February 16, 2019

356

Wafers-

So I guess we're now in a state of national emergency. I myself feel energized by this, and hope that Trumpo will send in the Marines. Where, it doesn't matter. All that's important is that they arrive in one country or another, kill lots of people, divest the place of its resources, declare a victory, and leave, while The American People, with their cutting-edge intellects, cheer them on. It's like when Robert Duvall was ecstatic (in the movie Apocalypse Now) over the smell of napalm--invigorating. We are so fabulous, spreading democracy around the globe. Who couldn't love us, really?

On the Wafer front, there is much to celebrate. The 6th Annual New York Wafer Summit Meeting (6ANYWSM) is less than two months away, and NY is already astir regarding my arrival. By April 13, things will have reached fever pitch. I've gotten so many requests by non-blog participants to attend, along with promises of lavish gifts, that I've had to hire a secretary just to handle the correspondence. I told her to be polite, but she seems to want to answer these letters with lines like "You'll be allowed to attend when hell freezes over," etc. Sweet gal, tho, really.

And then there's the Italy book, just accepted for publication. My happy book, I call it. It's got 21 illustrations; I've been busy trying to obtain permission to reprint these. As for the text--modesty aside--it's some of the best writing I've ever done. I'm expecting sales so extensive, that I'll finally be able to put a down payment on that villa in Tuscany I've had my eye on for some time now. Life is good.

And so, my Wafers and Waferettes, let us continue on our merry way. Rome is burning, the trollfoons have been destroyed, and all's well with the world.

-mb

190 Comments:

Anonymous Heriberto said...

Your Happy Book! That is fantastic news. At first I thought, "A book about Italy?" and then I thought "Wow, MB's happy book?" -- as if these were a great divorce from your normal pursuits. Then it dawned on me that this is *still* a book about Rome. Yes, it's not on the downfall, bc it is set in the modern day, and it is also positive. I get the feeling like it's some great Hope for a future, after this Rome collapses, hundreds or thousands of years from now, a humble man of letters will write his happy book about America.

Re Trumpi: he's like Nero fiddling thru The End.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Her-

Possibly, but this is abt the genius of Italian creativity: Bernini, Caravaggio, et al. Who does America have? Henry Ford? Jeff Bezos? Our idea of happiness boils down to Zuckershmuck.

In any case, with this bk, readers will be able to throw away their Prozac and enter a world of unlimited joy, carrying the thing w/them wherever they go. I'm even negotiating w/the publisher to bring out an edn printed on chocolate from Perugia, so that reader can actually read the bk by eating it, and be able to say: "I devoured the text." Volare!

mb

9:30 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I keep reading comparisons between Rome's collapse and the decline of the USA, with the strong suggestion that the US is the new Rome. I keep maintaining that the US is the new Mongol Empire. As has been pointed out, Rome had a civilization, while the US had/has an ethos of acquisition, and little else (jazz being a notable exception).

I look forward to a Belmanist examination of the Mongol-US nexus.

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Article on the problem of rising levels of perfectionism among the young and some of the negative consequences of perfectionism. A dog-eat-dog social environment, parental pressure and social media likely contribute to the rise in perfectionism.

https://theconversation.com/young-people-drowning-in-a-rising-tide-of-perfectionism-110343

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Gaffield said...

Al, MB, Her:

What did America have? We made the Wafer(!), Al-Q brought up jazz (altho I'm not a fan but we certainly had other moments in other idioms of music), we had some terrific moments in cinema, moments in literature, THE CONSTITUTION, we had founding fathers of modern ecology and environmentalism like Thoreau and Muir. Might not have been a civilization of creativity ... or hardly a *civil*ization at all ... but i mean, let's not throw those babies out w/ the bathwater

MB: Eager to read the new book! Is this the surrealism study? Or is that another one to expect?

11:01 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gaff-

Yes, some gd people (Lewis Mumford etc.), but not really masters of creativity. There is no American Beethoven, or Goethe, or Picasso, or Puccini. Bk is not abt Surrealism.

mb

12:40 PM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

Hello Prof. Berman and Wafers:

I found this video that talks about the possibility of Civil War in the US. Maybe you may have seen it but here is the link.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebAQg6YG1nw

I have a question for all of you. I understand that no one knows the future but we all know where the US is going. I have been wondering about scenarios and I think we would all agree that it is best to be out of any of the 48 contiguous states. My question is, what do you imagine that will or could happen in places like Hawaii or Alaska and in Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, the Carribean nations and islands and also in places like Canada and Northern Mexico? Do you think these places will be affected and to what extent?

12:41 PM  
Blogger Janus said...

A slice of American life: I am in Los Angeles, driving to work yesterday, and happen upon an accident. A car has hit a bicyclist and his leg is badly broken, all the wrong angles. He's lying in the road.

The following happens:
- Most people drive around the scene and keep going on their way. A few neighbors stare from afar and then return to their business.
- I stop and call 911 and walk up to the man to keep him company until help arrives. One other person does the same.
- The man (likely homeless) begs us not to call anyone because they'll have him committed. Realizing this isn't possible, he asks us to hide his stuff because it'll get taken or lost.
- The woman who hit him, shaken, asks me if she should take photos of the damage to her car. She does this, but never asks the man if he's okay or says she's sorry. Never addresses him at all.
- The fire department shows up, but the police never do despite there being a precinct a few blocks away.
- The other bystander keeping him company calls the man's mother and tells her the bad news. The mother just says "Oh" in response.
- The man's bicycle is simply placed on the side of the road, and it will most likely be stolen long before he returns to the spot.
- They pack him up and take off. The end. I didn't see any evidence of a report being taken and I wasn't asked for any details.
- The other bystander and I look at each other and shrug in disbelief, and resume our journeys.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jan-

Yrs ago when living in DC I saw a video that came off a security camera in a gas stn. Some guy had been shot. He was lying on the ground, bleeding out. Another guy drove up, got out of his car, looked at the dying man, then filled his tank w/gas and drove off. This is indeed America; in fact, it's the essence of America.

"Jackie Chiles" (Johnnie Lee Cochran look-alike, played by actor Phil Morris) to Jerry Seinfeld, regarding the (nonexistent) Good Samaritan Law: "You don't hafta help *anybody*. That's what this country is all about."

mb

2:47 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The guy was fired after 15 years...

It’s not difficult to understand....when people feel they have been wronged, and have nothing left to lose.....They LOSE IT.

https://www.cbsnews.com/live-news/active-shooter-aurora-illinois-shooting-manufacturing-company-today-2019-02-15-live-updates/

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Vic Bold said...

https://www.thedailybeast.com/ann-coulter-fires-back-at-trump-the-only-national-emergency-is-that-our-president-is-an-idiot

Seems the fascist boosters are losing faith in D. Imagine such words directed toward
the prezzz of these here United States! The other day D praised her, Hannity, Limbaugh,
Ingram and this is what he got in return.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Aaron Thomas said...

I thought you might like the Technology Policy of Wyoming Catholic College:

"What exactly is our technology policy? It has three parts: (1) no televisions on campus; (2) dorm internet access limited to school email and selected websites for class (public spaces have full internet access); (3) no cell-phones or handheld devices with wireless or cellular data. Students may check their cellphones in with a prefect and check them out when travelling out of town."

It seems somebody has a brain.

https://wyomingcatholic.edu/student-life/technology-policy/

3:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Aaron-

This is terrific, altho a line abt anyone violating these rules will be beaten w/in an inch of their lives and thrown on a dung heap, wd not be out of place.

mb

6:12 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Better get to posting in case I hit the lottery and can afford to quit my slave labor job and bask in the glory of our GSWH at the Wafer summit...

Love this headline: https://www.france24.com/en/20190216-trump-era-us-europe-rift-wide-open-munich-security-talks

Trump era? Two years of shitting on the floor wherever he goes is an era? Geez... talk about american"s lack of historical perspective.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

comrade-

But ya gotta love that shit! The country can't get enuf of it.

mb

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Congrats, Dr. B, on the publisher! Hopefully you'll get permissions for all the artwork, and soon. I will definitely read it.

FerQ, I'll take a stab at your question. I believe it will be more of the same, but with the chockhold slowly, imperceptibly tightening. There's no hurry, as natural disasters and related "issues" from climate change take care of the majority (Puerto RICO).

I came across Harold Pinter's Nobel Lecture. I know nothing about his plays, but he describes it pretty well ... what to expect is then what has already happened ... Business as usual continues into the future. It's going to be a long, slow process, as Dr. B mentioned.

https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/2005/pinter/25621-harold-pinter-nobel-lecture-2005/

"The United States finally brought down the Sandinista government. It took some years and considerable resistance but relentless economic persecution and 30,000 dead finally undermined the spirit of the Nicaraguan people. They were exhausted and poverty stricken once again. The casinos moved back into the country. Free health and free education were over. Big business returned with a vengeance. ‘Democracy’ had prevailed. But this ‘policy’ was by no means restricted to Central America. It was conducted throughout the world. It was never-ending. And it is as if it never happened."

8:25 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

American Courtesans (movie on Prime about escorting) Several sex workers tell their own personal story. It's not a whitewash on the subject but wld certainly draw the ire of Hedges. I came away thinking a man seeing an escort shldnt be a sin in USA! it shld be mandatory. All the pent up rage in USA! might evaporate b4 our very eyes. Fer fucks sake 'the profession' is mostly about fantasy (let real world women get on living their freaking lives, 'we have professionals for that') the Greeks practiced sacred prostitution, maybe Americans cld do likewise by building temples but instead of Aphrodite consecrate them to goddess Hester Prynne. Wldnt hurt trying @ this point.

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

10:50 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Pharmacy Rage: Pharmacy manager one of two shot at Walgreens after dispute Seems a 60-year-old "good guy with a concealed carry permit" got into an argument with two pharmacy employees about his medications and shot both of them. The story also makes a big deal about the manager (who was young a cute--the only one whose photo was used) and treats the other employee (who ended up in critical condition) as if they are practically non-existent.

Handicapped Parking Space Rage: Man points gun at Disney guests in fight for disabled parking space at Animal Kingdom. This time it was a 70-year-old "good guy with a concealed carry permit."

When the American sickcare system meets the American capacity for cruelty, the real horror ensues: Patient at Ohio nursing home 'literally rotted to death.' "The patient...reportedly developed a number of serious wounds in February 2017. According to the indictments, nurses failed to take the necessary medical steps to stop the onset of gangrene, sepsis and necrosis. The patient died on March 5 from septic shock." On a personal note, I developed a bed sore during the lengthy hospital stay after my cancer surgery.
They are absolutely fucking horrible. There is no place in hell hot enough for anyone who would allow this sort of thing to happen.

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

MB & Wafers, As always, love the discussions here, and all the links!

@Puss - thanks for linking to Pinter's speech again. I hadn't gotten to it last time. His enumeration of the crimes of the US is the best, most concise that I've seen. However, even he still has some hope that people in the US will wake up to the monstrosity that is the US:

"Many thousands, if not millions, of people in the United States itself are demonstrably sickened, shamed and angered by their government’s actions, but as things stand they are not a coherent political force – yet. But the anxiety, uncertainty and fear which we can see growing daily in the United States is unlikely to diminish."

Methinks there are only about 197 (Wafers, of course - do I have that number right?) in the US who are actually aware.

@Bill - My 97 yr old Aunt, whose health is failing, is in the hospital and has all of a sudden become loopy. In our sickcare system, they just automatically drug the oldsters, keeps them quiet and pliable. I hope to avoid all doctors at all costs, forever. They killed my mother with their excess drugs.

1:48 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

MB,

I am reading Dark Mountain's "Walking on Lava" ATM, and in it, there's an interview with author of "My name is Chellis and I am in recovery from Western Civilization" Chellis Glendinning. Turns out, she left the US to move to Bolivia. Here's an extract:

"I also decided to move here because of the level of technology.[...] Bolivia had the occasional donkey on the avenue, campesinos in from the campo in their traditional hand woven ponchos, adobe hornos/ovens in the yard for making bread [...]. Café life was highlighted by vibrant political discussion and artistic creativity. I wanted this in my life! And rightly speaking. I could see that one visit a year was not going to cut it; I had to live in Bolivia".

Pretty Waferish to me!

3:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

In the small town that I live (part-time), guys with burros occasionally walk down the street (they are selling bags of soil, or small rugs), and up the street there's a man who raises bulls. One day I was out for a walk and came across a small herd of bulls, by accident. I could have turned back--their horns were sharp--but decided to walk thru the herd. Which I did, slowly, and breathing very carefully. A couple of them eyed me, but that was it. All of this made me think: well, you don't get this in Mexico City. Even so, I live part-time in Mex City, and find it both vibrant and relaxing, altho it's sin toros.

Italiana-

167. Pinter, most Brits, and most Europeans I've talked to, believe there's this big gulf between The American People and the US Gov't. Progs, of course, believe the same thing. And yet, over time, those wonderful people support our wars, our political system, and our American Way of Life. And over time, things get worse. Gee, I wonder why?

mb

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

@ Italiana -- Almost 50% of registered voters didn't bother to vote in the last Presidential election. Why? My guess is they've given up all hope that voting influences government policies at all. And they're right too -- there's virtually no proof it does. Obama "promised" we would be able to get medications from Canada then immediately reneged once in office.

@ Bill Hicks -- Hospital care is truly appalling & every sane person should be alarmed if they are hospitalized and get out as quickly as possible. I've been a nurse for over 40 years and this is what I've seen -- high turnover in staff due to increased pt/staff ratio (where I work part-time, it was once again raised to 11 pts/1 nurse and 2 nurses shared 1 nurse's aide) so if you have one or two pts that need a lot of care the others are virtually neglected. The staff itself is poorly trained & given no incentives at all to improve. I wanted to teach the nurse's aides how to manually take blood pressures & pulses & why it was important to do this & the director of nursing said no. The machine was faster. Bottom line is all that counts and an honest mission statement would read MONEY TALKS.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Vigo said...

Watch "Noam Chomsky on Steven Pinker"
https://youtu.be/srRfPfDeR2A

"He did serious work on experimental psychology, an intelligent person, he's a friend, but I frankly don't think much of his recent books."

"...What does progress even mean?"

11:04 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Susan-

He reneged on more than just that. There's actually a long list.

mb

11:11 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Bernini is one of my favorite people in history. What spirit resided in that soul. This episode of Civilisation discusses many of his works.

Grandeur and Obedience

Interesting comparison to the Mongols, Al-Q. The fascinating thing with Rome is that it did have a kind of change of heart. Early Roman history is completely devoid of higher art, though instead of hustling you get a kind civic religion of republican virtue.

But when that went away in the late republic/empire, at least some Romans recognized they needed to import the Greeks and their culture if Rome was to mean anything at all.

My favorite Cicero speech is the Pro Archia . He basically argues that citizenship is secondary to virtue, and the Greek poet Archias is an excellent man of culture, so who cares if he is a citizen? Could you imagine presenting that argument in a court today?

As far as my favorite god/goddess, it's hard to not choose Apollo and Artemis as a brother sister team. The Delphic oracle is fascinating, especially because Apollo always ruins his own prophetic vessels (Cassandra).

12:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

Bernini = ch. 1 of my Italy bk.

As for Cicero, what abt "In Catilinam"? How long, O Catiline, will you test our patience? To what lengths wilt thou unbridled boldness go? Is it not enuf...

We cd probably say that abt most US politicians today, no?

mb

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Cormorant said...

The catchup with MB continues:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/10/james-madison-mob-rule/568351/?fbclid=IwAR0ZOdArvxWyxvV5dsWW7dzGEiSsk20n8L3svWC7xfVBoybFkv7SCxQPW9g

What this really means, thoug, is that there's a "market" for articles like this: hence the sudden change in tune from extablisment historians that were poo-pooing MB a few years ago. Maybe you'll be able to get that villa in Ravello after all! However, I think they realise the US is going down the pan and they're trying to pin the whole thing on Trump.

On the subject of how non-Americans view citizens of the Empire: One thing I noticed years ago is that when two Americans meet from different parts of the Empire, they immediately bond via TV and Movie shows. They kind of talk in a strange shorthand made up of catch phrases and references characters of some show they watched. in other words, they grew up in some shared hyperreality created by media that they call "The USA".It's bizarre to watch.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Gaffield said...

Dio, MB, Al, Her:

"Yes, some gd people (Lewis Mumford etc.), but not really masters of creativity. There is no American Beethoven, or Goethe, or Picasso, or Puccini. "

I don't follow, sir. Did any of these generative civilizations that produced such eminent artists [Above: Italy, Spain, Germany] produce them within the first <300 years of existing? These cultures have park benches older than this country!

Is this not a question of timescale?

1:59 PM  
Blogger Vaquero Supreme said...

@MB and @Kanye: Spouse and I have been exploring México for two consecutive years. We are seriously considering the escape. Among the places of "inner México" we've visited Cuetzalán del Progreso has made a strong impression. What a beautiful, peaceful pueblo. Mineral de Pozos is also quite charming, although I sense that it is being destroyed by the popularity of Santa Brigida and the Haciendas de Los Cinco Señores: I see signs of gentrification--properties being scarfed up by foreigners. Guanajuato is another cool city, but getting too big for its own good, perhaps.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Vaq-

Guanajuato is rapidly getting gringified, on its way to becoming another San Miguel. The horror, the horror!

Gaff-

They didn't exist as countries until quite late, actually. Wasn't it Metternich who referred to 'Italy' as "not a country but a geographic expression"? Also, after 200 yrs or so the US is not showing signs of incipient creativity but of full-blown decadence. We never had a Beethoven and we never will. American and European values/priorities have always been v. different; hardly a question of time scale, I don't think. How the heck can you produce a Beethoven when all you care abt is making money and expanding yr empire? Walt Whitman (no Shakespeare, he) has poems that are embarrassing: paeans of praise to the steam engine and industrialization, fierce proponent of the US war on Mexico, etc.

Cor-

This awakening to my ideas does not include awakening to me, i.e. to my work, so I think the villa in Toscana remains in my far distant future. I also hafta add that much of this awakening is fueled by a kind of intellectual hustling or opportunism: the desire to be on the 'rt' side of history, to have said it all along, so to speak. And of course, to cash in on it. We see Hedges, for example, slowly sliding into a declinist position from a progressive one, as his predicted proletarian revolution isn't quite panning out. Let's just see the way the wind is blowing, and then we'll opt for that, is the idea here.

mb

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

In the last post, Wafers reported on the demise/scaling back of California's high-speed rail project. It's not really a surprise, considering "The Car Culture" discussion in Chapter 7 of your book "Dark Ages America," pages 250-257.

Yesterday, I rode Amtrak's "Ersatz" high-speed rail to New York City- "The Keystone Express." It takes about 3 hours to travel 180 miles, which is only a 60 mph average. The train has to do 110-125 mph between its station stops to maintain this modest average speed. Along the route, you get to see the ruins of industrial America.

Our destination was the Metropolitan Opera, and Mozart's "Don Giovanni." Wafers might want to check out the MET Opera in April during their visit. The best seats for sound (and the least expensive) are at the top of the "Family Circle." (Take your opera glasses.) If you've never attended an opera, it's worth doing at least once.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Vic Bold said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YB6O7jS_VBM (4.5 mins)

Does this suggest life in Late Capitalism ruled by the corporations? One
sees parasitism and brain control and the inspiration for brand-name
recognition propaganda. From insects we have much to learn.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Well, it turns out that a new spring opera will be opening at the Metropolitan Opera during the 6th Wafer Summit Meeting: "Don Bermanni." All of Manhattan is abuzz, as money for tickets to this once-in-a-lifetime play is starting to pour in w/a ferocity that is stupefying. The Russian Tea Room is said to be preparing vats of Borscht and platters of Dushbara for the event. Mayor Bill de Blasio is on record stating: "Maurizio Bermanni will have nothing short of the best of everything during his stay in New York. Look, if Maurizio wants Valrhona chocolate pearls from France, we will provide them; if he wants a Cartier love bracelet for a special fan, one will be given to him; if he wants the Three Wise Men flown in from Jerusalem, he gets it! NO questions will asked, and no request denied."

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Birney--we took Amdreck to go from the Central Coast, CA to Los Angeles. @100miles. It took abt 4 hours b/c the tracks are owned by Union Pacific, and of course, the corporations have the right of way.

usa, usa.

The service was deplorable too. Old trains, shitty seats, crap food, and rude employees. Many regular passengers said this was normal and to be expected.

Perhaps, usa-ers have not heard of SBB, SNCF, TGV, Shinkansen, etc..(not 'perfect,' however, nothing like the us empire's train "service.")

5:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

I always did like Bill...

mb

6:37 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Every so often I enjoy listening to the perspective of the far Right or far Left – it’s weirdly entertaining. Yesterday I listened to an interview with a Robert David (Trump is brilliant) Steele. The cognitive dissonance was staggering.

Here are some highlights:

We have an entire generation that has never learned how to think: “Trump will ultimately have to become the great educator. “ Lord, take me now.

“The Great Depression was contrived by the banks with the collaboration of then Democratic president Franklin Delano Roosevelt.” The fact that the Depression started in 1929 and FDR became president in 1933 seems to have escaped this highly educated thinker.

“My bottom line is that Donald Trump has done a fantastic job of dealing with the 1%.” Huh? Trump, like Obama before him, put Goldman Sachs in charge of our economy.

“70% of the intelligence services should be burned to the ground and the other 30% consolidated under Gina Haspel.” Yes, torture is good.

I had to ask myself if this guy is a total idiot or part of the on-going dumb ‘em down, divide and conquer strategy. The interview can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOu4TpvydUI

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Sunlight said...

That people aren't bothered by all the way too harsh institutionalized injustice benefiting the ruling class mafias and can't see through the lies and propaganda amazes me - zero curiosity or reasoning ability (by design). They believe in anything the corp state wants them to believe like clones even when they lose their home etc., and life gets harsher and harsher, as Morris B. mentions their mediocre minds are mush and a big big problem. Let alone the gifted and honest punished by corrupt and criminal systems.

The factory farmed inhumane mental prisons of self-imposed freedom from cognitive dissonance. Spin shouldn't work but people suck.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sunlight-

Yr rt, but next time try to provide some evidence for yr views--a link, at least, not of sausage. As someone once said, Opinions are like belly buttons (actually, he said assholes); everyone has one. Plus, demonstrating that Americans are basically a collection of clueless buffoons shdn't be too problematic. Thanks!

mb

10:49 PM  
Blogger Janet D said...

@FerQ...if the U.S. goes down hard, I expect China to annex Hawaii...little group of islands, long way from the U.S. If we can't defend it, it may be Easy Pickins.

Canada? All of Canada has roughly the same # of people as the state of California. They'll have hardships (resource-intensive economy), but they still have lots of land for not a lot of people.

The coming Dark Age will probably be dark everywhere....but not every population is as effing idiotic, rash & violent as the U.S, with as easy access to so many guns. I am trying to pick a place where people already rely on each other, work cooperatively & where living simply is already the norm (not so far to fall when the economy falls). But, in reality, in any Dark Age, it's all kind of a crap shoot.

12:44 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

You can't make that stuff up dpt:
https://www.rt.com/business/451417-amazon-pays-negative-tax-loopholes/

New Yorkers managed to KO Bezos though!
https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/2/14/18225003/amazon-hq2-new-york-pulling-out

Kanye

3:02 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

MB & Wafers,

Interesting video in Strategic Culture on the similarities between Milgram's experiments in 1961, where test subjects were asked to administer electric shocks to unseen folks, up to and including possibly lethal doses, and most of them willingly did so, and the cultural conditioning of the TSA's security theater (scanning machines, intrusive patdowns, etc). Makes the point that the goal of TSA was never to make us safer (probably no safer now than before), but to condition the populace to accept, quietly, all manner of formerly unconstitutional insults. Bunch of sheep. But if you want to fly in the US, not much choice in the matter.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/02/16/tsa-and-other-experiments-in-evil.html

Yet another reason to live somewhere else.

3:05 AM  
Anonymous Cormorant said...

MB, re: comments about the US "intellectual" class : Indeed. Decrying the the decline seems to be the latest growth industry: Americans would make a buck out of anything, even their own demise: Here's another product. It really seems to be taking off:

http://time.com/magazine/us/5280431/may-28th-2018-vol-191-no-20-u-s/?utm_medium=socialflowfb&utm_campaign=time&xid=time_socialflow_facebook&utm_source=facebook.com&fbclid=IwAR25JcdIrlOgDC5MYQ_OBfG1VMVK-0hGoozY6g9LAa1Ze7Q6nHqyM-nG6uc

6:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cor-

True, but I bet the key to the author's success is that the book ends on an optimistic note, that all of this can be reversed. And in America, it's always the Disney Version that sells. But in the course of time, I think yr rt: the publishing industry will make a mint off of authors (not me, sad to say; I was way too early w/the bad news) trumpeting our demise. I foresee demise T-shirts, coffee mugs, and key chains, with demise authors making the circuit of the chat shows. Perhaps even a line of pasta sauces. We'll have the Rolling Stones issue of Declinism, and a new Declinist dance, a kind of reverse-Charleston. Bumper stickers with the American flag printed upside down. Etc. Wait and see.

Regarding yr earlier comment on Americans meeting and talking a kind of TV language: it's kind of amazing, in its own way, that human beings can be reduced to simulacra w/o even knowing it. I've talked abt this b4, overhearing the conversation of gringos in Mexico; all one can do is groan. It's not merely that Americans are stupid, narcissistic, and violent; even beyond that, they are incoherent. They talk in clichés, utter fragments of a degraded culture, and so are themselves degraded--little more than cartoon characters, really. Kitsch People, you might call them. Perhaps we shall eventually have T-shirts that say, "I Am a Kitsch Person." Or perhaps for the more hip, "I am an unconscious, degraded simulacrum." Talk abt a growth industry, eh? Wafers are encouraged to come up with similar T-shirt slogans:

I AM AN INCOHERENT AMERICAN BUFFOON

AMERICA IS FINISHED, AND SO AM I

and so on.

mb

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anita said...

Is perception a controlled hallucination? In this debate, Andy Clark, a philosopher at the University of Sussex, argues that what we expect or believe shapes what we see...

https://iai.tv/video/making-sense-of-reality

7:44 AM  
Anonymous Mathieu said...

Speaking of Italy, it's the anniversary of Giordano Bruno being burned @ the stake

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/17/italy-hero-martyr-giordano-bruno-heresy

Can a 16th-century martyr help to save Italy from rightwing populism?

8:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cor-

Impt blog rule: only 1 post every 24 hrs. Pls wait the time out and re-send. Thank you.

mb

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

I think the author of that Time article is missing a few other screws. He first states that there is "no conspiracy" and then describes ... a conspiracy.

Here's an article on "human safaris", organized trips to view indigenous peoples who don't want to be viewed:

https://thewalrus.ca/where-not-to-travel-in-2019-or-ever/

Regarding religious zealot Chau being killed by indigenous peoples on Sentinel Island: "I feel more of a sense of kinship with the person on Twitter who suggested this fix for the Times headline: “Remote Community Faces Biological Terror Threat From U.S. Religious Extremist Killed by Local Authorities.”"

9:46 AM  
Blogger David said...

Many years ago spent a few weeks in Tuscany where I tasted real tomatoes,fresh bread and home made pasta. I wondered at the time why American food was so bad. Heavy sauces and gobs of cheese to mask the poorly prepared food. How could short order cooks who graduated from truck driving in a fortnight cook well? Henry Miller complained about the bread when he returned home from Paris in 1940 and I still can't find a decent bakery in my neighborhood of LA.

10:48 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Some of you might like to listen to Caitlin Johnstone, an independent Australian journalist, on Julian Assange and Wikileaks. She is of the opinion that the truth will set you free, too bad most people who are dominated by societal myths (such as the American Dream) will not hear the truth regardless of how often they hear it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbgL8PO42K4

Dr. Tad Patzek on Collapse Chronicles "There Are Way Too Many of Us, and Each One of Us Wants to Have More" who deals with much that Wafers can relate to.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tIe0-GsCII

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

MB and Wafers: Yesterday I had supper with friends who had just returned from a week on the Civil Rights Trail. (https://civilrightstrail.com) They told me about their conversations with tour guides and museum operators on the trail. Many said that at first they were reluctant to be listed as a destination. But when they learned of the profits to be made, they rushed to be included. The PR campaign, which is international, suggests that virtue is a marketable commodity.
http://www.quotidiendutourisme.com/destination/usa-martin-luther-king-day-parcours-touristique-inaugure-dans-etats-sud/160122

America truly is the land of the bottomless hustle.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Nathaniel said...

"Labour has become 'institutionally anti-Semitic'.

'I am leaving behind a culture of bullying, bigotry and intimidation'”

- Luciana Berger announces a split of seven MPs from the Labour Party

Take a bow AOC!:

"It was an honor to share such a lovely and wide-reaching conversation with you, jeremy corbyn!

Also honored to share a great hope in the peace, prosperity, + justice that everyday people can create when we uplift one another across class, race, + identity both at home & abroad."

- Alexandria Ocasio Cortez


Corbyn is increasingly creeping me out. AOC is super entertaining, but is creepy too

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Isaiah said...

https://www.axios.com/happy-presidents-day-history-is-hard-8dbed5a2-07f6-43f4-bfab-0836597bfba8.html

Happy Presidents Day! History is hard

A majority of Americans in every state except Vermont would fail a test based on the questions in the U.S. citizenship test, according to a survey by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Chuck said...

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/13/books/review-how-to-hide-empire-daniel-immerwahr.html

Completely agree with this review--this is a terrific book, written with real zest by a writer with an eye for ironic detail: (Also, the review itself does a terrific job of summing up a complex book.)

12:26 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

Podcast Recommendation - The End of the World with Josh Clark - based on the work of Swedish philosopher @ Oxford University Nick Bostrom. Dire warnings all 'round fascinating nevertheless. If the species can survive what one episode calls the Great Filter, humans may have a very bright future - Jefferson's perfectibility of man, scientifically speaking we have just only opened our eyes, give us 100,000 yrs.

podcast - https://www.iheart.com/podcast/105-the-end-of-the-world-with-30006093/

Bostrum - https://www.bing.com/search?q=nick+bostrom&form=EDGEAR&qs=LS&cvid=8f20c816538e4fac94643a35a125a6bc&cc=US&setlang=en-US


3:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons.

Isaiah-

And a lg % of Vermonters want to secede! Gd idea!

Pete-

Americans wd hustle a non-hustling campaign and think nothing of it.

David-

I had the same reaction when I returned from Italy 1.5 yrs ago. Did not, however, put a chapter in my Italy bk on food. Perhaps every copy shd come with a slice of pizza.

mb

6:00 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Under the heading “We know how to deal with refractory youth,” this story from Lakeland, Florida.

An 11-year-old was arrested after refusing to stand for the national anthem. His refusal angered the substitute teacher, who was not aware there was no requirement that children stand for the anthem, and things got ugly. Cops were summoned.
https://www.theledger.com/news/20190215/lakeland-11-year-old-arrested-for-confrontation-after-refusal-to-stand-for-pledge

A Kansas legislator has proposed a bill that would require all phones and computers sold in Kansas to include a filter that would block pornographic sites. Payment of a $20 fee, plus any charge the vendor might apply himself, would remove the filter.

[Rumors of a parallel bill that would prohibit individuals from touching themselves in a pleasurable way could not be confirmed.]

https://www.cjonline.com/news/20190213/house-bill-requires-pornography-filter-on-all-phones-computers-purchased-in-kansas

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B & Mike:

Amtrak is fairly reliable in the DC-Boston "Northeast Corridor," where it owns the tracks. There are problems, however, such as the twin Hudson River tunnels, which were damaged by being immersed in saltwater from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. There is a dispute on-going about where funds will come from to repair or replace the tunnels.

Here's a short article from 2013 illustrating the insignificance of public transportation in the USA. You will note that only 5% of commuters used public transportation while over 75% drove alone. The hyper-individualism of the average American probably plays a part in this, I would suppose...

https://www.energy.gov/eere/vehicles/fact-865-march-23-2015-over-three-fourths-all-commuters-drove-work-alone-2013

6:28 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

I’m not a religious nut, or religious at all....I, like most of you, just read everything....and I thought this was interesting....from Revelation 17:16...

“The Anti-Christ uses violence and false signs so that people will worship him.”


Sound familiar?

6:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn-

They call it the BOSNYWASH corridor, I think. On the 5% figure, check out DAA, ch. 7.

mb

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Tobias Rüger said...

https://www.wired.com/story/italy-five-star-movement-techno-utopians/

The present is wild.

What Happens When Techno-Utopians Actually Run a Country

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Will Diaz said...

Mothers and Others: A Feminist Perspective on Human Social Evolution http://peterturchin.com/cliodynamica/a-feminist-perspective-on-human-social-evolution/

Looks interesting. Interesting debate. IMO Turchin was more right than Graeber & Wengrow in his initial article (re: monumentality), but Graeber & Wengrow are more right than Power (re: hunter-gatherer inequality), but Turchin endorses Power on that point here. Glad I can disagree with everyone :-)

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

https://abc7ny.com/angry-woman-wanting-beef-patties-smashes-restaurant-windows/5129226/

She cursed out the employees for the lack of beef patties and left. 5 min later, she returned...w/a baseball bat.

If the woman just waited abt 10 more min, the beef patty would've been available said the restaurant's owner.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Pete & MB -- "You know what Bill's doing? He's going for that anti-marketing dollar."

Hustling wildfire victims: Tiny Homes For Homeless Get The Go-Ahead In The Wake of California's Worst Wildfire. Here's a American whose head is so far up his ass that he calls giving homeless wildfire survivors glorified dog houses to live in AND charging them rent is some great act of charity. The ultimate kicker is that the doghouse community is being called Simplicity Village--which sounds like it would be a great idea if wasn't merely a miniaturized version of the same old ugly suburbia.

Another political story you couldn't make up if you tried: Kamala Harris's own father thinks she's a colossal hustling douchebaguette. “My dear departed grandmothers..., as well as my deceased parents, must be turning in their grave right now to see their family’s name, reputation and proud Jamaican identity being connected, in any way, jokingly or not with the fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker and in the pursuit of identity politics. Speaking for myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to categorically dissociate ourselves from this travesty.”

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Twix said...

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/430442-japanese-leader-doesnt-deny-nominating-trump-for-nobel-peace-prize

Japanese leader doesn't deny nominating Trump for Nobel Peace Prize

SAD!

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Since the Parkland shooting there have been 350 mass shootings, almost one mass shooting per day in America. Since 2013, there has been only one full calendar week without a mass shooting.

https://www.vox.com/2019/2/14/18223613/parkland-mass-shootings-gun-violence-map-charts-data

5:47 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

MB & Wafers,

I have used the BOSNYWASH corridor trains many times - from DC to NY periodically, and lately BOS to NY at least monthly. The trains in the US are without a doubt stuck in the 50's - they are SOOO slow out of Penn Station through CT - only speed up after Providence. Almost always late. We had the good fortune of traveling on Swiss trains from Lugano to Lausanne last week - what a joy to ride on trains that are on time, clean, functioning properly! While the trains in Italy are not quite as nice as Switzerland, they are generally on time and very functional. We use them often. Both systems are far superior to the US.

On a related note, we are in the midst of applying for an apartment in Lugano, we go back to Boston next week, clean up the house, pack out at end of March, sell the condo in early April, go on a road trip to visit relatives and friends (in the NY area!! I'm available for the Wafer Summit!), then back to Italy/Switzerland by the end of April. The escape plan is moving right along!! Can't wait!

8:39 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Here is an article that if true could result in a few of the lesser culprits getting some prison time - certainly not the Clintons - though I would not mind seeing the Clintons spend at least some time in prison.

https://www.blacklistednews.com/article/71110/former-cia-officer-exposes-clinton-charity-fraud-as-biggest-scandal-in-us.html

10:02 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Italiana-

Congrats on getting out. I'm also happy to learn that you'll be at the Wafer Summit, which will be the most impt mtg in the history of the world.

Twix-

Abe is a shmuck. Check out my Japan bk.

mb

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Fay Musselwhite said...

https://simonamaggiorelli.com/2014/02/15/giacometti-versus-bernini/

Dio/MB : I too love Bernini! My favorite sculptors are Giacometti, Bernini, and Richard Lippold.

This article is a fun little comparison of Bernini and Giacometti. Bernini's objects feel like they come from a daydream; Giacometti's a nocturnal one or nightmare; Lippold's are like celestial events.

I hope your book is out with a quickness, MB!



10:45 AM  
Blogger David said...

MB, Italiana
I once toyed with the idea of taking a train from LA to visit my relatives in Seattle. When I found out it would be a 31 hour journey of tedium, pablum and barely edible food I opted for the friendly skies. Two hours in a sardine can was more tolerable.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

@Gunnar, a technical question. What do you need to listen to the podcasts? I tried on my browser (chrome) and it did not work. Any particular plug-in required?

Thanks in advance.

Prasen

12:16 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@MB

"In Catalinam" is the greatest use of hyperbole ever, no doubt. At least Roman political theater was actually worthwhile as theater.

The "Pro Archia", though, has something really anti-American- an impassioned defense of the value of the arts in an *immigration* trial. I don't think an American attorney has ever stopped to consider the value of art outside of its copyright value.

We are going to build a nice huge roster of businesscretins and attorneys for 2020.Everybody else is essentially a half citizen. Americans would never choose a scientist or educator to represent them - the range of acceptability in the world are defined by those grabbing cash and those suing for it.

BTW, in the early 20th century becoming an attorney was like getting a certification. You just had to sit for the bar. Now it's like initiation into a cult of aggressive morons.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Ethical Blogger said...

Nomi Prins: Great article by Matt Taibbi on Bernie's bid for the White House and analysis of the Democratic field and other media responses. Fact that Bernie raised over $1 million from all 50 states in first 3.5 hours since his announcement speaks volumes.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/bernie-2020-president-786842/amp/?

Bernie's back. He seems like a nice bloke, I mean, I could eat dinner with him. But he can't win, can he?

12:41 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Dr. Berman,

I've been meaning to ask you about two things. One, I'm interested in your view that the Iron Curtain idea and the whole "Communist attempt at world domination" was completely overblown. I obviously respect your opinion and I'm certainly open to this interpretation. But most of my reading has been in the other camp. Kissinger, Mccullough, the traditional 20th century histories, etc. Are there any other historians you would recommend who are more in line with your view?

Also, while I've read various economists (Ha Joon Chang is my favorite. Though even the errors of Hayek have taught me something.) I still dont get the significance of Nixon turning his back on the gold standard for the floating exchange rate. (I might be using the wrong terms. I'm ignorant about this but want to remedy it!) I suppose I need to learn more about Bretton Woods to grasp the significance of this. Any authors you'd recommend, or is there a succinct explanation of this somewhere? I know this is important for your take on Amerixan decline, so I'd like to get what it is about.

2:11 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,


@ Italiana-I plan to take the Acela (?)train run from DC to NYC for The Summit in April. Any suggestions or comments on that mode? I am thinking that the 12am -3am departure time from DC is a good idea...I know virtually nothing about the eastern coast US. But I do have long time compadres in DC whom will host me and a small dog at no charge...and a long time buddy in Manhattan as well. Any suggestions would help.

@ Aaron Thomas-Lander is a small town, 140 miles away from where I live and not similar in many ways. Two neighborhood couples are of the papist persuasion; I never have conversation with them because they are not friendly. Their kids all moved away decades ago to the west and mid west coasts. But I think the Catholic College has that tech thing figured out correctly...

Great posts; thanks Wafers.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Chris Hedges has a pretty good article here:

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/02/18/worshipping-electronic-image

"Those who seek to communicate outside of digital structures to question or challenge the dominant narrative, to deal in ambiguity and nuance, to have discussions rooted in verifiable fact and historical context, are becoming incomprehensible to most of modern society. As soon as they employ a language that is not grounded in the dominant clichés and stereotypes, they are not understood."

I know Hedges gets short shrift around here because he often preaches revolution, but the comments that follow his article are critical of him because he offers no solutions. He's eerily Waferish in that respect.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

What planet does this guy live on??

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/feb/19/bernie-sanders-announces-2020-run-presidency

4:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al-

Once again, I said similar stuff in the Twilight bk, drew on Neil Postman, etc. But this article is well-written and draws it all together in one place. As for solutions, there are none. All we can expect is an increasingly incoherent populace, and the increasing awareness among Wafers that they have no one to talk to. Hedges may 'borrow' other people's work and preach revolution, but he is among the dwindling literate few. We can at least give him that.

I sometimes wonder whom the New Yorker (to take just one highbrow example) thinks it's talking to. Titles of its essays often echo literary or mythological references, which I can get because I'm old, and part of the coherent generation. E.g., "Reader, I married him"--from Jane Eyre; "Light from yonder window"--from Shakespeare; "What mad pursuit"--Keats. Etc.

Megan-

Succinct explanation of Bretton Woods may be found in DAA. Check out the bk also for stuff on the Cold War--nutjobs like Paul Nitze and nsc-68, for example--altho that wasn't my specific focus. A gd place to start regarding the CW is this:

https://www.amazon.com/Devil-We-Knew-Americans-Cold/dp/0195093771/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=the+devil+we+knew&qid=1550611522&s=books&sr=1-1-fkmrnull

Work by Walter LeFeber is also relevant. He once calculated that the CW cost us $8 trillion in 1967 dollars. In any case, there is a huge lit on the CW as a con game, but I can't remember the titles. Search on Google or Amazon. Also be aware that with the collapse of the USSR, their archives (including those of the KGB) were open to American historians for a few short yrs, with serious revelations that we never really understood the enemy. (Check out George Kennan, post-long telegram.) Just one example: Russia's real fear in the postwar era wasn't America; it was Germany, and the possibility of reunification. The whole satellite system of Eastern Europe was abt protecting its borders, much more than simple aggression (tho that did exist, of course). There is also stuff on the CW as an excuse for developing the military-industrial complex.

You need also to understand that the US has always existed with a large spiritual vacuum at its center, with a terrible need to fill it rather than introspect. I talk abt this in QOV. The US doesn't function well without an external enemy, real or imagined. Hence after the defeat of the Axis, the "Russkies" stepped in to fill the gap, and after Russia collapsed, we floated in no-man's land until 9/11, when we decided to purify the world of all evil, esp. of the Islamic variety. Besides my own work, the following is a gd study of this syndrome:

https://www.amazon.com/Werewolf-Complex-Americas-Fascination-Violence/dp/1859731511/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=the+werewolf+complex&qid=1550612543&s=books&sr=1-6

I also enjoy the novels of John LeCarre, starting with "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold." He demonstrates that at the level of spydom, there was no ideology involved; it was just technique, a kind of chess game. LeCarre actually contemplated defecting to the USSR at one pt.

Vic-

Don't refer to me.

Ethical-

No.

mb

4:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

I'm waiting for Botox Face to do the same thing. Then we can just rerun the last election. Meanwhile, what is Tulsi up to? Now there's a challenge!

mb

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Cormorant said...

MB:

Re: the mantatory note of optimism in modern American social commentary 'product': Right on cue, Brill ends his piece with the following:
"The new achievers are doing what they do not because they are gluttons for frustration, but because they believe that America can be put back on the right course. They are laying the groundwork for the feeling of disgust to be channeled into a restoration."

I suppose there always has to be the ending where the victorious are lifted into the land of glory. Cue end credits.Then we can go for a burger.

@ Fay:

Giacometti's great but really dark. I love the story about him starting out with life size sculptures but when trying to get at the essence of the subject, he kept paring it down until the sculpture crumbled in his hands. Apparently his sculptures of women are always standing straight on, often in a row the way prostitutes would line up before the client at parisian bothels (see also Manet's Olympia and Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon) His sculptures of men are always in a walking pose.

But his portraits are amazing. One of the greatest potraitists of the 20th century IMO.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Harvey said...

Ethical, MB -

Re: Election predictive data:

If you’re not splitting calf livers to see who the gods favor, you’re not really forecasting in any meaningful sense

5:42 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Borowitz strikes again:

https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/dukakis-announces-2020-bid-everyone-else-is

Intriguing article about a Santa Fe spy conference hosted by Valerie Plame. Remember her?:

https://medium.com/s/reasonable-doubt/heres-what-happened-at-valerie-plame-s-spy-convention-cc58aab9435d

Miles

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Mean Gene-

In case Italiana doesn't see your post, here's the latest 4-page Amtrak DC-New York timetable link-

https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/projects/dotcom/english/public/documents/timetables/Northeast-Schedule-W02-111218.pdf

There's no Acela Express in the wee hours, but there's a Northeast Regional train leaving DC at 3:15 a.m. and arriving at New York City at 6:40 a.m. seven days a week. The Acela has larger windows and makes less stops, but the Northeast Regional is less expensive. Go to Amtrak.com to make a reservation; you can print your ticket at home or display it on a "smart" phone screen for the conductor to scan.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Duck1 said...

Speaking of cold wars, here is a recent hottie over at Atrios blog:
I’m not usually the vindictive type, but, if we ever get a legitimate president again, I really hope they (I’m done with “he or she,” they is a perfectly reasonable non-gendered pronoun that can be singular if we say it can) devote some time and resources to punishing Putin for this shit. They’re going to have to pay, dearly, for this. There’s no “world peace” as long as he’s there. He’s an utterly malignant actor who has directly attacked us. If that makes me a born again Cold Warrior, then, fine. This idiotic daydream that Russia is anything but a criminal organization running a country has to go. Harrumph and stuff.
Nucular war punishing enuf?

7:32 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

@ Ordinary, try this link shld work. I listen with a podcast app called PocketCast, program can also be found on iHeart radio app/website.

https://www.theendwithjosh.com

USA! USA!...oops wrong crowd - no love for VP Pence in Munich

https://youtu.be/k563jOUybkU

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Yoogoogyoolator said...

Hurry Wafers,
Fountain of youth back on sale:

https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/2920764002

9:24 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

In today's "news," lotsa gunplay and one hugely racist idiot:

Five bystanders shot during police shootout in New Orleans. I'm so glad these thugs in blue are around to keep us "safe."

Former NFL player gunned down over parking dispute. The player wasn't entirely innocent in this--apparently he and the other douchebag agreed to meet each other in person to "settle" their dispute.

Father spinning gun on finger accidentally shoots self at daughter's birthday party. This douchebag wasn't even arrested.

Alabama newspaper editor calls for Klan return to 'clean out D.C.' 'When asked if he felt it was appropriate for the publisher of a newspaper to call for the lynching of Americans, Sutton doubled down on his position. "... It's not calling for the lynchings of Americans. These are socialist-communists we're talking about. Do you know what socialism and communism is?" Sutton said.' Somehow, I'll bet this douchebag wouldn't know a socialist if Eugene Debs himself were resurrected and standing right in front of him.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous cinque_minuti said...

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190218-are-we-on-the-road-to-civilisation-collapse

Hmmmm....

11:29 PM  
Anonymous SilivonValleyBurnout said...

Have been absent for awhile, not sure if this was discussed, but this clip by Norm Macdonald "apologizing" for his contravertial comments is so so next level.... He is trolling the whole time, talking way over the heads of the people in the room that they can't tell that his bad comment, worse apology, and reentering the graces of the PC crowd is orchestrated by him like a guy playing a flute.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eH7QgHs3ZrE

He's a way under-appreciated comedian

12:38 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Perhaps the ultimate hustle
https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/02/18/how-failing-capitalist-system-allowing-amazon-cripple-america#

12:47 AM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

Here is a real American hero. Ex-Philly Detective rapes suspects and witnesses, "grooms" his victims for sex, and there are implications that this may have effects on cases since his victims were largely from Active cases that he was working on.

https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Former-Philadelphia-Homicide-Detective-Arrested-on-Rape-Intimidation-Fraud-Phillip-Nordo-506043601.html

Clearly, this man is a prime candidate for Secretary of State! Hell, he would be better as Trump's National Security Advisor, and he might do us all a favor and groom Bolton for some "fun".

1:39 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

@meangenekaz - I am writing this while on the train to Florence, fast, clean, and on time! Amtrak from DC to NYC is actually better than from NYC to Boston in terms of on time service. Acela can be pricey, the Northeast Regional trains are ok, but take longer. It all depends on your budget and train availability. But if you wait, you'll miss the saver fares. Regular fares, even on the NE Regionals can be pricey. So my advice is to start looking for tickets, and don't wait any longer than 2 weeks before to buy them. Amtrak website is actually petty good. Good luck!

4:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Nesim-

We need more guys like this, but in top admin posts.

mb

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Arta said...

Catholic mom sues after Trump-backed foster care agency calls her the wrong kind of Christian

https://thinkprogress.org/catholic-woman-sues-trump-hhs-for-allowing-protestant-foster-care-agencys-discrimination-3229b7d64c51/

This is where "Religious Freedom" bills are headed.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

After watching a BBC special on Moscow and seeing how the city is transforming its subway system, I did some more research on the topic:

https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2016/05/moscows-huge-subway-expansion-is-actually-ahead-of-schedule/481629/

Russians are post-collapse and seem to be doing okay. I wish I could say the same for the good ol' US of A:

https://www.manhattan-institute.org/has-new-york-city-subway-system-improved-data-report

https://www.city-journal.org/californias-high-speed-rail-project

I remember reading somewhere that the Russians actually prepared for collapse by learning about organic gardening and other simple techniques for survival (can you say Dual Process?). I will research this and provide some links next post, as I do not wish to violate the half-page rule.

Take care Dr. B and I hope you've recovered from your maladies by now.

10:29 AM  
Blogger C. J. Timmins said...

“The reason we feel alienated is because the society is infantile, trivial, and stupid, so the cost of sanity in this society is a certain level of alienation. I grapple with this because I’m a parent. And I think anybody who has children, you come to this realization, you know—what’ll it be? Alienated, cynical intellectual? Or slack-jawed, half-wit consumer of the horseshit being handed down from on high? There is not much choice in there, you see. And we all want our children to be well adjusted; unfortunately, there’s nothing to be well adjusted to! That’s the real problem.” – Terence McKenna

As a parent who has not yet emigrated, I keep returning to this quote from Terence who was an NMI (retired to rural Hawaii), actively rejected both popular culture and the New Age. He admonished gurus/being a follower of anyone or any idea. Ppl still feel alienated in today’s culture but instead of feeling comforted by their alienation, they are programmed to embrace commodified forms of relief like the “wellness” craze and positive-thinking “group therapy” like The Course (Cult) of Miracles, whose ambassador, Marianne Williamson is considering a run for POTUS--not surprising! She'll be another huckster in a long line of POTUS hucksters. Wafers need the likes of McKenna and Barbara Ehrenreich (Bright-sided) more than ever.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Thanks Gunnar. The app works for me.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Trish said...

https://www.devex.com/news/usaid-mulls-proposal-to-train-aid-workers-as-special-forces-94321

Mark Amos: "Soft-power meddling but with guns? Who says USA can't innovate anymore?"

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Jenny Henderson said...

Between gods and animals: becoming human in the Gilgamesh epic

In a new fragment of the epic, becoming human hinges on lovemaking, dialogue and contributing to social life.

Lovely article. Always fascinated by the Epic

https://aeon.co/ideas/between-gods-and-animals-becoming-human-in-the-gilgamesh-epic

2:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

Yes, that wd be Dual Process. But the Russians are smart, and also know how to work communally. We are dumb, and can only work individually. Check out Joel Magnuson's bk, The Approaching Great Transformation. He traveled around the country interviewing various enterprises that emphasized ecology and community. Turns out, most of it was greenwashing. If you read the fine print, these enterprises were about profit and expansion. Gee, what a shock. This is why I have said that I don't think Dual Process can really make much headway in the US; we are just too damaged as a people.

Vic-

Depends on the *way* of referring. Yr a smart guy, so you can figure it out, I'm sure.

mb

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Money Talks said...

https://medium.com/@ltthompso/the-congresswoman-loves-the-swamp-d33296ec251e

A rich guy used a PAC to pay @AOC's boyfriend $6,000 when her campaign was running out of money. After AOC won, she gave that rich guy a job in her office. Follow me on a journey.

4:04 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferinos,

@ Birney, Italiana - Thanks for the heads up re:the Northeast Express, etc.

@ whomever suggested viewing the film - "Falling Down". My local library got it in and I enjoyed that over the weekend. Santa Monica and the pier, the J. Paul Getty museum, parts of the LA basin and Orange County were all places brought back to me, from 1984-1989, by watching that film. And just the feeling of wow, this is really what we have become, was a bow and arrow bullseye here in my womb-like existence. Wafer essential viewing! From 1992 no less!

I also finished reading "Blowback" by Chalmers Johnson, over the weekend. Sr. Belman has informed us about that man's work in DAA. I bought the book at the library used clearance sale last summer. I don't think anyone had ever cracked it open. Which figures, as it is a truthful book. Now reading "White Noise" by Don DeLillo, also referenced by MB and other Wafers. Terrific - again, Wafer required reading. So much "stands out" in this comedic classic work.

Gracias, Wafers

5:29 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Jewel in the crown dept.:

https://www.sebastiandaily.com/crime/vero-beach-woman-was-naked-and-belligerent-over-sex-15303/

Samantha Jewel Hernandez, 21, gives her boyfriend a severe beating when he refused to have sex w/her. For the record, I just wanna say that I support Samantha 110%, and encourage her to continue her benevolence and benignity. God knows, folks who deny Sam's amatory exertions should be beaten to w/in inches of their pathetic lives. Who's w/me on this one, Wafers? Can I count on yr support and generosity?

Sincerely,

Miles

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

This was crazy enough to make the news in Canada. I think Mexico and Canada should build walls to keep the Americans out!

https://globalnews.ca/news/4980961/christopher-hasson-coast-guard-terrorist-plot/

6:44 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

America is a militaristic shithole country

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/02/20/video-shows-delaware-state-police-trooper-pulling-gun-during-traffic-stop/2931512002/

7:57 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Duck--know what I love about Putin? The way he drives progs so crazy that they are reduced to quivering lumps of saliva-drenched, impotent rage. I hope he ends up running Russia for 30 more years the way Fidel Castro did Cuba, laughing his ass off and thumbing his nose at Botoxface dead-enders every step of the way. When Herr Mueller takes a big ol' steaming dump on all the progs' impeachment hopes and dreams next week, the subsequent wailing is going to be EPIC.

Speaking of crazy ass progs: “It’s A Good Day For You To Die”: Tennessee Man Allegedly Pulls Gun On Couple Wearing MAGA Hats. Funny how if the story had been reversed and the MAGA-hatters had been brandishing the gun, CNN, MSNBC and all the rest would have blown this it up into screaming national headlines.

And speaking of national headlines proving to be utterly false: Jussie Smollett Charged With Felony After Falsely Reporting "Hate Crime." Maybe this colossal Hollywood prog douchebag doesn't get out much, but claiming you were attacked by two MAGA-hatters screaming about how downtown Chicago (where Trump received only 16% of the vote) is "MAGA country," was a lie so bad it was laughable--not that any of the douchebags in America's hopelessly compromised media would know they were being suckered.

11:37 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Starting to get into Robert Bellah's writing. Personally, I feel dual process will mean a combination of identities. For myself, there is a more commercial and less commercial side to my character. I find it hard to disentangle the two whenever society is structured the way it is. This essay is fabulous stuff http://www.robertbellah.com/articles_6.htm

11:57 PM  
Anonymous Silva said...

Classicist Victor Davis Hanson talks about how Trump reminds him of the legendary Greek warrior Ajax ...

https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/the-classicist-who-sees-donald-trump-as-a-tragic-hero

7:51 AM  
Anonymous E.B. said...

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/20/style/karl-lagerfeld-choupette-cat.html

Choupette, Karl Lagerfeld’s Cat, Has a Million Reasons to Purr

argument for a 100% inheritance tax here !!!!!

[ frankly an argument for some pretty serious taxes prior to death as well ]

10:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Krak-

Don't hold back; tell us how you *really* feel!

Jeff-

Definitely!

mb

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Suzanne Trubey said...

Re: Money Talks -
https://medium.com/@ltthompso/the-congresswoman-loves-the-swamp-d33296ec251e


In the link you shared, at the kindest take on this, this proves that AOC is guilty of precisely the sort of legalized corruption and wheeling and dealing that she regularly rails against

AOC 2020: "As Ethical As Maxine Waters and Duncan Hunter!"

(Cue sad trombone sounds!)

11:11 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Wealthy, successful...and MISERABLE.


https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/02/21/magazine/elite-professionals-jobs-happiness.html

11:29 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Paul Craig Roberts is justifiably in despair over Trump discarding the INF treaty and engineering a coup (so far unsuccessful) against Venezuela. I think Putin would just as soon allow the US to collapse but will defend Russia against the US placing intermediate range missiles in Western Europe. Perhaps the EU nations will get their heads out the place where the sun doesn't shine and move closer to Russia and simply not allow the US to put intermediate range missiles in their territory. I don't think most America know or care that we might be closer to a nuclear holocaust than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/02/21/if-truth-is-politicized-all-is-lost/

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Navee said...

Taibbi's new column on Thomas Friedman’s latest axiom - Pie Doesn’t Grow on Trees https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/thomas-friedman-is-right-pie-doesnt-grow-on-trees-797199/

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

School bus driver with a full bus revived with narcan after a heroin overdose.

https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/national/school-bus-driver-heroin-revived-with-narcan-after-crash-police-say/PU9E3VxMsXSjTVSkFvzbiL/

Just a few of the usa-ians who will rise up, revolt, resist, and make a real difference in the empire!

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Vic Bold said...

http://www.usdebtclock.org/
Good news for all! The national debt now at $22T, up from the $19.5 when D took office.

To see how thing$ work,
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34150000-j-is-for-junk-economics

3:04 PM  
Blogger Vaquero Supreme said...

@mb - We spent several nights in San Miguel de Allende in early 2017. The horror indeed! The irony isn't lost on me that I may end up contributing to the ongoing gringification of México and countries in Latin America, even though I'm not technically a gringo; I have brown skin, "naturalized" some years back. But my habits may have been gringified and I cannot help but project, try as I might to suppress.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Suzanne-

Progs are completely full of shit. AOC is just the latest version. After the election in 2016, Bernie began accepting huge sums from large corporations. Etc.

mb

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Nathaniel said...

Suzanne & Morris Berman -

Re: Bernie Cash, is that true? I assume he'd have book deal $$$, which is depressing as is, but he's taking a cut from big corpos too? Any sources for this? I'm sure you all aren't fooling, I'm certainly disappointed.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Elliot Abrams, point man for mass murder:

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/02/17/nsc-memo-shows-elliott-abrams-caballed-quietly-spring-cia-connected-drug-trafficker

Miles

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Deadthoreau said...

Well, what do you know, hustling takes its toll.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/02/21/magazine/elite-professionals-jobs-happiness.html

12:19 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

The United States has the highest drug overdose death rate among high-income countries. America’s drug overdose death rate is double that of Nordic countries and 27 times higher than in Italy and Japan, which have the lowest drug overdose death rates.

https://news.usc.edu/154484/american-drug-overdose-death-rates-the-highest-among-wealthy-nations-usc-study-finds/

Given Dr. Berman’s new book on Italy I thought this was timely information. It is telling that America seems to have more social problems, including many more drug overdose deaths, than Italy despite having a much stronger economy. My understanding is that Italy has high unemployment especially among the young but the Italians don’t seem to be suffering from as many social problems as we are. I am not aware of an epidemic of “deaths of despair” among Italians.

The same goes for Spain and Portugal which were also included in the low mortality group. Why is Southern Europe not collapsing into a nightmare of death and misery like the United States, despite being much weaker economically?

7:28 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

For the general amusement:

The mother of a Louisiana high school student has been arrested after she posted video of two students fighting on social media. Maegan Adkins-Barras, 32, allegedly admitted to police that she uploaded the video of the fight, which happened at Acadiana High School in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Tuesday, after finding it on her son's phone.
https://abcnews.go.com/US/mom-arrested-posting-video-students-fighting-social-media/story?id=61198313

“Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.”
A father objects to a man smoking near his children outside a New York 7-Eleven. Big mistake.

HAVERSTRAW [New York] - People watched in horror at a 7-Eleven as a man plowed his car into a family of eight, including a baby in a stroller, then put his car into reverse and drove forward into them again, killing a 32-year-old mother of six.
https://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/rockland/2019/02/20/thiells-several-people-injured-after-car-drives-thru-7-11/2929981002/

10:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas-

Americans are nothing if not charming.

Tom-

I don't know if it's relevant, but Japan, Spain, and Portugal are high on the list of Dual Process activities. A crucial pt is that these countries, Italy included, are not too afflicted by the American Dream, which tells people that it's their fault if their lives are in the toilet. Oprah has in fact been saying that for yrs. Spain also reacted to austerity measures by rioting in the streets, some time ago.

Nathaniel-

It was in the papers following the last presidential election, but I didn't save the source. I didn't, however, imagine it, and I recall that a lot of Bernie's followers distanced themselves from any future campaign when they heard the news. Some of this $ was for book deals, of course. Everything in the US is fraudulent, and everything is hustling.

mb

10:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

This too is v. charming:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/feb/22/farmington-university-immigration-sting-students

11:05 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Even Bob needs some Strange...


https://deadspin.com/patriots-owner-bob-kraft-charged-with-soliciting-prosti-1832807440


12:33 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Nathaniel--I voted for Bernie in the primaries last time (then abstained in November). For me his great betrayal caving, urging his supporters to vote for the Botox Queen and then campaigning for her. Anything corrupt he's done after that has merely been piling on.

In the "news": Nearly naked man covered in peanut butter visits Dallas dog park. It was such a great idea he even had his girlfriend film it.

Mother, live-in boyfriend arrested on child abuse charges involving hot sauce, pillow and BB gun. Check out the mugshot of these two "winners."

Mother Attempts Free Birth at 45 Weeks Gestation & Baby Dies. This last story reflects yet another realm of Internet-spawned idiocy. The douchebag mother belonged to an online group which believes babies should be allowed to "cook" for as long as possible in the womb and take steps to prevent delivery, even though it is an established medical fact that after 9 months the risk of miscarriage increases exponentially. In this instance, idiotmom's midwife wanted to induce delivery at 43 weeks, but she chose instead to follow the advice of this group of strangers on the internet. When the baby died, these same morons assured idiotmom that it wasn't her fault, and that "some babies just die."

4:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

The silence of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Ging Newtrich, Rom Mittney, and P. Snoots is abs. deafening. Meanwhile, Laquisha Jones sentencing is only 6 days away! And our hero, Shaneka Torres, lies wasting away in a jail cell in Michigan.

mb

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Deb Lambkin said...

MB and Tom = I think Catalonia would be on that list, maybe before Spain. Arriba!!


Then there is this =

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/21/bernie-sanders-venezuela-maduro-1179636
'He is not going to be the nominee’: Dems slam Sanders over Maduro stance : The just-announced 2020 contender declines to say whether the socialist Venezuelan dictator should go.

Dems making being pro-regime change a litmus test issue for 2020 should work out great.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

Question for GSWH -

Is Venezuela a good candidate for Suez moment? What if Iran closed the straight of Hormuz in retaliation?

Choppy seas ahead it appears.

6:45 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Robert Bellah, a fascinating thinker. According to Bellah, unlikely most Americans even think about the import of the words they use. Twisted and defiled, words no longer signify any core meaning http://www.robertbellah.com/lectures_8.htm

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Existentialist Bloge'r said...

World's food supply under 'severe threat' from loss of biodiversity

https://theguardian.com/global-development/2019/feb/21/worlds-food-supply-under-severe-threat-from-loss-of-biodiversity
"The warning comes after scientists found evidence the natural support systems that underpin the human diet are deteriorating around the world as farms, cities and factories gobble up land and pump out chemicals."

Fuck.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Caitlin Johnstone pretty much echoes your opinion of the American incapacity to see beyond the establishment narratives about anything - in this case about Venezuela closing its borders to humanitarian aid - or for that matter that the economic disaster of that country is totally due to their own incompetence - against the fact the US has been waging economic war against Venezuela.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/02/23/anyone-buying-this-venezuela-bullshit-is-a-complete-fucking-moron/

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Megan C. said...

Dr. Berman,

Thanks a lot for your explanation regarding the Cold War/Bretton Woods. I will definitely check out the recommended books.

2:40 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Thinking about having kids anyone?

https://www.axios.com/poll-teenagers-stress-anxiety-major-concern-teens-91b9d298-e0a0-439b-967a-76f058a4dfea.html

Kanye

3:37 AM  
Anonymous Bernardo said...

some brevity for the Oscar Wiener's this weekend >

https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/sophocles-acceptance-speech-for-best-original-tragedy

SOPHOCLES’ ACCEPTANCE SPEECH FOR BEST ORIGINAL TRAGEDY

personally, i would have voted for Aeschylus.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Heather Hoyt said...

Arkansas legislator proposes cutting lunch funding from schools that struggle to improve reading skills

No such thing as a free lunch, kiddos!

https://wtkr.com/2019/02/21/arkansas-legislator-proposes-cutting-lunch-funding-from-schools-that-struggle-to-improve-reading-skills/

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Perfect example of why the government continues to fail. The example here mirrors my own agency, except no one is incarcerated. Instead, lots of funding is spent towards projects and ideas with no basis in science, history, or reality. Most people there no nothing about their own agency's history. There are entrenched interests in my agency that ensure that ideas are never fully explored, and never ever have any basis in reality or science. The constant changes from one idea to the next "great idea" for no apparent reason is basically weekly whiplash.

https://www.propublica.org/article/fbi-scientists-statements-linked-defendants-to-crimes-even-when-his-lab-results-didnt

The result is an agency that cannot (refuses to) adapt to change. From Charles Hughes Smith: "That which is rigid and inflexible cannot adapt to rapid change, and thus it fails to adapt and vanishes from the Earth. That is the essence of evolutionary dynamics."

Downward we go! And guaranteed: no safety net. It's not the fall that hurts so much, it's that sudden stop, at the end.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Aaron Thomas said...

What was your process like of realizing you wouldn't be able to change the people around you? Was it something that happened overnight or was it over several months or years?

For me, I get these bursts of energy and I think I'm going to have some local impact. What ends up happening is that nobody around me is receptive to anything, and nobody wants to do anything differently. Then I kind of snap and fall into despair once I realize I'm all alone in my neighborhood, and nobody around me wants anything differently. It then becomes "if you can't beat them, join them" even though I hate that idea completely. I just find it's really hard to live a life where nobody around you agrees or is interested in anything you're talking about. The things I talk about are wide ranging, whether it's reading, virtue, silence, criticism of the culture, or criticism of technology. It's nothing but hostility aimed at me and nobody seems even slightly receptive to anything I'm talking about.

I have yet to find a way not to fall into despair. Maybe the problem is I'm having too much contact with other people and getting my hopes up that anyone will change their mind. Perhaps it's best to really isolate myself much more. I just find it impossible in my life to find anyone who seems to be striving after virtue. Also, living a really isolated life doesn't seem like a good idea. Can't say I've ever been around people in my life who were virtuous or critics of the culture, all my family and friends have been this way for my whole life.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Aaron-

The answer, of course, is to emigrate. Once settled in another country, you'll realize how stupid Americans are. Other than that, there is only the Monastic Option, as described in the Twilight bk.

mb

11:57 AM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Prof Berman, perhaps one of our more wealthy Wafers could send Shaneka a copy of Twilight to get her started on the road to Waferdom. Prison libraries could also surely benefit immensely from the Reenchantment series.

2:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

comrade-

They might get more out of the America trilogy, I dunno. As for Shaneka, we need to spring her from jail, give her an arsenal of weapons, and tell her that between McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Arby's, etc., she's got her work cut out for her. "If they stiff you on the bacon, chica, you know what to do!"

mb

2:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

A rare, smart American:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/23/business/cell-phone-addiction.html?action=click&module=Editors%20Picks&pgtype=Homepage

And a turkey with a 15K Rolex:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/23/opinion/my-brothers-keeper-obama.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

MB said, "A rare, smart American:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/23/business/cell-phone-addiction.html"

thanks for that link! I've been reading about a similar case where the writer tried to give up the big 5. Beware, she's a tech writer (and frankly a technodouchbaggette, no offence) so some of her statements are cringe worthy, but if she's willing to give it up, that's fine by me. What is interesting is how difficult it was and how pervasive these companies are...

https://gizmodo.com/i-cut-the-big-five-tech-giants-from-my-life-it-was-hel-1831304194

7:44 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Well, I seem to be graduating from Chris Hedges lectures to yours on YouTube and am looking at what articles, interviews, etc I can find online.

It looks like the monastic option for me; moving back to a part of the US which like Amish or Cajun country is not really part of the mainstream, and living very modestly therein. I can't help it, my memories are there and all the hoo-hah and Elvis' Blue Hawaii and crappy Disney films can't change that.

I'd love to buy your Japan book but it's $40 and up, way up, on the used market these days. Hawaii is becoming more and more Asian, and in particular, more and more Japanese. I've come around to seeing this as a good thing.

I'm hoping to hold out to age 65 when I'm going to gamble social security will still be around; and then be prepared to live on the $15k a year I live on now or less ... making more is just not an option in the US any more. I figure SS will give me about the same money I work for now; $300 a week or whatever the inflation-adjusted amount is then.

I'll try to keep up on here, and read what interviews you've done that are floating around out there and watch your YouTube videos. There's also a chance your books will show up at my local, rather decent, used book store.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

Wafers, found a nice video talk on Thomas Pynchon's early novels, how advertising and the Military Industrial Complex, directly connect to the peculiar American totalitarian mindset, conspiracy thinking and paranoia, which is at the core of American thinking. Pynchon is a Wafer, even if he wouldn't know what that is, or describe himself like that. Unfortunately for every Pynchon, there are hundreds of Tom Friedman & David Brooks types, clueless in their narcissistic self-parody, that permeate and saturate bookstores with their nauseating ilk.

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

10:55 PM  
Anonymous David G. said...

@Aaron Thomas:
I totally empathize with your experience. I struggle with similar feelings and have the same disappointments with people. I try really hard not to end up in despair, though, because that robs a person of their life. I can still enjoy people who are generally good, intelligent, and thoughtful, even though I have yet to meet someone who thinks very deeply about the country, the world, technology, climate warming, etc. I have to take what enjoyment I can and lament the rest.

@Dr. B:
Re the NYT article on the guy who reduced his cell phone usage: I have never suffered this problem because I have never owned a smartphone, realizing that these dangers were there. It's good that finally a few people are waking up to these problems. But I can say that I am so far behind the times that I am now avant garde!

11:35 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Congrats to the douchebag progs, who have become so unpopular that they outnumbers douchebag conservatives in only 6 states these days: "The number of states where liberals outnumber conservatives has dropped more than 30 percent, with just six now in that category: Massachusetts, Hawaii, Vermont, Washington, New York, and New Hampshire." They are even tied at 29% to 29% in Cali-freaking-fornia.

So why have progs and liberals become so unpopular? Could it possibly be shit like this? "Sen. Amy Klobuchar ate salad with her comb, ordered aide to clean it: report." Or maybe it's the way the feminist assholes among them condemned the dozens of staffers who complained of abusive behavior by Senator Klobadouchegaguette--more than half of them women--as merely hateful "misogynists."

Or perhaps it is the way that they actually stand for absolutely fucking nothing. Even Sanders, supposedly the most liberal among them, issued a statement on Trump's Venezuelan coup that was indistinguishable from that of ol' Botoxface herself. Given Sanders's long history of supporting American imperialism, I'm trying to figure out why the idiot Dumbocrats are so worried about him getting the nomination.

11:55 PM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Dear MB and Wafers,

While we discuss the US of A and its decline, here is something I wanted to share with you all. Apologies if you have already seen it. Here is an interview with the independent film-maker Marshall Curry about his documentary "A Night at the Garden" that was nominated for the Oscars this year. (Did it win? Anyone?)

Here is what it is about: Eighty years ago, on February 20, 1939, thousands of Americans gathered in Madison Square Garden, New York to attend a rally to ‘celebrate’ Nazism. The meeting received tremendous media attention at the time, but has been forgotten in the US today. Curry says, `Demagogues Today Have Much in Common With Nazi Ideology'.

And the link : https://thewire.in/film/a-night-at-the-garden-marshall-curry-interview

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Red said...

Donald Trump Jr hints he could run for president in 2024

https://news.yahoo.com/donald-trump-jr-hints-could-005145020.html

Started giggling when I saw this :)

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

The oscar-nominated documentary for best short film is a testimony to the power of film. A potent reminder of the long history of totalitarian appeal in American politics. And perhaps a glimpse at the future.

https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/watch-the-short-documentary-about-1939-nazi-rally-in-new-york-up-for-oscar-1.6961927

10:39 AM  
Anonymous WK Winecoff said...

Passing along without comment, as I genuinely didn’t know this:

Iraq has come a long way since Saddam's toppling.

Iraq GDP in 2002: $18.97 billion

Iraq GDP in 2018: $230.37 billion

Gain in total economic output since Saddam's last year in power: 1,114%

The avg person lived on $765 in 2002. Today the avg Iraqi lives on $5,732.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

2.5k$ foldable phones are what technodouchebags will be parading next in cafés around the world. Get ready Wafers!

https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/24/18238269/huawei-foldable-phone-mate-x-price-release-date-specs-mwc-2019

11:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

WK-

Small problem: you don't cite your sources. How do we know any of this is true?

Red-

Personally, I'm hoping Trumpi declares a dictatorship in 2024, and remains in power for the period of total American collapse.

alex-

You can buy a copy off Amazon for $20, actually:

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_fb_1_15?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=neurotic+beauty&sprefix=neurotic+beauty%2Caps%2C209&crid=215YZQQP6ADOM

You might also check yr local library.


My kinda guy dept.:

Chief Seattle, speaking before Gov. Isaac Stevens on Puget Sound, 1853: "Your time of decay may be distant, but it surely will come."

mb

1:42 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

Headline shld read:

"Entrepreneur/Billionare/Sports Icon Strikes a 'Blow' for Wafers Everywhere!"

Byline - "As institutions crumble the normalization of trashy leaders grows"

https://www.thedailybeast.com/robert-kraft-is-just-one-of-many-rich-and-powerful-men-busted-in-florida-prostitution-ring

3:16 PM  
Blogger Janet D said...

@Bill. I like your posts (all of them) & I'm not a fan of the progs, but the libs-vs-cons article you posted breezes over an important point: "Before conservatives start to cheer, Gallup said the gap used to be 21 points and a handful of the state numbers fall in the margin of error." Cons hold a 9 point lead nationwide in the most recent survey, which is a drop of 13 points since the last survey in 2004. This is arguably more significant than how individual states stack up, particularly since the 3 states that changed are still all considered within the margin of error by Gallup. I'd be curious to know the changes nationwide to the "moderate" category.

@AaronThomas. If you haven't read MB's books, I highly recommend them, esp DAA, WAF & QOV. These books helped me immensely (thanks, MB) in navigating this twisted culture without getting caught in the undertow of it. And you may have to identify your "peeps" & then move to find your pocket(s) of them. (For me, it's permaculture & primitive skills/crunchy nature people, but those are tiny pockets in the U.S. I'm now also looking into ex-pating). Don't try change or finding deep understanding with your average U.S. community, you'll only exhaust yourself. Repeatedly. (:-)

5:10 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

“A City Upon a Hill” in action ..interesting read

https://revista.drclas.harvard.edu/book/united-states-interventions

10:31 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@WK--even if those stats you cited are true, keep in mind that by 2002 Iraq had suffered a dozen years of crippling U.S. economic sanctions implemented by Daddy Bush and Clinton. Never forget the infamous quote from the great liberal icon douchebaguette Madeline Albright, who when asked about the sanctions on 60 Minutes said that the roughly half million dead Iraqi children who died as a result had been "worth it". Also, when you say the "average Iraqi's" income has increased nearly tenfold, are you citing avg. GDP per capita? Though I have no data on this I would be willing to bet that most of the increase in GDP has been from increased oil production and has gone into the hands of corrupt elites. Just like here in the U.S., where GDP is also way up since 2002 but the average worker has seen little to no gains (which is a big reason why the Teflon Don defeated the Botox Queen).

@Janet--given how batshit insane conservatives have become, the progs ought to outnumber them by at least 3 to 1 at this point. The reason they don't is simple: they have NOTHING to offer and their "leadership" is just as cruel and corrupt as the conservatives'. Yet they really believe they are the morally superior ones.

@Wafers--FYI, if you would like to purchase MB's books online, but don't want to support Bozo's Empire, check out this page on Biblio.com, where numerous new and used copies being sold by independent online sellers are available, and are often cheaper than Amazon even when you factor in shipping.

12:07 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I predict the youth vote in this next election is going to crater to some kind of all time low. Honestly, I think most people would gladly sell off their right to vote entirely if it meant some modicum of economic security.

What a meaningless formality the American franchise is! A bunch of hustlers making promises for your vote they never have any intention or capacity for keeping. I don't think elections have anything to do with freedom or good government.

It's almost a neurotic impulse- a desire to feel 'recognized' by a system that wants you poor, desperate, and indebted. When has the state ever shown any interest in my well-being, that I should care about its management?

The forgotten contests of the Hohenzollerns and Hapsburgs mean as much to me as the Trumps and Clintons. It's too much emotional labor for any normal person to care about the melodramas of overindulged office holding narcissists. Self-care is complete apathy to the whole thing.

1:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

Meanwhile we are now faced with 22 months of election circus, as a very unintelligent populace gets excited abt Bernie vs. Warren vs. You name it. Will keep them distracted, in any case.

mb

8:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This is from Alexander McCall Smith's bk, "Tears of the Giraffe". An American woman of 55, back for a visit to Botswana, where she had lived for 12 yrs, says of those yrs:

"I think that I can say that I had never been happier in my life. We had found a country where the people treated one another well, with respect, and where there were values other than the grab, grab, grab which prevails back home. I felt humbled, in a way. Everything about my own country seemed so shoddy and superficial when held up against what I saw in Africa. People suffered here, and many of them had very little, but they had this wonderful feeling for others."

mb

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

MB and Wafers: This excerpt from Bernard-Henri-Levi's new book is worth a look. A quote: "Obama said with a smile what Trump says with a scowl."
https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/280886/bernard-henri-levy-american-exceptionalism

10:41 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

MB, Wafers,

In case you missed it, here's Bernie Sanders' Op Ed from the Guardian:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/25/its-time-to-complete-the-revolution-we-started

"In 2016, our campaign began the political revolution. Now, it is time to defeat Donald Trump, complete that revolution and implement the vision we fought for"

WHAT PLANET DO THOSE GUYS LIVE ON?

Kanye

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Sometimes even the corporate media write something about Americans CRE.

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/americans-perceptions-us-international-standing-are-way

And for more good news about the state of global human affairs the recent On Contact climate emergency episode is worth a look.

https://youtu.be/wEKGp3gT_vs

Chris Hedges is getting clearer and clearer that he thinks it's all over.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Vic Bold said...

Pardon the president for being an idiot.

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/trade-chief-dumbs-down-contract-082052157.html

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Kathy Martin said...

Your book QOV is here for me today from ILL (interlibrary loan) yippee.
I have several of your other books and they are great.
Love the blog!
MK

1:56 PM  
Blogger Vaquero Supreme said...

Little Marco tweets two images of Qaddafi: one at the height of power; the other bloodied and in misery, about to be killed. This as a threat to Maduro. He seems very proud of this "shining" example of US foreign policy.

USA! USA!

2:23 PM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

To Prof. Berman and all Wafers:

Do any of you think that the collapse of the US will be accompanied with military defeat for the US. Do Russia, China or any other nations have the capability to give the Americans a nice hard kick in their disgusting asses?
Also, Prof. Berman, you have said that you believe Israel will not reach its 100th birthday.
Why do you think that? Is Israeli culture as degenerate as American culture?

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

You can't make this stuff up:

"US announces new Venezuela sanctions as Rubio shares 'snuff movie' pictures of Colonel Gaddafi in threat to Maduro"

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-venezuela-marco-rubio-colonel-gadaffi-mike-pence-sanctions-maduro-twitter-romania-a8796751.html

5:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Fer-

https://www.amazon.com/Goliath-Life-Loathing-Greater-Israel/dp/1568589514/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1UJ9G7MV2NXZV&keywords=max+blumenthal&qid=1551134515&s=books&sprefix=max+blumentah%2Caps%2C186&sr=1-1

Kathy-

Welcome to the blog. It's actually the most spiritually evolved location in the entire universe. Sequel to QOV is AWTY.

Kanye-

Bernie has his head so deeply embedded in shit that one doesn't know whether to laugh or cry. Well, I do (the former). Massive reality distortion is something declinists welcome.

Pete-

Good essay. I'm guessing that less than 0.5% of the American people wd be able to understand it.

mb

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Elisa said...

Roma didn't win! Or BlackKkklansman!

I still can't get over the fact that First Reformed, Sorry To Bother You, and Death of Stalin did not get nominated for best picture, but Bohemian Rhapsody did. First Reformed and Sorry To Bother You have more to say about contemporary America than just about any movie I've seen in recent years, and Death of Stalin made me laugh harder in the theater than I have in years.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hey, Maury. Not sure how this on-line comment stuff works, but here you go.

Typed in your name in Google to get an update and got half-a-dozen "Morris Berman obituary" returns.

Sudden sharp in-take of breath - what?! Then read your usual funny blog, this time about you going to NYC (yet again) and your great book on Italy (can't wait).
Glad you're still alive, despite the greatly-exaggerated rumors.

Here in the Great White (and thankfully non-Trump) North, observing signs of spring already, (bird sightings don't lie), feeding ravenous teenage kids before they're off to Spain (violin/cello conceerts), and trying to play some decent cello and sing in choirs to add my voice to the greater symphony.

Hope you're well,
Alain

8:02 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

"A Question of Values" is a GREAT book of essays. You will read it and then re-read it and then, and then...I go back to it constantly.

"Are We There Yet?" is a mature ripening of the documentation of collapse discussed in AQOV. With both books in your library you will have much insight to speak with others about the decline...if you can find anyone with whom to intelligently discuss, that is.

That is really a tough nut there... we wail and gnash our teeth and tear our hair. The New Monastic Option as suggested in "Twilight of Amerikan Culture" has been a guide for me.

The American trilogy is the heart of the argument. Read it if you have not yet. "Dark Ages America" is especially good, and can be read repeatedly. Thanks to Morris for shining a light for us in a dark time...

I'm making my plans for Manhattan. Looking ahead to meeting birds of a feather.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

The American Dream--On Motherfuckers:

KTLA anchor Chris Burrous died of methamphetamine overdose. Local LA "news" anchor was found to have died after shoving methamphetamine up his ass and overdosing after having sex with a male prostitute. I guess being hugely popular and successful (he's actually described as having "fans"--what is WRONG with these people) just wasn't enough.

Boy, 16, 'strangled his wealthy real estate developer father to death with a dog leash because he had "verbally abused him for years." This story features numerous pics of the family living the perfect American dream life. The most astonishing detail is that when the paramedics arrived, the leash was still attached to the family dog--which was described as "freaking out".

Speaking of abused animals: Transgender Activist Accused Of Burning Down Own Home In 'Hate Crime' That Killed Five Pets. This deranged douchebag/douchbaguette (gotta be PC, don't want the "woke" condemning DAA) burned down his/her house and killed five supposedly loving animals because he/she was concerned that the gay rights issue had "died down." Just how sick in the head do you have to be--but that's what pursuing the American Dream at all costs will do to ya.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

mean-

Thank you. The problem is that these bks contain words having more than 1 syllable, which rules most Americans out in terms of readership. Meanwhile, excitement mounts as Wafer Summit Day approaches. Many New Yorkers beating their heads against walls, just to calm down.

Alain-

Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. Glad to hear yr doing well. See if u can't check in as Alain in future, not Unknown, as I normally don't post Unknowns. Soon you will be rdg my Italy bk, which will make u very happy.

Elisa-

First Reformed and BlackkKlansman cut too close to the bone. Americans are definitely not interested in reality.

mb

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Mullah Sadra said...

Mr Berman,

I have often thought that many of the things that made America "exceptional" ... from it's outlook on its role in the world, to seemingly trivial things like not using the metric system and shunning Futbol, will now become liabilities as it rapidly declines.

Also, I plan to start posting here more regularly here. I usually just read the posts, but I want to have the honor of attending any future Wafer summits and I realize I need to be an active Wafer community member for that to happen. I look forward to many wonderful exchanges!

11:33 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Any doubt that Shinzo Abe=American stooge should be dismissed when he favors US military interests over his own people in Okinarwa. Why do the Japanese keep this guy in office? If I had to guess, all the people in a position to run for his office think just like him and favor Japan's continued domination by the US. Hopefully this will not continue for too much longer.

https://www.blacklistednews.com/article/71251/abe-signals-hell-ignore-will-of-okinawa-voters-who-just-overwhelmingly-rejected-new-us-military.html

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

MB: You are right; only about 0.5% of Americans would understand B-H Lévy's essay. And within that one-half-of-one-percent are the Wafers, who comprise perhaps 0.0006% of the US population (on a good day). Wafers are the enlightened few (we few, we happy few) who recognize the vastness of the dimwit demographic. Speaking of the few, though, I first learned about your books from a 2012 review-essay ("Decline and Fall") by George Scialabba. His latest review is also relevant to our exchanges here: https://thebaffler.com/salvos/nothing-before-us-scialabba

12:34 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

First Reformed for best pic for sure, BlackKK lacked context. As a Colo Springs native it wld have been nice to see @ least one shot of Pikes Peak or Garden of The Gods, when I learned the whole thing had been filmed in NY I lost interest. Big props to Adam Driver though, he's a breakout waiting to happen.

Won't You Be My Neighbor, a documentary about Mr. Rodgers on hbo is a pretty tender look at, I think, as near to guileless a man as maybe anyone in the 20th Century. I've been critical of him but after watching the movie he is actually a prime example of what MB talks about - the American people certified their future by their choice in 1980. Poor Fred tried to show how he medium cld be used for good (debatable but ok) and all his efforts went practically for naught. "Are you gay," seemed like the only question people wanted answered - fuck all for the rest. I'm a little partial b/c the resources we have available on the internet are astounding, one can damn near earn a Master's Degree just watching YouTube. To Fred's and my dismay 'the people' choose to watch cat videos.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pete-

Scialabba is a gd guy. He actually reviewed the Reenchantment bk ca. 1981. Also check out his comments on my America trilogy on the MB Wiki entry.

Mullah-

Welcome to the blog. We are very favorable to mullahs here; well, most of them, anyway. Yes, yr too late for this April's Wafer Bash, but keep posting; b4 2 long there will be a 7th NY Annual Wafer Summit Meeting (7NYAWSM), and you'll be able to attend. I'm hoping to rope in a few anti-Zionist rabbis as well, but no takers so far.

Michael-

Regarding Abe, a jackass extraordinaire:

"After World War II, Abe's maternal grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi — who'd worked as an industrial planner in Japanese-occupied Manchuria in the 1930s — was arrested as a Class A war criminal. He was not indicted, and his anti-communist views helped secure his release in 1948. Kishi served as prime minister from 1957 to 1960."

Manchuria was the locus of torture and medical "experiments" conducted by the Japanese--Unit 731--and in the course of WW2, the Japanese massacred 15 million Chinese. More abt all this, and Abe, can be found in my Japan bk.

mb

4:47 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferinos,

Thank you, @MB. Mauricio - fer chrissakess! It's because of them big ass words that I keep my 1982 Random House dictionary open and handy on a special antique high table, perfectly dimensioned for the biggest book in my library. My dad gave it to us...I realized a long time ago that it's them big words that turn amerikans off from from dense books like "Why America Failed". Dadgummit!

Come to think of it now, Dad refinished that table years ago.

I owe my love of reading to Mom and Dad. We used to go to the Carnegie Library, right there by the railroad, every two weeks. It had a funny smell. I would walk out with a stack of juvenile non-fiction books a foot high. No wonder I turned out the way I did. Sometimes I wonder if kids have parents like that in these latter days before the deluge...

O&D!

6:26 PM  
Blogger Janet D said...

@Bill. Yes, good point. I was SO disappointed when Obama signed the DARK Act (I was still naive then) in August of 2016. He was a lame duck president then & there was no reason for him to limit states' political activism that way...oh wait, that's right, he was actually a DOUCHEBAG in disguise. I've honestly never recovered from that, not that that event was that traumatic for me (I just don't like GMOs due to corporate ownership of seeds), but the fact that a Democrat rolled so easily and unnecessarily to corporate pressure made me realize that the good ole' USA was just a corporate whore. Just depends if you like your whore to show up spewing religion & gay/abortion restrictions, or your whore to show up spewing "hope & change". Take your pic, that's voting now.

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greeting MB & Wafers,

Sorry to be silent, been preparing to come back to the US (leave for Rome today, Boston on Thursday morning), and busily making all the final plans. We're going to need a vacation after this!

Re Abe - we did the same thing in Japan as we did in Italy after WWII - maneuvered the Communists/Socialists out with our manipulations to ensure that the Abe's party took control and kept it, just like the Christian Democrats in Italy after the war. In both countries the US has kept multiple bases, basically still an occupying force, and neither country's leadership seems to care.

On another note, an article in The Atlantic today, "Workism is Making Americans Miserable", coining "Workism" as America's religion. Interesting paragraph - "There is something slyly dystopian about an economic system that has convinced the most indebted generation in American history to put purpose over paycheck. Indeed, if you were designing a Black Mirror labor force that encouraged overwork without higher wages, what might you do? Perhaps you’d persuade educated young people that income comes second; that no job is just a job; and that the only real reward from work is the ineffable glow of purpose. It is a diabolical game that creates a prize so tantalizing yet rare that almost nobody wins, but everybody feels obligated to play forever."

2:03 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

BHL is a giant douchebag and an intellectual hypocrite. The French hate his pompous moralism and preaching, his support of some "nicer" wars vs. others (he was in favour of America's intervention in Irak and the French interventions in Lybia and Syria), and his complete disconnect from reality. He's the type of intellectual who would say he "understands" the revolt of the Gilets Jaunes, but call them "deplorables" in private, while sipping champagne and mocking them with his friends.

Then there's this:
https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/02/27/how-the-oscars-became-irrelevant/

Kanye

4:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This is from a biography of Sitting Bull, "The Lance and the Shield," by Robt Utley.

SB is talking to a missionary named Mary Collins, toward the end of his life:

"The farther my people keep away from the whites, the better I shall be satisfied. The white people are wicked...I want you to teach my people to read and write but they must not become white people in their ways; it is too bad a life, I could not let them do it."

Utley's own assessment:

"The government warred on spiritual beliefs and practices, on the office of chief, and on the tribe itself, which provided the political setting and kinship ties that held the people together in meaningful relationship. For the loss, the government offered only unsatisfying substitutes...together with an alien, repugnant ideal of what people should strive to be."

It's amazing to see how the govt, the military, and Americans in general regarded the Native Americans, who lived with dignity, spirituality, and generosity as their guidelines, as savages, whereas the whites were barbaric and had as their own guidelines only this: "What's in it for me?"

mb

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Scalzi said...

“To those who do not know that the world is on fire, I have nothing to say.”
Bertolt Brecht

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Kurt said...

Medieval Pattern Poems of Rabanus Maurus (9th Century)Medieval Pattern Poems of Rabanus Maurus (9th Century).

"Every other page of this unique work contains a grid of letters which constitutes a poem. Out of this seeming chaos of letters emerge new words, figures and shapes too."

https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/medieval-pattern-poems-of-rabanus-maurus-9th-century/

This is fascinating poetry

10:17 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Good day, MB and Wafers of the World,

Well, will today be *Day One* of Trumpo's public Impeachment hearings? Or will the hogs luv him even more? Step up, America! What will u do w/Mikey-Five Angels-Cohen's damning info? My guess: bupkis.

Miles

ps: Dan: Currently reading book you might enjoy: "Beatles 66: The Revolutionary Year" by Steve Turner.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Dr. B and Wafers,

If I told everyone how I really felt, I'd most likely be unemployed and on a government watch list. Heck I probably already am one of those things.

There are very few Amerikans who know what is really meaningful about life. Here is one we rally behind: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/briannasacks/man-guilty-strangling-friend

And our institutions are the best in the world. They always operate with integrity and dignity: https://www.npr.org/2019/02/26/698397631/sexual-assault-of-detained-migrant-children-reported-in-the-thousands-since-2015

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Regarding Sitting Bull there was an article in the LA Times yesterday about the Trevor Noah prank at the Oscars being in the tradition of what Sitting Bull did when asked to give a speech at the opening of a Railroad.

https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-fi-hiltzik-trevor-noah-oscars-joke-20190226-story.html

Meanwhile Off-Guardian has a couple of good Waferish articles.

https://off-guardian.org/2019/02/27/regime-change-is-urgently-needed-in-washington/

https://off-guardian.org/2019/02/26/the-magic-socialist/

12:41 PM  

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