August 28, 2016

Big Bang Theory and Mr. Apollinax

This is apropos of nothing, but it seemed like a more interesting title than 279. (For clarification, please see last two entries of 278.)

So, Wafers, I am soon to take the big silver bird into the skies, touching down in Chile, where I'll be until Sept. 13. This as of Sept. 1st, so from that day forth, or at least until the 13th, if you could refrain from posting anything, I would appreciate it. I do know that many of you, in the absence of this blog, break out in hives, or get the shakes, and I sympathize: What else might one expect, given the fact that Waferdom is nothing less than the highest form of consciousness on the planet today? Waferdom burst upon the scene 10.5 years ago, and in that time we have done our best to infect the American body politic with a modicum of effort that quite obviously has failed miserably. But we have elevated Lorenzo Riggins to celebrity status, along with Shaneka Torres, and at the same time crushed the trollfoons (who remain bitter and unloved) like so many pathetic cockroaches. We have written to the Pentagon, urging them to nuke Paris and Toronto, and have also petitioned them to equip every policeman in the land with an AK-47, a drone, and a nuclear device, the better to mow down unarmed citizens. In short, Wafers have much to be proud of.

"Love is most nearly itself When here and now cease to matter."

(T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets, "East Coker")



Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

I don't know about WAFers in general, but this seemed darned funny to me:

"Is Alex Jones a Lunatic?" :

I have a simple question. Could someone like Alex Jones be anything but a buffoon in any other country other than the USA? How about Switzerland? Norway? Jamaica?

6:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Wonderful clip. I really do think it's time to construct a huge sign at JFK Airport, to greet people coming in from foreign countries:


This, w/a foto of Hillary laughing, next to it.


8:36 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Dear MB and Wafers:

I just finished reading The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver. This book was recommended here by several Wafers a couple of blog entries ago. To me Shriver speaks in fiction about the future much like our own Dr. Berman speaks about the future in prose. I thank my fellow Wafers for the recommendation. Now I am on to read Dr. Berman's The Man Without Qualities, which I believe is Dr. Berman's first foray into fiction and is set in the present. It will be a very interesting juxtaposition to Lionel Shriver's book.

Thanks again to my fellow Wafers for your ongoing recommendations for literature and cinema. I just wish I could keep up.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


2nd foray, actually. A few yrs ago I published a novel called "Destiny," wh/u might also enjoy. As for Shriver: a great author; I've read several of her works, and ordered "Mandibles" off of used Amazon a while ago (yet to arrive). Hope you enjoy TMWQ, in any case. Thanks to the Wafers, this blog is a treasure trove of bks, films, food, and general recs for living. Another reason why I can't understand why anyone wd go to another blog. This is surely the only one we need.


9:49 AM  
Anonymous Bourgeoisie Baby said...

@Mike Kelley @Profesor Morrris Berman

Thank you both for all of those suggestions. I'm afraid I wasn't aware of "Destiny," either! I'm ordering it after I submit this post! Post-haste! [pun intended]

Best to you on your travelling Dr. B, since we're on the subject, do you have a supply of travel readings ready-2-go? Since it sounds like "Mandibles" has yet to arrive, sad to hear.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Some people might be surprised by this, but the MTV animated show "Beavis and Butthead" is, in my opinion, great WAFer material. “Beavis and Butthead” was created by Mike Judge (the same guy who made “Idiocracy”) and was about two stupid, teenage heavy metal fans who do nothing but watch television and hopelessly attempt to “score” with women. Beavis and Butthead were barely literate, had no empathy for other humans or living things (in the earlier episodes they enjoyed torturing animals), and only occasionally attended the failing public school in their dismal town.

“Beavis and Butthead” was a hilarious shot at American culture in the 1990s and is still somewhat relevant today, although the attempt to reboot the series in 2011 didn’t work so well in my opinion due to cultural changes and the fact that Beavis and Butthead were probably more intelligent than the stars of the MTV reality shows they now mocked instead of old music videos.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The Simpsons too.


Russian history, as of late. Quite fascinating. Despite numerous horrific problems, at least they had a real culture.


12:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Dr. Berman, perhaps in the future, could we have a blog on 'Kim K's' new wet, sexy look?

Almost every us "news" outlet is covering this. Very important. Thank you Sir. Safe travels.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike R.-

I'm w/u, guy; it is indeed important. However, some time ago I think I got to the crux of the matter when I said that if you look deep inside her buttocks, into the crevice, you will see where the US is heading. I think this is even more true today.


1:01 PM  
Anonymous Tamler said...

Yes yes we do have a lovely culture club here , don't we.

In the acting/film department, we have a great loss, Gene Wilder. WAFers what is your favorite film/role?

4:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sad, sad news; I thought he was a terrific actor, and loved his films. His wife, Gilda Radner, took the name Roseanna Roseannadanna as a pseudonym, and was famous for saying: "If it isn't one thing, it's another." That's fer sure.

My favorite film: "Dimanches et Cybele" (Sundays and Cybele).


4:36 PM  
Anonymous Well Call Me Giotto said...

<<<Are we in a Renaissance Age?

6:01 PM  
Anonymous al Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I liked Wilder in "The Frisco Kid." He was a Polish rabbi who became something of a gunfighter.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Todd said...

Juan Gabriel the Mexican singer died too. Tough ticket.

- todd

6:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Americans are wonderful people!:

7:20 PM  
Blogger Richard Adelman said...

Richard said . . .
Interesting, Morris, your mention of "Sundays and Cybéle," one of my favorite films although unfortunately not very wellknown. It is currently part of the Criterion Collection, which has half-price sales sometimes at B&N and also on Criterion´s own website. Not on Hulu, unfortunately. I was so moved by it on first viewing at age 19 that I was filled with sadness and completely speechless and felt immersed in a mystery beyond my understanding. (I was lucky enough to see it in a tiny "art" theatre in Berkely where Pauline Kael was writing the program notes.)

I loved Gene Wilder-- and he was such a mensch!

If they haven´t found it yet I think some WAFers would appreciate the TV series Arrested Development.
A hilariously unflattering view of life in these United States.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


Oh, God! What in the blue hell? The sound of that defenseless child hitting the water is terrifying; the mother laughing about it after the fact chills my blood. I tell ya, MB, this is perhaps the sickest thing that has been recorded on this blog. Both of these assholes deserve to be incarcerated for a very long time, or worse. When people ask me how it is that a person like Trump could get so close to power, I'm gonna show them this clip and say, courtesy of Seymour Scheinberg, we are a nation of debased reprobates.

Meanwhile, here's Lionel Shriver on Trump:


ps: Have a great time in Chile.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@ Tom Servo

You kind of ruined my afternoon with Bevis and Butthead. So stupid, yet so right and appropriate for the time and place.

It is kind of an experimental bit of cultural criticism, since Bevis and Butthead stay in character to make comments about the music videos played throughout the show. Yet their method and content of communication largely seems appropriate to the hit music videos being played...

It is as if Judge was saying... "What if we constantly acted in a way consistent with pop cultural values?"... now, a few decades later, we have our answer.

Also, the animated cartoon version of "Dilbert" is excellent.

9:56 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

candyterate (that's the actual thing being discussed): With a masters in engineering I couldn't understand a zilch what these fuckboxes were talking about on PRI. Much less can't fathom what good is all these and how does it make life worth living.

Serious/Cocky "optimist" reporter + third world savages with bad accent + cute acronyms + recycle/green hogwash + tech/whiteMan/West to the rescue.... whoooom, you have a "progressive" program. And please don't forget to subscribe!!

While such hubris meets its nemesis and the planet goes to the shits...
​""​But Lord Rees added that there is also cause for optimism. “Human societies could navigate these threats, achieve a sustainable future, and inaugurate eras of post-human evolution even more marvelous​ ​than what’s led to us. The dawn of the Anthropocene epoch would then mark a one-off transformation from a natural world to one where humans jumpstart the transition to electronic (and potentially immortal) entities, that transcend our limitations and eventually spread their influence far beyond the Earth.”​"​

​Lord-Shmord, ​Yeah! When pigs​ like you​ learn to fly​!!

10:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This is also pretty charming:

1:30 AM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Have a great time on your trip, mb. I'll fill my time away from the blog watching Big Bang Theory which I had dismissed as being too stupid to even consider. However, an mb recommendation hasn't failed me yet. 9 seasons of BBT! Woot!

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

I just visited a site called I knew about it but I have never visited it until today . If u want to see Americas wasteland visit this site. Beware of pop ups

1:18 PM  
Blogger Ed-M said...


I watch that video, too. Hit the water with a sickening 'splat'. Ugh.

Now here's what I found:

Mother's boyfriend punches her two-year old child to death after he got upset with him pushing her around. IIRC, The boyfriend was unhappy with the groceries she brought home.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Morris, you are a popular man in Canada. Every University library in the province is checked out of WAF and DAA!

Did get my hands on Ren of the World. Will keep me occupied during hiatus!

4:21 PM  
Anonymous DiogenesTheElder said...


Working my way through Guenon. Thanks for the recc.

Here's another:


7:58 PM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

He ran a red light. He caused the accident. He still pulled out a gun and murederd the victim of his reckless behavior. They say he is an ex-marine. My God, what has become of these people?

"Ex-Marine Allegedly Kills Ohio Woman After Both Survive Car Crash
Police have not yet determined a motive for the shooting of 53-year-old Deborah Pearl.

A man allegedly shot and killed a woman after the two survived a car collision in the Cleveland suburb of Solon, Ohio.

Deborah Pearl, 53, was on her way to work at a local diner on Saturday morning when a Jeep ran a red light and hit her Ford Taurus, reported. The crash pushed Pearl’s car into the intersection and made the Jeep flip over several times."

1:57 PM  
Anonymous AS said...


"Our country is going to hell... More than 2,800 people have been shot in Chicago since just the beginning of the year... Worn-torn countries are safer than living in our inner cities by a lot - it's not even close."

Meanwhile, Hillary grows increasingly desperate. A meltdown can't be far off:

"We are the indispensable nation. People all over the world look to us and follow our lead."

2:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Not that puzzling. He's an American; she was a human being. So he killed her.


Same thing. In the America of today, bad groceries = kill the kid. Why not? Real question is why was the toddler not toting an AK-47? I mean, was he a complete moron? In what reality was he living, that he was walking around, unarmed?


There's a pt at which stupidity is so far gone it becomes funny. This applies to the BBT, and also to the US in general.


You may remember I did a lecture at the U of Waterloo (Ont.) last May, on Dual Process. It was actually an updated version of a lecture I gave several yrs b4 at Clark U, "The Waning of the Modern Ages." (Both are archived on this blog.) It is also discussed at some length in the final chapter of my Japan bk. In any case, I submitted the Waterloo lecture to a Canadian mag, Adbusters, but was cruelly rejected. However, I have a feeling I must have planted a seed there, because the current issue of the mag has a short essay by someone named Sam Alexander, a lecturer at the U of Melbourne, which repeats the concept exactly, without actually calling it Dual Process. But I do have the feeling that the theory is slowly making its way thru the consciousness of North America (one can only hope). In any case, here is the 1-para essay by Mr. Alexander, for yr enjoyment:

I was drifting through cyberspace recently...when I came across a sentence that tripped me up..."The pain you feel is capitalism dying." The writer went on to explain that it hurts because we are inside this dying system, we are inside this unsustainable support system we call Earth, and what is perhaps most unsettling about this is that it's not yet clear what comes next; nor is it obvious that the global problems we face even have smooth, painless solutions. The hour is dark and a bright new dawn is not guaranteed....The words left an impression on me I think because they describe that strange, existential ache that we probably have all felt at some time or another, when contemplating how we should live our lives in a world that seems so tragically off track. I am referring here to the emotional or what one might even call the spiritual challenge of living in an age of crisis; of living in an age when the myths and stories that have shaped and grounded our cultures and even our identities have begun to break down, unsettling our sense of purpose and place in a fast-changing world. But this crisis of meaning in our culture...presents itself to us, I think, as a heavily disguised but tantalizing opportunity. One of the most promising aspects of the biological world we live in is that the cycles of nature embrace death and decay as a necessary part of rebirth...and if we understand this, then we can see that as the existing form of life deteriorates in the face of environmental limits, new ways to live will inevitably evolve, and are evolving, like green shoots peeking out of the widening cracks in capitalism. Our challenge is to face this inevitable breakdown with defiant positivity and set about turning today's crises into opportunities to reinvent ourselves, our cultures, and our economies in more localized, more resilient, more humane ways. We are, it seems, like tiny microbes inside this massive, decomposing system, being challenged to work creatively in our own small ways, building the soil from which a diversity of new worlds can emerge. In short, I would say that we are being challenged at this moment in history to compost capitalism, and in the rich soil of resistance bring renewal to our task, our collective task, to seed a new Earth story.

Sam: Good on yer, myte! But how to live in these disoriented times is not that difficult to figure out: become a Wafer!


2:33 PM  
Blogger Ed-M said...


Well the kid who was thrown off the bridge should have carried an AK-47, too. Now in NORMAL countries little kids need not to carry lethal weapons on their person. But this is the United States, where parents *hate* their children. Just like in Ancient Rome, but I think that would be an insult to the Romans and they can't exactly defend themselves, now can they?

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

MB, get out of Mexico before Trump lands! Oh, oops, he's already there. Quick, Cali, AZ, New Mexico, Texas, build that wall so he can't get back in to the US!

Anyway, have fun in Chile and please report any deli meat sightings. I hear Santiago has a Jewish quarter.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Goodie Toeshoes said...

@living in a crumbling world, I feel that way too...but have found all I can d is be a good person, in a way that goes beyond just feeling like one. This is a great book on effective altruism, about to finish it myself. Had read great review by the author of Moral Tribes

4:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This is kinda charming:



8:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

OK, gang, I returned to Mexico this morning, so if you wanna start posting, feel free. Chile was a great success; the students at the university started calling me Tio Mauricio. If any of you wd like to do the same, I have no objection. All is good.


3:21 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Thank the heavens! My sanity may be restored by the return of the best blog on the planet ... or not:

"Delusional democracy refers to delusional Americans. So this year the key question for you to consider is whether you still choose to keep falsely believing that American democracy is worth being proud of."

5:33 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Welcome back! Happy to read that yr most recent thrust into the Chilean mercado was a great success, TM. Did you at least get to gorge on a dish of Chupe de Mariscos and a few pisco sours in between guiding new Wayfarers to the purer faith? Wafers look forward to welcoming many new ChileWafers onto the blog. Meanwhile, there's some glorious news to report: *tremors* on the campaign trail, so to speak. Hillary's latest health episode in NYC, coupled w/her denunciation of Trump extremists as "deplorables," may actually sink her candidacy. I tell u, I'm absolutely giddy about a Trump presidency; just imagine how many will die as a result. And speaking of mass death, atomic crackpot Kim Jong-un tested his most devastating nuke yet! If only we can get these kinds of devices into the hands of of 320 million Americans, eh? Kablooey! Oh, and one more thing:

Indeed, things are surely looking up for the good ol' USA.


6:29 PM  
Anonymous william said...

Tio Mauricio !!!

Welcome home, fascinating that you of all ppl were on Chile for the 1ST 9/11 ! The 63 y.o. u.s. backed coup ... any interesting meditations on that?

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Dear Dr. Berman--welcome "back"-and thank you again for an information blog with excellent WAFER posts. It is indeed a respite from american gatherings, festivities, suppers with their mechanical /robotic cliches and emotional, knee jerk talking points.

Moreover, the WAFER literature recommendations are very good, and the library of old posts are an superb resource.

There's simply NO one (perhaps, VERY few, ~141 on this site) to talk to in the states. It's pathetic. Thank you for permitting us to voice our opinions, arguments sans us BS.

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Edward said...

A literal shotgun wedding ... only in USA

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

I currently live in New Jersey, which I believe to be the worst place on Earth, psychologically speaking. Most people here are enraged every waking moment of their lives. They can't even pretend to have basic manners and human decency, even when they are supposed to be helping customers at work. Their unprovoked hostility and insufferable arrogance are so appalling that I find myself cloistered in my apartment unless I need to buy food or go to a doctor's appointment. Add to this the sight of 10 year olds waltzing around in shorts that expose their asses, and the fact that their parents shamelessly allow them to dress this way, and you have a situation which is completely unbearable.

Most people in New Jersey know literally nothing at all, and are actually proud of their ignorance. They believe they are above the need for knowledge and literacy, and have contempt for anyone that engages in any intellectual activity whatsoever. I truly do wonder how these people sleep at night, but then I remember that they are perfectly satisfied with themselves, and will never aspire to be anything more.

What a pathetic collection of sociopaths New Jerseyites are. I am moving very soon to Colorado, and although I don't expect Colorado to be anywhere near as civilized and kindhearted as Mexico, I know for a fact it's much better than New Jersey.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Great to hear from all of you. I drank many pisco sours in Chile, each of very large size. The Chilenos are plotting to get me back there in March, if they can raise the dough. Meanwhile, back to the blog, and charting the inevitable collapse of the US. Just keep in mind at all times that Hillary is a douche bag.


11:13 AM  
Blogger librarian@play said...

Tio Mauricio! That is an incredibly sweet and warm gesture that speaks to both their and your humanity. Welcome back. We missed you.

@Jim_J: I lived in CO for a while, having moved from the metro-NY area, and found the pace to be livable: slower and more sustainable. Of course, depending where you are, there is as much greed as anywhere and there's a gun culture and the driving culture is rapidly approaching Northeastern levels of aggression. But for the most part the people are a little fitter and, thus, a little more relaxed, and mostly they want to be left alone to follow their avocational pursuits, which likely involve beer or some outdoor activity or both. And, of course, there's the benefit of enough nearby open space to get lost in whenever the local primates get to be too much.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Edward said...

Dr. Berman

Great to have you back; missed all the great comments that get posted here. I especially liked the article, "Welcome to Your Delusional Democracy", posted by one of the participants.

I can always count on some good references and reading from the posts on your blog, thanks again for maintaining this blog.


12:49 PM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Welcome back Dr. B and greetings Wafers,

It seems like such a long time. I read The Man Without Qualities right on the heels of Lionel Shriver's The Mandibles. Your novel was every bit as engaging as Ms. Shriver's book. I really enjoyed reading it, but I couldn't help but wonder: are you serious? Do you really believe that four people could turn into four million in the U.S., or was the book written as an offhanded way to remind us that nothing like this could ever happen in this land of dysfunction? Either way, it was a fantastic book, but it did leave me a little puzzled. Please explain, and at some point if you wouldn't mind, please give us your impressions of Chile.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Under the heading "We want to be your banker," the following news summarizing the events that resulted in the assessment of a $185 million fine against Wells Fargo by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

[From Business Insider, "It keeps getting worse for Wells Fargo," by Bob Bryan, 13 September]:

"The catalyst for all the bad news is the opening of fraudulent accounts on behalf of customers.

Starting in 2011, Wells Fargo employees opened 2 million bank and credit card accounts in customers' names without their knowledge. The goal was to generate fees for the company and hit aggressive sales targets for employees.

After an investigation, the bank was accused of fraud by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Los Angeles prosecutor. It settled on Thursday for $185 million.

In addition to the fine, 5,300 employees have been fired in connection with the fraud — roughly 1% of Wells Fargo's workforce."

[This activity of signing customers up for other services--here done entirely illegally--is referred to in the business as "cross-selling."]

The CEO of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf, had praised Carrie Tolstedt, the exec in charge of the unit that had engaged in the illicit activity. He described her as "a standard-bearer" for the bank. She will be leaving the bank wth parting gifts amounting to $124.6 million.

For another piece on this topic, from today's New Yorker website:

Same shit, different day, muchachos y muchachas.

Welcome home Tio M.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Welcome back, Dr. Berman.

I have been reading works by John F. Schumaker lately. I think he accurately diagnoses the sickness of modern society. Here is a great quote from one of his latest articles:

“Human culture has mutated into a sociopathic marketing machine dominated by economic priorities and psychological manipulation. Never before has a cultural system inculcated its followers to suppress so much of their humanity. Leading this hostile takeover of the collective psyche are increasingly sophisticated propaganda and misinformation industries that traffic the illusion of consumer happiness by wildly amplifying our expectations of the material world. Today’s consumers are by far the most propagandized people in history. The relentless and repetitive effect is highly hypnotic, diminishing critical faculties, reducing one’s sense of self, and transforming commercial unreality into a surrogate for meaning and purpose.”

For the full article see:

I think Schumaker definitely counts as a WAFer. He left the United States years ago and now lives in New Zealand. Here is an article from 2001 where he discusses American consumerism and materialism after a visit to the U.S.:

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Lee said...

Socialism works, a fine implement

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Shawnee, Kansas, Sept 11th--forget the gravity of the day--there's dreck to buy. just another junkmart carjacking whereby the subject is shot dead in the grande parking lot. A shopper, who apparently thinks her feces has no aroma ("I'm at junkmart, which I hate going to") by the name of Ms. Wendy Russell Macrorie posts on her fecesbook system.

Complete with bizarre smiling and Cluster B robotic commentary as the dead body lay in front of her. Joker-esqe smiling as if she's talking about pastrami and cole slaw while posting it.

You truly cannot make this stuff up.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike R.-

Fecesbook wd be a vast improvement over Facebk, imo. I also think we need an Assbook.

Mike K.-

The bk is pure satire. Nothing like that cd ever happen in the US.

Meanwhile, most Americans approve of this:

But then, most Americans have their heads embedded in their rumps.

I remain your Tio.


6:32 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Tio Mauricio,



7:27 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

This Guy's In Love Dept.:

Shades of Shaneka Dept.:

Chianti Gipson, stormed a Wendy's restaurant when she discovered her drive-thru order was incorrect:


7:31 PM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...

MB, (and in no meaningful order) Wafers, Wafettes:

Been lurking for some time. Reaching out now because I feel near the end of my ability to endure this country's irreversibly downward spiral (MB, you had me at TAC, back in the spring of 2000). I have no one with whom I can converse. Family, and my very few friends, are clueless progs. Co-workers are, judging by what my ears pick up, empty vessels - not a single interested (or interesting) thought in their heads. Can't even really get out because I have never been able to identify a single sliver of great circle arc on this globe that has managed to transcend, or even simply escape, the functional nihilism of the entire age into which I was born. (Don't get me wrong. This country is absolutely leading the charge into the abyss. It just seems the rest of the world has not figured out how to turn from the madness.) Now, I will say that I have no idea what the end of endurance looks like. Put out of your heads that it might involve either "going postal" or simple suicide; I'm far too self-aware for anything like that. The only scenario that even suggests itself to my imagination is a sudden, rapid deterioration of health ending in general system failure; I definitely feel like I could die of loneliness.

Had more in mind to say, but think I'll leave it at that for now.

7:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Just fyi: female Wafers are Waferettes. Hillary, on the other hand, is a douche baguette. As for yr situation: leave! The whole world has numerous pockets of relative sanity, and you need to relocate to one of them immediately. Try Costa Rica, for starters. Rural Italy is also gd. Staying in the US can only make you sick. Most Wafers realize that their family and coworkers are basically morons.


You shd also know that on Dec. 2 I'm going to be the godfather at a baptism in Mexico City; after which everyone can call me Padrino.


Her name is Chianti? Jesus. She looks like a great American.


8:11 PM  
Anonymous Juan said...

1) apparently, on this day, Montaigne died. bummer!

2) @lee - interesting piece on socialism, I guess I just am not expert enough on the history of ideas, but seems like it won't work here, regardless of the evidence your article wells up. It hasn't even been very successful abroad, Dr. B., Tio, help us out sir.

Your friend Juan

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

MB, Wafers, Waferettes,

I know Lionel Shriver has been getting a lot of love on this blog for her book, "The Mandibles" which I'm looking forward to reading soon. She recently gave a speech that's got her in some hot water over cultural appropriation. Personally, I agree with Shriver, but I'd be interested to hear what the rest of you think, particularly those that have read her book(s). Here's a link in The Guardian with the text of her speech:


9:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


As far as socialism goes, the problem is that it was never served on a piece of toast. You put socialism on toast, and I think you've got something.


9:28 PM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

"Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) said on Saturday that conservatives may have to turn to physical violence to protect their values.

“The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what? The blood. Of who? The tyrants to be sure, but who else? The patriots,” he said. “Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren. I have nine children. It breaks my heart to think that it might be their blood that is needed to redeem something, to reclaim something, that we through our apathy and our indifference have given away. Don’t let it happen.”"

10:03 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Hey all,

Really enjoying life north of the border. I feel such little stress and can have a meaningful conversation with almost anybody. Unlike Americans, women are totally approachable and don't assume all men are dangerous. A rapid and healthy resocializing.

Speaking of women, one of my buddies back in the States is getting divorced after 7 months. After discovering she was cheating the whole time, the girl says she is tired of him and wants to be an "independent woman", which means somebody who tends bar and stays out all night with her miscreant coworkers.

Never mind that she is totally dependent on her parents, in gargantuan debt, and has failed after 7 years of post-secondary education to achieve an associate's degree. She's too good for the marriage, he's holding her back, she needs more.

Obviously the story needs more details and flesh to be more meaningful, but I think you should be able to see this person as a pure American in Wafer eyes. Such bad seeds are everywhere; in the US they are juiced up on Disney princess fables and extort everybody who dares come near. YOU are holding THEM back.

10:27 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Welcome back, MB! I have to say, not much changed while you were gone. In Florida, a "responsible gun owner" was shot and killed after asking his cousin if he thought the bulletproof vest he was wearing would work. It didn't:

Meanwhile, a West Virginia cutie-pie was arrested for putting out her her boyfriend's eye:

And lastly, a Marine drill instructor ordered a Muslim recruit to crawl inside an industrial clothes dryer--then turned the machine, burning him. Of course, any Muslim who joins the Muslim-butchering U.S. military and then is amazed that he gets abused is a monumental idiot to start with:

In other words, just another day in the world's largest outdoor freak show.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wonder how much the Palestinians are getting:

1:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Meanwhile, Hillary leads Trumpo by only 2.4%. Can our man close the gap? Can we be rid of Botox Face once and for all, and finally be free of this grotesque douche baguette? It's a cliffhanger, folks.


4:47 AM  
Anonymous Lee said...

@ Professor Berman- -

I'm surprised, would think you would find socialist surprises refreshing, more than toast anyway

11:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, cdn't post it (24 hr rule).


11:46 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Great combo, Padrino.
Progressive padre as well as Mexican family. Be sure and send a video of the ceremony.


11:56 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...


WAF-ers, thanks for all the links. A book recommendation, one of my favorites: "The Winter of Our Discontent" by John Steinbeck.

and, on the science fiction front: "Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang" by Kate Wilhelm.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Cj said...

Welcome back Tio Maurcio. I'm glad your trip was a success.

Meanwhile I'll be retiring in a couple of months and since San Diego is too expensive a place to live I'll be moving to a house I bought 40 miles east of Portland Or.

I steadily follow the blog and love reading the comments. This is where I learned of Lionel Shriver's "The Mandibles" that I loved.



12:59 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Welcome home, Dr. B. Sounds like you had an enjoyable and successful trip. Bueno.

Anyway, looks like the campaign may end up resembling a sequel to Weekend at Bernie's ( or Bernette's, as the case would have it). By Inauguration Day, the botox may be all that's left standing. Unencumbered by Hillary, it may turn out to be our best president ever.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I was of two minds about whether to submit this post, but decided that the WAFer community might find the man interesting.

Yvon Chouinard started out making pitons for climbers. By the seventies, he found his blacksmithing had evolved into the outdoor clothing and equipment company Patagonia. Now in his late 70s, he doesn't sound all that pleased with the business of business. Here's an excerpt to give you a flavor of the man, and to perhaps give you a sense for whether you want to read more.

""Hillary Clinton came on the radio. Chouinard hadn’t turned on any lights. The darkness in the house deepened as she spoke. He absent-mindedly flicked at a lamp cord, like a cat with a toy, and dispensed occasional blunt opinions. Of Tim Kaine, he said, laughing, “That guy’s a full-on nerd!” When Clinton mentioned the value of compromise, he said, rolling his eyes, “It’s the work of the Devil.” He and Patagonia have fiercely opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership. “I’m on Obama’s shit list,” he said. “I’ve become an isolationist, actually. Anything of any seriousness that happens has to happen on a local level. I think we’re seeing the end of empire, the end of globalism. It can’t hold. People will revert: protecting your family, protecting your village. Like the Dark Ages. I honestly believe that.” He added, “Trump is the perfect person to take us to the apocalypse.”

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Capt. Spaulding said...

Welcome back from Chile, Dr. B! Here's a piece from the author who gave us "Idiot America" (2009). Although he has generally, though not uncritically, supported the Democratic Party in his Esquire columns, the rise of Trump has spurred in him a darker, proto-Waferish rhetoric:

- The Capt.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Congrats on yr retirement, and the move up to Oregon. Hope you enjoy the PNW. Meanwhile, thanks for the bk, wh/I just received in the mail. Very kind of u.


My kinda guy!


6:04 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,


I tell ya, I'm the biggest politically correct guy around. Toot sweet, we should:

Replace Statue of Liberty w/a Whole Foods
Purge all things Woodrow Wilson
Put Lena Dunham on postage stamp

I'm kidding around, of course. In any event, what I find refreshing about Shriver is her willingness to point out how political correctness and identity politics are forms of authoritarianism and control. I really respect her courage to stand up to the those who think *they* know better what she can and can't say? I've only read two of her novels: The Mandibles & We Need to Talk About Kevin. I'm looking forward to reading more, for sure.

MB, Wafers-

Descent into barbarism dept.:

69-year-old woman w/lung disease punched at Trump rally:


7:29 PM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...


Gracias for the quick response. The real problem is - and this requires a real Socratic dialogue in a way that protocols here will not support (which is the primary reason I lurked so long before speaking up out of near desperation) - at this stage of things, relative sanity simply isn't enough to inspire the effort. The way I see things, at this point in human evolution the recapturing of meaningful human connection is merely necessary; I can't see it being sufficient.

(P.S. I prefer "Wafettes"; more harmonious and euphonious alongside "Wafers," don'tcha think?)

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

WAFER-Ram Gana--my experience is most, if not all of your family and friends cannot, or will not understand reality. Most are dolts, or have their glabella up their tuchas. Raised on Disney Land, Oprahfaction, happy talk, and yankee doodle dipshit. They are so thoroughly brain washed that it is of no use to debate or engage in a meaningful conversation as likely you'll be triangulating with their phone.

Maybe, they offer some argument, even opinion, or quasi-well reasoned criticism? However, the cognitive dissonance and delusions permeate their soul--they are the temporary poor-embarrassed future millionaires dancing in their hamster wheel. Their national religion is honoring Horatio Alger myths (the Carpenters Song-Mr. Guter rings a bell-corporate suckers).

IF you dare discuss history with your fam/friends--e.g., HL Menchen, Sinclair Lewis, de Tocqueville, Barbara Ehrenreich, etc...the 'angry drunk' will come out; a bizarre, disproportionate vitriolic rage directed towards you b/c you are insulting their G-d (Berman). It's a Cluster B mental derangement-narcopathic/narcissistic rage. Go no contact-grey rock, and Forgetta bout it. The best path if available is to leave this "country." Listen/read the music of Alban Berg, Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg with accompanied poetry.

In the interim, This blog has a cornucopia of great points, references, and "escape plans" because all the atonal tuba omp pah pahs from Titanic's brass band cannot put humpty dumpty back to together.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, meaningful human conn. is a gd place to start, and let's not kid ourselves: you won't find it in the US. You can stay mired in shit or bust out into a new life. Does one of these sound better 2u?


8:37 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

"A former small-town Ohio mayor, who has described himself as a “dedicated” Christian, admitted to molesting a girl for years and blamed the victim for being a “willing participant,” according to court documents."

Rape here is referred to as "molesting," the "girl" was four years old:

6:36 AM  
Anonymous Wile E Coyote said...


Thanks for your recommendation for "The Winter of Our Discontent." On my way to the library this morning to pick it up.

Let me return the favor. "The Loved One" by Evelyn Waugh, at 120 pages, has to be the funniest thing I ever read. It skewers the funeral industry in southern California and by extension all things American. It's written in Waugh's beautiful, chaste prose. Enjoy.

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Good day Wafers everywhere,

Mike R - "Raised on Disney Land, Oprahfaction, happy talk, and yankee doodle dipshit." This comment made my week. That pretty much describes every person I know in this land of sadness.

I have made it a goal to avoid all things Disney. Disney steals the imaginations of our young people and then sells it back to them at a premium. What could be more evil than that? However, as Wafers know, Disney has a very willing audience. As it all begins to implode, maybe Disney will be among the first to go, but that seems unlikely. Escapism will become an even more important crutch to prop up this miserable mess.

8:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike K.-

Check out "Bright-Sided," by Barbara Ehrenreich; also "The Disney Version," by Richard Schickel, and "The Age of Oprah," by Janice Peck. This is the trifecta for skewering bullshit.


9:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: There may be a god, after all. Trumpo is trailing Botox by a mere 1.8%, as of today. Imagine the US being free of the douche baguette, once and for all.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

The whole election is a farce. Trump and Hillary are equally awful; it doesn't matter who wins. I myself plan to vote for Jill Stein, the only well-intentioned candidate in all of America. And I don't care if people label me a "spoiler" who helped hand Trump the presidency.

Trump will probably win the election; if he does, Congress will oppose his every decision. The result will be political gridlock the likes of which the world has never seen. This will in turn create massive violence in the streets, which may lead to a civil war. America The Beautiful, you are about to get what you truly deserve.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous COS said...

There are lies damned lies and statistics--some polls show Trump leading by 6 and others a dead heat and one shows him trailing by the 1.8% you note. I would hasten to add that Mexico and a few other civilized places forbid polls to be taken and publicized for several weeks prior to elections--reasoning here that polls can be manipulated and that polls sway voters. Plus many of the polls are constructed in such a way as to show bias one way or another. It would be fun to be rid of them and let people vote for whoever turns their crank. And whilst I am at an airport in the U.S. I don't have to suffer the blaring TV's with bow tie wearing douchebags going on and on about the latest poll.

Ram: The U.S. per WHO is one of the most depressed countries in the world. The U.S. is not alone--China, India, Nigeria have very high incidences of depression and anxiety. Mental health problems are a global problem, though in some places it is not as bad and some places overall are doing pretty well. From your note you seem to be hurting. I have to agree with MB that human connection is key. Also, I can't emphasize enough how important fundamental change is important. Not some abstract change but changing where you live, work, and what you do with your day. The physical is very important. In my practice, I have found that those who substantively change their diet, become more active, change how they spend their day, their work and other components of their environment tend to grow and become happier people. I never encourage getting "back to normal"....As for the world ending, well it ends for all of us sooner or later. I would tend to my own garden as it were. The world ended for the cartheginians, the Aztecs, the Sioux, most of German Jews, lots of Rawandans etc....Apocalyptic thinking has dominated humans for centuries. I think Norman Cohn does a convincing job of demonstrating the empirical case for this. Which begs the question--what is your take MB on Norman Cohns ideas? Some overlap with yours though his is more in the analytic mode.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cohn is a gd historian. I drew on him for CTOS.


12:51 PM  
Anonymous Vaughan said...

Should we replace democracy with epistocracy? It will never happen but it's an idea that really makes you think.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Ram-like oxygen, visceral and authentic human connections are required a life worth living. You wont find it in the failed corporation masquerading as a "country" unless there's a dollar to be made. Unfortunately, Dr. Berman's, 'Operation Crowbar' is a failure. We simply cannot remove the populous' heads from their pupicks.

It's a freak show of mentally ill Babbits stuck with someday, somedaze hallucinations of a ship coming in loaded with gelt and a yellow happy face sticker. Unlike George though, they won;t have self reflections or inward thoughts for true change as the citizens feel things are comin' up roses! Gotta break out that Boston Pops patriotic broadway nonsense.Feel the pride.

If you can, get out and press that reset button for your life. Life's too short for BS and hamster wheelin eg. It's your life, and your driving your bus. In the meantime, maybe watch another american movie of a tragic event that can be monetized complete with fornication, patriot musak, and A listers needing to buy another estate--Titanic, american sniper, Sully plane, flight 93, etc....anything for buck and to promote the yankee doodle dipshit.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Applicable quote dept.:

"There are times when this underworld emerges from the depths and suddenly fascinates, captures and dominates multitudes of usually sane and responsible people who thereupon take leave of sanity and responsibility. And it occasionally happens that this underworld becomes a political power and changes the course of history."

~Norman Cohn

Miles the Worried

5:49 PM  
Anonymous al Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

While you'd probably need to be a hardcore Frank Zappa fan to sit through this film (there were four other people in the cinema where I watched it), there's a new Zappa documentary out there called Eat This Question that includes a comment that Wafers ought to appreciate:

"The thing that sets the Americans apart from the rest of the cultures in the world is we’re so fucking stupid. This country has been around for a couple of hundred years and we think we are hot shit, and they don’t even realize that other countries have thousands of years of history and culture and they are proud of it. And when we deal on an international level, with foreign policy and we’re trying going as this big American strong country, they must laugh up their sleeves at us because we are nothing.

“We are culturally nothing. We mean nothing, we are only interested in the bottom line. We have Levi’s, designer jeans, hamburgers, and Coca Cola. We have REO Speedwagon. We have Journey. (But) we also have the neutron bomb and poison gas, so maybe that makes up for it.”

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...

Mike R, COS:

Yeah, I'm hurting. I am lonelier than I think you could imagine, subjective as that is. Here's the story according to family and friends: I'm depressed. If I just figure out the right medication, etc., I'll be peachy. It does absolutely no good to pose them the question, "Had old Rome access to Prozac, would the empire still stand today?" They just won't get it, that you can't take the problem out of context. I think it was someone on this board who pointed me (indirectly, as I was lurking) to Joe Bageant's insightful A Commodity Called Misery. Think I could convince anyone to undertake the simple task of reading that piece? I know you've guessed the answer already. In fact, I tried at various times over the years to get anyone I know to read any of MB's "end of America" trilogy. Nothing. So you see, there is literally no one in the world of my actual face-to-face contact who comprehends what I'm seeing (though to varying degrees, they're all quite convinced they do see). I've got more to say, but don't know where to determine half-page limit.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Talk abt hitting the nail on the head, eh wot?


1st of all, make peace w/the fact that the US consists of 322 million douche bags. The minute you have any insight at all, you've crossed the line into permanent alienation. In such a context (a word douche bags don't understand), depression is a sign of health.

2nd, at least you have this blog, and it's possible some of the folks here might be willing to correspond w/u. Send me yr email address, and if anyone writes in, I'll forward it to them.

3rd, for fuck's sake, get out of the US, and start making your plans today. You'll discover that other people are not like Americans. Most, in fact, have souls. What a concept!


6:49 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Great Moments in American Parenting dept--an Indiana woman was arrested for threatening to blow up a middle school for not allowing her disruptive son to return to class. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, apparently:

Alabama high school student murdered both his parents for disciplining him over a house party. Police are "shocked" that he showed no remorse:

Family values: a mother and father pass out in a parked car after shooting heroin with their 3-year old child in the back seat:

7:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd stories! Americans are so great, I love them.


10:07 PM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

Tamler -- a bit late and predictable I guess, but I liked him best in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Was a big Roald Dahl fan as a kid (and still am), and Wilder's portrayal made the film for me. A massive talent and great loss.

6:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Been thinking a lot lately abt the last 16 yrs. When I published the Twilight bk in 2000, I argued that the US was moving along a path of slow-motion suicide, and suggested that it was not likely that this wd be reversed. The analogy was that of the Roman Empire, which (it is said) died "the death of 1000 cuts." Of course, in the case of both Rome and the US, there were/are some sharp nodes in that decline: Rome sacked by the Visigoths in 410, the US attacked by radical Islam in 2001. Or the crash of 2008 wd qualify as another node. But in general, the US is following the 1000 cuts pattern, as the daily reports of the media make clear: the daily (domestic) massacres, the incremental stupidity, Shaneka Torres shooting up McDonald's, Freddie Wadsworth fucking a goat, the ever-increasing national debt, cell phone morons in the streets (while thinking they are so hip), and so on.

I also talked, on this blog, of an impending "Suez moment," such as happened to Britain in 1956, when Macmillan backed down in the face of Eisenhower's economic threat, making it clear to the world that it was no longer No. 1. And so we have speculated abt a possible such moment for the US, which has yet to happen, but which is surely inevitable. However, it may be useful to talk in terms of domestic vs. international Suez moments. We have had some dystopian novels describing the former, such as Lionel Shriver's most recent work, which depicts an economic implosion from which there is no recovery. Personally, I can't imagine that such an event won't occur, 10 or 20 yrs down the line, if not sooner. But what I've been thinking abt is a Trump victory in Nov. as constituting a domestic Suez moment that also has international aspects to it. Domestic, in that (to quote Colin Powell and others) it wd be a "national disgrace"--a vulgar, racist boor in the White House. This wd certainly accelerate the slow-motion suicide, validating both the argument of the Twilight bk as well as that of WAF (we are a nation of hustlers, and not much else). It is right, imo, that Trump supporters give the finger to the Washington consensus (economic as well as political), the neoliberal arrangement in place bolstered by the NYT and other major media, for those people have surely been betrayed by the establishment. But billionaire Trump will also betray them, big time, which they are failing to see; their lives will undoubtedly worsen under his administration. Everybody's lives will, of course, and having someone in the W.H. who is clearly unfit to be president--who can even be described as grotesque--can be said to qualify as a domestic Suez moment.

(continued below)

6:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

As for the international aspect: much of the world already regards us as a joke, little more than a baby with a bazooka in its hand, arbitrarily waving it around. I suspect that even our allies regard America as a large collection of assholes--a most accurate perception. But the partial international Suez moment here is that our reputation will get demonstrably worse: the assholes elevated one of their own to the (as yet) most powerful office in the world. Hillary may be a douche bag, but she at least has the trappings of political propriety. Even a crook like Nixon, and a fool like Reagan, did (Bush Jr. pushed the envelope). Trump does not (which is exactly why his followers love him); he is a joke, anything but a statesman. And it is this that will bring international shame upon us, and constitute a semi-Suez moment on the international level. (Just imagine other international leaders trying to deal w/him w/a straight face, while privately regarding him as a buffoon.) It will be a strong move in that direction, I think. As for a full-blown international Suez moment: that's in the cards, but it hasn't quite happened as yet. It may take another 20 yrs for the world to recognize that America is No. 2, or even No. 3.

So we have 322 million morons who don't understand any of this, and 170 registered Wafers who do. Our #s will grow as things worsen for the US, both domestically and internationally; but ultimately, the morons will remain the vast majority. Indeed, w/o this brute fact, the US wdn't be in decline!

O&D, amigos-


6:33 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hello everyone:

From Dr. B:

"Check out "Bright-Sided," by Barbara Ehrenreich; also "The Disney Version," by Richard Schickel, and "The Age of Oprah," by Janice Peck. This is the trifecta for skewering bullshit." Thanks Dr. B, I added these to my list of books to read.

Dr. B, have you ever considered writing a followup to the DAA trilogy? Maybe a report card on how we've done in our decline? Are we at cut #xxx of the 1000 cuts?

10:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike K.-

Too depressing, at this pt, I'm guessing. We're probably at Cut #857. Wafers have been recording a lot of these cuts (e.g., Lorenzo Riggins). In general, haven't decided what to write next, as I get motivated by unexpected inspiration. Maybe the muse figures I need some time off, I dunno.

BTW: great short story in Aug. 29 New Yorker by Curtis Sittenfeld.


11:04 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Also an excellent essay by Adam Gopnik on Attica. Two memorable quotes: "no matter how badly you think of Richard Nixon, you have not thought badly enough," and "the foundations of [American] society--violence directed by whites against a black underclass." One implication of the essay is that folks like Nixon get into the W.H. because they do, indeed, represent the mindset of the American public.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

MB said:

"I also talked, on this blog, of an impending "Suez moment," such as happened to Britain in 1956, when Macmillan backed down in the face of Eisenhower's economic threat, making it clear to the world that it was no longer No. 1."


While not a Suez moment, Obama's humiliation at the G20 (being forced to exit out the back end of the plane instead of by the usual staircase of honor) is a sure sign that the US pres is no longer considered No. 1 by the other players on the world stage.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


There was also the case of world leaders pointedly avoiding Bush Jr. at a similar conference, some yrs ago. All of this is gd, but: it doesn't last, as Suez did. This is what we finally need, I think.


12:44 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...


Good point about Trump betraying his followers. If Trump wins his followers will be disappointed when he ends up basically governing as an establishment Republican only with worse manners. At most Trump might stop the TPP from passing if Obama does not succeed in passing it himself in a lame-duck session. But the people who think that he will kick out all the Mexicans and turn the clock back to the 1950s are deluded.

I suspect that whether Trump wins or loses, most of his followers will develop a stab-in-the-back myth to explain why Trump failed. They will probably blame establishment Republicans the most. A few might declare Trump a sell-out. In any event, like Bernie supporters, they can't see that the country's problems are much deeper than just bad politicians.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Economic implosion the likes of which Lionel Shriver writes about is certainly in the cards for the US. Like MB, I just don't see how it can be avoided, considering how fucking stupid Americans are. Shriver's book is harrowing in its depiction of a social order reduced to jaw-dropping cruelty. A criminally incompetent American government, unable to control its finances, sinks the nation into complete financial destruction while everyone is baffled by what's going on. At one point in the novel, shortages of toilet paper force the Mandibles to fashion "ass napkins" out of old scraps clothing. Every single living America has a chip implanted in their heads so the government can more effectively track people's finances. Jesus, it gave me the willies. The horrors of an American future conjured up by Shriver are frighteningly possible, I'm afraid.


4:13 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

Tom - I actually think Trump supporters, or more precisely a segment of them, are among the few people who truly realize the extent of the problems we face and understand that the whole culture is going to hell. Naturally, their understanding of the root of the problem is very flawed and their "solutions" would be catastrophic, but they at least are capturing something that the political establishment can never, but its very nature, admit.

Anyway, I wanted to post a very interesting lecture I found on the "myths of the cold war" . This is not some Wafer-ist attack on the US and its role in the world, but it does make some very good points, namely a) The Cold War wasn't special, just another phase in US Imperialism. b) the fall of the USSR was seen from the very beginning even within the military/defense establishment as a huge danger to the US due to its now unencumbered ability to go around the world shooting itself in the foot and c) that anti-American sentiment in Europe (let alone the 3rd world) is not some new Bush-era phenomenon, but may have even been more intense during the Johnson administration. Basically, we are who we have always been.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Welcome back MB and hello Wafers,

Interesting short Al Jazeera documentary called "The End of China Inc.":

Looks like China is also getting the rug pulled from under its feet. We talk a lot about Americans on this blog, but the Chinese are hustlers on Speed. The few I've met in London gave me an even nastier impression than americans usually do. Like they're hustling with a vengeance on the West and a sense of self-entitlement for being treated as the Factory of the world for so long. It's really a sad sight watching them parading with Selfridges bags and taking ultra kitsch wedding pictures in front of the Big Ben. At least americans have some "style" in their hustling so to speak. They have the trademark on the behaviour. With the Chinese it's all bad taste. It's a bad copy of the original. The behaviour of Chinese tourists abroad I think is also very symptomatic - parents allowing their kids to shit in front of everyone in airplanes and public places etc... This has largely been documented online in the past few years. For example:

Would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this Wafers.


5:51 PM  
Anonymous Terry said...

essay on Japan religion and ritual

5:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Here's a gem: "Café Society" (Woody Allen). Like Woody, I think I'll always be addicted to NY.


7:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

The US does have a very few gd kids:

The adults, I'm less impressed with.


7:28 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B & All:

My wife and daughter insisted I go with them to see Woody Allen's latest movie, "Café Society."

The movie is about two young people (a Brooklyn guy and an LA gal) who fall in love during Hollywood's golden age and agree that the hustling lifestyle of the USA is not for them, but they are separated by a twist of circumstance and both become active participants in the very lifestyle they claimed to abhor. At the end, they are still wistfully pining for each other, 3,000 miles apart.

I thought I'd dislike it, but it almost seemed to be a mirror of our sick society, so it kind of struck a nerve with me. It probably helps if you like Allen's movies; there's also bits of Jewish humor, which was good for a few laughs.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually, Bobby is from the Bronx, and Vonnie from Nebraska. But yr rt, they fall into the American Dream, wh/suggests that it's pretty difficult to survive in this country if you don't. But--this is just me--even beyond my love of NY and my enjoyment of the Yiddish expressions--there is something gorgeous about this film that is beyond words. How life makes of us what it will; how these 'choices' determine everything; and how love is ineradicable. We think we live in our heads, but our real life goes on in our hearts, and in our bodies.

Many years ago, I was friends w/Jimmy Cagney's nephew, and I once asked him why he never pursued a career in acting. He told me: "You know, living in Hollywood and watching the actors come and go in my uncle's house, I saw that 90% of it was ego and bullshit; but that remaining 10%, of genius--this is what those people had, and I knew I didn't. Their talent was breathtaking."

And I think this comes thru via Woody's portrayal of that period in American history, the sheer brilliance of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and Ronald Coleman and Barbara Stanwyck and Clark Gable and... And the films of Woody are in that tradition, because he finally is an artist and an existentialist philosopher rather than a hustler, and his movies often express truths that are timeless. And in this movie, it was: Some loves you never get over, and in the end it's our attachments that make us human. Ain't it the truth, amigos.


10:06 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB - right before you went to Chile, we had a discussion about daffy liberals and their clueless We MUST essays. Yesterday, I found a particularly laughable example, written in reference to some recent oil and gas pipeline ruptures:

"The health of our nation’s children MUST (emphasis mine) be put before profits. The sanctity and vitality of our air, land, and water that keeps us alive comes before the interests of rich and powerful individuals. Our politicians MUST (emphasis mine again) take a stand now, not during the next election cycle."

No doubt Hillary will get right on it, right after her campaign cashes the all those big checks from the oil and gas industry. The author of the piece is identified as the "co-founder of the Love-In-Action Network," cuz, ya know, love conquers all and stuff.

12:42 AM  
Anonymous NJGuy said...

I saw the movie "Indignation" soon after seeing "Cafe Society". "Indignation" is based
on a Philip Roth novel and also had a theme of a love that you never get over. I very
much enjoyed both films.

1:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, I don't think 10 yrs of daily therapy at a camp in Northern California cd wake those people up. They have abs. no clue as to how history works, and are actually dumber than the Trumpites, who at least know they are being screwed, and by whom, and are fighting back the only way they know how. Clearly, we MUST talk some sense into the progs.


4:56 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Kanye - I have to visit Cambridge (UK) occasionally where there are LOTS of Chinese.

The most characteristic behaviour of the males is to pull out their chests and make themselves as wide as possible on the narrow pavements, so anyone passing in the opposite direction has to step onto the road. Also, even the most cursory eye-contact is a no-no for them, as recognising the existence of a non-Chinese might then provoke the humiliating dilemma of whether to be polite to them or not.

That said, I don't think this is inherently a trait of the Chinese, so much as the trait of a people who believe that they are on their way to becoming uniquely powerful.

6:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd pt. I shd add that Russian tourists are also (often) a major drag.


9:26 AM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

And our march to the edge of the cliff and over continues with a heroin epidemic that is exploding in all demographic groups and regions.

But then again, what can one really expect from a society which is about 1) forever chasing after having more and more money and 2) being delusional as holy crap, and not much else?

But we MUST vote for Hillary Clinton (who probably has Parkinson's Disease despite her failing attempts to conceal that something is terribly wrong with her health) in order to SAVE AMERICA. Right? RIGHT?

9:34 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

An essay from today's Guardian website that WAFers may appreciate. Catchy titles are de rigueur, but I think the title the author chose makes it seem like Americans had their dumbness or dumbth (see Steve Allen's Dumbth) inflicted on them by external forces. An excerpt:

"In nine days Trump and Hillary will take the stage for their first face-to-face debate. There will be blood. The knives are going to be out, and the ratings are bound to be, need it be said, yuge. The American Dream will no doubt be invoked from both podiums, for what true-blue patriot was ever against the American Dream? And yet for the past 30 years the Democratic candidate has worked comfortably within a party establishment that’s battered the working and middle classes down to the bone. The “new” Democrats of the Clinton era are always strong for political rights, as long as they don’t upset corporate America’s bottom line. Strong for racial and gender equality, strong for LGBT rights (though that took time). Meanwhile this same Democratic establishment joined with the GOP to push a market- and finance-driven economic order that enriches the already rich and leaves the rest of us sucking wind."

Two American Dreams: how a dumbed-down nation lost sight of a great idea

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...


I'm a beyond huge fan of Woody Allen's films and the recent discussion sent me looking up the release date for Cafe Society in the US, which I see is today.

Maury your words that after all we live our lives in our hearts and bodies have a felt sense to them of more...that words can't explain. We are certainly more than our heads alone and when the whole body is connected the sense of more is right there. Yes it is our attachments in life that makes us human. Beautifully said!

One of the main problems with many people today is their major disconnect. It shows in a myriad of ways: robotic movements while walking for exercise, programmed sayings like 'hava goo day" and all kinds of top of the head talk. We've lost what it means to be human. So really appreciate this discussion.


12:03 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

Kanye regarding the Chinese: The American diseAse has infected the whole world through Hollywood and and mtv.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

The photography in Allen's "Café Society" was definitely gorgeous. Many of the scenes had a glow that's hard to describe- kinda like comparing a Kodachrome 25 slide (the greatest film ever) to a regular cell phone digital photo. Alas, Kodachrome has gone the way of cursive writing.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Yep. Not only is our vapid culture pervasive, but our psyche is as pernicious as it is contagious. The United States has shown the rest of the world how to stratch humanity's most depraved itch. Throw in how integrated and nebulous the global financial system is, and the extent of technology...

This will be no run-of-the-mill empire collapse.

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...

(I tried to post the following yesterday, but it seems to have gotten lost – so here it is again.)

Dr. Berman and Wafers,
Apologies for having just disappeared from the greatest blog in the world for a year or more. I have been following it faithfully, however.
My wife and I are still here in Mexico, which remains our permanent home. Our major problem has been that my wife has a chronic pain syndrome which has progressed to the point where she is seriously disabled and adapting to that has been overwhelming and somewhat depressing. I hope to be able post some news about life in Mexico in the near future. (It’ll probably be good therapy for me.)

Re: Norman Cohn,
On 5 February 2009 John Gray (the philosopher) published an article in the New Statesman as part of the “The book that changed my life” series, called “John Gray chooses The Pursuit of the Millennium by Norman Cohn.” See it at:
Also, you can watch Gray making excellent use of Cohn’s ideas in his book, “Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia.”

I send you my best wishes, and I will be making every effort to chime in on the blog much more often.

David Rosen

7:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

And here's the latest:

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Mike R said...

Other than love bombing each other (Margeret Singer) --there's very little of substance that americans talk about. It's a lonely place and those who thick critically are ostracized.

Thank G-d for Dr. Berman's blog and fellow WAFERS.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually, those who think are ostracized.


10:33 PM  
Blogger Keith Elder said...

I'm sure everyone is familiar with George Carlin, here's his short take on voting:

Maybe not so familiar is Steve Bridges, impersonating Obama:

And acting as GWB's alter ego at a white house press dinner:

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

I wouldn't say the progressives are dumber than Trump supporters; at least they understand the reality of climate change, the probability of nuclear war, overpopulation, and so on. Trump supporters are so stupid that they actually believe that killing vast swaths of humanity would make the world peaceful and perfect forevermore. They are too stupid to understand that history is replete with attempts to do exactly this (the Holocaust, the Stalinist and Maoist purges, just to name a few), and that the result was disaster each and every time.

Trump supporters know that America has collapsed, but they still believe the nation can be made great - Make America Great Again is Trump's primary slogan. Progressives are in the same boat - most of them understand that America has collapsed, but believe politicians can make it all better.

The most deluded Americans are Hillary's supporters - they don't even think America has collapsed, and believe it has an eternally bright future ahead of it. They also castigate Trump for being a warmongering fascist and literally defend Hillary for being exactly that, saying things like "We don't elect politicians to be perfect...She's going to win, suck on it!!!" when Hillary is criticized for her fascism and warmongering. These loathsome individuals are the primary reason Trump is so popular; they are absolutely perfect for the task of discrediting liberalism which, I believe, is their subconscious wish.

2:38 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...


I’m so sorry about your wife. I have progressive multiple sclerosis and have tried just about everything to deal with my issues, mainstream and “alternative.” I know this blog is about the downward, accelerating death spiral of our country, but in this case I want to pass on something that could help your wife tremendously.

About two years ago I bought a PEMF (Pulsating Electro-Magnetic Field) System, and the improvements to my overall health have been almost magical, including a 95% decrease in overall, systemic, debilitating pain. (For the sake of brevity I won’t list all of the benefits both Paul and I have experienced.)

I understand that these systems are recognized and used by mainstream medicine in Europe and covered by their health systems. They are not cheap, ranging in price from several thousands dollars to over $30,000. Our system was about $5500, the best system we couldn’t afford. You could probably find a place that offers one of these systems for use, but from my experience someone like your wife would need to use it at least once, probably more, a day. I noticed improvement after just a week. Out of all the things I’ve tried, this is far and away the best.

For a great intro to PEMF you can go to:

Dr. Berman, please feel free to give my e-mail address to Dovidel if he wishes to correspond with me.

8:11 AM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

I just would like to say that one thing I appreciate about reading your blog, even though I only pop in from time to time, is learning from you and other regulars that people in other countries don't act like Americans do. Simply being aware of that has restored quite a bit of my flagging faith in humanity. (Though I would still rather live here than in Russia, I'm pretty sure of that.)

10:27 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Re: Philly rampage

That's not too bad: 1killed, and several injured. I'm a little surprised, tho, that Nicolas couldn't take out a few more. You know me, I'm always rooting for a *high* death toll.

Meanwhile, have a look at this:

Plain no fuckin' cheese dept.:

Americans in action dept.:



1:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Great videos. If there's one thing Americans have, it's class. Meanwhile, Jim Cooley is my new hero:

Sitting on Mars (or in Europe, for that matter), and observing Americans from a distance, how can one not conclude the country is a nuthouse?


1:57 PM  
Anonymous Marjan said...

@ MB, re: Europe

Don't you think what has happening in Europe for hundreds of yrs is in some ways just more slower moving but even more misanthropic -- w/ economic divisions, uncontrollable diaspora of migrant and refugee life thru open borders, every major city the Capital City, intended the pun

I read Europe's Promise, agree in many ways about the promise, just not about its exceptionality

2:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sure, all of that. But if you travel around Europe, the feel of it is very different from the US. For example, there are Wal-Marts (sad to say), but customers don't show up toting semi-automatic rifles. Italians don't blow up a McDonald's because they left bacon off a cheeseburger. Stuff like that. All civility is gone in the US; from Mars or Belgium, yr looking at a lunatic asylum.


2:39 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Wafers are rising!!

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...


Thank you for your reply to my post. Rather than bother Dr. Berman for my e-mail address, just send me a message at (that’s dhrosen at lycos dot com) and I’ll get back to you. I’ll wait to hear from you, and my wife Sunday will also be in touch with you. Greetings to Paul.

David Rosen

5:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


New bk by Steven Smith of Yale, "Modernity and Its Discontents," that looks gd. According to review in the NYTBR, bk argues that the narrative of progress is a load of poop, that the American Dream is going down the drain, and that the expansion of popular optimism abt the future has produced, as its shadow, a democracy of dunces.

Gee, do ya think?


6:23 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

To f/u on the feeling of Europe. In NZ, the feeling is very different than the states too--(although like Europe, there is glimmers of americanism for consumerism--however there is also a genuine folksiness quality, a together quality)--

The 'feel' as Dr. Berman suggests is a can do, how can I hel authentically, where in this together Mate, can I give you a lift, you need help reaching that, #8 wire mentality( taking something like a wire and using it for anything for repairs). An excellent health care system-not $$ driven, and plenty of places of quiet and beauty--think Fiordland, Te Anau, Twizel, Omaramou, Milford Sound etc....

It's funny watching americans and Kiwi's board ANZ--few americans that actually travel can be heard a mile away----loud, brash americans look constipated, pained faces, bizarre facial expressions, always in a hurry, impatient, F you stares--whereby Kiwi's are helping old folks with their luggage, polite exchanges, and thank you, and Kia Oras--no haka--just a big smile and they mean it.

america should have a big black box warning that living there is hazardous to your health. "Live" there at YOUR own risk.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

So there's a review of a bk by Marc Lamont Hill ("Nobody") in the NYTBR of Sept. 4, summarizing the state of the union:

"rampant privatization, mass incarceration, the demolition of the welfare state, consumer culture, money's corruption of the democratic process, a failed judicial branch, police militarization, global inequality, loss of faith in community and the disappearance of radical voices."

Who wd want to live in such a shit pile? The result is stuff like an entire city--Flint MI--being poisoned by lead in the water. Author does offer hope: all empires eventually fall, he tells us. Might take a while, however...Thankfully, he doesn't trot out a 10-pt plan for making America great again.


7:21 PM  
Anonymous Christopher Seth Beck said...

Mike r., Morris Berman, other Euromantics on the blog:

I think reality is harder than civility. I agree with blogger Marjan, at least in the above msg.

p.s. I do not care about the legitimacy of this article. I agree with it, but not the point
I only use it to support the idea that there are easy ways to determine that most of our crime comes from the lack of pragmatism in our higher minds. what higher, self-determining mind could exist in Europe w/ harder stats like this? Or w/ Marjan's points. Maybe they hv etiquette in the languages, but not in their actions, tbh

7:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, maybe; but not the pt. Also, I honestly cdn't understand yr last para. Anyway: obviously, there's a lot of violence in Mexico, for example, but in terms of day-to-day living, the graciousness of these folks is (from a US pt of view) astonishing. Americans treat each other like shit, as a matter of course; Mexicans, lots of other nationalities, treat each other courteously, as a matter of course. Why wd anyone w/half a brain want to live in the US?


7:55 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

It's that last part "disappearance of radical voices" that is most depressing. Radicals, people willing to go to the root of an issue, are all aging and not being replaced.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, cdn't post it; we have a only-once-in-24-hrs rule on this blog. So I ask you to wait a day, post it then, as I appreciate the observation. As Freud once said, "America is a gigantic mistake."


8:44 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Related to the maddening liberal We MUST essay, there is the "YOU can make a difference," essay. I found one today called, "The Beginning of the End of the World," which really hits the nail on the head:

"With stagnant incomes, no savings, this generation will never retire, vacation, advance, enjoy, or own. Their relationships, health, and productivity will suffer as a result. The quality of their lives is going to be long, bleak, and pointless. Worked to the grave to make a dwindling number of dynasties wealthy, largely by serving them hand and foot, not really enhancing human life. That’s not healthy, because it’s neither freedom, possibility, nor prosperity. It is a bad trade for humanity. And in that sense the end of the world of liberal capitalism, followed by the void of institutional chaos and disorder, is likely to be an ugly and grim time."

Seems pretty accurate to me. The author should have stopped right there. But alas:

"Unless. You and I make it a better one. Now you know the problems. The path. The story of the future. And because you know it, you can change it. The question for each and every one of us is: in our own lives, even in tiny ways, are we falling eagerly into the void at the end of the world – or are we charting a path to brighter shores?"

9:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


"because you know it, you can change it"--Wha?? Talk abt faulty logic. This guy describes himself as a vampire. "Utter Moron" wd be closer to the mark. When I encounter a prog this stupid, I just wanna slap him silly.


9:53 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

Amerika and the European and Israeli colonizers are claiming to be victims now...

Do you really wanna live amongst these nice folks?

Attack of the mediocre selfish ape. The last 4 minutes -a warning for Don,MB.
Tio Querido, The wrath of AIMS awaits you; one day you'll be administered the hemlock.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

The stupidity of progs never ceases to amaze. They really think that yelling back at rednecks yelling about Colin Kaepernick is going to save the country. They really think "deconstructing privilege" is somehow a threat to the ruling class, as if a few women or ethnic minorities getting into corporate boardrooms is somehow a rebuke of a structural change to our economy that functionally prevents a middle class from existing. These are the same people who spent the first 8 years of this century calling GWB a war criminal, as if any legal definition thereof would not also apply to Obama and inevitably to Clinton, but that's all OK because they are "empowering" people. If you question any of this you're either a "defeatist" or worse, some sort of caucasian, penis-having Hitler who is disqualified from having any opinions on the problems facing the country because you were never sexually assaulted in college.

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

This is really, really, good:

7:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank you! This is exactly IT! It's also the best case I've seen for arguing that who wins this election actually does matter.


8:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


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


2:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check out the picture of this infant, and then tell me how its father cd have done this:

I tell you, Americans are great human beings; no need to make the country great again.

2:51 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

"“He was a dutiful, caring and loving father for every moment of Maddox’s life up through the time this incident occurred,” Vavonese said about Lawrence, according to Time Warner Cable News."

Then, I don't know, the sumbitch just went all crazy 'n shit.

You have to admire defense attorneys' ability to stand alongside the most heinous individuals and utter statements like the one I quote from the article MB cites above. I've always been intrigued by the language employed to describe the most despicable acts of violence and criminality, particularly the use of the word "allegedly." I know, every person is entitled to the presumption of innocence and the right to a trial, but the "alleged" bit just seems so stupid at times. Multiple witnesses attest to the guilt of the subject, having seen the unlawful act at close range in person, but they and those reporting on the act must pretend by their words that they could've been hallucinating.

As for Sullivan, the alleged murderer, his picture offers the opening for a modest proposal: all prospective parents must have their pictures taken before a plain background. Then their pictures would be submitted to a random sample of strangers who have no acquaintance with the prospective parents. Permission for the couple to reproduce would be decided by vote of the strangers solely on the basis of their reaction to the photos.

My apologies to the readership; I obviously need to up my meds.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Insightful said...

Bouthaina Shaaban talks to Cathy Newman about Syria

President Assad's key adviser Bouthaina Shaaban speaks in her first interview with Western media following US-led airstrikes in Syria that killed government forces.

The US administration has since expressed "regret" for "unintentional loss of life." Dr. Berman this is a must-see. And As someone said in the comment section of the link: omg.... I thought the cnn is bad... this reporter from London is the Worst

What are your thoughts on the interview, Syria's broken ceasefire and O.bama's unaccountability, Dr. Berman?..

3:45 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

MB, Golf, Wafers-

Well, that politico piece was balls accurate in my humble opinion. Closer to home, however, I believe Trump will be elected for one reason only: Trump is great fucking TV. Trump knows how to entertain 320 million mindless Americans in our never-ending reality TV show. Hillary is terrible entertainment. Poop swirling round inside a toilet bowl is, quite frankly, more thrilling than Hillary. Furthermore, to my knowledge, Trump hasn't made any backroom deals (yet) that put Americans in jeopardy and lied about it to their faces. Could it be this simple?

Speaking of TV, did you guys watch the Emmy Awards last night? Kimmel's opening was brilliant: President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) being driven around LA by Jeb Bush. Watching Jeb as a limo driver, I suddenly realized, that one of the *major* reasons he lost to Trump is that he comes across as a pussy. Anyways, I don' think that was the booze talking, Wafers.

Miles the Sober

ps: Tina Fey looked gorgeous last night, BTW.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Kaerukun said...

RE:A toddler survived cancer. Then her father beat her to death, burned her and tossed her in a creek.

Tragically, the US is not the only country in which this kind of evil occurs:
The "Sasebo schoolgirl murder" (佐世保女子高生殺害事件 Sasebo Joshikōsei Satsugai jiken) was the murder of 15-year-old Japanese high school student Aiwa Matsuo (松尾 愛和 Matsuo Aiwa) by a 15-year-old female classmate on July 26, 2014. The murder took place in the suspect's apartment in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, where Matsuo was beaten with a metal tool, strangled to death, and then partially dismembered and decapitated.

The prep some time earlier had assaulted her father with a baseball bat. Instead of reporting the incident he was trying to have his daughter admitted to a psychiatric hospital but there were no openings (presumably for elective not I hope emergency admissions). After learning about his daughter's crime, the father apologized to the family of the victim, and committed suicide.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to K-

Sorry, some glitch caused me to lose your 2 posts. Pls note that we have a 24-hr rule here, i.e. post only once a day. So pls pick one of them, and re-send it. I'm sorry I botched them.

If I lost anyone else's post in this fuckup, pls re-send, and I'll try to do better.

As for Tina: Marry me! Have my babies!


5:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


OK, they somehow showed up after I posted the above. Anyone else who got disappeared: pls post again, thank you.

K, I want to add that the incident you described, while horrible, doesn't quite match the level of evil of the one I reported on, imo. You might want to reread the article in the Wash Post.


5:12 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...


I am not surprised about China, India, and Nigeria being high on the list of countries with growing mental health problems. Those countries are modernizing and are adopting the hustling way of life. Just an anecdote, but the Chinese, Indians, and Nigerians I have met have often been as into the hustling lifestyle as Americans are.

Unfortunately, the usual prescriptions are always more medication and more healthcare professionals. It is part of the modern way of thinking that believes that problems created by the domination of human beings by technique must be solved by more technique.

Another example of how technology is likely increasing the prevalence of mental health problems:

Internet Addiction May Lead To More Mental Health Problems, Study Finds

5:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check it out:


6:26 PM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...

@Tom Servo,

I recently remarked to a sibling that I feel I'm living in a kind of nightmare, a la Star Trek (episode "The Game" featured a nefarious plot centered on personal electronic devices). Especially on public transportation, there is just a horde of zombies, each lost it its own little screen. My sib (who is otherwise a blind Obama booster) actually agreed that this phenomenon is "unsettling."

But still my sib refuses to pick up any of MB's books.

7:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


See if you can't get yr sib to go in for a brain biopsy. It's very likely that instead of gray matter, she has fruit compote in her head.


7:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sometimes I worry that u guys don't realize just how charming Americans are:


7:59 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Another proud american moment--Kansas university "student" puts on black face for another narcopathic self picture with a caption--"Feels good finally to be a n (word)."

Verklempt with all that exceptionalism. That IS america.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

Hello Wafers, MB

The article from politico has lots of good points on globalization and identity politics - but Trump isn't going to be the guy who will change course for one simple reason: globalization's cheap labor, no trade tariffs and the resulting low corporate taxes governments have to offer to large businesses in order to attract new investors make him far richer than closing up. To believe that a billionaire who made most of his money on speculative real estate; who has swindled investors through multiple bankruptcies and other business scams; who has benefitted from hundred of millions of dollars in government tax breaks will suddenly represent the interests of the average blue collar working American who wishes for Ford to make their cars in their backyard is quite disingenuous. His constant position changing on immigration, his trickle down economics tax proposals - which make George W. Bush's tax cuts to the rich look modest in comparison - along with his own refusal to disclose his own taxes offer a few more hints of the con his followers will get once he gets into office. The author of that article could do Trump a favor of sending him the essay! (although, I seriously doubt Trump would be able to understand it)

Onwards and Downwards! Trump2016

PS: welcome back from your trip, MB. Looking forward to continue reading the posts, book suggestions and watching the films recommended on this blog.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Trump may wind up doing all those things (listed in the article) unconsciously. (Stranger things have happened.) In any case, he's less than 1% behind Clinton in the polls, so keep yr fingers crossed. As for this blog: there really is no other like it in the entire universe. When I hear of people rdg other blogs, I just shake my head and sigh.


8:51 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB - Lucky for Truman Capote that he lived his life when he did, because as those two articles you posted about the cancer baby beater and heart chopper show, America now experiences criminal acts on a daily basis that make the events he documented so well in "In Cold Blood" look positively tame by comparison. Even the Manson family at their worst were not as vicious as the acts Americans regularly perpetrate on each other these days. Remember when the events of "Helter Skelter" were genuinely frightening because of how unusual they were? Such an innocent time!

Meanwhile, here is a video that every daffy liberal who thinks that America can be saved out to be forced to watch. It shows a brawl at an NFL preseason game in LA last month. Beyond just the morons who keep punching each other out even after security shows up, there is the fact that nearly every one of the 100 or so fans you can see is at least 50 lbs overweight, many with tattoos, and most of them are either cheering the combatants on, videoing the fight on their stupid phones or both. For the identity politics nitwits it should also be noted that this is a multiracial crowd with numerous women in evidence, and not just a bunch of white male rednecks or inner city black people:

11:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I guess these are the folks that Hedges predicts will rise up, make the revolution; or alternatively, are hoping to be liberated by left-wing revolutionary forces. Maybe he doesn't go to many football games, I dunno. But wait! Isn't that some guy in the corner, reading the collected works of Antonio Gramsci? Maybe there's hope after all.

As for the daily, and grotesquely brutal, nature of butchery in the US: this is why I'm not impressed by comparisons w/other countries. Not only is the American variety of homicide so much more grisly, but it is so much more frequent. Hardly a day goes by that you can't find a massacre or a gruesome homicide in the news. Rather than being shocking and extraordinary, this is now who we are. Why not take your 1-yr-old baby, who has been fighting cancer, out to the woods, bash his head in w/a baseball bat, and then burn him? Kid was crying too much anyway.

I'm tired of hearing how it's "just a few bad apples." My ass.


2:47 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Dear Dr. B and Wafers,

Heard on NPR this morning, while driving my old-fashioned vehicle to work:

The monied people are all agog by this, for it means a $160 billion boost to the economy. It also means fewer jobs for paid drivers and more Fords built in Mexico. The NPR piece actually mentioned freeing up drivers for more screen time as a huge benefit. Huh? Don't we have enough screen time already?

Meanwhile, a quick Google search of "highways in disrepair" suggests a different reality on America's highways:

This era in American history will probably be remembered as the most stupid, just before the great collapse.

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Les said...

Lewis Dartnell actually shared these. MB should be submitted to the project immediately :

" project foregrounds the most easily or willfully forgotten part of bookmaking: the trees "
... a century-long Norwegian project incl. trees it'll be printed on :

9:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for the links. I met Lewis at a conference in Canada in May, and am currently rdg his bk. He's terribly smart, and a nice guy to boot (always a plus). This Norwegian project is indeed intriguing, but Katie Paterson has as yet not asked me to contribute. Story of my life (boo hoo).


9:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't post it. 2 rules to observe: limit yr posts to half a page, max; and post only once every 24 hrs. Thank you.


10:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Some examples of the '1000 cuts' that are destroying the US. I just checked the front pg of the NYT, online:

1. Stuff about Rahami (rhymes w/pastrami), the Chelsea bomber (and a US citizen)
2. Stuff about Adan, aka the Minnesota slasher (also a US citizen)
3. Yet another murder of an unarmed black man by white cops, this time in Tulsa.

You can read this sort of thing in the pages of any major newspaper on virtually any day. Oh yeah, we have a bright future ahead of us.


10:23 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@Mike Kelly

Screen time is the new "will to coma". Even young, educated, and seemingly advancing people seem to have no higher aspirations for an outside of work life beyond Netflix, food consumption, and some kind of casual sex arrangement.

The deep truth is that Americans are extremely depressed. Incredibly depressed, and have no way of pulling themselves out of it. We've banished sadness and anything that could actually allow us to process pain in a real way. So basically you have a country on a major psychic morphine bender. Food, politics, Netflix all to be consumed as anesthesia.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

I think that in all of recorded history, no people has expected more from life, materially, sexually and professionally, than Americans. I also think that in all of recorded history, no people has received less from life socially, culturally and ethically, than Americans. The result was a violent frontier mentality that relentlessly drove Americans to seek obscene amounts of wealth and power; however, now that social media have caused Americans' expectations from life to become infinite, it has become impossible for them to feel anything but rage toward a finite world that provides finite satisfactions. Consequently, Americans are perpetrating the most brutal types of crimes on a daily basis.

Morris is correct in his assertion that unlike every other civilization in history, American was born bourgeoise. However, I also think that unlike every other civilization in history, America was born as a fledgeling empire. This is why Americans cannot make positive changes within themselves, much less turn around their nation: the bedrock of the American psyche has always been imperialism.

People may think that China was born an empire, but that certainly wasn't the case culturally; Chinese culture had existed for thousands of years when China consolidated into an empire. American culture was born when America broke away from Britain; it has always existed in temporal isolation, completely cut off from any historical influence or historical memory. Perhaps this is why America acquired a negative identity; how can you have genuine intrapsychic content when your whole culture comes from nowhere and nothing?

11:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


On that note, be sure 2c the film "Anesthesia." I think that below the depression is rage, and underneath that, deep sadness; and underneath that, immense fear. Yr certainly rt that Americans won't pull themselves out of it; cell phones are easier than therapy. Most will never know that the choice is stark: Wafer, or Douche Bag; what'll it be? (once again, this wd make an excellent T-shirt)


11:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually, the frontier mentality was the cause, not the result.


12:25 PM  
Blogger Ed-M said...

Hi all!

And a belated welcome back to Mexico to you, MB!

Well at the present, Madame Botox Face is ahead of Trump, the Trollfoon. But just barely. This really looks like it's going to be a toss-up; i.o.w., Hillary will probably steal it.

Right now, I'm reading Bait And Switch by Barbara Ehrenreich. It's a good read -- it's about the ways middle and upper management types have to do in order to land a job in the corporate world these days: lie on your resume, be a phoney, be a cheerleader for the company you might work for, give spiels of various lengths to whosoever would listen, etc. etc., aand most important of all NETWORK! Ever since Bush got (s)elected at least. Already I'm coming to the understanding that the various strategies for these types in the world of seeking employment are nothing but shams, and some of the shams are cults.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

A few days ago, I brought up the Wells Fargo "cross-selling" story. Wells has been fined $185 million for having enrolled customers in accounts or signed them up for credit cards without those individuals' knowledge or consent. Several thousand Wells employees who were guilty of this illegal conduct have been fired. (Apparently, Wells had a sales target for its employees--a cross-selling target--of 8 unique accounts for each bank customer.)

This morning, the CEO John G. Stumpf testified before the Senate Banking Committee. In his preliminary statement before questioning began, Ranking Minority Member Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) pointed out that at the same time that the Wells Fargo employees were creating these accounts without customer approval, the bank was selling Identity Theft Protection, an irony not lost on the attendees in the gallery.

The sharpest questioning came from Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Not surprisingly, Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) was cordial and welcoming. No doubt with an eye toward a post-retirement position on the bank's board.

Here is Warren's portion of the hearing.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous 156 Wry said...

not to place any higher praise on this piece than any of your other fabulous writings, Professor Morris Berman, but this one somehow found its way onto my screen, and I was very very impressed by how polite and enlightening your response was to the video lecture. Reviewing posts from that time, you seem to have been extra meditative, it is very moving.

And still moved today!

4:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks. It was so long ago, I forgot completely abt it.


5:09 PM  
Anonymous Oscar said...

Wow man you were even allowing Anonymous names!

it was the comments section of this post that i actually came away with the most from, from both MB and WAFer sides.

"I remember reading somewhere, many years ago, a Native American prediction that before the world is destroyed (by the white man), it will be criss-crossed with a network of artificial vibrations"

Shit, man, actually gave me chills in context of your response.

Maybe this is showing a kind of meta-decline variable, where we lowly WAFers and even the Great MB himself are deteriorating. Older strata of the blog shows more intellectual richness and life in all of us. The vibration streams are crossing!

5:30 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Dear Wafers,

Even if I don't win the election in November, I wan't you guys to know that I've already won, so to speak. I say this to all of you because Trumpism is not a program or an ideology. It is an attitude, a posture. Above and beyond this, I have stripped bare the body politic and revealed America for what it actually is: a democracy in deep decay. Do I get any credit for this? No! The reality is the place has been waiting for a schmuck like me for many, many years now. I'm merely a reflection in America's collective mirror; a signifier of the pathology of America. Sure, I delight at thumbing my nose to the establishment, flouting conventional political norms, and attacking the jackals at the NYT and the WaPo, but, Jesus, I'm *not* the problem with America. America's problems are deeper than Donald J. Trump, and I'm glad that you guys recognize this.

Anyway, I just wanted to reach out and thank you for your support. Incidentally, I'm seriously looking at Jim Cooley as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Take care, Wafers.


Donald J. Trump

5:47 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

James - ah yes, Elizabeth Warren of the invincible integrity. Every financial scandal is the same: Congress grills the perpetrators, who act like they've done nothing wrong. Then nothing changes, or at least nothing of consequence. The major shareholder in Wells Fargo is Warren Buffett, who is of course also one of the major bankrollers of the Democrats. Repeat for next major scandal.

Coincidentally, I saw Stan O'Neill of Merrill Lynch fame at a restaurant the other night. He seems to have survived the implosion of his firm just fine.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check it out:


We luv u!


Actually, I think things have gotten richer on this blog w/the passage of time. Vibrations seem more powerful now than b4. But then I'm not an objective party, quite obviously.


6:37 PM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...

Here's an offbeat post. Actor/auteur Peter Berg might be a Wafer. His directorial debut Very Bad Things (1998) is uneven, but undeniably aimed squarely at the worst in the American character. A vicious black comedy, it occasionally doesn't know when to pull back (you actually might want to skip a scene when you see Christian Slater pick up a corkscrew - the murder of the hotel security guard is horrifyingly cruel, and I'm not sure what Berg was thinking there). At any rate, moral outrage piles on top of moral outrage, all in service of hiding the truth from the one character whom it is feared will topple the whole thing, should they find out. Not wishing to issue spoilers, I'll only say that there are some very funny moments throughout, and the payoff makes me giggle all the way through the credits. Oddly, it's also got a superb pop soundtrack.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Dell said...

Yep I believe this blog landing page gets better like fine wine

Really, though, the admixture of humor politic and philosophy is unprecedented. I've grown so much knowing all of you.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think of it as a community of sorts, as well as a refuge from American insanity. I left the US partly because I had no one to talk to. Wafers can check in on a daily basis and have conversations or whatever, find some relief and reality. Reality is always a plus, and there's not much left of it in the US.

I shd add that in general, I don't entertain discussions of the blog itself because I'm not interested in running a meta-blog, which strikes me as being masturbatory and tedious. In the past, lots of folks wanted to do that, and I had to weed them out, steer them to places that engage in that sort of thing. Hopefully, they found what they were looking for.

But u know, Oscar does have a pt, considering the comments to that post on technology from 2008, that I just had a lot more time, somehow, to spend online. After that, I didn't, and began to pour the contents of my mind into writing bks instead. During 2010-16, i.e. 7 years, I wrote no less than 7 bks. It's kinda hard to do that and also provide very in-depth discussions on a blog at the same time, and I'm glad Wafers stepped in to provide an excellent, ongoing dialogue. Plus, I'm proud of the bks, so hopefully everybody wins. (Just think of the blog as including the bks, and I think it's safe to say things got richer over time. Again, I'm not an objective party here.)

Anyway, enuf abt the greatest blog in the entire solar system. :-)


8:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tulsa, Charlotte...Honestly, I just can't keep up!

4:24 AM  
Blogger Manol said...

Hello Tio Mauricio,
I'm glad to hear that your visit to my "Chile querido" was a success.
I've been a fan of your blog for a long time, and I have also read James Altucher's blog for a long time, but I had never realized how WAFER Altucher sounds at times until I found this article which made me click when you often say that America's religion is America itself. Just enjoy:

Greetings from Chile,
Chilean WAFER.

6:33 AM  
Anonymous John said...

Hello Wafers,
It's been a while but I was in Mexico City making arrangements for a more permanent move. Despite the bad press, it's an incredible place, Coyoacan, Xochimilco, Condesa, MUAC, all of the theaters museums and parks. It's not perfect but it's 100x better than NC. And you can actually talk to people there about substantive issues there, imagine that ! Dont forget all of the parties and dinners that people have, it makes for a richer life.... I just got back to NC and I was greeted with the news of the Tulsa shooting and the one in Charlotte, I mean, for goodness sakes, the victim was disabled. What else is this place but a full blown police state. As a wafer and a black man, Mexico is a safer choice for me.

Keep up the good work Dr. B and peace to all people on this blog ! Much love !

7:11 AM  
Anonymous monastic_timothy said...

Any plan to make the Japan book available on kindle? I would immediately buy it if you fact I'd buy all your books on Kindle that you made available, and have already done so for the few that are.

I'm travelling for the next year and simply have no other choice but to use the kindle!

7:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, it ain't bad! I've been enjoying the D.F. for years. And the cops won't gun you down because yr black--a real plus. Oh, BTW: pls remember to always capitalize Wafer: we are the crème de la crème.


Chile today, hot tamale. Me cachai? Gd to hear from u.


7:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


As far as I know, no. Publisher wasn't interested. Sorry!


9:44 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

A great interview w/Edward Albee:

Meanwhile, Anthony Hardison, waiting to register as a sex offender at a Seattle police station, decides it's a gd idea to beat his meat:



ps: I've no idea why there's music playing during the Albee interview.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Learn a language, back your bags, and leave. Not in any order of course. There is no future in the past, and there's certainly no future in this farce of a "country."

Can any WAFER really be themselves to their us friends, family, loved ones without recourse, reprisals, rage, and resentment?

What type of life is that, faking it, yes dearing, and getting along, to go along with more propaganda and delusionals---maybe it's better to be a fake somebody, than a real nobody.

Wednesday ramblings.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

I abs. loathed LBJ while he was alive, and regard him as a war criminal. However, the film "All the Way" is a very sympathetic portrait of him, played brilliantly by Bryan Cranston (Tim Watley, dentist to the stars). It focuses on his efforts in the area of civil rts. Absorbing, in any case, and--w/Vietnam largely left out--captures the flavor of the mid-60s very well.


8:38 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...


What a brilliant description of the aspiration of most Americans nowadays: "a will to coma". Now that I think about it, this "will to coma" might be the beginning of a collective death wish on the part of the American people. Because America isn't going to be conquered by an opposing military force, death will consist of several decades of ever-deepening physical and mental suffering; no country is going to put America out of its misery. Suicide will be the only way out for most Americans, and I think many of them will eventually choose that option.

9:43 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB - I was lucky enough to see "All the Way" when it was playing on Broadway a couple of years ago. Cranston was indeed brilliant, which isn't surprising since his Walter White character in "Breaking Bad" perfectly illustrated how utterly empty the mindless pursuit of money is. I would recommend seeing "All the Way" in conjunction with "Selma," another brilliant film about the civil rights era.

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Book Reviewer said...

This looks fascinating,

"Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She's still in the marital home—a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse—but John's not there. Instead, she's with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy's womb."

Told from the perspective of a prenatal character, reminds me of the adventures of Tristram Shandy, anyone ever read those? Written hundreds of years ago, they too began w/ a prenatal protagonist ...

6:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In future, pls send messages to most recent post. No one reads the older stuff. Thanks.


8:13 AM  
Blogger Manol said...

Hola Tio Mauricio,
In fact, if you ask for tamales in Chile, you'd receive a blank stare. Here we call them "humitas" (literally, "bow ties" because of the shape).
Another fascinating aspect of Chilean culture is that all "chilenismos" are actually anglicisms. So, "cachai?", "do you understand?" is a "voceo" of to catch. And so, you have "gallo" (guy), "fome" (phony), "huaipe" (wipe), etc.
Part of our British nitre heritage, the fourth empire that lost all their investments here, the other ones being Incas, Spain, and France. I assume the sixth will be China or ISIL.

12:40 AM  

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