December 29, 2018

Populist Imperialism

"The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted."--D.H. Lawrence

"An Indian who is as bad as the white men could not live in our nation; he would be put to death and eaten up by the wolves."
--Sauk leader Black Hawk (1832)

The following is from Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States:

"Reconciling empire and liberty--based on the violent taking of Indigenous lands--into a usable myth allowed for the emergence of an enduring populist imperialism. Wars of conquest and ethnic cleansing could be sold to 'the people'--indeed could be fought for by the young men of those very people--by promising to expand economic opportunity, democracy, and freedom for all....

"It's not that Andrew Jackson had a 'dark side,' as his apologists rationalize and which all human beings have, but rather that Jackson was the the Dark Knight in the formation of the United States as a colonialist, imperialist democracy, a dynamic formation that continues to constitute the core of US patriotism. The most revered presidents--Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, both Roosevelts, Truman, Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton, Obama--have each advanced populist imperialism while gradually increasing inclusion of other groups beyond the core of descendants of old settlers into the ruling mythology. All the presidents after Jackson march in his footsteps. Consciously or not, they refer back to him on what is acceptable, how to reconcile democracy and genocide and characterize it as freedom for the people."

A few observations:

1. Note the reference to "inclusion of other groups...into the ruling mythology." This is what constitutes progressive politics and political correctness in the US. Populist imperialism, the ruling mythology (and integrally tied to the American Dream), never gets criticized or even recognized in this process. MLK, however, was not fooled. Just prior to his assassination, he began to have doubts about his life mission, namely getting black people to have an equal share of the economic and social pie. But what if the whole pie was rotten, was a lie? Who wants a larger share of a rotten pie? (He also began to make connections between foreign and domestic policy. Uh-oh.)

2. None of the presidents cited above questioned the ruling mythology, and it's a fair bet that all of them believed it. (JFK, for example, was very much a Cold Warrior, and "Camelot" was hardly a critique of populist imperialism.) How much more so, then, the typical American zhlob walking down the street? Could any of them, progressives included, stand outside of the American mythology, as did D.H. Lawrence and Black Hawk and MLK toward the end of his life? Progressives, for example, don't want a different type of nation; they just want a better version of the same nation. Bandaids for cancer, in effect.

3. Who are the true dissenters from this vision, then? Hard to say. Maybe, a few Native American tribes, along with 167 Wafers? I'm just guessing here, but I can't imagine that the total number of Americans who see through the b.s. amounts to more than 10,000 people. The remainder--on the order of 327 million--are enveloped in a mythological fog from which they will never escape (the Matrix, if you will).

4. The fog seems to get denser with each passing year. 2019 should be one of the foggiest on record.

5. Which is to say that the zhlobs cannot be stopped; if you think they can, you are a damn fool. (They are an elemental force, like the Amazon.) They march on blindly, into the future, overwhelming everything in their path, both at home and abroad; and the more the American Dream and populist imperialism fails them, the more patriotic they become (this has been documented statistically). And so to all reading this, whether zhlob or anti-zhlob, I say:

Happy New Year!

-mb

188 Comments:

Anonymous Vic Bold said...

To make America great again is easy: just try what worked before. After WWI came
consumerism after Europe bashed itself to pieces. After WWII even greater consumerism
for the same reason--namely, America was the economic king of the world for the next 25
years. MB should read a short book by H. G. Wells...online here

https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.33876/2015.33876.Mind-At-The-End-Of-Its-Tether_djvu.txt

Remember that Imperialism has always delivered the goods to the shopping masses before
the inevitable wars began.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

@Aaron - homeless shldnt b abandoned or given up on, some however just shldn't be pitied (maybe myself included).

Gr8 article MB, exactly why I love this blog. My mom and I were talking over the holidays and she remembers how difficult elementary and junior high were for me. I spent many, many days @ home alone b4 my 10th birthday. Looking back I know I just couldn't tolerate my classmates or the system that was attempting to 'mold' me (way to get ahead is to have the sharpest claws) - I was allergic to those kids and teachers in fact there wasn't one year when I wasn't suspended for a day or two. At times I'm known to have a tenuous grasp of reality but I know in my bones the Wafer way is the only real one. Also I've always believed inclusiveness has never been much more than a 'I can b as good a slave owner as him, put me in coach, I'll show you.' Want visual evidence confirming MB's analysis? I offer these two:

https://goo.gl/images/KcLRBE

https://goo.gl/images/mHmzbp

Kirstjen Nielsen always looks like she's ready to kick someone's ass. I'd prefer being beaten by a white nationalist Nazi than a bitch woman or race traitor.

O&D USA! Welcome 2019

4:59 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

This looks interesting:

https://www.amazon.com/New-Chimpanzee-Twenty-First-Century-Portrait-Closest/dp/0674977114/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1546161892&sr=8-1&keywords=the+new+chimpanzee#customerReviews

4:30 AM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Season's Greetings to all Wafers. I've been busy with visiting family, lots of joy, good conversation, and food (of course). Currently unemployed, due to the shutdown. Same old same old, BAU. Third time this calendar year.

Have enjoyed catching up with the blog today. I've been learning about the symbolism inherent in our nation's capital ... Washington's apotheosis to a god, etc. it's all there, written or painted on the marble, a facade in the literal and figurative sense. Now everyone thinks they are a god.

I've spent my entire life with people who's lives, choices, and decisions always revolved around believing I am inferior to them. Yet I'm still here, still arguing for what really matters, still striving to "keep it real". As are all of you.

Wishing all who read this a "prosperous" New Year.
Puss Killian

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

I thought this was pretty good-

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/28/what-is-it-about-the-american-character/

It kind of reminded me of one of your essays from a few years back- "They are us; we are them," or something like that...

11:45 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

People are LOSING it!

Missouri man fatally shoots girlfriend, her kids, her mother

https://abcn.ws/2Aj3EOw


Sheriffs Deputy Kills Entire Family and Himself...

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/19/us/florida-sheriff-deputy-murder-suicide/index.html

12:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

That 1st image says it all, doesn't it? What diff does race really make? Those 2 are members of the elite class, and *that* is the issue. They also have no class; are zhlobs. New T-shirt: ARE U A WAFER OR A ZHLOB?

Vic-

Recommend, don't instruct. Thank you. (I also think I read the bk yrs ago.)

mb

1:06 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

The older I get the more shocked I am by just how insane humanity is. When you really think about it, what other species destroys its web of life, all that sustains it and enables it to survive? We accept all kinds of things as normal, the most egregious of which is war, hardly blinking an eye. Therefore, I tend to listen to lectures and read books that delve into the mysteries. Recently I’ve been reading Manly P. Hall’s The Secret Teachings of All Ages, and was just listening to one of his lectures. Speaking of knowledge - considered on one hand as beneficial, and on the other as dangerous - he said the following:

“It became obvious that knowledge brought with it power and it is also a fact known to very ancient people that power is temptation and can lead to most of the disasters that can occur to human beings. Therefore, knowledge without ethics, skills without integration of consciousness, the individual operating within the material universe without sensing the responsibilities that are involved in existence, was a danger and a menace to the rest of society…. The misuse of knowledge must end in tragedy, must end in disaster, and if this is not curbed it could topple over a civilization.”

He also said that materialism is ethical darkness and so-called progress has destroyed the integrity of millions and millions of people. Of course, the USA is the poster child for everything that's wrong.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@DioGenes,

One thing that I have noticed about Americans is that it is unusual to meet an American who reads for fun. I think Americans see reading as useless unless it is something that helps you “get ahead” like a self-help book. I think that is also why history is denigrated in America. If it cannot help you get ahead why bother learning it?

Interestingly, it looks like reading in general is being replaced by digital media particularly among American teens.

https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2018/08/teenagers-read-book.aspx

@Kevin,

I am sorry to hear about your horrible dental experience. Sadly that sort of callous behavior is becoming more common in this country. One thing that I have learned from living in the United States is that you cannot expect people to treat you with even basic decency.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Vic Bold said...

Certainly not wanting to instruct, I'll merely suggest instant wonderment of how this man got into the White House. Can one posit the success of showbizz fantasies as determining who gets the job? All know the truth and honesty of TV wrestling.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neOhA385W5g

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Benny Edwards said...

https://www.npr.org/2018/12/29/680883772/social-worker-led-frugal-life-to-donate-nearly-11-million-to-childrens-charities

VERY UNAMERICAN

9:39 PM  
Anonymous krakhed said...

Greetings-

I am reading Joe Bageant's "Rainbow Pie: A Redneck Memoir" and he is reminiscing about how rural America lost the ability to build and fix tools and household things with our hands. I'm struck by his diagnosis of our collective work.

"America's vast white-collar plantation of clerks--and that's what most white-collar jobs are, regardless of the claptrap about being part of and "information society"--leaves us disembodied. Eight hours a day of pushing the Empire's insurance and credit-card transactions around in cyberspace, even if pursued with utter diligence, can only add up to a pointless lifetime of tedium. Each task is only the movement of a symbol, which, like the bureaucratic or commercial transactions is represents, vaporizes into the next one in a never-ending series. No matter how complex or valuable the work is supposed to be, the human being at the end of it is just a tracking mechanism attached to a stream of numbers and transactions. Only the mind is required to track the digital flow of zeros and ones through the circuitry of commerce, while the body slumps in the cubicle like some useless appendage."

I can't wait to quit my job.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Happy New Year Wafers!

Believe it or not, David Brooks (yes, that David Brooks!) has good links to the best of long form journalism. There are some real gems. My two favs:

"The poison we pick" by Andrew Sullivan.
This nation pioneered modern life. Now epic numbers of Americans are killing themselves with opioids to escape it.
http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/02/americas-opioid-epidemic.html

"F*ck that gator!". Meet your fellow Americans
https://www.buzzfeed.com/golianopoulos/fuck-that-gator?utm_term=.bxV6mm0EGa#.khO5jjJa4q

Links to the stories:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/24/opinion/best-journalism-sidney-awards.html

BrotherMaynard

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shine on into 2019 and beyond MB; a lighthouse for these foggy times. This post reminded me of William S,Burroughs’ great, sardonic Thanksgiving Prayer:

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

A nation of finks, indeed.

Happy New Year Wafers!

2:48 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Happy New Year to MB and tous les Wafers,

I've been reading and thinking quite a lot about Amazon in the past few days. For Wafers who haven't read the NYT 2015 article on its workplace culture, check it out:
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/technology/inside-amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-in-a-bruising-workplace.html

Here's also a link with anonymous testimonies from employees about life there:
https://sites.google.com/site/thefaceofamazon/home/

What are Wafers' thoughts around Amazon? Are many of you boycotting the site? Or are you using it as a "necessary evil" and unavoidable byproduct of techno capitalism? I am still using it on a regular basis, but I am increasingly feeling guilty every time I purchase something there. Jeff Bezos literally is the Devil. It's scary.

Kanye

4:09 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

krak-

https://williambowles.info/2011/05/22/bageants-frustration-extreme-isolation-by-morris-berman/#more-41585

Wafers-

Following up on Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, she reports that in Nov. 1969, an alliance called the Indians of All Tribes seized and occupied Alcatraz Island for 18 mos. During that time, they issued a Proclamation that offered to purchase Alcatraz for $24-worth of glass beads and colored cloth (cf. purchase of Manhattan, a bit earlier). It also stated:

"We will further guide the inhabitants [of America] in the proper way of living. We will offer them our religion, our education, our life-ways, in order to help them achieve our level of civilization and thus raise them and all their white brothers up from their savage and unhappy state."

Let me translate this into modern idiom:

"You are a bunch of greedy, hustling zhlobs. Your way of life is vile and disgusting. You aren't really human. What we will do is help you to become Wafers. Whaddya say?"

This represents to me political correctness of a very different sort than the world of pussy hats and "correct" language. The Indians of All Tribes were not trying to get a larger share of the (rotten) pie, not trying to effect a better version of the American Way of Life ("possessions is a disease with them"--Sitting Bull). No! They were trying to establish a completely *different* way of life, one based on human values. More power to them.

Of course, that didn't happen (duh). As I said, there is no stopping (or converting) the zhlobs. The Indians were forced out of Alcatraz by Nixon in June 1971. Personally, I don't understand why he didn't gun them all down back in 1969, unless he was concerned that generating another Wounded Knee might not look so good. (A 10-wk siege of Wounded Knee did in fact take place in 1973: protesters inside, US Army outside.)

Song:

O when the zhlobs
Go marching in
O when the zhlobs go marching in
I don't want to be in that number
When the zhlobs go marching in!

mb

11:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: The guy's a Wafer:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/28/quit-america-the-case-for-moral-disengagement-from-american-politics/

11:44 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

@Kayne I do use Amazon to buy books mostly, and occasional other stuff that arent readily available in my small town. Not much else though. I like the warmth in small family run businesses whom I know for years.

Amazon and Bezos may be particularly vile. But Uber, Ola (Indian version of Uber) are in the same class. When I leave the change or pay some xtra money to the drivers, their often surprised and puzzled look saddens me.

Best wishes Wafers for 2019, at least for unravelling of capitalism and the Empire.

12:19 PM  
Blogger dg said...

The Imperial mind needs an enemy.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@Tom Servo

Yes, you are correct about literacy, but I'm not even necessarily talking about formal, scholarly study of history. The majority of societies have been largely illiterate, yet intensely historical. The baseline for this kind of historicism, found in most aboriginal people, is a world in which all meaning is derived from the uninterrupted cycle of life, of birth and death, granting everyone an intimate metaphysical relationship with the ancestors. The rise of civilization saw this baseline further developed, as in the Hindu sense of reincarnation.

It was Christianity and the release from time in apocalypse that disrupted historical society, though the Catholics mostly retained it in practice. And even English Protestants find the no-history land of America rather savage. I guess it's supposed to be 'freedom' to trick yourself into thinking you are the first and only one to do everything?

Also, this is obvious in Europe but obscure here- to understand *anything*, you really need to be approaching it as a history. What is "physics" but a history of interpretations of physical events? If you only read papers in physics written after 2002, you will have no clue about any of the fundamental problems in physics which formed your contemporary vocabulary. You will go around thinking about physics like some kind of dumb algorithm, which is how Americans think about even more obviously historical subjects, like the social sciences.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I received the following item in my morning email. Unsuspecting women are having their images hijacked from the Internet and from social media; their images are then used to create porn using emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/12/30/fake-porn-videos-are-being-weaponized-harass-humiliate-women-everybody-is-potential-target/

Reading the article, I was put in mind of warnings from Neil Postman about the dangers presented by technology. There are multiple appearances of the Postman talk on the Internet, reflecting the speech’s delivery at various institutions; I found this version, which was delivered in Denver, Colorado on 28 March 1998.

Neil Postman: Five Things We Need to Know About Technological Change
http://web.cs.ucdavis.edu/~rogaway/classes/188/materials/postman.pdf

2:33 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Crappy New Year Song – With no apologies to Joyce Paultre:

Here’s to the zhlobs singing
Na, na, na, na, na
Here’s to douchebags flaunting
Na, na, na, na, na
Everyone around is binge-ing
Na, na, na, na, na
Jump scream and rant bleating
Na, na, na, na, na
The old year’s out
Let Trumpi’s Year in
Everyone around the world’s
Jumping up and down cheering
Crappy New Year
Na, na, na, na, na
America
Na, na, na, na, na
Crappy New Year
Na, na, na, na, na
America
Na, na, na, na, na
Here’s to homeless scrounging
Na, na, na, na, na
Here’s to Shaneeka screaming
Na, na, na, na, na
Wafers around all cheering
Na, na, na, na, na
Jump scream and rant bleating
Na, na, na, na, na
Old order’s out
Let the decline in
Throw your hands up in the air
Count it down like time square
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5,
4, 3, 2, 1
Crappy New Year
Na, na, na, na, na
Etc.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Vic-

24-hr rule.

mb

3:37 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

@James - Women photoshoping their profile pics on dating sites is also popular... Get another cup size, get more hits. Guys proly filling in that bald split and minimizing the beer belly too, I bet.
Authenticity... How romantic.

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Rufus T. Schmeck said...

Hello dg,

"The Imperial mind needs an enemy."

That is insufficient... the deep Zoroastrian-Judeo-Christian-Islamic religious theology NEEDS an enemy. "We're the chosen people.... NO we're the extra special chosen people.... NO we're SAVED & you're not... NO we have the new & IMPROVED prophet & you don't..." Spiritual One-upmanship, as Alan Watts used to call it. You're right... the empire needs an enemy, but when people embody a theology of exclusivity, of us vs them, of, we're saved & you're not, then those PEOPLE, need an enemy in order to have an identity. An empire can NOT exist without willing PEOPLE to support it... thru theology (creating) mythology (creating) sociology (creating personal psychology). From this theological center, comes (spirals) all the "secular" religions (they are NOT really secular), Communism, Socialism, Capitalism, Feminism or any other ism you can think. "When you've lost your body you need an ism. From there it is a short step to seeing other isms as life-threatening, and to seeing the Other as an enemy." - Berman, Coming to Our Senses, pg. 343.

Rufus T. Schmeck

12:06 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

To kick the new year off, I present the 2018 "best of..." list most apt to turn a true Wafer's stomach: Barack Obama lists his favorite books, music, and movies of 2018. Meanwhile we have this little reminder of Obarfa's true legacy as the great and glorious first black imperial leader: Inside The Country Where You Can Buy A Black Man For $400.

Why potential immigrants to the U.S. should really reconsider: Migrant Baby Contracted Pneumonia After Five Days in a ‘Freezing’ Holding Cell. "Her baby got sicker as they were held in 'freezing' cells — migrants refer to these as hieleras, or iceboxes — and when she pleaded with CBP agents for a doctor, she says they refused. 'The agents told me I wasn’t in a position to be asking for anything and that they didn’t tell me to come to the United States,' she said. They also called her an 'invader,' she told NBC News.

The CBP zhlobs actually gave this woman a taste of what life in the U.S. is going to be like for her--especially once the economy finally crashes. Calling her an "invader" was just sharing an opinion held by probably a majority of Americans. Much as I feel for her and am outraged by what the U.S. has done to her country, she and the other migrants need to understand that coming here at this time is akin to a Jewish person migrating to Germany in 1933.

3:17 AM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

Happy New Year, MB! May 2019 bring you great health and endless literary inspiration.

Progressives basically try to manipulate minorities and “inclusion” in order to gain power, and then use that power to maintain the empire. Unfortunately, all this ruthless “manipulation” of progressive minds, has led them to what appears to be symptomatology of serious mental illness. When half of a country suffers from mental illness and exhibits frequent violent behaviors (Antifa), I would venture to say that that's not a safe situation for that nation.

By the way, MB, more and more honest authors and commentators now openly talk about what you revealed decades ago: that America has entered a new dark age. The country is descending into chaos on all fronts: socially, economically, politically, scientifically, academically, etc. And if anybody still doubts this, just take a look at this latest and greatest medical breakthrough:

https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-31-medical-treatment-imbues-older-adults-with-teen-blood-vampirism.html

Cheers,
Julian

3:55 AM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

I know ur not supposed to judge a book by its cover but take a look @ this fuck nugget - looks like some half assed "businessman" who knows a good investment when he sees it, in other words a maggot who cares not a whiff what he feeds on. People will be sorely, sorely mistaken if they think all the junkies in this town will buy into the American nightmare to sober up. I guess that's why tx success hovers around 5%

https://www.chieftain.com/news/20181229/crossroads-hospitals-front-line-in-pueblo-detox-battle

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

MB: Happy New Year. While reading these comments I remembered an essay by Randall Jarrell, written in 1962: A Sad Heart at the Supermarket. It’s a declinist classic, worth reading and rereading.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Our Motto: Peace is our Profession
Our Business: Bombing you Back to the Stone Age

A twit at the Strategic Air Command tweeted a New Year’s greeting on Monday, referring to the ball drop in Times Square and offering the command’s contribution to peace and understanding in the wide world:
US Military Tweets, Deletes Odd New Year’s Eve Message
http://newser.com/s269335

Of interest in this connection two polls, one conducted in 2013 by WIN/Gallup International, the first-ever of its kind; and a second conducted in 2017 by Pew Research Center. The former polled people in 65 countries and the latter polled people in 30 countries, with significant coincidence between the two as to countries polled.

The result of the two polls showed that 24% (2013) and 35% (2017) of those polled considered the United States the greatest threat to world peace. No other nation was close. Note that the trend is upward; if the second poll had included an equal number of countries, we might reasonably expect to find the percentage to be even higher.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Happy New Year! James Howard Kunstler has a number of predictions as to what will happen in 2019 - predictions of American and Western crises and decline. If the situations that many Americans have found themselves in since 2008 have produced a decline in white male (non-college) life expectancy, declining income and a subconscious feeling that the American Dream is over, what's coming (if JHK's predictions come true) will be a real hammer blow to Americans and apparently, even more so for the EU.

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/forecast-2019-ding-ding-margin-call-usa/#more-9970'

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Happy New Year, Wafers!

@Kanye, my days with Amazon are numbered. I've been a customer since 2003 (books, and more books) but their customer service is going downhill. Was re-charged for a delivery that still has never arrived, (was charged for not returning it), yet they admitted it's still "lost", and They responded with a partial refund. Wtf. Then there are the issues with the employees, values, etc. There are way too many other options these days.

@Dio, well said. History was a big topic at our Christmas meals, but the resistance in the younger folk is there. My sense is that the narrative has been captured by the technologists. Yet Uber is NOT innovative, it's a taxi company that found a way to circumvent regulations, and amass a small fortune by underpaying their employees so as to buy the regulations they want. There have been taxis since horse and buggy days (or Roman chariots?) or the invention of the wheel. Seriously, there is nothing new under the sun. The youngsters cannot believe this, yet given their shitty future, I sometimes can't blame them for clinging to the narrative handed to them. Techies have positioned themselves as saviors of the world. Right ...

1:26 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@Megan C

Were you the person who recommended the Dreyfus lectures on Heidegger on here? I'm about halfway through one of his courses.

If so, send me an email at diogenesreads at gmail.com and we can discuss this further.

3:30 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Jordon Peterson ON FIRE here 🔥 and his CULT members just EATING it up!! The Dumb Americans Intellectual he.


https://bigthink.com/top-10-jordan-peterson-leftist-liberal-politics-2624071821.amp.html

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Happy New Year's to my fellow Wafers! It was shortly after New Year's last year when I discovered Dr. Berman's work and this blog. I spent much of January 2018 reading Dr. B's books and listening to his interviews and lectures. It was truly a live changing moment and completely unexpected. For most of us, we've always knew what was wrong with American society and culture but couldn't fully connect the dots until we discovered Dr. Berman's work and the work of others he's cited (I plan to read more Lewis Mumford this year).

We'll continue to grow spiritually throughout 2019, while the rest of the nation will sink further and further into hell. Get ready for packed gyms and fitness centers as the delusional Turkeys who haven't picked up a weight in their lives trick themselves into thinking they can sustain a long term fitness and diet program. Like clockwork, they'll give it all up around the time of the Super Bowl. American New Year's Resolutions are like elections (mid-terms & presidential) and grassroots movements (e.g. Occupy, March for our Lives, etc) -- all hyped up in the short term, but eventually fade into oblivion with no real impact or change whatsoever.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

Jimmy Dore says it well :

"What's happening is - the corporate Democrats are calling themselves progressives."

Millionaire Journo Dismisses Regular People’s Money Problems :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zi4oSBIWPzY

More Jimmy Dore :

"The establishment pushes more war, and they always will" :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9QOVk0x1Vw&feature=share

David Suzuki :

"We are a species that don't care about our own children" :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktnAMTmgOX0&feature=share


11:13 PM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Happy New Year to all! And thanks to everyone for all the great recommendations - I have a long reading list! (And I actually had the Dunbar-Ortiz book, hadn't yet started it. Fascinating!)

On that same note, I just read an interesting article in Aeon concerning the difference in virtue and ethics between the Greeks and the Aztecs, by Sebastian Purcell, SUNY Cortland. He notes that the Greek view was that the individual was either virtuous or not, while the Aztecs understood that no person is totally virtuous, but must rely on their surroundings and compatriots - what he calls "socially-centered virtue ethics". A person would rely on their community to help them, "casting virtue as a cooperative endeavor". This way the person would be living a "worthwhile life". So different from our current notions. Indeed, it is unfortunate that this philosophy was almost totally stamped out by the European colonialists.

https://aeon.co/essays/aztec-moral-philosophy-didnt-expect-anyone-to-be-a-saint

PS - if another post arrives on this same subject, please delete - technical difficulties!

3:47 AM  
Anonymous Mo' said...


An Alabama sheriff pocketed $1.5 million by underfeeding ICE detainees. "By serving ICE detainees spoiled, expired, and donated food, Etowah County sheriff Todd Entrekin was able to generate a $3 million surplus, taking 50% of that for himself."

https://qz.com/1512669/an-alabama-sheriff-pocketed-1-5-million-by-underfeeding-ice-detainees/


How generous!

6:59 AM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

https://www.kansascity.com/news/nation-world/national/article223797740.html

Taco Hell!

9:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

comrade-

Shaneka lives!

Mo-

A true American! He understands what life is all abt.

Italiana-

I still have trouble with cutting out hearts with onyx knives.

Jas-

I no longer have the source, but there was a poll on the subject--which country is the greatest threat to world peace--several yrs ago. Something like 190 countries said, the US; the US and Israel said Iran.

Bingo-

Yeah, yr rt: I've been watching other political analysts catching up to me over the past 3 or 4 yrs. They aren't really copying, as they dunno I exist. But I enjoy chuckling, "No shit, Sherlock!"

mb

10:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Here's a fun film: "Juliet, Naked."

10:46 AM  
Blogger dg said...

Twitter is flypaper for stupidity.

Mark Ames

12:02 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Nazis, Schmazis, get that dreck outta here

Lisa Mars, principal of the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts—model for the movie and TV series “Fame”—decided that the production of The Sound of Music being mounted by students would be done without any Nazi symbols or props on stage. After press enquiries, the New York City Department of Education said a Nazi flag would still appear in two specific scenes.

https://verysmartbrothas.theroot.com/the-hills-are-alive-with-the-sound-of-music-one-nyc-pr-1830944374

Attempts to establish whether the playbills would avoid mention of Nazis, National Socialism, Hitler, the Kriegsmarine, or Anschluss were unsuccessful as of presstime.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous LurkingLeftneck said...

Longtime reader, first time posting. Dear MB, I know you were being your normal caustic/witty self, but the comment about gunning down the A.I.M. Alcatraz folks wasn't funny. John Trudell's wife, children, and mother-in-law burned to death as a result of the FBI orchestrated arson (can you say pay back?)due to JT's leadership role in the All-nations action.
They got their blood...like the dusch-bag POS's that run our 'agencies' always do...they understand that mowing them all down on TV is bad 'optics'...yet they are what you observe. Nothing personal Dr. B, and thanks for all the good work.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Vic Bold said...

I am told that Brazil has a new president, who is a fan of Trump and has that misused
title of being a "populist." Why is in so often used as the opposite of what it
really means, that the common man has a right to be heard in the decisions of the nation?
It seems to be attached to mostly fascist strong men to give them some right to be the
rulers of the nation. What would George Orwell think of this word magic?

1:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Lurk-

How is that not personal? Listen, amigo: It wasn't meant to be funny. It was meant to be a commentary on how the the US Govt operates (Kent State occurred the following year). If yr going to post on this blog, you need to understand the blog. Hope u will in future.

mb

3:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

I love it dept.:

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/jan/02/kanye-west-pledges-to-perform-in-maga-hat-reaffirms-presidential-ambitions

3:16 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Recommending this documentary to Wafers, especially if you're thinking about closing your antisocial media accounts but haven't done it yet:

https://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/nothing-to-hide-2017/

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Case studies in the us empire--Happy New Year, more of nothing.

1. Went to a us public library poetry club. It was a small group led by a former HS teacher. Tried to shake hands with the members--starred at me up/down, few returned the extended hand. Choosing poems to read was met with aggressive and competitive antics amongst the poetry club. Bickering and fighting over who chose what and why, and "you stole my poem." etc...that's not what it met and got into ad hominem attacks to the members. Many in the group had masters and doctorates. -Thought I was in a hidden camera show!

2. No luck with waving or saying hi to the us "neighbors." Resting bitch face (RBF) seems to be the de facto face of the usa-er. Akin to smelling something foul as they loudly ruminate abt their next "opportunity" while stuffing their obese Anglo-Saxon faces with burgers and soda on their porches. War criminal Kissinger stated americans don't have friends, only business interests. Spot on.

T-2 yrs.

5:34 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Good to be back on the Greatest Blog in the Universe (GBU)! I absolutely adored the taco sauce shooting. Nothing -- I mean nothing -- burns me up more than some jackass forgetting my taco sauce.

Say, kids, here's another:

Daniel Taylor accosted a McDonald's worker on New Year's Eve:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/01/02/man-attacked-mcdonalds-employee-video-her-fighting-back-went-viral/?utm_term=.50b59bfb52c9

I often wonder what happened to Rayon McIntosh? Rayon, if yr out there, Wafers support u 110%. That rude McDonald's customer that u severely beat had it coming.

Lurk-

Yr joking, right?

Miles

5:58 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Wafers--I hesitate to use the term "must read" when it comes to any article, particularly one that's what used to be referred to as "feature length." But I do believe this one qualifies: I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America.

The author, who is actually a lesbian, spent 10-years working as a cable installer/repairer in my neck of the woods. Part of her regular route included Great Falls, VA, which is now one of the wealthiest zip codes in the country. Yet by the horrors she describes, both in how she and her coworkers were treated by the company and in her interactions with customers, it could have been anywhere USA as we document here every day.

One of her most harrowing encounters was with a man described as an "irate customer" in the dispatch paperwork. The way he treated her was bad enough, especially when she told him she could not fix his problem that day, but even more harrowing was when his clearly terrified wife came out as the installer was leaving and begged her to do something, bursting into tears and saying she was scared what her husband might do if he couldn't watch Fox News and direct his anger towards Obama. The installer took sympathy and jerry-rigged a temporary fix, to the wife's enormous relief.

There are plenty more anecdotes in the article that were I not a Wafer, I would view as astonishing rather than a big time indicator of just how on edge Americans are these days, even the ones who actually have money.

7:11 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola todos los Waferes,

@MB Professor Berman, do you have a progress report for us on the post surgery therapy? Hope you are doing well. On the Aztec heart removal comment, I agree it has always been a hard sell with me on that being a great cultural achievement in pre-Columbian Central Amerika.

@Kanye I have never gone to Amazon for a purchase. I am definitely a boycotter.

@Sarasvati Enjoyed your comments re: Manly Hall.

@Puss K Thinking ahead to the April summit in NYC, I am wondering, is a few days stay in Washington D.C. a good idea? I have never visited the city. (I think MB would say "forget it!") I have a long time friend whom lives in Silver Spring, MD. I've not seen him in 40 years and would like to again. We have music, a dog breed, and politics in common. Plus he says, "stay for free!" Comments welcomed. Will anything be "open" by then?

I love this blog. O&D!

7:31 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

RED LINE PUMMELING!!! The PUMMELINGS continue on schedule!! Happy New Year!


https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/01/02/video-shows-beating-at-cta-red-line-chicago-station/

11:18 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

Something happened quite suddenly without warning to facebook's "Morris Berman Appreciation society" group. It suddenly disappeared a couple days ago. I don't know why. Anyone know? I was the main poster there with probably over 100 posts over the past few years.

historian George Kennan :

"Modern urban-industrial man is given to the raping of anything and everything natural on which he can fasten his talons. He rapes the sea; he rapes the soil; the natural resources of the earth. He rapes the atmosphere. He rapes the future of his own civilization. Instead of living off of nature’s surplus, which he ought to do, he lives off its substance. He would not need to do this were he less numerous, and were he content to live a more simple life. But he is prepared neither to reduce his numbers nor to lead a simpler and more healthful life."

1:29 AM  
Blogger Origami Cactus said...

Happy New Year, Morris! I hope that your shoulder is healing well.

Your nod to those older historians in your dual process essay has given me a lot of material to go over during the next few years. Recently I've been learning about Spengler's model of history, and the Platonic ideals of civilizations. Sometimes I feel like Marquez's Aureliano Babilonia, deciphering the 100 year manuscript as the ants march on and the winds of nature come to carry away the husk of this broken society. It's amazing that any American could know this if they cared to see it.

It's refreshing to tune in and read your latest posts. Your essay on Proust reminded me of how Jordan Peterson described his own work, saying that all of these young men he's directing to stand up straight needed someone to let them know that there was "something" that they had to contribute to society. In your follow-up piece, "Against the Current" you hit the nail on the head that this society wants to crush that "something." It's amazing that the best this leading intellectual can do is encourage his followers to engage with a society that hates them. Your recommendation that we should leave is the truth that they can't see. Currently I'm learning Russian and looking at exchange programs through my university. I wish you and all other Wafers safety and health in this new year!

2:16 AM  
Anonymous Kahn said...

Currently flipping pages in "E. E. Cummings: A miscellany revised"

What a poet!

10:29 AM  
Anonymous krakhed said...

Dr B. Thanks for that link.

This is how we're supposed to treat our elderly. USA! USA! USA!

"She was jailed for drunk driving. Instead she had had a stroke, didn't get help for days"

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/crime/2019/01/02/dui-wrong-diagnosis-suffered-stroke/2461675002/


--krakhed

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Pub Crawler said...

Montaigne: What Was Truly Courageous?

“Montaigne is a fog,” pronounced T.S. Eliot, “a gas, a fluid, insidious element. He does not reason, he insinuates.” Montaigne “has truly increased the joy of living on this earth,” enthuses Nietzsche. He was the “freest and mightiest of souls.”

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/11/24/montaigne-what-was-truly-courageous/

12:07 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Something strikes me as horribly wrong about a Morris Berman Appreciation Society having a facebook page, but I can't quite put my finger on it :-b

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Vic Bold said...

To dispel the dreariness and despair, I offer a 15-sec cat video to show what true patriotism means. Imagine this cat absorbing Trump's solutions for America's troubles. This cat has
the proper response to the conventional nostrums.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3p4wJrcipTs&feature=youtu.be

2:32 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

@ Mike R - Love it! I've been trying to come up with a name to classify the scowl.
I've been calling it the Pueblo Scowl cause it's all I get interestingly enough mostly unattractive women (95% of population), men just FIDO (fuck it drive on) making one a ghost. Good to know it's not unique to our town. My strategy now is FIDO if anyone attempts to nod or say hi I harden my face (tell ur story walking asshole) really with contempt (my humble attempt to point out what's wrong) - make Him think about it . RBF is perfect I'm gonna start counting how many I see a day!

@Mark L - wonderful quote and so obvious.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

@James, thank you so much for the Neil Postman speech. I'm very much involved in technology, but those who know me also know I am highly critical of the same. Tools for my arsenal. I really need to read his book.

@meangenekaz, I'm not a native or that familiar with the city (I live on a working farm in the hinterlands) but there is much to see and do in our nation's capital, for sure. The cherry blossoms may be in bloom, which attracts crowds. I'll be catching the train there to attend the summit (can't wait! I missed the last one due to a lack of funds and proximity). That same week before the summit I'll be presenting at a conference as well.

Still furloughed,
Puss

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Kanye. Seriously f-ed up! I'm probably going to get forced into a smart phone this summer (health reasons believe it or not) so I wonder if a "secure" phone exists. I'm reading a novel right now about a high-tech surveillance state (Gnomon by Nick Harkaway) where a character converts her house into a faraday cage to stop wireless. I've known people who kept their phones in the microwave, but not so much these days since people can't stand to be disconnected for more than 5 minutes... Can you even get a hard-line telephone anymore?

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Screen time can change a child’s brain structure. “The research found that as little as two hours of screen time each day is physically changing the structure of kids’ brains. The effects of this are seen in reduced memory and perception skills, cognitive abilities and IQ scores.”

https://www.news.com.au/technology/online/social/study-finds-reduced-brain-function-for-kids-after-screen-time/news-story/822c4b2efb5fc16f037c3d59e236ac6d

One estimate suggests that Americans touch their mobile devices more than 2,600 times a day on average.

https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/surprising-ways-smartphones-affect-our-brains-our-lives-ncna947566

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Francois said...

Pelosi is back and that buffoon Ocasio-Cortez is going to learn that she is just a pissant in D.C.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

Thanks for this horrible data. I need to work it into an article, somehow.

comrade-

Yrs ago I had a publicist thrust upon me via a colleague; against my wishes, she was really into social media. I think she put me on Fecesbook, but I never looked it up. I am surprised to learn anything is (was?) still there.

Feliz Trumpo Nuevo, y'all-

mb


9:09 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Marc L--censorship would be my guess. I just hope Google never goes after DAA.

Headline of the day: The Government Shutdown Has Turned Yosemite National Park Into A Congested, Poop-Filled Mess. "Trash adorned every trail: Starbucks cups, energy bar wrappers, a confusing amount of discarded cold-weather gear. Most ominous were the mounds of toilet paper. On the side of the trail up to Vernal Falls and at other spots in the valley, I saw at least half a dozen soiled toilet paper tombstones." This story is like a perfect storm of American stupidity and utter carelessness--all it needs is an outbreak of cholera to top it off.

The little bastards learn early down in Florida: Boy, 11, fatally shoots friend, falsely states friend came at him with knife.

And finally: racist McDonalds pummeling caught on video. The perpetrator/customer actually has the stones to insist to the manager the employee he attacked be fired, and THEN demands a refund.

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

Just a thought for people concerned about their online privacy: Facebook is tracking you regardless of whether you have an account! When you don't have an account in their system to match the data to, it's called a shadow profile, and it's just about as comprehensive as a regular member profile. Given that public pressure over recent scandals has forced them to allow users to inspect the data that Facebook is collecting (Help center page on accessing your profile data is here) it might actually be smarter to have the account and use it to watch the watchers. The annoyance of the constant prodding by email to add things to your account can be controlled by getting a special junk email account just for Facebook.

Facebook is far from the only threat, of course. Android phones are wired directly into Google and feeding them a constant stream of information about everything you do. Apple is expensive but better for privacy. And Blackberry isn't dead yet. Their phones are more secure than Android phones, though possibly subject to government snooping. Also check out:

Librem 5 - a non-Apple phone that doesn't run Android!

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Thank you Wafer Bill Hicks for the McDo pummeling vid regarding the plastic straw bans in the us empire.

It was exciting watching in slow motion, the tray of fries and burger fall to the ground as the usaian demanded the firing of the Ms. Yasmine James, and of course, demanding a refund.

McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook's total 2017 compensation was ~$15.4 million. Curious, what was Ms. James' p.a. compensation? Perhaps, if she works really hard, and works her way to the top, someday, somedaze she could be an Easterbrook.....


usa, usa! I'm lovin' it.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

A somewhat interesting essay on American Puritanism and Art:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/04/burning-books-banning-art-and-the-persistence-of-american-puritanism/

"What’s more is that I often see a desire for kitsch to replace art, and this reflects a kind of childish or toxic naivety rife in the culture today. This is not to say that kitsch has no place at all, but it has become the overarching artistic genre of the American modern era and this is striking to say the least because sexuality and its expression are stunted, infantilized and deformed in such mediums, which might explain its appeal in the current era of hyper corporate consumerism and diminished human connection. It can also explain how the porn industry, a medium rife with hollow or kitsch representations human beings, has largely replaced erotica. That kitsch is considered art at all may be problematic, but it is what it has replaced that should trouble us more. The seriousness of artistic expression is diminished by what is absent, not what is displayed and it is often done so to soothe bourgeois sensibilities, not challenge them. And this is the sort of thing that can be an indicator or precursor to a sharp rise of fascism within a society. Because within the fascistic framework human sexuality is a another potent mechanism for social control.

But today’s digital culture aids this. It is one that encourages little interest in historic, cultural or artistic content. It isn’t one that encourages reading much either and this has led to a truncation of the language and critical thought in general"

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

A story about AMLO/Mexico here, I don't know enough about it to comment really.

https://newrepublic.com/article/152834/lefts-delusions-mexicos-new-president

5:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Frederick-

For the most part, we try to stick to the topic of the blog, which is the decline of the American empire. We aren't particularly interested in issues of free speech or whatever. If that is yr interest, however, I believe there are numerous blogs on the subject for you to participate in. Good luck.

mb

7:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Here we are, just into the new yr, with lots of pummeling, fast-food joints violence, and Trumpdamage. Can you get that I'm excited?

With apologies to Ella Fitzgerald (Heat Wave):

We're having a shit storm,
A Trumpical shit storm,
The pummeling's rising,
It isn't surprising,
The country's in the can--can-can.

Wafers are encouraged to come up with similar ditties for the New Yr.

mb

7:54 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB & Wafers,

Terrific news dept.:

1. https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-jogger-bitten-by-woman-20190104-story.html

* I sure hope that it was a warm forearm.

2. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/04/mexico-amlo-president-savings-money

* Amlo: "I've never been interested in money, I fight for ideals, for principles."

3. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/04/trump-threatened-to-keep-the-government-closed-for-months-or-even-years-schumer-says.html

* Go Trumpo! The new year is off to a glorious start.

Miles

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Aaron Thomas said...

MB -

I was talking to some coworkers about the idiocy of the cost of major life events (marriage, death, births). Apparently it's common to spend $1000+ on a baby stroller, and I was saying it's just marketing and you definitely don't need a $1000 stroller. The response from one woman was, "$1000 is no big deal, that's how much you spend on a phone!" I told this woman that cell phones are about the dumbest thing you could waste your money on, that phones are not a necessity, and that I would never spend $1000 on a phone.

What is it that makes some people blind to the consumer culture? Is it that once you've spent decades swimming in electronics, advertising, and shopping that you can't see how dumb all of this is? I tell people I don't play video games because they're idiotic, and I just get blank stares from people like I'm the crazy one.

I'm finding more and more it's not worth trying to talk to people because it will simply be in one ear out the other at best, but normally people get aggressive and defensive if you attack their electronics or shopping.

9:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Aaron-

Don't talk to Americans. Their minds were blown ages ago. Besides, it's a waste of yr energy. An NMI looks for lifeways that are positive. Learn Urdu, take up the baroque oboe, etc. You'll feel a lot better. The zhlobs--are not yr concern.

mb

10:50 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Francois--I'm not sure what your problem with Cortez is. She at least seems to be sincere about her desire to change the system. If she caves in and becomes a money grubbing Pelosi protege, THEN I'll join you in calling her a "buffoon." Pelosi returning as speaker is the best result Trump could have hoped for.

Wafers--The government shutdown is now exactly two weeks (one paycheck) old, and already I'm hearing stories about how stressed out some of my former fellow employees are. I realize that the cost of living is a nightmare around here, but if one is connected to the government at all one is earning far more than does the the average American and should at least have the resources saved to tide them over for several months. Of course, as Aaron noted about his own coworkers, people here are the kind of dolts who think nothing of dropping a grand on a baby stroller or an idiotPhone or an idiotPhone for their idiotKids. Of course DOD has its budget, meaning the Pentagon is free to keep issuing hundreds of billions worth of contracts on expensive weapons systems that don't work, so there's that.

Here's a good one: Mommy Blogger Is Under Fire For Refusing To Stop Writing About Her 9-Year-Old After The Girl Begged Her To. Seems mommyidiot is so addicted to blogging about her kids that she can't stop even though the kids are now old enough to object. And of course mommyidiot gets space in the Washington ComPost to explain why she is going to continue to be a narcissistic douchebaguette.

1:17 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

MB & Wafers,

I've discovered why I hadn't gotten through Dunbar-Ortiz's book on the Indigienous History of the US previously - while I was aware of the genocide, it is the scale and unthinking cruelty of it that takes the breath away. It is so depressing, so full of such wanton violence, seriously disturbed attitudes towards the Native Americans, so full of cruelty, torture, etc, all while somehow justifying all of this evil - because the Europeans want the land. Period. And don't want any pesky 'others' bothering them about it all all - best to just rape and murder the whole lot of them. Who are the savages here?

I think I might take the occasional "cut out a heart with an onyx knife" to the scale of genocide that the Colonists and then the US has wreaked on the continent. Exceptional nation, indeed - the seeds of US hubris and arrogance that we see all around us now.

@Vic - after all of this, that little kitty video made me laugh. Thanks!

3:01 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Italiana-

I guess a fair # of Mexican tribes didn't care for the Aztecs either, and hence went over to the side of Cortes when he arrived. But yr rt abt the overall picture, for sure. One thing I found fascinating was the incredible brutality of the American settlers/military.

In other news: I'm quite excited abt Trump's govt shutdown. I only hope he makes it permanent, and then begins the process of shutting down everything else: hospitals, libraries, airports, bookstores (what's left of them), 7/11s, mom and pop stores, newspapers, universities, etc. It's show time!

mb

3:29 AM  
Blogger NYCTexas said...

wow, what a great description of the typical 9-5 corporate job. So true and so depressing.

7:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

NYC-

Referring to--?

mb

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Crippled Thor Sucks at Ragnarok said...

Hello mr. Berman. I am currently reading "Question of values" and I would like to ask you if there is some more reading about the notion of western cultures & newtonian space versus other cultures & meaningful space. I've been training kung fu for some time now with a teacher who values traditional chinese culture and the habit of greeting the dojo and the shrine inside it certainly has done something in my mind. Best regards.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Crip-

I may have written abt it in my Reenchantment bk; I can't remember. There is also a lot of lit on Native American spirituality that may deal w/it, including Castaneda's "The Teachings of Don Juan." Other Wafers may be able to help u as well.

In the meantime, we're off to a great start:

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-torrance-shooting-20190105-story.html

mb

9:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cor-

We have a half-page limit on this blog. Hence, pls compress yr message by abt 30 or 40%, or else post the 1st half on one day, and the 2nd half 24 hrs later. Thank you.

mb

11:07 AM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

Hello Prof. Berman and fellow Wafers:
I am sorry I haven´t written in a while. I have been preparing for my entrance into a Master´s degree program at the UNAM, one of Mexico´s most well known universities. Wish me luck.

@ Italiana and Prof. Berman- You mentioned about American cruelty and atrocities toward the Native Indigenous ppl and it reminded me about what I saw when I was in HS in NJ during the 90s. There was a student who was born with some type of condition, (I think it might have been aspebergers) I am not sure. One would have thought that the other students would have reached out to him but it was the contrary, they were cruel to him, made bad jokes on him and isolated and ignored him. I was very surpised when I saw this. I am not telling you this to boost my ego or make a hero image but I can honestly tell you that I was the only friend he had in that school and I openly defended him and of course as a result there was much hostility between me and the rest of the school because of this. At first I could not believe ppl could be so evil but at this stage I know that that is the American character.
Prof. Berman- Your advice to Aaron to learn Urdu reminded me of something that I will tell you in my next post.

Happy New Year to all of you!!!

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Cormorant said...


Crippled Thor:

There is some intersting stuff on different ontological states within Japanese traditions. One area worth looking into is the concept of Yugen. Morris Berman refernces some related concepts in his excellent lecture "In praise of Shadows" which is available on youtube.

https://nomurakakejiku.com/lesson_lineup/yuugen

This covers some interesting ground, go to the bottom of the page for quotes:

http://www.japanshakuhachi.com/jinnyodo.html

Some advice though: You won't get much of this stuff if you stay within the US. This is because people transmitting these tradtions have realised that Americans simply are unable to learn: they have been conditioned to be lazy, selfish and stupid. These traditons within the US have (like everything else) become debased. It's all business. If you really want to learn any authentic traditon, you need to get out of the empire.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Bluestein said...

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/troops-must-be-ready-for-brexit-chaos-says-defence-minister-tobias-ellwood-s8sppbrsr?shareToken=960fc7b4ae6eb3d898c704e01fe1761d

MEANWHILE: The race is on between Britain and France to see who will come under military rule first

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Krakhed said...

Dr. B-

Hope you don't mind if i keep posting snippets of Joe Bageant's Rainbow Pie. Some of his passages really resonate with me.

He's talking about the role of Labor Unions the 1950s-

"Sure, it was also a period of Teamsters Union corruption. Yet the criminal history of the few top lizards on the national rock of greed is not the history of the people. If a few pricks and gangsters have occasionally seized power over the dignity of labor, countless more calculating, bloodless, and malevolent pricks--the capitalist elites--have always held the most of the cards"

My participation in corporate employment has been so dissatisfying that recently I've decided to leave my modest paycheck and benefits to become farmer. I'd rather live in poverty than keep participating in the pointless corporate greed that I've experienced.

Hope all you Wafers are taking care of yourself- I've found it depressing the more I realize how fucked our situation is and how callous and stupid most Americans are. Very grateful for this blog and all the perspectives that keep me entertained.

-Krakhed

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Vic Bold said...

Talk about NO respect!!! If we can have Islamic terrorists in Congress, don't you think it is time to finish building that wall to keep out further terrorists from entering Congress? Is it not time to get your readers to send in money?



US Congresswoman tells crowd 'we're going to impeach motherf*****' Donal...
Newly elected Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib calls on the US to impeach 'motherf*****' Donald Trump


2:56 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

In the "Don't fock with the Jesus" department...

Three dead, four hurt after brawl erupted into shooting at California bowling alley

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/torrance-california-bowling-alley-shooting-1.4967245

3:51 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

@Aaron - I get same reaction all the time here's my strategy - Wafer thought is way way beyond what the zhlobs can understand. However there is a silver lining we are all preeminent capitalists (huh?) If there was a market for our way of thinking we'd be kings and queens all. So just wait, even a small investment in Waferdom now will pay tremendous returns in only a few short years - when it all goes to shit (its gaining some wind now) we'll be looked at as gods b/c we saw it first. Vindication has its glory.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Aaron Thomas---98.7% of usa-ians were brain damaged and/or brain dead.

Do NOT try to persuade them, use well-researched arguments, reference Dr Berman's bks, articles, or other Wafers analyses. The usa-er will get ferociously angry (defensive posturing b/c you're insulting their God-america) OR have that usa-ian glazed eye look (chow mein brain). You're dealing with emotionally stunted "adults." They deserve the us empire.

BTW-- Baroque oboes sound gorgeous. Perhaps, listen to Alban Berg (he was a student of Arnold Schoenberg-12 tones) or learn to play the Serpent may help while planing your exit strategy.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jack L.-

Just got yr brochure. Very funny--thanks mucho. Down with Evergreen! Up with Trumpi!

Aaron-

Also keep in mind that Americans are getting their karma, even as we speak. You don't need to bother with them; History is doing the job.

Gunnar-

Work out a plan. We need to list Waferdom on the NYSE.

Vic-

2 recommendations. One, build a wall around Congress. Two, make all Muslims living in the US wear a yellow star. (Might as well throw in the Jews, too, while we're at it.)

krak-

Even better: open a deli. As the Beatles once put it, "All you need is meat, meat; Meat is all you need":

"There's no liver that can't be chopped
There's no pastrami that can't be stopped
You can learn how to serve up a reuben
It's easy...
All you need is meat, da da da da da..." (etc.)

Crip-

Listen to my lecture, then pack yr bags. "It's hard to soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys."

Fer-

I was abt 8 yrs old when I realized on an intuitive level that I was a stranger in a strange land. Let me give you my own true story (tho not as cruel as yours). This when I was 15. Some kid in my schl had an accident and was on crutches. He approached me and asked if I would carry his bks to classes for him, as he wasn't able to. I barely knew him, but just did it; I didn't think anything of it. A wk later his mother called mine, told her I was a "saint". Wha? said my mother. Apparently Tom had approached 5 or 6 students who were supposedly friends of his, and they turned him down, saying that helping him wd make them late for class. True Americans, they.

Vignette #2, much later, in Baltimore. I was at a hospital for some reason (seeing a dr., I guess), went into the bathrm and discovered a guy lying on the floor. Drug overdose? I immediately ran out, asking one hospital staff member after another to come rescue the guy, or call the 1st aid dept. to do it. Every single one had an excuse as to why they were unable to do it. Some of the excuses came close to "have to feed my goldfish." I even asked a cop, whose reply was that he was off duty. True Americans--salt of the earth, these folks.

In yr case: the students making fun of someone who was handicapped is truly evil, but where did they learn this from? America taught them well, apparently: when you see someone down, kick them! (I think this may be in the Constitution.)

On a happier note: Michel Houellebecq, greatest French novelist since Camus, was just awarded the legion d'honneur. Check out "The Map and the Territory" (won the Prix Goncourt, 2010).

mb

6:27 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Here's two relatable stories about the awfulness of the American people.

1. I'm currently sick w/the flu. Musta picked something up in SF, unfortunately. I told my sister-in-law that I was feeling terrible, when she asked me about my holiday. W/o even so much as a casual, "Gee, feel better soon," she said, "You know, I never get sick; not even a cold. You're always sick, it seems (laughs). As for me, I never get sick. Nothing! I think it's something in my DNA."

2. While waiting in line, which consisted of 5 people (2 ahead of me, and 2 behind me) to buy groceries, an African American woman is paying for her groceries using an EBT (public assistance) card. A woman directly behind me is talking into her cellfone and I hear her say, "Oh, great, as if this line isn't long enough someone is using an EBT card." At first, I didn't say anything, but a few seconds later she exclaims very loudly, "If you had a job you wouldn't need that card" to which I say, "Excuse me, how people choose to pay for their groceries is none of your business." She says, "Well, I just hate it when people buck the system." I ask her, "How is using an EBT card bucking the system?" I also tell her something along the lines of there's a reason those services are available, and I would be thankful and grateful if I ever needed them. She then starts in on the whole job thing again (by now the woman paying by EBT is long gone) and I tell her that just because people use those cards doesn't mean they aren't working, etc. Now it's my turn to pay, and as I'm reaching for my wallet, she kicks my leg. I looked at her and said, "I can't believe you just did that" to which she gives me a cold glare. By now, store personnel intervene and ask the woman to leave, and she starts in on them. It was fucking unbelievable.

Miles

8:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

This is why Wafers living in the US need to carry a bag of urine around with them at all times. These types of behaviors are the *norm* in the US. I don' wanna hear abt "a few bad apples." The whole fucking orchard is rotten, with maybe a few *good* apples in it.

Wafers are encouraged to submit their own personal stories of douche bags in action.

mb

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Parents sue over district’s policy to arm teachers at school-

https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/01/parents-sue-over-districts-policy-to-arm-teachers-at-school.html

9:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn-

It might be neat if the students were also armed to the teeth. I'd add the janitors, cafeteria staff, people who mow the lawns, etc.

mb

9:29 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

My best "douchebags in action" stories both involve our sainted babykillers-in-uniform. The first is from way back in the late 1980s during my stint in the Illinois National Guard. Our unit headed out for its annual two week stint at a nearby military base, and the guys were all proud that for the first time we were driving our brand-spanking-new Humvees. When we arrived at the base (safely out of public view) two of the guys got so carried away that they wrote in chalk on the back tailgate of their Humvee: National Guard - 4, Kent State - 0 as if the 1970 massacre of four U.S. college students was a ball score. At the time I was a college student myself and thought the "joke" was pretty tasteless, but since it was also clear that objecting wouldn't win me any friends I didn't say anything. In any event, there were several other college guys in my unit, and they didn't seem to care.

Later on after I started working for the federal government, someone in my office placed a "Hanoi Jane" sticker in a men's urinal on our floor so you couldn't avoid pissing on it. We had several Vietnam vets in my office, and I assume one of them did it, though I never found out who it was that still carried so much hatred for Jane Fonda 20 years after the war ended even thou she'd been right all along. In any event, the sticker was only there for a few days before the janitorial staff removed it. These days I have little patience anytime some unthinking moron babbles "support the troops" or says "thank you for your service" to an asshole in uniform. I'm just glad I avoided being shipped out to Kuwait back in 1990.

1:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

I will never forget that famous photograph:

"The camera of Kent State photojournalism student John Filo captured a 14-year-old runaway, Mary Ann Vecchio, screaming over the dead body of Jeffrey Miller, who had been shot in the mouth. The photograph, which won a Pulitzer Prize, became the most enduring image of the events, and one of the more enduring images of the anti-Vietnam War movement."

mb

2:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps:

"Following publication of the photograph, Florida governor Claude Kirk labeled Vecchio a dissident communist."

How is it that so many douche bags get into public office?

2:34 AM  
Anonymous Crippled Thor Sucks at Ragnarok said...

Mr.B & Cormorant,

thanks for ur responses. Currently I am retaking my japanese studies and I am planning to go there in 2020 to spend hopefully some years --tho I will be 40 years then and it is certainly difficult. Still I have about it the same sensation of inevitability described in SSIG, so I'll let it be. Loved NB also. I am interested in the cultural pattern of masculine moon and femenine sun of some cultures --some people say this is a more ancient pattern than the ones dominated by the vertical axis god trip.

best regards

6:30 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Really encouraging MB & Wafers to read this cringe-worthy article:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/30/salesforce-marc-benioff-talks-tech-ethics-time-magazine-and-vacation.html

"As he packs his bag for another technology-free beach vacation, this time to the Caribbean, Benioff has a simple message: 'We're on the right side of history.'" Jesus H. Christ.

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Strawberry Field said...

In 1939, as the world was being plunged into World War II, an American educator, Abraham Flexner published an essay in Harper’s under the title, “The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge,” a plea for “the cultivation of curiosity” for its own sake. A must read.

https://library.ias.edu/files/UsefulnessHarpers.pdf?smid=nytcore-ios-share

9:34 AM  
Anonymous A Kiwi said...

http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20180107-what-its-like-to-live-in-a-well-governed-country

New Zealand!

10:10 AM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

I'm always self conscious when using my EBT card, fuckin' people have no goddamn idea 43 million Americans have been left behind or what kinda bullshit you gotta go thru to get one. It is however a vast improvement on the old monopoly money, (featuring 'pursuit of happiness' Jefferson's iconography) that shit was downright degrading - urine + glock recommended. I'm lucky in a way b/c I can hide my disability I don't look like a raving madman a big reason I keep my distance though is the utter cruelty Americans have toward ppl w/ mental illness - talk to the hand motherfucker!

The Kindergarten Teacher on Netflix is an offbeat story of how creativity is brutally crushed in USA! education. Maggie Gyllenhaal's soul crushed teacher is quite good showing you gotta b crazy to indulge a poetic sensibility.

Finally, I don't give a good goddamn what any one says this fuckin (miraculously birthed) kid is the fucking anti-christ:

https://6abc.com/woman-in-vegetative-state-for-14-years-gives-birth;-investigation-underway/5015825/

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greeting MB & Wafers

@Cor - thanks for those links. It's very interesting to read that history of Jin Nyodo. Can't remember if I've told everyone this, but I lived for 2 1/2 yrs in Japan in the early 80's (first hubbie was in the Navy), and began studying koto at that time. I've played ever since, actually play with various groups in the US (also give an annual koto concert in my little village here in Italy), and with a number of different shakuhachi players, and have recorded some as well. Those same forces referred to in the Jin Nyodo piece continue to pull at the Shakuhachi world. (I attended the last World Shakuhachi Festival in London last summer - interesting to watch the rivalries between traditions.) For anyone who is interested in the Shakuhachi world, the European Shakuhachi Society (ESS) is holding a Festival/Summer School in Lisbon, Portugal, 25-28 July, 2019. There will be music from all traditions. (I'll be there - there will also be a koto program.)

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Doctor,
How are you? I hope you are well. Off for a few months to Asia this week. I'll be back for the Wafer Summit though. Still in April? Yeah, life in the US-so much to hate, so little time.I'm thinking a lot about the Beatles these days. I actually saw them when they came to Philly in 1966 just after the US went batshit crazy over Lennon's "We're more popular than Jesus" remark. It hit me that the Beatles would never have been able to produce the type of music from Revolver on if they had been an American band. The music industry here would have demanded more sappy love songs a la She Loves You. Think of any American artist and see if you can detect any artistic progress. In fact, many like DeNiro, and Dustin Hoffman became jokes (Meet the Fockers).
I'm done with Facebook. It's certainly been hijacked by the Right. Anytime I posted something critical of Israel (mostly from Haaretz) I was slandered as a self-hating Jew, Arab lover, and recently anti-semitic. One, in fact, threatened to inform the FBI for my "subversive" views. Doctor, I tried valiantly to say it's not Game Over, but I give up.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Vic Bold said...

Always enjoyable is when NPR (National Public Radio) accidentally bumps into the truth. We have all heard the yap about the Chinese forcing US firms to give them all their technical secrets before they can sell their goods in China. This suggests torture, drugs that make the executives divulge all secrets, or families held hostage. Turns out (surprise!!) they tell all for fresh customers and profits. The executives then appear to be geniuses; bonuses and stock options abound; and a year later the evil Chinese have found a cheaper way to make the same products and start exporting them. The US firm goes out of business. US venture capital then just moves on to the next promising tech firm and ruins it after a health year of profits.

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Dr. Berman,

You are welcome. The signs of decline are everywhere. It is amazing that some Americans think things are getting better. Here is some news from the "America eats its young" department.

Opioid overdose deaths triple among American children and teens over the last two decades.

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/news/20181228/opioid-overdose-deaths-triple-among-teens-kids

5:47 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Record number of Americans want to leave the US.


https://news.gallup.com/poll/245789/record-numbers-americans-leave.aspx

7:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Vic-

I'm sure that's all true, but do you have any evidence for this? On this blog we are big on empirical data. Hence, it never hurts to provide a link or two. Thanks.

Dan-

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Gd to hear from you, and I hope u enjoy yr Asian adventure. Gd airplane rdg: Houellebecq. Facebk is for turkeys, and in general, giving up on America is a sign of intelligence, not to mention sanity. Jesus, what's to save, in the US, exactly? Morons barking slogans? As for the 6th Annual NY Wafer Summit: April 13, I think I said. More info forthcoming in March. Wish non-blog-participants wd stop trying to bribe me w/expensive gifts. How much gold bullion do I need, anyway? ;-)

mb

8:01 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola todos los Waferes

@Morris Berman - "Spinning Straw Into Gold", que non? Wafers-BTW- a great collection of poetry. Get it if you haven't yet.

I'm on the road to Houston. For the worst of reasons. Such is life and death. To a mostly awful amerikan urban nightmare city, in most ways.

I have four books with me. "On Tyranny" by Timothy Snyder; "Journey To Ixtlan" by Carlos Castaneda; "Turtle Island" by Gary Snyder; "Classic Guitar, vol 2" by Aaron Shearer. I have had them all for forty years except for Snyder's recent book. All highly recommended reading.

@Italiana - re: the Dunbar -Ortiz book. Don't try reading Snyder's "Bloodlands" OMG!

(from: "Journey To Ixtlan") "And I will leave...but the birds will stay, singing, and my garden will stay... with its green tree, with its water well..."

I love this blog. Rave on Wafers!

11:54 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

HERZENLIED - ''Whereas the Christians in Rome were Romans no longer ; that kind of internal emigration is more effective.’ I'm starting to understand where you're coming from Morris. You remind a bit of William Morris. (The Herzen book is amazing - thanks for link).

1:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Neil-

I like Wm Morris; not a relative, tho. Du liegst mir im Herzen.

mean-

A little help here: if you meant to say 'why not?' in Spanish, it's 'como no?' Also, it's a memoir, not a poetry bk. The poetry bk is called "Counting Blessings". I'm glad you enjoyed these, in any case. Let us continue to rave, perhaps even to rant. Houston blows dogs on the Arts Quad (a popular saying at Cornell, when I was an undergraduate).

mb

3:16 AM  
Anonymous ALex Valis said...

Beautiful visualizations of Japanese concept of Ikigai. I call it a Zen Diagram

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikigai

https://medium.com/thrive-global/ikigai-the-japanese-secret-to-a-long-and-happy-life-might-just-help-you-live-a-more-fulfilling-9871d01992b7

7:42 AM  
Blogger Irene fowler Nigeria said...

How much more pain can the inured masochist, lobotomized or the indifferent endure from the wall-to-wall spiked shambles of Trumpism?

http://gpiblog.lmu.edu/impeaching-trump-can-save-africas-fragile-democracies/

9:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Irene-

And also, How much more pain can Americans endure from Obamism, Bushism, Reaganism, Clintonism, and the isms of all future American presidents? Ans.: tons! Jus' wait n see.

Alex-

I guess Americans don' have a lotta that. Wafers are encouraged to suggest what is meaningful for zhlobs.

mb

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Derek said...

MB,

Have you started in on Houellebecq's new book, "Serotonin"? I'll be picking it up in French when I'm in Montreal next week, can't wait...

Derek

11:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Good film:

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-kindergarten-teacher-review-netflix-20181011-story.html

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Sense of Place said...

Terrific, wide-ranging interview with philosopher-geographer Rebecca Kukla by:

Rebecca Kukla on Moving through and Responding to the World (Ep. 57)

https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/tyler-cowen-rebecca-kukla-feminism-philosophy-efaac99ac2af

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Case Studies in us hu$tling:

1. Before a classical music concert, the conductor spoke to the audience. NOT abt the music, but about the "really cool" T-shirts that are on sale for "only" 19.95$.

2. At an academic CONference, some us docs are trying to make a case for obesity being a disease so they can bilk (bill) the insurance corporation, health care delivery corporations, etc..etc.. Also, many us doc books on weight loss re: this university diet, that college diet, eat this, eat that, breath this way, fart the right way, etc....many bks are also 19.95$.

Save the 19.95$, and just fucking leave the us empire. Curious, if that would get on the CONference plenary session?

12:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Derek-

Zut alors! I'll save myself time and wait for the translation, out in Sept. Of course, if I were rich, I'd fly to Paris, go to FNAC, get a copy, walk over to the Café Flore, and 20 pages in throw the book down and exclaim, Flut alors!

mb

12:07 PM  
Blogger WasLurkinNowLivin said...

Dear MB and Wafers, just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed the blog over the past year or so and how much I admire your overall outlook on life. I certainly feel as though I've been fished out of the drink. Thanks for all the great film and book recommendations, they have changed my life. Along these lines allow me to recommend one in return: People's Republic of Desire Although a documentary, Wafers will likely regard it as a horror. Cheers!

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Brian Louis said...

I'm sorry if I'm going off on a rant here, so please forgive the stream of consciousness below. Just keying off of a theme you return to fairly often, Morris.

I used to think that the unease I felt as a kid in America was just part of 'growing up'. I never quite related to the viciousness of American high school life, consumerism, religious insanity, and the relentless celebrity worship. A lot of my time as a teenager and college kid were spent fairly isolated.

Then I up and moved to Hawaii in 1996. Mostly to surf, but also to just continue my education.

After I settled into my apartment in Honolulu, one thing started happening that stunned the ever-loving shiat out of me. I was making friends left and right. People were nice. Conversations weren't about the latest celebrity gossip bullshiat being vomited from the airwaves. Life wasn't a constant game of one-upping the neighbors with your newest car. Extended families spent weekends together at the local beaches for BBQs and to 'talk story'. People left their houses unlocked so friends and family could come and go as they pleased. Checkout lines weren't filled with angry housewives constantly demanding to 'speak to the manager' if they weren't serviced in under 5 minutes.

People talk about how moving to the islands changes you; that the culture shock takes a while to get over. In my case, it felt like finally being able to breathe after spending my life choking on American toxic waste.

After marrying a girl from Stockholm and subsequently spending some time in Sweden, my hunch about the deep sickness afflicting American life was further validated. Again, the undercurrent of callousness that the average American is benumbed to just doesn't exist there. Yes, people may be imperfect, but, in Sweden, there's at least an implicit understanding that the 'common-good' is an important thing to be nurtured. It's the same cultural component that underpins Hawaiian life.

American 'culture' is cruel. And while it's taken some time for it to find its perfect expression in the political sphere with Donald Trump, it's not going away once he leaves office. American exceptionalism can more accurately be defined as a spawning pool for sociopaths because the one thing we're REALLY good at is greed.

It's an amazing time to be an American. For the first time, we have a president that truly represents the rank soul of America, and my suspicion is that the reason this entire tragicomedy is so disturbing to so many is because the average American sees more of himself in Trump than he cares to admit.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

https://www.denverpost.com/2019/01/07/chicago-inmate-solitary-confinement-mental-health/

For me these are the most stomach curdling, bone chilling stories getting published today. Forget Abu Grahib I live 40 miles away from the Federal Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado where (when stories find a peep hole to come out) this behavior is common place. When this poor man cuts off a testicle and hangs it on his door prison staff call him "manipulative" and send a "therapist" to talk to him through a locked door. This is little more than Nazi starvation rooms except the Nazis prob at least allowed death as an escape. All began over a 1 dollar 'robbery' of a hat - whoever said American cruelty is confined in the past with only Native Americans and slaves as victims must have high octane shit for brains.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Haynes said...

WAFers! Either view it thru the Netflix or its limited art cinema release, but GO SEE Roma! Shot B&W takes place in Mexico City in 1970-71. Has the feel of a classic.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Joe Lagana, 27, incensed that his Philly Cheesesteak sandwich was served on an improper bun:

https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/region-pasco/pasco-co-man-upset-over-philly-cheesesteak-served-on-sesame-seed-bun-arrested

"You never give me your pastrami," courtesy of the Beatles:

You never give me yr pastrami
You only give me yr funny turkey
And in the middle of potations
You fall down

Miles

1:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Was-

Welcome to the blog! Lurking is like living a twilight existence. Once you start to participate, your brain expands, and you become a Wafer, i.e. a genuine human being. You remember that Peter was a "fisher of souls." That's what this blog hopes to do, tho w/modest ambitions. In the face of 327 million zhlobs, all we can do is fish a few out of the drink.

This conundrum, of a hopeless ratio, is one of the themes of the film mentioned above, "The Kindergarten Teacher." It is brought out much more strongly in the original Hebrew version (Haganenet, 2014), dir. Nadav Lapid; a pointed indictment of the emptiness and materialism of Israeli society, which, like ours, has very little spiritual content. The film was easily transferred to American society; only very minor modifications were necessary.

Brian-

This is a great share, which is why I ran it. But in the future, pls limit your posts to half page max. Thank you.

When I was 8, I intuitively realized that I didn't belong in American society. I was consistently labeled weird, and was only dimly able to understand that it was the society that was weird; that what I stood for was life, creativity, elan vital--things that teachers and other students feared and ridiculed. I mean, what do you do with a kid who is playing chess, learning Hebrew, and reading poetry at age 7? No problem! You hate and reject him. Much later, studying history and sociology, I saw the larger picture: whole civilizations, said Freud, can be neurotic; altho in the case of America 'psychotic' is closer to the mark. What unrecognized misery Americans are drowning in!

mb

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

@Gunnar- horrifying! This despicable treatment of this poor soul is the direct result of centuries of training, beginning with Native Americans and moving on to African Americans. An integral part of the American character.

Exceptional nation indeed.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

Hello MB and Wafers,

Sorry for being inactive for a while. Happy New Year !!.. have to catch up with some of the older conversations but I see the decline of Amrika is on course.

There was some talk of Gurus in India.. a lot are fake.. i am an atheist so I will suggest to look up UG Krishnamurthi videos on YouTube.
He hated being called a Guru or an Enlightened being and seemed logical to me for the most part. Though lot of people considered him to be pessimist/negative. He is not well known and hated by a lot of Guru seeking people.

MB/Wafers,
Some personal question here, hope you don't mind. One of my good friends is in some confusion. He is almost close to being a Wafer and is currently in USA. He wants to move out of US, to which I definitely told him to go head and that its the right decision. His other problem is that he likes Poker a lot and wants to try out playing for full time for a year before moving out. To me, poker kind of borders on gambling, so I kind of told him not to. But he is adamant. Just curious what Wafers think ? Isn't taking up Poker full time a waste of your talent ? He argues with me that a person should be free to do what he loves but I don't agree in his case.

3:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Take a look at that face. Brr. But why didn't he pull a Shaneka? (This needs to become a common phrase in the US: They botched his order, so he PULLED A SHANEKA. We can also add: pulled a Laquisha, a Lorenzo, a Brittany, a Freddie Wadsworth, and a Latreasa.)

mb

4:08 PM  
Blogger C. J. Timmins said...

Hello Dr. B & Fellow Wafers! I've been away from the blog for a little while. Happy to be back. This horrifying story gives a whole new meaning to one of Edward Gibbon's 5 Marks of the Roman Decaying culture, "obsessions with sex and perversions of sex": Woman in a vegetative state for 10 years shocks care-givers by going into labour. I bet there's one person who's not entirely shocked about the news!

Two Wafer texts to check out: Dark Mountain Project's "Walking On Lava" collection of essays. The writing is in the vein of Bill McKibben and Derrick Jensen. And I recently finished David Byrne's How Music Works, and there's a very interesting analysis in the final chapters about the importance amateurism of music that went away in the advent of recording technologies and later record companies. His argument goes that the public was persuaded to consume rather than create music at home, which had been tradition in most households for centuries. It gives me a lot of encouragement that having taken up the guitar 3 years ago at the age of 33. There are areas we must recede to for our own spiritual and artistic satisfaction. I know Dr. Berman has mentioned playing classical guitar as well. This is not playing strings on the deck of the Titanic. It is a form of self preservation amid our current age.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous krakhed said...

Head Scratching--They have insurance through work and Medicare, but apparently you have to find your own kidney in our ass-backwards healthcare system.

"'Haven't found a donor yet': Man wears sign on backpack to find kidney donor for wife"

https://www.koat.com/article/havent-found-a-donor-yet-man-wears-sign-on-backpack-to-find-kidney-donor-for-wife/25700684

5:24 PM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

Prof. Berman- Just like you said about how you knew that you didn´t fit in the US since you were 8 y.o., I have been very interested in History, Geography, Politics, Cultures, Int. Studies, Languages, etc. since elementary school age. My interests in these subjects have only grown and gotten deeper. I will share an anecdote. I remember being one of the very few students that actively participated in those classes. I remember in a Geo. class when I was in mid. school, the teacher asked a question that pertained to South Asia. I remember explaining the answer and how Bangladesh used to be East Pakistan and how it seperated and became independent at the end of the 1971 India-Pakistan war. I was only 12 y.o. at the time. The students in that class looked at me as if I did something really out of the ordinary.
About your advice to Aaron on learning Urdu, at around that age (12-14) I was learning basic Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi and Bengali. One of my dreams was and still is to visit India, Pakistan or Bangladesh. I was unable to find a group of friends with similar interests.
The environment in the US is extremely anti-intellectual. I am so so happy that I am not there anymore.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Fer-

In 1956 Adlai Stevenson gave a campaign speech at Vassar College. When he finished, one girl raised her hand and said, "Gov. Stevenson, you have every thinking American's vote." "Won't work," he shot back; "I need a majority." A few yrs later Richard Hofstadter published "Anti-Intellectualism in American Life." What needed to be added, by both Stevenson and Hofstadter, was how callous and narcissistic Americans are.

George-

Regarding Krish: lots of down side here. E.g., he carried on a secret affair w/his best friend's wife for 20 yrs. They all have clay feet, even the "non-gurus." As for poker: have yr friend check out a movie called "Molly's Game" (Jessica Chastain).(True story)

CJ-

Good NMI stuff. I wish I had kept up the guitar, really. When I quit, I was playing Bach, Villa Lobos, Tarrega, Elizabethan stuff ("The Earl of Essex His Galliard"), etc. Life doesn't get any better.

mb

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

"Dallas man's Christmas Eve carjacking spree involved demanding tacos at gunpoint, police say"
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2018/12/26/dallas-mans-christmas-eve-carjacking-spree-involved-demanding-tacos-gunpoint-police-say

"Federal contract worker: I set up GoFundMe to pay rent"
https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/07/us/federal-contract-worker-without-pay-cnntv/index.html

Bread baked in a vending machine? This is what we call "progress?"
https://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2019/01/07/breadbot-ces.cnn-business

"By 2020, SUVs could make up 50% of US car sales" -- How is this going to work with the Prog's so-called "New Green Deal?"
https://qz.com/1344537/by-2020-suvs-could-make-up-50-of-us-car-sales/

7:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mill-

Shdn't us Wafers be doing a little hustling of our own? I'm thinking of T-shirts with sayings on them like AMERICA IS WALLOWING IN DOGSHIT. Sure to be a best-seller, given the critical stance most Americans have toward their country, and the cutting-edge intellect of the average citizen. Wafers are encouraged to come up with similar sayings.

mb

7:53 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Morris - Thanks for the correction. Years ago I heard folks in Nuevo Mexico use the slang "que non" but "como no" is correct. I have been a little stressed out since last Thursday. And a bit out of it. I need a lot of help lately.

@ C.J. and MB - good comments and take up the guitar again. It's never too late.


Gracias amigos y Waferes.

9:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

mean-

No es grave. BTW, "Hola los Waferes" also needs a slight correction: "Hola a los Waferes." Whenever you refer to a person or company or country, the 'a' hasta be inserted. "Yo dije a mi amigo Juan que..."--I said to my friend John etc.

Suerte,

mb

9:30 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@George C--poker absolutely IS gambling. At the very least it's a zero sum game in that winnings and losses are equal for every game, however if you're playing in a casino they take a cut of each pot so in the long term it's a guaranteed loser. If your friend is skilled he could probably make money at tournaments, but he'll be playing against others who are also pretty good. The attraction is the lure of winning big bucks without having to do real work--which is pretty much the definition of the American hustle.

@Millennial Realist--it isn't the douchebag progs (Hillary dead enders) pushing the Green New Deal, it's the actual left (Berniecrats) such as it is in this country. Progs--at least the wealthier ones--are among those buying SUVs in big numbers while revealing their hypocrisy by screaming about Trump pulling out of the Paris Accords. As for that federal worker's Go Fund Me campaign, as I stated here a couple of days ago anyone who works for the federal government is doing pretty well compared to the average American. So far, federal workers have missed exactly one paycheck. If that person is already so broke that they can't pay the rent, they're doing something wrong--blowing their earnings on iCrap would be my guess.

Related note for Wafers--I heard a rumor that TSA personnel, who are being required to work but not being paid, are calling in sick in large numbers. Thus it might a good idea to avoid the airports until this blows over. Of course if they all walked off the job, air traffic would shut down and this idiocy would end instantly, but that would require worker solidarity--i.e. socialism (the horror!).

9:42 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

T-shirt idea definitely not catchy enough for your normal turd (I look for subtle ways to monkey wrench zombie psychodrama) anyways
Front of Shirt:
HEY
YOU!
Back of shirt:
Upside down American flag with Scooby Doo saying "RUH ROH"

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Eddie Ravens said...

Watch "Can You Name a Country?" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/kRh1zXFKC_o
^^they can't even find USA

"War is God's way of teaching Americans geography." - Ambrose Bierce

9:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Eddie-

We need to establish a Zhlob Index (ZI). E.g., Denmark: 1.8%. America: 99.8%. As for Bierce's idea: remember Forrest Gump.

What jackasses!

mb

9:26 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Right, good luck with that!

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/08/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-70-percent-tax-rich

10:35 AM  
Anonymous ArtemusGordon said...

@Brian Louis
Thank you for your insights. I always enjoy hearing the personal insights and experiences of thoughtful people like yourself. Living in Colorado Springs among many military folks, I often ask them about the countries in which they have been stationed. 99+% of the time all I hear is how they never interacted with the people of the country or all they saw was the inside of a bar, etc .... Such is the military mindset I guess.

Another thing I like to do is talk to people from other countries who are here in the US. I always ask them about their home country. Again, 99+% of the time they have this very confused look on their face which usually tells me it's the first time anyone in this country has asked this question. Then, they are leery about opeing up too much until I speak kindly of people outside the US and my interest in living outside this country. Then, we usually have a really nice conversation.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous American Cowboy said...

https://www.politico.com/amp/story/2019/01/07/pompeo-middle-east-speech-rebuke-obamas

"Drafts of Pompeo's speech later this week in Cairo also have him praising the Saudis for their handling of the Khashoggi case & saying Iran should learn from Saudi Arabia on human rights & the rule of law."

Yeehaw!

10:55 AM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Woo hoo! I got my custom made bumper stickers delivered today! They are white lettering on a red background and say
Are We Great Yet?

I'll probably get rear ended or shot at, but I'm hoping for making a new friend from anyone who gives me a thumbs .

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Vic Bold said...

Vic Bold did a search for that NPR item about the real reason US companies donate technical secrets to the Chinese--couldn't find the interview. It was probably buried so disgruntled
"outside agitators" (remember George Wallace?) and seditionaries living in Mexico would not spread the story and end up causing a trade war so great that the whole world entered a depression. Reading one's Hegel, a person would conclude that the great hippie Hebrew
vegan transsexual anarchist revolution would be sure to follow. Radio news is as ephemeral
as AM traffic, weather, and sports.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Vic-

On this blog, we don't refer to ourselves in the 3rd person. It's kinda weird. Thank you. Meanwhile: something like this?:

https://www.npr.org/2018/03/23/596529839/what-stake-china-has-in-american-intellectual-property

comrade-

You might also try: AMERICA HAS NO FUTURE, see what happens.

mb

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

@Bill, spot on! This place (the D.C. area) is a bubble full of the clueless. All it took for me was a question to my superiors on Oct 1, 2018: "are we fully funded?" Answer: no, only to Dec. 7th. So I planned accordingly, just not a big deal or requiring any intelligence beyond the practical. The kids understood that Xmas was a little "thin" (we made up for it in fun). And I get a chance to work on "my own" research instead of theirs. A win-win, IMHO, as they will eventually benefit from what I'm learning now. I'm enjoying this a little too much, tho. Hmmm.

@Eddie Ravens, geography was invented so all the Europeans could keep track of their real estate (where is India?).
I'm just kidding, partly.

Currently reading Linked, by Barabasi, about graph theory.

Best to all, Puss

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Yoogoogyoolator said...

Stealing one from the millenial playbook hiding behind smartphones:

https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/blogs-trending-46794556

Cliff notes:
"Distracted by screens religion is feeling left out as the all time greatest threat to human peace. Premeditated, unplanned obsolescence is causing seismic shifts in dogma projection"

@comrade simba, sticker idea for license plates:
"In dogs we trust"

2:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Yoo-

He forgot to add that fone users are buffoons, committing mental suicide.

mb

4:18 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Great post Gunnar. As the Blessed Homer said unto us, https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xgj6fo

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Wafer Comrad Simba--some other suggestions for usa-er bumper stickers:

Honk, if you're dumb as shit. What we say goes. Get rich, or die tryin'. My church is the corporation. My God is money. My co-pilot is Smith and Wesson. Paying lotsa taxes for nothing! Love being an employee at will. Work till ya die. Proud of us citizen based double taxation! My kid is a dipshit at xyz elementary skool. $164,472 in student loans and proud of it! Honk if your upside down on your mortgage! Living in parents' basement with a masters degree. Insulin or electricity- decisions, decisions! No health care and support those troops! Fire/police are heroes, I'm a zero. Worth more dead, than alive. Emptiness is my friend. 1000+ us military bases abroad and can barely pay the rent!

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Trinity said...

People Trashed Joshua Tree National Park During the Shutdown and Now It’s Closing Good job, idiots.
- Motherboard

https://motherboard.vice.com/amp/en_us/article/pa5nan/people-trashed-joshua-tree-national-park-during-the-shutdown-and-now-its-closing

It has been said many times on this blog: " the (American) people get the government they deserve ... " no ?

5:13 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

CNN: And now we go live to the White House...

Trumpicus: Good evening my fellow Americans. Tonight, I was scheduled to speak to you about the necessity of a Southern Border Wall. However, I've decided to speak to you about a larger issue facing America. The issue in question is Who Are We as Americans? As you may well know, I've been in direct consultation w/Dr. Morris Berman of Mexico City, and he has enlightened me to the disturbing reality that we are a nation of jagoffs, engaged in a sustained jag-off-race. Dr. Berman, mind you, doesn't mean this figuratively; he means this literally. Picture millions of erect penises walking down the street, stroked in perpetuity, w/no particular direction, clue, or aim. In effect, as Dr. Berman so eloquently put it: "we're a nation of clueless coci; a no-clue-goo-nation, if you will, who has worked itself into a serious coitus conundrum." Indeed, I couldn't agree more... Thus, in keeping w/Berman's Coitus Concerto Analysis (CCA), I've decided to *pull out* all the stops. Effective immediately: The United States is completely and utterly shuttered. All airports, schools, movie theaters, shooting ranges, casinos, malls, restaurants, and yoga studios are closed indefinitely. May God bless you, and continue to bless the America we all know and wuv. Good night and good luck.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Very moving. I wept. Would that the Mint wd change the motto on our legal tender to A NATION OF JACKOFFS. Time to call a spade a spade, what the heck.

Trinity-

This from that article:

"The current state of Joshua Tree National Park is proof that rangers are all that separate a wholesome nature experience from a Mad Max-style rampage...

"The national park said on Tuesday that motorists have created new roads and destroyed endangered Joshua trees."

I'm tired of hearing the 'a few bad apples' theory from deluded Americans. It takes a nation of degraded assholes to turn a national park into garbage. Cut them loose, and this is what our fine citizens do. It takes trash to make trash.

Mike-

Those are gd. We might add: I LOVE TRASHING NATIONAL PARKS; MY KID IS NOT AN HONOR STUDENT AND HAS A FONE STUCK UP HIS ASS; I LOVE LIVING AN EMPTY STUPID LIFE; etc.

Cowboy-

Orwell lives!

mb

6:42 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Bernstein: The national emergency is Trump...


https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2019/01/08/carl-bernstein-trump-unfit-president-national-emergency-brooke-baldwin-intv-nr-vpx.cnn

7:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Bernstein is typical of the MSM. The national emergency is hardly Trump, altho I'm hoping he will do a shitload of damage and then get reelected in 2020. The national emergency is the nation itself: who we are, what we stand for, and what we do at home and abroad. This emergency is hardly recent, which is what WAF is abt. Folks like Bernstein will never wake up.

mb

8:05 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Miles, always enjoy reading your posts, and I enjoyed your recent piece with Trump addressing the nation. With full respect, I just wanted to point out that jagoff is not universally synonymous with jack off. Around here, old ladies have been calling people jagoffs without any sexual implication for as long as I can remember. The etymology is similar to words like jaggy, jag, and jaggers (annoying prickly weeds and burs). Thus, jagoff means an annoying and irritating idiot, jerk, or stupid person. So, as many Americans are both zhlobs and slobs, many are also both jagoffs and jack offs.

« According to Barbara Johnstone, professor of English and linguistics at Carnegie Mellon University, the term has its roots in the northern British Isles... It is derived from the verb "to jag", which means "to prick or poke". Johnstone said that among local Pittsburghers, "Nobody thinks of these derivatives of 'jag' as obscene", though non-local fellow Americans often mishear "jagoff" as the much more offensive slang term "jack off".»

« [E]xecutive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, issued a letter banning the use of the word "jagoff"... The decision was mocked by Chris Potter of the Pittsburgh City Paper, noting that Shribman's letter belied an utter lack of understanding of the actual etymology and history of the word, as he had confused it with the more base homophone, "jack off", common slang for masturbation. In response The Beaver County Times used some form of the term 19 times in a single article, suggesting that Shribman has "Jagoffphobia".» – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jagoff

8:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

k-

Fine. But what abt beaver? A newspaper called Beaver? Yr kidding, rt?

mb

9:39 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

Decided to investigate an annoying tv advert - Pima Medical Institute - if one is so inclined I heartily recommend this website to update your understanding and usage of contemporary Newspeak (if I were a prof I'd offer it as continuing Ed credit). Click around a bit it's fascinating.

https://pmi.edu/consumerinfo

I remembered what MB said about the difference in attitude between lab techs in USA! vs Mexico. Well here could be one reason why. This freakin' for profit school which, of course, accepts (no doubt encourages) federal student loans, offers, by my estimation, the type of training one might get if s/he were, I dunno, hired? Instead they fleece em up front b4 they go to work. It's genius really, once tied down by debt force them to do the shitty job no one else wants. First time I saw the ad I got a whole "come join us as we change adult diapers" kinda vibe. This has been confirmed after poking around website. Burning hostility can b only sane reaction.

Why are these considered feel good stories? Health insurance? I don't need no freaking health insurance!

https://www.chieftain.com/news/20190107/pcc-employees-help-pueblo-man-with-medical-bills-through-fundraiser

10:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Re: the Trumpi speech: to accelerate our decline, what we need is exactly this sort of thing: policy speeches that are misleading, dishonest, and fear-mongering. Hopefully other public officials will follow suit. I hope 2c newspaper headlines along the lines of "Mexican Rapists Sweeping Across Border," etc. Wafers are encouraged to submit similar Trumpistic headlines.

Man, is this year off to a great start or what?

mb

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Trumpi headlines:

"TRUMP: Illegal aliens are beheading grandmas throughout the country!"
"TRUMP: More Americans died last month from illegals than the Vietnam & Civil Wars combined!"

Meanwhile:

"Sisters, 12 and 14, charged with shooting, stabbing mother to death"
https://www.boston25news.com/news/trending-now/sisters-1214-charged-with-shooting-stabbing-mother-to-death/901115206?utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=feed-trending

"Police in California say they have arrested a middle school student who was planning to carry out mass shootings at two Napa schools."
http://www.journalgazette.net/news/us/20190108/police-arrest-student-suspected-of-planning-mass-shooting

^^ America's young and brightest.

12:05 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Gunnar--you'll probably find this article to be of interest: A $20,243 bike crash: Zuckerberg hospital’s aggressive tactics leave patients with big bills. The crooked hospital in question is named after Zuckerfuck because he gave them a huge charitable donation. Fitting, eh?

@Trinity, MB--they should change the name of Joshua Tree National Park to Jagoff National Park.

@Puss--I was furloughed during the two Newt Gingrich temper tantrum federal shutdowns in 1995/96, the second of which will be surpassed this weekend as the longest ever assuming it is still going on. It was indeed just like a nice long vacation. The motto that time should have been: "Give a Hoot, Don't Be A Newt."

@Kanye--I'd like to see Gallup do a poll to find out how many douchebag Americans know that 70% was the top tax rate when good ol' Ike was president.

Stupid edumacation tricks: Florida Teacher Smeared Human Feces at Park to Ruin Principal's Party: Officials. & Substitute Teacher Accused of Performing Sex Act On Himself In Classroom. What a jagoff!

2:18 AM  
Anonymous Aaron Thomas said...

MB -

This may be an older tradition you may be aware of, but I think Christians used to basically preach the gospel to a person once or twice, then if they weren’t well received, left them alone. I believe Christians used to cut off people who were not Christians unless they were making that initial contact for conversion or feeding the poor for example. It seems your idea of not wasting time on idiots comes straight from God, so I’d say your idea to isolate yourself with others of similar mind is the right view. Not sure where to meet like minded people tho, even at churches I find people are 100% onboard with electronics and the modern culture. Can’t say I’ve ever come across someone with similar views on the consumer culture.

I was at a convent recently and was thinking of the nuns who live behind the bars. Most people think it’s a cruel way to live, not realizing the bars are to protect the nuns from the surrounding world, not to imprison them. I would recommend visiting a convent - you may not find a place better suited for silence anywhere else, short of the middle of wilderness.

3:30 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Wafers & MB,

Interesting article by Edward Curtin on the "Labyrinthine Trap" that is work in the US (and much of the neoliberal world) right now:

http://edwardcurtin.com/what-are-we-working-for/

The author talks about the "screen of cliches" that "serve to protect the interests of the ruling classes, who devise ways to trap regular people from seeing the reality of their condition." In other words, the Matrix. He goes into Van Gogh, Gauguin, Thoreaux, and Studs Terkel to talk about the nature of "work". Lots of anecdotes, highlights the obvious futility and soul crushing oppression of most paid "work" these days.

@Puss & @Bill - you're both so right about the mindset of most DC denizens - they're mostly in a little bubble, playing parts in a play in which they're oh, so important. So glad to be gone.

5:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

Heather Carpenter is my kinda gal. She chose to make a statement. Who cd argue w/that? But were the feces hot or cold? Personally, I find the use of cold feces very rude. Meanwhile, where *is* Ging Newtrich? Or Sarah, Michelle, and Rom? I miss the public vocal contribution of these cutting-edge intellects. I miss their decency, their clarity.

Aaron-

I once did a Benedictine retreat, wrote it up in QOV, tho I can't remember the name of that particular essay. Most of my retreat experience has been Zen or Vipassana. As for Christian theology: I'm no expert, but I thought that Christ supposedly spoke in parables. Very few, then, wd get the message. But when we come to Paul, he saw the new religion as a huge tent that cd accommodate everyone. Now, the evangelicals are everywhere. To me, proselytizing is arrogant and intrusive; it assumes you've got the Word and are duty-bound to give it to others. But I'll say this for Jehovah's Witnesses: once you tell them yr not interested, they back off. As for Judaism: if you go to a rabbi and tell him you want to convert, he might likely say: "Really? Why?" (I can't help thinking of Tim Watley, who converted to Judaism for the jokes.)

Mill-

So many wonderful young people! America's future is assured. Gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. Altho I suppose most are playing w/cell fones rather than guns. What are the stats, I wonder? And how long before some co. manufactures a cell fone that is also a gun? (I'm being serious)

mb

5:41 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Italiana-

Check this out:

https://www.amazon.com/New-Prophets-Capital-Jacobin/dp/1781688109/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1547033750&sr=1-1&keywords=new+prophets+of+capital

mb

6:37 AM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

MB - Thanks for the poker movie suggestion, will forward it to my friend. As for UG Krish, I believe you have him confused with the other Krish, Jiddu Krishnamurthy. Jiddu was the popular Guru, typical salesman selling Enlightenment and peace. Not a fan of his at all. This other UG Krish was not popular at all. Infact most of his videos on YouTube are just talks with people at their homes. Here is a link to one of his radio interviews : God is Irrelevant.

Bill H - Agree with you, Poker is almost gambling and as usual the house wins in the end.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Cooke said...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-46794556

People's dependence on smartphones and tech could bring about the coming of the Antichrist, says Russian Orthodox leader.

MB warned us!

8:54 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Headlines:

"Uber, Starbucks, Amazon to Purchase Student Debt From Fannie Mae, Acquire New, Cost-effective Slave Workforce"

"The Return of Debt Peonage To America- How Does It Effect *My* Bank Account?"

"President Trump Nationalizes NFL, Executes All Traitors Who Knee For National Anthem"

"US Ranks Solid 47th in International Math Testing: Estonia and Belgium Still Full of Nerds"

"Trump: If we take any more immigrants, it's only so we can pay them less and treat them like sh*t!"

"Dow Loves Corporate Aquisition of Student Debt Slaves, Roars 3k Points"

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Rod said...

https://futurism.com/startrocket-giant-ads-night-sky-cubesats/

an array of cubesats will create brand-sponsored new constellations

Brand-sponsored constellations!? Technobullshit ad astra!

10:05 AM  
Anonymous H. C. Spira said...

https://quillette.com/2018/12/23/heroic-guerrilla-from-revolutionary-militant-to-saint/

A fair and interesting portrait of the Cult of Che

10:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Rod-

What a horror. BTW, my Italy bk has a chapter on Futurismo. Stay tuned.

George-

Well I'll be damned. I agree that god is irrelevant.

mb

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Vic Bold said...

I was so inspired by D's talk to the nation that I had to apply his logic to those drug-toting illegal immigrants. The NRA's mantra is, "Guns don't kill people: people kill people." OK,
drugs don't kill people: drug takers kill themselves." If there's the 2nd Amendment for guns, why not one for drug possession? Further logic and we hear that illegals steal low-paying jobs from the domestic poor who cannot feed their children without state support. The last thing we want to do is to pay them a decent living wage, so why not have the domestic poor
support the illegal immigrant poor with a tax on poverty?

1:58 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Thanks, k_pgh, for sharing that information on the etymology of jagoff. Too often someone would niggardly hoard such knowledge and refuse to let others benefit from it.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

The Consumer Electronics Show 2019 (CES 2019) opened on Tuesday, 8 January, and runs through Friday, 11 January, in Las Vegas. It’s the largest US consumer electronics show, and also attracts visitors from around the world. Vendors display their wares for a public eager to see what will be on offer in the coming months. Against this backdrop, I found the following item, which concerns the application of technology in the workplace, to have a delicious irony. Title: “So you automated your coworkers out of a job.” As Postman told us, you may like tech, but tech don’t necessarily like you.

“During his first day on the job at a small 3D-modelling company, Griffith noticed that his new colleagues’ workstations were hopelessly out of date. So he took the initiative to suggest some automation upgrades to the higher-ups, who concurred. Two years later, 20 employees—some of them good friends—were out of work.”
https://gizmodo.com/so-you-automated-your-coworkers-out-of-a-job-1831584839

4:19 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Future Trumpistic Headlines:

"Civil War Breaks Out In El Paso, Texas. Trump Issues Enabling Act."

"Trump Declares National Jack Off and Beaver Diddle Day."

"Trump Shoots A Guy On 5th Ave. With Cellfone Gun."

Miles

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Buford said...

Two men pursue, shoot at women who rejected them in McDonald’s parking lot

https://wreg.com/2019/01/07/two-men-pursue-shoot-at-women-who-rejected-them-in-mcdonalds-parking-lot/

Chivalry isn't dead, It just smells funny!

5:33 PM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

Mike R. and Comrade Simba- Here are some ideas of bumper stickers that I thought of:
English!!! We are scared of foreign languages!, My children are on medication, isn´t America great?, Video games are everything! , NFL is what life is all about. Proud to be anti-intellecutal. Watch Jersey Shore, the most interesting program on Earth.
As for American women douchebags, here are some: I hate all men!!! Men are useless!!!
Kardashian wannabee. #metoo because some man looked at me.

To all Wafers: I have noticed that there is some type of hostility and negative feelings that many Americans have towards Californians. The whole country is full of idiots and scum but I would like to know what makes Californians different from the rest of the US?

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Potential addl usa-er bumper stickers/slogans:

Dead from the neck up. Cluster B is me. Honk if you're a narcopath. This car brakes for war. Make america disappear. My student loans are bigger than yours. Future debt slave aboard. No social skills and proud of it! Have no time. Can't put down my phone. My kids love screens. Care for nothing or no one. Illegals took my job. Sleep walking through life. If you can read this, you're smarter than 98.7% of usa-ers. If you can't get me money, you're dead to me. Pretend to be happy--have a nice day!

6:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Bolonga (I assume you meant Bologna)-

Sorry, too many grammatical errors, plus you sound mentally ill (no offense). Pls leave the blog, get a solid yr of high schl and perhaps 2 yrs of extensive therapy. Then come back. Gd luck!

Jas-

Title shd have added: "Good for you!"

Wafers-

Some great bumper stickers here, thank you. I think we need one to decare: NATIONAL AMERICAN DOUCHE BAG DAY (THAT'S ALL OF US!)

mb

7:20 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Perhaps we need a society based only on Shaneka Law?

9:02 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

(To the tune of Lennon and McCartney's "Baby You're a Rich Man"): (or a kava man)


How does it feel to be one of the beautiful losers?
How often have you been there?
Often enough to know.
And have you traveled very far?
Far as it takes to pee,
Into the cesspool I love.
Really, do you think it shows?

Baby, you're a douchebag, baby I'm a douchebag, baby you're a douchebag, too!
We keep all our money in a little pink bag inside a zoo.
It says "me, too!"
Oh! and, baby you're a douchebag, baby. . .

9:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Neil-

My kind of society, but it needs to be supplemented by a Lorenzo Riggins constitution.

mb

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Kneel Jung said...

MB, Esteemed Wafers,

Been a while since I’ve tapped in...

George Carlin, MB;

An old pal of mine wrote a memoir of his time spent traveling with U.G. Krishnamurti: ‘Goner; The Final Travels Of U.G. Krishnamurti’
(Louis Brawley, Non-Duality Press) Lou says that ‘goner’ was what U.G. called those who hung around him...

“Look here brother, don’t you jive me with that cosmik debris!” -FZ

KJ

10:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Neil-

"I've been to Hollywood, I've been to Redwood
I crossed the ocean for a heart of gold..."

mb

11:48 PM  

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