared dangerous to the state and killed.

9:18 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


Tom, there are studies that indicate that this country is making its people mentally and physically sick. Here's Latino Paradox...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpL4lkoju84
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5KfDL-nlrE

Read - Crazy Like US by Ethan Watters
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122490928

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Harlow said...

https://t.co/h80sLu4bwE

Aeon essay on P.K. Dick and the pink flame that haunted him

Didn't you mention this b4, MB? I think i heard about that from you 1st

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hi Dr. B and Wafers everywhere:

Another in the long hit parade of moronic acts.

Sex with inanimate objects seems to be swelling phenomenon:

http://fox5sandiego.com/2016/08/17/man-arrested-for-allegedly-trying-to-have-sex-with-a-van/

At least this guy seemed to have good time. He passed out after the act.

8:15 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

In case you thought there isn't racism in Canada...

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/national-farmers-union-colten-boushie-1.3725547

I like what the NFU had to say about the racist reaction to this murder:
" ...it is committed to building relationships of solidarity, mutual respect and friendship with Indigenous people to honour "our obligations as Treaty people."

On another front, I'm bummed out because today's the last day for Comedy TV's "The Nightly Show," which is being cancelled. It's about the only comedy program that actually makes me laugh, plus it's educational.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Ethics, honor, and integrity v. hustling. Oil and water. Is it any wonder to those who can think critically, and eyes are finally opened that the us was nothing more as Dr. Berman states--as solely a business opportunity--nothing more, nothing less. A WAFER has aptly referred to I believe, a TUMID metric-Time Until Money Is Discussed, and that would include buying and/or selling something.

Have there been any reports, robust research on this in any countries? Which country rank in the fewest seconds/minutes, versus, largest deltas,e tc...

For entertainment purposes only-- In a Callaway, Florida funeral home (another hustling-shyster us business), authorities on Sunday afternoon opened the door only to be greeted by the overpowering odor of decomposition. Investigators counted six bodies being kept in the main part of the funeral home with no refrigeration at all. Ten more were decomposing inside a “cooler” that was a balmy 62 degrees. None of the bodies had been embalmed. Those remains whose families requested cremation had not been cremated.

I am sure though that the grieving families/friends were billed for all those bloated fees, surcharges, document charges, taxes, licensures, etc..do nothing, and say you did, then bill, bill, bill--that's the american hustling way! Boy, I love all that 'freedom' to F grieving people.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Lucullus said...

First off, I would like to thank you for your books, speeches on youtube, and your blog. Your work is like a pail of cold water over the head, refreshing and uncomfortable at the same time.

I would like to share my experiences with my friends and colleagues regarding this election. It seems that even the most educated of people in the US don't get nuance and seem to believe that the spoon-fed nonsense that the MSN spouts means that they are informed.

I work in the legal profession in an office with 20+ lawyers. Needless to say, almost all of them are of the "liberal" persuasion, whatever that means nowadays. Most of them agree that Hillery is a crook but believe that Trump would be worse for the country. They would prefer the status quo of Hillery than the uncertainties of Trump. This seems ironic from self identified liberals who want change and reform. When I point out that if Hillery is president, nothing's going to change. Things will continue to get worse and perhaps,a lot worse, like a war with Russia. When I point out the somewhat coherent positions Trump has taken I believe would be positive (i.e. quit attacking countries, get out of NATO, quit antagonizing Russia, etc.), my colleagues feel that Trump would more likely get the country into a war, despite actual positions Hillery has taken as well as her conduct as Secretary of State. When you point out her conduct and positions they look at you as though this was the first time they heard of this information. If the best and the brightest in our country are so misinformed about what's actually happening, how possibly can the crisis and problems facing the country be addressed? I agree with you they won't. As James Kunstler points out, a lot of people are going to be disappointed by what's coming.

BTW, as to not getting nuance, I'm now labelled a Trump supporter because I attacked Hillery. I have to repeatedly say I find both odious and will vote for neither of them. Whoever we get, we're going to get screwed. I just hope that whoever we get they use lube.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike K.-

"If this van's a-rockin'/Don' come a-knockin'." Shades of Freddie Wadsworth. But honestly, speaking as one who is polymorphously perverse, why not just let everyone get it on with anything that takes their fancy? The only time I regretted it was when I had a brief love affair with a venus flytrap.

Harlow-

Cd be. Dick saw a pink light in his brain, which was his epiphany or oceanic experience, and chasing that became the source of his great creativity.

Jim-

4) van-fucking will occur on almost a daily basis. I'm also wondering when having sex with guns will become a popular pastime. Talk abt blowing yr wad, eh?

General Wafer Notice (GWN):

I was asked to give some lectures at a university in Chile, and will be down there Sept. 1-13. During that time, it wd be best to take a blog break (a lot to ask, I realize), since I don't know what sort of access I'll have to Internet cafes, friends' computers, etc. I'll send you all a reminder of this in 2 wks, but just wanted to flag it in advance. Thank you for yr understanding.

mb

2:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Luc-

Thanks for yr support. I have repeatedly said on this blog that in the US, even the smart people are stupid. Hi IQ don' mean shit. Voting for the lesser of 2 evils for decades now has brought us to this ridiculous dead-end election, and yet there is no wake-up moment for these 'liberal' clowns. One reason I left the US (thank god) is that I literally had no one to talk to.

mb

3:22 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Mike K., MB, all-

Van-fucking: a new form of *auto*eroticism, I hafta say.

Meanwhile:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/naked-donald-trump-sculpture-indecline_us_57b5d9d0e4b034dc73260c94

Miles

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

Lucullus,

You describe my feelings perfectly about the current election and the state of the public. But, sadly, it isn't just people in the US who are doing the "lesser of two evils" bullshit and making claims like "Trump will start a war with Russia" when there are piles of evidence that that is quite possibly what Hillary intends to do.

I've got UK friends who are just as dense, and even many Germans (I left the US to come to Ger), don't get it. Though to be fair, many Germans seem to back off when presented with logic and evidence. The sad fact is, Bernays was a genius and many, many people can't think critically in the face of unrelenting propaganda.

I wouldn't touch either candidate with a ten foot pole, but the ignorance and cognitive dissonance out there is astounding.

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

Morris,

Lol. Having sex armed to the teeth does sound like something Americans will embrace at some point in the future. Just imagine it: enraged Americans wearing leather harnesses and strap-ons, gunning down random people left and right, shouting incoherently as they hopelessly attempt to construct an actual phrase describing America's alleged greatness. Just imagine it: popular "musicians" actually having violent, sadomasochistic sex during performances, lip-synching into microphones as the nation's most respected newspapers praise them as "bold" and "provocative". All of this is most certainly in the cards for America; I just hope I'm still around to witness it.

8:35 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Here's a Time article on how Internet Trolls and the end of civil discourse is ruining society.


http://time.com/4457110/internet-trolls/?xid=emailshare

9:18 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

MB -

Funny thing is, millions in the US think YOU are the moron! I talk to people who are excellent consumers and producers (e.g. managers w/ lots of investments and savings), and once you get beyond talking about work and shopping for electronics, they don't have anything interesting or thoughtful to say. If I ever mention anything about Limits to Growth, or destruction of nature by industrial society, or any of the work by yourself or Robert Bellah for example, I get eye rolling and people become immediately defensive of their way of thinking. At most people suggest the most minor and trivial tweaks so they can basically keep living as they do now.

I don't think I'm any better off, I've lived in the US my whole life and I think I'm part of the problem also. I recognize the stupidity all around me, and I don't understand how more people don't see how our lives of shopping, pollution, and loneliness are any way to live.

I have totally lost the collective belief in industrial consumer society, and it's difficult for me to participate in the stupidity. It's also difficult to be around people who are totally plugged into the stupidity and think everything is just fine.

2:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

lack-

I suspect I'll survive. As someone once said, "Consider the source" (of the opinion).

mb

11:10 AM  
Blogger plbodden said...

... thought others in our merry band of malcontents might appreciate the following; which, to me, comes across as both an axiom and a riddle:

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

_Jiddu Krishnamurti

peace, brothers and sisters,
patrick


ps to mb: i deleted this post from previous discussion. i see others making similar mistakes in posting to superseded discussions. perhaps, there's a way to close comments when a new discussion starts. bien cordialement à vous, pb

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Trans, et al-

In my travels to SE Asia and South America, I was surprised (disappointed and alarmed) how many Europeans I met had a positive or, at least, forgiving view of the US. This was in backpacker and budget travel circles, where you'd have to think you are getting a sampling from the the most laterally enlightened slice of the populace.

Having said that, I had more deep and interesting conversations during those 18 months or so with those Europeans than I've had in my 30 adult years in the US. Definitely a blind spot though. Or, perhaps a hedge to the reality that Western civilization is irretrievably linked to the fortunes of the US empire?

12:53 PM  
Blogger Greenthink said...

Hi MB and Wafers:

Miles -

"Van-fucking: a new form of *auto*eroticism." Way to go Miles. Great pun. Wish I had thought of that one. Come to think of it, sex with a van is probably better than sex with the average douchebag or baguette. They probably couldn't stop with the selfies long enough to fulfill a partner.

Also, loved that website InDecline. Do these guys qualify as Wafers or Waferish? The only problem I see is that they are going to have to learn to do art without tech. Gotta wonder how much longer cars, spray guns and plastics are going to be widely available.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


"If this van's a-rockin'/Don' come a-knockin'."

The police are debating whether they should charge Henson with Rape or Sodomy (not much different than the current presidential debate). There is conflicting reports as to which orifice the pervert attacked, if it was the gas-filler or the exhaust port. For the next 6 months we'll have 24 hrs debates on TV among experts and pundits over the "hole" issue. Finally the Supreme court will decide and lay the matter to rest before moving on to "the sheep or the goat" case.


While the Assholes keep busy making amerika great again....
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/aug/18/ryan-lochte-us-swimmers-robbery-rio-gas-station
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugly_American_(pejorative)

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Stephen Hines said...

Hi Morris,
I noticed that the last issue of Adbusters didn't list the professional gem collector, and the cover motif was black. I'm glad to see you're OK.
Stephen Hines

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Cluster B-ville. The best bet is to leave. Period. Do not pass go. Leave. There is no future in the past. It's over, all the hoping, somedays, somedaze, dream, and working hard--all propaganda-marketing-pr techniques. I 'm still reeling over the incubator babies, thank you brain washed Tommie Lantos -thank you fraudulent Nayirah, thank you us PR firm for coaching her, Bush the 1st referred to it constantly to continue us war mongering/imperialism. Counting down the days until leaving this shithole.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Chaz said...

http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/aug/18/obamas-golf-vacation-amid-louisiana-flooding-stirs/

What a great guy, that Obama

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...


Good article on the ethics scandal that will consume the presidency of Hillary
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/08/clintons-ethics-problems-worse-than-she-understands.html

Also, Americans have gone to Brazil with their madness - vandalizing restrooms and lying and blaming it on someone else:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/aug/17/brazil-police-arrest-swimmers-jack-conger-gunnar-bentz-ryan-lochte-robbery-case-rio-2016

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/brazilian-judge-bans-lochte-other-us-robbery-victims-from-leaving-the-country/2016/08/17/c5107754-648a-11e6-b4d8-33e931b5a26d_story.html

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

This article I Was like, Whatever..." by Bill C. Davis On Lochte Abroad and Idiocy at Home is on the Commondreams website today. Quote below says it all about this marvelous, awesome country.

This is the current American quote that sums up where it's all come to. The degradation of culture, the hip anti-intellectual posture, the hollow reality shows, the prevailing mean snugness and the flat screen mesmerizing of the American tribe as brought us to, "I was like, whatever."

This is the quote of a famous American with oddly colored hair. He claims this was his response to a man pointing a gun at his head and telling him to get on the ground.

The first part - "I was like..."The linguistic Zika virus -"like." Not "I was" or "I am" or "I shall be". No "I wa like," meaning an approximation of reality. This is the current subconscious cover of a real feeling...or real moment...or the real story..

Marianne

4:50 PM  
Blogger messtime said...

To Esca Dreg . . .

That's why the indian tribes all over the continental USA needed to band together under the leadership of "Tecumseh". Had the indians realized the importance of working together and pushing the white europeans back to europe, and perhaps allowing the good whites who were willing to live on lets say 5 to 10 acres of land to stay in the continent. My uncle is a perfect example of what was happening, he has one farm house on 300 acres of indian land - land he was not even able to make profitable growing food crops. I think the effort by Tecumseh to limit or force the return of the white man to europe was a watershed moment in american history and the indians lost and so we have the mess we have today. The indians needed to take control and regulate the influx of whites into the land: Not allow the whites to establish a military or police force. Limit the size of land that a good white man could use (5 to 10 acres) and prohibit the whites from forming towns or cities. Tecumseh in my opinion had a good plan set-up for organizing the continent, but he lost the war and you probably know the rest of the story.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Marianne, Frank-

Americans can do little more than drool anymore. Plus, they are trashissimo:

https://www.rt.com/sport/356471-olympics-lochte-twitter-scandal/

Perfect representatives of the country, like.

Chaz-

Am I correct in saying that since Katrina in 2005, nothing was done to repair the levees? We need to re-do the Lincoln speech: "a country by douche bags, for douche bags, and of douche bags, and it will surely perish from the earth."

Stephen-

Adbusters had no real interest in publishing my stuff, which I originally thought they did. Plus, they are basically adolescents; their view of revolution is a joke. No guns, just cell phones. They don't seem to understand that cell phones are the problem. They threatened a "culture jam revolution" with these phones if the Paris climate conference failed. Well, it failed, and they did shit. I warned Kalle Lasn early last year that this is what wd happen; he just went ahead with the planned 'revolution'. It's too bad, because if it entered adulthood, it cd be a valuable magazine. Not gonna happen, I don't think.

Green-

I'm guessing that 95% of Americans engaged in fucking wd answer their cell phones in mid-fuck, i.e. take the call and chat away. Jesus, what a land of bozos.

patrick-

I'm kinda stuck, because I hafta repeat over and over again: do not send messages to an old post; do not post more than once every 24 hrs; do not write more than half a page. I need a clone to run this blog, really; it's getting exhausting.

mb

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

Van f$@@g gun f@$&g. This blog is getting very sexual

6:26 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

MB, you could put up a text box on the home page that lists those posting rules... If a person can't either see the blurb or abide by it they're not Wafer material anyway. They be miss spelling belman and shit.

6:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mo-

Let's not forget goat fucking (Freddie Wadsworth).

mb

7:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: And pls don't tell me Americans aren't abs. wonderful human beings:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/08/19/evil-at-its-finest-teenager-arrested-for-killing-burning-body-of-85-year-old-korean-war-vet/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories-2_mm-koreavet-151pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

7:39 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Frankenstan: unfortunately, that New Yorker article on the Clintons, while critical, is still full of BS conventional wisdom. To wit:

"In the eyes of their enemies, the Clintons are criminals on a world-historic scale; in the eyes of their supporters, innocent victims of a massive smear campaign. The reality is that their venality is rather ordinary."

My comment - Good to know that pocketing well more than $100 million in corporate and Wall Street bribes, destroying two sovereign nations and compromising national security has now become "rather ordinary."

"The Clintons are common politicians, motivated in general by a desire to implement policy changes they think will make the world a better place, but not immune to trimming and getting rich in the process."

My comment - Chait fails to Cite a single example of the Clintons "making the world a better place," or exactly how he managed to read their minds.

"If anything, Clinton has positioned herself slightly to the president’s left, even opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership he continues to tout."

And of course, Chait fails to note that she favored the TPP until Sanders forced her to tepidly renounce it. In fact, the whole article is designed to make people feel better about holding their noses and voting for her, going to show that even once respectable media institutions like the New Yorker are no longer trustworthy.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Zanba said...

Dr B

I have just finished reading the article you provided here:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/08/19/evil-at-its-finest-teenager-arrested-for-killing-burning-body-of-85-year-old-korean-war-vet/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories-2_mm-koreavet-151pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstor

I tell ya, sometimes I do not have good words to use to describe the wickedness of some people in America. Some people are too quick to murder other human beings - they do not know how to walk away, especially at such a very young age. Where are their parents and what did they learn from their parents? God have mercy!

8:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

New Yorker endorsed invasion of Iraq in 2003. 2nd thoughts only came later. I can't remember for sure who it was that pted out, that after that endorsement, New Yorker writers wound up on Charlie Rose and other mainstream TV shows (I think it might have been Richard Sennett).

mb

11:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Here's a terribly interesting article on torture practiced by the British empire in its waning days. One thing I have argued is that as an empire goes down the tubes, it lashes out, becomes more violent and irrational, as its whole identity is threatened. I also suggested on this blog, a couple of mos. ago, that France pay Algeria 1 billion euros in reparation to Algeria. How much shd England pay its former colonies, then? How much shd the US pay all the govts we overthrew (see Stephen Kinzer on the subject, along with Wm Blum, DAA, and other works), wh/led to torture regimes like the one in Iran (1953)?

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/aug/18/uncovering-truth-british-empire-caroline-elkins-mau-mau

11:29 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

Other predictions:

1.) Americans will literally use any substance available to get high and temporarily escape from their miserable lives. People will be sniffing and ingesting literally any industrial chemical they can get their hands on. Tens of thousands American adults (who would know better if they weren't dumbasses) will die from ingesting what they absolutely should never ingest, like computer cleaner, battery acid, etc.

2.) Americans will, 30 years hence, know less than 1,000 words on average. Words that describe abstract concepts will fall out of use and be forgotten. The result will be the destruction of all potential for thought.

11:47 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Well, we're in a quandary with this current election, but we can be thankful that there's light at the end of the dark tunnel because the delusional rapper Kanye Kardashian is going to run for POTUS in 2020.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/kanye-west-in-2020-obama-has-some-advice-for-the-presidential-aspirant/2015/10/10/99e9db1e-6f7c-11e5-9bfe-e59f5e244f92_story.html

12:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Some time ago I suggested replacing Geo Washington on $1 bill w/Kim's buttocks. I wasn't that far off: in a few yrs, she'll be First Lady. In a sense, she already is.

mb

6:35 AM  
Anonymous Jeremiah said...

Seemed 2b the type of novel that could be appreciated here, I for one can't wait to read it ... ticks most of my boxes


https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/19/the-countenance-divine-by-michael-hughes-review

8:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Also check out "Middlesex," by Jeffrey Eugenides. Superb.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

More techno-douchebaggery, this time a study showing that people who post their fitness routines and achievements on Facebook are typically narcissists.

http://www.businessinsider.de/people-who-post-their-fitness-routine-to-facebook-have-psychological-problems-study-claims-2016-8?IR=T

Original study: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150521213743.htm

I find the American fitness cult to be interesting. I am all for people trying to be fit and healthy but of course Americans can’t do anything like normal, well-adjusted people. Even exercise must be turned into an occasion for intense competition, bragging, and mean-spiritedness.

Also, I suspect some of the more intense fitness cults involve some kind of penance for sinful behavior. So if you eat pizza, you must brutally punish yourself in an act of ritual mortification at your local gym. This is the sort of thing that is replacing traditional religious practices for many Americas, especially yuppies.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous J.j Seddis said...

author of the great great book "The Philosophical Baby," Alison Gopnik, has a new one out, it is fascinating too -- very good focus on ontogenesis, parenting, and the child self, "The Gardener and the Carpenter"

1:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Pop quiz:

Ryan Lochte, a true piece of American trash, learned his behavior

a) On Mars
b) From reading Plato, Aristotle, and Montaigne
c) By living in America.

mb

1:51 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


The Ryan Lochte incident is another in a long list of ones in which a great athlete from the USA demonstrates that superb athleticism is not necessarily accompanied by strong character or an exceptional understanding of the world. It is easy to make such a list just from baseball alone, or from American football.

O J Simpson's anti-social behavior was learned

(1) by running for touchdowns to the mindless cheers of millions of football fans
(2) by getting away with all sorts of stuff as a child and teenager because he was a great athlete
(3) by watching violent movies created in Hollywood
(4) all of the above

"13-Year-Old Strip Searched Then Thrown in Jail for Burping in Class" ----

http://countercurrentnews.com/2016/08/13-year-old-strip-searched-thrown-jail-burping-class/

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

I guess when you've murdered, plundered and pillaged for so long there is no turning back. You might as well double-down on the depravity. Trotting out James Taylor just won't cut it. Maybe a double album? "From the Indians to the Iraqis: America Says Mea Culpa"

...Ah, gym culture. I can't think of anything that helps me embrace my moobs more.

...So, apparently douchebags not only float, they can swim too. Good to know.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Under the heading "Ugly Americans," this piece from today's salon.com. An excerpt:

"Trump and Lochte are amazingly American, no doubt. Taken together, they effectively provide the answer to [New York Times columnist David] Brooks’ incoherent question [wondering why so many young Americans were so pessimistic about our democracy]. The disgraced American swimmer and the disgraced American candidate found themselves in similar predicaments this week. It’s a marriage made in hell, or at least in purgatory: These two clowns epitomize the disordered state of the American psyche, circa 2016, almost too perfectly."


http://www.salon.com/2016/08/20/ryan-lochte-donald-trump-and-the-steep-decline-of-american-democracy/

Be sure to read the comment from "This Guy," under the comments section following the article. Sounds like he has Americans nailed.

O&D.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas-

1st, it must be said that David Brooks is one of the greatest turkeys America has ever produced; a douche bag par excellence, and very American himself. Which says a lot about our 'flagship' newspaper. As for Trump and Lochte, they are the epitome of American culture; most foreigners know this already. They didn't appear on the scene by accident; they are who we are, at our core--not merely the face of America, but its very essence. "This Guy" gets it exactly rt when he says that "we are ignorant bloviating imbeciles"--322 million douche bags, in short.

So imagine 50 yrs from now, Chinese historians are picking thru the ruins of a collapsed America, trying to figure out why America failed. And they come across WAF, and they say: "This guy Belman had it rt: America failed because its people failed, were failures as human beings. How is it that amongst all of the academics, journalists, historians, sociologists, political pundits, and talk show hosts, only 1 single person figured it out? How is it that he was totally ignored, that not a single commentator picked up on what is, in retrospect, a completely obvious analysis? After all, what nation constituted of 322 million *tsingtaos* could possibly survive?" [tsingtao = douche bag in Mandarin]

mb

5:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Marc: Not clear to me why the 13-yr-old wasn't gunned down like a dog. Another reason why all teachers and schl personnel shd be carrying .357 Magnums at all times.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

One thing that bothers me about Hedges' analysis of America's current social disintegration is his claim that it is mostly caused by the economic freefall that began in 2008. The fact that the American military, with the fervent support of the American populace, has always been involved in in extermination of various ethnic groups across the world, even when America was prosperous, reveals this analysis to be false. The primary cause of America's current plight is the loss of "social capital"; one could even call it the loss of love.

When people lose the ability to love, how exactly does one teach them? Does Hedges really think that protests and demonstrations could somehow impart this ability to the wider population? And what about America's stupidity? Will protests be effective when most Americans can't understand what socialist protests are about, and would react with even greater hostility if they did? Protests don't change hearts and minds; rather, they mobilize existing cultural forces in the attempt to exert pressure upon governments. Changing culture is basically impossible within the context of 322 million people; this inability to grow and change caused by huge populations is precisely why nation states have failed, and why life will once again revolve around small towns 200 years hence.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


The native Indians masqueraded as a Coyote or a Raven or a Bison for a reason.

The WASP Weasels masquerades as a hyena ... for a reason.
Hustlers hustling 'murika; the very essence of this nation, which is violence glorified -par excellance, got co-opted by the hustlers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpjFjSfsq1w

My flag-waving neighbor got offended when I asked him what was "powhmia" on the back of his sleeveless jacket. I thought it must be some "motorcycle thingy" since he only wore that jacket on those rare occasion when he pulled out his shinny Harley to loudly whroooom to somewhere and back. I had no idea pow-mia was an acronym; I could care less of medals-rank-n-stars or any of that hands-on-the-heart anthem singing at Super-Bowel either. I later learnt from a friend of his that this fellow was a cook onboard a ship during some "action".

Aren't the a-rabs in AbuGharib and Guantanamo "powhmias"? I am really sorry, maybe my neighbor was fighting for their cause?

9:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jim-

I don't think that's what Hedges is claiming. He's written a lot of bks, and his analysis goes deeper than that. I think he wd agree w/u re: militarism and loss of social capital. I think he might even agree w/me (DAA), that the death knell began w/the repeal of Bretton-Woods, and was then accelerated under Reagan. However, he remains silent regarding the violence and stupidity of the American public, because once that is admitted, his program of socialist revolution is clearly a fantasy. It is on this pt that any left-wing plan for social change goes on the rocks. We shall have social change, all rt, but it will come from the rt; as the popularity of Trumpo shows.

Esca-

It might help if you just regard the guy as a cartoon. Just in yr mind, of course. It probably wd be counter-productive to tell him that you think he's the rear end of a horse.

mb

9:27 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Stupid American education tricks: Voters in Texas who would normally go into conniptions if asked to pay more taxes to improve the overall quality of education, instead agree to have their taxes raised to build a $70 million high school football stadium:

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20160819-mckinney-isd-s-69.9-million-high-school-stadium-nation-s-most-expensive.ece?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

Florida high school student arrested for bringing a shotgun to school:

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/marion-co-high-school-student-arrested-for-bringing-shotgun-to-school-deputies-said?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

Two Florida middle school students cut class to go have sex in the restroom:

http://www.winknews.com/2016/08/18/report-varsity-lakes-middle-school-students-had-sex-during-school-hours/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

California high school student who fathered a child with his teacher awarded $6 million in damages:

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-redlands-settlement-sex-abuse-20160819-snap-story.html

1:15 AM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

There is flooding in Louisiana . I remember watching u speak on YouTube and u said something about the reason why they won't fix the levis. It was hillirious and sad. Do u remember what u said because I don't ?

5:23 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mo-

I don't know if it was at the state or local level, but the officials involved rejected the idea of working together to fix the levees because they decreed that 'working together' constituted socialism. When I say Americans are dumb as shit, I'm not kidding. Anyway, that's why, in the wake of the current flooding, I wondered whether they ever got fixed.

mb

7:02 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Hitting the nail on the head:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/21/death-of-neoliberalism-crisis-in-western-politics

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

When you read stuff like this, you begin to understand why America may never recover. This blue-eyed devil is now feeling sorry ONLY because he was caught and exposed.

Quoting from the article:

“I over-exaggerated that story and if I never did that we wouldn’t be in this mess,” a newly brown-haired Lochte told Matt Lauer, a co-anchor of NBC’s “Today Show.” “It was my immature behavior.”

Asked why he made up aspects of the story in the first place, Lochte suggested he had still been feeling the effects of alcohol from the night before.

The remarks are Lochte’s frankest admission yet that he essentially fabricated a story about paying for vandalizing a gas station last weekend after first saying he was robbed at gunpoint.

The Olympic host country’s law enforcement claims that Lochte and three teammates vandalized a bathroom at a gas station and fought with a security guard. The players, including Lochte, have admitted that they paid security guards for the damage.

The gas station owner told a Brazilian news outlet that at least one of the swimmers urinated on a wall.

Lochte’s original account of the incident cast him as something of a hero. Lochte even claimed to have confronted the gunman and refused to get down on the ground while the man held a gun to his head. This initial account claimed he was forced to hand over his money and wallet but not other valuables.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ryan-lochte-robbery-exaggerated_us_57b8cf31e4b03d513688d013?section=&&

8:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

1st, I don't publish Anons. You need a real handle to participate in the discussion. 2nd, I don't agree with yr evaluation of me or the blog, but that's beside the pt: the blog is not here for the purposes of attacking either. It's here for a discussion of the collapse of the American empire. Hence, if you get yrself a real handle, and have something intelligent to say abt that particular subject, I won't have any problems posting your message. Thank you.

mb

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Joshua Scheer
Chris Hedges and Robert Scheer Assess the Merits of a Life of Virtue in a Careerist’s World

Great interview.Find it on truthdig.com

11:58 AM  
Blogger Edward said...

MB:

I've been reading this blog for some time and I only comment on blogs occasionally. I think it is obvious that the majority of Americans are idiots and morons but I'd like to point out that it isn't 100%. The problem is that the stupid people are in charge and in vast numbers -- and like you say, practically the entire US population is in the idiot category. The problem for the few intelligent people left in the US is that they are outnumbered and ignored by all the idiots in charge and their followers.

I see many comments about Lochte that reflect my same thoughts. He's just a typical American. The whole media is just a circus. They don't seem to even understand that the American culture is what produced him in the first place. I think I catch about 5 to 15 minutes of TV a day and just that small amount makes me ill. Journalism in America has completely broken down to below tabloid quality.

I believe I came across this site when I was searching for American collapse or similar terms. I don't remember which was the first article I read but I bookmarked this blog immediately after reading it. It seemed to cover just about everything I've been venting about for years. Plus, all the signs that indicate the declining empire are just getting worse every day and there seems no hope that the direction will change because of the 99.9% rate of stupidity in America.

I have also researched leaving America to live in some other country but I don't believe I really have the resources to do that; I feel like I'm stuck here.

I'll continue reading this blog as I really enjoy the articles and commentary here but I rarely comment because there is/are many comments already that echo my sentiment.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Mary (previously Anon)-

Pls read my last message to you closely, which you have obviously failed to do. It's not merely a question of having something intelligent to say, but specifically "abt that particular subject," i.e. the subject of the collapse of the American empire. Posts on that will be happily entertained; posts on my alleged failings, or the alleged failings of this blog, will not. I can appreciate that you are unhappy w/me and it; most Americans wd be, I'm quite sure. But since there's not much chance of either of us (me or the blog) becoming very different, i.e. altering to conform to your standards of what we 'shd' be, the best thing, surely, wd be to find a blog that is more to your liking, one that meets your standards. Given the fact that there are a million blogs out there, this shd not be too difficult. I wish you luck in your search.

mb

12:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Edward-

No, yr rt; it isn't 100%. Just very close to it. As for Mary, she's not dumb; she just wants my work, my writings, me, and the blog to be very different creatures from what they are, and of course, that's her right. My right, a la Bob Dylan, is to tell her "It's not me yr lookin' for, babe." Anyway, I suspect she's intelligent enuf to realize (unlike the legions of trollfoons over the past 10 yrs) that it makes very little sense for her to keep knocking on this door, and a whole lot of sense to go elsewhere. Finally, you hafta take people as you find them.

mb

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

My opinion is that most americans suffer from profound mental derangements-combo of Cluster B pathology--anti-social, narcissistic, and histrionic personality disorders. They simply cannot help themselves. Hedges thinks ludricrously that a duck is gonna become an eagle--denial and delusions. Nothing will change except further decline. Dark, empty, listless smiles hungrily seeking approval that will never sate their pathetic and perverted souls.

The loud voice articulations, proclamations, and elocutions are pathognomic of americans. Try a game at the airport terminals, who's the american-easy.

Travel abroad--maybe, perhaps, Spot the american--very easy. Cringe worthy.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...


Travel abroad--maybe, perhaps, Spot the american--very easy. Cringe worthy.

----------------------------------------

Spotting fellow Amis here in Germany is always entertaining. My favorite are the country-counters, telling anyone who will listen (loudly) how amazing they are for having visited 6-7 countries in one week. I can only imagine how profound their experiences must have been. :)

5:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Trans-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_It%27s_Tuesday,_This_Must_Be_Belgium

5:34 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

A very important and ominous article that is worth the time to read.

THE END of MEN - Atlantic Monthly (link below)

The first comment in the comments section provides the best prognosis for the future of society.

Bottom Line --> This gigantic cultural shift will not end well for society in the coming decades.

I also read the other day that this is the reason why so many young men today are spending so much time in gyms and have become obsessed with building huge muscles, because they know they can no longer compete against women's brains and emotional/social intelligence, so they feel the need to revert back to Brawn.


http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-end-of-men/308135/

Thoughts on how you think this cultural shift will play out in the decades to come as more and more men fall behind?

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Ugly Americans. Easy to spot? For sure.

Someone with their shirt or pants cut or rolled up to show off their tat(s). Always an exceptional look in a Buddhist country or Latin America, among the more formally and modestly dressed natives.

Then there is the couple in a Vientiane restaurant making a fuss over a pizza that doesn't taste like it does back home. Might I recommend the Laab?

Or the English teacher in Lampang who chewed out the native restaurant owner for not having a waitress stationed next to him to refill his beer glass after his every sip. I had to fight the urge to tackle him off the pier and into the river, drowning us both if need be.

Or the missionary in a Mae Salong coffee shop who pointed from the deck on which we both had tables to the hillside it over looked. He proudly showed me the portable water filters he was going to bring to a remote village up there. He was going to even give them one, as long as they agreed "to come to Christ," of course. We had a pretty tense exchange that I only let go of because of the nervous looks of the shop owner and the newly-met French girl I was sitting with.

I'm not a violent or confrontational person by any means. In the US, you get somewhat numb to that type of thing. When abroad, however, it's like a blow to the head from a blunt instrument.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Let's just polish each other off dept.:

http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-connecticut-party-shooting-20160821-snap-story.html

http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-alabama-killings-20160821-snap-story.html

11:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Trans-

Cdn't post it. We have a rule on this blog, one post every 24 hrs, maximum. Thanks.

mb

8:00 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Growing Up Insane In America:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/growing-up-insane-in-america/5541751

10:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sar-

A fairly gd summary of some of my work!

mb

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hello Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Re: Ugly Americans

I haven't traveled abroad much, but when I have it has been easy to spot the Americans. In Dublin in 1984, my new bride and I were on our honeymoon. We ate in a very nice, intimate restaurant, reputed to be one of the best in Dublin. At the table next to us sat some loud-mouthed American telling me that I couldn't possibly know what was going on back in the states, because my new wife and I were too busy making love to pay much attention to anything else. I compared that to the hundreds of Irish people we met who were warm, polite and gracious to a fault.

Fast forward to Mexico in 2015. I was on the beach in the little town of San Pancho in Nayarit, Mexico. The Americans were the ones slinging around the f-word like it was going out of style and trying to practically steal merchandise from street vendors. Meanwhile, they were surrounded by some of the most gracious people on earth, and most of them never noticed. What a pity. Is there a place on earth where douchebags don't go?

In between, the only place I ever go is Quebec. Most of the Quebecois I met have been similar to the Irish and Mexicans in their graciousness, acceptance and willingness to help a stranger. Only here in the US do you find people who go out of their way to be rude, intolerant and generally assholes. The US is the only nation I know of that considers it a bad thing to speak a second language.

11:11 AM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Described on Youtube as "Full Bizarre, Demonic Gotthard Tunnel Opening Ceremony, Satanic, New World Order, Illuminati Ritual". Mock what you can't understand I suppose.

I thought it was fascinating, ya gotta be somewhat respectful of the mystic forces that surround us if you're going to tunnel 54km through a mountain.

'Murica would have put on your typical superbowl halftime show.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

Morris,

I think I was unclear in what I meant. I didn't mean to imply that Hedges doesn't see militarism and the loss of social capital as culprits in America's decline. However, Hedges does indeed place far too much blame for the current Nazification of America (which really kicked into high gear a few years ago) on the economic downturn of 2008; to be sure, he mentions militarization and the loss of social capital, but he believes that the crash of 2008 played a major role in America's current social chaos.

I actually don't believe that to be the case. I think that even if Americans were all millionaires, they'd still be clamoring for the deaths of minorities as they are now, although probably not quite as loudly. Most of the wealthy Americans I know want to kill millions of Muslims at the very least, and kill *all* Muslims at worst. Likewise, most of these people also want to take away social services from the "leeches" on society (read: blacks and Hispanics), and favor draconian policies that lock them up for decades for trivial offenses. Their extreme wealth doesn't cause them to be any less bigoted than the average American yokel.

Hedges himself notes that America is a "very violent nation", but then chooses to overlook this fact when analyzing America's current social crisis. He makes correct judgments, but then contradicts himself by placing far too much of the blame on other factors, especially economic inequality. Mexico, for example, has poverty and inequality that are even worse than America's, and yet I don't see Mexicans clamoring for genocide.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Curious-for those emigrating from Europe recently—@ last 25 years, what type of people (probably know the answer) would be attracted to america?

Those who couldn’t pass the BAC and were limited occupationally, those who were entranced by the farcical dream thing, those who were not critical thinkers and easily duped—limited intellect, stunted emotional maturity; hence, america was just the place! Water seeks its’ own level, birds of a feather. Rich parents (safety net), send ‘em over to hustle, ‘marry’ an american, then divorce; it’s a good racket.

WAFERS find this obvious--- direct and indirect observations, it appears that many European immigrants become/or were already prepped to be americanized. Loud/robotic voices, sparkle in the eye for business, rapid-pressured speech, bizarre micro-expressions, psycho-motor agitations, ‘organic’ food obsessions, vegan cults, lotsa duck lipped self pictures, happy talk mantras/personal mission statements, lotsa dog walking, hamster wheeling into oblivion, nickel and diming everything; e.g., renting out their apartment, their bed, their car, up charge for bicycle use, “news”paper fee, star struck Hollywood obsessions. Cluster B fest.

Dr. Berman referred to a university study-UCLA-?- Mexicans who came to the us, ~5yrs later, became ‘chullo-like,’ disrespectful to elders, and acquired the lust for hustling-what’s in it for me. Perhaps, this is congruent w/ European immigrants who have limited intellect (not talking academic; rather, life skills intelligence) and embrace a value system congruent with hustling and opportunism; they find america seductive—come on in, the sewage is fine! Last stats I believe, ~88% of americans do not own passports, and the remaining ~12% either go to Mexico, Canada, or Europe on the 7d, 6 country, gorge yourself cruiseshits; or the gated vacay clubs (from those foreign natives) whereby only gabachos can 'enjoy' their measily 1-2 wk vacation-thanks employee at whim.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Faces of America department: woman and three male accomplices rob and murder a man she met on a dating site:

http://www.mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2016/8/14/_3_men_woman_arreste.html?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

Two douchebags crash their SUV into a Walmart after huffing from a computer duster aerosol can they stole from the store:

http://www.kcci.com/news/police-man-huffs-stolen-aerosol-computer-duster-crashes-into-walmart/41279610?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

"Responsible gun owner" lets his toddler place a bullet into a charge port in his car--which promptly goes off and strikes her in the eye:

http://www.insideedition.com/headlines/18201-toddler-struck-in-the-eye-with-bullet-she-put-in-car-charging-port?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

6:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jim-

I certainly agree w/u that Hedges is majorly confused and self-contradictory, but I don't think he has stressed the imptc of 2008 as the key factor in our current mess; his time frame is much larger than that, and his identification of factors much broader. But then, I haven't read his work in quite a while, so maybe yr rt. (You didn't provide any documentation for yr arg, however, so I tend to doubt it.)

Meanwhile, I get a news report from Common Dreams abt every 2 days now (always asking for $ as well, of course), and to read these essays is to enter the strange, deluded world of the progs. They actually believe they can be effective in turning things around. Just as an example, check this out:

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/08/22/clintons-transition-team-corporate-presidency-foretold

At the end of the article, the author says that progs are going to hafta fight Hillary's policy goals. And succeed, like Bernie did? What fantasy world do you live in, Spiderman? To what address shd I send a crowbar, and a bucket of K-Y?

mb

6:22 PM  
Anonymous brainDecay said...

Mike R,

Not entirely sure why you lump "vegan cults" in with all the other insufferable traits of Americans. Less than 2% of the US population is "vegan." Meanwhile, industrialized animal agriculture accounts for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions (which is more than all transportation combined) and is a major contributor to climate change-- see the bk "Meatonomics" by David Robinson Simon.

The politics of meat-eating is a real intellectual blind spot I've noticed with the peak oil crowd and Kunstler, etc. "Happy Motoring" won't the be the issue when the emerging middle class in BRICS countries all begin to demand meat at every meal.

it's a shame that veganism has been co-opted by bourgeois professional class hustlers and turned into another trendy money-making scheme/status symbol. but that's nothing new in America.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Wuvable Bastards dept.:

1. Woman in white BMW runs over her friend, Jonathan Carlyle Merkley, on his 34th birthday when he tried to prevent her from leaving his party:

http://nbc4i.com/2016/08/22/woman-runs-over-friend-on-his-birthday-killing-him/

2. Arkansas couple, Jennifer Denen and Clarence Reed, zip-tied 4-year-old, beat her, and made her believe her name is "Idiot."

http://www.hotsr.com/news/2016/aug/16/couple-arrested-after-girl-4-allegedly-/

Miles

6:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff, Bill-

God, I have such admiration for Americans. It's the sheer intelligence of our behavior that is so striking.

Meanwhile: Wafers pls plug these two names into Amazon:

Byung-Chul Han
Wendy Brown

mb

8:05 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@jjarden

Young men today are alienated from every aspect of professional, personal, and romantic life. But this is not an unintended consequence. Feminism was always supported by the corporate elite in order to procure a more pliant workforce.

In the few absolutely abominable workplaces I have suffered, I always had the thought that there would be massive mutiny if a staff of men was addressed and treated in the way the mixed workplace is treated.

Paternalism and patriarchy today come from the male corporate elite who have terrified the 20/30 something female office worker into totally slavish devotion to their pointless routines and formalities.

The worker has lost protection and value in precise proportion to the degree to which women have joined the workforce. This is not a cause for the degradation of the worker, but it explains the tepid resistance. Women, as a whole, are easily flattered by professional titles and are not going to forcefully oppose the system.

@mb

How would you relate your idea of horizontal consciousness to Heidegger's of "Dasein"? I am listening to the late summer crickets and "being in the world".

11:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

Yeah, gd question. Heidegger also had some affinities with Zen Buddhism, as it turns out, wh/is also horizontal. There is a problem, however, with systems of emptiness, or Being, because historically speaking they can easily act as a vacuum that needs to be filled, and thus go vertical. Heidegger's version of this was Nazism, of course. The caveat is that we need to avoid being too pure about Being. Check out ch. 5 of my Japan bk, along w/Peter Gordon's bk, "Continental Divide," and the Heidegger sections of Sarah Bakewell, "At the Existentialist Café." Meanwhile, just enjoy the crickets, who have much to teach us.

mb

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

The modern American church. https://www.facebook.com/Victoriaosteenspage/videos/1299538166731429/

3:03 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

I am not sure about the 2016 deadline, but the paragraph on Hillary is right on the money:
http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/dark-dynamics/

I am also reading a fantastic book at the moment that I much recommend to you Wafers. A good complement to CTOS:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/When-Body-Says-Stress-Disease-Connection/dp/0470923350/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471955926&sr=8-1&keywords=when+the+body+says+no

Kanye

8:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Patrick-

Cdn't post it; a bit too long. Try to stick to 1/2-page, maximum. Thanks.

Kanye-

I'm guessing that what Jim is predicting will happen during Hillary's 1st term in office, which is why I'm calling it our Weimar period. This system collapse will then lead to even more aggressive dissatisfaction than we have today, and thus to the rise of a more virulent (and more intelligent) version of Trumpo.

Meanwhile, as Mo's link shows, we are a nation of desperate douche bags.

mb

9:07 AM  
Blogger plbodden said...

sorry, morris. didn't realize it was so long and not quite sure what constitutes 1/2 page. any chance you can send it back to design104@aol.com ? (I'm probably in your email contacts, as we corresponded a couple years ago about you lecturing in france -- something i would still like to see happen.) anyway, i didn't save my post. hope all is well, pb

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Inquiring Reader said...

looking thru the options for Byung-Chul and Han Wendy Brown @ Amazon, some very very interesting reading, it seems. Recommend any particular txt to start out w/ , for each respective author, sir?

9:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Inquiring-

I haven't read those authors myself; they just came highly rec. from a friend. You read them, let me know what you think, maybe.

Patrick-

Sorry, once I delete that's the end of it. Maybe you can recall some of it, I dunno. As for France, allons-y!

mb

10:43 AM  
Blogger librarian@play said...

WAFers, more signs o' the times:

http://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/2016/08/school-attendance-washing-machines/496649/

Parents can't afford laundry detergent, so children embarrassed by dirty clothes don't go to school. How do we solve this? By trying to address poverty? Nah. Let's put washing machines in schools!

On one hand, I give these educators credit for trying any way they can to get their students in class and give them even the slightest chance at an education. But in material terms, which are the terms in play as the root cause is extreme poverty, education is, at best, a long-term prospect. It's a mere speculation (some would say a dream) that education equals a livable wage. Families that can't afford soap are in pretty dire straights. The last thing they need is access to washing machines.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa-bong said...

test

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

Morris,

Even admitting to themselves that every aspect of the American political and economic systems is rigged would be sufficient for progressives to confront the fact that America cannot be saved. I know this wouldn't quality as "waking up" in your view (or mine), but I think it would be a tremendous intellectual and emotional stride.

However, I've noticed that an increasing number of Americans do indeed realize that the game is up. They tend to be young, white liberals who have learned from experience that America's future, as well as their own, are very grim. To be sure, this segment of the population will never expand enough to make any difference in America's political and economic affairs, but I do think that when America finally collapses, a significant percentage of the population (maybe 20%) won't be surprised. Even some Trump supporters, despite their viciousness, do realize that America is coming to the end of the road. Their reasons for supporting Trump have more to do with spite and vindictiveness than any sort of optimism.

Nevertheless, the vast majority of Trump supporters, as well as virtually all Hillary supporters, display an asinine optimism combined with a loathsome obsession with identity politics. Hillary supporters are actually the worst offenders here; virtually all that I have spoken to 1.) believe that any criticism of Hillary or her political stances is misogynistic, simply because she's a woman, and 2.) anyone that doesn't vote for Hillary is a misogynist, regardless of their reasons for not voting for her. This degree of narcissism and fraudulent thinking pisses me off even more than your typical moronic Trump supporter, precisely because these people see themselves as the bearers of tolerance, fairness and social justice.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Mohamed,

Ah yes, Joel and Victoria Osteen and the Prosperity Gospel. I don't think there is a better example of the American empire of hustling than the Prosperity Gospel.
Americans cannot seem to break out of their purely materialistic, non-spiritual mindset, so even their religions tend to mutate into a form of hustling.

I have relatives who attend a mega church where they preach this stuff and from what I can tell there are two kinds of Christians who are attracted to the Prosperity Gospel:

1. Rich, suburban Republican types who want to justify their greed and conspicuous consumption (the McMansion, the SUV, tech gadgets, etc.) with religion, and

2. Poor people who believe that the Prosperity Gospel will make them rich. Interestingly, I see many recent immigrants in this category, especially Hispanics.

2:54 PM  
Blogger pg said...

Greetings--
I had to dig to find it, but this is the talk I was remembering when I commented on Hedges (& moments of humor):
https//:m.youtube.com/watch?v=DF0nE2febl4
"Chris Hedges - Interfaith Lecture at the Chautauqua Institution"
About forty min talk, long Q&A.
Seems to me he comes at our predicaments from not just an intellectual, but perhaps more important (to him) deeply moral POV.

He says very clearly that non-violent "civil disobedience is all we have left." Doesn't sound to me like someone who thinks there can be a revolution.

Anyway, he has a new TV (RT) program "On Contact" some episodes of which are on YouTube. Started with Tariq Ali as first guest, I believe.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous C. Mithen said...

Professor,

May we also recommend some summer reading? Langdon Winner’s wise “The Whale and the Reactor” and David Noble’s great “The Religion of Technology“, books that I can not recommend enough in their own right. They both draw from historian Lynn White, so I was happy to get hold of his “Medieval Religion and Technology” as a ref. while reading these

Charles

4:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

pg-

Yeah, he did an interview w/Tariq a while ago, to bring out the thesis that the time is ripe for (inevitable) revolution; and he has claimed it's in the cards in numerous essays. The truth is that Hedges argues for a lot of things, some of which contradict each other. He's pretty much all over the board. As I said b4, he's trying hard to hope against hope, most of which sounds depressed rather than funny.

mb

4:55 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Re: feminism and the end of men

A couple of new books darken Hanna Rosin's optimism and rosy picture of progress for American women:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/08/18/hot-sex-young-girls/

In short, up-and-coming American teenage girls are a pretty screwed up and emotionally disturbed lot.

MB-

I ordered up a copy of Byung-Chul Han's "The Burnout Society." Many thanks for the suggestion.

MB, Wafers-

Trumpo appears to be gaining on Hillary:

http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/trailguide/la-na-trailguide-updates-trump-gains-ground-against-clinton-1471817853-htmlstory.html

Incidentally, I had a short convo w/a student today: white female, early twenties. She told me that she plans on voting for Trump because she feels that the president should "always" be a man, and that women are too "neurotic" and "emotional" to have this kind of power and responsibility. I baited her a bit w/Trump's recent remarks about using nuclear weapons to bomb Islamic State. She said, "I agree with Trump! We should nuke the terrorists." I then asked her if she thought it was America's responsibility to protect NATO members from a "possible" invasion by Russia. She said that the US should not come to the aid of any NATO member because they "owe" us money. I told her that her support of Trump defies the huge negative numbers Trump has w/women. She responded: "Don't believe the MSM, there are lots of pro-Trump women out there." Anyway, I just thought you guys would be interested in hearing this...

Miles

6:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike R.-

Just a bit too long. Pls try to stay w/in the half-page limit. Thanks.

mb

6:28 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

I don't know, Dr. B. I used to feel the same way about Hedges. That just recent TruthDig interview kind of enabled me to see him in a new light, however.

I'd always assumed since he was an ordained minister, and given his puritanical streak, that he was traditionally religious. That kind of colored my perspective. He'd always read to me like he had banished himself into the desert and was left wondering about looking for people to lead to salvation. At times, reading his columns was as painful as if watching him nail himself to a cross.

I do agree with him being "all over the place." He does though have a weekly column he has to churn out to make a living. Is it dishonest? I don't know; how much honest work is out there anymore? He could work as a manager at Applebee's instead, I guess.

Then again, the liberal masses are highly compartmentalized people. If there is any hope of smoking them out into reality, you have to throw smoke bombs into alot of windows. You and I (and perhaps he) may agree there is no hope. But again, what else is there to do really? Walks in the woods and reading Moby Dick out loud with your wife in Maine doesn't put bread on the table.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Thank you for your comment 'braindecay;' the term, ‘vegan cults’ was aimed at recent European immigrants. Not those folks whom based on visceral authenticity practice veganism. The trendy anti-meat cults, just like green lightbulb bullshit is another form of hustling (Berman). Hipsters selling meat books, seminars about meat, PR meat photo ops, anti-meat fee-laden retreats—creating and defining ‘needs’=sales –books, seminars, retreats, classes, one on ones, $$$$$.

New minted americans with bizarre microexpressions (facial contortions akin to smelling flatulence), emotional outbursts, robotic-mechanized voice elocutions, and psycho-motor agitations—personality disordered individuals. The incense peppermints –self referential retreats are embraced for those desperately seeking approval; a parallel universe of americans needing something, anything, to fill their dark and empty souls. For many, it’s work addiction, porn, war, buying drek; others, may be work+superficial “community” activities that primarily benefit themselves (narcopath).

A distorted us circus mirror that perverts many things which are good into something that can make a quick buck to feed the malignant narcissist. Why aren’t they anti-employee at whim? Or anti-#37 rank in health care? Anti-junk infrastructure? anti another war ship, or anti-~38 us military bases in Germany? Because the narcissist must be fed; these things do not feed the empathy-deficient individual optimally.

A treatise in malignant narcissism/evil is M. Scott Peck’s book, “People of the Lie,” and his first work, “The Road Less Traveled.” Factors include: refusal to acknowledge sin, self image perfection, excessive intolerance to criticism, scapegoating, disguises/pretenses, intellectual deviousness, greed, unsubmitted will, coercion/control, no empathy, symbiotic relationships, family evil.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dean-

His bks are best-sellers, and he has a lot of them. I imagine that financially speaking, he's quite well off, and doesn't have to worry abt putting bread on the table. He also, probably, makes a lot on the lecture circuit. As for what we shd do: write gd bks, certainly; but don't mislead people into believing that these critiques are going to ignite a revolution, or lead to some sort of positive social change. That's a joke; it is deluding oneself, and thereby deluding others. I believe you help people a lot more if yr honest, which means admitting that yr work is not a springboard for left-wing change, but only an archive, a documentation of why America failed (an activity wh/I believe possesses great value). This is known as biting the bullet, and it strikes me as a much more valuable contribution to our current historical situation than endlessly predicting a change that is never going to happen. Hedges is hardly a declinist; as an American patriot, he is hoping for a better future. My own feeling is that if you want a better future for humanity, you can't be a patriot of the US, given what the US is doing to other countries (on so many levels). In any case, it is decline that is in the cards, and I can't see how anyone is served by scenarios of fantasy, whether they are Hedgian or Trumpistic. All of us wd be better served by the truth, by reality; by recognizing that the American Dream is a mistake, and that the nation has no future worth the name. At that point, the point at which we really do take that information in, the country would, I believe, be able to make some real progress, but not in the sense that that term is usually meant. Waving flags of hope is surely the wrong way to go. One might even argue that it is unkind.

mb

7:27 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Speaking of narcissistic people of hell-deep lies this new movie must surely win first prize as an example of such:
www.torchbearermovie.com
These dreadfully sane people with their murderously reasonable intentions are now principal advisers for the Chumps campaign.
Check out this reference for some more dreadfully sane such people with similar murderously reasonable intentions
Stretching To Make Trump "God's Guy":25 Religious Right Justifications For Backing Donald Trump by Peter Montgomery

7:30 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Regarding Americans overseas, I too have run into "country counters" while traveling. In one instance I was having dinner on a cruise ship transiting the Panama Canal (yes I know, but it's the only practical way to do that) with a doctor from Texas, his wife and another couple who spent the whole meal bragging about the number of countries they had visited (over 80 all around except for me, mostly on cruises). The doctor mentioned that it had been a "lifelong ambition" to traverse the canal, yet when I asked him if he had ever read David McCullough's masterful history of the canal, A Path Between the Seas, his response was, and I kid you not, "I don't ever read about the places I visit." Needless to say, we didn't have much of substance to discuss after that.

Regarding hustling douchebag immigrants, I think there is definitely something to the notion that America attracts the very worst from other societies--all the Cubans in Florida who fled Castro and spent the next 50 years demanding that the U.S. assassinate him and effectively hijacked American foreign policy toward that country. Another example: the legions of recent Chinese immigrants and students who are not fleeing the "communist" regime but are coming simply because America offers better hustling opportunities than they would get back home.

It seems the American Dream has become a viral-like mental illness that is rapidly spreading all across the globe, with America using it's economic and military might to aggressively stamp out all pockets of resistance wherever they may be.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Forget the toe; jus' look at that face!:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/24/opinion/hillary-health-shocker.html?hpw&rref=opinion&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0

mb

11:39 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


Just look at his eyes! Maybe Mary could adopt him and rehabilitate him....save amerika one DB at a time.
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/man-arrested-rape-3-year-old-bystander-intervenes-article-1.2744801

Cops Gone Wild in David Brook's "medal winning" nation. Yes, #Uno in Lead medals.
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/king-n-police-kill-unarmed-deaf-mute-man-sign-language-article-1.2760714
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/king-black-man-shot-cops-calling-report-robbery-article-1.2762748

1:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Esca-

I look at Charles Sadler, and I see the future of America. Of course, I also see it in pics of Hillary laughing.

Other than that, it's gd to see that our police forces are taking their jobs seriously, altho I still think they need to be more heavily armed. We are getting to the pt in this country, w/the citizenry clearly out of control (as these news articles demonstrate), that every officer needs an AK-47, a drone, and a nuclear device.

mb

1:48 AM  
Blogger David Parent said...

I think everyone should realize that utterly super stupid Americans can and do the most crazy things especially when great amounts of alcohol have been consumed! Lucky for over 1500 such dumbasses from Michigan they had the good luck of the great socialist state govt services of Canada to save their asses!
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/fifteen-hundred-possibly-drunk-americans-successfully-invade-canada-via-the-st-clair-river
I still am not convinced this was not a test run for when the Donald gets elected President of the USA. Love our Canadian Coast Guard,
"“There’s only one place to go when you’re in the middle of the Canadian river there, and that’s the Canadian side,” Garapick said.

Floaters were blown into Sarnia Harbor and Sarnia Bay because of the wind and back current.
“There were hundreds of people along the waterfront in Sarnia,” Garapick said.

Some of the Americans there were “so desperate, they were terrified of coming to Canada without a passport,” he said.

Canadian officials were concerned they would panic, attempt to swim back to the U.S. and end up in danger, Garapick said.

“Those were the people we had our eye on, because they were just jumping in and saying, ‘I’m swimming back home.'”

They were worried about these drunk dumb ass Americans! And we bussed them back no one went to jail or nothing if Canadians did this holly shit prison and terrorism charges pending!
Gotta love us Canadians so nice! Bleeping help us!
David in Vancouver!

3:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

David-

Some of my best friends are Canadians. As for my fellow-countrymen...well, most of them are jackasses...like Trump. You might wanna build a wall along the border, keep us out.

mb

7:02 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Can progs' heads go any deeper into their rumps than this? Check this out: "Our Revolution"--!

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/25/us/politics/bernie-sanders-our-revolution-group.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

Yeah, right. Meanwhile, Bernie doesn't seem to be much different from a regular politico, including lack of financial transparency and spending 600K on a vacation home. O Lord, take me now!

mb

7:18 AM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

Bill hicks ur right about America attracting douche bag immigrants. I know this because I am an immigrant and I grew up with immigrants. They are hustlers to the max max. They well stab their fellow immigrants in the back just to get ahead in a meat packing job. We talked about immigrants in a previous post titled McFarland USA . I wrote my own personal experience in that post. There are stories out there of ethiopiAn taxi drivers fighting with Nigerian taxi drivers. American immigrants are worse than American natives

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Dear MB and Wafers:

Two weeks ago it was sex with goats, last week sex with motor vehicles. Now this:

http://wtnh.com/2016/08/24/ohio-man-found-acting-like-gorilla-masturbating-in-public/

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Walt Anderson said...

Dear Blog Community,

We being lovers of history, nuance, world-systems perspective, fascinating essay here on remarkable capitalistic endurance of the economic upper crust (over 7 centuries in one study):


http://www.flassbeck-economics.com/the-duke-of-westminster-feudalism-the-history-of-social-stratification-inequality-and-what-to-do-about-it/

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Joe Waddell, GA said...

ORWELL FROM ABOVE

https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-baltimore-secret-surveillance/

11:57 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Another Trump voter? (Maybe three)

A 52-year-old single mother whose two adult children were living with her was evicted from her modest apartment in Santa Cruz, California last fall when she was unable to afford her new rent. From $1200 a month to $2000, a 40 percent increase. Her daughter, 22, moved to a neighboring city, where she found a small back porch add-on to live in; her son,19, crashes/crashed on friends' couches.

What did she do? She moved into her 21-year-old station wagon, which she often parked in Walmart parking lots. Got irony?

The cause of this particular woman's plight: spillover housing demand from the boom in--wait for it--the tech industry in nearby Sliicon Valley. San Francisco presents a similarly daunting picture for folks who work in minimum-wage jobs. The article points out that the top five occupations in Santa Cruz and the surrounding area are in retail, food service, and cleaning. Jobs paying between $9.06 and $11.30 an hour, according to 2015 research. Which means that 63 percent of renters there live in housing judged "unaffordable" by the measure that assesses how much of one's income should reasonably be given out for housing. These folks' rent is greater than 30 percent of their income.

For a sense of what low-wage work is like for people like these, it's worth once again mentioning the title "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America," by Barbata Ehrenreich.

Here's the Guardian article on Santa Cruz:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/24/california-homelessness-santa-cruz-housing-affordability?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

12:47 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

About that goat lover...

When he was asked if the goat was male or female, he appeared to be insulted and replied, "Female, of course. I'm not some kind of pervert!"

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Why do Hedges' books sell "well," or are "best sellers?" Yet, Berman's books sold an anemic ~25K out of ~300M dolts-cartoon characters. Is it because he's a minister, and america was founded by religious zealots and venture capitalists; hence, there's a commonality?

Selling hope, Akin to someday my dog will talk? Maybe he appeals to some critical thinkers who still, albeit delusionally state the plane hasn't crashed yet? Perhaps, if those ducks will start with a well thought out revolution, they will become eagles and america will be amazing?

If this, perhaps that. Maybe this, if we, then that. Pseudo intellectuals clamoring to be heard reminiscent of elevator flatus, eloquent mission statements, and comments critical of govt-however, there's that glimmer that he holds dear, a kernel of hope if this, if that that appeals to his minions.

Pure fantasy. This is what sells in the failed corporation. The american mind is programmed for this--delusional optimists. Hope, dreams, and bullshit. Indeed, the American dream thing was the greatest story ever told. Keep on truckin' and smiling! Where's my St. John's Wort?

6:22 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Well, vibes great Bobby Hutcherson has shoved off to the great jazz jam in the sky:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/17/arts/music/bobby-hutcherson-dies-jazz.html?_r=0

Sadly, the NYT failed to mention Hutcherson's collaboration w/jazz guitarist Grant Green. We need to rectify this straightaway:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwaFDFP7m_E

Miles

ps: Also listen to "Jean de Fleur" from the same album.

8:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

It ain't rocket science. Hedges offers hope; I don't. Americans wanna live in fantasy; I prefer reality. Etc.

mb

9:00 PM  
Anonymous The Craw said...

MB:
No tag day needed for Bernie Sanders, ever.

http://dailycaller.com/2016/07/14/bernie-sanders-inks-book-deal-just-days-after-endorsing-hillary-clinton/

9:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Craw-

Too much. Everything in the US is theater, hustling, and bullshit. What a farce Bernie turned out to be. Paul Fussell once wrote that everything in America is coated w/a thin layer of fraud. Thin?

mb

9:56 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

https://youtu.be/0-VfFi6Z14Q

Big guns nuff said

12:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

I love it. Let's take back Missouri.

mb

12:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Americans are fabulous people dept.:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/08/24/man-who-threw-boiling-water-on-sleeping-gay-men-is-convicted-of-assault/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories-2_pn-boilingwater-630pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.35dfb92ac8f4

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2016/08/24/they-met-on-a-dating-site-and-went-bowling-it-was-a-setup-police-say-and-now-hes-dead/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories-2_tc-datesite-3am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

mb

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...


Dear Wafers and Dr. B.,

Every now and then Americans take their heads out of their asses, stop shtupping farm animals, and stop killing each other long enough to do something right:

http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/young-farmers-take-root-in-essex-county-ny/Content?oid=3509352

It's hard for me to see anything wrong with this. Interestingly enough, the little hamlet of Keeseville where this article is set recently voted to dissolve its local government. Onward and downward, and then maybe a little forward, at least for this small group of people.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

Bernie turned out to be a farce all right - a fraud, really. I'm quite sure he knew the primaries would be rigged against him, and that his designated political role was to give Hillary Clinton a false veneer of progressivism. I'm also quite sure Sanders will become very wealthy now that he has betrayed the progressives that supported him. His lucrative book contract is only one of many deals he will receive. I also expect him to be paid handsomely for speeches, Hillary Clinton style. This is why I've always had contempt for Sanders - I realized he was a huckster right from the start.

Mike Kelly,

That is indeed a wonderful story. I would love to be part of a community like that, a small town that practices sustainable agriculture and refuses to be integrated into the predatory capitalist paradigm.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

I think we should let it go with Hedges. If I were him, I'd probably just move to Thailand, open a bar and live with the proceeds off my royalties. But honestly, what are the odds of this happening to him? Negative infinity. As I mentioned before, Hedges is doomed to wishful thinking because he has 4 children. THAT'S what's bugging him. He knows it's game over, but he cannot accept it fully because it would mean fully accepting that your children have no bright future ahead of them. I remember watching this interview of him with Bill Moyers a couple of years ago. Bill asks him PRECISELY that question at 42:50. Check it out:
https://youtu.be/CmDflXQPuTs?t=42m50s

I think that goes to the heart of it.

Kanye

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Mike R.,
Rather than guessing why Chris Hedge's books sell well perhaps you might want to read them. His books were best sellers long before he was ordained. Chris is definitely not a pseudo intellectual! We should be so pseudo.
To me something feels unprocessed here as Hedge's name appears over and over on this blog and oftentimes in critical, negative ways.
For me both Chris and Morris have much to say in their writings and research which means we don't have to pick either or. Both have enlightened me through the years.

Marianne

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hi Dr. B and all:

Just checking in to let you all know I'm still checking in, but that I've also begun an experiment that I'm going to try to keep up for at least one year, and that is my household has ditched home Internet in an effort to partly unplug and to stop forking money over to a certain telecommunications behemoth/bully based here in Canada. I will keep up with DAA as much as I can, but also looking forward to seeing how this experiment pans out.

Best!

-Northern Johnny

12:02 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

A rather interesting, and shocking, article from Zbigniew Brzezinski. I say shocking because it is a complete 180 degree departure from the stance he took in his book The Grand Chessboard. Instead of advocating American dominance, with Eurasia as the prize, Zbig states that America’s era of global dominance is coming to an end and we need to engage in a cooperative track with Russia and China and some of the Middle Eastern powers with an eye toward long term stability.

While Zbig may have woke up to reality I don’t think Hillary has and I fully expect her to follow the advice of the neo-con hawks she surrounds herself with and press on with dreams of American dominance oblivious to the dangers represented therin.

Zbig’s article in full.

http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/04/17/toward-a-global-realignment/

12:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike K.-

Sounds like Dual Process!

Christian-

If only Zbig had woken up in 1979. He sure led Jimmy down the garden path.

As for Hedges etc.: Yes, I think we've said all there is to say abt him. For me, it's a pity that he suddenly took the path of revolution and delusion abt 3 yrs ago or so, but he certainly wrote some very gd stuff b4 that. In terms of those last 3 yrs, however, I don't think Marianne is rt: one *does* hafta choose between reality and fantasy, no matter how well-meaning the fantasy is. And nothing against his kids, but I very much doubt they have a bright future ahead of them, and I don't think Hedges or any of us can do very much abt that.

Re: Bernie: what cd be more disgusting?

mb

12:37 PM  
Blogger pg said...

MB--
Suum cuique, esp to what evokes a chuckle. I tend to dark humour, the absurd, even gallows humour. (I grew up in europe, in the shadow of WW2; the "American" insistence on positive outcomes is not something I share. As an outsider, I try to tread lightly, tho.)
Admittedly, I stopped reading or listening to CLH because it was "too much" and there are so many books I still want to read. Joe Bageant has been sitting in one of my book piles, as has E. Galeano. And several of yr vols.
Speaking of which, Powells.com has about twenty copies of NB; Alibris lists several of yr titles, a few in Spanish & German translations. I don't know how sales from those entities affects royalties....
Muy Saludos--pg

1:59 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

WAFers working the health beat will no doubt have seen the recent reporting on the tremendous price increase for the EpiPen, a product for treating anaphylaxis whose manufacturer Mylan Pharmaceuticals has no real competition. At least one in 50 Americans has experienced anaphylaxis, according to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. From a price of $56.64 wholesale in 2007 for a two-pack, it has reached $365.16 today, an increase of 544 percent. Since end 2013, the price has risen by 15 percent every other quarter. The price in the EU and Canada: $85 with prescription.

Some additional facts: the CEO, Heather Bresch, was the former top lobbyist for Mylan; she successfully got Congress to pass legislation that required all public schools to carry EpiPens for children with food allergies (peanuts, for example). Bresch is the daughter of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va). Her own salary since 2007 when the legislation was passed and she became CEO has increased by over 600 percent. In 2014, Bresch reincorporated Mylan in the Netherlands, using an accounting tactic known as "inversion," which lowered Mylan's effective tax rate while retaining its manufacturing base in the U.S.

The outrage over these increases has come to a head, and the U.S. Congress may be forced to initiate hearings. Ironically, even Martin Shkreli--"Bro Pharma" to his buds--has condemned the EpiPen increases. Shkreli, you may remember, is the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, which raised the price of its Daraprim, an AIDS drug, by over 5,000 percent last year, even as Turing execs received 6-figure bonuses.

A final note: EpiPen was developed by the Defense Department with taxpayer money to provide an antidote for use in case of attack by nerve gas.

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/08/mylan-ceo-frustrated-by-own-price-gouging-but-doesnt-lower-epipen-price/

[The above information was drawn from various news sources identified using a simple Google search with the search terms Mylan or EpiPen.]

3:24 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

'Love thy neighbor as thyself'....

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/churchgoer-killed-fight-seat-sunday-service-article-1.2618098

"don't f...g touch me"

(just skip over the details and put a cap in this guy already.... Can we get an Amen?)

and this is nice...
http://countercurrentnews.com/2016/08/cop-unarmed-deaf-mute-man-tries-communicate-using-sign-language/

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Knowing what you know, and knowing what you don't know are key. Most americans, don't know, what they don't know. Hence, the someday somedaze amazing revolution, or bright side is coming just you wait; if this, if that, if we do x, y, and z, you'll see. Write some fantasy, sell lotsa books. Write reality, not so many books sold. How anyone, remains in this farce of a country is beyond me. As Dr. Berman states, what do you think is waiting for you, 10, 20, 30+ years?

Reading Sinclair's George Babbit at 14yo-thanks Mom and Dad, and then watching in 'real life' all the conformist corporate drone hamster wheelers with their suit and tie kissing the bosses' tuchas and paying lotsa taxes for war dejour and someday talk. For those sticking around, or cannot leave the prison, for whatever reason, there will be more employee violence requiring corporations to set up incident response teams to combat all those disgruntlers.

ALso, epi pen--basically-diphenylhydramine-buy cheaply generically. The two most profitable us industries are drug dealers and insurance companies. Create fear, agita, angst, and Buy, buy, buy. "Senate hearings"??! Dog and pony show for the hamster wheelers? They'll get angry, talk about american people, sad kids faces, and Uncle Schmohawk who got stung by a hornet and had to pay hundreds....all BS to appear they are doing something-chasing ghosts and shadows. Reminds me of Allegory of the Cave-Plato.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

pol-

I think there might come a time when if you attend church unarmed, you'll be risking yr life. 5 yrs from now?

mb

6:25 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Well, I read - twice (only 60 pages w/notes) - Byung-Chul Han's "The Burnout Society" and now have a blinding headache ;-). Han is a decidedly different breed of cat; too much emphasis on postmodernism and deconstruction for my taste. In any case, he seems to be arguing that the reason why we moderns feel so exhausted and fatigued all the time is because we are literally swimming in a sea of positivity; a culture that says there are no limits to what we can do and achieve. Excessive positivity gets fused w/notions of freedom and limitless potential to the extent that we have internalized a blind mandate to achieve. The trouble is that this frenzy to achieve is not real, it's a type of paradoxical freedom, it's illusory. Han goes on to indirectly deconstruct Obama's "Yes, We Can" slogan as a prime example of this positive thinking overload. Always commanded to do more, according to Han, we have become slaves to a culture of positivity. Bottom line is that it's making us very, very sick; mentally ill, in fact. Furthermore, modern tech is making it impossible to seriously contemplate and deeply think anymore. Han, as far as I can make out, has no solution to this dilemma. Han also dedicates a short chapter to a critique of Hannah Arendt's "The Human Condition." Lots to say here, but Han essentially describes our modern lives as "naked"; the result of secularization and a loss of religious faith that gave our lives a wider meaning. Anyway, there's some insight here, but it's difficult to get at.

Here are a couple of good quotes:

The reaction to a life that has become bare and radically fleeting occurs as hyperactivity, hysterical work, and production. The acceleration of contemporary life also plays a role in this lack of being. The society of laboring and achieving is not a free society. It generates new constraints.

In this society of compulsion, everyone carries a work camp inside. This labor camp is defined by the fact that one is simultaneously prisoner and guard, victim and perpetrator. One exploits oneself. It means that exploitation is possible even without domination.

Miles

7:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Who cd have guessed that the American Dream wd turn into a monster? For a terrific fictional acct of this, check out "Gain," by Richard Powers.

mb

8:14 PM  
Blogger plbodden said...

oui, mon cher professeur! allons y! mais où? et comment? je me renseigne. parce que il faut. absolument que tu viennes expliquer aux français ce qui se passe aux usa. ça fait des années que j'essaye, mais sans beaucoup de succès... quoique avec l'arrivée sur scène de sa majesté monsieur orange, ils commencent à me croire quand je leurs dis que la société américaine a complètement perdu les pédales et se trouvent en chute libre... même si ces cons d'américains continuent à se féliciter et se déclarent "ze bast in zee veurld". c'est franchement lamentable; vraiment inquiétant et c'est pour ça que j'ai quitté washington pour me réfugier à amboise à peu près la même année que vous êtes parti "south of the border". donc venez vite en france sonner l'alarme avant que le mur trumpal ne vous enferme au mexique! bon courage, pb

10:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Patrick-

Formidable. Just let me know when you find someone to pay my airfare, mon cher.

mb

11:42 PM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

MB, these are for you. That face, that laugh ... :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqYJRc0TJkQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26-VzfBZg1w

5:29 AM  
Anonymous Wile E Coyote said...

What happens when that dream turns into a nightmare? Read it in Carousel Court

by Joe McGinniss Jr. Excellent book.

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Interesting article on how workplaces are becoming increasingly abusive under neoliberalism. The issue is not limited to the United States but I would say that America has had a major hand in propagating abusive workplace culture since the U.S. is the guarantor of the neoliberal world order.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/08/how-abusive-employers-combined-with-job-insecurity-lead-to-suicides.html

One of the comments mentioned this great article by Ian Welsh on the culture of meanness in the United States. I think he is spot on about how American culture encourages “punching down.” I like his characterization of the United States as a “high-violence, high-bullying society.” Very true.

http://www.ianwelsh.net/the-culture-of-meanness/

Welsh also has a good piece on the dark side of the vaunted infotech/telecom revolution. It is especially important that he discusses not just government surveillance but also private-sector tyranny (super-Taylorization of the workplace).

http://www.ianwelsh.net/what-the-infotechtelecom-revolution-has-actually-done/

8:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wile-

Just read up on it on Amazon. Whew! Sounds like a nightmare indeed. You know, we catalogue the destruction on this blog: Shaneka Torres, Freddie Wadsworth, the guy who fucked a van, and all those folks calling 911 when McDonald's didn't have chicken mcnuggets or whatever. Granted, these are not the sharpest nails in the box. But in the context of America today, it probably isn't too surprising. The American Dream is in ruins and people are bitter, demoralized, and on a short fuse. One way to go w/that, of course, is Trump. But the allegedly 'nonpolitical' solution is to go over the edge. I'd like to sit down w/Freddie and say, "Boychik, how is it you fucked a goat?" And if he were fairly aware of the situation, he might say, "I'm lonely. In America, you have no one you can be close to. I figured a goat was better than nothing." Or if I flew to Michigan and visited Shaneka in jail, and said, "Shaneka: you shot up a McDonald's with a rifle because they left bacon off your cheeseburger. What were you thinking?" And (long shot), she might shake her head, and say, "You know, I have so little in my life. No bacon was the straw that broke the camel's back." Although Freddie and Shaneka are more likely to say "Fuck you," all of this, amigos, is political. I keep saying to u guys, "The endgame ain't gonna look pretty." Well, these are gd examples, as are bks by McGinniss and Shriver. The cruelty and bleakness of the American spiritual/psychological wasteland are getting deeper every day, and it shows up in the details of our lives.

Trans-

I guess we need to gird ourselves for 8 yrs of this, unless there's a coup d'état; which I think could happen. See my reply to Wile: pressure cooker keeps bldg.

mb

8:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: and then there's this guy who epitomizes America:

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/08/25/americas/ryan-lochte-brazil/index.html

9:04 AM  
Anonymous COS said...

Di velt iz sheyn nor di mentshn makhn zi mies

10:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cos-

Yiddish posts are always welcome, but didn't you mean to write 'tsimmis'? (an alternative, of course, wd be kashe varnishke)

mb

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

I've noticed that Americans increasingly can't even understand what abstract concepts are, especially ethical concepts. The most common abstract "justification" from rightist Americans is: "We're going to kill all ______ and I'd like to see you try to stop us!". The second most common is "God wants all _____ dead!". This is essentially the brutal force-politics, devoid of all justification, that Oswald Spengler saw as a hallmark of dying civilizations.

I've even seen this attitude become noticeable in self-identified American liberals who, when confronted with proof Hillary Clinton's bellicosity, respond thusly: "She's going to be the next president whether you like it or not...suck it!" This type of response is no different than that of your average psychopathic Trump supporter. In America, the death instinct is everywhere, and perhaps always was; now that America cannot expand further or find new peoples to exploit, it has turned its violent impulses inward.

Consequently, the rest of the world regards America with scorn and contempt. However, Americans cling to the hilarious belief that the rest of the world venerates them as superior beings of incalculable virtue and grandeur. Nothing can penetrate the self-delusion and narcissism of Americans, not even economic and social problems so painful that they make life intolerable. I wonder if Oswald Spengler thought that America was born in the "winter" stage of civilizational decay, the phase of brutality, hedonism and anti-intellectualism. I certainly believe that America was born half-dead, for only such a hypothesis could explain why the American mind has always been so rigid and incapable of growth.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

My intention is not to extend the Hedges line any further but disagree with Morris around having to choose between reality and fantasy. I have never narrowed either author down to that choice as both are not one issue authors. Morris has given us a wide historical perspective, with information on a lot more than examples of why America has failed. In fact his last books are on different subjects. A Question of Values, Spinning Straw into Gold and Neurotic Beauty are all books not to be missed.

The same goes for Chris as he's written much more than dwelling only on hope for our future. I also listen to OnContact where he has discussions with interesting people. I never thought of not being interested in his latest books as a reason to chuck all he has to say. In fact I haven't read his last 3 books precisely for the reason Morris indicates. The subject doesn't interest me and I don't find his conclusions feasible.

Marianne

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

democarcy is hypocarcy-Malcolm x the original waffer.
Tupac on the American Dream https://youtu.be/1VDhf1OCBM4 even if ur white or hate rap music I think u well enjoy this song

12:40 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafer community,

Tracy Briley, 50, arrested for having sex w/a woman on a Florida beach. Briley claimed he was an "emergency responder" when he was found w/his shorts down and genitals exposed. Briley also remarked that since he's homeless, there's no good place to fuck except in public. Hard to disagree w/that one.

http://wfla.com/2016/08/26/cops-pinellas-man-having-sex-in-public-claimed-to-be-emergency-responder-helping-a-woman/

Re: Han

Actually, Han does offer a solution to our increasingly fragmented hustle: just say "no" to it all.

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

Miles

1:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Marianne-

Wha?? I never said 'chuck all he has to say'. Other than that, I guess we'll just hafta agree to disagree, because I do think it's imperative to choose between reality and the fantasy he's been offering us as of late. It wd be great to be ecumenical, but I don't think that can be done with respect to this issue.

mb

2:32 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Forget Trump--the Republicans nominated the wrong guy. Instead they should have gone with the beloved governor of the great state of Maine, Paul LePage, who left a message on a state legislator's voice mail calling him a "cocksucker," and when asked about it by reporters mused about how he wishes it was 1825 so he could challenge the man to a duel and shoot him between the eyes:

http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/maine-governor-calls-state-rep-a-cocksucker-says-hed-l-1785804456

What's most amazing to me is how the idiots in the media take this in stride as if it were all just the usual political gamesmanship. Not one of them seems to have a memory that goes back longer than five minutes ago, or they would recognize that LePage is NOT just a mere throwback to some earlier time.

Liberals, progressives and bedwetting pundits have been making fun of LePage for years, yet not only has he doubled down on his insane rhetoric, he actually managed to win reelection in 2014. Just who do they think is voting for this lunatic, and why? None of them seems at all serious about asking that question, because if they did they might have to reflect upon just what it really means.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Some books of potential interest in coping with, and/or minimizing the impact of mentally deranged americans. Billion dollar industry--books that attempt to elucidate the cornucopia of mentally ill us individuals.

Emotional Vampires-Dealing with people who drain you dry--Bernstein
Puzzling People-Labyrinth of the Psychopath-Sheridan
Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life-Martinez-Lewi
Fatal Flaws-Personality Disorders-Yodofsky
I hate you, please don't leave me. -Kreisman
The Narcissist and Psychopath in the Workplace-Vaknin (Au was diagnosed with a mental derangement, got caught embezzling, and "turned his life" around)
Malignant Self Love-Vaknin

3:47 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

How much do you wanna bet that there were hoards of "Stanley Majors" harassing, maiming and killing native indians in the good ol' days when 'murika used to be a greaaat country? Just imagine the horror to see this ugly scum before you die!! Great specimens like these were urinating on dead Afghans and collecting their body parts. We have priests n politicians who are sophisticated version of the same scum. The folks at Wech Baghtu got a glimpse of cool Obama as uncouth Stanley when terror rained upon them from the skies above.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/stanley-vernon-majors-hate-crime-charges_us_57bca84fe4b0b51733a643c4

It would inconvenient Brooks and Friedman of NYT to acknowledge that a wife in this rabid land would stab her husband for he drank her beer. Many foofoo progressives would label such incidences as outliers. I would like to know where is that critical threshold to be crossed when they will realize that altho the details many vary, like drones instead of scissors, but unprovoked violence is actually the norm here.
http://nypost.com/2016/08/24/woman-arrested-for-slashing-husband-after-he-drank-her-beer/

Talking about foofus -a colleague of mine at a high tech engineering company kept diligently watering a plant that somebody gave as a gift. In over a years time I was there in that group did she realize that it was a plastic fake. I doubt she'd ever cross that threshold from instinct to awareness. And that's the power of the Koolaid in the "jonestown" called amerika.

Marianne, With all due respect to a fellow Wafer would you agree that there were officers on board the Titanic who were aware -may not be immediately after the collision- but well before she sank that the ship was already doomed? The security closed the shutter gates of the lower deck passageway of the steerage passengers while they played the piano and served free "Koolaid" above. At least Joseph Ismay knew but why would he 'rock a sinking boat' by telling the obvious? Hedges is indeed a good soul, maybe even saintly. But if there was any chance to redeem the "ship" it takes special courage like Belman n Kolbert to be the Cassandra to slay hope first.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy28V1VkJsU&feature=youtu.be&t=2972

4:08 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

The clueless Paul Krugman hits a new low; after Trump correctly diagnosed America as a failed state reduced to a war zone, the Nobel Prize Winning Economist has stepped forward to reassure us: Fear not - USA is just fine! As he writes:

"when Mr. Trump portrays America’s cities as hellholes of runaway crime and social collapse, what on earth is he talking about? Urban life is one of the things that has gone right with America.... American cities are as safe as they’ve ever been."

Krugman's buffoonery gets even worse when he attempts to argue that the black community - far from suffering under mounting poverty and dismal living standards - has a vibrant middle class!

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/26/opinion/no-donald-trump-america-isnt-a-hellhole.html?smid=tw-nytopinion&smtyp=cur&_r=0

It's been a great pleasure this election season watching Trump say things no liberal would dare acknowledge in public. Also fascinating to see Trump emerge - paradoxically - as the apparent anti-war candidate, with liberals launching a campaign of neo-McCarthyism because he made the mistake of suggesting the US make deals with adversaries instead of bombing them. I think many Wafers have called it wrong: if you want a faster collapse, Clinton - not Trump - is your gal.

P.S. Trump on American Exceptionalism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72wM6cqPS-c

4:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Esca-

This is something I've talked abt w/Marianne in the past: it is almost impossible for an American to give up on America, because the brainwashing is so powerful. Hedges, Moore, Chomsky, the whole lineup--are patriotic Americans. They don't see that you can't be a patriot of America and of humanity simultaneously. Chomsky documents the genocide we have committed over and over again, and yet he still thinks America can and shd be saved, and that there's a socialist nation in our future. Jesus Christ; immaculate conception is more believable than that. Not a single empire in history managed to reverse its downward trajectory; not one. But somehow *we're* gonna do it? American exceptionalism? Don't make me laugh. This is why I say there's no middle ground here: either you buy into the fantasies of The Nation, Democ Now, Hedges, Chomsky et al., or you realize that they are indeed fantasies, and the product of American brainwashing--"The greatest story ever sold." And in the teeth of that crap, you say: Sorry, I'm not buying this ridiculous tale of recovery, of making America great again.

The step to giving up on America is huge, psychologically speaking. Almost no Americans can do it: maybe .00001% at this pt in time. The person who shd really be on the $1 bill (Kim's buttocks aside) is surely Walt Disney.

mb

4:27 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Swimming in his own bullshit dept:
America's darling, Ryan Lochte, proly won't be able to appear in Brazilian court for filing a false police report "cuz he'll be starring on Dances with the Stars
http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/rio-2016/2016/08/24/ryan-lochte-dancing-with-the-stars-dwts-cast/89306932/
O&D, sheesh.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

AS-

My desire to pee on Krugman's shoes has been quite strong, for many yrs now. He exemplifies 2 things I talk abt on this blog:

1. People with high IQ's can be absolute morons;
2. They are also brainwashed by the whole We're the greatest shit; are patriots, in a word. We need patriots like a hole in the head. What we need are people who are opposed to America, to the hustling and the genocide and the cruelty, and who don't buy the hype and want the American Dream discontinued, for the sake of humanity. Those in that camp are less than 2,000 people out of 322 million.

Trump actually sees a lot of our situation correctly, and calls it like it is; which, as u say, liberals fear. It does raise the issue that he might be the saner candidate. The problem is that even if he won.. .the ruling class wants war, not détente. They want Krugman Kapitalism. And above all, they want 322 million Americans mired in b.s. They have these things now, and they are going to hang onto them. Consider how the major newspapers run 5 or 6 anti-Trump articles on a daily basis. This is really unheard of, and when Trump talks abt having the elections supervised by indep. observers, I'm not so sure that's a nutty idea.

mb

5:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Americans in action!:

http://www.latimes.com/nation/ct-chicago-shootings-violence-20160826-story.html

9:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Americans are intelligent!:

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-united-way-20160826-snap-story.html

9:11 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

MB - In part you inspired me to move onto an old sailboat in Puget Sound. I've become a big fan of inefficiency over the last couple of years, and the sailboat thing fits right in. I'd recommend it to anyone who hasn't considered it before. A different kind of person gravitates towards the liveaboard lifestyle, I'm sure a few wafers are doing this. Once all the powerboats are gone during the week, it gets quiet and it's a nice place to be.

As a plus for MB, cell phones don't work once you get just a bit offshore. You have to actually sit there and enjoy the company of somebody else, or stare out at the water.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

lack-

Wafers will conquer the world, 1 person at a time. Whee!

comrade-

Dick Cheney likes waterboarding. Wd he recommend it for Lochte? Why not?

Americans are shockingly intelligent; I love them:

http://www.newser.com/story/230059/cops-real-estate-agent-did-the-deed-in-home-she-sold.html

mb

10:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Americans in action!:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2016/08/26/new-yorks-subway-crickets-and-other-tales-of-animals-released-inside-crowded-trains/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories-2_gridlock-nysubway-625pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

5:38 AM  
Blogger Edward said...

MB:

Great blog, I commented once before. I forgot to ask what is WAF or a WAFer?

Here is a good article I saw this morning.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/26/opinion/the-dumbed-down-democracy.html?src=me&ref=general

One paragraph:
"The dumbing down of this democracy has been gradual, and then — this year — all at once. The Princeton Review found that the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 were engaged at roughly a high school senior level. A century later, the presidential debate of 1960 was a notch below, at a 10th grade level. By the year 2000, the two contenders were speaking like sixth graders. And in the upcoming debates — “Crooked Hillary” against “Don the Con” — we’ll be lucky to get beyond preschool potty talk."

Although, I believe this is slightly inaccurate as I think the rate of dumbing down was more than gradual and long before "this year"

6:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ed-

Oh, way b4 this yr; no doubt about it. Check out some of the stats in the Twilight bk and DAA.

The 3rd bk in the series, Why America Failed, is abbreviated WAF, which is where the name Wafer came from. Wafers are people who know why America failed, and who are implacably opposed to douchebaggery; which they see all around them. They form the most enlightened folks in the history of the world. Welcome!

mb

9:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

comrade-

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

mb

10:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

WAFERS PLEASE NOTE:

I'm giving some lectures in Chile during Sept. 1-13, and may not have much time for or access to The Greatest Blog on Earth (TGBE). It might be a gd time 4u guys to think about Hillary's face, and your plans to exit the US. Or to just stroll around and marvel at typical American behavior. I do realize how painful it might be, not to be in contact for 2 wks, but pls ride it out, and we'll be back in action on Sept. 13 or 14. Thanks.

mb

10:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Very gd article on tradition vs. modernity in the NYRB, June 23, by Andrew Motion: "An Elegy for the Living."

11:26 AM  
Anonymous CJ said...

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/08/civil-inattention/497183/

something Americans have 0 sense for ....

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

OMG Maury, you mean you don't believe in the Immaculate Conception? Wha?? How can this be?

OK. OK. I get it. Looks like I didn't make myself clear. I also consider myself a patriot of humanity and not of the US. At the same time I learn a lot from watching Democracy Now and reading Chomsky et al. Amy is about a whole lot more than buying into fantasies. Of course if I have to choose between hope for the US and reality I'll choose the latter anytime. My other point is there's a lot more to you and Chris than this subject.

Dsca Dreg,

Your example from the sinking Titanic is good. Thanks. I felt no disrespect.

Marianne

11:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

M-

I have trouble w/stigmata as well, truth be told. As for Hedges, I don't think that there's been a lot more to him during the last 3 yrs than a fantasized revolution, sad to say; he's definitely not the thinker he once was, and I suspect that getting ordained didn't help. But clearly, we've beaten the poor bugger to death, and can move on to more interesting topics. I do promise, however, to send him an apology on the inevitable day that the left-wing masses rise up against their corporate fascist neofeudal etc. masters en bloc, and set the country straight. I'll even throw a block party, and yr invited. Chopped liver canapés will be served.

mb

12:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This looks gd:

https://www.amazon.com/Way-Knife-Secret-Army-Earth/dp/014312501X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1472334288&sr=1-1&keywords=mark+mazzetti+the+way+of+the+knife

5:48 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

No desire to pile on Hedges, so I will instead note that there is phenomenon I'm sure most WAFers will have noticed when reading opinion pieces on progressive websites--I call it the "We MUST Syndrome." It almost inevitably occurs whenever a writer is tackling subjects like global warming or economic inequality and the like. They'll make a series of excellent observations, but when it comes down to the last paragraph, there is that damning phrase: "We must..." followed by insisting on a course of societal-wide action that virtually no one in any position of power in America supports or is ever likely to support. Whenever I read "We must," I always think to myself, "who's WE, pilgrim?" The (maybe) few hundred people who read the article? Exactly what chance do the tiny isolate "we" stand against an electorate of over 150 million, most of whom are too stupid to understand the reality of the situation in the first place..or would deny that it's a problem even if they did understand it?

Yet the writers who insist that "We must..." are always very sincere sounding...as if they really believe it might someday be possible for said change to occur despite all of the evidence to the contrary. Maybe it's because they spend most of their time talking and interacting with people who totally agree with them that they do not realize what a tiny minority they really represent.

It reminds me of a story one of my old undergrad PoliSci professors who as a young man was working in Washington during the 1972 election once told. He said that many of his friends were legitimately shocked by the Nixon landslide. "How can that have happened," one asked bewilderedly, "when everybody I know voted for McGovern?" Indeed.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

When indeed will the progs wake up? I lived in San Fran for 5 yrs during the 70s, and Cal had a referendum on a pile of stuff every 6 mos. I wd dutifully check my ballot, No for nuclear energy, Yes for education, and so on. The next day, I wd buy a copy of the SF Chronicle, only to discover that everything I voted for was voted down by the citizens of Cal by a ratio of 10:1. This was when I slowly began to realize whom I was living amongst.

A couple of yrs ago a British friend of mine, then a professor at a U in Ireland, sent me a ms. on global warming for critique and feedback. It was all v. gd, except that the conclusion was in this "We must" category you refer to. I mentioned to him a British DVD called "The Age of Stupid," on the subject, which makes it quite clear that as far as climate chg goes, the train has left the station. "Graham," I said, "don't tell people 'we must'. It ain't gonna happen, because if it *were* gonna happen, it would have already happened! Look at all the useless climate change conferences we've had over the past 10 yrs, that came to 0. Just tell yr readers: 'If we don't do these things, this is what is going to happen to the planet, etc.'"

I can't helping thinking abt the Paris conference of last Dec., which drew up a document w/no enforcement provisions, and proved to be a total farce. Anyway, I never saw the final product of Graham's bk, but I'm hoping he removed the silly "We must" sections. I mean, it wd be like a Wafer writing a bk and saying, at the end, "We must extract our heads from our rumps." Or like Hedges telling his readership, "We must rise up against corporate fascism, and institute a democratic socialist regime!" Sure, amigos; when pigs fly.

How many bks have I read, that consist of 300 pp. documenting that the US is totally and utterly fucked, and then conclude with a short epilogue providing a 10-pt. plan for reversing all of this? As you might imagine, these bks sell; mine don't. (sniff)

Of course, I cd also start chanting, "We must get the progs to stop saying 'We must'" Yeah, that's gonna happen. I'm reminded of a Jungian writer, many yrs ago, reviewing Freud's bk on religion, "The Future of an Illusion," and saying that the real illusion is believing that people are going to free themselves of religion.

When I was 11 or 12, my mother sent me to some Jewish scholar to study the Talmud. The 1st thing he said to me was, "In order for us to work together, you have to agree with me that God gave the Ten Commandments directly to Moses on Mt. Sinai." I looked at him as tho he were completely insane, and said, "Sure."

(continued below)

8:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

All of this, of course, raises the question of why Walt Disney was so successful, and why human beings, Americans in particular, want to live in an Oprah world of fantasy as opposed to reality. Garrison Keillor once said: "Here in Lake Wobegon we have the ability to look reality right in the eye and deny it." Ha! An obvious answer is that if reality sucks, fantasy becomes irresistible. Thus, all of us will get old and sick and die, but on some irrational level we harbor the belief that we are immortal, and are going to bypass all of that. But here's what comes with staring death in the face: you start to think abt who you are, and to make decisions abt what's really important. Now in my 70s, I struggle w/this more often than I care to.

The analogy on the political level is to stop this crap abt how the masses are going to rise up, abt how global warming can and will be reversed, or abt how the US can avoid an assuredly miserable future, and ask ourselves: Why are we committed to such nonsense? What is the mechanism that is preventing us from living in reality? Because once the individual embraces death, or the culture embraces a declinist position, intelligence suddenly comes to the surface. It's at that pt that we cd, not save ourselves, but seriously start altering things in a positive (if limited) direction, because we were no longer living in a kaka-based world. Delusion serves no individual, and no culture; but if you really bite the bullet, then real changes might be able to happen. Unfortunately, Americans in particular aren't up for that, so we shall continue to drift in an unreal world.

All I can do, as an historian, of course, is to pt all this out, and then return to dealing with my own inevitable death. (Which is where bucket lists come from, I suppose.)

mb

9:00 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


Señor Mauricio, Please watch this BBC documentary before ​your lecture in Santiago​; the first nine n half minutes at least. My brother-in-law who is a well respected psychiatrist often use the word "deception" when referring to this f'kd up society. ​ In our numerous discussions he presents examples of his patients who surprise him till date, him being in practice for over 3 decades now. Multiple personality disorders, disorders without any clinical name, fetishes for the absurd bizarre -if you hear his stories you'll lose any faith whatsoever in the upcoming revolution. Interestingly most of his patients, I gather, are from the Left and well to do backgrounds. Many of his deviates he says are functionally "normal" including judges, bail bondsmen, city council persons, college professors and police detectives. The most deceiving cases according to him are those who themselves are in helping-the-other professions like child protective services, psychologists, counselors and early intervention "specialists". ​

Louis Theroux - America's Medicated Kids
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjR1PH41Vkg

If I have to live among these lunatics, lord blimey!​

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

An american case of the "yah buts." Any reality based narrative documenting issues is met with yah but, and badgering for "solutions" or an "action plan." Perhaps, a fantasy misdirect?

Delusions, denials, and distractions-Cluster B.

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

Howdy WAFers,

Please pardon my absence. Here in the land of buffoonery one has to hustle around the clock to make a third world living. That especially since last year I had to make my escape from Eastern Europe back to Florida. Let’s just say that Putin to the north and the caliphate to the south were getting a bit too close for comfort.

I’m bummed Trump didn’t pick Mittney for VP. Personally, I’m fine with Trump’s wall. Back in 1981, when I first escaped the Soviet Block I waited in line in a hellhole refugee camp, so it’s only fair these immigrants should too, no? But if that is not possible, maybe we can just install computerized gates on Trump’s proposed wall. So when an illegal arrives at the pearly gates of the Land of the Free, he or she should be presented with a quick naturalization test. Easy questions, to help them succeed in the Home the Brave. Things like “How do you say cocaine in English?” And on the math part, a short division/multiplication problem: “If Johnny stole 20 bucks from his grandmother and a joint goes for $5 each, how many joints should Pedro provide Johnny with?” Of course, questions should never change, as to promote cheating.

Regarding Chris Hedges, I too have found him to be rather boring lately. OK, we get it, inverted totalitarianism is like fascism. And get out of New Jersey already, and you might get a different perspective on revolution.

Amy Goodman is even more annoying. She used to have half-way decent shows. Now it’s all about trannies and BLM. If World War 3 broke out tomorrow, she’d still be ranting about why boys at my daughter’s elementary school should use girls bathrooms.

Anyway, I guess I’ve spewed out enough political correctness for one post, no?

Like that old SNL line goes: “I didn’t mean to offend anybody!”...LOL

Bingo out!

2:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Julian-

Welcome back. We have suffered for lack of your anti-p.c. input. I didn't realize that NJ was a hotbed of revolution, however; I lived there for 5 awful yrs, and didn't see much of it myself.

mb

4:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Rare Bright Light Dept.: A major university takes a stand against buffoons:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/27/us/university-of-chicago-strikes-back-against-campus-political-correctness.html?hpw&rref=education&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0

5:15 AM  
Blogger Edward said...

MB said, "Oh, way b4 this yr; no doubt about it. Check out some of the stats in the Twilight bk and DAA. The 3rd bk in the series, Why America Failed, is abbreviated WAF...."

I checked those out on Amazon and it jogged my memory as to how I found this blog in the first place. I was thinking that we would enter a dark age and someone besides myself must realize that America is in a downward spiral - circling the drain so to speak. The search several months ago lead me to the blog called Dark Ages America and the first article I read here I said, BINGO. There are people who recognize America's corruption, douchebaggery, and idiocy is bringing it down. I borrowed your word, douchebaggery, because it really exemplifies one aspect of what is happening here in America. If I think back correctly the blog piece I first read might have been an excerpt from DAA or something very close.

Your commentary will definitely be missed during your absence while you're in Chile.

6:59 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

http://www.airbnbhell.com/ruining-nyc-airbnb-neighbor-nightmare/

Comic late capitalism.

The society in which everyone becomes a miniature realtor (airBnB) and hedge fund manager (microloans).

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Bradley said...

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/entertainment/TV/norway-shifts-tv-into-a-slower-gear-391480721.html

1/4 of Norwegians are watching films of 7 hr country train rides, 5hrs of quiet fishing, 6 hrs of traditional hymns performed, sewing circles...with implement of Slow TV

I watched a little bit of this online... I think it is even available on US Netflix accounts... tho I cannot imagine 4 American people watching anythinglike that, let alone a whole 1/4 of them

10:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ed-

I think it was Miles who suggested this T-shirt:

Front: DOUCHEBAG OR WAFER?

Back: THE CHOICE IS YOURS

Another possibility:

SO MANY DOUCHEBAGS, SO LITTLE TIME!

mb

11:07 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Ciao Maurizio and respected members of the Wafer cognoscente,

The American Dream in tatters:

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/aug/27/american-realities-photography-poverty-joakim-eskildsen

Govt by Hillary:

http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/emails-show-clinton-foundation-donor-reached-out-hillary-clinton-arms-export-boost

RIP, RVG:

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/richard-brody/postscript-rudy-van-gelder-1924-2016-modern-jazzs-listener-of-genius?mbid=social_facebook

Hard politics dept.:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/25/cocks-not-glocks-texas-campus-carry-gun-law-protest

Incidentally, Wafers, I'm thinking it's time to dump Trump and get behind a real presidential candidate: Telly Shadell Corey of the American Meat Beaters Party (AMBP). Party Slogans:

1. Git yer fuckin' hands in yer PANTS!
2. Cockblocked know more!

I tell u guys, Telly is where it's at; the type of world-historical figure that Hegel once described. Like Julius Caesar, Napoleon, or Trump...Telly could really get this nation charged up and excited. Appearing at precisely the right time in our development, he's the one to really *pound out* an American future, so to speak.

Miles

3:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Since I don't own a TV, I've been watching the DVDs of previous seasons of "The Big Bang Theory," which has me laughing like an irresponsible foetus (T.S. Eliot, "Mr. Apollinax"). Here's what Leigh H. Edwards of PopMatters said abt it: "The comic commentary may be poking gentle fun at nerds, but the real target of the show's sharp satire is the arbitrary, self-serving stupidity of mainstream culture". Touche.

mb

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Bell Weather said...

I dunno, Professor! Big Bang is probably the first suggestion coming from you that I'm reacting against. Ive always thought that series was the shits!

But, then you go and contextually relate Elliot to your humored experience....how can I disagree ha ha....you're incredibly open minded, I tip my hat to you sir! Maybe I should give some 2nd chances

7:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bell-

What I like abt the show is how absolutely silly it is, almost to the pt of dementia. Wafers are, of course, serious people; but I think they also have a silly streak. Which is a gd thing. As for T.S. Eliot, "Mr. Apollinax" was in fact Bertrand Russell, who "laughed like an irresponsible foetus":

In the palace of Mrs. Phlaccus, at Professor Channing-Cheetah's
He laughed like an irresponsible foetus.
His laughter was submarine and profound
Like the old man of the sea's...

Of dowager Mrs. Phlaccus, and Professor and Mrs. Cheetah
I remember a slice of lemon, and a bitten macaroon.

Poetry doesn't get better than that, imo.

mb

7:51 PM  

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