September 21, 2016


OK, Waferinos-

Nothing special to report. I suggest we keep mapping the inevitable decline of the US, while never forgetting that Hillary is a douche bag and has Botox in her face. Although Trump is too polite to mention these facts during the forthcoming debate (Sept. 26), I'm hoping at least a few Americans will have them in mind. But wouldn't it be great if Trumpo were to suddenly declare, "Look, Hillary: the truth is that you are a douche bag, and have Botox in your face." I'm sure that one line would win him the election.

O&D, amigos; O&D.



Anonymous DioGenes said...

Just finally saw the Tulsa video. The overwhelming point was that it was an act not even of active malice or evil, but of complete and utter cowardice. 4 highly trained, military grade police officers have a barely lucid man on PCP surrounded, and it's still a situation requiring lethal force. And, after he is killed, they need to recoil from the body, as if they are still afraid of him.

Connecting it back to your thesis in "Reenchantment", this is only the act of somebody for whom the world is entirely dead and non-responsive. Somebody for whom the world is so disenchanted that the possibility of calm communication is impossible even when you have a massive force imbalance in your favor. It's the final step of human being as object, an act of deep terror at the prospect of negotiating with any equally conscious other.

Also not surprised to see an American woman get in on the slaying. They've managed to catch up to men in depersonalization, and are even starting to outshine us.

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Dog day care service employee repeatedly punches St. Bernard in the head.

4:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Neat! Only thing I don't understand is why the guy didn't take out his gun and blow the dog's brains out.


5:34 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Within the past couple of days, I began receiving the daily feed from "The Fucking News," which I had signed up for some time ago. WAFers may wish to check it out. To give a flavor of what it's like, I enclose an excerpt from today's report. The guys who write the thing seem to possess the appropriate cynicism for today's America. O&D.

"Today's BFD*

Charlotte Stunned As Black Man Shot By Someone Other Than Police

During a second night of sometimes violent protests last night in Charlotte, NC, over the fatal shooting Tuesday of Keith Lamont Scott, another black man was shot, but in a stunning development, police said they were not responsible.

The police claim of non-involvement was verified by the news last night that the man was in critical condition, i.e., not dead, which is what he would be had he been shot by a professional.

"We take very seriously the idea that someone other than us is shooting black men in this town," a police official told The Fucking News anonymously, because he is fictional. "That's our job."

Charlotte police have bolstered their claim that Scott was holding a gun by not releasing their video of the killing, which would just be giving their critics what they want.

Scott was shot Tuesday after police searching for another man noticed Scott holding a gun, which is legal in North Carolina for white folk. Witnesses have told media the gun was some sort of book-like object, such as a book. The anonymous police official told The Fucking News, "I don't know what the fuck a 'book' is supposed to be, but either way, it seemed pretty fucking dangerous."

more: AP

*Big Fucking Deal

8:49 AM  
Blogger Edward said...

Hello MB and Wafers,

I've just been reading all the great comments and checking out the great links to stories I find here and figured I should comment rather than just lurk. Like I said before, I comment occasionally but someone usually says the same thing I'm thinking so I don't want to be redundant if possible.

When I was growing up in the 60s and 70s, the police were always held accountable for shooting their firearm. If someone was unarmed then it was without question that lethal force was forbidden in almost all cases. That has all changed now - it's become a shoot first and find out if they are armed later. Plus, one officer, Stephen Mader, got fired for not killing a man (link at end of paragraph). Now, it seems, the police SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) is the use of deadly force. The officer was trying to talk the situation down to a peaceful end because his assessment was the armed man was trying to commit suicide by cop.

With precedents like this, police will continue to use lethal force rather than attempt deescalation techniques.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous SrVidaBuena said...

To me the sad part is if the dog hard torn that sick SOB (read: average American) to pieces he'd be labeled 'vicious' and 'dangerous' and put down. As for the guy, they'll say it was a 'cry for help' and send him to counseling...

12:38 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Father of the Year!

What I would really like to know, is HOW does a guy who murdered his first, PREGNANT wife only serve 15 years and then get let of prison?

The state and parole board are responsible for this latest horror show perpetrated by this monster.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Peanut Butter and Pastrami said...

Here's a great video of Jimmy Kimmel interviewing Trump supporters. It reminds me of Jay Leno's jaywalking segements.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

PB et Pastrami-that IS america. Does not matter if Trumpo or dbag botox face "supporter."

The puppets for chief cheerleader ARE the populous. "We" all wish (or secretly hope) to be multi-millionares/billionaires, loud/brash, narcopathic, delusionally optimistic, thieving, shystering, exploitative, murdering, smiling, and lecherous. That IS america, with banal, empty eyed, "Have a nice day," and "work hard and the money will follow commentary from the hamsters.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I finally finished Lionel Shriver's "The Mandibles." It's remarkable how her prediction of the American trajectory, down to 2047, follows what I've said in my America trilogy and what we've discussed on this blog. The country goes to hell in a hand basket, including a Hobbesian war of all against all, martial law, famine, migration, and the like. And the only bright spot is secession--also predicted on this blog (but Nevada, of all places). That aside, it's a grim, violent novel, and I know of no way that some version of this future scenario can be avoided. And since Shriver is no fool, there's no discussion of imminent left-wing revolution or any other such progressive nonsense. You want a map of the next 30 yrs? Here it is.


7:20 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

America's already embroiled in a Hobbesian war of all against all. Martial law already exists, for the most part; the NDAA allows the police and the military to pretty much do whatever they want. However, full-fledged famine and mass migration have yet to occur.

My vision of America's future is somewhat different. Martial law is declared, and massive labor camps and facilities are constructed almost overnight. People who are opposed to the government in any way are rounded up and sent to these monstrosities. The government declares that the Constitution no longer has any legal influence upon the government, and requires that every citizen have a chip implanted in them to track their movements and activities at all times. The misinformation industry - the media, the newspapers, and the education system - kicks into overdrive, propagandizing the American populace in ways unseen in all of human history. In short, rather than chaos and disintegration, I see a police state, unequalled in its brutality and invincibility, emerging from the wreckage. The NSA, the CIA, the FBIA, the police, the military, the press and the politicians have more than enough weaponry, materials and motivation to follow through on my predictions.

I would much prefer Shriver's scenario; I see that kind of scenario happening in Europe, Central Asia, South Asia, and Latin America, but not in places like America, China, Russia, and other countries with a history of extreme brutality and ruthless efficiency. I just can't imagine China and Russia, in particular, undergoing some sort of cultural change that dissolves their current way of live and forces a return to localism.

8:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


No, we don't have a full-fledged war of all against all, or martial law, just yet. Believe me, when it arrives, you'll know it. As for your vision of America's future: yes, that cd be it; but it may also be the case that everything breaks down, and that the US won't be able to control things very much, whether inside or outside its borders. Shriver's scenario does include implantation of a chip, police state, and so on, but the secessionist possibility--a loophole of freedom--really *is* a possibility (and in more than one state). Outside of that, the country is a massive failure, because life w/in it is not worth living. It's soulless, and that process is increasing every day.

Her book also illustrates the notion I've raised here, that of 'nodes' of collapse, which occur in her novel in 2024 and 2029, but the major slide to unraveling is the 'death by 1000 cuts', the daily erosion of purpose and subsistence.

Shriver doesn't entertain the notion of Dual Process very much--only a little--and I personally don't think the US is the best candidate for it. I have much more faith in Europe, Asia, and Latin America as more likely locales. As I say in my Japan bk, other countries have a history of alternatives; the US does not.

My major concern is that other nations may not grasp the object lesson represented by the failure of the American experiment: the combination of radical individualism and endless expansionism can only end in disaster. What it does is create a society of narcissistic, self-aggrandizing individuals, who have no larger purpose in their lives than themselves. It's a pretty loveless place, wh/is why we are now coming apart at the seams.


9:00 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

I have to say - I don't think we'll devolve into martial law/Hobbesian war of all against all until there's complete economic collapse. Not saying things are good, or will ever fully recover, but as long as there are enough consumer goods and jobs to employ a reasonable percentage of the population at a reasonable level, there will be enough people scraping by, hoping to afford the next iphone. Propaganda and unconscious programming are very strong. The capitalist system, especially in its postindustrial phase might not be very admirable, but you have to give it its resilience. The thing should have collapsed a century ago. I think only radical climate change will end it. It will, however, continue to become a more miserable place to live.

Anyway, I have a perfect candidate for Trump's Attorney General It's a few months old story, but Denver Fenton Allen is the America we know and love: . Endless narcissism and victimhood, complete contempt for the legal system, and of course all lack of decorum. It's wondrous, really.

12:57 AM  
Blogger Alogon said...

The Fraternal Order of Police has formally endorsed Trump. In an interview on NPR last Sunday, a spokesman explained that Hillary keeps talking about police reform when the police do not need to be reformed.

I've forgotten whether contributions to the Fraternal Order of Police are tax-deductible, but now have another reason for declining to make one when those authoritative-sounding bass voices call up on the phone like nice cops helping out the brotherhood in their spare time.

1:17 AM  
Anonymous Dean said...

A third scenario could be an ordered acquiescence, ala Orwell. The masses are given the option of contenting themselves with whatever techno distraction gadgets, junk food and mindless boob tube entertainment TPTB dole out or being off'ed or sent to a work camp. Those that stay in the vertical box may not even have to work. That will all be done by the misbehaving horizontalists, who can't or won't contain themselves. Technology and a relatively small security force will keep order. Self-policing (neighbor turning in neighbor) though will handle most of the dirty work in that area.

This is a plausible scenario assuming those at the top circle the wagons soon enough. Will they wake up to the impossibility of global hegemony in time? If so, they have a pretty clear path to a confederation of feudal states or fiefdoms. The federal government serves as central programmer and coordinator.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

This may be of interest:

10:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Here's an interesting bit:

10:51 AM  
Anonymous AS said...

Photos of douchebags in Moscow swarming the checkout booths to buy the new iPhone (same dead, plastic faces as their American counterparts):

11:58 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Yesterday's anecdote: While discussing the importance of the Enlightenment on the American Revolution, I discovered that out of a class of 40 students not one single person had heard of the Enlightenment. Alas, we couldn't even begin a rudimentary discussion about the AR until I brought these yokels up to speed. I tell ya, my life is becoming a joke... Meanwhile, here's an insightful interview w/Andrew Hacker on the origins & meaning of racism:


12:36 PM  
Anonymous Capt. Spaulding said...

I know that the following doesn't sink quite to the level of Lorenzo Riggins or Shaneka Torres but here's an amusing contribution to the archive of our long national decline, proving that even those in affluent areas have become, well, you know....

- The Capt.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

I agree with El Alamein here. It's too early for doom and gloom. There's still plenty of hustling to do before everything turns to shit. Driverless cars, colonizing Mars, lab-grown meat, you name it. As for the future, anything could happen. It might be martial law, it might be riots and general chaos, but God only knows. Forecasting what's going to happen in too much detail like Orlov does is just intellectual masturbation IMO...


4:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In my view, this woman is a true American.


Pathetic. How do you say douche bag in Russian?


4:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, it makes for great (and very persuasive) fiction, however (Shriver).


5:14 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Here you go MB, the best America has to offer in one headline:

5:39 PM  
Blogger dg said...

Kanye-, MB-

I agree about the forecasting, but it pays the bills. Imagining the future on the other hand is another matter entirely. The corporate creature that makes my medicine has suddenly stopped: and I need it to function; generics don't cut it. Pharmacists and doctors can tell me nothing. It may not work, but I have contingency plans. If it weren't for the likes of MB, Orlov, Kuntsler, I doubt I'd have imagined this scenario and found said options.

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Here's our gal (and honorary WAFer) Ms. Shriver keepin' it real; enjoy:



6:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


She's great, really: here, excoriating the douchebaggery of the progs.


Let's hope so. She cd bring millions of mindless turkeys, such as herself, into the Trump camp, and we need every vote we can get. Down with Botox!


6:40 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

придурок (pridurok) douche bag in Russian.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Very useful. Bolshoe spacibo! Apparently Russia has many priduroki, and not enough pirozhki.


7:41 PM  
Anonymous Coffee Mug Half Full said...

Mr Berman,

Oversaw the recommendation for the new Woody Allen film. Tried to convince my roommate to see it, but he had reservations stemming not from the particular flick but on Woody Allen's personal life. Led to the stale convo about whether an artist's foibles contaminate or dispirit his/her work.

I thought you or WAFer fellows might have some fresher insight to the subject, or could think of particular reactions you've had yourselves

8:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, T.S. Eliot was an anti-Semite; also my favorite poet of all time. Heidegger was a Nazi; also the most important philosopher of the 20thC. Dunno what else I can say. Probably, yr roommate needs to grow up.


8:06 PM  
Anonymous Brad said...

@Coffee @MB

"Probably, yr roommate needs to grow up"


Nice take down, MB.

But I mean, it is a hard line in some respects, sometimes. The composer Carl Ruggles apparently became such a terrible mess of a racist that even the white composer Lou Harrison who published a lot of his work at the time disavowed it @ the time. As an African american, I can somewhat sympathize @ how knowing those facts has lessened the value of the music for me. Too bad too. But yea, growing up is probably in order for most folks like your roomie.

9:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's just that it's a very long list. Picasso and Matisse were misogynists, for example. Stravinsky, Wagner: anti-Semites. I personally am rabidly opposed to anyone who refuses to eat pastrami, but I'm not sure that my prejudice has managed to seep into my work. And so on.


9:31 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

On the front page of Aol just now, a headline- "Disturbing footage shows moment NC man is fatally shot. Warning: Video has explicit language." So- the headline writers at Aol evidently believe that viewing an actual shooting death is OK, but hearing explicit language might offend.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

It's so hard to know whom to despise any more.

What we need--besides love, of course--is more brotherhood.

To that end, from someone who would probably be a WAFer if he only knew about us, this musical interlude:

National Brotherhood Week, by Tom Lehrer, and a link to his Wikipedia entry

Tom Lehrer:

Lehrer, a Harvard-trained mathematician, served in the U.S. Army from 1955-1957, assigned to the National Security Agency (NSA).

10:08 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

A big reason why the powers that be won't be able to control things as things continue to worsen: they're incompetent. Today's example include the 22-year-old White House contract employee who thought it would be just dandy to send sensitive documents, including an image of the first lady's passport, over his g-mail account:

Second example: the asshole who made his second wife watch as he killed her four children was a TSA contractor hired despite the fact that he had previously served 16 years in prison for killing his first wife and her unborn baby:

And another little tidbit for the thugs-in-uniform department: police in Maryland repeatedly pepper sprayed a 15-year-old girl after a car struck the bicycle she was riding, and the fat headed pig who runs the department defended their actions:

10:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The idea of urine as a weapon is finally catching on. Remember that you read it first on this blog. Of course, what we had in mind was the shoes of various politicians, trollfoons, etc. What you will read below falls in the Shaneka Torres category (if a bit less deadly):

Funny, that it's always a fast-food joint.


10:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Why do I find the following story quintessentially American?:

10:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Re: girl in Maryland: Why didn't the cops just gun her down like a dog? I don't get it. I mean, what kind of law enforcement is this, anyway?


10:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ho Hum Dept.:

12:44 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Clown arrested lurking near Kentucky apartments as scares spread to sixth US state.

Kentucky police have arrested yet another nefarious-looking clown as the number of states allegedly terrorised by these big top lurkers grows to six.

Middlesboro Police arrested 20-year-old Jonathan Martin, who is accused of “causing public alarm” outside an apartment complex in the town, 130 miles south of Lexington. Martin was crouching in a wooded area near the complex in a “full clown costume” and mask, according to police documents obtained by WDRB.

For the full article see:

2:27 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

About smart people being dumb:

8:42 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

The nonsense of Positive Psychology

Personality influences lifespan: Sure!! Henry Kissinger, Augusto Pinochet, Robert McNamara, Ronald Reagan and Storm Thurmond are prime examples. These bastards lived/living well into their 90s. Hitler would have lived long too; Obama and Charles Manson surely will. Amerika routinely scores high in happiness studies and its citizens "enjoy" long lifespans. But what has long-life and "happiness" gotta do with price of tea in China? You can live long also by killing your competition. Your colleagues are very happy when they didn't get sacked and you did. The southerners were very happy lynching the negroes -they even took happy pictures with the hanging dead.

Psychopaths who lack conscience usually outlive their victims. In fact ruthlessness is a prerequisite for a longer life. When did your hear the last time a narcissist or a sociopath who committed suicide? Right wing patriots and religious fundamentalists full of conceit in their righteousness indeed live long. Whereas Buddha, MLK, Vivekananda and Jesus died in their 30s. Wall Street bankers, presidents and congressmen have long lifespans. The battery in iPhone7 last longer than iPhone6. So what?

1:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Hell, I shoulda been dead long ago.


1:27 PM  
Anonymous E. Altai said...

Subject: Utopia?

Good morning Professor, I have been rereading your great Decline series, was just focusing on the moments you speak of Mondragon and other socialist-type city experiments. It seems like it was a nice idea, but it failed.

I've also come across others, most turning in2 similar claptrap, like Auroville in India:

I just finished reading "Village Against the World" recommended to me by a fellow WAFer reader. Not sure if you have cited Marinaleda before, wasn't sure if you felt more positive about it, or if it is falling under the great shadows of the outside world.

Know of anything like this in Mexico or C./S. America?

Thank you very much

3:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, Mondragon had a gd run, for a while anyway. It didn't help that it was invaded by boatloads of American sociologists. I discussed Marinaleda somewhere in my work, but I can't remember where. My pal Nomi Prins gave the book a positive review, a few yrs ago:

Other than that, I can't be of much help.


4:16 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Another proud american moment-- Pedophile Joshua Harding (Michigan) who raped a 10yo, tried to stab a prosecutor in the head at when his conviction was being handed out by the jury. He missed the lawyer's head by 2 in.

All this exceptionalism, bestest talk, and greatness is too much! Have a nice day.

6:21 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Just curious if anyone has any thoughts either good or bad on the "Movement" that colin kaepernick started with his sitting or kneeling during the national anthem. Of course the right Wingnuts are all up in arms over it.

11:35 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

jjarden - while I liked the fact that Kaepernick made it explicitly clear that he didn't want his gesture mixed up with politics by also slamming Hillary Clinton's fitness to be president, sitting for the anthem is the very least he could do. Personally, I'd love to see every NFL player not only sit, but collectively blow big 'ol raspberries while it is being played. America was far better off back in the days when many people routinely jeered the anthem, burned the flag and called soldiers "baby killers" and the cops "pigs." As for the wingnuts, I find it hilarious that the same douchebags who scream "USA! USA!" the loudest and get their panties all in a bunch about Kaepernick's "disrespect" also loudly profess to hate the government.

Tom - the real insanity in that clown story is that had the douchebag been instead dressed in street clothes but holding an AR-15 the cops couldn't have done a damn thing.

Esca - I definitely think you're onto something there. I'm fairly certain that the pancreatic cancer that nearly killed me was caused by the job related stress of having to work with so many assholes and douchebags over the years. Clearly, whatever my other failings at least I'm not a sociopath!

12:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Just another day, in the US of A:

3:14 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Esca Dreg said:

"In fact ruthlessness is a prerequisite for a longer life."


That should be qualified with "for those still in the rat race." Once upon a time I was training to become a Benedictine monk (yes, I tried the literal monastic option), and I can tell you that monks living to 90+ years old is not in any way exceptional. Ruthlessness, on the other hand, is rarer than sex.

People might rethink pursuing the American dream if they realized the stress it demands will kill them. Then again, maybe not.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

There really is no end to it:


2:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: And furthermore:

Sign of the times:

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

With all these daily american shootings, massacres, murders, it's great to know that americans have two well vetted and respected candidates to assume chief puppet of the circus side show. Sleep well. In ring 1, a shit head, in ring 2, a shit head with botox.

As many sit in traffic to hamster wheel tomorrow, think about all those taxes and fees supporting more of nothing, and happy talk slogans. Folks have 2 choices: 1. Stay in a failed state, and enjoy likely a smith and wesson retirement, or 2. leave, and start living life.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

We need to patent a life-extending health formula called "Ruthless Monk".

We could all become millionaires.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...


I appreciated Tom Servo bringing to our attention those pesky, lurking "clowns" (I, too, have noticed a bevy of stories of late that detail "clown sightings"). Of course, I'm fascinated by the cultural aversion to clowns . . . I fathom that these clowns, akin to the sacred clowns who laid claim to "crazy wisdom" back in the day, are so threatening because they threaten to pull the veil off of civilization and unearth (T)ruths . . . for such folks, the cognitive dissonance would be overwhelming and an invitation for psychosis (as Dr. B shared in a podcast I enjoyed, "people would go bananas" . . .).

A recommend (if somewhat related) read I wanted to pass along; one of my favorite non-fiction reads this year: Lewis Hyde's _Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth, & Art." Hyde offers an historical overview of tricksters and the important ways that they offer "safety valves" to cultures that cling to death and denial, thereby precluding new growth and possibilities.

Winks to all; O&D--


5:40 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Jesus, I'm deep into watching "Mr. Robot" and I hafta say it's utterly fantastic! I think most Wafers will enjoy it because it truly reflects the condition and the unrest our our times in very quirky and original ways. Revolution by way of cyber-vigilantes is much more plausible than following Chris Hedges at this point! Again, many thanks to MB for yet another great recommendation.

Until tomorrow everyone; post Botox/Trumpo debate, of course.

Keep on Waferin'...


6:27 PM  
Anonymous JM said...

Re: Utopia?

I always enjoy it when people trot out examples of the failures of socialism. Of course this is inevitable after a century of anti-socialist propaganda. I for one would choose Scandinavian-style socialism over American-style capitalism in a heartbeat. With single-payer healthcare I might actually have the freedom to retire now.

Of course the reality of American capitalism is a far cry from Milton Freedman's mythical free market utopia. The American system is much better described as corporate socialism. Anthropologist David Graeber went so far as to state that free markets cannot be maintained in capitalist societies. Capitalism concentrates capital/wealth to the extent that it always eventually corrupts the political system and removes the safeguards necessary for free markets to exist.

I guess you could call the American system successful. It has spread globally, concentrating wealth and power wherever it takes hold, enthusiastically promoting climate cataclysm, the corrosion of social capital, and the sixth great extinction for the sake of profit.. It is successful in the same way a cancer is successful in overcoming a formerly healthy body. But who cares about all that when you might get rich?


7:58 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Hi, haven't posted here in a while, but I never miss reading the comments. I think we are literally the last 170 sane people in America!

At any rate, it's as depressing as ever out here in Kali Yuga land. I was laughing to myself the other day when I realized that Dr. Berman has actually been too optimistic about where we're at. That is, he's said several times over the course of this blog that, for as bad as things are, Clinton will still get elected (even by a landslide!). Haha, well, if the dead even polls are any indication, it appears that our good professor might have been FAR too optimistic!

I see that the New York Times is up in arms about the Trump fiasco. Serves them right for panning "Dark Ages America"! Michiko Kakutani claimed that Dr. Berman was exaggeratedly alarmist and pessimistic, and that he "makes Michael Moore seem like a rah rah American cheerleader". Well, haha, look at the polls Michiko! Turns out Dr. Berman wasn't pessimistic enough! Indeed, we are about to elect the biggest moron in the country to the nation's highest office. Dr. Berman, was close (for which he gets a lot of credit), but he was clearly off by about 15 years! Nevertheless, maybe Kakutani should go back and take another look at that horrific "Spenglerian screed"? Perhaps he will learn something in retrospect?

Still, it's fun to be see your opponents with a little egg on their faces, no?

When 50 percent of the country shares this fellow's views (see link below), isn't it time to drink the hemlock? Perhaps we can have an online WAFER suicide pact? Go out like Petronius Arbiter, with a cynical smile and a pastrami sandwich! (On second thought, maybe I'll just emigrate.)

3:17 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

Permaculturist Bill Mollison passes on ---

"Bruce Charles 'Bill' Mollison (born 1928 in Stanley, Tasmania, Australia and died today, 24 September 2016 in Sisters Beach, Tasmania).

A few people are born who are world class heroes to those who know them and unknown to the great majority, until one day their inescapable influence floats to the surface and is generally recognised for the cream it is. In hindsight such leaders go on to become household names.

Such a man was Bill Mollison: backwoodsman, academic, storyteller, lady’s man and to many just ‘Uncle Bill’ "

5:22 AM  
Blogger Kaerukun said...

I am currently rereading Wy Ameruca Failed. Your main thesis that Ameruca is a country if con-artists seems to be in target. As faculty at an academic medicine center, however, I cannot accept your assertion that there is no proof that technology is taking us to a better place. Even acursory look at cancer survivor rates should convince any reasonable person that technology has considerably improved peoples' lives. Chronic myeloid nous leukemia once 100% fatal is now nearly 100% curable. Technology is simply a tool which can be used or misused. Whether people are obsessed with is a separate issue. A far more serious problem with the US is its anti-intellectualism and religious fundamentalism. Unlike Japan where education and teachers are respected. In the US scholars are regarded as elitists and people believe that their ignorance is just as valid as a scholar's analysis.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Technology is certainly not a neutral tool; this has been definitively established by McLuhan, Marcuse, Borgmann and some of the authors I cite in ch. 3 of WAF. It's also a discussion we've had on this blog at great length, and I have to be honest: I don't have the energy to repeat it at this pt. Citing cancer survivor rates, or any single specific case study, is simplistic, and won't work; you are overlooking the larger picture, the entire context in which technologies operate. I don't think you really understood ch. 3. Not to worry: most of the country is in thrall to 'progress', and has little interest in questioning it.


Welcome back. The NYT review of DAA was dishonest: it savaged the book based on random phrases; it never really discussed the content. It also refused to print my response, which is archived on this blog (6/16/06 or thereabouts)--a sure sign of cowardice. (Kakutani is female, BTW.) But in any case, I still think Hillary will win, but *that* is my pessimism: I'd much rather see Trumpo in the W.H. at this pt. As for morons, we've already had that (2001-8).


9:58 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers,

Kaerukun - How a society uses information technology is determined by its culture and values. I worked in healthcare information technology for a couple of decades and the whole time all everyone talked about was a unified medical record. What they couldn't wrap their heads around was that without a unified healthcare delivery system, a unified health record is next to impossible. That didn't stop the hustlers from selling billions of dollars worth of IT to hospitals. Consequently, what we have today is a mishmash of databases strewn all over the place. If a patient visits a technology-intensive hospital in his hometown, the technology will help him/her recover. If he/she is injured in a car crash two states away, they're screwed. I don't see that changing until we have a universal health system which of course is highly unlikely. In fact, the greatest advances that I saw in healthcare IT were those that managed billing and maximized profits. The patient sits at the bottom of this hierarchy picking up the scraps that may be left over after the hospital vendors, insurance companies, senior management, physicians and nurses get their cut. Just like everything else in America, healthcare is doomed to fail until the profit motive is removed, which is to say it's all gonna come crashing down soon.

Just my opinion and I don't mean to offend, but this is what I observed in twenty years of working in hospitals.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

Hola MB, Wafers
I'd venture to say that regardless of who wins the WAF thesis about the USA as a nation of swindlers and phonies has been vindicated with this election alone.
However, the USA plantation mentality is boundless with the global economy and other nations are going down with this ship. There's a leak on the prow - it goes first- but the stern soon follows. The Loneliness epidemic is a globalized condition handed to us by capitalism. Soon they will all be "crazy like us." A consciousness shift is necessary but it is unlikely to happen; Mother Earth will then teach us a lesson when climate change and its host of maladies effect us all. It will remind us of our illusion of autonomy. Don't you think that if all acts of violence are fights over identity - defining the self as unique and separate, autonomous and independent from others - the Earth will deliver the most violence in the end showing us just how much we depend on her and not the other way around?" Save the earth"- the humans claim. "I will outlive you, thank you very much- it is you fools who need saving"- she will reply at our hubris. I would say that the fight of liberals against conservatives is the fight over dependency vs. autonomy. Liberals are moochers who aim towards a welfare state of dependency and conservatives are the cavaliers makers of their own luck prizing selfishness thereby equating it to autonomy - the highest human virtue. Could it be that humans resent dependency so much - from the earth, from the mother's breast, from nurture, from love - that they have enshrined autonomy which in the end is only an illusion? I haven't found a self sufficient human yet- one that raises himself from birth, nurtures himself, makes his own clothes, shelter, grows all his food, makes meals from scratch. Money has given us the illusion of autonomy- because we can buy things we depend on in exchange of labor. But we depend on the employer etc. the employer depends on labor, etc. If dependency has been stigmatized - to the point that most disability recipients I know have to invent past lives of fearless autonomy when in reality most simply couldn't compete, fell off the wheel race to nowhere and are prisoners of a host of illnesses for pity's sake - is because autonomy is overrated and it is useful to the robber barons to divide and conquer labor?.Wouldn't you say that autonomy deserves a reality check? That like freedom it is a journey with no arriving point of destination? Just when we think we have arrived, dependency- either physical feebleness or financial failure- reminds us of our folly. That the only two constants in human existence are change and dependency?

Just a thought over my morning coffee which I truly depend on. Wafer on!

10:54 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

K - you addressed an issue near and dear to my heart. In early 2013, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the age of 47 and told I had about 11 months to live. Because of some very recently developed treatments, however, the doctors were able to save my life, for which I am indeed grateful.

Lucky for me though that I have really good health insurance, for my treatments all told cost around $750,000. Had I been one of the tens of millions of unemployed or underemployed Americans I would have had to choose between bankruptcy and death.

One thing I came to understand during my battle is just how relentless the American medical system has become in profiting off of sick people. I saw countless other patients in their 70s and 80s being treated who were likely not going to live much longer even if they beat the disease. But they had insurance and Medicare, whereas an uninsured, otherwise healthy young adult would be allowed to die. So even in an area where technology is "helping" people, that help is utterly corrupted by the influence of the greedy, hustling douchebags who run the system.

11:00 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

A "Troubled Lawyer" goes on shooting rampage in Houston.

Don't they call that a TAUTOLOGY?

11:26 AM  
Blogger Ed-M said...

If I haven't said so before, MB, welcome back!

Now something I never thought I'd see in America: two adults giving a three-year-old a "blunt" in hopes he'll smoke it! And of course, the kid doesn't know any better...

Why am I not surprised?!

(I trust you all know what a "blunt" is...)

12:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I wonder when the media will stop calling these events, which are now occurring more than once a day, the products of individual deranged minds. Let's never think in sociological terms, for then the whole game is up, of who we are and what we are doing as a nation. Meanwhile, it seems to me that a lot of America's problems could be solved if every American were issued an AK-47 and told that for an entire week they could kill anyone they wanted, with no legal consequences.


12:54 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Seems apropos for "DAA"...

It seems like we are having a generation or so away from having a massive late-Roman style class infested with beliefs in magic and conspiracy as their last power in a rigged system.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

It's T minus 5 hours until the Punch and Judy show. Who knows how many outrageous acts of violence and mayhem will occur in the US before the curtain goes up on this latest farce.

I hope MB and you won't object if I offer the following diversion. First, a post from Michael Palin's Facebook page regarding his friend Terry Jones, recently diagnosed with progressive aphasia, followed by two clips from Terry's Python days:

"Terry J has been my close friend and workmate for over fifty years. The progress of his dementia has been painful to watch and the news announced yesterday that he has a type of aphasia which is gradually depriving him of the ability to speak is about the cruellest thing that could befall someone to whom words, ideas, arguments, jokes and stories were once the stuff of life. Not that Terry is out of circulation. He spends time with his family and only two days ago I met up with him for one of our regular meals at his local pub.. Terry doesn’t say very much but he smiles, laughs, recognises and responds, and I’m always pleased to see him. Long may that last."

[Terry in a pub, accosted by Eric Idle in the "Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, Say no more" bit]

[And Terry as Brian's mother, with Graham Chapman as Brian (Life of Brian), in the 'He's not the Messiah" scene:]

Hope they bring you a laugh.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Pundit said...

im getting mult. invites to debate nite drinking parties tonite ; RIGHT NOW Clinton is prob pouring ovr policy briefs , trump sacrificing 1k bulls to Zeus

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Ponce said...

re: socialism convo that was being hashed out --- "As Corbyn says, Labour is now the largest socialist movement in western Europe."

Interesting piece, what do you guys think about Corbyn and the Euro. labour movement

4:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


If the following happens, I shall become a devout believer in God.

Just before the debate begins, the moderator says, "Before we begin, we have invited Morris Berman to say just a few short words."

At this pt, I run up to Hillary, pee on her shoes, and then split.

Allah Akbar!


5:38 PM  
Anonymous Mike R said...

WOW--would plotz myself if before the show for the sheep ("debate"), the joker moderator turns to the camera, and now a few words from the National Critical Thinker Emeritus, and best selling author-- Dr. Morris Berman! The crowd goes wild, while both "candidates" appear serious as a gravitas fills the room.

Pastrami aromas adrift with the sweet smell of slaw. The audience takes notes and asks questions about HL Mechken, Sinclair Lewis, Gore Vidal, Chomsky, de Tocqueville--then the moderator has to jump in to calm the room and get back to the puppet show for the masses.

Tis a dream.

6:05 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


A redefinition of MB: Micturating Bandit!



6:07 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Looks like Donald Trump was right, violent crime is on the rise in the United States. Does this make Hillary “America never stopped being great” Clinton Dr. Pangloss in a pantsuit?

Too much screen time is like "digital heroin" for kids.

“The column says hundreds of clinical studies tie children’s excessive screen use to depression, anxiety, aggression and “psychotic-like features” where kids can lose touch with reality.”

America’s best and brightest:

"Earlier this week, University of North Dakota students stole an African-American student’s phone and posted photos of themselves in blackface with a caption reading 'Locked the black b*tch out.' It referred to the fact that the girls locked the fellow student out of a dorm room."

I feel great about America’s future!

6:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


1st, I wd hope that the moderator wd intro me as Great Seer of the Western Hemisphere. That is, after all, my historical role. Altho Miles' title is also gd.

Next, I'm wondering if there is a phenomenon known as Sympathetic Urination. In other words, as soon as I finish urinating on Hillary's shoes, the crowd goes nuts and loses bladder control. They then head for the exits, and a change of pants, while Don points at Hillary and says, "Ha ha, he peed on your shoes!"


Re: taking black girl's fone: this is childish. Why didn't the other students just get a .357 Magnum and blow her brains out? (Wd save the cops the trouble)


6:27 PM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...

I voted in every general election from '84 through '08 (I was ineligible for '80 by about five months, and missed '82 through some unrelatable circumstances). Truthfully, I wouldn't even have bothered in '08 -- I had already come around to MB's way of thinking -- but there were social considerations of a familial nature in play. Still, it's kind of a badge of honor with me that with regard to the office of POTUS (among all the quadrennials), I never once hit the winner. This time, though, there could be tricky waters to navigate if I can't claim -- upon later encountering a bristly, reptilian-brained Trump-head -- to have voted for the Combover, and to make such a claim without the need to dissemble (particularly if I get caught off guard). If Botox-face wins they'll be plenty bristly, AND we will continue O&D to boot. If the Combover wins, we'll still continue O&D, but the reptilians will of course always see their problems rooted in whatever opposition to el-Trumpo they have been conditioned to believe. Progressives are almost as stupid, any more. I honestly have no idea what to do. (And no, I do not have the option of getting out. Even if I managed it somehow, I'd likely be dead within three months, and that is no hyperbole.)

7:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In 1 hr u.r. going 2c a grotesque spectacle, of 2 abs. awful human beings trying to get elected president. Keep in mind that a rotten culture produces rotten representatives. The choice is now between a buffoon and a douche bag. We are at the end of the line, mon cher; this is not a novel.


8:00 PM  
Anonymous Vince said...

Hello Dr. Berman,

A few weeks ago I found an interview you conducted back in July of this year with Equal Time for Free Thought. The link is below.


8:39 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Ram said:

(And no, I do not have the option of getting out. Even if I managed it somehow, I'd likely be dead within three months, and that is no hyperbole.)


I won't be leaving either Ram, much as I'd like to. In the end, I doubt it would make much difference anyway. If the climate change crowd is right, no where is safe and we're all dead anyway. So I've just decided to accept the fact that I'm stuck here and make the most of my front row seat to the grand massacre.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

I've never been one to complain about cell phone use in public. I find it annoying and distasteful of course, but I'm pretty used to it at this point. And living in NYC, there's enough open space that rude behavior up to a certain point is drowned out by the general population density.

However today, I was in a cab-share with three people in a relatively small sedan. The fourth passenger, gets in, on her cell phone VERY LOUDLY and continues the conversation, explaining that she's taking a cab share because she doesn't want her laptops to get stolen. Yes, she had to look around to see how impressed the rest of us were that she had two laptops, and not one.

So I do my best to tune out the conversation, thinking it might be over reasonably soon. Nope. Lasted all the way from the West Village to the East 30's in typical midtown traffic. Mind you, I take cab shares maybe two/three times a week for the past year or so, and I have NEVER heard anyone carry on a loud conversation for an extended period. Every once in a while someone takes a call, and will very quickly and very hurriedly get off the phone and often apologize to the other passengers. And these are hyper-hustling Manhattan yuppie types, not the most considerate people in the hemisphere.

But I guess it was over today. The point at which I decided to go full 14 year old boy and put my headphones in was when I overheard the following exchange.
"So I said, because I'm not going to date you, I don't want a serious relationship. And he says Why don't you want to date me? And I said, because you're Filipino. I want a mixed baby! No more dating Asians."

Needless to say when I got home, I didn't watch the debate. Everything I needed to know about the future of America I had already seen tonight.

11:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, I hafta say that Hillary won this one. She did come across as competent and presidential, and Trumpo came across as a loose cannon. This wd ordinarily depress me, except that I think it won't alter the poll figures. Trumpies will still be Trumpies, and Hillites will remain Hillites.


12:02 AM  
Blogger VulgarTrader said...

It was revealed recently that Obama did email Clinton's private server, which included top secret information, but he used an alias. We don't know what the alias was. Given that the gov. today acts more and more like it's part of a spy novel, what is the best name Obama could have chosen as his alias? Obama's a bit of a nerd, so I'm gonna go with Apollo.

On another topic, Linh Dinh has a good article out recently where he discusses the so-called "deep state." Here's a clip:

Mind-fucked, most Americans can’t even see that an American president’s only task is to disguise the deep state’s intentions. Chosen by the deep state to explain away its crimes, our president’s pronouncements are nearly always contradicted by the deep state’s actions. While the president talks of peace, democracy, racial harmony, prosperity for Main Street and going after banksters, etc., the deep state wages endless war, stages meaningless elections, stokes racial hatred, bankrupts nearly all Americans and enables massive Wall Street crimes, etc... Since the deep state won’t even tolerate a renegade reporter at, say, the San Jose Mercury News, how can you expect a deep state’s enemy to land in the White House?!

12:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is why Trump was correct when he said of Clinton's policy positions, "It's all words." I doubt he was referring to the 'deep state', but the fact is that she is a military hawk, a billionaire, in tight with Goldman Sachs, and has chosen wealthy establishment types as advisors. All these folks know they can count on her to keep them rich and hold to the status quo, despite any debate talk about redistributing wealth or whatever. Shit, even FDR understood that his job was to preserve capitalism, and he did it.


1:04 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

What a lovely country:

"In 2015, 77-year-old Elaine Latshaw was found dead in her home in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, covered in her own urine, feces, and blood. Her foot was so destroyed by gangrene that the bones were protruding, according to local news reports. [...] Local police say her death was no accident. This summer, Latshaw's son John and his girlfriend Dorothy Robinson were charged with the third-degree murder for their failure to care for Latshaw. The couple, for their part, say they were simply following Latshaw's wishes—and that she wanted to die."


7:16 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

MB -

Libraries across the country are largely homeless shelters. When in Houston, the librarians would walk around w wadded up newspapers whacking people on the head to wake up. She said homeless would swap books for giggles. In Seattle, the sinks are used as bathtubs, and tables are mostly taken up by homeless to watch YouTube videos and take a bath.

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

WAFER lack of coherence----In Filthadelphia, there were vast amounts of homeless and mentally ill folks in the libraries. Sleeping, slapping keyboards, screaming, crying, defecating on tables, chairs, waste baskets, etc...Very sad. Have used >40 libraries from all over the world. Have never seen anything like I saw in america.

It was an alternate universe, you have folks with billions from narcopathic websites, yet, a 'country' that purports bestest and awesomeness cannot or will not take care of its' populous.

'I gut mine Jack, fuck you.' Maybe print that on the USD. Go team.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Serendipity Sent Me said...

So, Wafer's, which whore do you think won the first debate. Just for fun, I'd like predictions of how many states each whore will take.

Sadly, still relevant.

A Chaser.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Shaneka Torres, look to your laurels.

Combining commerce, credit, and criminality, this item recounting the homicidal reaction of a frustrated Starbucks customer in Las Vegas whose card was denied at the drive through on Sunday morning (25 Sep). The identity of the victim not stated, though it appears he was not a Starbucks employee.

And speaking of some messed up shit, just take a look--or another look--at the picture of Drumpf and Hillary smiling as they shake hands at the beginning of their encounter Monday night at Hofstra. If more proof were required that this whole Democrat-Republican thing is so much theater for the masses, this photo is it. Call one another liars and pedophiles and (your term of opprobrium here) and then act as if they were just words flung into the void, not meant seriously. And don't forget that Billary went to one of the Donald's marriages. Invited guests.

Res ipsa.

O&D, mes amis.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Well, considering what he was up against, I think Trump did very well. Given the mood of the country, the anger, and the widespread dissatisfaction that's out there, Trump sustained and delivered a clear and potent message in plain English: Washington and the Democratic establishment do not give a *crap* about you. In addition, Trump slammed Hillary on trade and Islamic State. He persuasively argued that we have little to show for our 20 trillion dollar debt and ruinous military misadventures throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. Hillary really didn't have any answers about any of this stuff, other than pointing out Trump's misogyny, birtherism, racism, taxes, etc. These things, however, have failed to hurt Trumpo, at least up to this point. Trump might not be the most liked person, but he's perceived as stronger; this will go a long ways in the lingering minds of the douche bags. Anyway, that's my two cents' worth.


5:26 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Maybe the weirdest meme emerging out of 2016 bizarro world has been the "stamina" question. Who has the stamina to be president? Do YOU lack stamina?

As bizarre and primitive as the entire line of thinking is, there were no young, vital candidates to be found instead of these septuagenarians. Maybe it is a kind of subconscious reaction on the part of the public to be ruled by demonstrably frail, decrepit old people.

I guess it is the thinking of the jobless college/20 something business major obsessed with weightlifting.

At least typical right-wing fascist movements normally highlight some kind of abstract quality in the cultic leader - mystical connection with the homeland, courage in facing down the establishment, gallantry in the field of battle. None of those mythologies are even remotely plausible for Trump, so we get King Stamina.

Dark, dark days ahead for the US.

6:05 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

In the "American Absurdity Department," this woman jumps on the car to try and stop the purse snatcher...of course, he disregards her life and doesn't stop.

6:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


As you know, I have always felt Shaneka got a bum rap. They left bacon off her cheeseburger, so she shot the place up. It was an outrage; I woulda done the same. As for turning down my credit card at any fast-food outlet, jus' let 'em try: I pack heat at all times, just in case, and I hope Starbucks employees are rdg this.


Honestly, I think he came off looking like a jackass, but I have a feeling it doesn't matter in terms of the election. Hillary gave lots of facts and figures, but the American public doesn't really care abt anybody's intellectual credentials, quite obviously, since they don't have any themselves. Anyway, she's leading Trump by a very narrow margin; it'll be interesting 2c if that changes over the next few days. Trump was abs. rt, tho, when he said that her plans were "just words." Hillary in the W.H. just means more status quo; she won't do shit. Judging from his 'temperament', however, it seems to me he cd do the country a tremendous amt of damage. Go Don!


6:29 PM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...

MB said:

"In 1 hr u.r. going 2c a grotesque spectacle..."

Oh no I wasn't. For one thing, I've been living without television in my home for about 11 years. Even were that not the case, there is absolutely no way I'd have been able to stomach it.

On the subject of nausea, incidentally, this morning I finally had the experience of loneliness making me physically ill. Not fun.

6:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Why don't you try corresponding w/some of the folks on this blog? Just post yr email address, and I'm sure a few will write u.


7:29 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

True story--my wife has a 20-something coworker (a college graduate working in a professional office) who told her that she was only watching the debate because she heard that Kim Kardashian was going to be there and she was hoping to see her. This same woman routinely wears clothing sporting Disney characters to work.

Meanwhile, officials in Tennessee issued a "clown warning." This warning needs to go national as soon as possible as I see clowns everywhere--they are all around me:

8:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


When a nation has nothing serious to do anymore, clown sightings become an issue, I guess. Personally, I think the country is one big clown. Kim is a clown, your wife's coworker is a clown, Congress is a circus, etc.


9:12 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Clowns are apropos to america. It's about red noses, voice infantilism, schlap-schtick scripting, funny wigs, oversized shoes, obnoxious horns, and tricycles with a grown-ups going in circles.

It's the sizzle, not the steak that matters. Hence, clowns look and sound very "presidential." Remember: Stay on script, smile a lot, and be a clown--All the world, loves a clown (Porter)!

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

This sums it up nicely:

4:51 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Daily killing dept.:

Alfred Orlango, unarmed black man, shot and killed by police in El Cajon, CA. Friends say that Orlando was mentally ill and having a breakdown which caused him to act out minutes before the shooting:

Sunday punch dept.:

Incidentally, I woke up at three this morning, having dreamed that I was locked in a tiny closet w/Melania Trump. Outside, Donald was banging at the closet door, screaming to get in. "Should we let him in" Melania asked? "There wasn't any more room in our tiny space," I gasped from under a blanket. Just as I reached out to take her back down, I woke up! Jesus, the dream was so delicious that I tried to get back into it but I was so tense and excited and couldn't fall back asleep at all.


4:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Here's a much-needed reality check:

5:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

I tell ya, this kinda stuff depresses me:

This man is a wuss. A real man doesn't throw a punch; a real man takes out a .357 Magnum and blows the woman's head off. Perhaps w/Trumpo in the W.H., more real men will step up. A great country uses guns, not fists.


6:39 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...


I think Americans have lost the ability to conceptualize compassion, intelligence, integrity, courage, and every other quality that makes life worthwhile. To them, compassion is weakness, intelligence is manipulativeness, integrity is arrogance, courage is cruelty, and so on. As a result, the only positive quality they can truly envision is stamina - the ability to survive the abuse and degradation they both suffer and perpetrate on a daily basis. The root cause of this degenerate mindset is fear - specifically, the view that life consists almost entirely of individual survival in a hostile world.

Scores of books have been written on American arrogance and narcissism, but few have touched upon one of the most salient qualities of American life: fear. The cutthroat, dog-eat-dog American lifestyle has given rise to an unprecedented intensity of fear. The average American has nobody he can depend on for support, no ethical or aesthetic values he cherishes, and no real understanding of himself or the world in which he dwells. Completely isolated and adrift, Americans feel utterly at life's mercy.

Only a deeply fearful people could ever feel the need to conquer and subdue everything in existence. In America, this fear is depicted as heroism by the media, as though Apache helicopters and F-16 fighter jets bombing millions of unarmed civilians were a brave and heroic act. And as Morris points out, Americans have a negative identity, and need to be at war to feel real; this too gives rise to extreme fear, because they unconsciously know that they are psychologically dependent upon the existence of those they aim to destroy. How ironic that America's hypermilitarist culture is rooted not in the heroism to which it aspires, but in existential terror.

7:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't run it (too long). Compress, re-send. Thanks.


9:16 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

This one only involved a handgun:

If MB ever wanted to put out a ten-year commemorative second edition of DAA, the appendix of footnotes documenting the incidents of the last decade would be longer than the original book.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Jim - you hit the nail right on the head. We really are a nation of fearful little cowards. Our "leaders" launch high tech wars and proclaim "bring 'em on!" while hiding in an impenetrable fortress protected by a small army. Meanwhile, our "fighting men and women," are so afraid of getting killed our wounded that we have to use predator drones piloted from half a planet away and high tech bombers against opponents with no air force to keep casualties to an absolute minimum. Americans flocked to see a Hollywood movie about a sniper; a "hero" who performed the most cowardly of battlefield functions. Heck, 90% of Americans weren't even born yet the last time America waged war against a foreign enemy actually capable of fighting back with any better weaponry more potent than some AK-47s and IEDs.

The population is a bunch of scaredy cats hiding in their homes, afraid that terrorists, hackers and even clowns are coming to get them and their children, yet they blithely climb behind the wheel of their cars and SUVs every day where they have million times greater chance of being killed or injured than they do by any terrorist. Gun nut morons insist that they need to carry their stupid surrogate penises around with them at all times to "protect themselves," when I've been walking this planet for 51 years and the worst random "crime" that has ever been committed in my presence is someone smoking pot in public.

They ought to change the lyrics of the last line of the national anthem to "land of the fearful and home of the craven," because that's what this nation of freaked out chickenshits has become.

10:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, I'd probably need a research team to help me. Meanwhile, I'm getting tired of these penny-ante handgun killings. Time for every American to have his own arsenal, do things right.


10:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Let's not worry abt dirty water; let's just toss out the kid who made it public!

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

While I don't always agree with George Will, he gets credit for being one of the few conservatives who have seen through the Trump charade from the beginning. What a shame that he is a voice crying out in the wilderness. At any rate, I like the spot-on title of this column:

Really, it's nauseating the way these Republicans are shilling for Trump. Especially the odious Giuliani, the oily Chris Christie, spineless Paul Ryan, and of course, the mesmerized puppy dog, "Sancho Panza Pence". These guys actually manage to outdo the people in "House of Cards" for rank cynicism and opportunism. Who would have thought that we'd actually fall for someone more vile than Frank Underwood? Instead of art parodying life, life is now parodying art!

After Trump's abysmal and grotesque debate performance, it seems that he's down 2 to 4 percentage points at most. In any sane society, that bumbling, surreal 90 minutes would have permanently disqualified from any kind of political office. The fact that he is still with in an inch of winning, shows unmistakably that we've passed the point of no return. Even if he loses, it doesn't change anything. Indeed, would we say that Weimar Germany was a healthy society if there had been an actual election, and Hitler lost by three percentage points?

Needless to say, Clinton is awful as well. But Trump's awfulness is a wholly different order. Yet he is the perfect mirror image of who we are.

3:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The crucial problem for Hillary is that she has nothing to offer than more of the same, and a large % of the electorate knows this. "The same" left millions of people out in the cold, and they are tired of the rhetoric. When she talks, in a very presidential way, abt all her plans, these folks aren't fooled: they know she won't deliver, because her base is the neoliberal Washington consensus, the military and the rich. A certain arrangement came into being after the fall of the USSR, and from that pt on the gap between rich and poor steadily widened (including during Bill's admin, altho it can ultimately be traced to the repeal of Bretton Woods). Trump once said he cd shoot someone in broad daylight and his poll figures wd remain the same, and he's probably rt.

Hence, yr Weimar analogy is apt. Even if Trump loses, the Trumpites won't go away, and eventually they will produce a Hitler figure who is a lot more polished than Trumpo, a lot less grotesque. We are simply at the end of empire: we did a certain thing for 400 years, and finally have nowhere to go. So the choice now is between slow death or a fast one; but one thing that is *not* an option is a vibrant and meaningful future. The Zeitgeist is moving on, and I suspect in an easterly direction.


7:54 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

I posit that "positive psychology" is the only force of life, and although there's pessimism, there's nothing negative when alive. Meaning, nobody willfully does anything to not-be-happy. The child molester and the good samaritan comes from the same womb driven by same PP. The one who takes vitamins and the other antidepressant has the same intention -to prolong life; to be happy. Even the one who commits suicide is taking action out of positive drive. Thus if you are still alive, do yoga or do drugs, meditate or anxious, hustle or charitable, fight or flight -you're being "positive". If not you are already dead.

So my question is, what's all this obsession of actively pursuing longer life by PP? Do the Palestinians un-enjoy a shorter lifespan relative to the Israelis because there's something particularly negative in their psyche? Are the Australian aborigines and the native american whose lives are in ruins inherently negative races? Amerikn bookstores are full of simple self-help books on PP. Why don't the Appalachians rundown communities apply those secrets and make their lives great again? Why don't the black men practice some PP not to get shot by the police? The Guardian article I quoted earlier conveniently ignored national origin, family background, race and wealth -and that was my contention. Lastly, live long for what? Is Kissinger's and DalaiLama's long life equal?

As an empirical study let's see how long a PP Benedictine monk can remain positive in Rikers Island prison under routine prescription of violence including rape. They always glorify cute looking nuns and chubby monks, all white, in the progressive media, -why never a ghetto sample like Lorenzo Riggins or Shaneka Torres rehabilitated by PP? That'll be proof positive of Koolaid brand PP.
Last week I saw a man dead in his car, five days decomposed. He was my dear friend's brother who killed himself by running exhaust into the cabin. The little I knew of him he seemed a very positive person. He was white upper middle class; a project manager at a reputed company, "happily" married with 2 kids. What do you do when the world around you becomes Rikers? Practice amerikn style PP or quit I suppose.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Wasn't able to run it; we have a half-page max rule here. Pls compress by a third and re-send. Thanks.


1:02 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

When folks feel empty, lonely, and devoid of any real value, many resort to self help happy talk. These include mantras, mission statements, parables, and yellow-sticker smiling faces, telling folks what they wanna hear--billions to be made! Barbara Ehrenreich-"Brightsided" (Brightside syndrome) discusses the American obsession with delusional positivity and how she has to change her talk with americans versus the rest of the world. americans cannot or will not accept reality--it is a life long infantilism, child like qualities that surround their perverted souls.

Pink ribbons, happy happy farcical cancer walks ("donations" to executive salaries)-take a look at who's getting all those donations, grants, and the respective extreme salaries. how much is really going to futile "research" and patients/caregivers??! Linus Pauling stated, that american cancer "research" is largely a fraud. No one herein is surprised. When grant dollars are at stake to enrich the americans, the smiley faces, pink boobies, tug at the heart string bullshit comes to play. It's another money grab similar to the organic, vegan, gluten, whatever American money grab. Anything, everything in the failed state is about the money grab. Turn something relatively good into something perverted.

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Diogenes said...


You are entirely correct about the concrete fixations of Americans in 2016.

However, I think that this particular level of degradation is so extreme, and so noxious, that it has to be considered a tremendous outlier even within the wider WAF thesis.

I say this because I love soul music, and the singer-songwriters of the 70s, and Jack Kerouac and Ken Kesey, and even Dean Martin. Maybe those cultural movements share some deep hustling DNA with 2016 culture, but the connection is certainly not obvious.

As a child of the 90s, I only remember the faintest backward glimpses of a more abstract American culture while growing up, but I largely only consume culture pre-1990, and certainly pre-2000.

In the end, Dr. Berman is correct about his identification of why America failed, but the elements of the culture that led to failure do not exclude other sections that succeeded, in whatever limited way.

I can only even coherently think of myself as American if I define it in a historical way. Post 2000 culture has just been the rise of all the worst possible elements, in a completely unrestrained and rather psychotic way.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

This picture sums it all up:

5:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What a collection of douche bags. How cd it matter, who wins this election?


5:07 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

The mystery at the core of this election is that the disastrous neo-liberal policies Hillary has supported have significantly contributed to the rise of neo-fascists like Trump. It's as if the entire nation is caught in a positive feedback loop, i.e., more Hillary produces more Trump which in turn produces more Hillary. Beyond a certain point, there's simply no end to it. What's needed is a sudden system interruption via a true revolutionary. Hence, the power of a junta of cheeseburger lovers holds the promise of a final correction of all personal, social, and political injustices. And as Arthur Koestler once said, "I went to Communism, as one goes to a spring of fresh water"; I will go to Lorenzo Riggins, as a Cel-Ray spring tonic goes w/a pastrami sandwich... So let the record stand that I, Miles Dewey Deli, refuse to be poisoned or manipulated by demagogues such as Hillary or Donald. Enuf, already! I stand w/Lorenzo. I stand for a life of meaning; the anticipation of greatness; and the lure of immortality. Who will stand w/me? Will u stand w/me Wafers?

Miles D. Deli IV

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Millennials have very little confidence in most major institutions. The article also mentions that severe economic anxiety is coupled with distrust of major institutions.

10:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I love Lorenzo, but also Shaneka, Tracey, Latreasa, Freddie Wadsworth, and the guy who was arrested for shtupping a van. So let me just say this: DsE


10:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: be sure to close the gap between the Q and the D, b4 u play it.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB - then you are also gonna LOVE Thomas Larry Warren, he of the three first names, who was arrested in Iowa after stripping naked on a stranger's front porch, dropping a deuce and leaving his clothes, car keys, driver's license and wallet behind:

Megan - is that really any worse than supposed progressives Bernie & Warren throwing aside all of their principles and endorsing Hillary? Partisanship is a severe form of brain damage--on both sides.

Dio - I'm a bit older than you, child of the late 70s & early 80s, but I very much agree with your point about American culture. I'm a big fan rock and roll, and there is no doubt that the medium peaked artistically in the late 60s/early 70s before the big money took complete control of it. Similarly, Hollywood also peaked creatively around the same time period. Try to imagine slow moving but serious blockbuster films like The Godfather (I & II), One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest, Taxi Driver or Network being made today. Not gonna happen. In fact, the sad decline into relentless mediocrity of both Al Pacino & Robert DeNiro (not to mention Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones & The Who) perfectly illustrate this point.

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Lurker Lou said...

Dear MB and Wafers,

I'm a long time follower, but this is my first comment:

Speaking of libraries: I live in a small town in N AZ, and I went to the library today. I had a hold and also wanted to download a Kindle book from Amazon, which I didn't know how to do.

A young woman helped me, and also told me that the library had 24/7 WiFi because they had so many homeless patrons (24/7 outside the library). What a compassionate way to deal with the homeless; ergo, homelessness is the new normal.

If Trump and Clinton had the slightest bit of character they would be ashamed to be vying for president of the new "Homeless Country".

12:59 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...


I think you're right; my last comment was too extreme. But there nevertheless remains a great deal of truth behind it; Americans are very confused as to the differences between courage and cruelty, intelligence and manipulation, etc. Regarding the positive cultural currents of the 60s and 70s; they certainly existed, but within the context of the wider hustling culture. Most baby boomers who were hippies in the 60s now hunger for horrific political policies: corporate domination, endless war, the extermination of minorities, etc. The professed belief in social justice and the rejection of materialism was (and is) usually nothing more than a mask that conceals naked avarice and power hunger.

And then there is this: what do you think America will be like 40 years hence? It will probably conform to my last comment in its entirety. Then again, much of the rest of the world might do the same.

2:05 AM  
Anonymous Lurker Lou said...

Dr Berman,

I'm sorry to break your 24 hour post rule, but I thought it important to tell you and the Wafers which book I downloaded from Amazon: "American Heart of Darkness: Volume I: The Transformation of the American Republic into a Pathocracy (Volume 1)"

If you or any Wafers have read the book, I'd appreciate your comments.

Lurker Lou

2:07 AM  
Anonymous morrisbermanfilthykike said...

You nothing left to say, you retarded old jew fart. Your book on japan was laughable. The ego of a scumbag like you thinking that you can understand Japan without knowing the language, without living there, and only visiting for a couple of weeks. Can't wait until you die Berman.

3:26 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Dr. Berman, Bill Hicks,

Of course you are both right. I certainly didn't mean to suggest that I have the slightest liking for Clinton. She makes my skin crawl. Without a doubt this election is a choice between slow death and rapid death. But I still maintain that with Trump we are in uncharted territory of decadence. To me it's the difference between a slightly shocking Manet nude (Hillary) and Bestiality Porn (Trump). A moralist might say that they are both porn, so what difference does it make? And indeed, the Manet nude might very well have been the first step on the road to humans having sex with animals for fun and profit. That being said, I think that one has to be willfully obtuse to say that there is NO difference between the two. (And I realize that neither of you are suggesting that there isn't.)

At any rate, it's tough having been born in the early seventies. For as bad as it was even then, we at least knew our neighbors' names, had a vague sense of community, went to block parties, had a few people to hang out and talk with, etc. But in that short period from the early nineties to the present, all of that just sort of vanished, and an eerie sense of unreality has taken over. We now live weird twilit lives devoted entirely to Facebook, cell phones, Netflix, trashy popular movies, Reality TV, Celebrities, and the like. It might be a kind of blessing to have been born in 1990 or later, as some of you have mentioned, because at least those people don't feel like anything has been lost. Nevertheless, from my perspective, the most precipitous decline has taken place over the past 15 or 20 years (i.e. when we finally and decisively exterminated The Real)

Yet for all that, I'm a little embarrassed at being behind the curve on the Trump phenomenon. I mean, I've been damning American culture for a good part of my life, and in spite of all my pessimism, I have to admit that I STILL didn't think that something like the rise of Trump was possible--yet. That is, I didn't think that there was quite the critical mass of country-wide stupidity necessary to make such a thing possible. I knew we were close, but I didn't think we were quite there. So, yeah, the whole thing is just very disconcerting (and amusing!) to watch.

4:51 AM  
Blogger Kaerukun said...

The late Linus Pauling should have stayed with chemistry. As with any research, some will be fruitful and some will lead nowhere. In fairness to Pauling, the issue that he was addressing was the fact that at that time the mutations driving cancer were unknown. Genomic research, however, has shown that there are less than 200 mutations that drive carcinogenesis and these seem to involve only about a dozen pathways. The vast improvement in progression-free survival and overall survival in many malignancies make the two-time Nobel laureate look foolish - as do his claims about ascorbic acid.

8:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


But he did recommend a steady diet of chopped liver and deli meats, which has proven to be a lifesaver for millions.


Trump is not entirely a reflection of stupidity. He speaks for those who have been screwed by the establishment, of which Hillary is certainly a pillar. She's a billionaire, and these are the people she hangs out with. It's no accident that Michelle Obama hugged Bush Jr.; the Dem-GOP conflict is an illusion. And these folks know that voting for the Dems wd mean just more of the same, no matter how polished her debate performance is (as Trumpo says, it's all just words, and he's rt). Even the candidacy of Trump confirms what I've been saying since 2000, that the country has gone off the rails and will not get back onto them again. But a presidency of Trump surely qualifies as a Domestic Suez Moment (DSM), with international ramifications. He's the perfect guy to polish the country off, once and for all; altho he may find himself hamstrung by bureaucracies.


I didn't delete your messages, and if you scroll back, you'll see that u.r. there. Welcome to the blog, in any case; no need to lurk anymore.


I usually delete hate mail, as from this poor trollfoon; but this time, I thought you might get a kick out of it. As I've said b4, running a blog is an object lesson in how much poison there is in the American soul, how much hatred and bitterness--a bottomless well, really. Human garbage like this is fully present, coming out from under the rocks, and there are surely a whole lot more of them than there are of us. But I actually enjoy most of it: this pathetic slob thinks I'm important! I love it. He's also a moron (no great shock): we shd only write bks in fields we are experts in, otherwise we have nothing to say. Turns out that one of the best bks ever written on Japan, "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword," was the work of a woman who had never been to Japan and cd not speak or read the language. Meanwhile, this poor shmuck's bitterness is corroding the vessel that contains the poison; it ain't hurting me at all. In fact, I think I might write a bk abt Outer Mongolia, next.

Onward, into the Darkness, muchachos!


9:41 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: I think 1 new comment may have gotten lost via a computer glitch. If so, will the person who posted it, try again. Thanks.

10:30 AM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

At least as far back as 2005, the Irish comedian Dylan Moran had Americans nailed.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Well, looks like the Pinkerton's are back:

Looks like this time around we'll be able to drop all those separation of government and corporation formalities that ruined all the fun last time.


Erstwhile progressive savior Bernie Sanders seems to be getting the whole political equivocation and expediency thing down. He was one of only two senators who abstained in voting on the JASTA (9/11 families-Saudis bill.). Not that the bill really means anything anyway.

But hey, way to not stick that 75 year old neck out there, Bernie ole boy! I'm sure a committee chairmanship to while away your remaining years during the reign of Clinton the Second awaits you. We're forever grateful for your service. Enjoy wielding the gavel at breadline committee hearings. You've earned it!

Interestingly - but not surprisingly - enough, the only other senator to abstain from voting: Tim Kaine.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Sigh, trollfoons ... this is why I don't own a computer and am off-line all weekend, I can't stand that shit.

Anyway, how about some good stuff for a change:

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Thank you Dr. Berman for presenting the trollfoon's note. It certainly represents the fellow country"men." The american brain is like a lizard's--binary. Hot/cold, hungry/sated, bug/no bug, money/no money, (fries/no fries).

No nuance (Berman), nor tertiary level thinking, as that's arrogant, and intellectual. muricans HATE anyone who thinks. You're labeled, branded, stigmatized, and deleted. You're negative, or you're positive. You're either with us, or against us. You're either a K or an murikan.' That's all these mentally narcopaths can really muster in terms of thinking. Simpleton lizards.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Diogenes said...


I don`t think that your comment was extreme at all if it is limited to the present day. It`s like the apocalyptic aftermath of what was the great spiritual conflict of the 60s and 70s.

If you watch American movies before the 50s, there was no idea of an anti-hero whatsoever. The sense of culture seems to have been simple, and subject to manipulation by elites, but essentially moralistic. Americans are the good guys and we stand up to bullies. Cf. Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, or On The Waterfront, also a personal favorite.

Now, you are absolutely right in saying that all of this has been completely turned on its head. Marlon Brando`s character in On The Waterfront is now the enemy. I refer you to Deadpool, a terrifying film, marketed to teens and children, about a superhero that goes around making porn jokes and is noted for being a freak. This movie received uniformly positive reviews in the culture ministeria, and is the culture of children today. We are now the anti-hero.

The only difficulty I have with the WAF thesis is that, if applied too historically broadly, it exonerates the especially egregious culture developing slowly since WWII, and with extreme rapidity since 1990. FDR to the present is something really like Augustus to Caligula.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

So I was out at dinner last night with my colleagues, and the conversation of course turns to the election. I was busy trying to explain to everyone why, under no conceivable circumstances, would I ever vote for Hillary. At one point I remark that she will simply be a continuation of everything we see now.

The husband of one of them (who had already stated several times how much he likes Hillary) then asks with a perfectly straight face, "What's so bad about how things are right now?"

Somebody fucking shoot me.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


No exoneration at all. I specifically state that the dysfunction became much greater w/repeal of Bretton Woods in 1971, then even great w/election of Reagan, and finally took a quantum leap after 9/11. But groundwork was certainly several centuries in coming.


2:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Someone sent me an email to the effect that this blog was hacked. I haven't noticed anything, myself. If any of u guys have any info or ideas abt this, pls let me know. Probably a bitter trollfoon.


2:05 PM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...

Dr. Berman,

Here is a man after your own heart.

See: “Project Mayhem - Man Calmly Enters Apple Store And Crushes Every iPhone In Sight With A Ball Bearing” at the following:

David Rosen

2:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I salute the guy, and the security guards. You may recall that France was the country where a farmer named Jose burned down a McDonald's. They've got some great people over there.


2:22 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Dio--Perusing my movie collection recently I was struck by how few post 1990 movies I own. Being movie buff I used to go all the time, but now... In addition to new movies just sucking, we also have the issue of cultural stagnation. Everything is the same and its like we are stuck in a time warp. You really see this in the music industry. I can't think of a single song released in the last few years that couldn't have been released 10 years prior without seeming out of place or ahead of it's time.

Lurker--I don't know what is more depressing, the title of that book, or the fact that its volume 1...

2:54 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Merica remains number one in manufacturing criminals for future incarceration, as in today's example:

U-S-A! U-S-A!

3:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Not clear to me why the authorities didn't shoot the kid. This wd obviate a trial. Plus, the little thief deserved to be blown away. I'm so fed up w/all this pampering, and am hoping Trumpo will put an end to it.


3:55 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Does anything matter anymore?

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...


At that point, I grab whatever writing implement I can, and a paper napkin or some such, and I scribble down:

The Twilight of American Culture, by Morris Berman

As I hand over the napkin, I make sure to point out to the douchebag that the title was first published before 9/11 -- even just before the election debacle of 2000.

5:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't run it (24-hr rule). Please start observing this, thank you.


Gd, but keep in mind that the guy is a douche bag.


Reaction a tad excessive. Sounds like something that might happen in N. Dakota.


7:26 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


The Hillary song was brilliant! Many thanks for providing it. Jesus, I sure hope the blog wasn't hacked. I wonder if it's the anti-Semitic lowlife who viciously attacked you earlier today? The Trump phenomenon has triggered a virtual army of ferocious alt-right activists who are busy targeting Jewish journalists and intellectuals. More evidence of fascist trends within the US, sad to say.


7:50 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Please excuse this 2nd post violation, MB, but this a a fucking horror story:

Miles the Suicidal

8:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A tragedy, indeed. Altho it was closed for most of 2015. When it reopened, I was in NY, and cdn't get in--or didn't want to wait in line for an hr. So perhaps it's just as well; it got too famous. There's always Katz's, and the 2nd St. Deli; tho when I'll next be in NY is anyone's guess. As for the trollfoons: they are probably now climbing out of the sewers in droves, a fitting end to the US. Maybe they'll get jobs in the new govt, start rounding up Jews.


9:42 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Megan - having been born in 1965, I totally feel your pain. There was indeed much more of a sense of community in the 1970s an 80s before everyone retreated inside their houses every evening, glued to their electronic screens. I grew up in a small rust belt city in Obama's Illinois where neighbors looked after each other, most crime was of the petty variety and most our parents' jobs were connected in some way to the surrounding family farms or the local factories. Globalization, starting in the late 70s but rapidly accelerating after Bill Clinton colluded with a Republican Congress to pass NAFTA and GATT, has utterly destroyed my hometown, as most of the family farms were foreclosed and the factories have been shuttered. An occasional online glance at the crime page of my hometown newspaper is a depressing litany of shootings, burglaries and domestic violence as well as frequent meth, cocaine and heroin busts.

I fully expect that a sizable majority in my hometown will be voting for Trump in November. A few will no doubt be motivated by racism and bigotry, but for most it will merely be a fuck you back at an establishment that has been fucking them over for 40 plus years now. And though I do not support Trump myself, I completely understand.

That these same people allowed themselves to be conned for decades, starting with Nixon, into voting on social issues against their own economic interests is beside the point. It doesn't make their pain any less real, or their anger any less dangerous. In fact, given the likelihood of a truly competent authoritarian figure following in Trump's footsteps, the BEST result might be to have him win and then royally screw everything up--thereby discrediting right wing populism for another generation or so.

11:38 PM  
Blogger Jacob James said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm trying to disentangle the polls. Hillary got a 2% bump as a result of the 1st debate. Which is not all that much, really. But given the electoral college system, I'm not sure what these 'gross' percentages really mean. I think the real question is, What are the swing states and who is leading in them? In which case, I have no idea; altho I still have a sinking feeling that Botox will be in the W.H. come January.

One way this whole thing has been analyzed is as the war of the common people vs. the establishment elites--who sold the former out. That they did. Like many, I wish Trumpo wd stay on message and not get drawn into tawdry arguments with Latina beauty queens etc. (taking Hillary's bait). The message is: one, Hillary has been in politics for 30 yrs and has 0 to show for it; two, she can say and promise anything, but we've heard it all b4--it's just words. Both of these things are true, and very strong reasons not to vote for her.

So we face 2 scenarios. With a Hillary win, 8 more years of the Obama-Bush presidency, which means the continuing drip, drip of America going down the drain.
Or, we have a Trump victory, which itself has 2 scenarios. In the first, the drip becomes a river: he runs the country into a ditch. In the 2nd, he *wants* to run the country into a ditch, but there is enough bureaucracy and opposition to stop him.


4:13 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Bill Hicks,

Ah, we were next-door neighbors then. I spent part of my youth in Iowa, which used to be a really agreeable place. Probably similar to your experience in Illinois. But now it's just like every other part of our illiterate, techno-Babel civilization.

As for Trump, if he could just be bothered to spend five hours memorizing a few informed/rational-sounding thoughts (on foreign policy, Economics etc.), I really think he could pull this out. It doesn't take much in America. Trump's mind is incapable of sustained coherence, of course, but that's not what's called for here. All it will take to get those four percentage points back, is to "look presidential" and play the statesman for 90 minutes. Which means not grimacing or sniffling, not taking Hillary's bait, and memorizing a few randomly highlighted passages from, say, Henry Kissinger's "Diplomacy". Americans are all but begging to elect this charlatan, and it won't take a PHD thesis to make them surrender. All Trump has to do is meet them half way, and devote one or two nights' study to learning some basic geopolitical jargon, and working out better debate tactics. It astonishes me that he didn't do this for the first debate. It was there for the taking!

Still, he has two more chances, and that might be all that's required if he is on his game.

Oh, and this video is rather amusing. Sam Harris can be a little abrasive with his simplistic attacks on religion and spirituality, but this is pretty clever and on the mark:

6:11 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

first he told them,...

Now the 'Mustache of Understanding' is telling the murikans to "go suck on this".

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

I don't think it matters what Trump and Hillary say and do; Wall Street wants Hillary to win, so when November rolls around, the polls will be rigged in favor of Hillary, end of story. I hate to disappoint everyone here, but this is what I think will come to pass.

Of course, several more rigged elections with Trump-like figures vs. the establishment will inevitably trigger a civil war. This, too, is what I think will come to pass, and the results of the civil war might not be entirely negative. Perhaps certain states will declare independence, but on the other hand, an Orwellian police state might arise from the wreckage. We'll just have to wait and see.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike R.-

Cdn't run it (24-hr rule). Please start observing this. Thank you.


7:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check it out:

8:16 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Re: Carnegie Deli

Thanks for the clarification. I'd forgotten the Carnegie closed for the better part of 2015; creeping senility, I'm afraid. In any event, yr right, we still have Katz's and 2nd Ave Deli. Should be a gd places to watch the collapse go down. As for Trumpo, has anyone explained to him that he needs to learn how to take the hit, pivot, and change the conversation while continuing to hammer Hillary on the economy, trade, and the utter hopelessness out there? It's easy-peasy, really. He can't continue to make mistakes w/little more than a month until the election or Hillary's gonna tie his dick in a knot.

Meanwhile, these are good:


8:58 PM  
Anonymous Lurker Lou said...

@ Christian,

I agree, it's scary to think how many more volumes there might be.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

American cops are charming people:

11:07 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I'm with Megan on her view of the election--if, as I've said here before, Trump could just partially uninsert his head from his rectum and stick to hammering the Clintons' breathtaking levels of corruption he could win this thing. Unfortunately, he's had his head in that position for so long that he truly loves it up there.

Two years ago, I was in Jim J's camp in that I believed Wall Street would yet again get what Wall Street wanted, and that would mean a Hillary vs. Jeb campaign. Since then, Trump has written the playbook for how to taken down Wall Street's puppets by obliterating Bush, and had Sanders been just a bit better known and a bit tougher campaigner, he probably could have overcome having the entire Democratic establishment stacked against him. The rules have changed considerably since 2012, which really ought to give one pause about assuming Hillary will win reelection four years from now, and what is instead likely to replace her. Right now my money is on Cruz, a modern day Nixonian figure if there ever was one, and just the type of conscienceless, brutal bastard to relish the opportunity to become America's first quasi-dictator.

MB - from that last article you posted, I was particularly disgusted by the lame response from the office of Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA player and a true Obama protege who couldn't less how many of his fellow blacks are murdered by the police just so long as he is allowed to share the elite gravy train.

12:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

There is a problem Trump may not be able to overcome, a form of ADHD, according to his former ghostwriter (writing in the New Yorker a few wks ago). He apparently doesn't have the ability to concentrate on anything for an extended period of time. He doesn't really read, for example. Hence, preparation for a debate is too great a stretch for him, which is why he prefers to ad lib it, respond to things with formulae and in a spontaneous way. It may be why some of his businesses failed, and why he had several bankruptcies--everything is impulse w/Trumpo. It will be interesting 2c, 1 wk from now, if he prepares for the 2nd debate, or continues to rely on swagger and bluster. If he cannot shift gears, and does the same for debate #3, I suspect he won't win on Nov. 8. He must know that Hillary outshined him on Sept. 26; whether he is neurologically capable of remedying that remains 2b seen.

Of course, in terms of having such a person as president, he cd clearly do the country major damage. He cd also be a menace to the planet. But he certainly is representative of the American people: hustling, thoughtlessness, and sloganeering.

Bill: Regarding Kevin Johnson: this wd seem to support the argument, advanced by a # of sociologists, that race is actually a red herring, and that the bottom line is really class.


3:03 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Americans now have a new basic criterion for voting - size.

At the end of the day, it comes down to the all important question - are ya BIG enough to be pres?

Trump big enough to be a football star!

"And campaign Co-Chairman Sam Clovis, likewise, recently drew the Trump-NFL comparison, portraying the candidate as a formidable debate opponent because of his size: "You know, he's big enough to play tight end for the Jets, you know, for the Patriots," Clovis said, "and so, he's a big, robust fellow and again, Mrs. Clinton will be up on the stage as well. I think it'll be a great contrast physically, but I also think it'll be a great contrast in style.""

Contrariwise, Trump haters are short...

BTW, also a Midwesterner here, and I recall a "Chad from Chicago" too. I for one am grateful to have had the chance to develop away from the coastal media centers, and seen the final devastation of the heartland up close. Even non-Wafers in the Midwest once had an attitude of "we can let NY bankrupt the world, and the West coast pornographize/technologize it, while we look out for us and ours".

6:47 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB & all Wafers Worldwide,

Regarding the Wash Post article you referred to above, I found an interesting response by Chris Arnade who is a possible honorary Wafer.
See it here :

I believe Mr. Arnade holds a Phd in Physics and is a former wall street trader who who walked away after 20 yrs to focus on photography.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd article, but I don't think it and the one from the WashPost are mutually exclusive. You may also have missed this article, wh/was posted here earlier:


11:28 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

WAFers will certainly have heard about the 1 October New York Times story that reported that Der Drumpf may have paid no taxes for up to 18 years. I foresee that this will only further strengthen his support among his followers. After all, he did nothing illegal--so far as we know--and if he did pay no taxes, then he showed once more what a masterful businessman he is. Who wants to pay taxes anyway? Stupid government.

Here's a view of the taxes story from across the pond:

11:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

9 Nov. 2016

Dear Mr. President:

Congratulations on your victory over Hillary. While I don't think she's actually insane, I do believe that she is a douche bag and has Botox in her face.

Your victory gives the finger to an establishment elite that has hurt millions of our citizens by means of neoliberal economics and the Washington consensus. Hillary represented a continuation of those policies, and it's clear that the electorate understood that. Again, congratulations. BTW, your 1st order of business should be shutting down the NYT and the WashPost, and putting David Brooks and Thos Friedman (may their names be blotted out, and may they be cast into darkest Gehenna) into a dungeon, where they can continue to write meaningless articles which their jailer will then shred. I think it would also be good if he peed on their shoes on a daily basis.

If you have been following this blog, you know I've been a big Trump supporter all along. This may shock you, but here's the thing: our goals are very similar, if differently named. You want to make America great again; I want to dismantle it. I firmly believe that if you aggressively pursue your program of American greatness, you'll wind up dismantling the entire country. So I'm on your side, amigo; go to it!

However, you have a major language problem that needs some correction. You are constantly shooting off at the mouth about literally everything, and it makes you look like a horse's ass. Frankly, I thought it would cost you the election. But as the president, you just can't keep doing it, and thus need an adviser at your side at all times. I suggest you create a new cabinet post, Dept. of Humor and Deep Insight, and appoint me secretary of that post. As you go abt your business of dismantling the nation, I'll act to keep you in check, so that Americans will regard you as a statesman, not a jackass. Believe me, I'll be worth the fat salary you are going to pay me. So just say the word, and my bags will be packed, and I'll rent an apt. in Cleveland Park, where I used to live.

Thank you for your indulgence, and let me again salute you on your victory.


12:24 PM  
Anonymous Goldsboro Skelton said...

"While I don't always agree with George Will, he gets credit for being one of the few conservatives who have seen through the Trump charade from the beginning. "

Which begs the question, 'what is a conservative'. It might mean something to a political theorist, but little to the average voter.

If anything, this election has proved to me how little depth or honesty there is to peoples' belief systems. The Democrats have become the party of war and big business, the Republicans have gathered up the working people (those with real jobs at least) and ceased to worry so much about religion or transfer payments.

What seems to be at work is a deeper emotional attachment to a candidate with a thin scaffolding of logical justification built atop. People don't know why they'll vote for Hillary or Trump, but they really believe they hold some sort of keys to a consistent moral and economic structure. It's laughable.

My thinking is to vote for Trump just because I'd prefer that the Hillary voters, at least the ones I know, become enraged. It's an emotional approach, but sometimes nihilism is it's own reward.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


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


3:43 PM  
Blogger BobR said...

Dear Professor Berman - Based upon reading about your trilogy on America's decline, I just ordered a copy of "Why America Failed," as recommended in a book by Joel Magnuson on the need for a transition to a sustainable economy. I just found your blog and was perusing your most recent articles when I was startled to read what you wrote: "Nothing special to report. I suggest we keep mapping the inevitable decline of the US, while never forgetting that Hillary is a douche bag and has Botox in her face." I found it shocking that you would express such a crude lack of charity/compassion in your description of Hillary, regardless of your preference for President. There is much wisdom in the teachings of the carpenter of Nazareth's saying, "Judge not, that you be not judged." That is not a reference to retaliation by a Heavenly dictator but, rather, I believe, is a guide to a liberated and loving life, and lives like that are much needed in this World, which so needs healing in this age of transition and pain.

12:10 AM  

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