March 29, 2020

Fourteenth Anniversary


As we head into April, it is my pleasure to tell you that next month marks 14 years of this incredible blog, a blog like no other in the known universe. Some of you know that 14 years ago, I was not into it, but was dragged kicking and screaming by my then-editor at Norton, and my then-agent in San Fran, to set this thing up. Why would I want to spend lots of time online? was my thinking on the subject. But I caved to their pressure, and now I'm glad I did. What we Wafers have established is an oasis of sanity in the context of a country steeped in violence, stupidity, and sheer lunacy. And the data: since that time, more than 4.5 million hits. Last month alone saw more than 82,000 of them. I figure we must be doing something right.

I've been doing public lectures since 1971, and publishing books and articles since 1978, and the one thing I'm truly proud of is a repeated refrain from my reading or listening audience: "Until I read ____ [some book of mine], I thought I was crazy. Thanks to your work, I now realize I'm one of the few sane people around." Everything I've written is against the grain, because the grain is destructive of everything human. "Look! Open your eyes! Join me!"--is all I've been able to say, in my work and on this blog. And lo and behold, out of 329 million zombies, I managed to change the lives of a few thousand. Not bad for a lifetime's work, depending on your value system.

As for the haters, the trollfoons, they have pretty much been crushed, tho they do surface from time to time. It's not hard to crush them: we aren't talking about any kind of brain trust here. So they will inevitably flare up, to which I say: "Haters gonna hate," and "The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on." And this caravan is moving on, amigos, as all of you well know.




Anonymous cormorant said...

Congratulations on the anniversary. This is linked more to the previous post/essay, but I didn't get around to asking: What's your (or other posters') opinion on Castaneda's works? I know he's been discredited in terms of actually experiencing all that he wrote about, but the content of some of his books struck me as pretty mind expanding, especially the last one "Journey to Ixtlan". There's definitely a core of something there, regardless of where he got it from. Anyway, interested to read your thoughts.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Lihn Dihn wrote a book entitled, "Fake House," regarding US-Vietnam relations. This book's title is obviously apropos to the US empire.

Most USians living a fake life, well about their means on HELOCs, Credit card debts, robbing Peter to pay Paul, etc….~70% US-ers don't have b/w 400-1k$ to cover an urgent payment.

Many US-ers are gonna have their pants down to their sour reality--unless they're bailed out 08,20? Maybe they're will be lotsa of movies/documentaries/propaganda to sell the US way to "foreign" places so that they can cut their teeth on Tom Hanks Disease "exceptionalism." The US likely will not learn anything, except selling $30 T shirts with "Fill in the Blank-Strong." As in Strongly stupid.

Thank you Dr. Berman and Wafers for the daily jolt of reality, and ways to extricated one's self from this horrible, 400yr+ fake house.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Doctor Berman,
I'm proud to be a recent new Wafer. I first became a fan of yours back in 2006. While at the bookstore perusing the shelves, I saw and subsequently purchased Dark Ages America. As I was reading it I said to myself, “Wow! This guy here has written a book that describes exactly what I have been thinking about this god forsaken country for some time now!”
I subsequently have read Why America failed, Are We There Yet?, The Reenchantment of the World, and Coming to Our Senses. I often mention and quote things you say to friends and family about how this country is disintegrating when discussing current events; and to them I refer to you as “my main man Morris.”
And so to follow the rules here, let me give as proof ( and not an opinion) the recepits of the purchases of your books. (Oops. I can't seem to find them. I must have thrown them out.) So I hope you'll believe me and will print this. :)
Recent new Wafer Joe

5:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


My former colleague at the U of Victoria, Mel Faber, just died. He knew Carlos in LA, when Carlos was studying w/a Yaqui Indian sorcerer in Sonoma. That was b.s. There was a shaman involved, but he wasn't Yaqui, and he lived on the outskirts of LA. Mel said that every Monday, Carlos wd come back from his apprenticeship w/this guy (Don Juan), looking like he had been hit by a truck, and say, "You'll never believe the weekend I just had." Anyway, the 1st 2 bks in the series are real; they did happen to him. The rest of the series were written up using the anthro collection of the UCLA library. Personally, I think Ixtlan (#4) is one of the best, in that Carlos has Don Juan put his cards on the table, and explain the epistemology of his world view.


5:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Maybe you borrowed them from the library. If you cd post the library records here, that wd suffice. :-)

Time 4u to read WG, Japan bk, and "Genio". Short story collection currently held up due to virus.


5:42 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,
GSWH, Cormorant

"Journey To Ixtlan" - Castaneda's best. Great poem near the end of the book.

On the decline theme, here's a lyric from Van Morrison's "Alan Watts Blues" 1987:

"Well I've got to get out of the rat race now I'm tired of the ways of mice and men
And the empires are all turning into dust again Out of everything nothing remains the same
That's why I'm cloud hidden Cloud hidden Whereabouts unknown"

On the caravan theme, the same guy who's always handed out the "no horse manure tolerated" biz card: From The Last Waltz Caravan Scene -

6:02 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Morris – Thank you for providing a sane safe-haven in a crazy world. I like the references here to Castaneda and read his first book over 40 years ago, but was too ignorant to appreciate it. One of my favorite writers is Jed McKenna: I loved his “spiritual” trilogy starting with his first book, Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing (I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard). Anyway, I thought my fellow Wafers would enjoy two short articles he just posted. Here’s a quote from one of them:

“In the entire world, the only thing that can be considered not-right is ego; the false self. This is the single source of all not-rightness in the universe and the sole obstruction to spiritual progress. The society of ego-bound human juveniles is so unnatural that it defies comprehension, even for one who has spent decades in that state and decades more studying it.“

As a bonus:

We effectively live in a prison, and most people spend their life trying to make it pretty rather than making that very necessary break for freedom.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Time 4u 2 start rdg Jacques Lacan, I'm thinking.


8:38 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

Words can't express my thanks to all of you WAFers for being an oasis in a desert of banality.

I know I shouldn't have any negative emotional reaction to Trump's imbecility, but I was overcome with tremendous sadness today when I read this:

I guess it was the moment that it really hit home just how fucked America is. I guess I'm still adjusting.

Or maybe I'm just annoyed for not taking the tech job in Reykjavik I was offered last year. :)

10:05 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Hooray for us. I mean that sincerely.
MB, your books have been an anchor for me, a reason to work on thinking rather than just rolling around like a donut with the rest of the asshats.
My shit for brains little sister and her sub moron daughter (who works at the mall food court ffs) go crashing into my older sister's place unannounced while she and my 85 year old mother were having a carefully controlled social distance meeting outside on the patio enjoying a beautiful spring day. They've been alternating visits between houses a couple times a week, and it's good for their mental well being. But Typhoid Elizabeth and Spawn gotta fuck that up.

I'm gonna let tonight go by, and then read her the riot act tomorrow when I'm not so spitting mad. I got power of attorney... she kills mom I'm cutting her out. Before or after I burn her fucking house down is TBD.

10:36 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Congratulations...your posts are as entertaining as they are true. And tell your publisher the blog has inspired me to buy some of your books!

10:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I know how u feel, but honestly, I love the guy. I adore him. He's the violence and stupidity America needs rt now, and I'm praying that he's reelected in Nov. and then cancels the election in 2024. And I hafta add, I'm not entirely certain that he handled the virus crisis all that badly. Sure, it wasn't as gd as China or Korea, but just look at Italy and Spain. Thinking to reopen the country on Easter was a very bad idea, but he's now changed that to April 30; and hopefully, the $2.2 trillion aid package will reach those who need it. I'm also aware that he lies constantly, and 'rewrote' his early reaction to news of the virus. But are the Dems really any better? Do they care abt the health of American citizens? No. Everything for them is just another opp'ty to bash Trump, to show he's not fit to govern. They are constantly hysterical, over the top. If Trumpi were to do exactly the opposite of what he was doing, they wd bash *that* w/the same degree of hysteria. So rabid are they, that the guy can't win, no matter what he does. Meanwhile, the death rate in the US is at 1.7%--pretty low, in other words; and 60% of Americans approve of his response to the outbreak. (Gallup) Can we be so sure they are wrong? I like AMLO (Mexico's president), but so far he sits around w/his thumb up his ass, saying everything's gonna be fine. Trump isn't doing that, and what he is doing might be a lot better than many other nations. I'm sorry, I just don't trust the mainstream media, and certainly not the Democratic party.


10:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I have a whole host of publishers, actually; but you'll make my most recent one (Echo Point Bks) very happy. What wd make me happy is if you do the following: I have published 15 bks so far. All of them are listed on Amazon. Please order 100 of each, and distribute them to yr friends. Also note that #16, a collection of short stories, is in the pipeline, but currently held up by the Vee-Roos. Very funny; your friends will not be able to hang onto their urine.


It may be nec. to beat them senseless, and then throw them on a dung heap. Just a thought.


11:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: B: I also wanna pt out that it's just possible that the endless attempt to discredit Trumpi might backfire, come November. 1st there was the Mueller Report--complete bullshit. Then, impeachment--an utter failure. And now, how Trumpi is allegedly mismanaging the epidemic, while 60% of Americans disagree. Progs haven't figured out that this anti-Trump hysteria only serves to energize his base. Their hysteria is 'proof' that Trumpi is on the rt track. And what is Schmiden doing in the meantime? Sitting at home w/his head in a toilet bowl. Apparently he believes that this is the most effective way to have a shampoo. Can anyone believe that we need a senile douche bag in the White House? The guy's a clown.

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

Taïwan also is doing a wonderful job with Hanks Disease; being proactive, infrared scans, testing, transparency, medical teams etc...and learned much from the US’ horrendous response to H1N1 in 2009.

If memory serves me correctly, ~ 13k Americans died and 61M (sixty-one, not 6.1) were infected in 2009.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Waesfjord said...

14th anniversary congratulations, Dr Berman!

I know it's heresy but I sometimes read another blog called Naked Capitalism, mainly for their curated links to topical stories which act as a gauge for America's decline. Every day, a glance at these news stories shows that the US continues its inexorable slide into dissolution. There are a lot of charming commentators but it breaks my heart to see that they cling to the illusion that America can be turned around. Very sad. As a reference, the blog address is

Take care.

5:14 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

John Oliver understands.

5:44 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

Yet another article calling to 'Abolish For-Profit Health Insurance.' How do the writers of these articles expect this to occur? As you have suggested in the past, we'd need 329 million new people. Just a few weeks ago, I was visiting relatives, and Bernie popped up on the TV. "Communist," muttered one of my relatives, shaking his head.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Nicholas said...

As a fellow in my mid-twenties, I discovered your work regretfully late in my life (It was Rod Dreher, of all people, who brought you to my attention), but I am ever-thankful to have stumbled upon this community. Your WAFer trilogy gave coherence to many of my inchoate musings on what is the pathology of American society now laid bare before all who care to tune out the newsfeed, look up from the screen, take out the earbuds—and simply reflect on the terrifying emptiness of of this simulation we call "The Greatest Nation on Earth". This blog is a moral salve in this era of decomposition.

My personal project, as a recovering millennial: to phase out my smartphone altogether. I am still young enough to remember how blissful life was before ubiquitous screen technology and the compulsory regime of "connectedness". As minimal as my current use, I am all too aware of the well-researched long-term neurological and psychological effects of its ambient presence. I would gladly have relinquished it already, but ironically enough, it is my parents who are most resistant to this; they seem to have forgotten how their own generation survived without constant and immediate connection. Is anybody else surprised by uncritical acceptance even by older Americans of the metastasizing matrix of digital technologies?

9:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Change is not likely to arise from a population of 329 million ignorant clowns, whose idea of 'thinking' is to burp out Manichaean slogans. Just my 2 cents.


I got a "private video" message, no access.


9:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Welcome to the blog. We need young blood, such as yrself! As for smartphones: the data on anxiety, depression, lack of empathy, and even outright stupidity that result from their use are quite extensive by now. But it's even worse: mining of cobalt and other precious metals in the Congo, which are needed for these toys, is causing the death of children and teenagers there. The Guardian has run some articles on this, and actress Robin Wright has campaigned against their use. Here's one article among many:

Bottom line: the use of cell fones is immoral. Every time a person in the 1st World turns on his or her fone, they are *literally* killing someone in the 3rd World.

At home, the fone has led to the death of literacy, of conversation, and of elementary courtesy. You see families in restaurants where no one is talking to anyone else, just staring into their fones, like zombies. But the death of Congolese children is the fucking limit, and Americans couldn't care less. All that counts for them is "my convenience." (Check out ch. 3 of WAF, on technology as America's hidden religion.)

My own rec: throw yr fone away, and when people express surprise that you don't have one, give them an earful using the above info. I do it all the time. At least they shd be aware of the damage they are causing.

I also wanna add that 20 yrs ago, we didn't have these toys, and things were just fine. Somehow, we managed to survive. Current research is trying to implant a fone device in the human brain--abt 10 yrs away, I'm guessing. (Predicted in Wm Gibson's 1984 novel, "Neuromancer".) Once we have that technology, we'll see that "Oh! I can't live w/o it." And then there will be the *next* tech 'improvement', as our lives go to hell. Mario Savio: Finally, you hafta say no to the machine.


10:33 AM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Greetings Professor and fellow Wafers!

Just checking in to say that I believe the corona virus is the US' Suez moment. This is it.

And also, to add that it only gets worse from here. An empire in its death throes esp one like the USA so enamored of itself and convinced of its superiority will kill itself rather than confront the reality that it is living a lie.

Finally, for those of you who haven't left the USA, what are you waiting for?


10:56 AM  
Anonymous Yvette Stout said...

Re: William Gibson

He's been in the news a little bit as of late, making political predictions and has a new book out

11:00 AM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr B.

You mentioned "implant a fone device in the human brain..." Watch this series.

As for pastrami on rye here is something from quantum mechanics.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

United States of Amnesia--2005 Katrina with Bush Jr appointment of an Arabian Horse director as FEMA head-Michael Brown ("Brownie") with little to no emergency background. Much refs and evidence re: incompetence/Dunning-Krueger effect, w/ personal emails stating when 'can he quit, can I go home, should I wear tie or button down shirt;' US-ers were stranded on roofs and folks in a sports dome with no toilet facilities with special needs people running outta oxygen. Govt agencies not working together, little to no synergy, b/c as Dr. Berman I believe stated, that's "communism."

“Brownie” (Bush Jr nickname) was the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and his reputation in the media was that he wasn’t doing a “heck of a job” at all. In fact, he was facing serious criticism for his handling of the federal government’s response. One notable failure was a $100 million stockpile of ice that never got delivered, ordered by FEMA for stranded victims’ food and medicine."

Opinion Only: How anyone can 'live' in the us empire? Paying ~20-50+% income taxes/fees/surcharges etc. to get this typical US "response?" Perhaps, it's intentional. Make the public/govt sector appear so incompetent (unlike other real countries) that one must rely (and pay through nose) for "private" sector companies to provide basic populace needs? $100,000,000 for ice that was NEVER delivered. usa, usa.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

MB, This is incredible for a blog like this. Guess it's time to recount how I came here. Was visiting Virginia Coommonwealth Univ in Richmond in the summer of 2010. There used to be a Border's store. DAA caught my attention, just the sheer incredibility of the title right in the US. Picked it up, read the covers and a few paragraphs. Immediately realized this is serious stuff and I must have it. Bought it right away, and finished more than 3/4 before I could come back to India. Then searched you on the net, read WAF, your articles, listened to your lectures on YT. And here I am today, a regular on this blog.

Let's keep this oasis alive.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Tito said...

Hadn't thought of Derrida in some time. The only thing that I ever really read of his was a treatment he did of Nietzsche, which was pretty good. I post this here because it is interesting to read that Marguerite translated Melanie Klein's work, which I was much more impressed by, and whose work I know has been cited in some of Morris Berman's work

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Dr. Berman,

On the subject of the Congo and cobalt mining, apparently a Congolese human rights activist received death threats after the lawsuit against the tech companies went public.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Madeleine said...

I think if America really was "the greatest country in the world", a lot more folks from other Western countries would be eager to live there. I'm a Canadian who's visited the US several times,& what I've seen suggests that moving there would be a step down for me.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Avrio said...

I.F. Stone said that as a writer you are either supporting or confronting power. Yes, it's nice to be part of the sane minority. As a colapsist, you must be thrilled at the moves this week toward further economic and political collapse. Slavoj Zizek wrote a book about the courage of hopelessness--knowing that the light at the end of the tunnel is a train coming toward you. I'm still unnerved by it all, but mostly because of the masses who are still suckers for the insanity.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Those masses *are* the train coming toward you!


Oddly, millions do wanna emigrate to the US. Our propaganda machine is 2nd to none.


So I guess capitalism is morally bankrupt. Whoda thunk it?


Look for this headline in the Hindustan Times: "Wafers sweep Delhi! Restaurants running out of chicken tikka masala! Supplies of mango chutney threatened!" We hafta bring the oasis to the Punjab, amigo, and get my bks translated into Gujarati. Updated Kipling:

"Tho I've belted you and flayed you
By the living gawd that made you
Yer a Wafer and I'm not, Gunga Din!"


Brownie was a jackass, but he did subsequently make a video blaming Bush for not responding to Brownie's earlier warning. It sounded very convincing, imo. Heckuva collection of assholes (aka America).


That's just pastrami porn, really.


3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Canada has its share of doofuses too. A young Quebec couple sold everything and headed to one of the most remote communities in Canada to escape the virus. Thereby endangering a community of mostly elders.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Tabernak! Hosti! Calice! Marde!


5:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Wd this be the rt time to waterboard Nancy Pelosi? (more than once)


5:34 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman & Wafers,
Ah the beauty of United States free market capitalism and its Christian “Love thy Neighbor” ethos. What better example of both than to raise the price of new essential things in our supply&demand economic system during this unique time of human history.

p.s. Dr. Berman, I forgot to add in my above post that I also have read Genio. I especially liked Chapter 5 and how the person featured actually has been misunderstood. The folks will have to buy the book to find out who that person is. :)

5:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Persons 3 and 6 are also quite fab.


6:16 PM  
Anonymous David G. said...

More power to you in ridding yourself, or at least minimizing your use, of a smartphone! I refuse to own a smartphone, although I confess I do have a flip-phone just to maintain minimal phoning and text messaging capability when away from home (good luck trying to find a phone booth anymore!). The more there are people like you who refuse the smartphone, the more it will be possible to preserve life without such devices. Yet it feels like there is ever increasing pressure to adopt them. We have to do our best to resist the temptation to give in to what the masses are doing. Literally everyone I know, old and young, has them, but I continue to hold out -- I suspect, though, that everyone thinks I am a curious eccentric. You are young, so the pressures to conform are way more than for me (I'm 68, old enough not to care very much about fitting in). I applaud you for seeing the dangers of this device and being courageous enough to try to do without it. Be encouraged in this endeavor and stick to it!

6:28 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

I read the GBOE the way some people read devotional material every morning, most sincere appreciation MB. I really like the half page limit, it forces me to think before I post and try to find the best words - that's as fucking Un-American as one can get! This process is consciousness changing, all bs aside the posts on this blog represent the highest level of consciousness, Thich Nhat Hahn's Sound of No Sound. It's solid ground to stand on as I watch the cliff collapse.

Took trash to the dumpster last night around 9 decided to walk around the block, soon as I got to the street I found myself dead center in a a cop car's spotlight. Brought it home to me, we're damn near martial law. Impeached Wartime (malignant narcissistic) President, what can go wrong?

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Wilson Barry said...

Reply to Morris:

" Wilson-

Nice poem. I too like Larkin. But what does it have to do with the collapse of the American empire (the subject of this blog)? "

My apologies, I've always come to see this blog as not only documentation for that collapse, but also collective diary for alternative living styles and art/film recommendations. That poem struck me as very moral and reflective, very un-American. You yourself will sometimes out of thin air drop something like Mary Oliver's poem about geese e.g., but I understand what makes the cut must depend on your whim. I'll refrain from recommendations in the future.

Congratulations on the anniversary, guys!

8:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, yr rt; perhaps I was being whimsical. Keep in mind that I'm actually senile. It's just that a bit of editorializing on your part (as you've done in yr response) might have clarified things for the Waferdom. Anyway, for the most part, it wd be best to stay on topic (American collapse), but if you want to occasionally quote a poem, that will be OK. Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.


Here's a koan 4u: What is the sound of one American buffoon clapping?


9:05 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

I have to assume at this point that the Dems don’t want to win. Otherwise they’d pick someone other than a senile douche bag as their candidate (somehow I don’t believe that the primary voters actually have much say about who the nominee is). In this way the Dems get to sit back and let the Repugs do all the damage they’d like to do, but without getting the blame.
Morris, I looked up Jacques Lacan and there were many books, some very expensive. Would you please make a recommendation or two about where to start?

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Cherith Cutestory said...

Hah, thanks for bringing up Americans avoiding Corona beer because it shares the name with the virus. Guilt by absurd association. This is not new in America, this absolutely stupid phenomenon is inescapable. Some Arab people who were in the US as students during the 1980 hostage crisis received some suspicious looks and (presumably hostile) whispers because Americans thought they were Iranians. But my absolute favorite stupidity: remember that famous 2009 Jill and Kevin wedding entrance dance, where the groomsmen and bridesmaids dance down the aisle? They danced to "Forever" by Chris Brown. Good song. But since Chris Brown is most known now for beating up Rihanna, they changed the video description to add a link about domestic violence prevention. Unreal. So they believe that by playing a Chris Brown song, it would mean they love Chris Brown and EVERYTHING HE HAS EVER DONE AND WILL EVER DO! What a moronic culture. How about combing over the lives of Newton, Da Vinci and others and just destroying their works if they ever did something disagreeable? Just a petty attitude that encourages hatred and unforgiveness ironically.

Reminds me of Elaine screening prospective boyfriends for views on abortion. Seinfeld was prescient, Elaine's absurdity is now adopted wholeheartedly by Americans.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually, I think Elaine's screening process was to see if the guys were 'spongeworthy'. (She sits there in a white lab coat, and says to one guy, "Run your case by me again." He promises to trim his sideburns. Hysterical!) Altho the abortion thing did come up w/a very handsome guy, who turned out to be rt-wing. The guy who played Poppie in that episode (Reni Santoni) was also hilarious. Einstein's diary has revealed some racist comments. I guess that means Relativity theory is wrong. Bernie pointed out that Cuba did some gd things in the field of education. Did he actually think Americans wd be able to discriminate? Bad move on his part. The fact is that Americans are bozos, and there is simply no way around that brute fact.


Actually, rdg Lacan himself is practically impossible, so let me suggest some critical commentaries that might help. I have a few pages on his notion of the 'mirror stage' in CTOS; the original article, if you wanna tackle it, is in his collected essays called 'Ecrits'. Slavoj Zizek did a very short, very lucid bk on Lacan called "How to Read Lacan," and for a severe attack on the master check out "The Lacanian Delusion", by Francois Roustang. Then there is a marvelous novel by Alessandro Baricco, "Silk," wh/is very Lacanian in inspiration. Finally, the #1 best exposition of Lacan imo can be found in Sherry Turkle, "Psychoanalytic Politics." She not only explains the theory, but also explains why he was lionized after the failure of May-June 1968. (He replaced Sartre, in a word.)

My own take: he was a brilliant charlatan, who hoodwinked thousands. And yet, he nevertheless figured out a # of crucial aspects of the human condition, such as transference and desire.


10:17 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

I have a few guitar pieces I'm working - when they're finished I might send them to you ... COngrats

11:41 PM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

RE: Lacan:

If anyone is interested, here is a link to an essay I wrote about Lacan's ideas(among others) in relation to the popular Netflix series "Stranger Things":

5:56 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Even though I consider myself a hardened cynic (maybe I shouldn't) this made me laugh for a long while:

Trump turning the Covid-19 briefing into the shopping channel: “Boy, do you sell those pillows, it’s unbelievable what you do.”

Some prog heads will explode and Trump's approval ratings will keep on rising, while the DNC operatives hopelessly keep on trying to train Dementia Joe to say a few lines without mistakes. Oh well, onwards and downwards?

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Erroneous Bosch said...

Congratulations, Wafers and Sage, on fourteen glorious years! May your jar be always filled with pickles, etc.

In the better late than never dept:

The article describes the author's longing for the boring, humorless but competent leaders of his native Germany (let's not get into the Eichmann of this statement; the author is too young). It seems clear to me that if the US manages to escape the worst outcome, it will have been in spite of president Trump, rather than because of him.

True, for the moment the public approves of Trump's handling of the crisis, but since when is that any measure? Even if it were, Carter's approval numbers were higher when the hostages were taken, only to crater after the failed rescue attempt.

8:44 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

Apologies for breaking the 24 hour rule due to a bad link: Corrected link here:

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

cormorant - the link you provided to your piece doesn't work. Can you double check and re-send?

I would say the USA story of the day is Las Vegas forcing its homeless population to sleep on sectioned parking lot when the city has countless hotel rooms that could accommodate them. Truly barbaric (and for a radical take on the same, see:

Meanwhile in Toronto: City converts hotel into COVID-19 recovery centre for people experiencing homelessness:

-Northern Johnny

10:25 AM  
Blogger Nicholas said...

In continuation with the theme of techno-skepticism (or shall we say full-on pessimism?), the compulsory logic of the digital panopticon is neatly exposed and summarized in the algorithmic incentives toward ever-more exploitative and dehumanizing "viral" practices:

"Social media conglomerates know our faces and our names; sell our personal data to advertisers, archive our memories, replace conventional modalities of self-expression with branding tools and monetize our output, and warp our brains into dependency on the stimulation provided by their products....They also control what we see and what we like, by way of algorithms.... Combined with other factors endemic to social engineers a situation...viral marketing techniques dictate increasingly antisocial behavior....

The constant self-surveillance that populates social media platforms exists for public consumption. It creates a paradox in which we both are ourselves and not: we approach life not as one within it and living it, but as one outside of it, surveilling and curating ourselves for an audience of mostly strangers. We are our own producers, engineering situations and events because we know what currency they have in the black hole of the attention economy. We do and say things in order that they be mined for content; we act in shocking and grotesque ways because we know the algorithm will reward this with attention, which can translate to notoriety and money. Every moment of life contains the potential to become alienated labor."

"All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned"—only for man to be even further estranged from the "real conditions of life", from "relations with his kind"...

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Waller said...

Active shooter taken down @ the courthouse today in Asheville.

Feel like there will be a spike in these cases w/ all that's happening, the disaffected feeling their rights being 'taken away'

Americans are psycho!

11:46 AM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,
Whither superpower?
Russian Covid-19 aid plane to US: Putin asked Trump if he needed help & he accepted, Kremlin spokesman says

The US was named the best equipped country to deal with a pandemic not a year ago — what happened there?

US death toll from coronavirus exceeds China:


3:31 PM  
Blogger Del Gord said...

Personal prediction. If the number of dead from coronavirus-19 is less than 100,001 Trump will declare himself the victor in the "war" against the pandemic. A grateful nation will re-elect him to another 4 years of high television ratings, denunciations of fake news, and "I knew it all along." See...only he can fix it. It's long past the
time for me and mine to plan our exit from this disaster.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A link?


Thanks, but pls be rigorous abt sticking to the half-pg-max rule. This was just a bit over.


9:19 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes

My covid-19 survival strategy includes composing haiku. Also, learning to play a musical instrument is essentially helpful. Practice a short while everyday if you already know how to play.

Some survival humor as we sail towards Suez:

A decline update:

3:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually, you can just say, Hola, Waferes! And if you want, you can add Les amo! Hope yr doing well, amigo.


6:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

How surprising!:

6:25 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings MB & Wafers,

Checking in from lockdown in Switzerland - with more restrictions on us because we're over 65 - can't go shopping! Sigh. But @mean - you are so right about music! I already play the Japanese koto, but have always wanted to learn samisen. So now I'm doing it! Taking Skype lessons from a Sensei in Paris. Music, good for the soul.

Meanwhile, Russia and China continue to send humanitarian supplies to Europe, and Europe is testing out its new INSTEX trading system (designed to get around US sanctions and the SWIFT system) by sending medical supplies to Iran. People will remember this, that the US is still just focused on overthrowing Maduro in Venezuela and pursuing regime change in Iran, while the rest of the world is worried about surviving. Methinks this will accelerate the downward slide.

Onward and downward!!

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Oops, forgot to put a link to the Europe/Iran story!

7:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...



8:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't post it, sorry. Pls post only once every 24 hrs, max. Thank you.


9:23 AM  
Anonymous That Schmecks! said...

Hi everyone. New here but have been lurking for a couple of years. Wonderful blog, Dr. Berman!

One of you posted the other day about people (americans) living beyond their means. Another way to phrase this is "they're jerking off the dog to feed the cat". (just a little vulgar humour injected, as we're all going down!)

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

Talk about someone living in a bubble- here's an 18-year old son of a doctor writing a letter to the editor of a PA newspaper-

I would suppose that he has not yet read WAF...

4:17 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Some more fine examples of “the self-made man” achieving prosperity and fulfillment in the “ 'free' market” capitalist U.S.A. They are great examples of the goodness and altruism of the United States. And they are wonderful examples of one having the “freedom” to decide what price to charge. Move over, you concessionaires, who charge $22 for a beer and a pretzel at the ballpark. LOL.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Torian said...

Cruise ship with more than 1,400 passengers is not being allowed to dock in Florida; 4 people have died.

“We cannot afford to have people who are not even Floridians dumped into South Florida using up those valuable resources,” the governor says.

What a misanthropic nation

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Nikolas said...

There's been a string of suicides in NY over the last couple days. The latest 1 happened today

I guess this self-containment business is making a lot of amerikkkans go nuts, since they've no inner life to speak of. O&D

7:10 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Morris – Whew! I was looking at Lacan’s stuff and I think my brain froze. So now I’ve looked at some of the recommendations here, and while my brain thawed a little I was wondering: before I order and delve further, why did you suggest that I read Lacan? It’s not beyond me to read something of which I understand very little (my experience w/ Julian Jaynes’ book the Origin of Consciousness when it was first published), but still…Unfortunately for me my ability to function is quickly going down the tubes and regular books are v. difficult for me to handle. Not impossible, but I’d like to make sure the commitment is worth it. Thanks.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You were interested in the problem of the ego.


Welcome to the blog. Don't lurk; live! BTW, "da schmeckt's" means "That tastes gd!"


8:31 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

I've been seeing a lot of reference to possibilities of conflict with China lately and this documentary was very interesting. Talks about the US military's radiation exposure experiment on Marshall Islands (truly horrific).

Here's the article that led to me discovering that link:

Another article talking about hybrid war with China:

I know some were expecting Iran to be the next target of this flailing empire's aggression, but could escalation occur against China instead?

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

More us empire "exceptionalism." A USian train engineer at the Port of Los Angeles targeted the hospital ship because he thought it was "suspicious" and wanted to "wake people up."

These 'people' are your US neighbors, friends, family etc...(Berman).

9:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Pls send messages to most recent post. No one reads the old stuff. Thanks.


10:21 PM  
Anonymous al-qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I was happy to see Belman call Lacan a fraud, Sarasvati. That pretty well sums up what I thought of his work when I had to study him in Lit Crit. classes in university.

That doesn't stop me from messing with my students' heads by flashing this highly important and terribly intellectual formula of Lacan's at them in my own classes:

from this site:

It encaplulates the world of literary theory rather nicely, wouldn't you say?

12:07 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of Course He Is!! That’s what Americans DO!!

Top Epidemiologist now getting death threats...

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings MB & Wafers,

Thanks for the Consortium News link - I usually scan that and read some items, but totally missed that one - certainly a great rundown of the evil this country is up to!

@Krak - fomenting trouble with China is exactly what I think they're doing (and what we see them doing with Iran & Venezuela). Global research often has thought provoking articles.

Meanwhile, this from Paul Craig Roberts yesterday - how the 'free market' has "helped" the medical system in the US (can you guess the answer? - Fewer hospital beds/supplies/etc, need to be 'efficient'). Talk about a society with its priorities upside down!

5:59 AM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola Waferes,

@ Italiana Music is essential to the soul! That's why it's called soul music.

Mentioned previously:

Full audio on the youtube link. Original release vinyl art etc on the Discog link #3 on the list is the one I have. The whole Nonesuch Explorer series is excellent. I have a half dozen of them. I discovered Hamza el Din there. He played the oud. Hung out with him in Austin a bit. Sad that he is gone.

@GSWH Soy bueno, maestro. I'm not hurting at all. Just normally disgusted at the jokes dressed up as human beings. The Confederacy of Dunces. Social distancing is a breeze for me. I've been NMI all of my life. Plus I didn't spend every dime I ever earned. Still, it's easy to see the emperor wears no clothes.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...


There were a number of suicides in Tennessee as well.

I think we will be seeing more stories like this as time goes on. I expect domestic violence and suicide to go up while the lockdown continues and the economy tanks. By the way, Glenn Jacobs, the mayor of Knox County, Tennessee, used to be a professional wrestler named Kane. How American is that!

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Rodriguez said...

John Gray's latest New Statesman column

Why this crisis is a turning point in history

The era of peak globalisation is over. For those of us not on the front line, clearing the mind and thinking how to live in an altered world is the task at hand.

The virus exposing how society is not just about freedom + growth but belonging + security. "The question is, what will replace rising material living standards as the basis of society?" John Gray asks. Growth of a different kind? Is there the imagination?

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

The coronavirus is making people crazier and crazier.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


So many people need to be vigorously beaten. It exhausts me, just to think of it. BTW, if you want to say "I'm fine" in Spanish, the usual expression is "Estoy bien."


12:56 PM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

Wafer Italiana et al. Agree. Predict a manufactured / false flag against Taiwan or other US « friend » business interest; then the US blames it on China to start a war. Given the rhetoric in the American Enterprise « Institute » and other propaganda rag mags like the NYT and WAsh Compost etc...This may be consistent with what Wafers have been saying about the US taking down everything with it as it further declines and is exposed to the world as a huge fraud-sham. Everyone’s ankle may be tethered to the US empire.

Wonderful that Italiana plays the koto. I play the Erhu.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Interesting speculations by John Gray. I've been saying neoliberalism/globalization was a con game for at least 15 years now. However, there is a tendency to label every crisis as "a turning pt in history." I don't know why we do this, but 9/11 didn't change the American economic system, nor did the crash of 2008. I'm not sure the coronavirus will be as world-altering as Gray seems to believe. It will accelerate the death of capitalism and the American Way of Life, to be sure, but I doubt it will flip the switch (which is slowly and steadily flipping).


1:34 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Yeah yeah, John Gray; this flu bug is world historical. Sure it is, just like these are the "End Times" that the God-botherers like to howl about.

This popped into my inbox a few minutes ago, and looks interesting:

Was Modern Art Really a CIA Psy-Op?

Then I read the date of publication, and now I'm not so sure.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I suppose we shd think this thru carefully. Maybe every event is world-changing, and maybe the CIA is behind every event. Frankly, that wd simplify things enormously. I guess it's time to tell all of you that this blog is sponsored by the CIA, who have funneled billions into my bank acc't. Next Wafer Summit will be in Langley!


5:53 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

As the US empire plays with its pud and has shyster lawyers writing up form after form after form—
Artists and other freelancers in Germany got 5,000-15.000 Euro checks wired to them within 4 days after establishing a govt help program.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Politically Incorrect Russian Spy said...

Author Paul Kingsnorth draws upon Irish mythology to pen an essay on the virus and this civilization's response to it:

Now I will say what I believe: that this civilization will not learn anything from this virus. All this civilization wants to do is to get back to normal. Normal is cheap flights and cheap lattes, normal is Chinese girls sewing our T-shirts under armed guard, normal is biblical bushfires and barrels of oil, normal is city breaks and international conferences and African children poisoning their bodies sorting the plastic we have dumped on their coastlines, normal is nitrite pollution and burning stumps and the death of the seas.

We made this normal, and we do not know how to unmake it, or—whisper it—we do not want to.

But Earth does, and it will.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A great paragraph, and rt on target. Of course we will not learn anything. We didn't from 9/11, or from 2008, and we won't from the virus. We'll hustle, we'll think we're groovy, and we'll continue to kill kids in the Congo so we can have cell fones. Americans have been doing the same thing since the late 16C, and they have no interest in a different way of life now. Or even in a better one.


The social safety net that Bismarck pushed thru in 1871 was (far) better than what we have in the US today.

ps: al: I actually ate in the CIA cafeteria in Langley a few times in 1999. Not kidding. (It's a long story.) Perfect setting for a Wafer Summit, I tell ya. Spies eat well.


7:56 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

“Your services no longer are needed.”
Just when we thought American callousness couldn't get any worse, it even is shown to a higher up in the military,

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Pallassana said...

Politically Incorrect Russian Spy: always impressed by Kingsnorth. You can sense he has a very dark mind.

Rodriguez: Great New Statesman entry. I agree with Morris Berman's point.

Although this was a brilliant bit:

"If the EU survives, it may be as something like the Holy Roman empire in its later years, a phantom that lingers on for generations while power is exercised elsewhere."

9:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The discrepancy between image and reality is already huge in the US. We are pretty much a phantom empire, a Potemkin society, from the president on down, and our 'culture' (as I wrote in 2000) is little more than kitsch. I believe most Americans know this on an unconscious level, which is a major reason why they are angry and miserable. And why, if you are foolish enuf to explain this to them, they fly into a rage.


12:42 AM  
Anonymous Frederick Froth said...

Shortly after the 9/11 event John Gray wrote an essay which was published in the excellent Resurgence magazine. I forget the title the contents but he pointed out that the neo-psychotic project put in place by Thatcher and Reagan et al was a collective wish fulfillment fantasy which was bound to catastrophically fail.

Prior to that time he was mildly supportive of Thatchers agenda.

1:20 AM  
Anonymous siliconvalleyburnout said...

I posted this online and thought others here may enjoy.

The Republican version of Jesus:

(Jesus enters in on Pharisees...)
Jesus: Good morning gentlemen... you sure are collecting a lot of usurious loans and sucking the blood of the poor.

Pharisee: Quite right good sir. Say, how is Mary Magdalene doing?

Jesus: Well, harlot as usual, but don't worry I told her men only, and not to destroy the evidence her womb contains tomorrow... Have you guys seen Joel Osteen? He owes me 2% royalties in perpetuity for using my brand. I knew I was smart to partner with Kevin OLeary on Shark Tank. He hooked me up with just the right people

1:22 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A link wd be nice...


1:35 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings MB & Wafers,

@Glans - you play the Erhu?? Fabulous! The Japanese Sensei in Paris I'm taking my samisen lessons from is a koto master as well, and writes a lot of her own music. She has collaborated with a Chinese Erhu master, also in Paris, on a wonderful CD: Mieko Miyazaki & Guo Gan, "Nen Nen Sui Sui". Here's the Amazon link:

And here's a video of the two of them at a music festival in Gibraltar a few years back:

This is my contribution for an NMI bit for today - a bit of a break from the gloom. Enjoy!

4:19 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Can anybody explain what John Gray is actually trying to say in that New Stateman article? After reading it, I can't really make heads or tails of it. Maybe (or probably) it's me, but it sounds like a mix of banalities, common places and some British superiority thrown in for good measure:
Our political system will survive intact. Not many countries will be so fortunate.

About Europe:
In the Seine-et-Marne department east of Paris around 70 people from five migrant and asylum seeker shelters responded to the prefecture’s call to harvest berries and asparagus. They will receive contracts and at least the minimum wage.

7:04 AM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

The exceptional nation stays exceptional: Why can’t even a pandemic lockdown stop Americans from being gunned down in mass shootings?


10:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A curate's egg, perhaps. The British have this expression. A curate was staying at a lodging house, and had an egg for breakfast. The madame of the house asked him, after breakfast, "How was your egg, curate?" He replied: "Good, in parts."

The one thing I've observed, in the wake of the virus, is that no one knows anything. It's one reason I find it hard to make Trumpi the target/scapegoat. There are scientific experts who tell us we're basically doomed, and others who say it's ultimately no big deal. Some urge us to wear masks, others say masks are useless. And so on.

But as for the future of the US, or the capitalist system, we also find a lot of--not curates' eggs so much as scrambled eggs. These are all shots in the dark; no one has a crystal ball, and no one definitively knows what's going on. For me, I wonder how the virus has affected the predictions I've made all along. My guess is that it will accelerate our decline, but that it will not radically alter who we are or how we behave--any more than 9/11 or 2008 did. Collapse is surely on the horizon; some economists have pegged 2025 as the watershed yr, or failing that, 2030. I have no doubt the system, which is cracking, will crumble; but I suppose the virus has shown up as a kind of wild card in the pack. Still, we will try to continue on our path of hustling and predatory violence; it's just that Reality will finally make American dominance untenable. I do think that we can look down the road, 30 or 40 yrs, to secession and the breakup of the US. Which I'm hoping, ultimately, will be a gd thing; altho China filling the vacuum does not strike me as a happy development. And for all of you out there, I maintain that present choices are limited to two: hit the road, or become an NMI. For the one undeniable fact about America is that its values are deeply and profoundly wrong; they run counter to what human life is supposed to be about.


10:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This guy may have missed the boat. After observing mass shootings for many yrs now, I came to the conclusion that Americans are happy when they are killing people. These lockdowns make them unhappy; so naturally, the # of deaths from shootings has risen. If it wdn't be by guns, then they wd use knives; or clubs, fer chrissakes. The death instinct hovers over America like a toxic cloud. To quote MLK, nothing is more dangerous than the combination of anger and stupidity.


10:42 AM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

Wafer Italiana, thank you very much for your kind Erhu video and Masters Gan and Miyasaki --wonderful. Not surprising these 2 met in France-fantastic chemistry. Oriental influences 'lived' in Claude Debussy (incl, Vietnamese, Indonesian)- Enjoy the koto, such a soulful instrument. It's so nice in China, Taiwan to hear singing to an Erhu and Pipa in the park. Young, old playing: traditions and solidarity.

Now onto something very traditional to the US: more US empire hustling, this time boomers and Tom Hanks Disease:

Does anybody buy this shit?

4:53 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Greetings Wafers, here’s a news tidbit from Cascadia:

I hadn't thought much about potential leeches waiting in line to access the new federal program to aid small businesses until I read Jon Talton's latest column in the Seattle Times:

An excerpt: “The dangers of unintended consequences abound. For example, the Financial Times reported that private equity firms want access to the emergency small-business loans. Those are intended for companies that employ 500 or fewer. These Wall Street players own small firms at arms-length and want the Treasury Department to change rules that prevent venture capitalists and private equity from using those rescue funds.”

Where does this grift end? (Probable answer: It won’t, since, to borrow an old expression from growing up near Philly, "Money talks, and nobody walks.")

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

A few good shows on PBS recently:

Cuba's Cancer Vaccines (I'm mildly interested in Cuban history, but never got around to reading anything):

And how nearly all plastic recycling is a scam:

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Dr Shithouse said...

More « exceptionalism »,

Wonder if this type of vile American behavior occurs in Japan, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Croatia, Germany, South Korea, Vietnam, New Zealand etc...,.

11:55 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of Course He Did!! Trump only wants Cult members in his cabinet...

Trump fires intelligence community watchdog who told Congress about whistleblower complaint that led to impeachment.

12:27 AM  
Blogger NeilW said...

That Gibraltar movie was beautiful - the one problem with time - there is too much to compose!

1:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dr. Shit-

When Jews do this kinda thing it turns my stomach. Thanks for reinforcing the stereotype, asshole, is what I wanna say to them.


1:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Always explain whom yr writing to. Thanks.


5:29 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

This virus is really bringing out the best in America:
About 200,000 N95 masks were diverted to the US as they were being transferred between planes in Thailand, according to the Berlin authorities who said they had ordered the masks for the police force.
Meanwhile, even where they disagree about the virus, religious leaders have found common ground on one subject: the importance of fundraising.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous al- Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Jews, Shmews, Belman. I'm more concerned about how that Feldheim guy's lawyer is named "Moriarty," which only reinforces the idea that people named Moriarty are villains.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Caitlin Johnstone has written a column that comments on a good deal of what is happening due to the United States and elites in general - to me, a good deal of justifiable sarcasm.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd article, but I looked in vain for the much-needed line, "Heads rammed in rumps."


Sherlock, Shylock.


2:14 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

This is unrelated to the decline, but I just listened to an opera based on Greek mythology called Orfeo ed Euridice. Orfeo goes to the underworld to revive his dead wife. He succeeds, but she dies again due to him violating a condition that he not look @ her after revival. The whole story ends w/ him committing suicide so they can be together again. The 2 hosts were basically creaming their pants over this "happy ending".

What is Amerikkkan's obsession w/ happy endings?

3:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


They're dumb!


3:18 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

It looks like Trump might have been on to something when he mentioned the possibility of suicides increasing due to the fallout from the coronavirus crisis.

Another article on the other negative consequences of the crisis besides the virus itself.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

From time to time I re-read Joe Bageant's essays and thought Wafers might enjoy them again too especially in these times (sitting down with your favorite drink is highly recommended). To begin, below is a quote that summarizes it all:

‘Essentially, it comes down to the fact that a very large portion of Americans are crazier than shithouse rats and are being led by a gang of pathological misfits, most of whom are preachers and politicians.’ - Joe Bageant

Below was his take on progs:
On Hope/Obama:
On Capitalism in its death throes:


6:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is from the Harvard sociologist Pitirim Sorokin, ca. 1939, on "Sensate" culture, i.e. the materialistic culture of the last 500 yrs:

"The great crisis of Sensate culture is here in all its stark reality. Before our very eyes this culture is committing suicide. If it does not die in our lifetime, it can hardly recover from the exhaustion of its creative forces and from the wounds of self-destruction. Half-alive and half-dead, it may linger in its agony for decades; but its spring and summer are definitely over...I hear distinctly the *requiem* that the symphony of history is playing in its memory."

What more is there to say?


9:41 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hi Dr. B and WAFERS:

An article in the Guardian this morning titled "US far right seeks ways to exploit coronavirus and cause social collapse; 'Accelerationist’ groups aim to sow chaos to hasten the collapse of society and build a white supremacist one in its place":

A key quote: "There neo-Nazi groups have been affirming and welcoming the pandemic as a threat to liberal democracy and seeing it as an opportunity to grow their movement and realize their goals with acts of violence."

-Northern Johnny

8:45 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Here is an excellent interview with Naomi Oreskes, co-author of "The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future" where she states that the United States denial of climate change and initially of the coronavirus threat is driven at least in part by ideology rooted in American hyper-individualism and Manichean thinking.

12:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Are these folks following me around w/a notepad?


1:20 PM  
Anonymous al- Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Sure, we non-gringos can laugh at you when we hear about examples such as Floridaman-pastor, Rodney Howard-Browne, and his virus-denyin' holy rollin' ways, but we aren't without our yahoos ourselves.

A Saskatchewan cabinet minister who tweeted an Old Testament passage in which God tells people to pray and repent to cure an epidemic says he deleted it out of concern it may have sent the wrong message.

Greg Ottenbreit, the minister of highways and infrastructure tweeted a photo early Saturday with a section of scripture highlighted and circled with the text "Pay Attention Children."

What I find most disturbing obout this is that this minister comes from an area in the province once known as "Red Square," because it always elected members from the CCF/NDP (socialist) party. Now they vote for right-wing cornballs like this.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Ajay Singh said...

Morris! Congratulations on the 14th anniversary, in this season of unrequited love in the time of Corona. Your site is proof that when you're on to something "real" and heartfelt, it is bound to thrive.

Cormorant: This riveting 2007 feature story from Salon is probably the definitive last word on Castaneda—it goes into the details of what Morris mentioned about the hoaxes Castaneda perpetrated, including his bohemian UCLA days and his clever patchwork plagiarism from the university's department of anthropology works:

2:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Good article on Castaneda. All I know, as I said, is what Mel Faber told me when we were both profs at the U of Victoria: that the 1st 2 bks were real, based on Carlos' weekend visits to a shaman living on the outskirts of LA for over a period of 2 yrs, and that the other bks were written up using the UCLA library.


4:23 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Dr. Bandy Lee: Trump is spreading a "mental health pandemic" that's making coronavirus worse |

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Mercury said...


The best safeguard against the novel coronavirus is the ability to voluntarily withdraw oneself from capitalism

7:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Maybe the real pandemic is the US itself, esp. since 1945. Its goal: to replicate itself, esp. its values, everywhere. (Film rec: "Dersu Uzala". Bk rec: Victoria de Grazia, "Irresistible Empire".)


8:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

The greatest Jew since Maimonides:

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Sal Kaminsky said...

In Praise of a Normal, Boring Country
A trip to Estonia

"Our situation is shit, but this is the fertiliser of the future." Lennart Meri, president of Estonia, 1992. Be like Estonia (in some ways)

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

I've been very interested (as an outsider) on the historical evolution of the Judaic religion and, therefore, on Maimonides. As a result I've come to think he was probably a big fraud. He (together with other Jewish theologians from the middle ages) made up a religion that did not exist before and pretended it was the one true religion that had been the religion of the Jews from the beginning. I'm convinced the early Jewish people was most surely polytheist (like almost everybody else at the time), later evolving to monolatry and eventually (and gradually) to monotheism. The medieval scholars re-wrote history to make it look like the Jewish religion had always been basically monotheist. Not only that, but they also added ideas, like the resurrection of the dead and the attributes of God, that had no historical basis. Of course, what do I know... Apologies for bringing my obsessions to the chat.

PS Aren't the greatest Jews ever Einstein and Spinoza?

12:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, Einstein and Spinoza qualify, tho I'm particularly fond of Phil Roth. As for yr take on Judaism: doesn't ring true at all, tho I'm not a scholar of the subject. On late Judaism/early Christianity, however, check out the corresponding chapter in CTOS. I wish I knew more abt Maimonides, but the little I've read (a few yrs back) wd suggest yr very much off-base. A popular Hebrew saying abt him: b'Moshe v'ad Moshe, ayn lo k'Moshe--from Moses (the original one) to Moses (Maimonides), there is no one like Moses (Maimonides). Of course, my Hebrew name is also Moses, so you can see why I qualify as the GSWH. :-)

Of course, none of this can be settled w/o documentation, and neither of us (apparently) have done the necessary research. But in future, I hafta ask you to avoid mere opinion (which anyone can do, really), and back up yr assertions w/some refs. This is generally how the blog works. Thanks.


2:11 PM  
Anonymous Kropo said...

Re John Gray's NS piece

Rodriguez, Fred, Morris Berman, Malleus, Al-Q:

This stood out:
Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic on the EU: “European solidarity does not exist… that was a fairy tale. The only country that can help us in this hard situation is the People’s Republic of China. To the rest of them, thanks for nothing."

4:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Indeed, an impt statement. Plus, I guess we don't hafta say to him, "Tell us what you *really* mean."


6:14 PM  
Anonymous Nikolas said...

"Only a nation of unenlightened half-wits could've taken this beautiful place & turn it into what it is today: a shopping mall."- George Carlin

7:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In "Super Sad True Love Story," an Asian woman says, "Only white people could take a country this beautiful and fuck it up."


7:40 PM  
Anonymous Democritus said...

If you're looking for a good apocalyptic read, don't miss "Earth Abides" by George Stewart. Written in 1949, it is, quite simply, astounding. The protagonist, a graduate student up in the mountains of California doing field work, descends to find human beings wiped out by some sort of plague. From the very first sentence, Stewart grabs the reader and doesn't let go. His descriptions of how Earth slowly reclaims itself from human meddling is impressive. Stewart's work must surely rank among the earliest of ecological novels. He understands the interplay between economics, technology, history, cultural norms, ecology, and the long-term (dismal) prospects for the human species. The book is seventy years old, but very easy to read and impossible to put down. He doesn't indulge in gory details like of lot of recent apocalyptic novels and he focuses on the big picture: just how puny and tentative human civilization is. Nature inexorably exerts itself to maintain equilibrium. Check it out.

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Niget, William said...

In his book "Living Buddha, Living Christ" Thich Nhat Hanh explores the similarities and differences between Buddhism and Christianity, two of humankind's most influential contemplative traditions. 20th anniversary edition review.

“When you are a truly happy Christian, you are also a Buddhist. And vice versa."

— Thich Nhat Hanh

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Tyas said...

Hah! This is funny


3:14 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Calls to US helpline jump 891%, as White House is warned of mental health crisis.

This should be interesting. A population with large amounts of firearms that is already stressed out, miserable and suffering from various mental problems is going to have a mental health meltdown as the coronavirus continues to spread and the economy tanks.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to those of you sending anti-Semitic hate mail: You shd be aware that I don't read past the 1st line b4 hitting Delete, so yr basically wasting yr time. Not that that will stop you; w/empty lives, you have nothing better to do, I get it. I shd also tell you that you are incredibly gullible. Once in a while I like to post something pro-Jewish, just for fun, baiting you to come out of the sewers where you live. Man, you clowns are so predictable! You *always* take the bait. What losers you guys are; what absolute losers--human garbage, truth be told. Honestly, you make my day. But hey, carry on! You cd do something productive w/yr lives, but why not just hate?


12:46 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Dear Dr Berman,

Yes, my previous post was just an opinion without data. I'm sorry.

So, returning to the topic at hand, here's a recent interview of Chris Hedges on coronavirus:

"I don't see how we come back from this." It seems that he's having a declinist week but then goes on to call for "resistance." He says that the only way is to make the elites fear us but he is for non-violence. Answering a question, he doesn't even really believe any of this will be successful...

I'm saying this without mockery; if I was stuck in the US with kids and nothing to look forward to except a dystopian future, I guess I'd become delusional too.

P.S. Have you talked in any of your books about the Frankfurt school? Apparently they were very pessimistic. Proto-declinists perhaps?

6:27 AM  
Anonymous Waesfjord said...

Dear Prof Berman,

Sorry to hear that the trollfoons keep coming; at least you know that you must be doing something right! Just for kicks maybe you should say, "Yeah, us Jews really do rule the world, because we're smarter than you dum-dums."

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Pat Chouli said...

Now why would a person do that unless they’re intending to steal a trillion $’s or so (?):

I’ll I can think to say is (w/ apologies to Chuck Berry):

Go Trumpi go go
Go Trumpi go go
Go Trumpi go go
Go Trumpi go go
Trumpi B. Goode

His mother told him "someday you will be THE man/
And you will be the leader of a big old band/
Many people coming from miles around/
To hear you play your music when the sun go down/
But that shining city upon a hill will still be near/
whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere/
So someday your name will be in lights/
Saying "Trumpi B. Goode tonight"

10:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You can't imagine how stupid these people are. It beggars the imagination. Turkeys of the 1st order, and the dregs of America.


But Hedges *isn't* stuck here. For example, I think his wife is Canadian. He cd move there. Or probably any place, really. What he lacks, is courage. In addition, he's actually very patriotic: like Trumpi, he wants to save America. All progs do. Declinists know this simply ain't in the cards. As for the virus: no one knows for sure, of course, but I suspect we *will* come back from it and then just keep on doing the same shit we were doing b4--as in the case of 9/11 or 2008. As for Frankfurt Schl: I think I do discuss Marcuse at some pt in my work, but I can't remember.


11:19 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Greeting Wafers everywhere from Cascadia, here is your coronahotspot news summary:

While local media continue to post updated virus body counts just like the Pentagon’s daily body count news during the Viet Nam war, the power struggle has begun over who in the dog-eat-dog foodchain of neoliberalism in crisis will take the haircuts from unpaid rents and mortgages. One real estate company actually had the temerity to suggest to a Seattle restaurant requesting rent relief that they pay for the legal expense of investigating their request:

Meanwhile, Evergreen College has suspending new admissions and claims to be operating its spring quarter “remotely”. The “currently suspended” offerings include bookings for its Challenge Course for “building teamwork, communications and trust” as well as its Team Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Innovation” course featuring a “Changemaker Lab”, which it claims to be one of only six in the world (I wonder whether they’ll have an offering in pandemic management for fall quarter):

12:04 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Doctor Berman,
I have sad news. Bernie ended his quixotic campaign. His diehards foolishly thought he would be elected and would change things. But coming from Vermont he certainly could lead a NMI movement, a flip side of Texas secessionist wishes.

To Pat Chouli,
Actually a song from that era about The Don preceded yours. But both certainly are on target.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Hi Wafers,
Hope you all are safe and healthy along with your families. Here we are in a complete lockdown; the third week running. Probably will get extended. No trains, no buses, no flights operating in the country of 1.3 billion. Two ways to see this: definitely helped stop spread of the virus. With only local restrictions while ppl traveled between cities, millions would have been infected. Even if official figures are not trustworthy, the infection rate is still low. On the other hand, the daily wage earners, migrant laborers (tens of millions of them) bore the brunt while the middle and upper class Indians got saved, at least for the time being. Take your pick.

WTO warns of Great Depression like the last century:

And in the meanwhile a row breaks out in the EU:

Will the EU survive this pandemic?

12:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Every Evergreen administrator and faculty member needs to be slapped. Vigorously. A gd task for Wafers, imo, along w/special treatment for Tulsi. Bret Weinstein surely got out in time.


I'm not sad abt Bernie's departure. He always was a Schmernie, deluded abt how young people and working people wd rally to his side. But these folks are Americans, and--along w/poor people and blacks--have no interest in any form of socialism, no matter how much it might personally help them. Same mistake Jimmy Carter made in 1980, while Ronnie knew who his audience was: greedy hustlers, like himself. They wd all be crucial in the swing states, which is why he flopped in 2016 and started flopping in the South Carolina primary. He's a well-meaning guy, w/the best of intentions; but a politically clueless guy, and so was defeated by the inevitable. This unwillingness of progs to understand what America is actually abt is rather breathtaking, and no matter how History (i.e. Reality) punishes them, they still cling to the sinking ship, thinking they can unsink it. In fact, the more they are punished, the less they understand. Does it get dumber than that?

As for November, we are now left w/a choice between History's true representative, and a senile goofball. Let us hope that Reality continues to prevail. Altho a Schmiden presidency wd also contribute to our decline.


2:01 PM  
Anonymous Madeleine said...

This blog is a wellspring of info & recs to better understand Amerikkka's continued fall. None of my European buds said they'd move here; they have the right idea! As I see it, the amerikkkan "dream" is to be trapped in a mortgage & various other debts, and then spend your prime yrs on a treadmill to settle those debts. I see why opioids became a thing. No thanks.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

To ”contain” the spread of virus, the PTB are rolling out some pretty Draconian measures, which is what they always do when there’s a crisis. And, as always, when this is over they will not roll it all back.

Life as we know it will never be the same, which is a very, very good thing, but it ain’t gonna be pretty. As Gerald Celente says “when people lose everything and have nothing left to lose, they lose it.” I expect at the very least to have a cashless society, a nascent military/police state, and then war. While everyone is distracted by COVID hysteria, the US is ramping up the rhetoric against China, and has already sent warships to Venezuela: (Anyone who believes the justifications mentioned in this article has a severe case of CRE.)

One way to handle the crisis? Make friends w/death:

2:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: I have asked this b4: Who in their rt mind wd want to save a country that is little more than a genocidal war machine run by a plutocracy and cheered on by mindless buffoons?

2:06 PM  
Blogger Thomas Strimpel said...

Dr. B- Why Schmernies would want to save it, of course! Little do they know that the Titanic is already at the point where it is snapping in half, the drowning stern dragging the bow along with it under the sea. Un-sinking the ship will simply not happen.

If anyone else reads Chris Ryans' books or his podcast, he nails our prediment-
"What we're seeing now, the collapse, the rapid collapse, the collapse of Wall Street, the collapse of trust in government, the total incompetence in terms of responding to this pandemic, the chaos in hospitals; this is not a sudden thing, this is the result of years of decay. Years of termites eating away at the fundamental structure of American society."

3:40 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Greetings GSWH & Wafers-

Beautiful warm day in my part of the world. With all the kids home from school, outside is their playground. I even see neighbors talking in the street-I won't hold my breath just yet.

We've been on a stay-at-home order for about 3 weeks with 3 more to go. I think it's going to take more than a measly $1200 for financially impaired Americans out of work to come out of it alright:

Strange times. People looking for the federal government to solve their problems are likely to be disappointed.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


1st, let me say that I'm not only opposed to Schmernie; I am also opposed to Schmernism. He will learn nothing from this defeat--abs. nothing. If his odds were better than Tulsi's, they still weren't winning odds. How cd he not see this? The blindness of the progs is terrifying, but from a declinist pt of view, a gd thing.

As for termites: fuck termites. The real problem is that the structure of American society was wrong from the get-go. What is amazing is not that it is collapsing, but that it managed to last so long.


4:06 PM  
Anonymous Sully said...

Thomas Strimpel,

I've seen that book mentioned elsewhere, and while it looks right up this old Wafer's alley, I have shied away because of the terribly poor scholarship exercised in his previous book, "Sex at Dawn."

As for Bern Man, the Professor is completely correct, and now the Schmern will go on to sell a couple more books on Schmernism, give some speeches. Yawn!

4:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I believe that after he went in flames in 2016, Schmernie was offered $1 million on a bk contract. However, I don't think that bk ever got published, but then I don't follow Schmernie's literary career. Now, with the defeat of 2020, he will probably be offered even more $ for more bks. Plus collect large speaker's fees. I tell ya, folks, they're all the same.

Can Schmernism, or progressivism, be stopped? Their usual reaction is to do more self-defeating behavior. Meanwhile, in a nation that had half a brain, which we do not, Schmiden wd be regarded not merely as a joke, but as an absurdity.

In the Twilight bk, I outlined the internal factors that were bringing us down. In DAA, I talked abt our self-destructive foreign policy. At no time did I imagine a pandemic, w/the epicenter of it being the US. All I can guess abt it is, that it will accelerate our decline; but it is not the cause of our decline. We now have 3 'nodes' in what is a general, and inevitable, slo-mo collapse: 9/11, 2008, and the pandemic. And there will be more nodes--count on it. But the collapse was foreordained in the late 16C--i.e., choosing a very self-destructive set of values (see WAF); and went into high gear after 1945. Can anyone imagine a world in which Hiroshima had not been bombed, an arms race w/the USSR had been rejected, the New Deal and a redistribution of wealth had been expanded, and a value-system of community and cooperation had been embraced? Check out the story in my forthcoming book, "The Heart of the Matter," entitled "Moonies".


4:50 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Opinion only: If I hear one more time from Mr Hedges proclamating abt "resistance" or"revolution," I'm gonna hurl. He likely has some mental illness or other pathology that is perhaps clouding his judgement. How someone can be that delusional in the face of truth and reality is beyond me; a psychosis, a loss of contact w/ reality. Even as the tide recedes and we see who was swimming naked (Buffet), does it really matter? Bc it's all abt hustling, huckstering, and war mongering imperialism that is vastly endorsed by the populace.

Does he "really" "believe" in the USs 'goodness' 'white hatness'. Is he cut from the Chomsky cloth of the USians being hoodwinked/wool over eyes and they just need better 'leaders'/better 'govt'? The wool IS their eyes (Berman).

OR, is his call to action bullshit a clever ploy to get more honoraria, speaking engagements, book deals, visiting professorships, give the imbecilic US populace false hopes, and someday rescue the US talks? .

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Ross from PA said...

Wow that is a wonderful name for the new book MB! Lovely!
Meanwhile, in a country that still has a heart, Coronavirus: Spain to become first country in Europe to roll out universal basic income

5:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I don't think he's after money, really; it's more abt reputation, being influential, Important. For which it helps, at least in America, to give people (false) hope. I've often said that there was not, in this lifetime, going to be a wake-up moment for Hedges; all I can suggest is massive therapy, on a round-the-clock basis for 10 yrs. This might remove the sadness in his eyes, but then I don't believe in miracles. Anyway, you can hurl rt now; no need to wait.


Speaking of heart, and Castaneda, 'Don Juan' once said that the only path worth following was one that had a heart. This is precisely what the American path lacks, and it is why we have finally come to grief. You can't hustle and have heart at the same time; it's an existential choice, and we blew it.


5:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The death of one of the great douche baguettes of the 20C:

I remember I was taking a class in Italian at the time, and wrote on the board, b4 the instructor came in:

"Non e un hippi;
E--Linda Trippi!"

OK, not my finest poem, I admit.

Meanwhile, Passover begins tonight, which moves me to bait our trollfoon anti-Semites once again. The Haggadah begins:

"Avadim hayinu l'faro be mitzraim"--we were slaves of Pharoah in the land of Egypt. Some scholarship has it that the Pharoah was Ramses II, on which Shelley's poem, "Ozymandias" was based. Where is he now, and where are the Jews now?

I'll tell you, you pathetic pieces of anti-Semitic dreck: the Jews rule the world! And there's abs. nothing you can do abt it, except send hate mail, wh/accomplishes nada. You are a collection of sick fucks. Enuf bait 4u, shitheads? (God, I love doing this.)


5:45 PM  
Anonymous rightsaysfred said...

The people united will never be divided.
What people? The club of connected bloodlines allow you to
be fodder as a debt slave incorporated mercenary. Those are
the owned choices.


6:14 PM  
Anonymous Zim said...

Yeah she sure was a foolish character, but no matter the past, upon hearing that linda tripp was very seriously ill/has died, i hoped for her recovery and empathize for how difficult this is for her family. Tolstoy said the 2 great evils of the world are illness&regret.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Clarissa said...

Well written essay on Thoreau, isolation, and the importance of community.

A hero of mine, that Thoreau!

6:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Tolstoy left out one other one: being a scumbag. Which is what Linda was. It may be the greatest evil of all.


7:04 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

I guess that after this epidemic is over, the US and China relationship will be completely different and as a consequence the international paradigm will start changing quite rapidly. Dmitry Orlov's first stage of collapse is the financial one and I think it actually started with the previous financial crash of 2008 and will consume itself throughout this decade. Nevertheless, always count on the Manichaean instinct of Americans to show up at the nick of time while all this drama that's way beyond their limited comprehension plays out for the rest of the world to see:

"The coronavirus crisis is turning Americans of both parties against China."

The article actually states that most Americans polled think that US manufacturers should pull back after this crisis. I wish someone would explain to these poor souls that those jobs that have been shipped to China over the decades are NEVER coming back unless they are willing to take a massive pay cut and reduction to their already poor standard of living.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous PNW said...

I'm sure per capita Jews are likely smartest and I think that that's documented, particularly verbally though all races have their talents. I grew up in the rural West where there were no Jewish people then became an engineer for almost 3 decades - West Coast. I only throughout those many years had one Jewish colleague that I knew of - where were they helping with the heavy lifting and elbow grease?

Regardless, so many people are without livelihoods now the final straw in the back of the domestic majority that I think warring chaos may eventually come about. So far quiet compliance going on in the land of red terror shootings but the discontent tinder has been building for so long ready for a spark.

12:51 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

I thought you could use a few laughs-

12:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Not sure I get yr pt, but just remember: Jews rule! Their plot to take over the universe has succeeded. Which means we can all relax.


12:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, Bernie's 'revolution'. Some revolution! How radical, how earth-shaking! As for the progs who believe this crap: like Hedges, they will never, ever wake up. But foolishness/blindness of this sort is in fact gd: it contributes to the collapse of the country quite effectively. As does Trumpi, as does Schmiden. What can Wafers do, in the face of this idiocy? March thru major cities w/neon signs that say, IT'S OVER--? Did Jefferson ever imagine that the electorate wd hafta choose between an infantile despot and a senile buffoon?


2:23 AM  
Blogger pinkpearl said...

Just stopping by to share an anecdote about just how low US culture is even during the pandemic.

I was having an online gripe about people who don’t come to the grocery store prepared to get what they need and get out ASAP to help keep the line of people waiting outside moving faster. (The context is that some stores are only allowing so many customers in at a time, so the longer you’re in there, the longer you’re making someone else wait to get their food. Some stores have signs on the door explicitly telling you to be as quick as you can.) I was saying: Don’t wander the aisles trying to figure out what to eat for the next week, make a list at home and then go to the store.

I got a flood of excoriating replies. Apparently many Americans find the idea of being more organized about grocery shopping so that others can also get food to be a terrible imposition. A bunch them also apparently *don’t know how*. They don’t know how to cook, or meal-plan, or make a list. They have relied on take-out and prepared meals and easy access to stores and restaurants for their entire lives. They are raising their kids on this food. The pandemic is forcing them to really cook for the first time and they can’t handle it. They’re having anxiety attacks over it. Commenters were commiserating about how exhausting it all is.

And they simply did not care about how their dawdling in the store affected others. Who are trying to get food. During a pandemic.

Oh I also got blasted for showing my “privilege” by thinking any of this is relatively straightforward and manageable.

I made a comment that the Greatest Generation must be rolling over in its grave. And they didn’t get it! They couldn’t make the connection that if their own grandparents could survive the Depression and WWII, maybe they could harden up, make a list and learn a few recipes?

12:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


2 rules you need to adhere to. One, restrict yrself to half pg max. Yr post is just a bit too long. 2nd, send messages to most recent post. No one reads the older stuff. Thank you.


1:20 PM  

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