July 23, 2019

The Happy Book (at last)

Well, Waferinos, it's been a long haul, but at last The Happy Book is finally available. I call it that because it made me happy to write it, and I'm hoping it will make you happy to read it. One thing that got omitted from the Amazon listing: the book has 21 plates, 14 of them in color. I say this because $25 is a lot for a short book, unless it has so many illustrations. I've asked Amazon, via my publisher, to add this info, so potential buyers won't be put off. Whether or not Amazon will do it is, of course, anyone's guess.

https://www.amazon.com/Genio-Italian-Genius-Morris-Berman/dp/1626548838/ref=sr_1_16?crid=AVW0KGXC4GWO&keywords=morris+berman&qid=1563889558&s=books&sprefix=morris+berman%2Caps%2C156&sr=1-16

Anyway, put it on your coffee table, get all your friends excited. :-)

-mb

195 Comments:

Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Dear MB,

Speaking of books, it's a shame you're not fluent in French. I just finished reading the below book by a French anthropologist about the Gwin'ich hunter-gatherers of Alaska:

https://www.amazon.fr/%C3%A2mes-sauvages-Nastassja-MARTIN/dp/270718957X

The book is about how the Gwin'ich struggle to cope with the economic and ecological changes in Alaska and how they see & understand the world as contrasted to Westerners. The parallels with your work were astounding: horizontality, paradox, SAC - it's all in there and I am quite sure the author is not familiar with Wandering God.

Kanye

12:13 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Hey Wafers,

I'm working on an art exhibition about post-climate change with people (Wafers most likely) choosing the NMI path or the desperate (and futile) escape from the planet itself (dreams of mars, etc). So a inner retreat or an outer retreat. That's the premise.

You can see progress on the works at @nateabels on Instagram. Anyway - I'm at a bit of a art-block right now and thought I might survey the Wafers for ideas... Do you have some thoughts about what a New-Monastic-Individual would be doing in the future? What do you picture? What kind of scenarios might they create for themselves or what might the preserve? Ideas and thoughts are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance

1:46 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Sarasvati--"Anyway, as I understand it, agencies of the Government that are supposed to protect us tend to accept safety information that the corporations supply." As a 25-year fed I can tell you exactly why this is: Since the Reagan years, regulatory agencies have (deliberately) become underfunded and overworked while most of the competent employees were driven out (either "encouraged" to retire or had their working lives made so miserable that they left). Combine this with a cadre of incompetent, kiss-ass senior bureaucrats who will do anything their political appointees bosses (who increasingly were former industry lawyers or lobbyists, and under Trump are now often former industry executives) tell them to do, and--PRESTO!

Shithole Nation: There's 'poop in the water' at America's dirtiest beaches.

This guy NOW knows what he was fighting and no doubt slaughtering other brown and black people for: Marine vet with PTSD held by ICE for 3 days before agency realized he was citizen. Frankly, I have a hard time feeling any sympathy.

American, as opposed to Italian, Genius at "work": In the early 1970s, New Mexico was given five tree seeds that were taken to the moon by Apollo 14, which were then planted to great public fanfare. A half century later, all 5 trees were either killed by state construction projects or officially "lost" (meaning no one can remember for sure exactly where they were planted and whether they are still alive).

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmlXAOI6Opk

Back to nature with a duck following the US election.
A mere 26 seconds and the duck knows what's going on.
Congrats on book.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Congrats Dr. B! I'm looking forward to reading it.

-On the continuing American collapse

"Woman fires shot at Georgia McDonald's after receiving cold french fries"

https://wgxa.tv/news/local/police-woman-07-23-2019

Lillian Tarver showed some restraint at this McDonald's when she received cold french fries. No doubt she'll progress to more advanced weaponry next time some fast food joint pulls one on her.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Krak-

I find cold french fries disgusting. This wd never happen in Italy. Speaking of which, I forgot to dedicate my new bk to Shaneka Torres. Damn.

Bill-

Was the poop hot or cold? I have as much interest in cold poop as I do in cold french fries.

Nathan-

Gd question, and I hope Wafers will help you out here. One possibility: enclaves of NMI's throwing darts at a picture of Elon Musk's face.

Kanye-

Thanks for the ref. Actually, I *am* fluent in French, mon cher (2 yrs lvg in Quebec). The real obstacle is shelling out 22 euros, plus the shipping cost, and then finding the time to read the damn thing! Zut alors. Also flut alors, and merde on toast.

mb

4:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: At long last, Britain is free of Theresa, possibly the worst PM they ever had. What a turkette. Quick guide to Boris: Brexit, Schmexit.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

@ Nathan-

Read- The Road, Cormac McCarthy (yep, again)
Memoirs of a Survivor, Doris Lessing
Briefing for a Descent into Hell, Doris Lessing

Your work seems to place nature as central. Tricky thing to do. Read-
Wilderness and the American Mind, Roderick Nash

Look at-
Edward Hopper
Helen Levitt
Eugene Atget
Michael Kenna
Paul Strand, especially his expat work in Europe and Africa. For example, Un Paese: Portrait of an Italian Village and Tir a'Mhurain: Outer Hebrides Can suffer from the expat romanticization syndrome, but shows cultures not decimated by American capitalism yet
Study Olifur Eliasson for a similar ethereal feel to you and dig out the pathetic entertainment and bland corporate eye candy at his core. Let him show you where not to go.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Mueller Shmueller as well...

I dunno "Shakespeare for Idiots?"

9:55 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Poop on beaches: I lived in the Newport Beach area for a while, and it was fairly well known among locals that all the (many) mobil home parks along the coast there flushed their toilets right into the sea. No filtering, just whoosh and there it goes. Plops are occasionally spotted bobbing along on the surface (so keep in mind at least an equal number of sinkers) in Newport Harbor.

10:26 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Good interview....

https://youtu.be/GUspt86_sHY

2:28 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

Congratulations on the new book. I look forward to reading it.

In response top Bill's comments about corruption in regulatory agencies:

For as long as citizens of republics and democracies have tried to force their governing bodies to enact legislation and create agencies that protect their health and security, large private financial interests have tried to influence those bodies and agencies in their favor. In the US, as documented in the essay below, those efforts began long before Reagan, at least as early as the latter part of the 19th century, when the railroad tycoons sought to influence the Interstate Commerce Commission.

"the regulatory impulse itself is rooted in a much longer and wider historic American struggle with the problem of corruption – with the persistent threat that agglomerations of private interest continually pose to the aspirations of the commonwealth. As James Madison reminded us long ago, “It is of great importance in a republic, not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers; but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part.’”

https://www.tobinproject.org/sites/tobinproject.org/files/assets/Novak%20Revisionist%20History%20of%20Regulatory%20Capture%20(1.13).pdf


7:21 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Good day Dr Berman

Would you mind posting a brief reply here.

Is there a feature within the blog that would allow a catalog subset
to be created that would accommodate a list of all the
great books Wafers have offered in the past?

Searching the archives is a pretty tough haul
A real diamond in the rough perhaps but not
practical I am sure. A person can always dream
of the 'Wafer Book list" and of course your books
would be at the front of the list :).

Cheers

Tim

10:24 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim-

I very much doubt it. Maybe the other Wafers have some ideas on the subject.

mb

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Hand Castorp said...

Staring at a “smartphone” really does make one less intelligent

https://www.salon.com/2019/07/23/it-turns-out-staring-at-your-phone-might-really-be-making-you-less-intelligent/

1:07 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers of the World!

MB-

Congratulations on your new book, MB. I will read it very soon and write a review of it on amazon. It will be refreshing to read about a *real* culture and civilization, given the fact that we live in an increasingly prolific lunatic asylum. In any case, here's (cheers!) to selling enuf books for a down payment toward a villa in Tuscany.

Miles

Wafers, MB-

Please excuse my absence of late. My computer became inoperative a number of days ago. Alas, we're back in business!

1:14 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Congratulations on the book's debut. It's on my christmas vacation reading cue.
Oliver Stone interviewed Mr. Putin... here's an excerpt:
Oliver Stone: Yeah, I know, I know. That’s true. But I don’t know what is going on with the American culture. It’s very strange right now.

Vladimir Putin: Is there an American culture?

Vlad gets it!

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Dulouz Jr. said...

Nathan- I've been trying to live NMI values since I moved on from "hippie" counter-culture days; been residing in Cascade foothills for past 30+ years. Maybe not "off the grid", but an Edge territory developers (so far) haven't shown any interest in raping and pillaging. Adaptability to change keeps me going. One of the more influential books I've read is The Comedy of Survival by Joseph W. Meeker.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

comrade-

I think the following was stated by Georges Clemenceau: "America is the only nation to have gone from barbarism to decadence without the intervening stage of civilization."

Correct answer to Putin: Yes, but only in an anthropological sense. We have no Tolstoys, no Tchaikovskys. Ours might properly be called a buffoon culture. As Miles notes, the diff between the US and a culture such as Italy is staggering.

Many societies fear us (our military power), but few respect us.

Hans-

One reason Americans are at the cutting edge of world stupidity (not just ignorance) is that they've been staring at screens since the late forties. Other nations caught up later. There is some evidence that this activity changes brain physiology, and not for the better. It's a long discussion, involving the inheritance of acquired characteristics: epigenesis, neo-Lamarckian mimicry, etc. We now know, for example, that memes can be inherited.

mb

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Neal said...

People used to look to the US as a beacon of freedom, even if a flawed one. They honestly did.

https://amp.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/3019672/donald-trump-says-xi-jinping-acted-responsibly-hong-kong-extradition

6:25 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Here's a perfectly American story: Granting that student loans have ceased being about education and have become a method of predatory wealth extraction, this hustling douchebaguette saddled herself with HALF A MILLION dollars in loans to get a degree in naturopathic medicine (whatever the fuck that is) and a master's degree in acupuncture from something called Bastyr University. She and her husband struggled to buy a house because of her debt. Eventually, the financial stress led them to a divorce. “He felt like he couldn’t live his life or do the things he wanted to do,” Bokman, 38, said. Wow--sounds like a match made in heaven right there. And of course: she wanted to open her own medical practice, but she said her student debt prevents her from getting a business loan. Because, ya know, THOSE loans aren't fully backed by the taxpayers and ARE dischargeable in bankruptcy. And the cherry on the dookie sundae is that the story in headed by a selfie this dumbass took WHILE DRIVING. Remember folks, this is supposedly one of your SMARTER Americans--she's got the "university degrees" to prove it.

Meanwhile: 74-year-old substitute teacher convicted in discharge of gun in 1st-grade Alabama classroom (that slightly wounded a student). Choice quote: "Weaver had a Taurus .380 pistol and a knife in his front right pocket. He bent over to pick up an item off the floor and when he straightened back up, the knife, a clip-on, entered the trigger guard of the pistol and caused it to discharge into the floor." Gotta have that gun and knife, because ya never know when the little bastards might try and get surly on you. Arming teachers--another brilliant idea brought to you by idiot America.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

I think the dems outta investigate the investigators who are investigating who put this feckless fuck of an old man in charge to begin with.

Congrats MB the Pueblo County Library District has purchased your new book, I'm first in line and will recommend to all!

10:06 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

William the Conqueror......Frederick the Great.....Now......DONNIE the DERANGED

https://youtu.be/bz9q4FI9-xw

8:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

Tell them to buy several hundred copies, as I'm hoping to put a down payment on a villa in Tuscany. :-)

Bill-

But the students need to be armed as well. One possible end-of-empire scenario is everyone gunning down everybody else. What a rush!

mb

10:08 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

Mueller hearings not likely to change any minds on either side of the political spectrum.

https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2019/0724/What-the-Mueller-hearings-did-and-didn-t-accomplish

Those who continue to support the Idiot in Chief, would be strongman, are not likely to change their minds about their great leader just because a distinguished law man, albeit struggling with dementia, tells them that he's a crook. They knew this in 2016. They elected him because he tapped into that dark underground river of racism, xenophobia, patriarchy and white privilege that has run under American soil for centuries. He gave them permission to be the kind of people they always wanted to be but felt restrained by cultural taboos. The freedom to come out of the shadows and scapegoat Muslims, blacks, Latinos and anyone else not of the white race (as if there were such a thing). We're racist and xenophobic and, by God, we're proud of it. Make America Great Again by making America white again. Of course, they don't realize that it's all a sham. That while they're screaming misogynistic slogans on cue, he and his cronies are robbing them blind.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Thanks folks- keep em comin! I am familiar with most those folks Dan and your thoughts on Eliasson are funny. He can make some sublime pieces but you are right about corporate stuff too. He recommends some interesting books from time to time online. Seems like a sharp guy. Cheers everyone

11:06 AM  
Blogger librarian@play said...

Dr. Berman & Tim,

My name is both moniker and vocation, so I'd be happy to set up a Wafer bibliography. Give me a week or so to noodle over an approach. It would likely take me a long time to sift through and record all recommendations across 13 years of the blog, so if any Wafers would like to contribute, let me know and we can organize something.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

I'm Only Sleeping dept.:

Anastacia Tasch, 44, charged w/domestic battery for forcefully seizing her husband's balls in an attempt to arose him for nocturnal activity:

https://abc7amarillo.com/news/nation-world/florida-woman-accused-of-forcefully-grabbing-husband-for-sex

Miles

BTW, I attended the Paul McCartney concert in LA recently. I hafta say, it was one of the highlights of my life. After, we dined at Canter's Deli. I had my usual: a Brooklyn Ave w/a side of potato salad and a Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Seems like Andrew Bacevich is coming around to the view of the United States' unstoppable decline. He expresses it as a first chapter of a history penned around the middle of the 21st century which describes US decline in a multifaceted way including the people's indifference to this decline including links that support the article's assertions.

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/07/24/the-great-reckoning/

12:17 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@Bill

Thanks for the student debt story. While this medical program seems dubious, it's no different for any other professional program. In a rational society, these things would be considered apprenticeships, but instead we have an extortionate credential system and a culture of overwork that leaves no time for real professional mentoring. So you have a lot of indebted people abruptly taking up the levers of responsibility in society. Good luck.

There has never been a society with so little regard for tomorrow as this one. It must be a legacy of the Christian apocalypse. The Romans thought there may be something eternal about their way of life, but we follow the maxim Louis 14th- After us, the flood!

2:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

Louis XV, actually (apres moi, le deluge). Come to think of it, I ought to take that as my motto; altho I think we'll have the deluge without me as well. Then there's also the chienlit (De Gaulle); as for that, we're already there.

Jeff-

I'm really jealous (not of Mr. Tasch).

librarian-

That wd be marvelous. Here's another rec: the series by Anthony Trollope beginning with "The Warden." Great portraits of Victorian society.

trying-

It's not only abt nativism. Check out Essay #15 in AWTY. But fer sure, he's humping the country something fierce. As a declinist, I can only say: Go, Trumpi! Altho I'd love 2c Tulsi Gabbard entering the W.H., flanked by Chrystal Walraven and Phillip Lightfoot.

mb

4:31 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Librarian

Call to Arms fellow Wafers

Most generous offer. There is a treasure trove of great suggested reading material
(books) buried in the archives to be sure. Perhaps 13 Wafers could step up
(include me) to each take a year for example. A layout of what to
capture by what means and format could be established in a form
useful to your wonderful offer. If lift off possible, a communication method
to get material to you could be established, etc. How might we proceed? Dr Berman would
probably prefer further discussions on this ‘Wafer Booklist’ potential project
be off his blog. Thoughts how we might proceed.

Tim

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Cloeslaw said...

Kanye, you live in Paris right? 108 degrees today, Jeezus!

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Mindfulness said...

The Liminality essay on J. Kunstler's site really resonates with me in the US.
A friend describes the degradation and lack of opportunity as "Group F (me) Values".

So whatever "community" they're in, no matter how degrading, it's important to
demand complete conformity. So the result is that people who seek more substance
in any community by challenging the boundaries of its culture are likely to be unforgivingly scapegoated as a "deplorable" or as Horsely describes an "Edge Man" even though the community is deplorable.

The disenfranchised in the group feel they must go along with the abusive culture, like a gang or corp culture, because they feel it's better to be accepted with a fake love or community than a real one because it's all they've got, risking further alienation for leaving or invalidating the group which chooses to be degenerate together. So all the tattoos and purple and green hairs trying to have identity get absorbed into the multi-mono culture that sucks.

Or in other words, there are no groups worth joining in the US because your choices will be like submitting to conquerors - like the oligarchs who impose the rainbow flag for your validation as a human (harvested into the collective for harvesting).

Will a God of logic and reason arise to redeem and save any deplorables of value from alienation, lack of opportunity, and worse? - or as G. Carlin thought - there is no God or only purgatory from an incompetent one e.g. "Sh!#" is too deep.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous David G. said...

@Michael Burgess:
Wow, the Bacevich article is a knockout! Interesting that he talks so much about climate change in the same train of thought as the decline of the US. In the same way as people have been ignoring the warning signals of US decline, people have also been ignoring the warning signals of climate change. I have wondered whether all of the smartphone addicts really see how this whole techno-culture contributes to climate change. Yet it is the young, the very ones most addicted to smartphones and social media, who are making most of the fuss about doing something about climate change. Seems highly ironic to me -- their use of techno-tools while purporting to fight climate change seems to me kind of like selling cigarettes as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. I fear that the climate battle is already lost because it will take a similar cultural transformation as is needed to turn the US around (which won't happen).

11:40 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Some people are so dense that even if you rub their nose right in the shit and offer them a way to make it stop, they still don't take it: No shower for 23 days: U.S. citizen says conditions were so bad that he almost self-deported. Dude lost 26 pounds while being stuck in a holding pen with 60 other guys and given an only aluminum blanket to sleep on. So why didn't he self-deport? Does he REALLY think living free in Mexico is worse than this? Or worse than what it's gonna be like in a few years when the economy collapses and immigrants really have targets painted on their backs?

...another prime example of Bay Area wealth disparities coming to a head in a truly flabbergasting, dehumanizing fashion: Oakland real estate developer plans on shooting dollar bills over a homeless encampment in hopes of getting them to leave. "In hopes of getting them to leave"--the message ought to be loud and clear, if you are poor or an outcast America doesn't want you, but at least if you're an immigrant you've got somewhere to go.

And why would a sane person WANT to stay anyway: 1). Historical Society of Pennsylvania lays off 30 percent of its staff. 2. National Philharmonic Closes Its Curtains Due To Financial Woes. Cultural and historical programs, museums, libraries and parks all over the country are either closing or being allowed to turn to shit. A handful attract patronage from rich corporate donors, which turns them into propaganda founts and ruins them anyway. "Self-deportion" ought to be the preferred option for anyone for whom it is a realistic possibility--you shouldn't have to wait until they stick you in an overcrowded cell with 60 other people to get the message.

1:48 AM  
Anonymous WanderLust said...

Best documentary I've ever seen on the possible root cause as to why America is the way it is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DH60aM7BzKM

I've been all over Latin America and have never seen "sprawl". Dr Berman what are your thoughts?

3:11 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Dr. Berman,

I am looking forward to getting your Italy book. I know my friends and relatives will enjoy it as well. Everyone I know who likes to travel loves to go to Italy and I believe my friend’s uncle moved there recently now that he is retired.

@Michael Burgess,

Thanks for the Andrew Bacevich article. Outside of Dr. Berman I think he is the only author I know of who has cited Jimmy Carter as the last decent American president. Carter turned out to be right about a number of things like our addiction to materialism. Reading Bacevich’s article also reminded me of how bad the Bush years were. It is amazing that even some Democrats are trying to rehabilitate him in order to rebuke Trump. Talk about short memories. Of course, Obama didn’t help much either. If American decline started under Ronald Reagan it massively accelerated under George W. Bush and Barack Obama and continues under Donald Trump.

6:02 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Nathan- Eliasson is the best representative of where art has gotten to in these post-literate times. He and his company (studio, atelier, bespoke artiste de loft, whatever phrase you want to use) are Disneyworld for the sophisticated crowd. Entertainment, very accomplished, well educated. I assume that he has TED talks out there, haven't looked myself.

He is exactly what Jameson was talking about in his essay, PostModernism or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Amorphous, ungrounded, shiny and always titillating, meant to disorient while eliciting a gasp. And in the end, phenomenon or effect without purpose but to affect the senses and keep thought and logic and history and critical perspective with nothing to grab hold of.

Sort of James Turrel or Robert Irvine on speed with a bigger budget. But Turrel and Smithson were always tied to place, to the ground, to accentuating the individual consciousness in relation to the world. Eliasson makes you float in amniotic fluid, infantile, sedated and comforted with nothing to do but absorb the nutritional slop he and his corporate sponsors are stuffing through your umbilical cord. And that cord will never be cut, and you will always live inside the womb with Eliasson. THAT is where he fails me- once you leave the gallery, it is over but for the memory of the experience. He doesn't make my life richer away from the gallery.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Good one (until the end) by Umair pointing out the B..S "left":

https://eand.co/why-our-societies-are-collapsing-32948c177fa4

"And yet the left today doesn’t understand that it’s a precise mirror image of the decadent Weimar left, with its incessant, overweening, obsessive — and juvenile — focus on gender and sexuality. The Weimar left loved playing with gender, too, my friends. The flappers in the Berlin cabarets…the libertines in the bars…all these were playgrounds for fluid, expressive gender and sexuality, where much of the modern world’s iconography of sexual freedom was born, from women in suits, to men in drag. They were much more daring and bold and experimental than our gender warriors today.

But you know what? The sexual libertines of the Weimar era didn’t stop the Nazis. Playing with gender was no match for a fascist demagogue crying to exterminate people in a stagnant, broken economy, in a country that had lost its pride, reason, purpose, and sanity. Yesterday’s gender warriors only really aided the cause — not by provoking some kind of backlash (sorry, I don’t make David Brooksian arguments here) — but simply by ignoring larger, much more urgent issues, that affected many more people."

8:33 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

In my comment the other day I had to be a bit oblique because I was posting from a work computer, and we are not allowed to comment about our organization online. Anyhow, it was actually my friend who was almost shot. A guy walked up to him, put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. But the gun locked up and didnt fire, so he ran away.

Anyhow, I literally just left work (I work night shift for a crisis center), where an angry, violent brute just seriously threatened to kill me about 10 times in 5 minutes. He had these soulless, cruel and self-evidently, psychopathic eyes; and when he found out that all our beds were full he said, "I see exactly why people go into mosques and synagogues and shoot stupid cunts like you. I seriously might come back and splatter your fucking head like a watermelon! Wouldn't that be funny? I would fucking laugh!" My goodness, I love my new job because we genuinely help a lot of deserving people, but I also see these absolute dregs of this shithole country. (Which is actually quite fascinating to me.) Believe it or not, another guy threatened to kill all of us just 7 days ago, then he went and lay down on the street, hoping for a "suicide by cop" ending. But the first thing that occurred to me about the douchebag this morning, is how he is just such a perfect example of the primal,inchoate rage that Dr Berman talks about, and which has infected so many Americans. Wow, that fucker was positively dripping with hate!

I came home and turned on the news and the top story was a rampage killing in Los Angeles. So let's all give three cheers for these fine foot soldiers of Chris Hedge's coming revolution!

9:12 AM  
Blogger CB said...

Congrats on your new book. Looking forward to reading it.

I work in healthcare. I know three MEN who have 250-300k in student loans. One thinks real estate investing will solve his money problems. The other one mentioned Bernie's student loan forgiveness idea , then quickly added he didn't want a "hand out". He seems oblivious to the other forces at work , like predatory lending, no loan forgiveness or bankruptcy option. Thats only for "smart" people , like Donald Dump. When I graduated 22 years ago. I had about 30 k in debt. It's bleak .

9:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Megan-

A study of abt 20 yrs ago revealed that 24% of Americans believed it was OK to use violence in pursuit of yr goals. It's probably up to 48% by now. As for LA: of course it's just a lone maniac; it has 0 to do with the nature of our society.

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/25/us/los-angeles-shooting-spree/index.html

Mindfulness-

Always gd to provide a link. Thanks.

mb

10:10 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

Oh, my. I guess these good ole boys haven't heard that we now live in a "post-racial society".
Unable to beat Till to death, they must be content to shot up his sign.

https://www.propublica.org/article/ole-miss-students-pose-with-guns-in-front-of-shot-up-emmett-till-memorial

Ladies and gentlemen, I am disgusted to present (drum roll, please) - Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest. The dumbest posted the pic on his Instagram account and to his great surprise it was seen by a university administrator who notified the US Attorney's office. Who would have thought that could happen in this technological age? Oh, my.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Jerome J said...

Dear Dr. Berman and Wafers,

Thanks to Bill Hicks for the link to the article about the demise of the National Philharmonic. The story included the following observation, which may suggest one reason that orchestras are struggling nationwide.

"The orchestra's upcoming season at Strathmore was packed with choral and symphonic masterpieces, including Beethoven's "Eroica Symphony," "The Music of ABBA," and "Hallelujah! Handel's Messiah."

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Liv( from formal Bethesda) said...

Hello Wafers! I am so sorry for my long silence but I still follow the blog. I am very grateful to Dr. Berman giving the best advice to emigrate from USA. It was the best decision we as a family ever made. My daughter soon to be 10, thanks me every single day. She was suffering greatly in the US; despite the fact, she was born there. She could never fit with the American kids and their mentality. Now here in Spain, she loves her school, horse-riding, and playing the guitar. She enjoys playing with the kids in our neighborhood, cleaning the stables and just be outdoor all day. She doesn't miss ifone and other techocrap... Recently, we had visitors from Canada with 2 teen girls (11 and 13) who were glued to the ifone all the time and the great Alhambra Palace, and historical sites in Granada didn't hold their interest. The only thing, they asked where is the shopping mall. After the shopping mall visit they were disappointed because was not enuf entertaining.... They had no interest to play with my daughter outside because they were busy with ifones. I was in shock but very please we left North America for good.
I have met a ex-veteran in Nicaragua, who became anti-war activist and wrote the book: Don't thank me for my service.A true hero.
http://www.hopedance.org/home/soul-news/3156-by-s-brian-willson

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Riley said...

‘‘You can wake a man who’s asleep, but you can’t wake a man who’s pretending to be asleep” attrib. Gandhi Sleeping Through the Alarm

With virtually no democratic oversight and over 6,500 missiles in the United States alone, the use of nuclear weapons is almost inevitable. So why is it so hard to think about nuclear war?

http://bostonreview.net/war-security/elaine-scarry-rachel-ablow-sleeping-through-alarm

I have found myself giving a copy of Ellsberg's "The Doomsday Machine" to several friends as 'gifts'. Such an important text, have you any thoughts on the book or the subject Professor Berman?

And many thanks to you for writing a new book! It is ordered and will be devoured (with corn beef)

Riley.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Another good article by Lihn Dinh.

https://www.unz.com/ldinh/pornographic-democracy/#comments

"American democracy gives the appearance of boundless participation by all citizens, for they can’t just vote in caucuses and elections, but cheer at conventions, march in protest, write letters to newspapers, comment on the internet and follow, blow by blow, the serial mud wrestling between opposing politicians. Pissed, they can freely curse Bush, Obama or Trump without fearing a midnight knock on the door. Alas, none of their “political activities” actually matters, for Americans don’t influence their government’s policies, much less decide them. It’s all an elaborate spectacle to make each chump think he’s somehow a player, in on the action, when he’s actually all alone, in the dark, to beat his own meat, yet again."........" regarding revolution, most Americans can't even organize a bowling team, ....there's your glimmer of hope." Take note Mr. Hedges.

"The first step is to stop thinking of yourself as an American, for there’s no America left to save, much less “make great again,” and there are no Americans left either, for if anybody can be a defacto American just by showing up, then the concept is meaningless. That’s like me landing in Tel Aviv tomorrow and declaring I’m a Jew."


11:55 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of course....This is modern-day America with a crazy and selfish President...Why wouldn’t this DC tourist be beaten within an inch of his life by a dozen wayward youths?


https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/07/shock-video-dc-tourist-savagely-beaten-stomped-spit-on-by-gang-of-youths-at-hilton-hotel-where-reagan-was-shot/


...and Why wouldn’t a Special Needs girl be pummeled?...HOW DARE her for being “Special Needs” in the first place!! What Arrogance!!!

https://www.foxnews.com/us/3-illinois-teens-charged-with-beating-special-needs-girl-in-viral-video-police-say


....and Why wouldn’t a robbery victim in LA be bludgeoned with a baseball bat by a group of thugs?

https://www.foxnews.com/us/california-robbery-victim-pummeled-group-with-bat-horrific-video-shows

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32982104751.html?utm_source=2leep.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=exchange2leep&aff_platform=api&cpt=1564164723181&sk=cDfvANrw&aff_trace_key=8535ace4d4884e4c9b698c3b92ddac7f-1564164723181-09831-cDfvANrw&terminal_id=8c099d9536a048cf813b1ddefeadb69f

Scroll down for close-ups.

Urgent warning to all Wafers voting in 2020. Do we ready "shipped from China"? We
do! Do we suspect Russian/Chinese/GOP improper influencing of the electorate? We do!
I urge write-in candidate for Pres. = Dan QUAYLE.

2:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Art-

Dan wd be gd, but Lorenzo Riggins wd be better, esp. if accompanied by Phillip Lightfoot.

jj-

The more the thuggery, the faster the decline. To replace "In God We Trust" (what b.s.) on legal tender: "We Hurt Innocent People."

Mike-

Citizen politics does come down to meatbeating. During the Cold War, a popular saying was that in Russia, you had to watch what you said or you'd wind up in Siberia, whereas in the US you cd say whatever you wanted because it made no difference.

Riley-

Actually, pizza wd be more appropriate. As for Ellsberg, I haven't read his latest.

Liv-

Gd hearing from u, and that you are happily ensconced in a reasonable country. Contrast with yr daughter and American turkettes is very much to the pt. But pls, fly back to the US, rent a helicopter, fly over Bethesda, and pee on it.

trying-

The more dog excrement and violence contained in the American head, the faster the decline. As declinists like to say, "Bad Is Good". (possible Wafer T-shirt)

mb

2:53 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

@jj and why not steal a motorized wheelchair from a disabled senior citizen?

https://www.chieftain.com/news/20190723/thieves-take-disabled-puebloans-wheelchair

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Wong said...

The great Italian thinker Cesare Beccaria was arguing against capital punishment in the 18th Century. (We in the U.K. have just acquired a pro-capital-punishment Home Secretary in the 21st!) And in your USA a pro... doj !

⁦https://aeon.co/amp/essays/cesare-beccarias-radical-ideas-on-crime-and-punishment

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Carole North said...

Today geophysiologist scientist James Lovelock turns a century old. A charming and kind gentleman.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tXfX4qpGjc

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24132220-200-gaia-rebooted-new-version-of-idea-explains-how-earth-evolved-for-life/

"The Earth Is As Alive As You Are"
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/20/opinion/sunday/amazon-earth-rain-forest-environment.html

5:08 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

@Pastrami,

Yes I do, fortunately I wasn't around Thursday when temperatures hit sauna levels. I am confident electric bicycles, Teslas, and shopping for groceries at Wholefoods will solve global warming once and for all though. It's all good.

Kanye

5:25 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

I've been spending a lot of time watching every feet-on-the-street video about living in Hawaii esp. w/o a lot of money of course, and well, it appears the 50th state is not an escape; it's still a state after all.

While arguably justified, the hatred of white people there hasn't been mitigated by their having elected the odd white governor since I left; any more than the election of Obama mitigated the anti-black racism here on the mainland.

It is still part of the Anglosphere, and a small, overcrowded, sweltering powder keg of a group of islands thousands of miles from anywhere else.

MB should I start working on learning Espanol? I'm certainly in a good part of the US for it.

2:17 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Jerome--on the contrary, my bet is that the Philharmonic was desperately trying to think of ways to get douchebags in the door and it didn't work. Not surprising--when it comes to classical music unless it's the first few minutes of Beethoven's 5th, or maybe the "Apocalypse Now" portion of Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" American's don't want any part of it.

@jjarden--According to the local media here in DC, the victims injuries in the Washington Hilton attack were described as "non-life threatening," The right wing site you linked quoted the local story verbatim, but left that key phrase out (and also didn't update the story to reflect that an arrest has already been made in the case). No doubt this was deliberately done in service of their real agenda--making DC seem like a lawless, dangerous place, which it most certainly is not (unless you count CONgress, the White House and The Pentagon as lawless), especially if one avoids the remaining not yet regentrified Anacostia and Northeast neighborhoods. I'm not defending what those kids did, I just hate it when right wing scaremongers blow such attacks all out of proportion to make douchebag Americans even more fearful than they already are.

@Mike R--indeed, another good read from Dinh, for the most part. I just wish he'd said "Israeli" and not "Jew." Maybe he should read the results of a recent Pew study which showed that American evangelicals are far more supportive of Trump's extreme pro-Israel positions than American Jews (42% of Jews disapprove versus only 26% of evangelicals). Equating "Jew" with "Israel" is sloppy thinking, at best.

3:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

Douchebags to the rt of me/Douchebags to the left of me/And still charged the fabulous 169 Wafers (with apologies to Lord Tennyson). Imagine the impact, if 327 million douche bags woke up one morning and each of them said: "My life is a fucking joke!" Ah, when pigs fly...

alex-

Just find yrself a small town in Latin America, and be done with it.

Carole-

Jim and I were actually friends for a couple of yrs, in the 80s. He's a teddy bear.

Gunnar-

But why didn't they just shoot her? I can't figure it.

mb

10:58 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and and Wafers,

Kimberly Jean Carroll arrested following a confrontation over improperly cutting meat and potatoes:

https://www.local10.com/news/florida/florida-woman-arrested-after-punching-boyfriend-for-way-he-cuts-his-meat

I don't know about other Wafers, but I find assault to be the most titillating aspect of any relationship.

Re: Bacevich

I'm concerned that Bacevich may possibly be engaging in a from of soft plagiarism. His themes of late: (Twilight of America), ideas (America is a dunce nation), and word usage such as, cellphones are like "modern day rosary and prayer beads" are very similar to MB's. Given Bacevich's institutional pedigree, it's not surprising in the least. In any case, there's an MB-like rhythm of language and sentiment that Bacevich uses that I find troubling nevertheless.

Miles

11:54 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

2 things I’ll never understand (we’re so far beyond reason now the questions are rhetorical @ best.) Treating all jail inmates the same - if you’re not serving an actual sentence you are innocent, seems a clear violation of due process:

https://www.chieftain.com/news/20190724/plumbing-issues-taking-large-toll-on-pueblo-county-jail

And then there’s actual torture - cruel and unusual - going on 30 minutes from where I live (I bet unabomber is all fucked up by now prob reduced to rodent hind brain)

https://www.denverpost.com/2019/07/27/supermax-el-chapo-escape-mentally-ill/

And for fun there’s this article about how much income one needs to b “happy” in every state (I’m a full $100,000 short since my disability income is $9,272/year I must be the unhappiest fuck around - I’m not mainly b/c of NMI as well as adopting a (ty Thoreau) monastic simplified lifestyle 30 years ago as I never was able to make much $)

https://www.gobankingrates.com/making-money/wealth/minimum-salary-to-be-happy-state/

12:32 PM  
Blogger CB said...

I stand by my post. Not sure why the delete option is there. I put "MEN" in capital letters to illustrate that not only douche bag ettes sadle themselves with debt in pursuit of bettering themselves. Hopefully the married man I know, saddled with debt. won't be left by his wife....

I think it is Baylor University that offers degrees in naturopathic medicine. Btw. Too bad big pharma isn't interested in natural cures and self healing. Not enough $$$ in that.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2kmZmkLmv8

Go, 'mur'ka, go!! Seeee, plants must have CO2 and look at the supplies donated
by'mur'ka. Proof that 'mur'ka is the friend of plants.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Ever tell someone that drinking bottled water is a waste of money and a waste of plastic and shipping energy and creates a giant trash problem?

And they look at you and in all sincerity say, 'Oh, I know!! But that's ok, I recycle!!'

https://theintercept.com/2019/07/20/plastics-industry-plastic-recycling/

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Sasha Gransjean said...

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/06/chart-of-the-day-unemployment-is-down-across-the-world-s-largest-economies

Unemployment is down across the world’s largest economies



Donald Trump is taking credit for lower unemployment in the U.S., but it’s a worldwide trend. The usual bullshit behind American economics.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

If we should purify the English language of Americanisms, it may yet make a rather suitable tongue!

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-49137619

I think the daily speech patterns I hear in the States would be described by Jacob Rees-Mogg as "rather unpolished adolescent assertion".

Forget Latin, English is the true dead language in the US.

3:09 AM  
Blogger David said...

Mike R
Interesting comments about what democracy means in the US. It's all about personalities and never about the system. You can blast any politician all you like but as long as you don't criticize the system you're OK. Most Americans subscribe to the notion of "don't rock the boat" and that is evident any time you dare criticize the regime you live under--you will be either shut off or your conversation will be hijacked and the topic changed.
American democracy is a superficial mirage and blasting personalities is its MO. The MIC and corporate bosses couldn't be happier to keep it that way for they know the system is beyond reproach......
We can't even celebrate May 1, the international Workers Day and instead have an ersatz Labor Day in September which celebrates Shopping!!!

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

This is the 3rd time this has happened to me recently. I attend a sporting event or a concert and sit next to someone. The seat next to the person is unoccupied so I say, "Like to move over so we can have more room?" He says, "No,I paid for THIS seat!" even though we'd be more comfortable if he moved over.
My Facebook days are over. Whenever I win an argument vis a vis Israel, they have only one recourse. Something like, "Since you're a teacher I guess you like little boys and girls." And I thought patriotism was the last recourse of scoundrels. Amazing how my fellow Jews support Hair. Do they really think their white skin will save them when the real fascists take over? I'm nearly certain if Hair wins a second term he'll trial balloon anti-semitism.
Congratulations on the book. I just ordered it.

9:39 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

We have seen a dramatic rise in these hot car deaths of children, and I believe they are erroneously called “tragic accidents.”

I propose that in this day and age, with all the Socioeconomic problems, that these deaths are NOT “Accidents.” They are deliberate DISPOSALS of unwanted and expensive children. These are MURDERS that the parents/perpetrators are hoping will be deemed and categorized as accidents.


Dad pleads not guilty at emotional court appearance after infant twins die in hot car

https://abcn.ws/30Xneuw

12:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

It cd actually be unconscious (but still deliberate).

Dan-

Hope u enjoy it. Meanwhile, keep in mind that almost all Americans, Jewish and non-Jewish, are bozos. This can make life in America a lot less confusing. Meanwhile, what kind of a fascist is Trumpi, really? I thought by now he'd have rounded up all Jews and Muslims, put yellow stars on them, and incarcerate them in detention camps in Idaho. Disappointing. But maybe after his reelection in 2020.

Sasha-

As long as his followers believe him, and reelect him in 2020, it's OK by me.

CB-

?? I never deleted yr post (scroll back).

Jeff-

I think Kimberly shd be worrying abt how her BF beats his meat, rather than how he cuts it. Jesus, look at her face: this is America. As for Bacevich, I've noticed the same tendency, but I dunno whether it's conscious or unconscious. His latest title: Twilight of the American Century. I'm not expecting him to footnote me.

mb

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Mindfulness said...

Dan - ironically Jewish Americans are more critical of Anglo-Zio-imperialism than these Anglo-Zio-fied Christians (sorry MB for zero links) but I believe that's very likely to be true - plus Judeo-Christian being an oxymoron etc., and something I don't remember hearing about until recently. Maybe from this blog I read some comment like that.

I agree with MB that even smart Americans are stupid sometimes because they get specialized and that somehow along with the lack of critical thinking in education and the culture, their ability to think systemically is conditioned out. Most become willing idiot savants in their specialty, obedient to play a part in contributing to imperialism by helping create a technology or whatever industry that harvests others - useful idiot slaves for the big players, with little remorse for redemption from our purgatory.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Americans abroad: Two Americans arrested in connection with the death of an Italian paramilitary officer had blamed each other for committing murder. Check out the brain dead facial expression on the one little turd.

Technology meets douchebaggey as 20% of Americans admit having stolen grocery items at automatic checkout lines. Yet I'll bet these stores would rather put up with massive thefts rather than pay enough cashiers so that these horrid automatic checkout machines could be sent back to the Silicon Valley hell hole which spawned them.

Heh--Darwin crawls from the grave to thwart thugs: Man accidentally shot dead by own passenger in ‘failed drive-by attempt.’ Great quote from the story: "Gibson was found to be brain dead on Monday..." Actually, I'll bet Gibson had been brain dead for years.

"Here, kitty kitty": Cambria County man charged after photographing himself with cats on his genitals. MY cats would have ripped this douchebag's dick right off.

12:07 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Just another day in the us empire.

Garlic Festival massacre in CA. Perhaps, bad breath incited the shooter?


https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/07/29/multiple-people-reportedly-injured-shooting-california-food-festival/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.b4a625416298

Cue: sad faces, bottom lip biting, piano Muzak, cops as heroes, we’re family, this isn’t who we are, shooter had “mental issues,” we won’t be deterred from garlic festivals, and blue ribbon task forces with village idiots academics to help sort things out.

1:58 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

While Boris Johnson is putting his plan into action, this is what this douchebaguette is busy with:

https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2019/jul/28/duchess-of-sussex-to-guest-edit-september-uk-vogue-issue

Kanye

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Another shooting in America, this time at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.

https://www.cnn.com/us/live-news/gilroy-california-shooting-intl-hnk/index.html

4:05 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

From FAIR - This is what a late-stage capitalist oligarchy in decline looks like.

https://fair.org/home/media-just-cant-stop-presenting-horrifying-stories-as-uplifting-perseverance-porn/?awt_l=5gp2m&awt_m=gde12i2PRmOI_TQ

As decline deepens and the poor find themselves with fewer and fewer resources, self-sufficiency and bootstrap ideology are celebrated while the question of why people are forced to sell lemonade in the hopes of funding a kidney transplant at $400,000 are never asked.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

Am I the only one who thinks she needs to be vigorously slapped?

Tom, Mike-

"Shooter's motives are unclear." Jesus Christ, he's living in America! That ain't enuf?

Mind-

Evidence: always welcome. Opinions: not so much.

mb

9:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Some interesting material I found in Mark Stein's bk, "American Panic":

1. Richard Zweigenhaft and Wm Domhoff reported in their bk, "Jews in the Protestant Establishment" (1982), that in the early decades of the 20C, "Jews were almost totally absent from commercial banking...public utilities, and manufacturing, and contrary to popular belief at the time, they were...a tiny minority in newspapers and radio...(and) virtually absent from magazines, book publishing, and advertising."

2. In 1938, a witness before the newly created House Un-American Activities Committee named Shirley Temple (then 10 yrs old) a subversive.

3. "Corporations have been enthroned...and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign...until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."--Abraham Lincoln, letter to Wm Elkin, 21 Nov 1864.

4. From the 1928 Socialist Party platform: "The Republican and Democratic parties...belong to the landlords, bankers, oil speculators, coal and power barons--in short, to the capitalist class which finances them...(and) makes our alleged democracy largely an illusion."

10:07 AM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

This really is a class war. Reading Howard Zinn A People's History of the United States shows how the justice system sided with ruling class(corporate and private) over working class time and time again with repressive laws. The apparatus of the state was systematically opposed to labor strikes and labor unions and inflicted massive casualties. Most of these egregious injustices happened a long time ago. So the people must be angry, exasperated, bloody mad with rage.
Yes we're outraged about this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKAITff0zqI
Most turkeys are looking at this:
https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/sarah-ferguson-responded-rumors-daughter-154500302.html

We're fucked
O&D

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXZB9t_ypO4

An old story worth repeating.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

I connected a Roku streaming stick to my tv. A preinstalled app called NewsOn airs local news broadcasts. So I tuned into the abc affiliate in Baltimore (for obvious reasons) and watched their coverage. The Hair Spray was predictable but these two stories kind of floored me.

Opinion writer for Miami Herald targeted for assassination via cops

https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/crime/bs-md-pitts-911-hoax-20190701-story.html

And this

https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/crime/bs-md-ci-cr-11-fires-in-edmondson-village-20190729-3wlqpyq4fndkvng6ldwnkxou5a-story.html

Maybe some maga fanatic set a bunch of house fires to validate the president. I can’t weigh in on his opinion of the place having never been but damn I’m glad I’m nearly a mile above them! (Touché if anyone remembers Alan Berg)

8:04 PM  
Anonymous siliconvalleyburnout said...

Congratulations on the book... Hope everyone here has been well, been awhile since I posted. I enjoyed this article and thought it describes American (and global culture) very well besides providing a nice interpretation of Moby Dick:

https://renovatio.zaytuna.edu/article/pluralism-in-a-monoculture-of-conformity

9:26 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Having lived in Gilroy, California, for a few years, it does not surprise me that a white supremacist shooting has happened there. Lots of angry "white nationalist" types down there; up here in San Jose people seem to get along OK but down there in "the rurals" there are bitter racial divides. I don't understand why, too, because "the Mexicans" with a few exceptions are really nice people - it's not genetic; it's cultural. "Family" means more than a word in Scrabble to them...

MB your pt. no. 4: WASPS seems to have been using Jews as a smokescreen forever. WASP culture in a nutshell: If you have money, you are good, and if you do not have money, you are bad. All else follows - the vast majority of evildoers in the US as WASP because their worldview approves of it, and they're in power.

10:10 PM  
Anonymous cyrillia juniper said...

MB and Wafers:

I highly recommend reading Studs Terkel's Hard Times, which I just finished. I was curious about the Depression era as I had not read much about it. This book is an oral history of that time from the people who lived it -- some well-known professionals, others simply ordinary men or women. It punctured many of the myths I harbored about the New Deal.

Two congruences among the interviews struck me most:
1. The more people succeeded during or after the Depression, the more they despised those who failed, blaming insufficient hustling. Nothing new there.
2. When asked what they imagined the next depression would be like, (not a question that was asked of everyone) they almost unanimously opined that fascism would be the result. And they explicitly called it fascism. I found that unsurprising, but chilling.

The book was published in 1970 so the interviews took place during the late 60s. Clearly, as everyone on this blog continues to provide evidence for, nothing has changed.

Keep up the good work everyone and congratulations, MB, on the new book.

10:37 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

MB and European Wafers,

Assuming BJ in the UK goes through with no-deal Brexit on 31st October - as he is making abundantly clear in the media since taking power - to what extent do you think it'll be a new Suez Moment in Europe? Possible consequences will be the reunification of Ireland, Scotland seceding from the UK to remain in the EU, civil war in England and a massive financial crisis. Parliament could still block all of BJ's attempts, but I think he will still go through with it. It's not all talk.

Kanye

8:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

u.c. why I keep harping on the importance of evidence. I'm not convinced that "the vast majority of evildoers in the US as WASP." How do we know this?

silicon-

Welcome back. You can also find a new interpretation of Moby Dick in WAF.

mb

10:05 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Police search for a gal who urinated on a stack of potatoes inside a suburban Walmart:

https://www.wpxi.com/news/top-stories/west-mifflin-walmart-woman-wanted-for-incident-at-west-mifflin-walmart/971079657

We need a name, of course, but I think she's an excellent candidate for the next Wafer Phillip Lightfoot Award (WPLA). Date and time, TBA.

Miles

11:21 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

In light of Baltimore-hate-gate (yes I did try that) I encourage you all to once more review the dismal history of Reconstruction, which is so poorly known even among educated Americans it may as well have not happened. In some ways the Civil War was like the Iraq War — get rid of the headline bad guy item (Saddam, slavery) while ensuring the country will remain ungovernable for decades.

Imagine if meaningful reparations had been made at *that* point, when we could still distinguish "slavery" from "white society in general". The toothless way it was carried out ensured we will continue to fight the Civil War forever. There was no resolution, let alone justice, to the matter.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

More us empire exceptionalism!

Of course, the "news" is calling it a "disgruntled" employee---never the us society/"culture"


https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/two-killed-officer-wounded-gunfire-erupts-inside-walmart-mississippi-n1036081

1:28 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@alex--Barack Obama, Clarence Thomas, Condoleeza Rice, Nikki Haley, Bobby Jindal, Elaine Chao, Ben Carson, Herman Cain, Maxine Walters, William Jefferson, Alberto Gonzalez, John Yoo, Joe Lieberman, Marion Barry, Chuck Schumer, Chuck Rangel, Alex Acosta, Linda Chavez, Marco Rubio, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Bill Kristol, Dinesh D'Souza, Antonin Scalia, Dianne Feinstein, Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz, Michelle Malkin, Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin, Rudy Giuliani, Corrine Brown, Jesse Jackson Jr., Mel Reynolds, Alan Dershowitz, Jeffrey Epstein, and plenty of others too numerous to mention would like to kindly object to your assertion that evildoing in the U.S. is mostly done by WASPs. Notice how the more minorities (and women) move into positions of power, the more they prove to be just as bad if not worse than the evil old white guys they replace?

Just in case anyone still labors under the delusion that cruelty and the desire to see people who who don't think or live exactly the way they "should" suffer and die is exclusively an asshole conservatives phenomenon, here is Daily Kos founder and colossal douchebag prog Markos Moulitsas routinely engaging in the same kind of pathetic, disgusting behavior. Since Trump's election, wealthy scumbag Moulitshithead has among other things celebrated coal miners losing their health care and North Carolinians not receiving hurricane aide, and is now dancing with joy at how rural hospitals are in major financial trouble, simply because the majority of voters in those ares didn't support the Botox Queen. My sincerest wish is that karma comes crashing down on the heads of this putz and all of his prog cult followers.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32844863713.html?utm_source=2leep.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=exchange2leep&aff_platform=api&cpt=1564510313242&sk=e19IMv2&aff_trace_key=fc188865d5984cf9b88fa870af2ae2e5-1564510313242-02789-e19IMv2&terminal_id=d531d601f3334d7a829c38430f218f60

Talk about no respect! Recall back in '64 when Goldwater got 40% of the vote. Buckley
and the boys were cheered by this, since they knew that the fear of blacks, of losing
Vietnam to the Vietnamese, of drugs, of hippies, of students or everything UN-AMerican
could with propaganda gain them 11% to give them victory. Sure enough, double Reagan
just 15 years later. Rightwing propaganda continued giving us double "W" and maybe
double Donald. Impossible, but only for those with NO faith in 'mur'kan lunacy.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Alex: a boss of mine (Col. John T. Tyler, ret.) many years ago kept announcing he was a WASP and called me that little Eye-talian girl one time too many. So I finally told him that the term WASP was redundant, that if you’re Anglo-Saxon Protestant you are obviously white, therefore you’re not a WASP, you’re an ASP (long “a”). He never called me that little Eye-talian girl ever again.

On another note, for all the Wafers who are interested in metaphysics (for want of a better word) I just watched a fascinating movie called Samadhi, Parts I and II. I really do think that spirituality (by which I mean the transcendence, not destruction, of the ego, not New Age BS) is the only ticket out of this mess, the only way Planet Earth and all its inhabitants can be saved. Of course, barring a bolt of wisdom from the Absolute, I just don’t see it happening, especially here in the good old USA.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw9zSMsKcwk

3:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

I think it comes down to the fact that if you wanna succeed, or even survive, in the system, you hafta behave as that system wants you to, which includes reproducing its values. Put into a position of power, I'm guessing that a blind Korean woman in a wheelchair wd turn into some version of Botox Face.

Dio-

Civ War never really ended. See WAF ch. 4.

Jeff-

I guess she's following in the footsteps of Phillip L.; or maybe penis steps, we shd say. It does remind me of Mark Ames' bk. I'd love to interview her. We definitely need a Wafer TV Program.

mb

3:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This is nice:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2019/07/30/she-was-feeding-stray-cats-that-kept-her-company-now-year-old-is-going-jail/?utm_term=.ab9c2744d311

Why not lock her up forever?

Meanwhile:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/07/30/britains-vicious-tabloids-meghan-remains-constant-target/?utm_term=.fc7246e8f1d7

I'm waiting for the Times of London to run a headline like:

MEGHAN REVEALED AS A TURKETTE, AND BUFFOONETTE.

mb

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

My daughter sent me this- it's related to the discussion on pets a few posts ago-

https://alumni.berkeley.edu/california-magazine/just-in/2016-05-23/i-just-dont-get-it-why-do-so-many-people-treat-pets-human

To me, the most interesting part was the comments section! Thinly veiled venom on both ends of the spectrum.

9:23 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

MB and Bill Hicks - Perhaps I should change it to evil WAS done ... through most of US history WASPS were "the" group in power and like any group in power, they've got their hands on the "levers of evil" but Bill Hicks makes a good point, evil has become equal-opportunity now, given you've gone to the right finishing schools, of course.

I've hung out with old-line WASPS like my dad and a ham radio buddy who was a doctor and even older, and the hatred of Catholics and Jews was a real thing. It's weird - like running into someone who still lives, mentally, in some ancient superstitious age, but it is/was real.

And our modern white ethno-centrists want to bring us back to the age of the Visigoths or something. They didn't vaccinate, did they? Someday I must do a proper write-up of the deep link between the "health food" and the "white purity" movements...

10:12 PM  
Blogger Penny Lane said...

MB:

In re: "We definitely need a Wafer TV Program"

A Wafer podcast would be SO EPIC. It is time!

10:14 PM  
Blogger Ajay Singh said...

Congratulations, Morris! I can't wait to lay my hands on Genio. (Completely btw, according to the Amazon link you posted, it's $35—not $25, as you mention.)

With every best wish,

Ajay

3:03 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings MB & Wafers,

Sorry I've been silent, finally back home in Italy after being at the European Shakuhachi Society Summer Festival in Lisbon. Enjoyed myself immensely, played lots of music on the koto, started learning samisen, met up with old friends, and made plans for more music later this summer. I'm so happy to have left the US and my old job in the US gov't behind!

@siliconvalleyburnout - thanks for the link, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Found this in The New Republic: https://newrepublic.com/article/154560/opioid-crisis-corporate-greed?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tnr_daily

All Wafers already know this, that the entire system is set up to make money off of the poor and vulnerable, but to say so explicitly in a mainstream publication is different. Interestingly, at the end, the author notes that no one ever asks WHY people have so much pain that they fall into drugs like that - and goes on to note the loneliness, lack of purpose, lack of hope, of future, etc. Talks about how the society is unhealthy (although he only thinks it's unhealthy in the margins.)

4:07 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but at times I watch Family Feud for the pleasure of gloating at the stupidity of some of its contestants. Last night was a Humdinger. How could anyone get through even the most truncated education and offer up an answer like this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcrMXVGY9N4

5:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Vanishing-

Pls send messages to most recent post. No one reads the older stuff. Thank you.

Ajay-

Hold off while I contact the publisher. The correct price is $25, not $35, and I need to have them contact Amazon rt away. Sorry abt this.

Penny-

"And now, for our very first interview, we take you to the Michigan Correctional Facility, where we talk with Shaneka Torres on how she put it to the man, and refused to take any crap from McDonald's."

mb

9:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Ajay: I'm currently in correspondence with the publisher. They too don't understand why Amazon suddenly upped the price, but tell me that they intend to get it restored to $25 asap. What a mess.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Pilgrim said...

Regarding Andrew Bacevitch, I can't address the plagiarism issue, but I always find Bacevitch's articles to be articulate and insightful.

And there's also Major Danny Sjursen...

"For God’s sake, think! Be a citizen. Honor your soldiers. Don’t waste their lives any longer."

"The American people, by and large, don’t care. They relish fantasy, suspend reality and avoid hard choices whenever the opportunity is presented. Jimmy Carter told Americans harsh truths—for example on energy policy—and called for individual belt-tightening and self-restraint. Reagan, on the other hand, told the populace that it could have it all, the biggest and best of everything: limitless growth, credit, military power and consumable fossil fuels. ... Reagan reflected as much as affected the national mood. He was America’s candidate, America’s president..."

"In the midst of what commentators were pleased to call the Information Age, most ordinary Americans showed a pronounced affinity for trivia over matters of substance. A staggering number of citizens willingly traded freedom and privacy for convenience, bowing to the dictates of an ever-expanding array of personalized gadgetry."


And then of course, there's General Smedley Butler, USMC...

"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer; a gangster for capitalism."

11:01 AM  
Blogger librarian@play said...

Wafers,

I've got some ideas about how to collaborate on a bibliography. Just need to formalize them. And to Tim's point, I'll outline a way to communicate off-blog so as not to clog up the comments section. More on this soon.

Meanwhile, the number of mass shootings in America has increased enough that even the FBI and USA Today have noticed.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Thus far, my publisher has not been able to get Amazon to restore "Genio" to its original price. What will happen now is anyone's guess. If the price stays at $35, they may well have killed the book. Meanwhile, I notice 4 copies for sale at $25, if that helps.

mb

1:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Use this to buy Genio for $25:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/1626548838/ref=olp_f_primeEligible?ie=UTF8&qid=1564597075&sr=8-1&f_new=true&f_primeEligible=true

2:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Need you to weigh in on this. Shortly after I published the Reenchantment bk, which became very popular, a friend of mine said, "Careful: You don't want Rolling Stone to come out with a 'Reenchantment' issue." Thankfully, they didn't. Herbert Marcuse wrote that capitalism is so clever, it can even market attacks on itself. After all, all it cares abt is profit. Well, I recently got a message from someone who runs a blog called unhustle.com. She seems very sincere, the rt ideology and motives etc. However, they have a shop where they market unhustle T-shirts, coffee mugs, and baseball caps. Vey iz mir. Marcuse was rt. They want to interview me etc., but I'm feeling very uncomfortable abt what seems to be the hustling of unhustling. Anyway, check it out, see what you think.

mb

3:06 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Unhustle™ is a lifestyle design to break away from Hustle Culture, stress, endless todo lists, overconsumption, information overload and constant technology distractions. It's an effort to live a more congruent, balanced life, one with purpose.

For an outfit with what would otherwise appear to be a commendable purpose—helping humans abandon some of the more pernicious aspects of modern life—the fact that they have a shop where you can buy T-shirts and mugs and other “stuff” causes me to question the degree to which they’ve left the consumption behind. (Note the focus in the quotation above regarding “a lifestyle design to break away from,” among other things, “overconsumption.”)

Note also that they have training course to help you in your quest. For a quite reasonable fee, of course.

This is all not to say that a meeting would be inappropriate. I’d question what they’d propose to do with whatever “product” comes from any discussion/interview involving you. Capture it as a CD or DVD? What’s in it for them? Lots of questions up front to satisfy yourself that you aren’t being exploited at some level.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypWnuP5RDxA

Definitely Oscar material! Immediate Honorary Wafer for him.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Respectfully, please do not be interviewed by that org Dr. Berman. The fact that they run a shop selling drek regarding 'anti'-hustling is an initial red flag. Moreover, there is "coaching" for a price of course (first 20min free), workshops, retreats w/"nature," and the registered trademark of "Unhustle" fill in blank paid experience.

It appears like yet another USian hustle for the "anti-hustle"--nothing new, yet predictable. Learn to put down that phone and unplug.....for a price. Keep your integrity, just say no.

On another note: another american parent leaving their infant in the car to do nightclub shots. Looks like another us winner.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/stupid/terrible-texas-mom-639518

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Rufus Schmeck said...

Ugh! Another hustler for unhustling including exotic locales to spend time with rich American douche bags who 'think' its hip to unplug. Where's the coffee mug?

"La Ventana, Baja California Sur. Callin’ all smartphone clenchin’, meeting crushin’, deadlines slayin’, todo’s achievin’, entrepreneur stressin’, ego centric A-type mindn’, success achievin’, fast movin’, business startin’, fast talkin’, hustle bustin’. Stop doing and Just Be. Focused on entrepreneurs and business people,"

WTF.

The individual says unhustle, however, they're on twatter, wastebook, instabullshit, etc...Curious if this individual is another female/business 'person' you go gurl entrepreneur/life coach bullshit artist. Act now! For only 29.99$ you can have my special introductory online computer technology app that will show you how to relax and unhustle the night the away........

4:43 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Re: Unhustle. Sheesh, the whole front splash page was an ad pitch for themselves. Douchebag dot com must a already been taken. Don't give em nuthin unless they erect a lifesize bronze statue of yourself in a plaza of your choosing.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Well, Dr. B, looks like CNN has pulled the video so I cannot provide a link. But at last night's Democratic Cage Match, Marianne Williamson went off on the wonks at the debate. Saying that unless they confront the evil dark energy pit and stop with the wonky crap, they will lose to Trump. That they need passion and heart.

I'd say you will get your wish for the next election.

10:25 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@MB--and I quote: "Unhustle® is a community and lifestyle design movement for entrepreneurs, executives and professionals who want to create a better lifestyle and achieve more wellbeing, freedom, flow, joy, peace, connection, and meaningful work." Who in the hell talks like that? Corporate assholes, that's who. Also not thrilled by how they brag about having been featured on CNN Business. It reminds me of when the real Bill Hicks suggested that anyone listening to him who was in marketing and advertising should go kill themselves, and he envisioned the marketers saying "ooh, Bill's going for that anti-marketing dollar, that's very smart." Personally, if I were still blogging I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole, but that's just me.

Meanwhile, the level of depravity shown by Bill Clinton's best buddy is now being revealed as having reached astonishing lengths: Jeffrey Epstein once spoke to scientists and others of a plan to seed the human race with his DNA by impregnating scores of women at his New Mexico ranch. This is full on Roman Empire shit. Yet until he got busted a few weeks back, every one of America's "entrepreneurs, executives and professionals" wanted to BE fucking Jeffrey Epstein. The way to "Unhustle" is to unplug yourself from the system altogether, not by going to one of Unhustle's "transformational programs with locations in Baja California Sur, California and Lake Tahoe." What, fucking inner city Baltimore, the south side of Chicago or coal belt West Virginia wasn't good enough for you assholes?

10:26 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

librarian@play

Great to hear.

Cheers

t

10:40 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Fertile ground to choose from but the funniest thing I heard in the debate was

"How would a....{President Yang}...handle blah, blah, blah"

10:50 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

An analogy...

You go to make a large purchase — a car or a house — and you come across a mass of options, eager salespeople tripping over themselves to please you— you have a sense of complete sovereignty as the capitalist consumer.

Then, you start talking to finance people, you realize you actually want out of the deal, you realize you don't want a car or a suburban home and certainly not in exchange for a life of debt. But then you suddenly realize you were powerless all along. You only had an illusion of choice, loudly emphasized by the salespeople.

In the infinity of personalization you were actually always on one tyrannically narrow path.

That is what it means to participate in an American election, company, university, etc.

11:42 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

MB, my impression is that you should avoid the self-styled unhustlers like the plague. 149 bucks for an afternoon in the woods at lake Tahoe that you could better enjoy by yourself - what kind of unhustling is that? It's like a detergent that purports to leave your laundry clean with that nice fresh smell that is really a residue of nasty carcinogenic chemicals.

So here's my question: is this guy as scary to others as he seems to me?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6zqatiur3A

Warning: he's a billionaire businessman. Funny thing is, I expect his business advice is extremely sound. But there's a cold fury in his manner that frightens me. Is he evil and destructive, or just realistic and hard as nails? I could only take a few minutes before I bailed. Should I listen to the whole thing and try to become like him?

12:43 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Morris,

I would encourage you to absolutely do that interview, for the following reasons.

1) Future WAFERS who don’t know you and your work are out there ready to be awakened.

2) You can actually have some fun with it, and gracefully and tactfully call out the owners of this website on their hypocrisy and absurdity.

JJ

4:46 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

From a blog by Martin Gordin called "The Teeming Brain" - blog is new to me, I don't follow it but this came up when I was looking for other ways to buy The Happy Book:

"Meanwhile, according to the 2019 World Happiness Report, the U.S. is the unhappiest it’s ever been because of our business-driven culture of addiction. Knock me over with a feather.

If all of the above strikes you as a downer, this bracing shot of wisdom from Morris Berman for our present troubled moment might help: “Speaking of Liberation.” TLDR: There’s probably no hope for humanity at large, so it’s better to focus on your own personal awakening from history’s nightmare."

http://www.teemingbrain.com/tag/morris-berman/

5:28 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

MB - for your info (not for blog publication, unless you want to mention it) -

Abe Books has 5 hardcover copies of the book with illustrations but the cheapest is $37.00.

5:34 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Forgive me if I'm using to many "personal anecdotes" here. I realize that my last entry was about how a man came into work and threatened to put a bullet through my head and explode it like a watermelon. But just last night I was getting ready to turn into a shopping center. I had my turn signal on for about 1 second before realizing that my actual turn was 30 or so yards down the road. But, Jesus, the guy held his horn in for like 20 seconds. I'm not kidding, literally 20 seconds. Pure aggression and assholery. Anyhow, it really grated on my that he was that much of a prick. So when my turn actually came, I put the turn signal on a just sat there (I could have turned right away, since no cars were coming.) This might be one of those "you had to be there" kind of things. But it was pure insanity. The fucker then went on to hold his horn in for like half a minute, all while putting his head out the window and screaming at the top of his lungs. Still, I just sat there. He eventually got out and walked up to my car, still raving and swearing. Nevertheless, I refused to roll down the window or even acknowledge his presence. So it went on for a minute or two. Once I'd had my fill of irritating him to the point of near apoplexy, I finally turned into the shopping center. At any rate, getting him that upset was almost enough to make up for my irritation at him blaring his horn at me over a 1 second hesitation.

Clearly this is not normal. People in this country are wound so tight, and are so miserable, that the slightest inconvenience makes them want to put a bullet in your head, or at least do the equivalent with holding in their horn to an insanely prickish degree. I must admit that it is fun to fight back, however, to the extent that we can do it without getting killed.

At any rate, I'm convinced that you can literally see the crack up of a civilization in such small things as a incredibly grotesque, horn-blaring, overreaction. Holding your horn in for 20 seconds over a slight turning hesitation tells you everything you need to know about what is wrong here. We can't stop it, but occasionally we can do some small thing to poke at it a bit, and even revel in it!

6:22 AM  
Blogger disposium said...

Well Doctor Berman, I suppose Unhustle.com does look far too smooth to be true. But it may be a way to reach those of us who are pretty much glued to our phones. Yet there is something at least vaguely discomforting about it... Like an Ego on the verge of Enlightenment clinging to the edge of the abyss, hanging on to that old way of doing things: Hustling.

Possibly an interview wherein you could assert that even one day their superslick website too shall pass into the Emptiness from whence it came? Would they go for that? That would let us know if they're willing to 'do the unustle'.

Whatever. Do as you will, sir! I'm sure your fellows will support you.

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings MB & Wafers,

As an aside - I looked on amazon.co.uk, Genio is available for 21.95 pounds, and on amazon.it for 41.11 euros (not surprising on this one, a lot from the US is really overpriced on the .it site). Unfortunately for me, the $25 book from your link is not eligible to ship to Switzerland. BUT - the $35.02 version DOES ship to Switzerland! (And what is with that $.02?) Sigh - I might just order it from the .co.uk site.

@pilgrim - those are 3 good voices on the state of the US. I refer a lot of folks to the Smedley Butler book - mainly to emphasize the fact that this situation is not new - it is the essence of the US.

I looked at the unhustle.com website. I didn't dig into it too deeply, but it seems to me they are hustling the unhustle. I especially noted one blog post on the "Unhustle Tahoe Outdoor Series". So, while they seem sincere, it seems they may be turning it into another new age thing. I think Americans just can't help themselves, it's the only way they know. Perhaps an interview could educate them??

8:24 AM  
Blogger librarian@play said...

Beyond T-shirts and coffee mugs, they also sell life coaching, astrology retreats, and corporate wellness programs that: "Create happier, healthier, calmer, more present employees at the office and with clients. Less gossip and office drama . Your employees will see the value of working for your company (less employee burnout and turnover) and not for your competitors. Increase creativity and productivity. Identify and deal with habitual stress activities that result in burnout, reduced effectiveness, and decreased communication. Create clear and focused minds. Decrease health care costs."

I'm sure they are sincere in what they do and, hey, we all have to earn a living, but this smacks a bit too much of "mindfulness for sale." Plus the services purport to chill out the stressed without addressing the source of stress.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Italiana et al.-

This Amazon situation is a total mess. 1 copy is now available for $25; the 'buy box' copy is still at $35. I can kiss sales of this bk goodbye. Publisher is still (supposedly) trying to get Amazon to revert to $25. Aaack.

Megan-

I encourage all Wafers to follow yr example. From a declinist pt of view, these turkeys are hilarious. Driving Americans batshit over trivia cd fill many pages of this blog. You might also wanna carry a mirror around, and hold it up to them when they go batshit.

trying-

Does that suck or what? What did I do to deserve this? I can kiss my villa in Tuscany goodbye. What's TLDR?

Flounder-

Sorry, I'm not into posting updated versions of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. You need a different blog, amigo.

And...I wanna thank you all for yr opinions re: Unhustle. Obviously, they don't walk their talk. This falls into the category of "Commodify Your Dissent." I think I'll pass.

Meanwhile, back to Amazon, and my publisher. Maybe I shd write a bk called "How to Ruin a Book."

mb

10:35 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Italiana - You and other shakuhachi players (shakuhachists?) will be happy to hear that I am going back to my old instrument, trumpet.

I don't know what it is; probably getting rid of that pesky pneumonia I'd apparently had for several months, maybe the time I did spend blowing into a shakuhachi, maybe developing a clear mental concept of what I want to achieve (high notes w/o undue strain, like my hero Allen Vizzuti) or maybe it's that I'm playing a Yamaha now, but I picked up said Yamaha student horn a few days ago and I'm playing as higher with more ease than I ever have.

I can now pick up better than I left off on an instrument I've actually put some time into over the years.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Good essay that borders on great when the author talks about "tacticool":

https://newrepublic.com/article/154563/sparta-myth-rise-fascism-trumpism

10:51 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Here is the second part of Paul Craig Roberts' 'America's Collapse' where Roberts, a former Undersecretary of the Treasury during Ronald Reagan's presidency really cuts into capitalism in the United States. I especially like the following:

"Generally speaking, economists assume away external costs. Their mantra is that progress fixes everything. But their measures of progress are deceptive. Ecological economists, such as Herman Daly, have raised the issue whether, considering the neglect of external costs and the inaccurate way in which GDP is measured, announced increases in GDP exceed in value the cost of producing them. It is entirely possible that GDP growth is simply an artifact of not counting all of the costs of production."

Roberts has remarked in the past that he really wonders whether there has ever been a profit by capitalistic practices if external costs are taken into account - unfortunately I can't find where he states this. Roberts' essay is definitely worth reading - in some ways he is something of a Wafer.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/08/01/americas-collapse-2-in-a-series/

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Caitlin said...

https://apnews.com/eaf726bd05e3491bb03852a10e10b1bf

APNewsBreak: Edward Snowden memoir book coming out Sept. 17

Look forward to that

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Gillian said...

Herman Melville was born 200 years ago on this day. His last novel The Confidence-Man (1857) — about an enigmatic con-man — has been cited by author Philip Roth as the most "relevant book about Trump’s American forebear"

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Bart Stout said...

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/07/ronald-reagans-racist-conversation-richard-nixon/595102/

Ronald Reagan’s Long-Hidden Racist Conversation With Richard Nixon

1. In 1971, Richard Nixon got a call from Ronald Reagan, complaining about African delegates at the UN. "To see those, those monkeys from those African countries—damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!”

11:35 AM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

For the happy book--I noticed Amazon changed the default to a 3rd party seller bargainbookstores-https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/seller/at-a-glance.html/ref=dp_merchant_link?ie=UTF8&seller=A1KUFZLJ107W44

They must allow 3rd party sellers to pay to jump to the default selection. Seems silly because they still offer the $25 version sold directly from Amazon.

As for Unhustle.com it does look like new-age kitsch. But I'd agree with what others said as it's a chance for future Wafers to learn about your work. If you do an interview, you should call out their hypocrisy for selling junk.

More fast food violence:
https://abc13.com/police-man-slaps-little-caesars-manager-over-pizza-toppings/5434815/

And it looks like the woman who peed on potatoes turned herself in:
https://6abc.com/woman-accused-of-urinating-on-potatoes-in-walmart-surrenders/5432342/

11:56 AM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

I gotta go against the GSWH on poking the ragers among us. Megan, that's a good way of getting shot if you poke the wrong one. There's only 170 of us... we're too valuable to die at the hands of psycho americans.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Kendra said...

https://pagesix.com/2019/07/30/a-listers-flock-to-google-summit-in-private-jets-mega-yachts-to-talk-climate-change/amp/

A-listers flock to Google summit in private jets, mega yachts to talk climate change

Oh mr Obama lol

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

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

If someone said back then that this guy would be pres. of 'mur'ka, laughter
would follow. Instead, we got reality in 'mur'ka.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cyrillia-

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

Megan-

Ignore comrade, wear bullet-proof vest. Be sure to post the results. If no gun, video tantrum.

mb

6:14 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Krak-

Many thanks for the reference. Grace Brown is a great American.

Nothing worse than soggy pot:

https://kmod.iheart.com/featured/big-mad-morning-show/content/2019-08-01-teen-beats-mamma-over-soggy-pot/

Miles

ps: I'm considering writing Tulsi Gabbard about the urgent need to nuke Baltimore. Who's w/me on this?:

https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/crime/bs-md-ci-cr-violence-2019-20190711-ssd4exmspzdixne5qyxicf5m7e-story.html

8:33 PM  
Blogger Janus said...

Perhaps I'm missing something in the Amazon price controversy saga, but you can also buy Genio for the right price at B&N, with a bonus gift of not buying from Amazon. May need to find something else nice to get free shipping, however.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/genio-morris-berman/1132628751?ean=9781626548831

8:42 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Dick Cheney's daughter sez injuns are "destroying our sacred western way of life" because they want to keep grizzly bears near Yellowstone from being hunted to extinction. The Dick Daughter didn't actually say "injun" but you know she would have if she could have.

"oh look look look a flag gotta get the flag gonna get the flag love the flag gotta get it love it gonna get it gotta get it look look look [drops a ton of white phosphorous on an Iraqi village]" - Navy Seal baby killer "saves" broken American flag. It's not "news," it's CBS.

In related news, Afghan patriots fighting terrorist foreign invaders managed to kill two more of them this week. One of the American stormtroopers who got what he deserved was only 2 years old when America invaded...the other was 6. Whenever I read these stories, I always flip the narrative around in my mind in order to maintain the proper perspective.

Turkey wants Turkette to challenge Trump: Michael Moore urges Michelle Obama to run against Trump. Why Moore thinks places like his beloved hometown of Flint, which rejected the Botox Queen because her husband fucked them for 8 years, would want yet another presidential spouse whose husband fucked them for 8 years truly is a mystery.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Comrade, Dr. Berman,

For the people who threaten to blow my head off at work, I am indeed a little cautious. I don't think the guy last week was joking, he really wanted to kill me. However, I did use my stock line on him, which is: "With my life, you might actually be doing me a favor!" Heh, I don't really feel this way at all, but most of these rage killers want to off people who they think "have it better than them" or live some secretly glamorous life. When I tell them my life sucks too (I've had several credible death threats since I started here, so I've actually used the line more than once!), that seems to diffuse things a bit. Even though most of the death threat walk-ins at my job are severe assholes, "Going Postal" is fundamentally right: American life that made them that way. So while I don't really sympathize with them after they call me call horrid names and threaten to splatter my brains on wall, I do see how this country made them into what they are.

As for your interview, Dr. Berman, I think I would go ahead with it. This woman is probably not too bad of a person. It sounds like her heart is in the right place, even if the Unhustle merchandise thing is a bit contradictory. She probably doesn't even see it. So I would maybe playfully point it out to her in an e-mail, rather than making it an issue on the show, which would be a bit too harsh. But the fact that she is seeking you out and obviously respects you, shows at least that she is on the right path. Better to set her straight in a friendly way, I think, than reject her outright, which might hurt her feelings and seem unnecessarily churlish. You are in some respects still fundamentally a teacher, no? This is a good teachable moment. And after all, how many of us 169 have (I'm serious cringing here) cell phones? Even if it admittedly does cause much anguish, because many of us really do require them for work. So let he who is without sin.... (Hopefully this is under half a page, but I wanted to convey this while there is still time before you have to decide.)

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

I was so relieved to read in the LA Times this morning that authorities believe the Gilroy shooter did not target people based on race. For a moment I thought there was hate in this man's heart. Now I can rest comfortably. Talk about journalism at its finest.
Well, I must conclude American Jews have essentially lost their minds. Perhaps you saw that a North Carolina gun shop put up a billboard with a picture of The Squad. Here is the mildest of Facebook reactions: "Fuck them cockroach pieces of shit." Sorry, doctor, but my experience tells me under most American Jews is a fascist dying to come out. Then I'm routinely excuriated for not loving Israel. How can I love an apartheid state witnessed by Israel's razing of structures within the PA's authority. As Ilan Pappe discovered, Israel never desired peace except a Carthaginian one where one side (the Palestinians) is thoroughly vanquised.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

Well, they may only be latent fascists when it comes to Israel. As we discussed at the 6ANYWSM, Jews are traumatized by the Holocaust (with gd reason) and so cannot discuss the Palestinian issue rationally. I've seen this repeatedly: ontology overwhelms the intellect, and they go into a frenzy. Even Thos Friedman (may his name be blotted out) correctly wrote, some yrs ago, that when the subject of Israel is raised, everyone goes insane. When I mention Pappe, Zionists just call him names; they never deal with his empirical evidence, because reason is irrelevant to the unconscious terror that gets awakened. In short, this is an argument you cannot win.

Janus-

That's gd to know. The problem is that when most Americans go bk shopping, they turn to Amazon, rather than the other outlets such as B&N. The Amazon listing of $35 is a sales killer. My publisher is still working on it.

Jeff-

Baltimore cd definitely use a vigorous nuking, along with Toronto and Paris. (The Pentagon keeps ignoring my letters on the subject.) I'm just hoping Tulsi is the Dem pres candidate next year. That wd be marvelous, altho I'm also partial to Chrystal Walraven.

mb

10:13 AM  
Anonymous ReHustle said...

For someone singing the praise of unhustling she sure still knows how to play the hustling game. The unhustle trademark/copyright is just hilarious I think, and very sad all at the same time.


But why not, give me my Morris Berman insulated water bottle. And where is my fluorescent Wafer iphone XS case? Just give me a good deal on this unhustling, my visa card is itching!!!

Does she do Wafer fart apps too?

12:18 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Megan--as with any technology, it isn't the cell phone but what you choose to do with it. I use my old iCrap 5 as a mini computer for accessing the internet when I'm not at home. I fail to see the difference between reading DAA at the coffee shop or on my home computer--especially since coffee shops are devoid of any decent newspapers these days. Otherwise about 95% of my infrequent communications are so my wife and I can stay in touch during the day since she still works and I don't. Just like with the 'net itself--you can use iCrap to find obscure information you'd never otherwise have been able to access, or you can sit around twiting, texting and Wastebooking about nothing all day. Just because about 98% of the population do the latter doesn't mean the 'net hasn't been a boon for those few of us who use it to expand our horizons. Unhustle, on the other hand, is clearly aimed at people who want to have their corporate hustling cake and eat it too, and that's almost as bad as being completely clueless--arguably worse.

Ted Cruz - (R)etard: 'Universities are trying really hard to raise a generation of pansies.' "I don’t find Marxism just sort of cute and chic,” Cruz said, noting that someone on his hall had a Che Guevara poster and that Cruz sarcastically recommended posters of other “evil, torturing, murderous sons of b*tches,” including Mao Zedong, Adolf Hitler, and Joseph Stalin.

Better to have posters of "murderous sons of bitches" Truman, LBJ, Nixon, Reagan, Bush (Sr or Jr), Cheney, Clinton, Obama, Hillary or Trump? In a Senate full of colossal douchebags, Cruz is still the all time champ.

1:41 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings MB & Wafers,

It totally amazes me that Amazon can dictate a price over the objections of both the author and the publisher! Is that really how it is supposed to work?

@alex - Alas, I do not play the shakuhachi (I can't even make a sound!), but do play the koto, and know lots of shakuhachi players and have played with many of them. But I'm happy to hear the trumpet is going so well for you!

Meanwhile, today's Paul Craig Roberts column, on the bizarre way the Gov't (BLS) counts new jobs. Delusional statistics for a delusional populace! https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/08/02/more-fake-happy-news-about-jobs/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=more_fake_happy_news_about_jobs&utm_term=2019-08-02

3:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Italiana-

They finally got the price rt, but are now saying delivery will take 1-2 mos. Amazon cdn't be damaging sales of the bk better if all of this were deliberate. Puzzling: I thought Bezos was into making money.

Bill-

Sorry, amigo: technology is not neutral. It's not a question of what you use it for, as McLuhan and Marcuse demonstrated many yrs ago. Its presence in a culture changes that culture in a serious way. Sherry Turkle shows that even the presence of a cell fone at a meeting between 2 people, without it even being used, changes the nature of the interaction. We can of course pick and choose, but I believe the McLuhan-Marcuse argument still stands. (McLuhan's best example was the intro of print media in the 15C, which spelled the death of oral culture. That people might theoretically pick and choose was neither here nor there. All that's left of oral culture is monasteries, and the monks probably have cell fones.)

ReHustle-

Just by comparison, "Mindfulness practice" is now a multi-billion $ industry by now. I'm guessing Unhustle has similar ambitions. The whole issue of the neutrality of Buddhist meditation is a complicated one; I discuss it at some length in my Japan bk.

mb

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

MB - sorry less than 24 hrs, but thought you might like to see what Amazon.it is now saying about delivery of Genio (translated from the Italian):

Currently not available.
This article is currently unavailable but may become available in the future. You can place your order now: we will notify you as soon as we have more information and the amount will be debited only at the time of shipment.

Almost sounds like Amazon is punishing you.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Rufus Schmeck said...

Wafer ReHustle---the husband/wife owners of that 'antihustling' company are naturalized USA-ers (Oz/Bulgaria); not surprising. They certainly wanted what America was offering.

Hubbie doesn't own a computer; yet their site is razzle-dazzle, twatter, instacrap, and wastebook selling their trademarked unhustling "services."

Also, folks can listen to 'podcasts' of US corporate douche bags ramble on abt how they're now 'unplugged,' drink their lattes more slowly, and learned to drive more mindfully in their Range Rover.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Good Morning Dr Berman

I was surprised that you gave unhustle.com more than a nano second
of consideration after a review of their site. It almost seems like a
hustle in disguise to unhustle after looking at their site offerings.
Almost a Trojan horse approach perhaps. 'A lifestyle,....constant technology
distractions, etc'. I wonder what their definition of overconsumption
would be? Most definitely would not be purchasing any bling from their site.
Nothing like being a walking billboard. Geez. Glad you hung in there.
Can't wait for this new lifestyle to unhustle all over the internet.

https://unhustle.com

1:07 PM  
Blogger Politically Incorrect Russian Spy said...

The big no-no in Buddhism is emotion: particularly anger, which is strictly verboten. It's perfectly fine for a Buddhist to raze an entire town full of men, women, and children, so long as this mass murder is done dispassionately. I recall the Dalai Lama once being asked what he would do if he had a gun, and an armed madman stormed into the room threatening to shoot everyone. His response:

"Shoot him in the leg. Then rub his head."

So yes, the Dalai Lama is fine with shooting people, even with shooting them himself. Just don't be angry, self-righteous, wrathful, or otherwise agitated while doing so. Remain cool-headed, and methodically mow them down as the situation requires. What a world...

1:22 PM  
Blogger dg said...

The medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium - that is, of any extension of ourselves - result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology... With the arrival of electric technology, man extended, or set outside himself, a live model of the central nervous system itself. To the degree that this is so, it is a development that suggests a desperate and suicidal autoamputation, as if the central nervous system could no longer depend on the physical organs to be protective buffers against the slings and arrows of outrageous mechanism.

Marshall McLuhan

1:40 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

@ Bill Hicks- My old Windows 'smart' phone has a nice 3- section timer that I use when developing film. Since the Windows phone system is pretty well dead, I even stopped getting ads on the timer program. AND I can load a bunch of music to it and use it as a bluetooth sound source, use its GPS to map things, etc. You are right- a nice little toy and it has no SIM card, no phone function (yes, I went to the dark sid... uh, Apple to get access to some apps, so shoot me).

Dr. B, I haven't read your Japan book so maybe this article bears no relation to your own thoughts, but I'll pass it along. An interesting view of the 'neutrality' or empitness issue where she finds it can lead to both a passivity and a concept of self that she finds troubling-

https://aeon.co/essays/mindfulness-is-loaded-with-troubling-metaphysical-assumptions

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.google.ca/search?q=us+student+loan+default+rate&rlz=1C1GCEV_enCA860&oq=us+student+loan+defaults&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l5.7121j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

At least they are learning at an early age what it means to be a true 'mur'kan: one who
is constantly in debt.

3:58 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Welp folks, another day another mass shooting.

As for Mindfulness: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_at_War

Bill Hicks: Indeed, whenever I cave in and get a smartphone, I'm not going to care one whit more about movie stars or soap operas.

Italiana: Thanks for your well-wishes.

As for "Unhustle" it reminds me of "Real Simple" magazine, which has always made me laugh.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Another mass shooting-

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/03/el-paso-shooting-texas-walmart

Embedded in the article- "This community is going to come together": Beto O’Rourke responds to El Paso shooting

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Interesting read from Lihn Dinh.
https://www.unz.com/ldinh/walled-communities-shopping-fortresses-and-free-fire-zones/

"Decomposed, America has but one rallying symbol, its flag, but that I can find even on the thin asses of teenage girls in my buttfuck town, Ea Kly! It’s true they have a more positive view of America than just about all its citizens. Though they know nothing about American history, heritage or geography, they can’t help but be mesmerized by the money tossing, twerking and grinding America that constantly streams into their consciousness."

"America’s economy is a staggering zombie, its infrastructure duct taped and its global prestige splattered with much innocent blood and relentless mendacity. Worse, it can’t be rebuilt because it has no racial, cultural or philosophical foundation left, and even its borders are disavowed by a large chunk of its population."

"With its unprecedented heterogeneity, nearly a quarter of its population enslaved and its indigenous massacred or chased across the continent, the United States was a tenuous proposition right from the beginning, but with its tremendous wealth, much of it gained through imperial plunder and blackmail, it has kept enough of its citizens fat and happy."

And, another USian ready to lead that "revolution." 'Guam may "capsize" due to all the USian troops stationed there.'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs23CjIWMgA

9:18 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

El Paso Walmart rampage marks 250th mass shooting in 215 days

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/08/03/el-paso-walmart-shooting-250th-mass-shooting-this-year/1913486001/

12:18 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

MB, Wafers,

I am currently reading "McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality" by Ronald Purser. Much recommended Wafer reading. It talks about how Mindfulness is taught at Google, Goldman Sachs etc... and how Mindfulness became the perfect "tool" of neoliberalism insofar as it promotes a focus on the *individual* as the root of all problems and obscures larger questions. The book completely destroys John Kabat-Zinn and portrays him as a ruthless hustler BTW.

I feel like by agreeing to that unhustle interview MB, you'd be precisely caving in to that same fad. Refusing to take part is sometimes the best way to take part.

Kanye

1:23 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Another mass shooting in America. At least 20 people are dead after a mass shooting at a shopping center in El Paso, Texas.

https://www.cnn.com/us/live-news/el-paso-tx-shooting-live-updates/index.html

3:11 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

With the El Paso shooting, I think it can be said that America is edging ever closer to open insurrection. Trump's twit on the shooting was, from a declinist's point of view, simply hilarious: "Terrible shootings in ElPaso, Texas. Reports are very bad, many killed. Working with State and Local authorities, and Law Enforcement. Spoke to Governor to pledge total support of Federal Government. God be with you all!"

Meanwhile, the Dumbs are just as clueless. Here is the ever-feckless Beto O'Rourke on El Paso: "I'll tell you, El Paso is the strongest place in the world. The community is going to stay together. I ask for everyone's strength. Everyone's resolved to make sure this doesn't continue to happen in this country." O'Rourke also said: “Some initial reports was that it was a military-style weapon uses – or weapons used – at Cielo Vista Mall. Keep that shit on the battlefield. Do not bring it into our communities. I don’t want to see it in our malls or our schools or our churches or in our synagogues.”

"Keep that shit on the battlefield"--in other words, the proper place for assault weapons is in the market stalls, schools and mosques of the countries we bomb, drone, invade and destroy. American soldiers can butcher and maim hundreds of thousands of foreign civilians, but heaven forbid Americans (rightly) receive the blowback from their refusal to care what is being done in their name.

Moreover, with a seemingly imminent major market crash having the potential to add jet fuel to the already raging fire, and we're being "led" by an emotional 6-year-old who is being challenged by a pack of lightweight moral midgets.

4:29 AM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Man, we are on a roll. 2 deadly mass shootings in less than 24 hours:
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/9-killed-in-ohio-in-second-us-mass-shooting-within-24-hours/ar-AAFjdvF?ocid=spartanntp

An exercise in futility:
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/breakingnews/moms-demand-action-marches-from-white-house-to-capitol-hill-in-gun-protest/ar-AAFj6YL?ocid=spartanntp

Re: 2020 Elections
I was watching some old George Carlin clips and found a great campaign slogan he used in the past: "The public sucks, fuck hope." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AqZVnqVEw4. I'm trying to think of a better one for 2020, but alas Carlin is hard to beat.

7:26 AM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman:

Mass shootings galore this weekend:

https://www.rt.com/news/465758-active-shooter-in-dayton/

Surely these incidents have zero to do with the dominant culture...

Himanshu

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

So at least 30 dead from Bloody Saturday. That should at a minimum put an end to proclamations of the US as a beacon of freedom.I'm even more glad I retired from teaching. I can't imagine as the US is headed to mass hysteria, administrators berate me for not handing in more detailed lesson plans. As you said once, doctor, to be a success in the US is to sit on top of a dung heap.
Great essay by Gideon Levy in Haaretz. Apparently, Netan-Yahoo! demolished the apartment complex to appear tough for the upcoming election. In Israel, making Palestinian lives even more wretched is good politics.

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Diogenes said...

@Bill

Thanks for the link on jobs numbers.

Our economic system is such a joke — the Soviets were, ironically, the best parallel. Basically, life is completely unaffordable for most of the population, who somehow magically show up in the world with new cars, phones, and homes.

If we are going to set a minimum standard of living (excluding tent cities, etc), most of the population falls only finances it through debt. Marx never realised the massive expansion in consumer credit that would happen in the 20th century, so that now workers are actually paid *well below subsistence level*.

I realised this personally when I learned the reality of car ownership and minimum wage jobs as a teen. It was an "aha" moment... Clearly the numbers are not meant to add up

8:59 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

I won't mention the weekend's mass slaughters by, once again, young white male Americans. Except to say that those who express surprise and wonder how this could happen again in these United States are like children who put their hands on hot stoves repeatedly without understanding what causes the pain. As to whether anything will be done to stop the carnage, we are way beyond that. That train left years ago.

And then there's this related story from Consortium.com about America's unwillingness to accept responsibility for our failures and mistakes abroad.

"When a country has as many problems as these, the temptation to attribute it all to “foreign adversaries … intent on undermining American democracy” is overwhelming. Why take responsibility for one’s own actions when it’s so much easier to blame someone else?"

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/07/30/the-war-party-is-in-control/

Finally, Bill - I have an old fashioned flip phone that my wife insisted I purchase so she could contact me in the event of an emergency. I try to forget to take it with me when I leave the house. I hate it when it rings, especially when I'm with someone. Nothing changes the tome and flow of a good conversation like an obnoxious noise emanating from something in my pocket that has the power to interrupt whatever I'm doing at any time. I've exchanged control over my immediate environment and who has permission to contact me out of fear that something may happen that I need to know about immediately.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Italiana-

Yeah, it's like Amazon wants to kill sales of the bk. On American Amazon, price is happily now back to $25, but they say it will take 1-2 mos. to deliver. Why?

Kanye-

Kabat-Zinn stole one of my bk titles, altho bk titles are not copyrt.

alex-

See my Japan bk, esp. the Appendices.

Re: mass shootings: Several mos. ago, I predicted that they wd become more frequent and more extensive. As the nation commits suicide, we can expect much more of the same.

Meanwhile, yesterday I turned 75. I threw a party at an Italian restaurant in Mex City. There were abt 10 of us, most of them close friends (2 had colds, cdn't attend). It was 3 hrs of nonstop laughter. Nobody was posturing, trying to show how much better he was than everyone else. Nobody tried to put anyone else down. I looked around, and realized that if I attempted such an event in the US, I doubt 2 people wd have shown up (Wafers aside). When we left, one friend offered to take me home in an Uber; when I got out of the car, he hugged me and said, "I love you." And Americans ask me when I intend to return to the US. Yeah, right. Return to 327 million angry, pathetic clowns, for whom 'love' is a gimmick, at most. Hard to hang onto my lunch.

mb

1:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

In the Machiavelli chapter of "Genio," I argue that his real politics was in favor of decency, as opposed to ego. Well, speaking of Unhustle and related crap, check this out:

https://store.marianne2020.com/products/mug-dignity-decency-democracy

Marianne Williamson, spiritual adviser to Oprah, and one of the biggest turkettes in the history of the world, has now turned 'decency' into a slogan, complete with mugs and T-shirts. The whole thing makes me cringe, as tho I've been co-opted. Absolutely nothing is safe from these capitalistic, New Age sharks. Machiavelli wd have barfed.

mb

1:22 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

As I told Dr. Berman, I made my comments on the Unhustle thing before scrolling the comments. I thought it was just a matter of selling t shirts. Didn't realize that it was a whole New Age racket. I should have guessed though. Everything is co-opted in this country. Especially spirituality.

Bill, I agree that technology is not neutral. But I am adopting a practice of literally turning my cell phone off every time I leave the house. This at least keeps it from intruding on my relationships and on "public space". I wanted to get a flip phone, but they charge 25 cents for every text sent or viewed. The hell with that. Plus it is agony to write a single sentence on a flip phone. At any rate, i need to be able to receive texts from work, and generally be on call, so this is the best i can do at the moment.

Thoughts and prayers for the latest mass shootings. But at least our communities are coming together, etc. (Further platitudes prevented by the half page rule.)

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Daniel Ariely said...

BURGER OFF! McDonald’s banned from setting up at ancient Roman baths as officials rule it’s ‘disrespectful’ to serve burgers near historic monument

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9632086/mcdonalds-banned-ancient-roman-baths-officials-rule-disrespectful-serve-burgers-near-historic-monument/

The Sacred & the Profane Dept.

4:10 PM  
Blogger David said...

MB
Like your description of the nation committing suicide. Yep we're in self-destruct mode and even the folks from Mission Impossible will not touch this case. Rather than a sudden shot of reason, as the Aussies and NZ-landers had, the nation will most likely be primed for a Fascist takeover under the guise of restoring Law and Order. The erstwhile Beacon of Democracy will finally be revealed for what it really is: a Fascist Banana Republic.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Julian Harris said...

Apparently in response to the shootings, the astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson tweeted: "In the past 48hrs, the USA horrifically lost 34 people to mass shootings.

On average, across any 48hrs, we also lose…

500 to Medical errors
300 to the Flu
250 to Suicide
200 to Car Accidents
40 to Homicide via Handgun

Often our emotions respond more to spectacle than to data."

Seriously!? -- He's a walking anecdote as to how IQ doesn't always pertain to having wisdom or humanity

4:59 PM  
Blogger Penny Lane said...

Smile! You're under constant surveillance! You have to admit that they're doing impressive work on the panopticon.... https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/02/pentagon-balloons-surveillance-midwest. Did any of our Democratic reality-show candidates mention the surveillance state in their, ahem, debate? Or was the subject not broached by Astonished Anderson Cooper and Dopey Don Lemon?

5:05 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Consider this shooter as a typical American white boy-
"Potential Domestic Terrorist & School Shooter Explains in Snapchat How He Hates All N*ggers & Proceeds to Practice Shooting Them With an Assault Rifle (Video)"

https://blacksportsonline.com/2019/08/potential-domestic-terrorist-school-shooter-explains-in-snapchat-how-he-hates-all-nggers-proceeds-to-practice-shooting-them-with-an-assault-rifle-video/2/

This man is in his mid-teens, most likely far too young to have developed his own opinions on African Americans. Shooting a box of Air Jordons as a stand-in for Blacks shows that he is a fount of received ideas. That he would send it out to friends and acquaintances shows the quality of his friends. And that someone stood there and filmed it for him.... well....

Greg Abbott, Texas governor, said in this October 2015 tweet:
"I'm EMBARRASSED: Texas #2 in nation for new gun purchases, behind CALIFORNIA. Let's pick up the pace Texans."

And the Trump staff is scouring Twitter to delete all posts where he referred to an immigrant invasion or such because that was a central theme in the El Paso shooter's manifesto.
https://www.politicalflare.com/2019/08/trump-is-currently-deleting-his-tweets-that-refer-to-immigrant-invasions-and-invaders/

Yep, this shithole country isn't going to even make it to the next election. It is collapsing in all directions.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

trying to stay sane

Further to the pocket ring at inopportune times. If you are carrying
your phone I think a powerful
statement can be made by not turning your phone off before
meeting someone but do it visually in front of them at the time of
meeting before it rings. It conveys the
importance of your meeting with the other person and also pays
respect to that person and perceptive people appreciate not having to
compete with the phone for your attention.. The
cell phone has become the extension of human anatomy and desperately
needs some manners.
Alas never happened to me yet.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Xair said...

Regarding these mass shootings my grandfather once said me, " Una cultura podrida produce gente podrida". Hard for me to argue with him.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

A tale of 2 healthcare systems.

I work in software development. Under no circumstances am I allowed to even *think* of missing a deadline. If I'm even a few hours late on delivering a build, I WILL be fired.

In March of this year, I broke two ribs while sparring at my jiu-jitsu academy. This happened on a Friday at the end of the month which is also my deadline submission day. I calmly went back to work and spent the next 5 hours getting our milestone out the door. Desperately trying not to sneeze or cough from the pain.

Once our submission was done, I stood up and had a chest spasm. I passed out from the pain and hit my head on the floor. I was ambulanced from the office to the hospital with internal bleeding and two floating ribs completely dislodged. Despite having *good* insurance, I was hit with a $2,000 bill I'm still paying off.

My wife and daughter both got sick while in Sweden 2 weeks ago. Despite neither of them being citizens, they went to the doctor and received medication. No co-pay. No premiums.

Rah-rah-rah!!! Someone fire up that Lee Greenwood tune!!

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Happy Birthday Dr. B! I cannot quite decipher Blogger's time stamps but apparently you share a birthday with Martin Sheen and Cliff Simak. Isn't the internet wonderful?

Bill: I am 110% behind your criticism of the military especially since you speak from experience. WAFers, maybe you have run into this but talking to even the most hardcore socialist wannabes the instant they ask, how do we pay for universal healthcare? And I say, easy cut the military by 50%. It's like I said punch your grandma or something. Sigh.

Anyway it sounds like your book got stuck on the Amazon "print on demand" roller-coaster. Sorry about that. I grabbed my copy of AQoV off he shelf because I thought that may have been another print on demand book too and while looking for the info, I ran across the following under the W.H. Auden quote that opens the first chapter. I thought I bought the book new, but apparently not because someone (not me) wrote in cursive pen:

"We would rather die in our dread than climb the cross of the moment and let our illusions die."

as the local rednecks would say, yep.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Ajay Singh said...

Morris!

Happy 75th!!! Yesterday I met an old school friend after 43 years. We both were 17 when we last saw each other, and meeting up was one of the happiest occasions of my life. Then this morning I awoke to that second shooting in 13 hours—as if the perp just couldn't tolerate the 250 mark and had to better it. The radio waves were full of the usual platitudes—"shock, sadness, fear ..."

How far those words were from my emotions last night, I pondered. I told my friend so. A former helicopter pilot in the Indian army who successfully transitioned to a tax accounting business in Greenwich, CT, he said the problem with America is too much freedom.

Wonder what you think.

Happy Birthday again.

4:44 AM  
Anonymous Jerome J said...

Dear MB and Wafers,

I suspect that Amazon, or more likely its shipping speed algorithm, is up to no good with respect to the shipping and pricing issues with Genio. Apparently, there are various strategies Amazon uses to win the coveted "buy box" from other sellers, and to manipulate authors into using its own publishing services. See this article from 2017 (there are others making similar claims):

https://writersweekly.com/ask-the-expert/unavailable-on-amazon

A great shame, as Genio is a wonderful and inspiring book. Also of interest, a New Yorker article on the connection between the El Paso and Dayton shootings and technology. Unfortunately, the author seems to assume that technology is neutral, and that addressing the problem is just a matter of policing nefarious websites rather than confronting the technological way of life itself.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-el-paso-shooting-and-the-virality-of-evil

6:17 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Good morning Everyone!

MB - you'll be happy to hear that on amazon.it, the price is a bit lower (34.73 vs 43 euros - pretty good price given everything has the 22% VAT on it, and everything from the US on Amazon.it is inflated), AND it "immediately available"! Still 1-2 months on Amazon.com. Sigh

Meanwhile, an opinion column in the Boston Globe today on why the term "This is not who we are", in relation to these shootings, is a lie. The conclusion is, if this is what we do, then this is who we are. BUT - of course the only thing wrong is with the gun laws - just keep guns away from folks and all will be well! Not one inkling on why people in the US seem to be so quick to mow down masses of strangers! https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2019/08/04/let-admit-this-who-are/41lLewEXgprztYHInVc1BJ/story.html

As an aside, Switzerland has a higher gun ownership rate than the US (from mandatory military service, they take their guns home!), and somehow it is a peaceful society. Imagine that!

6:42 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Happy BD MB, I believe I joined the blog a few months b4 your 73rd, so 2 years of Waferdom for me. I know I've broken the 24 hr rule a few times but what most pleases me is that I've never gotten the following response from you "sorry Amigo you don't understand what we do here you'd be more comfortable on another blog." This means allot to me as I consider Wafers to be elite and I'm honored to b along for the ride. Last night I watched a pbs docu-series Ancient Skies. Blown away, I think you'd like it - even at 4700 ft I literally can only see about 5 stars @ night. Our forebears knew astronomy but their studies were much more benign than ours. There just isn't any poetry to science. The Apollo mission shld have been named the Icarus Experiment. Today one has to travel 250 miles outside Paris to see the night sky. What a damn shame, makes me think the lasting American contribution is the flag on the moon and not in a good way. While the ancients tried to understand their place in the universe the best we cld do is try to leave it, all the while denigrating our earthly garden of eden as "primordial soup from which to escape," just another example of how suicidal we are as a species.

I knew 'ole Marianne wldnt disappoint - you go girl!

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Rufus Schmeck said...

Remember Wafers as you see sad US faces, hugging, folks clutching idiot phones, light shows, bottom lip biting, more hugging, thoughts and prayers, and God be with yous, sad piano music, more hugging, militarized police....

"Hate has no place in this 'country' (cough)."
"We're better than this."
"What's happening to 'our country?'
"I don't understand why this is happening."
"We are making a plea to (marionette puppet) Mitch McConnell"
"They purchased the guns legally."
"They were loner, crazy, white supremists"
"We're strong, we'll get through this." Hustling shirts with "XYZ STRONG."
"Change is on the way. you'll see"
"We need to change the laws, enough is enough"

A few days later, no one will remember, and it's Rinse, lather, repeat. Americans never learn, it was part of their "charm." Gore Vidal

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Quiet Desperation said...


Dr. Berman,
Have your new book in hand, devoured in one sitting and enjoyed every chapter. The spaghetti bolognese was delicious, you have succeeded! On the subject of mindfulness, my new, young doctor, in an effort to get me to stop taking hydrocodone for chronic pain suggested a smart phone based app to help me wean myself off the only drug that actually helps me survive on a daily basis. The look on his face when I told him I didn't own a smartphone was of course priceless, he was so deflated. I asked him if he really thought a phone app could in any way deal with the horrible sensations of diabetic neuropathy, he said nothing. I'm awaiting the day he refuses to refill my prescription. We are so screwed. Thanks for another beautiful book...

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Happy Birthday and I'm glad you've found so much happiness in Mexico!

12:19 PM  
Anonymous COS said...

מזל דיין געבורסטאָג

1:38 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

the US is coming to Europe:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/aug/04/teenager-arrested-after-child-falls-from-height-at-tate-modern

Kanye

4:50 PM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

I live not far from El Paso, in southern New Mexico, and just spent a weekend in El Paso last month. I've been going there for years, it's a very safe city. My heart breaks for the victims and families, and especially for those who came up from Juarez-- where we're always warned not to go because it's too "dangerous"--to contribute to the El Paso economy. Meanwhile, I'm disgusted by conspiracy nuts today claiming there were multiple shooters in El Paso; they'd heard witnesses saw men wearing black shooting randomly. Our country has been going down the tubes for decades, violence and mass shootings increasing. We don't need government agents to go out and do mass shootings, as we have enough white supremacists and unstable people to do them. What do these conspiracy theorists think is the goal-- gun control? It hasn't happened yet...

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

I sent a modest donation to Marianne, because she has to pass a certain threshold of individual donors to remain in the debates. Can you imagine her winning the nomination and debating with Trump? The establishment (DNC, NYT, WaPo, etc.) would go nuts if she gains any more traction.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn-

A greater shmuckette, wd be hard to find:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/08/01/self-centered-religion-shared-by-marianne-williamson-president-trump/

Adlai Stevenson: "I find [St.] Paul appealing, and [Norman Vincent] Peale appalling."

COS-

אדאנק!

Quiet-

Glad u enjoyed it. I really wish the bk wd come with a slice of pepperoni pizza. As for smartphones: yr doctor (aka a horse's ass) shd be aware that the data and lit on fones making people sick is quite extensive by now. However, you might wanna check out alternative (nontech) therapies for controlling pain. I did take meds for a short while after my shoulder operation, but then phys. therapy and exercises began to kick in.

Rufus-

There's more on the way; don't doubt it for a minute. And the reactions will be exactly the same. What a buffoon population.

Gunnar-

Actually, I find some science poetic; mathematics, certainly. As for Waferdom, there simply is no denying it: we are the elite of the elite, the crème de la crème. Wafers represent the highest spiritual development in the universe. Compared to us, Marianne Williamson and Oprah are turds, the lowest of the low. Dreck, really. (See article I sent Birney.)

Italiana-

Publisher currently working on the 1-2 mo. Amazon delay, but the Amazonites aren't exactly swift. Maybe they want reduced sales, who knows. As for guns, Americans are so sick that if guns were outlawed, they'd start killing each other w/knives. Then if knives got outlawed, they'd use clubs. Etc. We are, after all, talking abt violent buffoons.

Louis-

Ouch! Hope yr feeling better by now. That story is probably repeated in America, in one form or another, dozens of times per day.

Xair-

The reverse is also true.

Megan-

Paul Fussell once wrote that everything in the US is coated with a fine layer of fraud. My only objection is to the word 'fine'.

Wafers-

Thank you all for yr birthday wishes. I'm feeling pretty happy these days, death threats aside. But I do miss the young chicks; my last girlfriend (a few yrs back), an actress, was 32 and absolutely gorgeous. Yeah, cradle robbing, OK, but we both had a gd time. Sir Laurence Olivier: "Everyone is 17, with red lips." He was rt. Age changes 0, in that dept.

mb

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Artemus Gordon said...

Wafers might enjoy the new series on Amazon Prime called The Boys. It's superheroes taken to the extremes of corporatization, marketing, monetization and hustling. It is loaded with violence, sex and adult language, but it does a good job of satirizing so much of what we dislike about this culture.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Happy Birthday, Dr. Berman! I didn't realize that it was your birthday, but I hope you're around to celebrate many more.


As for your your Genio book, I know nothing about publishing. But is Kindle a possibility for any of your works? I'm a passionate book collector so I will just get the hardcooy from Amazon. But Kindle is a technology that I'm very much in favor of. It's great for getting books like, say, the Collected Letters of Horace Walpole or The Memoirs of Cassanova - books that are very expensive in actual hardcopy form, but are free or close to free on Kindle.

At any rate, I think at this point that it's more important to get your stuff out there to as wide an audience as possible then to focus on how much you are making from your book sales. Presumably you have enough of a fixed income to live the rest of your life with no real worries, so my thought is that a few dollars plus or minus isn't going to make that much of a difference in the big picture, right? I think it's important to get books like Genio out there. Books that highlight a different side of your character, books like your poetry and essays. These works are an important part of your "ouvre", I think, because they highlight the another side of you, opposed to what a superficial critic might call your "gloom and doom stuff (the Trilogy and so forth) it's what comes out so well on this blog - the importance of having fun keeping a sense of humor, and embracing life. (Eating well, having flings with younger women, and peeing in peoples' shoes when necessary, etc.)

Of course, Genio would probably lose too much as a Kindle book, because of the illustrations. But hell, at some point isnt it better to put everything rather than letting it just fall out of print? You should be making hundreds of thousands for your books, no queation. But since that isnt happening I think the next best thing is to simply make all of your books available - even if there is small, or even zero financial gain to be had from it.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Megan-

You misunderstand what I mean by 'sales', altho yr misunderstanding is understandable. 'Sales' for me *means* availability, distribution, etc., altho financially, I basically live on the edge (things are not as cushy as you seem to believe, let me set that record straight). But I equate sales with availability because that is, for the most part, how availability/distribution occurs these days. I'm perfectly fine if someone wants to have their local library order the bk, so that hundreds of people can read it for free. That wd make me happier than a pig in shit. But this has not proven to be the norm in the case of my bks. The norm is purchase off Amazon, and that's why I am always referring to sales; this is the great indicator of distribution. I hope this clears that up.

As for Kindle: I'm not a fan of virtual or digital reality, and there is a lot of lit on the difference between reading off hardcopy and rdg off a screen. The latter has not been an improvement, by a long shot, and there is just no substitute for the physical experience of a text. Anyway, my publisher has not suggested putting Genio in e-bk form, which is just as well.

mb

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Rutledge said...

“Just as Americans today look back wistfully to the Founding Fathers as patrons of an age of rugged independence and virtue, so did the Founding Fathers look back with an equal wistfulness to the early years of Rome.”

https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2019/08/06/america-is-not-rome-it-just-thinks-it-is/

- America Is Not Rome. It Just Thinks It Is -

Where Trumpi is compared to Commodus. Poor Commodus! Hehe....

10:14 AM  
Blogger Auriel Ragmon said...

Dr. Berman, Sir!
I just bought Genio from the publisher. My bookstore will have it in about one week. Costs about $10 more than from Ama... (a name I will not say, as it relates to a tribe of bloodthirsty females) and I hope this mode of purchase gives you a bit more money.
Also, many of your earlier books are available through Biblio.com rather than through behemoth.com
Jim of Olym

4:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jim-

Am so excited abt this, I'm peeing in my pants as I type. Just one thing: in future, pls send messages to most recent post. No one reads the old stuff. Thanks.

mb

5:17 PM  

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