February 15, 2018



So as I was saying at the end of the last thread, I feel bad about the odd disappearance of Sarah Palin and Ging Newtrich. Come to think of it, Rom Mittney has been rather silent, and Michele Bachmann rose briefly, only to sink once more into the deep. I miss her cutting-edge intellect. Botox Face is surely hiding in the wings, wondering when to strike. Of course, the most dramatic absence is that of Bunmi Laditan. Who could forget that heart-warming book, "Toddlers Are Assholes"? And what are the Bunmis of this world, I ask you? Are they not orifices? If you prick them, do they not bleed? Ah, Bunmi, Bunmi.

Anyway, Wafers are encouraged to ruminate on all of these fine Americans, and to create great scenarios of collapse, in which some or all of them play starring roles.



Anonymous DioGenes said...


I would also add that these kinds of random acts of violence are seen often in one other institution- prison. The libertarian movement used to point this out many moons ago, before they became obsessed with crypto currency. Many schools look identical to a prison complex. It's all about control and survival in cliques. Those loners who don't gang up really have no recourse.

Short black comedy film on American psychology of violence -


"It's the points that count, and everything else is bullshit."

12:20 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Wafers are not only Intellectual geniuses, but also extremely talented artists....check out the beautiful paintings and drawings of one of our very own Wafers from the California Chapter of the Exalted Wafers of America...


12:50 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB, Wafers, and Waferettes,

For Bunmi:

Bunmi, yesterday my life was filled with rain
Bunmi, you smiled at me and really eased my pain
The dark days are gone, and the bright days are here,
My Bunmi one shines so sincere
Bunmi one so true, I luv you


ps: Has Nelson Agosto recovered from the tragedy of receiving a dish of small clams?

12:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Wd someone tell me why anyone shd care abt what this empty little turkey hasta say?



4:15 AM  
Anonymous Gordon said...

Hi Morris

Because Obama has the experience to be an expert in the subject matter.



5:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Ah, OK. Meanwhile, I've been inspired by that film "Three Billboards" to come up with the following idea. Given my vast wealth, I propose blanketing the country w/billboards that show some politico's face, and next to it a two-word phrase that captures his or her essence. For example:

[Obama face] NOWHERE MAN

[Hillary face] BOTOX FACE

[Bush Jr. face] WAR CRIMINAL

[Reagan face] SADISTIC MORON

[Sarah Palin face] VIOLENT DOUCHEBAG

Wafers are encouraged to contribute to this project.


9:00 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Instead of talking about what's so deeply corrupt and anti-human about our culture that's leading teenagers to WANT to go on killing sprees, let's instead continue to screech about controlling what they use to carry them out.


9:42 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...


9:59 AM  
Anonymous Dulouz Jr said...

why not use Beatles "Nowhere Man" for the background music?

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Nostra said...


Hey all, I think this link might be a nice follow-up to the “Wafer parenting” thread from the previous post (Allyn, Marianne, Boar’s Head). It’s an article written by Rebecca Schuman, who reviews the book “Achtung Baby: An American Mom on the German Art of Raising Self-Reliant Children.” I like Schuman’s wry sense of humor here and, evidently, she’s already a Wafer-in-the-making.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Ronda said...

HI Morris- It is thoroughly nauseating that Mitt Romney is now running for the senate seat in Utah. Of course, he will win. It is difficult to imagine a better symbol for the United States than Mitt. Blind, naked ambition- sanctimonious wearing the special underwear of the Mormon so that God will recognize him when he returns to earth. Not content to simply wait at Death's Door - at which time he will acquire his own planet - he must hoist himself back onto the national stage for yet another run at fame and glory.

What do you think of the latest school shooting?


12:43 PM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

Lorenzo Riggins is more competent to teach at Harvard than this knucklehead.

Why can't Bunmi Laditan have her own column in the NYT as the 'Mustache of Understanding'?
"NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: No, it’s not cursing. But it was a protracted—it was a [verbal] blowjob, probably the most expensive one in world history, that was administered to Mohammad bin Salman, the column he wrote in the Times. ..He goes into Saudi Arabia for three days, says everything is wonderful, talks to the crown prince’s sister, ..says they’re all very enthusiastic about him, and then he walks away and writes this column."

Rephrasing Sinclair: When fascism comes to America it'll be sanitized by empire's concubines like Friedman and Pinker.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Help me, Ronda! (You've heard that a lot, I suppose.) I suspect Rom Mittney was probably behind it. Watch for my 5-vol. work, soon to appear: "Cornerstones of the Mittnaic Philosophy."


But no refs to the works of Bunmi Laditan? What's the pt, then?


A portrait of Obama?

"He's a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Doesn't have a point of view
Knows not where he's going to
Isn't he a bit like 99% of the American public?"


1:51 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

In a post to the previous thread, WAFer Allyn F wrote about “personal pronoun selections” at summer camp and about parents “introducing themselves [at babysitting co-op meetings] by specifying their pronouns.”

At the risk of calling into question my WAFer credentials, if any, I’d welcome an elaboration by Allyn on what is meant by these quoted phrases. I confess to not getting out much—call it the self-preservation instinct against a demented douchbaggery abroad in the land—and I can tell that neither of the named things represents anything generally desirable or defensible. Allyn, if you don’t have to sacrifice too much of any future daily word count, I’d appreciate some enlightenment. How does one choose one’s pronouns? First person singular I, possessive my or mine, accusative me, etc. As the Germans say, “Ich bin momentan ueberfragt.” I didn’t know we got to choose and am all aflutter at the prospect of having more choices in these matters than I had previously realized.



3:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd, but I also like DECLINIST HERO.


4:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't run it (half-page-max rule).


6:32 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

Masturbating Superhero Dept.:

Aaron Carter, 49, entered a California Jack in the Box restaurant naked and began to masturbate:



7:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Instead of an Indian restaurant, I'm thinking what the US needs is a restaurant chain called Jack-Off-in-the-Box. Customers would purchase their box meal, then retire to a private booth and jack off in it. Or maybe they cd just do it in public, what the heck. This is America, after all.

Check out the police mug shot of this guy. If any face looks like the future of America, it's this one.


7:40 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Tune in again next week for another episode of Lizzie Warren, Native America (Social Justice) Warrior: Warren: I Am Part Native American. The fair skin and hair are dead giveaway if you ask me.

Now here's a guy with his thumb up his ass for sure: Delaware Man Allegedly Ripped Off Thumb From 2,000-Year-Old Chinese Terracotta Warrior.

Thanks to the neverending ingenuity of America's youth, Pepsi bottle bombs are now a thing: If You See A Bottle With Aluminum Foil In It, Back Away And Call The Police.

And lastly, shooting someone in a fit of road rage is bad enough--tracking them down and shooting them like a dog is something else again: Woman arrested in connection with fatal Lowell shooting. Note: the shooter is of the prime pussy hat demographic while the victim was a blue collar white male oppressor--so much for the idea that if women ran the world, there would be world peace, skittle-shitting unicorns in everyone's backyard and all that malarkey.

11:58 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

First Jordan Peterson, and now Steven Pinker appears to be the current boy wonder in the news...

Morris, I’m almost positive you have a PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science, so I’m especially interested in getting your take on this Steven Pinker article below.

In it, he makes this assertion...

“The mindset of science cannot be blamed for genocide and war and does not threaten the moral and spiritual health of our nation.”

Is he WRONG, or is he RIGHT with this assertion? If WRONG, how can he get away with making it and not get called out?


12:20 AM  
Blogger Allyn F said...

Nostra - thanks for the article. Makes me sad too. How come the things we used to do as children are so scary now? And the one place our kids go every day, is now a popular place to spray bullets.
James Allen - there's a growing segment of society who for some reason think they are not male or female but something in between, thus like to be referred to as "they/them" instead of "he/him" or "she/her". Or some other made up word like "zhe" etc. And for some reason many of them work at kids' summer camps. I have yet to have my children ask me about this, and am bothered that it's being imposed on kids who don't even know *to* ask a question about it. We'll be alright though, for we are WAFers, and don't take these things too seriously.

12:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Go back to that long message abt layers of the mind etc. The problem with Pinker's statement is that it is simplistic. Of course the mindset of science is destructive if it is all we have, and is not modified by anything else. That Pinker doesn't get that shows how dumb he really is. On the other hand, the mindset of mythology is also destructive if that is all we have. Let me put it this way: there are 2 types of barbarism: a world in which everything is rational, and a world in which everything is irrational (or nonrational).

I think a lot of our problems are caused by the phenomenon of extremes, of pushing things past a certain limit. As I've said b4, capitalism in itself isn't nec. bad, if it is contained; if it is small-scale. Small-scale hustling is similarly OK, if it's a part of yr life and not all of it. Richard Powers makes this pt in his novel "Gain," which starts out w/2 brothers running a soap and candle business down at the Boston harbor ca. 1800. 200 yrs later, it has become a huge pharmaceutical firm that is inventing diseases to fit its designer drugs, and polluting rivers with carcinogenic industrial effluents.

To have mythology in one's life is valuable; to have it running yr life is dangerous (Nazism, e.g.).

You get the idea. Pinker is a fool. He doesn't get called out for 2 reasons:

1. Most Americans are fools.
2. Most Americans believe in science and 'progress' as an ideology, so it goes unquestioned. There was a lot of questioning of it in the 60s and 70s, after which the nation went back to sleep. My doctoral dissertation was part of that questioning, as it turns out (later expanded into a bk called "Social Change and Scientific Organization").


1:35 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gee, it appears that the Florida shooter was not yr 'typical' lone, demented killer:


6:38 AM  
Blogger Polk said...

MB - you might also consider referring jj to your Reenchantment book in which you conclude, if I read you correctly, that science as either good or bad is dualism - and that this is the predominant mindset of the 21 st century and led to the disappearance of participatory consciousness. Science as both good and bad is paradoxical, or dialectic, which requires critical thinking, open-mindedness and a willingness to deal with uncertainty (all beyond the capacity of the average American). The same could be said of capitalism or any number of -isms, including, as you write, mythology.

Read Gain several years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Might be time for a reread. If I can find it.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

lol at Jack-off-in-box. I think it would probably be a hit. A suggestion: instead of fries with the value meal allow Americans to choose a a few rounds of their favorite ammunition. Its something most people in the states have a real hard-on for so it should get their blood really flowing.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Problem is that once I publish a bk, I never read it again. So I don't remember saying that, but perhaps I did. The argument that put the bk on the map, I think, was that science did not have any epistemological superiority over other systems of thought, such as alchemy. Of course, it depends on the context it which one is operating...but even then, I'm convinced medieval witchcraft (e.g.) was 'true' so long as everyone believed in it. Who, in 1300, say, was standing outside the system so as to be able to critique it? The critique grew very slowly, starting in the 16C. It's a very complex issue...relevant texts in this debate are Tom Kuhn, Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and Ludwik Fleck, Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact.


11:06 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Michelle Bachman is quiet but her protege Stephen Miller has done quite well for himself. The new animated show Our Cartoon President (pretty fuckin' hysterical imho) on Showtime has a nice depiction of him writing the State of The Union address.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Lily said...


On Yoga: The Architecture of Peace


*Based on photographer Michael O’Neill’s book of the same name, this documentary traces the author’s 10-year journey through the landscape of yoga.*

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

Expanding on Belman's notes on the value of mythology: lack of which leads to "liquid modernity," narrated by a scholar of Koran, Abdal Hakim Murad.​ The Destitute - A Discussion on the Spirituality of Poverty.​
When one extreme disappears, the necessary n the inevitable is that you'll fall for the other extreme -the other GSWH

@Allyn, "society who for some reason think they are not male or female but something in between"

@Bill, "so much for the idea that if women ran the world, there would be world peace"
If blacks ran the world, there would definitely be peace. Or, maybe if a woman+Indian+black ?

Adrift in 'Selfhood w/o any Meaning' the only choice is either the extremes or 71 flavors of stupidity in between!

3:26 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Voting for Trump means your daughter deserves to die in a mass shooting.


7:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


One thing I miss, living outside the country, is the unique combination of kindness and intelligence that lies deep w/in the American soul. Hmm. Maybe I should return to the US, so I can bathe in the glow of this.


8:38 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

So, we spend $700 billion per year on defense, Russia (cyber)-attacks us and Trumpi does....nothing? Isn't the purpose of a military to protect us from these types of attacks?

I think we have made our military into the world's greatest "Maginot Line". It looks impressive but, practically speaking, is fairly useless. Might as well have a parade...as that appears to be all it is good for.


8:39 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...


I think Pinker is very wrong about science never having a role in genocide or other disasters. For example, contrary to popular belief Nazism wasn’t simply the product of the deranged mind of one demented person (Hitler) but grew out of many ideas that were part of Western modernity at the time. True, there was an irrational element that could be traced to Romanticism but there were also ideas that could be traced to Darwinian interpretations of society and other concepts that were cutting-edge science at the time. For example, many doctors and scientists supported eugenics including many in the United States where some states had eugenic laws on the books.

Andre Pichot’s “Pure Society: From Darwin to Hitler” and Enzo Traverso’s “The Origins of Nazi Violence” are two good books that dispel the idea that Nazism was entirely anti-modern and a complete break from Western modernity. It is telling that Pichot and Traverso are both continental Europeans, the former a Frenchman and the latter an Italian. Unlike Anglophone scholars such as Pinker, continental European scholars are less prone to see the world through the lens of Whig history where humanity is seen as inevitably moving in the direction of progress and enlightenment.

10:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Also check out "Reactionary Modernism," by Jeffrey Herf, and the Nazi chapter in CTOS. Pinker's naivete is mirrored by the entire American culture; which is why simplistic bks get lionized in the US. Sometimes I think only mass lobotomies can save us.


11:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I believe that the real dilemma facing the US is how to choose between Warren Zevon and the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils. Until this question is resolved, I doubt we can move forward as a nation. Just my opinion.


11:48 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Morris, Thanks for answering! Makes Sense. Thank you too Tom.

Here’s an interesting Waferesque quote...

“Many psychiatrists and psychologists refuse to entertain the idea that society as a whole may be lacking in sanity. They hold that the problem of mental health in a society is only that of the number of ‘unadjusted’ individuals, and not of a possible unadjustment of the culture itself'.

- Erich Fromm, 'The Sane Society', 1955.

12:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I guess Freud gave us the idea that an entire civilization cd be neurotic. If he were alive today, he'd say psychotic.

Consider where the NYT focuses its attn:


Forget social inequality, daily violence, a culture of garbage and a politics of hopeless corruption. No! What we need to concern ourselves with is yoga pants. Read my new book, "325 Million Turkeys and Counting."


1:02 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

It's amazing, how all of these social commentators miss the pt: that History has assigned Trumpi the role of smashing American institutions to pieces, that he is succeeding at it, and that this is a *good* thing--very good, in fact.


I personally wd have done a much faster job of it, but at this pt I'll take what I can get. Go, Trumpi!


1:15 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

As odd and stressful as it is to be a modest, sane person in this society, it must be even more bizarre to be a member of the elite. Can you imagine having billions of dollars here? What the hell would you spend it on? Donate it to NPR? Invest in virtual reality toys? Buy advertising on NBC? You surely have had money to travel around, and have realized that nobody takes that nonsense seriously outside of your bubble.

All you could do with the money is buy luxury products, mostly made in countries where nobody would tolerate your predatory behavior - European cars, for instance. Even politically, you have to assume that the dumbass fools you finance into office will backstab you and your interests, being so easily bought, or at least bungle them. You can't purchase any kind of competence with the dollars you have helped debase. Your life with just be an inflated mirror of that of the average citizen- no higher quality. You can own sports teams and buy an even bigger ugly house.

Btw, this applies even more to potential "crypto-millionaires". I think the older Boomers were the last generation to have eccentric tycoons that really enjoyed themselves (Ted Turner).

3:09 AM  
Anonymous Francois said...

I was hoping Chris Hedges and Truthdig could save the garbage culture and institutions. Now I just want them to cover yoga pants, while wearing yoga pants and quote Sheldon Wolin. Professor, can you recommend any books that cover the history of the study of institutions? I’m going to read Why Nations Fail by Darren Acemoglu and James Robinson. Their argument in brief, is extractive institutions lead to failure and inclusive institutions lead to trust and stability. I had read that Machiavelli said the Swiss were successful at keeping out French kings, the Hapsburgs, and the Dukes of Burgundy thanks to their ancient institutions. It made me want to know who first realized the importance of institutions and took the time to study them. Thank you.

5:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I believe Sheldon is now wearing yoga pants 24/7, in protest to the garbage culture. Not much impact, so far. As for studies of individual institutions: try googling this. I run into titles now and then, for example, abt the history of print media, or the medical profession, or whatever, but I never bother to jot the titles down, so can't help you v. much. But the texts are out there, w/o a doubt.


7:25 AM  
Anonymous TZD said...

Has anyone read the Taliban's 'letter to the American people'? While reading it, I noticed that the intelligence contained within it is far greater than any of the statements coming from American leaders or politicians, which are mainly about using ever greater force against people. I cannot believe how much more rationality, empathy, and sense is contained in this letter rather than the arrogance, pomposity, and sheer malignancy coming from the mouths of US politicians.

Although, the problem of this letter is that the authors of it assume it is only a few influential leaders that have this war-mongering belligerent attitude when, in fact, the American people as a whole are about as nasty as their leaders. So the writers of the letter are wrong in assuming the American people will take it to heart or even bother to read it. American attitudes toward Afghans is largely that they are rag heads and should be forever bombed.

Here is the link to the letter:


7:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


If the words in the letter contain more than 1 syllable, chances are the American people will find it too challenging.


9:21 AM  
Anonymous Teddy said...

@lily- I watched the film rec at an art cinema in Vancouver ! ... it was so pretty. MB, WAFer cinema-goers, is this yoir type of film? Catch a viewing

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Nostra said...

Prof. Berman, I forwarded your concerns to Slate mag, and received the following reply from which I’ve excerpted:

“Thanks for your interest in slate.com. We take seriously our obligation to the intellectual property rights of all our contributors...and are meticulous re: issues of attribution, reference, and citation during our editing process. Paraphrasing ideas and concepts w/o attribution is certainly discouraged. However, in the exceptional case of Bunmi Laditan, her ideas on parenting and childcare are now so ubiquitous, they fall into the category of “common knowledge.” Our editorial board has determined that anything laditanian, or bunmian, no longer necessitates the use of attribution or citation...Keep in mind that we consider “common knowledge” to cover some of the following generic categories:

*facts that are found in many sources (ex: Hilary Clinton has a botox face. Donald tRump is a horse’s ass);

*things that are easily observed (ex: Many Americans have dog excrement seeping out of their ears);

*common sayings (ex: “I ordered 6 Burgers, not 5. I’m calling 911”);

*Information qualifies as common knowledge when it can be found in a significant number of sources and is not considered to be controversial (ex: most toddlers are assholes). And since the latter has been firmly established by Bunmi, it is safe to assume that our readers will know this, too, without attribution. Ipso facto, our review of “Achtung Baby” has been so thoroughly bunmied and laditanized that references were not nececessary and, in fact, would’ve been considered redundant. ...

Vicki O’Whadahicky
Business Manager

9:46 AM  
Blogger farbror Frej said...

Can you spare 5+ minutes of your time? That's what it takes too read below article by Umair Haque. No surprises for the readers of this blog of course, but its nice too see that gradually more and more people arrives to the same Morris Berman-style conclusions.

Why We’re Underestimating American Collapse - The Strange New Pathologies of the World’s First Rich Failed State


10:15 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I seem to be entering the culture anonymously.


Thank you. I was very moved by Vicki's response. When I was a kid there was this song that went, "Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier." I find myself wandering around my house singing the same tune, but updated as, "Bunmi, Bunmi Laditan, king of the wild frontier." I jus' love that gal.


10:25 AM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Tom, I'm so glad to see you making the connection between Darwinism and Nazism. In my experience, suggesting that connection to educated people in the anglo-saxon world only causes viciously violent reactions.

Personally, I think evolution is another scientific theory that explains many things (like Newtonian mechanics) but not everything. However, for the professional atheists, Darwinism is another religion. Atheism in Abrahamic cultures is a result of the "death of God" (as Nietzsche put it). Unfortunately, the monotheistic intellectual reflexes have been kept almost entirely. "Thou shall have no gods before me" is alive and well, but now it's science, as determined by the scientific establishment (the successors of priesthood), what can't be doubted. Instead of Genesis we have the Big Bang, but the attitudes are identical.

Some oriental cultures, on the other hand, seem to be free of this Abrahamic mental disease. They have neither the Pope nor Dawkins. I am convinced that the next phase in the evolution of humankind belongs to the heirs of Zen and Taoism.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Dill Pickle said...

Hi MB and fellow Wafers,

MB, I finally ordered AWTY - it took a long time because of other necessities and lack of funds - and picked it up at a local bookstore the other day. It's a very enjoyable read! Thank you.

In a local "alternative to culture" tabloid, its editor relates his and his wife/fiancee/girlfriend's trip to Japan. This author noted a lot of positive aspects about Japanese culture such as their diversity in transportation choices and their renewable energy, how they maintain their infrastructure, but most importantly, the people treat each other and foreign visitors with courtesy and respect, even when one has an American-style meltdown. The author also notes that his return to the USA was a rude awakening - none of these Japanese positives can be taken for granted in the United States!

Now onto politicos' faces and apt descriptions, I have four:

[Clinton face] CANKLE HOUND


[McConnell face] TURKEY TURTLE

[Ryan face] RAND DEVOTEE

2:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well thank *you*. But how did it wind up at a bkstore? I thought it was available only on Amazon; unless bkstores are buying it up in bulk. Wdn't *that* be nice? My villa in Tuscany awaits. Meanwhile, it looks like you'll hafta put my Japan bk on yr to-buy list as well.

As for Japan...you know, it's a country w/a lot of problems, like Mexico. And I've traveled pretty widely, and can say that most countries have their problems. But one thing they do not have is a citizenry that consists of rude, angry douche bags, w/shit-for-brains.


3:16 PM  
Blogger Polk said...

School shooters are no doubt extreme but I wonder what they might tell us about American culture in general. What they might mirror for the average American. Are they America writ LARGE, in bold, blood-red colors? Like all Americans - violent, batshit crazy - but just don't have the "superegos" to control their impulses or sublimate in less destructive ways, like most of the rest of us do? Down deep, in our bodies and unconsciousness, do we share with them similar drives to savage our fellow citizens, especially the most vulnerable? Thinking out loud.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Science entrusted to atheists is bad but things really go down hill when scientific discovery, much of it at public expense, is handed over to ruthless, venal capitalists.
What impressed me in the small amount of Zen I've experienced were the number of people who understood the real impact of climate change, knew that it is an existential threat to sapien's survival. I agree they are best adapted/poised to carry on our evolution. I mentioned a book at the close of the last blog Requiem for a Species, by Clive Hamilton. His conclusion is basically this: "...it implies remaking our psyches and societies on a scale unseen since the dawn of the modern age." I'm not sure how many people in the west get this. A tax on carbon may not quite hack it.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Kwai Chang Wafer said...

Zarathustra, good points about Darwin and fundamentalist atheism. I have tried to point this out to Dawkins-types before, but they don't seem to get it. Enlightenment cultism is an extension of Abrahamic cultism, and part of the problem, imo. But saying "the next phase in human evolution is Zen and Taoism" is itself a monotheistic-Darwinian way of thinking, or wishful thinking. There's no reason to think that evolution favors reasonable creeds over fanatical ones, is there? On the contrary, it looks like fanatics have conquered much of the world, while Zen and Taoism are relatively marginal. I loved the "Kung Fu" TV show back in the day, but that looks like ancient history now, and I don't see anything like it in the culture these days.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...


I would argue against the idea of "Abrahamic cultures" being the issue. The West was not truly affected by Judaism and Islam. It, however, was shaken from its roots by Christianity which is unique in that it espouses a "have your cake and eat it too" mentality in its followers. The Culture of the West always believes itself to be the peak society of uncompromising wisdom and progress. Any and all facts thatdispute this are explained away by hucksters like Pinker.

Also, something Wafers should be interested in. The mass blind eye the new atheists have turned to the christian dominionists that are climbing the rungs of power. Just look at the US. Majority of the political gains have been for corporate and Christian forces. Yet, they spend their time attacking Islam. A marginalized religion with no power with the US. Scary Islam.. scary!

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

Trump in app USA.
It's not a bug stupid, it's a feature. How many times do I have to repeat that?!

Please do not call help-desk when you notice these GUIs. It is NOT a malfunction. Just click ACCEPT and continue.

5:46 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...


How, exactly, does Christianity espouse a "have your cake and eat it too" mentality to its followers? Evidence, please.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Georgia man force-fed goat cocaine and whisky.

A Georgia horse trainer was arrested after he was seen on video grabbing a goat’s horns while force feeding the animal cocaine and whiskey. Sergio Palomares-Guzman was arrested and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals.

Palomares-Guzman was captured on video holding a goat’s horns while another pan shoved cocaine in the animal’s nostrils while Guzman smiled in delight. He then forced open the goat’s mouth as the second man poured whiskey in the goat's mouth. The men were then heard laughing and high-fiving each other.

That's the empire's raw material, the greatness and spirit, those american values. They are the resistance, neighbors, friends, etc...what again was exactly worth "saving" in the empire?

6:26 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hello MB and Wafers,

Matt Taibbi on the Florida shooting:


The Big Red Bear Dept.:



6:52 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Looks like America is reacting to the Florida school shooting in about the manner one would have expected. I am particularly fond of this proposed solution to the problem: The Florida Legislature is making moves to require all Florida school districts to prominently display “In God We Trust” in schools.

Another group uses the tragedy to push for increased technodouchebaggery in the schools: Daniel Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, told NPR that in general, the organization advises school districts to let students have phones on them during the school day. "You can see the advantage of being able to communicate easily" in light of the Parkland shooting, he said.

Another Florida school holds a fundraiser--you'll never guess how: A private Christian academy in Pensacola is featuring two rifles as prizes in a charity golf event.

And lastly, the trolls were out even before the bodies got cold: How white nationalists fooled the media about Florida shooter--ABC, AP and others ran with false information on shooter’s ties to extremist groups.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


After rdg yr post I drifted off into an altered state of consciousness, in which I had a vision. In this vision, every single person in the US said: "We are a turkey country filled w/turkey people. All of our institutions are failing, and no one knows what to do abt anything." Then, all of the institutions permanently closed down, and every American quit their job or whatever it was they were doing, ordered multiple copies of all my bks, and spent the rest of their lives sitting around rdg them. Even forming study groups. Meanwhile, I put a down payment on a villa in Tuscany, and flew all registered Wafers to Italy business class, for a week of spaghetti carbonara, vino rosso, and opera.


8:31 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

re: why nations fail - while many compare the USA to Rome, a better comparison maybe Venice:
or, Poland:

Re: the Florida shooting. Perhaps the most distressing aspect of this are the claims that this is a 'false flag' or staged event to promote gun control. Parents of children at Sandy Hook have been called 'actors' and worse harassed, stalked, and threatened. Really, what does it says about our culture that it trigger many folks to attack the parents of dead 5 year olds? Truly a sick society and a culture simply based on the overconsumption and abundance of cheap crap.


9:29 PM  
Anonymous Aaron Thomas said...

I just had another exposure to the heroin epidemic. I found a roommate off craigslist a couple months ago. He had been acting extremely bizarre since he moved in, so I finally asked him to leave. Within a few days of me asking him to leave, I noticed some of my things stolen. The guy lied to both me and the police about it, but after a couple of hours he changed his mind and decided to give things back and he admitted he had stolen the stuff.

He told both me and the police eventually that he's a heroin addict and needed his next fix. Now the guy is refusing to leave and is demanding that I go through the courts to have him evicted. Such a great situation I found myself in, I'm stuck living with a heroin addict unless I break my lease and ruin my own credit just to have my own personal space.

Mostly I blame myself for the stupid choice in letting this guy move in. It's sad how common theft is, the drug problems seem to be everywhere. You hear stories like this, but it's the first time I've seen it in my own life. I wonder how common this is and what it says about the country w/ so many thieves and drug addicts around.

12:06 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Death By Irony in Modern America: Our tragedies reflect our contradictions as a society

Psychology Today
Feb 18, 2018


1:12 AM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

"And lastly, the trolls were out even before the bodies got cold: How white nationalists fooled the media about Florida shooter--ABC, AP and others ran with false information on shooter’s ties to extremist groups."


MSM caught with pants down again.

4:36 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Sherry Turkle on technology and the decline of empathy.


Young people are suffering from the culture of mass consumption. “Society's emphasis on the market economy and ‘meritocracy’ correlate with a spike in negative self-image and social alienation.”


Drugs, alcohol and suicide causing life expectancy in America to drop dramatically.


6:51 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

The Kansas City Star reports that Missouri 3rd-graders are selling raffle tickets for an AR-15:


"....people from as far away as Colorado offered to buy tickets on Facebook."

7:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


That's gd, but I'm hoping that eventually toddlers will be fully armed.


8:35 AM  
Anonymous JR said...

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-02148-1For Ian Goldin, data "Pinker presents in Enlightenment Now don't reflect recent sharp economic reversals in many places, and Pinker does not give enough weight to the plight of the jobless. The book is undermined by scant attention to evidence on new risks"

"The spirit of the Enlightenment was and remains the spirit of criticism. The sceptics on whom Pinker heaps sarcasm continue in that spirit, which is not to say that they are always right...But they certainly are not fatalists in the way Pinker insinuates"

Nice pieces on Pinker's perview

8:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The guy's a shmuck, really. Harvard shd be ashamed to have him on staff, but then universities are going down the drain along w/everything else.


9:43 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Last night at the Detroit Red Wings/Toronto Maple Leafs game, a moment of silence was held for the victims of the latest school shootings. I suppose one might say that this was a touching tribute. Right after it, though, the anthem singer came out, accompanied by [wait for it] a squad of Marines. The pre-game ceremony thus was remarkably able to simultaneously praise and condemn hyper violence in the same moment.

This example of Doublethink reminded me of Bill Clinton's speech condemning the Columbine massacre, which took place on the same day as his announcement that the USA was going to start bombing Serbia. There's something weird in the gringo psyche that enables it to contain these two seemingly incongruent attitudes. Who else, after all, would be able to say something like, "We had to destroy this village in order to save it?"

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings Wafers!

Sorry I've been silent, been traveling - returned to the turkey country from Italy (sigh, can't wait to get back!), and now am in Hawaii for 2 weeks. My new after-career career is making Japanese music (koto), two weeks of concerts and workshops here.

Atheism - there are a number of types of atheist, I think. One type just transfers from one belief system (Christianity generally in the US) to another one, with all the rigid structure still intact. Another type simply doesn't believe in any higher overarching structure/imaginary being, and is content to be a part of the natural world. Open-minded, curious, knowledge seeking, "communing with nature". Pretty much the exact opposite of most religions and many of the modern atheists. I think most folks are conditioned to require that rigid structure - they are lost without it, can't break free.

Meanwhile - in anticipation for your sojourn in southern Tuscany, the local pasta dish is pici aglione - hand made pasta, garlic, pepperoncini and tomato sauce. Simple ingredients, outstanding, every restaurant has their own version.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...


Well, we could definitely start with Catholicism, confession, and repentance and be done right there but I would rather start with the bible and sin. Beware this is multi-part since half a page plus 24 hour rule. Start with Romans 6:22-23

The Gist..the punishment for sin is death. No degree of sin.. sin in and of itself is death. Now, that said sin is not constrained to action. Sin can be thought alone. The mere idea of theft is a sin. The fantasizing about sleeping with a woman you are not married to is SIN*.

*Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28

2:03 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...


How, exactly, does confession and repentance espouse [sic] in Catholics a "have your cake and eat it too" mentality? As a Catholic myself, I'd especially like to know. Evidence, please.

As for your "gist," (a) you've misquoted the biblical passage ('The wages of sin is death,' not the "punishment"), (b) your claim that Christianity teaches that "the mere idea of theft is a sin" is factually false; temptation (which I'll charitably assume is what you meant by "idea") has never been considered sin by any moral theologian I've ever heard of nor, indeed, by the New Testament (Jesus himself, we're told, was led out into the desert 'to be tempted by the devil'), and (c) nothing you've stated has even the slightest logical relevance to the "have your cake and eat it too" mentality you've accused Christianity of espousing [sic] in its followers, and so not only fails to act as a viable premise on behalf of your conclusion but ultimately amounts to an irrelevant red herring. I'm afraid you'll have to do better.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous J Saunders said...


Not to pull an article from the NYT's, but this is an interesting piece involving attachment theory and living in modernity.

And now a book recommendation for the group, a treatise on love, actually. Spending the weekend engrossed in the generous and thoughtful "Love's Vision" - really superb Philosophy. And it has Putin on the cover. hah! ;-)


4:17 PM  
Anonymous Dill Pickle said...

You're quite welcome, MB!

"But how did it wind up at a bkstore?"

I'm sorry, that was the part I didn't make clear. I ordered the book about a week prior to picking it up. Which means it got there from Amazon. Sorry! :^(

4:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think Nesim did give you evidence. For one thing, confession does amount to have cake and eat it, I think: you indulge yrself in all kindsa shit, then go to confession and wipe the slate clean. Then rinse and repeat. Confession, in short, is a safety valve or excuse for continuing the same behavior (particularly useful in the case of sex). I'm sure lotsa people do that. 2nd, I'm no New Testament scholar, but I do remember a line--Gospels?--about if you sin in yr heart, it's the same as sinning 'in reality'. (Jimmy Carter made a pt abt this during his election campaign, in fact.) I don't think yr listening to him (Nesim, not Jimmy).


6:09 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Indeed, confession is a bit of have-your-cake-and-eat-it... as long as you submit to the authority of the priest who gives you absolution. Which, actually, highlights the essential similarity between all Abrahamic religions yet again. Even Spinoza, in the Theological-Political Treatise, written with the intention of promoting tolerance between Abrahamic religions (with emphasis on the different protestant sects of the United Provinces at the time), finds the core commonality in that all of them are based on obedience to God, with the rest, more or less, being considered theological decorations. Spinoza could attest, for example, that excommunication (and its political implications) was not a Catholic invention, but a Jewish one (unless the jews copied it from even earlier traditions), having suffered several herems himself. Let's not allow the fact that the Catholic Inquisition tortured and killed thousands upon thousands of jews distract us from the fact that Catholicism is the result of the attempt by St. Paul to take Judaism global (I agree with Nietzsche here).

I know I am being controversial, but we're all adults and Wafers here.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, Nesim provided more evidence, but he violated the 24-hr rule, so I cdn't run it. Hopefully he'll rerun it tomorrow. As for you, you violated that rule, the half-page rule, and the Attitude rule. Telling me yr disappted that I don't know 'a modicum' of Catholicism because I taught at the Catholic U. is condescending and arrogant, and if you persist in that sort of tone you'll need to find another blog. Do you think yr my superego, shaking yr finger at me? In general I find yr posture here a bit too harsh and superior for this blog--beating up that poor girl a while back because of her grammar is a gd example of this (as Esca pointed out 2u). We can certainly disagree w/each other here, but the context is one of friendly exchange, not aggressiveness or antagonism (unless we're trashing trollfoons, wh/is a whole different matter). Yr pretty gd at broadcasting, not v. gd at receiving. B4 you post again, maybe rethink how you come across, and modify accordingly, OK? (The last line of Zarathustra's post might be helpful 2u in this regard.) As my grandfather was wont to say, "The tone makes the music." We try to avoid angry cacophony here.


Thanks for yr input. However, I think it was Christianity that Paul wanted to take global, not Judaism.


8:03 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@al-Q -- Even the moment of silence itself was hardly a touching tribute. I've been in attendance at MLB games twice right after these incidents (one was the Orlando shooting and the other was Charlottesville). The moments of silence have become merely reflexive and ultimately meaningless--kind of like the singing of the anthem itself.

Here's a little bit of good news: Evergreen College To Drop It’s Racially Exclusionary “Day Of Absence” Event As Applications Drop Significantly. What these woke douchebags seem to forget in their attempts to demonize even those white people who have never discriminated against a woman or a minority and might even be sympathetic to their cause is that whites still make up around 70% of the population. Antagonize them enough and start them voting as a true bloc and the result will be will be mini-Trumps everywhere.

Meanwhile, the MeToo movement continues to slam liberal institutions harder than conservative ones: Public radio hit hard by abuse cases. Five of NPR's most popular personalities have now been fired--whether any of them were actually guilty of anything, however, remains an unanswered question.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

This young (white middle class) mother is outraged that poor folks on medicaid get free healthcare and is 'elated' at states imposing work requirements:
Money-quote: “work is everything, honestly”

This is why Moore, Chomsky etc are wrong. No one is pulling the wool of Americans' eyes. This is who they are. Deep down the character content of the average American is that of a savage, war of all against all aka Trumpi. They like it that way.


10:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


There's a 6-min interview w/Bret Weinstein in the wake of settlement negotiations between himself and the Evergreen admin. He relates how discouraging it was, to see that the latter had learned 0 at all. All they did, he says, was double down on their intransigent position. And then, what managed to wake them up? Money! Or rather, lack thereof. They defend the racist 'Day of Absence' event up to the pt that this event drives people away from the college, and applications drop off. No real principles involved here, only the threat of financial loss, aka being mugged by reality. No soul-searching, as Weinstein found out; only wallet-searching, the bottom line. What disgusting human beings.

I'm trying to decide whether this development is gd or bad from a declinist pt of view. I'm certainly glad Evergreen is getting its nose tweaked badly, but financially motivated or not, they are now trying to steer a more intelligent course. I guess a declinist wd want them to continue to be stupid, not suddenly become flexible. The greater the stupidity, esp. as it infects colleges across the nation, the faster the decline, is the idea here. Rigidity inevitably leads to collapse, so I suppose we shd applaud political correctness in whatever form it shows up.

Which is why declinists might celebrate the firing of NPR employees, making them guilty until proven innocent, and not giving a damn as to whether there is any evidence supporting the charges. Mass sexual hysteria--well really, mass hysteria of any kind--can only hurt the nation at large. MeToo, I say!

Read my new book, "Douche Bags into the Toilet: The Case for Declinism."


10:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You may remember my plan to plaster the country w/billboards, faces of Hillary etc. w/captions. I now have a new idea: billboards that reinforce basic American beliefs. For example:


Wafers are encouraged to add to this list.


10:27 PM  
Anonymous Lobotomized Imperial Subject said...

Wafers and Dr B.,

Your call for billboard headlines stating the true character of Americans expresses something I’ve been thinking about: namely, living in a duplicitous society where we lie to ourselves and others about many things. I don’t think this is only an American problem: it seems to be worldwide, at least in the places culturally colonized by EU and USA.

We seem to have crossed the line from kindness (not needlessly pointing out someone else’s ill fortunes / shortcomings / problems) to convenience. It’s become easier to lie and pretend about anything and everything rather than discuss uncomfortable topics. Eg. Where I worked, managers did not know how to point out things being incorrect with their direct report’s work, so they pretend to the person that the work was sufficient, then set about passive aggressively undermining that person to others. Another eg., in social settings, people pretend to be delighted to see one another and once past the occasion, gossip cruelly about one another’s perceived failings. And of course, politicians seem to lie and cover over unpalatable facts all the time.

What does it do to us to live in this duplicitous world where we know we are lying/pretending and that everyone else might be / is lying/pretending too? We even seem to have this encoded in ideas like game theory and the prisoner’s dilemma, which to me would tend to encourage an attitude of “the other is not to be trusted, so I will screw him/her/them first”. This seems to be the driving logic of USA international “relations”.


12:39 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


Can you imagine being a judge in 20 years? A population addicted to habitual lying, with a strong taste for harsh punishment, and now capable of producing all kinds of fake evidence. What's more, real criminals can exploit this new uncertainty about the validity of evidence.

Humans were made to induce conclusions from tangible evidence. Now any number of bad actors can just synthesize a damaging narrative about rivals with nothing more than a few bytes of effort.

Either humanity gets really humble and circumspect about drawing conclusions, or we eliminate ourselves in a deep haze of digital simulacra.

12:43 AM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

@Nesim, Culture of the West driven by "peak society of uncompromising wisdom" and "Christian forces."

​"​Observing the ruthlessness of the Puritan fighting men, one native auxiliary asked Capt. John Underhill, “Why should you be so furious? Should not Christians have more mercy and compassion?” Underhill’s reply :​ ​I would refer you to D​avid​,​ ​… sometimes the Scripture declareth women and children must perish with their parents; some-time the case alters: but we will not dispute it now. We had sufficient light from the word of God for our proceeding.​"​

William Bradford: “It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire … and horrible was the stink … but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the praise thereof to God.”
John Winthrop: ​"​the Lord make it like that of New England: for we must Consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us.​"​

12:50 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

I've been listening to the retired Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong - he is convinced that the apostle Paul was homosexual. Pretty controversial stuff but it makes sense when Paul talks about a thorn in the flesh that is at war with his spirit. He speaks of his sin being in the flesh. Rinse/repeat confession like MB said works well for sexual sin and it might of bn there rght there from the beg.


Did anyone see the Oprah interviews on 60 Minutes. I struggle with the idea all 325 mil of us deserve what we got comin' but this group of genetic detritus certainly does - wadda bunch of insane children

2:04 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

BrotherM makes a good point. Most Americans really hate to see someone "get something for nothing." (Like disabled people getting free or discounted health care or the destitute elderly getting a bed in the county home.)

The exchanges on religion have been interesting. It seems that most people believe that their religion is best. It's hard to get anyone to "convert" to "your" religion. Although, in the past 30 years, I've seen a lot of people abandoning mainline Protestantism for fundamentalist varieties; not many Catholics converting to Lutheranism or Methodists converting to Catholicism, however.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...

Bill Hicks,

Great point. Alt-right, white nationalist is an identity politic as well, which worked for Trump precisely because of that demographic advantage you point out. (Which is exactly the same reason it wouldn't work for the "left"; no numbers advantage.


The fake video phenomenon will open up a whole new industry of expert witness digital forensics that the Hustling States of America can exploit, surely a tenth of a % of GDP added, no?

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Capt. Spaulding said...

Hey Dr. B -- Check this article out. Although the subject is a review Ta-Nehisi Coates' latest book, the author, Pankaj Mishra ("Age of Anger") brilliantly summarizes the meretriciousness of Obama's "progressive" presidency.

"During his eight years in office, he expanded covert operations and air strikes deep into Africa; girding the continent with American military bases, he exposed large parts of it to violence, anarchy and tyrannical rule. He not only expanded mass surveillance and government data-mining operations at home, and ruthlessly prosecuted whistleblowers, but invested his office with the lethal power to execute anyone, even American citizens, anywhere in the world.... Embodying neoliberal chic at its most seductive, Obama managed to restore the self-image of American elites in politics, business and the media that had been much battered during the last years of the Bush presidency. In the updated narrative of American exceptionalism, a black president was instructing the world in the ways of economic and social justice."


- The Capt.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank you. What a horrible human being Obama is. If there is a god, I'll wind up banging his head against Botox Face's for 10 mins on nationwide TV. But the worst of it is how so much of America got conned by him, and still continues to be conned.


10:43 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

A report from AlterNet states that an increasing number of Americans can be considered the poorest of the world's poor. Paul Buchheit is surely lifting a lot of this report from his new book, "Disposable Americans" but posting this report on AlterNet probably will get the info out to a broader public.


Also what happened during and after the "Reagan Revolution" which I knew was bad for a lot of people is really being brought home to me by Mark Ames' book "Going Postal" - truly most Americans take the businessman/entrepreneur's position on wealth and power - since many have that as their goal.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A great bk, Ames'. As far as our poverty on all levels: How many Americans read AlterNet? Probably less that 0.1% of the population, if that. The denial is simply too thick in the US, and there seems to be no way to get Americans to confront or acknowledge what is happening to them. The bright side: this denial and ignorance is a crucial part of our decline.


11:14 AM  
Blogger Baron Von Strangeknight said...

@ Dr. Berman


That's about as good as I could do for the billboard project.


11:24 AM  
Anonymous BH said...

I read in one of George Lakoff's books on politics and moral framing that most peoplein the world and in most religous traditions teach that we should be wary of wealth and that it is more common for people with wealth to take ethical and legal shortcuts to get their wealth that the religions did not permit. You are more often than not perceived as having had to be immoral in gaining wealth and that being poor or in the middle is a sign you more than likely have good ethics and morals. Over here in the US it is the exact opposite. Getting rich is a sign you are blessed and approved by God, and in fact is a sign you are a highly ethical and moral person. Being poor means you are lazy and undisciplined and not of moral character. Middle income people were those who have potential but just not enough drive.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Liv said...

Hello Wafers!
Sorry, I did not post for some time but we were traveling and discovering Central America. More specifically, we visited Costa Rica and Nicaragua. We were moved and mesmerized by Nicaragua. Costa Rica has way too many American tourists everywhere, and you still feel the American Culture in the air. Of course to a lesser degree as in US but it is still there. However, Nicaragua/Granada was magnificent full of colors, smells, and authenticity and kind people. In less than 48 hours we made friendships, were introduced to their culture. The night we arrived there, Granada was having the Poetry Festival and Brazilian Carnival. We had a tour guy” a Nica” who introduced as to Granada and his family. We spent hours with his father who is “the Art Maestro,” and owns his little museum. We talked about the history and literature (a very smart guy) for few hours…. This happened in a day and half we were staying in Granada. This kind of social gathering and cultural activity its authenticity, rarely happens in the US. We met so many interesting people. And guess what, nobody talked about careers or jobs. This is it Wafers, we are heading back next month….staying for at least few years before retiring in Europe. Our friends in States think we are crazy going to “a war zone and such an unsafe place.” They don’t realize the most unsafe place is in the US. The American way of life is BS. As a responsible Wafer Parent, I refuse to raise my kid in this sick f ’up society.
Thank you MB and your books. Thank you Wafers.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

The “left” brain is masculine and works as intellect: logical, analytical, and linear, and the “right” brain is feminine and works as intuition: creative, compassionate, and holistic, although I doubt that there’s any real functional division. However, I think that’s less important than the fact that our education system only encourages intellect, which makes for good, order-following wage slaves, people who cannot connect the dots. The result is adults who are not fully integrated human beings. In addition, with AI and the 5G grid rolling out, I really do think that humanity as we know it today will be kaput by 2025. While the demise of Trumpland may not be a bad thing, I think what’s coming down the pike will be even worse, affecting the entire planet.

Polecat: We all have an inner monster, and what we see out there is a reflection of the aggregate of what’s inside. The macrocosm and microcosm mirror each other.

Nesim, et al: The most violent religions - Islam, Judaism and Christianity - are all based on the Old Testament, and I can’t be the only one who’s noticed that Yahweh is a psychopath. Speaking of psychopaths, years ago 60 Minutes interviewed a Mafia hit man who said that whenever he murdered someone he went to confession and was absolved of any wrongdoing. Is there any doubt that humanity is insane?

1:11 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

George Clooney is thinking about a 2020 Presidential Run.........because he’s just SOooo Qualified.

The Absurdity Continues!


2:34 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...


A 3yo American child screamed for 8h on a flight from Germany to NJ.

The mother of the child was heard on video asking the flight attendants (before the flight even took off) to get that wifi on ASAP so the child could stare at a screen device to "soothe" him.

Exciting! What a great flight for declinists (realists) and a good example of american greatness.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike R.-

What's not clear to me, assuming the flight personnel were American, is why they didn't take out a revolver and blow the kid's head off. Problem solved.


Shd we tell him abt Lorenzo Riggins?


1st, thanks again for the e-valentine; I loved it. 2nd, that brain division was popular in the 80s, then somewhat debunked by scientific research. It's not really a neat division, it wd seem. Regarding the hit man: actually, the use of confession to play the rinse/repeat game strikes me as being very human. Chris sent me a long list of detailed theological aspects of confession, 'showing' why the confession cannot be used as a free pass (so to speak). Problem is that this misses the forest for the trees; it's intellectual knowing, but not ontological or psychological knowing. It doesn't matter what the catechism says abt confession, and when it is or isn't kosher; the average Joe (or Gianni, in this case) is very likely to use it as a free pass because it's very human to do that. You confess, say 20 Hail Marys, and yr off the hook. Not that I'm blaming Catholics who do that; I'm just guessing that it happens quite a lot. In practical terms, the parish priest, if he has any psychological savvy, knows that people need that kind of safety valve (having one's cake and eating it too), regardless of what the 'theory' of confession says. If he's a hardass, he insists on the dogma; no doubt rendering him grossly unpopular.

I seem to remember a film starring Donald Sutherland as the savvy priest, and Brian Dennehy as the hardass one--everything had to be done by the book. Dennehy is driving his parishioners nuts, esp. over sexual peccadillos. Sutherland says to him at one pt, "Why doesn't the Church concern itself with peace of mind, rather than piece of ass?" The world cd use a lot more ontological wisdom, I'm guessing.


Congratulations! I'm so glad it's working out 4u. Not being surrounded by morons is no small life change. Get yrself a T-shirt to wear on the plane out: I PEED ON BETHESDA


3:38 PM  
Blogger Polk said...

On the continuing debate about the merits/demerits of Christianity (X) - like all faiths (religious and otherwise) X has its good and bad points. It's not all violence and bash their heads against a rock but those sentiments are surely there. It looks to me like there are 2 sentiments running parallel to one another from Genesis to Revelation: 1. sanctified violence against the enemies of God (seen in Judaism and Islam, as well) and 2. urgings of non-violence and peace. X ideals and values are laudable and worthy of mimicry but have rarely been incorporated by individuals or societies. As Gandhi is supposed to have said, "“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

On cultures and the children they produce - see MB's excellent child-rearing comments (contrasting practices of Paleolithic and Neolithic times) in WG and CTOS.

Finally, it is no mystery that Americans have difficulty with reality. We are adverse to any facts and opinions which differ from our own. We want to continue to believe - against reality - that what we have always believed about ourselves and the nation is true. So much of identity is tied to worldview that we are terrified when asked to consider the possibility that either might not be all there is. We can never expect Trump supporters to change because there is too much of themselves tied up in what he represents. To denounce him would be to denounce themselves. But that's true of fervent Dems and Indps as well - and, of course, of religious "true believers".

4:03 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

Hopefully this doesn't go over the half a page rule. I have to paste the quotes since I am told I am misrepresenting. There was no misrepresentation. The Wages of sin are absolutely punishment.

Roman 6:22-23

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord.

TO live in sin is to die. To accept god's grace is eternal life. All sin leads to the same fate and there is no dispute.

Also, sin is not grounded in actions unlike Islam or Judaism.

Matthew 5:21:22
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[b][c] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’[d] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Matthrew 5:27-28

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

So, these are definitive. Sin encompasses thought crimes.

Now to confession all I need to say is read this. It outlines the have your cake mentality of the religion.


@Zara after the 24 hour rule I will reply

4:52 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

I live in the small town that's raffling the AR 15. I think I need a stronger post-it note on my bathroom mirror than "I'm surrounded by turkeys"

6:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A bit over the line, yes; try to stick to half pg max in future, pls. Regarding that article: it deals w/who can do the forgiving, but I didn't see anything about 'rinse/repeat' in it. It wd be helpful to see something written by, say, a priest, regarding the phenomenon of repeated sinning and forgiveness.


6:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Try: I AM SURROUNDED BY THE MOST VICIOUS PEOPLE ON EARTH. Not only is it dramatic; it's true!



So students are demonstrating all over the country. What, Waferinos, do you think will be the outcome? What has always been the result of a major massacre? Nada. Bupkis. Niente. What shd Americans students do? More demos? To what end? What they shd do is start making plans to emigrate. But they won't, because their heads are filled w/dried fruit. Like Trumpi, they are trying to save an America that cannot be saved.


6:31 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers.


This is great news. I sincerely wish you guys the best in yr new life. This one's for you :-):


Nos vemos,


7:46 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Article about Theodor Adorno and his thoughts on pop culture:

8:16 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Professor, you must be a genius for gun control measures have already failed in the Florida legislature! If only the children each had a semiautomatic under their desk more lives might have been saved. The solution is as clear as it is obvious: we need MORE GUNS! Onwards!
Also, our pervasive virulent right-wing media are already attacking the student survivors and are claiming it is a FBI plot to discredit Trumpi (not sure how this fits together but they sure do seem convinced).

Once again, David Brooks proves he is perhaps the stupidest man in America: https://nyti.ms/2C6F3ij
And once you realize this utter stupidity comes from a leading public intellectual, you realize the country is doomed. If Brooks was a horse, he would have been shot by now (Lord, have mercy).

Re: Catholicism. I'm not sure how one can claim to be Catholic/Christian and also be a discipline of Ayn Rand like Paul Ryan is. The two beliefs are like matter and anti-matter; only American culture can combine the worse aspects of both into a popular political moment.


10:17 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...


My take on the students protesting gun shootings is that they're not trying to save America but have a more modest goal: change our gun laws. Emigrating isn't practical for everyone. My heart goes out to these kids, imagine their level of fear just from going to school.


10:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I agree w/u; the only solution is that every single student in the US, from kindergarten up, shd be armed to the teeth. Trumpi shd provide each of them w/an entire arsenal, which they wd carry w/them in their backpacks. When in class, they wd sit w/their weapons on their desks, waiting for someone to enter the school and start shooting. (I'm talking heavy artillery, BTW: grenades, flame throwers, rapid fire machine guns, the works. Our kids deserve only the best.)

The chances of anything changing re: our gun laws is roughly negative infinity. Students wd better spend their time playing ping pong, or chess, instead of demonstrating, which will accomplish abs. 0. We have seen this scenario now about 40 times: uproar, wringing of hands, demands for change, congressmen in the pocket of the NRA, nothing gets done, and finally everybody forgets abt it until the next massacre. If this is theater, it's also farce.

As for David Brooks, he's a joke, as is the NYT. He's not a horse--he's a horse's ass.


10:51 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Today, a large group of Florida teenagers got a REAL civics lesson instead of that bullshit they teach you in school: With Douglas students in the gallery Tuesday, the Florida House voted down a motion to take up a ban on assault weapons such as the AR-15 used by Nikolas Cruz when he killed 17 people at the school on Valentine's Day. The final vote was 36-71. Guess what kiddies--those assholes don't give a flying fuck about any of you. You're stupid enough to think you live in a democracy? This is America, snowflakes--no democracy allowed. You can thank your douchebag parents and grandparents for that.

Meanwhile, the smear campaign against the Parkland students has already begun: Gateway Pundit is not limiting its criticism to Hogg. A separate article, authored by Kristinn Taylor, attacks Hogg and fellow students Delaney Tarr, Cameron Kasky and Emma González. The entire article attacks these students for smiling in a photo. The article is entitled “Student School Massacre Survivors and CBS Reporter Party Like Rock Stars.” But there is no evidence of any partying. Rather, at one point, the group, which was being interviewed for CBS’ morning show, smiled for a photo.

10:51 PM  
Blogger Sue Caldwell said...

Three related references on the all important topic of the relation between child rearing practices and violence.

Both of these authors/researchers are featured on this site www.ttfuture.org
as is the work of Joseph Chilton Pearce who has been researching this topic for over 40 years. His first book on this topic was Magical Child Rediscovering Nature's Plan for Our Children.

His latest book is titled The Heart-Mind Matrix How the Heart Can Teach the Mind New Ways to Think. The basic thesis of this book is that our "culture" has always sabotaged both the heart-mind matrix and, natures plan (or genetic blueprint) for our children. Pearce summarizes the important work of the authors of the violence and womb ecology websites. He also discusses the work of Allan Schore and his book Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self: The Neurobiology of Emotional Development.

Iain McGilchrist discusses the left-brain right-brain split in his book The Master and His Emissary The Divided Brain & the Making of the Western World. It took him 8 years to write.

11:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Wow! Thanks for the pile of refs. To the heart-mind matrix, I wd add the gut, somewhere in there.


Yes, getting mugged by reality is a gd education. But I hafta tell you, I was dumber far later than they are. I lived in San Fran for 5 yrs in my early 30s, and Cal had a referendum on various issues roughly every 6 mos. I wd dutifully go to the polls and vote liberal: no on nuclear plants, yes on education, etc. Then the next day I wd get the SF Chronicle to see the results, and whatever I voted, the voters of Cal voted the opposite way by a ratio of 10:1. Slowly it began to dawn on me what the real America was. Anyway, I wonder how many useless demos these students will stage b4 they get the message.


12:27 AM  
Anonymous TZD said...

I thought the full documentary linked below on YoutTube was engaging to watch. It is about US war crimes and genocide in Korea, specifically the US high command's direct orders to kill all refugees at No Gun Ri, a Korean village.

This documentary proves that even way back in 1950, the highest levels of the US government deliberately set out and ordered troops to commit mass murder throughout South and North Korea while later hiding the documents from investigators. It shows the government was little better than the Nazis.


12:41 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

For the billboard :

1:11 AM  
Anonymous Boar's Head said...


I read this post on Naked Capitalism and the first paragraph absolutely struck me as pure Wafer:

"Our Jerri-Lynn, who mainly lives overseas, was briefly in the US last month and dropped by our NYC meetup. She commented to me that she was very eager to leave because she could sense how high the general tension level was."

Anyway, I just wanted to put that out here for all of you.

Second thing on my mind is Hedges. I've been reading Mark Ames' "Going Postal" and he reminded me of a John Brown/Nat Turner type figure. Ames's theory is that revolutionaries are by their very nature a bit delusional and unhinged which would explain both Hedges' calls for a revolt and inability to grasp that the US is not salvageable.

1:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You know, the distance between appearance and reality regarding America is overwhelming, and the fact that 99% of the country wallows in mythology is cold comfort indeed. We were never what we claimed to be, and altho most of the time my reaction to that realization is anger, rt now I'm feeling sad. One can amass a pile of videos and books on what we have done to other people that stretches a mile into the sky, and it depresses me just to think abt it. On the other hand, I'm also depressed that almost none of this manages to penetrate mainstream American media or consciousness, and that when confronted w/any of it, Americans fly into a rage.

Buddhists believe that most of us live unconsciously, w/o any real awareness of what we are doing or why. (With a different slant, Freud argued the same thing.) The purpose of meditation is for the individual to gradually cut thru the fog, until s/he finally understands who s/he is. But this individual unconsciousness can also be extended to an entire society, and we see this in the US: an entire unconscious nation. (Freud referred to entire neurotic societies, but this is not the same thing as an unconscious society, and not as tragic, I don't think.) The work it takes for a single individual to become conscious of him/herself--well, it's the work of a lifetime, really. Few achieve it; few want to achieve it. As for the possibility of an entire society waking up: vanishingly small, I wd hafta say. There are a few of us who have tried to make this happen--Nick Turse for the Vietnam war, for example--and the American public has not appreciated these efforts, to say the least. It's like we are a blind dinosaur, crashing thru the forest. We will hit bottom the other side of death; we shall never wake up.

Still, I'm grateful to Nick Turse, Wm Blum, and so many other writers who have sought to preserve, bring to light, the horrors that we have perpetrated. Even if only 0.1% of the American public is interested, it's still worth it, imo. It may be that out of 325 million people, only 20,000 are interested in reality. Better that they should have access to the truth, the historical information, than not.


2:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, Brown and Turner and the folks in Ames' study actually got guns and physically attacked the establishment. Hedges calls for revolution, but has no guns himself and mounts only verbal assaults (apparently, it's only the oppressed masses who are expected to rise up). A safe type of revolution, I guess. I don't think he is unhinged, but like most progs he is certainly delusional. To me, the core of this delusion is not merely that the oppressed masses have no interest in rising up, but a failure to acknowledge that Americans may not be worth saving. On the prog model, they are fundamentally kind and decent people who have been crushed into the dirt by a tiny corporate elite. But what if these folks *aren't* kind and decent? What if they are petty and callous and bitter and anti-intellectual? What if 67% of them approve of torture and drone strikes? What if their real goal is to get into the wealthy class, where they can lord it over those who are less fortunate? What if they have abs. no interest in redistributing wealth? What if a large % of them are strung out on alcohol and TV and opioids and cell phones and anti-depressants? And what if most of them are just plain dumb? What then?

What Hedges and progs in general need to address is the *source* of their denial, what lies at the heart of it. That wd constitute a true 'revolution', imo. This will occur when pigs fly over the White House in geese formation.


6:47 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Article on the decline of American well-being.

Worsening mental and emotional health is a major factor in the decline of American well-being.

“One thing that is driving down our well-being is our declining mental and emotional health, says Dan Witters, the research director of the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index. ‘It’s an unprecedented worsening … This is nothing like we have ever seen before,’ he says. Indeed, depression levels are ‘the highest we have ever measured,’ says Witters; in 2017, nearly one in five (18%) of Americans said they had been professionally diagnosed at some point as being depressed.”


7:24 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Here is a nice retrospective by Paul Street on what passes as "US foreign policy" over the past 73 years or so. Street says most people across the world won't regret witnessing the decline of the US's global reach. When those overseas military people have to retreat back to the US - of course a lot of material will simply be left in the countries that were 'hosts' to those bases- I wonder what will happen since there are no jobs to speak of outside of security positions and flipping burgers - perhaps military police on major transport arteries.


10:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's hard to know the timing on all of this, but I think that as the effects of imperial overstretch take their toll, and we are forced to retreat militarily from overseas locations, the army will be needed at home to quell riots, curb migrations, do crowd control, and in general maintain martial law. Probably about 10 yrs away, but I'm guessing a very oppressive domestic scenario is in the cards for us.


10:42 AM  
Anonymous Francois said...

I remember watching a video of Hedges talking about how he went to a private school for the rich on a scholarship and how he learned to hate the rich. His hatred for the rich has blinded him to the true nature of the people he seeks to save and forced him to quote Sheldon Wolin every five minutes.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Tegz said...

Bush's Presidency didn't really start until 9/11.



Sometimes I wonder when Trump's will.I feel like this may already be happening, and it's bigger than Trump. What if this actually happens?

12:52 PM  
Blogger Crow T Robot said...

On the subject of election meddling, this little exchange of propaganda is priceless:


@Bill Hicks: As a baseball fan, I find the non-stop military recruitment drive at baseball games to be so offensive. What do these people think they're defending by joining the armed services? The right to go through a metal detector and get frisked to enter a ballpark? (For Wafers who haven't been to a MLB game in awhile, this is true. You are subjected to a metal detector and searched before entering the premises.)

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

@MB, on have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too Christianity : Pastor. Jimmy Swaggart, Letter of Indulgence & scandal in Australia.

@Michael, as suggested in that alternet article, Amerikns are poor in their soul before being poor in their wallet. Father Stephan Kovalski (City of Joy - Dominique Lapierre) lived amongst the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta and showed to the world that there could be joy in spite of poverty, abject miserable poverty. Father Damien's story living with the lepers of Hawaii is a testament that material (health n wealth) poverty isn't the end of living if one has a sense of belonging and meaning to life.
"Money is necessary to grease the wheels of life, but the tracks on which life runs is social bonds, which makes wheels worth greasing, life worth living." -Esca Dreg

@BH, In Amerika the only way to confirm of your wisdom is by converting it to money. Ask Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins and million dollars book-deals of false prophets like Obama.
"if you're so smart, why ain't You rich?" -Kurt Vonnegut

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Given that 98.7% of americans are divorced from reality (psychosis) and most american "friendships" are a sham, would suggest 'testing' friendships in america and outside the empire to examine if the friendship is a mutual tummy rub, or an authentic friendship.

Bring up something uncomfortable, unsettling, and/or sharp constructive criticism to your friend. See how they react. Are they still around? Did they actively listen; or, carefully respond with an argument and are in your life, meaningfully?

Perhaps, the individual exhibited the 'angry drunk' rage, hyper-emotional opinion, and/or ghost ya?

I thk I know the answer to the test

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Dill Pickle said...

Hi all,

This just in: Monsanto has just served Avaaz.org a 168-page subpoena demanding every private email, note or record regarding the ginormous firm. Free speech isn't free unless you're rich and powerful!

If you're not rich an powerful, you'll have a difficult time to get there even if you want to. I also found out today that in the New England small town where I grew up, a mom-and-pop coffee shop serving unique breakfast items has closed, gone out of business. Meanwhile the Dunkin' Donuts that's just around the corner is doing just swell.

Now to the billboard contest! I have two messages:



3:33 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

Here is a video/site talking about confession and forgiveness of sins. The video is of a Deacon selling the idea of Confession. Notice nothing says anything about confession being finite. In fact, you live in sin and should confess as much as possible to show faith in god's forgiveness.


Excerpt from the site: This does not mean that a promise never to fall again into sin is necessary. A resolution to try to avoid the near occasions of sin suffices for true repentance. God's grace in cooperation with the intention to rectify your life will give you the strength to resist and overcome temptation in the future.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Of course Kurt was being tongue-in-cheek. Here's a poem he wrote called "Joe Heller":

True story, Word of Honor:
Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer
now dead,
and I were at a party given by a billionaire
on Shelter Island.
I said, "Joe, how does it make you feel
to know that our host only yesterday
may have made more money
than your novel 'Catch-22'
has earned in its entire history?"
And Joe said, "I've got something he can never have."
And I said, "What on earth could that be, Joe?"
And Joe said, "The knowledge that I've got enough."
Not bad! Rest in peace!


5:36 PM  
Anonymous Vince said...


Thank you for the link. Article is spot on on so many levels.

Dr. Berman,

I have adopted the philosophy of letting go, so I won't be dragged. You have been correct in your assessment of our "fellow americans". Once in a while there is a rare exception. Guy McPherson talks on how humans have evolved to only see what is in front of them. Big picture thinking and self reflection are foreign concepts here. I see this on a daily basis at work.

It is easy to see how the education system has groomed people to be task oriented while always seeking external validation The younger people are struggling with just those realities even more than others.

I live in Metro Detroit, yet in many respects I feel like I'm on an island, or perhaps a different planet altogether.

Vince I

5:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Re: ability for reflexivity: 2 items might help:

1. "Tribal Consciousness and Enlightenment Tradition," in QOV
2. My Japan bk, p. 71 and Appendix III.


6:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mental illness in action!:


7:50 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


There's a kind of euphoria in our degree of madness.



"Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable."
~ Voltaire

8:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


My own feeling is that there are two crucial questions facing America:

1. How do you wake up a prog?
2. Can we get Brittany Carulli to run for Senate?

Once these are solved I think we can, in fact, make America great again.


9:00 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


Well folks, there ya have it. Debate over.

Can I sue pharm companies for making me depressed with their material reductionism?

1. Promote the view of the good life as working 70 hours a week.

2. Create a media saturated society full of isolation and quiet rage.

3. Insist that anybody who doesn't want to take drugs to conform to the emotional expectations of that society is 'denying science'.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I saw a bumper sticker today that read: Make America KIND Again. I wanted to pull that car over, walk up to the driver and ask him when America was EVER kind, except he probably would have shot me.

Speaking of which, thousands of high school kids descended on DC today to join the big anti-gun protest. It was an incredible 80-degrees this afternoon, breaking the all time record high for the date by a shocking 10 degrees. Even worse, it was the 2nd 80-degree day here in a row. I wanted to go tell those kids that they should forget their protest, go home and play with all those electronic gadgets their douchebag parents and grandparents sold out their futures for while there is still time before we finish burning the planet to a crisp in our collective short-sighted myopia and greed.

@Crow--believe it or not, that nonstop patriotic garbage is even worse at NFL games, where they installed the metal detectors about 15 yeas ago. It was one of the big reasons I stopped attending those horseshit games.

@Francois--I think you just nailed Hedges's problem. I grew up in what is now a decrepit rust belt town where a majority of the population still reliably votes Republican. Hedges has clearly never lived among those he hopes to "save."

10:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I wonder if Hedges ever read the work of Joe Bageant.


1:15 AM  
Anonymous Lobotomized Imperial Subject said...

Thank you @Michael Burgess for the link to the article on Truthdig (The World Will Not Mourn the Decline of U.S. Hegemony)

As an “Imperial subject”, I would add to this the effects of cultural and technology exports to / impositions on the rest of the world. The resulting pervasiveness of “technology is good” belief, “enslavement” to devices, and the debasement of human kindness and care through TV, movies etc. in other cultures is extremely worrying - though the eventual effects might be harder to quantify.

Dr B. Can you recommend some reading on myth and mythology? Thanks.


3:38 AM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

You really have to ask yourself what kind of person is the person such as Gateway Pundit that constantly attacks and viciously smears high school kids who have just seen 17 of their classmates murdered and are speaking out in favor of modest gun control? Spiritually dead without an ounce of mercy and compassion for others? Honestly, how do these people live with themselves?

Personally, I can only pity them for to act in this way toward others you would first have to kill yourself spiritually and emotionally. Though biologically alive, you are dead.

Re: the American Dream. You also have to realize that not even the rich escape as they live in this culture also. Many of the wealthy I know are constantly in fear of being taken advantage of or losing it all. Rather than own money, their money owns them and they become slaves to the things they own. They live in perpetual fear and isolation. Since community and love is what gives life meaning, they are miserable. I recall a survey of lottery winners (like mega-millions) showed that the majority of 'winners' wished they had never won. There were also a surprising amount of suicides, bankruptcy and drug addiction. It really is The Big Lie.

Recall the parable of Jesus and The Rich Man.


4:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The lit on mythology is quite vast, and includes tons of b.s.--Jos Campbell being the prime example. There is some gd stuff occasionally in the work of Mircea Eliade, but he too has a tendency to get caught in a Campbellian all-myths-are-equivalent delusion (plus, he was a major Nazi sympathizer). Be sure to check out the footnotes on those 2 in WG, regarding errors of content and methodology. Even Claude Levi-Strauss occasionally fell into that trap, altho by and large he is a reliable anthropologist.

I wd suggest starting with the work of Carl Jung: "Memories, Dreams, and Reflections," and then various parts of his Collected Works, e.g. "Psychology and Alchemy," although it turns out that the empirical basis for his arg. in that vol. is rather thin. Best 1-vol. bio of Jung is by Anthony Storr in the Modern Masters series.

For a very different approach, Roland Barthes, "Mythologies." On the general function of religion in society, the work of Emile Durkheim.


5:36 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

“Oh give me a home where the Border Patrol roams
And the Fourth Amendment holds no sway...”

Texas attorney Ricardo Palacios, whose ranch lies 35 miles north of the border, discovered a camera installed on his property. He removed it and was threatened with arrest by the feds. He’s now suing both Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Texas Rangers—there’s some dispute over whom the camera belongs to—to keep the camera off his property.

Federal law permits agents to go onto private property within 25 miles of the border “to prevent the illegal entry of aliens into the United States.” There’s also a “border exception” to the Fourth Amendment that allows CBP to stop and search persons, bags, cars, and electronic equipment within 100 miles of a US border.


And, under the heading, “Thanks, we’d rather you hadn’t,” The Arch radio station of St. Louis broadcast radio presenter Cassiday Proctor’s Caesarean section-delivery on Tuesday. We’re still awaiting the ratings book results. Mother and baby doing fine, listeners not so much.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Deb said...


Does psychological research overturn our autonomy and free will? Carlo Filice doesn't think so.

....I also am interested in the idea of "Free Won't"

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Peter B said...

This is a delightful dismantling of Pinker's ahistorical (even anti-historical) view of the Enlightenment

11:35 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for the ref. The kindest thing one can say about Pinker is that he is a dumb bunny. An asshole, really. It's amazing how much our major institutions, like Harvard, have degenerated. They tout him like a badge of honor, when they should put him on permanent unpaid sabbatical. Or consider the NYT, with clowns like Brooks and Friedman. There is not a single American institution, wrote Ronald Dworkin a few yrs back, that is not seriously corrupted. Paul Fussell similarly wrote that there is nothing in the US that is not coated with a fine layer of fraud. And Pitirim Sorokin wrote--this around 1940--that when a civilization declines, all of its 'creativity' turns into kitsch.It's O&D, all the way, my friends. We are living in Buffoonlandia.


11:51 AM  
Anonymous El Regio said...

In the U.S. it seems as if it is a competition of different crazy ideas. The right left distinction is overused and its ultimately useless. A lot of the craziness me thinks (and even see it here where I have popped in a lot since I heard Dr. Berman do an interview at my sons uni in Monterrey Mx) is the change in the way that news is done. It used to be events and with reporters in front of a burning building or whatever. Now its shrill people in bow ties and pants suits reading tea leaves--sources say, what this means, this dogwhistle, analyst opinion, etc....business model from reporting to punditry--who the F are these clowns? So people get all worked up over what some corporate shills opinion is about topic X. The so called townhalls are just corporate news specials and scripted. How people cannot see through this and manage to get caught up is amazing. I spend most of my time in Mexico now (though my town Monterrey is now a sort of north American corporate center) and the news is taking its cue from the U.S.--so avoid. I miss the old days as a kid in Mexico with Jacobo Zablodosky reading news events and not injecting opions.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Marianne said,

Interesting discussion here on school shootings, gun reform etc. Not easy to hold both sides of what I call the Hedges/Berman perspectives. Isn't it better to try as the kids are doing to change gun laws than to give up? Along the way I'm thinking the kids may be able to get some in congress to listen to them and change or modify the laws. I'm sure playing ping pong is not the answer; after all these kids fear for their lives when they're at school. Its not theater its called hope....maybe against all hope. But better than giving up and not trying, I imagine.

Of course we need to address the source of denial; but expecting that seems as unreal as Chris's revolution. And taking time to know who we are is a lifetime endeavor. I'm not looking for answers just putting out a few comments on a complicated subject. Sometimes just seeing human reactions from victims and their families and friends might touch politicians. I'm not holding my breathe.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous David said...

How Hunter-Gatherers May Hold the Key to our Economic Future - "the Ju/’hoansi’s “fierce egalitarianism” underwrote their affluence by ensuring that resources flowed organically through communities so ensuring that even in the leanest times everyone got more or less enough."


1:00 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

@MB - a few posts back I noticed you used the word sad to describe our collective quagmire. I'm grieving most of the time even though I realize the country is a mirage and nothing like what we have ever said we are. It is sad (enough to send one into a hyperbolic rage) that American students are captive to a school system for 12 years (longer for some) and at the end nary a few know the Bill of Rights or other basic historical facts. 12 fucking years and nada, that's a third of the lifespan of someone from the 18th century. I'm guessing if you did a poll they'd be a bunch don't even know we have a BOR, what they protect us from, & etc. And that's just the tip of the iceberg that's going to sink this titan. Probably my first inkling of being Wafer came a couple of years ago when I helped a friend move to Tucson. As I flew over Phoenix I looked at all the cul-de-sacs and swimming pools and I thought the HUBRIS involved in building a city like this is gonna require a pretty stiff punch to wake it up. To build a metropolis in the desert without the slightest regard to the environment was disgusting. Go shopping, go to any building and it can be 122 outside and a cool 70 inside, obviously this is a huge drag on the electrical grid requiring a bunch of burnt coal. Most of the buildings are far from LEED certified, really if adobe structures were built it'd be more efficient but who wants to pay the labor or take the time to do that? Not only build a top 10 city but spread it out over miles and miles like a developer vomited onto a map and make people drive everywhere. The kicker for me was when I discovered it's actually cheaper to live there than in Colorado, both are fragile environments but AZ is built on our water and the Rockies get a fraction of the snow that falls in the Sierra or the Cascades - what we measure in inches they do in feet. There really is no way out but down and I'm beginning to think the down time might be 2-300 yrs.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You might wanna read WG for a fuller exposition of this issue.


4:02 PM  
Anonymous Celeste said...

“Do not forget that every nation deserves the government that it endures."

75years ago today, a group of kids who resisted the Nazis w/ graffiti and hand-printed pamphlets were executed by guillotine.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...


“My new favorite book of all time.” –Bill Gates
“A terrific book…[Pinker] recounts the progress across a broad array of metrics, from health to wars, the environment to happiness, equal rights to quality of life.” —The New York Times

Don't let "truth" like this bring you down. What do the Aussies know of progress and enlightenment?
Decadence : Decline of the Western World. Friggin' gloomy Indian filmmaker, Pria Viswalingam. What a bummer!
Gonorrheal laryngitis and coprophilia, the gift of Dinker's "Age of Reason." Is this as good as it gets, asks Clive Hamilton?

Forget MB's pessimistic books on esoteric baloney. Go read Enlightenment Now. This is the best time to be alive. Throw away your pill bottles. Unshackle yourself to beauty n hope. Fetch your dreams that you deserve. Opportunities galore awaits you. Happiness beacons you. The only obstacle remaining is You. Yes, We Are There Already. Ask bright Bill, not bonkers Belman. We have finally Arrived!!!

5:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yahoo! Arriba! I am so pumped!


ps: See link cited by Peter B., above.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Polk said...

Neism Watani - cherry-picking scripture passages is an old technique used to "prove" notions like slavery, homosexuality as a sin, patriarchy, etc. The bible, its said, could be a-bused to support two diametrically opinions at the same time.

What it might take for Americans to wake from their long slumber is unknown. In the meantime, millions of innocent people across the globe continue to die, democracies are overthrown for the sake of multinational corps, and temperatures on land and sea continue to rise. It is the perfect storm of decline - national, global and environmental. No amount of protest will change the present or future. We are beyond the threshold, politically, socially and ecologically. The only thing left to do is prepare for this new reality - try to open as many eyes as possible, yes - maybe some can be saved. But mainly prepare yourself and those you love for what's coming.

For a literary example of an unconscious society see the prophecies of Brave New World (a better description of our coming dyspepsia than 1984)

6:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Huxley was actually the first to suggest the idea of NMI, in skeletal form: communities of marginalized people, living on the edges of society--like Native Americans. Except that his edges were geographical (so were Bradbury's, to some extent). Mine don't require such separation (unless you are going to actually emigrate, of course); but I agree, it ain't an easy thing to do. Personally, I wasn't able to; life in the US had grown so depressing for me that it was exit or die. But then, I cdn't find other NMI's to link up with, and I think that's probably an essential factor.


6:41 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

If you look at this now Indicted Missouri Governors background, it’s quite clear he was a man with way too much Hubris, way too much Ambition, and just a highly contrived character.

Duke U...Oxford MA and PhD...in Ethics!.....Navy OCS and SEAL Training...Superhero who was “deployed” four times into war zones...Bronze Star and Purple Heart....White House Fellow...Truman Scholar...Author of Books on his Superhero Status as a SEAL....First Political campaign ever he becomes Governor....Years ago, even though he’s just a kid of 43, he purchases the domain name of GrieransForPresident.com.....and now this scandal of his Douchebaggery.

Someone this contrived to perfection...and driven with such ambition, hubris, and Ego is clearly UNFIT for public office.


8:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually, if he is arrogant and narcissistic, he's probably perfectly fit for public office.

Now this annoys me:


Trumpi is pulling his punches here. What the educational system needs is for every teacher to be provided with a small Abrams tank. Nothing less will do.


8:18 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Greetings Wafers everywhere, here's your news update from Cascadia:

Merican ignorance of geography and national emblems was on full display this week when Seattle crime novelist Rebecca Morris phoned in a news tip to the Seattle Times that somebody was flying a Confederate flag in her north Seattle neighborhood. Well, it turns out it was the Norwegian flag:


Meanwhile, Norway was also in the news as the Washington State legislature debated gun legislation this week, which brought forth House minority leader Dan Kristiansen’s remarks citing a knife-wielding massacre in Norway, and claimed statistics show more people die from knives than guns. A Seattle Times story debunked Kristiansen’s assertions as untrue:


Meanwhile, the Seattle area’s cold weather shelters for the homeless will close this weekend just in time for nighttime temperatures drop to the 20’s:

8:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


We appreciate yr regular reportage abt doltage in the Pacific NW. Rebecca Morris writes books, and like Brooks and Friedman is dumb as a stick. This is the phase of decline Pitirim Sorokin wrote abt: the pt in a civilization's decline where leading 'intellectuals' don't know shit from Shinola.


9:23 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Hey everybody, guess what company the Florida Teacher's Union's Pension Plan was heavily invested in--go ahead, guess: Florida Teachers’ Pension Fund Invested in Maker of School Massacre Gun. Hey kiddies, next time before you descend on DC you should first ensure that your own douchebag teachers have their house in order.

Relatedly, the armed "deputy" at Parkland has now resigned after it was revealed that he stood out in the parking lot instead of going into the school to face the shooter. Everyone is demonizing this guy, but in reality he was in a no-win situation. Had he gone in gun drawn he probably would have been shot down and may have ended up shooting some bystanders in the process. One of my former colleges is retired and now does school security. He and he fellow officers are all retired feds in their 60s--not exactly the kind of guys best suited to face a determined youthful killer with an AR-15. School "security" is yet another American scam that allows retired cops to have a cushy second career. Cushy that is, until something like this happens.

@Marianne--fair enough, but where these kids and their parents when Obama was bombing and droning thousands of children overseas? Playing video games and twiddling with their dumbfones, no doubt.

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Boars Head said...


I've been reading a great blog lately called Granola Shotgun that I think should be mandatory reading for all Wafers choosing the NMI option of living on the margins. The author seems to intuitively grasp the concept that Americans are by and large turkeys and that this fact is reflected in both the building code and public opinion.

At any rate, all of us NMIs are going to have to shack up somewhere to weather the impending collapse of the empire, and Johnny has plenty to say on this topic that I think Wafers will appreciate.


My favorite recent post on what the turkeys are building out in Colorado:


11:13 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Imagine a job interview for a teaching position in the near future:

Principal Dickhaus: Well, you sure are well-versed in world history, Ballstein.
Ballstein: Gee, thanks so much.
Principal Dickhaus: So, Ballstein, how many student kills have you had?
Ballstein: I've capped about a dozen or so...
Principle Dickhaus: Great, you're hired!


11:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Another reason to love Trumpi:


Hopefully, next time he'll call her an empty New Age buffoon.


1:28 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


You are right about the deputy. I can't imagine the abysml quality of information about the situation he would get in real time. Americans think that reality is a Marvel movie, where The Good Guys have it all figured out instantly.

In reality, these situations are more confusing than most military operations. At least there nobody is operating alone, the enemy has been heavily survailled, and the enemy has discrete objectives. Here, you have some loose guy on a rampage who is also a minor, and can be confused with many innocent parties. They have no real goals, and are basically suicidal- something obviously lost on the 'fire back' crowd.

1:47 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

John Gray gives Steven Pinker a good spanking in his review of Pinker’s book on the Enlightenment, calling it a “feeble sermon for rattled liberals.” Here is a choice excerpt from the review:

“Faced with the political reversals of the past few years and the onward march of authoritarianism, they [liberals] find their view of the world crumbling away. What they need at the present time, more than anything else, is some kind of intellectual anodyne that can soothe their nerves, still their doubts and stave off panic.”

No wonder Bill Gates and The New York Times love Pinker so much.


2:38 AM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

RE: Gateway Pundit, etc. The slanted, aggressive tone of the stuff at GP aside (not that the Shareblue/TP propaganda piece linked here was better), the kid with the FBI daddy and CNN connections, Hogg, has clearly had coaching. Bastion of modern censorship YouTube is scrubbing videos of him flubbing his adult-written talking points. There is a second kid in that group of four (why do we hear from no others, btw?)who also appears linked w/Antifa, the Dems (Ohr, Clinton) and has plenty of social media content promoting all the hot MSM narratives of the day: "white supremacy," the corporate-backed Resist movement/purple revolution, etc.

I have no personal interest in acquiring firearms (though even the Germans will let me, if I fill out enough forms), but this horrific event has been cynically politicized. Take these poor kids off the PR tour and let them process and recover.

I await stories from the corporate MSM that encourage us to genuinely reflect on the deep-seeded social and systemic societal issues that contribute to these horrific events -- just kidding, that might actually be productive.

5:41 AM  
Anonymous Mark Notzon said...


Great idea about the billboards, but no time.

My friendS and I have started a new software company-- APPS FOR COLLAPSE--and we are busy coding a digital app for “messaging” thoughts and prayers to victims' families after mass or school shootings. This would have mass (!) appeal because of its immediacy and convenience in response to this social horror. Lets face it, most people just can't find the words, or the time tor express what they are really feeling when such criminalities occur. Let APPS FOR COLLAPSE handle it all, at minimal cost to you. APPS FOR COLLAPSE will make you feel that you have “made a difference.” Such is the magic of technology. Remember, if guns “don't kill” neither do computers”make mistakes.” If bullets make an impact, why shouldn't your condolences? Sign up today, and let APPS FOR COLLAPSE take the hassle and worry out of sharing your reaction to the next school shooting.

Hey, computer gamers, AFC will unveil next year its School Shooting Gaming Module. Players place bets and choose on a map where and wheb they think the next massacre will occur. There are many betting options, with extensive variables in the categories of “who,” “where” and “when.” There is an affordable game level for any budget. Specified percentages of winnings will be withheld for distribution to victims and their families. Be caring and have fun and maybe make some cash. You can take part in serious social engagement which may help law enforcement predict and prevent such catastrophes. Special discounts for students in the more quantifiable areas of the social sciences involved in figuring out even the most ineluctable of parameters that induce violence.

Also: Check online for totebags, coffee mugs, lanyards, baseball caps, t shirts, rings, necklaces, tiaras
and designer imitation ammo belts and other fashion wear to enhance your AFC experience.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Grandma said...

I've been speechless for awhile now. Numb, I guess, from all the violence. BTW, I'm not a grandma, just a grandma wannabe. I support my son's recent decision not to bring any child into this world, so I'm going to have to turn in my grandma wannabe card. I'm okay with that.

Cui bono? Who benefits from these ongoing assaults on our children? The gun manufacturers obviously, that's been shown.

Who benefits from instilling terror in our children (and into our future)? Our children are literally the future.

Any specific answer doesn't matter ... that it exists, this reality that someone/something HERE believes this to be necessary ... supports this process ... has plans that allow for this process ... will take advantage of this situation, and indeed turn it to their advantage ... I'm speechless.

I've known evil, just not evil writ so ... large.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Was thkg about public spaces in america versus elsewhere Europe, NZ, AU, Sweden.

Opinion only: The public spaces in the us empire are akin to a corporate employee lounge for a quick in/out, eat/shit and get back to make money for business.

Uncomfortable seating (arm rests to deter homeless, and for those not to linger), sterile environments, a few trees here and there, overbuilt, broken fountains, and superficial with tons and tons of signage everywhere with warnings from no ball playing to pick your nose in the wrong direction can be cited under city penal code subsection

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Zombies said...

Brooks, Friedman, Pinker, even Sam Harris, any main stream media or academically allowed "intellectual", are there to deflect the crimes of Ziocons and other imperialists. Useful idiots for elite subversion. Capitalism works best in 3rd world de-industrialized countries which includes de-industrializing the intellect. The oligarchs like Gates who reads Vaclav Smil as well - sometimes play along. Smarter celebrities sometimes too. Is Gates related to Frederick G - always banksters all the time? Waltons and Carnegies inter-married - surprise surprise. Who shut down Muckety.com where I'd learned these connections - shadow-banning is everywhere?

The population is duped into thought control imposed by secret societies and hierarchies. Anything to fake console mass disenfranchisement and fear with false consciousness like hope. Secrecy along with secret hierarchies, cultures, societies, laws, religions, are necessary for criminal governments. Most everyone is forced to be complicit and dependent on the state by statists. The caste based class club these actors maintain is insufferable. Soft power is not soft.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYWvq6DDLMs (Lapham)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_xrGHDZVwI (Parenti)

1:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


We have no future.


1:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, there certainly are elites in this country, but I tend to doubt the existence of secret societies and hierarchies that have some kind of 'Rosicrucian' influence over us. You might get a better understanding of how this works from my essay, "conspiracy vs. Conspiracy in American History," in QOV. Finally, pls avoid terms like 'Ziocon', which comes off sounding like the Protocol of the Elders. We've debated the issue here, a # of times, regarding Jewish or Israeli influence on American foreign policy, and I grant you there's some evidence for it (esp. concerning the 2003 Iraq war), but I'm not interested in hearing about a World Jewish Conspiracy yet one more time. Thanks.


2:43 PM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

Pallywood film: Exploiting Grief, starring Huda Ghalia. (hear the serious voice of the "investigating journalist," asking lede in question, suggesting no answers however, ...wink wink)

Syriwood film: Tragedy Industrial Complex, starring Dr. Amani Balour. (Oscar winning performance! For once I thought it was real!!)
This one is a B low-budget flop; the fake is easy to tell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBi-3wJDQEg

Vietwood film: Naked TearJerker, starting Kim Phuc. (clearly scripted to malign the West. Academy award, Best Costume Design)

P.S. These shit people, a deadweight to our progress, are like wack-a-mole. You can't wack them out with barrels of hot napalm nor with tons of iron fragmentation bombs. They just keep coming back asking for more. Since they are our obligations, what are we to do with them? Is nuke our last but necessary option? I mean how shall we address this blight on EnlightenmentNow and have Pinker bathe us with his dinker, orgasming on AgeOfReason cuming to climax?

7:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out cartoon on p. 67 of New Yorker for Jan. 22. It shows the interior of a café, with individual techno-buffoons sitting at a table, in front of their laptops (one of NPR's directors, yrs ago, called these people 'laptop hooligans'). Rt outside the café is a notice board that says: "Meet the people in the bookstore café staring at their laptops 2-4 p.m." People? Horses' asses is more like it.


7:39 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

Jesus, where in the hell do we file this one?:


I tell ya, I don't know how much longer I can psychologically hold out in this insane culture. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something about the current toxicity of *everything* that has seeped into everyone here. It's giving me the willies, Wafers.


8:28 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dr. Berman I am sorry for how I acted in trying to attack other blog members. You were right, I needed to chill. But I really like this blog and have a lot of respect for your work, is it ok if I still lurk here and post questions every once in a while?

8:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually, you just made blog history. As of April this blog will have been running for 12 yrs. During that time, a great many people behaved like shmucks or trollfoons, and if I thought there might be some hope for them, I posed the following conundrum: "Wafer or douche bag? You decide." In every single case, w/o exception, they chose douche bag. You are the very first in 12 yrs who chose Wafer. Welcome back!

That being said, I wd suggest going back to Student of Waferism, for the time being. And be sure, if you disagree w/anyone, to do it w/grace and courtesy (unless they are douche bags or trollfoons; in wh/case, shitting on them is encouraged).


One thing is the sheer level of corruption:


But the other is what you pt out: the US is a creepy country. It's no use being a prog and talking about 'a few bad apples'. My ass. The whole orchard is rotten, except for a few gd apples. The fraction of the population that is creepy, and that does creepy things--killing toddlers, mass murdering, fucking vans, running around in pussy hats, electing a violent lunatic as president, trashing massacre survivors (to name but a few)--is growing on a daily basis. Altho, as I show in WAF, the seeds of all this were planted centuries ago, the drama has come to a climax in the 21C. I was a kid growing up in the 50s, and despite all of the shit that went down in that decade (Guatemala, Iran, Joe McCarthy, etc.), it was a *very* different country then, from what it is today. There was at least a seriousness to those days, a sense of debate and purpose, whereas today we seem to be living out a kind of macabre cartoon. And as far as toxicity goes, Don DeLillo saw it coming in 1985, in his novel "White Noise"--a brilliant X-ray of the American psyche.

There is, however, one thing I can promise all Wafers and anyone rdg this blog: you think it's bad now? Ha! Just wait a decade or two. I'll give you bad, boychiks.


9:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Too long. Pls compress by abt 25% and re-send. Thank you.


10:43 PM  
Blogger Allyn F said...

Alberta is mad at B.C. for not automatically agreeing to allow increased bitumen shipments thru the TransMountain pipeline for export by tanker via Vancouver. In response they put a ban on imported B.C. wine. Seattle's brilliant county executive's response: Drink more B.C. wine! Support B.C.'s fight against global warming!


Amazon/Microsoft progressives will happily take up the challenge, I'm sure.

11:31 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Here's an interesting essay from a university professor about the ignorance of today's students. about the ignorance of today's students. Too hopeful, in my opinion, but check out the last sentence: "The bad news: nowadays, they tend to think that the men who flew those planes on 9/11 were from Iran."

Meanwhile, in today's episode of Douchebag Progs On Parade: Now as Sanders plots his 2020 run, the senator is swiftly moving to Hillary’s right on the matter of Russia. (Who knew there was any space left to occupy on that wing?) Appearing on the Sunday talk shows, Sanders lashed out at Trump for not taking the Russian threat seriously...Then Sanders, the resurgent Cold Warrior, turned on Clinton, blaming her campaign for not making Russian meddling more of an issue during the election...This is the way infant revolutions succumb to crib death."

I wasn't quite as down on Bernie as some here were back in early 2016, only because unlike the other 20 douchebags who ran for their respective party nominations he seemed more naive than malicious. Oh well, so much for that. O&D

12:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The Russian thing certainly serves to distract the American people from real issues, and get everyone worked up--a perfect red herring. Meanwhile, we have interfered in so many countries and elections (see Steven Kinzer, "Overthrow") that it makes one dizzy--including the Russian election of 1996. As for Bernie, he's really a joke by now...lucrative book deals, corporate funding, and business as usual, including anti-Russian mongering. Polls have him defeating Trumpi in 2020, but that's still a long ways off; and what difference wd it make, anyway?


4:36 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Just in case Wafers thought that Americans are beating everyone in the game of who is a better douchebag, here are a few headlines that should tell them that others are also game.

Here is what we can do:



And China:

One could add more, but these shud suffice for now.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Jules said...

Gray v Pinker v Nietzsche:

John Gray's critical review of Pinker's latest

8:06 AM  
Blogger Polk said...

As several have implied and some outright stated, there is definitely something rotten in the state of America. Not just with some individuals but with the whole system - something decayed at the core that is affecting every phase of life and every institution. A parasitic disease that threatens to kill the host. Greed, corruption, scamming, hustling - a festering sickness that over the last 300 years has slowly but surely eaten away at the body politic.

Wafers know this, if not intellectually, in their souls and bodies. They feel it. But, like Cassandra, no matter how loudly they prophecy, precious few believe them. Cassandra was cursed to see the truth and the future but be dismissed as a liar and madwoman. So we should not be surprised when our relatives and friends do the same. Denial is, after all, a defense mechanism to protect the self against too much reality. The ability to see the future is, thus , a curse as well as a blessing to those denied the false "safety" of denial.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Miles, I understand your pain.

I tell ya, I don't know how much longer I can psychologically hold out in this insane culture.

May I respectfully make a suggestion? Stop watching TV, reading newspapers or anything except this blog. They'll drive you mad. If possible, expose yourself to nature, or the closest thing to it you can find. I know simply walking about in the US can be a problem, but I think it's worth a try. When I lived in the US and didn't have a car in the beginning, I noticed people looking at me funny when I walked to the grocery store instead of driving, but I stopped caring.

P.S. On the subject of billboards, this is an actual billboard I saw in NYC: an ad for jewelry with a big picture of a diamond; the caption read: "Don't beg her pardon. Buy it."

8:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Zar, Jeff-

Very gd advice. To paraphrase the Beatles:

"All you need is this blog, this blog;
All you need is this blog."


9:33 AM  
Anonymous Cameron said...

What was the beguiling spell of Jung’s ‘collective unconscious’? https://aeon.co/amp/ideas/what-was-the-beguiling-spell-of-jungs-collective-unconscious

MB a nice piece on Jung, tough writing but good summarizing

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Lobotomized Imperial Subject said...

Dr B., thank you for all the recommendations on Myth. I have some Mircea Eliade which I will look through carefully and have ordered the others you recommend (Jung, Anthony Storr, Barthes and Durkheim).

Wafers might be interested in this documentary: Shadow World. It’s essentially about the hustling of the international arms business.
“Based on the book of The Shadow World, this feature length documentary is an investigation into the multi-billion dollar international arms trade.”

I found it quite disturbing but perhaps it’s not so surprising nor historically unique to our times. Has arms trade and corruption always gone together?


9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Possible billboards:
Americans are like american cheese- highly processed, mass produced, tastless and with a low melting point.

AMERICA: lets talk turkey!

Wile E Coyote

10:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In future, pls don't check in as Anonymous. I won't be able to post you.


11:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I for one am very much in favor of Trumpi's plan to arm teachers in schools. This will surely deter lone gunmen, w/o a doubt. But there is an added benefit: if a student mouths off in class, or is disrespectful in any way, the teacher doesn't have to bother w/the usual (ineffective) response, of sending the kid to the principal's office. Instead, she can just blow his head off. Problem solved!


11:40 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The gun control debate could break America - Natuonal Review


4:04 PM  
Anonymous Sad said...



The conventional rags like Bloomberg are even starting to see it

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Deadthoreau said...

Hey Wafers check out Andrew Sullivan's new article on the opioid crisis which is an inviseration of the hustling tradition. Sullivan quotes the poet William Brewer in the piece and this got me all choked up.

Where once was faith,
there are sirens: red lights spinning
door to door, a record twenty-four
in one day, all the bodies
at the morgue filled with light.


5:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Fabulous poem (and accurate).


I'll keep my fingers crossed, altho the ref to "the ties that bind us as a nation" is utterly laughable. What ties are those? Hustling? Callous indifference? Massive ignorance?


6:17 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

MB, Zar-

Many thanks for yr kind words and advice. Before the Wafer blog, I had been lost in the desert, and then, like mojo, I had found my Canaan, my promised land. And now, I can only exult, fall to my knees in thanks, and kiss the ground I stand on. My deepest hope, however, is that someday it will be different ground...


9:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Of course it will be different ground. A man of yr caliber was not meant to live among turkeys forever.


9:42 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I guess master is still above my rank haha. I'm wondering, how can I learn about participating consciousness? Also, I read WG twice and understand that before civilization no one messed with the occult but at some point we evolved new senses that do show us real things, like sight, why couldn’t that be the case with the occult? Is it wrong to believe that all scientific views are just transitional objects and are paradoxically true but not the absolute truth? Or am I am misunderstanding by believing that the mechanical world view was preferred mostly because it was easier mathematically and therefore more useful for commercialization? I'm just trying to make sure I understood the re-enchantment of the world correctly.

Also I bumped into this article about a celebrity who tattooed his sister's name and I thought of pornhub's porn searches. Men have some serious incest issues. I wouldn’t be surprised if incest became common or maybe it already secretly is. In high school, a classmate said he had regular sex with his mom, I thought he was lying, not anymore.

9:52 PM  

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