January 25, 2018

Badu-Torres in 2020!

Wafers-

I think this says it all:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/01/25/pop-star-erykah-badu-says-i-saw-something-good-in-hitler/?hpid=hp_hp-morning-mix_mm-badu%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.df5d19128a69

This is the winning ticket. 1st, a cutting-edge intellect like Erykah Badu in the driver's seat; then, a woman who knows what she wants in a cheeseburger in the VP slot. This is an America I can believe in!

-mb

183 Comments:

Blogger Tony Hammock said...

Couldn't read article linked to due to a WaPo pay-wall.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Michael Burgess writes:

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Just thought you'd like to read Tom Engelhardt's review of the nakedly imperialistic Trump presidency entitled "Send in the Clowns". Tom definitely sees the US in decline though whether we go out with a bang or from a self-inflicted thousand cuts - impossible to predict. Sad that Americans lack any capacity to question what is happening to themselves or their country - as has been written before, "America" is most Americans' real religion - don't be critical of "America"!

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176377/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_send_in_the_clowns/#more

12:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tony-

http://www.vulture.com/2018/01/erykah-badu-in-conversation.html

mb

12:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

pole-

Pls do NOT break the 24-hr rule, and pls send messages to latest post. Thank you.

mb

12:40 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Re: Americans not recognizing historical figures...

In some sense, you can't blame them. The vast majority of the population experiences the government as some kind of Hollywood production. You can choose to geek out and follow the new season, or you may do something else.

I think an entire generation today has no real memory of a time the federal government took meaningful action to protect or benefit them as citizens, so why bother? Trump's America First rhetoric is just another cruel joke playing off that basic reality.

Trump's own pronouncements blatantly reveal the only reason the government exists- to prop up the stock market. That's the only sign of success.

Maybe your students would know more about Steve Jobs or Bill Gates?

12:53 PM  
Blogger Kashe Varnishke said...

@ mb If Erich Fromm was right on, my understanding is that Hitler had a pretty good childhood compared to many. This Erykah Badu seems deluded and misinformed.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kashe-

She's a dummy. She's not alone.

mb

1:42 PM  
Blogger Chad In Chicago said...

Fellow Wafers –

Long-time reader and very occasional poster. First off, thank you all for participating on the world's greatest blog. The discussions are always enlightening, and the articles linked to here are always of great interest to me.

@Morris – Thank you for your work. Your analysis has helped me understand that I'm not alone in the world (I know you hear this often). The Twilight book was a real eye-opener, and it's been a great ride ever since. I gave out several copies of AWTY for Xmas. Please keep up the great work (and my "I live among dolts" post-it is still there).

I've noticed as of late that a great many Wafers are talking more and more about emigrating but aren't sure how to do it. With that in mind, I've put together a Google Group where hopefully some of you that have already left can help mentor those of us that wish to. Please email me at crowtrobot74@gmail.com to join (and don't worry, you don't need a Gmail address to become a member). The group is called Wafer Refugee, and the more the more the merrier. Poster flanagle has already offered to assist as he left some time ago.

And with that email address in mind, it's time that I drop my old handle. I'd rather keep my real name out of it for now on and my location (though if any of you are in the Chicago area and wish to grab a drink and a chat please reach out to me).

@Tom Servo – Do you Mind if Crow T. Robot joins you here?

And one more thing, I think the number of Wafers is much larger than we think. There are a lot of lurkers out there, and probably many who are intimately aware of Dr. Berman's work but don't engage with the blog at all.

Dare I suggest we push the registered number of Wafers from 172 to 200? That's a solid number and will likely strike fear in the heart of any and all trollfoons.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Chad-

Gd to hear from you. Just one thing: in future, pls be sure yr don't exceed the half-page-max limit. Thanks.

Folks wishing to emigrate shd check out web sites or blogs of expats, which probably exist in many countries. These people can probably assist you with the process of getting out of the US and into a (much) healthier place. For make no mistake: You live among dolts.

We can't lie abt # of registered Wafers. But let me note that in an avg month, the blog gets more than 40,000 hits. It's understandable that most wd hide, because what we are doing here is explosive, threatening, and it takes a lot of courage to stop lurking and come into the light. Once you get infected with Waferdom, yr life can never be the same; and most people don't want that to happen. And yet, outside of Waferdom, there is no life to speak of. Only the life of turkeys.

As for the trollfoons, they have been crushed, and generally destroyed. Most have wandered off to annoy other blogs, I suspect, since they were so humiliated here, made to look like pathetic douche bags--wh/they are. America contains so much human garbage; it's scary, when you think abt it.

Whatever happened to Bunmi Laditan? That's what we need to be asking ourselves.

mb

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Laser said...

On a nicer note about Woody Allen, in this clip here, a younger Woody Allen masterfully depicted the "death as having to leave the party" metaphor. A guy sitting in a train that might as well go to Auschwitz, peering at another train passing with people having an ecstatic party. Looking at about 1.00 minute

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ-jGXkMkR8

2:33 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

As sexist pigs, serial molesters, and their ilk are felled left and right, Liz Posner offers a suggestion for how the average office schlub can avoid falling afoul of the law and the ladies as he navigates the shoals and shallows of interpersonal relations at work. Her suggestion would seem obvious even to the dullest dullard, but it seems that the rule book is still in draft form awaiting public review and comment. Though this article seems directed at men, one assumes that, mutatis mutandis, the same suggestion would apply to LGBTQ (and sometimes Y) individuals. The more cautious might wish to limit interactions with officemates to subjects solely related to work. Anything even remotely sounding as if it might involve or otherwise be suggestive of naughty bits or their application should be avoided.

Here’s Liz:
“One easy way to avoid being the creepy guy at work: don’t rate your coworkers’ appearances.”
https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/men-heres-one-easy-way-avoid-being-sexual-harasser-work

2:44 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

WE ON TO THE MONEY
(to the tune of We’re In the Money (Gold Diggers, 1933):

We on to the money, we on to the money
Wafers got a lot of what it takes to bring it down
We on to the money, Oprah’s run so funny
Merican Empire, you are through, you’re a real clown

We never see a headline about a Mnuchin today
And when we see Prez Trumpi
We can look that guy right in the eye
We on to the money, come on, dear Trumpi
Let’s wreck it, end it, send it rolling on down

Gone are my blues and gone are my tears
I’ve got good news to shout in your ears
The Merican dollar has taken a hit
Inflated hubris turns your wall into shit

We on to the money, we on to the money
We’ve got a lot of what it takes to bring it down
We on to the money, Badu-Torres so so funny
Merican Empire, you are through, your karma’s come round

We on to the money, we on to the money
Wafers got a lot of what it takes to bring it down
We on to the money, it’s time for a fete
Merican Empire, you are through, your sun has set

We never see a headline about Laditan today
And when we see the buttock
We can push that head right up the rump
We on to the money, come on, dear Bunmi
Let’s wreck it, end it, send it rolling on down!

2:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jack-

Beautiful. I wept. Esp. enjoyed ref to Bunmi at end.

Jas-

But is it all rt to comment on a woman's *mind*? E.g., "she has the same amt of brains as Bunmi Laditan." Or perhaps, "she may actually be dumber than Erykah Badu."

mb

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Quiet Desperation said...

Eleven school shootings in twenty-three days...My wife works in a high school library here in the Pacific Northwest and it seems the odds are that it is only a matter of time. This is some depressing shit:

https://eand.co/why-were-underestimating-american-collapse-be04d9e55235

4:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Quiet-

Excellent article. Gd to see someone using the phrase "American collapse" as tho it were a given--which it is. Also gd to see author characterize the entire population as numb and dumb: callous douche bags, who cdn't care less abt other people, or abt the situation we are in. And Americans ask me why I moved to Mexico! Shit, I was talking abt this stuff 18 yrs ago (Twilight bk).

On another note, it might be nice if Wafers started sharing their dreams, just as a way of getting to know each other. Here's the one I had as I woke up this morning:

I am having dinner in one of my favorite restaurants in Mexico City, in colonia Roma: Blanco Colima. For some reason, I have a small drum with me, and a waiter hands me a wooden spoon. I begin pounding the drum and singing "Bunmi, Bunmi Laditan, king of the wild frontier," using the same music to the Davy Crockett song that was popular when I was abt 3 yrs old and was running around w/a Davy Crockett hat. But the beating and the singing is getting a bit loud, and other customers are getting annoyed. Finally, the manager comes up to me and says in Hebrew (for some reason), "Don't do this" (Al ta'aseh et zeh). I scream in Spanish, "We all have to confront our inner Bunmis!" Finally, they put me in a straight jacket and take me to a psychiatric hospital, put me in a room lined with rubber. Except on one wall is a huge poster of Erykah Badu, wearing a pussy hat. This pushes me completely over the edge; the staff fills me with Haldol, stelazine, thorazine, and Coca-Cola. At this pt, I wake up, screaming "Bunmi Laditan forever!"

Wafers are encouraged to interpret this dream, as well as to offer up ones of their own.

mb

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Dill Pickle said...

Hi MB and all, continuing from the last post:

Sorry, MB, it was a computer glitch. A fat fingered computer glitch!

That being said....

I tend to be in agreement with Liv and David G in that being an NMI in the US can't work. The reason I think is that it is essentially compulsory for a person to participate in the dominant way of doing things and the dominant forces destroying US culture and the biosphere, especially if one has to earn an income in which case the participation simply consumes all of one's time: working, commuting and keeping up appearances.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Went to a long lunch today with a couple of former colleagues who, while not Wafers in any real sense, are at least informed enough that I can talk recent history with them without getting blank stares. It was a good time, but for the three examples of aggressive driving I witnessed on the eight mile drive to the restaurant (it wasn't even rush hour), and seeing homeless people standing outside in the cold with their cardboard signs at four different intersections on the way home in wealthy parts of Arlington and Falls Church where you never used to see them. If the homeless problem is getting this bad here, I cannot imagine how bad it must be elsewhere in America.

Meanwhile, I read an interesting feature story yesterday about how the horrific Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal (over 150 victims, how is that even possible?) happened in part because U.S. Gymnastics deliberately created a Darwinian culture of physical and psychological abuse after the U.S. came in 4th place overall in the 2000 Olympics. Since America cannot ever abide being anything but Number One when it comes to beating up on the rest of the world in sports, it chewed up and spit out dozens of young teenage girls, telling them to STFU when they tried to complain that Nassar was using any excuse to sexually violate them under the guise of medical treatment. In some cases, even the gymnasts' own parents were so hungry for medals that they believed Nassar over their own daughters. A more typically "American" sports story would be hard to find.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Thrombosis said...

Recent from the ClubOrlov blog:

Second, it helped demolish the fiction that the joined-at-the-hip relationship between the US and Israel is somehow a win-win: the US supports Israel as a Jewish homeland (cue black-and-white images of the Holocaust) and the region’s only true democracy, while Israel serves as America’s stalwart ally in a volatile, strategically important region. The truth is that the relationship is closer to one of parasitism: Israel infects the US like a fungus infects an ant, taking over its nervous system. Take on board the following facts:

• All six of the major media companies in the US are owned by Jews.

• Half of the members of US Congress have pledged allegiance to AIPAC—American-Israeli Political Action Committee. etc.

More pervasive I think, if you oppose Zionism you get targeted as a politician or academic, deep Wall Street pockets of influence, Netanyahu gives state of the union-esque deliveries to Congress, etc.

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Yukonbry said...

Hi Morris and Wafers,
Longtime reader first time poster. Next month my wife and I will be celebrating the three year mark since we escaped the open air lunatic asylum known as the United States. One thing we have noticed is that not once has any family members or friends asked us why we moved. It just seems like something you would talk about? When I talk to them about how bad things are getting there, they just lash out in rage. It is very sad. Has anyone else experienced this?

Thanks

8:58 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

I triple the call for a book on Italy, another truly civilized culture. Northern Italy is one of the wealthiest parts of Europe and the world. In contrast to the Anglo-Saxon model of capitalism, it doesn't need to be hyper-individualistic or winner take all. Denmark, Germany, France, etc. all have advanced economies with a social safety net.. Sadly, we have made a choice NOT to provide these things- we could certainly afford to. We never, ever will either.

IMHO, we really started going off the rails when ray-gun took over. The UK too when Margaret ('there is no such thing as society, only individuals') Thatcher took over. The UK is the only western country I would not emigrate too. They seem to have the same strain of predatory capitalism we do tho lesser in degree.

Robot- Thanks. I look forward to joining the group.

BrotherMayanrd

9:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Yukon-

Yet another new face. Great! No pt in lurking; now start living! Congrats on yr escape, but you shd probably return briefly, drink a few 6-packs of Bud Lite, and then drench the shoes of friends and family in urine. You'll find it extremely satisfying. They may be pathetic, but they are also turkeys. And as you well know, they'll die turkeys. There won't be an 'aha' moment.

mb

9:40 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

In my dream, there is a big announcement in the news that Melania Trump is about to hold s press conference, and the TV’s go live and she’s standing next to Gloria Allred who proceeds to speak for Melania and how she just filed the divorce paperwork which Donnie will receive shortly, and that Melania has had enough of Men, and wishes to now enter a Lesbian relationship with Sarah Palin, who recently came out as BI, and the two have decided to create a reality show broadcasted on HBO because of mature and graphic sexual nature they wish to present to the viewing audience.


On the NMI Question that’s floating around...I see it differently and most definitely believe it can be done here in the US, as I am living proof of it, having stocked my home with 3,000 books and manuscripts, many paintings and classical music, and all of the other accoutrements, attitudes, and behaviors required of an NMI.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Real gd. Now, connect w/other NMI's. As for dream: did you mean Sarah Palin, or Bunmi Laditan?

mb

10:22 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Oprah's out. Apparently #TheResistance just didn't think enough positive thoughts about her as their savior du jour.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-25/its-not-something-interests-me-oprah-rules-out-presidential-run

12:01 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Chris-

The ardor she momentarily inspired in the high-IQ/moron club--newspaper columnists, Spielberg, Streep, etc.--was valuable in showing how superficial this nation is, elites included. Of course, 325 million buffoons didn't notice this, and probably just said 'cool!'. But with her out, perhaps Bunmi Laditan can move in to take up the slack, w/Erykah Badu as her running mate. Plus we cd have Brittany Carulli as Secy of State.

mb

12:23 AM  
Blogger polecat said...

Just watched a Season 5 episode of House of Cards in which Kevin Spacey as President Frank Underwood attends a gathering of the Secret Order of Crows, a secret society of the "most powerful men in the world" who determine who gets to hold high political office and run mega-corps and, in the words of Underwood, "carve up the world like a Sunday roast". (Satire at its best) One morning over coffee, Underwood makes his case for being reelected by appealing to the reality of what America is really about.
"If we are Americans, then we are salesmen. And that's our birthright. Cars and phones and a gallon of gas." An American general who is running for Vice-President as a Republican protests: "That's not the way I see America. I'm a patriot. I served my country". To which Underwood responds: "But you served to what purpose? So the rest of America can sell." And there you have it, folks. American history in a nutshell. Sad.

Dill Pickle - Yes, being NMI in US can't work UNLESS you separate yourself from the corrosive influences and demands of American culture and join or create an alternative community based on different values and completely self-sustaining so that you don't have to depend on the culture for necessities.

Bill - great metaphor for the American Dream. Charlie Sheen was right - "WINNING" is what's its all about. Nothing else really matters.

jjarden - if you live near NE North Carolina you can connect with me. Would love to meet with other NMIs.

6:34 AM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

Brother,

RE: emigrating -- My experience applies directly to Germany, but I think other countries in the EU are similar. You would enter on a tourist visa and need to find a job, or you can come to study and try and find a job at the end. To get a work permit a company must vouch for you. If you get that far, you can apply for an Aufenthaltserlaubnis (temp. residency). If you manage to get that and renew it a few times, you can apply for permanent residency (Unbefristet). Only other option is to marry a native.

My wife is German, so that helped with the paperwork. Luckily, my skills also translated. I am not active w/expats but have met some via work. Out of about 12 or so that I have known over the years, only 3 are still around. While Germany has a lot to offer, many things are similar to the US, and it is highly competitive in terms of the job and housing markets. Starting a new life here is doble, but you need to really want it. US taxes are not an issue unless you make over ~100k a year (based on exchange rates); and even then there are loopholes. You will have to do the paperwork every year tho.

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Lobotomized Imperial Subject said...

Wafers and Dr Berman,

Some might want to read or listen to Harold Pinter, playwrite, who gave a powerful speech when he was awarded the Nobel prize for literature. It’s on off-guardian:
https://off-guardian.org/2018/01/24/harold-pinter-in-2005-nobel-address-the-us-is-brutal-indifferent-scornful-and-ruthless/

Two excerpts:
“The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good.”

“I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road. Brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless it may be but it is also very clever. As a salesman it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self love.”

A very direct, forthright speech by Pinter. Bracing and unforgiving.

/ Lobo

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Quiet: Thanks for the very good article! A quote,


"A predatory society doesn’t just mean oligarchs ripping people off financially. In a truer way, it means people nodding and smiling and going about their everyday business as their neighbours, friends, and colleagues die early deaths in shallow graves. The predator in American society isn’t just its super-rich — but an invisible and insatiable force: the normalization of what in the rest of the world would be seen as shameful, historic, generational moral failures, if not crimes, becoming mere mundane everyday affairs not to be too worried by or troubled about."

In other news, we have the Stupid Bowl coming to MN next weekend. I want to flee in terror, but the roads and airport will be filled to the brim with douchebags. Also, with an outdoor temp in the 8-10 degree range, micturating on shoes could be hazardous to my health...

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

The madness is spreading to France! It seems some folks believe it is worth a brawl to get a deal on nutella! Sigh

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/26/ce-nest-pas-normal-french-shoppers-bra-over-discounted-nutella

On moving out of the US - each country has its own requirements. Hubby and I are fortunate to be dual citizens, which makes moving much easier, but it also makes taxes much more complicated!



10:07 AM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

I don't know at bothers me more, the number of mass shootings in the US or the people claiming they are all "false flags."
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/28/us-guns-mass-shootings-hoax-conspiracy-theories

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Bullshevik,

Both are equally disturbing. Way too many Americans live in an isolated bubble and thanks to the information superhighway, such outlandish theories spreads like a wildfire. Our communities are designed as anti-communities -- disconnected neighborhoods, private estates, cul de sacs, and car-oriented roadways that are dangerous to pedestrians and cyclists. Most lack sidewalks. It's all about "keeping up with Jones's" and making sure "undesirables" are kept out.

U.S. urban planning is cold, heartless, dehumanizing, environmentally unfriendly, and blatantly racist. https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5a663a67e4b0e5630072746e/amp?__twitter_impression=true

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

https://www.manataka.org/page1875.html
"Your religion [hustling] was written on tables of stone by the iron finger of an angry God, so you would not forget it. The red man could never understand it or remember it. Our religion is in the ways of our forefathers, the dreams of our old men, sent them by the Great Spirit, and the visions of our sachems. And it is written in the hearts of our people. Your dead forget you and the country of their birth as soon as they go beyond the grave and walk among the stars. They are quickly forgotten and they never return. Our dead never forget this beautiful earth. It is their mother. They always remember and love her rivers, her great mountains, her valleys. They long for the living, who are lonely too and who long for the dead. And their spirits often return to visit and console us."

"When the last red man has vanished from this earth, and his memory is only a story among the whites, these shores will still swarm with the invisible dead of my people. And when your children's children think they are alone in the fields, the forests, the shops, the highways, or the quiet of the woods, they will not be alone. At night when the streets of your town and cities are quiet, and you think they are empty, they will throng with the returning spirits that once thronged them, and that still love those places. The white man will never be alone."

[paraphrased: switch White for Red.] "It matters little where we pass the rest of our days. They are not many. The Whites' night will be dark. No bright star shines on his horizons. The wind is sad. Fate hunts the white man down. Wherever he goes, he will hear the approaching steps of his destroyer [his own shadow disguised as Mexican, Muslim, Black], and prepare to die, like the wounded doe who hears the step of the hunter."

"Even the white man, whose God walked and talked with him as friend to friend, cannot escape the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We shall see." --Chief Seattle

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Liv said...

Speaking of School Mass Shootings, one of the many reasons why I cannot raise my daughter in States. It is despicable that Americans honor their guns more than their own children. Truly sad. If I talk to parents and ask them about the school shootings. They try to justify it by saying “it is just like any other accident; to bad it happens.” Are you kidding me a school shooting is “an accident?” Since when? How can anyone accept this? Also, they try to justify it by bringing up some random shootings that happened in EU as well. For sure I know it is not an epidemic like in States. For example, Slovakia never had school shooting since the beginnings.
The Slovakian newspaper printed an article “Čo spája Trumpa a Rímsku ríšu? Imigračná politika” (What connects Trump with the Roman Empire? Immigration Politics. If you remember from the history before the fall of the Roman Empire, it was the fight by the city of Adrianople around the year of 378 AD between the Flavius Valens and refugees (immigrants). The Valens was killed, and the refugees won. Nice article. https://aktualne.centrum.sk/udalosti/spektrum/lekcia-historie-trumpa-rozzureni-migranti-sposobili-pad-rimskej-rise.html (you may translate).

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Chad in Chicago,

Great to see another Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan here!

@Bill Hicks,

According to a University of Chicago study: "One in 10 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25, and at least one in 30 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17, experience some form of homelessness over the course of a year."

https://news.uchicago.edu/article/2017/11/15/one-ten-young-adults-experience-homelessness-during-one-year-chapin-hall-finds

And this is just youth homelessness. Apparently the homeless population has increased for the first time since 2010 driven heavily by skyrocketing housing costs on the West Coast.

https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2017-12-06/us-homeless-count-rises-pushed-by-crisis-on-the-west-coast

Where are all the Pussyhat people when it comes to this issue?

1:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Now this is a feminism I heartily endorse. Check out the videos that Dave Schwimmer made on the subject, w/an Israeli filmmaker. I think these make clear the diff between flirting and harassment.

https://www.thecut.com/2018/01/these-sexual-harassment-psas-will-soon-be-everywhere.html

"The Coworker" shows a real turkey in action. What a douche bag.

mb

1:30 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

Dream MLK gave his Dream speech as last words before a firing squad.
I have phantom leg syndrome, at times hopeful tho I know there is none. Unlike most my delusion isn’t grounded in fair distribution of wealth while maintaining a vapid consumer culture. I’m not alcoholic but mad props to A.A. and it’s co-founders Dr. Bob and Bill W. Esp Bill - a Wall Street hustler/promoter with egomaniacal grand plans whose spiritual exp meant taming these desires. He could easily have set up his own center and made millions. Legitimately criticized for its ‘lack of success’ which is as much a symptom of how difficult is the spiritual path in Merica than it is about how many people remain dry. Google ‘hitting bottom’ and ul find plethora scientific studies attempting to clarify and quantify. What they forget or don’t want to face is hitting bottom is not about jail, etc it’s about what Bill called ego deflation at the core, complete hopelessness - a spiritual exp impossible to induce by the State or anyone else. This is crucial b/c only after is a one able to live life by a new set of spiritual principles antithetical to an egomaniac. Borrowed from William James’ Variety of Religious Experience Bill W. participated in LSD experiments theorizing the effects might facilitate such an experience.
My delusion: what if the opioid junkies caught wind of an authentic spiritual way of life and rejected American idolatry? Are these enough people to set off a chain reaction leading to a Great Awakening rejecting all junkie ways of life? American catastrophe, great blessing.
Jeez, I can’t tell when I’m sleeping or awake.

3:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

Yr somewhere in between, probably. Well, MLK had a dream; so do I. Here it is: On a given day and hour, 325 million Americans stand up and recite the following:

"We are a collection of imbeciles. We are morons, turkeys. For centuries, we hated any form of socialism and the life of the mind. Instead, we endorsed hustling, imperialism, genocide, and a spiritually empty life, and now we are paying for it in spades. We fully deserve and accept our fate. We see now, too late, that we are rude, uncivil, narcissistic, vile, and disgusting. Our only hope is that Wafers will come and pee on our shoes. After that, all of us will relocate to a detention camp in Idaho, surrounded by barbed wire. This will leave the rest of the country free to absorb refugees from 'shitholes' and anywhere else, to begin anew on a completely different basis. For *we* are the shithole, and intend to spend the rest of our lives asking the rest of the world for forgiveness."

Whaddya think? A long shot?

mb

3:37 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Re: School Shootings

Besides being bad, the American school system is also very abusive towards students. The 'cool' kids are put to get brain injury and objectify themselves as football players and cheerleaders, while most everybody else suffers from exclusion and marginalization. Nobody really repeats a grade or advances ahead if they are gifted, so the top and low end of students are congenital misfits that either tune out or cause disruptions for everybody else. Since school is now the first leg of an economic race, it is impossible for teachers to really teach to where students are at. Everybody needs their paper to join the economy.

The school essentially exists to maintain sports teams and the vanity of administrators and alumni. Put impressionable young minds into that kind of corruption day in and day out, giving them little purpose beyond showing up and wasting time, and some of them are bound to snap. The whole thing is like a cross between a prison and a social club.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Willie said...

https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/gateless-fortress/

The Drawings and Calligraphy of Fyodor Dostoevsky

5:50 PM  
Anonymous DiogenesTheElder said...

@polecat

to your point about the sum total of US history in the words of Frank Underwood: when I saw that episode, I thought, "well, there it is." However, I am wondering if the show's writers intended FU's words as a cautionary tale (IOW, 'of course *our* statesmen don't think this way - look out for vile politicians like FU!') or as commentary on what exists. It would surprise me if it were the latter simply because it seems that most people could not deal with that much truth. Then again, maybe the writers are WAFers chronicling the decline? DTE

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Zombies said...

More H1B lipservice I suspect. The advocate for "reform" has also advocated for more . . ..
http://fortune.com/2017/02/16/republican-tech-agenda/

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/02/24/orrin-hatch-to-host-meeting-with-tech-execs-who-want-more-guest-worker-visas/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/04/03/this-one-group-gets-70-percent-of-high-skilled-foreign-worker-visas/?utm_term=.2a7b0807d17a

7:50 PM  
Blogger Jeffrey Delshad said...

My mother's father's parents were both killed in the holocaust. The paintings actually seem like lovely paintings to me. What does the one thing have to do with the other? Hitler is long dead, cursing his name is the easiest thing in the world at this point and means not much morally. Possibly if someone had supported Adolf's art as a child, his own violent tendencies would have gone into a canvas instead of a military campaign. That's at half the point of art, or, that's what I believe Badu is trying to say, at least. Why the rush to shut her down?

Hey, naw...

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

Wafers,

Just a quick thought on immigrating so that everyone can see it. If you enroll in a European university you will get a study visa which often gives you the right to work 20 hours a week. Enrolling in a European university is not at all like in the US - basically, anyone who graduated high school can do it. There is no competition and no selection process, for the most part. As long as you attend one class a semester and show up for the exam, you *should* be able to extend your visa for the next semester, and so on and so forth. So, basically you have a part-time work permit and have to go to class every once in a while, but not really. I recently taught English in Italy and heard of people going this route (I was personally enrolled in a language school, which is a bit different), and it's common knowledge that students from countries outside of the EU will avoid graduating by leaving one exam leftover from their degree in order to prolong their study visa and stay in the EU. In my opinion, if you have some money saved and are able to speak another language at a somewhat passable level (I'm not sure how good it would have to be), this can be a good starting point. It will give you more time than the 3 month tourist visa AND you will already have a visa which could then be changed into a work visa (easier than starting from scratch). I'm not an expert but this is based on my personal experience and from having lived in both France and Italy.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Tom S. -- my wife has a number of rich equestrian friends who marched the the main pussy hat rally down in DC who live in and around Great Falls and who are easily in the top 1%. Trump's election has had precisely zero real world effect on their cushy lives other than they quite obviously obsess over every little thing he does. And indeed, you wouldn't catch any of them dead working at a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter.

Looks like Detroit has figured out yet another way to fleece its citizens: namely make businesses who want proper police protection to pay thousands extra for the privilege on top of what they already pay in taxes. The extra money is being used in part to install a citywide surveillance camera system with facial recognition software. No doubt this trend will be coming soon to other American cities.

And here is a good summation of America in an article about the return of the XFL, of all things:

"This just not how America works. We don’t respond to immoral health crises by hurting the bottom line of those who profit from them. A grade school classroom got massacred in 2012, under Democratic leadership, and we did proudly did nothing in response. Wall Street tanked the world economy in 2008, and we did nothing in response. BP destroyed an entire American ecosystem… and we did nothing in response. Penn State, and now Michigan State, just facilitated two of the biggest and most immoral molestation scandals in US history, and–you guessed it–we did nothing in response. At every level of our national psyche, we refuse to countenance any action that might hurt the financial standing of the rich. We would sooner kill literally everyone on earth."

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Aaron Thomas said...

Yukon -

People in the US love the comforts, conveniences, and entertainment that the US offers. Slowly people are dumbed down to where if you criticize any part of it, you're laughed at and called an idiot. Your best bet is to cut off contact with people like this, family and friends included. I find it's impossible to spend time with people who are 100% focused on shopping, trivia, and making as much money as possible.

I find myself more and more isolated, tho I wish I weren't. It seems everybody around me is living in some alternate universe where the most important things in life are making money and getting the best deals when they go shopping.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Zom-

Pls remember to post only once every 24 hrs, and to send messages to most recent post. Thanks.

Jeffrey-

Because if you read the interview w/her, you'll see how superficial she is--an airhead. 1st Hitler was a great painter, then a shitty one, etc. Nor is an event like WW2 or the Holocaust reducible to one person, let alone to his childhood. Reality, history, are far more complex than that. (For starters, check out Daniel Jonah Goldhagen.) Badu is a joke. I suspect the rush to shut her down, by groups like the ADL, are because she might be an influential figure for the young, and they don't need to have such garbage inserted in their heads (tho granted, what is already in there makes one shudder).

mb

10:59 PM  
Blogger C. J. Timmins said...

Ahoy hoy! Do y'all ever read ProPublica? Sounds like they're documenting the gorsh darn collapse of an empire right before our own dern eyes! Anyway... At least it's better than Hedges.

Also, I'm enjoying the uproar over Jordan Peterson, whom Camille Paglia is calling the most important Canadian thinker since McLuhan. I must admit, his blend of traditional liberalism has many valid points!

11:41 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Following Morris’ suggestion, if any WAFERS and NMI’s our there live in Southern California (I live in San Diego), and would like to meet up, please contact me at...

jarden69@gmail.com

We can establish the West Coast Chapter of EWA.....the “Exalted Wafer’s of America.”

On another note, I just started reading “The Red and The Black” by Stendhal, and found this last sentence of chapter 1 amusing...

“The tyranny of public opinion — and such an opinion — is as stupid in the small towns of France as in the United States of America.”

EVEN Stendhal knew we were Turkeys!

12:04 AM  
Anonymous Yoogoogulator said...

Aaron,

My sentiments exactly. Although making our worlds smaller comes easy, it'should on us to keep on searching.

3:18 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Wafers,

I am no immigration expert, but if you're thinking about emigrating to France and want to hear about how good our camembert and baguettes are, feel free to email me at xeyoval@gmail.com

I've also started reading J. Peterson's latest book after seeing it recommended in the last post. Very much enjoying it so far!

Kanye

4:27 AM  
Blogger Grandma said...

Wafers,

I've been watching the complete Star Trek (TV show) on Netflix. It's low brow, but I remembered it as a youngster for increasing my "social awareness". It isn't perfect, but a curious mix that reflects its time: "we come in peace (to expand the reach of our Federation)", and "our weapons are for defense only", etc., and all races live in peace and harmony. It addresses overpopulation, race, inequality, a lot of other topics, and in the most recent episode I watched: good vs evil.

The episode (you may recall) brings in Abraham Lincoln and Surak, a great Vulcan philosopher, to fight alongside Spock and Captain Kirk against four of the baddest guys (and gal) from Earth and Vulcan history. The third alien race who set up this conflict want merely to understand our concepts of "good vs evil" by pitting the good guys against the bad guys to see who comes out on top. Wonderful!

The alien commentator notes that "evil runs away when confronted forcibly" and "both sides use the same methods to achieve the same ends". Priceless. No wonder the show was cancelled after only three seasons.

Dr. B, I followed your lengthy comment to jjarden (also priceless) on the previous thread. Apparently your cranium isn't quite as empty as you think! I appreciated that so much, thank you for that, and for this: the GBOE.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gran-

It really is (the GBOE). In the universe, really. When people tell me they dip into other blogs, I can only sigh and shake my head. Why wd anyone want to do that?

mb

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Neil, Austin Tx said...

convo w. Gates & Pinker in NYT is pretty brilliant and a needed corrective to the deep pessimism about democracy and progress. I know that these individuals aren't given much air space on this blog, but, at least in this convo, they are sincere and optimistic. Just because we might disagree, doesn't make them shit!

10:55 AM  
Blogger polecat said...

Recommended viewing - the new movie Hostiles. Takes place in 1892 NM territory and involves a cavalry unit escorting a "hostile" Indian chief back to his home in MT. Along the way they encounter other hostiles - both of the Indian and White variety - and begin to understand the category in new ways. What makes a person a "hostile"? Who gets to decide and for what reasons? Great movie making with a very thought-provoking script. A rare find in American cinema. Guaranteed to lose money.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Good article (second part) by Andrew Sullivan on why social media became a complete shithole (with the exception of this blog) and why the US corporate media (jumping on the bandwagon) sold their soul to it:
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/01/sullivan-the-gay-rights-movement-is-undoing-its-best-work.html

Calls multiply to regulate Google, Wastebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc., but this won't happen in the US. Silicon Valley spends more money on corporate lobbyists than Wall Street. Interesting that ex-employees admit to making their products deliberately addictive by manipulating dopamine hits just like tobacco companies manipulated nicotine levels. Who cares what its doing to kid's brains? Nobody. It's all about the $$$$$. Smuckerberg learns Mandarin to kiss Chinese ass and get FB approved in China. He also wants to build internet in rural India so that he can get the Indians addicted to FB. This proves that it is never enough. A 33-year old worth $35 billion is worried about making more money and obsessed into tapping into India and China. Why?

Having lived (and recently moved from) in San Francisco, my impression is that tech folks (20-something, good schools, very smart) are mostly autistic. They are smart but very socially sward and very approval seeking (getting the 'right' answer on a test.) This makes them lemmings; they simply do what everybody else does. For example, restaurants in SF get 'discovered' by the tech set and then it becomes impossible to eat there (too crowded) - this is even if the food is mediocre. it simply is the 'in' thing to do. Same with living in SF. They will sit in a tech bus 90 minutes each way from SF to Silicon valley and pay $5K a month for a 1 bedroom apartment because 'everyone' they know lives in SF. Because they are super-entitled, they trash whatever they touch and seek to exclude those less 'woke' than they. Look:
https://missionlocal.org/2017/04/glorious-saturday-transforms-dolores-park-into-a-trash-dump-by-sunday/
https://uptownalmanac.com/2014/10/bros-try-kick-kids-soccer-field

Turkeys!

BrotherMaynard

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Dill Pickle said...

MB & Wafers - I'd like to share three fine exemplars of American thinking and attitudes from this article on climate change in the US.

"America is unwilling to invest in mitigating the effects of climate change to the degree that future safety and stability requires.”

"It’s all about money. Always."

"Of the roughly 150,000 people imprisoned in Texas, some 80 percent are in cells that lack air conditioning. At least 20 inmates have been killed by inescapable heat in the last 20 years. There’s little public or legislative support for putting A/C into Texas prisons, even as the state’s average summer temperatures continue to rise."

More at the link.

jjarden - You have done very well for yourself, but how are you going to pass that saved and stored knowledge onto others? I think that's the whole point of being an NMI. ;^)

polecat - And that's the key on how it can be accomplished in which case you're not an isolated individual but a member of a group of like-minded persons. :^)

1:37 PM  
Blogger Crow T. Robot said...

Grandma-

You and I must be kindred spirits. I've been re-watching the original Star Trek series as well. I agree with all your points, but something struck me when I was watching it the other day. The writing for the most part was much better than what you see on the majority of TV today.

I have the same feelings about the old Twilight Zone episodes as well. It's as if the writers weren't afraid to challenge their audience a bit. I think for the time it was on air (66-68 I think), a lot of the subject matter was probably fairly radical for the time.

1:48 PM  
Blogger George Zadorozny, Attorney-at-Law said...

This fits right into waferolgy:

https://eand.co/why-were-underestimating-american-collapse-be04d9e55235

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Ralph said...

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2018-01-23/tribal-divisions-created-by-religion-most-harmful-in-global-conflict-experts-say?src=usn_tw


Religion Needs a Savior
Most people think religion is the root of the world’s problems, according to a recent international study.


What is your take on this MB? Or would WAFers be more immediately concerned by free market capitalism

1:53 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

A few random thoughts about emigrating versus new monasticism.

Nietzsche moved to Italy because he could not tolerate life in Germany; it didn't prevent him from ending his life in a mental hospital (it's unclear why he went mad, but it wasn't syphilis).

I did leave, but I was an immigrant to America to begin with, so I had no family there. As you grow older, if you're lucky, family grows in importance, even if they are far from perfect and frequently infuriating.

Don't assume you can go anywhere and you'll be welcome. It's best if, somehow, you're invited.

Don't think the grass is always greener on the other side.

Most important of all, if possible, don't move anywhere because you hate America, but because you love the place you're going to.

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

A typical NYT article that makes you want to gag. Some of the comments are interesting, however-

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/27/business/its-not-a-roar-but-the-global-economy-is-finally-making-noise.html

8:08 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

From Maria Popova’s site “brainpickings.org,” an essay on Ursula Le Guin. Popova writes:

“In her final years, Le Guin examined what makes life worth living in a splendid piece full of her wakeful, winkful wisdom, titled “In Your Spare Time” and included as the opening essay in No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters.”

WAFers may also find it profitable to follow some of the embedded links, especially one to Popova’s earlier [brainpickings] essay on Bertrand Russell and his book The Conquest of Happiness.

https://www.brainpickings.org/2018/01/24/ursula-k-le-guin-spare-time/

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Shazia said...

Best of mornings Mr Berman,

I have been reading your original psychological books, which surprisingly have a wonderfully smart focus on the physical body.

I was curious if you could you provide a rec on a text based on body work/healing touch/massage?

I'm sure you've moved on from these sources, but I've been finding the sources in the back of the book sooo fascinating!

Be well, to you and your readers

8:33 AM  
Anonymous Steven Klein said...

Ok, finishing Peterson's "Maps of Meaning" and it is a pretty terrible read. It's a strange combination of very basic social philosophy - stuff that is pretty banal - and a wildly speculative psychology of myth. And it often devolves into streams of quotations and references without any argument. That it summarizes this neat and tidy and goofy trans-historical order to all human societies and cultures.

It's like a "Wandering God" attempt only Joe Campbell followers.

Two thumbs down

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Buongiorno Wafers,

Found this in the Sunday Review section of the NY Times - about an American lady who had surgery in Germany. What a difference in outlook, demands, and expectations - truly America is full of turkeys (and you can see why our healthcare (sickcare?) system is so expensive and crazy!) And she's lived there for 4 years! Hasn't learned a thing.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/27/opinion/sunday/surgery-germany-vicodin.html?hpw&rref=opinion&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well

9:55 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

In the Greek tragedy section of the news...

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/crime/2018/01/26/kentucky-shooting-marshall-county-high-school-gabe-parker/1064880001/

That horrible moment when you realize you may have been the terrorist all along.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Kemp said...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/26/you-dont-need-to-know-plato-and-aristotle-to-be-a-humanist

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jan/26/philosophers-urge-rethink-of-pakistani-humanist-hamza-bin-walayat-asylum

Strange days indeed comrades

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

We may have more competition for the 2020 WAFer presidential primary. I present candidate Willie Drake.

"Employees at the local Waffle House had tried explaining as nicely as they could to him [Willie Drake] that they didn’t carry the brown stuff [barbecue sauce], but he wasn’t having it.

'I’ll go to (expletive) jail over some barbecue sauce!' Drake told them.

And that’s exactly what happened."

https://nypost.com/2018/01/26/waffle-house-patron-ill-go-to-jail-over-some-barbecue-sauce/

12:38 PM  
Anonymous MIke R. said...

WAFER Italiana--re: the article of the american living in Germany--she was an american, that's what they did--compare everything to america-as if it were a gold standard, or the ways things ought to be done b/c of brain washing and unconscious programming.

Also, the article was a psych op/propaganda piece under the guise of a folksy hyphenated american living in a foreign land, who yearns for that awesome sauce in the us. Go pills. Go us. Bernays sauce.

She could've lived in Germany for 10yrs, and she likely still wouldn't have a learned a thing.

americans were jokes dressed up as humans--Dr. Berman.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Jeffrey-

I understand yr objecting to the rules of this blog; yr hardly the only one. Problem is, that's what they are--cruel and unfair. Best thing to do, I'm guessing, wd be to find a blog that conforms more closely to yr expectations. This blog will probably continue to be a source of frustration 4u.

Tom-

This is my kinda guy. He knows what is impt in life, and he takes a stand. I look forward to a Drake-Torres ticket in 2020.

Shazia-

https://www.amazon.com/Depression-Body-Biological-Reality-Compass/dp/0140194657/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1517161892&sr=1-1&keywords=depression+and+the+body

mb

1:01 PM  
Blogger Neil 0421875644 said...

I was a big Nirvana fan in my teen years. And I think Kurt really sums up what went wrong with America here https://youtu.be/OZKr1BVMPi4

2:19 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

I'm beginning to agree with the strain of thought that sees Trumpi as the American Gorbachev. In only one year, Trumpi has exposed all our august institutions as hallow and politicians and media figures as empty suits. All this without even trying or even leaving his bed much. It only took Twitter for him to blow them all down and expose them as the frauds they always were. Look at all he has accomplished in just one year! And Trumpi is just getting started! We have 3 more years of this, more hysterical elections, and potentially 4 more after that No way the USA looks the same in 2024.

Re; emigration. I think a Francophone country makes the most sense for me. i grew up partly in Brussels (an under-rated city) and used to speak French proficiently. I'm in the process of re-learning. i hope to get to B2 level but that will take some time and effort. I'm looking into immersion programs in France and Quebec.

Revising some European memories, I recall thinking that Americans are friendly on the outside but cold (empty?) on the inside. I remember Europeans as being cold at first but then being very warm and friendly once you got to know them. I also recall having pretty deep conversations with average European folks who weren't that formally education. Here in the USA even college graduates can't discuss much deeply...it's all about sports, or celebrity, or tee vee. My thinking is that most Americans don't have any sense of inner life or spirituality (beyond the superficial such as I shop at Whole Foods so I am 'woke').

BrotherMaynard

4:22 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

More stupid bipartisan tricks: How Congress Enabled Chuck Hagel and Ash Carter to Keep Child Rape and Torture from Disrupting Forever War. This is all about the systemic child abuse committed by American war contractors in Afghanistan that was covered up for years on end by the Obama administration and the Republican congress. I'm willing to bet these poor kids won't get a Pussy Hat rally in their name.

Mare stupid American tricks--forget eating Tide, an even better game is the one where two teenagers pull guns on each other and pretend to pull the trigger to see who can end up dead faster: 'No Lackin' game led to accidental shooting of 17-year-old, police say.'

And lastly: Michigan State Professor Denounces Yoga As Appropriated Through White Supremacy. No wonder Michigan State officials sat around with their thumbs up their asses as their gymnastic's team doctor groped and fondled every teenage girl he could get his slimy little paws on if this is the type of imbecile to whom they are handing out professorships.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Vince said...

Crow and Grandma,

I think that the most fitting episode to describe the times we live in would be "A Piece of the Action". I always loved the response by Mr. Spock when asked by Dr. McCoy when researching the computer banks for a solution.

"Futile, Doctor. No specifics. There is no record of such a culture based on a moral inversion."

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5v2nxr

As for the American Empire, only one word from the Next Generation is needed: BORG.

Peace,
Vince

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Zombies said...

How awful the overwhelming problems are, humans are a bad design:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSQyjpmFClY

Quietly over-hearing bar talk recently a guy who travels all over the world for his
business mentioned after light conversation, "People are ruthless everywhere".

I don't know that expatriating can escape gov regulations and corp capitalism, sociopathy, taxation, opening a bank account due to FINRA, FATCA, whatever, etc. How people want to bring kids into this when self-destructive behavior has been everywhere for so long has always amazed me.

In the Pacific Northwest I grew up with polliwogs everywhere in spring and so many flying bugs on the windshield. That lecture mentioned that 75% of the flying bug volume has declined in about three decades. People are awful and a zero sum virus for life.

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

"The Demoralized Mind" sums up our sick, modern consumer culture.

https://newint.org/columns/essays/2016/04/01/psycho-spiritual-crisis

Excerpt:
"The real task is somehow to treat a sick culture rather than its sick individuals. Erich Fromm sums up this challenge: ‘We can’t make people sane by making them adjust to this society. We need a society that is adjusted to the needs of people.’"



8:20 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Dill Pickle -

Thanks...Good Point and Question...I guess first off my library of books and paintings are available to posterity as I’ll be gone in 25 years most likely...and as a former teacher I plan to begin some tutoring of younger people and counseling of adults in my home as I have two Masters degrees...one each in Psychology and Philosophy...I also agree that meeting up with other WAFERS as a community is critical...so far one person on the West Coast has contacted me...again It would be great if others out here got in touch...

jarden69@gmail.com


Polecat -

Thanks for the invitation...looks like we’re on opposite coasts...never been to North Carolina but hear it’s quite nice...you’ve got those nice mountains in Asheville if you need to bug out when the SHTF.

8:27 PM  
Anonymous G Miller said...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_world_product

Global GDP (gross world product):
1900: $1 trillion.
2017: $79 trillion.
Good job, species. America *is* exceptional! Turns out as a species generally humans are A-OK.

Have you seen these projections for 2100 though? More wealth this century than all previous centuries combined. Poverty gone by 2030. Post-scarcity. maybe that's the final fall of the US. What would anerican souls do w/o having to work and hustle?

9:34 PM  
Blogger polecat said...

MB - Wife and I would like to spend 1-2 months next winter in Mexico to escape cold and snow and to dip our toes in the waters of Mexican culture to test our readiness to immigrate.Would you be so kind as to recommend a town or general region? Thanks.

5:56 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB and all fellow Wafers :

It seems that a few more people are starting to figure out that the US is in a downward spiral. Here are two recent articles from totally different spectrums :

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/underestimating-american-collapse/

https://eand.co/how-america-collapsed-610742630522

10:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

pole-

Oaxaca or the Yucatan. But in general, Mexico is cold during Dec and Jan, and there's no central heating. I'm freezing my ass as we speak.

mb

10:13 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

trout-

People have been bombarding me with these articles over the past few days, thanks. I write back: Shit, I was saying this stuff 18 yrs ago. One thing I didn't figure out when I wrote Twilight, however, was the zeal and the speed with which 325 million turkeys wd run toward Thanksgiving. It's impressive!

mb

10:39 AM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

MB, yr MLK inspired dream is exactly what ego deflation would look like and precisely why it won't happen until all this "X Strong" shit goes away. A founding principle in AA is 'surrender to win.' One last thought in this regard. The whole idea behind anonymity isn't fear of stigma, the intent is to remain anonymous so that ur not feeding your ego. None but a 'higher power' gets credit for recovery - tell that to these asshole celebrities and their stories of 'hope and healing.' The last step in the 12 traditions states 'Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.'
NMI for me is living in a life affirming manner detached from the BS. You'll pay a heavy price if you try this and I've always been outta step with my fellows - I remember a high school counselor telling me 'when in Rome' and I replied 'and what happened to Rome?' My dad told me I needed to abandon the 'whistler blower' shit and get with the program. I've read, though MB would know better than I, that finding yourself in a double bind is one path toward enlightenment (painful as shit though).
Just read in USA Today that the average car payment in US is 500$ a month. Damn if that wouldn't buy a bunch of bus tokens - car insurance, maintenance, taxes, payments, fuel - all for what really amounts to fashion and not transportation - look at me I got a new (fill in the blank), I've arrived!

1:21 PM  
Blogger Crow T. Robot said...

I'm so "woke" I can barely contain myself. Someone please stop me!

Oh, and then there's this:
https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2018/01/28/women-trump-supporters-reaction-stormy-daniels-kaye-dnt-nr.cnn

And this:
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/rich-vera-trumps-decision-to-move-the-embassy-to-jerusalem-will-release-the-cure-for-alzheimers/

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Eli Turner said...

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once described kindness as ‘the golden chain by which society is bound’. Not this society ... but here is some new evidence from psychological research investigsting its importance

https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-2018/february-2018/kindness-societys-golden-chain

4:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

"It's a material world
And I am a material girl."

--Madonna, "Material Girl"

Wafers are encouraged to compose songs based on this theme, which sums up 400 yrs of American history. For example:

"It's a material hump
And I am a material Trump."

mb

mb

4:59 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

The State of the *Uniom* dept.:

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/01/state-of-union-ticket-misspelled.html

Miles

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Yoogoogulator said...

Gunnar,

Carrying AA principles outside the rooms is no easy feat. The correlation of values to NMI is an interesting observation. Standing at readiness to turn one's cheek would be necessity. Maybe there's truth in that.

Used Honda civics: Few thousand $ to buy. Liability insurance is beyond affordable. 100k-200k miles over the life of each car. Regular maintenance, good tires, and few breakdowns if ever. Why anyone wants to drive a nice car in public is beyond me. My door ding collection inspires laughter with every addition. My transportation vanity is right next to humptys. I'm ok with that.

Cheers

5:57 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Hey Wafers,

I've got an exhibition opening on Thursday that covers themes some of you may be interested in. You can view some of the works here:

http://www.nathanabels.com/ (Under "History of the Future")

It is my first museum exhibit - taking place in Boulder, CO at their museum of contemporary art. To put it simply, the overarching theme is the worship of technology. Some of the subjects of the paintings and drawings in the show include juxtapositions of contemporary Christian worship concerts paired with SpaceX launches, an adoration of an ipad, Elon Musk as a medieval saint, etc.

I always enjoy stopping by the blog, even if I don't chime in that often. Cheers everyone!

7:07 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

As far as modern musicians go, Todd Snider is about as close to being a Wafer as I've run across, having deliberately turned his back on mainstream success so he could record songs about how fucked up life in America is. Check him out:

Happy New Year

There's an overweight man with an overweight woman
On a sofa watching TV
He's yelling his opinion at the television
She looks up from her food and agrees

Lookin' For a Job

So you see, broke won't take much getting used to
Neither will a barb wire jail house wall
Watch what you say to someone with nothing
It's almost like having it all

Conservative Christian, Right-Wing Republican, Straight, White American Males

Quite diligently workin’ so hard to keep the free reins of this Democracy
From tree huggin’, peace lovin’, pot smokin’, barefootin’ folk-singin’ hippies like me.

7:56 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

The great Bill W. saw Frank Buchman getting his "money for nuthin' and chicks for free" and packaged up his own sub-cult from the alcoholics sobering up via the Oxford Group's, umm, fellowship. I've been sober a loooong fucking time in spite of the Bill Wilson and Sideshow Bob worship at meetings. The only hustler I know of that made a better game was that sonofabitch tax collector Paul.
Tim Leary's concept of metaprogramming fits the bill just as well. Drives the book thumping geezers batshit, too, heh heh.

8:19 PM  
Anonymous JUS said...


Ok, I'm no poet by any stretch of the imagination but I just couldn't resist this challenge, lol.

There once was a material Botox shlump,
Who ran for president in a nation of material chumps,

She lost the election in a daze,
To the nation's material craze,

So now we have a president whose pie hole serves as a dump.


J





8:38 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

Sad to hear of the passing of the investigative journalist Robert Parry-

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/01/28/us/ap-us-obit-parry.html

9:04 PM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

Today in "Turkeys Stampeding Towards Thanksgiving": New insurance policies expect Emergency Room patients to diagnose themselves and put the patient on the hook for the very big bill if the self-diagnosis is wrong.

What's funny is that even now, prog-dems still defend Obamacare. (Hints: It was supposed to control costs but in fact did exactly the opposite; the working class's reaction to getting soaked by it also has more than a little to do with the fact that Trumpi is now our fearless leader, but by all means, scream about Russia some more!)

My advice: Avoid the ER. Yes, you may die, but the way you could get robbed blind if you do go there might make you wish you had died.

8:09 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Roboto-

The progressive breakdown of all of our institutions is a prerequisite for the collapse of the country. Always gd news. Altho had Trumpi given me the power, I cd have closed the country down in 2 days, a yr ago.

JUS-

I love it. And you know, we still have Botox Face in the news! "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?"

Bill-

Gd stuff, but watch length. Thanks.

Nathan-

Congrats. Why not contact other Wafers in yr area?

Jeff-

What turkeys. That says it all.

And speaking of Dual Process, I discovered that Perry Anderson sort of anticipated me by 40 yrs. "The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci," New Left Review I/100, Nov-Dec 1976, last page: He says that the way forward is that as the institutions of capitalism crumble, they need to be replaced by socialist ones, and he refers to the process as "dual power." Of course, it didn't work out so well for socialism; hopefully my own vision will have better luck.

mb

10:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

But were the monkeys Jewish? dept.:

http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/30/investing/volkswagen-animal-testing/index.html

But this is what we need to focus on, in any case:

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/01/30/entertainment/kim-kardashian-lindsay-lohan-hair/index.html

mb

10:53 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The “No Lackin Challenge”.....Oh How Fun!

'Downright dumb' Internet stunt ends with Memphis teen shot in head


https://usat.ly/2Fw7JPv

10:56 AM  
Blogger Diamond said...

I've been meaning to write, and will soon. I'm just in the middle of a move, and am basically homeless, crashing on the couch at my dad's or my sister's or my girlfriend's, while working a soul-numbing desk job in midtown Manhattan, trying to get by, and dealing with the dreadful Long Island Railroad, 3.5 hours out of my life every day, riding the rat race sardine can trains with standing room only, miserable faces everywhere you look.

I came across this article this morning:

http://www.dailyimpact.net/2018/01/28/this-is-the-great-depression

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

Stat of The Uniom Address -where you will see, smell and hear the hole truth.
https://www.clowncrack.com/2018/01/12/shithole/
https://www.clowncrack.com/2018/01/15/hole-truth/

Shithole values -the root cause of depression and loneliness.
https://www.alternet.org/personal-health/rampant-consumerism-unfulfilling-work-and-lack-social-connection-all-factor
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/14/age-of-loneliness-killing-us
"For thousands of years we’ve known that if you think life is only about money and status, you’ll feel miserable. We know that a steady diet of junk food will make you sick. A steady diet of junk values does the same thing. Neoliberalism sees human beings as rational economic maximizers. Americans and Europeans have organized our whole society around this idea. But this is not what human beings are."

GDP, our core value, "it measures everything, except that which makes life worthwhile." -Robert F. Kennedy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77IdKFqXbUY



11:15 AM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Here's something funny: If I go to a university in Europe or Canada for graduate school, you automatically get healthcare with your student visa (through the state funded insurance). The thing is the tuition, room and board at these very fine universities is less than what I pay in the USA for health insurance per year! It is like buying an education and getting healthcare for free!

Interesting things: The University of Michigan, a PUBLIC university, undergraduate out of state is $62K per year! IN-STATE(!) is $30K!!! Seriously, where does the money go? Out of country Oxford in the UK is US$22K (including free healthcare through NHS). U of Toronto (out of country) is US$15K per year (including healthcare). Why is Oxford or Toronto so much cheaper than Michigan? I think the answer is EVERYTHING in the USA is done for profit. There is nothing in the USA that is seen as a public good. You simply charge what the market will bear. By the way, one year at Harvard Medical School is $94K (per year!)

BrotherMaynard

12:48 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Thanks MB - I even quoted you in the gallery guide - referring to your assertion that technology is the "hidden religion" in the US.

1:07 PM  
Blogger polecat said...

Just spent the last 3 hours in Idiocy Hell, Dante's 10th Circle (although it should be his first). While waiting for a MRI at a local hospital I was part of an audience held captive to Pat Robertson's "Christian" money-raising fraud of a TV show. There was no escape. We were prisoners in an Intelligence Vacuum of gargantuan proportions. A sing below the ubiquitous plasma viewing machine warned us not to change the channel. A request more appropriate to my thoughts at the time would have been "Please do not smash the TV and throw it at the receptionist". Thank God Pompous Pat was soon replaced by "Let's Make a Deal" where contestants dress up in costumes and pick one of 3 doors in hopes of winning a new car, the Golden Chalice of TV game shows. By the time they put me in the MRI tube, there was nothing left to examine. "Sorry, sir, the machine is not capable of imaging empty space. Please come back after watching something more substantial - like an interview with the Exalted Leader.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous slakr said...

We are living out this material turd
Without a single serious word.

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Dulouz Jr said...

here's a WAFer song offering. Written by R.B. Morris and recorded by John Prine ( where I heard it on You Tube) "That's How Every Empire Falls". Last stanza: A bitter wind blows through this country/ A hard rain falls on the sea/ If terror comes without a warning/ There must be something we don't see/ What fire begats this fire?/ Like torches thrown into straw/ If no one asks, then no one answers/ That's how every empire falls.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Massive brawl at New Jersey Denny's.

https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/New-Jersey-Dennys-Plates-Fight-Vineland-Social-Media-471713774.html

Real man bites dog story.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/01/23/story-man-bites-dog-suspect-chomps-k-9-but-k-9-chomped-right-back.html

Carjackings in Chicago skyrocketed in 2017 to the highest level in ten years.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-chicago-carjackings-2017-story.html

3:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

Turkeys in action! I love it! The real America!

Dolouz-

Perfect. Has R.B. ever eaten at Denny's?

Wafers-

To sum up yr posts: everywhere you look in the US, you see shit. You see trashy institutions; you see trashy people living trashy lives according to trashy values. Arriba!

mb

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Brother Neptune said...

Can this really be true? What a joke. We truly are circling the drain.

http://www.businessinsider.com/united-denies-womans-attempt-to-bring-peacock-onto-flight-2018-1

4:52 PM  
Anonymous AaronA said...

Hello MB and other Wafers,

I am reading Coming To Our Senses now, and it is a brilliant and profound book, as expected. I cannot recommend it enough.

While reading it struck me that Michel De Montaigne was a proto-Wafer, perhaps the ur-Wafer - has anyone here read him?

A decade ago I read his complete essays, and it was life altering. Very similar ideas to CTOS, the two books reinforce each other. Montaigne should be essential reading for Wafers, I believe! Few better exemplify the spirit.

MB - I believe your books would do much better in Europe. Philosopher John Gray writes in the same vein as you (although with differences) and while he's ignored in America, he's very well known and respected in England.

America simply isn't ready for these ideas yet. I get persecuted by Americans for holding them!

P.S - just finished Turning Straw Into Gold - a real treat. It's luminous simplicity is a delicious counterpoint to the complex intellectualism of books like CTOS.

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Dill Pickle said...

jjarden,

Thanks for your response... looks like I got schooled! You were able to put yourself in a position or niche where you can be an NMI. Me? I am in no way in such a position, unfortunately but I try to be as much of an NMI as I can be. Right now I find myself in a position where I'm going to have to look for a job or some kind of way of making an income without resorting to hustling, which I really don't like. It's akin to lying for your own advantage!

Well I live in New Orleans. Don't know if there are any other wafers here and I don't want any nasty emails from any lurking trollfoons...

MB and all,

My partner got Alain de Botton's Status Anxiety from the library and I read two of his essays therein on Christianity. It looks like the Christian religion, when practiced properly, is very Unamerican!

And "everywhere in America you see shit." Even the built environment is shit, especially in suburbia! There each house is on display on its own plot as if selling itself to passersby. Then there is the utter architectural squalor of the commercial strips. New Urbanism was supposed to be a fix for this---it is not.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hello Wafers,

Well, something tells me that Trumpo's address tonight will be pure comedy gold. As for me, I will be sitting in my room composing a lengthy missive to the WH. My subject: a rambunctious argument as to why MB should be seriously considered to head the Ministry of Total Collapse. Nothing will be left out. Fundamentally, I plan on discussing at length Shaneka's bacon attack; Freddie Wadsworth's amatory exertions; Rachel Dolezal's hairdo. Time well spent, of course, tho I've a strong inclination that my individual efforts will, nevertheless, be seen as inconsequential or too trivial or minor to merit consideration by our *genius* president. Therefore, I call on all Wafers to join me in this endeavor. Let's let Trumpo listen to our collective voices, and perhaps we could produce something more tangible, more calculable, more violent than anything Trumpo could contemplate. Thank you for your time regarding this matter.

Sincerely,

Miles Dewey Deli IV

7:50 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Good essay from Raul Ilargi over at The Automatic Earth that takes a nuanced view of what the Trump presidency means that would anger both his douchebag supporters or "woke" moron detractors if they ever bothered to read it. Ilargi discusses how the public discourse has dissolved into two opposing echo chambers, but his more important point is that the real damage to the country is being done by the rapid erosion of social and political norms, and he calls out the woke as being just as responsible as the wingnuts:

"America needs a dialogue. But all it has left is loud, echoing, deafening, monologues. And plenty shithouse counties and cities and neighborhoods within its own borders as well. For which, too, it’s useless to blame Trump. He’s just the logical conclusion of years of blindness, ignorance, greed, stupidity and neglect. All of which, as long as everyone focuses on him, are guaranteed to continue.

"Trump is not what’s wrong with America. Rather, what is wrong with America is what has given it Trump. Someone asked God for a sign and He said: here you are."

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-San said...

There once was a very orange man
Who for the 'merican presidency ran.
When he defeated Hillareee
Wafers let fly with their pee
Crying "No Botox, just orangutan".

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Polecat, Whenever I hear that our soldiers are defending our way of life I ask what is there about our way of life worth defending? Maybe this country wouldn't be too bad if Americans did some serious extended travel overseas. Those people I can have a relatively decent conversation with. Unfortunately, few travel so conversations are deadly from the first uttered syllable.
Just attended a splendid 2 1/2 hour production of Ibsen's A Doll House. Only a few stood at the end- so ungrateful.







11:34 PM  
Anonymous TZD said...

I just finished reading 'Are We There Yet' and I really liked how the book started with essays delving into the reasons for the decline and eventual collapse of America and then tying this all into the major changes civilizational changes on the horizon (the end of capitalism as we know it). I agree that while modern capitalism might have begun with noble intentions, it is now a corrupted predatory system. America is a perfect example of the perfidies of capitalism.

On the subject of the end of the US empire, here is a great analysis on what Trump is doing to end the US hegemonic systemic setup in the wake of World War II. It is by an anthropologist and I think it has a lot of pabulum. Long read but I think worth it.

https://fabiusmaximus.com/2018/01/12/an-anthropologist-explains-the-american-empire/



12:36 AM  
Anonymous Gordon said...

The criticism of our current societies culture and its infatuation with infantile greed, consumerism and celebrity
is not without merit. The focus on America alone may limit discourse however.

Fortunately we are assured by Xinhua that the magnanimity of Xi Jinping Thought will rescue us from
the errors of our ways by the economic expansion of a benevolent society in service to the
common man.

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/surviving-post-capitalism-coping-hoping-doping-shopping-1.3973042

I feel better already

2:34 AM  
Anonymous Jacques said...

MB said "Jeff-

What turkeys. That says it all.

And speaking of Dual Process, I discovered that Perry Anderson sort of anticipated me by 40 yrs. "The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci," New Left Review I/100, Nov-Dec 1976, last page: He says that the way forward is that as the institutions of capitalism crumble, they need to be replaced by socialist ones, and he refers to the process as "dual power." Of course, it didn't work out so well for socialism; hopefully my own vision will have better luck."


Just curious, does your own model not involve socialism? I assumed it did. Or is it a more pragmatic, non-ideological form of socialism?

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Barn Owl said...

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

A regenerative economy "We need to turn today's economies, which are degenerative by default into ones that are regenerative by design"

Dual Process Doughnut

10:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jacques-

Yes, in terms of communal support and an ideology of sharing; but pragmatic as well, esp. on a local level. I'm also not opposed to small-scale capitalism; it has many advantages. Just so it doesn't become an ideology and way of life. Check out novel by Richard Powers, "Gain."

Gordon-

Check out my Preface to the Mandarin edn of WAF, archived on this blog (several yrs back).

TZD-

This is something I've been saying as well: in the guise of saving America, Trumpi is actually dismantling it--something Hillary wd never have done. Go, Trumpi!

Bill-

Again, what I've been arguing all along. That last para is exactly my pt, tho I wd say History rather than God. Really, I love Trumpi. He's da man.

Dill-

Check out DAA ch. 7.

Aaron-

Glad yr enjoying my work. On Montaigne, check out bio by Sarah Bakewell.

Neptune-

I am in favor of allowing all animals on airplanes, peacocks in particular. To this list I wd add kangaroos and wild boars.

mb

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Leo Herzberger said...

How sick!

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/371592-cdc-head-resigns-after-report-she-traded-tobacco-stocks

And these reminded me of your title, Slouching Toward Nuremberg

"Evil beyond any human project ever." The Doomsday Machine @DanielEllsberg is essential reading. Here is a helpful introduction to its main points

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/01/18/daniel-ellsberg-nuclear-worrier/

Shrugging Toward Doomsday
Experts warn that the world is now as dangerous as it was at the height of the Cold War. Many Americans already know it.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/01/doomsday-closer-than-ever/551507/



MB, i can't recall, did Warren Wager's great "History of the Future" tie in nuclear war at all? Have you meditated much on its possibility/it's relativity in your own theorized Collapse of Empire?

10:51 AM  
Blogger ab645471 said...

Have anyone been to LA recently, Wafers? Anyone from LA?

Found this very recent video on Youtube:

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

No further comments.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Quiet Desperation said...

Joined by two of the friends I have left and my beautiful daughter I had the pleasure of attending the Bruce Cockburn concert in Seattle this past Sunday evening. At seventy two years of age he can still bring it and we had a hell of a time. Aside from several douchebags with smahtphones it was a memorable night. Dinner before at a Greek joint had three of four orders plated and served with a 20 minute delay of my daughters meal with no explanation from the waiter. When her meal finally arrived I let him know we were dissatisfied with the service and he said with a perfect Greek accent, "Sorry, but I had to go to Safeway!" and walked away. Tip was commensurate with the service. Onward and downward...

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Mulla Sadra said...

Mr. Berman,

Thank you for your work and important social commentary. Every new day in the US greets us with novel forms of idiocy. This society is like an alcoholic who has reached the point of no return. There is no room for honest self-analysis left, as the crazed drunk careens towards the edge of the cliff. I guess we can take solace in the fact that we haven't hit rock bottom yet, or have we? What does rock bottom look like, a total collapse into chaos or despotism?

I find your analogy of Rome and Byzantium (as modern day Europe) quite interesting. I hope to join your wafer community and meet you some day in NYC.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Casey said...

I caught a viewing @ the arthouse cinema last night of "Darkest Hour"

Gary Oldman plays Churchill w/ incredible truth. Stephen Dillane as Lord Halifax, Churvhill's 'holy fox'

Fun movie, these two performances made it

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Bren Isbell said...

Spectacular dinosaur stomping grounds discovered just outside D.C.

And inside too!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2018/01/31/spectacular-dinosaur-stomping-grounds-discovered-just-outside-d-c/

1:41 PM  
Blogger C. J. Timmins said...

Trump's supporters are a perfect mirror of the soul of America: Jimmy Kimmel Introduces DACA Opponents to Dreamers. Their reactions were unsurprisingly heartless. Many of the conservatives present said they wanted to deport the young mother, straight to her face. I knew America's soullessness had been normalized. Now it has gone mainstream!

Also, during the election I signed up to Trump's email list to see how he communicates to his supporters, and yesterday I received the below solicitation email. Michael Wolff is quite right. Trump didn't want the presidency, he simply wants any monetary gain possible. Now you too can be a truly soulless xenophobe & pay the President your hard-earned money to receive literally nothing in return! The American swindle is alive and well.

Friend, Tonight’s speech is not about me. It’s about you. Which is why I want the names of every supporter who makes a special contribution today broadcast during my speech. Please make a special State of the Union contribution to have your name broadcast during my speech on the Official Donald J. Trump for President livestream. CONTRIBUTE $1

It goes on from there, but you get the gist...

2:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mulla-

Thanks for joining us. Are you really a mullah? Note that a lot of alcoholics hit bottom the other side of death. That is what the US is doing. BTW, always, always, capitalize Wafer. And keep posting: c.u. in NY, shd that ever happen again.

mb

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

For WAFer art lovers:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/museums/did-americas-great-landscape-painter-fear-progress-and-hate-democracy/2018/01/31/6d8340c8-05e9-11e8-8777-2a059f168dd2_story.html

"the curators argue that Cole was deeply uneasy about his adopted country, seeing it as prone to greed, self-interest and expansionism, with dire consequences for the primeval forests and virgin land."

Oh, and P.S., hosting the Super Bowl sucks! It's like good ol' 'merican hustling times a thousand.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Mark S Deagle said...

Dr Berman Trump says that the state of the union has never been better lol.The sad thing is not that he believes it, but that his bootlicker voters do. How sad.

6:45 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

Is there anything more insufferable than listening to idiots chanting USA! USA! USA! esp a bunch of congressmen? And what is it with this jobs, jobs, jobs mantra as if the federal gov't is a 'job creator' as coal is clean, so to will these jobs pay well. After all there's zero unemployment in a feudal society.

This video is kinda old apologies if it's been posted before. Botox got under more than her skin I'm afraid. Looks like the redheaded reporter's initial reaction was 'are you ok?' Also enjoyed how her eyes seem to go cross eyed at the end.

Nothing wrong here.

College chick gets sentence for her crime last November, wants probation and a clean record...

American Woman, Stay away from me.

10:32 PM  
Blogger Jeffrey Delshad said...

AB,

I am from LA and have lived in downtown, fairly close to where that video was filmed (downtown isn't that big), and was actually one half of a youtube channel which was filming happenings in the area from the point of view of homeless, giving them bloggies^TM^ (simple point and shoot video cameras made for blogging). Although it looks very crazy and is, one thing which may not come through from a video of that type is that there is a community aspect to the neighborhood, of people who do their best to live and support one another, people who have regular type jobs and simply cannot afford to live elsewhere, and even people who move there voluntarily or spend a lot of time there due to feeling that they don't belong elsewhere or appreciate it's unique sense of community. Certainly it is by far the least posh part of downtown Los Angeles and possibly Los Angeles overall. The mayor recently decided to install some drinking water fountains there, or so I read. Other than that the political struggles in the area often revolve around getting public bathrooms installed and serviced by the city, which in itself would probably do a lot to help, but it is in general a hotbed of experimentation for many different social services organizations and approaches and is generally emblematic of 'merican mythology, or "American dream" meeting the American reality, I think it is fair to say.

People can and do make it out. I am not ashamed to be an Angelino, with both the good and the bad, at least not most days, though maybe occasionally. All emotions have their place, anyhow, do they not?

Jeff

12:46 AM  
Blogger Estrada Aberta said...

Hi, Morris.

I'm from Brazil, and really want to learn your book Spinning Straw into Gold.

As far as I know, there is not any local edition of this book here.

Would you please let me know if there is any forecast for releasing here??

If not, there is a eletronic version (epub, pdf) of the books Spinning Straw into Gold, Destiny or Neurotic Beauuty available? It can be in english or spanish languages.

Buying a imported physical version of this books would be absurdly expensive for me.

Thank you so much for your inspiring work!

1:04 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Open question after Joe Kennedy III's SOTU rebuttal - do Wafers think there was anything much to the Kennedys? I know how JFK's dad Joe was a somewhat mixed character with some questionable business ties, but he seems to have worked to get the family 'straight' with WASP society (not that it is some kind of proper judge). Then his two sons get murdered... I know how compromised and a part of the system they were, but do any older Wafers remember JFK and RFK offering a serious alternative in spite of all this? Were they actually Obama/Clinton style prog delusions, or did they really have something to offer, however flawed and incomplete?

From just what little I know, it seems like an important bit of a Water social history of America. Two of the country's more liberal reformers get assassinated, and here we are in a failed state 2 generations later.

2:13 AM  
Blogger polecat said...

On the collapse of the American Empire, see Timothy Parsons' "The Rule of Empires: Those who built them, Those who endured them and why they always fall" for a general history of what always happens to empires, undoubtedly, will happen to the current one.

Dill Pickle - The American version of Christianity (X) has little to do with the real and original thing. Jesus wouldn't recognize what most churches do as anything he talked about. The radical ideas and vision of a poor Jew from Nazareth is closer to classic communism than American capitalism. His core values - justice for the poor, equality of the sexes, preferential treatment for the destitute and marginalized - are polar opposite of those held by most Americans who, while confessing faith in him, in reality worship and trust in the American system of upward mobility, the American Dream, hyperindividuality, violence, Gain, and unlimited expansion. The conflation of American Civic Religion and X occurred decades ago. What is worshiped in most (but not all)American churches today is Patriotism armed to the teeth and ready to rule the world with domination and violence.

6:02 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Interesting article of two journalists with conflicting viewpoints about Peterson:

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/jordan-peterson-political-saviour-or-false-god/20952#.WnMPW4JG0Wo

Kanye

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

Jimmy Kimmel? Xenophobe? Michael Wolff is quite right? Sometimes I worry this great blog has been added to a Shareblue hitlist.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

A Frankfort, Kentucky woman visited her hospital ER last July after experiencing abdominal pain that her mother, a former nurse, feared might be appendicitis. (She was later found to suffer from ovarian cysts.) The woman’s health care provider, Anthem, later sent her a bill for $12,000, denying her claim for coverage. It took the woman two appeals to get the denial decision reversed.
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/1/29/16906558/anthem-emergency-room-coverage-denials-inappropriate

A Pentagon report states that climate change—“wild weather” is the term used in the article—will threaten half of US military sites worldwide in the coming years. The report, a link to which is embedded in the Guardian article, says that some 1,700 out of 3,500 US military installations across the globe are at risk. The White House and some leading Republicans continue to dispute—in a rhetorical sense, bereft of any science—the scientific findings on climate change, raising the prospect of future clashes between the Pentagon and policymakers.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/31/climate-change-threatens-us-military-bases-pentagon

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Edward said...

"I asked myself: what could knowledge of the development of a frog egg mean to the human soul?" Pattiann Rogers in Poetry Foundation https://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/143296/naming-the-natural-world-5949965655c14

11:29 AM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...

Nathan,

beautiful work, really lovely conveyance of the tone of the times, best of luck!

BHicks et al,

Isn't it charming how the folk who are woke can know so little about the history of their own country, of civilization, and still always be spewing wisdom and overflowing with real-talk, mic drop, hot takes?

These are the same people who think that the winners of subjectively voted upon awards like the Oscars and Grammys ought to be equitably distributed. Bruno Mars also is apparently not ethnic enough of a minority to quell the outrage from this contingent.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jay-z-grammys_us_5a6e96f5e4b01fbbefb3201f

Personally, after looking at every Best Picture and Best Album in Oscar and Grammy history, I agreed with exactly one movie choice and one album choice, ever, so I guess I should get to work on those angry blog posts, this might take a while...

Meanwhile, I'm with this guy:

https://local.theonion.com/area-man-thinks-movie-he-saw-should-have-been-nominated-1822384201

11:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Patrick-

Thanks. In future, watch length.

Dio-

JFK was basically a Cold Warrior; check out his inaugural address. He became a great president by dying. Gore Vidal said that if he had lived, he wd have been a very mediocre one. Gore was close friends with him. During his election campaign, JFK made a big deal out of Michael Harrington's bk on poverty in America. Once elected, he appointed John Kenneth Galbraith ambassador to India, to get him on the other side of the world. Galbraith was an advocate of a Scandanavian-style economy, i.e. he wanted to actually *do* something abt poverty. JFK just wanted to use the issue to get elected. You get the picture.

Estrada-

Obrigado. Thanks for writing. Eu no falo portgues, sad to say. Destiny exists only in English and only in a hardcopy version. NB exists in Spanish in hardcopy (Sexto Piso Editorial, Mexico City) and in a Kindle version in English (available from Amazon, not very expensive). SSIG exists in English (hardcopy) and Spanish (hardcopy, again from Sexto Piso). That's all I got, I'm sorry to say. Wish I could do more for you.

But here is a possibility: ca. 1992 I gave a lecture in Sao Paolo as part of a conference on education. If you can talk some university into inviting me down, I will personally bring you: English Destiny; Spanish NB; Spanish SSIG. A long shot, I realize.

Brother M-

Cdn't post it (we have a half-page-max rule on this blog).

mb

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Dio: Say what you will about the Kennedys, I'll never forget the first time I saw the video of Robert's speech after the assassination of MLK when out of the blue he quotes Aeschylus from memory:

http://bigthink.com/Think-See-Feel/in-tragedy-kennedy-quoted-aeschylus

I will dare anyone to find an Amerikkkan politician (or anyone else that matter) who could (or would) quote their favorite poem from memory like that.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Dill Pickle said...

MB,

I have a copy of the book, thank you! :^)

ab645471,

"Have anyone been to LA recently, Wafers? Anyone from LA?"

If by LA you mean Louisiana, I live there! New Orleans to be exact. Now, if you mean Los Angeles, no, I haven't been there since 1998. (Talk about an endless automobile suburb!)

Quiet,

"'Sorry, I had to go to Safeway!'" Either way you interpret it, it was an entirely douchey thing to do and an inexcusable excuse for the late meal. I feel very sorry for your daughter!

Dillard T Picklesham III, DDS

1:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

What can ya say dept.:

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/02/01/europe/poland-passes-holocaust-bill-intl/index.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/01/israel-settlements-jerusalem-tourism-un

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/01/development-of-former-nazi-torture-centre-into-luxury-flats-sparks-fury

1:39 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

This breaks the 24hr rule but looks like I posted a broken link, it’s worth a look - an American of the most depraved variety:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/01/31/hate-crime-charges-unlikely-student-bodily-fluids-roommates-belongings/1081927001/

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Water(house)gate said...

https://amp.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/jan/31/manchester-art-gallery-removes-waterhouse-naked-nymphs-painting-prompt-conversation

Waterhouse ?!

3:20 PM  
Anonymous G.M. said...

Ye gods. Who needs robots when you can use technology to reduce human workers to machines?

https://gizmodo.com/amazon-patents-wristband-to-track-hand-movements-of-war-1822590549

3:29 PM  
Blogger C. J. Timmins said...

Transatlantic,

My apologies if my comment was unfit for your or others' eyes and intelligence, I guess? I'm not a particular fan of the Kimmel or Wolff, opportunists both (remember when Kimmel was co-host of The Man Show?). My comment was in the spirit of watching the decline in the actual faces of and interactions among Americans, and sharing the lowest common denominator emails from the President. This blog still remains the greatest of all time, and I know Dr. Berman encourages everyone to get along in the comments. So onward, fellow Wafer!

RE: Jordan Peterson, I've found pieces of what he says to be quite compelling, especially regarding free speech (censorship vs. obligation to use particular words) and personal responsibility. Curious what Wafers think of his writing. I may pick up "12 Rules" myself.

3:38 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

A self-taught rocket man trying to prove the earth is FLAT...........of course an American.


https://www.nbcnews.com/video/can-self-taught-rocket-scientist-mike-hughes-prove-earth-is-flat-1151204931647

4:34 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Nice to have Peter Van Buren back from his brief sabbatical, and calling out the "woke" for yet another way they are rapidly eroding political norms by wanting to use the 25th Amendment against Trump:

"People saying the president is mentally ill and the 25A is the cure know they have no rational basis for their position. They know the 25A is not a work-around for impeachment proceedings they are unlikely to see. They are aware they are unethically trying to medicalize bad leadership, damning it with the taint of mental illness. They know Mike Pence and Trump’s own cabinet will never sign off on a power transfer, and they don’t want Pence in the Oval Office anyway. They know this is all kabuki, liberal fan fiction, a shadow play. The talk of mental illness and the 25A is simply political sabotage ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections.

"Trump’s time in office is finite, but what happens around him will outlast his tenure. It is dangerous to mess with the very fundamentals of our democracy, where the people choose the president, replacing that with a kabal called into session by pop psychologists. This is an attack on the process at its roots; you yokels voted for the wrong guy so somebody smarter has to clean up."

4:53 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Sorry for exceeding the limit. As I write I sometimes get all worked up and then polemical and preachy (to the choir lol). There's just too much shit going on in this country!!!

As brevity is the soul of wit, I'll keep it shorter from now on.

BrotherMaynard

P.S. Quite a good discussion on emigration on the Robot forum (see above) for those thinking of joining (or emigrating).

5:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Trans-

I shoulda said something earlier. We don't diss other Wafers on this blog. If you wanna shit on a trollfoon, be my guest; but in the case of yr fellow Wafers, if you have a disagreement, state it, and provide evidence for yr views. "Attitude" is not how we operate, altho if you wanna say Hillary has Botox in her face, that's fine. As one sage once said, "Opinions are like assholes; everybody's got one."

mb

6:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: In Jan, the blog had more than 42,000 hits. You see how people out there are yearning for our insights and our wisdom.

6:46 PM  
Blogger JOHNNY JAZZ said...

You will find this dialog reinforces the Wafer dogma.

https://eand.co/why-american-culture-was-a-perfect-fit-for-fascism-443f5c72fd23

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Not even animals are safe from American douchebags.

Serial horse molester sentenced to probation in Wisconsin.

http://www.nbc15.com/content/news/Serial-Wisconsin-horse-abuser-sentenced-to-probation-469006093.html

Football fans punching police horses.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/eagles/2018/01/22/another-fan-punches-police-horse-philadelphia-eagles-lincoln-financial-field/1054001001/

Dead and starving dogs found at an Alabama dog boarding business.

http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2018/02/multiple_dogs_found_starved_to.html

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

Belman, of the 42,000 hits wonder how many were from the national security state? Imagine the next "Don Snowden" from NSA who, inspired by the Wafer blog, comes out of the closet with 1024 petabytes of tawdry details of the inner workings of the US government. Finally, the divine yank, and the Americans wake up and pull their heads out of their rumps. For the first time they 'smell the roses'. OMG!! The nation realizes that they were wrong all along ever since its founding and that they had been hoodwinked by their handlers. Liberated from their long self prescribed misery the folks are driven ecstatic.They go bonkers with joy and run amok. Seeing millions of citizens pouring out on the streets hugging each other singing hallelujah, the congress goes into euphoric overdrive and they hold a special joint session in our honor. At the end of the open house meeting the standing-chanting-jumping ovation lasts a full 4 hours and more until the last congressman faints of exhaustion.The president declares a national holiday on your name, Belmanday. All national flags, now colored just plain white for peace, are flown double mast. Instead of emigrating to unknown distant lands or NMI the gratified congress accedes Guantanamo Bay to the Wafers, ...where they live unfenced happily ever after telling silly Wafer tales to the curios Cuban and visiting Usonian kids from sunrise to until sunset of the end of times. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!

10:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Esca-

Probably 90%. But I love yr scenario. Wafers forever!

Johnny-

Gd essay, rt on. But it's not Wafer 'dogma'; it's Wafer vision!.

mb

10:57 AM  
Blogger Grandma said...

Congrats on the blog milestone, Dr. B! Just finished another Xmas present: Mark Manson's The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.

He remarks on a visit to Russia, where he experienced a "flavor of freedom: the ability to say whatever [he] thought or felt, without fear of repercussion". Presumably this freedom was only possible in spoken form, about personal matters.

He goes on to say a Russian professor offered a theory: "Russian society found the most valuable currency (under the Soviets) to be trust. And to build trust you have to be honest." In the "free" West, with its "abundance of economic opportunity, it became far more valuable to present yourself in a certain way, even if it is false". Trust then loses value, and appearances for appearance sake are more advantageous. The economic system promotes deception. (Rewards it, more like).

He then (amusingly) says that the downside in the West is you never know if you can completely trust the person to whom you are speaking. Short answer? You can't. Thought provoking, tho, at least to me. American style implosion will not be pretty compared to the Soviets'.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@Johnny

The last Umair article was good, but I am a bit disappointed with this one. He is acting just as he describes - with a childish hyperbole - when he tries to tie his observations to a 'rise of fascism'.

Trump is many things, but lumping him in with 1930s-style fascism is prog laziness at its worst. Words mean things. He may have general authoritarian tendencies of a right wing orientation, but they all come out of an American ideology of late decadent capitalism, not fascism. On the other hand, if you take fascism just to mean Mussolini's merger of state and corporate power, we've been a fascist country forever. Bad analogies to the 1930s are tiresome.

It is also a bad analogy because pre-war Germany undermines his case completely. The Germans were not slovenly Americans watching children's shows and dressing in sweatpants. They were busy laying the foundations for quantum physics and psychoanalysis, not exactly childish cultural endeavors.

He's right about the symptoms of infantilism, but his diagnosis is off. The last article was more on point- America is creating new forms of social pathology without strong historical precedent, like fascism.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Zombies said...

JJ - Umair Haque sp? is describing what has been reframed here. He uses the term Talionic in reference to hero worship by adults, MB uses "Manichean". Michael Parenti talks about Rambo, westerns, and other hero worship, how Clint Eastwood lone quasi sociopath comes into town to save the day from villains but also rides off with loot.

The essay also mentions to its credit the rigid corp dominance heirarchies and pay inequality.

I frame all this rigid selfish childish value indoctrination under the canopy of sociopathy. We reward inequality, injustice, management, manipulation, anti-intellectualism, predators, thugs, ideologs, conformists, extroverts, energy drainers, non-nurturers, narcissists, bullies, etc. We are not taught a collective fully formed consciousness for binding social contracts to behave for the good of all life when possible etc. I always frame American culture as a rampant viral vacuum of sociopathy, becoming an intolerable death of a thousand cuts. Brett Weinstein has mentioned this. Anyway sociopaths have tremendous selective consciousness and pathological self interest.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous A Reader said...

“This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.” - Bertrand Russell, died on this day 1970

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Yukonbry said...

@Grandma

Very well said. I find this happens with my own family. Various levels of deception and no one ever really being honest.
Very sad, that's why I left the country. This United States is extremely depressing. An orgy of greed, narcissism, and violence.
I often find myself looking back and wondering why my parents could not see how screwed up this place was/is and tried to get
me out of there. The propaganda and cultural conditioning to not see or question the obvious runs thick.

3:40 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing Todd Snider, whom I mentioned here a couple of days ago. I am happy to report that not only did he put on a great show featuring numerous songs about being down and out in America, there was a minimum of technodouchebaggery in the audience. In light of our many stories about the Shaneka Torres's of the word, here's a tune he played about a frustrated corporate drone who snaps at a fast food joint because he can't take it anymore. When introducing the song, Snider said he wrote it after witnessing a guy in a BMW slap a kid at a McDonalds drive thru window:

Stuck On The Corner

So now I've gotta call that little pecker, "MISTER Handelmann."
Drove home from work as mad as I've ever been.
I nearly jerked a kid out of the drive through window.
He said, "will that be everything," I said, "What would you know?"
You're lookin at the man about to buy a kid a ragtop.
I said, "What are you driving? a bicycle you little punk!"

I'm stuck on the corner...or sanity and madness.
Looking them over...can't see a difference.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Borowitz strikes again dept.:

https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/former-hippies-put-in-horrible-position-of-rooting-for-fbi

Meanwhile,

Kerry Haynes, 57, arrested for working out at a community gym in the nude:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/kerry-haynes-naked-community-gym-orlando-florida-andover-place-apartments/

John Weld, 74, arrested for public masturbation:

http://www.koaa.com/story/37278060/74-year-old-man-arrested-for-public-masturbation

O&D kids!

Miles

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

WAFER Grandma--thank you kindly for referring to that bk.

While the author certainly has some fine common-sense points--it appears to me, however, that they are recycled, watered down, simpleton philosophies (in hipster terms) of Satre, de Beauvoir, Darrida, Camus, etc...particularly, Satres/de Beauvois' "Mauvaise Fois"--bad faith, and "Hell is other people," etc.. In my opinion, little in that bk was provocative, new, or surprising including the expletive title which the 'big time' publisher likely thought was "good marketing"--another hustle.

Had enough of happy talk self help bks? Hustle an anti self help book with lotsa expletives and "too cool for school" fuck it talk. To sell lots of bks in america, and/or get on mainstream "news," a business/economic hustle is likely to be drilled in or subtly woven throughout the text with Aunt Sallie (Strawman) arguments. This bk was no exception.

Be yourself, be honest, if they don't like you, solve problems, create your own business, solve your authenticity, get to your genuine YOU, (perhaps, give those robopath "Ted" "talks,") action plan for "success," etc...Appears to be a bit of code words--(opportunity/manifest destiny/pursuit of happiness). Can see this bk be given out at corporate propaganda "team building" events.

Also, the bk creates a psych op for those who are treading water. E.g, Sometimes you feel like shit, who cares? F it; job sucks, life sucks, F it. House needs repairs, wife cheating, screw it; drugged out neighbor, f it. Be happy being checked out. Embrace failure, be yourself, love mediocrity, and expect nothing from the sht hole empire/community (except more war).

Such provocative critical insight got #6 of the NY best seller list. Not surprising.




8:37 PM  
Anonymous Opal said...

Ulysses by James Joyce was published onbthis day in 1922, the author’s 40th birthday!

9:21 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

@ Water(house)gate: Removing "Hylas and the Nymphs" from an art gallery is an outrage. I've owned a print of the painting since I was an undergrad, and have used that image in the classroom. I find it fascinating how Waterhouse presents all the clichés of youthful beauty and innocence, while at the same time depicting the horror of Hylas' impending murder.

I really cannot understand how anyone but the lowest Philistine would object to allowing the public to see this painting. Then again,this story sounds as if it is some sort of experiment to see how the public reacts to this decision.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

From Samurai, Kintsugi, Satori, Haiku, Bushido ...to... Johatsu, Ubasute, Hikikomori, Yakuza, Enjo-kōsai. Tragic!!
Japan, how did you manage to do this to yourself? Why??

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkcKaNqfykg
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/30/world/asia/japan-lonely-deaths-the-end.html
https://video.vice.com/en_us/video/suicide-forest-in-japan/55e4b8b52f12412c4b4b4ab6
https://news.vice.com/video/schoolgirls-for-sale-in-japan
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23182523
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30698640
http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/03/01/japan-prefers-robot-bears-to-foreign-nurses/
https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-04-25/japans-evaporated-people-have-become-obsession-franch-couple

America has is own unique list of symptoms. Tolstoy posited an analogy in his novel Anna Karenina : "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." One obvious difference between the demise of the two cultures is, while Japan is writhing due self inflicted pain, America -like the recent Las Vegas shooter- is who can I kill to alleviate my pain?


10:14 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Mr. Hedges sums things up masterfully in this one, and offers no hope-

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/useful-idiocy-donald-trump/

"The Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Mayan, Khmer, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires all imploded in a similar fashion."

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Perun Onomata Chucklesworth Jr said...

Hi Dio,

RE:JFK

I would suggest reading James Douglass' 'JFK: The Unspeakable' if you have the time. It is a long and exhaustively researched book that presents compelling evidence that JFK was going through a personal transformation and turning away from his "cold warrior" roots that MB mentioned above. It really puts the assassination under a different lens and is full of lots of good information and citations. It may be the case that JFK was unfortunately killed before the transformed JFK could fully make his presence known.

After reading this book I really question the dominant narrative on JFK, but you should read it and make up your own mind!

-Perun

6:08 AM  
Blogger polecat said...

American teens woefully uninformed about Civil War (among just about everything else)

"Just eight percent of American high school seniors can identify the cause of the Civil War; less than a third (32 percent) know which amendment abolished slavery in the U.S.; and fewer than half (46 percent) know that the "Middle Passage" refers to the harrowing voyage across the Atlantic undertaken by Africans kidnapped for the slave trade."

This is the opening paragraph of an article on what students are learning and teachers teaching about the Civil War in the intellectual vacuum that is the typical American school.

https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/you-wont-believe-what-american-high-schools-are-teaching-their-students-about?akid=16689.2690605.rnJGhw&rd=1&src=newsletter1088312&t=8

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Quiet Desperation said...

TZD, thanks for the FabiusMaximus link, good article...reminded me of this corruption rant from the movie "Syriana":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=LuBstLZINco

Another from the same vein, Matt Damon's NSA interview from "Goodwill Hunting," where in 2:57 he covers every aspect of the current American zeitgeist (love me some North American Scrod with Quaker State). Being a native Masshole myself, I appreciate the perfect Bahsten accent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJHvSp9AKYg

BTW, phuck the Patriots tomorrow, cheating bastards...

12:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

pole-

Almost no Americans can identify the real cause of the CW; check WAF ch. 4 for a reality check. As you might imagine, sales of this bk are not exactly off the charts.

Birn-

Hedges' ventures into reality are few and far between. Most of the time he's either calling for revolution or saying we shd elect Democrats(!). He allows glimmers of light to enter his brain something like once a year. So after this essay, I'm guessing he'll revert to the usual self-delusion. The day he declares "It's Over," and sticks to that, pigs will fly over the White House in geese formation.

Note to Nickname-

Cdn't post it, as you violated 3 cardinal rules:
1. Too long; half page is max.
2. You need a real handle, like Sam Schmeck.
3. You cannot personally attack any of the Wafers, myself included.
I suspect you wd be better off posting to a different blog, where rules such as this will not get in your way. Best of luck.

Mike R.-

Thanks, but watch length.

This is kinda nice:

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/02/01/ice-director-brags-about-how-much-hes-enjoying-tearing-immigrant-families-apart?utm_term=ICE%20Director%20Brags%20About%20How%20Much%20He%27s%20%27Enjoying%27%20Tearing%20Immigrant%20Families%20Apart&utm_campaign=No%20Memo%20in%20the%20World%20Could%20%22Vindicate%22%20Donald%20Trump%20%7C%20Your%20Week%20In%20Review%20&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-No%20Memo%20in%20the%20World%20Could%20%22Vindicate%22%20Donald%20Trump%20%7C%20Your%20Week%20In%20Review%20-_-ICE%20Director%20Brags%20About%20How%20Much%20He%27s%20%27Enjoying%27%20Tearing%20Immigrant%20Families%20Apart

I've been rdg vol. 6 of Proust (Time Regained), and at one pt he gives the micro/macro argument: that the character of a nation can be found in the character of any citizen--that the national character is the individual character writ large. The behavior of the ICE director strikes me as being a case in pt.

mb

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Dill Pickle said...

polecat,

American Christianity or X also worships wealth. Alain de Botton (p. 66, Status Anxiety which I am reading) noted that "American Protestant denominations preached that God demanded of his followers a life of achievement both temporal and spiritual; the possession of riches in this world, it was suggested, was evidence that one deserved a good place in the next." Mind you, de Botton said this of American churches in the 19th Century when it really got started in the 17th, what with the early Puritan merchants writing in their ledger books a heading on the top of each page, "FOR GOD AND PROFIT." This probably means that X and hustling also went hand-in-hand basically from the beginning.

My personal experience with X was in the Boston Church of Christ in the late '80s---back then its method of adding members to the church and guiding them in the "faith" was patterned after Amway's methods and in practice reflected the philosophy of a virus: BCoC Xians would infect people with the church's brand of X and those people would infect other people with it, and so on, and so on, and so on.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous matt d. said...

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2017/12/21/karl-polanyi-man-from-red-vienna/

"In sum, Polanyi got some details wrong, but he got the big picture right. Democracy cannot survive an excessively free market; and containing the market is the task of politics. To ignore that is to court fascism." Pretty much my view of Polanyi too!

4:44 PM  
Blogger alyosha said...

@Perun wrote: It may be the case that JFK was unfortunately killed before the transformed JFK could fully make his presence known.

I've heard the same thing about JFK. Had he lived, he might've worked toward abolishing nuclear weapons and so on. Good people in this world become targets, like Gandhi, Buddha, Jesus, ML King, and - JFK. I'm bookmarking "JFK: The Unspeakable" - thanks.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Janus said...

@ab645471

I live in Los Angeles, although across the city on the Westside and not Downtown. Near Venice. My neighborhood is more gentrified and pleasant --- in the sense that it's a somewhat-sterile bubble inhabited by people with tenuous grasps of the reality of how average folks live outside the confines of Silicon Beach and their catered office lunches. Or even outside the city.

From time to time, I make an effort to go to chase the arts on the other side of town and walk some of the streets in that video. Whenever I feel my day-to-day routine lulling me into complacency and dulling my senses, I get a reminder of what the the real US is. And by the way some people talk about the homeless here, what the heart of the US is.

Somewhere there, once, a disturbed woman caught me exiting the Metro station and asked me if I could point the way to Skid Row. She had been crying, her hair was unkempt, and she had made an effort to put makeup on but didn't stay in the lines. She wasn't all there, but she looked at me hopefully. I pointed in the wrong direction, some weird feeling telling me I would be sending her to disaster if I ushered her that way. She thanked me and trudged away, carrying an empty purse.

I still think about her, and wonder if I missed a chance to do more.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Tomorrow America celebrates the annual orgy of gladiatorial violence and consumer excess known as the Superbowl. Fans will watch it for the spectacle, while many non-fans will actually tune in just to see the commercials (seriously, what the fuck is up with THAT?). It's been suggested that Superbowl Sunday should be declared a national holiday, which would be fitting considering that:

--For years, the NFL has been systematically destroying it's players' health to the level where their average life expectancy is a mind boggling 20 years LESS than that of the average American male.

--Its greedy billionaire owners are masters at fleecing the cities the blackmail to build them shiny new stadiums with taxpayer money, and somehow are able to convince millions of knuckleheads who would scream bloody murder if their taxes were raised to pay for public schools that it's a great idea.

--The NFL tries to position itself as being all patriotic, yet expects the taxpayer to pay for all the on-field patriotic displays such as Air Force flyovers and the troops who appear on the field before the games.

I could go on and on. God, I can't believe I actually used to be a fan.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Schmucko said...

Hello Dr. Berman. Count me in, if possible, to your blog commentariat of WAFers.

I read "Twilight of American Culture" in 2000. At the time I was living in DC, in my early 30s, doing research at NASA. I wrote in my blog your book was one of those "the world's going to hell in a handbasket" books that I thought was just another representative of the genre. Though it inspired me to pick up "White Noise" and "Jihad vs. McWorld". Then I saw you talk in person at Politics and Prose, and wrote that while I found your book a bit whiny, that you backed everything up forcefully with statistics. You signed my book, perhaps a bit gruffly. Perhaps I was sized up as an American turkey and I should be relieved that you weren't relieved in my shoes.

Well, what can I say, the intervening years have definitely proven your point. Not much denying that you're the foremost seer of the Western world now. At first I held onto Winston Churchill's "Our system is the worst except for all the others", and comforted myself that while humanistic cultured Europe devolved into 2 World Wars in the 20th century, somehow the shallowness of American culture was also an antidote to worse. But collapse ahead following from something mean and small-minded at the core of the culture is so clear now.

I haven't read the 2nd book in the trilogy yet but did read Why America Failed. To try to keep the intro short, I won't focus on my differences or quibbles which have been echoed and rehashed here, and if I do later I'll try to bring nuance...

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Wafers,

Maybe Gabor Mate MD has an explanation why it's reasonable to have little hope for any kind of 'recovery' in the US. In his book Hold On To Your Kids which he co-authored with Gordon Neufeld PhD, an international authority on child development, they tell story after story about kids who attach to their peers rather than their parents and other adults.

In one example they tell about a woman who was an Olympic winner. She was standing at the mic waiting to give her talk. She said, "I'm like woe". Still laughing as I write it.

Marianne



7:53 PM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

If Dems have not learned their lesson in the last election, they deserve to get fucked again in 2018. And again and again.
http://www.cnn.com/2018/02/03/opinions/trump-is-making-a-comeback-zelizer-opinion/index.html

DCCC - Dumb Cuck Cucking Clowns
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynug4CLOTp0
https://www.salon.com/2017/06/26/julian-assange-democratic-party-is-doomed/

The elitist-corporatist CNN/NYT/MSNBC pundits like marimacho Rachel Maddow were giving Hillary 92% chance of winning up until the last minutes of the results being announced. The libtards were so arrogant that they outright belittled worthy voices like that of our sister Ann. Thank god they did, otherwise we wouldn't have gotten the Terminator the nation so deserved.
https://youtu.be/YtHZVhxQPH8?t=1270

11:55 PM  
Blogger Grandma said...

@Mike R

My summary of the Manson book: "Embrace the suck, don't give a fuck". I think you also summed it up well. The only passage I found of interest was the one I quoted. The book did remind me of The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck. There is value in facing and solving problems rather than shopping them away. And Peck's People of the Lie was also an eye opener. I was young when I read it, a dreamer of a different kind.

@Yukonbry and @Zombies: you captured it perfectly. Cultural conditioning and indoctrination ... that's what we fight here in the US, an endless fight not to be subsumed. It's exhausting.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

roy-

Check out next thread. Need yr help.

mb

1:40 PM  
Blogger polecat said...

MB - Read WAF 2-3 years ago and while I agree that slavery "as a moral issue" was not a fundamental factor in bringing about the war, I am convinced that it was THE factor, as an economic issue. Slaveholders and plantation owners knew that to lose their slaves was to lose their fortunes, their positions of privilege, and their way of life and were determined to not allow that to happen. You mention some of this but nevertheless seem to elevate other factors above slavery. If I am reading you correctly?

Dill Pickle - Except for the first 100 or 200 years of its existence, X has always been about the achievement of something by its adherents - be that salvation from something "bad" (however interpreted contextually: death, hell, illness, poverty, loneliness, anxiety, "sin") or, its twin, the achievement of something "good', blessings: good health, immortality, wealth, parking spaces. You are probably correct that the focus on material prosperity as proof of God's favor and blessings and as the primary means of salvation from poverty entered the Western tradition of X with capitalism. In today's context of hyper-capitalism and hyper-individuality, wealth is both a X blessing and a sign of cultural acclamation.

1:18 PM  

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