December 23, 2016

Fa La La La La, La La La La

"Don we now our gay apparel..." Well, Wafers, I don't think Don will be putting on any gay apparel, but it's definitely the season to be jolly. Unless you're a prog, of course. Then things Don' (note the pun) look so good. If you're a Wafer, you look out over an infinite horizon, knowing you are the crème de la crème of the spiritual elite, and that the universe listened to WAF and finally delivered the US into our hands. Anything can happen now!

So I launch this thread in the spirit of a new year upon us. Business As Usual is a thing of the past. Botox will become less fashionable among the Beautiful People. We sail away into the sunset. I suppose Alexander Pope said it best (quoted on p. 71 of the Twilight book): "Lo! thy dread Empire, Chaos! is restor'd;/Light dies before thy uncreating word:/Thy hand, great Anarch! lets the curtain fall;/And Universal Darkness buries All."

Happy New Year, Wafers; the world is at our feet.

-mb

182 Comments:

Blogger remo26 said...

Warm regards to and from wherever you may be. With regard to the ‘hesitant declinist’ debate, while providing ‘oxygen’ staves off the collapse, I think HRC would have damaged too many more lives abroad. It seems like we're hoping DT just contains himself to domestic damage - kinda hard to imagine he can pull it off.

I am reminded of some of the lyrics to the Clash’s song “Washington Bullets”: … As every cell in Chile will tell, the cries of the tortured men. Remember Allende and the days before, before the army came. Please remember Victor Jara in the Santiago Stadium, Es verdad – those Washington Bullets again. And in the Bay of Pigs in 1961, Havana fought the playboy in the Cuban sun. For Castro is a color that is redder than red. Those Washington bullets want Castro dead. For Castro is the color that will earn you a spray of lead. For the very first time ever, when they had a revolution in Nicaragua. There was no interference from America. Human rights in America. Well the people fought the leader, and up he flew. With no Washington bullets what else could he do? Sandinista! 'N' if you can find an Afghan rebel that the Moscow bullets missed. Ask him what he thinks of voting Communists. Ask the Dalai Lama in the hills of Tibet, how many monks did the Chinese get? In a war-torn swamp stop any mercenary, 'n' check the British bullets in his armory. Sandinista! Que?

A haunting video with real-life images cued to the song's themes drives the sentiment home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1LhlVtbW_U

2:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Call me crazy; I just love Americans:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/12/22/a-black-mother-told-police-a-white-man-assaulted-her-child-they-arrested-her-instead/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_pn-motherarrested-910pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.17b85c40fab8

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/12/22/jewish-family-in-lancaster-pa-threatened-after-being-falsely-blamed-for-cancellation-of-school-christmas-play/?tid=hybrid_collaborative_1_na&utm_term=.8cc6aea3c36b

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

"Don we now our gay apparel". Maurice, you're a kick! Got a really good laugh from you're double use of this song.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all Wafers. We'll all have to keep on trukin'.

Marianne

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Quiet Desperation said...

Dr.B,
Thoroughly enjoyed "My Russia", revealing another interesting facet of your background that only further illuminates the aura of the Great Belman. Pastrami and horseradish all around. Over the years of following the greatest blog on earth both you and our fellow wafers have exposed me to literature, music and other cultural items that I may not have encountered otherwise, Mussorgsky being the latest...sincere and heartfelt thanks. Just received my copy of "Neurotic Beauty" from Seattle Book Company, a Christmas present of the highest order, and I am looking forward to reading your musings on Japan. I wish you and all of the other 172 Wafers the happiest of holidays and good riddance to one of the shittiest years of my life. Onward and downward at flank speed Captain,carry on!

6:05 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Very interesting...

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/12/23/jimmy_carter_is_only_former_president_who_has_confirmed_attendance_at_trump.html

The most optimistic outlook I can muster- Trump is the Platonic thesis of the hustling mentality, unadulterated. His presidency spawns its anti-thesis, that of a zero-growth mentality. The synthesis is whatever the post-Trump world will look like.

Forgive me, I am young and need hope.

12:49 AM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

interesting take on history of the dummbing down of the country.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2RWgVRfaSE&t=41s

http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com
Free download of her book....

extensive research on the powerbrokers involved in shaping the American mind.

Anyway, a fair amount of material....

1:27 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I want to thank Patrick D. Fitzgerald for offering to help with my Spanish, in the comments to the prior post. Gracias, amigo. I'll be writing once I've recovered from a rather bad cold.

I continue to be perturbed by the intensely irrational demonization of Trump among my liberal friends. They've absolutely convinced themselves that he's on a par with Hitler; I'm not exaggerating, they genuinely believe it. No doubt he'll make a dreadful president, but was the alternative really so much better? One blogger I've followed for years now fantasizes about neutron bombing flyover country, which he presumes to be full of no one but stupid white racists. These soi-disant leftists are acting like they want a civil war - which is better than the world war we risked with Botox face. Until now I would have argued with these people, but at this point I'm just going to ignore their fulminations and get on with my own affairs, like making more art and trying to prepare to leave the country. There's no point in trying to talk sense to them, it's just a waste of time and energy.

I also appreciate Turnover's favorable review of La Paz, Mexico, a city where I once spent some time in the long ago. I like the desert; as T.E. Lawrence said, it's clean. I bet I'd practically never catch cold there.

1:28 AM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

In Wandering God you wrote of paradox being:
... a diffuse or peripheral awareness, which can be characterized as being "horizontal"in nature, in the same way that HG politics is. It is not characterized by a search for "meaning," an insistence or hope that the world be this way or that. It simply accepts the world as it presents itself, and in that sense, it would seem to require a very high level of trust. One does not "deal with" alienation (the split between Self and World) as much as live with it, accept the discomfort as just part of what is.

I'm in this world as it is in all its industrial piggish glory, that's just the way things are. The above seems useful for taking the seriousness out of it all. My thoughts keep coming back to this passage like there's more to get from it if I keep pondering it, as in this is a piece of what it takes to re-enchant the world.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Bruce Bennett said...

Or, we could listen to the words of American poet Robinson Jeffers in "Shine, Perishing Republic" written in the 1920s -

While this America settles into the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickening to empire,
And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out,
and the mass hardens.....

The use of the word "vulgarity" couldn't be more appropriate

I am sickened by this "election" of the Mango Mussolini. Our country has just accelerated its decline while touting the tragic irony of "Making America Gteat Again".

11:06 AM  
Blogger Jacob James said...

I saw the video of the police arresting the woman trying to defend her child from their neighbor. The cop started targeting her, asking her why her kid was littering and implied that it's okay to choke a child, as long as he is misbehaving. But from the article, it looks like public pressure is there. We'll see in the coming months how this works out. If the police are not held accountable, then the public will be there to condemn them.

11:33 AM  
Blogger James Allen said...

Three wise men and one wise guy:

Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, and Neil Postman. And Donald Drumpf.

http://www.salon.com/2016/12/24/what-truth-george-orwell-aldous-huxley-and-the-trumpified-political-reality-of-2016/

God help us, every one.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

WAFER Kevin--agree--total waste of time and energy trying to explain reality to the 322 million dumb as dog shit brainwashed americans,

Focus on emigrating and integrating. You'll find Friendship, community, arts/culture, and a spirit for something else other than hustling and war mongoring.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Dave Clark said...

One good thing about being a WAFer ... there's always plenty of opportunities for laughs.

http://www.aol.com/article/news/2016/12/25/rnc-accused-of-comparing-trump-to-jesus-in-official-christmas-statement/21641874/

8:10 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

Not sure if it's been mentioned on the blog before but I've just seen "American Honey." Probably the best movie I've seen in recent memory that portrays what life is like in America today - strip malls, fast food joints, the massive disparity between the rich and poor, ever-present nature of pop culture...highly recommended. Depressing but also touching in its portrayal of the hope and despair of American life.

-Derek

2:34 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Merry Christmas Wafers!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4064330/Massive-brawls-break-New-Jersey-Alabama-Georgia-malls-minute-holiday-shoppers.html

4:25 AM  
Blogger remo26 said...

I recently discovered this collaboration between one of my favorite, underrated, modern composers, Michael Nyman, and a singer named David McAlmont. I’ve had it stuck in my head for a few days and in constant rotation. I mention it here because the lyrics have a particularly waferish spirit to them.

“I am going to America. As a prisoner, as a number. Yesterday I was a leader on the Arabian sea. Back in Somalia, at 17 we're men. We are not teens. I was going to help my family. Get my momma a little luxury. You hear about the men with the guns and the boats. When they're tracking down the ships east of the coast. Then they bring 'em in and make American money. When you've got nothing, they make promises that they want you to believe. Now I'm going to America but it is not the way I dreamed. We were a team. Now it's only me. On the wrong side of the powers that be. This reality is frightening me. FBI agents and Navy Seals. I try to tell myself that it isn't real. With a stab wound and a bandaged hand. I'm chained in a plane under US command. And there are overalls all over me.”

Ironic that an ad hoc video someone posted of it has the title: “Resession 2010 – Going To America” In the video, there is an image of a burning dollar bill and a BNI ad that reads: “I refuse to participate in the recession.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nte0uIT31ZU

- remo

6:47 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


Perhaps some WAFers will want to watch John Pilger's new documentary on China. It is gripping. It is very difficult to watch this documentary without developing a sense of outrage for what the US government has done and is still doing around the world.

The Coming War on China - Full Documentary :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kyM8uQQc_w

Perhaps in order is a re-read of the following interview of Morris Berman by Nomi Prins:

http://www.alternet.org/economy/why-american-empire-was-destined-collapse

If Donald Trump's collection of humorless, incompetent, racist, opulent and venal individuals among his prospective cabinet appointments is any indication, the collapse of the US empire is forthcoming. How will it play out? I wish I knew.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

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

Bruce-

Be happy! American decline is a *good* thing! The rest of the world won't lament our passing, je vous assure.

mb

10:26 AM  
Anonymous AS said...

How Social Isolation Is Killing Us

"Social isolation is a growing epidemic — one that’s increasingly recognized as having dire physical, mental and emotional consequences. Since the 1980s, the percentage of American adults who say they’re lonely has doubled from 20 percent to 40 percent."

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/22/upshot/how-social-isolation-is-killing-us.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share&_r=0&mtrref=t.co&gwh=0284D03DCA69B6A939DC3428E79A269A&gwt=pay

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Technique said...

Hello Wafers,

I have been a lurker here for a while and I was wondering if anybody here is familiar with the works of Henry Giroux. I personally like him very much although he is still too optimistic in my view about the future of America.

I was also wondering if you guys could suggest some good articles on political ignorance in America.

Thanks in advance, and I am sure that everybody here participated in the ritual that we call capitalism.

6:05 PM  
Blogger centralscrewtinizer said...

Good background about a great movie.

http://www.vulture.com/2016/12/children-of-men-alfonso-cuaron-c-v-r.html

Marc Bernstein....agree something is up with Putin pointing Trump vectors towards China. No way to keep my head down if that comes to 'fruition', sounds like fission. They think it might be like a Texas cop taking down a black woman for thinking the law was on her side. Police chief said it was rude of him, but not racist. Yep.



8:14 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Good obituary to the Barack:

"Washington truly is a swamp that needs to be drained. Barack Obama was not one of the alligators in it, but he was some kind of bird with elegant plumage that sang a song of greeting at every sunrise to the reptiles who stirred in the mud. And now he is flying away."

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/exit-hope-change/

4:51 AM  
Blogger remo26 said...

Morris, I’ve heard your impressions of Germany during the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Could you give some impressions from your time in BC? Does Canada fall into the same mold as the US hustler origin story? Are there pockets of free thinkers (Waferish individualism) roaming around the Great White North, or is it simply a gentler (i.e., less raucous) quieter version of Trumpland? I even remember reading during the election that Trump's grandfather ran a brothel in BC hustling the weary Gold Rush dreamers with booze and floozies to soften their losses. Locals now want to capitalize on it as a tourist attraction as being "The Birthplace of the Trump Family Fortune."

So, I'm sure there is no easy answer, but did you ever consider Canada as an alternative to Mexico, or was it a non-starter because it’s another vanilla version of enterprise? I understand that Mexico offers the gringo the enamor (and reality) of communal family life, but the outbacks of CA have their own rich tradition as well (intelligent countrymen, not just hicks). I have no connection to CA other than having visited there many times, so I am simply curious about your perspective.

If these suppositions about CA being a diluted version of the US are more accurate, then why does CA have such idiosyncratic breaks from the mold such as social healthcare, non-interventionist foreign policy, and progressive immigrant policy? Given that they just voted in Trudeau, it can’t be all historical. CA as a watered-down US should have elected (or re-elected) someone like Harper again.

- remo

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Capt. Spaulding said...

Maybe the whole shebang will collapse even before Trump's inauguration:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/27/us/mall-disturbances-after-christmas/index.html

7:54 AM  
Anonymous John said...

Happy Holidays,

I want to recommend three pieces of writing about America that I think merit a first look or double look if you happen to have already read them.

1. Jean-Paul Sartre's essay " Americans and Their Myths"
https://www.thenation.com/article/americans-and-their-myths/

2. Jean Baudrillard- America

3. Henry Miller- The Air Conditioned Nightmare (a personal favorite)

9:35 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

John-

Don' ferget "Howl," by Alan Ginsberg.

Capt.-

Around 1800, Benjamin Rush predicted that the US would end in "an orgy of selfishness." The time has come!

Kanye-

Jim is almost always on target, but this time he forgot to add that Obama was a punk and a douche bag.

mb

9:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: consider this:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/thanks-to-no-drama-obama-american-leadership-is-gone/2016/12/26/672481e8-cb9c-11e6-a747-d03044780a02_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-f%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.74cb9afb7a6c

Why didn't the author just say it? Obama was a punk, a turkey, a douche bag, and essentially, a nonperson. He had no vision for America at all; and as Cohen notes, neither did Hillary. Somebody once analyzed why certain candidates won, and the conclusion was that they had a narrative, a story, abt America and were able to sell it. Reagan had a stupid narrative, as does Trump; but at least these were/are narratives. The progs had political correctness and globalization--i.e. non-narratives, or narratives for turkeys. It's time for the turkeys, and for America, to move aside, I'm thinking.

mb

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@AS,

That was a great article on social isolation in the United States. I think this is another area where culture makes a big difference. For example, in Europe there seems to be a “loneliness divide” between Northern and Southern Europe, with Northerners living alone more than Southerners.

See: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22012957

I know among Southern Europeans and Latin Americans it is not unusual to have different generations living under one roof. Children often don’t leave the house until they are married and older relatives are invited to live with their adult children.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous oyveygevalt said...

Pastrami and rye lovers weep, they're closing down the Carnegie after 79 years.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Philip Glass (composer): Sequel to, "Koyaanisqatsi," (Life Out of Balance), Naqoyqatsi (Life is War) - the composition, "Point Blank"-- frenetic pace, pressure, endless motion, duality, redundancy, repetition, violent, and turbulent may offer some introspection.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

oyvey-

Yeah, I know. Which leaves Katz's and the 2nd Ave. Deli. But truth is that the line outside the Carnegie was always huge = at least a 1-hr wait. What can ya do.

mb

5:28 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

It was a beautiful, globally-warmed afternoon here in NOVA. I was out walking through a residential neighborhood in upscale Falls Church (recently named as the 2nd wealthiest "county" in the U.S. by median household income). At one point a young Millennial couple approached. The male was speaking quite loudly, and I distinctly heard him exclaim, "how could 2017 possibly be WORSE than 2016," to which the woman muttered something about how it might be a real life version of the movie, The Purge. The male paused, and just as they were passing me by said loudly, "THIS WAS NOT THE FUTURE I WANTED!"

Hearing that kind of conversation at random on the streets is highly unusual, but doesn't really give any indication of how close America is to a national nervous breakdown. Two things upcoming events, however, might provide a clue:

1). The level of violence during the protests/counter protests at Trump's inauguration. Will it just be mostly hot air, or will there be serious injuries and even killings?

2). The number of executive orders Trump issues in the first few days, and their breath and scope. Will he just throw out those Obama orders the Republicans profess to hate, or will he do the gambler thing and go for broke, immediately reordering the federal government to fit his priorities? I have a feeling his team is busy scribbling away in anticipation.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...

AS, re "How Social Isolation Is Killing Us":

A number of times I've considered getting involved with the sort of initiative the author describes, but it just seems people are interested in what I have to offer only to the extent that it aids them in their own hustle. That's a bit of an oversimplification, but that's the essence of it. Needless to say, this only exacerbates my loneliness. It doesn't help at all.

7:09 PM  
Anonymous ver-done said...

I've noticed I get calls from (United States number) collections agencies now after I make a payment to a utility, phone, internet bill, etc. even though I have outstanding balances of less than $100. Reminds me when I finally voted (for Nader whom I also met) and got jury duty three weeks later.

I know a Harvard law grad who chose to drive a bus, PhD in physics - nervous breakdown works a cash register lives with parents, PhD chemist former taxi and Uber driver, PhD math bartender, as well.

Mnuchin insists that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac must be privatized. Aren't all the resources already owned by old families and powerful banks like G-Sachs or douche "gov" institutions. Where does corp fascism end and gov for people begin? Why are some of the most accomplished competent likable people I know in poverty - even mentally shattered? Tom Frank points out incompetent politicians make more money for the corruption. Values are reversed and I know way too many idiot douche baby boomers. Dollars are a weapon of mass destruction. Pardon - venting.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

American society has been circling the toilet for way too long. It's time to make the final flush:

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/12/mall-brawls-are-becoming-an-american-holiday-tradition.html

Young fascists in action:

https://www.rt.com/viral/366540-build-that-wall-school-chant/

Miles

1:41 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle.

mb

2:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

The last couple of days I've been shaking my head while watching many in the American Jewish community lose their collective minds over a rare case of Obama actually doing the right thing. From the way they are frothing at the mouth, you'd think he'd taken back that recent $38 billion Israeli aid package instead of merely allowing the UN security council to vent over the illegal settlements in the West Bank. I also can't help but wonder how many of these same people, who obviously have no problem with how Israel regularly brutalizes Palestinians, are simultaneously condemning Trump's planned Muslim registry.

Of course, douchebag Obama is getting it from every angle as he's heading out the door. Trump dissed him in a tweet today over perceived lack of cooperation on the transition; the Russians told him to put up or shut up on the election hacking nonsense; they plus the Iranians, Turks and Syrians worked out a peace deal without consulting his administration and now even the political editor of Huff Po blasted him on MSNBC for the destruction of the Democratic Party under his "leadership." Meanwhile, as the shit hits the fan daily back in DC, Obama is on the golf course in Hawaii, chilling out on vacation even though he'll be leaving office in just three weeks. Is there a more fitting end to the "Seinfeld Presidency," as David Michael Green called it?

8:47 PM  
Blogger ab645471 said...

Cruelest country in the world dept:

https://www.rt.com/usa/372083-houston-homeless-food-ordinance/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=aplication_chrome&utm_campaign=chrome

10:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Juliet-

Cdn't run it (half-page rule). Pls compress by a third and re-send. Thanks.

Here's an enjoyable film: "Sing Street."

"We are all 18 yrs old, with red lips"--Sir Laurence Olivier

Happy New Yr!

mb

10:54 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Advice on how to stop Trump...

http://www.aim.org/don-irvine-blog/michael-moore-advises-fans-on-how-to-stop-trump/

12:12 PM  
Blogger centralscrewtinizer said...

Bill Hicks....A presidency about nothing. Turns out just so.

Next one will be about something and I hope it is the last gasp from that quarter that gives no quarter. Cuaron, mentioned above, says he is very cynical about the present, but hopeful about the future.

Checked out casa prices in Guanajuato. Yowzers.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

In the piece linked below from the New Yorker, Gary Sernovitz reminds us of a book published in 1956 that describes a Golden Age of relative wealth equality that became supplanted by a widening inequality: business writer William Whyte's The Organization Man.

"Whyte saw good in both what he called the Protestant Ethic, the idea that the “pursuit of individual salvation through hard work, thrift, and competitive struggle is the heart of American achievement,” and a Social Ethic: “of himself, [man] is isolated, meaningless; only as he collaborates with others does he become worthwhile, for by sublimating himself in the group, he helps produce a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/what-the-organization-man-can-tell-us-about-inequality-today?mbid=nl_TNY%20Template%20-%20With%20Photo%20(122)&CNDID=24465181&spMailingID=10139434&spUserID=MTMzMTgyNDk2NzI1S0&spJobID=1062494562&spReportId=MTA2MjQ5NDU2MgS2

Happy Trumpmas.

3:55 PM  
Blogger thucydides Neo said...

Just read the news about Russian diplomats got kicked out for "indirectly influencing American politics" (i.e. by hacking crooked politicians' emails). This is why we don't have whistleblowers anymore, why Snowden couldn't come home. Politicians' secrets are now a matter of national security. For sure, they never cared how Israeli politicians' been DIRECTLY influenced our government. I don't know what the Democrat is doing anymore. They want to embarrass the GOP? Is this a sign that a new cold war is escalating to a new height?

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Ram--your comments about helping americans in an "initiative," then finding out they really want you to help THEM with THEIR hustle is in alignment with Dr. Berman's comments that everything in america is coated with a veneer of fraud.

Barbara Ehrenreich's book--"Nickel and Dimed" has a poignant chapter about her working for a national cleaning service. The company was NOT interested in actual cleaning, or doing things the right way with integrity or prescribed true cleaning methods; rather, it was the appearance of clean. Hence, the use of certain fragrances to dupe the american home owner into thinking they really "cleaned." It's about the sizzle, and not the steak.

Most americans are narcopathic frauds, they are only about self aggrandisement and economic enrichment. Hence, why when you offered your sincere help, you were met with the predictable ulterior motif. It's an appearance of a "country."

8:18 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

Who knew Dr Seuss carried at least some wisdom in line with your reference to Benjamin Rush in his works....

http://www2.lewisu.edu/~gazianjo/democracy_in_america.htm

"Dr. Seuss thus initiates young Americans into their cultural heritage. But he no less registers tensions lurking within it. In a most surprising way, Seuss's work expresses not only classic American liberal individualism, but also a number of its diverse and potentially contradictory strands. Call them (variously) liberty and equality; or self-interest and the common good; or possessive individualism and civic virtue. Dr. Seuss on the one hand exuberantly endorses the individual in all his productions. On the other, Seuss becomes increasingly alarmed at individualism as a potentially devouring and anomic force. What, his books ultimately ask, will prevent all the individual pursuits from disintegrating into contrary and contending self-interests, where community is not built out of individual energies but destroyed by them?"

"The pressures of conformity take shape in Dr. Seuss in the usual manner: fashion and humiliation, with interesting gestures toward cosmetic surgery. In Dr. Seuss's story of "Gertrude McFuzz" Gertrude is mortified that Lolla-Lee-Lou bird has more tail feathers than she does. She begs her Uncle-doctor for remedy, and through him gains access to a berry that will grow her more feathers too. In an orgy of acquisitional competitiveness, she wildly consumes them, growing so many feathers she can neither fly nor run nor walk. Assertion becomes competition becomes consumption becomes self-destruction."

9:59 PM  
Blogger Neil 0421875644 said...

"The Mexican is a man seeking his parentage, his origins" - Octavio Paz John Pilger - The Mexicans: http://youtu.be/4eBir4P7e7k

9:33 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

With a nod to Thunderclap Newman, here's a song fore all Wafers on New Year's Eve:

Something in the Air (Wafer Version)

Call out prognosticators
Because there’s something in the air
We’ve got to get together sooner or later
Because the decline’s really here
And you know Belman’s right
And you know it’s the right
We have got to deli together
We have got to deli together now

Lock down the streets and houses
Because there’s something in the air
We’ve got to deal with it sooner or later
Because the decline’s really here,
And you know Belman’s right
And you know it’s the right
We have got to deli together
We have got to deli together now

Hand out the bottled spirits
We got to get on with our lives
Hand out the exit visas
Or gotta N-M-I through here
We’ve got to get together sooner or later
Because the moment has arrived, and you know Belman’s right
Because the decline’s already here, you know it’s the right
And you know it’s the right
We have got to deli together
We have got to deli together now
Wafers together
Feeling decline in the air
Don’t you feel it together
Sooner or later
Can’t you feel it coming
Sooner or later

10:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jack-

I wept; really.

central-

Much lower 9 yrs ago, thank god. Of course, during that time the peso devalued by nearly 50%, so I'm not really ahead of the game. (Not that I intend to sell)

jj-

Quite amazing; Moore's "solutions" are jokes. Here's another funny one:

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/12/29/another-more-beautiful-america-rising-trump-will-be-resisted

American people will stand up for ideals of humanity? Which American people is she talking abt? I never found them, myself. It absolutely boggles the mind, the self-delusion of the progs. There is no wake-up day for the progs; that day will never, ever arrive. I suspect they must be the dumbest people on the entire planet.

mb

11:11 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

I'm thinking we should mount a course called WPM (Wafer Potential Movement). It would consist of weekend-long workshops where Wafers vigorously beat the living shit outta progressives and liberals w/slabs of deli meat and kielbasa links from 9:00a.m. to midnight to break the progressive mind of hope and resiliency. The most difficult cases would experience having dill pickles jammed in their ears and anus. I hope this doesn't strike Wafers as too extreme...

Miles

9:29 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

MB,

what is Richard Cohen criticism of Obama's inaction in Syria based on? Back when Obama requested congress approval to strike Assad in Syria he was denied by republicans. Do you remember? And why was Ms. Botox' s desire for a no fly zone to offer humanitarian support to war refugees made to be a hawkish war making idea by the GOP? The truth is that had Obama been a GOP president he would have had a quick approval in Syria. Have you failed to see the true nature of our politics? It is totally partisan- whatever the Democrats want the GOP opposes as a political strategy. You noted that Americans suffer from negative identity. Negative identity has it that political posturing against the demonized adversary is the only path towards getting a constituency to vote for you. Trump has no other imaginative, creative self -directive either. He has no principles or vision- only empty posturing against a demonized other- that's how he beat everyone up all the way to the White House. And he will be a contrarian because negative identity is all that folks who lack any vision, plans, are left with. Which is why he is pals with Putin for now- until Putin makes him look bad when he tries to annex another Baltic state. "El mono sabe el palo que trepa."

Anyway, I think there's something even deeper that drive nations to war and to believe they can peacekeep the entire planet- which is Cohen's desire for America. Wasn't it George Carlin who noted that war is just a bunch of men compensating for something missing in their underwear? Haha!

Anyway, here are some Syrian -Obama- memory lane links
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/09/01/world/middleeast/syria.html

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/congress/article24755329.html

10:48 PM  
Blogger Yossi said...

Rebecca Solnit talks about hope. I prefer Woody Allen "I felt a lot better when I gave up hope"

5:56 AM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Democrats are throwing a hissy fit, collectively supporting a scorched earth policy and individually smashing their toys. Slosh gasoline, fling matches, and then blame trump for their house fire. Sheesh. The repubs are no better - screeching talking points that have absolutely nothing to do with what's really going on.
.....Yep, a nation of morons. I keep to myself at my working class warehouse job filled with broken, ignorant as fuck, mental cripples gawking like turkeys in the rain at the promise of a bright new day in the Land-O-Trump.

My New Years present from the company? A lay-off notice until business picks back up sometime in February. Watch 'em pull a psy-op and hire

10:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Sounds gd, but there shd be a role for cole slaw and Russian dressing in there somewhere. Problem is that these people are so dense that I fear nothing can wake them up.

Juliet-

Neg identity is one factor in our politics, but it can hardly be reduced to that. Lots more involved. Check out QOV, for broader picture (unconscious programs etc.).

mb

2:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Can you imagine this in his farewell address? Obama announces:

"Looking back on my life, and esp. the last 8 yrs, I have not been able to avoid coming to a conclusion that I, and the progs, have been hiding from myself. There's simply no other way to say it: I'm a douche bag. I ask the progs not to mythologize me as the country did Ronald Reagan, who was a clown of the first order. I'm an empty person, and I represent the Seinfeld presidency. Nothing is my middle name. I cdn't lead a high schl basketball team, let alone the US. Please, progs, don't make me into a liberal hero. What I really am, is a joke. Happy New Year."

2:13 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

On the eve of New Year's Eve--a phrase straight out of the Department of Tautology Department--I wish WAFers and the GSWH a safe passing into the New Year. There's the signpost up ahead--your next stop, the Twilight Zone.

As for Obama being the Seinfeld president, a writer on the Salon website proposes an amusing designation for Trump: the substitute teacher of American presidents.

http://www.salon.com/2016/12/30/donald-trump-the-substitute-teacher-of-american-presidents/

Be careful out there tonight. Spirits will be high: citizens--and the odd illegal--will be suffering under alcohol intoxication and/or euphoria over the prospect of America's return to greatness.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous farticus said...

People doing such important systemically relevant accurate research out there.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865670212/Salt-Lake-tech-workers-experience-least-racism-survey-says.html (Mormons discriminate like hell).

Like Kaczynski I'm no fan of the technosphere and its marauding polit-bureaus of "progress". Yet, can you imagine paying for an over-priced CS degree at Cal Berkeley and then being hired there and then being told your work is no longer needed just your student loan payments?

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/09/27/it-workers-fear-more-outsourcing-u-california-system

http://kotchen.com/class-action-age-discrimination-lawsuit-filed-against-google/

Selective consciousness and discrimination surrounds us.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

I read the column linked below (forwarded by a friend) written by Ralph Nader recently:


https://blog.nader.org/2016/12/27/tripwires-for-the-trumpsters/

I think he needs tremendous amounts of therapy. Towards the end of his column he says:

"Nothing short of a robust organization of wise and experienced, retired military, national security and diplomatic officials, who served under both parties, supported by adequate resources and media access, can have a chance to slow down what can become a deadly momentum of brute force and troop expansion overseas.

"Enlightened billionaires have to step up to make this happen before..."

"Enlightened billionaires"....Jesus!!!



Best Wishes and a Happy New Year to you and Wafers!
Himanshu

8:36 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

Juliet -

A good deal of this sounds like DNC talking points. Make no mistake: Hillary was a tremendous bag of douche (isn't it wonderful we get to refer to her in the past tense?); a nasty woman who certainly did not want "to offer humanitarian support to war refugees." To your point about the supposed "partisan" nature of the US Congress, throughout his terms some of Obama's closest allies proved to be Republicans (a party which had little trouble appeasing O's corporatism & insatiable bloodlust). See his Trans Pacific Partnership, & his push to continue selling cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia as 2 key examples.

P.S. It shld probably be noted that Crimea is not a "Baltic state."

12:37 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Well, I'm happy to see the ass end of 2016. A tall Scotch, a Mose Allison LP, and lotsa memories are calling, Wafers. The Grim Reaper, took Mose a few weeks ago, of course, and has seen fit to take a helluva lot more this year. :-(

This seems like a gd one to go out with:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLLZHyWffQ0

Love to all,

Miles

1:39 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Happy New Year, Doctor Berman and fellow Wafers! Oh, that we should live to see this, the ultimate karma-Herr Trumpf! All the hell this country has visited on peoples around this planet is about to hit home. We'll be stuck in a 5 foot ditch within weeks. Yes, poor Oshitforbrains. Something tells me that he actually is coming to realize that these past 8 years have been little more than a celebrity photo op. Instead of wasting time with Russian sanctions, which Herr Trumpt can rescind after 25 days or so, he should, as Chomsky urges, provide a blanket pardon for all 11 million undocumented in the US. Will, Oshit do it? Or course not. That's too grand a gesture for his incremental mind.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Happy NY Wafers! 2017 kicked off with a bang on this side of the pond:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4079616/Some-people-won-t-having-happy-new-year-Carnage-streets-Britain-revellers-2017-boozy-night-no-one-s-wrapping-warm.html

Not sure if you also saw the news about the Istanbul shooting.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/01/turkey-nightclub-shooting-reina-nightclub-istanbul-victims-search-continues

Mass shootings and truck rampages are becoming weekly events in Europe now. We've got some catching up to do with the US, but we're getting there. Will be interesting to see if the Istanbul shooter is another ISIS fanatic or just a lunatic as most shootings in Europe so far have been largely caused by the former. We don't have too many Kevins yet.

My wish for 2017: see Donald and Vlad as drunk as Bill and Boris were in the 90s in the Kremlin, toasting to the end of the progs!

Kanye

7:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

Excremental mind, more like it.

Himan-

I wd have expected better from Ralph, but progism is a deadly virus, slowly eating away at the brain.

And to all Wafers, Happy New Year. Calendar will be rearranged: Trump 1 begins on Jan. 20. Karma will hit the US like a tornado.

mb

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Zim said...

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ignore-the-siren-voices-who-defend-marxism-wtdrb60lh?shareToken=d5f6b894adc786571069fe6ded208d13

Interesting experimental history / economics;

Article might be conflating capitalism and freedom, but interesting findings

4:06 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

This is what going out for a stroll now means in America...

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/news/local/crime/article124136254.html

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Happy 2017--more of nothing.

In a park, an american ~10yr old boy playing with a radio-controlled car--smashes it into an elderly man.

Doesn't say sorry. the elderly person says where's your manners, the child responds, "this is america, it's a free country, I can do anything I want."




8:20 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Happy New Trumpian Year, WAFers! What could be a more American than having a Texas state legislator get struck in the head and hospitalized by a stray bullet fired in celebration to ring in the annus of HIS glorious ascension:

http://www.statesman.com/news/national/texas-lawmaker-hit-head-stray-bullet-during-new-year-celebration/tB4BWSjIma7dspbN84kQxM/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

Not to be outdone, two different morons in Kansas City who don't understand the "what goes up must come down" rule fired off their guns at midnight and stuck their neighbors' houses:

http://fox4kc.com/2017/01/01/families-upset-when-their-homes-are-on-receiving-end-of-celebratory-gunfire/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

Next year, when the Trumpenfuhrer has made it MANDATORY for all citizens to possess at least one AK-47, bullets will no doubt be raining down like hail all over the country as the clock strikes midnight and liberal weenies cower in their basements still dreaming about the great and glorious revolution which will destroy the lumpen troglodytes forever and ever.

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Substance Abuse, Mental Illness Deaths Have Skyrocketed in Rural America.

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/substance-abuse-mental-health-deaths-have-skyrocketed-in-rural-america

2:31 AM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

Happy New Year MB & WAFers! May you all proper and enjoy good health in 2017 and beyond!

What a year this has been! Quite gratifying! To see the Fake News MSM, Hollywood, Silicon Valley crooks, and the Bush/Clinton crime families crushed is priceless. I have no idea how Trump will be as president, but seeing how viciously he is still being attacked by the aforementioned vermin, I trust he’ll be OK. Clearly we’re lousy at diplomacy, war, and art, so I say let’s get back to what we do best: hustling. I trust he will do great as hustler in chief. I am being practical here.

As far as these last days of Barry (for those not familiar with his unauthorized autobiography, that’s Obama), what an utter humiliation this has been for him. We’re talking serious butt hurt here.

But I kind of disagree with those rejoicing at Israel’s troubles. I am sorry, but I am not a self-hating Jew, and I also have had enough exposure to the “religion of peace” to know what it stands for. I bet most Palestinian women would much rather live in Israel than in Saudi Arabia. I bet most gays would rather live in Tel Aviv than in UAE. So I say, grab that land back and build beautiful condos on it. Condos with clean swimming pools, gardens, paved roads, palm trees and hibiscus bushes, no trash on the roads, and communities where women don’t have to wear a bag over their face in 110 degree summers just because some 6th century camel jabber “prophesied” they must. We definitely need more condos and less camel jabbers. So I say go build them condos from the Med to the Jordan River and beyond. Go Bibi!

Julian

4:49 AM  
Blogger remo26 said...

Came across this minor news item from 2012. MB, you have another Anglo neighbor.

Composer Michael Nyman is packing his bags and moving to Mexico – because he has had enough of crime-riddled London. Mr Nyman said he was permanently move to La Roma, in Mexico City, after becoming increasingly worried about the level of violence in London. 'You see more flowers left by lampposts as memorials to murdered citizens than you do in Mexico City.' He complained that knife crime in London is hugely concerning for him, and said yobs ran riot through the capital. 'I tell Mexicans that there is not a lot worse than being on top of bus at night when a bunch of yobs are throwing peanuts.'

Mr Nyman bought a property in the artistic district of La Roma in Mexico City in 2008. The bohemian area is a popular attraction for those wanting to escape the notorious smog and crime of Mexico City, which has struggled to throw off its reputation as a dangerous destination. Mr Nyman says he has 'no fear' of being in the metropolis and says the drug violence, which is rife in Mexico, does not affect the city. He moaned that the swarm of chain stores in Islington had robbed the busy area of its character, whereas vibrant Mexico City teemed with life and was a 'visual paradise.'

- remo

5:16 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Again this week, spot on analysis by JHK:
http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/forecast-2017-wheels-finally-come-off/

7:50 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Happy New Year, Dr. Berman! Looks like Tom Englehardt is one progressive who is having second thoughts about whether progressives or anyone else can halt America's decline - he now recognizes his own mostly unconscious adherence to the notion of "American Exceptionalism" and the hold the republicans have at the state and national levels. The rhetoric of democratic politicians as well as Trump would seem to suggest that recognition of America's decline even among the powerful. No "fix it strategies" anywhere in this article!

Mike

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176226/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_it_can_happen_here_%28in_fact%2C_it_did%21%29/#more

10:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Steve-

Sorry, cdn't post it. We have a half-page-max rule on this blog. Pls compress by 50%, and re-send. Thank you.

Michael-

It's nice to see one aware prog not having his ass in rump. All those progs running around with signs saying NOT MY PRESIDENT. More accurate would be NOT MY COUNTRY, with the conclusion that dummies stay, intelligent people leave. Progs are actually silly people: Hedges now plans to march on Washington, Jan. 21. Rotsa ruck, amigo. The fact is that the progs, like Trump, are unaware of the historical reality of civilizational decline, and insist that America is exceptional and that they can make the country great again. It's not really a different ideology from Trump's, when you get rt down to it, and it is, at this point in time, profoundly stupid.

Kanye-

Yeah, Jim is always on target. I'm going to say a few words along the lines of End of Story, Muchachos, on inauguration day. But the major pt is that the period 2017-20 will see an accelerated unraveling of the nation. I've been writing about this since 2000, of course, but now we are seriously entering The Crunch.

jj-

We're going 2c a lot more of that...

mb

10:57 AM  
Anonymous AS said...

Cellphone Cover Shaped Like Gun Causes Police Standoff in California

"A cellphone cover caused confusion and a lot of trouble for police in Alhambra, California, after officers were called to a parking lot to deal with a driver, whom they thought was armed.

Turns out, the man was asleep beside a cellphone case shaped like a gun, but Alhambra police didn’t realize until hours later, once the individual surrendered."

https://www.rt.com/usa/372582-cellphone-gun-case-california/

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Detours said...

Wafer bloggers and other readers: I've been researching John Berger's legacy after his death yesterday and want to point out this short film I just watched on YouTube that some of you might like. I thought it was oddly poignant and moving and I learned a lot about Berger from it. Hope you enjoy:

John Berger or The Art of Looking (2016)

https://youtu.be/_IeBcecwcQw

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Get ready--Jan 19th and 20th--the progressives/liberals/not my prezies will be sloganeering, bumper stickering, clever word plays, chanting, percussive beats, millenial angst, boomer flatus, Gen X farbissiner faces, posters, interviews from propaganda main stream us "news" shills, and emotional stunted overly "educated" basement dwellers still clutching to a turd of "hope."

The marches will be very impressive, lots of bravado, fury, hot air--signifying nothing.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Official intelligence report on Russian hack is pretty thin:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/something-about-this-russia-story-stinks-w458439

Waiting for Obama to declare Taibbi a Kremlin stooge.

Miles

4:01 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Tom - to go along with the national bird, anthem, etc. I think we should make meth the national drug. Its effects are way more entertaining to watch than prozac, especially if a half pound is included with each ak distributed to all americans.

End of Story, eh prof? Somehow I just now came across Bucky Fuller's Grunch of Giants. Synchronicity comes in weird forms. Can't wait for your essay!

8:33 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Michael B - the surprise in reading that Englehardt piece is his confession of how profoundly shocked he was by the election results, and how Trump's victory was genuine revelation for him. I've been reading him off and on for more than a decade, and the points he makes in this piece should have been quite obvious years ago--in fact I'll go as far as to credit TomDispatch with being one of those alternative voices--along with DAA and Ian Welsh--that helped open my eyes to the grim truth about America. This sentence near the end sums it all up for me: "It will be an America whose destructive power only grows but whose ability to translate that into anything approaching victory eternally recedes." Which has been the case going back to at least the day we invaded Iraq, if not further.

Bingo -- that is some rather ridiculous trolling right there. Without that $38 billion annual gift from the American taxpayers Israel could not afford to build those settlements, and without being able to hide under America's military umbrella Israel would very quickly be in deep doo-doo. Which, coincidentally, is exactly where Israel is headed when America finally does pull itself apart and collapses. I agree with the notion that anyone who can decamp from America ought to consider doing so, but moving to Tel Aviv would be jumping out the frying pan right into the fire.

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Wile E Coyote said...

This is the man we need to lead our great nation.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4058472/Sweden-s-Dr-Anal-practising-struck-performing-hundreds-dubious-massages-patients.html

He could run under the platform: "America needs a massage!"


Incidentally, reading Faulkner's Snopes Trilogy, and think Wafers might enjoy it. That is, if they can stand Faulkner.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Detours-

A great man, John Berger, and one of my heroes. I usta assign "Ways of Seeing" to my university classes.

Bill, Bingo-

Suggested rdg on the Israeli situation today: "Goliath," by Max Blumenthal. It has basically turned into a fascist state.

Mike R.-

I just wish they would march under a huge banner that says DOUCHE BAGS UNITED. Now that's truth in advertising! More effective, and valuable to the nation, is if they would march on *themselves*. Suggested posters: CAN MORONS BE STOPPED?; OUR EFFORTS DON'T AMOUNT TO SHIT, etc. (Wafers are encouraged to submit additional slogans.)

AS-

Not clear why they didn't gun him down like a dog. Police policy since 9/11 has been Shoot first, ask questions later.

mb

10:19 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Isn't Trump one of the "Elites"?


http://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/01/03/magazine/how-elites-became-one-of-the-nastiest-epithets-in-american-politics.html

2:08 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

I have been reading the book “Order out of chaos” by Ilya Prigogine. I was referred to an interview of his (it is linked below) back in 1983, which is a lucid explanation of his life’s works. Reading through the interview I was reminded of your explorations in ROW, CTOS, and WG.
http://www.omnimagazine.com/archives/interviews/prigogine/index.html

Commenting on differences between Einstein and his attitude to science: “….The attitude of Einstein toward science, …was to go beyond the reality of the moment... Einstein wanted to travel away from the turmoil, from the wars. He wanted to find some kind of safe harbor in eternity. For him science was an introduction to a timeless reality behind the illusion of becoming. My own attitude is very different because, to some extent, I want to feel the evolution of things. I don't believe in transcending, but in being embedded in a reality that is temporal.”
On the classical view of nature: “….the classical view of nature was passive…Joseph Needham, the great [British] historian, often said that Western thought has oscillated between seeing the world as an automaton and seeing it as a theological construct in which God governs the universe. Actually, these two views are not so inconsistent. If the world is an automaton, it needs a God to govern it. An automaton is not self-governed. But this kind of concept presents us with a rather tragic choice: to accept scientific rationality and the alienation that is the consequence of this acceptance; or to go into philosophical speculations that are divorced from contact with science. I think such a choice is no longer necessary.”
I hope Wafers enjoy reading this interview.

Himanshu

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Interesting stuff:

https://newrepublic.com/article/138946/literary-agents

5:13 AM  
Anonymous Tye said...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-38512736

Wow RD Laing bio pic coming soon to close Glasgow Film Fest

8:31 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

See Paul Street's piece in Counterpunch-"Beyond Anti-Trump"? Could someone please take this man out of his misery? "Let 2017 be a year of radical awakening in the United States. Imagine millions of U.S. citizens rising...to confront the unelected capitalist and imperial deep state that controls the nation...A many sided peoples' revolution begins..." Absolutely! A nation of 310 million techno-douchebags will suddenly put down their phones and organize, the same people who believe this country fought against Russia in WW II. Then I see the senator from Wall Street, Chuck Schumer and good ol' reliable Bernie Sanders interviewed on Rachel Maddow and both are committed to supporting "the middle class." Can't at least one Dem say working people and minorities? Of course not. There's no money in that.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

Progs are morons; it's as simple as that. They have no idea that they contributed mightily to Trump's victory, and that at least half the country wishes they'd move to Madagascar. They'll have a lot to excite them over the next 8 yrs, posturing, marching, and so on. They will accomplish fuckall.

mb

11:15 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

You can't make this up dept.:

https://www.rt.com/viral/372543-semen-syringe-squirter-arrested/

Timothy Blake, 28, arrested for squirting female shoppers with w/semen-filled syringe. His own semen, BTW. Jesus, I need a sandwich.

Miles

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...


Interesting article on the pitfalls of the American concept of meritocracy and how it relates to the economy and our culture.

"In the absence of other sources of meaning, Americans are left with meritocracy, a game of status and success, along with the often ruthless competition it engenders."

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/12/spiritual-crisis-modern-economy/511067/

Is Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg eyeing a run for the White House?

http://www.newsweek.com/mark-zuckerberg-president-2020-facebook-white-house-538386

2:35 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

This is quite interesting:
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/jan/02/us-uk-box-office-top-20-2016-fantasy-sci-fi-film

"Only two of the 20 best-performing films in the US in 2016 was a “real world” story, compared with four in the UK". Adults are all becoming children. And progs expect people with 3D fishes and Spidermans in their heads to start a revolution?!

Kanye

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

It's fun watching the us shit show. It's coming to afore--400yrs or so of hustling, smiling propaganda, and swindling. america provides non -stop entertainment.

We got american thugs kidnapping and torturing a mentally disabled young man. The "news" has serious string musak in the promos, and pensive, bottom lip biting faces saying all the right things for the sheep, tons of stupedent loan debt sprinkled with happy talk and somedays, and imbecilesspinning wildly in the hamster wheel of american "life" to impress a boss and pay endless taxes.

Give the dog a bone, grab a beverage of your choice, popcorn, and enjoy the show!

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

Fantasy movies are an escape from reality. Which suck for most Americans and anglos

8:00 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

How do we isolate American power in Australasia? That's our conundrum. Do we send the Marines home?

9:29 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Elderly couple commits suicide by jumping off a building together...It kina reminds me of the people jumping off the Titanic when it was going down.

http://m.reviewjournal.com/news/elderly-couple-dies-after-fall-silverton-parking-garage-apparent-suicide

10:02 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB - I tried to read Goliath and only made it through about the first 100 pages. The book was just too damn depressing. I expect such barbaric behavior out of third world authoritarian regimes, but to see it happening in a democratic nation founded by Holocaust survivors makes one despair for humanity.

Meanwhile, the man who's pledged to be Israel's bestest ever buddy continues to amaze. Whatever else you want to say about Trump, it takes real guts for an incoming president to wage a full scale political war against the intelligence community. He is absolutely correct about how sclerotic those agencies have become. CIA headquarters employs many thousands of people, and the biggest complaint I've heard from people who work there is how even the smallest, most inconsequential bit of intelligence reporting has to pass through six layers of management approval. No chance of watering down or group think there.

On the other side, you have idiot Democrats and liberals DEFENDING the CIA and assailing Julian Assange despite the fact that not one single Wikileaks document has proved to be false or a forgery. I'm so old I remember back in 1970s when the Democrats wanted to abolish the CIA. Now it has suddenly become every patriotic American's duty to swallow the agency's bullshit without question.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

I think these are symptoms of an entire way of life coming apart. Severe contradictions abound, and less and less makes any sense. The sheer level of nonsense in most American institutions is mind-boggling. As for Israel, something like 10% of its citizens (mostly young people) have emigrated, with the country of choice--talk abt irony--being Germany. These folks just can't live with Israeli fascism anymore. I tell ya, you live long enuf and literally anything is possible.

mb

10:58 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Been rereading Lasch's "Culture of Narcissism". Another lash to the ongoing throbbing wound of this American life. That book detailed trends that have to be at some absolute peak at this point. The section where he describes a kind of free market of interchangeable genitalia as narcissistic dating is made literal in the absurd abuse of online "dating". Even people I have long respected have fallen into this trap out of sheer desperation. Everything on demand, nothing organic.

But probably his most depressing insight is that competence is basically meaningless in the game of American life. It's taken me longer than most people to get it, but at the age of 26 I finally feel like I need to do something to rid myself of my compulsion towards knowledge and self-improvement. I would be much better served learning how to become a really good actor, since that's all it takes to make it. We are in a kind of phantasmagorical society where almost everything is fake.

I have a friend that says that if you want to know America, just study professional wrestling. Trump is the first pro wrestling president. People want to be lied to, they don't have enough self-esteem for the truth. His fakeness is the attraction.

Because the end, everybody knows its fake, but can't take their eyes off the screen.

12:36 AM  
Blogger remo26 said...

Speaking about Israel as someone who emigrated from the US to IL about 12 yrs. ago, as with all things the issues aren't so simple to dissect. The emigrants (which they call brain drain here) are mostly leaving for economic reasons. Berlin has about 350,000 Jews now. In 2015 I think, there was an IL expat. who posted the price comparison for dairy products from IL and similar ones in DE - with DE being about 50% cheaper. This is in a country in which gas costs about $8/gal with 65% being recently reported as tax. True tax levels are basically at about 50%. So, as I was told when I visited before moving, "If you want to be a millionaire in Israel, come with 2 million first."

Now, much of this tax goes to support the military-industrial complex in IL and the land grabs. BTW, I'm inside the green line and personally selectively boycott IL brands that aren't. So, to say the whole country is fascist is overdoing it. We have ethnic racism within the Jewish population which slices all constituencies into fragments (e.g. the Russians, the Ethiopian, Mizrahim (myself included), and others). The right wing gov. has captured the imagination of the public through fear-mongering and complacency.

There is much more that could be said, but this wouldn't be the forum. If anyone wants to continue, you can post to continue via email. I'll leave it with a brief comment that I made to my prog cousin (Clinton supporter) living in DC after Trump won. She kept saying 'I can't believe how this happened. What will become of our democracy?' I said 'don't worry. You'll learn to deal with it. Now you'll know what it's like for us to live under Bibi for 10 yrs.'

- remo

4:50 AM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

MB,

This guy from the University of Connecticut might owe you at least a “thank you” for borrowing from your ideas so heavily:

“Professor predicts societal collapse in 2020s”:

https://www.rt.com/usa/372797-societal-collapse-2020-predictions/

Bill Hicks,

Check out this interview with Steve Pieczenik, who is a psychiatrist who worked for the CIA at a high level. This is the best explanation I have heard so far. Trump has to go against them because they have been taken over by Saudi and Chinese money, and Trump stands against everything they built since the 90s. Brennan is a Wahhabi convert, and Huma Abedin, another Wahhabi, was not an accident in Clinton’s clique. Most of Clinton's cash came from Saudi and China. I could go on. This is why Trump has surrounded himself with the generals -- for protection against the spooks while he dismantles them. Trump is playing very high stakes poker with some very creepy elements. Creepy but not very intelligent. So far he won every round. Trump is at least 2 standard deviations above the IQ of the most intelligent CIA employee. I am a psychologist, I assess people’s intelligence all the time. Underestimating Trump is going to be their fatal mistake. And it couldn’t happen to nicer people. This is the interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOLlGM7RC4c

6:36 AM  
Blogger Janus said...

Dio-

Your comments on online "dating" resonate. But, can you still call it a trap if you are conscious of what you're getting into?

As one of the handful of millennial male wafers on here, I can confirm the marketplace of interchangeable genitalia is real. Everybody is searching for some kind of love, but are unable to really provide it themselves. Online shopping in your head has a funny way of killing romance, and if instant gratification isn't there, it's on to the next option the algorithm gives you. There's really no time given to get a sense of a person as a complete being, because we're all really there as interchangeable parts that usually don't fit correctly. No time for nuance or cultivation --- everything has to be buttoned up and choreographed at all times lest your humanity accidentally spill out. "Chemistry" is code for butterflies, and if you don't feel them at first sight, well --- into the ether the other often disappears.

I can't even claim total moral superiority in this regard. As we know, technology is not value neutral, and I am not immune to all its side effects.

But, as you say, desperation for connection makes one do funny things. In a land where people spend their days driving boxes to and fro in order to work in bigger boxes while staring and typing into a variety of smaller boxes, who has time for meaningful connection? Warmth? Eye contact? Cognizance is rewarding, but it doesn't keep you warm at night.

The encouragement from others here to *get out* of the US takes on greater meaning for me every day.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Janus-

A few things.

1st, always capitalize Wafers. We are the crème de la crème, and all modesty aside, this blog represents the most evolved form of consciousness in the entire universe. Of course, Giordano Bruno believed in the existence of multiple universes, but inasmuch as he was an early Wafer/heretic, I'm sure he wd have said, just prior to being roasted, that Waferdom was the highest form of consciousness in all those universes.

2nd, if you don't hit the road you need to have your head examined. What do you think awaits you down the road, when yr in yr 60s? Social Security? Don' make me laugh. We'll be broke, while spending trillions to fight some irrelevant, verkakte country on the other side of the globe. During your lifetime, the US will go from bad to worse to horrendous. No need to stick around for that, amigo.

3rd, I do wish there were more young folks like yrself on this blog; we cd always use fresh, intelligent blood.

mb

3:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Massacres are now occurring at a more-frequent-than-daily basis now, in the US. Here's the latest:

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/06/us/fort-lauderdale-airport-incident/index.html

I wonder if the 'experts' (read: deluded douche bags) are still telling us that all of these are caused by psychotic loners. Let's never think abt the sociology of the American Way of Life, oh no. (For those of you who haven't read Mark Ames, "Going Postal," now wd be a gd time.)

mb

3:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: This is also kinda nice:

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/06/us/chicago-facebook-live-beating/index.html

It shd be clear by now that all of these problems are not systemic, or cultural, or historical. All we need to do to eliminate them is elect the right politicians, and everything will be fine. Hillary was obviously correct: our best days are ahead of us. Whee!

mb

4:07 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

I once read an article that talked about the number of whack jobs per capita increases as population density goes up. The guy who would be just a harmless village idiot in a small town goes berserk if living in a large city.
...I'm wondering if social media could create the same kind of overload. Constant ring of fone, ping of incoming texts, the cacophony of everybody around you clicking and pinging and seemingly talking to themselves certainly addles me - and I guess I consider myself somewhat stable.

Society appears to have reached some critical mass, individuals snapping everywhere you look. The fone culture has got to have something to do with it.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous The Craw said...

Dr. B.

Re: Israelis emigrating to Berlin - "...[Y]ou live long enuf and literally anything is possible."

It was inevitable once folks started showing up at shul in their Mercedes and BMWs.

O&D everybody!

5:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Craw-

Well, long time in coming. 60 yrs ago, they did it at my shul with Cadillacs. It was then that I began to think that there was something seriously wrong with organized religion.

Comrade-

Yeah, no doubt. Check out works by Sherry Turkle.

mb

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Detours said...

Yo check it: "A life in quotes: John Berger"

"The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied … but written off as trash. The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which a beggar is a reminder of nothing.”

But yo, is that Berger insight accurate, I mean beyond its initial expression of a certain polemical truth?

As a change up, here's a quote that I just found from Thomas McGuane:

“I suppose I am a bit left of Left. America has become a dildo that has turned beserkly on its owner."

If I understand the Wafer-ethos correctly, that statement seems merely polemical, but only at first blush. Then it suddenly turns out to be dead on accurate!!!

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jan/02/a-life-in-quotes-john-berger

https://www.amazon.com/Conversations-Thomas-McGuane-Literary/dp/1578068878/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483738339&sr=8-1&keywords=Conversations+with+Thomas+McGuane

6:24 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

As the networks summon their terrorism consultants to TV studios to dissect the latest outrage, it is clear to me why the first question is this: was this an act of terrorism?

It takes me a while to tumble to things sometimes. This is the first question because no one wants to accept that there's just a shitload of crazy mofos living here, some of whom are armed, and just one irritant away from fucking somebody up. Not terrorists, just angry people. Who, Lord knows, might even live down the block from you.

Unsettlng shit. Identifying the violent acts as those of terrorists seems somehow calming. The label is something that we can understand, more or less.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and fellow Wafers of the world,

William Silva, unhappy w/his drive-thru wait, exploded and attacked a McDonald's worker:

http://rare.us/story/police-say-a-man-frustrated-by-long-mcdonalds-drive-thru-line-took-his-fury-inside-and-it-didnt-end-well/

Incidentally, I often think deeply about Shaneka Torres these days; the best ways she could change her dietary habits and renounce her violent tendencies. I sincerely hope she is doing okayl. Do they serve bacon burgers in maximum security facilities?

Re: Fort Lauderdale mass shooting

I'm disappointed Esteban couldn't take out a few more. You guys know me, I'm always rooting for a high body count.

Miles

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...

Quoth James Allen: "Identifying the violent acts as those of terrorists seems somehow calming. The label is something that we can understand, more or less."

More to the point, amigo, the label is something we use to avoid understanding. Self-examination is way too painful for the comfortable.

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

It must be from all those endless americans wars --he just flipped out. Just another crazy america solider gone wild. Cue: hysterical laughter. Couldn't be the american society, or the severely mentally deranged populace?! Nothing to see. Move along and buy more stuff. And eat More us propaganda "news."

Then the imbecilic "judge" in Shitcago to the 4 thugs who tortured an autistic man--'where's your common decency?' WTF? Your "honor"--they're american douche bags who's religion is hustling and posting narcopathic images of each other. It's a failed empire that needs to end already. In fact, it dead and just doesn't know it.

Someone push the fkg reset button already. Maybe become a soda jerk.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Remo,
I assume you know about Elor Azaria who killed Al Sharif and was convicted of manslaughter instead of first degree murder. The only reason he was convicted at all is that it was filmed; otherwise, it would just be one more of the 240 Palestinians killed this year in the occupied territories. Still, had Azaria been an Ashkenazi instead of a Sephardic Jew ,even filmed, he or she would not have been charged at all as racism has even imbued the military. Would you agree? In my view the entire country of Israel is one gigantic war criminal starting with the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1947 and continuing to the present or as Elon Pappe writes, "Israel has never stopped killing Palestinians."
Poor country. I seriously doubt it will see its centennial in 2048. It was created specifically to advance western interests in that region ("Our cop on the beat", said Melvin Laird under Nixon) and I fear the great powers will turn its back (maybe it already started with the recent UN vote) as Israel is seen more as a regional liability than an asset. Just some thoughts. What do you think?

9:30 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


Amerikns having a good time....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMhdPbe23wU
NLM, No Lives Matter in this sinful country. Ask the natives who froze to their deaths on the Trail of Tears.

The Chicago gang wouldn't look so loathsome if they wore the US military uniform or spoke slick like Obanga ...while having fun, 'murikn style.
http://www.antiwar.com/news/?articleid=8560





9:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Remo, Dan-

Even then, there have been major protests against his being convicted at all. How incredible this is, that Israel has come to this. Anyway, here's the bk Bibi doesn't want u2 read:

https://www.amazon.com/Ethnic-Cleansing-Palestine-Ilan-Pappe/dp/1851685553/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1483761092&sr=1-1&keywords=ilan+pappe+the+ethnic+cleansing+of+palestine

mb

10:48 PM  
Anonymous The Craw said...

Miles:
Tread lightly on the Ft. Lauderdale body count thing. Shooter, Estaban Santiago, is an Iraq war vet who deployed there at the ripe old age of 20 as a combat engineer. Their duties include clearing mines and IEDs - the kinda stuff that will give you nightmares and cold sweats for life. His aunt reports that he ain't been right ever since. Said he'd been hearing "voices". Report said he walked into his local FBI office a couple of months ago and told them the"voices" wanted him to join ISIS.

Reports say he executed several victims with a single shot to the head -folks just waiting to get their bags.

A tragedy all the way around. It's unseemly and inhuman to root for a higher body count.

Dr. B
Sorry for the 24hr violation.

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Janus,

You wrote: Online shopping in your head has a funny way of killing romance, and if instant gratification isn't there, it's on to the next option the algorithm gives you. There's really no time given to get a sense of a person as a complete being, because we're all really there as interchangeable parts that usually don't fit correctly. No time for nuance or cultivation ---
And you added no time for meaningful connections, warmth or eye contact

Sounds like you know where the human lies. Don't fall for the technological fix; stay human it's the best approach to life.

10:56 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

Dr. Berman,

The shootings made me think of something a friend of mine told me I'd thought you all here might want to hear.

I have a friend who is a psychologist out in California. His main focus these days is workplace bullying and abuse. He told me that much of the mental illness we suffer here in the USA is likely due to how we are treated at work and the fact we have no ability to do anything about it. Many counselors think this is true too but will always diagnose the cause as something else. They won't call a spade a spade because they are afraid the worker will go tell his or her employer that their counselor says they are behind their mental troubles. And the counselors, being dependent on employer supplied healthcare, do not want to be dropped as a provider at the insistence of the employer.

12:09 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

BH-

Yeah, probably true. But the work situation, which I'm guessing sucks for most Americans, is part of a larger cultural configuration, because if hustling is the core behavior in the US, it means that you are always competing with someone else, or wanting to be someone else. The problem is compounded by our scientific (or scientistic) way of looking at things: if it's not measurable, it's not real. But most of the things that matter--such as how we feel abt ourselves--are not measurable. So psychologically speaking, life sucks in America and 99+% of the population don't know how to get a handle on it.

Hustling and competition make for a pretty awful way of life. The abuse is not limited to the workplace; when I lived in the US, I saw it everywhere I went: social gatherings, meetings of all kinds, sports, universities--just abt any institution you can think of. Americans treat each other like crap, until a fuse blows and someone guns down a whole bunch of people. If you think abt this sociologically, it's hardly surprising. The Ft. Lauderdale massacre is a perfect example of chickens coming home to roost. Basically, the US consists of a whole lot of very abused, and very angry, chickens.

Reforming the system will not work; this is something the progs just don't understand. Supposedly, just before he was killed, MLK told Harry Belafonte that he felt like he was herding his followers into a burning church. What he meant was, the civ rts movement was abt black people getting their fair share of the pie, but the problem was that the whole pie was rotten. Who wants a fair share of a rotten pie? The root cause of our problems is spiritual, in the sense that our values are totally fucked up. The Americans who understand this--a very tiny handful--become NMI's (or leave the country). Because choice in the US amounts to Wendy's vs. Burger King. What you *cannot* opt to do is live in a nonconsumerist, noncorporate, nonhustling, noncompetitive society, and as long as that option is foreclosed, you can't attain the inner satisfaction that we are all longing for (whether we know it or not).

If reform will not work, then, what will? Let me leave you with this to ruminate on: the way out is through. We have to run this model out to the bitter end, until it implodes. At that pt, serious alternatives--not progstuff--will start to emerge. As I note in my Dual Process essay, this is already happening, tho it's more likely to be successful in other countries. When we chose to be what we are, 400 yrs ago, and then persistently ignored alternative voices (Emerson, Thoreau, etc.), we sealed our fate. As I pt out in WAF, this is what "Moby-Dick" is actually abt; Melville saw it coming, and this is why the Pequod had to go under. (The bk was not a success in his lifetime and he died in poverty.)

mb

12:44 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

The Craw-

Re: Ft. Lauderdale

I'm sorry if I offended you or any other Wafer w/my intemperate remarks about the Fort Lauderdale massacre. In no way should my comment be taken seriously, or understood as anything other than a send up to the insane violence that is suffered daily in this nation. In other words, it was a feeble attempt at irony. Nevertheless, yr right, it is a tragic situation all the way around. I apologize if I crossed the line.

Sincerely,

Miles

ps: Please excuse this 2nd post violation, MB.

1:02 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

I was just reading about Vico's Stages...

Theocratic ---> Aristocratic ---> Democratic ---> Fall into Chaos and Barbarism --> Back to a Theocratic Age.

It appears we are either entering or already smack dab in the Chaos and Neo-Barbarism stage (Dark Ages America?).....and then comes a Neo-Theocratic Age? Is that sure to come next?

1:04 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@BH

Nothing in the macrocosom of politics surprises me because I have already seen it in employment microcosms. Most companies and schools are structured like the Trump/Obama presidencies- absent, grandiose leaders who indulge in scapegoating and blatant deception, a small cadre of eager, short-sighted lietenants, and a mass of disaffected workers who alternate between utter contempt and apologism for superiors, who communicate with them as if they were children. I am almost bored with the transition drama because it is just a more public display of behavior you normally see if you spend any time in a workplace.

@Janus
Most people in most times just need to find the particular content, the person, to meet an obvious cultural definition of adult intimacy. We need to find both the very meaning of the concept and the person to match it.

Does it really mean something if you have sex with somebody? When are you really dating them? What means yes and what means no? Are you in your rights to meet somebody and blow them off afterward?

I think the Boomers created silly, socially constructed answers to such questions (3 date rule!) that have collapsed, and in millenials you see both an unrestrained id and a newly emerging superego disgusted with this license (see increased celibacy).

@All
This guy seems to be doing God's work north of the border...

https://shitaboutcanada.com/about-2/

2:58 AM  
Blogger Yossi said...

MB
I liked your 12.44am response but can you tell an old man what an NMI is?

7:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

For a slightly different take on historical evolution, check out my essay on Pitirim Sorokin, buried somewhere in the archive section of this blog (a few yrs back); you can also google it.

Craw-

I just wanna add, I took Miles' remark in the same light: a send-up of American violence. In the same way, I've occasionally called for the US to nuke Paris or Toronto, and for the govt to give everyone an AK-47, a drone, and a nuclear weapon. I guess the idea is that we are so busy massacring each other and everyone else, why not take it to the limit, and be done w/it? Nevertheless, just as well you and Miles had that exchg, to clarify things.

A massacre--now defined as the killing or maiming of 4 or more people--is now occurring in the US at a rate of more than 1 per day. The mind boggles. It also boggles at the attempt by 'experts' to endlessly tell us, every time, that the killer was a loner, a psychotic, whatever. So what? This rate of killing can only be understood sociologically, which is why I mentioned the bk by Mark Ames. What I argue in WAF is that there is something deeply wrong w/the American expt, a fundamental human mistake that goes back 400 yrs or more. It took long enuf to play out, but here we are. Ca. 1800, Benjamin Rush predicted that the US wd collapse in "an orgy of selfishness." He had a very clear crystal ball, obviously. These massacres are largely the expression of rage and pain, on the part of a populace led to believe that the purpose of life is to accumulate wealth, or fame, or power, and to own a huge house and fill it w/expensive objects. Not only are these goals unattainable for most of the population; they are also stupid goals, by which I mean anti-life. Pitirim Sorokin called this way of life "Sensate," and predicted, ca. 1937, that we were reaching the outer limits of it and starting to morph into something else ("Ideational"). But historically speaking, transitions of this size are usually pretty messy; or as I like to say, You don't get history for free. As we morph toward something else, we are going to see the positive face of Dual Process (see my essay on this as well); but also some very dark events, now foreshadowed by Trump. I wd guess that the next 10-20 yrs will see food and water shortages, rioting, mass migrations, many more massacres, and the imposition of martial law. What this blog hopes to accomplish, and what I have been struggling to do in my published work, is create a vantage pt from which to understand what is happening to us, because this is hardly the 1st time in history that a change of this dimension has occurred. "In a dark time, the eye begins to see." (Theodore Roethke) Anyway, I think that's where Miles was coming from, but I do appreciate your contribution to this ongoing discussion of the sad but inevitable wreckage of America.

mb

7:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ay, Yossi, you alte kaker...you are seriously telling me you haven't read my work? I'm crushed, Yossi; crushed. Check out "The Twilight of American Culture," chapter on the Monastic Option. NMI = New Monastic Individual. This is someone who understands that America is on the way down, but is unable or unwilling to emigrate. So s/he does an inner emigration, working quietly to preserve what is left of the culture that is positive. Hopefully, you will enter into our ranks. But most important, we hope you will buy thousands of copies of the Twilight bk and distribute them to yr friends. Maybe tens of thousands.

mb

8:42 AM  
Blogger ab645471 said...

@MB

"...on the part of a populace led to believe that the purpose of life is to accumulate wealth, or fame, or power..."

They weren't led to believe. They believe.

9:13 AM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Craw, Miles, MB and all Wafers,
Justice, compassion and the American Way make it a thought crime to bring up for discussion a concept like "Some people should be put to sleep". Not restricted to progs, but every 'merican is a precious little snowflake no matter what age race sexual identity creed religion or politics they deploy as facebook munitions.
....the psycho dog barking madly lunging for the fence only to be choked back when it hits the end of a chain is not at fault, was pro'ly cute as a puppy. It's the owner's fault. People aren't any different than the rest of the animal kingdom - chain us, yell at us, beat us, and deprive us of bacon and you damn right we're gonna snap, too. Somebody gets bit when the dog's chain snaps and somebody get hurt real bad when a human animal snaps.

You can see the chain on the dog but where's the sign on the aberrant human? How 'bout when arrested you get chipped with your psyche profile and violent criminal history all accessible via fone app? It's just taking pedo registry to a new level now that the technology is freely available!

10:34 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Here's a gd essay on what we *shd* be abt; sad to say, Americans will never be able to do it. And cell phones don't help.

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/01/05/leaving-age-disconnect

mb

10:34 AM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

Carl Jung, “The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.”

Wafers, MB
Life is a hustle when resources become scarce. Americans refuse to see a class war because they have been made to believe that obscene amounts of wealth are proof of virtue- which is why income inequality doesn't seem to bother the vast majority of them. Poverty is shameful and wealth is virtue; that narrative isn't new- it is the internalized anger of a victim who doesn't see a solution in collectivity. The rugged individualism is what makes Americans different from other western countries. Americans don't know what a meaningful life is - acting collectively in something greater than themselves- which is why they are obsessed with achieving happy life instead- hedonism accompanies our socio-economic philosophies. The Happy PR that you see in social media is from people who have no idea of how to live a meaningful life. That constant competition about who is the happiest! Even their acts of charity seem embedded inside Hustling- it is all about how it makes you look but never about how it feels. Trump had a charity- he knows good PR. So did Clinton- although at least 90% of their donations went to actual work. People are full of contradictions - because we have often times contradictory wants and desires- some though, are more at a loss than others because they live in an environment that stuns their growth. I for once don't think the Orange Anus is all bad- he must have some virtue in him despite his narcissistic personality. He is just- in my view- worse than the Botox lady because in her past she was at least able to step outside of herself to aide others- and time will tell if my assessment is correct. Will we recover from a Trump presidency? To wish for something better emerging from it can very well be a fantasy as well.

Just look at Israel- will they emerge from right wing fascism? Especially, when those who despise it leave?
JC

12:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Juliet-

America was abt hustling in the late 16C, when resources were plentiful. It's just much worse now.

mb

2:45 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

What a douchebag:
http://time.com/4627311/obama-farewell-party-celebrities/

5:42 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Bingo -- I completely agree with you about "Trump's generals," who he placed in charge of the military, homeland security and the intelligence communities, exactly the areas of the government he needs to control to prevent any kind of coup. As for the spooks underestimating him, it seems pretty obvious that after 8 years of making punk Obama dance to their tune, they forgot that the president has very real power--close to that of a dictator should he choose to operate as one. In their hubris, they thought they could undermine Trump's legitimacy without paying any kind of price, and they're about to find out how wrong they are. This is also why Trump won't stop twittering--that's the way he communicates to his real base, the portion of the population that owns a vast majority of the guns and would likely take to the streets en masse looking for blood after just one tweet from the leader.

Dio -- that Canadian blog you linked is priceless. Every douchebag American liberal who thinks they'd be decamping to a progressive utopia that's just like the US but without Republicans should note even a Canadian is saying that the reason Canada is a bad place to live is that in most of the ways that have nothing to do with partisan politics it is just like the U.S. John Dolan, who writes the fantastic War Nerd column under the pen name Gary Brecher, who an article for The Exiled a while back in which he describes the nightmare he and his wife experienced after emigrating to Victoria in the early 2000s. Long story short, they both lost their jobs and ended up homeless and starving while none of the locals could be bothered to give a flying fuck. As to your first point, I'm convinced that the cancer that nearly killed me was the result of workplace stress.

6:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

I'm ashamed of those actors who did show up to the pathetic party of the Turkey and Turkette. Of Seinfeld esp., altho it's fitting, as this presidency was indeed a show about nothing. How cd Meryl Streep or Tom Hanks do such a thing?

mb

6:16 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

For something completely different check out the essay featured in the New York Times titled "The James Bond of Philanthropy Gives Away The Last of His Fortune - about a man with real unpretentious Class, with a capital C.

The website Blessed Unrest - www.blessedunrest.com About an unheralded world wide movement of groups of people large and small who are attempting to make a positive different amongst the now everywhere TV wasteland, especially in the USA. I reckon that a lot of these people would be very sympathetic with the contents of Dark Ages America and Why America Failed.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Douche bag in chief: This writer pegs it correctly:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/editorials/2017/01/08/home-and-abroad-obama-trail-disasters/YOaU1KuAT3hSHaGHkmGCeN/story.html?s_campaign=bdc:globewell:trending&s_campaign=bdc:globewell:trending

8 yrs of a nonentity sitting in the White House. Is it a surprise that many regard Il Trumpo as a breath of fresh air? The douche bag made Trump possible.

mb

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Steve in So Cal said...

Thank you, Morris, for coaching me with my first attempt at making a comment.

And now Americans cannot even date each other.

When I say that Americans aren't capable of dating, I don't mean that Americans cannot engage in ongoing relationships (including sex) short of marriage. I mean that Americans cannot even meet at Starbucks for a chat.

Online dating sounds great in theory. In reality online dating is a demoralizing horror show for men. There is a growing consensus among men that online dating is not worth the effort. The response rate is about five percent. Six months of hard work every night landed me six dates. There were no second dates, and most of the dates were awful.

What is going on? I searched Morris's blog for answers. I was sent down the rabbit hole of Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW), Red Pill, and Karen Straughan Youtube videos. All of that has been immensely helpful, though as a socialist feminist, I disagree with much of it.

The problem is a combination of narcissism and female independence. One aspect of narcissism is the inability to have intimate relationships.

So when Morris advocates for the adoption of a symbolic monasticism as a tactic for surviving the collapse of American society, he does not mean celibacy. But it looks as though celibacy is going to be part of the deal.

10:53 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

I often think about writing and sharing things with the blog, but then postpone the post. Here’s an article that I’ve been meaning to share for years. Best share it now before the inauguration.

It’s an article from 2008 about how the great community organizer screwed the poor of Chicago while being a good friend of the slumlords. Remember how crazy the vacuous Democrats were for Obama back in 2008 and how none of this mattered to them?

http://archive.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/06/27/grim_proving_ground_for_obamas_housing_policy/

« Jamie Kalven, a longtime Chicago housing activist, put it this way: “I hope there is not much predictive value in his history and in his involvement with that community.” »

Oh, well. Nobody cared.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers.

MB-

"States are as the men are; they grow out of human characters."
~ Plato

Jesus, that globe op-ed hits the Obama *record* on the nail. I mean who could've imagined it, that after the disaster of George W. Bush, Obama would literally fracture the globe and pave the way for worldwide fascism in 2017? It's remarkable how quickly this coming dark age has come upon us. And, yes, I think yr absolutely right to say that it's too late to turn any of this shit around -- historically speaking, that is. We hafta prepare for the worst now: populist backlash, nationalism, xenophobia, widespread violence/madness, and Trump's tyrannical psyche (possibly a destroyer of worlds) playing out on the world stage. I tell ya, I'm at a loss for words to describe the hazards of what's coming.

Miles

ps: Towanda Shields decided it was a state "conspiracy" that she kept "losing" the lotto, so she threatened to kill Pennsylvania lottery workers:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/01/06/she-was-angry-she-always-lost-so-this-woman-threatened-to-kill-lottery-officials-police-say/?utm_term=.3c8d163c39e9

11:38 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

"We Are All Deplorable's" by Chris Hedges

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/we_are_all_deplorables_20161120?mob_no_redirect=true

1:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

I guess Hedges is still dreaming of a left-wing, popular uprising. An historian, he ain't.

Jeff-

If you look into Towanda's eyes, you'll see the future of America. I'd like 2c Trump pick her for a top admin post. Altho I confess, my favorite is still Brittany Carulli.

k-

Thanks for submitting this. There you have it: his record in Chicago did, after all, prove to have predictive value. All that zeal around having a black 'liberal', all that excitement...Meanwhile, he was a punk then, and he continued to be a punk once ensconced in the W.H. We elect symbols, in the US; the sizzle, not the steak.

Steve-

We did discuss this theme a couple of yrs ago, but no reason not to resurrect it as a crucial aspect of a dying culture. Mind you, American men are no bargain either. But my own dating experience in the yrs prior to my flight to Mexico echoes yours, altho most of it was not via the Internet. I wd go out on a date and be amazed at how these women would rattle on for 2 hrs about how awful their lives were, how men had mistreated them, and I realized that if I got up and replaced myself w/a cardboard cutout, they wd just go on babbling. There was no point at which these gals wd stop, catch their breath, and ask me a question abt myself; who I was hardly mattered to them. Most Americans are pretty poor excuses for human beings, but it was insightful to see it in action; like watching a train wreck, or a horrible car accident.

Neither socialism nor feminism will help you w/any of this, BTW; I suggest you move on toward realism (and esp., toward a different country).

mb

3:34 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

remo-

A bit too long. Pls compress by 1/3 and re-send. Thanks.

mb

4:42 AM  
Blogger remo26 said...

Dan-

The Azaria case as others is a symptom not the cause. Groups like Breaking the Silence are trying to tackle this. Most of what you said is true; however, the context of IL society is important not to whitewash. Saying the “entire country of Israel is one gigantic war criminal” is bombastic and doesn’t leave room to discuss. I am not trying to provide cover for IL. I came when Bibi (a transient entity) wasn’t in power. There are other snakes like him, but there are also signs of “hope & change” that, while I won’t bank on it, still affirm that there is a vibrant democ. here – just locked in a rt-wing agenda for a decade. A recent Haaretz headline read, “Like All Narcissists, Trump and Netanyahu Deny Reality and Crush Their Critics.”

The democ. thing may have you guessing, but I became a Wafer after I was a CTOS guru. The last ch. on horizontality/NMO made me consider IL as a haven after being fed up with the US. In IL, I found a community that wasn’t self-absorbed, a population that wasn’t as vacuous as the US, a culture that embraced old & new, and other synergies. Nothing’s perfect, but all MB’s teachings start with a root cause at the microsocial level (see ch. 2 of CTOS) – panim el panim. This is the seed of hustling – getting over on someone. MB’s American Decline trilogy elaborates on how twisted roots can propagate on the macro level after a 200-yr. run.

About the probs. that IL faces (focusing on internal ones as the cause of external ones), I recall MB saying how he can appear so happy in person given his dark books. He said the “truth makes me high.” No fretting Mex. druglords in his new país de origen. I think this way all the time.

- remo

5:46 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Steve, Janus, Dio,

I also empathise with your online dating comments. In London the dating scene seems to be as depressing as in the US: girls are incapable of holding a conversation without checking their phone every 5min, are only interested in themselves and have almost no femininity left in them. I am not sure if that's the case in the US, but in the UK women's obsession with their careers is also insane. I am not saying there's anything wrong with promoting women in the workplace and reducing the gender gap, but for university-educated women here it really seems like it's THE thing that matters above all else. All those Women at Work and Girls Who Code networking events are a travesty. Like Sheryl Sandberg is such a model for women to become. Good luck finding a Women at Work event where you'll hear women talk about women cleaners still being paid below the minimum wage and rooting for better working conditions.

On the upside though, I do have some friends who successfully managed to meet a sane partner via online dating and are happily dating so it's not all a lost cause. I've also dabbled myself in MGTOW, Redpill and other "manosphere" blogs but this is the wrong way to go. The guys in those communities just hate women, have an "I vs. them" mentality, and just want to make a buzz. I've personally had enough with the UK - dating being only one of the reasons why - and am looking for ways to leave the country to better shores.

Feel free to shoot me an email if you want to discuss further.

Kanye

7:07 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

http://theweek.com/articles/642303/americas-birth-rate-now-national-emergency

So, we will be desperate for immigration soon no matter what.

That to me is the ultimate rebuke of the conservatives. You are mad at immigrants when your own people have such a dead end existence that they see no point in reproducing?

9:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

remo-

Of course, Mexican druglords is what makes its way into the American newspapers, altho being a very small (if unhappy) part of Mexican life. The states really affected are those on the border w/the US, and Michoacán, neither of which I live near. Mexico has a lot of other problems as well, such as poverty and political corruption; but daily life here is relaxed and gracious--something the US will never understand (actually, a bad rep is gd: keeps the gringos away!). International happiness polls typically find Mexico around #5. I doubt Israel comes even close to that; the case that Blumenthal makes is, I think, hard to refute. And if we want to talk abt root causes, Bibi is hardly in power by accident.

I shd add that I was definitely *not* happy living in the US, truth or no truth. There are those who, like a lotus in a cesspool, manage to rise above the dreck. Perhaps u.r. in this category. Myself, I just became a dirty lotus.

mb

10:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Will someone tell me how, in such a vibrant, wonderful country like the US, w/its deep spiritual values, the following cd be happening? I jus' can't figure it out!:

http://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2017/01/07/inside-a-killer-drug-epidemic-an-opioid-tide-from-new-england-to-los-angeles

mb

11:20 AM  
Anonymous apple-pie said...


The corp mantras really infect everything and make nearly everyone dependent on their cultural hierarchies as obedient holons. People in the states are anti-intellectual crooked timber but I've experienced generosity young and old this winter. As Carlin said, "Everything is pretty much laid out for you. They get to do what they want." There may even be oligarchs more financially powerful than the known billionaires and old blood-lines.

Hyper-competitive narcissistic university credentialling is mostly based around conformity and obedience to corp values - hard to form a strong identity and consciousness there. People fighting for table scraps of the rotten pie. Everything is a feedback loop for strategically corrupt hierarchies or systems that protect shareholders. Capitalism only benefits people that actually have real capital.

Oligarchic wealth never funded any real education, news source, legal system, policy, politician, that threatened their control. Technology like the silicon fist accelerated the concentration of wealth and power. Even hard-working sellout corp courtesans can expect a life of self-destructive hyper-competition over stupid shit - Clusterfuck rackets. Without credentials or connections or anything unusually useful to owners expect life destroying poverty and struggle.


12:17 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

The vast american populaces does not travel overseas-unless a rare cruiseshit or some mindboggling taste o'Europe 4 country, 8d, 999$ special 'tour' with other americans and Brits. No perspective, no reference point, no real deep meaning-- other than hamster wheeling, rushing through stringent itineraries, and biased "guide" books that are specifically for american/Anglo-perspective with "warnings" that although america is the superpower, the greatest, has burnt coffee shops, McShit burgers, and oh so convenient to buy dreck-- that one needs/shouldas/mustas try to 'respect' and 'appreciate' those "foreign" underlings.

Sorta like american/Anglo-centric movies--rape, lotsa sex/promiscuity/fuck buddies, explosions/shootings, overused cliches/stereotypes, stupid cops, stupid husbands, work-addicted lonely sassy/snarky women, women useless/irrelevant >50yo, Boston/mafia/Irish/Italiano bad accents with dees, dems, does-pahk da caaah, techno palm-staring addictions, man against govt--underdog wins through hard work, white marries black--trouble in river city, ball busting corporate womyn, poor Anglo artist needs a women/man, white/rugged gun toting men fights for the small guy/gal, diversity tokenism, no Asian/Indian/Oriental prime roles, a sexually-abused, transexual-gender bender general in an open relationship wins the day, same supermodel white women and men parading around a corporate construct, recycled, lame dancing skits, rah rah military, a regular joe/jane playing a clarinet isn't sexy, but a supermodel playing a drum or piano is-sell it.

As Dr. Berman states how easy it is to write typical MSM "news" paper pieces--most american movies can easily be written as the recipe and ingredients are predictable brainwashing and status quo pieces to appease a shallow, depressed, and profoundly meaningless populace.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr B:

RE- drugs. When I moved into my house in 1988, the ladies who worked at the old dress factory down the street used to park out front. Needless to say, those jobs are long-gone. In the last year, I have been finding syringes in the alley on the other side of my arborvitae bushes, and my daughter almost stepped on a syringe lying on the street when she went to open her car door to go to work. I put up solar-powered motion-detector lights above my bushes, but those ceased to work well recently, with the shorter days. I have temporarily rigged plug-in dusk to dawn lights until I can hire an electrician to put up pole lights. But I'm just squeezing a water balloon- the problem will go somewhere else. There's no good jobs for "regular people" anymore, and the rentier class has sucked up most people's wages.

4:58 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Believe me, it used to be a lot harder to be a junkie. Progress?
Cheap heroin from afghanistan is not a flaw in US policy - it's a feature. The evil taliban eradicated opium poppy growing and instead the farmers all grew wheat. First time in god knows how long the afghani people had plenty to eat. Take your pick I suppose - food and burka or bombs and an empty larder. That may be simplistic and off the mark but I'm just shooting from the hip here.

MB - I'm sure you have already read the works of Stuart Kaminsky but if you haven't you and other Wafers would pro'ly enjoy his several series. His characters are refreshingly decent human beings. I'm grateful for all the recommendations I get from TGBOE and just tryin' to give back.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

comrade-

TGBOE thanks you. Maybe we shd chg it to TGBITC? (in the cosmos) I struggle to be modest, but--well, facts are facts.

mb

9:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Wafers: speaking of facts:

This blog usta get abt 3500 hits a month. Last month it got 60,000 (Trump effect?). Total for the nearly 11 yrs: 2.7 million hits. We now have 172 registered Wafers. There's no stopping us now.

9:19 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Although Morris is correct, that Chris Hedges is still caught up in the Delusion that if Liberals would just revolt then everything will be fine again, he does have some pretty hard-hitting and ominous two-page articles on his Truth-Dig page.


http://m.truthdig.com/articles_by_author/chris_hedges/section/report

1:07 AM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

the latest from Lake Wobegon

http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/4563010-155/garrison-keillor-done-over-hes-here

over and out...

1:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Hedges is often very gd when analyzing present events, or when pointing out that things are going to take a very harsh turn in the US. Abt that, he is undoubtedly correct; I cdn't agree more. He's extremely poor when taking leaps into the future, particularly regarding some purported left-wing uprising of the lower classes (not liberals). In an interview we did together a few yrs ago, I pointed out to him that such uprisings can only be successful if the police or military are willing to defect, or at least not fire on the crowds, and that the chances of that happening in the US were zero. Only w/great effort did he grudgingly acknowledge this. His alternative, which we occasionally hear, is what I've talked abt for a long time now: NMI's, which can include the upside of Dual Process. However, he calls such folks 'rebels', which is not quite the same thing I've been talking abt, because the shift I have in mind is not confrontation but a kind of T'ai Chi flanking movement--going elsewhere, so to speak, and creating something else. I doubt his 'rebels', if they exist, are going to get very far. What might happen, however, as he says in one of his recent articles, is Democratic and establishment revenge on Trump; like Garrison Keillor, they just can't stand the fact that they lost, and are going to try to win thru the back door (Russian hacking charges, impeachment, etc.) But these are not, I don't think, the 'rebels' he has in mind.

pol-

What a sad guy Keillor is; a liberal elitist (by his own admission) who just doesn't get it, and clearly never will. Talk abt an off-base analysis. (For him, the right-wing revolt is just a kind of temper tantrum, not much else.)

Meanwhile, this pretty much captures The American People:

http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/shocking_20170108

mb

3:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

touché dept.:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2017/01/08/been-hacking-elections-for-more-than-century/okjziXPQDiegx53ABtpUOO/story.html?s_campaign=bdc:globewell:trending&s_campaign=bdc:globewell:trending

Add in the NSA spying on other countries, and it's mind-boggling, how full of shit we are.

3:54 AM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...

pol,

Looks like Garrison, champion of the folksy, has finally succumbed to the irony of his own prose of looking reality in the face and denying it. Just look how many of these same folksy prairie home dwellers in MN and WI shunned botox face in favor of Trump.

Cornel West, friend and foxhole partner of Hedges, doesn't seem to be suffering from as much delusion

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/09/barack-obama-legacy-presidency

to paraphrase his own words from a previous interview, he is never optimistic about the future but he is hopeful. Which of course reminds us again of the dual process, things will continue to deteriorate but new hopeful possibilities will continue to present themselves. Not to say that they will flourish in the U.S. however, which is why looking for greener pastures is what I have opted for.

7:51 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN14S0HN

Been calling this on this site for at least a month now. If the Anglo media was wrong about itself in 2016, it is going to look childlishly out of touch about Europe in 2017. Every single anti-establishment party in Europe supports the EU. Maybe not the currency as currently constituted, maybe not the current leaders, but nobody yearns for a Brexit style narcissistic divorce.

English speaking people need to learn 1. That political identity is greater than a currency. 2. That rabid partisanship and scapegoating is no replacement for allied interests. 3. That a new federal Europe will be the world superpower.

There is no surprise about this move at all. REFORM the EU, not dynamite it, is the idea across Europe. It is only a surprise to English-speaking savages that want to watch the world burn.

Watch Europe solve its problems and become the new standard bearer in world affairs. Conquered Greece conquers Rome. Sure is easier when you have a dynamic, insightful population not married to allies like Bibi Netanyahi.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

MB,
What historic documents point toward the 1600's being a time of egalitarianism in colonial America? There were landlords and tenants. There were craftsmen and capitalists who owned their labor. And slavery-because if the free men enjoyed any comforts were on the backs of those who toiled the land for free. Am I correct?
Hustling is an inherent component of hierarchical structures where the bulk of the wealth stays at the very top. Travel to Haiti or Santo Domingo and watch how the poor hustle with tourists. The Hustling in civilized America has been made into a moral conviction- an entire philosophy moralizes it. Competition is worshipped as a sign of character and strength while laziness, idleness, cooperation is seen as weakness. In America if you have three jobs-which is hustling to death- because income is stagnant while wealth is at the top- then you are virtuous, as opposed as being seen as what you really are: an indentured slave. If you are too smart and decide that you aren't going to kill yourself hustling and live off the government then you are a scum bag. Isn't that right? During colonial times the peasants who escaped indentured labor and lived among the Iroquois often refused to rejoin the "civilized" world. They found plenty of leisure in a clan where land was owned in common and the fruits of labor were shared equally. Our society has instead opted for the moral philosophy of praising the alpha male dominators and everyone in it who lusts for money and power aspires to become an alpha male. Trump is the opposite of Obama. Obama, the compromiser and community organizer , loyal family man and intellectual, was derided as weak, a pussy, spineless, not hawkish enough and not even black enough. Trump, on the other hand, is the strong pussy grabbing cheat " successful"businessman who humiliates his enemies and accompanies himself with ass kissing loyalists. That's the man who will make America mighty again. He embodies the philosophy that we have nourished since the early beginnings of this country- one of domination and humiliation of others. Who was the man who said socialism didn't come to America because the poor are embarrassed millionaires? Underneath that hustling lies a lust for dominating others- a lust for the power of the alpha male.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

A mensch in Russia tells it like it is:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/09/the-president-america-deserves/

Re: dating. A acquaintance tried to set me up on a date this week, I was automatically put on the defensive. Perhaps that's a typical American response? I tried to get some NMI info about this potential date such as does she read books, last foreign trip, does she go outside? Long story short is all my questions (which seemed pretentious to my acquaintance) kinda killed the date before it even happened. Whatever. No offence to any female WAFers (out of context the quote sounds pretty assaholic), but I keep coming back to a quote from Fight Club, "We're a generation of men raised by women, I wonder if another woman is really what we need."

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Dio, et al:

Liberals calling for more centralization isn't exactly new or surprising. In fact, as the contemporary political left continues to lose its standing and relevance on the local and national scenes, I expect them to turn more and more to the comfort of the grandiose, utopian trope of one world government. I'm sure the new (mental) compartment smell will be invigorating for their spirits, at least.

As for me, I'd rather see the Trumps, Dutertes, Farages and LePens burn it down. I'll take my chances, and even go up in flames, in a dangerous, yet dynamic world rather than aspire to settle for a gentrified, technocratic one. Maybe that's just me.

At any rate, I don't expect competing visions of humankind's political future/prospects to amount to more than mental masturbation to pass the meantime anyway.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Interesting analysis, Dio, mine is almost exactly the opposite of yours, however.

The divisions of Europe are at least as deep as those in the US and will only worsen with time. Most of the populist parties, like AFD for example, want their respective countries out of the EU. You mention that political identity is greater than currency and you are absolutely right. This is part of why the EU is so flawed; the idea that monetary unity would lead to political unity.

Commissioner's that are appointed, not voted for, some of which earn more than the US president. An account sheet that hasn't passed an audit in decades, deep seated corruption, a bunker mentality...the whole organization is a joke.

Anyone expecting an enlightened United States of Europe to be the end road of the EU is in for a shock.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Ralph Stefan said...

Thank you for the thought provoking blog. You've earned the millions of hits.

What about the barricades in Mexico these days regarding gas prices? Do you view the barricade as a potential defense against endless war, predatory economics systems and mass environmental destruction? If not, why not?

12:45 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

Just read this by Cornel West on The Guardian:

"Is there really any hope for truth and justice in this decadent time? Does America even have the capacity to be honest about itself and come to terms with its self-destructive addiction to money-worship and cowardly xenophobia?

Ralph Waldo Emerson and Herman Melville – the two great public intellectuals of 19th-century America – wrestled with similar questions and reached the same conclusion as Heraclitus: character is destiny (“sow a character and you reap a destiny”).

The age of Barack Obama may have been our last chance to break from our neoliberal soulcraft."

1:54 PM  
Blogger centralscrewtinizer said...

DioGenes. I attended a summer wedding in Krakow. I could live there in a heartbeat, but the winter might be a deal breaker.
I hope your vision prevails.
Dr. Berman. Interesting take on Moby Dick. Re-reading 'Benito Cereno' atm. Similar underpinnings.
Another long short story, 'Bartleby, the Scricener', also dark, if unseemingly funny in spots, equally prophetic.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ralph-

One thing we need down here, esp. in the coming Age of Trump, is strong Mexican leadership. At present, we don't have it; Pena Nieto has no cojones. For many of us, this is very frustrating.

Pastrami-

Gd article. For how long have I been saying that we are a nation of turkeys, and that is the #1 reason for our collapse? Of course the progs ignore this; it's not politically correct, and if it's rt, it eviscerates their political program. As for dating: maybe just set up some short coffee date in the beginning. Then if she proves to be someone you don't really want to see again, you've only wasted half an hr.

Juliet-

Far too simplistic an analysis, in my view; altho it wd take me a long time to refute it. Obama was a fraud, as the Boston articles recently posted above clearly show. And he *is* weak, a nonentity who is empty, and got filled by others' agendas--becoming a war criminal and a shil for corporations and Wall St. and the Pentagon. No coherent foreign policy, and at home just a continuation of the neoliberal/globalization agenda that has taken us into the ditch, and which Hillary was offering to continue. As for colonial America: who is arguing for egalitarianism back then? No one I know of, altho things were a lot better: there's a bk by a British historian, Lawrence something, taught at Princeton, on the economy of colonial America, that has the stats for this (sorry, I just can't remember his last name). It was John Steinbeck who had the line abt embarrassed millionaires. Anyway, it seems to me you are thinking in clichés and formulas; history is infinitely more complex than 'the domination of alpha males.' But I do agree w/u that Trump will hardly improve the situation. It's just that historically speaking, what we need at this time is for the situation to get worse and worse, and he is certainly the man for that particular job.

Jack L.-

Thanks for poetry and artwork; much appreciated.

mb

8:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Juliet: in terms of getting a broader perspective on human cultural development over the last 100,000 yrs, you might check out my bk "Wandering God," which I sometimes think is the best of all the bks I've written. I do not, BTW, dismiss the role of aggressive (male) subgroups in that development. Anyway, you might enjoy it, just a suggestion.

mb

8:39 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

So far, the most infuriating thing about Trump is just how easy douchebag liberals are making it for him. The latest was Hollywood limousine liberal and Clinton-loving phony Meryl Streep, who handed Trump the perfect opportunity to say aloud in a tweet exactly what most American movie goers probably already think about her: that's she's pretentious and overrated. Of course, this was the same Meryl Streep who not too long ago said: “Margaret Thatcher was a pioneer, willingly or unwillingly, for the role of women in politics. It is hard to imagine a part of our current history that has not been affected by measures she put forward in the U.K. at the end of the 20th century. To me she was a figure of awe for her personal strength and grit.”

Yes, indeed, it was those wonderful economic "measures" popularized by Thatcher and her BFF Ronald Reagan that directly led to our "current history" in which a troglodyte like Trump was able to defeat Streep's most amazing pantsuited politico hero in large part by pointing out that she stood for those exact same measures. Not to mention the measures of the elite Hollywood's favorite feckless little punk who for eight excruciating years absolutely refused to use the vast powers of the presidency to assist any American who doesn't have at least an 8-figure bank account. If Meryl Streep truly represents "the best that Hollywood has to offer," then it is no wonder that American moviemaking has turned into utter dogshit in the 21st century.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

From the police blotter:

In Pennsylvania, a former adoption supervisor for a children's welfare agency is arrested along with her boyfriend for the murder and dismemberment of her adoptive daughter:

http://www.wral.com/mom-accused-in-teen-s-dismemberment-was-child-welfare-worker/16417398/

And, in a true crime story combining grub and guns, a Maryland man surrenders to police following a barricade situation after he had fired off a shot in anger when a family member took a bite from his grilled cheese sandwich:

http://www.wral.com/man-barricades-himself-in-house-over-sandwich-dispute/16416413/

As the saying goes, you can"t make this stuff up.

O&D

9:19 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Just in from CNN:

A day after the 2017 Golden Globes, Tina Fey has announced her retirement from Hollywood. Fey said she came to her decision during a lunch date w/noted author, Morris Berman at Canter's Deli. Asked what she plans on doing next, Fey remarked, "finishing my pastrami on rye, of course." Next up, Fey will be participating in a weekthun at her local Santa Monica branch Bermanic Monastery. Additionally, Fey mentioned "that most people in Hollywood have fruit compote in their crania, but jus' don't know it yet." Word on the street has it that Fey and Berman are in love, and plan travel the world in search of the greatest delicatessens.

This has been another edition of inside Hollywood...

9:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Not a day goes by that I don't have that exact fantasy. I keep imagining that the fone rings, and it's Tina, and she says: "If I can't have you I'll kill myself."

Jas-

It's hard to imagine such a thing is possible, but--there it is.

Bill-

The damage Thatcher did to England constitutes a list as long as my arm. That Meryl wd be praising her for being a woman in politics, and wd be paying no attention to what *kind* of politics, is truly disgusting. Bernie made a similar pt a few wks ago (in general, not re: Thatcher specifically), and got the politically correct crowd completely enraged. There really is no hope for this country.

Juliet-

It was Lawrence Stone I was thinking of, but when I checked his published works, I cdn't find anything abt economic analysis of the Colonies. This may be my increasing senility at work; I cd swear he did a bk on the subject, but they all seem to be abt England. Well, somebody wrote such a bk (unless I've gone completely mad).

mb

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Adrian said...

Judith Harris's The Nurture Assumption is suggested reading in my genetics class that's focusing on ontogenesis , nature/nurture specifically ... the book mostly goes out against attachment theory. Was curious if you had any comments on it, given your support of the AT literature, in your consciousness trilogy, specifically in your fine book Wandering God

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1439101655/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_rl9CybBTR9CJR

7:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Adrian-

I haven't read Judith Harris, so it's hard for me to comment, except to say that when I was doing research on WG and CTOS (see esp. ch. 1), I waded thru the attachment lit and found it pretty persuasive.

mb

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Nicholas said...

sociologist Zygmunt Bauman dies

liquid mortality http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38568257

9:33 AM  
Blogger remo26 said...

Dumb and Dumber

Monica Crowley, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to lead communications for National Security Council, plagiarized multiple passages of PhD dissertation, Politico Magazine reported Monday.

The magazine said that after studying her sources and her dissertation, titled "Clearer Than Truth: Determining and Preserving Grand Strategy: The Evolution of American Policy Toward the People's Republic of China Under Truman and Nixon," it has identified more than a dozen sections that appear to have been plagiarized. Crowley used footnotes to identify her sources in some cases, but did not place the material used in quotation marks. In other cases, Politico Magazine said, she copied text directly or paraphrased heavily with no attribution.
Crowley submitted her dissertation in 2000 in partial completion of her PhD in international relations at New York's Columbia University, the magazine noted. Over the weekend, CNN reported that Crowley's book, "What the (Bleep) Just Happened?," included 50 instances of plagiarism.

CNN notes that the book does not include a bibliography and said she lifted sections from articles in The Wall Street Journal and Yahoo News. She also took language from think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute, according to CNN.

Trump's transition team stood behind Crowley in a statement to the network. "Monica's exceptional insight and thoughtful work on how to turn this country around is exactly why she will be serving in the Administration," a transition team spokesperson told CNN.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous WatchingTheMarchingMorons said...

To Bill Hicks:

I concur about liberals making it easy for Trump. I've always said that liberals don't know how to fight these days. Hell, most of them don't even know they're in a fight until they are laying on the ground in a crumpled heap, then they play the victim/martyr role.

So it appears the Libs are going to double down on identity politics, safe spaces and white guilt while the Trumpettes will double down on resurrecting the ghost of Reagan. The abject failure of both plans should produce some spectacular displays of stupidity far beyond the imaginations of our most creative writers of fiction.

On a positive note, my nephew is heading the San Miguel De Allende for the winter. I plan to visit him there at one point to scope the possibility of my own escape hatch from this madness. Good luck to all Wafers in finding their escape from this exponentially increasing insanity.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Great new piece from Lionel Shrivers.

"Reality has gone make-believe. A Trump presidency feels as if we’ve crawled between the covers of a really crummy book. So the temptation is to take real life less seriously, to kick back and enjoy the farce in DC as cheesy entertainment."

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/08/faced-with-current-reality-how-can-fiction-compete

Kanye

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Distractions, misdirects, and bread et circus side shows for the imbecilic americans. If one looks quantitatively and qualitatively at the propaganda on its' populace over the 400+yrs, it IS very impressive. Eddie Bernays would be blushing. Add in techno bullshit and you have folks thinking they're informed, or making their own choices.

If you are a critical thinker, authentic, and compassionate--you are dead in the water in the us. These things are NOT valued; they are not intrinsic and/or integral to the failed empire's DNA.

One of the most important things I gleaned from Dr. Berman's insight is the veneer of fraud on almost everything in america--a fascade, a sound-set--fake, plastic, a front, artificial. Doesn't matter if for profit, "non-profit," -all the same. Hustlers and hucksters all tryin' to get rich and monetise everything.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

Cdn't run it; a bit too long.

Watching-

Anything but San Miguel. It is true Gringolandia. The conversations you'll be having there won't be much better than what you might have in Dallas. Gringos are gringos, wherever they are, and once you get them in clusters they just duplicate the US and its values.

remo-

I'm very sorry that Trump hasn't fired her. Plagiarism is an unforgivable crime. The one gd thing abt it, whether it occurs on the left or the rt, is that it represents more dishonesty, more corruption, eating away at the (by now extremely thin) moral fiber of the nation.

Nich-

A great thinker. I'm glad he lived a long, creative life.

mb

1:48 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@Dean, Christian

The EU posseses something the English world entirely lacks- political imagination. Why does a new EU have to become another logjam of failed democracies held together by a corrupt central bank? Why can't it be a confederation of independent regions, or perhaps even city-states, issuing multiple currencies, but united in defense and trade policy?

If people have had it with internationalism, I would like to remind them that nationalism is the same thing on a smaller level. Angry Europeans are MORE likely to hate their national representation than the EU. Spain vs. Catalonia, Venice vs. Sicily, etc. The 'alt-right' in Italy basically is a regional party, a League of the North. Nationalism had its day, and it failed, and it will not serve to integrate through this crisis.

Here's what does work- the EU becomes a more abstract superstrcture, especially concerned with security and borders at the periphery. Within that context, all kinds of regional identities are allowed to flourish. The nation-state essestially dissolves.

You can have the decentralizing move at the same time as the unifying move. The US of Europe just needs smaller states- the nation state already has robbed authentic localism. A superstate will actually allow more self-determination.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous turnover said...

Yep. I'd agree San Miguel has too many US expats and tourists. I spent a few months there 15 years ago and it was bad then. That art colony mystique usually turns out to transform places that were once interesting into tourist destinations.

You might try La Paz in Baja California Sur. For me it's one of the nicest cities in Latin America.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous jugger-knot said...

Juliet;

With cities comes civilization, patriarchy, hierarchy, dominator cultures to expropriate external resources - faux-warrior consumerist paradigms like football. Yet, women are complicitous too seeking perceived status, genes, resources for babies the man being the means to the end for satisfying biological drives more-so than love. Schopenhauer has a good essay on the morality of women. American women really go after money and materialism, the failed tasteless suburban McMansion dream. Women also tend to be so sanctimonious about offspring, mediocre love seeking mediocrity their biological vacuums becoming narcissistic mentally ill Jungian projections onto their children. Women are often attracted to sociopaths and I never see them complaining about their white collar or war criminal spouses - they usually seem to rationalize "good providers" somehow. How often do women not try to get as much as they can in a divorce or stick with a relationship through hard economic times or question the status quo? Smarter people breed less. If a religous mom - Catholic, Mormon whatever loved their children so much they'd love their children's consciousness and at least become Unitarian which is less tolerant to the intolerant. But that's not what breeding and sexuality and women are usually about. Also, people are less likely to dissent in any way with children who also eventually provide more taxes for governments. And men aren't taught these points by design.

2:58 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Why does a new EU have to become another logjam of failed democracies held together by a corrupt central bank? Why can't it be a confederation of independent regions, or perhaps even city-states, issuing multiple currencies, but united in defense and trade policy?

Well Dio, your first sentence pretty much says it all. And though it didn’t have to become that, it did, and I don’t see this leopard changing its spots anytime soon.

If people have had it with internationalism, I would like to remind them that nationalism is the same thing on a smaller level.
Which makes the irate ranting of Guy Verhofstadt, and Jose Borroso, on the evils of nationalism look rather silly doesn’t it. As for the dissolution of the nation state, part of the populist reaction against globalization is a rejection of the idea of getting rid of the nation state. If destroying the nation state means a neo-liberal race to the bottom, it isn’t surprising that peoples whose lives have been ruined by such thinking will want nothing to do with it in the future.

Look, the EU is a failed project, and that is becoming more obvious every day. In some respects it’s a solution to a non-existent problem (how to integrate Germany into Europe). It is a project that history has passed by. Europe is in terminal demographic decline right now and the track record of civilizations halting such things, and eventually reversing them, isn’t good. It doesn’t help that the EU response is to actually make it worse with insane immigration policies.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Christian-

Always send messages to most recent post. Thank you.

mb

4:43 PM  

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