June 27, 2018

It Ain't Lookin' Good

Wafers-

I tell ya, it just ain't lookin' good out there. Every day is worse than the one before it. Here's a little pick-me-up, in any case: "Dirty Filthy Love" (Martin Sheen).

-mb

191 Comments:

Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Zara--"Did they refuse to serve top military brass, for example? Now, that I would call courageous. If not, I'd call them childish and selective." Bingo--that is exactly how it struck me. No doubt had it been a close adviser to Obarfa or Botoxface they would have welcomed them with open arms. Having the hideous Maxine Waters and other Demasses cheering them on just adds to that impression. If they were principled, they would have made it clear that NO national politicians or their flunkies are welcome in their establishment, regardless of party.

Wafers--I'm in the middle of reading Linh Dinh's "Postcards from the End of America." If you have not read it yet, I highly recommend it. "Postcards" is like a field report of exactly what we discuss here every day. It reminds me a lot of Studs Terkel's old oral histories of the common person in America. Of course, Terkel was writing at a much different time in our history when it was still possible to believe that America could do better by its citizens. Dihn harbors no such illusions. The book also strikes home with me because so many of the places he visits remind me of my own hometown, once prosperous and vibrant and now turned into decaying shitholes. His characterizations of Obama, who was in his second term at the time of Dinh's cross country road trips, are spot on. No wonder he is planning to return to Vietnam.

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Burrito fiasco on the BART----americans were concerned about very impt matters, such as eating burritos on public transit. Forget--no real health care, no education w/o massive debt, employment at will doctrines, no pensions/retirements, etc...etc.. that's not impt to the 98.7%.

https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/burrito-bart-calling-cops-police-food-drink-train-13031119.php

7:55 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

Many Americans are basically crybabies and squishy liberals; absolutely scared to death of conflict and confrontation. The Trump regime officials deserve much worse public scorn than being tossed into the streets on their asses, IMO. No one should worry if it's pretty or courteous. Fuck these motherfuckers!

Miles

8:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

Sounds like my fellow Americans! And yet, no concern over Meghan's hat. Hmm...

Jeff-

True, and I think they shd be beaten w/in an inch of their lives and thrown on a dung heap. However, Bill has a pt: why not Ovama as well? He spent 8 yrs murdering unarmed civilians in the Middle East w/drone attacks. I'd like to see a Wafer Urine Squad (WUS) surround him at a fancy restaurant in DC and drench his shoes. Add in the Bushes and the Clintons for gd measure. Remember that Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at Bush Jr in a restaurant in Baghdad in 2008 and called him a dog? (Muntadhar al-Zaidi, my kinda guy):

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/05/02/remember-the-iraqi-man-who-threw-a-shoe-at-president-bush-hes-running-for-office/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.b9ae1b7ad5b9

I'd like to take him out to dinner at the Red Hen. :-)

mb

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Michael Lind has a really good article on the issue of class politics in the modern West.

https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2018/05/classless-utopia-versus-class-compromise/

Wafers should also check out his earlier article on the rise of the managerial class.

https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2017/05/new-class-war/

Lind is not a typical liberal (he criticizes the modern Left pretty sharply) but in his 2018 article Lind gives some prescriptions for building working-class movements. While I think Lind’s ideas might work in other countries I suspect that Americans are too individualistic, self-absorbed and stupid to benefit from his advice. I still find him to be more realistic than Chris Hedges.

1:36 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Why don't we ever hear real, sustained criticism of the business class?

The thought dawned on me recently.

We live in a society of constant critique and rating. Normal workers are constantly rated and judged. Politicians are constantly pilloried.

And yet where was the last journalist to come out with a really negative portrayal of the millions of sacred cow small business owners who have created our illegal immigration/exploitation ring?

Criticizing politicians is a bit like arresting prostitutes while covering up for the johns...

Isn't it amazing how we have so many newly minted billionaires and they haven't funded or identified a single genius of film, music, or stage? Give me mad king Ludwig over these turkeys any day.

2:18 AM  
Anonymous Onward to Dystopia said...

Wow, this country is so screwed. Things get worse by the hour. When I listen to, or read any of the political commentators I use to follow (when I gave a damn), all they're doing is cataloging the horrors at this point. It amazes me that they can't see the game is up.

But as has been said before, Trump represents America perfectly. He's ugly, fat, obnoxious, has no intellectual curiosity and only cares about money.

We'll never find a better model. We should clone Trump so he can be president in perpetuity. Just imagine -- an army of naked, orange Trump clones stretching into the distance as far as the eye can see. .... Ah, I'm getting so choked up by this vision that I can't continue, it's just so beautiful. God bless America!

2:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Onward-

I knew it was Game Over a long time ago, but one thing I didn't anticipate was that the ending wd be so farcical. Trumpi is not only a TV character (literally); he is also a cartoon character. So the agent of History turns out to be a buffoon. I guess we can say that History has a rather warped sense of humor.

Tom-

In order to benefit from Lind's advice, Americans wd have to read. Well, that settles that.

mb

3:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Onward: I meant to say, 'vicious buffoon'. Sorry. Meanwhile:

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2018/jun/27/trevor-noah-stephen-colbert-supreme-court-trump-travel-ban

4:00 AM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

I am all for joining the Wafer Urine Squad. I think we should even have a Wafers Flinging Faeces Special Unit (WFFSU) for the most critical assignments. Nevertheless, I am afraid that Trumporrhea has long become shame-resistant.

4:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Trumpi will meet with Putin in Helsinki next month. You are all encouraged to create a dialogue for this event, along w/a subtext. E.g.:

Putin: O great light of the Free World! It is a pleasure to meet with you.
Subtext: Jesus, what a jackass. And this clown Bolton! His face looks like the rear end of a horse.

Trumpi: I too am honored by your presence.
Subtext: Well, this guy must be a gd guy: he recognizes my greatness.

Putin: I am sure all our differences can be resolved.
Subtext: How can I steal this guy's underpants away from him without him even noticing it? Meanwhile, Bolton reminds me of our famous novel, "The Idiot."

etc.

8:51 AM  
Blogger k_pgh said...


http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/394384-poll-trump-approval-rating-ticks-up-to-47-percent

"Trump's approval rating was lifted in part by a 10 point climb among Hispanic voters."

"His approval rating rose by 6 points among Republicans and by 4 points among Democrats"

"The majority of registered voters approve of Trump’s work to stimulate jobs, handle the economy and fight terrorism"

9:06 AM  
Anonymous John S said...

We need Steven Pinker to put together some new charts to prove once in for all that we are really descending into ever new heights of reason, science, humanism, progress with Trump leading the way! It doesn't have to exist in reality, charts are more real that reality. There has to be a chart showing the progressive cumulative progress of each and every tweet.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

Fools and morons (turkeys if you like) are everywhere, not just in the USA :

Trump worshipped as a God in Janagaon district :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEAD33WdQQw

I noticed this as a facebook post by Tariq Ali.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Healthy Bull said...

Morris, re: the Red Hen ref.:

I disagree w all of my peers on that one. That Sarah Sanders was shown the door. I mean, we all need to eat. And breaking bread together is a sign of healthy societal psyche in all other cultures on earth. It's a great place for sober debate. You do not find this in ours.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Healthy-

I tell ya, if I ran a restaurant and David Brooks showed up, I'd tell him he cd stay, but only if he was willing to eat nothing but turkey.

Marc-

Well, he *is* a god: Kali, god of destruction. I worship him as well.

mb

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Just checking in, although I'm still a regular reader.

Watched The Monuments Men last night & was struck by its emphasis on quiet decency & the cultural, spiritual value of the arts … and how utterly alien those sentiments are today. I also remembered your discussion in Twilight of American Culture of how people, even highly regarded scholars, quite literally forgot how to think in depth & complexity during the Dark Ages. I understood it intellectually when I first read it; now I understand it viscerally. The scenes in Monuments Men as retreating Nazis burn hundreds of looted paintings, rather than let them survive for anyone else - the sheer contempt for anything we'd regard as civilization, culture, basic humanity - couldn't help but remind me of how many Americans now would gleefully wield the flamethrowers with the same sneering, almost orgiastic contempt. No, not "would" - ARE. NOW. From national parks & wilderness, to schools & real education … well. You know. And is a contemporary version of barrels upon barrels of gold teeth all that far away now?

Marx was absolutely right about history repeating itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

The Republicans are useful for chaos and destruction, but what the heck is the purpose of Democrats? Slick Willy's welfare reform & mass incarceration, Queen Bee Shillary's vote for the Iraq War (not to mention the mess she caused as SOS), Barack "Drone Strike" Obummer's crackdown on whistle blowers, and on and on. They had the opportunity to hold Bush accountable in '07 and did nothing! They had the opportunity to pass REAL health care reform in'09-'10 and once again did nothing! They just recently voted to increase our incredibly over-bloated military budget and now are crying over the retirement of Justice Kennedy? https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/msnbcs-chris-matthews-warns-democrats-must-stop-trumps-next-justice-wild-rant-i

^^ Let's hope this Supreme Court nomination is the final coffin on the most useless political party in U.S. history. Sorry to all my female, LGBT, and immigrant friends -- the Democratic Party is spineless and stands for nothing. They're the "Ronald Reagan" of the 2010's. If endless wars, increasing wealth disparity, for-profit "health" care, and mass shootings aren't convincing you to pack up your bags, then a Supreme Court made up of the Family Research Council and the Westboro Baptist Church will!

1:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mil-

We have 2 parties. One is insane, the other is brain damaged. Plus a population that doesn't know its ass from its elbow. The joy that this brings to a declinist's heart can scarcely be imagined. From a certain vantage pt, it's all quite hilarious.

mb

2:13 PM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...

Hola Wafers,

Regarding the euphoria of the DSA candidate who just won the NYDem primary, it is hard to see how this isn't going to serve to alienate otherwise would be Democratic voters who keep hearing how evil all whites are from the postmodern liberal minority contingent. Tribal consciousness (AQOV) then triggered, these folks stay home from the polls and voila another Republican controlled Congress. Calling the Democratic Party an organization is an affront to the word organize(d) at this point. It will be fun to laugh at them lose again, they are so clueless.

Dio, No noblesse oblige in U.S., which MB attributes to 'being born bourgeois,' I tend to agree. Plus they have no taste, are soulless, therefore no patronage of arts.

Tim Lukeman, I was so happy to see your name. For those of you who don't know, this guy is the best, I wish he were my uncle. Please don't go away again.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim-

I want to 2nd Patrick's plea. Don't lurk, amigo; live! We need u here.

As for Democratic candidates, I can only suggest years of institutionalization, to include an IV Haldol drip, ECT, stelazine, thorazine, and heavy beatings. Plus TLC, of course.

mb

3:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

So what else is new dept.:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/heavy-police-activity-reported-around-capital-gazette-newsroom-in-annapolis/2018/06/28/32e0123e-7b05-11e8-93cc-6d3beccdd7a3_story.html?utm_term=.7c26653751f8

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Mean Gene Kaz said...

GSWH and WAFERS worldwide

Good Fortune would have it that I heard Professor Berman being interviewed one morning on C-SPAN, at a time when I still watched tv, back in Las Vegas in 2000. I immediately went to a nearby bookstore, B&N, I believe, and bought a copy of "Twilight of American Culture". Game changer, when I realized this great author illuminated, with great eloquence, my thought process of the preceding 40 years.

Now, a lot of water underneath the bridge. But I am still reading and I am still standing!

Thank you Morris and all WAFERS for the world's greatest blog! AQOV - one of my fave reads.

O&D!

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Mike R said...

More american "greatness."

https://wtop.com/anne-arundel-county/2018/06/md-gov-hogan-lawmakers-react-to-capital-gazette-shooting-in-annapolis/

WAFERS--be on the look out for: thoughts and prayers, prayers and thoughts, sad piano musak, bottom lip biting by pollies and the corporate-owned populace, patriotic light shows, blue ribbon panels trying to 'get to the bottom of it,' crazy lone gun man, terrorism talk, hand wringing for 'gun control,' justice will be served, psychiatrists/psychologists looking for 5 min of blather fame, we must all come together yammer, he/she (gunman) was such a nice person,

and.... rinse, lather, and repeat.



5:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

Well said. Here's one thing you will *not* hear: "It's the nature of the society in which we live."

Gene-

Many thanks. You are one mean dude. But then so am I, as you imply. I tell ya, sometimes I sit on my couch, staring into space, and contemplate my greatness until I actually get dizzy. How much greatness can a single human being contain? But then I think: perhaps I'm actually divine. That wd explain a lot. (I suggest we go w/that.)

In the meantime, I'm also contemplating what an absolute circus the US is these days. It outdoes any novel by Kurt Vonnegut, any film by Fellini. Consider the rise and fall of Sarah Palin, Ging Newtrich, Rom Mittney, Black Lives Matter, and the Pussy Hat Brigade. Where *are* all these people? WTF happened to them? I suggest: It's all theater. None of it is real, Trumpi especially. It's just a magic lantern show, of the collapse of a once-great nation. Who besides the NYT can take any of this crap seriously? Millions upon millions of angry, not very bright people jacking off. A fucking clown show, and a total of 170 people understand that we are shadow boxing in the dark. Pass the popcorn, dudes; I can't wait for the next episode.

mb

6:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Gene: sequel to QOV is now available: AWTY. Check it out. (It may be the only bk on Amazon that has divine authorship.)

6:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps2: This is nice:

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lawful-resident-20180628-htmlstory.html

6:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps3: And whatever happened to all those young folks, marching to force the govt into gun control legislation? They were going to do so much! It was so exciting! But wait...it all came to nothing at all. Que sorpresa. Where *are* they now, all those young, powerful change agents? I heard--don't quote me--that they are now sitting around with their thumbs up their recta. Hmm. I was abs. certain they were going to turn the country around. A collection of well-meaning ignoramuses. What the hell, more theater.

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...


Something that seems to get lost in the discussion is WHY the owner of the Red Hen asked Sanders et al to leave. The owner was quoted as saying that she employs several gay workers, and they were uncomfortable serving Sanders and her party. Restaurants, big or small town, hire the unemployable people who can't fit into the typical office jobs, and thus become "home" for people whom the "regular community" won't accept because they are "different".

The owner honored their discomfort by refusing service, eliminating the possibility of an awkward situation escalating into things people may have later regretted. The equivalent in terms of race would be asking black people to serve the pajama-clad Klueless K-LAN. Something bad might happen.

Removing the context of the situation leads to generalization, and that in turn avoids the uncomfortable truth that we are living amidst a war. Tolerance seems to be at an all time low, which is exactly why this happened in the first place! Is it possible to simply tolerate a decision made by a restaurant owner in a small town, in a red county, who was protecting her non-traditional employees from a possible bad outcome with someone who has nation-wide exposure, a very active twitter account, the ear of the president, and the power of her own position? If the situation went sideways, who do you think would suffer the most? Who has the power in this situation?

The owner took the heat for her employees, dirty awnings and all. What's not to like about that? That boss is fucking brilliant.

Puss (no relation to Pussy Hats, whoever that is)


8:55 PM  
Blogger Mark S Deagle said...

I dont want to here any crying from those who voted for Jill Stein, what a wasted vote where is she now.? The Stein voters are going to love the Judge Trump puts on the high court. The right wing court is going to stick it to all the voters. I hope these clowns that voted for stein or trump will be happy for years to come. But than again there is not many years left for this country.All so trump wants to go lick Putins boots in July. He has to pay up for all the help he got from him.By the way how is that deal with North K coming? i here the leader still can't stop laughing about trump.Are we getting tiered of all this winning that trump told us would happen once he got into office ? lol . Dr Berman can you tell me why so many brain dead people voted for trump the conman? no dont waste your time i just learned to your last talk called {Are we here yet} i love it i wish you would do more talks, keep up the good work.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Rupe said...

Professor B-

Do you recall where you were when man landed on the moon. I had a fascinating convo w/ my Granddad Frank about it. He confided in me about how he said it was the one time in his life that he felt like the country stood for something, that we really were special. How does this peak in US history looked at thru the declinist model?

Appreciated.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mark-

We also hafta ask why so many people voted for Botox Face. Brr. Frightening gal. Meanwhile, I have another interview coming up on Sunday, which I'll post once I have it in reasonable format. Title: "Chopped Liver Is the Answer."

Puss (n Boots)-

A pussy hat is not a person, it's an actual hat. In the wake of Trumpi's victory, courageous women took to the streets, wearing pussy hats, to reject the election, rebuke Trumpo, and perhaps make a revolution. They accomplished so much, you can't imagine.

https://www.shutterstock.com/search/pussy+hat

I had written all the Big Feminists beforehand, suggesting that they wear douche bags on their heads instead of pussy hats, which I thought wd be more appropriate, but they never wrote back.

https://www.shutterstock.com/search/douche-bag

mb

9:30 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

My god, but liberals in this country are a total clown show. They are crying at the retirement of Anthony Fucking Kennedy, a rich, 80-year-old douchebag who was put on the court by Reagan, wrote the majority opinion for the hideous Citizens United decision that was the last nail in the coffin of American "democracy," voted to put Bush in the White House over Gore, and among other egregious decisions voted to allow strip searches of prisoners arrested on minor offenses and voted to overturn DC's handgun ban. How exactly is the next guy Trump picks going to be any worse?

@Dio--wind the clock back to the 1960s and 1970s and the were all kinds of news reports skewering the business class. Mike Wallace made his career on 60 Minutes with such exposes. It's pretty obvious why the media never points out that if businesses didn't hire illegal immigrants such immigration would dry up--they don't want to offend their advertisers. The book Methland is a decade old (so a bit dated), but it demonstrates how in one Iowa town where chicken processing was the main source of income for the working class, their wages were deliberately undercut when their bosses ran ads for the jobs in Mexican newspapers along the border. The title of the book will tell you what happened next.

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Zen Cynic said...

Dr. B,

I presume that your 3rd postscript, above, refers to the Annapolis, MD, gun massacre. If so, I hafta say you don't undersand! With their stirring slogan, "Enough is Enough," students were referring to school shootings only. Shooting journalists is still OK, obvs.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

GSWH’s mention of Kurt Vonnegut (“...what an absolute circus the US is these days. It outdoes any novel by Kurt Vonnegut...”) prompts me to recommend a book I am just finishing: Kurt Vonnegut Letters, edited by Dan Wakefield.

In one of the letters from 10 April 1979 to Russian writer Irina Grivnina, Vonnegut mentions that in his latest book he includes a quotation from Schiller: “Against stupidity even the gods struggle in vain.” Another letter, this to literary critic Leslie Fiedler from February 1974 contains this statement: “As some old man in Plato’s dialogues said about not feeling the sex urge any more: I feel as though I were at last allowed to dismount from a wild horse.”

Wakefield closes the book with the last words of advice Vonnegut wrote to be delivered to an audience: “And how should we behave during this Apocalypse? We should be unusually kind to one another, certainly. But we should also stop being so serious. Jokes help a lot. And get a dog, if you don’t already have one...I’m out of here.”

9:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas-

I believe it was Socrates who said that, as reported by Plato.

Zen-

No, I was referring to marches that took place several mos. ago, and generated no gun control legislation whatsoever.

Bill-

Yr rt: liberals are morons and Kennedy was a rt-wing douche bag, but rest assured: whomever Trumpi picks to succeed him will be worse.

Rupe-

I was living in a house just north of London at the time. It seemed impressive, of course; and yet, as basically a Cold War move that cost $25 billion in 1973 dollars (or nearly $250 billion in today's dollars), it was a spectacular waste of time and energy. What we could have done w/that $ to improve things here at home! It was also part of the ever-expansionist mentality that Americans have been governed by for 400+ yrs, and which has now hit a wall. The earth is our only home, but given our mentality, when we colonize the moon, we'll ruin that as well. Overreaching is a major factor in our decline, 2b sure. If you hafta be everywhere and control everything, then you are mentally ill, and yr fate is sealed.

mb

10:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cruelty as basic to the American Way of Life:

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/28/opinions/separating-families-is-americas-legacy-opinion-love/index.html

11:28 PM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

I feel as if I am a survivor of the Zombie Apocalypse, surrounded by braindead people who don't have the sense to look up from their phones when they're crossing a parking lot, and in spite of everything that is going on in the world I just read a headline that thousands are arguing on Twitter about how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

11:28 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The American we thought we knew is GONE


https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/06/supreme-court-is-now-trumps-and-so-we-grieve-for-america.html

1:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

George-

A bit too long. Make sure you don't exceed half-page limit. Thanks.

jj-

This is good, right? (From a declinist pt of view)

mb

4:28 AM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

MB --

Given what is going on with immigrants and the history, I do not understand why people still want to move to US. I moved when young and believed in the fallacy that if you are talented and willing to work hard you can achieve success. My time on Wall Street made me realise that this is bullshit. Apart from the racism, which I can tolerate by assuming that only a few are racist, success on Wall Street is achieved by the best cocksuckers and backstabbers. While it is true that compared to India some things are much better in US and that makes quality of life better. But I only see that there is great infrastructure, better medical facilities, and maybe for consumer minded people more crap to buy. But is that all life comprises of ? I didnt find much to borrow from American culture either. Why do people give up their family, friends, culture, etc to move then. And most of my friends are always in a limbo if they should move back (more so now after the Trump virus is spreading). But they haven't, hardly 5% ever move back. I don't know what lures them to the US amidst such chaotic life. Is it just greed or some kind of special status is attached to being in US ?

Also I believe that one of main reasons why people migrate is that they cant handle their insecurities so want to run away from their network and project that life is then much better elsewhere and they are having a wonderful career etc. When in fact its same bullshit corporate life everywhere. I can understand if people are running away from war or unlivable places but otherwise its hard to fathom.

You being an American Citizen, decided to move out. Why do you think others cant take the step ?

5:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

George-

The American Dream has been called "The greatest story ever sold." Millions, maybe billions, still believe the sts. are paved w/gold, and that they'll live a wealthy lifestyle here. In addition, many are fleeing persecution or impossible economic conditions where they live, so the US is attractive to them.

On other fronts:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/29/israelis-call-world-intervene-behalf-palestinians

mb

5:13 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Doctor,
Nice letter from the Israelis but truly a case of too little, too late. Palestine is essentially no more. In 1947 Palestinians lived on 92% of the British mandate. Today it's about 20% and fastly shrinking. Pappe writes that all the negotiations were merely delaying tactics designed to give Israel more time to build settlements or as Sharon would say "Facts on the ground." I certainly don't know how any Israeli can sleep at night knowing that only a few miles away millions of Palestinians are under a brutal military occupation and I don't see how any diaspora Jew can look at a map and feel proud what Israel has done. This letter, in other words, is at least 50 years too late.
It's clear that Kennedy was told leave or else reading between the lines of yesterday's NYT's "Inside the White House's Quiet Campaign to Create a Supreme Court Opening." What a worthless piece of flotsam he turned out to be supporting Citizens United and giving W. the presidency. Shows how desperate progressives are that he is lauded as some type of moderate. It's clear that within a year abortion will be illegal or made too difficult to get. Hey, what better time, especially ladies, to play with your I-phone!

9:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

It's clear that no letter or international public outcry is going to alter the Israeli trajectory, of course. It's an apartheid situation that will only be changed demographically, as was the case in South Africa, but that is probably decades away. I wonder if Israel will make it to its 100th birthday (2048). Nice to have the letter, nonetheless--conscience of a nation, and so forth.
As for Kennedy: what would that 'or else' be? The judges strike me as being pretty secure.

mb

9:48 AM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

Even braindead morons outta know we all fucked now, Clarence Thomas would b wise to retire while Trump in WH thereby ensuring his seat remains approved by the Federalist Society for the next 40 yrs. No way Ginsburg and Breyer make it thru Trumps second term (maybe even Alito). Best case scenario will be a break up of the union. It's way past time,it's been like a bad marriage since the Civil War.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

Yes, bad marriage since Civil War. Check out WAF, ch. 4. Meanwhile, Trumpi reigns:

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/29/politics/donald-trump-white-house-anthony-kennedy/index.html

This is also nice:

https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2018/05/world/el-salvador-police-intl/

mb

9:59 AM  
Blogger librarian@play said...

Wafers will find resonance in this poem by Jesús Castillo:

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/untitled-6

10:25 AM  
Blogger Cindy Shirar-Conaway said...

Greetings from a long-time "lurker..."

Thought I'd share:

https://youtu.be/lZa7zHheTbI

It just keeps getting better!

Love to you, Dr. Berman, and fellow WAFers.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Morris,

Your recent list of whatever happened...to the kids marching to force the government to enact gun control laws, OWS, Pussy hats etc etc is a sad commentary on the state of our country. I was thinking the media always presents these 'movement's as hopeful signs of positive change. And then it all goes down the drain.

Recently read an interview with Chomsky who was asked why Trump won the presidency and his first reason was people were tired of Obama's hope and change bull shit. The same can be said of all these other false starts. I'm finally getting tired of Amy Goodman's 24/7 coverage of all the change that's coming. Even though she seems to believe it's making a huge difference, it feels so hollow. The proof is in the pudding and this pudding turned bad years ago.

Marianne

2:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cindy-

Don't lurk; live! This blog is the only bit of life left in the country. As for that video: As a declinist, I applaud that woman, and can only hope that many more like her will come forward and go batshit in stores across the nation. We need to introduce her to Shaneka Torres, clearly. I wd put her on a ticket w/Lorenzo Riggins any day. Or perhaps appt her to head up some dept. of mental health.

We send you our love also. This blog is essentially a love-in, a la the 60s. We also have a love object of the day. Today, it's Rom Mittney. Tomorrow, Huckabee.

mb

3:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

Cdn't run it (too long).

mb

3:52 PM  
Blogger Politically Incorrect Russian Spy said...

“Safe, happy and free”

Finland, a nation largely invented by university philosophy professors, is everything the United States is not:

“The country has been ranked the most stable, the safest and best governed country in the world. It is also among the least corrupt and the most socially progressive. Its police are the world’s most trusted and its banks the soundest.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/12/safe-happy-and-free-does-finland-have-all-the-answers

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Just a short comment & reminder from 37 years ago at this point:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uAiWFdoJDg

Marianne, I agree with you. While I'd personally love to believe that MB is completely wrong & that things will turn around happily for us all, of course I can't. Who honestly could? Wishing it could be so is one thing, but hoping that it will be so is delusional. I'm afraid it's NMI, either here or elsewhere, preserving our own little portions of civilization & sanity as best we can.

I'm basically a tenderhearted sort, striving to live that in my daily life; but these days much (if not most) of that feeling goes to all the other species that'll suffer horribly because of the prevailing American worldview that money & power are the measure of all things. Nature helps keep me sane & reasonably healthy, as do likeminded people … but they tend to be few & far between, don't they?

An anecdotal little detail that says so much: Target has replaced a lot of its human cashiers with automated pay stations. At the end of the transaction, the cheerful young female voice of the machine says something like, "Don't forget to to grab your receipt." Not "take" your receipt. Not "get" your receipt. "Grab" your receipt. Because "grab" says it all.

Patrick Fitzgerald, thanks for the kind words. I'll drop in on a more regular basis.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim-

Hmm. Maybe I shd rethink things. Maybe there's a wonderful future in the cards for us all. I mean, why not? Maybe David Brooks is a cutting-edge intellect, and Kim K. is the height of taste, discretion, and good sense. I think I'm gonna cashier this blog and start one called "Coming Up Roses."

Peace & Love,
mb

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Henri of Atlanta said...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/12/safe-happy-and-free-does-finland-have-all-the-answers

A GOOD SURVEY OF MY HOMELAND !!

7:47 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Wafers-

Limerick for Trumpo and Putin in Helsinki:

There once was a girl from Helsinki
Who feel deep in luv w/a Twinkie
For he thought he had died
When the white stuff inside
Erupted all over his binkie.

Tim-

Wow, a blast from the past. It's good to read yr words again. I sincerely hope you are doing well.

Cheers,

Miles

7:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Schmucko-

We have several rules on this blog. One is, pls limit yr posts to 1/2 page max. For that reason, I had to delete you. Suggest you compress by 50%, try again. Thanks.

mb

8:37 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@George Carlin--in Linh Dinh's book, he is fiercely critical of immigrants who come to America for economic reasons, basically accusing them of abandoning their communities back home--and he makes a none-too-subtle connection between the "Nation of Immigrants" idea and the lack of respect of the idea of community here in America. After all, why bother to build a community and deal with your problems if all you're going to do is pull up stakes and move somewhere else yet again? And this from a guy who came here as a refugee when he was a child.

@Puss--what you said about the owner of the Red Hen makes her sound like she's trying to evade responsibility for making a political decision she knew would be controversial. If it were a black customer who presence made the white fry cook feel "uncomfortable," would THAT have been okay?

Speaking of shoes that desperately need gallons of urine: The Queen of the Pussyhats will not step down, despite how important defeating Trump supposedly is: The Pelosi Factor: Poll Shows 55 Percent Of Registered Voters Are Unlikely To Support Anyone Who Supports Nancy Pelosi

12:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Just look at that face, willya?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/29/hillary-clinton-on-trumps-child-detention-policy-it-keeps-me-up-at-night

mb

3:59 AM  
Anonymous Teri Schooley said...

To Tim Lukeman,

If you enjoy reading, try the book "The Monuments Men" by Robert M. Edsel, which was the basis for the movie. I read it before the movie came out and found it surprisingly gripping. I say 'surprisingly', since I thought the book would be some sort of dry recounting of historic data and name-places; it is not that at all. The movie had to leave much out, due to constraints on running time, no doubt.

Dr. Berman,

I'm glad you are keeping the blog going. I always stop by to read what you and the commenting community have to say, but just can't find the heart to say much myself. I dunno, I just don't find any of this shit funny any more. I'm stuck here in the US for a number of reasons, and as I get closer to retirement age, I am only feeling more and more dread at what lies in store. I've been working since I was 14 yrs old - but always at low-paying jobs and using that meager income to raise 3 kids alone - so I have no 'retirement' but SS/ Medicare, and Congress can't wait to strip us of that.

And I have to say, the thought that the fate of people like me (not *everyone* who was born in the US is a mean, stupid asshole, after all) rests on the whims of a vicious, ignorant pig like Trump is freaking depressing. That we had to choose between him and the war-mongering liar Clinton in 2016 is de facto proof that the whole election was a farce set up by the oligarchy.

How do you continue to find a sense of humor in the middle of this death spiral we are on? How does anyone?

- Teri

6:39 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Doctor,
I fully agree Israel will not make its centennial. Yes, both Israelis and Palestinians have high birth rates but Palestinian kids grow up to be fighters while the majority of Israeli children are from the ultra-orthodox who as soldiers make Gomer Pile a death machine. In fact soon the ultra orthodox will comprise near 30% of the population. Perhaps it's me but I just don't feel sitting in the kitchen all day reading scripture is prescription for protecting the country. Also, the lord giveth... Israel was created to advance western interests in the region or as Melvin Laird once said, Israel is "the cop on the beat." After Hair there may be a serious strategic thinker in the WH who will finally agree what both State and the Pentagon have said for years-Israel is a strategic liability especially as the west gains new friends in the region.There are other reasons too. Global warming is making the entire region uninhabitable especially with regard to water. Thus Israel covets southern Lebanon for instance. Anyway, the entire project was insane to begin with-grafting a western people in the heart of the middle east. But as Kevin Phillips said, "The British put the "n" in nasty.

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

On the subject of immigrants, I used to know a Polish couple that flipped houses. They told me straight up that they were only staying in America until they made enough money to move back to Poland and live well. They had two young children and they told me that they didn’t want them to grow up in the United States. They were trying to make enough money to move back to Poland before their children reached school age. I lost contact with them so I don’t know how their story turned out.

I guess you could say that the Polish couple were hustlers but at the same time they seemed to know enough about the dark side of American culture that they didn’t want to raise their children in that culture. I used to know some older Italians who did the same thing. As soon as they made enough money they left the United States with their families and moved back to Italy.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

Higher rates for the Palestinians, I believe, which is why Israel is drifting toward an untenable situation. BTW, I think the British also put the T in Typhoo. Well, that's what the ads say, anyway.

Teri-

Great to have you back! Between you and Tim, it's like a family reunion. I'm sorry yr stuck in the US. The situation is a lot less funny, I grant you, when yr not in it. From outside the country, American goings-on come across as completely surreal: a bad Fellini movie, if you will. And yr right to dread, because you can't imagine what's coming down the pike. That will definitely *not* be funny, no question abt it, and I'm guessing it's a mere 10-15 yrs away.

The funny aspect rt now, at least to me, is the sheer stupidity of most Americans, even the smart ones. They cannot see what is rt in front of their nose. The progs are most pathetic in this regard. As Gore Vidal once said, "Stupidity excites me."

mb

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

@Dr. B, I know what pussy hats are, but was trying to make a joke (and a point). What can I say, I'm just a character in a John. D. MacDonald novel.

@Bill, understanding what the restaurant owner did would require the ability to put yourself in the gay servers shoes who are expected to serve a group profoundly anti-gay. The other part is nicely summed up by Dr. B in Twilight: the commodification of knowledge necessarily means a loss of nuance. The hysteria this event engendered is reduced by considering the context. Not sure what the cooks have to do with it, but the "back of the house" in a restaurant is much, much different from the front that must interact with the public (the servers). If you feel the need to piss gallons on my shoes, have at it.

Teri, you are not alone by far, and welcome (back?) to the blog. I'm stuck, too, with a similar background. We will have to get through this somehow, and we will. This blog is a reminder that sanity does still exist somewhere, even in the virtual world. I'm currently re-reading Twilight of American Culture by our host. It's been about 10 years since I last read it, and it is helping.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Puss-

Well, give yrself a laugh: TMWQ.

mb

9:38 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

David Graeber, an anthropology professor at the London School of Economics, published an article in Strike magazine in August 2013 on bullshit jobs. Here’s the introductory para, and a link:

“In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that, by century's end, technology would have advanced sufficiently that countries like Great Britain or the United States would have achieved a 15-hour work week. There's every reason to believe he was right. In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn't happen. Instead, technology has been marshaled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. In order to achieve this, jobs have had to be created that are, effectively, pointless. Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.”

https://strikemag.org/bullshit-jobs/

Now, Graeber’s thesis appears in expanded form in a book reviewed in the NYT:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/26/books/review/david-graeber-bullshit-jobs.html?emc=edit_bk_20180629&nl=book-review&nl_art=&nlid=52877895edit_bk_20180629&ref=headline&te=1

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Teri -

Avid reader here & very much looking forward to reading that book. Like you, my wife & I are still living here in America, retired but with parents in their 80s-90s who need us around. We're happy to be able to help them, but not at all happy with the collapse into crassness & ugliness that's the status quo of this country now.

MB -

Your mention of American stupidity made the phrase "stupidity porn" pop into my mind. That's what the majority of Americans are hooked on, after all. And like all porn, the more one obsesses with it, the more is needed, and at ever-stronger, more bizarre doses. What too many well-meaning liberals don't see (or don't WANT to see) is that the flood of crassness & stupidity isn't something Americans put up with to get what they want, it's that crassness & stupidity ITSELF that they want, and more of it. It's their drug of choice. The destruction of anything remotely cultured & civilized isn't a by-product, it's the very goal they seek. And that they're getting. Until they finally OD on it.

11:45 AM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

Bill -- Agree to a certain extent with Lin Dinh. The thing is America has convinced people by constantly claiming that it is the greatest nation on Earth ever. Even immigrants in US spread this message to others back home. So I don't fully blame young people wanting to explore. But once they move to US they realise its all about hustling. At that point you have a choice to become a hustler or move back. This is where I have a problem with both immigrants and Americans. Why leave your family/friends and culture to become a hustler. And on the other hand how can Americans think that people who have left their home would want to come to US to hate and destroy it.

I get Lin Dinh's point but do not like to be restricted by borders though understand the need for them. At least when it comes to talented people wanting to make a positive contribution to the World why restrict them by borders. Also consider what's happening in US and how sane people are wanting to move out cause they know fighting the stupidity is futile. For me the concept of a nation is like that of parents. You love them and you care for them but don't worship them and claim that they are the best people on Earth. India is my motherland and I thought US would provide the role of a father, but it became more like an abusive father.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

@Teri, all of this is decidedly unfunny, I'm on disability so I figure after they're done fucking with the working poor I'll b next. Trump's election sent me to Xanax b/c I knew it was over. I don't need it now though partly b/c of the blog. I think of it like writing graffiti on the Berlin wall, or gallows humor, or documenting our plight a la Anne Frank. Viktor Frankl helps too and did I mention weed is legal in CO? Kind of hedonistic but enjoy things while it lasts.

Pueblo teachers strike for 2% pay raise and 'win.' State legislature responds by raising contributions to retirement 2% and raising retirement age. Protesting is the new chic way to spend the weekend, they remind me of the idiots who had a picnic on opening battle of Civil War thinking it'd be a rout.
Americans loathe taxes and vote the 'economy.' Kinda says it all.
'The military doesn't train killers it's just finishing school.' -Vietnam vet quoted in Ken Burns documentary.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Tim,

Appreciate your comments and had to smile at your story about grabbing. Just recently I too was saying how that word is heard frequently in stores and among conversations. It is indicative of a crass approach to so much. All the programmed jargon one hears everywhere speaks to the ongoing effort to take away our humanity replacing it with disconnected robotic language. Since I live in the greater Bay Area in California this has become a 'way of life' for so many.

On the other hand my daughter has a 2 and 4 year old and they are being raised very differently from our culture with no TV or technical devices and with lots of time outdoors in parks, at lakes and streams and no preschool. I'm shocked whenever I hear people saying things to them like, 'good job buddy', 'give me a five'. 'use your words' etc. A major disconnect.

Add me to the list of Wafers who welcome you back.

Marianne

12:16 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

I hear Obama is telling democrats to stop whining, get back into the fight. But for what exactly, bringing back democratic centrism - i.e. pretend to care about identity politics but be nice to banks whenever possible? As far as I can tell that was really what Obama was about, meaningless moderation for the sake of a decaying status quo.

When David Lynch said Trump may be one of the greatest presidents, what he may actually pointing to is the fact that Trump represents "real America" what quintessential American values are and how Americans actually think, stupidity, impulsiveness, greed, bigotry, and behaviors aimed at short term success at the expense of the future. Fake news should be really called irrelevant news, Americans can't handle deep analysis of anything, so triviality passes as news. Trump has improved the economy, with massive tax cuts and destruction of regulation and labor protection which "boosts" the economy as anyone should, he has essentially solidified the low wage economy, you can get any number of shitty low paying jobs few opportunities to better yourself, but the illusion exists that things are getting better but essentially it has set up a situation that will end in another economic collapse bigger than the last one, most Americans are too stupid to see this though, you can take sugar pills and feel a burst of energy temporarily but it won't last, it never does.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Mike.R. said...

WAFER Tom Servo--know a few Western European-immigrant acquaintances who are in the house-'motel' business (sharing) with short term boarders b/c the money is so good, and the american real jobs are so scarce.

Every chat w/them involves some permutation of money grabbing, acquiring, advancing, self promotion, next things, constant screen addictions, life coaching seminars/goals etc... Yet they too 'long' for returning to the old country as they viscerally (ontontologicaly?) feel something was not quite right in america (understatement of the century!).

I believe america was a feces magnet. Like moths to a light, like flies to shit, it attracted hollow immigrants with $ dancing in their eyes. They came to america for "opportunity," and if that "opportunity" dries up, it's Canada, NZ, or AU, etc....simply carpet baggers -Grapes of Wrathish journey to try to get rich. I truly believe that those emigrating to america (unless fleeing persecution/horrid life threatening environs), had brain damage.

How can one make an argument for coming to the sht hole? Let's say everything else in the us was roses/rainbows--- the reality remains: 1. NO real health care, 2. no job security/employment at whim-will doctrines, 3. no pensions/retirement, 4. no uni. etc..etc...what other than hu$tling, would be an authentic draw to the us empire?



12:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

Historically, millions came to escape religious or political persecution, or brutal economic conditions. Until the 1924 Quota Law, the US was a true haven (my family on both sides just slipped in under the wire, thus managing to avoid the Russian pogroms that wd have surely killed them).

mb

1:22 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

The estimable Melvyn Bragg gives a good summary of the Mexican-American War.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b7d18j

American turkeys won't break the union because it's codependent. There's nothing for it to break into. The left and the right need their faux political mythologies to make any sense of the world. They need their two cent super heroes and villians. They are *still* engrossed in this Fellini film.

https://www.bloombergquint.com/onweb/2018/06/29/freaked-out-americans-desperately-seek-to-escape-the-news

Finally, some weekend humor

https://www.wonkette.com/is-david-brooks-being-compelled-to-christ-by-new-wifes-vagina-we-are-just-asking-questions

2:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

I doubt one can find a bigger douche bag in the history of the world than David Brooks. What a jackass.

mb

2:42 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Horrific video shows moment attackers knock man out before others rob him...


https://abcnews.go.com/US/horrific-video-shows-moment-attackers-knock-man-rob/story?id=56235752

2:58 PM  
Blogger Chairface Chippendale said...

Hi Wafers; Americans are cognitively incapable of grasping their own false understandings & what unalloyed horseshit they’ve been fed ABT EVERYTHING. They used to be narcotized ciphers. But now each is the epitome of self-contained delusion & zealotry. No evidence, args, or catastrophe-in-realtime will ever jolt them free.

To live among them is a daily personal tragedy. Aftr a lifetime dedicated to labor activism & local commty organizing (surrounded by MLK-types, peaceniks, the poor, & working class folks) I’m pushing 50, living in extreme poverty, & was recently diagnosed w/ a terminal disease (Histiocytosis). My life was wasted. I tried to make the US less hollow/depraved/brutal. I Failed.

Yrs ago I had come to many Waferish conclusions - before my diagnosis, & even before reading Dr B. But Wafers see it clearly. Reading this blog & Dr B.’s bks, Joe Bageant, & Valdas Anelauskas’s “Discovering America As It Is” helped me realize Americans are thr own worst enemy.

I’m now trying to make an awkward, desperate, but supreme effort to leave the US. I’ll prob fail. I was born here but nevr felt like I belonged here, & will now do anythng to not be associated w/ this shithole. I don’t want to be buried in it.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Chair---

1st let me say how sad I was to learn abt your illness. I don't know how much time you have left to live, or whether you can beat the game, but we are a loving community here, and you shd know that every Wafer is pulling for you.

I was also sorry to hear abt your career, and its inevitable failure (for lack of a better word). It wd be great if progressive activity made a difference, but if it did at one time, it just doesn't now. For the US also has a terminal disease--selfishness, cruelty, brutality, incredible narcissism, arrogance, etc.--and there is no changing the "anthropology" of the situation. The fix is in, and has been for quite a while. You might (I hope) beat the game; the US won't. 99% of the population is clueless, and it will stay that way. As a result, the next few decades will not be a happy time, as I've said repeatedly. Hope and optimism are great things, but only in a context that renders them sensible.

In any case, I do hope you can get out of the country. I myself felt like a stranger in a strange land from abt age 8. My last 12 yrs, in Mexico, have been the happiest yrs of my life.

I'm currently working on the Fellini chapter of my bk on Italy, and ran across the following quote:

"What I care about most is the freedom of man, the liberation of the individual man from the network of moral and social convention[s] in which he believes, or rather in which he thinks he believes, and which encloses him and limits him and makes him seem narrower, smaller, sometimes even worse than he really is."

I can't imagine an individual with a greater spiritual distance from the US than Federico Fellini.

Good luck, amigo, and stay in touch-

mb

6:34 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Wafers-

Well, my wife and I went to the LA protest to blast Trumpo's immigration policies. It was a good crowd, despite the extreme heat. The Trumpites were there as well. I saw a guy wearing a T-shirt that said: "I love Trump's Hate!" Sums it up perfectly, yes? It was an exercise in futility, of course. In any case, our day ended at Canter's Deli.

Chair-

So sorry to hear about yr diagnosis. As MB's eloquent sentiments articulate, we are all w/you in spirit.

Miles

8:30 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Chairface, there's a lot of us that are stuck in the US. I'm pathetically reduced to buying a lottery ticket once a week for a chance to win GTFO money. My goal in life is to share a meal with MB in a lovely Cafe in Mexico.

Failing that, teo things come to mind. First, all it takes is one moment of enlightenment and it's all good after that, wether it's a hundred days or a hundred years. Secondly, America is chck fulla ugly people, but parts of the landmass itself is beautiful beyond belief. Being in the second may aid the first.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

God, you know how to make me jealous. For me, prayer, or worship, consists of slowly devouring a pastrami sandwich at Canter's. Someday I'll get back there...

mb

8:40 PM  
Blogger Jude I said...

"I wake up sometimes way in the night and I know as certain as death that there aint nothin short of the second comin of Christ that can slow this train." Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

It would be enjoyable to listen to a conversation between you and Mr. John Ralston Saul, Mr. Berman.

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

MB & Wafers,

Sorry to have been so quiet - enjoying Italy! But I've been keeping up with the blob.

James Allen - I loved that Strike! article by Graeber - how true! I've been thinking lately that much of the way US/Western societies are structured is to ensure there is no free time or true independence of the masses. As someone said of the 60s - way too much democracy here! So we find our society has developed into one of bullsh@# jobs, that people MUST take so they can pay off their ridiculously large student loans (which conveniently cannot be discharged even in bankruptcy), and they are always in fear of losing that bullsh@# job. Then add into the mix the population's dependence on social media, where they share their most intimate details with all their 'friends", and then get fired for something they said/did on their own time (does that even exist anymore?). It is insane!

Dr B - I am SOOO looking forward to your Italy book! We so enjoy it here, my husband always talks about our tiny home as our "little piece of paradise." I also very much enjoyed your Japan book - as a little background, I lived in Japan in the early 80s (1st hubby was in the Navy) and thoroughly enjoyed it. (I also learned to play the koto, have been playing ever since, give a concert every summer here in Italy as well - the Italians seem to enjoy it! Keeps me sane.) Living in both these places truly gave me a different perspective on the US.

Chair - First, so sorry to hear of your diagnosis - we're all pulling for you. Also, thank you for the rec for the Valdas Anelauskas book.

2:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Italiana-

Glad to hear yr enjoying Italy. Who wdn't, really?

As for 'the blob', wasn't that a 1958 horror film?

maurizio

3:59 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Teri,

I hear you about Trump being a "vicious ignorant pig". It is indeed hard to feel at ease when he is constantly on TV, showering us with his vileness 24/7. I'm an insomniac, and when I can't sleep I often turn on MSNBC or one of the news-channels, and there he is, his bloated, hate-spewing orange visage, accosting us like some raging and abusive spouse! Well, I've been thinking about how damaging this really is. Just allowing him to rent space in our heads, when we could be filling our minds with beautiful images from books or nature...

It will take some discipline in my case, because it is interesting to see what new outrage has happened in the past 12 hours! But on balance, I think that even allowing the "vicious pig" into our mental space really does concrete harm (stress, depression, frustration, etc) . Perhaps a noble WAFER goal should be, over time, to become completely ignorant of the names of any of our elected representatives, and ultimately, to have absolutely no idea of what is going on in the world. We could be the equivalent of "pious fools" at social events and family gatherings, and revel in our happy ignorance!

4:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Turkeys in the straw dept.:

http://money.cnn.com/2018/06/27/news/royal-family-financial-report/index.html

(Meanwhile, millions of Brits stay alive by buying canned dog food at Sainsbury's.)

mb

4:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

George-

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

mb

9:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

There's nothing like a gd stabbing rampage:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/07/01/boise-stabbing-refugees-among-9-injured-1-arrested-after-attack-police-say/?utm_term=.85c846810d00

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

I've been reading a lot of Daniel Berrigan lately, and finding that so much of what he wrote 50 years wasn't just about the crisis at hand then, but about the mindset that created it & that continues unabated today. This also has me thinking about the spiritual void that is American (un-)culture, that hates, scorns & fears anything remotely like compassion, grace, beauty, reflectiveness … hardly news to Wafers, I know! But those thoughts were reinforced by Dave Eggers' op-ed:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/opinion/dave-eggers-culture-arts-trump.html

As always, the comments are well worth reading.

Which brings me back to Daniel Berrigan, who writes about spirit & meaning by exploring Camus, Ionesco, others, as much or more as scripture. And I remember that by living as closely to the spirit of Christ as he saw it, he was rejected & attacked & hounded by his church as well as by the government. Italiana mentioned "too much democracy!" in the 1960s as a cause for more brutal crackdown; in Berrigan's case, "too much spirit!" The powers that be not only want to deny & destroy our humanity, they want to deny & destroy our souls. Disposable commodities have neither humanity or souls, only monetary value (or not).

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Francois said...

I have a book recommendation, Titian: His Life by Sheila Hale.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Artemus Gordon said...

James Allen,

Thanks for the link to the Strike! article about bullshit jobs. I have pondered this question since my high school days during the 1970s. I hated that I barely knew my dad because he worked constantly. Then, when he wasn't at work he was horrible to be around due to the stress of endless work. I always hoped it would change as technology improved and I got older, but I am nearly as bad as my dad with my 12-year old son and I hate it. At least I try to stay as mindful as possible about the situation.

Anyway, after years of pondering this issue and reading numerous anarchist articles on the subject (anarchists seemed to be about the only source for years) I have concluded that this whole endless work at bullshit jobs is purely about class power. It's about keeping people in their place. About ensuring you know that you are owned. About the cruelty Dr. Berman notes about our culture. It also serves to keep the serfs so busy they would never learn more or contemplate retaliating against their owners, whom they gladly serve.

My wife and I are looking to leave as soon as we can slow the treadmill enough to get too it. Although it may just turn into a cut and run scenario as the Trumpster fire grows to wildfire status.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Ritz said...

MB, would you classify the stabbing and/or the Maryland shooting as acts of terrorism? Or in what way do they differ from ideological motivations that would classify as such? In that both maniacs personified the beliefs of the Individual American Character

2:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ritz-

We don't know much abt the stabber just yet, altho the victims were part of a refugee community. He had apparently been asked to leave the apt complex, wh/may have set him off. In the case of Annapolis, it was a guy who had a long-standing personal (not political) grudge against the newspaper, so terrorism can be ruled out.

You may find "Going Postal," by Mark Ames, enlightening, however.

mb

2:20 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

Chair -- So sorry to hear about your condition. Will hope you beat it and pray for your recovery. While I don't know you and have not been effected by your work, I hope it has bought smiles and happiness to a few and for that we are thankful to you.

You said this in your msg
"My life was wasted. I tried to make the US less hollow/depraved/brutal. I Failed."

MB --
This is something I constantly wonder about. I have met some very amazing people who have tried this and had similar difficult lives. This has made me wonder why a handful of us need to carry the flag of honesty and integrity. What exactly are we going to achieve. 99% of the population don't give a fuck. They want to be wilfully ignorant and get as rich as possible. While the few who try to be brave and honest hardly get anything in return. Forget about wealth, most will be considered to be idiots by the society. In some cases even their own family members consider them to be insane. Most would want an honest person next door but not in their home. They would want their children to be as rich as possible to satisfy their own insecurities. Let the hard work be done by some other idiot, why my kids or me is what most people think. Fucking even kids have become status symbol nowadays. Maybe we should just bury honesty and integrity into history books and become dishonest assholes. Level the playing field and try to be one better than the orange buffoon.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

George-

As I told Chair, in some contexts it makes sense to 'carry the flag', and in others it doesn't. What makes sense in today's America is to hit the road.

mb

3:36 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Chairface--as someone who's been cheating death for years, you have my deepest empthy. I hope you live long enough to not only make it out, but spend some time at peace.

@Puss--sorry, but public opinion polls have consistently shown that around 25% of gay Americans are Republicans, and presumably most support Trump. Just because these gay employees hate Trump does not make them at all representative of gays in general (and gay Republicans are the ultimate soulless American hustlers).

@Megan--the O.J. Simpson trial was what caused me to stop watching not just cable news but all teeevee news. It was pretty obvious then that the media was rapidly debasing itself in pursuit of ratings. I keep up with all I really need to know on the internet--plus I love it when I get to say things (as I did recently) like--"who the hell is Bruno Mars?" The person who tried to educate me by playing one of his horrific songs on her Icrap did so smugly as I kicked back and thought, "what an idiot!"

4:23 PM  
Blogger Chairface Chippendale said...

Thank you Dr. B., Miles, Simba, Italiana, and the whole Wafer cmnty for yr kindness. This blog is indispensible.

@Dr. B: My docs tell me havng such a rare illness precludes life-length predictions, but when pressed they indicated “not long”. But I’m still mobilizing to leave! Abt my career, yr word -failure- is appropriate, even if I always considered half of my vocation to be cultivating the best man I can be. On that score, I’ve had some success.

You are rt abt prog activism too, it is hopeless here. Progs always bothered me. I was closer to a C. Wright Mills type anyway, a prairie rebel, informed by a wide range of soc sci, history, & philology — mostly out of the anti-authoritarian & worker left. But the US only has temp embarrassed millionaires. And a fake, confused Left (liberals).

A breakthru for me was yr “Playing TAPS” article, which rightly points out that Chomsky & S. Wolin largely don’t take into account The Amer People themselves. That + WAF was an epiphany for me! I realized my mistake & left organizing. Now, I resolve to live long enuf to read yr Italy book (no pressure tho).

My post ystrday (& this one) hv been uncharacteristically egocentric. Wafers deserve better. My best to everyone. -from the trenches, CC

4:26 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

White Cop just can’t help himself from stun-gunning a young black man sitting on sidewalk...


https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2018/07/01/unarmed-man-tased-police-sidewalk-pennsylvania-vpx.hln

4:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

I'm really losing my patience w/this sorta thing. Here is a young black thug, obviously a criminal, and instead of blowing his brains out the cop just uses a taser(!). How long can this coddling of criminals go on, in our society?

Chair-

No need to apologize, that's for sure. I'm still hoping you can beat the odds, and certainly, outside the US. Anyway, you failed to turn the US around, but succeeded as an NMI. No minor achievement. In terms of political context, keep in mind that the brainwashing in the US is so powerful, that it can take many yrs for a very tiny minority to realize the country is full of shit, and that all that any American really wants is 'more'($). Converting douche bags to a very different way of life--well, it just ain't gonna happen. 170 Wafers, 327 million douche bags. Do the math.

Regarding TAPs: coincidentally enuf, it just got picked up by a Mexico City journal, and published in Spanish trans. Maybe the new president (hopefully, imo), Lopez Obrador, will read it.

mb

5:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Unknown-

Sorry, I don't post 'Unknowns'. You need a real handle to participate in this discussion. Let me suggest Cranston V. Butterworth III, D.D.S.


Teri-

Really sorry, cdn't run it. We have a rule here of posts being no longer than half a page. Suggest you compress by 50% and re-send. You cd also post it in 2 installments, 24 hrs apart (another rule). Thank you.

mb

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

I thought Wafers would enjoy this article.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/it-is-happening-here-trump-is-already-early-stage-mussolini

It certainly seems Trump has surrounded himself with the same type of psychopaths and sociopaths as Mussolini did.

The author tries to hold out that there is still some hope. Good luck with that.


6:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anjin-

Gd essay. It's interesting to think abt how a full-blown fascist America might be defeated, shd things transpire in a Mussolinish direction. Fascisms are infinitely stable; they can only be overthrown from the outside, which is what happened to the Axis powers in 1944-45. In our case, however, there is no military power that could assault the US and win, so it's not clear how things might play out. We wd probably become hermetically sealed from the rest of the world, and in that sense become irrelevant on the world stage; plus implode internally, esp. economically--one possible scenario. I'm just thinking out loud here, because altho fascism is not the only route America might take to collapse, it can hardly be ruled out at this pt. The historical indicators still remain blurry as of today.

mb

6:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Some blog stats. We lost a Wafer, sad to say, and are now down to 169. However, during the mo. of June there were 45,000 hits on the blog, an increase over past months. It's only a matter of time before Wafer-fellow-travelers will be able to overrun the W.H., the Pentagon, and Wall St., and declare the United Wafer States of America. Whee!

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

Well, I have fallen behind a bit. It's quite a bit of reading to come back to this blog after a few days.

First, regarding Plato and the experience of getting older, I think people are remembering the opening paragraphs of The Republic. A character named Cephalus (literally 'head') quotes Sophocles about how getting older is to be freed from "not one master, but many". It's a dialogue written by Plato, but Socrates is not given those particular lines.

As far as the US becoming openly fascist, I think it has been for decades. Trump has just upset the carefully separated categories of who is or is not subjected to those fascist policies. Used to be only 'third-world' nations getting bullied. Now it's basically anyone. Yet, I don't think the rest of the world has that much to fear from direct military assault. We'll almost certainly be turning most of our fury on each other. Spain is the best parallel to the US among the historical examples of Fascism under the proper name. A second US civil war will disrupt the world economy, but most of the actual violence will be contained here at home.

7:28 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

How do you count the Water population? I can't remember what I did to register on this blog. As for our loss, I'll lower the flag on Wednesday. That outta piss off the rightwing asshats on my block. Whee!

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

I hadn't been down to Bill's neck of the woods since the late 90s/early 2000s until Saturday, when I drove Route 7 east of Leesburg to Wolf Trap, to see Mozart's "Idomeneo." What was once semi-rural farmland on each side of a 4-lane highway with cross-traffic is now one gigantic strip mall along six lanes. It was a rolling conveyor belt of bumper-to-bumper cars as far as the eye could see every time we topped the next ridge. It reminded me of "The Car Culture" in DAA, pages 250-257; worth re-reading!

9:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn-

Depressing, for sure. That's what you get in a country where beauty is regarded as a joke, and hustling the only way of life.

mb

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

MB,

You posted a Fellini quote above and wrote about how you couldn't imagine someone with a greater spiritual distance from the US. From the films I've seen of his, I'd be inclined to agree, but I'm a bit confused by the quote. In fact, the part about "the liberation of the individual man from the network of moral and social convention[s]" seems to be a rather American ideal...the idea that the individual reigns above all, and that no one has any responsibility to anyone else. Wouldn't the network of moral and social conventions be the things that more traditional cultures (like Italy) respect, in terms of food, religion, human interactions, etc.? Could you elaborate on your interpretation of the quote? I'm interested to see how you read it.

Thank you,
Derek

1:34 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Bill,

That's so true about TV news. The other thing that makes it such a waste of time is how they literally spend months and months with the most repetitive and idle speculation. Like, "What will happen with the Mueller investigation?" "Is it O.J. going to get convicted or will he get off?" Well, it's just such a colossal waste of time when you think about it. Why not just ignore all that, and read the front page of the newspaper when these things are finally decided? It will save countless hours that can be spent on better things.

I don't know if anyone has watched "Planet Earth" on Netflix, but it's what I've been watching instead of Trump. It really is one of the best things I've seen in a long time. I would actually recommend watching "Planet Earth 2" first. The cinematography is really breathtaking, maybe even better than part 1. I have no idea how they capture all of that on film. Now I want to watch all the related series, like the one about the oceans, birds, etc. Anyway, I have a theory that I will sleep better and be generally happier if I stop allowing the "vicious pig" into my bedroom, and stick with stuff like this.

3:53 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Dr. B,

Sigh, so much for re-reading my posts for typos! Blog, Blob!!

This is the latest Chris Hedges article on America being a failed state. It's mostly a report of a chat with John Ralston Saul. They both seem to hold out a little hope (although it seems Hedges may finally be getting closer to realizing that time's up!)

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/america-the-failed-state/

Birn, I lived in the DC area (both N VA and MD) for many years. It is one of the most depressing places I've ever lived.

Long conversation last night at a group dinner about Trumpi. One Italian insisted that Trump would have to stand down and apologize for the immigrant children issue. I kept insisting that it didn't matter to him, he didn't care, his base continues to cheer what he's doing. She insisted on this even while noting how pathetic the media is in the US (note that there was virtually zero reporting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization). It's hard for many people to truly understand the state of the US, given the worldwide propaganda about the US.

5:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Derek-

Yeah, it can be confusing, so thank you for raising that point. Fellini in no way endorsed the 'rugged individualism' of the US, and he lived in a society that was a true society--i.e., one which celebrated family, community, craftsmanship, friendship and the like. What he was referring to in that quote are confining systems of thought that are rigid, and that prevent free spontaneous expression. He often said that he was opposed to any system, any fixed order, be it fascism, Marxism, Church dogma, Italian neorealism (film), and so on. His American heroes were not jackasses like John Wayne, and he took no inspiration from American westerns and their value systems. By the end of "La dolce vita" we see a highly individual, narcissistic, alienated Guido (Marcello Mastroianni) living a corrupt and meaningless life. The film is a portrait of decadent, self-serving douche bags. What Fellini loved, and what influenced his movies, were Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Bros., and their ilk. From age 6 he was entranced by clowns and circuses. You get the idea. His 'politics' was much closer to the Surrealists than to the Republican party of the US, by a long shot.

mb

5:36 AM  
Blogger Amazed! said...

What a country!

https://www.activistpost.com/2018/06/taxpayers-shell-out-2-5-million-after-cop-held-3yo-girl-at-gunpoint-as-he-beat-her-handcuffed-mom.html

6:05 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Italiana,

I think it is hard for many non-Americans to understand just how deep the culture of cruelty runs in America. In my experience Europeans are shocked by our lack of universal health care despite being such a rich country and also our lack of labor rights. They don’t understand how a First World country could have a system like we have. I tell them that it is because Americans hate each other and worship the rich and most Americans think they will be rich someday and if they don’t become rich they blame scapegoats who are usually weaker than them. Americans love to punch down.

@ Chairface Chippendale,

I am very sorry to hear about your illness. I hope you can beat the odds. Don’t feel bad about engaging in activism and don’t feel that your life was wasted. Even if you didn’t succeed at least you tried to make a difference. Most Americans not only don’t care but they actually like living under a cruel system. At least you made an effort for positive change.

P.S. I really dig the reference to “The Tick” in your screen name.

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Derek,

My maternal grandparents were Italian immigrants, and I remember very well the times we lived with them, in a small NJ suburb of similar immigrant families, with their street basically a small village. Everyone knew everyone, the grown-ups watched & occasionally admonished any children playing in the area, every house had its own large garden in the back - I worked in my grandfather's gardens a boy & sometimes went on landscaping jobs with him. At the time, I was in a hurry to grow up & be "modern" (God help me); now, I look back at that time with a deep longing & sense of loss.

That neighborhood has long been "modernized" with the old houses either refurbished or else replace outright with mini-McMansions that are still much too big for their lots. And a great many of the old trees, some 80-90 years old, are gone to make way for in-ground swimming pools.

My wife & I do a lot of shopping at yard & estate sales. We've noted that house from that immigrant generation tend to have distinct, individual personalities, with evidence of many hobbies & interests: painting, music, electronics, woodworking, etc. The old books are an eclectic mix, too. Whereas any sale at one of those contemporary houses reveals the same empty, hollow, impersonal atmosphere, as if the people who lived there left no imprint, had no imprint to leave.

At some sales, I've found bundles of letters from WWII, old family photos, etc., that the younger generation apparently had no desire to keep. We're preserving as much of those as we find, as mementoes of another time, now long since gone. No one else seems to want them.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Amazed-

I like the part abt how the cops destroyed the little girl's toys and dolls. That's a nice touch. True America. Go, CPD!

mb

9:30 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Here is a report on how the Department of Defense does business with defense industries and the lack of accounting that allows those industries and other to fatten up on taxpayer money - a sure indication of societal decline that stretches back seemingly to the end of the Cold War. The actual report pdf is available at the end of the article.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/how-21-trillion-in-u-s-tax-money-disappeared-full-scope-audit-of-the-pentagon/5638534

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Tim said, "Whereas any sale at one of those contemporary houses reveals the same empty, hollow, impersonal atmosphere, as if the people who lived there left no imprint, had no imprint to leave."

That's something well known at the used book places I frequent ... the stores sell old books, especially art books by the linear foot because so many of these cookie cutter mcmansions come with bookshelves, the owners need to fill them up with something. As if an Ansel Adams book next to a Diane Arbus book makes you look sophisticated or something.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous michael m. said...

I have been following your blog for several years. I agree that the US is evolving into a moral wasteland, and a harsh, autocratic system may be inevitable. I can also see the advantages of retreat, of leaving here before it's too late. However, the fact is, the US is a major global influence and its effect on the world extends far beyond its borders. Even if I were to retreat to another country, the US's economic, political and cultural influence will exist there, perhaps in a major way. Thus, leaving America is not so cut and dry. Care to comment.

10:28 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/mexicos-new-president-is-a-populist-who-rallied-against-the-ruling-class-but-hes-no-trump/2018/07/01/06bdb218-7a2b-11e8-ac4e-421ef7165923_story.html

“Despite being a populist who railed against a corrupt ruling class, Mexico’s new president is no Trump...” Is every anti-establishment politician going to be tarred with these idiotic comparisons from now on?

10:42 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

Congratulations Mexico! Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is Mexico's first true leftist president in 90 yrs, and the first guy to beat both traditional parties since the Mexican Revolution. This is a deep and serious change for Mexico. In addition, it's the first good thing Trumpo has done, as his downright virulent anti-Mexican rhetoric guaranteed AMLO's victory. Way to go, Trumpo, you magnificent bastard, you.

Miles

12:40 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Dr B, what is your take on the recent Mexican election?

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Enbion said...

Hello Dr. MB and Wafers.
Just finished reading Hochschild's Strangers in Their Own Land. As I read the book, I keep thinking about the Civil War chapter on WAF and MB's last post on this blog about how karma can't be recognized. (Thank you, MB, for your insight.) Hochschild's point of empathy is probably lost on most Americans, unfortunately. I remember when Trump was just elected, there were calls for empathy for white working class people, and liberals, of course, pushed back with lots of smart people were writing articles against empathy. These liberals mirrored the conservatives' call against empathy a few years ago when Obama said empathy is a quality he looks for in supreme court nominations.
In some ways, I feel that the Deep South/Red States is where the Blue States "outsource" liberal guilt (among other things), and trump is the perfect expression to push back. None of this excuses Trump, of course, but the two sides are obviously not interested in empathy.
Ain't looking good indeed.
Enbion

1:09 PM  
Anonymous SrVidaBuena said...

Without endorsing the site, or this article in its entirety, there seem to be some valid points here about systemic, culture-wide factors involved in the uptick in suicide. The cultural sickness part fits with themes we discuss here. I, and many others who went to school long ago, trained in 'family systems' (expanding outward from the family), find this to be no surprise. Unfortunately, at least in community mental health, and most therapist training programs nowadays, the evidence-based focus drives an emphasis on 'coping skills' - which are helpful for those that have few - and psych meds, which only get you so far...

https://www.madinamerica.com/2018/06/suicide-culture-mandated-happiness/

1:46 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

""Starting at the age of 1, “ghetto children” must be separated from their families for at least 25 hours a week, not including nap time, for mandatory instruction in “Danish values,” including the traditions of Christmas and Easter, and Danish language.""

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/01/world/europe/denmark-immigrant-ghettos.html

What exactly are Danish values? Whenever I hear someone say you must integrate and become an American, I want to ask what exactly makes an American ? Are all Americans same... (I know MB will say most are turkeys :) )

Meet the douchebags. Obama and his cronies now back to looting from Wall Street the trillions they gifted in bailouts.
"The president of Warburg Pincus is Timothy F. Geithner, who, as treasury secretary in the Obama administration, condemned predatory lenders". What an asshole ....

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/a-way-of-monetizing-poor-people-how-private-equity-firms-make-money-offering-loans-to-cash-strapped-americans/2018/07/01/5f7e2670-5dee-11e8-9ee3-49d6d4814c4c_story.html?utm_term=.cb5ba9c2653b

2:46 PM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...

After seeing this round of restaurant service refusal, the promise of it to get uglier/ more widespread on top of some protest clashes (like the one a few days ago in Portland OR), I would expect some form of martial law by the end of El Trumpísimo's first term, with the whole 'civility' line to be used as the justification. Seeing the Portland videos, it is clear that americans all across the political stupidity spectrum just want to unleash their anger physically, cruelly. I think the uptick in MMA gyms is related, though it's not like it isn't also becoming a practical skill. I am tall, fairly strong and athletic and I am confident a third of the population could beat me to death, so what to do? Parable of the violent tribe at work; surrender, engage, or flee but any way you go the aggressive ideology wins out.

CHICAGO AREA WAFERs: let me know if you're interested in a mini Wafer summit in that city (CPD not invited;)) the week of Aug 6th or 20th, pfitzger at gmail, deli meats are definitely on the table.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Unknown-

Sorry, I don't post Unknowns. You need a real handle to participate.

James-

Sorry, too long. Pls try to stick to half a page. Thanks.

Patrick-

Excited abt possible Chicago Wafer Summit. Pls let me know if it happens.

Christian-

Long discussion...but I'm glad AMLO won. He's basically an FDR figure, will try to institute New Deal-style reforms. But real change hasta come from the youth, and from the bottom, and that's going to take a long time. That's what I say in my lectures down here, anyway.

Jeff-

AMLO's victory is probably more due to 2 previous corrupt and do-nothing presidents, Calderon and Pena Nieto. I actually believe AMLO won in 2006 and had the election stolen from him; Calderon won by less than 1% difference. This time, AMLO was ahead of other candidates by >20%. Fact is, Mexicans got tired of the 2 major parties, which did shit for them over last 12 yrs, and lots for the elite and presidential bank accts. They saw Anaya and Meade as Hillary-type figures, continuation of status quo. Whether AMLO can push thru some New Deal-type legislation, and also manage to avoid getting assassinated, remains to be seen.

michael m.-

1st, the expression is 'cut and dried'. I never said emigration was a cut-and-dried issue. 2nd, what you say abt US global reach is true, but it is losing ground by the day; and in addition, you can't imagine the psychological relief of not living in the country any more. Mexico is probably the country most influenced by US presence, and yet there is a basic value system down here that is very different from the world of endless hustling. Every week some small event will occur in my life--like an unexpected kindness from a neighbor, or stranger, that cd never ever happen in America--and it hits you in the face: We're not in Kansas any more, Dorothy. Hit the rd, Jack; you'll be glad you did.

mb

6:11 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Having just finished Lihn Dihn's "Postcards from the End of America," across the back cover of which is splashed a nice recommendation blurb from Chris Hedges, I do have one question: did Hedges actually READ the book? And if so, what part of Dihn saying (I'm paraphrasing) "America is finished, there is no hope, the future is going to be extremely bad for its people and I have no desire to be here to see that happen" did Hedges not understand?

@Italiana--speak of Dihn, what you just said about the DC area is pretty much how he described it here. Before I managed to educate myself about the true state of affairs and was able to extract my head from my rectum I used to love living here. Where I was hired by the State Department in 1992 I felt like I'd truly "made it." Of course, I've since come to despise it but am stuck here because of my marriage (which I have no desire to abandon) and frail health. For me, it's strictly NMI, but it's tough. I tell my wife that being an introvert I hate small talk, but what I really hate is small MINDED talk. I don't know how she puts up with me.

@Amazed--and despite these and other atrocities against blacks by the CPD on his watch, uberdouche Rahm Emmanuel remains Mayor Chicago because he is Obarfa's political mentor. The latter learned his lessons well.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Chairface Chippendale said...

@George Carlin: Thanks for yr kind words. I helped in the most minor ways a few ppl in those rare occasions when a workplc or a nghborhood stood up for themselves (after I, along w/ other organizers riled ppl up or focused their attn). But my career, as a pattern of what I focused on thru out my life, fatally crashed agnst their fear/stupidity/cravenness/egotism. So, thr were a few smiles.

But for clarification sake, I do not consider my life to have been reducible to my organizing. I do believe I hv grown and learned much in my time, but I wish now I wd not have thrown myself into a life of community-focused altruism in a plc like the US.

@Bill Hicks: Thanks. I’m gonna ride the rails down to Mexico if in a few months my Plan A fizzles. I’ll be out and gone no matter what. Nothing left to lose.

@Tom Servo: That’s very kind, thanks. I was a fan of some of the more absurd stuff to be found in the 90s. The Tick is a fave. In fact, you and Crow T. Robot here inspired me to use a specifically Gen Xer reference. MST3k was something I remember fondly from that time. Hvnt had a TV since 1999 tho.

Regarding David Brooks: The Baffler website sells rolls of toilet paper with David Brooks’s face on it. Ah, The Baffler, one of the few US periodicals I’ve ever felt was worthwhile. I was glad they re-launched.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Chair-

Let's hope they don't stop w/Brooks. There's Thos Friedman and Paul Krugman to be considered, and the 'late' great Michiko Kakukaka.

Bill-

Hedges does write a declinist essay abt once or twice a year, riffing on what I and other declinists have written. That way he can stay ahead of the curve, cover all his bases, and show that he is with it. It also enables him to stop sounding idiotic, and start sounding sane. But these are only very occasional glimpses of the truth, because he actually is an American patriot and wants to Make America Great Again. Hence he really can't give up his 'revolutionary' agenda, absurd as it is, and he certainly can't admit that the American people are a bunch of tools (any more than Chomsky can, or Moore, or any other prog). He may have indeed read Dinh's bk, and then in a rare moment of enlightenment, endorsed it. In any case, I think I read in one of his recent essays his assertion that we need to elect Democrats! That'll turn the country around.

mb

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Francois said...

@Bill Hicks, Hedges does not need to understand Linh Dinh’s book, Hedges just needs to plagiarize from others and quote Sheldon Wolin.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Hedges is another hu$lter /snake oil salesman.

He sells 'hope' to the deluded and can appear 'smart' to the liberal audience looking for 'guidance' in their "country" that they feel is just 'off course.'

The proof is in the pudding--look how many americans listen and buy Hedges' drek compared to Dr. Berman, Hofstader, deToqueville, Berkovich, et al. Crickets.

Reality is very distasteful and met with the typical american vitriolic rage when confronted with arguments that don't fit their happy talk agenda of --revolutions, marching, somedays, we musts, we shoulds, chanting etc....hence, doesn't sell well to the delusional usa-ers.

Perhaps, they should tune into Jose Bove et al on what a revolution may look like (sans genitalia hats).

8:27 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

CNBC is news for the turkiest of the Turks

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/02/virtual-doctor-start-up-american-well-just-raised-291-million-more.html

I think the internet is just creating more inefficiencies and setting up systemic failure. All these dumbass projects are just an expression of unspoken values- we don't give a real damn about real knowledge, expertise, or care, so we want to baffle you with this bullshit.

Bad society
Goes online to spread like lice
It can grow no more

8:30 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

"Inside every gook there's an American trying to get out." - Col. to Pvt Joker Full Metal Jacket
Watching Ken Burn's Vietnam. Whatever its faults, I find it an intense experience. Born in '64 besides the music of the era I'm ignorant. The reflection's of the veterans on both sides are moving, very honest, entirely dignified, and honorable. The archival footage is also excellent. Yeah, that's how I'm spending my 4th, in mourning of a nation that never was.
300 yrs. from now all that'll remain of Mcmansions will b their ridiculous granite kitchen counter tops, like putting a Mercedes hood ornament on a doghouse.
Yea Montana! thought you were sleeping on us:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/topless-woman-34-drives-stolen-bulldozer-across-montana-town-and-crashes-into-an-apartment-complex/ar-AAzuvBh?ocid=spartandhp#image=AAzuvBh_1|6



9:06 PM  
Anonymous Judy said...

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/07/the-man-who-created-the-world-wide-web-has-some-regrets/

Tim Berners-Lee, Man Who Created the World Wide Web, says the increasing centralization of the Web has “ended up producing—with no deliberate action of the people who designed the platform—a large-scale emergent phenomenon which is anti-human.”

9:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

Nice haiku!

Mike-

Sacvan Bercovitch is terrific.

mb

9:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

For some time now I have been pondering the concept of a Shit-Based Reality (SBR). For many decades, the American people have been living in an SBR, in which everything they think, feel, and perceive is essentially a pile of crap. This thesis of mine recently received unexpected confirmation from the discovery, by an obscure American historian, Rufus J. Rectalprobe, of the original draft of the Gettysburg Address. The final published text concluded thus:

“…that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Turns out, Honest Abe was no optimist. He was persuaded by an adviser to change the text at the last minute, but the original (unpublished) version reads as follows:

“…that government of the turkeys, by the turkeys, for the turkeys, shall indeed perish from the earth.”

In short, Abe believed that because Americans were living in an SBR, the country had no future.

I feel the need to write a bk abt this. Some of you remember a completely moronic bk from 1970, "The Greening of America." The author, Charles Reich, was a dolt. He was totally embedded in an SBR, and because the American public was as well, the bk became a best-seller. I don’t have such high hopes, myself, but I’ve decided to call my opus *The Browning of America: How a Shit-Based Reality Took Over the Nation.* Wafers are invited to comment on this exciting project.

mb

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Dear GSWH, allow me to congratulate you on the sublime conception of SBR. Permit me also to remind you of my own modest proposal for a quintessentially American project, the due veneration of the excremental contributions to society by our wealthiest individuals, which is founded on the verity that billionaire poop is most sacred and holy, and ought to be placed in suitable shrines for public obsequies. I feel that these grand conceptions were made for one another, and that I ought to be considered as the preferred designer and illustrator for this volume. I am confident that its sales figures will be astronomical.

1:38 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings all,

@Bill Hicks - your experience in the DC/Fed gov't mirrors mine. I had a short stint w/ the Navy in the mid-70's (as a civilian), left (for marriage, Italy, Japan, and grad school), then back in '85 to the Navy, eventually working my way high up the ladder. I did feel like I had "made it", but the funny thing was, the higher up I went, the more unsettled and uncomfortable I became with what was going on around me - I was working on autopilot, really. By the time I left Fed service, to go to a "bandit" for a couple years (waiting for hubby to retire), I had grown so totally disillusioned with the entire system I had a hard time functioning. When we could leave, we got out immediately, now in Boston and of course more and more time in Italy, and I feel so lucky to have escaped the system - both physically and mentally. I just wish it hadn't taken me so long! I understand why you have to stay in the DC area, but also know the toll it can take on you to still be in that atmosphere. So keep on your NMI path, and good luck to you there!

Dr B - SBR! I love it! I believe you've captured the essence!

Ciao all

4:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kev-

Bring it on!

mb

5:19 AM  
Anonymous Queen of Sheba said...

Dr Berman,
Here is a link of Linh dinh interviewed by Chris Hedges about his book.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TD0qoet92sU/

I live in Washington DC, and have been following your blog for the last few months, since I saw you interviewed on RT, I found this blog. Thank you all for your insight, I am not then as those who know me “critical and biased “, I am not American, I grew up in a culture that is competely different from AMERICAN bs. I have learned to sheild myself from it, and have my own way of life, till I am able to leave it behind.

I enjoy Dr Berman humor, and appreciate most of the participants understanding of the realities of the atrocities committed by US against many parts of the world, especially ours, My culture is Arab, which I criticize also :)

7:06 AM  
Blogger Amazed! said...

Kill it all!

"There are no words to describe how terrible is the deed you have committed."

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6673940/us-game-hunter-tess-thompson-talley-slaughtered-rare-black-giraffe-south-africa/

7:29 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB and all fellow Wafers worldwide:
As most know, a strong new Wafer voice has emerged in Umair Haque, quoting from today's note, writing on American poverty".

" ..It’s more bewildering dystopia than Victorian slum. Opioid epidemics, school shootings, neofascists, people crowdfunding insulin. People have had too much taken away from them — in a way, all the things which matter most. Their towns and cities. Their family structures and supports. Their civic organizations and organs of local democracy. Their transport links and schools and hospitals, all of which either have closed or are closing. And of course, good jobs, stable lives, and the chance to make the most of themselves. All of that has impacted their psyches profoundly: Americans are killing themselves at skyrocketing rates, because they are lonely, depressed, traumatized, and desperate. They live lives of profound misery and fear, of real psychic devastation."

https://eand.co/the-economy-we-should-have-built-but-didnt-2ac3fcd58a97

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Grinning Ugly American trophy hunter kills rare black giraffe:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/american-hunter-defends-black-giraffe-183406423.html

I find this particularly loathsome, not just for the narcissistic cruelty of it, but as an example of the attitude that the entire world exists to be used, despoiled, thrown away for the fleeting sadistic pleasures of the willingly soulless.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim, Amazed-

Check out a film called "Beatriz at Dinner."

trout-

Definitely a Wafer.

Sheba-

Welcome to the blog. As we say here: Don't lurk; live! We hope to hear more from you.

mb

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-San said...

It definitely ain't looking good... its looking sicker and weirder all the time.

https://eand.co/do-americans-know-how-weird-and-extreme-their-collapse-is-getting-977f3b6c73b3

Since tomorrow is your big celebration down there I thought I would recommend a few bluesy and celebratory(?) songs that are probably not well known but should appeal to Wafers.

The first Home on the Range by Lester Quitzau from my part of the world, Alberta.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IL-driF2CNE

The second God Loves My Country by Balthrop Alabama out of New York.

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





10:52 AM  
Anonymous Jiles said...

Henrik Ibsen — Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the great Norwegian playwright and poet, best known for his middle class tragedies such as The Wild Duck, Hedda Gabler, A Doll's House and An Enemy of the People

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b42q58

11:50 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Anyone fancy a trip to "SuperShe Island"?

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/03/a-women-only-private-island-is-not-empowering-it-is-elitist

Kanye

11:57 AM  
Anonymous COS said...

Bill Hicks,

Share having to remain to a large part in D.C. area. Superficially pleasant and affluent, it is in many ways quite hollow. You can live for decades and have no friends, only business partners and or people you work with. Plenty of great entertainments and distractions in the D.C. area but little human connection. On the plus side have been in Mexico city for 3 weeks now fixing up my grandmothers old apartment in Roma sur--will be moving there permanently soon.

AMLO's election is interesting and many are hopeful. As always, the record speaks more than words. He has always been a pragmatist and will as president govern accordingly. Unklike the past, congress is more powerful as are countervailing powers. There may well be some progress but less than enthusiasts expect. New Deal type legislation will not be forthcoming. And if the historical record and Herbert Hoovers Memoirs, official documents and newspapers over time are to be believed a savior in the form of FDR and new deal should be abolished. FDR and new dealers despite the hagiographies of u.s. high school and uni history/civics were a bunch of douchebags of the tenth order. His first VP and scores of associates left FDR and later wrote daming exposes. Democrats in 1946 undid thousands of new deal laws. I would go as far as to say that during the new deal American douchebaggery hit its stride. AMLO is smart, he will avoid such a debacle. Unlike an FDR he will not prolong misery to be lauded as a savior later on--at least I hope not! My point--we should be beyond ideas of left and right. If AMLO governs as a "leftist" it will not be good and ideally he will be a realist and agent of the Mexican people. The problem with these 20th century ideologies is the old story a rabbi told me--you don't have these ideas, these ideas have you! Even if AMLO accomplished 10% of what he sets out to, this Mexican will be very happy indeed.

2:35 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

How? Why? Charge the parents too.


http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/07/03/brothers-charged-in-rape-murder-16-year-old-washington-boy.html

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Insightful said...

Dr. Berman i was wondering what you thought about Seymour Hersh in the last 20 years (or since the millenium)? He has a new book out entitled 'Reporter'. Chris Hedges admires him and had him on his On Contact show on RT to promote his new book. Everywhere i've seen Hersh interviewed, he sames a bit overbearing-with regard to his own self-importance for my taste.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Insightful-

Hersh was v. big yrs ago, of course, w/the expose of My Lai and so forth. I confess I haven't paid much attn. to his career since that time. As for pomp, it may be a disease of old age. I mean, there are entire days when I just sit in front of the mirror, saying to myself: "You are the Great Seer of the Western Hemisphere!" Those are gd days.

mb

4:32 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

MB -

Oh oh.. "The Browning of America" will be music to Nazis and they might buy your book en masse and after being disappointed will come for your head :). Name it "The American Shitshow" ....

Also MB why don't you start an Ashram and invite us all Wafers. We are willing to become disciples of Guru Berman....we will spread Waferism far and wide...

5:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

George-

I tend to dislike gurus, most of whom are full of hot prunes. What I seek is a readership, not adoring disciples (yuck). The path of Jordan Peterson, Tony Robbins, and so on makes me wanna toss my cookies. Besides, I have no $.

mb

5:26 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Paul Craig Roberts on why we should think of July 4th as "matrix reinforcement day". Major general Smedley Butler is quoted about military action in history and at length about military action by the US during his 33 years in the Marines. Amazing how a Marine could not only have realized all this but was willing to express this information in writing.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/07/03/tomorrow-is-matrix-reinforcement-day/

6:37 PM  
Blogger Chairface Chippendale said...

Thought I'd share my favorite entry from "The Devil's Dictionaries: The Best of the Devil's Dictionary and The American Heretic's Dictionary" by Ambrose Bierce and Chaz Bufe:

"AMERICANISM, n. 1) The desire to purge America of all those qualities that make it a more or less tolerable place in which to live; 2) The ability to simultaneously kiss ass, pay taxes, follow your boss’s orders, swallow a pay cut, piss in a cup, cower in fear of job loss, and brag about your freedom."

Tomorrow, the 4th day of July, I will take out my copies of "The American Revolution: A Grand Mistake" by Leland Stauber, "A People's History of the Vietnam War" by John Neale, "America Needs Human Rights" by Mittal & Rosset, and "WAF" by Dr. B to read out loud thru my window.

Directly below, I expect an angry turkey-mob to form which will threaten me with pitchforks and torches. I will have, however, truly massive amounts of tar and feathers on hand.

And by "tar and feathers" I mean urine.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Chair-

Urine: always gd. Also suggest you use a megaphone. God knows, the turkeys need to hear it.

mb

8:15 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

There has been a lot of blather of late on liberal websites about "creeping fascism" in America, though I suspect that most progs don't really have any idea what the term "fascism" really means. Nevertheless, I just encountered a small, but I think telling example. Our homeowner's association has a Facebook page (wife reads it) on which last year around this time some old bat complained that no one in the complex seemed to be flying American flags for the 4th. Ours is a diverse neighborhood with lots of federal employees in a district that runs 2-1 Democratic, and with Trump in power the lack of rah-rah patriotism shouldn't have been so surprising. Flash forward a year, and just yesterday someone in the neighborhood took it upon themselves to go out and buy a bunch of foot high flags and stick them in the ground in front of everybody's house--without asking permission. I ripped the one in front of our house down, and since the flag itself was plastic and wouldn't burn put it in a garbage can with the dirty cat litter.

I asked my wife to keep scanning the Facebook page to see if we can learn the flag douchebag's identity, because that is no doubt the most likely person to someday turn informant on their neighbors. So far all there have been is a few idiotic comments thanking whoever did it for going to the time and expense. Most people haven't said anything--if they are unhappy about it they most likely don't feel comfortable saying so.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

I suppose it wdn't be a gd idea for yr wife to post something on Facebook to the effect that the guy needs to be beaten w/in an inch of his life and thrown on a dung heap. People can be so sensitive!

mb

10:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Meanwhile, here's a douche bag who needs a Full Urine Treatment (FUT):

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/07/03/d-c-area-catholic-priest-placed-on-leave-after-throwing-mourners-out-of-a-maryland-church/?utm_term=.84c2deeecfb3

Will someone tell me how Americans can manage to be so stupid?

mb

11:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/mother-confronts-scott-pruitt-in-restaurant-demands-his-resignation/

How much more effective this wd have been, if the woman had peed on Scott's shoes! Anyway, it does look like the Red Hen Liberation Front (RHLF) is gaining momentum.

Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh
Red Hen Liberation Front is gonna win!

mb

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Sorrowful said...

@jjarden
I spent two years in a juvenile prison facility working with boys from Lewis and Mason County in Washington State. These kids came from deep poverty and ignorance. Many of them were wards of the state because their parents were too dysfunctional to care for them. I thought the kids were scary until I met their parents.

A lot of the kids were in prison for sex offenses and most of them also had mental health issues and/or developmental disabilities. When they completed their prison terms, they were put back out on the street with no resources to speak of or sent back to foster families. Often they would commit another crime so they could get back into juvie where at least they received 3 hots and a cot.

This facility has since been closed. I don't know where they send these kinds of kids these days. But Lewis County was a hotbed of meth use back then. I can't imagine what it must be like now in the age of opioid addiction. This is the situation in a "liberal" state. Just imagine what it must be like elsewhere.

O&D

2:10 AM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

Finished KB documentary. You are so right Dr B, from beginning to end, it was easy to see the thread that became the noose around Americans throat - why are we fighting? The unspoken truth was the goods we were selling were one big rotten pie and we couldn't understand why the SV did not want to eat our shit sandwich. The war exposed the hollowness at the American core and obviously demonstrated how anti life and anti human we really are. Even the soldiers went insane b/c of this truth.
For SBR I propose an award ceremony where the coveted prize is The Golden Turd (truth unspoken revealed and destroyed) My nomoninee in the category even smart people are dumb is Ken Burns. After all his work he has a dogged hope and optimism in our future. He just launched a blog saying we've been here before we just need to talk it through.

https://www.pbs.org/kenburns/unum

3:48 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@Bill Funny story. I think it also shows why we won't see a real fascist movement here. It's the same reason we won't see a progressive movement- the people are too cartoon-like for any movement.

I'm really annoyed by the loose and lazy comparisons to Modernist movements in our time. I'm always reminded of how Soviet communists agonized over how to reconcile the lack of a Russian capitalist era with Marx's dialectical historical process, which demands capitalism before socialism.

That's how seriously theoretical these people were. They were willing to murder millions for a 3rd degree abstraction.

In one sense, thank god we're beyond that. In another sense, the baby is gone with the bathwater. People can't abstract general meaning from a few decades of American history, much less see themselves in Hegelian terms. All they can do is lash out like children through empty symbols- flags, pussy hats, etc.

3:50 AM  
Anonymous Tony said...

The Bitter Battle to Turn an Old Factory Into a 21st Century 'Eco-Village.' A bold plan to redevelop Ford's Twin Cities Assembly Plant has become the focus of a fight over density, traffic, and the future of cities.

https://www.wired.com/story/ford-st-paul-development-housing-cities-yimby-nimby/

9:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

I think a bowel movement might be possible. Actually, I think an American-style fascism is quite likely. We are pretty close already.

Gunnar-

The Burns documentary leaves out more than it puts in regarding VN. For an example of what got left out, see the film "The Post." I wd also recommend bks on VN by Loren Baritz and Nick Turse.

mb

9:50 AM  
Blogger Amazed! said...

What a country:

"Sixty-three percent of those surveyed said they had used up all or most of their savings to pay doctor's and hospital bills."

https://www.alternet.org/i-cant-afford-trapped-and-injured-subway-car-woman-begged-bystanders-not-call-ambulance-due-expense

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

1. No real healthcare (except discount cards-AKA health "insurance", 2. no uni education unless you take on massive student loans, 3. No labor rights/job security/employment at will doctrines, 3. No real retirement. 4. FATCA. etc.. etc...

Now, We love a parade! eat that hot dog, dance with that Yankee Doodly Dipshit hat on, and vacantly smile some more, and await the next massacre while yammering on abt 'freedom' and 'greatness.'

12:24 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

Greatest country on the planet. America the nation where someone gets injured and then begs people not to call the ambulance for fear of financial ruin.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/02/opinion/boston-subway-accident-health-care.html





12:35 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Tony, myself and my sister live near the old Ford plant and it is going to be a disaster. The traffic is already terrible without another 500 or 1000 people driving around, and yes despite what people "think" about living without a car, I can tell you from experience waiting 45 min for a bus or riding your bike when it's 20 below outside is no fun. The other problem is that most of this housing will be high end loft style crap that only rich techie types can afford... Anyway, onward and downward!

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

To add to the reasons for celebrating America already mentioned by Wafers above, here is an article on the declining mental health of poor Americans.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/06/poor-americans-really-are-in-despair/563105/

What a wonderful country.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

We have a long history of destroying people in foreign countries, as Steven Kinzer, Wm Blum, I, and other historians have documented. Now, the time has come for the US to destroy its own people. I continue to be impressed by the sheer goodness of the country.

mb

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Choi said...

Fellini is the greatest director, imho. My favorite work was Satyricon (1969). Have you seen, Professor? 8 1/2 and Juliet & Spirits also quite honorably mentioned.

What works do you most admire guys?

4:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Choi-

For me, La strada.

mb

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Marion said...

REGARDING THE TRUTHDIG ARTICLE ON SCOTT PRUITT->

What a joke. Americans really have no concept of civil disobedience, do they? What the hell was that woman thinking, that her blathering away reading off some scraps of Googled facts w/ her babies in tow would convince Mr Pruitt that she was a sober and critically minded adult; capable to engage in debate or discussion? And don't even get me started on Pruitt! What a slime-mold!

5:06 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Nationwide manhunt is on for 3 men in alleged rape, kidnapping of teen sisters


https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/04/us/ohio-alleged-sexual-assault-men-sought/index.html

5:25 PM  
Blogger Politically Incorrect Russian Spy said...

'La Strada' is probably the film where Fellini's sensibility is shown most clearly to be antithetical that of most American. The ending of that movie is absolutely gut-wrenching, as Zampanò confronts having abused and discarded and likely killed the only person in his life who actually cared about him, all in sacrifice to his own vanity.

That's not a message Americans want to hear, or a life lesson-they are prepared to confront; cuts much too close to home for such a vain and self-absorbed society.

6:45 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Two related references to check out on the all Amerikan psychosis

Hobby Lobby Blessed Is The Nation Whose God Is Lord

Featured on The Daily Beast - Star Wars & God Emperors The Sci-Fi Roots of the Far Right. David Auerbach interviewing the slimy toad Gingrich

6:45 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

Terrifying thought MB, (worse riots coming up?) I will check out recommendations, I hadn't seen allot of the archival video there's no way government today would allow that kind of reporting. They aren't any worse liars today just better at covering it up not that many would really care.
Have you heard of Lawrence Wilkerson? Seems like kinda guy who says, 'I'm 70, gotta good pension, I can safely speak now' nevertheless the alarm bell he's sounding is pretty ruthless. Not sure if any Wafers are interested but I found this lecture pretty salty.

https://youtu.be/WDbVOvK9APw

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Nostra said...

Chairface -

I have a teardrop camper in great condition I can give to you (and/or let you borrow) if it will help to expedite your escape from the “land of the free.” Contact any time you want to, now or in the future,’so we can work out the logistics and determine if it is even feasible:

brucewelb at yahoo dot com

7:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Marion-

Wd projectile vomiting, as opposed to a lecture, have been more effective, do ya think?

mb

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

MB and Wafers,

Thanks for responding to my question about the Fellini quote. And Choi, I once spent an entire semester at university studying "Satyricon." We met for 3 hours once a week and watched a short section of the film, then analyzed it in detail. The other semester we covered Tarkovsky's "Andrei Rublev." This was in France, by the way. The following year I took a film class in the US and we basically crammed in as many films as possible, talked about them in the language of gender theory, feminism, postmodernism, etc. I suppose that sums up why I decided not to pursue an advanced degree in literature/film in the US. I learn a hell of a lot more just chatting with y'all and reading/watching on my own...

8:07 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Happy 4th of July Fellow Wafers!

Sorry I haven't posted. I have been busy planning my escape. As part of my farewell tour, I just got back from my home state of Ohio visiting family. Where I'm pleased to report: they love Trumpi & Co! Now this is from assorted folks on social security disability, SSI, Obamacare's Medicaid expansion,etc. hell- some of them even work for the government! As one uncle loudly exclaimed: he was never voting Democrat again! All the nasty Obama stuff Trumpi had to fix. They actually feel sorry for Trumpi; the media gives him such a hard time. They thank Gawd a family man and christian is finally (!) in office.

As Michael Moore said: get ready for a 2nd term! Onwards!....(to oblivion I suppose but onwards nonetheless!!!)

BrotherMaynard

8:43 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

"It is the union of sound institutions with a strong national spirit—ordinary Americans’ patriotism, democratic faith and enterprising ambition—that has made America such a force in the world."

https://www.wsj.com/articles/americas-decline-never-seems-to-arrive-1530572850

This idiot needs a FUT ...

12:34 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

George-

The WSJ is owned by Rupert Murdoch.

mb

1:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

"I love studying Ancient History and seeing how empires rise and fall, sowing the seeds of their own destruction."

--Martin Scorsese

2:01 AM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Since I understand Dr Berman is writing a book on Italian culture, I'd like to ask for thoughts on the current political situation in Italy, if it's not too off-topic.

From outside, they seem to be going through a wave of racism and xenophobia, mainly instigated by the rich north instead of the deprived south. But then again, these things don't usually happen all of a sudden. Any idea what's going on?

4:04 AM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

Built on the Legacy of the Obama administration, now we will have a denaturalization task force to strip citizens of their citizenship. How long until this gets expanded? I love the people who think the rule of law will keep people "safe". The history of Japanese Internment begs to differ but I remember seeing a poll where a large swath of Americans actually agreed with the Internment.


https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/in-america-naturalized-citizens-no-longer-have-an-assumption-of-permanence

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-San said...

I have read Seymour Hersh off and on over the years...he certainly has been one of the premier investigative reporters of his time.

But even he has serious blind spots... I was watching a 1/2 hour interview on RT... where he discusses My Lai (from the 8th minute to the 13th minute)... he makes a lot of good points about how awful the Americans were in Vietnam and the atrocities they committed... he makes an interesting point that at My Lai it was the white soldiers who committed the atrocity and the black and Hispanic soldiers stood down... but at the end he also tries to argue that the soldiers weren't to blame and in some ways the soldiers were as much victims as the 567 villagers they killed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPRagJKxED4&t=807s

I have never been at war... never wanted to be a soldier... I feel compassion for young men brainwashed and sent off to fight... but I don't see how the people doing the murdering can ever be considered "victims"... another example of American exceptionalism?

True exceptionalism was the man who stopped the massacre.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-wiener-my-lai-hugh-thompson-20180316-story.html

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Anjin-San,

And it took years, decades, for Hugh Thompson to be recognized & honored, and then only when Vietnam was a safely historical distance in the past. (And that distance doesn't have to be very far at all, does it? United States of Amnesia, indeed!) I can still remember how at the time, Calley was considered a victim, a scapegoat, a nd hadn't he already been punished enough? Of course, a lot of Americans said the same thing when Nazi war criminals were found to be living in their midst as neighbors, concentration camp guards, no less. In all such cases, the ones who were usually blamed were those who actually revealed the truth & demanded that their fellow Americans face that truth.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Italiana-

Cdn't run it (too long). Half page max, thanks.

mb

10:56 AM  
Anonymous James Watrous said...

You mean Michael Sheen, not Martin. Two actors I like, but they are not related.

10:30 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home