July 11, 2019

Hatred and Dissolution

Wafers-

We have reached a new stage in the evolution of this blog. The senders of hate mail have escalated their hysteria: they are now making death threats. It's not clear to me how serious these are, but it would not be impossible for these folks to track me down and kill me, if they really intended to do it. And they just might, especially since their bitterness is completely over the top. However, it would take a fair amount of work, and there's always the risk of getting caught. So it's hard to predict what will happen. Lots of writers get death threats and are still walking the streets; or so I am told.

Not to be excessively grandiose, but I am reminded of a similar situation in the Germany of the thirties. The Nazis held huge book burnings, and many of the books thrown on the fire were studies in psychoanalysis--Freud, Reich, et al. As some historians have observed, there was an immense irony in all of this, for the Nazis were destroying the very texts that could have helped them, psychologically speaking. Similarly, this blog, with its overall candor and insistence on reality, might just possibly serve to help these folks heal, become genuine human beings, instead of vessels of rage and hatred. Of course, as we all know, they much prefer to hate than to heal, in the same way that the Nazis did. I am certainly not writing these words in the hope of waking them up; I'm not a complete fool. And it must be added that almost all Americans are living in unreality, although in most cases it doesn't get to the point of making death threats. These guys, I venture to say, are the craziest of the bunch, the far end of the spectrum, and their response to this little essay will surely be additional threats. Inner reflection would be great, but it's not likely a path they will choose to take. Increased hatred is the more likely path. Actually, it's absolutely certain.

Unexpectedly, I felt some degree of compassion for these folks: living in that much pain can't be much fun. But there is, in addition, a larger perspective to consider, namely the one of declinism. In a series of books and articles I have (I believe) convincingly argued that the US is going down the drain; that the only future it has is a dark one; and I have also identified the causes of our decline. But it might be said that the one thing I neglected to emphasize is the poison contained in the individual American soul, multiplied by millions. It's one of the factors that put Mr. Trump into office, after all. He has created a favorable climate for these types of people, and since his inauguration the stats of racial hatred, antisemitism, and the like have taken a decided upturn. Speaking as a declinist, and as an historian, I can say that this sort of soul-poison is an obvious factor in civilizational collapse. The death threats that show up on this blog (and elsewhere) are the tip of the iceberg, as the ship of state increasingly resembles the Titanic. What future can the country possibly have when a large percentage of its population is steeped in this much anguish (and with 40% living in poverty, to boot)? In that sense, these death-threateners are historical agents, in much the same way that Trumpi is.

There's microcosm and macrocosm, as I've said before, and they operate in tandem. On the macrolevel, when a civilization or empire implodes, it doesn't look pretty. We are witnessing this right now, a nation swimming in chaos and disarray, led by a "leader" who leads by random impulse. On the microlevel, it's equally ugly: the hate-mongers claiming (e.g.) that I spend all my time with Mexican whores, that I suck Jesus' dick(?!), that my days are numbered, and that they intend to put a bullet in my brain. Very often, a Wafer will post an article about some guy who axe-murdered his two-year-old daughter (or whatever); and when you click on the link, you see a face that is pure horror. This is what I imagine the death-threateners on this blog look like, or something close to it. Meanwhile, in the face of this rock-bottom reality, we read about the silly debates of Democratic candidates (1.5 years in advance), or the even sillier left-wing predictions of how the masses are going to rise up, turn everything around. These are anodynes for fools, in the same category as Kim Kardashian's buttocks, and serving a similar function. For me, at least, what comes to mind are the words of Kurt Vonnegut: "There's a shit storm coming." What he he forgot to add was that the death-threateners are the shit in the eye of the storm; the vanguard, if you will, of a nation bereft of hope, whistling in the dark, and perched on the edge of an abyss.

-mb

144 Comments:

Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Shit, MB, this makes my blood run cold... What can I possibly say, except that I'm very sorry you are receiving death threats from obvious fascists. It's a fucked-up situation.

Clearly, as you indicate, the US is fast falling prey to authoritarianism on all fronts: economic, legislative, judicial, academic, social, and cultural. In addition, I believe yr spot-on to recognize that it's only going to get *worse* as the insanity of the American nightmare coalesces into a new and uniquely American form of fascism. At this point, I fear, the dysfunctional aspects of large swaths American society--as well as its inability to move beyond gravely deep fascist tendencies--is beyond the scope of psychotherapy or yr writings to reverse. The construction of a better society here is, frankly, not in the cards; utterly inconceivable, short of total collapse.

In any case, I'm happy that you live outside of the US, have close friends in Mexico who honestly care about you; and that you visit the US infrequently. As you know, I've been worried about yr safety for a long while. One security measure that I would highly recommend is not posting publicly where or when you plan to visit, particularly in the US (dates, location, etc.). You could write a general post about an upcoming visit or holiday, then correspond via email with known Wafers only. This is what you do anyway, but I would refrain from posting a detailed itinerary.

Miles

5:49 PM  
Blogger Del Gord said...

Oh for crying out loud. WTF is wrong with people. I don't agree with everything MB and/or Wafers write. And I sure as hell don't agree with Trump and Trumpers say. But to threaten the lives of people?

The other day leaving the local ALDI I saw a man entering that had a t-shirt with a litany of complaints, about 12 or 15, printed on the back. It started with something about SNOWFLAKES and ended with AND NO YOU'RE NOT SPECIAL. Jeez, I thought that was bad. Couldn't just settle for advertising his contempt for a majority of Americans by wearing a red MAGA hat! Apparently not.

Dark Ages American indeed. I'm with ya MB and Wafers.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff, Del-

The thing that's really nuts is that they are targeting an almost-total unknown. I understand going after someone like Noam Chomsky--he's a big fish, with the added bonus that he's a Jew; who are clearly responsible for all the world's problems. I'm not even a minnow; why wd anyone give a shit if I lived or died? What must my influence be, in a country of 327 million patriots and 169 Wafers? What % of the general public has read my work, or even knows my name? 0.0000001%? You'd think these wd-be 'assassins' cd get a life, or at least find better targets. Of course, it cd be all huff and puff, and what they really wanna do is vent their rage. (I'm expecting tons of hate-mail in the wake of this post; these guys are easy to bait, altho that wasn't my intention.) Who can tell? Anyway, if this blog stops running, you'll all know what happened. :-(

mb

7:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Unknown-

I don't post Unknowns; you need a real handle to participate. As far as prosecuting the death-threaters: kinda difficult, because their own handles--like Berman-killer or whatever--don't provide any tracking info.

mb

8:20 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Dr. Berman,

Why don"t you post a few examples of the raving death threats you are receiving? I would love to see more examples of how these loathsome people think. The people with 40 Trump bumper stickers on their kidnapping van, and the obligatory Make Anerica Great Again hat. When you read their words, it makes it concrete rather than abstract. It really is relevant to what this blog is about. Plus, some of them are going to keep writing whether you post them or not.

Now you are like Salmon Rushdie, looking over your shoulder whenever you eat out. It's kind of disturbing how this depraved, benighted society is so out of whack, that it actually vomits up these types with predictable regularity. But I will make fun of them too, if only to divert their anger from you.

Anyhow, all the reputable polls say that Trump is at a solid 47 percent approval rating. After everything he's done, literally half of this stupid, contemptible country thinks, "Oh yeah, he's doing a great job!" Hard to wrap my head around that. I was intrigued by your comment in the other thread regarding the profound difference from the profound difference from the America of your childhood. Yes, it was far from perfect back then, and the seeds of decadence and collapse were beginning to sprout, but it was better, wasn't it?

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

MB: There is a way to track the IP address (and at least get a location) of posters on Blogger. I had a blog on Blogger for a while I I could see the city and state of commenters. It was 15 years ago but I think it was one of these: https://www.crunchytricks.com/2016/01/display-ip-address-of-users-in-blogger.html. At least you'll know if it's some poor Russian or Chinese kid getting paid 50cents for every comment they make on Facebook ... I'm in St. Paul, MN, Amerikka if it can help confirm it works.

Otherwise, perhaps change your preferences to disable anonymous comments: https://www.justnaira.com/enable-disable-anonymous-comments-on-blogger/. If you chose the "Members of the Blog" option, it may stop all of the spammers, but it would require all WAFers to ask for access from MB and MB would have to approve each one. Alas, I don't know how it works exactly, so I don't know if it would block MB from having to sort through all the spam Ukrainians making a quarter a comment.

One last thing, and this may spill the beans, but you have posted an email address here before. Are these comments reaching that too, or only via the blogger comment email update? If the latter, it's spammers.

I'm sorry this is happening MB, I've been here (though under a few different handles) since I randomly picked up Twilight brand new in a bookstore in 2008. I'm far from an expert in this tech stuff but I've tried to help out. Feel free to delete if you want to read this but not publish.

9:29 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

MB - I don't get it. If I think you're right, I cheer. If I think you're wrong, I laugh and think, "Wait and see". Death threats mean someone is SCARED.

I'm still too poor to get Medi-Cal (I'm still fighting with them) and I hopefully will not be here in a year, but you can always hide out with me. I have, uhm, tools for self-defense and much skill in using them and am happy to teach you and other good guys.

But your best defense is probably get further away from the US. Old saying about Mexico: "Too far from God and too close to the USA".

You want somewhere where human life has meaning and there's some actual law. Can you afford a European country? How about going back to Japan?

10:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pastrami-

I'm not getting hate mail at my email address; at least, not yet. Truth is, I dunno if I want to put a lot of energy into all of this. Most of these folks have the feeling of 'hit and run', which wd indicate that these aren't serious threats. As bitter/rabid as they are, I find it difficult to believe that they'd fly down to Mexico and start looking around for me. That wd be expensive and time-consuming; posting a threat costs 0 and takes 10 seconds.

Megan-

I might do that, but I'm not sure I wanna give these folks a forum, or platform. It can get creative, tho; I'll give them that. I shd suck on Jesus' dick? Whaa?

mb

10:14 PM  
Blogger dg said...

1) Make this a pay service and hire someone to figure out the tech stuff. I'll send you $100 as soon as you ask; I'm sure others would chip in. Nothing unnatural about an immune system protecting you, or support from a community.

2)Put it all in a book and publish it, maybe with a few words critiquing each email. I can't think of a more fitting exclamation point on your trilogy.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

dg-

Many thanks; true Waferism in action. But I don' wanna start charging for this blog. That wd seem most un-Waferish, I dunno. As for bk, we need to start a list of titles. E.g.: Violent Buffoons out of Control: Why Biden Doesn't Really Matter.

alex-

Thanks for the offer. My problem w/leaving Mexico is that I love the place, so that wd be really hard for me to do.

mb

10:49 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Pity the irony - I’ve expressed it all Wafers express it, so for the haters quit hating : we are all praying for President Trump to succeed!

Bought a Pineapple today for 99 cents. V.Frankel said he wld recall images of his apt sublime images as a coping mechanism. I’m storing up these images today it’s the miracleapple b/c tomorrow may b the camp. Sunday is operation wetback round up part one, so it begins.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Michael in Oceania said...

Here is my 0.02 worth on the subject.

As long as you remain in Mexico, I expect you will be reasonably safe. As I see it, the most important "OpSec" consideration for you is do not set foot in the U.S. if you can possibly avoid doing so.

I left the U.S. over 20 years ago, because I was already feeling the personal effects of what the late Polish psychiatrist Dr. Andrew Lobaczewski called the hysteroidal cycle, which has only become worse since I left. I have not set foot in the U.S. since I left, nor do I intend to. It is no Big Brother I am worried about. I doubt Big Brother could care less about any of us on this board.

Rather it is the random violence that concerns me. I would fear being tazed by some militarized cop on a "'roid rage" because he didn't like the way I looked, or being molested by some sadistic sexual psychopath at the TSA at some airport, or being in the wrong public venue at the wrong time, when some hysterical psycho decides to "go postal."

Thus I recommend that you do not hold any more summits on U.S. soil. If need be, you can patch your American fans in via Skype, WebEx, or Zoom. Yes, I know that hi-tech is over-hyped, but some of it actually does have its uses.

Just another suggestion to ponder ....

12:35 AM  
Blogger Ajay Singh said...

The leading comment, by Miles Deli, echoes my concern that you, Morris, stop announcing your public appearances. When I read about the recent Wafers gathering in NYC, my first thought (or maybe the second one, given what a grand occasion that was, and one that I would have certainly attended if I could) was that you were inadvertently exposing yourself to Mitch McConnell's hit men. In hindsight, "exposing" seems apt: Suck this dick, assholes; it's marinated in Mexican spices that are killing you softly.

3:34 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

It all started with Alan Berg back in 1984 (appropriate date)--assassinated by a cell of white nationalists because he was deliberately provactive and used their threats to gin up ratings for his late night call in radio show (and whose fate--though fictionalized--was so spookily well dramatized in the Oliver Stone film, Talk Radio). That said, MB, I would think you're a long way from experiencing a fate similar to that of poor Mr. Berg. As you have pointed out, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of right wing hate objects out there who are higher profile than you are. Think Ilhian Omar gets a lot of death threats? Or Alexandria Cortez (who's been threatened by ICE agents no less)?

Your biggest worry at this point is probably crossing the border, where as you know, you basically have no rights. How hard would it be for them to call an elderly Jewish gentleman, travelling alone, over into a separate room for an "enhanced search" and for him to mysteriously have a heart attack or some kind of seizure? Such an event might not even be properly investigated, especially if there were no public outcry. On that front, I'd say you're probably okay until at least 2021. Should Trump win reelection, however, that's when the gloves are probably going to come off and the hard core elements of Homeland Security will really be unleashed.

In any event, read the threats closely, difficult as it may be to do. If they start getting detailed, or if it becomes obvious the same writer is using multiple handles and seems to have developed an obsession, that's when you should really start watching yourself. Don't go out alone at night, change your regular movement patterns at random, keep a close watch on your surroundings when out in public, etc. Just a little advice from your friendly Wafer retired former federal agent.

3:41 AM  
Anonymous Gordon said...

Hi Morris
You have joined the ranks of many journalists threatened by telling stories that should not be heard. Criticism of ideologies seeking dominance in the definition of truth will not be tolerated.

We have seen this before.

4:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ajay-

Wafer Summmit Mtgs: date and time is announced in advance, but not the venue. So my guess is that all of us were safe in NY, as the city has quite a few restaurants. But I appreciate the advice, in any case.

Bill-

Many thanks. I do have the sense of some kind of private obsession operating here, for some odd reason; altho it may be more than one person. As you say, I'm not high profile, certainly not in comparison to folks like Omar or AOC. I occasionally pt out the illogic of attacking me, as a result; but then these folks aren't abt logic. My style, perhaps, is some kind of trigger for them; and of course being Jewish only adds fuel to the fire. I suppose that when yr that wigged out, what counts for you is the discharge, the catharsis, of making a death threat. It's a kind of high, in a way. And for all I know, that might be enuf satisfaction for them--a hit of oxygen, as it were. On the other hand, if the obsession is severe enuf, maybe (shades of Ramon Mercader) I'll get an unexpected visit down here.

As far as Homeland Security goes: I've mentioned this b4, the possibility that eventually, in Orwell's America, a legal category will be developed called "intellectual treason," and my writings--blog and books--will fall into that category. Nothing is sacred in the US, certainly not the 1st amendment. When the gov't wanted to torture people, it got its flunkies to do the paperwork making it 'legal'. Rt now this seems like a long shot, but when an empire collapses, lots of weird stuff emerges. As Miles pts out, we are moving in an increasingly fascistic direction. Anything cd happen, really; even people getting 'disappeared'.

mb

4:41 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gordon-

True; but I'm not even on the fucking radar screen, fer chrissakes. Who ever heard of Morris Berman--really, now? We've got 169 registered Wafers here, I get virtually no invitations to speak in the US anymore, and if I had to live on book royalties I wd have starved ages ago. I figure I'm abt as threatening to the govt, or the corporations, or to rt-wingers (or to left-wingers, for that matter), as Freddie Wadsworth:

http://www.ktvu.com/news/deputies-man-arrested-for-having-sex-with-goat

For all the influence I've had, I might as well have spent my time fucking goats. (Not to be too pessimistic here.)

mb

5:02 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

MB,

Those death threats are all talk, no substance. You're better off not reading them at all IMO. It just gives more attention to those losers than they deserve.

You're absolutely right about the simmering rage and hatred as a factor in our decline. I can't help but increasingly feel this hatred in France as well. To take an example: I don't plan to have children and I say that out in the open to my friends. I don't explain why (this builds even more hatred), I just say it's a personal choice. Whereas a few years ago, my friends always laughed me off and said that "I'd change my mind eventually", as their girlfriends are now getting pregnant and they're forced to incur *more* debt and add even *more* stress to their lives, a lot of them have simply cut ties with me. In French there's a saying "pour vivre heureux, vivons cachés". I am finding this to be increasingly true.

Kanye

7:17 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

I totally get if you have to take measures to ensure your safety. No one should have to take that kind of abuse. It would be a shame as I find this site very liberating. Declinism has actually had a very positive effect on my outlook as it helps explain the overwhelming flow of data that we are faced with on a daily basis at this stage, such as this:
Missisipi gubernational candidate won't let female reporter travel with him without a chaperone:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06P_tO6rhbE

The US continues its slide into Saudi Arabia territory.

10:06 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I can’t offer any suggestions that others haven’t already advanced with respect to your handling of the menacing emails. Or other ideas for security precautions, beyond those offered by Bill Hicks. As you have said, I don’t think anyone is going to come to Mexico looking for you; nor do I think that you have to worry about visiting the US whenever you’re so inclined. I’m guessing that targeting you would require more effort than the average cretin would be willing to undertake.

If I might offer an example of the continuing decline?

First it starts with a tongue depressor, then moves to a tub of butter brickle at the local Stop and Shop, then graduates to mayhem at McDonalds:

A Florida mom has been arrested after she allowed her daughter to lick a tongue depressor and return it to the storage canister in a medical office where they were waiting for an appointment. Mom filmed the episode, posted it to Snapchat, whence it was reposted to Facebook and later to YouTube (of course). This act constituted a felony, punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment: the charge, “tampering with a consumer product without regard for possible death or bodily injury.”

http://newser.com/s277696

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

MB - Sorry to hear that the trollfoons are multiplying - could be the continuing and I think accelerating decline of the US, which seems to inflame those who can't quite understand why their world is going up in flames all around them. I think many of these folks truly want and NEED to live in the dreamworld of "exceptional America", and your writings (and everything else on this blog) skewers that dreamworld on a daily basis And, as @Miles says, America is very happily sliding into authoritarianism/fascism.

Witness this article in "The American Conservative" (link originally posted by Paul Craig Roberts): https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/americans-rights-are-literally-vanishing-at-the-airport/

Every time you come and go from the US, and in fact even exist within 100 miles of the border (any border, including the oceans), it is now a Constitution-free zone. And all you hear is, "Well, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about." Really??Indeed, if you don't understand history you are destined to repeat it.

Can't tell you how happy I am to be an official resident of boring little Switzerland. (But going to Italy for the rest of the summer on Sunday - best of both worlds!)

10:12 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Italiana-

You may remember when Trumpi referred to "those shithole countries," I guess speaking mainly of Africa. What some folks observed--not yr typical Americans--is that he forgot to include the US in that category. Most Americans are in denial, put a happy face on everything, listen to Oprah, etc.; but the outright disintegration of the country is so obvious, that they hardly need my blog to recognize this--at least on some level. This is conjecture, but I'm guessing that most of them, like Hedges, suffer from a kind of dissociation or schizoid consciousness. The truth of America actually turning into a shithole nation is hard to take, and even harder is the fact that there is no reversing this trend. So you have more and more depressed/angry people every day, and certainly for those few who have stumbled across this blog, enormous rage at my poking a stick into the wound. Don't like the messenger? Well, then let's kill him!

Altho I think, given what the US does in the world on a daily basis (such as genocide), and how it peddles an empty, hustling way of life, the world wd be much better off if we were to fade into oblivion--at the same time, there is a way to look at these events neutrally. Pay attn. to Thos Cole, or Arnold Toynbee: folks, there has never been a civilization or empire that didn't follow the pattern of birth, efflorescence, and decay. This is our fate, and exceptionalism be damned, we will not escape it. Just so happens, we are in the last phase, that of decay, decadence, senescence, and collapse. Once you recognize this, understand it, and resign yrself to it, the violence, chaos, and sheer stupidity--who cd imagine the following?--

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/sumner/hendersonville/2017/03/29/man-accused-urinating-50-pairs-childrens-shoes-walmart/99797238/

--the things around you are a lot less threatening. If you sat down w/Phillip Lightfoot, and asked him why he peed on children's shoes, the chances are he wdn't be able to tell you. Because the country is in major collapse, nothing makes sense any more; unless you understand our situation and recognize that peeing on shoes, fucking goats, and massacring schoolchildren is something of a norm when an entire society goes under. I'm not saying these things are gd, only that they are, they exist. Which leaves all of us who have cottoned onto the situation, and can view it objectively, w/2 choices: leave the country, or become an NMI. That's it. There are no other options.

mb

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

MB,
Late last year and early this year, you were concerned that Trump may lose in 2020. But have no worries my friend. Thanks to a completely useless and incompetent Democratic Party, Trump is on his way to another term and beyond!
https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/amp28364086/nancy-pelosi-hold-trump-administration-accountable/
^^My favorite quote from the article: "Kids are in cages. The raids may begin Sunday." So essentially, the house is burning down but all botox face is worried about is how her hair looks on the news.

12:27 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

OH GSWH,
Let the megafoones know you'll send the comrade their IP addresses and I'll hunt them down and pee on their shoes. To get to you they gotta go through 171 Wafers sworn to defend our glorious leader!

12:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mil-

I agree; the Dems are the silliest people on the planet. But wdn't it be great, to have Tulsi Gabbard marching into the W.H., flanked by Phillip Lightfoot, Chrystal Walraven, and Laquisha Jones? That's *my* idea of successful democracy, esp. if accompanied by Lorenzo Riggins and Freddie Wadsworth.

mb

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Dr. Berman--please take care and be careful. americans can "snap" and lash out at any moment as well-illustrated by Wafers; they had an allergy to reality. You're their enemy and their 'outputs' may likely ramp up as the empire further disintegrates.

Reiterate: Would not enter the us unless abs necessary; change your daily routines, be very careful w/ whom you share life details/plans, lay low.

Hug, love your Mexican friends. You are blessed with the ability to leave the us empire surrounded by authentic, real folks.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

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

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

Invaluable reading before your next visit to 'mur'ka. Then again, you can
always toss your passport into the paper recycling box.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

MB, I wonder if I can cram this into the usual half-page... There have been a number of sex scandals in the past few years involving prominent Jews. Harvey Weinstein, Les Moonves, and now Jeffrey Epstein. This latest one is different, in that there was some sort of intervention to protect him from the legal system. viz:
The Daily Beast on why Epstein got off with a proverbial slap on the wrist
-quote-
“Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta. (The Labor Department had no comment when asked about this.)
-unquote-
So there was an "intelligence" (covert operations) link to Epstein, and leverage was exercised to protect him. Note the statement further down the article: 'The deal granted immunity to “any potential co-conspirators.”' Meaning, the "intelligence agents" working with him were also protected. Since Epstein is Jewish, this automatically means Israeli intelligence to the anti-semite crowd. It is of course entirely possible that Israeli intelligence was involved, but it's not like any other "intelligence agency" in the world has any scruples. (See The Blindfold's Eyes if you haven't already learned enough about the horrific things "our" intelligence services sponsor...)
Anyway, there are multiple scandals lurking here. There is the exploitation of young girls that Epstein was committing, but this was also apparently part of an "intelligence operation" to snare prominent people with blackmail material. That part is probably going to be suppressed as much as possible, because the US intelligence community still has interests to protect. That will leave the field open to the conspiracy theorists to explain how Epstein got away with this as long as he did, and that means plenty of anti-semitism. The loonies are just frantically looking for Jews to scream at right now. I don't think you are likely to be any more prominent a target than thousands of others, but "Bill Hicks" advice is good for any public figure. You do have the advantage of living in a foreign country where serious stalkers are likely to stand out.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Nick Berry said...

Dear Prof. Berman,
It is a very depressing to hear you have had death threats simply for having the courage to speak the truth about a declining power. I am writing from the UK. We used to have a saying that whatever happened in the US would happen in the UK ten years later. I fear we are catching you up.
Not only does the UK demonstrate most of the problems you identified in Twilight, DAA and WAF, but in some respects we are ahead of you. By this I mean our experience as an empire in decline.
The UK has been in political and economic decline for 100 years since the end of WW1. The remains of empire disappeared in the years after WW11. Now, with Brexit, there is a clear revival of backward-looking reactionary sentiments and yes, 'Making Britain Great Again'. We will soon have our own little Trump as PM. Reason and analysis of the evidence doesn't get a look in and I have become convinced that Brexit serves some deep psychological and emotional need for a lot of Brexiteers. But what?
My question really is do you see this as purely psychological, or a mix of economic policies that (deliberately) sidelined low and middle income families, with something else, like a change in childrearing practices (assuming the first 5 years are just as important as ever).
Reading your piece I was reminded of Erich Fromm's account (in Fear of Freedom)of the history of the european(lower)middle classes and why so many of them voted for the Nazis.
Kind regards,
Nick

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Susan W, said...

It used to be that the best compliment you could give a person was that person had "class." I don't think we're going to make America great again with this behavior:

https://spectator.us/odious-worship-megan-rapinoe/

"Ashlyn Harris, goalkeeper and unofficial Instagrammer-in-chief, launched proceedings with the announcement ‘We’re on a float, bitch!’. In her running commentary of the champagne fueled celebrations, Harris dropped the b-word and the f-bomb again and again as her team mates grabbed an ABC News microphone and took over the show."

4:19 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Sucking Jesus' dick?? What the....!!??? I had no idea Jesus was gay!! And all these years I thought the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence's Hunky Jesus Contest was meant to be blasphemy, not celebration.

https://sfist.com/2019/04/22/hunky-jesus-contest-returns-to-dolores-park-for-sisters-of-perpetual-indulgences-40th-anniversary/

And from the eternal damnation is SO exciting crowd, another perspective-
https://americansfortruth.com/2008/03/28/homosexual-cross-dressing-sisters-mock-christ-with-hunky-jesus-contest/

4:39 PM  
Blogger librarian@play said...

A proposed title for your trollfoon anthology: Guns & Goatfucking: Dispatches from Trollfoonery.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan D-

I think he may have been pansexual, which includes cantaloupes. Actually, a # of reputable scholars believe he never existed, which means I was sucking on air.

Susan-

Megan Rapinoe is a turkey, a buffoon, and a douche baguette. But then, she's an American. That soccer team has shown to the world what this country is really abt. Not an iota of self-reflection, of personal awareness. No: we're #1, and that's all that matters. Is 'human garbage' too harsh, do ya think?

Nick-

Thanks for writing. Personally, I think Fromm had it rt. As for England, it had economic feet of clay as early as the Boer War, but very few people noticed it until much later. Two words may help you keep yr sanity: Brexit, Schmexit. Anyway, you've had Maggie trying (successfully) to hurt the lower classes, and Theresa having no idea what she was doing. It may be time to put the Monty Python crowd in at No. 10; they cdn't possibly do worse.

Sav-

I doubt this issue has anything particular to do w/Jews, but then it takes very little (relevant or not) to fan the flames of anti-Semitism. The world's oldest hatred, someone once called it. Anyway, lots of the accused these days are not Jewish, if that matters at all. (Think Garrison Keillor, Kevin Spacey, Bill O'Reilly, et al.) I also can't imagine Israeli intelligence getting involved in this, but then we live in a wacky world.

mb

5:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Sav: Is Djokovic Jewish? I smell a conspiracy there...

librarian-

Good one! Didju know that around the same time that Freddie was fucking a goat, someone else was fucking a van? I'm serious. Possible title: "Vanfuckers: America at the Breaking Point."

5:19 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

Jennifer Lee Chapman arrested for knifing, head-butting, and punching her boyfriend for refusing her amatory exertions:

http://thefloridamantimes.com/jennifer-lee-chapman-florida-woman-july-12/

Perhaps Jennifer made her play a little too late, I dunno.

Miles

6:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

She looks a bit like Megan Rapinoe. Two great Americans.

mb

ps: Nick: correct title is "Escape from Freedom."

7:53 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Douchewitz is a LYING piece of shit! I SO hope he goes down!



https://www.theroot.com/alan-dershowitz-sure-i-got-a-massage-at-jeffrey-epstei-1836314016



https://youtu.be/_GlK8dr6MP0

9:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Now *that* is human garbage!

mb

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Doctor, as the cowardly lion said, "Let me at 'em." Don't worry. Next Wafer summit will sit in the dark. But at least you're there and not here. This has been a banner week for me. I met 2 seemingly intelligent guys who boasted that they don't have a book in their home-they only use kindle. How's that for creating a learning atmosphere for their children?
The women's soccer team made me sick especially after they piled on and heartily celebrated each goal in a 12-1 victory against Thailand. I'm sure the Thais were appalled. Then they mocked the British team by pretending to drink tea after each goal. I could only imagine them bowing if they scored a point against the Japanese.
I'm taking a playwriting course and the first play we analyzed was "The Glass Menagerie." I don't know if anyone ever viewed it politically but THe Gentleman Caller is the true American, stealing a kiss from a crippled woman though glib talk all the while engaged to another woman. He stole the kiss for no other reason than he could. Williams obviously saw the rot even as a young man.

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

No need to spend time on the US soccer team. I've said it before, if the women and "people of color" want all the power and success and hence, money, they can have it. They'll end up just as corrupt as the old white men they replaced. It's all theater as you said MB, they kick butt and demand that they should be able to act the same way as the men so shut up. Instead of a higher ideal, let's degrade ourselves to the level of the (admittedly) douchebags we criticize. What's more American than that? The pie is rotten, but I want a bigger piece of it!

Been re-reading WAF and somewhere in the book, which I can't find to save my life ... I got the impression of the following. Why criticize trying to bring socialism to America, we've had it for years, but not for the normal people, rather for the corporations. Who got bailed out in 2008, banks and car companies, not the people that's for sure. Correct me if I'm wrong.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pastrami-

I may have said that; I also can't remember. (I never re-read my bks.) But a # of writers have said, Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor and middle class.
Seems abt rt. As for women's soccer: same ideology as men's soccer, or major corporations, really. Win, get ahead, defeat the other guy, act like peacocks, we're No. 1, look at us/we're so great, etc. Literally everything in America is poisoned by hustling, celebrity status, braggadocio. Same psychology, same vulgarity; just as well other countries see our true colors. God, I'm so glad I don't live in the midst of that crap anymore.

Dan-

Next Wafer Summit: perhaps the dark basement of an Ethiopian restaurant, in a run-down part of town. With all of us armed, of course. Actually, it may be a while till the next one; I'm saving my pennies for the Far East. :-)

mb

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

Only cowards send death threats. It makes them feel powerful. Someone with courage would give you his name and address. A relevant book is Gavin de Becker’s “The Gift of Fear,” which I reckon you have already read. I reckon you have also read Seneca’s essays, which are relevant to our times -- the ideas that prosperity breeds anger, that the wise man (i.e., you) must expatriate himself, et cetera. Hang in there. I liken you to the Old Testament prophets, who were right all along, but no one listened. Fortunately no one killed them. The new testament prophets, on the other hand....

11:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pete-

Or people w/large amts of time on their hands. I often say, "Hey, you cd learn Sanskrit, or take tennis lessons." I have a feeling they don't take my advice.

-Call me Jeremiah

11:48 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Regarding the douchebaguette women's soccer team, it's actually a good indicator of how far the country has fallen in the past 20 years. In the first U.S. women's cup win back in 1999, the big "scandal" happened when Brandi Chastain celebrated making the winning penalty shot by removing her top and revealing the sports bra she had on underneath. Boy, what a comparatively innocent time. I actually saw that team on the day it visited perverted scumbag Bill Clinton at the White House. Other than the Chastain "incident," which was really blown way out of proportion by the media, that team handled itself with the kind of composure and comportment one would expect of a national sports team. This current group of fucking idiots is an absolute horror show by comparison--just like the country they represent so well.

@Millennal--I think it's rather funny that on one of the few issues in which evil old witch Pelosi actually has her finger on the pulse of the electorate, she's getting ripped apart by the leftists. The treatment of the immigrants is indeed atrocious (I personally favor speedy and humane case adjudication and deportation when so ordered), it also true that most Americans seem willing to put up with it so long as the illegal immigration spigot is closed. Running around debating whether these facilities meet the definition of "concentration camps" is not helping since it reminds people that Trump is actually doing SOMETHING (never mind that Obama did it first). I actually know a guy who only half jokingly wondered why we don't place machine gun nests on top of the wall and behind the border fences--HE is closer to the mainstream on the issue than is Cortez, even if most people would never publicly admit it. And my wife wonders why I don't go out more.

12:48 AM  
Blogger dermot said...

I got a lot of death threats and violence threats in 2003 when my anti-war Flash cartoon went viral (as in, front page of CNN / MSNBC / FOX viral).

Death threats are as debased a currency as 5th century Roman Dinarii. Wouldn't lose a second's sleep about them, though they're no fun to get. My tactic was to play with them, I'd post their emails on my blog, so that they'd end up as chum in the google index.

One woman I recall in particular (hate mail, not violence threat) said "I'm sick of you Irish coming to American and sucking off our teet". Her name, I kid you not: SHEILA DOHERTY.

We're not talking about the annual general meeting of the self-awareness society.

12:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

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

dermot-

I think we can all agree that these folks aren't the sharpest nails in the box. What they might actually do...well, I hope yr rt.

Bill-

Synecdoche: a part represents the whole. u.c. what 20 yrs have brought us.

mb

3:52 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

If a synecdoche is a part that represents the whole, can a part of the rotting carcass that is the US Empire be referred to as a synecdouche?

4:14 AM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr. B, if it is legal to get some guns I'd probably get some just in case. And, get a security system as well. And, maybe get a guard dog like a doberman.

And, if you can learn martial arts.

7:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cube-

Can't get guns down here. Plus, not my style.

cormorant-

Depends on how symbolic it is, I suppose. Megan Rapinoe is very symbolic.

mb

9:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Meanwhile, Theresa is in the stands at Wimbledon, watching Serena vs. Simona. Talk abt unwanted guests. Also very symbolic, a complete turkey.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Dr. Berman,

I am very sorry to hear that you are receiving death threats. I cannot add any advice that Wafers have not mentioned already but if it is any consolation it is most likely that the threats will not amount to anything. People talk tough on the internet but most will never do anything to back it up. The fact that you are in Mexico probably makes you safer, which is interesting when you consider the stereotypes that Americans believe about Mexicans.

I agree with Wafer @ cormorant above, reading your books and understanding the nature of American decline helps one to deal with the endless flood of insane news we have to deal with as well as the increasing insanity and misery I see all around me.

It is sad that people choose to blame Jews or Mexicans or some other group for the problems America is facing, but many people would prefer scapegoats and easy targets to trying to understand the underlying factors behind the decline and their own misery.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

In your essay, I was particularly drawn to the phrase “soul-poison” to describe the spiritual malaise at the core of American life. There is, as you imply, something hideous at the core of the American soul, like a cancer eating away at what little remains of our compassion, love, care for others, and need for community.

We have become divided along such stringent Manichean lines of liberal/conservative, Democrat/Republican that the sole response of one side to the other seems to be limited to contempt and hatred. (See Matt Taibbi’s new book (Hate, Inc) for an account of the media’s roll in fermenting hatred and violence throughout American culture).

I think this explains, in part, the motivation of those sending you hate mail. They don’t know how to relate to anyone on the “opposite” side of an issue other than with a hatred that seeks to destroy those who disagree with them. Add a dose of panic and hopelessness due to the demise of the jingoistic myths they were taught about America in high school – America as the greatest nation ever, the compassionate savior of foreigners in need, the land of endless economic opportunity for those who really try – sprinkle in a hearty dose of economic failure and fear for survival in a hyber-capitalist society in which everyone is on his own - and you have a fearful, panic-driven, anxious depressive who tries to relieve his anxiety by striking out at persons who explain his situation to him in realities he cannot accept and must therefore deny.

He projects upon you his hatred and fear so that he sees you as a threat to his survival. By killing you, he hopes to destroy that which causes his panic and anxiety - magically thinking that everything will be OK (“great”) again if only people like you (us) are removed from the planet.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Alec Macgillis said...

Wow. One member of the Sackler family, which made billions off Oxycontin, complained in email about the family's reputation for having profited from the opioid epidemic: "It dooms my children. How is my son supposed to apply to high school in September?"

https://www.wsj.com/articles/oxycontin-made-the-sacklers-rich-now-its-tearing-them-apart-11562990475

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

MB could be all wrong about 'mur'ka because he does not appreciate that it is
a land of charming contrasts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P22t_hMHbdw&feature=youtu.be

The minimum figure is a population of 58,000 citizens of leisure.

Contrast contained in

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/56-splurges-filthy-rich-090000137.html

Be reminded that those threatening you want to feel that they part
of something larger and want to protect it, it being white, Christian,
native 'mur'ka. Their illusion is the mur'ka cares about their happiness
and well-being.... as long as they are exploitable.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Onward to Dystopia said...

The level of misery/insecurity a person must feel to send you death threats Dr. Berman, must be horrid indeed. I don't think the problem with America is only about guns, it's mostly that American society is so miserable that it makes people want to kill each other. After all, 22% of Canadian households have a gun, but this is getting off the point. I wouldn't worry too much, but I understand the concern, Americans ARE crazy-stupid.

Ernest Becker (now deceased) and Professor Sheldon Solomon have some interesting theories and research about how the slightest threat to culture causes a visceral reaction. It's called Terror Management Theory. In a nutshell, when culture is threatened, you're not just threatening a culture, you're threatening what gives a person solace from their death anxiety, and their self-esteem. Culture makes man feel important, like he will live on after death. Further, even the presence of an alternative culture is threatening. After understanding this it made more sense to me the types of people who cling to culture, especially the dregs of society, and how they react to other cultures. In fact, a lot of things fall into place...

Furthermore "death reminders" cause people to cling to their culture more strongly than otherwise, probably why America went insane for a decade after 9/11. Solomon's research has shown that judges hand down harsher sentences when they are reminded of death beforehand. People reminded of their own death are more hostile toward "out groups," and are more sympathetic to nuclear strikes. Death reminders cause more negative views toward nature itself, the human body and sex, and cause people not to see themselves as animals. Death anxiety even makes people more materialistic. Here's a video with more examples of Solomon's research.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWI3FtfKUAk

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Theodora said...

'I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice.'-Albert Camus

4:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Theodora-

Clearly, Al never lived in the US.

Onward-

America is still going insane; it hardly ended in 2011. I know Shel; gd guy, I agree with him. And also w/Becker, a hero of mine.

trying-

Notice how most other folks supply links. Always a gd idea. In addition, in future pls make sure you don't go over the half-page posting limit. Thank you.

Tom-

I agree w/u that these threats are probably empty, but we live in such crazy times...

Meanwhile, Simona crushed Serena like a bug. Tomorrow: there will be no Djoking around! Can't wait. (BTW, 15 yrs ago this wk I was at Wimbledon, and watched Sharapova crush Serena like a bug. Federer was victorious for men's singles.)

mb

5:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: I'm thinking of asking Simona to marry me, but I don't know how to make love in Romanian. If anyone has tips to share abt this, pls let me know.

5:38 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Art Baker - And that is the grand illusion, isn't it? That white Christian Amerikkkan culture cares about ... anyone. It doesn't matter how white you are, they don't care about you. They don't care about each other. It is a culture where everyone is an in-duh-vidual headed toward their own personal Ragnarok.

A white nationalist is most likely to be killed by ... another white nationalist. They bump each other off all the time, and nothing of value was lost with the sole exception of George Lincoln Rockwell, who left some hilarious cartoons and had a wicked sense of humor.

If you are white and American, you have no culture, no tribe, no one's "got your back". That's gotta be scary to the few who actually realize this.

5:47 PM  
Blogger dg said...

update from Progressivestan...

The "Engineering Artist-in-Residence" had been busy "building opportunities" that will allow residents "to connect with public works" by painting the sewer lines before they're buried in the ground. Meanwhile, the waste water treatment plant is tripling in price while the cubicle plankton Jarndyce and Jarndyce/Green™ themselves to financial freedom.


https://vancouver.ca/news-calendar/art-in-engineering-unveiled-across-vancouver-all-summer.aspx

https://twitter.com/CityofVancouver/status/1149839624497500160

https://thebreaker.news/news/mp-talks-sewage-plant/

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

MB,
Of course, anti-semitism rarely has much to do with Jews, it has everything to do with the fantasies of anti-semites. All I was trying to point out is that current events provide a feeding frenzy for conspiracy theorists in general, and anti-semites in particular. Epstein was apparently allowed to do what he was doing because some sort of intelligence operation was involved. Whether he was specifically recruited to do this, or discovered and co-opted after-the-fact by the intel community is not possible to say yet. But the Daily Beast article says Acosta very clearly stated he was told to back off, though not by whom. Now if we just knew their source for Acosta's statement. And there is still no mention of anyone one else being arrested over this. Clearly, others must have been involved. For believers in the conspiratorial world-view, this is perfect material. Shadowy forces over-riding the rule of law, and of course, Jews are involved. So it is not surprising that the crazies have gotten more frenzied since this story broke, even above the already elevated level that has been the default of the Trump presidency. You can only be seeing a very tiny part of the rage they are trying to vent on someone or something.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Jack L. of Washington State went to the trouble of obtaining the court papers for Shaneka Torres' 2017 appeal, contra her conviction of shelling down a McDonald's restaurant in 2015, in response to failing to get a piece of bacon on her cheeseburger.

I won't bother you with the 'substance' of her appeal, since it had no substance and in fact was moronic. The State of Michigan crushed her like a bug, and our Shaneka remains behind bars. However, I did discover that Shaneka's middle name is Monique, which is kinda chic.

Three comments on all this:

1. Jack did not provide any news regarding Evergreen State College. My hope is that some intrepid individual will go there and pee on the admin's shoes, president included. These folks are utter turkeys, and their shoes are too dry for my taste. Well, a man can dream.

2. Why is Shaneka in the hoosegow at all? She got stiffed on a cheeseburger and reacted accordingly. Instead of jail, this daring young woman shd be given the Presidential Medal of Honor, and (as Miles recently suggested), an AK-47 plus a nationwide map of all the McDonald's stores in the country. You go, girl!

3. Related to this kind of activity is the recent act of Phillip Lightfoot, who went to Wal-Mart and peed on 50 pairs of children's shoes. And he got arrested? The truth is that this is the opening salvo in the Hedgean Revolution. Phil put it to The Man--after all, what cd be more establishment than Wal-Mart?--making a clear left-wing statement that he wd no longer tolerate corporate fascism. All along, I've been saying that Hedges' predicted left-wing Revolution was proof of insanity, when here we have hard core evidence that such an uprising is now in its initial phase. (Whether Hedges and Phil were in touch prior to Phil's bold attack, I have no idea.) I'm a little embarrassed at how skeptical I was of Hedges' far-seeing prediction, and now see that the days of the corporation are numbered. I mean, it starts with children's shoes, but I'm guessing Phil has plans for women's belts, next. Go Phil!

mb

https://www.wzzm13.com/article/news/crime/woman-who-shot-into-mcdonalds-over-bacon-less-burger-to-stay-in-prison/483194419

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/sumner/hendersonville/2017/03/29/man-accused-urinating-50-pairs-childrens-shoes-walmart/99797238/

6:39 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Shouldn't it be Phillip Peefoot? Or Phillip Litebudfoot?

7:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Neil-

Hmm. Very impt question. Maybe BudLiteFoot. Read my new book, The Yellow River, by I.P. Daily. But why *children's* shoes? I'll hafta ask Hedges if this had some special revolutionary significance. In the meantime, Wafers are encouraged to enlarge on this modest poetic effort:

1st stanza:

Phil took a stand
He put it to the man
He peed on children's shoes
Was this devised by the Jews?

2nd stanza:

He was thinking about Turin
When he unleashed all his urine
Then decided to hose down stroppy heels
Perhaps ones owned by Jennifer Beals.

mb

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Delila said...

A secret society called the 'Banditos' seems to have been basically running the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department's East L.A. station for decades https://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-fbi-investigating-sheriff-20190711-story.html


SCARY SHIT

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Krakhed said...

Death Threats? For pointing out that American collapse is imminent? These people are looney. I'd bet that deep down they know that their country is finished. Maybe they just can't stand how much fun is had on this blog.

I'm thinking of getting a Jennifer Lee Chapman costume for Halloween this year. She and Philip Lightfoot along with Shaneka Torres are really at the forefront of American culture.


Pee was flowin
and Phil wuz knowin'
that his yellow spray
could save the day

11:57 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Ho-hum, another day, another major infrastructure failure--right in Manhattan this time. Think anyone will connect the dots with the recent refinery explosion in Philadelphia, the chemical plant explosion in Houston, the highway bridge collapse in Florida, PG&E burning down a California city, the levee collapses in the Midwest, the mall explosion in Florida or the KFC explosion in NC, all of which have happened in the last year? Ha!--don't be silly.

Meanwhile, Orange Julius is crowing because his approval rating among Republicans is, get this: 94%, or 7 points higher than St. Reagan ever achieved. Yet how does Biden and the Dumbocratic Party "leadership" plan to win the next election? With the same failed strategy Botoxface used last time--trying to convert suburban Republicans (particularly women) while thumbing their noses at the tens of millions of voters on the left who feel completely unrepresented. Now THAT (to paraphrase Trump) is some real "stable genius."

Relatedly, it was reported that even though the percentage of American voters who identify as evangelical has declined from 23 to 15% since 2006, their share of the national vote has remained steady at 26%, meaning they are by far the most reliable voting bloc. Hmmm...why might that be? Perhaps it's because, unlike the Dumbocrats, the Rethuglicans ignore mainstream pundits' warnings of electoral disaster and give their voters exactly what they want (Trump), instead of mocking and ridiculing them as Pelosi and company constantly do. It also means that "Never Trump" Republicans essentially do not exist outside the pundit class inside the Beltway. Imagine that.

12:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

Biden has explicitly stated that he wants to return the US to pre-Trump days. Which means, to what we had with Obama. But that's in large part why Hillary got rejected: too many people (in swing states) precisely didn't want more of the same, which is all she cd offer them. So Biden is a white version of Obama, and a male version of Hillary. How is that gonna work? The fact is that the Dems have nowhere to go; there is simply no one single individual who poses a serious and obvious challenge to Trumpalona. Tulsi is a joke, and Bernie is political road kill. So even if the Dems were savvy, instead of being a bunch of goofballs at this pt, they wd still lose.

Krak-

You may have hit on something there, something that I never thought of. I keep saying, Why do these folks attack this particular blog, when I'm basically a nonentity, off the radar screen of political or intellectual commentary in the US? Maybe that's it: we have FUN on this blog, they wd like to have fun as well, but they don't know how to do it. (They are, after all, a humorless bunch. If yr making death threats against a nonentity, you've gotta be pretty grim.) As a result, they are enraged. I keep telling them to get a life, learn Sanskrit or take tennis lessons or whatever, but this is just pissing in the wind (like Phillip Lightfoot--love your poem, BTW), because these things will not fulfill their *need* for rage. Shd I tell them, Hey, lighten up (or Lightfoot up), get a sense of humor? That's also not gonna work. So, I guess we just have to roll w/the punches, or the death threats. As I said earlier, from this camp we cannot expect a whole lotta introspection. ("Oh, I see it now: yr having fun, I wanna have fun but I don't know how, so I decide to hate you instead. Well, *that's* not very smart!"--when pigs fly.)

As for Jennifer, I guess the logic is something like this: "I need a good humping, my BF doesn't wanna give me a good humping, so I'll stab him instead." So now she sits in jail, still horny, unhumped, with no prospect of getting humped in the near future. That can't be gd.

mb

4:32 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Dr Berman,

One more question about the death threat people. I'm curious if they are super "pro America", and are offended specifically by the America bashing that goes on here? Regardless of how well known or obscure you are,this is one of the few blogs that just comes right out and says "America sucks!" in pretty much every post. Is it that, do you think, or is it something even more primal and demented, like hatred of your "Jewish blood"? I mean, the fact that a JEW dares to be so uppity and outspoken, is probably particularly offensive to some sick souls out there. Those are the ones you have to watch out for. So don't post anything if you ever feel that doing so will put you at risk. If we were all to laugh at them and mock them, it occurred to me that that might provoke them. It's interesting to see how they think, but it's not worth that! Hence my question about to what extent they see themselves as "America's Defenders"?

8:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Megan-

Some time ago I explained to the trollfoons that they were wasting their time, inasmuch as typically, 3 words into a message, I cd tell whether or not it was hate mail; and if so, I just deleted the message. Apparently, they took me seriously. Given that attacking me is very impt to them, they now choose a handle that attacks me, plus a message that is only a few words long. Thus, they really don't have the space to say *why* they intend to kill me, or what their beef is w/me (altho 'Jew' is, in fact, mentioned on occasion). It cd be all of the things you mention, and perhaps most esp. my claim that America won't recover; that it has no future, and that it will definitely not become great again. Or even, as Krak suggested, that we're having fun. There's no way of knowing. That said, I have no interest in baiting them, suggesting they drown themselves or whatever, and one reason is that they are confirming my thesis, as is Trumpo himself. As I wrote in my post, these folks, like Trumpaloni, are historical agents; they are carrying out the job that they were meant to do, namely accelerate our decline. So if they wanna write, "We will kill you!", it's OK by me...IF they don't really plan to act on it. Which I'm guessing is the case, but as I said earlier, who can know? Someone who can tell me that I "suck Jesus' dick" is probably a very unpredictable guy, and American life is by now a very complicated affair.

mb

9:01 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: or maybe they're just lonely. Check this out:

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-soni-campus-student-loneliness-20190714-story.html

Proposed remedies include an app, a dog, and a robot. Yeah, that shd do it. More cell fones wd also help, I'm sure. Of course, this is not limited to the college crowd; we have lotsa data on the entire American population being lonely, saying they have no one they can trust, no one to talk to, and so on. This too, I believe, accelerates our decline.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

MB - I don't have any ideas about what to do about the crazies. All I can do is commiserate given how unsettling it must be.


Now as to Simona I just finished watching the 1970s film Walkabout. Towards the end the Aboriginal youth demonstrates a formidable mating display which I think would be universally understood.

You could watch the film and see if sparks any ideas for you.

(And as a single person approaching my 70s I'm starting to think such a display is the last hope for me.)

https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-walkabout-1971


9:45 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Eating with others. Yet another element of the decay and collapse, the feedback cycle of selfishness and alienation.

For a long time I worked at places where a few days a week many or most of us would leave the shop and go out to eat. Nothing fancy, just a walk to a neighborhood Chinese place, a hot dog cart and sit by the water, etc. I didn't think much of it until we had a client contact person who was from Italy, working for architects in the US. One time when he was in the shop we asked him to lunch. He came along, and as we sat on some benches drinking coffee afterwards, he was almost crying as he told us how much he missed lunches in Italy, and that no one in his firm did that here. He made a point of scheduling meetings for just before lunch for the rest of the project.

Since that place, almost always people eat at their desk. A point of pride to work through lunch. Or the saddest, a place where a third of the people would go out to the parking lot and sit in their cars to eat by themselves. Winter time? Why, just run your car for half an hour for the heat. Once the boss bought pizza, and I turned around from the box to find everyone, every single person, back at their desk staring at their computers.

Of course Americans need utilitarian justification for such a weird activity, so-

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/07/the-importance-of-eating-together/374256/
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/11/27/sharing-food.aspx

And heaven help those who try to feed others!
https://www.peoplesworld.org/article/this-week-in-history-food-not-bombs-volunteers-arrested-in-san-francisco/
https://www.thenation.com/article/food-not-bombs/

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Pilgrim said...

@Onward to Dystopia...

You might enjoy the essay entitled "One Year Later", by Mark Slouka, from his book Essays from the Nick of Time. He discusses the deeper meaning of 9/11 on this culture...

"I believe, to put it plainly, that last year's attack was so traumatic to us because it simultaneously exposed and challenged the myth of our own uniqueness. A myth most visible, perhaps, in our age-old denial of death.

...

And now death has come calling. That troubled brother, so long forgotten, so successfully erased, was standing on our porch in his steel-toed boots, grinning. He'd made it across the ocean, passed like a ghost through the gates of our chosen community. We had denied him his due and his graveyards, watered down his deeds, buried him with things. Yet here he was. He reminded us of something unpleasant.

...

Perhaps what we need to do is leave the City upon a hill, walk out of Canaan. Return to Egypt, filthy with history. The crowds thicken as you walk east - the crowds of the living and the dead. The doors of the kostice are open. Enter it. You know this place, these bones. They are yours. Admit it."

11:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pilgrim-

Great stuff. What I mentioned earlier, abt being able to view the American collapse objectively, like an historian--to know that every single empire or civ w/o exception ultimately withers into extinction--is something that only the tiniest % of Americans can do. What this group can do--Wafers and their fellow-travelers--stand outside the myth and see it *as* a myth--is something the rest of our countrymen, who live inside the myth, simply cannot do. In terms of sweeping sociocultural change, even if this group were to get connected (think of a worldwide Wafer organization, e.g.), it wdn't matter because there are too few of us (when I say tiny, I mean tiny). It's really wonderful to run across excerpts like this one, from Slouka, but the # of Sloukas alive today in the US is minuscule. All of us here, as Wafers who have left the US or have become NMI's, have the knowledge of what Slouka is talking abt, wh/gives us the satisfaction of not living in a fog, but also the frustration of not being able to do anything abt it. Still, I do think it affords us some kind of protection; exactly what, I'm not able to say. But to know that we are not exceptional, and that the game is over--well, that's a big plus. It means, at the very least, that you can relax, and also see the humor in the situation. When Phillip Lightfoot goes to Wal-Mart and pees on 50 pairs of children's shoes: (1) You understand the larger context of this, i.e. why he wd do it, and what it means (hint: not Hedgean Revolution); and (2) You recognize that this is actually hilarious. Not if the poor shmuck is clinically insane, of course; but if not--I'm sorry, it's just funny. Then sigh, and wait for the copycat attacks.

mb

11:22 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Susan-

Sorry, cdn't run it. We have a half-pg-max rule on this blog. Pls compress/edit and re-send. Thanks.

mb

11:55 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Security cameras saw the urine
But Phillip Lightfoot had a yearnin’
To fill children’s shoes with pee
And leave the store in a state of glee

No MB, even if he’s insane it’s still funny as hell.

In the five yrs I’ve lived in city center of most crime ridden shithole in Colorado there have been 4 murders. One poor kid, loved nothing more than playing in his mariachi quartet, was shot straight through head while driving down the street in front of the transit center and crashed his car into a bank. Turned out he had the wrong car (a used BMW) he had just purchased it from money he got as back pay from Social Security Disability (can take 2 or more years to be approved, SSA gives back pay from the date of application once approved.) Fuckin’ gangbangers mistook him for a rival. I haven’t let it paralyze me, but in many respects I live with the threat of death every time I leave home. Most times when I leave I say a little prayer for god or whoever to watch over my going out and coming in. In no way am I minimizing a targeted death threat, I’m with you MB and have some sense of how it might feel.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

Nice rhyme. Suggest we now go for limericks:

There once was an hombre name Phil
Whose urine he was given to spill.
He thought it quite smart
To attack kids' shoes at Wal-Mart
And...

(Wafers are asked to fill in the blank.)

Well, if he was insane, I don't think it can be called a political statement.

As for death threats: rt now I'm more perplexed than anything else.

mb

12:33 PM  
Anonymous al- Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I have been thinking of that Mark Slouka essay (I read it in Harper's about a month after the Sept. 11 attacks) while trying to come up with theories on why gringos are so dang exceptional. There's a passage in that essay where a student admits that she always thought that Jesus was an American. BINGO! As Slouka says, it is a perfect summation of gringo thought.

Back in the late 60s/early 70s, my mom was taking university courses to help her upgrade her job. At the time, she said that her Sociology prof told her class that one reason why gringos are so litigious is that they each think that they are a little god, just because they are from the USA, and hence any attack on their person is an affront to whatever is good and beautiful in the universe (I'm paraphrasing). That makes sense. Think how many times one hears of a gringo saying in disbelief, "You can't do that to me! I'm an American!" They think they're beyond the bounds of normal human existence. Thus taking a firearm into a fast food joint to address the fundamental injustice of not having bacon on a hamburg is a reasonable reaction.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Greetings Wafers everywhere, here’s your cheery news summary from Cascadia:
Tacoma police officers shot and killed 68-year old Willem Van Spronsen after he tossed “incendiary devices” at vehicles and over the fence surrounding an ICE detention center. A long-term friend described him as an anarchist and anti-fascist who “was ready to end it”:

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/tacoma-police-armed-man-throwing-incendiary-devices-shot-outside-ice-detention-center/
The Seattle Times ran an investigatory story about six prisoners who died in the past year at Washington state’s main penitentiary, the Monroe Correctional Complex, due to “inadequate” medical care and the firing of the medical director at the prison, Julia Barnett. Barnett had been promoted despite having only a pharmacist degree and lacking an approved medical residency or certification (let’s call it: she was a quack):
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/the-head-doctor-at-monroe-state-prison-was-fired-over-alleged-negligent-care-now-seven-deaths-are-under-investigation/

And finally, the same newspaper reported the situation of Jennifer Pena, 42, living in one of Seattle’s sanctioned tiny house settlements for the homeless and owing more than $12,000 of court-imposed debt. A University of Washington study found one-third of the population living at these encampments reported court debts, with the median being $3,000. Under Washington law, criminal convictions cannot be erased from someone’s record until the debts are paid:
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/homeless/despite-reform-attempts-court-imposed-costs-burden-low-income-defendants/

P.S. Current stats have Olympia’s Evergreen College enrollment for Fall 2019 dropping 17 percent over Fall 2018:
https://hotair.com/archives/john-s-2/2019/05/23/evergreen-state-college-update-schools-enrollment/

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Schmucko said...

I'm very sorry to hear about the continued death threats! I came today to your blog expecting a dissection of how the Epstein case demonstrates American collapse but it looks like you've been side-tracked.

I knew the attitude of the W years, right after the launch of the Iraq War, had led many Americans to lash out. Watching the video of Hedges speaking at that college graduation to be confronted with jeers, and that he was told by his university host that his safety would be in danger returning to campus, always amazes me. But I figured the aftermath of Iraq had disillusioned many Americans from that "we can do no wrong" attitude. I thought the trollfaloons would have kept quiet after that.

There's a new thing though, the 4-chan, 8-chan culture, the Gamergate enthusiasts, and maybe that's where your new trolls come from. Those types are known for their death threats.

Tomorrow I have to decide on whether to stay at my tenured professorship. While it seems so desirable and increasingly rare in a world of adjuncts (I have insurance, security) I also have a heavy teaching load and have had serious medical issues (cancer though with good prognosis, and some of my treatments were botched). The state university's not so flexible on my getting grades in on deadline amid medical crises. That stress isn't so good for my precarious health... Plus: am I helping my students though education or acting as a front to neoliberal schemes (education only for grades to advance careers, the wealthy buy their kids into more prestigious colleges, etc.)

2:05 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

MB,

You were right about the Djoker. Two match points from Federer... It's going to take some time to digest.

Kanye.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

An incredible game by 2 incredible players. No, he was not Djoking around. One wonders if the 2 will ever be matched up again. As for me, I still wanna marry Simona.

Schmucko-

I don' care much abt the Epstein flap, really. It's just boring plutocratic shit. But gd luck w/yr cancer, and w/retirement.

al-

Well, it was a cheeseburger, wh/makes it even more egregious. As for Jesus, the most recent research indicates that he spoke English, w/some Yiddish thrown in (thus he once apparently referred to the Pharisees as 'bulvanim', and to Pontius Pilate as a 'putz'; true enuf). But to give Pilate his due, he did predict that 2000 yrs hence there wd be a country called America, and that it wd be filled with 'insulsi' (morons).

mb

3:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: "limbic capitalism":

https://www.amazon.com/Age-Addiction-Habits-Became-Business/dp/0674737377/ref=sr_1_1?crid=12SC7R41DSJVT&keywords=age+of+addiction&qid=1563132459&s=books&sprefix=age+of+ad%2Cstripbooks%2C208&sr=1-1

3:30 PM  
Anonymous NB said...

"Last year data surpassed oil in value."

Looks like The Great Hack is going to be compulsory and disturbing viewing for anyone concerned with privacy, democracy, and freedom...

https://youtu.be/iX8GxLP1FHo

5:25 PM  
Anonymous WanderLust said...

“Ivy League professor who said coming to America was the greatest mistake of her life & she will be returning soon to her post-Soviet nation [because] neoliberal late capitalism is devoid of all humanity.”

https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=13431

6:33 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

That's a shame to hear Dr. Berman. Though I have to concur that it's not entirely surprising. Living in North Carolina, I get used to seeing people practically overdosing on their own anger. They're like junkies looking for their next 'Outrage' hit.

Anyway, on with the discussion. How many of you have heard of "Stealth Vans"?

I hadn't until last week. Here's the shorthand:

Some full-time 'employed' Americans are skipping out on paying rent altogether. They're opting out of having to claw and scratch their way into paying 4K a month for an apartment the size of a shotglass.

https://youtu.be/BA5wHbRJt_8

Instead, they build these vans that provide enough basic necessity to survive. They camouflage them as work-vans so they can be parked inconspicuously virtually anywhere. Most of the people who live in them get cheap gym memberships to take care of their personal hygiene, but otherwise LIVE in these things.

At least half of the videos I've seen are of people literally working 40+ hours a week. These are not 'homeless' people or transients.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

I've been thinking of some acronyms to put on T-shirts, so that people will come up to us and ask us what they mean. In this way, we can potentially spread Waferism across the nation.

CRE: Cranial-Rectal Embedment
BRE: Buffoon-Rich Environment
EBI: Escalating Buffoon Index
SWAT: Somany Wafers Admire Trump
WSM: Wafer Summit Meeting
ANYWSM: Annual New York Wafer Summit Meeting
BOOC: Buffoons Out Of Control
TOTM: Turkeys On The March
AHSFB: Americans Have Shit For Brains
WLCW: We Love Chrystal Walraven
WLLR: We Love Lorenzo Riggins
WSST: We Support Shaneka Torres
PLPOS: Phillip Lightfoot Pees On Shoes
NCSA: Nothing Can Save America

Wafers are encouraged to add to this list.

mb

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Wafer B Louis: There are many of those camouflaged "work trucks" around parks, side streets, etc....where we are living while planning our escape. Who in their fucking right mind would pay ~$2-4k per month + utilities, and other us-style fee fests to rent a shoe box?!

Many of these folks living in camou-work trucks are decent people, some former corporate administrators (laid off due to "down-sizing"), lawyers, plumbers, librarians, carpenters, classical musicians, and other 'working-class' individuals. They keep to themselves, clean up after themselves, and have vous-type manners.


One reason why the rent is so high? Not b/c of "working hard" at the job and making lotsa dough. It's b/c many adult children are still being subsidized by their boomer parents. So rents go up and up b/c they have no problem paying the rent.....This phenomenon has been reported by several "news" papers such as the NYT and LA Times.

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Schmeck said...

Tried to order bagel sandwich. Egg white problem and short height issue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-CAR-vAkbk


Does this happen in other countries?

11:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Schmeck-

Whaa? I'm not clear on what not getting dates hasta do w/bagels...I assume the guy is mental...unless, as in the case of Phillip Lightfoot, he too is making the Revolution, in his own special way. As for US vs. other countries: I have a feeling that the % of lunatics, or folks w/very short fuses, is extremely high in the US, by comparison. This poor dude...some combo of CRE, EBI, BOOC, and AHSFB (scroll back to decode).

mb

11:43 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Doctor,
Krak is on the something. I'll give an example. As you know I visit Thailand every year. Western men go there for one reason-get away from western women. I was at this disco and there were a group of western women looking angry. I said to my friend,"Those western women are angry, guess because no guy is interested in them." He said,"That's not the reason. They're angry because they hate seeing western men having fun."
I attended a one day comedy workshop yesterday and the teacher stressed how important it is to observe everyday life and listen to people talk for comedic ideas. Of course, everyone agreed but as soon as they left the building they put in their ear buds. My 94 year old mom told me she observed a parent on her I-phone as her daughter was trying to get her attention. She wanted to say something to the mother but didn't. I could only imagine the mother saying, "Mind your own fuckin'business." Fortunately, she doesn't go to center city anymore. I think if she observed the level of techno-douchebaggery there, she'd gladly leave her mortal coil.

12:55 AM  
Blogger Lucullus said...

We should form a wafer bodyguard unit. We could call ourselves "Berman's Lifeguards." We would only need to be paid in Tequila and limes.

Seriously, I hope it isn't causing you too much consternation. Stay safe!

1:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Luc-

No, not too much, but thanks for yr concern. Oh, and BTW: always, always capitalize Wafer.

mb

5:00 AM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr. B

Ah! I didn't know guns were illegal in Mexico like that. Well, what about a super soaker 3000 with tons of urine in it. And, maybe you could somehow get permission from the Thai and Mexican government to import a few of the monkey's from monkey island and train them to poop on these trollfoon's head.

http://www.bangkok.com/pattaya/attractions/monkey-island.htm

By the way, this was one of the places we visited in Thailand. The monkey's jump on your head. On, if you ever visit Thailand go to their night market. They make good egg rolls.

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Blair said...

https://www.vice.com/en_asia/article/wjv3pq/indian-toddlers-are-learning-how-to-code-before-learning-to-talk

Indian Toddlers Are Learning How to Code Before Learning to Talk

This prepares the next generation for a future dominated by data.

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Neil said...

https://aeon.co/essays/gregory-bateson-changed-the-way-we-think-about-changing-ourselves

Fascinating essay on the seemingly forgotten Gregory Bateson.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Neil-

Thanks. I provide a long explication of Bateson's work in the Reenchantment bk.

Blair-

A few yrs ago I read abt some Canadian co. that had come out with some sort of digital machine which, they claimed, newborns of 1 wk old cd learn to operate. What a triumph!

cube-

I've heard that those egg rolls can be weaponized, to be used in case of a trollfoon attack. They are apparently faster than a speeding bullet.

mb

9:07 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

MB,

I know this blog's main topic isn't Tennis, but I am seriously depressed about the result of that final. 1 POINT. Federer was 1 POINT AWAY from making history and retiring in style. Now he'll always be remembered as "the guy who choked against Djokovic in Major finals". Djokovic's level was from another planet and he deserves the win, but - and I cannot stress that enough - the guy is a massive douchebag. He curses at ball boys on court, is not sportsmanlike at all when he loses, has no sense of humor whatsoever and spent the first 5 years of his career faking injuries to distract his opponents and try to "win ugly". There's nothing more fake than the way he sends those "hugs" to the crowd after every match. Tennis fans can smell it and that's why he's not liked. Tennis has become like life unfortunately: politically correct, all about efficiency and devoid of style & humour. Djokovic is the perfect champion of our times.

Kanye

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Dr. Berman,

Regarding the loneliness issue, I love how the answers to a problem that is likely caused by technology mostly involve more technology! Tech is probably not the only factor in the rise of loneliness but it looks like it is a big one. Jean Twenge has written a number of good articles on the issue as it pertains to young people.

https://theconversation.com/teens-have-less-face-time-with-their-friends-and-are-lonelier-than-ever-113240

https://theconversation.com/the-mental-health-crisis-among-americas-youth-is-real-and-staggering-113239

As you point out, the loneliness epidemic is not just impacting young people, although they seem to be hit the worst. You have said that the difference between the country today and the country you grew up in is staggering. I am amazed by how different the country is today even compared to the 1990s when the rot had already set in.

The situation in America was bad in the 1990s but it is much worse today. For example, I cannot imagine this many college students having problems making friends and suffering this badly from mental health problems 20 years ago. I used to think I was just suffering from nostalgia but as we document on this blog the decline is real.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Good day Wafers

Can always find monstrosities in the dark corners of a country
if you dig deep enough. Unfortunately USA takes another hit.
This guy should be tied to the railroad tracks justifiably
perhaps; thus saving the taxpayer the cost of keeping this guy's
remaining prison life away from the general prison population.
Better yet put him into the general prison population.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/u-s-man-records-videos-sexually-abusing-one-year-old-posts-them-on-dark-web-gets-70-years-1.4508489

12:39 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Since douchebag is used here often I thought it might be fun to know the origin. Enjoy.

https://youtu.be/C6XF4RxU7xQ

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Sherman said...

It's Ingmar Bergman's birthday and there's a showing of Wild Strawberries for the occasion. I love that film

1:14 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

I felt perfectly safe in Manhattan and at the 6ANYWSM (save for a random psychopath on the subway). But this is disturbing. The death threats. But, To Be Expected.

How about we convene the next WSM at an out-of-the-way fishing village in Baja California? Say, in January? Wouldn't It Be Nice?

Watch yer back, Amigo. We need you.

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Crimson King said...

"...Happiness in the onset of the unexpected good. Maybe this is deeply planted in us, this sense that what we’re here for is to be elated and to be loved"

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-new-yorker-interview/going-home-with-wendell-berry

Going Home with Wendell Berry
The writer and farmer on local knowledge, embracing limits, and the exploitation of rural America.

3:40 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Another instance of just how wonderful Americans can be in dealing with traffic mishaps. I know its hot in Jersey City now but a gang of 6 people beating a driver senseless and on-lookers doing nothing (one even takes a picture with their phone after the action is over) is pretty low but not unexpected.

https://www.nj.com/hudson/2019/07/video-captures-vicious-beating-of-driver-in-jersey-city-as-onlookers-do-nothing.html

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Fantastic interview with Dr. Michael Hudson, explaining post-Bretton Woods policies-

https://michael-hudson.com/2019/07/de-dollarizing-the-american-financial-empire/

Highly recommended!

5:23 PM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

Visited doctor's office today for a regular checkup. While waiting in an examination room, bored out of my mind, I pulled a magazine out of a rack on the wall and looked at the cover. The zine was a 2018 issue of MedScape, a trade journal for docs. The lead cover story was about how doctors could increase their profits in the coming year. The focus was on making more money, rather than improving care or better bedsides manners. This is what you get (along with outrageous drug prices and inconsistent hospital charges) when you have for-profit medical care run by mini-monopolies according to geographic sections of the country.

Another reason Americans are getting dumber - TV viewing among kids is at an eight-year high. On average, children ages 2-5 spend 32 hours a week in front of a TV—watching television, DVDs, DVR and videos, and using a game console. Kids ages 6-11 spend about 28 hours a week in front of the TV. Studies consistently show too much screen time is bad for young children's brains. (See "Time Health", Spring 2019.) "negative effect on development, including issues with memory, attention and language skills. Like - "which country, like, did America, like, fight in that war - you know what I mean - the one with George Washington, I think, and, you know, all those, like, other old men in 1865?"

5:49 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

The august war criminal Senator Lindsey Graham piled on and referred to Rep. Cortez as a "communist" this morning. One is led to believe that this utter douchebag wouldn't know a real communist if one came up to him and peed on his Doc Martens.

Also of note--a DOJ lawyer who recently argued in favor of the inhumane treatment in the detention camps was an OBARFA appointee and is a registered Dumbocrat.

Hey, guess what guys, you'll NEVER believe this but, um...Progressive Boomers Are Making It Impossible For Cities To Fix The Housing Crisis. Can't wait 'till these old fucks living in their shitty, poorly built McMansions try to downsize and sell and find that younger adults can neither afford nor want to buy their personal hideous monuments to selfishness, greed and mindless consumption.

@Wanderlust--one little problem with the USAian prof, prog, douchebaguette quoted in the article your posted: O'Dell has previously asked whether “white men [should] be required by law to attend re-education centers to help prevent mass shootings." I guess that means even the many millions of us white guys who DON'T own guns need to be rounded up for "re-education"--after all, we must be automatically guilty by virtue of gender and skin color. Let's also ignore the economic stressors of neoliberalism that are a huge factor in the mass shootings as well as the spiraling suicide rate (which she doesn't even mention). Just imagine if this idiot was somehow ever able to take power--she'd be even more of an authoritarian than Trump. She is, however, a perfect example of how progs "think."

6:45 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

So Trump made a mean Tweet (which I agree, despicable, despicable man). And it is all anyone can talk about. Because, well, nothing more important going on, eh?

Meanwhile, CO2 levels from US are increasing. Because of a 'booming' economy.

https://www.npr.org/2019/01/08/683258294/u-s-carbon-dioxide-emissions-are-once-again-on-the-rise

See the problem here? I mean, I know it sounds stupidly simple, but we have a choice- life or capitalism. I think I know what Americans (and most of the world) have chosen- same day home delivery of toilet paper!

https://globalnews.ca/news/4714827/overnight-delivery-hurting-environment-online-shopping/

Oh, stumbled across this today, looks like a good read on Bateson. Been a long time since I read him; I have a feeling I'm going to find he had a bigger influence than I realized. Sometimes the best thinker work that way, where it isn't until much later and you find yourself not even able to imagine being you without those key concepts.

https://aeon.co/essays/gregory-bateson-changed-the-way-we-think-about-changing-ourselves

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Rory said...

MB - did you ever read Vidal's "Lincoln"?

I just picked up a copy for the first time.

10:04 PM  
Anonymous al- Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I wouldn't worry about any death threats, Belman. Remember what they say about believing what you read on the internet?

What I find most concerning about all this is that a Wafer would suggest that you acquire firearms in response to these "threats." Would anyone but a gringo think that is appropriate?That idea didn't even occur to me, but then I'm not from the USA.

1:41 AM  
Blogger CB said...

Get a gun. It's the American way. Lol. Well, that is disturbing. Sorry that is happening to you.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

CB-

Guns not available in Mexico. The narcotraficantes cross the northern border, lined with gun shops, to get them. I'll pass.

Dan D-

See my reply to Neil, above.

Birn-

Thanks for the link. I discuss Bretton Woods at some length in DAA (as you might know).

Michael-

Violence and apathy are impt parts of our decline.

mean-

Cash is tight rt now, unfortunately. I'm thinking Helsinki in 2022.

Kanye-

At least we can say he's not Djoking around. Maybe there will be a rematch somewhere.

mb

10:57 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Here is an interview with Aldous Huxley from 1958 - times were hopeful then and Huxley was brilliant.

https://www.darkmoon.me/2019/aldous-huxley-interviewed-in-1958-video/#more-122368

11:44 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

You think we got plenty of violence now, just wait.

“As the planet warms, experts have increasingly sounded the alarm over the potential for increased climate-driven geopolitical conflict. Two new studies underscore how rising temperatures are likely to increase aggression and violent behavior at the individual level as well. They arrive at a similar conclusion using two very different data sets: crime in Los Angeles and terrorist attacks around the world.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/07/16/two-new-studies-warn-that-hotter-world-will-be-more-violent-one/

Rising temperatures will also be a stimulus for transborder migrations, as various parts of the globe become inhospitable. The notion of national borders will become “so last week.” Ironically, if Guy McPherson is correct, measures intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will make things worse: the “global dimming” effect, produced by particulates put into the atmosphere by our burning fossil fuels, will diminish with any reduction in industrial activity; the long wave radiation previously reflected by these aerosols will pass through unreflected and add to the heating. This has been dubbed the McPherson Paradox.

Stay on the qui vive, you never know what the guy next to you is thinking. Or what just pissed him off.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/jeffrey-epstein-559-million-worth-assets-itemized-210338498.html

Secretly MB must still love America, because it is so concerned for its corporations and
wealthy persons. It reduces taxes and allows greater profits; then has to borrow
back the money it gave them and then pays them interest on it. Once you see that
Epstein somehow missed becoming a billionaire, perhaps you could get Wafers to send
him some donations?

2:41 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

For interested Wafers I Love You Now Die is an exceptional two part documentary on hbo delving into a court case that garnered international attention:

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/michelle-carter-i-love-you-now-die-erin-lee-carr-interview-855417/

The confluence of mental illness, psychotropic drugs, and techno douchebaggery on these two teenagers is staggering. This story is prob the tip of an iceberg. My take on it is in a far fetched world of an informed citizenry the gov't wld not be allowed to sell public airwaves to cell phone companies that allow this shit to take place. As we all know, no one cares, no one gives a fuck.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

The theater is especially spicy today:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-ice-chicago-congressman-garcia-tom-homan-20190716-nad63sxtszbnxea7y47hm4gl7y-story.html

Another ripoff of American taxpayers. The system is working exactly as intended.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/07/16/740964958/records-show-medicare-advantage-plans-overbill-taxpayers-by-billions-annually

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

"Methed-up gators and ducks and geese, oh my! Tennessee police warn against flushing drugs down the toilet"
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/methed-up-gators-and-ducks-and-geese-oh-my-tennessee-police-warn-against-flushing-drugs-down-the-toilet/ar-AAEncQS?ocid=spartanntp
^^My favorite part from the article: "Last month, Alabama authorities arrested a man who allegedly fed meth to a pet squirrel named Deeznutz and trained it to attack people. Authorities said they could not conduct a drug test on it, however."

Bill - I completely agree about the Boomers and their hideous McMansions. I'll take my small, but charming Madrid apartment any day.

Re: Trump's remarks: I'm very disappointed that Trump didn't single me out, telling me to go back to where I came from. I would've told him "Thank you, Mr. President. I will leave your shithole country. You can keep it." Why can't AOC and others say the same?

4:48 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Happy Tuesday Professor Belman!

Your new monicker reminds me of the delightful stories by Sholem Aleichem, of Tevye The Dairyman, whose name the Gentiles can't wrap their tongues around, and thus to them he becomes "Tevel". The stories are worth a read if you haven't already, about their kvass business and the shy goat, and so on. They must be a scream in the original Yiddish.

NPR is on a real Moon jag. Excellent listening; interviews with astronauts, engineers and technicians, real "You Are There" stuff. I fear it is a swan song ...

Real Americans(tm) know the Moon landing was a hoax and are not interested in anything but the Racial Struggle For Survival(tm) and the soon-coming Ragnarok.

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Martin Sinclair said...

Dr. Berman,

I think the best advice comes from the late Normal Mailer: fug 'em.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Ricardo said...

Something about “inner discourse”.

What if some folks just don’t have the vocabulary to be able to correctly think things through? They, literally, have no words . . .

9:37 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Al-Q--if it's any comfort, though I have extensive firearms training and know how to use rifles, shotguns, revolvers and semi-autos (thanks to the army and USG), MB purchasing a gun for self-defense never popped into my mind as a solution. Becoming proficient with a gun means taking lessons from a qualified instructor and firing (at a minimum) hundreds of rounds and learning proper safety, handling and shooting proficiency. And even then handguns are notoriously inaccurate even at close range, and I sure wouldn't want to be the American who accidentally shoots and kills an innocent bystander in Mexico. Plus, a handgun won't help you much if you get ambushed--you likely won't even have time to draw and return fire.

Meanwhile, in California ex-Governor Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown's truly awful legacy of coddling the oil and gas industry is coming to light now that his appointee to head the state's oil and gas commission was caught stepping up fracking permit issuances in defiance of the new governor's expressed campaign promise to curtail them. From driving an old subcompact to the governor's mansion in the 1970s to becoming one of California's biggest climate criminals 40 years later--is there a sadder example of a prog "hero" than Moonbeam Brown?

And lastly, the federal deficit will top $1 trillion this year despite the looming recession not even having kicked in yet. When it does, the feds are not going to have the cash to "rescue" the economy (read: the rich) like they did in 2008-2011. Yet amazingly, the Dumbocrats are still scratching their heads trying to figure out why Rethuglicans only care about the deficit when a Dumb is in the White House.

10:10 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

You can't make this stuff up. It just writes itself these days. Ah, DARPA, is there any better model for technology without morality?
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/16/pentagon-review-weaponised-ticks-lyme-disease

"A new book published in May by a Stanford University science writer and former Lyme sufferer, Kris Newby, has raised questions about the origins of the disease, which affects 400,000 Americans each year.

"Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons, cites the Swiss-born discoverer of the Lyme pathogen, Willy Burgdorfer, as saying that the Lyme epidemic was a military experiment that had gone wrong.

"Burgdorfer, who died in 2014, worked as a bioweapons researcher for the US military and said he was tasked with breeding fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects, and infecting them with pathogens that cause human diseases.

"According to the book, there were programs to drop “weaponised” ticks and other bugs from the air, and that uninfected bugs were released in residential areas in the US to trace how they spread. It suggests that such a scheme could have gone awry and led to the eruption of Lyme disease in the US in the 1960s."

10:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ricardo-

Americans don't have words that go beyond 1 syllable. How else to explain low sales of my bks?

Martin-

Speaking of WW2 bks: "The Young Lions," by Irwin Shaw. Terrific.

Mil-

They can't because they are not declinists. Like Trumpi, they want to save the country.

Art-

Whaa?

mb

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

Henry Kissinger writes for the Atlantic again, though he is working with Eric Schmidt (of Google fame) this time. Similar topic, the destabilizing effects of advanced automation (though he and Schmidt still believe the "AI" hype -- news flash, AI does not exist! At least not yet. It's just more advanced automation than we are used to.)

The Atlantic: The Metamorphosis

---quote---
Humanity is at the edge of a revolution driven by artificial intelligence. It has the potential to be one of the most significant and far-reaching revolutions in history, yet it has developed out of disparate efforts to solve specific practical problems rather than a comprehensive plan. Ironically, the ultimate effect of this case-by-case problem solving may be the transformation of human reasoning and decision making.

This revolution is unstoppable. Attempts to halt it would cede the future to that element of humanity more courageous in facing the implications of its own inventiveness. Instead, we should accept that AI is bound to become increasingly sophisticated and ubiquitous, and ask ourselves: How will its evolution affect human perception, cognition, and interaction? What will be its impact on our culture and, in the end, our history?

...
---unquote---

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UANRvFNc0hw&feature=youtu.be&t=2

Ahhh, the famous war on drugs...make that on minorities. The Feds gave bonuses to local
cop shops for the number of drug arrests. Think of how many victims of the police are
either still in jail or served time for no crime. Let this video be a warning to recent
migrants entering The Greatest Country in the World.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Art-

Still can't really follow you.

mb

4:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Then there's this:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/76-billion-opioid-pills-newly-released-federal-data-unmasks-the-epidemic/2019/07/16/5f29fd62-a73e-11e9-86dd-d7f0e60391e9_story.html?utm_term=.9ddc260ef5e5

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Marina Steinberger said...

https://vimeo.com/309572345/description

Overview of the American Philosophical Society Center For Native American and Indigenous Research

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Nathan Mladin ‏ said...

Re: Your Italy book upcoming:

"One of the most spectacular and talked-about films of the Cannes Film Festival, and Italy's official submission for the 2014 Academy Awards, THE GREAT BEAUTY is Paolo Sorrentino's powerful and evocative tale of hedonism and lost love, and an extraordinary depiction of contemporary Rome -- where life is a performance, and the city its stage."

A beautiful film

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

- NM

4:59 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

@ Morris Berman - Dan and I were talking today on the cell phone. He said "Chicago would be a good location for the next WSM".

In the summer that is... I still like the idea of Baja del Sur in the depths of old man winter.

Meanwhile I will continue to lobby for a huge economic downturn and the immediate declaration of all out nuclear war by trumpi and company on the rest of the planet during the next half year. It is overdue.

O&D!

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Dillon Rojen said...

https://vimeo.com/309572345/description

Overview of the American Philosophical Society Center For Native American and Indigenous Research

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Good article by Andre Viltchek

"The Western doctrine is simple and at the same time, absolutely irrational. It is not defined, but if it were, it would read like this: “We can attack, rob, migrate wherever we choose to. Because we are white, Christian people with a superior culture and much better weapons than everyone else. No other reason, but this should suffice. Other people have to stay away, far away. Or else! If they disobey, they will be sunk by the Italians, beaten with rubber hoses on the open seas by the Greeks. Walls will be built, and people concentrated in repulsive camps, like what is being done if refugees try to cross from the south to North America.”

https://www.greanvillepost.com/2019/07/17/why-are-anti-migrant-arguments-pure-hypocrisy/

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Rufus Schmeck said...

The one question never asked in the US empire:

What was it abt the us that drove so many to consume opioids?


Crickets. Rather, American “news”: which celeb tushy is the best, kids walking 5 miles through snow to go to “school”, hamburger-bacon shootings, and sports obsessions.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

You may not have heard of this new opioid recently approved by the FDA and the R&D was funded by the Pentagon:

https://www.narconon.org/blog/despite-epidemic-the-fda-approves-a-powerful-new-pain-killer.html

"the FDA has approved the distribution of Dsuvia, [1] a very potent opioid pain reliever. It is 5 to 10 times more potent than fentanyl and 1,000 more potent than morphine.

According to their own studies, Dsuvia patients only felt “meaningful” pain relief at 54 minutes and 78 minutes. Considering the small size of the pill and the fact that it is intended to address and alleviate severe pain, the opportunities for overdose while waiting the 54 or 73 minutes for the drug to start working are exponentially increased. It should be noted that the manufacturer AcelRx projects $1.1 billion in annual sales and is hoping to have the drug in hospitals by early next year. [1]"

I wonder how many overdoses they're "hoping not to have by early next year" -- or do they care?

8:10 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

I'm conflicted on this moon landing anniversary. On the one hand yeah it's pretty fuckin cool, on the other @ what cost? Not monetary but in reasouces and spillage of new advanced technology into hands of capitalists. They didn't forget their Greek mythology by naming it Appollo, but who in our scientific age gave it any credence? It's like the Nelson character on The Simpsons 'Ha-Ha' the hubris of sapiens exposed - ''Look @ your home" says Zeus, "the technology that brung is also lethal. Your kind will die!" As a species we've been scratching a 10,000 year old itch.

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/space/mission-moon/article/Journeys-to-the-moon-taught-scientists-lessons-14056453.php

9:11 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Dr. B, I believe that Art B is talking about the use of the war on drugs to control and incarcerate people of color. And wondering why anyone of color would want to come to the US?

Which does raise an interesting issue for me- what to make of people who DO come here? I've found myself making friends with immigrants again and again, usually much more interesting than Americans. But then there are always moments where my outsider disdain and alienation from the US runs head long into their outsider desire to be inside the US. I mean, they did go to all the trouble of finding their way here. And I have to remind myself that these are people who want what America has to offer. The fools. Yet, they have an outsider perspective and I find comfort in that.

Sort of the issue of the informant in ethnography. Are they reliable? Are they the town crazies? Any thoughts from those of you who have made the escape, do you find familiarity and comfort with other Americans? Do you stay away from 'locals' (what is the proper word?) who seem too interested in learning about mainstream America? Do you prefer to never discuss America with locals? Do you find no one gives a flying fuck what an American qua American thinks?

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Kiki said...

https://nypost.com/2019/07/15/woman-found-slain-after-grisly-photo-of-apparent-body-posted-on-instagram/

People pretend to be happy and normal online, but in reality it's the complete opposite.

2:04 AM  
Anonymous Batya said...

https://www.jns.org/omar-to-introduce-pro-bds-resolution-in-house/

Is Omar working for DonaldTrump's campaign now? Hah! Here's the resolution.


https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-resolution/496/text

It's totally innocuous. The right to boycott is of course an American right that I support. But introducing this now is playing right into Trump's hands. What an epic miscalculation.

7:33 AM  
Anonymous Giovanna said...

" 18 July 64 AD Nero 'fiddles' as Great Fire of Rome rages 6 days, razes half of city, resulting in open space for his Domus Aurea. Justified or not, thin-skinned, narcissistic
emperor blames Christians. "

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Lisa Elissor said...

Yet he just voted on a massive corporate tax bailout.
Libertarian leaning my ass....https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ny-rand-paul-9-11-victim-compensation-fund-gillibrand-senate-20190717-s33zttrsbrghxeaprlaghxw2jq-story.html

9:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim-

I did post it, but not to worry: it's OK.

Giovanna-

Those Christians! They screw things up every time, I tell ya.

mean-

I'd love to do it, but cash is tight rt now. Meanwhile, ditch yr cell fone. Kids in Congo die because of its use.

Welcome to all new Wafers and wd-be Wafers. Nice 2c new faces on the blog.

mb

10:42 AM  

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