November 09, 2019

The Chicken Lady Revisited

Well, we never did find out the name of the Chicken Lady, who recently smashed up her car at a Popeye's Restaurant in LA, in an attempt to force her way into the line of more-or-less nutso Americans who have gone into a frenzy over a chicken sandwich across the land. Here's the article, and the video, which might be titled "Douche Bag in Action":

https://la.eater.com/2019/11/7/20953728/woman-destroys-car-drive-thru-popeyes-chicken-sandwich-los-angeles

On one level, this is hustling taken to an extreme; but on another level, it's about a very sad country with very sad, empty people in it, who were betrayed by the American Dream. Chicken Lady really is the US in microcosm. She's just a little crazier. After all, the chicken sandwich frenzy is a national phenomenon, similar to Wal-Mart sales where customers trample each other to death. What I am most aware of is how very different is the America of today from the one of my youth, or even, really, the one of, say, 20 years ago. As the empire collapses, so do the minds of its citizens. In so many of these crazy cases that we have reported on this blog--people calling 911 because of a cheeseburger error at McDonald's or whatever--I would love to interview these folks, along the lines of "What were you thinking?" But I imagine that the reply would be just to stare at me. If there is one country on the planet suffering from an epidemic of brain death, you know which one it is. In the Twilightbook, written nearly 20 years ago, I identified "spiritual death" and severe dumbing down as two factors that were taking the US down the drain. But I never imagined anything like the Chicken Lady, or the kind of demented behavior that has been extensively documented on this blog since it began in 2006. It's like we've entered an alternate reality that has become some sort of norm.

With that in mind, what can it matter if Trumpi is impeached, or even thrown out of office? Or if Biden (Schmiden) or Bernie (Schmernie) get elected? The Chicken Lady is rock-bottom America, and no political administration can possibly fix that. I would suggest that Chicken Lady's smashed up car replace Washington on the $1 bill, so the entire country can see what we're up against; but I don't think that's going to happen.

Poor Chicken Lady.

-mb

123 Comments:

Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

MB: Your link is the first time I've seen said video. I can't help but notice two things.

1. Once a mistake has been made, an American can't back up and reassess, she/he MUST move forward no matter what. In a dog-eat-dog nation one cannot show a bit of weakness or you'll be eaten by your own. (The story says she did eventually drive away, but at what cost?)

2. Chicken Lady was driving a Mercedes-Benz. Janis would be proud. Here is one of the better country musicians out there doing a simple cover: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfpGgBRng5U (skip to 1:55 for the music)

6:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pastrami-

A great song.

mb

7:04 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dear Doctor Berman and Pastrami,
Janice Joplin's “Mercedes Benz” certainly does accurately describe the have-to-have-everything American consumer culture. With that in mind, I think a great song for folks thinking of expatriating from this wasteland is The Animals' “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”.
“Watch my daddy in bed a-dyin'
Watched his hair been turnin' gray
He's been workin' and slavin' his life away, oh yes I know it
And I've been workin' too, baby (yeah!)
Every night and day (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!)
We gotta get out of this place
If it's the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
'Cause girl, there's a better life for me and you”

8:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joe-

Another great song. Janis, BTW.

mb

9:00 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

As usual, the Simpsons predicted all https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaJWkjgoVmc

10:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Neil-

Ribwich! I'll give them Ribwich. (At least he didn't smash up his car.)

mb

10:47 PM  
Anonymous A Reader in Dubai said...

Busy reading a book that Wafers might appreciate:

In The Shadow of the Machine: The Prehistory of the Computer and the Evolution of Consciousness Paperback – 29 May 2018
by Jeremy Naydler (Author)
https://templelodge.com/viewbook.php?isbn_in=9781912230143

It’s somewhat of a ‘riff’ on some of the themes in Dr Berman’s consciousness trilogy.



12:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Millions of Americans live in a world where a chicken sandwich is of the utmost importance. (I'm not referring to the people who are starving, which is a whole different thing.) I'm trying to think of what that world feels like from the inside, and I'm not able to do it. If any of you guys cd help me out, I'd appreciate it. I really wanna know what it is to live in a chicken-sandwich-centered world. For example, wd I dream abt chicken sandwiches? Wd I run over little children in my SUV on the way to Popeye's, and think nothing of it? Help!

mb

4:34 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

I humbly recommend this song for the Chicken Sandwich Revolution (CSR) theme song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xmV5uHWNag

At least it's fun to watch some kids having fun with this song.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Xair said...

Wafers,

American exceptionalism at its finest. What can one say at this point?


https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.tmz.com/2019/11/08/popeyes-employees-fight-worker-selling-chicken-sandwich-side/

9:47 AM  
Blogger Politically Incorrect Russian Spy said...

Interesting review of Colin Asher’s new biography of writer Nelson Algren, an early-to-mid 20th century Wafer:

“The thinness of the American Century’s promise was evident in the qualities of their lives, [Algren] believed, and he intuited that their fates foretold everyone else’s. He looked at them and saw an atomized society where no one felt at home any longer, and masses of people cycled through prisons and jails – a place where irrelevance was both sin and punishment, and there was no need for a totalitarian government to stifle dissent because everybody was only out for themselves.”

Algren also anticipated the social and cultural costs of American militarism:

“You can’t make an arsenal of a nation and yet expect its great cities to produce artists. It’s in the nature of the overbraided brass to build walls about the minds of men – as it is in the nature of the arts to tear those dark walls down. Today, under the name of ‘security,’ the dark shades are being drawn.”

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/11/08/nelson-algren-and-the-pathologies-of-life-in-the-usa/

What other historical Wafers can folks name? At least a few spring to mind: Hubert Selby Jr., Charles Bukowski, William S. Burroughs.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

I can’t say what shit neurons are activated but I’ve noticed whenever I’m in line somewhere I feel real pressure to ‘hurry up and get the fuck outta my way,’ which I always do for fear of getting in a fight. I can’t tolerate bars @ all, too much testosterone and no inhibition.

Is this mainstream reporting predicting coming economic collapse?

https://www.businessinsider.com/next-recession-peter-schiff-us-will-default-on-national-debt-2019-11

Question of the week: if you bitchslap some with cheeks full of Botox does it ooze out of there nose? I wanna know.

12:06 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of Course she did...This is what Americans DO...

Woman arrested for allegedly harassing child with genetic disorder

https://abcn.ws/34M5eoU

12:29 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

The Chicken Wars continue.

https://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/popeyes-woman-body-slammed

The chicken sandwich is where we stand our ground as Americans, Dr. Berman. It's the "Deep-Fried Alamo".

When the breadcrumb dust settles, we'll stand over the graves of our fallen comrades and perform the 21 dip salute in Special Sauce™®.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

I always enjoy the blog. But it often feels like there is nothing new to contribute. However I found a few things today.

First The Intercept satire on all billionaires should run for president.

https://theintercept.com/2019/11/10/all-of-americas-607-billionaires-must-run-for-president/

I particularly liked:

Ken Griffin, Citadel

PROS: Embodies Schrödinger’s Paradox: He can explain that he is not driven by money while simultaneously saying we better not tax him more because he’s driven by money.

Also Target is making all of its employees take active shooter training. Only in America.

https://www.inc.com/chris-matyszczyk/target-is-asking-employees-to-do-something-no-employee-should-ever-have-to-do.html

2:55 PM  
Blogger Amazed! said...

Thank god I left CA a few years ago, with my wife and son in tow.

He just cut his finger - 3 stitches etc.
UK healthcare, NHS - no id., no paperwork, no bill.

I had a 2 night stay in a NC hospital last year; pneumonia.
What a rigmarole - paperwork to the ceiling and a $18,500 bill!

My US wife is incredulous.
America is dying.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Mrs Ballatine said...

Really looking forward to -

Read an excerpt from the chapter "Rich Peoples Broken Stuff"... and it is something pretty important for the environmental community to read.

Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale https://www.amazon.com/Secondhand-Travels-Global-Garage-Sale/dp/1635570107

His 1st book was very important

Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade
https://www.amazon.com/Junkyard-Planet-Travels-Billion-Dollar-Trash/dp/160819793X/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?keywords=Adam+Minter&qid=1573416516&s=books&sr=1-2

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Vevey said...

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/moral-landscapes/201910/indigenous-psychologies-around-the-world

'Indigenous Psychologies from Around the World....Indigenous worldviews are missing from western psychology.'

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Popeyes is literally a microcosm of U.S. decline -- stabbings, damaged cars, and now body slams! "Video appears to show Popeyes employee body slamming woman outside restaurant" https://news.yahoo.com/video-appears-show-popeyes-employee-133925398.html

I nominate Amanda Goodwin to the Wafer Hall of Fame: "Taking it to Jesus’: Police say Florida woman nearly drowns cat" https://www.fox46charlotte.com/news/taking-it-to-jesus-police-say-florida-woman-nearly-drowns-cat
^^Take a look at her deranged face.

One step closer to Trump's re-election: "The Memo: Bloomberg's 2020 moves draw ire from Democrats" https://thehill.com/homenews/the-memo/469696-the-memo-bloombergs-2020-moves-draw-ire-from-democrats

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Black Americans see a rise in opioid deaths. "In large metropolitan areas, black adults saw the largest increases in rates of drug overdose deaths involving opioids and synthetic opioids, with rates increasing 103% and 361% respectively, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/31/health/opioid-deaths-african-americans-study/index.html

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=black+friday+shopping

Probably the most patriotic day of the year. When will some gun nut
pick this day to break the record by killing one hundred merry shoppers?
Think of some resentful ingrate with NO more room on his credit cards for happy
buying like all those other happy souls. "I am a good 'mur'kan just like
the rest of you!"

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Sybok said...

MB,

I don't think it's really about the chicken sandwich per se, it's about the American ethos of competition and consumerism. Chicken Lady felt entitled to that sandwich and she wasn't going to allow anyone or anything to stand in her way. Whether it's a chicken sandwich or a promotion or just a penny on the ground, Americans have an obligation to get it even if that means hurtimg someone's feelings, shoving them to the ground or even destroying their own health through over working. To wait your turn, to defer gratification or just decide you don't want the the greasy, crumpled piece of offal is simply not an option for a true, red-blooded American because this would suggest that there are higher values; and if there are values higher than competition and aquisition, then this implies that Americans and America are not the greatest, that in fact they've missed the entire point of being alive and human. They can't face that possibility, so they double down and take those American values to hyperbolic levels by killing and maiming over fast food.

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Mike R said...

Dr. Berman and Wafers, this was what America was all about:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/news/video-2041110/Video-Dedicated-diner-pushes-car-line-Popeyes-chicken-sandwich.html

Despite running out of gas while in the drive-through line, the USA-er pushes his car to get that....chicken sandwich. Wow! That will power, fortitude, yankee can-do spirit, hard work/ambiition-- Horatio Alger would likely be verklempt.

Mr Hedges these are the 'wonderful' American people, nothing is too great, nothing insurmountable, to get that...... chicken sandwich. Who gives a rip about no universal health care, no education, employment at-will doctrines, CBT-FATCA, endless war mongering, 1000+ overseas us war profiteering bases, or running outta gas bc you're making shit at a US corporate hell hole, etc..etc.. What dipshit Americans crave is a chicken sandwich, and nothing, abs NOTHING will get in their way!

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Robert Bruce Bennett said...

The Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh has a term to describe the emptiness of so many people in this supposed "modern age" This incident that you highlighted brings new meaning to that term. He called them "Hungry Ghosts".

10:23 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Doctor Berman,
Like the reasonings for the frenzies around the Tickle Me Elmo and Cabbage Patch dolls of a few years ago, as well as the infamous Walmart stampedes, perhaps only a psychologist or a psychiatrist would have the answer to what it is like to live in a chicken sandwich-centered world. The same thing goes for the next “must have” consumerist item frenzy that certainly shall appear in our dog-eat-dog, survival-of-the-fittest, Darwinian United States capitalist society which most Americans adore.
Of course the competition (and probable violence) for it probably will start in a parking lot. Two Americans will get out of their respective SUV's and argue over a lone remaining parking spot that is close to the shopping mall's entrance. Heaven forbid they have to walk a few yards.
As you yourself so accurately said in Chapter Five, page 164, of Why America Failed, “It is a life without a drop of love in it.” So naturally, things like these are going to happen in this miserable failure of a society where the accumulation of money, concomitant with endless consumerism, is the country's raison d'etre.
And of course, like in Milton Bradley's “The Game of Life” board game, they all think they'll join the top one percent and end up at Millionaire Acres.

“Only in the United States would a philosophy be organized around the cash value of things.” -Morris Berman: Reflections on the Decline of American Empire ( You Tube video).
p.s. We also love and admire your many enlightening quotes, Dr. Berman. This above one of yours certainly can be ascribed to that popular term, “American exceptionalism”.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Jesus fucking christ:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/nov/11/the-first-fairytales-were-feminist-critiques-of-patriarchy-we-need-to-revive-their-legacy

One other factor in the spiritual decline that you can include MB is the shit-for-brains Progs and what's "important" to them. You'd think they'd fight against wealth inequality or dismantling the monopoly of the tech firms, but nope. Instead, rewriting fairy tales with a feminist narrative is much more important to them.

Kanye

3:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

See Essay #15 in AWTY.

Joe-

Remember Pet Rock? Or Baby On Board? How stupid can a population be?

Robt-

Not his phrase. Ancient Buddhist expression.

Mike-

At least he didn't smash up his car, like Chicken Lady in LA. Meanwhile, Hedges keeps writing about "the oligarchy," refusing to realize that their values are the same as that of the entire population. He hasta set things up in a Marxist framework, so that his beloved revolution will occur. If he realized that the population was focused on chicken sandwiches, his whole raison d'etre wd collapse.

Sy-

Well of course, the chicken sandwich is symbolic. As is Chicken Lady.

jj-

Take a look at Sewell's face=America!

Gunnar-

Start with Hillary; give us a full report.

Xair-

The # of chicken incidents multiplies daily. Finally, America is just one big chicken sandwich. If just one customer in a Popeye's line wd stop and say: "I'm a buffoon. I'm nothing but a gigantic buffoon!"

mb

9:39 AM  
Anonymous G'pa said...

How Dreams Change Under Authoritarianism: Charlotte Beradt’s “The Third Reich of Dreams” - The New Yorker [psychology/politics]
https://www.newyorker.com/books/second-read/how-dreams-change-under-authoritarianism

"When the Nazis came to power, the writer Charlotte Beradt began collecting dreams. What did she learn?"

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Wudufugel said...

Speaking of songs and American selfishness, I've been listening to Frank Sinatra's "My Way". Its an enjoyable song but you step away from it thinking of the singer as kind of jerk.

And now the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case of which I'm certain
..................
I planned each chartered course
Each careful step along the by-way
And more, much more than this
I did it my way

Here's the funny part, the song was created by writing new lyrics to a French song - "Comme d'habitude", a somber reflection on a failing relationship. So we took that song and turned it into a piece where the theme is "I did what I wanted, get bent". According to an interview with Sinatra's daughter, linked on the wiki, even Sinatra came to dislike the song, feeling that it was "self-serving and self-indulgent".

But, go figure, American audiences couldn't get enough of it. Its supposedly a popular request for funerals in the US & UK.


11:40 AM  
Blogger dg said...

Progressive coincidence?

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=working+class%2Cclimate+change&year_start=1900&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cworking%20class%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cclimate%20change%3B%2Cc0#t1%3B%2Cworking%20class%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cclimate%20change%3B%2Cc0

12:58 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Chicken sandwiches are all well and good, but someone is making bank off of having a country full of brain-dead zombies. At the other end of the scale, private equity firms- "This Is a Horror Story: How Private Equity Vampires Are Killing Everything. Corporate plundering did not start and will not stop with Deadspin."

https://www.thenation.com/article/private-equity-deadspin/

"There are many, many different versions of the vampire’s tale, but in its most timeworn Eurocentric telling, vampires are evil’s upper crust: beautiful, blue-blooded aristocrats draped in velvet, exuding idle menace....

"...Vampires’ modern-day counterparts, on the other hand, leave much to be desired from an aesthetic standpoint. Unlike the ancient Romanian moroi, Irish dearg-due, or Ghanaian sasabonsam, today’s vampires are parasitic new money. Vulgar, ugly, and smug, their wrists are cluttered with hideous statement watches, their torsos clad in power suits or, worse, upmarket hipster threads. Some call them vulture capitalists, after the great birds who feast on carrion. While catchy, this term doesn’t quite fit; these monsters do not focus on the dead—they go after the living. They run hedge funds, trade stocks, and manage private equity firms, flush with generational wealth but always hungry for more. Instead of hot blood, these fancy fiends hunt for cold cash—and much like their spiritual predecessors, care little for how others must suffer in their pursuit thereof...."

3:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

I don't post Anons. You need a real handle, like Julius V. Fartwell.

Wudu-

Also a big lie: "My Way" turned out to be the Mafia's way. And he *was* a jerk. But man, what a voice.

mb

4:03 PM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

What has to happen in a person's life for her to be willing to endanger herself and others over a chicken sandwich? What kind of transformation must she go through to think that she is entitled to damage property and threaten personal injury to get what she wants - just like those crazy Walmart shoppers and Pet Rock buyers? What is wrong with the society that produces such people?

Americans don't emerge from the womb craving chicken sandwiches and Apple Smartphones. What happens to their minds that they become such narcissists, willing to endanger their property and persons to get whatever they want? How do you indoctrinate a populace to act with such hatred of and disregard for the Other? We have to be taught to hate (South Pacific). Who taught us and why? Who benefits? And changing the political leaders at the top will have absolutely no effect on systems created by those who benefit. Want real change? Change the system. How many think that's going to happen anytime soon?

5:43 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

Here's a question for Dr. Berman (and any other WAFers who want to chime in):

Has the amplitude of American viciousness always been as high as it is now? I'm 43, and as far back as I can remember, America has always been a den of vipers.

My memories of grade-school don't make me think of any sort of Golden Age we need to return to. People seemed as self-centered and nasty back then as they do now.

It's one of the things I find myself wrestling with because my frame of reference is, well, 43 years. Is American narcissism more acute now?

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Flyingspaghettimonstr said...

Currently reading Don DeLillo's White Noise. A passage on pg 20 stuck out @ me, about a grocery shopping trip w/ Murray Siskind, whose packages were all bland.

It seemed to Babette & I, in the mass & variety of our purchases, in the plenitude those crowded bags suggested, the lettering, the giant sizes, the family bargain packs w/ Day-glo sale tags, in the sense of replenishment we felt, the sense of well-being, security and contentment these products brought to some snug home in our souls- it seemed to me we'd achieved a fullness of being not known to folks who need less, expect less, who plan their lives around lonely evening walks.

The part about "fullness of being" seems 2 b turned upside down, suggesting it lies in brand names, bright packaging, & bold fonts. Keywords were seemed & suggested. It appears this is a metaphor abt searching 4 comfy, but ultimately empty illusions of security to mask inner dread. Wasn't this bk published during Reagan's era as well?

1:34 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

There's absolutely no escape encountering advertising in the United States. American television literally is satiated with those idiotic commercials—each one 30 seconds long showing 30 different camera shots—due to the fact Americans' attention spans are so short. If one instead is outside driving in an automobile, he or she sees those myriad street spam eyesores on telephone poles that keep the hustling, over-trillion dollar underground shadow economy rolling.
So here are some future venues and ideas for the already ubiquitous advertising that appears everywhere one looks or hears in the United States' corporate/consumerist/Madison Avenue culture:
1) The three Metropolitan New York East River crossings, the RFK Triboro, Whitestone, and Throgs Neck Bridges will be renamed the Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds, and 7-Eleven Bridges.
2) Vehicles entering the state won't be welcomed by a sign saying, “Welcome to New York, the Empire State”. It instead will read, “Welcome to New York, the Verizon State.”
3) The last hurricane to hit was Hurricane Dorian. The next one will be named Hurricane Microsoft.
4) In Sunday Church, the scripture reading won't be from Mark, Luke, Matthew, or John. Instead, the priest or minister will say, “This gospel is brought to you by Geico. 15 minutes of a sermon may save you 15 percent on your car insurance.”
5) Speaking of which, one sacrament practiced by Christian youth is confirmation. When getting confirmed they take a saint's name. They instead can use a corporate name and be compensated for it. ( Actually since they're under age, the parents would be paid, and the money put into a trust. But it would still be a way to promote America's popular prosperity gospel). So instead of, for example, a boy's name now being John William “Mark” Smith, he'll now be John William “Chrysler” Smith. A girl can be, not Mary Louse “Catherine” Reed, but instead, Mary Louise “Clairol” Reed.
Don't you see what you'll be missing staying in Mexico, Doctor Berman?

10:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Louis-

More acute, but it's all on a continuum.

mb

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Flying: White Noise is a great book!

Joe: Can I be confirmed as President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho?

As one who has a crap-ton of medical bills (luckily I have good insurance, but even then I spend $2000 a year out of pocket), I saw this and wonder, why am I not surprised?

https://gizmodo.com/34-million-americans-know-someone-who-died-without-bein-1839802152

12:09 PM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

Louis - I grew up in the Deep South (the most corrupt state in the union, Louisiana) in the 50s and 60s. We had blacks to blame for anything that went wrong. Black and brown scapegoats were everywhere. And unlike the Chicken Lady, they knew which lines best not be crossed. If she had pulled that stunt in LA she would have spent the rest of her life in state prison. There were unwritten laws about who was welcome where and what those without white skin could do and not do. Violators could be lynched or, as in the case of Emmett Till, beaten to death for something as minor as whistling at a white girl. The times may have been even more vicious than now.

Joe - I've been thinking about the proliferation of ads as well. It's become almost impossible to go from one venue to another without encountering at least 1. First thing in the morning, TV news; then the health club with TVs everywhere; on the way home, billboards and store signs; stopping to get gas, the pumps now entertain you with "news" and ads for sales for coffee and cokes; magazines full of them; internet site ads practically jump off the screen to get your attention. Only way to avoid (if you stay in America) is to live off the grid.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Canadian (and a fairly distant relative of mine, his mother and my great-grandparents are from the same village - When we kids asked about Anka, my grandpa said "Who wants to be related to that little shit?") Paul Anka wrote the English lyrics for "My Way," so you may cut Sinatra some slack on that front.

Is Bill Maher in any way representative of US progs? I ask because he won't let go of that Russian collusion business. I always thought that xenophobic fear of the Russkies was more a Republican trait. Last Friday Maher let loose a whopper, saying that Trump's visit to Russia for the May Day celebrations was supporting communism. Does he not know that May 1 is Labour Day everywhere in the world outside of North America?

3:27 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

The American people are undeniably cruel and stupid. I think they would kill over a french fry.

Chicken sandwich stabber on the loose!

https://wtop.com/prince-georges-county/2019/11/suspect-identified-in-deadly-stabbing-outside-popeyes-in-oxon-hill/

Jere Blessings is now reported to be looking for Tulsi Gabbard to be considered for her cabinet when she wins the presidency. I think a bucket of hot diarrhea is just the kind of political movement this country can get behind.

https://nypost.com/2019/11/12/homeless-man-hurls-bucket-of-diarrhea-at-woman-near-hollywood-walk-of-fame/

4:39 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Not much to report. Got a blonde MAGA kid working next door; put a childishly-scrawled MAGA note in my mail slot and made a point of parking his heap in front of my office after he'd agreed not to. I'm on good terms with bldg. owner so I was able to get him to back off, in the early stages, 1936 say, you could get them to back off ...

Am considering seeing the movie Jojo Rabbit - yay or nay? Anyone?

Been watching some vintage fresh-from-the-crash Dmitry Orlov lectures; good stuff!

Made $132 busking w/trumpet yesterday. Finally 11/11's not a useless day 4 me!

Bill Hicks up ur OK!

8:44 PM  
Blogger Nancy Ewart said...

I read your blog with a combination of horror and amusement. I feel that you are right in your assessment of America. I watch people being shoved aside so the biggest and burliest can get on the bus first and claim 3-4 seats. While other people, including elders with canes and even walkers, stand. A minor issue I know, but since I ride the bus all the time, I notice it. But if the US is falling apart, what then? Are we looking at mass death? A civil war in which trumps' followers will murder all whom they hate - and since they have the guns, it's not that far Fetched. I am elderly, hope not to live that much longer but I guess I still care about the fate of America.

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings MB & Wafers,

@Pastrami - re medical bills, I've had my first contact with the Swiss health system. In Switzerland you are required to buy private insurance (low income folks are subsidized), and we took one with a very high deductible since we also have our US Fed insurance which will pay out in Europe - (we are very lucky!) So when I arranged for a blood test, I thought I'd have to pay. Turns out you just give them your insurance card at the hospital, they identify you, you go up, they take your blood, and you're on your way. No "copay"! Totally taken care of! Hospital is clean, pleasant, not overcrowded (actually, almost empty!), everyone is polite, efficient, and it took a total of 20 minutes (once I figured out the system!). The US system is cruel, and just exists to make a buck.

On this same note, a very interesting article/book review in The Intercept on the US Criminal 'Justice' System - which the author says is doing exactly what it's designed to do - mass incarceration. The author, Alec Karakatsanis, is a lawyer who has made it his goal to expose the system for what it is - a criminal punishment system, designed to constantly inflict pain for no good reason. Quite an indictment. What a country. Land of the free??

https://theintercept.com/2019/11/09/criminal-justice-mass-incarceration-book/

3:25 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

The useless impeachment hearings are here. Like the Mueller report, nothing will happen. Don the Con again will come out smelling like a rose. Like former mafia boss John Gotti, Trump's moniker perhaps also should be “the Teflon Don”. He has gotten away with it his whole life. This time will be no different.
But there is something far more important that matters. Like the Mueller report and the Kavanaugh hearings, the very first conspicuous things the large audience shall see staring at them, as they watch this hyped-up televised media circus, are those multiple-stacked, cleverly-placed Deer Park water bottles. They'll be in clear view, directly in front of everyone who testifies. You have to hand it to Madison Avenue. They've even managed to adroitly infiltrate and expertly promote televised significant product placement in the halls of the United States Congress.
As the late syndicated columnist Les Payne often used to write in his closing remarks, “God, what a country!”

10:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Nancy-

I fear I don't have a crystal ball, so I can't give you an exact prediction. But I have said some things on this blog regarding what I think is likely: martial law, food riots, mass migrations, the army shooting people down in the street at random (we're practically at that pt already, with the police), and so on. What I am hoping for is successful secessionist movements--i.e. the actual breakup, or balkanization, of the country. However, that is probably 30 yrs away. What I do believe is that by 2030, the US will be a very different place from what it is now. And as I've also said in the past, it won't be pretty.

Krak-

Check out McClain's face: totally vacant. Meanwhile, Jere picked the wrong target. Tulsi wd be more appropriate.

al-

But Frank was quite happy to sing it. Who wrote the Polish version?

mb

10:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to latest sender of (antisemitic, of course) hate mail: Maybe you missed the message I once sent out to all of you people. By the 4th word of a typical hate message, I realize it's a hate message and I delete it without rdg it. Of course, nothing stops you guys, because there isn't very much going on in your lives; but you shd be aware that you are wasting your time. Tu comprends? I DON'T READ IT. Now, knock yrselves out.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Good Morning Dr Berman and fellow Wafers of both genders

A insightful and contrarian perspective to perhaps counter the Progs,
McKibben et al drum beating the Green New Deal ad nauseam.
Quite a refreshing display of critical thinking skills. Of course it is
imperative that he is wrong. Just ask any Silicon techno-wunderkind.


If I may predict that the next chicken sandwich fiasco potential is going to
happen at the next EV plug-in corral once that structure becomes
common place. Good place to hang out if you have ulterior motives.

https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2019/11/11/Climate-Change-Realist-Face-Facts/?utm_source=weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=111119

It is a two part article.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

LA homeless man pours bucket of hot diarrhea on a woman:

https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/diarrhea-poured-on-woman-hollywood-homeless-564585101.html

Miles

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Nikolas said...

It's almost that time again: the day where Amerikkkans stuff themselves w/ factory-farmed dead bird & act "thankful" for their dead-end lives b4 going out 2 buy useless junk the next day.

Y'know, I think Thanksgiving is largely an excuse for Amerikkkans to try stuffing their emptiness w/ over-processed, sodium-laden "food". In fact, nearly all these holidays r excuses for them to attempt filling their void. Valentine's Day, Easter & Halloween there's sweets, Memorial Day/July 4th there's hot dogs & beer, and so on. Since most folks have nothing going on, they'll either OD or eat themselves in2 an early grave. It's not as if they have the capacity or intelligence to change their lifestyle, rite? What a sad, pathetic nation

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Echo said...

Amos Oz and the Politics of the Hebrew Language

An interesting read if you haven't seen it yet MB
https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/amos-oz-and-the-politics-of-the-hebrew-language

3:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Echo-

Thanks. I enjoy rdg that sort of thing.

Nik-

Somebody needs to propose that on Thanksgiving day, instead of eating the bird Americans shd stuff it up their asses, along with a chicken sandwich.

Jeff-

I'm glad it was hot. What cd be more disgusting than cold diarrhea? Feh!

Tim-

Female Wafer = Waferette.

2 once-great countries beating off: UK with Brexit, US with impeachment. Sad ending to now-sad nations.

mb

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Great article Tim!

"Also problematic is the fact that wind/solar energy is not really renewable. In practice, the life expectancy of a wind turbine may be less than 15 years. Solar panels may last a few years longer but with declining efficiency, so both turbines and panels have to be replaced regularly at great financial, energy and environmental cost. Consider that building a typical wind turbine requires 817 energy-intensive tonnes of steel, 2,270 tonnes of concrete and 41 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic. "

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Richie Slys said...

"Private property, not productivity, precipitated Neolithic agricultural revolution", study suggests.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-10/sfi-ppn101119.php

via EurekAlert

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

More signs of American decline. American Millennials face declining health compared to Generation X.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90427858/millennials-face-much-higher-death-rates-than-gen-xers

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

I came across an excellent essay from an Australian on climate change.

"Because like Wile E. Coyote running in the air, not yet aware the ground beneath his feet is gone, we have already stepped out into the void; all that remains is the fall."

"As Roy Scranton has observed, the real challengeis a philosophical one: understanding that this civilization is already dead. The sooner we confront this problem, and the sooner we realise there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, the sooner we can get down to the hard work of adapting, with mortal humility, to our new reality."

https://meanjin.com.au/essays/unearthed/

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

This article would probably get a "ho-hum" from most of the populace-

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/11/13/so-called-war-terror-has-killed-over-801000-people-and-cost-64-trillion-new-analysis

10:44 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

I was wondering what drove the military coup in Bolivia. Lithium.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-bolivian-coup-comes-down-to-one-precious-mineral/

And the death spiral continues. The battery may be clean in your Prius but getting it there is a thorough disaster (we ain't going to consume our way out of this mess)-

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/lithium-batteries-environment-impact

side note, an interesting blog with a thoroughly mixed bag- Eco Warrior Princess with an Eco Lifestyle Guide. Organic cotton bed sheets. And why 'civility' is often code for silencing marginalized voices.
https://ecowarriorprincess.net/2019/06/civility-debate-silence-marginalized-voices/

Ran across it looking for electric car info and the article is actually a good succint overview-
https://ecowarriorprincess.net/2018/09/electric-cars-how-much-they-really-cost-the-environment-3/

9:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Formula for stopping a revolution in America: if the masses shd rise up against their corporate masters, just give them an electronic gizmo to hold in their hands, and a chicken sandwich.

mb

9:09 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This is nice:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/11/14/nafes-monroe-philadelphia-baby-drug-deal-shot/

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings MB & Wafers,

To continue on the US healthcare mess, here's an article in the Guardian today on US medical bankruptcies. Incredible.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/14/health-insurance-medical-bankruptcy-debt

10:19 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

*****BREAKING NEWS****
Multiple injuries reported in a Santa Clarita, California high school shooting.
****** BREAKING NEWS***
Wait a minute. Why is time being wasted here? This isn't news. This is a normal every day occurrence in the United States.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

A couple of Wafers offered suggestions for readings on climate change and the true cost of electric cars. I came to the article linked below from naked capitalism’s article “Millenials’ Health Deteriorating, Projected Mortality Rates Higher Than Gen X; ‘Deaths of Despair’ a Major Culprit”. The Millenials article was also cited by Tom Servo.

The Vice article reports on a Brit named Simon Beard, who is a member of a team from the Cambridge Center for the Study of Existential Risk; this team is trying to figure out if, how, and when climate change could cause the human species to go extinct.

I shared this story with friends, noting that I would expect myself to be among the earliest casualties, lacking any particular physical attributes or practical skills. The value of being able to place John Donne in his correct century or to explain the causes of the Franco-Prussian War in a society collapse would seem to be limited.

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qvg99b/this-guy-studies-the-global-systems-death-spiral-that-might-end-humanity

1:11 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Wafers, MB,

The collapse is definitely amping up on this side of the pond too. Here are a few highlights of the recent news in France (references can be found in newspapers):

- There is as we speak a national strike by hospital staff across the country to deplore the "ever-worsening conditions for health workers and patients" and "hospitals being on the verge of breaking point"
- Robberies, thefts and random acts of violence are massively on the rise since the beginning of the year. CHURCHES are even being vandalized
- Public Education is also on the verge of breaking point with a school director recently committing suicide in Paris and a student immolating himself in Lyon to sound the alarm bell over the ever-increasing financial difficulties of his generation
- An "unlimited" general strike of public transport workers (France is heavily dependent on its rail network unlike he US) is scheduled for 5th of December to protest against Macron's Pension reform

Kanye

1:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Systems Crash-

I don't have a problem with participants disagreeing with me or the arguments on this blog. That's fine, and hopefully it can lead to a valuable discussion. However, there's no way you will be hosted here with that kind of disrespectful, put-down, arrogant attitude. And if you keep it up, I'll just delete your messages unread. All you have demonstrated so far is that yr a jackass--big time. You might think abt cleaning up yr act. I suggest you approach this blog with extreme respect. If that is not something you can manage, yr probably better off seeking out other blogs, ones that might appreciate your unique mode of relating.

mb

2:48 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Re: millenial health

This is how the average moron thinks about his health:

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/10/07/766847274/when-efforts-to-eat-clean-become-an-unhealthy-obsession

Americans are Puritans and condemn so many things as vices. Somehow Japan has a very high rate of smoking but lower lung cancer rates... Somehow Bavarians eat all the sausage they want and live long lives... And don't get started on alcohol. Who knew that colleges in Germany have beer vending machines and things don't devolve into Animal House?

Maybe vices need some moderation and cultural grounding... Maybe there is more to health than just chemical interactions... Maybe Puritanism produces a society of addicts, while normal societies appreciate their vices for what they are.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/10636553_Commentary_Explanations_for_the_smoking_paradox_in_Japan

Hint: it is not the tobacco that is deadly, but the way it is produced *in America*

7:25 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of Course He Did!!!


https://detroit.cbslocal.com/2019/11/13/paramedic-accused-of-cutting-diamond-ring-off-dead-patients-finger

8:40 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Speaking of Meanjin Magazine check out the essay titled The Last Days Of Reality by Mark Pesce.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

Is criticism of Greta partly based in patriarchy and misogyny?

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/11/07/misogyny-male-rage-the-words-men-use-to-describe-greta-thunberg/

5:52 AM  
Anonymous Kap said...

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/12/05/against-economics/

"Against Economics" - a review of Robert Skidelsky's "Money and Government" at NY Review of Books

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Hot Spot said...

Hi tech has changed how we feel about reality... ⁦https://onezero.medium.com/tech-has-drained-the-reality-out-of-our-real-lives-a77a8545b132

8:07 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

It is this American's respective opinion that most conservatives are white. I also am of the opinion that most conservatives are downright closeted racists. And I am certain that white conservatives are joking and laughing about the spate of incidents that have happened at Popeyes fast food restaurants over the fried chicken sandwiches. Many videos shown have involved people of color.
But if someone else here already hasn't shown it, here's the latest one. It shows WHITE people in the latest violence that happened at a Popeyes over a chicken sandwich. Of course, the big fat taller 300 pound macho brute that is shown throwing a sucker punch, as well as the smaller punk acting like a deranged psychopath, are emblematic of our now pathetic American culture. And we haven't even reached the annual Thanksgiving weekend shopping stampede frenzy at Walmart where other violence likely will occur. Perhaps we really now are living in “Dark Ages America” ( Doctor Berman's 2006 book).
Enjoy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWHo_6G9LT4

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

This is pretty funny pade I'm amazed nobody got killed.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/11/15/indiana-white-castle-fight-three-judges-suspended-after-drunken-brawl/4200171002/

1:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joe-

Multicultural violence is probably the most politically correct form of violence. Progs can only encourage it.

trying-

Gd article. I have the impression that when it comes to women, most men are more or less insane. As for the reaction to resource limits data in general, check out the Gramsci chapter of "Genio."

Rufus-

Half page max.

mb

2:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

The movie "Laggies," dir. Lynn Shelton and starring Keira Knightley as Megan, cd easily be seen as a fluff piece, a light comedy. Hidden within this is a serious existential message, of the tension between group dynamics and individual needs (a theme brilliantly explored by Ernest Becker in "The Denial of Death"). There is a lot of pressure on Megan to conform, and to marry Anthony, her boyfriend. The core of her problem is that she doesn't know who she is, and probably believes that group identification will only make things worse. Hiding out with a teenager, Annika, for a week allows her to relax, not be judged or pressured, and to regress to a more amorphous state. Also to fall in love with Craig, Annika's father, who is seemingly very structured yet is also floating, in his own way. The pt is that Megan can't get her life on track so long as she is play acting within this group. She is always presenting a false self to everyone. The need for this disappears during her week with Annika, and in Craig she finds true, rather than staged, love.

The breaking pt comes when, after suggesting to Megan that they elope and thus escape the bonds of the claustrophobic group, Anthony takes a selfie of the two of them and sends it to the group. Megan asks him why he did that, and he says, "To include the group." It's then that she realizes that if she marries Anthony, she'll always be trapped in the group, because he is not going to leave it. She says she's a snake, dragging around an old skin she's shedding--the skin being group identity--i.e., her group self--whereas the emerging snake is her true self.

People in kibbutzim, or the Japanese, derive their strength from group identity. This is the way of traditional societies, in which standing out, or heroism, is regarded as immature. Clint Eastwood, in these societies, wd be regarded as an idiot. Maturity consists of following the rules of the society and eventually becoming a respected elder. In the West one is encouraged to stand out, achieve--which feels good, but eventually leads to a society of alienated individuals. Both social formations have positive and negative aspects.

In the case of the movie, one can at first be annoyed with Megan for her failure to become an adult, to "launch." Yet adulthood in her social circle seems to be devoid of content; it's not clear what these people are living for. It's a scripted, formulaic, kind of adulthood. Megan's search is for reality, self-definition, which clearly can't be found in a group context. She finally lets go of the skin, and declares her love to Craig. This is also the reality he has been looking for. Hence her "lagging" had an innate wisdom to it. The New Age workshop Anthony wanted her to take, so as to "find herself," would have been just another formula, and she understands this.

Anyway, a film worth seeing.

mb

2:33 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

I'm tickled that Roger Stone, one of the Republican Party's leading black ops masters ever since Nixon, is now facing many yrs in prison. At age 68, this could very well turn out to be a life sentence, tho Trumpo will probably pardon him and Manafort on his way out the door. Will Giuliani be headed to prison as well?

Miles

ps: Say, here's a good quote:

"If you're in a cage w/a monkey, you're a monkey, too."
~Townes Van Zandt

3:45 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Trump ignores Pentagon advice and intervenes in military war crimes cases...

The SecDef and many Generals told him it’s a Really Bad Idea to pardon....and he does it anyway...because he continues to say “Fuck You” to everyone.

He is a Rogue.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/15/politics/trump-war-crimes-intervenes/index.html



Trump is a Criminal THUG who surrounded himself with Criminal THUGS who have ALL been prosecuted and found guilty....here is the latest of his closest confidants...Roger Stone....Trump will probably pardon him and the others as well.

He is single-handedly destroying the RULE of LAW in America.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/15/us/politics/roger-stone-trial-guilty.html

8:43 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Like mother like daughter:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/nov/16/hillary-and-chelsea-clinton-we-cannot-give-in-thats-how-they-win

Jesus those faces!

3:03 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Dr. Berman,

It looks like you are right about the Trump impeachment energizing his base. “President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign raised more than $3 million on the day of the first public House impeachment hearing.”

https://fortune.com/2019/11/14/president-reelection-campaign-donations-gain-from-public-impeachment-hearings/

Another blow to the progs. “A regression analysis comparing the performance of 2018 Democratic House candidates shows that those who supported Medicare for All performed worse than those who did not, even when controlling for other factors.”

http://crystalball.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/medicare-for-all-a-vote-loser-in-2018-u-s-house-elections/

Yet some people keep insisting that Americans are secret socialists just waiting for the right time to overthrow their corporate masters.

6:10 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

@James Allen- intersting article on the extinction modelling work-
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qvg99b/this-guy-studies-the-global-systems-death-spiral-that-might-end-humanity

This seems to be focused on absolute extinction as I read it? I know that has a certain intellectual 'null point' attractiveness. Not certain it is much more than an interesting thought experiment. The precariousness of civilization is always interesting to consider, but the end game of true extinction seems hard to imagine. Maybe homo sapiens simply becomes a minor specialized relic of the past in the new environmental order.

About fifteen years ago I was at my neighborhood vegetable stand and noticed that broccoli had almost tripled in price in less than a week. I asked one of the owners what was going on. She explained that there had been late rains reducing the crop. Some recent immigration actions that had slightly reduced the number of workers in the Central Valley. And that it was Easter this coming weekend and that the demand for fresh broccoli was huge around the country so most was being shipped to the East Coast. It's a giant delicate machine this civilization thing we have, and it doesn't take much to throw it into a new state. I know, a very small example, but did drive home to me how quickly changes can come as one effect after another pile on.

If a chicken sandwich and Black Friday causes such havoc, imagine when real problems start snowballing. Not pretty.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Good Morning Dr Berman and Wafers

How does the Swedish Academy defend such a
blatant disregard for the truth? A page
from the Trump playbook perhaps.

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/peter-handke-s-controversial-nobel-prize-win-causes-outrage-1.4046927

10:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj, Tom-

It's all gd, my friends; it's all gd.

mb

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Tat said...

" Mexico is the leading per capita consumer of Coca-Cola on the planet. Tragically some moms even give it to their infants in baby bottles. "
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/15/coca-cola-country-in-southern-mexico-photo-essay?CMP=share_btn_tw

Reminds me of "Irresistible Empire"

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Burbank said...

this was a lovely read. huge philosophy of science fan over ‘ere.

"Explore the life and works of Thomas Kuhn in our latest Philosopher of the Month. His work 'The Structure of Scientific Revolutions', counts as one of the most influential works of philosophy of science"
https://blog.oup.com/2019/11/thomas-kuhn-paradigm-shift-philosopher-of-the-month/

11:31 AM  
Anonymous joris huysmans said...

In response to Tom Servo: two polls also indicate 70% of Americans either somewhat support or strongly support Medicare for All. Polls certainly have their flaws and vary in quality, but these seem to be fairly well designed. The rub is that while Americans *would like* to have a single payer system, they quickly become accountants and cast doubt on its affordability, as they do with anything that might benefit themselves and fellow humans (as opposed to war, bank bailouts, sports stadiums). Wafers on this site have discussed ad infinitum the reasons why: America is a social/cultural backwater composed of empty-headed, fragmented people. On days when my fellow countrymen try my patience, I wonder if the opioid "crisis" is really a bad thing after all.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

Movie recommendation: "The Report" starring Adam Driver. It's about the Senate Intelligence Committee's battle to expose the CIA's torture program during the Bush-Cheney years. John Yoo (remember him?) makes an appearance on screen, explaining that if you stop short of killing your victim, it's not *legally* torture. Brass tacks: this nation is a collection of morally bankrupt violent morons.

Miles

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hi Dr. B and Wafers,


I have been really sick and some day want to tell Wafers my own horror stories about the American healthcare system, but I just don't know where to start. I do know firsthand that profit trumps everything else, as Wafers may have already guessed.

I'm sitting at my kitchen table enjoying a liverwurst sandwich on a good hearty white bread, with a nice deli mustard and some thinly sliced onion. Oh yes, and a nice kosher pickle spear. I prefer rye, but we don't have any at home. This made me think I'd better catch up on my DAA blog posts and maybe post one myself. I found this interesting article about how the EPA is ignoring science in setting future policies. Nothing says collapse like the willful ignorance of scientific evidence until you recall that most of the science in America is funded by big corporations that expect results. Just another day in paradise.

https://www.wired.com/story/the-epas-anti-science-transparency-rule-has-a-long-history/

12:36 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

PBS Newshour did a piece on the restoration of Norte Dame in Paris. It isn’t going well and the thing may still collapse (the sight of the steeple, a 19th century addition, plunging, cross first, into the flames, for me, is the perfect metaphor of our age). Mostly it’s all the melted lead used in construction that is the problem.

https://youtu.be/hNvk72GrEBI

Is there anything comparable to Norte Dame in USA!? If there is please feel free to post. Here is my suggestion, what would get more Americans freaked out than the destruction of a shopping mall? Hurry and visit now b4 they’re gone,

Let's go to the mall: 10 shopping centers that are tourist destinations in their own right.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/10greatplaces/2019/11/16/10-great-malls-tourist-that-are-destinations-on-their-own/4203187002/

12:36 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Dan Daniel:
As Aretha says, “I ain’t no psychiatrist, ain’t no doctor with degrees...”

But I can see the shape of things to come, and I don’t see much of a future for the species as a whole. Plenty of evidence on offer for anyone who has the time or inclination to look. Peter Wadhams (Arctic Sea ice), McPherson, Jensen. More by the day, it would seem. Your anecdote about the broccoli is telling: weather disruptions that affect food production are not at all fanciful. Look back at the effects on the American corn crop of the Mississippi and its tributaries flooding in the recent past.

The dying out won’t be sudden, I don’t think, at least not for the privileged among us here in North America and in Europe. But when the weather-driven migrations begin, who’d be willing to “adopt” and welcome into their homes a displaced immigrant family? And, as a recent incident in the DC metro area shows, the bursting of a water pipeline closed a principal access route to the city for two days and necessitated a boil-your-water emergency for the same period. I wager that the entire infrastructure here—food supply, water and energy delivery—is beyond precarious.

Finally, with the daily events recorded in this blog, how much do you feel you can depend on your neighbors for succor or support when Hell hits your hometown?

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0H41OLT7cYY&feature=youtu.be

Hows chances any Wafers in this list? Waltons seem to be getting by.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas-

Check out Lionel Shriver, "The Mandibles."

Mike-

I'm very upset that u.r. ill. All of us in Waferland are pulling 4u. Pls keep us posted on yr progress. We need u w/us for 7ANYWSM.

Jeff-

Well, it's all gd news for declinists, of course. The more violence and moral bankruptcy, the faster the decline. In that vein, I've been enjoying Trumpi's continuing, and worsening, disgusting behavior. All the wrong decisions, all the wrong replies, and all the wrong advisers (crooks): what cd be better? He'll be impeached, and then acquitted in the Senate; this will energize his base; he'll get reelected next yr; and then the damage he'll unleash--ah! Go, Trumpi, is all I can say.

joris-

From a declinist pt of view, a very gd thing. In order to enter Total Collapse, the population needs to be moronized, monetized, digitalized, alcoholized, and above all--weaponized.

mb

3:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: On Nov. 20 we shall be hearing from Tulsi, along with Bernie-Schmernie. I'm very excited. Meanwhile, I am preparing an in-depth study of the Philosophy of Tulsi. It's amazing, how this cutting-edge intellect has been hidden from us all these years. Some of the pages of this 5-vol. work will actually have print on them.

Speaking of the Great Minds of America, where are the voices of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Ging Newtrich, Rom Mittney, Dan Quayle, and Herman Cain? More than ever, we need the input of our greatest thinkers.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Mike: Yeah, join the WAFer healthcare club. I just looked it up and my bill so far this year is $226,885 ... and 10 cents. If I lived in Japan or even England, move that decimal point to the left one space. Almost all of that is for drugs, in the always for-profit Amerikkka there is no logic in that stuff. How about state sponsored drug testing and innovation instead of $1.5 trillion of spending on the F-35 that doesn't even fuckin' work?

FYI, Tulsi says she's weird: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/16/tulsi-gabbard-2020-election-supporters-russia

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Sybok said...

More dream signs:

Today a 5 year old boy bought something a little different to show and tell: heroin. According to him, the drug lives up to its name and actually gives you superpowers!

Yet another deadly altercation over a Popeyes chicken sandwich. I'm a vegetarian, but even I'm tempted to find out why this quasi-edible treat is worth killing over.

Oh, and there was another mass shooting. It also rained today.

Someone please wake me up.

7:53 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of Course they are...All part of The New Normal....I’m shocked and surprised when they DON’T happen.


5 dead in apparent murder-suicide in San Diego

https://abcn.ws/2NQCS7c

9:20 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

James Allen- I agree, not much hope for survival of present structure of civilization.

I think we might be using the word 'extinction' differently? I am thinking of the biologist or ecologist, with extinction being the elimination of species from the Earth. Finis, gone, bye-bye forever. I re-read the article you linked to and could not be certain how the main subject was using the word.

Extirpation, a 'local extinction,' will happen for homo sapiens. This ebb and flow of habitable places has been slow but constant for eons. But humans are 'generalists' in the ecological sense, getting food and shelter from a variety of sources, reproducing in a variety of manners. Population will decline. Standards of civilization will change dramatically. Homo iphonius will be extirpated from most of the earth, possibly go extinct (we can dream). But something tells me that Homo sapiens will live on. And maybe being isolated by climatic islands, evolve into different specie(s).

A somewhat interesting read on the adaptations to the Little Ice Age of the 15-19th centuries. The difference in rate of change in the temperature chart is a reminder that we are under different pressures, but resilience has been shown before-

https://aeon.co/essays/the-little-ice-age-is-a-history-of-resilience-and-surprises

9:38 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Gunnar

If I may take you up on your offer with a hypothetical in lieu of a shopping mall collapse.

I might suggest the Statue of Liberty. Who can forget the "Damn you!
Damn you! Goddamn you all to hell!" by Charleton Heston in Planet of
the Apes. The Immigrants Statue is not without controversy centred around immigration
to the United state. What is interesting however is the "French Connection".
The statue base was the American side contribution completed in 4 months by
mostly immigrant labour.
Please don't share any link with Trump as he might decide to tear it down.

A couple of historical links.
https://www.wonders-of-the-world.net/Statue-of-Liberty/History-of-the-statue-of-Liberty.php

Close call
https://www.history.com/news/the-black-tom-explosion

If toppled today I really wonder if Americans would care.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim-

They wdn't care. I suggest replacing the torch of liberty with a chicken sandwich.

mb

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

We all know US empire is THE shit hole; more evidence:

https://kdvr.com/2019/11/08/five-points-business-owner-battling-human-feces-problem/

The owner has been cited and fined for not cleaning up all the piles of feces.

"The wall is a bathroom stall. They lean up against it and let it rip," said the business owner." "In downtown Denver, that's nonstop now, just piles of poop."

The business is now the one in trouble with the city bc he is refusing to clean up the mess; the owner has been cited for failing to clean up all the feces on the property. Police rarely respond, and the 'public health' department states its on private property not their problem.

Of course, in true American hustling fashion, there's a Denver company that will clean up your shit and urine--complete with agita sales tactics--for a fee, of course! Their background: marketing and entreprenaurshit.

https://www.biooneden.com/urine-and-feces-cleanup-services-in-denver-colorado.html

2:21 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Dan D:

I think we are probably using extinction in similar ways. I mean the disappeance of homo sapiens. I don’t think this will happen all at once. Humans are resourceful—well, to a greater or lesser extent anyway—and individuals and clusters of individuals will survive for some time, assuming they can find a way to get food and water. I see no way to predict which individuals or groups of individuals will survive, or for how long, or where.

As I suggested, the collapse of a single water conduit at a single bridge-road junction on one November day in DC closed an important point of access to their places of employment for thousands and affected the flow of potable water to a similar number. Cities, which is where most folk in America live I believe, will be seen to be particularly vulnerable to the climate stresses and to the bad effects on transport (remember 1970s gas lines?), power (New York City blackout) and so forth. Farmers will likely be better off than many, certainly better off than many citydwellers such as me, I suspect. (I live on the top floor of a 21 floor high-rise. Having to climb stairs—or even descend—a couple of times a day, with packages/food will do me in, I feel certain. Farmers’ food is in their backyard. And when food doesn’t come to cityfolk, or comes irregularly, we will see what is our “normal” level of violence go off the charts.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Rufus T. Schmeck said...

Hello Wafers,

Thank you Vevey for the post. My friend Alan Fortney passed away a few months ago & he dedicated his life to a Native American point of view. Deeply important for a context of how we might survive as a species. Thank you for the reminder.

Lionel Shriver has written something for Harper's in the upcoming issue entitled "Lefty Lingo". Please subscribe. This is a quote:

"Standardized lefty catchphrases are now routinely employed to test allegiance and to exclude people who fail the test."

https://harpers.org/archive/2019/12/lefty-lingo/ (subscription)

I generally respect her thrust, but she, like others, avoids the cultural center out of which this nonsense emerges. In her words, we avoid the argument, which from my point of view should be a discussion. An argument is a verbal fight, a war, but a discussion is an exploration, an attempt, in good faith, to understand. "The letter killeth, the spirit gives life". From our cultural inception, we have, like Europe, turned ideas, into ideology. We, as Americans, are sheep to culture, & of course, turn ideas into ideology. What other choice do we have? Avoided on the blog is how much sociology creates psychology. I prefer the road of compassion & empathy. I try to understand how American's could have become so emotionally & relationally retarded & why they are self destructing. It may seem like spitting in the wind, but something could be learned.

Rufus T.(he Original) Schmeck

4:31 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7693287/People-selling-free-Kanye-West-Sunday-Service-tickets-online-500.html

Kanye or Joel Osteen...
Really, who is the bigger douchebag?
I'm bullish megachurches. They just need to drop the angry old Texan angle and learn to speak postmodern. Joel is a good bridge to that.

I think the politics of Tulsi is definitely more theoretically refined than the theology of Joel Osteen.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/ray-dalio-founder-worlds-largest-203029615.html

This is news!!!! Has it occurred to him that the whole world is a customer?
Why bother with the locals not having enough when there are fresh millions of
Chinese and Indians with money to spend? First capitalism works for us, and if
there's any money left over, we'll try to get as much of it as we can.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Oji said...

Lady Liberty is a fine choice, and so, too, would be "The Mall of the Americas," but there's an even better one:

The Disneyland Castle. Imagine Americans crowded around it, tears streaming down their cheeks, sharing hugs and comforting each other with memories of when they first saw "Frozen" or "Cinderella" or "Lion King", or any other of the monarch-worshiping sludge churned out by the "Dream Factory" at Disney.

And on the mass shooting, I can only thank Dog we live in a country with a 2nd Amendment.* Otherwise, who would protect us from the tyranny of toddlers.

*especially one we never have to read in full, parse the language of, nor understand in context. Good night, and good shooting, America!

6:46 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

American flag default should be half-staff, raise it only on ‘good’ days.

re: Sarah Palin, Michelle Bauchman and the gang are in the bullpen warming up for cabinet positions in second term (hopefully).

8:01 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

I love how, by consensus apparently, Notre Dame is now "Norte" Dame.

As more become impoverished, one thing I see hastening the revolution is cars. Under the code duello, if someone wants to challenge me to a duel, they have to challenge me and as the challenged, I get to decide the weapons. But in our modern age of cars, it's perfectly fine that I should die so someone can get to a red light a second or so sooner. Car drivers are too cowardly to step out of their mini-tanks for a fair fight, but hide behind their armor to do their killing of "peasants" although admittedly some must get drunk first to kill non-drivers with the requisite amount of glee.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Flyingspaghettimonstr said...

So I was doing a mosaic from the Rolling Stone mag when I happened upon an article on the border crisis. I wonder y they make it seem like every1 is dying 2 b here. Amerikkka is a decaying shithole that's on its last leg. Remember that link I posted about the disillusioned immigrants? I think any1 considering a move here @ this stage is outta their mind. It's a big world, after all

9:47 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

https://abc30.com/police-searching-for-gunman-who-shot-at-fresno-family-gathering/5704122/

1:57 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@joris huysmans,

I agree with you. When polls are more specific about the nature of the plan supported by Bernie Sanders and some Democrats, support for Medicare for All drops.

https://slate.com/business/2019/01/bernie-sanders-medicare-for-all-plan-is-actually-unpopular.html

Due to fear of mass shootings, there is now a growing market for bulletproof school supplies, surveillance cameras and other security-oriented school products.

https://time.com/5698423/bulletproof-backpacks-school-shootings/

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

"Millennials side with Trump more than Baby Boomers in Microsoft News poll"
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/millennials-side-with-trump-more-than-baby-boomers-in-microsoft-news-poll/ar-BBWUzaS?ocid=spartanntp
^^Maybe it's because they're aware that Ukrainegate is nothing more than a pile of crap that has little to no impact on their lives? If they were a little smarter, they would realize this is a good thing. You see, once this goes to the Senate, Senate Repubs will likely drag it on for as long as politically necessary. As a result, Dem Senators on the 2020 Campaign trail (Sanders, Warren, etc.) will be tied down in DC, which distracts them from campaigning: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-impeachment-will-upend-the-democratic-primary/2019/11/15/aa2b8426-07d7-11ea-818c-fcc65139e8c2_story.html

With the top progre$$ive Dem firebrands out of the way, we'll see a perfect vacuum form. Who will fill it? (Drum roll please.....)

"Hillary Clinton says 'many, many, many people' pressuring her to consider 2020 presidential run"
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/12/politics/hillary-clinton-2020-presidential-race-pressure/index.html

11:59 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Mike-

Sending you well wishes. I sure hope you get to feeling better soon.

American carnage dept.:

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2019/11/18/police-say-several-wounded-in-shooting-at-oklahoma-walmart/

https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/18/us/fresno-mass-shooting-football-party/index.html

Miles

12:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

There seems to be no reason/motive for these shootings. My explanation: America! We are now averaging >1 massacre a day. Prediction for Xmas 2020: 2 a day.

Tom-

When will Bernie look in the mirror and say, "Bernie, Schmernie!" When will Hillary do same, and say, "Jesus, I'm ugly!"

Rufus-

What blog r.u. rdg? Not this one! We have certainly not avoided sociology here, and I have written several bks of sociological/historical analysis. Time to open eyes, amigo. Very foolish statement. As for yr supposed compassion and empathy: not terribly impressed. You probably need a different blog, one more congruent with yr outlook.

Note to Bill Hicks-

Send up a flare, amigo. You've got all of us worried.

mb

2:08 PM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

Tom, Speaking of "security-oriented school products", CA schools are equipped with emergency stop-the-bleed kits, like those used for American soldiers in the Middle East. This is what we have come to - schools like battlefields in which casualties are expected.

https://www.jems.com/2019/11/15/stop-the-bleed-training-and-kits-prove-their-worth-at-calif-school-shooting/

Joel and Kante - Olstein is perhaps the richest purveyor of the Prosperity Gospel in America. He;s worth $40–60 million and lives with his family in a 17,000 square-foot mansion in River Oaks, with an estimated value of $10.5 million. The "church" has an annual budget of $70 million and seats over 10,000, stadium-like. It resembles a concert hall more than a traditional church building. And rightly so - for it is an arena for entertainment rather than spirituality. If you want to hustle billions out of gullible believers, you've got to entertain them. That is, after all, for they pay for. That and to be willingly convinced that by doing what Joel says, they can become millionaires. The Hustle with a religious twist. What could be more American.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-cWT2GexKk

2:53 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Here are some fine Americans. They stole guinea pigs and threw one when they were confronted. Check out the mugshots. This is America's future!

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7697897/Two-women-stole-guinea-pigs-pet-shop-threw-one-animals-named-Lucky.html

And here's an article in the NYT about coping with collapse:

"Apocalypse Got You Down? Maybe This Will Help: Searching for a cure for my climate crisis grief."

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/15/sunday-review/depression-climate-change.html

5:17 PM  
Anonymous JT Landa said...

Not really a confidence booster!

https://www.premier.org.uk/News/UK/Noah-s-Ark-replica-here-to-help-Britain-through-Brexit-says-owner

Noah's Ark replica here to help Britain through Brexit, says owner

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

americans were very concerned about very important things.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-rstrnt-brnd-burger-king-impossible-wh/lawsuit-claims-burger-kings-impossible-whoppers-are-contaminated-by-meat-idUSKBN1XS2FP

Forget no universal care, employment at will doctrine, massive student debts, no real retirement, FATCA and CBT, endless war mongering, 1000+ overseas military bases, etc...etc..

They were concerned about burgers made by corporate chains. Perhaps, the 'chicken sandwich- wrecked car lady' and the burger lawsuit guy can have a symposium on what ontologically drives americans?

E.g., "The Premier American Conference on Rising Up, Standing Tall, and Resisting the Inability to Get a Decent Fast "Food" Experience."

There could be cheeseburger sans bacon break-out sessions, and a plenary speaker, Ms. Tracy McCloud--"How to Deal with Sub-Par Chinese Food." Comedic relief will be proved by Mr. Chris Hedges on how USA-ers are ready, willing, and able to fight that good fight and take back their country....one burger/chx sammie at time!

10:19 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/18/world/middleeast/trump-israel-west-bank-settlements.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nytimes&fbclid=IwAR0nqjsoK0lq7hsFG5Kyvv5ZEYwEM5CduGLvofMCh_OvHAQn7gIDy61mD1I

I do say I find myself amused how this administration is essentially just making reality what Israel has done. Yes, the settlements are illegal, but not one country is going to do anything about it because no one gives a shit about the Palestinians.

I don't know about you all, but I cannot see Israel going forward without one day either forcibly expelling the Palestinians for good or killing them. I mean Benny Morris, Israeli Historian, has gone on record supporting the expulsion of the Palestinians, even lamented it in a book about how leaving the Palestinians in the occupied territories did nothing but cause future problems.

https://mondoweiss.net/2019/01/historian-advocacy-cleasning/

The real positive of the Trump Administration is how they are tearing down the wall of Illusions to show us all how cruel this world is. It's funny because the Prog/Lib outrage is the same outrage people had when they saw the Mi Lia Massacre on the Afternoon News, aka "Don't show us these images we are TRYING to EAT!".

11:00 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Interesting diplomatic take on Japanese cell phones - no chicken sandwiches unfortunately gregoryclark.net.

''The Australian nation-group identity is more confused. As an island nation developed like Japan in relative isolation, the desire or need to relate closely to the people around one was strong. Australia’s “mateship” ethic may not be as codified and sophisticated as Japan’s giri-ninjo, but it can be just as effective in bringing people together. Another is the “one of my mob” ethic, which allows people to be included or excluded on the basis of instinctive feelings (rather like the mura hachibu phenomenon in Japan)''.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Much hand-wringing is being done by the debt factories over their future cubicle drones becoming worm food. Note how the site is called the "Vanderbilt Hustler". Ironic, huh?

https://vanderbilthustler.com/27623/featured/send-silence-packing-display-brings-college-suicide-conversation-to-campus

Of course, the sorry state of interpersonal relations or overall decay of the culture is never considered; All they do is throw out a useless hotline #. During my recent travels, I stayed with families in Italy, Ecuador, and Guatemala. They were very kind & seemed close-knit, unlike most US families 2day. It's likely they don't have to talk to paid strangers when they're down in the dumps…unlike most Amerikkkans. Amusing how backwards the USA is, hm?

1:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Nesim-

My Lai.

mb

8:47 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

https://news.yahoo.com/america-ready-gay-president-buttigieg-surge-poses-181139032.html

The success of mayor Pete could be great news for declinists. All the contradictions of the identity politics game will come straight to the fore. 'Are you *really* that disenfranchised as a wealthy gay white male?' will be the question many people ask, and it should lead to lots of wonderful shouting matches among progs, who will get the Trumpi they deserve. Every identity group needs to be weaponized and moronized.

Little known fact: few presidents were actually straight white men... most were actually straight turkeys!

9:31 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Good morning Dr Berman and fellow Wafers/Waferettes

More shootings often draws the nashing of teeth towards
potential changes to the second amendment. I have found
a jewel of a vid that should put your mind to ease as to why
the amendment should not be tampered with. It certainly
put my thoughts to rest. The vid is about 20 minutes long
and worth every minute. It really does not catch fire until
about the 1/2 way mark and towards the end extinguishes any thoughts
you may have of change. A small potential hustle for welder
gloves and welder helmet are also possible. I am at a total loss
as to why the NRA has not picked the vid up and included it as part of the second amendment advertisement kit. Many thanks to the psuedo
Bubba militia man for the enlightening demo. Enjoy.

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

10:23 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Here is (for me at least) a breath of realism by ecological economist Dr. William Rees about the likely future (or no future) of human civilization, certainly fossil fuel driven human civilization.

https://www.postcarbon.org/dont-call-me-a-pessimist-on-climate-change-i-am-a-realist/

And here is a lecture by Dr. Rees on defining Degrowth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJQdVCwOZ1Y

10:53 AM  

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