August 03, 2018

341

Wafers-

I think I got the numbering right. Now that I've entered my 75th year, my senility has taken an even deeper turn. I drool a lot; sometimes I just stop on a street corner, and make grunting noises while waving my arms in the air. But there is one thing about which I am crystal clear: we're finished. The US is over, and nothing can change that hard, empirical fact. Doom is a four-letter word.

-mb

184 Comments:

Anonymous moez said...

I so wish I did not agree with you.Alas,I never the less must concur that the great Amerika is on a steady downward spiral with precious little hope of turning it around.It's just so discouraging to acknowledge this truth.When I was young,in the tail end of the sexual revolution,I felt that anything was possible and that if I just perservere and believe in myself and follow my heart,I could realize the so called American dream.Maybe this dream was always a mirage but it seemed to be more obtainable & realistic back then as opposed to now.Like James H Kunstler states;everything is a racket now.You can't trust or believe much of anything.I do have my own small business and I am getting by but;I have to work my ass off and I don't seem to have any of the breaks that the multi nationals or huge corps get.The chamber of commerce will swear up & down that the bedrock of our society is the small business but they do virtually nothing to prop up us little guys.I hope we can avoid major conflict but not sure we can.Oh well.At least I have many choices of which micro-brew to consume as I watch the carnage unfold.Much love and happiness wished upon Mr Berman & all the wafers out there

11:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

moez-

Welcome to the blog. Don't lurk; live! Thank you for yr gd wishes. BTW, always, always capitalize Wafer. We are the crème de la crème, the most spiritually advanced group in the universe. Many try to imitate us, but 'tis all in vain. There is only one Waferblog, and this is it. Re: yr struggle to survive: suggest you collect a bit of cash in one place, put it in a bag, and leave the country for gd. Kunstler is rt, and the American Dream is a shuck. The chamber of commerce is full of hot prunes. You need all this like a hole in the head.

mb

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Mike. R said...

Happy birthday Great Seer of the Western Sphere!


Moez—Leave the « country » for good ». All those « chambers » « associations » « societies » etc...are a bad joke. Collective jerk-off sessions selling someday talk. It is just like MSM— to reassure the prof classes that everything’s ok, nothing to see, move along—get back to work.

12:13 AM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

I emerge from the Lurkersphere to declare stentorously that I’ve now got two years of Spanish under my belt. I am ready to sally forth and leave this vale of woe behind.

But what am I to do for money? My last instructor told me that I would do well as a medical interpreter, if I study up and pass the relevant state exam (CA). I have the notion that this is an occupation that may travel well abroad.

However - is this really true? Do any Wafers here present happen to know if there is indeed a call for gringos hispanohablantes in that field in, say, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay or Spain? I’ve found it’s not so easy to get the real skinny on this online.

By training and avocation I’m a painter. In case any are interested, here’s my latest; it’s a watercolor:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BltKGgghOdl/

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Happy birthday Dr. Berman!

@Nesim Watani (continuing from the last post),

I am really sorry to hear about your predicament. Typical wretched American behavior. I hope you find a new job soon or take legal action to rectify your situation. As other Wafers mentioned in the last post you might want to talk to an employment attorney about your situation.

Your story is a good example of just how miserable our society has become. The only thing that matters to Americans is getting ahead even if that means hurting other people. Also, the policy of "guilty until proven innocent" is really devastating social life and interpersonal relationships in this country. Americans are increasingly wary of each other and there is very little trust between people these days. It is like living in an armed camp where everyone is your enemy or potential enemy.

3:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kev-

Felicidades. I suggest you search the Net for ex-pat websites for each country. These do exist, and gringos chat abt life in their adopted country. You cd post your question, see if anyone has experience with that issue. Suerte. (ps: note that cost of living in Spain is pretty high)

mb

4:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Thought you might be interested in some stats. Registered Wafers now down to 168, but hits for last month were nearly 60,000. Hits for all time just passed the 3.5 million mark.

mb

4:18 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

"Even Hillary Clinton claimed, in her book What Happened, that yogic alternate-nostril breathing was what helped her get over losing the presidential election to Donald Trump"

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/aug/04/cosmic-orgasm-rise-of-conscious-breathing

I hope she was wearing the same outfit as that last picture of hers posted on the blog while practicing alternate-nostril breathing. Would make for quite a pic'.

Kanye

5:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dominos-

Wow, I intuited that one correctly. Hate mail! Not that surprising. In any case, I didn't read past the 3rd word. There's deep disturbance in yr soul, amigo; you are one sad guy. As I said, you don't belong here. You can (and will, I'm sure) continue to send messages to the blog, but I won't be reading them. But be my guest, knock yrself out. You might also think abt therapy (daily sessions wd be a gd idea).

Kanye-

Actually, when she does it, it's called alternate douche bag breathing. I'm also guessing she does a lotta meds.

mb

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Belated happy birthday, Dr. B!

Commenting here on the previous post (always late to the party, many apologies):

My experience coming-of-age in a small southern town in the US is that racism is taught, handed down by parents, and reinforced in certain ways by the local culture. I could be wrong. Multiple examples where certain friends rejected this heritage, and unfortunately, some examples where friends accepted it and continue the insanity into the future. Human behavior is complex, with a chaotic, unpredictable component that prevents simplification or the development of "global rules" (as in the article on how incredibly stupid economists are).

Christian S., totally agree. You also know you are onto something when people start attacking your ideas (or trying to slam your blog). That's been my experience as well.

Penny, I know exactly what you mean about the Deep Adaptation article. Seems kind of backward that something so horrific could bring calm, but I think it may be in just having the "unspeakable" be spoken? Not sure.

Best to all,
Puss

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Happy Birthday, doctor (Oy, I turn 67 next week). Needless to say, discovering you and your work has been a great salve for me in Jokeland as I'm sure it has for many others. I only hope you can visit some of the countries in SE Asia especially if you like a vibrant nightlife. My theory is that as the early humans traversed Central Asia there was a group who partied all night and kept everyone awake. The leader banished the group who then decided to travel south. They eventually became the Thai people. Anyway, I wish you many more birthdays and look forward to our next Wafer Summit.
They saw it all and bade farewell.
Ginsberg (Howl)

10:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Puss-

Thank you. I glory in my geriatric status, and bask in my obvious senility.

Regarding being virulently attacked, which has been the story of this blog for 12 yrs, and of my writings for 40: some famous author, I can't remember who, once stated that when people (i.e., Americans) hated him, he knew he was on the right track. I guess I shd say that in that sense, I've received a lot of reinforcement for the path I've been pursuing. "Consider the source" is one way of viewing it.

I haven't written directly abt this phenomenon, except for my little "guide to the perplexed"--SSIG--and the essay in AWTY called "The Existential Strain" (Essay #17). My insistence on sticking to reality generates a lot of rage, because most Americans are interested in fairy tales; and their own lives are hardly models of authenticity. Folks who insist on reality thus remind them not only that the dominant 'reality' is a pile of shit, but that this description applies to their own lives as well. I have pursued reality all my life, but at this pt, it's not that hard. I have no ambitions, other than private ones. Altho I do feel Trumpi shd appt me to a top admin post, I'm not really expecting it (his loss), and I'm not bucking for tenure or a university position or any type of widespread influence a la Jordan Peterson or whoever. The blog gets 60,000 hits a month; basta! That's enuf for me.

After all, if yr work pokes at an open wound, you can't expect to be terribly popular. SSIG argues that authenticity is a lot more impt than popularity. And I suppose that in a way, being hated (or marginalized) is its own type of popularity--a "shadow" popularity, we might call it. After all, the opposite of love is not hatred; it's apathy.

mb

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

MB - Buon Compleanno! ( belated)

Sorry I'm late to the conversation. I'm in London at the World Shakuhachi Festival (yes there is such a thing). Grand finale tonight. 4 days of all sorts of Japanese music, from Buddhist meditative to very modern, including koto, samisen and voice. It's been a welcome diversion from all the craziness around us. Shakuhachi music - good for meditation and relaxation.

Nesim- I feel the need to agree with all that you should at least try to find a way to get this lie off of your 'permanent record'. It can follow you around unfortunately. I remember when the permanent record threat was made to little kids to get them to stay in line. Now it seems there is a real one - no more privacy, allowing someone to move on. Just punishment. I guess it's a good way to build a compliant population. Horrifying.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Italiana-

Grazie mille, ragazza. Wish I cd join you for Japanese music. Didju ever read my bk on Japan? Might provide artistic context.

Dan-

Hard to believe 'Howl' was written in 1954-55. Thank you for yr thanks. I look forward to seeing you at the 6th NY Wafer Summit in April: a greater event, there never will be.

mb

11:01 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@Al

Yes the US is very litgitious, because how else are you supposed to deal with aggressve, devious people? I think one can realize the roots of the social dilemma without volunteering to become a legal martyr.

In these cases the agreessor has a huge advantage. A few years ago a friend of mine got into a minor physical altercation at work with a guy with a long record, basically pushing him away from him and moving on. In spite of the guy's record, he went to the police on his own, and was able to generate years of frustration and legal bills, even while being in and out of jail himself! In the end my friend still ended up with minor 'disorderly conduct' charges just so the police department could stand by its report and save face.

So basically our barbarian society and its legal system demands you pound your chest like a gorilla from the outset to scare off your opponent. Don't expect actual investigative work until round 10 or so of the drama.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Wafers might enjoy listening to Robert Scheer interview filmmaker Lauren Greenfield on this wee's Scheer Intelligence about her new movie, Generation Wealth. Greenfield hits on many reasons we're collapsing as an empire. It's almost disgusting to listen to.

Marianne

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Blase said...

The J. Peterson thing puzzles me, because he says some things that seem sophisticated and resonate, but others like 12 rules seem like over-simplified self-help though I haven't read that and don't want to be dismissive. I think that view has been mentioned here. Maybe it's heartening that an intellectual gets a media blitz other than J. Bieber etc.

On another note I've been trying to find some decent online resources hopefully domestic for central American political goings on particularly Mexico because the West paints such a broad consensus picture. What are good online news resources? Haaretz is interesting to me for example.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Blase-

If you read Spanish:

http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/

There is no English-language newspaper in Mexico that I know of.

mb

12:46 PM  
Blogger Alan Zink said...

Point well taken about capitalization of Wafer Mr Berman.I have,as I am sure many others here have, contemplated moving out of these less-than-united states of Amerika.I'm sure it's a hard decision to make because of family ties & friends, but I give a lot of credit to those who make that decision and then do it.Too bad the collective accepted idea of this country is to still just "pull yourself up by your bootstraps son".Nose to the grindstone.You work hard enough and you too can get rich.Such a lot of total bs in the present state.Can't wait to see the sparks fly when the credit bubble explodes and 1/2 of Amerika is destitute or close to it.Hey,we have a huge arsenal of guns in this country also.What could go wrong?Best wishes too all the Wafers everywhere.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Response to Puss:

Your comments led me to reflect back on my old childhood. Growing up near the declining small city of Reading, PA, I was immersed in everyday ethnic and racial antagonisms, including parents and most relatives. Fortunately, I spent a lot of time with my grandfather, housepainter by trade and a union activist and Eugene Debs socialist, who set me straight about race issues with his basic perspective that all people were created equal. His son, my Uncle Bob who worked in a local battery factory, added his economic perspective and warned me that corporations would eventually have more worldwide power than governments. When I faced total hostility from my parents over my first high school girlfriend who happened to be Jewish, my grandfather and uncle supported me with the feedback that anti-Semitism was just plain wrong (my uncle during World War II 1944-45 had served in Patton’s tank corps and passionately disdained the Nazis) . In high school, I was fortunate to have a few teachers who taught me skills of critical research in history and social studies. And so, I steered my life in a different, less stultifying direction (and eventually migrated west from Pennsylvania). My conclusion: individuals need countervailing influences and experiences to separate themselves from the culture they are immersed in, but my outcome was not guaranteed. Sometimes, I just feel plain lucky to find isles of sanity, like the time I discovered and read Dark Ages America and later this blog.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jack-

What those folks did was fish you outta the drink. Which is also a gd role for an NMI. Wafers: Find some young person and rescue them from this culture; be a 'countervailing influence'. Talk to them abt equality, corporations, history and social studies and critical thinking. And at the end, say: Get out while you can, kid.

mb

2:25 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Blood-Stained Toddlers roaming the streets of America!!




https://www.cbsnews.com/news/birmingham-alabama-toddler-on-street-with-bloodstained-clothes-leads-police-to-2-dead-bodies/

8:36 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

A woman was arrested for carrying vitamins in her car by asshole cop who insisted that they were oxycodone. It then took a crime lab 7 months to clear her.

Actor Ving Rhames was once held at gunpoint in his own home by three cops and a police dog after a neighbor thought he was a burglar.

So why does this shit continue to happen? Because grand jurors (your fellow Americans) are idiots, like the ones who failed to indict the cops who executed Ismael Lopez after going to the wrong house to execute a search warrant.

Dumb: a woman was kicked out of an Alabama shopping mall for wearing short shorts and being told they were distracting to men who were looking at her ass. Dumber: So she went on Facebook to complain, saying that men shouldn't look at her ass, which one would think wanting men to look at her ass was the whole point. Dumbest: A local "news" station then "breaks" the "story," because of course they did.

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

MB - sorry, not quite 24 hours, but I'm sitting at Heathrow waiting for my flight back to Rome.

Yes, I have, and have read, your book on Japan. Not sure I told you, but I lived in Japan for 2 1/2 yrs in the early 80s (1st husband was in the Navy), and have been playing koto ever since. I give a small concert every year in the church in our little village, this year with shakuhachi. Being retired allows me to concentrate on my music, helps me to stay sane. I highly recommend taking up an instrument. It does soothe the soul.

4:12 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

So I just finished reading "The Courage to be Disliked" that was recommended here. Not too impressed TBH. The back cover says "a single book can change your life" and that made me feel dubious even before starting to read it. The book read like a Japanese version of the Power of Now. A platonic dialogue between a Master and his Student based on Adler's concepts may seem full of profound lightbulb moments to some, but it all sounded like New Age mumbo jumbo to me. All easier said than done really. Most importantly, I didn't laugh ONCE during the entire book.

Kanye

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

@Dr. Berman,

While I would guess Woody Allen has plenty of sexual escapades he's rather not be known, one thing has been consistent as far as I could tell. He was attracted to women (including underage girls) who had adult bodies and other than the accusations by Mia Farrow, there were zero targeting children. My opionion -- the charges were groundless and motivated by revenge. Apparently some of the other children told social workers they heard their mother coaching the child.

@ Jack L.,

It's always been heartening to hear how much influence for the good a person can have on another. Children who grow up close to grandparents are healthier and so are they. Looking back on my grandmother, I realize how stoically she lived her life which was never an easy one. And one reason I'm immune to identity politics is I clearly remember her telling me that every person stands or falls based on their own merits. It doesn't matter in the slightest the color of their skin , religion, rich or poor, male or female. This was a woman who never went past third grade in a country school in the hills of Kentucky.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Dear MB,

Belated wishes on your birthday. You are one intellectual I look up to for answers to some of the questions about the goings on in these crazy times that bother me. I wish you keep enlightening us for years to come.

Have been caught up with some personal and work related responsibilities so that have not been able to participate in the discussions for while. Thank you for posting the interview.

Prasen

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Happened to watch the old 1980 TV mini-series of The Martian Chronicles again recently & was struck by its Waferish qualities. For all its occasional clunkiness, it captured a lot of Bradbury's book; he didn't like it at the time, but in later years said that it had grown on him.

In any case, a relevant quote from the adaptation:

“Secret? There is no secret. Anyone with eyes can see the way to live… By watching life, observing nature, and cooperating with it. Making common cause with the process of existence… By living life for itself, don’t you see? Deriving pleasure from the gift of pure being… Life is its own answer. Accept it and enjoy it day by day. Live as well as possible. Expect no more. Destroy nothing, humble nothing, look for fault in nothing. Leave unsullied and untouched all that is beautiful. Hold that which lives in all reverence. For life is given by the sovereign of our universe; given to be savored, to be luxuriated in, to be respected. But that’s no secret. You’re intelligent. You know as well as I what has to be done.”

The scene itself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfypTnKYN5s

Of course, only a handful of human beings have the humility & insight to abandon the greed & selfishness that destroys both Earth & most of ancient Mars. But those who do stand to live much richer & more meaningful lives. And isn't that what Wafers really want?

1:06 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Happy (belated) Birthday, Dr. Berman!


Forget in a Flash: A Further Investigation of the Photo-Taking-Impairment Effect – Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition

« The widespread use of camera phones has made it easier than ever to capture, store, and share photographs, yet little is known about how photographing an experience influences memory of that experience... According to the offloading hypothesis, taking photos allows people to offload organic memory onto the camera’s prosthetic memory, which they can rely upon to “remember” for them... An alternative possibility is what we refer to as the attentional-disengagement hypothesis—the idea that when people take photos they disengage from the moment to handle the task of capturing the object or experience, thus leading them to encode it less deeply or elaborately than they would have otherwise... Russell Banks may not have been exaggerating when he wrote that to photograph an experience was “somehow to reduce and domesticate (it) and ultimately to kill it.” To the extent that taking a photo does affect memory for an experience, whatever aspect of that experience that is impaired could remain impaired. »

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

Wafers,

Book recommendation: "The Remains of the Day" by Kazuo Ishiguro.

You'll laugh out loud at the one portrayal of an American in the book - he makes a fool of himself in front of various members of the European aristocracy, mocking them for their "dignity" and "honor" (two qualities I think we Wafers would see the value of). The ironic thing, though, is that he has the last laugh at the end of the book in terms of his politics...kind of reminiscent of Trump, actually.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Hi Morris, responding to your comment from the previous post: I realize that the definition of anti-Semitism is that of hatred of Jews. However, technically it means being against anyone who speaks a Semitic language, such as Arabic or Hebrew. So why was the term coined in the late 1800’s Germany where the Jews didn’t speak Hebrew and were overwhelmingly Ashkenazi with little to no Middle Eastern genetics? IOW, they weren’t Semites. I find all of this more than a little puzzling. Freely flinging the term anti-Semite at anyone who even lightly criticizes Israel is a great way to censor opposition to that government’s actions.

K_pgh: Forget in a Flash. About 25 years ago I toured the Sistine Chapel and was shocked that most people were so busy taking pictures that they really weren’t there.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sar-

No, technically it does not mean that. Anti-Semitism has always meant hatred of Jews, nothing wider. Check every dictionary in existence, if you want. Hatred of Ashkenazis was always anti-Semitic, whether they spoke a Semitic language or not. And none of this has anything to do w/criticism of Israel, a whole separate issue.

mb

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Judy said...

I would like to offer Kevin a link to a website for expats and people considering becoming expats to Panama. Panama has many options for residency visas, including the Friendly Nations Visa that allows you to work legally. The site focuses on Boquete, a mountain town 300 miles from Panama City. A Google search will reveal lots of sites for other parts of the country. I have lived here 14 years and am fascinated watching the disintegration of the USofA from afar. So far, Panama seems to be pretty much intact and prospering. Disclaimer: I am not a real estate agent or a travel agent. I just like Boquete.
http://boquete.ning.com/forum

6:33 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Happy birthday and Leo season, Dr. B! This year the dog days of summer see much of the world literally in flame, as well as metaphorically. Conflagrations in Greece and Cali, assisinations in Venezuela, and 60 people shot in Chicago.

http://abc7chicago.com/59-shot-eight-dead-in-chicago-since-friday/3886976/

Onward and straight downward.

7:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

And Americans continue to gun each other down like dogs. I wonder why...

mb

8:00 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

I've read many Native Americans did not want to be photographed believing it would steal their soul, I can attest to seeing many soulless photos for sure.
Ronan Farrow, first as chief persecutor of Woody Allen and now all celebrity misdoings looks and sounds like a fraud to me, no evidence really just a gut reaction.

I'm finding all of this hyperventilation over the 2018 election really nauseating. It's plain no one has an answer to this dilemma. Here are a few suggestions. Read the Hebrew prophets, contemplate the sayings 'you cannot serve God and Mammon', and 'the wages of sin is death.' Highly unlikely this flag will wave anytime soon.
Update on my eyesight - I waited too long to get the surgery (I visited an optometrist as soon as I noticed the problem, he took a picture of my eye and pointed out what looked like a squiggly black line, he said it was a floater (sudden floaters is primary symptom of retinal tear) and come back in two weeks, my advice go to an ophthalmologist never an optometrist, my mistake since I did have access to ophthalmologist who likely would've caught it) I had the retinal surgery which caused a massive cataract so had to have second one to get it removed. Sight has been restored but b/c of delay the macula was damaged leading to things looking wavy and distorted. The doc tells me the brain will compensate with the good eye but the damage is done. Nevertheless I'm thankful for the restoration that was achieved and I can still drive (if/when I borrow a car) and my peripheral vision is good.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

Very sorry to hear abt yr eye problem, the surgery etc., but relieved that sight was restored. Keep us posted on yr progress, amigo.

mb

11:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle to participate in this discussion. E.g., Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, Venustiano Carranza, Enchiladas de pollo, Hot Tamale, etc.

Wafers-

Here's a douche bag in action (DBIA):

https://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/a19872382/sarah-palin-is-now-hawking-fit-tea-on-insta/

Jesus, what a horse's ass. I'm also wondering abt other horses' asses: where are Ging Newtrich, Michele Bachmann, Rom Mittney, and other cutting-edge intellects of the GOP? We need them now more than ever.

mb

12:13 AM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Gracias por tu consejo, Gran Sabio del Hemisferio Occidental. Lo sigo porque estoy seguro que tienes razón. Había olvidado los web sitios de esta naturaleza que ya encontré hace uno u dos años.

Thanks Judy for your link to the Panamanian expat site. I’ve taken a look, and will do so in greater depth over the next few days.

I was thinking of taking some reference photos from nature for future art works, but recent discussion here inclines me to think that maybe I should take my drawing pad out instead.

I have two new neighbors across the street. Each of them likes to stroll up and down either side of the street, and down onto the next block, talking loudly into their cell phones for forty minutes or so at a time.

1:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kev-

Your neighbors are douche bags, and need to be peed on. Get yrself some 6-packs of Bud Lite.

Meanwhile: American Dream down the toilet dept.:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/upward-mobility-is-a-myth/2018/08/05/bb960ce4-972c-11e8-80e1-00e80e1fdf43_story.html?utm_term=.aa9e43cfac84

mb

1:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Update on my latest hero, Laquisha Jones (check out her picture online):

http://www.tampabay.com/the-latest-elderly-man-beaten-bloody-thanks-key-witness-ap_national1ad29727d27b417299931a2e97d4ef3e

Recent report from the Center for Disease Control says that most Americans are stupid, violent, and obese. Laquisha embodies these qualities, and I am personally upset that she is currently in jail since she can't make bail. What I propose is a lecture tour for her, covering all of America's major universities. Her theme will be: "I Am America!" Which is true. Go, Laquisha!

1:36 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@ Gunnar Burton,

Sorry to hear about your eye problem. I'm glad that your sight was restored. I hope everything goes well going forward.

On the subject of American decline:

Article on the big increase in cocaine overdose deaths, particularly among African-Americans.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/white-lines-black-epidemic/

Depression is now one of the largest mental health problems in America. Smartphones, social media, loneliness and mid-life despair are all examined.

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/depression-the-growing-american-mental-health-storm

1:39 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

MB & Wafers,

Back in sunny Italy on our rural mountaintop. I had had enough of the big city in London.

MB - sorry I was so short yesterday. I found your Japan book to be very insightful as to the Japanese character and way, and also learned a lot about the roots of much of that character that I hadn't known/discovered while living there. I very much look forward to your Italy book!

k_pgh - I have seen SOOO many people viewing something/someplace through a camera lens/cell phone. I wonder if they are ever 'in' the place at all! Many years ago I had a Minolta SLR film camera, and took quite a few pics, but it was all very manual, you had to compose, decide on the settings, etc. Now, with instant everything, it's just "point and shoot" - what do these folks do with these thousands of pics? We still have a camera (newer one), but almost never take pics, especially when traveling.

Lastly, living the American Dream - you too can go bankrupt in your old age! https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/05/business/bankruptcy-older-americans.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

2:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ital-

No apology necessary! Glad u enjoyed the concert.

mb

6:42 AM  
Blogger Origami Cactus said...

Happy birthday, Dr. Berman. I wish you good health and continued longevity. Your work has had a great impact on my life.

Recently I was listening to a Marxist podcast and these guys were so far off that I could barely think straight. It's like they read your work and decided to believe the opposite. They seemed completely unable to understand the limits/effects of technology. They gave a half-hearted rejection of the idea that capitalism has a life-cycle. They were barely able to talk about science as an ideology, with strengths and weaknesses. It was a very shallow broadcast. Meanwhile, I'm reading Wandering God and trying to answer the big question: "how am I going to get out of this place?"

PS
I can't remember if it was posted earlier, but in March of this year JD Ebert wrote an essay declaring the replacement of post-modernism with hyper-modernism. I've found that Ebert has his finger on the pulse of society, though his "Decline of the West" podcast has been on hold for a while now. Nevertheless, I hope Wafers will be able to enjoy this essay in the meantime:
https://cultural-discourse.com/on-hypermodernity/

7:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Orig-

Many thanks. Glad my work has been helpful 2u. As far as how to get out: Do what it takes, man; you'll be glad you did. Think of yrself as crossing the river Jordan.

mb

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Defining culture down:

https://www.alternet.org/next-great-american-novel-will-be-video-game

During the past few years, videogames as Art has been the Next Big Thing. What do people learn from videogames? what do they get? Other than a continual rush of endorphins & a growing addiction to speed & violence? TO me, it seems more like a confession that genuine Art is too difficult, too demanding, so we'll lower the bar considerably to make shiny distractions into Art. In short, fit the limitations of the work to the limitations of the person, rather than trying to enlarge the horizons of the person, as genuine Art does. No need for reflection, contemplation, thought & deep feeling; that's all replaced by the endless rush of surface sensation.

But gaming IS great training for killer drone operators, so there's that.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Happy birthday Dr. Berman. Seventy-five is a good age, I'm guessing. I'm looking forward to being there in another ten years.

I've been a little depressed lately. I always deluded myself into believing that my safe little corner of northern New York might be immune from the decline taking place elsewhere. How wrong I have been. Case in point below:

http://www.pressrepublican.com/news/local_news/police-ti-teen-killed-putnam-friend/article_a11b0366-2fdb-544b-81c0-b40be5f6bb4e.html

Emigration is looking better all the time.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Amazed! said...

Armed madhouse!
Watch if you can.

"Police in the US city of Chicago have asked for more help to combat gun violence after more than 60 people were shot over the weekend."

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45084264

11:37 AM  
Anonymous O-Ren Ishi said...

MB- Happy birthday! May you continue sharing your wisdom about what is going on behind the scenes in the US/world.

Origami- I've begun entertaining the idea of moving out of the US although my partner is definitely not a Wafer and is very much against moving abroad. Nevertheless, I've started looking at jobs in different countries, researching those countries, etc. to figure out which location may be best. If you have a partner who is on board with Waferism, then I think that's even better. I think the key to being prepared for moving is having enough $ and having an edge (skills-wise) relative to the locals. Not easy IMO.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

They seemed completely unable to understand the limits/effects of technology. They gave a half-hearted rejection of the idea that capitalism has a life-cycle.

Marxists can't see beyond Capitalism and if it ever truly died no one would be more lost, dazed and confused than the Marxists. If the Hero's nemesis dies, the Hero no longer has any purpose.

12:11 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

BIG NEWS....Alex Jones is a TOTAL NUT!!....and the very definition of FAKE NEWS....the problem now though is that he and his MILLIONS of cult-like followers now believe they are under attack and are now going to counter-attack...the Civil War is ON, and will get HOT.


https://money.cnn.com/2018/08/06/technology/facebook-infowars-alex-jones/index.html

2:18 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

RE: Sarah Palin--she has always reminded me of Nicole Kidman's character in Gus Van Zant's film, "To Die For." I remember watching that movie in the theater when it was released in 1995 (for you younger folk, it's about an ambitious and sociopathic weathergirl with aspirations of leaving her hometown who plots to murder her dimwitted husband played by Matt Dillon when he begins to insist that she drop her career so that they can start a family) and thinking that it was way over-the-top in its portrayal of the lengths an American might go to in trying to achieve celebrity. As it turns out, Van Zant was about a decade or so ahead of his time, although his fictional Sarah Palin does end up getting her comeuppance thanks to her in-laws.

I'm currently reading Thomas Frank's latest book, "Rendezvous with Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society," which is a collection of essays he wrote during the Obama years leading up to the Trumpenfuhrer's election. The title alone should indicate why it might be of interest to Wafers, though Frank doesn't go QUITE far enough to be considered one. Frank does think, however, that there is a good chance that Trump will win reelection because his fellow liberals continue to refuse to see how their abandonment of working class is fueling the destruction of American society--something he first warned about in "What's the Matter With Kansas?" way back in 2004. Anyway, it's a good read.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Hilda said...

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/03/opinion/americans-are-terrible-at-small-talk.html

Americans Are Terrible at Small Talk: One Irish woman’s unscientific investigation.

Great funny and so true

5:10 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Since the constant use of cameras has come up, an alternative take-
https://xkcd.com/1314/

Having been involved with photography, film ,and video for decades, I have learned to be very specific in my use of a camera; e.g. I watch birds, I take photographs, but I never photograph birds because the way of looking and being in the world when photographing is very different than the way of being in the world when birdwatching. Doing photography provides focus and concentration in certain situations for me, but I recognize the limits. The annoyance I get from people's use of cameras so mindlessly and constantly has more to do with the mindlessness, not the camera. If they didn't have cameras out, I'm sure these same people would find another way to make me think unkind thoughts about them. And the small block in upraised arms in front of the face is a good way to identify them, sparing me many a wasted conversation.

If I can't emigrate, at least I can treat my own country as a bizarre land to be documented.

Question for Wafers- is ANY country better than staying in the USA?

7:26 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

The 12th century Renaissance... First steps out of the last dark age...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07z6vzq

Very interesting that the return of fiction is a mark of this renaissance. The late Roman world had a blending of fact and fantasy until you end up with a 'reality TV' like we had today.

For instance, some scholars note that it is hard to separate fact from fiction in the life of Nero because he loved to act in the theater, and many of his most notorious deeds echo themes in Greek tragedies he may have performed...

Oddly enough, a well defined space for *fiction* seems to be more of a sign of a rising civilization than a culture of journalistic facts, which inevitably ends up in our current state, where video renders the real the same as the fictional and thereby eliminates both categories.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Here is a rather long article by Paul Street that should be widely read but won't be. He punctures 10 myths about America but his last sentences "Impeaching or un-electing the uber-dissembler who now occupies the Oval Office will not magically make them go away. Only a great people’s rebellion on behalf of liberty, equality, solidarity, the common(s) good—and truth—can do that" ignores what sort of 'great' people Americans actually are - the election of Trump is most likely the closest America will come to revolution - Americans deserve him and he does seem to be dismantling the 70+ year old US empire. [Sorry if this is pushing the half page limit!]

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-american-sea-of-deception/

10:25 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

This struck me as funny. WAFers might find it amusing as well.

https://safr.kingfeatures.com/idn/ck3/content.php?file=aHR0cDovL3NhZnIua2luZ2ZlYXR1cmVzLmNvbS9CaXphcnJvLzIwMTgvMDcvQml6YXJyb19wLjIwMTgwNzIxXzY1Ny5naWY=

This cartoon is yet another way of depicting the difficulty of achieving any meaningful reforms in the USA , that turning the USA around in any meaningful way is akin to turning around a battleship in a bathtub.

2:55 AM  
Anonymous Pete Soderman said...

"There is no English-language newspaper in Mexico that I know of."

Actually, Professor, there is. It's on the other side of Mexico, serving those of us living in the Guadalajara/Lake Chapala area.

http://www.theguadalajarareporter.com/

10:19 AM  
Blogger wr said...

I don't know if this article made it onto your radar, but the Guardian is quoted a lot in these threads, so no doubt some will have seen it:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/aug/06/pride-and-prejudice-the-americans-who-fly-the-confederate-flag
Quite a sneaky article really, which purports to open up the topic, but then only allows the progressive 'confederate flag = bad' point of view to prevail.

'SCV members worked with the United Confederate Veterans and other groups in the early 20th century to demand school textbooks supporting the revisionist view that the south fought for a just “lost cause” that was decidedly not slavery.'

'Revisionist' is interchangeable with 'bad', and yet the pdf they link to appears to be well-written and coherent: https://ia800306.us.archive.org/32/items/measuringrodtot00ruth/measuringrodtot00ruth.pdf

The fly in the ointment would appear to be article V (as slavery is at all times indefenceable), but perhaps in this specific educational context it may be advisable to reject a history book that highlights the suffering caused by slavery - not because it's not true, but because black suffering has never influenced white lawmakers.

10:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

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

wr-

Well, slavery was indeed a horror, but I don't want to rehash the long discussion we had regarding WAF ch. 4. Most Americans are not equipped intellectually to understand that ch., so I finally threw in the towel.

Pete-

Thanks for info, but I meant *national* paper. We usta have The News, but it folded.

Dan D-

Regarding yr last question: surely you jest!

Christian-

Sure they can. Dictatorship of the proletariat etc. Marx even talked about leisure time, being able "to rear cattle in the evening."

Mike-

74, actually. I've just entered my 75th yr on the planet. Hope we'll c.u. at the 6th NY Wafer Summit Conference in April.

mb

11:37 AM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

Hello Dr. Berman and all Wafers:
With the amount of brainwashing that goes on I came to the conclusion that the US is not a normal country, it's a cult and it causes people to have a sick sadomasochist mentality. In early 2017 I attended a church where soon I found out that the ideology that was preached was that of the American Evangelical Prosperity Gospel. The pastors (who were Colombian immigrants) were praising and glorifying Trumpi and were talking about how they believed that God had a special purpose for the US. Many of the people in the congregation were undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central Am. and from what I saw they seemed to be accepting this ideology as none of them left that congregation. When I told them that my biggest desire was to leave the US and make my life in another country, they looked at me with a weird look like "are you crazy?" and some of them even said "well what if God wants you to stay in the US?" It seemed that the only thing these people were concerned about was living that American life of earning money and buying things. It was during those months that I found the video "Why America Failed" and later this blog. I was very happy to see that there are people who don't subscribe to all the bs and brainwashing that the US produces. I distanced myself from those brainwashed ppl and continued on my journey. I hope I didn't exceed the page limit but I wanted to share this.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Portrait of Lopez Obrador by Jon Lee Anderson in New Yorker, June 25. AMLO says to him:

"Look, in this world there are those who give more importance to politics of the moment--identity, gender, ecology, animals. And there's another camp, which is not the majority, but which is more important, which is the struggle for equal rights, and that's the camp I subscribe to. In the other camp, you can spend your life criticizing, questioning, and administering the tragedy without ever proposing the transformation of the regime."

mb

12:09 PM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...

@Tim L.

Great point about video games. Look at the "artists" who are so widely admired in this culture, only the most deeply superficial are revered. How amazing is it that human beings have the capacity to send a brain full of information literally *through the air* at the speed of light by clicking a button, and cannot look at a painting for more than two seconds, or read a poem, or hug their friend, or express their emotions openly. Our technical advances are inversely proportional to our humanity. I don't remember what philosopher it was, someone at Univ of Chicago I think, who says that we are now basically just the sex organs of machines. Speaking of Chicago...

Regional Wafer Summit is on for Thursday evening, and some of the heaviest- hitting comment section all-stars have promised to show and may even be available for autographs---if they do not become a gun violence data point on the ride over to the venue. Godspeed gentlemen, lead vests are in stock at Walmart.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

It's not a very good interview, but interesting however:

https://qz.com/1275194/the-amish-understand-a-life-changing-truth-about-technology-the-rest-of-us-dont/

12:55 PM  
Anonymous O-Ren Ishi said...

Dan- I've been casually looking at Canada, and some parts of S. America and Europe. I should perhaps look into Mexico, following in the footsteps of MB?

Came across this article on the interweb: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/now-trump-administration-wants-limit-citizenship-legal-immigrants-n897931?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma

Color me surprised. Who's next I wonder.

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

MB: Happy birthday. I note that Tom Engelhardt of the American Empire Project also turned 74 this year. His missive on that is at
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176452
It's worth reading. Engelhardt doesn't see the world as clearly as you, but he does admit that "something had to go terribly wrong to produce such a president."
From my perspective (I'm 66), Trumpi personifies hucksterism and its triumph. His 72-year lifetime tracks the nation's decline: seven decades of political, cultural, and moral decay that have turned America into a charade, a sham democracy, a nation of slogans and gestures.

2:20 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

GSWH, WAFERS,

Even when drooling on a street corner, Sr. Mauricio Belman makes it perfectly clear that there is no arresting the downward spiral of decline in decadent amerika, the isle of idiocracy. I am convinced and I am laughing. Vonnegut and Carlin were correct, it is all a big joke.

A great read for all WAFERS: "Last Words", George Carlin's "sortabiography". Especially check out the next-to-the-last chapter. We have been informed.

I hope to make it to the summit meeting next April in NYC.

WTF?!?

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Zen Citizen said...

@Dan Daniel

Although the snarky final panel seems self-defeating, the third panel in the comic you linked to makes a good point in defending a serious photographer's practice. Not all photography is about randomly accumulating snapshots and selfies.

Often, maybe even usually, a beautiful or powerful photograph is the result of its maker's having cultivated a practice of looking deeply, and being completely present while waiting for the most complementary light or for "the decisive moment." A great photograph can therefore be a record of having deeply seen and felt one unique moment in the flow of phenomena. Dare I say it can be a gnostic experience, to use a term from CTOS?

The comic's antagonist charges, like some commenters on this board seem to do, that photographically documenting life is a distraction from living it. Thanks, Dan, for making the important point that the real problem with much of contemporary camera usage is that it's done so senselessly — that it's absent, as Tim Lukeman put it, "reflection, contemplation, thought & deep feeling." However, taking photographs is not inherently incompatible with being a Wafer, IMHO.

Aside to Dr. B: Another aspect of my philosophy is that one gets to celebrate one's birthday for a week. Happy Morris Week!

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Dr. Berman,

I do indeed plan to attend the Wafer Summit in April. Wild horses couldn't drag me away. Well, maybe wild horses, but not much else. I apologize for adding an extra year to your age. It goes far too fast doesn't it?

3:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Zen-

Check out work by Minor White.

mean-

Be sure to keep posting. The Meeting is only for active blog participants. It is shaping up to be the greatest Meeting of anybody, anywhere, in the history of the world.

mb

4:18 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Latest phenomenon: Eating Lunch in a College Cafeteria While Black. Note that the black female college student was not only hassled by the campus pigs for merely eating her lunch, she was reported by a university employee. Oh, and the university in question is uber-liberal Smith College in Massachusetts. Note too that the douchebaugette college president not only gave the usual worthless, in house counsel-approved "apology," she didn't fire the head of the campus pigs for acting on the "complaint" in the first place, nor will the university release the identity of the complainant to the victim. Instead, she's placing the burden on every campus employee by making them attend bullshit diversity training--even the 99% of them who would never consider doing such a thing and likely resent the implication that they would. It seems to me that given how wealthy these colleges are with their 9 and 10-figure endowments, the very LEAST Smith College could do is pay off all of this student's loans and give her a free ride until graduation. THAT would show real contrition.

Also in the news, New York City is being turned into just another bland, anycity USA, where the rent is indeed too damn high for anyone but the rich and everything that always made New York unique is being shut down and swept away because the small business owners can no longer afford to operate there: The Death of a Once Great City--The fall of New York and the urban crisis of affluence.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Tyler Schlosser, 29, caught fucking a horse:

https://www.newsweek.com/pony-oklahoma-bestiality-indecent-exposure-soda-pop-sex-naked-1056850

Miles

6:50 PM  
Anonymous shenjingbing said...

A semi-serious question for GSWH and Wafers:

Does moving to Hawaii count as leaving the country?

Would living 2,226 nautical miles west of the contiguous 48 provide enough insulation from the rest of the country's douchebaggery? People seem happier there, even the ones who aren't on vacation, although there are a fair amount of douchebags who have moved from the mainland who will never be happy and are doing their utmost to ruin the islands for everyone else.

A thought: If the Hawaiian sovereignty movement gains enough momentum, the entire state could leave the country!

9:41 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

DrB- My terse question- is ANY country better than staying in the USA?- could lead to your terse reply- surely you jest. Not sure if I understand your reply. I meant to say, is it time to get out of the US no matter where I go next? I have friends from Ethipoia who have offered me relatives to live with. People in Sweden who complain about the constant Americanization there. Canadians have not overwhelmed me with their perspective, although most I have known have moved to the US so I am dealing with a questionable sample. I am actually close to meeting Ecuduor's financial standard. Is the US a burning building and anywhere else is better? Somalia probably has some cheap land! Well, maybe your reply still holds.

@Zen Citizen- (the last panel is based on the characters in the ongoing strip, less snarky if you know the back story). Yes, photography has its ability to be a practice that encourages attention and thoughtfulness. Minor White's ephemeral materialism, Atget's ascetic historicism, Helen Levitt's patience of a crocodile. It's rare, yet photography also allows for results that are 'good enough' with little attention so it is the darling of people who want to play at being 'creative.' As others have commented, art has become pretty empty. I go to exhibits by people like Ólafur Elíasson and find them entertaining, fascinating, and purely vacuous, like some sort of highbrow zipline ride that leaves me with only memories, not feelings or thoughts.

'Each age gets the artists they deserve, and this is what we deserve.'-Peter Schjeldahl, re Jeff Koons

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

WAFER O-Ren-Ishi: If your partner is not very committed with immigrating to a new country, and they are not at least 85% WAFER, it may be challenging to authentically embrace integrate. They may have nagging feelings, social isolation, bitterness, resentment, miss the empire, etc...they have to 100% on board and know full well that there is NO utopia, NO romantic hollywood bullshit of happily ever after hopey dreamy nonsense. usa-ers like to remind emigrating folks that there's no "utopia"--it's that simpleton Manichean "brain" at work.

Going to a new country and learning, both intellectually and ontologically its history, culture, problems, language/grammar, politics, etc is difficult but worth it. We looked at our getting the fuck outta dodge and cutting ties with a toxic relationship; basically, divorcing an abusive partner (usa).

WAFER Dan--YES anywhere is better than THE sht hole us empire. At least, you 'll be amongst the living.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

Hate groups march in Portland... and cops attack the counter protesters... did all the KKK members join the police force ? ... is it fair to say that the police force is filled with white supremacists ? ... Trumpi will find "some very fine people" and recruit them to work alongside the charismatic Stephen Miller...

Hate groups march in Portland and Police attack counter protesters

White Nationalist Stephen Miller targets Legal Immigration

O-Ren - Sorry if the film was unsettling for you. It was definitely provocative but I found it to be a very good depiction of the political divide.

11:36 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

This looks like a potential Wafer show?
https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/aug/08/insatiable-netflix-comedy-fat-shaming

"After the trailer for Insatiable aired, hundreds of thousands of people signed a petition for Netflix to cancel the series, arguing it would be dangerous for teen girls and anyone who struggles with eating"

Kanye

5:50 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Pure Amerika right here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/08/08/i-warned-him-woman-68-shoots-man-doing-private-thing-on-bike-who-then-chased-her-to-doorstep/

guns + polishing the bishop + texas

loved the proper use of English by the neighbors too.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike R.-

Wafer, not WAFER. Thanks.

Dan D.-

Just do a little preparatory research, go visit a couple of possibilities, and then hit the rd. In my case, it took 2 yrs between deciding to leave and leaving (shitloads of red tape).

mb

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Shen: I lived in Hawaii (though 30 years ago) and if choose one of the more remote islands it can be Waferish. Maybe the North Shore if you're into surfing. Unfortunately it also attracts the worst of the worse USA tourists, not quite as bad as Vegas, but right up there. Watch out for the drugs and gangs outside the tourist zone in Honolulu, plus an epidemic of homeless. Also, unless you're actually Native Hawaiian, there's no way you'll be included in any of that secession stuff, you'll just be another Haole (unless you happen to be Asian).

If you incline towards the ocean type thing, and have (or want to live on) a boat, the Caribbean would probably be better suited to a Wafer lifestyle. See Orlov and seagypsyphilosopher.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous O-Ren Ishi said...

Shen- I guess maybe...although I would be worried about the rising ocean levels due to global warming.

Mike- Yes, true. Every place will have problems. He's coming around to potentially leaving if things get bad, but for now, no set plan yet. In the meantime, I'm researching locations we can go in case - God forbid - something disastrous happens. (Also, I really like your toxic relationship analogy - it makes total sense.)

Annie- Didn't really consider Africa until now...will be sure to put that on the list.

If any of you Wafers are interested in really living off the grid, you might like Primitive Technology on Youtube.

11:30 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

How dare he tap on the guys car!!! The driver should have pulled out a BAZOOKA instead of hurting his hand on the guys face. The driver should sue the family into bankruptcy for the smudge left on the car from the tappers hand.



http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/08/08/florida-tourist-dies-after-being-punched-by-driver-in-new-york-city-following-stepsister-wedding-reports-say.html

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Aubrey Hatch said...

Ali Rizvi takes on the condescending prejudice that Muslims can't be expected to appreciate liberalism, feminism, humanism, secularism, & other Enlightenment ideals.

LIBERALS HAVE COMPROMISED THEIR OWN VALUES

https://quillette.com/2018/07/28/liberals-have-compromised-on-their-own-values-an-interview-with-ali-a-rizvi/

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Truman said...

https://aeon.co/essays/the-roots-of-writing-lie-in-hopes-and-dreams-not-in-accounting

Was writing invented for accounting and administration or did it evolve from religious movements, sorcery and dreams?

If you're interested in the origins of writing this is a nice summary of the debate that also challenges the "administrative hypothesis" which contends writing was an invention of state administrators for accounting & taxation purposes.

I like the dreams appraisal

3:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Truman-

Earliest tablets containing language we have are from Sumer, I believe: calculation of grain storage problems, that sorta thing.

jj-

I'm with you. The guy shd have gunned Szabo down like a dog. WHY isn't everybody armed, fer chrissakes? Even Laquisha Jones had a brick.

Arnie, Dio-

Cdn't run it (too long). Pls observe half page rule, thanks.

mb

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Underemployed said...

Aubrey, Great article!

"Muslim youth globally are being more exposed to secular influences ... So the rise of jihadism and fundamentalism is more of a backlash than a movement. I compare it to the rise of Trump and the alt-right. When Obama was elected president—a global citizen, half black, half white, raised in Indonesia, coming from a lot of different cultures—everyone thought that the racial struggle was over. Now we could move on and talk about other important things, like veganism and gender pronouns. And while they were doing that, there was an underground backlash, which culminated in the election of Trump. "

4:36 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I thought I'd add a couple of reading suggestions to the Wafer list. I just finished Jack London's The Iron Heel, written in 1907. London was quite prescient, predicting war between Germany and the USA, the rise of the Plutocracy and Christian wackos, as well as taking a shot at identity politics: "How can we hope for solidarity with all these cross purposes and conflicts?"

Wafers have to read Chapter 13 of Raymond Chandler's The Little Sister.

This is now slightly old news, but I think it's funny:
Did Saudis Just Threaten Canada With 9/11-Style Attack for Crime of Criticizing Their Atrocious Human Rights Record?
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/08/07/did-saudis-just-threaten-canada-911-style-attack-crime-criticizing-their-atrocious

Is anyone else bugged, whenever some calamity strikes, that the slogan "...Strong" gets thrown about. So far we've had "Boston Strong," Toronto Strong," and locally, "Humboldt Strong."

How about a Wafer T-Shirt with the image of a mushroom cloud and the caption, "Hiroshima Strong" just to show that "our thoughts and prayers are with the heroes"?

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Truman,

Thanks for that link. I would go with the dreams myself, and for a very specific reason. The basic argument is that writing, like all human creations, was not only utilitarian - nothing wrong with that use for it, either - but that it was chiefly & even solely utilitarian. The unspoken default is that dreams, sorcery, religious experience, beauty, wonder, etc., are NOT utilitarian; they're some sort of nice but unnecessary luxury gravy for the meat & potatoes of life. It's the approach of those that the late C. Wright Mills called "crackpot realists" who reduced everything to the lowest common denominator of pragmatism. William Morris addressed this very issue in many of his lectures & writing on socialism, insisting that it was (or should & must be) more than just economics, basic necessities, etc. - that art, beauty, dreams, etc., WERE basic necessities as much as food, clothing, shelter. Or as the Kinks put it, "All life we work / But work is a bore / If life's for living / What's living for?"

5:15 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Hate groups march in Portland... and cops attack the counter protesters... did all the KKK members join the police force ?

No.

I live in Oregon. I know someone who was at the prayer rally.

Ex-military guys acquiring a permit and holding a prayer hardly puts them in the same category as the KKK. Antifa didn’t have a permit and they showed up anyway. The cops told them to piss off and then Antifa started to throw rocks at the cops, who were then forced for fire bean bags and tear gas back at them.

The cops in Portland are notoriously lenient when dealing with Antifa because Portland’s Mayor is openly sympathetic to Antifa. The media didn’t bother reporting that it was Antifa that instigated the violence, nor did they report the subsequent battery and robbery of a transgendered woman by Antifa members.

7:44 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Senor Belman

No problema mi amigo. Yo soy un hombre solitario . . .most of the time anyway. I do not keep an internet connection at my personal residence. I post to DAA Blog at my local library which is close to my home and I do not spend a lot of time staring at the screen. On purpose. But, I will post at least once a week.

I see so much around me in amerika, on a daily basis, that is so totally batshit, that I could probably post multiple times a day; however we have the 24-hour rule and I do many other things with my time.

Our Wafer base is so adept at links, etc. that I feel outclassed there. I have a couple of friends who are Wafers; but they also tend to be reclusive. I am NMI, and happy to be that way. You know you are on to something if you are mostly summarily disregarded in your community - a declinist badge of honor.

O&D!

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Thank you Wafer O-Ren-Ishi--another thing we try to minimise is "JADE." Justify, argue, defend, or explain the why and wherefore (Gilbert and Sullivan) of divorcing the toxic empire to usa-ers.

Many of our american immigrant acquaintances are shocked/surprised why we're leaving, and of course, ask lotsa qsns. over-explanations, it's just too exhausting, and puts one in a position of weakness; basically, bottom in the 'relationship.'

It was challenging being 'grey rock'--b/c we wanted to say this, that, or go off the deep end on certain things...create reasoned arguments, references, facts, evidence. What a fucking waste. usa-ers were dumber than shit, and it just made us even more angry b/c of their fierce defensive posturing.

It's simply JADE. No justifications, no arguing, no defending, no explanations. It's a lot simpler b/c focus and non-distractions (esp. from usa-ers) are key. Wish you and your partner the very best.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

Meet Mr. & Mrs. Evil ... who thought they were just righteous God loving people.. such people will declare war over abortion but apparently its ok to starve your kid to death after he is born .. can the religious cults world over stop fighting who is best .. its quite obvious by now that they all are stupid

Michigan parents let baby starve to death

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Megan C. said...

Awhile back I was dating a man with Borderline Personality Disorder, and it went on far longer than it should have. I haven't dated much since, because the whole thing was rather traumatic. At any rate, I've spent countless hours reading about the disorder, trying to make sense of what happened. And the more I read, the more I wonder if American society isn't in fact producing a BPD epidemic? I find this idea compelling, because BPD is basically the state of being so fucked up and fragmented, emotionally deregulated and un-centered, that you literally cannot function in a healthy relationship. Is this not kind of what we mean when we say that Americans are douchebags? Any of you guys have an experiences along these lines? (I certainly hope not!)

BPD is said to represent about 2 to 5 percent of the population. But there are a lot of psychiatrists who think this is way off the mark, and that it may be more like 20 percent of the population (including males who are often misdiagnosed as, say, NPD). I spoke with a psychiatrist friend who agrees that there is an alarming increase in this disorder over the past 20 years. I don't know, perhaps my research has biased me, but I'm wondering now if America might actually be the BPD capital of the world?

1:34 AM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Wafers- sorry for not posting. I've been busy getting things arranged.
I moved to Malaysia - English speaking, non-anglo culture. You can too (if you meet the requirements): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysia_My_Second_Home

When considering emigration, understand that you only need a smallish fraction of your income to live well in many other countries. I have friends from California (both in their 30's) who moved to Thailand and Vietnam, both of which are even less expensive than Malaysia. They both have internet businesses they run remotely.

I'll write more when I have more time. Emigrating is not easy, by this I mean psychologically. Quiting your job, selling your car/house/things and moving elsewhere takes some guts/internal fortitude. There is also the process of letting go of US culture/programming to always be working/hustling that has been beaten into us since we were born. Americans self-worth and self-esteem is how much money they make and what they consume i.e. I shop at Whole Foods thus I am woke, 'prestige', 'keeping up with Jones', buying 'status' objects, etc. As the Professor said, this programming (always for more, more more) makes us marionettes on strings, cutting those strings is difficult since they have been attached since birth and constantly strengthened and reinforced by our culture, education, and media. it is like withdrawal from a drug...

Peace,
BrotherMaynard

5:14 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

To Dr. MB and all fellow Wafers worldwide:

Our fellow traveler Umair, has another missive up today in which he recognizes the positivity of leaving the US.

"So young people — especially those who find themselves within these three groups — are dreaming of leaving now. Planning to leave, if they have time, money, connections. Some have already gone to Europe, where college is free. Why would they stay? Who wants to grow old in a society where the basics of life — which you need more of, not less of, as you age — are already unaffordable when you’re young? So America finds itself in the place many collapsing nations have been. Life is unlivable — and so those who can leave, do."

https://eand.co/how-america-became-unlivable-b114f1440e8f

8:12 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bro-

You did it! Congratulations! May many more follow yr lead.

Megan-

It was Freud who suggested that an entire society cd be neurotic. My own guess is that most of the US is completely nuts.

Christian-

You might be rt, but as of now we hafta take yr word for it. You haven't given us any evidence. Knowing 1 person at the rally is--an anecdote.

al-

Turkey Strong.

mb

9:54 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@Megan

You are on the right track, but can go ever further. Americans and most Anglos like to pretend that psychology is 80 percent medical and 20 percent socio-cultural, but most Continental thinkers correctly reverse that percentage. Read Foucault for a perspective on social domination and punishment and madness. Deluze and Guattarri suggest that capitalism's psychic distortions create the groundwork for schitzophrenia.

If those authors are a bit to flamboyant for you (they are for most), there is also R.D. Laing, who examined the actual lived family experience of schitzophrenics and found a common cultural pattern.

For my part, I try to avoid the medical taxonomy of psychic conditions, but I will say that the American workplace absolutely demands narcissist qualities. The way you are supposed to self-consciously market yourself would be described as sickness in any other human context outside of Work Most Holy.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

And the more I read, the more I wonder if American society isn't in fact producing a BPD epidemic?

You could be right, however, I tend to think what is happening is the inevitable result of living in an unhealthy environment. We took everything that had real, transcendent value and threw it away. Living as a community, with people you identify with, and feel as though they are part of your extended family is dead. And it isn't just the US, we are simply ahead of everyone else in the game, this is what globalzation has to offer--The destruction of real culture and the reduction of humans to units of economic measure that create nothing and consume everything.

I have even heard it metaphorically described as a form of 'nothingness'. Gen-X'ers who grew up with movies from the 80's will know exactly what I am talking about (Neverending Story).

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

To Morris Berman and Truman and Tim Luke, this article is fascinating! I was in conceptual agreement w/ Morris Berman and James Scott, the author of a recent fantastic study, "Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States." That it was utilitarian protostenography. The article even cites that book for refutation, amd now I find myself agreeing with Truman and Tim Luke about the importance of profundity and myth and dream in what must have begot writing. Morris Berman, did you not find the piece persuasive in that way?

I still highly recommend "Against The Grain"

4:07 PM  
Anonymous O'Neil's View said...

Pentagon Officials Listen In Silence As Mike Pence Details Plans For Angel-Guided Defense Weapons System [SATIRE]

https://politics.theonion.com/pentagon-officials-listen-in-silence-as-mike-pence-deta-1828231250




4:27 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Megan C.,

I don’t know about BPD specifically but I know that mental illness in general seems to be on the rise in America. I also read about these issues quite a bit (maybe more than I should) because I am trying to make sense of my observations. For example, according to one recent study rates of depression are at least 50 percent higher than those seen in a similar study a decade earlier.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/demystifying-psychiatry/201808/depression-in-the-united-states-update

Generally I think Americans are not doing well mentally/emotionally/spiritually and this of course negatively impacts relationships, and not just romantic relationships but also friendships and family relationships. Unsurprisingly social isolation is also on the rise in America.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Devin said...

New book of essays on the relationship between the thought of Wittgenstein and the key figures of phenomenology: Husserl, Heidegger, Levinas, Merleau-Ponty and Sartre.

---https://www.routledge.com/Wittgenstein-and-Phenomenology/Kuusela-Ometita-Ucan/p/book/9781138648654

5:59 PM  
Anonymous cos said...

Megan,

Hi! I'm a psychiatrist ( now retired). Many of the lables used in my former racket ( well the psychologists) are a bit of a muddle and not as precise as chemistry by a long shot. As for BPD many of us view its roots as a polite way to diagnose female psychopaths. As for male bpds this is recent but misguided. These are for most part psychopaths. Are there more in U.S than before? Yes and growing as environment in U.S. is such that psychopathic tendencies are useful for survival. Back to BPDs/psychopaths. No sensible clinician likes treating these folks. There are truly many people who suffer and are trying to get better.BPD's/psychopaths dont respond to treatment, may act or say they do but they dont and are dangerous assholes to be avoided ( technical term)

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Rude Randy said...

https://www.berghahnjournals.com/view/journals/historical-reflections/44/1/historical-reflections.44.issue-1.xml

THIS ENTIRE EDITION IS OF VARIOUS SPECIALISTS OF HISTORY DEBUNKING PINKER

6:27 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

Dr. Berman and others who have left,

What is the minimal amount of savings one should have to take with you to move to another country?

7:59 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

@Megan C- Yep, experience of a relationship with a BPD. Nasty during, nasty after effects. Biggest mistake of my life. For years I would try dating and found that if the woman was nuts I would eventually run (live and learn), and if she was sane I had no idea how to deal with her and would make a mess of it.

BPD as a model for the US makes a lot of sense in ways. But it's a messy complex disorder. Psychopath or paranoia or schizophrenia have cleaner simpler structures in popular perception. And getting people to understand the nuances of the DSM V? Ha!

I'm also a bit wary of applying individual mental disorders to cultural issues. Something like 'Anti-Oedipus' (Deleuze, Guattari) can make for powerful explorations, but then you spend time with a real schizophrenic and you see the limits of such metaphors. It can cheapen the reality that individuals live daily for the sake of an argument or TED talk. Reminds me of using quantum physics to explore flower arranging or such. Horses for courses?

@troubum- the Umair article was a good read, thank you!

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Megan C. said...

Dr Berman,

Yes, what made me think of it was that many of our WAFER heroes and heroines (Shaneka Torres, etc.) seem to potentially fit the BPD profile. That is to say, people who fly into rages over what we normal people think of as matters of no importance. One psychiatrist (I forget his name) suggested that Borderline Personality Disorder is to current day America what "hysteria" was to Freud's Vienna. An interesting notion at any rate. I suppose that 20 percent of the population is probably too high. But it wouldn't surprise me at all if it were in the mid teens.


2:01 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

MB & Wafers,

Henry Giroux posted a very long article on TruthOut on "Neoliberal Fascism and the Echoes of History". Here's the link

https://truthout.org/articles/neoliberal-fascism-and-the-echoes-of-history/

It's exceedingly long, and of course goes into the "what we can do to stop this" at the end. But it does give a thorough review of 30s European fascism and what an American style fascism might look like. In the process, he goes over all the wonderful ways America is circling the drain.

On another note, Paul Craig Roberts has seemingly given up on the US. Each of his last few missives has been more and more negative.

Onward and downward!

5:50 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Someone will probably post this too, but CP finally posted your interview with Posey:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/08/10/declinism-rising-an-interview-with-morris-berman/

8:45 AM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Sean Posey's interview with Dr. Berman is now available at CounterPunch.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/08/10/declinism-rising-an-interview-with-morris-berman/

9:05 AM  
Blogger alyosha said...

@BrotherMaynard - thanks for the link to MalaysiaMySecondHome. Apart from this deal offered by the Malaysian govt, why Malaysia? If you like to write, you should write a blog about your transition, it would be super helpful for us still here, perhaps cathartic for you. FWIW, I followed a "We Move To Canada" blog written by a young couple who left USA during the Bush years. Inspirational and informative.

@troutburn - thanks for the link to Umair and "How America Became Unlivable". I really enjoy conversing with young people, encouraging them to leave. They fully get it, it sometimes just takes the clarity that older people have to give them the push they're looking for.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Megan-

Some yrs ago I actually dated a woman who had BPD. I had no experience of the disorder prior to this. The sex was fabulous; the rest was a horror show. I was always walking on eggshells, waiting for the next explosion. In the end, the sex wasn't worth it, and I had to give it up. I don't know what % of Americans have this disorder, and the APA says that at any time, 25% of the American population is mentally ill. I'm guessing this was a typo, and the article meant to say 75%. Also check out SSIG, my discussion of the dopaminergic society, etc.

BH-

Check each country's immigration website. It differs for each.

Tom-

In 1970 Philip Slater called the US a "psychological slum." Wonder what he wd say today.

mb

9:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Progs are so fabulous:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/10/fellow-kids-woke-washing-cynical-alignment-worthy-causes

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

MB: This article by David Masciotra (who has cited your books in his earlier articles) contains some clever phrases (eg, “the reduction of the American character to a giant Walmart”):
https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/corporate-capitalists-killed-american-identity/

10:21 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

A few days ago, someone posted a hatchet job on Jeremy Corbyn, trying to show that he's an anti-semite for criticising Israel.

Here's another view:

"...what none of these anti-semitism warriors has wanted to highlight is that the speaker given a platform at the conference was the late Hajo Meyer, a Jewish Holocaust survivor who dedicated his later years to supporting Palestinian rights. Who, if not Meyer, deserved the right to make such a comparison? And to imply that he was an anti-semite because he prioritised Palestinian rights over the preservation of Israel’s privileges for Jews is truly contemptible.

In fact, it is more than that. It is far closer to anti-semitism than the behaviour of Jewish critics of Israel like Greenstein and Chilson, who have been expelled from the Labour party. To intentionally exploit and vilify a Holocaust survivor for cheap, short-term political advantage – in an attempt to damage Corbyn – is malevolence of the worst kind."

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/08/09/the-crisis-in-corbyns-labour-party-is-over-israel-not-anti-semitism/

Whoever made that initial post asked why leftists were so quick to make Nazi comparisons. I have what I think is a more interesting question: why are so many right-wingers (even, in some cases, anti-semites) so enthralled with Israel?

10:24 AM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

Not sure about BPD, but majority Americans are narcissists and greedy. Described splendidly by Erich Fromm in "To Have or To Be" ..

"To be an egoist refers not only to my behavior but to my character. It means: that I want everything for myself; that possessing, not sharing, gives me pleasure; that I must become greedy because if my aim is having, I am more the more I have; that I must feel antagonistic toward all others: my customers whom I want to deceive, my competitors whom I want to destroy, my workers whom I want to exploit. I can never be satisfied, because there is no end to my wishes; I must be envious of those who have more and afraid of those who have less. But I have to repress all these feelings in order to represent myself (to others as well as to myself) as the smiling, rational, sincere, kind human being everybody pretends to be."

"Thus far the argument here has been that the character traits engendered by our socioeconomic system, i.e, by our way of living, are pathogenic and eventually produce a sick person and, thus, a sick society."

10:46 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Under the heading “Does this selfie make my ass look too big?” a new candidate for inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. “Snapchat dysmorphia” describes the emerging trend of people whose ability to edit their selfies to remove blemishes is driving some to seek surgical and cosmetic improvements to their appearance.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/08/06/patients-are-desperate-to-resemble-their-doctored-selfies-plastic-surgeons-alarmed-by-snapchat-dysmorphia/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1c4b77d55e78

And some good news. “Is that a dildo in your luggage or are you happy to see me?”
A dildo causes the evacuation of Berlin’s Schönefeld Airport. A separate report notes that TSA has confirmed in response to enquiries that travellers are allowed to have such items in either checked or carry-on luggage. Good news, I think can all agree:
https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/berlin-airport-vibrator-sex-toy-schonefeld-evacuation-security-scare-germany-a8482416.html

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Morris,

Good to see your interview with Sean Posey on Counterpunch today. Getting more exposure is always good. I'd be interested in comments you might get as the audience is different than those choosing to read your work.

Marianne

12:05 PM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

Talking about mental illness in the US, I worked as a teacher's aide in a couple of public schools in NJ before leaving. In one of them, it seemed that the staff was full of ppl w/ mental issues. The director of the dept. which I worked for seemed to always avoid communication w/ others and seemed to be indifferent or even callous towards matters relating to the students/school. The principal was a woman who seemed to have an intense hatred towards men and her professionalism was questionable. Whenever I tried to get her attention about an issue going on in the school, she would always say "we'll talk later" as if it were of no importance. There was also a secretary who always complained bitterly about everyone and everything. Then there were the teachers and others aides who looked for conflicts and disputes without any real justification and had faces of eternal anger. One thing that I did find shocking was the amount of students that were placed in special ed. classes and some of them really needed to be in a separate special school but according to the staff, "there was just not enough money for those students." With environments like these, it is no wonder that the US is a nut house.

Mike R.- I understand trying to explain to usa-ers about the reasons why one should leave is very frustrating. When I told ppl there that I wanted to get out of the US and that it is a rotten hellhole, they would react in a red hot rage and some would even seem demon possessed. That's why I wrote a few days ago about the US being a cult.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

MB, thanks for recommending the film McFarland USA. My wife & I watched it last night; a lovely, warm film. In AWTY, you expressed some concern about it not showing much of the darker downside. But so many films today express nothing BUT despair, ugliness, violence, all as forms of soul-coarsening entertainment - the film didn't deny the downside, it just didn't focus on it. There's room for this sort of story, simply as a reminder of what human life & community can offer.

Barbara, that ties into a discussion of dreams & myth. What our culture lacks now is a dimension of living myth, spirit, the sacred - something more than the toting up of facts & bytes & information - something animating, alive, encompassing in embrace - something soul-nourishing. "Where there is no vision, the people perish." Obviously, this is not fundamentalism of any stripe or the vaguest of vague New Agery we're talking about! It's what both of those approaches fear & flee because it demands humility in the face of something greater than personal ego. I'm not a literal believer in any particular religious system (although still in many ways a cultural Catholic) - but I do have an ongoing sense of & yearning for what we'll call The Sacred. That's something Waferish, I'd say.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Christian-

Sorry, dismissive remarks like 'Pffft' are a no-no on this blog. Extreme respect, on the other hand, tends to work very well. Up 2u.

Fer-

Gd microcosms of America, chico; sick buffoons out of control.

mb

4:30 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

@ al-Qa'bong: You asked:
"I have what I think is a more interesting question: why are so many right-wingers (even, in some cases, anti-semites) so enthralled with Israel?"

A large part of this in the US is that the return of the Jews to the land of Israel is necessary to fulfill the Biblical prophesies concerning the return of Jesus. Simple enough, to match a simple fairy tale mind. The sooner Israel occupies all of their Biblical land, the sooner the end times will come.

Another type of support comes from the pragmatic paramilitary crowd. Gaza is the world's test bed for how to handle a disenfranchised, desperate population. How many calories per day does such a population actually need? How much water? How much shelter? How many restrictions on movement can you place before the react? What are the long-term effects of short-term killing sprees? On and on. US police forces are traveling to Israel to be trained in the techniques learned and used in Gaza. China is doing the same thing. And other countries, of course. As police and military forces prepare for financial collapses, famines, etc., Israel finds itself with a very desirable test situation.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@al-Q--I read some years ago that Israel's intense support on the right comes from the fact that so many fundie whackjobs really believe that The Rapture cannot happen unless Israel controls the holy lands.

American cruelty at it's finest: it seems that homeless encampments have become a favorite place for illegal dumpers to deposit garbage. After all, nobody of any importance is ever likely to complain.

Technodouchebaggery meets American rage: idiot American gets sloppy drunk, but at least has the presence of mind to call for an Uber. Idiot American then starts randomly pounding on the windows of cars to ask if the person driving is his Uber ride. Second idiot American (a major college basketball coach no less) goes ballistic, exits his car and kills the Uber idiot by punching him in the head. Bonus: the victim was described as a "digital marketing guru."

From that fountain of wisdom, Vogue Magazine: I'm Latina, and I Find Rihanna's Skinny Brows Problematic. Glad you have your fucking priorities straight, lady.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

Hiroshima Strong has just the right NMI countervailing influence, enuf that the common turkey wldn't get it and a seed planted in the ones that do - I'm gonna get one.

I was diagnosed once with schizotypal personality disorder and summarily though honorably discharged from US Army. W/o benefits, insurance, understanding family etc it took 10 long, excruciating, as in I must be one of Kerouac's angels to have survived it, before a doc took me under his wing and correctly identified bi-polar d/o (trash can dx as it is). I'd of died w/o him. It is a fact that clinicians will, if at all possible, refuse to treat any of the personality d/o. No doubt mental illness is rising, the local state insane asylum is on it's 3rd lawsuit for not getting competency evaluations done in a timely manner. But here's a fun story - I attended a local NAMI 'consumer' meeting. I leaked out the fact clinicians don't like BPD only to discover the facilitator was one. This chick ran the thing like she was a therapist until I cdn't take it anymore. Last I heard they made her Vice President of Southern Colo NAMI. The psychopaths are running the asylums (see peer support mvmt) As the need increases the resources (as they are) diminish. Tsunami anyone?

10:07 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Seven things every American should know about 21st century political economy...


https://eand.co/seven-things-everyone-but-especially-americans-should-know-about-21st-century-political-economy-627db364fd9a

10:10 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

@alyosha- For me, Malaysia made sense: English speaking, very low cost of living, good infrastructure/healthcare, fantastic food. The #1 reason was that given the cost of living I can 'retire' here now if I want to (I'm in my 40's). Not a life of luxury mind you; a simple life. Plenty of other good options. I have a friend from SF that 'retired' at 50 and moved to the Philippines. Very similar. I doubt I'll blog. Plenty of other great emigration blogs out there. They inspired me too.

It cost much, much less to live outside USA. You take that combined with a focus on living a simple life (not defining yourself by what your consumption or making $$$$ to impress others) and you really don't need much.

If I stayed in the USA, I would move to Hawaii. Sill retains elements of a Polynesian, island culture; focus is on family/friends/community...for now anyway.

BrotherMaynard

1:40 AM  
Anonymous Megan C. said...

Dr. Berman,

Sorry to hear that you went through that too. Yes, that's how it works, first they hook you with sex and love-bombing, and then when they've softened you up, the "real person" comes out from behind the mask. Quite an unpleasant experience.


5:52 AM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Belated birthday wishes!

In his recent column, Johan Galtung has the following to say about Trump and USA:

".... Trump, “unleveled”, autistic, narcissistic and paranoid. If president of a lesser country he would have been revealed, of a country also autistic, narcissistic and paranoid he fits too well. But getting rid of Trump does not solve perennial US belligerence."

This "perennial belligerence" seems to be a mask for deep seated insecurities both at the individual and national level.

https://www.transcend.org/tms/2018/08/meanwhile-around-the-world-16/

Best Wishes,
Himanshu

8:25 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

@MB,

You might want to include this story in your new book on Italy:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/10/selfish-selfie-takers-spark-trevi-fountain-fisticuffs

And another good one from The Guardian:
"In America, a normal topic of conversation among coworkers is comparing how busy and exhausted you are. In corporate America, if you take all your (entirely legal!) allotted vacation and sick days, especially if it’s more than two weeks, people in the office talk."
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/11/vacation-american-workers-cultural-shift

Kanye

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

FerQ & Mike R, We tell very few people that we are going to move to Europe for good. Everyone knows we are in Italy much of the year, but they always want to know if we miss "home" and why don't we stay "home" longer. We just don't want to deal with the reactions you've described. And when we tell them that our little house here in Italy is the place that feels like home, they just can't get their heads around it.

I know virtually nothing about psychology (a physicist by training), but it seems to me that the entire hustling culture in the US (so well described in that American Conservative article) has so distorted people's priorities and values that it's surprising that more people aren't mentally ill. It would take a big shock to the entire system to change course. When I worked in the Pentagon (I had an office on the E-ring, for those that know that stuff), everyone worked ridiculous hours, and everyone was competing with everyone else for who worked the longest hours. It was a badge of honor to be in the office for 16 hours a day, every day! Totally nuts, and most of the work was make work. The higher up I went, the more it looked like loony land, the more uncomfortable I felt, the more I didn't fit in. Finally had to leave. Best thing I ever did.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Megan-

I like that phrase, 'love bombing'. I'm less enchanted by psychosis.

Bill-

Americans understand that skinny eyebrows, along with Kim's rump, are the major issues facing the US today.

Dan D-

Re: US cops going to Israel: I don't doubt it, but if you cd provide some evidence, that wd be helpful.

mb

10:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Close to home:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/great-synagogue-of-vilna-destroyed-by-nazis-is-uncovered-by-archaeologists/2018/08/10/1d0c32e4-99af-11e8-b60b-1c897f17e185_story.html?utm_term=.8ae48b9eb497

My grandfather published a book (in Yiddish) in Vilna (Wilno) in 1930. I probably have the only 2 copies in existence.

mb

11:04 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Sorry, assumed a common knowledge....

https://theintercept.com/2017/09/15/police-israel-cops-training-adl-human-rights-abuses-dc-washington/

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/joint-us-israel-police-and-law-enforcement-training

https://thefreethoughtproject.com/u-s-police-routinely-travel-israel-learn-methods-brutality-repression/

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2011/12/12/1044508/-





11:15 AM  
Anonymous cos said...

Gunnar Burton,

Glad you recieved help from a clinician. True, I avoided treating psychopaths and BPD's (all cluster B's for that matter). They dont get better and use treatment to become more effective at imitating normal human behavior--they become more effective predators if you will. Many pursue treatment as a consequence of a court order, child custody or incarceration. A few to ease the symptoms of being disliked or having major life difficultiea but they quit before realizing they are the problem. A very few embrace say bpd diagnosis only to play victim card and be more manipulative. Your observation of the likely bpd facilitator is spot on. The proliferation of low quality and online masters ( psyd) programs and the like has set upon the land a plague of personality disordered "counselors" and "therapists". In old days rigors of study at a university or med school program would weed out most of the crazies but not any longer..This is pbly true in so many other areas.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Wafers-

Well, I went to the movies yesterday to escape the giant smoke cloud that is literally blanketing all of California and saw an American masterpiece, Spike Lee's "BlacKKKlansman." Even though the film is set in the 1970s, Lee has managed to capture the tragedy and absurdity of America's never-ending racial dilemma.

In any event, since the blog is now currently discussing sex and Jews (two of my favorite topics, BTW), here's a gd story:

Shiksa decides to take a Krav Maga course in NYC. While attempting -- very badly -- to do a basic take-down technique, her frustrated instructor says, "Jesus, don't you have any Jew in u at all?" Shiksa responds, "No, but the evening is still young."

L'Chaim,

Miles

12:37 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

https://terebess.hu/english/tao/mitchell.html#Kap24

He who stands on tiptoe 
doesn't stand firm. 
He who rushes ahead 
doesn't go far. 
He who tries to shine 
dims his own light. 
He who defines himself 
can't know who he really is. 
He who has power over others 
can't empower himself. 
He who clings to his work 
will create nothing that endures. If you want to accord with the Tao, just do your job, then let go.

^The Mitchell translation of the Tao Te Ching is extremely beautiful and worthwhile.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

Talking of mental illness and suicide... airline employee steals plane from Seattle airport, crashes and dies... now this is definitely sad and one will feel sorry for the guy.. but what if he had killed other innocent people..

Transcript of convo between hijacker and ATC

Now this story is really fucking insane.. why do such assholes have kids... feel terribly upset and sorry for the kid...

Young boy dies after mistaking father's meth for cereal

Father refused to call 911

1:59 PM  
Anonymous lenoir said...

hi Dr B and fellows
Checked out of N.A. for over 40 years now.
Did it with a BFA, (painting) and minor in English Lit from University of Victoria!! (dr. B)
check out this site Dave's ESL café.
if you have a B.A. in anything, you can basically teach anywhere.
My last gig in Istanbul, was making 45k clear, including apt and car. Tax free.
am now retired in central America.
ur welcome to contact me at dunromn@gmail.com for tips and tricks.
lenoir

3:49 PM  
Blogger aristeides said...

I used to work in the E ring of the Pentagon, but, as I was a mere reservist, I worked no extra hours.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

@Italiana... Thanks for posting the article by Giroux. A long one, as you said. Sometimes I felt he was repeating himself. Still worth the time. Saul has also emphsized in his 'Voltaire's Bastards' that Napoleon and Hitler are not in the past. They are very much present.

About your 'home', I remebered this. In 2003. I was in the US just months from moving back to India. Met a young India student in a gathering and in course of a casual conversation told him we were moving back. He was perplxed. Asked where in India? When I told him that we are moving to this small town in Uttar Prdesh his reaction was something to see! Some people never get it. And in spite of all the 'backwardness' of UP, Im happy we made the move the.But honestly(I think I wrote this earlier too) Italy is the place I would have liked to be in. Not gonna happen I know. Every time I have been there Iv loved it more.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

11 seems to be today's unlucky number for blacks in America in dealing with the PO-lice. First up, an 11-year-old Florida boy was handcuffed by a fat-headed pig for dribbling a basketball in a disrespectful manner. Not to be outdone, in Cincinnati an 11-year-old girl was tased by a fat-headed pig for shoplifting food from a grocery store. I'm sorry, but if you're a big bad cop and you can't detain a preteen girl without using a taser, then you're a fucking wimp who shouldn't be a cop.

And in the world of sports, the jackass head football coach at the University of Maryland and several of his jackass staffers have been placed on leave after they forced one of their players to do sprints in the hot sun until he collapsed and later died of heat stroke. It's now come out that what the player experienced was a typical method the coaches used to weed out weaker players. Even more incredible is that Maryland taxpayers were recently bilked out of $200 million to build an indoor practice facility for the team which would have prevented the tragedy. No bonus points for guessing the race of the player who died.

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Chamblee said...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dont-fall-for-trumps-latest-whataboutism/2018/08/11/51488518-9b3e-11e8-843b-36e177f3081c_story.html

Reminded of my recent readings of Al Farabi, when I think of American ruler, The Trump, it seems odd that once he wrote: Just as the soul is more eminent than the body, so too is the statesman more eminent than the physician [see his Selected Aphorisms]

10:35 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Ha ha. One of my favorite Seinfeld episodes was the one on "Shiksappeal." Elaine apparently had it.

Dan D-

Thank you. For a gd movie on American and Israeli thugs in action, try "Beirut."

mb

12:41 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

“There’s a principle which I don’t think anyone’s explaining to Americans — at least not well. They’re already “paying” for the very things that social democracy would provide. That money doesn’t have to be “found” or “raised.” It’s already pouring out of their pockets, like a huge river, into the coffers of predatory capitalism. There’s no need to worry about “how to pay for socialism”, because Americans are massively, gigantically overpaying capitalism, to a degree unseen in modern history, for the basics of life (and they are paying not just with money, but with time, energy, trust, meaning, purpose, belonging, health, their kids, and life itself, but we’ll get to that).”

— Umair Haque


The Quislings of American Collapse....


https://eand.co/the-quislings-of-american-collapse-f25071465063

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Bill, last week in Chicago there were 16 murders, 70 shootings, and no arrests. Guess the race of the killed and wounded if you can.
Here's a quote from Netan-Yahoo! yesterday:"Many of the demonstrators want to turn Israel into ...a state for all its citizens." The horror! The horror!
Tonight in Philly,the comedian Aziz Ansari is performing. The title of the show is "Aziz Ansari tries out new material". Tickets are $40 to see someone try out new material. He's doing 3 shows and 2 are already sold out. Are Americans that desperate for entertainment?

3:30 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Really interesting to read other Wafers' experiences with psychopaths (thanks, cos, I think you're right and I like this term better than BPD). I also had my experience dating a psychopath. I won't go into unnecessary detail, but I am convinced that psychopaths are just extreme cases of selfishness. That's why they don't want to be cured or even see why they should. If you're really selfish, you can't possibly see why you shouldn't be. It's actually logical. From their point of view, if you don't exist to satisfy their wishes, you're at fault. And yes, this "illness" has a huge social component, and yes, the US is, as a society, psychopathic.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Mother of three shot and killed while ordering breakfast at a McDonald's drive-thru in Jacksonville, Florida.

https://www.news4jax.com/news/woman-shot-in-jacksonville-mcdonalds-drive-thru-dies_

Article on the epidemic of social isolation in rural America.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/the-social-isolation-epidemic-in-rural-america

7:32 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

I cld and won''t write a book about my exp with MH. I worked at the nut farm and I've seen the worst of the worst, the darkest of black holes - once played pick-up up basketball with a 20 yr old who murdered two priests, stabbing in cold blood, b/c he thought they were werewolves. Don't know who this NAMI chick was hoping to fool. DAA is the only place I wished to b published, hoping against hope, these messages are stored on a server for future generations.

I've been for the most part stable for 20 yrs yet I cannot bring myself to join the movement in any way. Instead of the anti-stigma campaign, which doesn't work, why not advocate employers end practicing the 3-1 rule (every newhire = 3 new employees), I dunno, lower the stress some? My opinion of the 'recovery movement', and I take some heat for it, is it miraculously aligns majestically with the overall sickness of Am. culture.99.5% (being generous) of the recovery talks I've heard are Horatio Alger stories of bullshit. Only a bpd would want to lead such a group.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous FerQ said...


I remember in 2002-2003 seeing how fundamentalists and pro-Israel right wingers were expressing their blind support for Bozo Bush and were enthusiastic and excited about going to war in Iraq. Look where that got them. It's funny how those ppl never learn. Now they are Trumpi's cheerleaders.

9:06 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@George C--this is my favorite headline regarding the Seattle plane thief: FBI Seeks Motive After Seattle Airport Employee Steals And Crashes Plane. Oh, I dunno, maybe living in a shitty society with a shitty citizenry which saddles college students with debts so enormous they have to work until they die but are always about two paychecks or a serious illness away from bankruptcy finally got to him? He even said it himself: "Just a broken guy, got a few screws loose I guess. Never really knew it, until now." Even that sanctimonious jackass James Comey should have been able to figure that one out.

@MB--I know you've written about how the huge increase in misspellings in public settings are a big indicator of America's rapid decline, so I figured you would love this story about a Colorado university that issued over 9,000 diplomas over a 6-year period in which the signature line for the Chair of the Board of Trustees described him as the Chair of the "Coard of Trustees." Worse yet, it was a graduating student who noticed the error. It's costing the university $45,000 to reprint the diplomas, and that kid got a hard lesson on how much that degree he just earned is worth.

1:27 AM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

MB - Chris Hedges has tweeted your recent interview with Sean Posey that was posted on counterpunch.org ....Shall we expect some Turkeys to wake up ...

"Fresh Hell" from thebaffler.com this week: Fresh Hell

"A tale to melt your hard, hard heart: a criminally underpaid teacher in Alabama broke down into sobs of joy after receiving a practical sedan from two parents who were disheartened to learn the dedicated public servant spent hours on the bus each morning. It’s unlikely such sobs will reach the ears of Betsy DeVos as she unwinds in her 22,000-square-foot nautical-themed summer tomb."

"I don’t know how much this house cost, but according to the topical website PriceyPads.com, the house has three bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, three kitchens, eight dishwashers, 13 porches, and an elevator. Something about that ratio of bedrooms to dishwashers seems off to me, but what would I, a mere wretch, too dumb and poor to avoid being exploited by the predatory cost of higher education, know?"

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Came across an interesting quote this morning:

"American people are very much like the children of a Mafia boss who do not know what their father does for a living, and don't want to know, but then wonder why someone just threw a firebomb through the living room window." - William Blum - The Anti-Empire Report #132 - September 16th, 2014

"… and don't want to know." I've encountered this time & again with otherwise warm, decent, caring people. They'll wonder aloud why the world, and America in particular, is falling apart. But when you start citing verifiable facts, tell them where they can check out those facts for themselves, they just don't want to hear it. Their illusions are all they have & they don't dare throw them away.

Recommended reading: Ursula LeGuin's short story "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas."

9:22 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...


To Dr. MB and all fellow Wafers:
An article by Evan Shields titled," 3 Reasons Why America is About to Fail".
Quoting:
"Morris Berman’s trilogy on the American Empire and William Ophuls’ Immoderate Greatness: Why Civilizations Fail offer astute analyses on why America’s problems are irreparable and reminiscent of past empires. I’ll briefly explain why America is “down for the count” for those unwilling to read the books."
He continues,"Excess resource extraction and unequal wealth distribution were crucial to every civilizational collapse of the past 5,000 years. Privileged elites rapaciously exploited the environment and labor while shielding themselves from the consequences. The lives of commoners ultimately descended into chaos, creating a destructive vacuum that obliterated the foundational pillars of society."

https://medium.com/vandal-press/3-reasons-why-america-is-about-to-end-138b1e18bcf4

9:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

George-

I don't have a cell fone and have no access to Twitter. Maybe you can tell me what he said, if it was anything beyond a citation. Thanks.

Bill-

Well, that's a typo; still not gd. But the misspellings I'm talking abt generally arise from people not knowing what the correct spellings are--and this in the case of very ordinary words.

mb

9:58 AM  
Anonymous cos said...

Zar,

You are correct. The various types of psychopaths listed under cluster B are all narcissists. Indeed, Lasch in "Culture of Narcissism" was by my lights prescient in his understanding of american society. I due to training still slip and use BPD but reality is these are psychopaths with some individuation (gender, class area of focus). I had great succcess and took much satisfaction in helping depressives and those sufferring severe trauma. Neither I nor anyone I know ever had a psychpath get "better" though some as noted before became more adept. Some colleagues expressed dismay in confidence that some cluster B'psychopaths they treated went on to great professional success only later to bring harm and chaos to those around them. Could be a metaphor for the U.S. for I fear psychpathy is a key aspect of the national character

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

aristeides - Good for you! I wish I could have left on time! Although I didn't work the 16 hour days (except for emergencies), I routinely worked 12 hour days - and then of course had a nasty commute afterwards. It left me mentally and physically exhausted. I'm so glad I'm not there anymore.

jjarden - I can't tell you how many times I've pointed that out to people - you pay for health insurance, right? You pay extra when you go to the doctor, right? Etc, etc. Every once in a while, someone has their light bulb go on, but mostly, they just can't figure it out. It's like no one can do math anymore!

MB - just looked at Chris Hedges' tweet - he just tweeted the link, no comment that I could find.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Progs have their faults, Dr. B., but you can't really blame them for "woke washing" marketing. That's on Madison Avenue, and it isn't exactly a new phenomenon. I remember being in elementary school in 1970 and thinking that the zipper pulls in the form of peace signs that were on my classmates' clothing were rather crass.

Thanks to those who replied to my question, but Christian Zionists who support Israel because it will hasten the Rapture are well known, but that still doesn't account for the non-Evangelical right-wingers who admire the Zionist entity.

I also recommend "Omelas," Tim. In class I use it to provoke discussion about, among other things, whether students would be willing to walk away from their cell fones, considering the human misery that is invlved in their manufacture. Sometimes I get them to check the labels on their clothing to see if slaves in Bangladesh assembled their attire.

Nobody has given up a cell fone yet.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Trankistan said...

Dr B,

You wrote: "There is no English-language newspaper in Mexico that I know of"

Isn't that ironic that Mexicans here in USA demand that Spanish language be included everywhere (in school textbooks, in government literature, in DMV pamphlets, etc, etc).

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Fifi said...

I dislike Jordan Peterson's hyper focus on Xianity, Nietzschean dogma, that Joe Campbell type of Jung, lobsters, but Caitlyn Flanagan explains his appeal in an era when the cultural Left seems to be trying to out-stupid the Right (impossible, but they're trying [and accomplishing it])

https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/567110/

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Chops said...

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/08/stephen-miller-refugees-state-department


Yes sophomore Nietzsche can do us in - low grade Honest Iago of Othello

Humor aside - I’m not sure I’ve seen a properly alarmist piece on the destruction of the US refugee program until now. Plenty of articles noting the sharp decline in arrivals and bureaucratic slowdown, but not really any that convey just how imperiled the entire idealist enterprise is.

And in thinking about it, Nietzsche and honest Iago, they both had flair. Stephen Miller is more like a case study in the banality of evil. Isn't this entire administration one big case study?
At this point, I honestly wouldn't be surprised to learn that Millee keeps a copy of Eichmann in Jerusalem on his desk as a how-to guide.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-San said...

Amazing the depths of hypocrisy of Stepehn Miller...

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/08/13/stephen-miller-is-an-immigration-hypocrite-i-know-because-im-his-uncle-219351

MB given what you have written about your family background over the years this must cut close to the bone.

Alao Betsy DeVos demonstrates again how Trumpi's Cabinet is motivated by the ideal of selfless service to the public good

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBkJqC4JGyA

6:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Fifi-

Check out Essay No. 15 in AWTY.

Trank-

Yr mixing apples and oranges. The News, which usta be the only national Eng-lang newspaper in Mexico (now defunct), had 0 to do with making Mexico multilingual. It was read almost exclusively by ex-pats, and apparently there weren't enuf of us to keep it going, financially speaking. Mexicans in the US wanting Span-lang textbks etc. is not abt having a Span-lang newspaper in the US (there are many of them), but abt making the US more multilingual, and making life easier for Hispanics at the DMV and elsewhere. I support their demand.

al-

Sorry, I blame them. It may not be new, but without people like that there wd *be* no Madison Avenue. Takes 2 to tango. All part of a hustling culture, and as we saw in the post 60s period, the left quickly dissolved into Jerry Rubin and chic boutiques because 60s opposition to the govt was more theater than reality. Hustling is the rock that underlies everything in America, and if yr serious abt social change, you don't get co-opted by it. As Marcuse pted out ages ago, American capitalism is so elastic it can absorb everything, including opposition to it. I recall an ad in Cosmo, ca. 1970, playing on the chic idea of revolution...it was by Revlon, or some similar company, and said: "Revolution in Deodorants!" Can you imagine anything more fatuous? Meanwhile, I'm guessing millions of women ran out and bought that particular deodorant. Revolutionary, n'est-ce pas?

mb

6:52 PM  
Anonymous O-Ren Ishi said...

I really enjoyed this conversation between Joe Rogan & Jimmy Dore, thought you all might like it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3YcGRCGEuY

8:36 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

The scariest thing about the priest(s) killer? Once stabilized in an environment where he could be heard he was a pretty normal young man. Poor kid had to hide in shame while tortured by his demons - his mom had taken him for evaluation @ hospital and was rebuffed prior to the crime. He complied w/ tx and was outta there within 10yrs. Last I heard he manages a group home. I run into former patients living successfully in the community, none of the more seriously disturbed (axis one) wish to have anything to do with 'wellness', 'peer support' or 'mindfulness' movement. They just live their lives, after all isn't that what it's supposed to be about?

9:32 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

@ al-Qa'bong, you said:
"...Christian Zionists who support Israel because it will hasten the Rapture are well known [your initial question didn't say this, hence the mention by others] but that still doesn't account for the non-Evangelical right-wingers who admire the Zionist entity..."

I did give an answer to account for this. Maybe you missed it or don't consider my answer worth commenting on, but at least one possible explanation has been given. See above.

Re: green washing, marketing, etc. We called it 'whole wheat-ier than thou' in the 70s. Personally I find that between Veblen and Marcuse it's all pretty well laid out. There is new territory to be exploited but the mechanism is churning along quite smoothly according to its internal logic. I remember when a local art college starting offering a 'design for the environment' program, and we could only joke that this meant figuring how to incorporate the recycling logo into package design. People think that we are going to consume our way out of this environmental/social/political/economic disaster, that it is all a matter of better consumer decisions but no real changes. And I have found that the more money a person has, the stronger the delusion in this area.

10:39 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

MB -- Hedges just linked your article in his tweet, no comments. Also I found a few people tweeting this obscure website which has your interview. Declinism Rising There are like 5-6 comments on this website and most seem Waferish. One of your admirers has said this
"Thanks for posting this interview with one of the finest minds produced by this sick society, one of the the great cultural "diagnosticians". I have read all of Mr Berman's books, especially his trilogy, which is simply colossal in depth, scope and the richness of its insights."

Bill Hicks -- Haha that is a funny heading. Now the FBI is going to gather a team of experts and setup a committee to find out the cause. This is what they usually come up with depending on the race. Because of course you cannot question the culture, it is sacrosanct.
White -- loner/sad/introvert/incel (don't know why people feel lonely and sad in this wonderful country)
Brown -- terrorirst (they hate America, they hate us and our fabulous culture)
Black -- Lazy/thugs/violent (why don't they work and become millionaires? $$$ flowing everywhere yet they want everything free )
Others -- Move on.. nothing here.. they never understood how great America is...

Fifi -- Seems like you are referring to Steven Pinker's tweet, because you quoted him almost verbatim except he never says "and accomplishing it"

3:55 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Greetings Wafers everywhere,

The news in Cascadia continues to be dominated by reports of smoky skies due to raging western wildfires and by the aftermath of Horizon Airlines employee Richard Russell’s hijacking of an idle turboprop airliner from Sea-Tac Airport for a suicidal joyride lasting over an hour, documented by conversations between Russell and flight controllers and by on-the-ground viewers of the aerial acrobatics. Now all the usual handwringing in the media occurs over why such a happy-go-lucky guy like Russell could have done such a deed.

Yesterday a conservative radio talk show host, Jason Rantz, tried to refute a news report of Russell’s Horizon co-workers saying he was trying to teach his bosses a lesson about a guy pushed to his limits by Horizon’s grueling work culture. Their view had been backed up by a rambling comment Russell made to an air traffic controller before he crashed, “Minimum wage, we’ll chalk it up to that. Maybe that will grease some gears a little bit with the higher ups.”

No way, claims Rantz, Russell was simply having a possible “mental health episode” and Russell’s coworkers were simply exploiting the crash for political gain. Yes, Mericans should relish their lot and enjoy living the Dream. What Russell did was, in the words of a report I heard this morning on NPR, “a once in a million occurrence.” The cultural blindness of these media stories dealing with the existential strain is breathtaking.

http://mynorthwest.com/1078202/claim-seatac-hijacking-motivated-low-pay/

11:14 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Dr. B - I suppose if the progs buy this junk thinking that by doing so they'll change the world or reduce their sense of guilt, then I agree they are culpable, but to say that they are to be blamed for being targetted by marketers (the subject of the article) is akin to blaming kids for being the targets of ads for sugary cereals...if ya ask me.

I don't recall if this book has been discussed here, but this seems like a good time to mention The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism by Thomas Frank.

And not that I'm a tweeter or have a cell fone, but

#hiroshimastrong

11:19 AM  
Anonymous BH said...

I read a book years ago that said psychopathic and extreme narcissistic people are deliberately recruited to fill high up and responsible positions in companies. I asked two retired psychologists, both of whom worked for large businesses if this was true. They both said it was so and one claimed when he was younger he actually was part of re cruiting them though unknowingly so. A company he worked for found out he was working on his doctorate (he was in HR at the time) and they approached him to develop a test so they could keep the conmen, confidence men, and just evil out. He was a pastor of a small church on the side too and jumped at the chance to do good. He develops the test and they do the exact opposite with it. He left the private busines world and pastored and taught at a college the rest of his life. He always warned us that the low level managment at a business usually had a concience but when you get up at corporate level it was a dog eat dog world.

I talk to people about stuff I learn. People say 65 and up are angered when I tell then about this. People younger than that and over 30 listen and just strug it off. People below that that know what a psychopath is (most do) and those who know what a narcissistic is (usually understood and a selfish person) just look at me like I am stupid and say "Well, BH that is just they way you have to be to make it to the top and survive these days". Brrrrrr.

I get sometimes in business you have to hurt people--you put something on sale you may hurt a competitor that doesn't somehow. But its not that you personally want to hurt anyone. A dollar that comes to you is a dollar just not available to your competitor. If I saw my competitor in a car wreck or collapse at McDonalds I would stop and try ot help by calling a doctor or police. But these people I talk about above hurt people and destroy for the fun and giggles of it. The fact concienceless people are deliberately sought after for leadership positions couple with the proven authoritarian bent of the American public coupled with the well off being thought somehow wiser and better than those not high up or wealthy leads to social disaster. People taking orders to save their own asses from these people may and could lead to something like you saw in Germany. I hate this country so much.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Silo said...

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/08/the-perfect-guide-to-a-book-everyone-should-read/

Dante!

2:24 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Billy Boggs interviews Telly Savalas (star of Kojak)

https://youtu.be/a1xwufbeRIs

Watching this television from the 70s is like sweet torture. Such intelligence, subtlety, and humanity. Turkeys were laughed at in those days. Educated people had standards and expected some cultivation in their partners and associates.

In the words of Nicolas Savalas, "From Roosevelt down to me, it's all a racket, baby!"

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Bart said...

Ocasio-Cortez Claims Her Life Has Been Shaped by Unaddressed History of Imperialism.

https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/ocasio-cortez-claims-imperialism/

Nauseating progs don't know their history

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Re: mental health issues & the Meds Nothing But Meds And Plenty Of 'Em "solution" -

https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/how-our-mental-health-struggles-are-linked-each-others-surprising-ways

Not that meds can't be useful & helpful in some instances; but the emphasis on them at the expense of examining society, its endless pressures, its insane demands, puts everything on the suffering individual & none on anything else. "Bad chemicals" …

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Vance said...

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/yuval-noah-harari-extract-21-lessons-for-the-21st-century

Harari on a virtual future. Loved his book "Sapiens" , and his "Homo Deus" was sorta terrifying

"For thousands of years, philosophers and prophets have urged people to know themselves. But this advice was never more urgent than in the 21st century, because...Coca-Cola, Amazon, Baidu and the government are all racing to hack you"

4:57 PM  
Blogger Amazed! said...

"87yo Great-Grandmother Tasered in Her Breast by Police While Cutting Dandelions with a Knife"

https://thefreethoughtproject.com/great-grandmother-tasered-police-picking-flowers/

5:39 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

The massive amount of corruption at all levels of society just reached another ridiculous peak as every sitting state supreme court justice in West Virginia has been impeached by the state legislature and another recently resigned due to “maladministration, corruption, incompetency, neglect of duty, and certain high crimes and misdemeanors.” While there does appear to be some truth to the charges, it also looks like the Republican dominated legislature is staging a judicial coup against the court.

Elsewhere, Peter Van Buren has been permanently banned from Twitter because he had the gall to persist in calling out several members of the mainstream media "over their support for America’s wars and unwillingness to challenge government lies." Van Buren notes that douchebag Dumbocratic Senator Chris Murphy "ironically in a tweet, demanded social media censor more aggressively for the 'survival of our democracy'.” On the flip side, 43% of Republicans who were polled recently believed that “the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.” Presumably, they wouldn't feel that way had Botoxface won the election.

And thus does we continue to circle the O&D bowl.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

https://www.news4jax.com/news/woman-shot-in-jacksonville-mcdonalds-drive-thru-dies_

Jacksonville, Fl, the family of a woman shot and killed in a McDonald's drive-thru was a 32-year-old mother of three children.

What will corporate McD HQ do??? They could loose money over this 'incident' or associate burger drive-throughs with death; better have a board meeting abt how to spin this into a positive!

Maybe have a 2 for 1 promo?

8:35 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

I'll add two things for those thinking of emigrating. I think these are obvious.

1) if I were college age or in my 20's, I'd go to school overseas in a country I think I would like to live in. University in Europe is a fraction of what a mediocre state school charges in the US. You won't have a luxury gym with a lazy river or the chance to attend big time football or basketball games- but who cares? That's not the point, is it?

2) If I were retired, I'd get out immediately. There are plenty of countries particularly in Latin America where an average Social Security check goes much, much farther. Medical care and prescription drugs are much, much cheaper. Why anyone would want to spend their 'golden years' in the USA is a mystery.

3) And finally, I can't think of a worse country to raise children than the USA. If I had kids, I'd get out for their sake. The culture of violence, greed, consumerism, endless competition, anti-intellectualism, rampant individualism combined with hyper-sexulaism produces damaged adults.

Only 174 (173?) Wafers which shows you that very very few Americans make it out of their culture and survive.

BrotherMaynard

2:39 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

The story of a patient's escape from the Mayo Clinic shows how things are wrong at so many levels with the US. One can perhaps write a whole book on it. A hospital trying to get guardianship of an adult sidelining all family and friends, when she had so many! A society can think that way!

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/08/13/health/mayo-clinic-escape-1-eprise/index.html

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/08/13/health/mayo-clinic-escape-2-eprise/index.html

5:29 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Acros-the-pond department:

White male professors at universities to be assigned "reverse mentors" to correct their "unconscious biases":
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2018/08/09/male-pale-stale-university-professors-given-reverse-mentors/

Identity Politics have now officially replaced Politics:
http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/identity-politics-has-conquered-the-westminster-bubble/21702#.W3QJK359gWo

Kanye

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Gehlbach said...

quite the exchange in this interview on a new book obsequiously written on Kissinger ... how can such monsters receive the Nobel Peace Prize https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/08/henry-kissinger-master-negotiator-the-myth-that-wont-die.html

8:09 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gehl-

Between Kiss and Obama, you wonder what the Peace Prize can mean anymore.

Amazed-

I'm tired of cops pulling their punches.

al-

Bad analogy. These people are not kids.

mb

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

@ Bill --

The so-called progressives want free speech to call anyone who disagrees with them a racist, xenophobe, misogynist, or any other label that suits them. I don't watch (and never have watched) Alex Jones or any of the other people banned from various sites but if this isn't a violation of free speech then what is?! The country is coming apart and when it does, the self-righteous Democrats who've participated in this shameful censorship will never claim their share of the responsibility. I'm reading Thomas Frank's Rendezvous with Oblivion now and it's so obvious there's no going back. Nothing makes any sense -- our "health care", foreign policy, educational system (loosely defined), food production or any agency that actually touches our lives.

@BH --

A good movie to watch on a sociopath in business is The Founder, the true story of Ray Croc who turned McDonald's into a billion dollar enterprise. His treatment of the original McDonald brothers is chilling. He was completely ruthless.

@cos --

I've worked in mental health primarily with adult addicts for close to 30 years now. What I've found to be true of all cluster B personality d/o is a pervasive amorality, refusal to look at consequences and immaturity. If there are 20 patients on the unit, about 3 or 4 will be somewhere on the spectrum and this ratio seems to be fairly steady. But I've only encountered maybe 10 people that I would call true psychopaths and they would make your blood run cold. I knew they would do anything to anyone and were truly dangerous people. I think psychopath is an overused term, at least in my experience.

10:37 AM  

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