May 28, 2018

333

Wafers-

What can I say? It ain't lookin' good. Unless you're a declinist, that is. I suggest we continue archiving the disaster.

-mb

185 Comments:

Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Zhlob Me Tender, 324 AD:

Little Zhlob
Runnin' wild
Watch awhile, you'll see
He never smiles

Kind of sad
Kind of mad
Rockin' for a mile
He ate a crocodile

Just a nothin' child
Couldn't they just love him tenderly?
Let me be me, I'ma be me

A honky swami
Life given over to pastrami
He coulda won a Grammy
Found buried in his jammies.

Miles

1:39 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Former Military/State Department expert estimates 60% of civil war in the USA within the next 10-15 years (personally, I think the chances are near 100% and within the next 5 years; if the upcoming midterms don't rip this country apart the 2020 presidential election surely will):
https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/is-america-headed-for-a-new-kind-of-civil-war

USA lost track of 1500 immigrant children last year; concern is that ICE may have . Trumpi & Co. is forcibly separating children (even infants) from parents at the border. Of course, if you call immigrants 'animals', you end up treating them as such.
Krugman (correctly, I believe) notes this policy is part of the 'performative cruelty' his base expects and craves:
https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/995264958815526912?lang=en

Finally, just discovered the 'red market": be careful signing up as an organ donor. It gives the hospital a few million dollars of incentive to prematurely pul the plug. You are worth more dead to them than alive. A Texas father pulled a gun on hospital staff as they wanted to pull the plug on his 20 year old son. He ended up surviving. Every year the FBI busts a couple funeral homes for selling the organs and tissues of clients on the red market. Unbelievable, but at this point- what do you expect?
More here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wk4_GE4TkyY

Happy Memorial Day! - BrotherMaynard

2:14 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy...
Fish are jumpin’
And the cotton is high.

As are some beachgoers. Intoxicated, that is. Or so say the worthies of the Wildwood, NJ police force, one of whom can be seen on a YouTube video adminstering a beach beatdown on a young lady accused of underage drinking and resisting arrest.

http://www.nj.com/cape-may-county/index.ssf/2018/05/video_police_punching_woman_sparks_investigation.html

Don’t forget the sunscreen. And always cooperate with local law enforcement.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Adam said...

https://youtu.be/1jFL1Caqc8E
I'm procrastinating @ my lab, but this is a hoot, Jordan Peterson analysing the Lion King. It's like a word salad bullshit generator. And hilarious for it.

Adam

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Olivier said...

By consistently misreading the present, complacent liberals have pushed us into a new authoritarian era.

Is the overall trend of modern history towards democracy and liberal values?

John Gray thinks not.
https://www.newstatesman.com/world/2018/05/how-we-entered-age-strongman

7:03 PM  
Blogger Mohamed ali said...

What do u think of trump leaving the Iran nuclear deal?

7:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mo-

What I think is that Iran ought to ram a nuclear missile up Hillary's rump:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/business/technology/hillary-clinton-would-gladly-run-facebook-if-she-could/2018/05/25/3a03fcd4-6056-11e8-b656-236c6214ef01_video.html?utm_term=.17838404f663

mb

10:06 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Police Pummeling!!

Police officers disciplined after video released of woman being punched repeatedly

https://abcn.ws/2sivF3P

10:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Good pummeling! But why weren't the officers given promotions and decorations? I don't get it. Also, maybe they could be dispatched to Long Island, punch Hillary up a bit before she takes the helm of Facebook. (This might help to loosen the Botox.)

mb

10:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

What better evidence than this, of a civilization in decline?:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/28/opinion/fear-mistrust-in-public-space.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=Moth-Visible&moduleDetail=inside-nyt-region-4&module=inside-nyt-region&region=inside-nyt-region&WT.nav=inside-nyt-region

mb

11:49 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Brother--I'm doubtful there will be another American civil war for the same reason I'm doubtful regarding Hedges's great leftist uprising, namely how are you going to get the vast majority of fat, dumb, consumer goods-saturated American douchebags to look up from their iCrap long enough to participate? Young professional class adults have been so coddled by their helicopter parents that they keep on screaming for their mommies even after they've graduated college, while working class young adults are so strung out on opiates and methamphetamine that even the war criminals who run our military don't want them. We live in an era in which pussy hat protesters take cell phone pictures of neatly filled outdoor garbage bins, proud of the fact that they are too chickenshit to even risk a ticket for littering. Besides, we don't have to wait 15 years or even 5 years--the war is already going on, except that its taking the form of individual shooters trying top each other with higher body counts in the schools, shopping malls and even country music concerts.

Meanwhile, it just topped 100 degrees in Minneapolis earlier than it ever has in recorded history, and here in the DC area the old historic town of Ellicott City, MD just experienced its second catastrophic 1,000 year flood in just 2 years as we scramble to burn every last carbon atom we can get our grubby little hands on that will keep our luxury cars, oversized pickup trucks and massive SUVs going for one more fucking day. To paraphrase Lee Greenwood: "God Damn the USA"

2:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kevin-

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

Dio-

Cdn't run it (24-hr rule). Also, pls send messages to latest post; no one reads the older stuff.

In general, I have to remind everyone to observe these rules. I seem to be rejecting posts on the basis of them a little too often. Thank you.

Bill-

Check out Mark Ames, "Going Postal."

mb

5:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Turkey out for the day:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/rudy-giuliani-booed-at-yankee-game-today-2018-05-28/

No one urinated on his shoes, sad to say.

5:28 AM  
Anonymous Will Davies said...

“Humans will have to leave the Earth and the planet will become just a "residential" zone, according to Amazon boss Jeff Bezos.”


I WONDER WHO THE 'LANDLORD' WOULD BE?

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Dr. Berman,

That article about the decline of trust in public space reminds of what you said about the difference between violence in America and violence in Mexico. In Mexico most violence is related to the criminal underworld and is concentrated in a few regions of the country. In America violence permeates the entire culture. You can get shot anywhere by people who have no real reason to kill you other than some twisted desire for fame and revenge against everyone and everything.

I sometimes get into arguments with anti-declinists who argue that the drop in violence since the 1990s is a sign that things are getting better. I usually respond that even if they are right on the statistics the nature of the violence is now much different and is a qualitative shift of major importance. Before if you wanted to avoid extreme violence you could do so by staying out of certain areas dominated by street gangs and staying out of the criminal underworld. Now you can get shot going to church or school by middle-class teenagers. That is a big difference in my opinion and represents something very sinister at work.

8:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

Even beyond that, Americans relate to each other aggressively on a daily basis. Conflict, competition, and rudeness are the norm, so much so that Americans aren't aware of it and think that their way of life is everybody's way of life. Mexico is no paradise, of course, but what does permeate the culture socially is courtesy, graciousness. You leave a restaurant, you say 'buon provecho' to people still eating. You leave an elevator, you say 'con permiso' to people still there. The language uses a lot of conditional and subjunctive, as well. These things are hardly trivial; they add up. The feeling down here is that we are all in this (life) together. The feeling up north is, every man for himself. These sorts of things cannot be measured in stats, but I know both countries very well, and the diff is night and day. I'll move back to the US when pigs fly over the White House in V-geese formation.

Will-

The problem is that if it's Americans who go there-wherever 'there' is--they'll trash that place as well. It's what vulgar, aggressive, narcissistic douche bags do.

mb

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Ramsey said...

Tom & Morris

Theory: in an increasingly atomized America, politics has become a substitute for gossiping about people you know. Discuss, WAFers.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Bill Hicks and Mike R., thanks for responding to my Friendship question. And, of course, thank you doctor for your distinctions. Mike R., I actually was invited to a house for dinner and was served tap water as the beverage. I could not stop belching for hours afterwards. Who serves tap water?! At least bottled water, right?
Did you happen to see Hair's Memorial Day message where he boasted of his accomplishments? I propose for next year he say something like:"Let's give thanks to all those who gave their lives for this country and don't forget to take advantage of all the Memorial Day half price sales." I think that would be a more fitting tribute. Hey, after 9-11 W urged Americans to shop and during the 1960's riots, James Brown urged rioters to go home and watch TV; anything to steer the mind from American rot.

9:26 AM  
Blogger farbror Frej said...

There är more and more people out there with suspiciously Morris Bergman-like diagnoses of the state of the country:

How America Got Divorced from Reality: Christian Utopias, Anti-Elitism, Media Circus | Kurt Andersen:

The author explains: https://youtu.be/XirnEfkdQJM


9:34 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

farbror-

Who is Morris Bergman?

Dan-

Didn't Brown say, "I feel good"?

Ramsey-

Possibly; but since everyone you know in America is a moron and a douche bag, probably including oneself, it may be more fun just to gossip abt them.

mb

9:47 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

A note about comments made in the previous post: As I’ve said before, I question everything and tend to focus on the anomalies rather than accepted truth, and science especially seems to be riddled with accepted truths. In a way it’s a religion – Scientism. So I think that while many theories may be correct at one level, they can fall apart at others. As Rupert Sheldrake said about the Big Bang Theory, “give us one free miracle and we’ll explain the rest.”

When I was young I was fascinated by the theory of evolution. But then, as I got older and read more widely, I began to have more questions than answers. Take, for example, the eye, any eye: human, insect, bird, whatever. An eye only operates with all the parts put together and a brain that interprets and then projects the incoming data into form “out there,” so the idea that the eye could have developed gradually isn’t likely. On top of that, why would any life form develop an eye if it were blind and therefore unaware of light? How would it even “know” that something was out there that it could detect?

I realize I’m being simplistic here (I’m a simple person!), but I hope you catch my drift.


10:01 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sar-

Science isn't the same thing as scientism. As for the eye, it was certainly a difficulty for Darwin, but Neo-Darwinism, including things such as punctuated equilibrium, doesn't have a problem with it. Long discussion, obviously, but yes, I do think yr being simplistic. Other Wafers probably know more abt this than I do, however.

mb

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Shamisen said...

https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2018/poetry-of-nature

Currently showing at the Met

“The Poetry of Nature” offers an in-depth look at more than 40 extraordinary Japanese paintings that represent every major school and movement of the Edo period, including Kano, Rinpa, Nanga, Zen, Maruyama-Shijo, and Ukiyo-e.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/school-kids-kick-6-year-old-crotch-bled-mom-article-1.4004582

12:24 PM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Hello everyone,

In the meantime, in case you missed it, Hillary would like to run FB. Any surprise?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2018/05/25/hillary-clinton-as-ceo-facebook-would-be-her-first-choice/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.3fe0459e9103

Prasen

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Good one by Umair today:

https://eand.co/the-breaking-of-the-american-mind-234c174734e1

"... we have been equivocating and rationalizing very real problems, issues, and challenges away, just like fools do. Until, at last, the American mind broke. Unable to call things what they are. To place things where they belong. To separate right from wrong and good from bad and real from unreal. And a mind like that cannot think."

2:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

Cdn't post it (a bit too long).

Bull-

Basically, America has turned into a horror show. These are the end of days. This is what hell, and collapse, looks like. Take my word for it: it can only get worse.

mb

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Dr. Berman,

Over this past weekend, I've experienced the full range of emotions from not living authentically, valuing form over content, and allowing my desire to take over. I finally met a person that I've only known virtually. It's such a telling experience that when we finally met in person, I felt no genuine attraction or chemistry at all. I allowed this person to become a fantasy in my mind. The "not having" made it even more intense. It was all a mirage. Your book "Spinning Straw into Gold" really saved my sanity and I have to thank you for it. I needed to go through this rock bottom experience in order to fully wake up to reality.

Virtual reality isn't reality. We are drawn to people by being in their presence, not from online pictures or messages. Someone may indeed be very physically attractive, but it's our body signals and chemistry that really draws us in. You simply can't experience that online or on some dating app. But I have no regrets for meeting this person. I needed to fully wake up and I thank you for your valuable insight.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mil-

Glad I cd be of help. Also check out CTOS: knowledge is first and foremost a somatic experience, and the spread of virtual technologies, which ignore this, can only make our society sicker and sicker (i.e., disconnected from reality). Also check out vol. 1 of Proust, where he dips the madeleine in tea (around p. 60). This is reality.

Anyway, put this post-it on yr bathrm mirror, and read it every morning:

THIS COUNTRY HAS ITS HEAD WEDGED IN SHIT

A true wake-up call, indeed.

mb

3:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

So Roseanne committed career suicide w/a racist tweet. What a moron, shooting herself in the foot like that. Much better would have been: "Obama is a turkey, and the worst president since Millard Fillmore." This wd have garnered her the Presidential Medal of Honor. Plus, it has the singular advantage of being true.

mb

5:07 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

About genetic drift: as I understand it, it's basically doubling down on randomness as a scientific explanation. Not only mutations are random, but the result is arbitrary, not producing fitter individuals, as natural selection would. I don't accept randomness as a concept able to explain the world, only as a mathematical convenience given certain assumptions. Long discussion so, for brevity, I'll shamelessly resort to the authority argument and invoke the names of Newton, Spinoza, Jung and Einstein to keep me company here.

By the way, check out the site of University of Berkeley about evolution. Don't get me wrong; a lot of it is quite educative and informative, but you have to watch out for what is left unsaid. For example, the suggested mechanisms for gene count increase are highly speculative, but they're thrown happily together with observations made from fossil records without mentioning the fundamental difference. Or this little gem here:

Life on Earth has been accumulating mutations and passing them through the filter of natural selection for 3.8 billion years — more than enough time for evolutionary processes to produce its grand history.

Interesting, a numerical conclusion! How was it arrived at? Any hint at what calculations were made? No. Borrowing technical jargon from the academic paper writing community, they pulled it out of their arses! But if you know anything about the history of science, it is not uncommon that those pesky little things that don't quite fit are the ones that end up unraveling a theory and giving way to a completely new one.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Zar-

Creationists to the contrary, evolution is well-established as a fact, not just a theory. But the theoretical part, the disputed territory, as it were, is whether the mechanism is natural selection, or something else, or n.s. combined with/modified by something else. So I agree, that the sentence you cite from Berkeley is on the order of faith.

That being said, there is a ton of stuff in the Neo-Darwinist camp, such as punctuated equilibrium, that is a lot more sophisticated than the gradualist theory of the 19C (James Hutton, uniformitarianism; and of course Charles Lyell). But I'm no expert, and beyond S.J. Gould's stuff (which I read ages ago), I can't give you any refs. But I suspect your dismissal of evolutionary theory might be a bit too facile. Maybe biologist Wafers out there can help me out.

mb

6:27 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

@BillHicks - a good point and well taken. In many ways the random violence of everyday American society is already civil war 'light'; I do think it can (and will) get worse. I can see a point where the police/courts are overwhelmed by violence and can't keep order. So far, we have the resources to 'deal with' the aftermath a mass shooting. What if they happen multiple times a day in multiple cities every day? We basically turn into Afghanistan or Yemen at that point: no civil society, no sense of community or the common good. Psychologically, I think, we are already there.


I think L. Ron Hubbard had it right: the best business to be in in this country is the religion business:
https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Televangelist-wants-his-followers-to-pay-for-a-12951199.php
Perhaps we should start Wafer Ministries International? I want to get the hell out...

BrotherMaynard

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Rocco said...

Hospital launches rehab clinic to treat cryptocurrency addiction - MarketWatch
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/hospital-launches-rehab-clinic-to-treat-cryptocurrency-addiction-2018-05-29
strange days

If it has such a gambling effect, is this really the monetary medium suited for positive economics

7:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bro-

This is a gd idea. Here is our theme song:

When I die and they lay me to rest
Gonna go to the deli that's the best
When I lay me down to die
Goin' up to the deli in the sky
Goin' up to the deli in the sky
That's where I'm gonna go when I die
When I die and they put pastrami on my chest
Gonna go to the deli that's the best

Prepare yourself you know it's a must
Gotta have a friend in Morris
So you know that when you die
He's gonna recommend you
To the deli in the sky
Gonna recommend you
To the deli in the sky
That's where you're gonna go when you die
When you die and they put pastrami on your chest
You're gonna go to the deli that's the best.

mb

7:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Rocco-

Yeah, it's kind of odd, altho part of the program of Dual Process is the development of alternative forms of currency. I discuss this in the final essay of AWTY, and also in the Japan bk. The process is alive and well in various parts of the world. As a movement, I predict it will grow.

Of course, as far as the US is concerned, we need rehab clinics to get people unhooked from buffoonery and moronism--a tall order. Wafers cd fan out across the country with crowbars and buckets of K-Y jelly, to extract American heads from American asses. Anti-Douche Bag Clinics (ADBC's) would administer Haldol in an IV drip, ECT, stelazine, thorazine, and perhaps just ordinary beatings, to see if cranial excrement might be dislodged. Trillions of dollars need to be invested in this effort, imo, altho atho the odds of success are small, given the population we are dealing with. After treatment, inmates would be sent to therapy camps in Northern Cal for 5 yrs, plus be required to study history for 5 more. By then, however, the US will have collapsed, so I suppose it's all moot. But these poor shmucks might assist Chinese historians picking thru our libraries to discover why America failed, by pointing out my bks, and correcting their pronunciation of Berman.

O that I might live to see the day!

mb

7:51 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Confusing you and Bergman isn't that hard to understand, Sr. Belman. After all, reading your name causes titles such as "Summer With Matzoh," "Through a Borscht Darkly,""The Serpent's Egg Salad," and "The Seventh Salami" to spring to mind.

How about that Roseanne? A few days ago I was praising her as an ironic Trumpian, and then she does this? I don't know anything about her other than what's on her TV show, but I thought that because her character had a black grand-daughter, defended Muslims against racists, and portrayed the plight of the working classes that she was more civilised than that twiit suggests.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al-

7th Salami; yeah, that was one of my best, altho I think "Wild Chopped Liver" was probably my finest hr.

mb

8:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

I shd give a rat's ass dept.:

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/05/29/politics/where-is-melania-trump/index.html

8:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

I realize that some of you have been wondering why I wd like to vomit on Meghan Markle's head. Clearly, I owe you an explanation.

Meghan proudly announced she was a feminist. The wedding ceremony would follow her protocol, blah blah. This is a gd example of the phoniness of identity politics. She participates in a ceremony costing millions, when across the country many Brits are on the verge of starvation. So is feminism some type of humanism, for her? What wd have been an act of courage, is not this announcement of a label, which doesn't mean shit, but insisting that the wedding be held at the Justice of the Peace's office, and the $ that was put aside for this obscene ceremony go to feed the hungry and the poor. But that wd take real guts, not pseudo-guts. I'll be in London in October, visiting friends, and if I shd run into Meghan on the street, I will toss my recently consumed steak-and-kidney pie upon her, and do it with great enthusiasm. What a douche baguette.

mb

9:38 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Stormy Daniels, Jenna Jameson, and Ron Jeremy should be ARRESTED for ALL the school shooting deaths over the last 20 years!!!!
They have blood on their Genitals!!!!

Congresswoman says pornography is a root cause of school shootings

https://usat.ly/2xot3r4

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Many americans stayed up all night, and into the next day to watch that Brit shit (wedding).

They thk it's "awesome" and "great" b/c they can see the different clothing lines, make-up, jewelry, etc..she will wear which will drum up business for both countries in terms of sales of the aforementioned, sell gossip mags obsessing over the smell of her flatulence.

As at an event this weekend; americans were obsessing over and over about her dress, cake flavor, the black preacher, the songs, the expressions of the queen, her brand of deodorant, etc.... They couldn't NOT stop talking about this--the folks at the table all had american BAs to MDs/PhDs. Of course, the americans did not talk about--no real health care, employment at will, job insecurity, no pensions/retirement, imperialism b/c that's "negative."

As this expensive dog and pony show occurred-- millions of British (~6-8million) have food insecurity and lack access to quality, real jobs.

Thank you Dr. Berman for bringing up that fact.



11:30 PM  
Blogger Allyn F said...

Re mistrust in public spaces and the qualitative difference of violence now vs decades ago, how about the prevalence of menacing dogs, often used to bolster one’s street cred? To me walking a pit bull on a leash is like brandishing a loaded gun, meant to intimidate. Americans love them; the shelters here are over 60% pit bulls. Maybe the police should team up with the Humane Society and offer a free confiscated firearm with every adoption.
Www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics-fatalities-2018.php

11:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Allyn-

I'm quite sure the day will come when the police will let German shepherds loose on American mobs demanding food. The dogs were used in Iraq; now, let's bring them home!

Mike-

I hafta keep saying it: regardless of IQ, or college degrees, Americans are just plain stupid. Callous as well. And then they wonder why the country is going to hell in a handbasket.

mb

11:47 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@Millenial

In the days before American postmodern digital life, everything in civilized society was based on a distinction between appearance and reality. Ever since Plato described the allegory of the cave, we've argued about how we should distibugish between essentials and epiphenomena, with some form of spiritual/intellective distance from the raw stimuli usually being prescribed.

Until now, when we are so flooded with BS we basically live in Plato's cave.

https://thenewantique.blog/2018/05/07/shadows-upon-shadows-light-over-light-bots-trolls-and-platos-enduring-allegory/

Meghan went to Northwestern University, so she clearly is fine with glaring life contradictions. Another elite liberal institution that has grown side by side with a ghetto.

12:19 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

There's an interesting book by Thomas Nagel called "Mind and Cosmos: Why the Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False." Nagel is an atheist, so he is not an advocate of Intelligent Design, though he does recommend the books of Stephen Meyer ("Signature in the Cell" and "Darwin's Doubt") as raising valid points of criticism of the Darwinist Paradigm. Meyer is pretty impressive, whatever one thinks of I.D., and his books are worth reading. I also enjoyed David Berlinski's "The Devil's Delusion".


At any rate, "Evolution" can mean different things, in particular 1) Change over time 2) Common Descent; 3) The belief that the Selection/Mutation mechanism can adequately account for all the world's biodiversity. I personally believe in #1, and am fairly convinced of #2, though I think #3 is more open to question than people like Dawkins are wont to admit. The fact that the likelihood of even getting even a simple functional protein of 100 amino acids in length, is something like 1 chance out of 10 to the 168th power (The chance of finding one marked particle out of all the particles in the universe), is a definite stumbling block to any purely naturalistic explanation. I'm certainly no creationist, but I'm with Nagel in thinking that something is missing from our current paradigm!

5:42 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Allyn--I noticed this tidbit regarding the dog that killed the 3-year-old girl: "The dog -- an unneutered pit bull, named Remington..." The idiot parents might just as well have left a loaded Remington pistol under the girl's pillow.

@al-Q--I dunno, I have a hard time getting to worked up about Roseanne saying mean things about a piece of shit who worked as a close adviser to a war criminal. It's not like she aimed a predator drone at Jarrett's house and killed her whole family or anything. I saw an update to the Roseanne story which said they've gone so far as to stop broadcasting reruns of her original show, which is the same thing they did to The Cosby Show. So now liberal twits apparently believe that telling a racist joke is the equivalent of raping dozens of women.

There's nothing more American than when hustling and religion intersect: “[Jesus] Wouldn’t Be Riding A Donkey”: Televangelist Calls On Followers To Buy Him A Fourth Private Jet For $54 Million. Apparently, the problem with his other three jets is that they require "frequent fueling stops." He also defended his use of private jets by saying that commercial planes "are full of a bunch of demons." Where's the gremlin from that Twilight Zone episode when you really need him?

8:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

Yr rt, but it was ugly language, nevertheless; and so unnecessary. If she was upset abt the war criminal issue, that wd have been the thing to focus on. (War criminals come in all colors, after all.)

mb

9:47 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

As I understand it, transitional species are not found in the fossil record. The Cambrian Explosion, which took place over 500 million years ago, refers to the sudden appearance of complex animals in the fossil record. There have also been at least five catastrophic mass extinctions. After each extinction life rather quickly proliferates again in different forms that are adapted to the new environment. IOW, initially life forms suddenly appear and then, after each mass extinction, change rapidly occurs and new species appear, not evolve.

In the 70s Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge developed the theory of Punctuated Equilibrium to explain this phenomenon. PE isn’t gradual and if evolution means, as the name implies, slow, incremental change, then is it really part of Darwinian Evolution? So while there’s no question that natural selection occurs within species, I agree with Megan that something’s missing from our current paradigm.

I’m so proud: the U.S. is leading the 6th Great Extinction – MAGA-MAGA-MAGA!!!

P.S. Obviously Jesse Duplantis is the culmination of evolution. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Aaron Thomas said...

Bill, I don't think it's so much religion as it is the modern world sucking up everything, whether it's resources, languages, cultures, alternative ways of thinking, etc. It seems nothing can resist the modern technological world completely. There may be pockets of resistance, but any real alternative is hidden away for now, waiting for a day when the modern world falls away so something else can follow.

I don't know the details of evolution, and I really don't care. For me the key point is more important and it's something a lot of people skim over: what's the story we tell ourselves and what's the purpose? For me, science doesn't take any one side. Science is valid no matter what. Knowledge can be used for any purpose, it only explains how something works, not whether or not we should do it.

You can't just tell people to start believing something else is more important. These things take time. I'm just sitting and waiting, there's not much I can do to change anything. MB has the right idea to just get out, there's nothing you can do here (the US). If you know the modern way of living isn't right, the best you can do is get as far away from NYC/London as possible. As much as cities are interesting and have the best ideas, right now it's pretty well rotten to the core with stupid thinking.

I believe any real alternative will have to include religion. I'm convinced that any other system would just appeal to our base level instincts of minimizing pain and maximizing happiness, and these two goals in themselves will always lead us back to a bad place.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Megan

I think Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature has the possibility of being true. I think the answer is time and Murphy's law. Let us imagine that time is not just billions, trillions, or quadrillions of years but in the number of a Googoolplex or beyond to Graham's number. Now, Murphy's law says anything that can go wrong can and will eventually go wrong. What if we apply that concept to itself. Anything that can not go wrong will eventually not go wrong. Not wrong could mean being right, neither right or wrong or a combo of both depending upon how right and wrong are defined. A corollary of this is anything that is possible to happen can and will happen and the longer time passes the more likely it is the event will happen. Imagine existence is trillions upon trillions of Graham's numbers long. It could be possible all this has happened before and it might be possible that in previous instances Dr B got his fond wish to make love to Sarah Palin on an Ice Flotilla while having plenty of Pastrami on Rye with Cel Rey Tonic.

And Dr. B The Suez moment has happened. Kim Kardashian is Trump's advisor.

12:30 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Kim Kardashian headed to the WH to discuss prison reform. Wafers are w/u 110%, Kim:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/30/politics/kim-kardashian-jared-kushner-white-house/index.html

Whopper dept.:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/A-coupon-conundrum-at-a-Largo-Burger-King-landed-him-in-jail_168568838


Miles

12:51 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

#MeToo moment for Trump? Bill Maher has been calling Ttump's dad an orangutan for years (I get the difference of using this epithet on an African American) Maher even got sued by Hair Trump.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cube-

There is a Seinfeld episode where George is shtupping some girl while eating a pastrami sandwich. She doesn't take to it, altho he later hooks up w/a gal who appreciates "the erotic properties of smoked meats." Anyway, I'm hoping that when I was shtupping Sarah, Ed Meese was there. But in general, your post contains too much Cantor, and not enuf Canter's.

Kim is not what I had in mind re: Suez moment, which hasta involve the world publicly agreeing that the nation in question is no longer #1. But I do wonder how her buttocks will figure in to her advisory capacity, and whether Jared is planning to explore them to any extent. Maybe he'll give us a "report from the rear."

mb

4:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle to be part of this discussion.

Note to Ramsey-

Congratulations! You just joined the ranks of the trollfoons. What a sad little boy you are, chico (you know this is true). You don't have the brains or the courage to be a Wafer (which you wd desperately like to be), so you just do a stupid hit-and-run, thinking yr chic and clever (vey iz mir!). No cojones, no testicles: a coward! This is what you'll be on yr deathbed as well (you know you won't change, and will basically just throw yr life away).

I tell this to all assholes such as yrself: if you reply to this, it'll never reach me. I'll see yr name, and I'll delete w/o rdg it. Of course, it won't stop you, because yr not very bright (you know this is true), and since yr a sad little boy, you'll keep knocking at the door. Of course you will. They all do, even knowing their pathetic posts won't get read, because it's somehow cathartic for them, and because, like you, they have nothing better to do with their time. What a dumb bunny you are.

Homework assignment for you: every morning, go to your bathrm mirror and look into your eyes. Scary, isn't it? There's nothing there! Godspeed, you little dipshit.

mb

5:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Speaking of cojones, these people are the real deal:

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/05/30/decrying-defaulted-loans-deadbeat-corporations-one-million-indian-bank-workers-hold?utm_term=Decrying%20Defaulted%20Loans%20of%20Deadbeat%20Corporations%2C%20One%20Million%20Indian%20Bank%20Workers%20Hold%2048-Hour%20Strike&utm_campaign=News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20KeepFamiliesTogether%20Rallies%20Will%20Demand%20End%20to%20Trump%20Abuse%20of%20Immigrant%20Children&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20KeepFamiliesTogether%20Rallies%20Will%20Demand%20End%20to%20Trump%20Abuse%20of%20Immigrant%20Children-_-Decrying%20Defaulted%20Loans%20of%20Deadbeat%20Corporations%2C%20One%20Million%20Indian%20Bank%20Workers%20Hold%2048-Hour%20Strike

I don't see a single pussy hat in the crowd.

mb

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Zarathustra said...

I don't want to try Wafers' patience, so I promise this will be my last post about evolution before going back to the life and miracles of Trumpolini (way more entertaining).

Which evolution? Sam Harris's? Hmm. I don't want to end up calling for preemptive nuclear strikes on Muslim nations. Or Teilhard de Chardin's? An evolution somehow "guided" by God? I'm not Christian, so I don't care that much.

Darwinism can be "wrong," as in incomplete, without being useless. Classical electromagnetism is "wrong" (that's why quantum mechanics was developed) but Maxwell's equations are still widely applicable. They simply don't explain the physical universe entirely. Likewise, I agree a complete dismissal of Darwinism would be misguided, but Darwinism does not explain life in its entirety. There has to be something else.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

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

mb

6:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

A sad/funny description of the American left:

http://www.unz.com/article/antifa-or-antiwar-leftist-exclusionism-against-the-quest-for-peace/

It reminds me of the story of the centipede who cdn't move because he insisted on thinking about how to move each of his legs, b4 he moved them.

mb

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Rose said...

Zara - Harris never condoned preemptively striking. That is taken out of context. I do think he used to characterize Muslims into too few category, something Majiid Nawaz corrected in him thru their collaborating.

And Chardin has some very interesting points! Was a huge influence on Marshall Mcluhan's thought!

MB: Am I missing a moment between you and Ramsey? He/she seemed to be making a critical point about our citizens, something we encourage here, and we're condemning her? Or was there more to this on previous blog posts. I appreciated his/her original(?) point about political gossip replacing interpersonal gossip. But thats just me.

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

From "The New Yorker," the RFK funeral train, 50 years later-

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/photo-booth/robert-f-kennedys-funeral-train-fifty-years-later

Haunting images of people along the tracks between New York and DC, June, 1968...

7:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Rose-

Yes, you are. I wasn't referring to his earlier post, which was polite, but to one he just sent in ridiculing the blog, which I therefore deleted. If he (or anyone) wants to make some critical pt, fine; but ridicule and personal attacks are not acceptable here. This is a serious discussion group; there's no reason Wafers shd put up with that sort of thing. Once someone chooses to do that, they're off the blog for good. (He may have been annoyed that no one took him up on his original question, but hey, that's show biz.)

mb

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Another fine example of the disintegration of Civil Society.

https://freeprivatecities.com

Apparently modeled after Singapore. A place for the rich to be surrounded only by the rich.

10:52 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

“What we are doing is probably mad, and probably it is good and necessary all the same. It is not a good thing when man overstrains his reason and tries to reduce to rational order matters that are not susceptible of rational treatment. Then there arise ideals such as those of the Americans or the Bolsheviks. Both are extraordinarily rational, and both lead to a frightful oppression and impoverishment of life, because they simplify it so crudely. The likeness of man, once a High ideal, is in process of becoming a machine-made article. It is for Madmen like us to ennoble it again.”

Harry Haller (STEPPENWOLF, 1929)

11:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Around the same time Freud wrote: "America is a mistake, a giant mistake." Or maybe he said 'gigantic'. As for Madmen, Hesse was talking abt Wafers.

mb

12:13 AM  
Blogger Mark Samuels said...

Just briefly, genetic drift relates to changes in gene allele frequencies in populations over long time periods, in the absence of strong selective pressures. The insight when the idea was developed is that population genetics can and does change even when no selection is happening. This process in no way contradicts the concept of evolution by random variation and selection, it simply adds to it. There are often disagreements about whether selection or drift is the major factor in a particular historical population being studied, but that is just because we can’t control all the variables outside the laboratory. We can identify changes in populations with lots of DNA sequencing, but inferring mechanisms is difficult. (I am a human gentics researcher.)

3:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mark-

Thank you. As for yr other 2 posts: the rule here is 1 post every 24 hrs, max. So you might wanna send the other 2 over the next 2 days.

In general, however, I think we need to evolve past evolution in our discussion here. This blog is about the collapse of the American empire, for the most part. I guess that might come under the heading of devolution (into barbarism, among other things).

mb

4:49 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

“Deaths of despair” caused by suicide, alcohol and drug use continue to rise in the United States.

https://psmag.com/economics/deaths-of-despair-still-rising

Thomas Frank with an interesting article defending populism.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/may/23/thomas-frank-trump-populism-books

I am not as sanguine as Frank is about the ability of left-wing populism to save America but it is nice to see a corrective to the usual bashing of populism as merely the province of dumb racists. I appreciate anything that counters the narrative pushed by comfortable, smug liberals.

5:28 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

This is far more important than Evolution to Americans:
http://www.newser.com/story/259876/mcdonalds-sued-for-5m-over-2-slices-of-cheese.html

5:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

Wdn't it be great if the American public consisted of well-meaning and well-informed people, instead of a large collection of jokes?

Tom-

On that note, check out Essay #15 in AWTY.

mb

5:54 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

One unfortunate outgrowth with regard to Israel is how it destroyed Jewish humor or the ability to laugh at oneself. For example, one of my Facebook interlocutors told me "a friend took me into Gaza." I responded, "I don't believe you." He said, "Are you calling me a liar?" I said, "Yes, I don't believe you have a friend." He didn't see the joke and just responded, as usual, how Gaza is responsible for their own condition. It's so hard for me to listen to right wing Jews. It's so counter to how I grew up. I can't understand how Jews can relish in the suffering of others as I grew up in a liberal household. I remember watching Selma on TV as a child and said to my father that the blacks should go home so they won't get hit. My father severely chastised me for saying that and told me they are fighting for their rights. And just yesterday, my 93 year old mother said all football players should come out and take a knee to show their outrage with regard to police shootings. I had to read a Counterpunch article to get that idea but my mother naturally said that. So sad that her Yiddish generation is dying off and all we are left with are right wing Jews who again seem to take almost a sexual delight in seeing Palestinians suffer.

8:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

Blumenthal's film, "Killing Gaza," has a scene in which Israeli teenagers are saying to Palestinians, "Bye! Bye! Die!" I immediately thought of a scene in "Schindler's List," where the cattle cars are hurtling across Poland to Auschwitz, and a Polish teenager, watching this, makes a sign of getting knifed across the neck, and keeps repeating, "Bye, Jews!"

A Roman centurion asked Hillel to summarize the Torah for him in the time that he could balance himself on one foot (al regel echad). "That which is hateful to you," said Hillel, "don't do to other people." I guess we have come a long way from the 1st century BC; or at least, Israelis have. They certainly don't have any purchase on morality.

mb

8:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cube-

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

mb

11:23 AM  
Blogger Allyn F said...

Makers of ‘Sesame Street’ Sue to Get Raunchy Puppet Movie to Change Its Advertising
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/26/movies/sesame-street-suit-puppet-movie.html

Jim Henson’s progeny made a show featuring drug using, prostituting puppets.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I can't offer any insight (what's new?) on the story about the RFK funeral train posted by Birney Zouave, but for some odd reason that is one of my strongest childhood memories. I was seven at the time, the day was overcast and kind of cool, and the train was on TV what seemed like all day. I remember watching the broadcast for a while, then going to a ballpark to watch some older boys play ball, then I came home, and the train was still on TV.

I've always wondered why the CBC showed that, and for so long.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous cos said...

That things are bad in the U.S.& that an abundance of lunatics inhabit the land is beyond dispute. I do wonder if things per se are "worse". Back w 3 networks dominated w a 20 minute newscast and w local newspapers, radio flush w ad dollars the "news" had a much different cast. Now a cocophany of readily available "news" competes for clicks and more than ever if it bleeds it leads....One wonders where a golden age for the U.S. occurred. In truth it has likely always been a tough and rough place populated by dolts. Was there great literature, science in thought in the past? Sure and there is progress in these fields today? Sure. But by and large all things american have always been a scam or racket. I recall 1st comming to U.S. in 1960's w my father was accepted to grad school in baltimore. That place at the time seemed like the end of the world w a few islands of charm. Then new york in 1972--awful and in many ways better today. Perhaps what has fundamentally changed is perception and discovery of the potemkin village that has always been the U.S. Is trump worse than LBJ or Warren Harding?

12:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Portrait of America: "99 Homes".

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

I saw 99 Homes and it was chilling -- i recommend it to everyone b/c those days are going to be back. Until I saw this I had no idea how quickly and brutally people were thrown out of their homes. How will the banks treat the millions who have student loans and default? The debt is now 1.5 trillion -- with a t. How soon before some form of debt peonage is instituted?

I never watched Rosanne even her earlier sitcom b/c I didn't like her. Nor do I like Samantha Bee who should also be fired. Here's a link to her delightful comments. I'm not a fan of the Trump clan but this is disgusting.

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2018/may/31/samantha-bee-ivanka-trump-late-night-tv

While there's always a race to the bottom for the defining characteristic of a culture's demise, surely foul language spouted by a loud-mouth "celebrity" could be one of the markers. Watch any interviews and lots of words are bleeped out, sometimes to the point where its hard to figure out what they could possibly be saying. Hilarious but also sad. Attacking others rather than making a point in an articulate, reasonable manner is viewed as perfectly okay.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB: In the wake of the Roseanne idiocy, now we have liberal douchebagette and worst ever former Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee calling the president's daughter a feckless c--t, which is an ugly and horribly misogynist thing to say at the very least. However, because of who the comment was aimed at I also just can't get that worked about it. I'm not a fan of either Barr or Bee and no doubt what each of them said was idiotic and irresponsible. I don't care one whit whether they lose their shows, though if Bee skates that will be a bit of a double standard. Here again the media is hyping up the stories in order to distract their drooling audience from the very real crises building up in America. A pox on both their houses.

Wafers--I don't know how many of you have read Kurt Vonneget's chilling 1961 dystopian short story "Harrison Bergeron," about a future America in which everyone's "equality" is mandated by law. The narrator, Bergeron's father, has to wear headphones that randomly blast loud noises in his ears to destroy his concentration so he'll be "equal" to his dimwitted wife. It seems the role of the MSM in America these days is to be those headphones, blasting superficial stories at top volume every few days to destroy even the smart people's ability to think, thus preventing any kind of real opposition to the system from forming--not that it likely would anyway.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

Is the media hyping and distracting, or do they themselves think this stuff is important? They are Americans, after all, and that means--not very bright. Rather than conspiracy, I suspect just plain ol' stupidity. Same is probably true of Russiagate.

Meanwhile:

A turkey pardons an asshole:

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/05/31/trump-announces-full-pardon-openly-racist-right-wing-propagandist-dinesh-dsouza?utm_term=Trump%20Announces%20Full%20Pardon%20for%20%27Openly%20Racist%27%20Right-Wing%20Propagandist%20Dinesh%20D%27Souza&utm_campaign=News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20%27This%20Is%20a%20Democracy%2C%20Not%20a%20Dictatorship%27&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20%27This%20Is%20a%20Democracy%2C%20Not%20a%20Dictatorship%27-_-Trump%20Announces%20Full%20Pardon%20for%20%27Openly%20Racist%27%20Right-Wing%20Propagandist%20Dinesh%20D%27Souza

But this is good news (what a disgrace that Burns documentary was; cf. the movie, “The Post”):

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/05/31/veterans-group-says-no-emmy-pbs-vietnam-war-series?utm_term=Veterans%5Cu2019%20Group%20Says%20%5Cu201CNo%5Cu201D%20to%20Emmy%20for%20PBS%20Vietnam%20War%20Series&utm_campaign=News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20%27This%20Is%20a%20Democracy%2C%20Not%20a%20Dictatorship%27&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20%27This%20Is%20a%20Democracy%2C%20Not%20a%20Dictatorship%27-_-Veterans%5Cu2019%20Group%20Says%20%5Cu201CNo%5Cu201D%20to%20Emmy%20for%20PBS%20Vietnam%20War%20Series

mb

5:59 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Bill, MB, Wafers-

Speaking of *dimwitted*, here's an episode of my pathetic life in the US. I was recently invited to a high school graduation party. As the party progressed, I struck up a conversation w/a woman (a fortyish high school english teacher) who seemed to want to get to know me better. We had similar taste in books, movies, music, etc. Additionally, she laughed hysterically at all of my dumb little ridiculous political jokes. About 2-3 glasses of wine in, however, she began to reveal a strong tendency to see injustice, sexism, and homophobia in literally *everything*; including my innocuous comments about life. I shut up and listened to her ramble on for a quite a bit longer, and then finally asked her if she was unhappy in her life. She literally exploded! She screamed that my question was a "sexist and patriarchal" one. Shocked, I asked her for clarification. She claimed that I was being "meddlesome" and "obnoxious"; that I had somehow reduced her to being a "woman in trouble," a so-called "damsel in distress." WTF? I tell ya, Wafers, it completely caught me off guard. I finished my drink alone, and quietly left the scene.

Miles

7:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

There are millions like her, both male and female. What you did was touch a nerve by speaking the truth. Most Americans are unhappy w/their lives, and at the same time most have very little self-insight or courage. It's not likely she would have said, "I hafta admit it: I am." That wd have taken ontological knowledge, even the insight that there is such a thing. I'm guessing that less than 0.1% of the American public has this.

Wafers check out v. gd essay by Alex Ross in New Yorker of April 30 abt Nazism and American racism. Also relevant is

https://www.amazon.com/American-West-Nazi-East-Interpretive/dp/1137352736/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1527813200&sr=1-1&keywords=carroll+kakel

mb

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Mike R said...

WAFER Miles--'great' story. Sorry to hear yet, predictably american.

Another case study: I went on a date with an american a few weeks back. I asked her about what her interests were, any traveling, light stuff. All she did was talk about work, celeb gossip, more work talk, and then....the phone came out w/chimes/tones as she fondling and fiddling with eyes darting and trance like microexpressions etc...

I asked her politely and respectfully to please put the phone away to focus on chatting, being in the moment, enjoying each other's company etc...her face become akin to smelling something foul, then bizarre facial contortions, she said: no one tells me what to do, i can do whatever I want, that's what you men do, fuck you, you piece of shit, and left. Again, I quietly and politely asked her to please put away her phone.

I really believe that being american (98.7%) was default brain damaged and Cluster B mental derangements.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike R-

A few mos. ago I had a date w/an American ex-pat who spent a lot of her time on her fone, including ordering groceries from a supermkt. She saw abs. 0 wrong w/this. We didn't go out a 2nd time.

mb

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B & al-Q:

Re- RFK. I think a lot of Americans thought that RFK was going to be the man on a white horse who would save us. When he was killed, the hope was gone. It's intriguing to speculate on what he might have been able to do as president, and I think a lot of people hang on to that.

A similar thing happened when FDR died- people lined the tracks and sobbed in the streets.

10:04 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Anyone who doesn’t see the ever-growing signs of a failed American society undergoing a collapse either isn’t paying attention, or is a Moron.


Group smashes glitzy Rodeo Drive storefront in Beverly Hills, steals clothes

https://abcn.ws/2kBLxLv


A third man has now been charged in the killing of a New York teenager who was found hacked to death with a machete last year in what is suspected to have been an MS-13 attack.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/05/30/third-man-charged-in-suspected-new-york-ms-13-machete-murder.html

11:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Plus, Trumpi has been making some wonderfully destructive decisions as of late. It's all coming together; which is to say, apart. Check out poem in "Counting Blessings" called "The End of Days." (Written around 10 yrs ago) Anyway, this Rodeo Drive thing makes a lot more sense than trampling people to death at Wal-Mart's over a pair of sneakers.

mb

11:28 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

I have a cell phone but rarely use it. Only emergencies or calls from people at work needing questions answered. I use it to check this blog and that is about it. Really, I hate them and wish we did not have to have them.

11:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

BH-

We have them because a huge # of very stupid people think they are necessary for life. 20 yrs ago they weren't nec, and we were doing just fine. Meanwhile, the data we now have of the damage they are doing are getting quite massive.

Regarding Trumpi-damage: check out essay by Evan Osnos in the May 21 New Yorker. It documents the de facto destruction of the gov't civil service. People w/genuine expertise are fired or quit; turkeys take their place. Example: judicial nominees. Matthew Spencer Petersen was asked a series of basic law-schl questions by one senator; turns out, he had never argued a motion, tried a case, or taken a deposition. Brett Talley never tried a case in federal court and was known to wander cemeteries looking for ghosts. Etc. Sad to say, these nominations were w/drawn.

In terms of a reasonably functioning govt, the article is a documentation of horror stories. But the whole thing looks very different from a declinist pt of view. If you can't have expert appointments in the places they are needed, govt agencies can't really do their job, and become dysfunctional. Which will increasingly be a serious factor in our collapse. I'm sorry Petersen and Talley didn't get their judicial appointments; they wd have been absolute train wrecks. Decline requires morons in office, and that's what we are getting. For declinists, everything is going according to plan...and we have Trumpi to thank for it!

mb

1:05 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

This quote doesn't lose any of its meaning if you replace "Veganism" by "Progs" or "Identity Politics":

"Perfect veganism’s demand for unswerving adherence to a belief system is fitting for an age in which the middle, in which the grey areas of doubt, ambiguity and non-committal reflection, are vanishing. Perfect veganism is perfect for an era of religious and political extremism, of polarised judgements, in which everyone is completely spot on or utterly wrong, everything terrible or brilliant. Perfect veganism is perfect for an age of competitive moralising, for people who deem themselves better than vegans, who themselves are better than vegetarians, who are in turn superior to us wishy-washy pescetarians. At the bottom sit omnivores."

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/veganism-and-the-politics-of-purity/21460#.WxE2oam-kWo

8:13 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

In "Tales of the City," by Armistead Maupin, he describes a scene at a party in San Francisco, on Russian Hill, around 1975 (quite near to where I was living, and around the same time), in which a woman approaches him and asks him if he is "lacto-ovo." "More like lacto-ovo-porko," he replies. Ah, those were great days.

mb

8:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: As for the situation described by Osnos, it reminds me of those situations in which termites have eaten away the wood of a house from the inside, until it can no longer sustain itself and suddenly implodes. Thus what looks like sudden collapse is really the cumulative result of 'erosion'. But this metaphor can be extended to much of the Trump regime, way beyond the civil service. Foreign policy is an ongoing mess; and when you have Kim Kardashian as a pres. adviser, pardons for folks like Dinesh D'Souza, the Army rejecting potential recruits because of obesity--etc. and etc.--then you are looking at systemic rot. This is a very creative way for Trumpi to fulfill his historical mission, imo. To all those folks worried about the 'deep state', I suggest you worry instead about the deep shit.

mb

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Aaron Thomas said...

BH -

I've had a hatred of cell phones since 2002. At the time it was still somewhat acceptable to refuse to send text messages. Today, if you don't reply to texts, it's considered absolutely insane, well beyond simply rude. It's actually seen as bizarre in a city not to own TWO high end cell phones: one for work, and one for personal use.

The argument about "for emergencies" seems highly overstated. They should rightly be seen as more of a business tool and a convenience/toy for most people, but instead they're talked about as some kind of $800 necessity that needs replacement every two years. I had a motorcycle crash two years ago (hit by a car), and I just walked into the nearest gas station; no cell phone was required. Not to mention texting and driving causing wrecks, so on the whole they're not helping people stay safe or whatever the claim/thinking.

When you have a society solely focused on pleasure & happiness as ultimate goals, you get things like people addicted to cell phones and considering them a necessity. A society with healthier core beliefs wouldn't act like this. Cell phones are just the latest and easiest target, America also leads the way in guns, cars, and pills.

Another point tho, I don't think complaining/correcting rude behavior is a good approach. Asking people to put away a phone is not a good idea. It's best to just get away from those kind of people as quickly as possible and not attempt to intervene. Remember what MB said about being a lotus in a cesspool becoming a dirty lotus.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Ah, but the "deep state" exists, and it is dismantling what the termites, er, loyalists, have thoughtfully rendered unstable:

Using primary resources, the libertarian agenda is described in historical context:

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/05/meet-economist-behind-one-percents-stealth-takeover-america.html

"Suppressing voting, changing legislative processes so that a normal majority could no longer prevail, sowing public distrust of government institutions— all these were tactics toward the goal. But the Holy Grail was the Constitution: alter it and you could increase and secure the power of the wealthy in a way that no politician could ever challenge."

Hand in hand they go, which from a complexity perspective means a reinforcing feedback loop of destruction. Nothing conservative or to conserve here! (Am I being too dramatic?)

10:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Aaron-

Cell fone addiction has many sources, of course, but I think a big one is the terror of being alone, wh/Americans in particular have. Stats show that ironically, fone use has generated more feelings of aloneness and alienation, not less. But the lure, the false promise, is that you will be 'wired in' to a community. You'll never have a moment of silence (or a moment of peace).

mb

10:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This is gd:

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-young-peterson-20180601-story.html

11:01 AM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...

Kanye,

Indeed indeed. Not only is veganism's veil quite easily pulled back (thousands of animals die when a single field is planted with vegetables), but there is mounting evidence that many vegetables, and fruit to an extent, are much worse for human health than meat and animal fat. Another article to this point:

https://medium.com/@drewfrench/grass-fed-beef-the-most-vegan-item-in-the-supermarket-8c46b45a0d47

And of course you're right, the purity that the left (though by now I think we all agree there isn't really a left in the U.S.) demands and the blinding irony of how authoritarian these righteous folks are in practice as the decry "bigots" and "fascists" is probably going to cause my retinas to detach from chronic eye rolling. Recommendations for a trusted ophthalmologist happily accepted ;)

11:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pat-

In "Sleeper," Woody Allen wakes up in NY 200 yrs later (he had been frozen) to learn that his organic food store in the Village had been selling all the wrong things--sprouts, vegan foods, etc.--wh/turned out to be extremely unhealthy. Doctors tell him that what we now know is that people shd be eating steaks and hot fudge sundaes.

Ophthalmologist in NY: Dr. I. Ball, on Park Avenue. And shd you need it, he's rt next door to a urologist, Dr. I.P. Daily.

mb

11:38 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

That Spiked article is fraught with bias and inaccuracies that most people probably absorb, then pass over. Starting by calling veganism a "cult," the author doesn't really improve, or provide much other than opinion. I have to of course admit my own bias, as I've been a vegetarian for 30 years, and horror of horrors, have called myself a "lacto-ovo." I guess I'm now merely a "lacto" as my animal-based consumption is pretty well down to cheese on pizza.

I got started on this after seeing a David Suzuki film on how overfishing is destroying the planet's ocean life. I felt rather guilty about my contributions to this problem, so quit eating fish, then a few weeks later, all meat. It just seemed to me the logical and responsible thing to do. I don't get preachy with people, or moralise, as this author accuses. For example, I have a buddy who hunts deer with a crossbow, which is his thing, and none of my business. It's just not for me.

But let us preach about cell fones. I don't have one - I don't see the need.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Politically Incorrect Russian Spy said...

Why America is the World’s First Poor Rich Country:

https://eand.co/why-america-is-the-worlds-first-poor-rich-country-17f5a80e444a

3:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pol-

Terrific article, rt on target.

al-

I have this vision of Wafer Phone Thugs (WPT) walking thru various cities in groups, moving from cell fone user to user. You surround him or her, take the fone and place it on the sidewalk, smash it with a hammer, and hand it back to the poor techno-buffoon, saying, "Have a nice day." (Or perhaps, "Your life just got better," or "You'll thank me for this, eventually.")

mb

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Marilynne said...

Recently Published Book Spotlight: The Existentialist’s Survival Guide

https://www.harperone.com/9780062435989/the-existentialists-survival-guide/

“Soren Kierkegaard, Frederick Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, and other towering figures of existentialism grasped that human beings are, at heart, moody creatures, susceptible to an array of psychological setbacks, crises of faith, flights of fancy, and other emotional ups and downs. Rather than understanding moods—good and bad alike—as afflictions to be treated with pharmaceuticals, this swashbuckling group of thinkers generally known as existentialists believed that such feelings not only offer enduring lessons about living a life of integrity, but also help us discern an inner spark that can inspire spiritual development and personal transformation…In The Existentialist’s Survival Guide, Gordon Marino…recasts the practical takeaways existentialism offers for the twenty-first century….What emerges are life-altering and, in some cases, lifesaving epiphanies—existential prescriptions for living with integrity, courage, and authenticity in an increasingly chaotic, uncertain, and inauthentic age.”

4:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Marilynne-

I also got a lot out of the following:

https://www.amazon.com/Existentialist-Caf%C3%A9-Cocktails-Jean-Paul-Merleau-Ponty/dp/1590518896/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1527886925&sr=8-1&keywords=sarah+bakewell+at+the+existentialist+caf%C3%A9

mb

5:01 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

I love the people in my state
https://www.yahoo.com/news/lawsuit-care-home-forced-disabled-man-fight-death-141843105.html

Our blog has so many links to books, films and articles that succinctly showcase not only what's wrong but how to "get right" with yourself as the first step in any possible betterment of society. Most of these links aren't strange and obscure, Yahoo,AP, even The Sun fer crisakes are sources we see all the time. How people can remain so ignorant just hurts my head. I'm watching my chickens scratch around in their pen, the same mindless scratching they do all day every day. Kinda like watching shoppers at Walmart.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Aaaah Hawaii: beauty, Aloha spirit, and neighborly gun toting americans!

https://nypost.com/2018/05/31/hawaii-man-pulls-gun-on-neighbor-checking-on-lava-threatened-home/

Police on Hawaii's Big Island have arrested a man they say is seen on video shoving another man and firing a gun in a mandatory evacuation zone near the erupting Kilauea volcano.

Authorities said Thursday that 61yo John Hubbard of Leilani Estates has been charged with reckless endangering, terroristic threatening, robbery and other counts involving failure to obtain and register a firearm, and discharging firearm.

Another fine person in the empire that will be part of Hedges' socialist revolt.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

comrade-

Once again, we see the deep goodness that can be found in the American heart.

As you pt out, most of the sources on this blog are not esoteric. The notion that Americans are victimized because they can only be liberated by articles in The Journal of Obscure Semiotics or whatever, is bunk. It's all there, it's all online; but concomitant with the violence and ignorance of the American public is the hatred of knowledge tout court. They have no more curiosity about the larger world, or even the world impinging on them, than do your chickens. We have called the 327 million by many names, including turkeys, douche bags, buffoons, morons, and so on, and it's all true; but the truest description of Americans is soul-less, empty. I believe that the hatred and violence they possess grows out of this tragic condition, and will inevitably lead to incredible cruelty and destruction over the next two decades. We are, in fact, well on our way.

mb

5:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Note that Hedges' plagiarism has paid off (for him): my notion of Dual Process (which I introduced in 2012) is now being attributed to him (which he first wrote about a couple of wks ago) by other writers:

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/06/01/needed-now-real-and-radical-left?utm_term=Needed%20Now%3A%20A%20Real%20and%20Radical%20Left&utm_campaign=News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20Following%20Employee%20Revolt%2C%20Google%20to%20End%20Work%20on%20Pentagon%20Drone%20Program&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20Following%20Employee%20Revolt%2C%20Google%20to%20End%20Work%20on%20Pentagon%20Drone%20Program-_-Needed%20Now%3A%20A%20Real%20and%20Radical%20Left

(See concluding paragraphs.)

Yes, these guys are real 'truthdiggers'.

mb

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/06/andrew-sullivan-is-world-done-with-liberal-democracy.html
I can be honest. I used to read Andrew Sullivan daily in college - I think many of us will remember him as the godfather of the professional political blog. That said, I definitely got tired of him at the same rate I became hugely disappointed in Barack Obama, and recently I've found him just irrelevant, his pet analysis increasingly tilted towards nothing. However this essay does as good a job sounding more like Chris Hedges maybe ? - and he's not predicting we will be a collapsing Yugoslavia in 6 months. But will we soon look like Italy? Or Poland? Or Greece? Or Brazil? And what will those places soon look like? I do believe we are strapped in for a....ride.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Peter, Andrew Sullivan is a complete idiot. It's a waste of time to read him. He just spins his wheels in the mud splashing everybody and never going anywhere.

Or maybe the outreach to North Korea has persuaded enough people that Trump is not always terribly dangerous in world affairs.

This is just stirring the shit stew. Who the fuck cares?

I may be missing a looming, massive tide for the Democrats this fall, and I hope I am.

Oh Lord, please take me now.

Britain may in the future be seen as the country that cannily managed to escape first.

I know there are few Brexit sympathizers here, but I think it's because they don't live in Britain. They do not have to suffer the acrid stench of British imperial nostalgia or be forced to suck up to the monarchy cargo cult or be asked continuously to "understand" Brexit voters. Fuck Brexit voters. Fuck them hard. Bunch of imbeciles. I don't have to understand them and I am happy to tell them to go to hell where they belong.

What the fuck does Andrew Sullivan know about Europe anyway. He's a fucking American that cannot tell his shit form his oatmeal, as 99.99% of Americans.

8:00 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I'd like to get any WAFER opinions on the city of Boston that may be out there. I recently visited it for the first time very briefly and found it pretty repugnant, but I'm wondering if anyone has more firsthand experience.

From what I can tell, Boston is very weird because it seems to be a kind of intellectual center in a country without a brain. NYC has commerce, DC has politics,and Boston has universities.

Except we are in America, and Americans really don't need any universities. So Boston just feels extremely concieted and sterile. I really just found the whole place very tedious and superficial.

I spent about 5 hours and actually found myself preferring NYC, which is also pretty terrifying for a Midwesterner.

10:09 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

As the function of this blog is to document the USA's decay, decline, and (sooner rather than later) fall. I suspect future historians will look back and say: how couldn't anyone see the endless display of cruelty, ignorance, greed, and stupidity and still think everything is going to work out OK?

They will look back and say only 174 Wafers out of 300+ million actually got it. No doubt it will puzzle them to no end as they will say that they signs were obvious.

I can't help but wonder if there were some folks in late Rome (Roman-Wafers?) who were also aware that Rome was dying while their fellow citizens gorged on bread and circuses. I'm wondering if there was any written records of these Roman-Wafer i.e. Cassius Brutus is a douchebag, etc.

BrotherMaynard

11:58 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Dio,

I was born and raised in Boston and didn’t leave for San Diego until my early 40’s.

Like any US city, Boston has its Pro’s and Cons. Of course, its role in the history of the country males ir a historians dream, and as you said, the many colleges and cultural attractions make it a hotspot. However, there certainly is an underside to it. Massachusetts as a whole has a significant population of blue collar and working class people, that contrasts with the educated elite and high tech workers. The city is on the small to medium size compared to NYC, which truly is a concrete jungle. The beauty of the New England area is that the states are rather small (compared to the west) and therefore one has an opportunity to experience completely different states within a few hours drive. I left Boston because I suffered from SAD ever since childhood and needed to live in a warm and sunny climate. Been in Cali for 14 years now. Overall, Boston really is a top city as far as US cities go, if one can handle the 5 months of cold and rainy weather. People are people wherever you go...there are Boston Wafers, and everyone else is clueless...just like in every city.

2:17 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Trump's 'cruel' measures pushing US inequality to dangerous level, UN warns.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/01/us-inequality-donald-trump-cruel-measures-un

A lot of interesting stats on American decline in this article, especially the deteriorating economic conditions for most Americans. Of course, this downward trend started well before Trump but it looks like things are about it get even worse.

4:24 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

I spent my sophomore year (1970-71) at Boston University. THAT was a great time to be there. I could attend free lectures by Zinn, Chomsky, and Marcuse. A few years ago I took a nostalgic trip and it was horrific-everyone a techno-douche, Harvard Square had become completely corporate (a walk around U of P is even worse) and of course, all had their antennae up for violations of political correctness.
Yesterday I was to receive a rather important phone call so I had to carry my I-phone all day. Usually, I leave it home and just tell my mom where I'm going in case she needs to contact me. My God-people do this?! By the end of the day I felt I had undergone a nuclear attack, the electro-magnetism being so intense.. I felt the waves throughout my entire body, becoming nauseous and definitely impairing brain function. I could see how an already unstable person could resort to violence carrying a phone all day.
Hardly any point getting involved with a woman here. It's so easy to be accused of harassment that it's not worth the risk. Whenever I see a beautiful woman on the street I let her walk at least 50 yards ahead of me so as not to be accused of stalking.

8:37 AM  
Anonymous BH said...

Didn't St Augustine in City of God pretty much acknowledge Rome was going down in a few places and his theme was to put faith in the church to take its place? It has been a long time since I have read it. It is a monster of a book with lots of pages and chapters. His thesis was Rome started out pretty good and served God's purpose (allowed Jesus to come and start church) and now it was going to be eclipsed by something better--in his opinion the church.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Aaron-

Yr posts tend to exceed the half-page limit. Pls observe this rule in future, perhaps err on side of too short. Thanks.

mb

11:55 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Tom Servo:
“...deteriorating economic conditions...”
You’d never know it if your only source of information was TV. And most print outlets are hardly better. The employment figures reported yesterday offer evidence of how skewed the typical jobs reports are: the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ figures were noted as reflecting the lowest unemployment rate (3.8 percent) in 18 years, with a “robust 223,000 new jobs” having been created in May. No comment from the reporters/news readers—stenographers would be more accurate—about what sort of jobs these were. Nor how many are part-time. No nuance. No mention of how many people are not even reflected in the monthly figures, people who have given up looking altogether. Ask a blue collar worker how far his wage increase—also touted yesterday—took him. A truck driver, say. Or an Uber/Lyft/taxi driver, whose increase was eaten up at the pump. Extend this across all occupations—wages consumed by price increases in everything.

It’s enough to convince you that the editorial staffs of every outlet in the US are shaping their reporting on the model of “Grit,” the newspaper whose editorial policy was always to seek to uplift the readership, to avoid being pessimistic, to avoid making people feel discontented. To put happy thoughts, cheer, and contentment into readers’ hearts.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

A new low in political candidacy... pedophile advocating rape incest...

https://youtu.be/KguLrvJj8gM

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

As we approach the 50th anniversary of RFK's murder...another interesting article with people recalling when they heard the news. Here's a quote from the article by Daniel Ellsberg-

"I had a sudden vision that the war wasn’t going to end. I was thinking: Maybe there’s no way, no way, to change this country."

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/06/01/what-is-going-on-in-my-country-rfks-assassination-50-years-later/

2:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn-

Well, he got that right.

mb

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Zeke said...

The religious hunger that drives Jordan Peterson’s fandomJordan Peterson, the alt-right, and the reactionary allure of mythology.

https://www.vox.com/2018/6/1/17396182/jordan-peterson-alt-right-religion-catholicism

2:53 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Talking about British imperial nostalgia, it seems the vile Niall Ferguson got his comeuppance: British historian resigns after urging ‘opposition research’ be done on a leftwing student. No matter what you think of identity politics, witch hunts are not cool. I am afraid Niall will still be prospering in the pond life that is called American academia after this. Oh well.

What is the white man's burden, indeed, Mr Kipling? An excuse to grab the Philippines from Spain? The Maine, one false flag more or less... can't keep track of them all. Why is that Churchill, whose worldview was not that different form Hitler's, got to be such a big hero? History is written by the winners, absolutely. What is history going to look like when the Anglo-Saxon civilization implodes in a few years? Interesting times ahead.

7:40 PM  
Blogger jml said...




"A friend, recently, told me a very interesting and telling story. She’d recently been in the States, where she was taking the subway to work, and she fell down, injuring her wrist. Not a single person helped her up — they all stared at her angrily as if to say: “you are going to make us late for work!!”. (Ironically, the train was full of doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers)."

"American cruelty is both legendary — and one of the world’s great unsolved mysteries. Just why would people in a rich country leave their neighbours to die for a lack of basic medicine, their young without good jobs or retirements, make their elderly work until their dying day, cripple students with lifelong debt, charge new mothers half of average income just to have a baby — not to mention shrug when their kids begin massacring each other at school? What motivates the kind of spectacular, unique, unimiaginable, and gruesome cruelty that we see in America, which exists nowhere else in the world?"

From thus article:
https://eand.co/the-origins-of-americas-unique-and-spectacular-cruelty-74a91f53ce29

He seems to be an unofficial Wafer, no?

8:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jml-

Events like this occur thousands of times in the US on a daily basis, and the conditions described in your quoted paragraph underscore what I have said many times: this ideology and behavior is practically encoded in our DNA. Radical individualism has been the guiding motif of people on this continent for more than 400 yrs, and has finally issued out onto a situation that can only be called barbaric. (One single example: check out "Ik Is Us", essay in QOV.) But Americans are not very bright, and they also live in a fog, a kind of hologram that tells them that this behavior is positive, right.

Zar-

What I don't understand is how Ferguson cd be so stupid as to put statements like that in emails. Every 12-yr-old knows that there is no such thing as private emails. Of course he was gonna get caught. What a moron. As far as his recommended witch hunt against this particular left-wing student, this tells us precisely who Prof. Ferguson really is.

mb

9:52 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr B.

There was to much Cantors in my previous post and not enough Canters. So, I'm gonna fix that with this.

https://tinyurl.com/pastramionryebig

Holy flipping Jesus! They pack on the meat at Canters. And, they serve a ton of fries. I got to get myself there. This should be HQ for Waferism! I wish they made latkes though. My grandmother who I loved dearly who died long ago was not the best cook but she made the best latkes. She would call the trollfoons mashuganas which is what they are.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cube-

Shit man, that's deli pornography. I had to turn away after abt 30 secs. Made me wanna buy a plane ticket to LA.

Trollfoons are crazy, in a certain way, but more significantly: vicious. These are truly awful human beings, and America is packed to the gills w/them. Momserim, in a word, who need to be cast down into deepest Gehenna.

mb

10:39 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@Zeke

Interesting article. I buy it except for one, IMHO, glaring omission- it's really wrong to act as if *only* conservative ideologies fall prey to destructive mythologizing. The Catholic fascist mythologist may be a thing, but it's not the only thing.

Most Soviet art was far more ostentatious and Wagnerian than Nazi art. Go look at "Motherland Calls" in Volgograd and then tell me how the right is full of fanatics and the left is full of austere scientists. It's just BS.

There *is* a mainstream, center-left mythology far more potent than anything the alt-righters promote- the regular entertainment brainwashing that makes corporate life possible. It even has its catalogue of impossible forms and symbols- the 20 something on Friends living in Mnhttn on $1,000 a month, the happy working single mother with 3 part time jobs, the asexual male worker indifferent to the yoga pants women wear at work.

These people exist on sitcoms, and that mythology tells people how they should act, but the reality never matches.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

So, lately, while I am dismayed about the horrors that have happened to the Palestinians. I can take solace that the US is fast tracking its demise. I read on facebook, Israeli supporting Americans say "its Hamas's fault" and I think. "Soon you and your children will be so poor that it will be those Chinese people you think you're superior to who will use you like you used them in the sweat shops to build your iPhones.".

I am waiting for that day. There is no people on this planet that deserves such a horrendous fate than that of the American people. Also for the Wafers who were horrified at Samantha Bee calling Ivanka a cunt. You shouldn't be disgusted. You should be happy. Ivanka like most of these garbage people does not deserve respect. She is an example of the trailer trash that makes up the America Elite. We should be more than happy when we see the vulgar face of America rear its narcissistic head. Believe me, Ivanka and her family like Bezos and the other rich elite of the US deserve the French Revolution treatment and no one here should feel a thing. Well maybe happiness? These people long since dug their graves and we should be smiling with satisfaction as they get thrown into. I would happily piss on her grave and I do not think the victims of her father's allies would mind very much either.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

cube, MB-

I'm a tad hungry right about now.

MB, Wafers-

This week's series finale of "The Americans" was beautifully done and bittersweet; one of the finest pieces of work ever shown on American television. Like the series itself, the final episode was emotionally and politically complex. In any event, I'm saddened that it's all over.

Miles

11:32 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

"Motherland Calls" is a monument to the sacrifices made during "The Great Patriotic War." Stalin was careful to emphasize the nation, not communism, with that statue.

What's the connexion between programmes such as "Friends," etc. and the Left? They seem to fit in nicely with everyday US/capitalist propaganda, not anything that someone like Marx (opium of the masses?) would say.

As for the raging controversy between rightos and liberals (leftists are keeping out of it, as far as I've seen) over what Roseanne and Samantha Bee said; yes, Roseanne's comments were crudely racist, and Bee's comments were just crude, but they have something in common: neither was funny. Aren't these two supposed to be comedians?

And in news of the ongoing torture of Palestinians:

"They [the Israelis] know Razan, they know she is a paramedic, she has been helping treat wounds since 30 March," Sabreen, the paramedic's mother, told Middle East Eye, speaking with tears in her eyes.

"My daughter was a target for the Israeli snipers. The explosive bullet was directly shot in her chest; it was not a random bullet."

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/thousands-gaza-mourn-palestinian-paramedic-killed-israel-660713987

12:07 AM  
Blogger Crow T. Robot said...

I could care less about the whole Samantha Bee brouhaha. Consider who she criticized:

https://www.thoughtsonthedead.com/look-seaward-angel/

1:35 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Crow, al-

What if Bee had said douche baguette instead of cunt?

mb

1:44 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

It’s very clear that since Trump’s election he has emboldened MANY Right Wing Fascist, Bigoted, Homophobic, and Racist NUTS who have been coming out of the woodwork in droves....

Nathan Larson is a pedophile and a white supremacist. And he's running for Congress...

https://usat.ly/2J7sKSG

2:17 AM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

Wafers,
Up 'til now I've resisted the idea that Americans are going to get what they deserve, I don't like to see any kind of senseless suffering. But I recently had an experience that changes my mind. I'm on board now MB and you are correct. Check out what I discovered after my experience:
"But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of Godliness, but denying it's power. Avoid such people" 2 Timothy 3
I guess the New Testament also agrees with us.
Check out this popular song :
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=enny+chesney+everythinglyric&view=detail&mid=FAEB345D2107E3253AF5FAEB345D2107E3253AF5&FORM=VIRE

10:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

G-

What was yr experience?

mb

11:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Film rec: "Mudbound"

11:52 AM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

I'm breaking the 24 hr rule but I'll b brief. I spent time with family all the while complaining about vision problems. No one blinked an eye to give a shit. After losing all vision in right eye I made it to the ER. I have a detached retina, will have surgery tomorrow. I won't b able to read for awhile but will get back on blog soon. Unfucking believable literally no one cared.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Not sure if this has already been posted (some days I just can't keep up) but here is a map of well being in the US.

https://www.citylab.com/life/2018/03/the-unhappy-states-of-america/555800/

"Kennedy is sometimes dismissed because his predictions of American decline were based on the rise of Japan, and Japan’s rise was later impeded by its decades of stagnation. Still, this doesn’t undermine Kennedy’s historical analysis of decline. In more recent years, other voices have echoed him. In 2008, in its four-year report on international trends, the U.S. National Intelligence Council wrote that “owing to the relative decline of its economic, and to the lesser extent, the military power, the United States will no longer have the same flexibility in choosing as many policy options” as it once had."

http://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2018/03/09/americas-decline-relative-real-potentially-dangerous/ideas/essay/

1:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

Jesus H. Christ, man. Good luck with your surgery. All of the Wafers are pulling for you. We may be only a virtual family, but as you now know, we're a lot better than a lot of 'real' families out there--we actually care for our own.

mb

2:21 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Well, that was quick: Trumpi basically declared himself a (pre-Magna Carta) King immune from all laws with the absolute and complete power to pardon himself. Crickets from the Constitutional oath-keepers. Business, of course, doesn't give a rat's ass; authoritarianism can be good for commerce as China shows.

David Brooks to the rescue! He and his "New Whigs" will save us. Honestly, I found this article hilarious; I keep laughing out loud. It's both earnest and silly, educated and stupid, optimistic yet hopeless. I really think Brooks and Chris Hedges should start seeing each other (they have a lot in common).

@Zar - why so hard on Andrew Sullivan? He's not hopefully about the US, Britain, the EU, or liberal democracy in general. His writings about the new dark ages after Trumpi were criticized for being hysterical. In fact, he may have been too optimistic. I think he gets it and I reasonably suspect that deep down, he's a Wafer. He knows were fucked and there is no fixing this. Paul Krugman too.

BrotherMaynard

2:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bro-

What article by Brooks?

mb

3:11 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Sorry, Professor, I forgot to post the link.

Here it is: David Brooks and the New Whigs (kinda sounds like a 60's folks group):
https://nyti.ms/2GeHsW1

BrotherMaynard

3:58 PM  
Blogger Crow T. Robot said...

Gunnar-
So sorry to hear what happened. i hope you're OK.

Morris-
I think douchebagette would have indeed been more appropriate. I think my objection is more about this game of "gotcha" we play whenever a major or minor celebrity says something offensive. There's this process where everyone jumps on social media to virtue signal to everyone else their outrage over whatever offense was made, and then the national conversation revolves around this nonsense for a week or more.

Meanwhile, as we document here, the nation continues its death spiral, the IDF continues to shoot unarmed civilians in Gaza, etc. These are things that people SHOULD be outraged about. Not whether or not someone called Ivanka the C-word.

I don't know if George Carlin or Richard Pryor would have made it today with everyone policing everyone else and looking for something to get offended about.

(Note I am not trying to conflate this with the Roseanne business, which really was upsetting and wrong, but didn't deserve 24-hour news coverage for gods sake).

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

Is this a great photo or what-

https://www.rawstory.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Kim-Kardashian-and-President-Donald-Trump-Twitter.png

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Dr. Berman,

This isn't really for the blog but I wanted to pass this article on to you if you're interested.

https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/review/cracks-in-the-treasury-of-virtue/?mc_cid=a5d94735bc&mc_eid=3237affcbf

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Victor said...

Pragmatism plays a big role explaining religion's effects

https://www.amazon.com/Why-Need-Religion-Stephen-Asma/dp/0190469676/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528058104&sr=8-1&keywords=Why+We+Need+Religion



by Stephen T. Asma. He also wrote On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears, which I really liked.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Susan-

Many thanks; it's a gd article. Tho of course, I'm not interested in reviving the debate we had several yrs ago regarding WAF ch. 4. My success in getting the "South = Slavery" crowd (almost all of the US) to understand the complexities of the Civil War was roughly 0. Manichaeanism has been our mode of perception in virtually all areas of American life, and it continues to do us in as we speak. There is something very sad abt watching an entire nation commit suicide thru its own willful blindness.

mb

7:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

This bk seems to have a semi-Waferian aroma to it:

https://www.amazon.com/Idleness-Philosophical-Essay-Brian-OConnor/dp/0691167524/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1528071190&sr=1-1&keywords=brian+o%27connor&dpID=41QWV3BlU8L&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

mb

8:16 PM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...

Dr. B.,

I am so glad you posted this Idleness link. It now gives me the excuse to share this wonderful article from a few years ago that I didn't see an occasion for until now.

https://monthlyreview.org/2016/06/01/radical-leisure/

Honestly, I had been mulling writing a book about the same general premise (my working title was Working Hard = Hardly Working, ha!) But I have been wondering this for the better part of two decades; Why is hard work so revered with no consideration of the motivations to it or the ends of it? It is so silly and I am very pleased to see this issue being given a fair treatment by people with time, energy and ability to expose it for the harmful thing it can be and promote the virtues of idleness and leisure.

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Another Sunday:

Elderly woman missteps and falls down at the concert hall, bangs head writhing in pain--NO one helps, folks starring at phones/hurried restless walking right past her with american-looks of get the fuck outta my way. (I helped stay w/her called EMTs). In France, leaving the scene of a citizen calling for help is illegal. You MUST stay until official help arrives.

Saw a neighbor tending a garden--said nice garden, beautiful lavender, etc..starred at me blankly (radio silence) like I was speaking Mandarin.

Poster at grocery store had an oboe soloist playing with an orchestra. Said to the clerk--'Saw the orchestra poster, -Mozart's oboe concerto is beautiful.' What's Mozart Oboo, was her response.




9:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

And when I assert that the country is a collection of degraded buffoons, people think I'm over the top. Jesus, this is the *norm*, you morons!

In 1999, Guenther Grass won the Nobel in lit. I was living in DC, had a copy of the Post w/me; the news was on the front page. I had to see a bank officer abt my acct, so sat next to her desk while she searched for something on her computer. 32 yrs old, very pretty. I held up the Post and said: "Look, Guenther Grass won the Nobel Prize." She didn't react. I said: "Do you like German literature?" She stared at me for a second, then rolled her eyes and laughed. I decided not to ask her out. I figured I didn't really wanna have sex with someone who regarded literature as a joke.

Read my new book: "Sex with Dolts: A User's Guide."

Pat-

Check this out; it made a huge splash in France when it 1st appeared:

https://www.amazon.com/Bonjour-Laziness-Hard-Work-Doesnt/dp/1400096286/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1528075864&sr=1-5&keywords=corinne+maier

Original French title was "Bonjour, Paresse," a play on the famous book of a previous generation by Francoise Sagan, "Bonjour, Tristesse".

mb

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Quercus said...

Regarding idleness, there is a UK group, the "Idler Academy", which publishes a bimonthly journal "The Idler", "dedicated to fun, freedom and fulfilment."

https://idler.co.uk/about/

An offshoot group founded by an original "Idler" is the excellent "Cloud Appreciation Society". Of course looking at clouds is classic way to idle your time away.

This is part of their manifesto:

"WE BELIEVE that clouds are unjustly maligned and that life would be immeasurably poorer without them. We think that they are Nature’s poetry, and the most egalitarian of her displays, since everyone can have a fantastic view of them.
We pledge to fight ‘blue-sky thinking’ wherever we find it.......

https://cloudappreciationsociety.org/

And to conclude, perhaps the most famous American idler was Walt Whitman, who for example, writes about going to the woods to "loaf around" for a couple of days (see his journal "Specimen Days", a wonderful book, well worth reading).


10:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle to participate. Thank you.

mb

1:18 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Morris,

I’m curious about something....Over the last three weeks I’ve blown through four Hermann Hesse novels.....Siddhartha, Demian, Steppenwolf, and Narcissus and Goldmund. I found them all interesting, and maybe even enlightening and life-changing, although they all seemed to present a similar theme of attempting to reconcile the Apollonian and Dionysian elements of our human nature. I also read that Hesse’s novels are more like his “Therapeutic Confessions,” and that the main characters were really HIM in real life.

My question is....are there one or two books that you’ve read throughout your life, (of the thousands I know you’ve read), maybe even something you read earlier in your life, that you could say had the MOST profound, eye-opening, enlightening, and life-changing effect on you? If so, and unless you think this is just too hard to pinpoint, what are those titles?

Thanks

JJ

2:22 AM  
Anonymous BH said...

Dr. Berman,

Are you afraid of any political violence that may erupt during the presidential election in Mexico next month? I have read Lopez Obrador is in the lead and this is scaring a lot of people there.

3:28 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Gunnar,

Sorry to hear about your medical problem. I hope you get well soon. Sadly stories like yours are very common.

A few years ago my uncle was very ill and it was amazing how almost none of my cousins visited their father in the hospital. His oldest daughter was the only one who took the time to visit a few times. My uncle was not a negligent father. If anything he spoiled my cousins rotten. He and my aunt are still angry about the whole experience.

7:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Too many to remember, really. As a Driven Leaf, by Milton Steinberg, comes to mind; also Saving the Appearances, by Owen Barfield. But a # of others as well.

BH-

Nothing to be scared of, really; he even stated on TV that he's an admirer of Carlos Slim(!). I'm more worried abt the likely campaign to destroy him, as occurred in 2006.

mb

8:25 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

@Zeke,

That Vox article you posted on Peterson is one of the best I've read recently. Wow. The writer is clearly a Wafer. There's only one part I disagree with: "It’s just a shame we don’t have better storytellers". We should send her a link to this blog!

Kanye

8:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

Clearly, what I need to do is develop a Peterson platform. Talk in slogans, go on TED, tell everyone to clean up their act, charge for subscriptions, and write a bk called "Wafers Without Limits." Have Time Mag put me on front cover, w/a banner that says "Bermania Sweeping the Nation!" Finally, I might be able to buy that villa in Tuscany I've had my eye on for so long.

mb

9:24 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@Al-q

You are right, I mixed up my language there a bit.

I had two distinct points I collapsed into one-

1. Modernist totalitarianism in general was full of bad mythologizing, not just from a right wing perspective.

2. The modern neo-liberal state also has an extremely pervasive mythology that influences and controls people without really inspiring them.

I think the author of that otherwise great piece was ironically harming his own case by saying that we need better storytellers, but then saying that mythologizing has been the exclusive province of right wing fanatics.

What is Barack Obama but the world's worst superhero story?

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Veronica said...

Mr B have you read the OConnor book yet? I think he is doing a reading of another new book here in Seattle next month.

Great recommendations found here, always!

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Another good one by WAFer favorite Umair:

https://eand.co/why-americas-collapsing-at-light-speed-da304156dff0

"Social bonds have completely imploded — predatory capitalism’s dream of a disintegrated society of atomized human commodities has finally come true."

by the way, if y'all haven't read Umair's story it is interesting, especially considering some of the recent WAFer health problems:

https://umairhaque.com/my-story-db079024396b

Sadly it was a pretty depressing weekend, my sister (who manages 10 people in a medical lab) and I talking about how if you are a boss these days, you are not just a manager, but you also have to be a mom/dad figure and counselor. It's as if Americans (of all ages, not just needy millennials) have nobody to turn to for help, not even spouses or family ... as MB and Bowling Alone and others have said.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

Did Obama even have a story?

Reagan: trickle-down economics, 'Evil Empire'
Bush Sr.: 'New World Order'? (pretty feeble; he was a lightweight dipshit)
Clinton: Let's all make a pile o' dough! ('all' turned out to be mostly rich people)
Bush Jr.: War on terror (what a crock)
Obama: ?

All these stories are bullshit, but at least they are stories. And Americans, not being very bright, and being very gullible, go for them. But in Obama's case, literally nothing comes to mind. 'Hey, I'm black'? Doesn't really fly. Similarly, Hillary's story was little more than 'It's my turn now'--a true nonstarter when up against 'Make America Great Again'. You have to give the American people some variant of the American Dream, because that's all they have in their sad, no-exit lives. Obama's regime was entirely ad hoc; he had no idea what he stood for because in truth, he stood for nothing.

mb

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Gunnar--

I hope the surgery will be completely successful. And i'm sorry about your relatives lack of concern for the seriousness of what you were experiencing. This seems to me to be the end result of the belief frequently expressed -- hey! not my problem. A cynical, shallow way to go through life.

jj--

I realize you didn't ask me this question but if you don't mind, I'd like to mention a few books that changed my perspective of life. I read The Brothers Karamozov when I was 19 and have reread it several times. Andre Gide considered it the greatest novel ever written and, having nothing like his discernment, must agree. My daughter recommends The Razor's Edge by Maugham. The young protagonist Larry survives the first World War and devotes his life to a search for meaning. Whatever you do though, skip the awful movie that was made from the book.

Dr. Berman--

Glad you liked the article. Yes, that is a dead discussion.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

This is the text of a talk Chris Hedges gave before the Left Forum on W.E.B. Du Bois and why Du Bois was prophetic. I especially like the statement, "Either America will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States." Hedges gives a nice overview of the savagery against dark skinned people that has been characteristic of the United States virtually since its beginning and that empire-building and gain is what America has been mostly about.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-second-sight-of-w-e-b-du-bois/

Just paging through "The History of the Decline and Fall of America" by Scott Erickson, he feels that America took a wrong turn and rejected wisdom and pursued gain instead.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Michael-

See my review of Erickson on Amazon. As for Hedges' lecture: I'm hoping he didn't predict revolution at the end of it.

Veronica-

Not yet. I'm too lazy. ;-)

mb

11:34 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Ken Burns (mentioned above) is indeed an astute chronicler of the USA: war, baseball, war, jazz, war...

Many years ago, I was over at my buddy's apartment. He was in the bedroom, schtupping some dame, while I was out in the living room with her younger sister, whom I'd never met before. I didn't really know what to say in this situation, so I asked, "So how about that crazy Ayatollah Khomeini?"

She looked at me with an expression of bewilderment and fear, but didn't say anything in response. I never saw her again after that night.

I read that Vox article in a different way. The author says that Peterson notes that the postmodern Left has no stories, so Peterson is there to help fill the void.

I don't know if this is a left-right issue, as everyone has stories or myths. Since monuments have been mentioned, Mount Rushmore is a manifestation of the myth of the USA, a country that is mostly mythical.

The Israelis are the masters, though. Their country was founded on myths, and has been maintained through a careful cultivation of those myths.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al-

Check out critiques of Burns' "Vietnam." What he left out of the story (Pentagon Papers, e.g.) was much more significant than what he put in. See also film, "The Post."

mb

2:42 PM  
Blogger Jerome Langguth said...

awesome

3:26 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

A critique of Chris Hedges. One of the central themes of Hedges is this idea that when America exits the stage, humanity is over. He sells this image of the world that it cannot exists without us. He talks about decline but in reality what he wants is a benign America. An American Empire that is kind and will work with others. In other words, he wants a fantasy that is bereft of the reality of what the US is... A nation of hyper-aggressive thugs who cannot perceive a world where they compromise with anyone. America is a culture of domination and subjugation. A culture of greed and narcissism. It could never be the idealized America that its soft power sells in the form of Friends and the myriad of movies that paint America as a unique a beautiful place.

It's a spiteful, sleazy, ugly culture that inhabits this nation. From top to bottom the people are rotten. It hasn't spread, they have always been a rotten and selfish people. It's why politically you can accomplish nothing. The poor that the Left love to idealize is just as nasty and as cruel as the elite who use them and throw them away like garbage.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Obama: "The Presidency About Nothing," has a good ring to it. It kind of got lost in the hoopla over Trump pardoning douchebag Dinesh D'Souza and douchebaguette Martha Stewart, but his decision to pardon the late heavyweight champion Jack Johnson was a stroke of political genius. Obama also inquired about pardoning Johnson, who was convicted of violating the Mann Act by (horrors!) taking a white woman across state line for purposes of sexual relations (or what polite society paternalistically referred to as "white slavery" back then). Since Johnson was convicted of violating a law with blatantly racist intent and has been dead for 75 years, you'd have thought the pardon would have been a "no-brainer," but DOJ recommended against it and Obama was too much of a craven coward to do the right thing. Now Trump gets to curry favor with black voters (just getting 10% more to support him would be huuuuge, as he would say) and to dump a little more garbage on Obama's ever more tarnished legacy at the same time. An easy "win-win" handed to Trump by his (ahem) feckless predecessor.

@al-Q: Interesting thing to note about Mt. Rushmore is that somehow it avoided memorializing the president who destroyed the national bank, founded the modern Democratic Party and was one of our greatest military "heroes." That's probably why Obama was such a big booster of that horrid Broadway musical dedicated to the father of Republican economics. Only those "leaders" who kowtow to the rich get to have a "legacy" in this stupid country.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jer-

If you are referring to the blog in general, I cdn't agree more. But I'm wondering if you had anything more specific in mind.

Nesim-

Well, I've said it b4: Hedges' hope for America isn't very different from Trump's, really; they both want to make the country great again. And I suspect yr rt, that he, like Trumpi, sees the US as the potential savior of humanity--if we could just get our act together, eh wot? By and large, his is a very US-centric vision. And to be sure, Hedges is no declinist, despite his only very occasional essays in that direction: he wants America to flourish, but as a different America. In that sense, he is basically an American patriot--like most Americans, really. I have complained that he 'borrows' my work, and he does; but I'll tell you one thing he won't steal: my repeated assertion that the American people are a clueless collection of washouts. And for an obvious reason: once you admit that, positive social change, let alone 'revolution', is a nonstarter. If the masses have the same hopes and visions for themselves as do the elites, the game is over. They are certainly not going to rise up against their corporate masters, as Hedges keeps predicting. Hell, they just want to *be* corporate masters. You can be an optimist, a predictor of positive social change, a herald of a transformed America only if you deny this, and Jesus Christ, Hedges is in massive denial. It's also politically incorrect to say that the American population consists of violent dunces, obviously, and Hedges certainly doesn't want to alienate his audience. (He's actually a politician, when you get down to it.) My audience, of course, is minute, because my commitment is to the truth, not to what will make people happy. I have yet to propose a lecture to Columbia U. entitled "This audience is a collection of buffoons and responsible for the collapse of the country" because I have a sneaking feeling that they would not be eager to have me speak. Just a hunch.
(continued below)

5:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

I'd like to say a bit more abt Dual Process at this point--something I introduced in 2012 and which Hedges recently 'borrowed' (sans attribution) for his own purposes, his hope for a re-made America. I argued that inasmuch as socialism had failed and that revolution was unlikely, the best thing we could do is 'go elsewhere', that is to say, start creating alternative institutions to replace the dying capitalist ones in a concomitant move, so to speak. I suspect Hedges will be writing on this theme a lot more in the future, since that is a kind of lifeline for him in the face of a population that is (strangely enuf) failing to heed the call for revolution. He comes off a lot saner, as a result. But one thing I did add as a ps to my thesis was that I didn't think Dual Process cd really succeed in the US, for various reasons. I wrote that Europe and Latin America were more likely candidates for its success. Now why wd I say that?

Wafers, check the epigraph to ch. 7 of my bk on Japan, the quote from Wm Ophuls. Ophuls was asst to several American ambassadors to Japan, and in 1974 he wrote that in terms of 'living well on less', he didn't see how Americans wd be able to do it (unlike the Japanese, who had 200+ yrs of practice during the Tokugawa era). Americans, he wrote, have no capacity for self-discipline, and they are not oriented toward a cooperative or communalistic existence. In order for the positive side of Dual Process to work, you can't have a 400-year-old ideology of radical individualism, of selfishness and competition and narcissism. There hasta be a sense of the greater good, the common weal, and we just don't have it. This is why 'greenwashing' is the dominant tendency among American alternative experiments. You look closely at them, and the bottom line is the bottom line: they are just green capitalism, interested in economic expansion and unlimited growth. They adopt the language of ecology, community, and so on, but it's all fluff--a rerun of The Whole Earth Catalog, so to speak (see my brief discussion of this in WAF, ch. 1). A different future for the US wd require different people, and we simply aren't those people. So while it might be great if Americans embraced Dual Process and started creating the alternatives I talked about in that essay (and in the Japan bk), I suspect it's pretty much a long shot.

mb

5:38 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

BrotherMaynard, I guess Andrew Sullivan gets on my nerves, just like Jordan Peterson gets on the nerves of some here. I reckon it's his pseudo-erudite crap that irritates the hell out of me.

But trying to be dispassionate, I'd distinguish at least two classes of people between Wafers and the majority of Americans who are in complete denial: the closest to Wafers are, I'd say, people like Chris Hedges, who understand the rot and the causes of it, although they are still in denial about the inevitability of the collapse. The closest to the majority are people like Paul Krugman, who see the approaching collapse but not the root cause. As you say, Sullivan is in the same category as Krugman, who did, God knows why, a series of articles in the NYT hawking Queen Botoxia. In my view, therefore, Sullivan's not a Wafer by far. Read some of his recent articles, like this one, and honestly tell me I am mistaken: Obama’s Legacy Has Already Been Destroyed.

P.S. Gunnar, I hope everything turns out well for you, and I am really sorry to hear about the lack of support from your family; it can be quite heartbreaking. On that note, it's always baffled me, for example, that America's always talking about family values but children are expected to leave their parents as soon as they can get any job, no matter which one.

7:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Zar-

Does Hedges really understand the causes of the rot? Does he really see the American people as hostile bozos, or does he believe the great majority of them are well-meaning and intelligent (and thus presumably ready for revolt)? Now *that* wd be denial! Once in a blue moon, Hedges acknowledges the inevitability of collapse, but he *never* acknowledges that Americans are awful human beings.

mb

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Michael in Oceania said...

Re: Plagiarism

I am retired but work part time at a local polytechnic institute as a student facilitator and a marker (grader of papers). There is a "zero tolerance" policy toward plagiarism here, so I know a bit about this.

Plagiarism, strictly speaking, is taking someone else's words or original ideas and passing them off as one's own. If I cut and paste someone else's words into a paper without attribution, that is plagiarism. Likewise if I grab someone's scientific or social research or original scientific theory, and pass it off as my own, that's plagiarism.

I don't think this applies to the idea of dual process/NMI. Alasdair MacIntyre advocated much the same thing decades ago. Paul Weyrich, co-founder of Falwell's Moral Majority, came to the same conclusion in 1999. Rod Dreher (inspired by MacIntyre) has been harping on his "Benedict Option" since at least 2003.

So, you have a number of different people, coming from different angles, independently converging on the same solution. That is not plagiarism. Rather, I would call it the Zeitgeist.

Plagiarism is a big word, and I am very careful about using it, unless I have a lot of serious evidence.

11:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Michael-

I think yr a bit confused, because Dual Process has 0 to do, theoretically speaking, with the NMI idea. You are incorrectly merging two distinct ideas. Regarding NMI, I am aware of MacIntyre's work, for example; I cite Ray Bradbury as a forerunner, in the Twilight bk; Ernest Becker talked abt "communities of the abandoned"; Aldous Huxley had a similar notion at the end of Brave New World (I think it was); and so on. I coined the phrase NMI, but I never claimed that I was the originator of the concept.

Dual Process is a totally different thing (altho NMI's can get involved in it, but that's a whole other story). None of the folks you cite talk about DP, or anything like it. Of course, it cd be the case that *someone* did, prior to 2012, when I introduced the idea and coined the phrase; but I remain unaware of it, and was unaware of any precedent in 2012. Anyway, I can't prove I'm Hedges' source for the concept, but it certainly looks like it: he duplicated my concept pretty exactly, and given the lack of attribution (to any author), seemed to be presenting it as his own. This doesn't strike me as 'Zeitgeist', altho I suppose it's possible. Chris Ketcham certainly had a lot of serious evidence for this tendency in his New Republic article of a few yrs back, and Hedges' reply was quite weak, imo; didn't ring true at all.

mb

12:34 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Wafers, MB,

This has been written about before, but I am convinced that most people live in a constant state of "ready-to-explode" and that it's the micro aggressions they engage in on a daily basis that will progressively bring everything down. It's like a house that's slowly rotting year after year until it suddenly collapses. I work as a bartender in a fancy hotel in Paris where a lot of Americans stop by. Most of our american customers are wealthy retired educated boomers, "semi-Wafers" may I say, but the "average" american tourist also comes along. This comes to mind as this week I've come across this "electricity in the air" more so than usually. Two stories:

a. A family from Florida passed the most absurd room service order (we also take room service orders at the bar). They ordered like 5 pizzas, three burgers and three sandwiches and didn't touch ANYTHING when I came to pick up the tray. I threw everything out in the trash. The guy finished the 10 beers he ordered though.

b. Two middle-aged women from Colorado came back from a shopping spree to drink a glass of wine at the counter last night. Never did I witness such tension from a conversation with a woman at the bar so far. It's hard to explain, but I felt like she had so much neuroticism in her that any inappropriate joke or comment from my side could trigger an explosive reaction. I usually joke around with customers and like to say inappropriate stuff, but it's the first time last night that I felt like I needed to watch what I was saying.

Sorry for length.

Kanye

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Natalie said...

“Don’t Read Books!” A 12th-Century Zen Poem

this 12th-century Zen poem is tragicomical proof that complaints about information overload and the corruptive effects of media are nothing new..

Don’t read books!
Don’t chant poems!
When you read books your eyeballs wither away
leaving the bare sockets.
When you chant poems your heart leaks out slowly
with each word.
People say reading books is enjoyable.
People say chanting poems is fun.
But if your lips constantly make a sound
like an insect chirping in autumn,
you will only turn into a haggard old man.
And even if you don’t turn into a haggard old man,
it’s annoying for others to have to hear you.

It’s so much better
to close your eyes, sit in your study,
lower the curtains, sweep the floor,
burn incense.
It’s beautiful to listen to the wind,
listen to the rain,
take a walk when you feel energetic,
and when you’re tired go to sleep.

https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/08/19/dont-read-books-zen-poems/

The book Zen Poems is great too

8:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Natalie-

Possibly not new in terms of quantity (tho I doubt it), but certainly new in terms of quality. We ain't in Kansas (or Kyoto) anymore, Dorothy. Nice poem, tho.

Kanye-

Americans have a siege mentality because they are, in fact, under siege, w/o really recognizing it. Physically, Americans are not in good shape (obesity off the charts, e.g.); and since most illness has a psychosomatic aspect, stress in particular, there seems to be no limit to the amt of prescription drugs they take. I recall endless TV ads for Claritan, Shmaritan, Lunesta, Funesta, etc. etc. and etc. Self-medication (=sedation) in one form or another has become a way of life. Check out the movie "Anesthesia".

mb

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Mckibben said...

https://qz.com/1293998/2400-years-ago-plato-saw-democracy-would-give-rise-to-a-tyrannical-leader-filled-with-false-and-braggart-words/


2,400 years ago, Plato saw democracy would give rise to a tyrannical leader filled with “false and braggart words”

.... and an old friend was just telling me how useless he found Plato

10:21 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Thanks Morris....I’ll check those books out....

Thanks Susan....I have read both of those classics!


Here’s Another example of the decline and fall of American society...

Fight club: Legalized bare-knuckle boxing may be next big show in ring

https://usat.ly/2LZm3nF

2:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Stephanie-

I didn't read past the 3rd word of yr post, which is what I usually do in the case of hate mail. You can keep sending us messages (most bitter people, such as yrself, do), but you shd know that as soon as I see yr name, I'll delete it unread. Why not save yrself time, and post to blogs that are receptive to your outlook? Yr just wasting yr energy, here. Anyway, good luck, and godspeed. You clearly have much to offer the world.

jj-

A Mexican magazine asked me to list the 10 most influential bks on my life, but that was yrs ago, and I no longer have the list. 2 more titles, however, come to mind: Paul Mantoux, "The Industrial Revolution in the 18C," and of course, the Odyssey.

mb

2:50 PM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...

Of course Plato is useless to your friend, he never helped his career or made him any money! I imagine the feeling is mutual on Plato's end.

From January so maybe was already shared, but is there anything more American than this rage room?:

https://abcnews.go.com/US/rough-play-rage-rooms-latest-stress-therapy/story?id=52548856

I highly doubt this works for improving stress but it is so fitting that these participants think they are hacking psychological wellness. Rage on you crazy diamonds...

3:56 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

@Zar-At your prompting, I re-read some of Sullivan's columns. You do have a point. He's not a Wafer per se. He rightly screams about end of liberal democracy, torture, debased culture, etc. but in the end refuses to see the obvious: that the country is finished. He also sees weak signs of hope where there are none. Give him this though: Sullivan saw right through Botox face. Krugman's embrace of Botox face is perhaps my greatest disappointment with him. No denying he was in the tank for her as was the entire NYT.

@Kayne - all aspects of American society are a hyper competitive, winner take all competition which never stops from birth (did my child gain admission to the 'right' preschool) to death. Look at American airlines, cell phone contracts, healthcare costs and realized the average American is under constant assault. Worse, Americans are taught this is a good thing: the rugged individual on the frontier, the magic of the market, etc.

Wouldn't be surprised if the country ends when everyone OD's at the same time Jim Jones style. Other countries will wonder why all Americans decided to kill themselves all at once at the same time....

BrotherMaynard

4:16 PM  

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