May 07, 2020

Americans Are Classy

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/05/us/dollar-tree-wiping-face-trnd/index.html

188 Comments:

Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

People must die so that business can live:

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/coronavirus-reopen-states-death-liberty-trump-994421/

Then anchor Dana Bash asked Christie whether Americans will need to swallow that projected 3,000-per day death toll in June. The bridge traffic aficionado told her, “They’re gonna have to.”

The US looking is looking like the Aztecs at the end of their decaying empire, increasing the number of human sacrifices in a futile attempt to avert the impending collapse.

2:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Malleus-

I think it was Toynbee who pointed out that at the end of a civilization, the civ does exactly the wrong things. I.e., it does precisely what will accelerate the collapse, rather than attempting to reverse the destructive trajectory. Reverse actions are counter-intuitive, so have little appeal, whereas the destructive actions seem 'natural' and 'right'. But in this, the US is not atypical. As Toynbee noted, it's the end-game behavior of all civilizations. As for American 'exceptionalism'--he wd have just laughed.

mb

2:52 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

The coronavirus is pushing America into a mental health crisis.

https://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2020/may/05/experts-warn-covid-19-is-pushing-america-into-a-looming-mental-health-crisis-2139453.html

Of course, mental health in America was already dreadful before the crisis but it looks like things might get even worse. I think we will be seeing more suicides, more acts of random violence and bizarre behavior on the part of Americans.

4:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

The mortality rates from the virus in the US are 2.6 times higher for blacks than for whites, according to the latest stats. The apparent (obvious?) cause is economic, i.e., social inequality. Which was there all along, of course, but now made glaringly obvious by these data. Thinking back over the Obama yrs, it seems remarkable how little he did to improve the economic condition of his own folks. (Or anyone except the rich, really.)

mb

11:23 AM  
Blogger dg said...

Because they have covered their faces with their fat, and gathered fat upon their loins, they will live in desolate cities, in houses that no one should inhabit, houses destined to become heaps of ruins; they will not be rich, and their wealth will not endure, nor will they strike root in the earth; they will not escape from darkness; for emptiness will be their recompense. It will be paid in full before their time ~ Job

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Noooooo!

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/07/mexico-beer-shortage-coronavirus

MB said, "I think it was Toynbee who pointed out that at the end of a civilization, the civ does exactly the wrong things." Sounds about right, but I tell ya, at one time I kinda looked forward to the collapse, now not so much. It really sucks up here. I used to love reading post-apocalypse novels like "Alas, Babylon" and "The Stand" and others, but now that we're living through a (small) apocalypse, they're not so much fun anymore.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pastrami-

As I said, collapses are never pretty. But they are also inevitable, as Toynbee's multi-volume study demonstrated. In the case of the US, they are well-deserved. You go and build a civilization/empire on anti-human, anti-social values, and eventually yr gonna get a large platter of bad karma. *That* is what is happening us today, w/or w/o corona.

Of course, Americans are too stupid to understand that they are being punished for cosmically bad behavior. "Hey, what's wrong with hustling? With making $ the purpose of life? With hating any notion of socialism, or the life of the mind? Fuck all that: I'm gonna get mine! Plus, we're a Christian nation." Oh yeah, a Christian nation. We wallow in an abundance of love and compassion, for sure.

mb

1:23 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Toynbee is quite likely correct, but does the USA really count as a "civilization?" All the signs are there that yours is an empire in decline, and that it seems ready to collapse, but would historians in 500 years look back on the "American civilization?" The concept of "Western" civilization makes sense to me, but to say "American civilization" seems as strange as to say "Italian" or "Congolese" civilizations.

Your buddy Chris Hedges recently popped up on my YOUTUBE feed:

American Empire has Collapsed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HumhayvBUU

Quiz answer: Archie Bunker, not Frank Costanza

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I think just about all the Amerikkkan presidents were shams, who weren't as virtuous as everyone likes to pretend. After all they were descendants of the same settler-colonialists who wanted to get rid of the Indians & set in motion the hustling culture that's doing Amerikkka in rite now

2:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al-

To me, a civilization is a geopolitical entity organized around a central theme, or Platonic Idea. Spengler said that when people stopped believing in the Idea, the civilization was finished. On that basis, Rome was a civ (Idea = imperial expansion), and so was the US (economic and tech expansion, or American Dream). So the question wd be, How many Americans still believe in the Dream? And is this related to opioids, suicide, alcohol, etc.? As for Italian civ: check out my bk "Genio".

As for Hedges: another guy following me around w/a notepad. Altho for the most part, his hopes have always been the recovery of America (thru revolution).

Sarah-

But what abt Millard Fillmore? ;-)

mb

2:32 PM  
Blogger Xair said...

Wafers,

We would rather be ruined than changed
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die.


I know many have mentioned this quote before, but I find it more relevant in light of Americans wanting to get back to shopping and corona be damned. Those lines by Auden really illuminate how futile any attempt a change will be. Even in the face of an historic pandemic, all Americans think of is shopping and bullshit. Gotta love it!! As my Granfather once said, "Que pais de mierda".

2:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Xair-

Now that's unfair. They also think of Kim, and Meghan's hats.

mb

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Yoogoogulator said...

Variations of "flyblown carcass"

Dung Beatles: Everyday turd handlers.
Primary fuction is the sourcing of, production of, logistics of, bringing said turds to marketplace. The exchange of turds and turd services using debased turd capital in a turd based society. Afterwards, the turd handlers return to their lairs to shit where they sleep. Top down turd-centric way of life for the dung beatle.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

dg- thanks for the Job quote I'm a big fan of biblical passages matching current reality.
Tom- I agree expect more crazy shit like this
https://www.denverpost.com/2020/05/06/denver-homicide-beating-death-george-black/
Or this
https://krdo.com/news/top-stories/2020/05/06/man-arrested-after-allegedly-stabbing-an-elderly-man-in-the-neck-southeast-of-pueblo/
Or this
https://www.businessinsider.com/mcdonalds-employees-shot-in-oklahoma-city-over-covid-19-closure-2020-5
I shake my head and laugh at people who are expecting to find care in our "behavioral (?) health system" that is designed to fail, the last thing anyone wants are people standing up for their rights and 'not taking it anymore.' But hey help is a phone call and 50 grand away. (sorry for length).

5:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

Check out John Ortega's face, and tell me this is not the face of America.

mb

5:53 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Dr. B, I think of 'a can of worms' as being a complex and difficult situation. Doesn't really have that vicious edge a metaphor about the US needs. You are looking more for a manure pile or cess pool, yes? Not sure the collapse of the US is all that complicated, and the major difficulty is simply staying alive.

Maybe this artist should have been an American, having convinced people to pay for his shit. And then it has sold for over $100,000 so it seems there are lots of shitheads out there with money-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artist%27s_Shit

My one hope living in the US is that we shatter into regions and local conflicts, and that I am in a backwater that no one wants to fight over.

And I still find this photo a better face for this time in the US. The feeble and drunk will always be with us, but it takes a special moment to make people such as these, ones not even smart enough to know how bad they look-

https://time.com/5031393/steven-mnuchin-money-sheet-viral/

7:28 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

My heart hurts. At a recent re-open/back to work protest, a protester carried a sign reading “Arbeit Macht Frei.” I cannot even imagine how someone could use that phrase in support of going back to work. Does she dream of being a slave who will be worked to death? Is half of America a suicide cult? Are these people just that monumentally stupid?
The Auschwitz Museum, with sublime elegance, called the protester’s sign a symptom of moral & intellectual degeneration. America, land of degenerates indeed.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.haaretz.com/amp/jewish/.premium-arbeit-macht-frei-nazi-slogans-at-illinois-rally-against-coronovirus-lockdown-1.8815257

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Linc said...

From war elephants to cheap electronics: modern globalisation has its roots in ancient trade networks, https://theconversation.com/amp/from-war-elephants-to-cheap-electronics-modern-globalisation-has-its-roots-in-ancient-trade-networks-125483

7:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dana-

It's even possible the carrier of the sign didn't know where the Nazi slogan came from. Of *course* Americans are monumentally stupid; the data on that are themselves monumental. And of course Americans are degenerates: they wipe their noses on store clerks' shirts, shoot McDonald's personnel, carry signs saying "Sacrifice the Weak," and so on. The % of the population that can be put in the category of Human Garbage is dramatically high.

What the virus has done is torn the cover off the country, exposing what it always was: racist, violent, hustling, exploitative, and spiritually empty. This is just America on steroids. And don't tell me that the progs have a different value-system. They don't; they are just a bit more sophisticated in hiding it. They sat back while we murdered 3 million Vietnamese peasants, for example. (The % of Americans that actually protested that war was in fact minuscule; they just got more media coverage.) And on and on.

Dan D-

I guess yr in the 'flyblown carcass' camp. But don't kid yrself: the collapse of any empire is complicated.

mb

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

As a 48-year-old man who has worked in "customer service" in the U.S. his entire adult life, nothing surprises me. Therefore, the aforementioned Michigan Dollar Tree and Family Dollar incidents do not surprise me at all. I would not be surprised if a little digging would yield tons of stories like that. Such incidents are newsworthy now that we are in the middle of a pandemic. However, I am sure that they have been a part of our culture going way back before this pandemic.

In one call center job I took a thousand calls a shift from all over the U.S. The caller's race, education level, income level, urban/suburban/rural status did not make any difference--verbal abuse over the most inconsequential things was guaranteed. The only variation I noticed was callers from Mississippi. Mississippi callers seemed to take everything in stride and never get bent out of shape.

I have been on the receiving end of, oh, malicious verbal assaults for informing customers that a cup of sauce costs 25 cents. Unfortunately, this pandemic is showing us that it gets far worse than that working in "customer service" in the U.S.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Dana,
You can and cannot blame the protester. I taught public school for nearly 40 years and the time given to history is near nothing, especially WW II and the Holocaust. School is designed for one thing-past state exams so the school can remain public and not become a charter. I saw the sign and I would doubt the carrier knew of its historical context. However, there's one good thing that may come of it. The next time an Israeli prime minister, in an effort to get more funding, says "The Palestinians pose an existential threat no less than the Holocaust!" the president would ask, "The what?"
Doctor, actually W was better than Owaistoftime vis a vis black Americans. Bush's Small Business Department lent out more money to minority owned firms that Owaistoftime's did.
By the way, the Javit's Center in NYC was set up to handle 1000 Covid patients. It got no more than 16. We knew this country was dumb, but could you ever imagine it would destroy itself over a slightly worse than average flu?

11:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

Thanks for the info. Regarding the virus: I am perplexed, in that contradictory data keep flying around. Is it really a serious threat (the deaths keep piling up), or only a "slightly worse than average flu"? If the latter, we are open to rt-wing conspiracy theories, no? Granted, it does not compare to the H1N1 flu of ca. 100 yrs ago (which killed 50 million people). But there has been a panic reaction in the US (fueled by the media) wh/I'm not sure is warranted. Etc.

Current theories include:
1. It mysteriously came out of a lab in China
2. It was engineered by a cabal of some sort (G5 etc.)
3. It is the result of the way we have treated the environment

My guess is #1, but then I really don't know shit.

mb

12:05 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Bunch of Rednecked KKK Bubba’s over there in the Deep South...


https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/05/07/killing-ahmaud-arbery-draws-condemnation-calls-prosecution/

1:27 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

I agree with Dr Berman that it's quite possible the virus came out of the Wuhan lab in China. About how serious it is, IMHO it's probably worse than the flu, although perhaps not terribly so. When a system (the health system) is running "close to capacity" even a modest increase in demand can result in system collapse. That's when the fatality rate goes thru the roof. In other words, a pandemic is not only a biological problem, but also a sociological one. With a 3rd-world health system (except for the rich people) and incompetent leadership the virus is going to cause carnage in the US indeed.

About the "Suez" moment, the POTUS is not the leader of the free world anymore:
How Angela Merkel went from lame duck to global leader on coronavirus

7:27 AM  
Anonymous Boone said...

In Morris Berman's "Genio" Dept.:

John Gray reviews Machiavelli: His Life and Times by Alexander Lee in The NewStatesman:

How Machiavelli was misunderstood

Machiavelli did not revel in tyranny. Instead, quite calmly, he observed that Christian virtues have no place in politics.

BY JOHN GRAY

https://www.newstatesman.com/machiavelli-his-life-and-times-alexander-lee-review

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Mel Belle said...

Ranked: Global Pandemic Preparedness by Country

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/global-pandemic-preparedness-ranked/

10:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Boone-

Thanks for the ref. It turns out that there are as many Machiavellis as there are interpreters of him. But they are all guesses, including my own.

mb

11:12 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Whaddya mean, "anymore," Malleus?

Here's a newsflash for gringos: the only people who ever thought that POTUS was the leader of the "free world" all lived inside the borders of the USA.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Michigan is back in the news-

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/07/michigan-lawmaker-armed-escort-rightwing-protest

11:19 AM  
Blogger anderszornpalette said...

Concerning the virus’ origin, this guy has been making a pretty strong, evidence based case that it’s from a lab In Wuhan. I’ve been following his video updates relating to this outbreak for a couple of months now, and have found them pretty illuminating. He’s not a quack.

https://youtu.be/uZUJhKUbd0k

Zorn

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anna Haifisch said...

Boone,Mb:

Interesting John Gray piece! I was reading his next book is on the philosophy of cats....Meowchiavelli? MB have you recently written about Machiavelli on the blogosphere or was this in the Italian book? I take it you disagree with Gray here. Regardless I need to read "Genio"!

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Jorge Renya said...

Finland’s two-year test of universal basic income has concluded that it doesn't seem to disincentivise working, and benefits recipients’ mental and financial wellbeing https://www.newscientist.com/article/2242937-universal-basic-income-seems-to-improve-employment-and-well-being/

1:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anna-

Not much on the blog; I was referring to "Genio". I disagree w/virtually all the other interpretations of Mach, but I'm sure they wd disagree w/me. Abt wh/confusion, Mach wd be smiling.

Jorge-

My new collection of short stories is abt to appear. Check out the one called "Suomi".

Birn-

This is gd, altho in a full-blown declinist scenario, everybody wd be shooting everybody. As for the race question, 2 observations (see WAF ch. 4):

1. The Civil War never really ended.
2. America will never, ever solve its race question.

al-

Not quite. During the entire Cold War, Western Europe regarded the US and NATO as the bastion of freedom against the USSR.

mb

1:49 PM  
Blogger Xair said...

Americans being Americans.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/4th-relative-charged-death-michigan-034021950.html

2:12 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

O&D higher ed: The stranger on the Zoom call appeared to be sitting in a tent. He wore a black headset and a blue lanyard around his neck. Behind him was white plastic peppered with pictures of a padlock. “Hi,” the stranger intoned. “My name is Sharath and I will be your proctor today. Please confirm your name is Jackson and that you’re about to take your 11:30PM exam.” “Correct,” said Jackson Hayes, from his cinder-block dorm room at the University of Arizona… Hayes was instructed to grant the proctor remote access to his computer…

Harold Li, a security expert who has consulted for a number of large tech companies and is currently a vice president at ExpressVPN, believes Examity’s dangers go beyond technical inconvenience. “It’s a huge security issue for students to be required to install third-party software that they don’t have the opportunity to meaningfully vet themselves, and give a stranger full remote access to their computer,” Li says. “At a minimum, it sets a bad precedent and establishes dangerous security habits.”

From this recent article on remote test proctoring.

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Eric Jensen said...

Some one mentioned presidents... Did you know that Calvin Coolidge and Franklin Roosevelt's grandfather, Warren Delano, was a millionaire (back then!) by the age of 24 by selling opium in China? Vast, corrupt money sources go very far back behind the "leadership" of this nation. (Source: Alfred W McCoy, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade) I think the Bush/Columbia cocaine connection is strong as well although I don't have the same level of credible source material. Why would our "leaders" forego all the money from the global drug trade?

2:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Eric-

Also check this out:

https://allthatsinteresting.com/joseph-p-kennedy-sr

mb

4:28 PM  
Blogger Vaquero Supreme said...

Again, in Michigan: a woman was arrested for planting a vegetable garden in her front lawn. Law enforcement doesn't have better things to do? Some fascist HOA Nazi neighbor must've called the dumb cops on this poor woman.

America has been an incipient shitshow since the 70s. I think it tipped into a full-on shitshow in 2008, when Barack O'BaitAndSwitch bailed out the banks.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Violence is my middle name said...

America has always been willing to sacrifice the weak to protect the "strong" and privileged. Sacrifice Native Americans in the name of Manifest Destiny and to provide more land for white landowners and speculators. Sacrifice Afro-Americans so that white elitist plantation owners could stay in power and add to their bank accounts. Middle and lower class men have been sacrificed for centuries in American wars of expansion. Sacrifice is 2nd nature to us - as long as its not me being offered up.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

True. My problem is I always get my hopes up...like maybe the pandemic would knock some sense into people. I get let down every time. Ya think I’d know better by now. Always get a lot out of the blog. Thanks!

6:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Vaquero-

Not clear why the cops didn't gun her down like a dog. I'm getting frustrated at the increased softening of police personnel. ps: Obama himself was a shit show, preceded by a # of other shit shows.

mb

6:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: similar situation:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/05/08/off-duty-officer-body-slams-upset-walmart-shopper-who-refuses-wear-mask-store/?hpid=hp_national1-8-12_walmart606pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans&itid=hp_national1-8-12_walmart606pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans

Body-slam? How lame. Was the officer not carrying a gun? This is so annoying...

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Portia said...

https://www.amazon.com/How-Do-Nothing-Resisting-Attention-ebook/dp/B07FLNFRGK/

Jenny Odell
How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy


MAJORLY Wafer. A new monastic model too. Since we're obliged in these times ....

Portia

10:21 PM  
Blogger Janet D said...

I'd like to do a data check with other Wafers...every single photo of a lockdown protest that I've seen has shown only white people. This despite the fact that the lockdowns/job losses have impacted the minority communities much harder. (https://www.usnews.com/news/economy/articles/2020-04-03/young-and-minority-workers-feeling-first-effects-of-coronavirus-unemployment; https://ktvz.com/money/2020/05/08/devastating-job-losses-heres-who-got-hit-the-hardest/).

Ditto for the protest videos/letters (which have a profile picture), etc...every one I've seen has been for/about angry (usually middle aged or older) white people.
Does anyone know or have evidence of minorities protesting? Or is solely a white thing? (just curious...altho, if my observations are correct, it's rather telling..)

P.S. Personal observation: people in this country have **utterly** & **completely** lost their shit.

P.P.S. The US now has 33% of the world's Covid cases & 28% of the deaths (with ~5% of the world's population). Cases are increasing ~30K/day. And we're opening nearly everything back up now and Covid tests are still far & few between almost everywhere....What could go wrong?

10:28 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

The COVID Pandemic: In many ways I’ve concluded it’s a scam: it’s real, but not nearly as virulent as we’re led to believe. From what I’ve gathered, Fauci, who seems to have a checkered history, helped fund the lab in Wuhan. Doctors are being “encouraged” to list COVID on death certificates whether or not it was the cause of death. Project 201, held in Oct. 2019, sponsored by John Hopkins and the Gates foundation, was a trial run on a Corona Virus Pandemic. Vaccines, which usually take at least 18 mos. to develop, will be rolled out shortly, some using untested technologies. A global economic slowdown had already started in August and social distancing conveniently stopped protests throughout the world. The U.K.s Neil Ferguson, who modeled the number of deaths (about which he was totally wrong) and advised the lock-down, was enjoying trysts with his married girlfriend and had to resign. Our noble leaders when gathered together to give us updates don't wear masks. Rolling out the untested 5G is considered critical work. My head is spinning. A good overall interview addressing many of these things can be found here:

https://londonreal.tv/robert-f-kennedy-jr-my-fight-against-mandatory-vaccinations-big-pharma-and-dr-fauci/

10:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sar-

Speculation floats around us like dandelion spores. Personally, I have no way of sorting thru the confusion and conflicting info. It's just my guess, but it seems like the virus practically came outta nowhere, is quite serious (considering infected rates and death rates), and will probably be w/us for a long while, even if in attenuated form. I don't see it as some sort of plot, but again, does anyone really know anything? My doctor says that masks won't protect people; that they are basically placebos. What will protect people is social distancing, which is why hi-density cities, like NY and Mexico City, have the highest #s of deaths.

Janet-

Just a guess, but the virus has affected minority communities much worse than white ones, and this might be why people of color are not protesting lockdowns. Lockdowns mean social distancing, and that, imo, is the only real protection we have.

Portia-

Thanks for the ref. This bk sounds like it is definitely in the Wafer/NMI mold. Altho I doubt it will make much of an impact on the frenetic turkey world any more than my Twilight bk did. But sanity is always welcome.

mb

11:09 PM  
Anonymous door said...

I read two articles about the corona virius that I think other people might find interesting. They are Testing Times by Ann Jones at Tomdispatch and Why the Corona Virius is so confusing by Ed Yong at The Atantic.Thanks

12:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

door-

Thanks for the refs. Do you think you cd provide the links?

mb

6:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Some signs that the US is being eclipsed:

1. We have an actual doofus in the White House. He recommended using Chlorox to counteract the virus.

2. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/09/politics/us-leadership-coronavirus-intl/index.html

3. The IMF recently stated that economic growth is threatened. They don't seem to realize that growth is the problem, not the solution. De-growth, and a steady-state economy, is what we need to save the planet and live sensible lives. Of course, we will need to find a solution for the millions now unemployed, but growth ain't it.

It is likely that this decade will witness a severe loss of American hegemony.

mb

7:18 AM  
Blogger Mike Kelly said...

Hi MB and Wafers:

The author of the article linked below, David Quammen, interviews scientists from around the world to help explain why SARS COVID-2 and its cousins are here to stay. You can listen to the podcast if you don't want to read.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/05/11/why-werent-we-ready-for-the-coronavirus

After reading this, I believe the current coronavirus should be renamed the Globalization Disease. Millions will die so we can keep up the ruse of a global economy.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Yeah, Europeans used to think that your war machine and your ghetto scene were a bulwark against the Commniss. You almost had me there, Belman.

As for the conspiracy theories about the virus, I guess an easy explanation is that in the 21st century there must be a conspiracy theory on any subject. What the theories on the virus don't reveal (other than a fear of the threat of China) is the purpose behind unleashing the virus upon the world.

If I may groundlessly speculate myself, it seems as if we're tippy-toeing to the edge of a situation similar to that which occurred during the Black Death, where the injured, ignorant and confused decided that The Jews® were to blame, and so they attacked the ghettos.

Who will they attack tomorrow?

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

For a change an actual good news story.

The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/may/09/the-real-lord-of-the-flies-what-happened-when-six-boys-were-shipwrecked-for-15-months?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Copy_to_clipboard

Made me reflect on how insane our culture is. Preppers prepare for catastrophe assuming that they will be completely on their own and assume that everyone else will be a danger.

I wonder how much we think of the way people behave has been shaped by a serious misunderstanding and misreading of human nature amplified and reinforced constantly by the modern zeitgeist of capitalism and media.

I used to do a lot of backcountry hiking canoeing backpacking. Every time we ran into a difficult situation like someone breaking a bone or wrecking their boat everyone pitched in to help.

Bur then these were Canadians not Americans.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al-

I *did* have you, because that's what the Western European countries certainly believed during 1945-89. But let's look at it more closely. After 1989, KGB files were open for a few yrs to Western historians, and what they discovered was that Soviet 'expansionism'--think of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, etc.--was actually an attempt to protect Russian borders, NOT to take over the world or Western Europe. Of course there was meddling in various elections (Greece, Italy); but Russia's real fear, it turns out, was not the US; it was Germany. They had hardly forgotten Stalingrad, and they saw a united Germany as the No. 1 threat. But the West didn't know that prior to 1989, and events such as Khrushchev bellowing "we will bury you," or planting missiles in Cuba, didn't exactly help. The West did not understand that having satellite states was a bid for protection, not expansion. It seemed reasonable to believe that Russia had imperial designs (the more so since we did; 'containment' had gotten quite aggressive, as we all know).

As for who will get blamed for the virus: of course the Jews; historically speaking, they inevitably get blamed for anything and everything. However, this time we can probably add blacks and Hispanics into the mix.

mb

2:07 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

@JanetD- Maybe you can explicate what you find telling about the lack of 'people of color' or whatever the correct phrasing is when it comes to lockdown protests?

DrB has one good point- POC communities have suffered more than others from this virus, they usually live in tighter proximity to family and friends and neighbors, and they know this isn't a game. A large number of health care workers are POC, so word gets around. I work with a variety of 'races' and the African Americans and Hispanics have been on top of best health practices from the beginning, and have been dismayed at the laxness of Whites.

I have two ideas: one, the overwhelming majority of 'essential workers' are POC. They need to go to work, and have no sick time. Most whites have BS jobs with benefits but that don't do much for the real economy of food and health care and transit, etc., so they can play around on their computers from home and go to protests dressed up like schlubbo warriors.

Two, need we spend time wondering why few POCs think that dressing up like commandos and flying revolution/treason flags and walking around carrying loaded weapons while yelling at police is not the smartest thing to do?

https://www.history.com/news/black-panthers-gun-control-nra-support-mulford-act

https://www.thedailybeast.com/heres-what-happens-when-a-black-man-open-carries-gun

2:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan D-

Relevant to yr last pt is this hilarious video by Chris Rock:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj0mtxXEGE8

mb

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Terrapin said...

My movie recommendation is last year's *Parasite*

"The deep tragedy that Parasite makes us feel is that radical love is almost impossibly hard in the time of capitalism — but that it’s also the only thing that will save us"
https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/bong-joon-ho-love-in-the-time-of-capitalism/

5:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

I'm telling you guys, Americans are classy!:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/08/us/ny-nurse-steals-from-covid-patient/index.html

On other fronts: Little Richard died. I loved his songs...

mb

7:10 PM  
Blogger Xair said...


Not only are they classy, but brilliant!!!!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KXWTQobaMaQ

10:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Xair-

And when I say the country consists of morons, people laugh!

mb

10:44 PM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

I'm a grocery store worker in Milwaukee County in Wisconsin, and I've always been a huge loner socially (the reasons why are very central to this blog), so I count myself in the small handful of people whose lives haven't really changed at all since the outbreak of the pandemic emergency. What I know of the local impact of virus from what I've heard (a co-worker whose friend is a nurse at a major hospital) is that the disease is disproportionately hospitalizing older, overweight African-Americans (and based what I'm hearing from the mainstream media, I would suppose that many of them started out with pre-existing health problems).

I talked to my landlady on the telephone, and she told me that nobody in my admittedly smallish apartment building has become seriously sick that she knows of. Recently on the schedule at work, I saw that three employees were listed as being on a leave of absence, and it's conceivable they got sick with the virus. If so, I don't know how sick. I probably would hear something about it if any of them were to die.

When I first heard Chris Martenson's warnings about this burgeoning pandemic back in early January, I figured it was an incontrovertible given that the mean-spirited, socially atomized, "I got mine" ethos of American society would severely exacerbate the toll the disease took on this country. This would appear to be proven correct every day now.

And as badly as Trump has been handling the situation, it's hard to imagine that Schmiden would represent any real improvement. He's even further along in senile dementia than Trump, and the only way a candidate as embarrassingly weak as him could be the nominee is the same reason the USSR towards its end put chronically-ill geriatrics such as Andropov and Chernenko in the country's most powerful position: To keep the batty gerontocracy firmly in control of the party/country.

11:52 PM  
Blogger WasLurkinNowLivin said...

Dear Great Seer of the Western Hemisphere,

Amid the backdrop of growing anti-China sentiment, both in the media and amongst the general population, it donned on me that Chinese internment camps, like Japanese internment camps during WW2, might be a possibility not too far down the road.. Joking around with my mother in law(chinese) I suggested that she transfer all of her assets to me(white guy) so that I may hold them for her(for a small fee of course) until her release, if ever that should come. Dam this ingrained hustling, I'm afraid it's a feature of my half American blood.. We both had a good chuckle but I think the question is still worth asking someone more knowledgeable. So, do you GSWH see any possibility of this occurring, and if so how much??? Cheers.

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Cherith Cutestory said...

For God sake, people are behaving like savages because they had to wait for their ice cream:

One day after reopening, ice cream parlor closes to public after employees harassed by customers:
https://www.boston25news.com/news/one-day-after-reopening-ice-cream-parlor-closes-public-after-employees-harassed-by-customers/FN7MEX3UYJE2LMHXB3NOFF6ITE/


“One of my best workers quit yesterday at the end of her shift, she stuck it through her shift,” he explained. “But the words she was called and the language, you wouldn’t even say in a men’s locker room. And to say it to a 17-year-old kid, they should be ashamed of themselves.”

According to [the owner], it was posted online that all orders had to be placed one hour in advance. Still, he claimed, customers didn’t listen and instead took their anger out on his employees when the parlor got busy and staff could not fill orders right away.

6:17 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Deaths of despair in America could increase by thousands as a result of the fallout from the coronavirus crisis.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/america-coronavirus-overdoses-suicide-mental-health-a9505966.html

6:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cherith-

As I keep telling you all, Americans are a class act. "Grace under pressure" is hardly part of their repertoire.

WasLurkin-

1st, let us acknowledge that I am indeed the GSWH. This is known far and wide across the known universe. Also that this is the GBOE, but not just on earth--even in the far reaches of the galaxies.

2nd, don't charge your mother-in-law a small fee. Pull back from hustling, wh/is disgusting.

3rd, I doubt we're gonna put Chinese people in internment camps.

mb

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Gina Goldberg said...

MB- boy! Americans are classy as shit!

Terrapin- thanks for the "Parasite" essay, much deeper meditation on anti capitalism than I assumed. will check out the film tonight

10:17 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

One of my favorite movies is Scent of a Woman, I really identified with the character Charlie who is on scholarship at an elite boarding school. I always wanted an "elite" education not so I cld swindle and hustle but to be in touch with the best qualities in life to "feast on wheat (MB)" instead of corn syrup. Here's dialogue from one of my favorite scenes:

Lt. Col. Frank Slade:
Haven't you heard? CONSCIENCE is daihed.

Charlie Simms:
No, I haven't heard.

Lt. Col. Frank Slade:
Well, then, take the f***in' WAX outta your ears! GROW UP! It's f*** your buddy. Cheat on your wife. Call your mother on Mother's Day. Charlie, it's all shit.
(fortunately for me I have a great relationship with my Wafer mom so a call remains special)

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Racer said...

Elon Musk predicts human language will be obsolete in as few as five years https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/elon-musk-joe-rogan-podcast-language-neuralink-grimes-baby-a9506451.html

How much weed has Musk been smokin?

1:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

All the News that Fits Our Views; Plus, We're Crooks:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/05/10/russian-journalists-accuse-ny-times-of-stealing-stories-that-earned-it-pulitzer-prize-for-second-time/

Racer-

He's basically a techno-douchebag.

mb

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Krakhed said...

Today is Mothers Day. I was pondering this-- while it's nice to recognize an important family role, should I really be thankful/grateful for the person who ripped me out of the void of nonexistence to arrive in late 20th/21st century USA with a declining empire gradually destroying itself?

Work/life conditions have become more and more pointless/despairing as American inspired capitalism drains the humanity out of its populace.

Lately I've been agreeing with the thinking of antinatalists. I'd prefer never to have been born.

I guess I'm a hypocrite, I'm glad that my mother is still alive. Sorry for the rant.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Do u think the isolation/alienation brought on by fb, Twitter, etc. was intentional or a side effect of the hustle & bustle of Amerikkkan culture

5:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sarah-

Not a side effect; just part of the hustling ethos. We can't have enuf hustling crap in our lives. Next step will be installation of cell fones in our brains--AI labs are actually working on it. Check out essays in QOV on the never-ending expanding econo-techno-frontier. It's what American lives are abt (and not much else). "Progress" is actually self-destruction.

mb

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Yoogoogulator said...

https://www.unz.com/announcement/facebook-bans-the-unz-review/

6:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Fred-

Sorry, this blog is big on evidence, and I don't think you have any regarding the karma and 'past lives' of another Wafer. Let's concentrate on the American collapse, after which there may be no future lives. (And if so, that will be well-documented, I'm guessing.)

mb

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Gloria Lamb said...

Pity is too generous


'The World Is Taking Pity on Us'


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/08/opinion/coronavirus-trump.html

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Wayne Erskine said...

Hegel's face mask guarantees Absolute protection ;-)

https://www.redbubble.com/i/mask/Hegel-Phenomenology-of-spirit-by-Elenchus/21773418.9G0D8?asc=u


Hegel's face mask, and Pascal's death mask

https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2014/4/10/mask-blaise-pascal-missing/

Some philosophical humor

9:01 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

A woman who was on the Steve Wilkos show. You all should hear her story. She thought her baby was being abused. She went on the Wilkos show to get justice because she felt CPS was taking to long. She failed her polygraph. Turns out the so called cigarette burns were ringworm.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdcWXl42uonZRNDxInf0PSGJIpQcEoTDX

9:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cube-

Honestly, I just love Americans.

mb

9:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Edward-

Re: participating in this blog, here are a couple of rules you need to observe:

1. Send messages only to present post. No one reads the older stuff.
2. Post only once every 24 hrs.

Thank you,
mb

5:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

The there's this:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/10/anglo-american-coronavirus-crisis

5:36 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

So the financial intervention is working. Imagine- you pump trillions of dollars into Wall Street, and Wall Street is doing great! Who'da thunk? And soon there will be yet another round of consolidation as small businesses collapse, housing gets bought up by more and more hedge funds leading to another jump in homelessness, etc.

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-bailout-is-working-for-the-rich

Let the ransacking and looting continue. Wall Street knows that it's over and that the only thing left is grab as much as you can, hide it away, and be prepared to spend time in your 'safe space' when all us poor schlubs realize that there is nothing left but the fight for food and shelter.

And for fun, let's poke around the bloated visage of Elon Musk for a few minutes:

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/05/elon-musk-grimes-baby-population-democracy

6:49 AM  
Anonymous Jones said...

An important new article centered on Steven Hayes's new book The Liberated Mind, but also a more general reflection on how cultural evolution can result in a new form of consciousness. https://evolution-institute.org/a-new-form-of-consciousness/

https://www.amazon.com/Liberated-Mind-Pivot-Toward-Matters/dp/073521400X

10:23 AM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

What happens when you’re a student inspired by the teachings of Chris Hedges?

Answer: Indefinite Solitary Confinement

Chris Hedges on The Jimmy Dore Show (April 25, 2020)

It’s a shame as his work in the prisons should be commendable, but the pied piper aspect undermines it.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Dunn said...

Important/disturbing ep. of 60 Minutes on how the Trumpi Admin cut NIH funding to leading virus researcher after Trumpi watched a Fox News segment claiming virus is from a Chinese lab (0 evidence) instead of bat & wet market (overwhelming evidence)

https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/trump-administration-coronavirus-vaccine-researcher-covid-19-cure-60-minutes/

2:21 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

It seems to me that post-1989 revelations about Soviet intentions are, while related, nevertheless a separate discussion.

My initial comment was prompted years ago by hearing a French person refer derisively to the notion that POTUS was her leader because she is from the "free world."

Keep in mind that the French were so worried about a Soviet invasion that DeGaulle pulled France out of NATO. Furthermore, I suspect that Greeks being tortured by the Colonels' junta had few warm and fuzzy feelings about US-sponsored "freedom."

I grew up knowing nothing but the Cold War, and have to admit to being genuinely frightened by such propaganda as "The Manchurian Candidate" as a kid, but by the time I was around ten years old I no longer saw the USSR as a threat to anything. While we are immersed in US culture, we don't have nearly the same exposure to the type of brainwashing to which US citizens are subject, so fake dangers such as the Red Scare don't have quite the same effect on us as they may have on those raised within the USA.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

My goodness. Calvin Coolidge sold heroin. Why slap me silly. The things you learn.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

BH-

Evidence? Link?

al-

Well, we cd keep going back and forth on this, but I think my statement regarding the KGB files, and the real fear Western Europe had of the USSR, holds.

k-

Well, some of the early stuff (pre-preacher) *was* inspiring; it's a pity he subsequently went off the rails. The Pied Piper factor is, in fact, quite real.

mb

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Sebastian said...

José Ortega y Gasset giving a perfect explanation of the decline (and present fall) of Western Civilisation in 1930.

“My thesis is this: the very perfection with which the XIXth Century gave an organisation to certain orders of existence has caused the masses benefited thereby to consider it, not as an organised, but as a natural system. Thus is explained and defined the absurd state of mind revealed by these masses; they are only concerned with their own well-being, and at the same time they remain alien to the cause of that well-being. As they do not see, behind the benefits of civilisation, marvels of invention and construction which can only be maintained by great effort and foresight, they imagine that their role is limited to demanding these benefits peremptorily, as if they were natural rights. In the disturbances caused by scarcity of food, the mob goes in search of bread, and the means it employs is generally to wreck the bakeries. This may serves as a symbol of the attitude adopted, on a greater and more complicated scale, by the masses of today towards the civilisation by which they are supported.”
— José Ortega y Gasset, 1930.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Pantouflard said...

C'est un jour comme un autre aux États-Unis :

"Some clashes over coronavirus-driven restrictions have turned violent, even deadly. A McDonald’s customer in Oklahoma City shot employees after being asked to leave because of new rules, according to officials, and prosecutors say a Family Dollar security guard was shot and killed in Flint, Michigan this month after telling a customer her child had to wear a mask to enter."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/05/07/mcdonalds-oklahoma-city-shooting-coronavirus/?tid=lk_inline_manual_21&itid=lk_inline_manual_21

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/05/04/security-guards-death-might-have-been-because-he-wouldnt-let-woman-store-without-mask/?tid=lk_inline_manual_21&itid=lk_inline_manual_21

5:53 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

re: who/what virus is exposing about who we are (sacrifice the 'weak' (btw just b/c someone recovers from any illness doesn't mean they're a fighter or 'strong')

https://www.register-herald.com/health/fox-news-pundit-encourages-americans-to-get-out-there-and-have-some-courage/article_160ca994-34ac-5c41-b8a7-5130db8efda7.html

https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/coronavirus/dozens-of-people-pack-into-castle-rock-restaurant-in-face-of-public-health-order

Wldnt this b a twist vp pence succumbs to virus but not b4 coughing on trump who also kicks it and we end up with President Pelosi

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Just another day in the US of A-

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-rocket-launcher-sandwich-shop-north-carolina-coronavirus-covid-20200511-pzixtzc47beztfvw2exv65qxr4-story.html

7:22 PM  
Anonymous Parnet said...

MB, I think BH is referring to this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcotic_Farms_Act_of_1929

Not really what BH implied, but I guess there's something.

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Chiara said...

"NEW: When the expired parts of the PATRIOT Act come back for a vote in the Senate this week, they’re going to include a push to expand surveillance authorities into warrantless collection of your search and browsing history. For starters."

https://www.thedailybeast.com/mitch-mcconnell-moves-to-expand-bill-barrs-surveillance-powers

8:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn-

Why weren't these bubbas equipped w/a nuclear device? This is also nice:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/ny-south-carolina-white-men-armed-forced-entry-black-family-20200510-4xn5l3q6gnaljglne6xlwrazmm-story.html

Gunnar-

My pref is for Tulsi Gabbard; altho I retain a soft spot for Herman Cain and his 999 Plan.

mb

9:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Is this country absurd, or what?

9:24 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

James Howard Kunstler kind of hopes that Donald Trump keeps a campaign promise to declare national bankruptcy to keep the rising frustration and anger of the public over a broken social contract from turning violent - as though lots of people aren't already violent.

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/the-sum-of-all-broken-promises/

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Joe sixpack said...

Here's a great music vid that sums up this sad excuse of a "culture". I kinda pity this upcoming generation; they're not going to have a chance in hell. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VASywEuqFd8

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

So Bloomberg is still paying the cleaning ladies even if they're not working:
https://www.bloomberg.com/company/press/bloomberg-lp-to-expedite-payments-to-vendors-to-support-small-businesses-continuing-to-pay-hourly-workers-impacted-by-the-pandemic/

He was quickly savaged by Warren and the rest of the identity politics industrial complex but I wonder what would have happened if he had won the nomination. Bloomberg, of course, is a total Wall Street capitalist, but I believe he would have brought some level of competence to the White House and perhaps slowed the decline... But Americans don't seem interested at all in delaying the collapse! They seem hell-bent on accelerating it and electing the biggest clowns they can find! I guess that can be explained by what Dr Berman said apropos Toynbee.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

The CIA coined the pejorative term ”conspiracy theorist” to discredit anyone who questioned the utterly ridiculous Warren Commission report: https://steemit.com/history/@thelastheretik/cia-coined-and-weaponized-the-label-conspiracy-theory

Today, anyone who questions official explanations is labeled a conspiracy theorist, complete with tinfoil hat. Since I’m a conspiracy realist, I understand the frauds and deceptions that are sold to the public and now automatically assume that any narrative originating from TPTB is a lie unless proven otherwise, including that about COVID-19.

I find it mind-boggling that anyone believes anything those in authority say when it’s been proven over and over again that they lie to us on a regular basis about everything. The only thing you can ever know for sure is that something might be happening. A little research will prove that the COVID narrative is another fraud being perpetrated on us. However, if you question the narrative, you’re accused of wanting to kill your grandmother. As a result, people are accepting totalitarian control measures that would’ve been unthinkable even a few months ago. Patrick Henry said, ”Give me liberty, or give me death.” Instead we have Welcome to Slavelandia.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Buck up gringos!

Here's a video to raise your spirits:

Jimmy Durante and Betty Garrett (Irene Lorenzo from "Archie Bunker") "Any State in the 48 is Great"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1acup-A3w4

2:03 PM  
Anonymous opera fan said...

From Puccini's Turandot - with a few word changes. Beautiful and humorous at the same time. We can either cry or laugh. Why not laugh? Nothing we can do to change the situation. Might as well enjoy some good satire.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL52AuF4QzY&authuser=0

2:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Malleus-

Actually, Americans are too clueless to realize that a collapse is in progress.

Check out the TV series "Schitt's Creek." Very funny. But the funniest aspect is that while purporting to be a parody of American life, it's just a frank *portrait* of American life. The characters are morons and narcissistic douche bags. These are your neighbors. No parody necessary!

mb

3:03 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Article by a US Army Officer (who was deployed in Afghanistan) on Memorial Day and US Patriotism:

Celebrated to Death: Memorial Day Is Killing Us
https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/05/12/celebrated-death-memorial-day-killing-us

Excerpts: "And here’s the thing with Memorial Day: my memories don’t resemble the tidy sacrifices that this country memorializes on that day each year. Soldiers know the slaughterhouse; America knows chicken nuggets—lifeless things processed and commoditized, marketed and sold on the cheap, and always worth whatever they cost.
Twenty-first-century American patriotism is crass, slippery, and gross. It isn't about moral courage or speaking out; it's about protecting and preserving corporate image and individual reputations. American patriotism is sad-button Facebook emoticons and 20%-off Memorial Day mattress sales...Soldiers and veterans don't need priority boarding, 10% discounts at gimmicky chain restaurants, or a few crinkled bills stuffed into a charity's coffee can. What they need is a nation that can find the courage and conviction to stop misusing their service. For 18 Memorial Days, the American public has been complicit in allowing our troops to be sent into a series of wars that everyone knows to be costly and self-defeating, while simultaneously maintaining the audacious idea that, in doing so, they "support the troops." Believe me, that’s not patriotism. The most intimate betrayal is to be sent to kill or die for nothing by your countrymen."

Himanshu

3:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Himan-

Some time ago the Wash Post did a series of articles on how the war in Afghanistan was a total fuckup. In 1971 the Pentagon Papers revealed that as early as 1965, Robt McNamara knew the war in VN was unwinnable, and yet he continued sending American boys to their deaths for several more yrs. But the real culprits are the American people, a collection of clueless zhlobs who keep cheering all these wars on. Patrick Henry revised: "Give me zhlobs, and give me death!"

mb

4:28 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

@Joe Sixpack- Ha! Hadn't thought about Moby in a long time. A great example of American hustle. An underground DJ/musician who pre-sold every single song on his 'PLAY' album for commercials before it even hit the streets. He didn't cause it, but he sure cashed in on the money to be had by being an 'outsider' artist.

https://www.wired.com/2002/05/moby/

So it's rare but there is some decent attempts at journalism still going on. Here's a look at the high number of Blacks in the first 100 Covid-19 deaths in Chicago that actually packs a ton of important elements and details about the failures of the US health care system and the pervasive racism that lives on virulently, dare I say-

https://features.propublica.org/chicago-first-deaths/covid-coronavirus-took-black-lives-first/

@Sarasvati- As they say, just because you are paranoid doesn't mean that they aren't after you. The problem I have with conspiracy theories is that people find them everywhere!!! Even where there are much more reasonable and effective ways to explain something (sort of an Occam's razor approach). To slide into the possibilities sideways, conspiracies usually involve a narrative structure that may not actually be reflective of reality-

https://aeon.co/essays/let-s-ditch-the-dangerous-idea-that-life-is-a-story

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Will LeRoy said...

"I did some research on Elon Musks family a few weeks back. I find it hard to believe that his father Errol Musk could transition from successful engineer to real estate developer/owner of a emerald mine w/o being closely tied to the apartheid govt in South Africa at the time."

Alan Holmes of Politico

https://twitter.com/oh_HOLMES/status/1260275139817734144?s=19

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Lioni said...

Not shocked (but of course) even the most left lawmaking figures aren't really pushing for any tax on billion dollar wealth estates, or excess corporate profiting, or financial transaction taxing, or anything like that on the .01% of our society that will increase its hold of power from this crisis. Nope, at best the mainstream left prioritizes expanded welfare spending schemes over changing the power structure. Shocker!

8:03 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

I predict this will be a bumper (ha ha!) crop year for traffic fatalities here in "Silicon Valley" as there are more cars on the road, almost close to normal, and there's a lot of anger out there. I'm back to 100% on my sneaky cyclist's survival tricks and I have a lot of 'em. So we'll go back to normal on traffic, but since we're already well ahead on deaths even with the shutdown, we're going to rack up about double the "normal" number.

I want to come up with something that's a shaped charge that you slap on a car door as you walk or ride by, sticks with magnets and that arms it, then it goes off making a jet of molten metal that destroys the car and its crew. A tool for the modern-day partisan against modern-day tanks.

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Puddy said...

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/soros-has-faith-trump-will-destroy-himself-fears-weakened-xi-sees-existential-risk-eu

I love the way Soros pretends to care; I think he believes in his goodness.

4:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Film rec: Excellent Waferfilm: "The Laundromat" (Meryl Streep)--don' miss!

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Edward West said...

well if you think times are bad now... 'Russian may be the only language that contains two words for cannibalism. One — trupoyedstvo — denotes the eating of corpses, the other — lyudoyedstvo — killing in order to consume the victim.'

How apocalyptic is now?
The sudden death of ways of life has been a regular occurrence throughout history

https://unherd.com/2020/05/are-we-living-through-an-apocalypse-now/

John Gray in UnHerd

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Bh said...

Hello, the information about Calvin Coolidge was from the poster named Eric Jensen. He was sharing he learned this in Mccoys The Politics of Heroin.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Another fine example of American classiness in their respect and adherence to international law and diplomatic norms

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-52630089

Last year an American CIA agent was driving on the wrong side of the road in England and killed a 19 year old on there motorcycle.

She eventually fled to America on a military plane.

And now of course United States is refusing to extradite her as she had no immunity except being an American citizen and spy!

Meanwhile of course they are trying to extradite Julian Assange to America to face treason charges even though he is not an American citizen.

What class indeed.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Al Rockwell said...

Man! I'd also be very interested in seeing MB's library. More diverse than many thinkers, I suspect!

http://www.openculture.com/2017/03/watch-umberto-eco-walk-through-his-immense-private-library.html

2:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Al-

Sadly, I had to sell off 1/3 of it when I moved to Mexico. Just cdn't afford the extra shipping cost.

Wafers: v. gd. article by Jill Lepore on the gov't murder of students at Kent State and Jackson State in 1970, in the New Yorker of May 4. (Most Americans believed that the students got what they deserved. Most hated not our involvement in Vietnam, but the students who protested the involvement. What a fabulous country!)

mb

3:14 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Dan, thanks for your post. I know this blog isn’t about conspiracies, so these will be my last comments. Everyone needs to do their own research, keep an open mind, throw a wide net, and decide for themselves. I concluded years ago that there are things going on about which we know nothing, conspiracies, but making people think they don’t exist allows TPTB to manipulate us. Here are satiracal looks at two major tragic events:
https://www.corbettreport.com/911-a-conspiracy-theory/
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=bill+hicks+jfk

The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffen about the founding of the Federal Reserve is well-worth reading, check out Operation Northwoods, and also the attack on the USS Liberty: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/07/26/the-israeli-attack-on-the-uss-liberty-paul-craig-roberts/

Finally, when we ask why these things aren’t generally known, please note that there are oodles of whistleblowers, and they are almost always marginalized or worse. The murder of Jerry Epstein should’ve rung every alarm bell on Planet Earth, especially because his blackmail operation involved many of the wealthiest, most famous and powerful people in the world; instead we’ve all gone back to sleep and are now in a panic about COVID. Occam’s razor be damned.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

MB, Joe Sixpack,

Here's another video on the absurdity of modern American culture. Of course, there's a tacit plea to stop the mining of rare earth minerals required for all these phones at the end.

https://youtu.be/XhR_zKUn6jc

Ironic, though, I'm posting this on a two-year old phone ...

7:03 PM  
Blogger Cyrillia Juniper said...

Wafers & MB:

I recommend Jeremy Scahill's latest Intercepted podcast where he interviews Pulitzer Prize winning historian David Blight about Reconstruction after the Civil War and its contemporary echoes. They talk about many of the issues addressed by our GSWH in his decline of America trilogy, particularly ch 4 of DAA. We've always had a white supremacist party. The Democrats and the Republicans just switched sides.

The last third of the podcast takes up the New Deal and whether such "radical" thinking would be possible with today's cast of politicians. The interviewee is historian Greg Grandin, 2020's Pulitzer Prize winner for nonfiction. Here's the link: https://theintercept.com/2020/05/13/what-reconstruction-and-the-new-deal-can-teach-us-about-what-comes-after-the-pandemic-presidency/.

I'm not sure why Scahill hasn't won a Pulitzer yet, but it's probably only a matter of time.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

You all should watch this episode of the twilight zone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpSEWHVyDhc

9:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cyr-

Thanks for refs. My discussion of the Civ War is in ch. 4 of WAF.

Ed-

Real gd, thanks. I esp. liked the way the artist portrayed American faces: dumb as shit. However, film doesn't mention that use of cell fones is literally killing children and teens in the Congo, who die from mining cobalt.

mb

9:45 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Dr. B, I think Epstein is a great example of when a conspiracy is the simplest, cleanest answer. Occam lives to see another day. But it’s a simple, closed cast of characters. Any decent screenplay writer could handle it.

Long ago I knew someone who would collect TIME magazine for 6-8 months, but not read it. Then he would sit down one day and work his way through them. He said that read this way, at one sitting, many news stories take on the quality of a short story or novel. He could track a story over months and watch the narrative arc play itself out (he was a screen writer).

With that in mind, I may have found an interesting first scene for a play or movie, as animals fill the gaps left by humans staying inside. Goat herds as crowd control. Ibsen would have loved it:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/13/goats-escape-san-jose-video

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Pat Chouli said...

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/12/us/politics/kushner-election-november.html?smid=fb-share

So if this really does comes true, and the election really is delayed or postponed, would that not be a Declinist’s dream come true? Go Trumpi!

Oh but I’m afraid this is simply just another tale told by an idiot, eg. The New York Times, full of sound and fury”.... Ya know? IOW half-baked electioneering ploy, red meat “cooked” up by the NYT—by and for “centrist liberals,”— so that their core audience can bathe (or simmer) in their own juices, beat off to the chortle of their own self-righteous indignation, then stay all hot and bothered until Election Day in November . Insuring that, when the smoke finally clears, in the end nothing will change (signifying nothing). Wash, Rinse, Repeat. Blah, Blah, Blah.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pat-

Election or no election, Schmiden or Trumpola, the US is going down. However, better to have the election and have Trumpaloni win, then cancel the election in 2024 and declare himself permanent president.

mb

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Orchids Lover said...

The Conspiracy Theorists Are Winning

America is losing its grip on enlightenment values and reality itself. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/shadowland-introduction/610840/

Informative essay of our stupidity, flawed that it assumes we held serious Enlightenment values, ever.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Kells said...

AMLO continues to disappoint. Any reports from the streets from our GSWH Mexican blog leader?

https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/amlo-decrees-continued-policing-by-military/


https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mexico-military-authorized-president-lopez-obrador-4-more-years-domestic-policing-cartel-crime/

9:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kells-

I agree w/u on AMLO. Not what I had expected. Very quiet now: Mex City is a ghost town, and where I am it's abt 85% shut down. Only half the people wear masks.

Orchids-

We are watching the US going down the drain. The whole country is beating off. Abs. 0 is real now. We will be crippled beyond belief by 2030.

mb

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Hans Castorp said...

Screen New Deal -
Under Cover of Mass Death, Andrew Cuomo Calls in the Billionaires to Build a High-Tech Dystopia

"It has taken some time to gel, but something resembling a coherent Pandemic Shock Doctrine is beginning to emerge. Call it the “Screen New Deal.” Far more high-tech than anything we have seen during previous disasters, the future that is being rushed into being as the bodies still pile up treats our past weeks of physical isolation not as a painful necessity to save lives, but as a living laboratory for a permanent — and highly profitable — no-touch future."

https://theintercept.com/2020/05/08/andrew-cuomo-eric-schmidt-coronavirus-tech-shock-doctrine/

11:27 AM  
Anonymous A.R. Bergstrom said...

Pat&Orchids&MB

File in the Misanthrope Dept."
After Wisconsin court ruling, crowds liberated and thirsty descend on bars. ‘We’re the Wild West,’ Gov. Tony Evers says.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/05/14/wisconsin-bars-reopen-evers/

All while Dr Faucci dreads resurgence et al. and Trumpo says he's wrong!

WE ARE NOT A SERIOUS COUNTRY.....

11:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

A.R.-

If you just keep in mind that the nation consists of degraded buffoons, everything becomes clear.

Hans-

See my reply to A.R.

mb

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Aguirre said...

This Philosopher Is Challenging Evolutionary Psychology: “evolutionary psychologists are thoughtful about these matters. But the attractiveness of evolutionary theory coupled with peoples’ ideological biases forces them to not be as careful as they might”
https://gizmodo.com/this-philosopher-is-challenging-all-of-evolutionary-psy-1842248835

On how Walter Benjamin's last work "Theses on the Philosophy of History" survived, and the fight between Hannah Arendt and Theodor Adorno to publish Benjamin's work https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/walter-benjamins-last-work/

2:35 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Not even remotely learning: For the past couple of months, my mom and I have been discussing the potential likelihood of the pandemic further normalizing screens and techno-fundamentalism and sharing our dismay at the difficulty of having this discussion with other Americans. Bad may be good, but obviously the badness of the situation remains. In a recent article at The Intercept, previously linked by Hans above, Naomi Klein looks at this subject through the lens of the shock doctrine. While she examines the actions of powerful players, our personal experiences indicate that The American People are already strongly onboard.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

k-

See WAF ch. 3, as technology as the hidden religion of Americans.

mb

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Craig Hawthorne said...

The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous

https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/weirdestpeopleintheworld

https://www.amazon.com/WEIRDest-People-World-Psychologically-Particularly/dp/0374173222/

Just ordered my copy. 1st read of these studies in a previous book recommended on this blog

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

More evidence of decline. Six misery measures are at or near historic peaks.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2020/05/13/6-misery-measures-at-historic-peaks/#7e8746191f57

4:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mark-

Cdn't run it. We have a half-pg-max rule on this blog.

Craig-

It might have been Ethan Watters, "Crazy Like Us." I take it 'psychologically peculiar' is a euphemism for degraded, debased, stupid, violent, narcissistic, cruel, empty, zombified, and completely full of shit.

mb

5:08 PM  
Anonymous AAron Crumbley said...

Question Wafers: What's the most life changing book you have ever read?

I was a music student, it just might have been "Silence" by John Cage

It opened my ears to listen!

5:20 PM  
Blogger Cyrillia Juniper said...

Apologies, MB, for citing the wrong book. After references to chapters 3 and 4 of WAF, sounds like it's time to revisit the whole book. Always worth doing IMHO.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous DrNothing said...

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/14/climate/trump-drinking-water-perchlorate.html

E.P.A. Opts Against Limits on Water Contaminant Tied to Fetal Damage

A new E.P.A. policy on perchlorate, which is used in rocket fuel, would revoke a 2011 finding that the chemical should be regulated.

Unhinged Empire

6:33 PM  
Blogger Penny Lane said...

Wafers! It’s two-months to the day since I arrived at the ashram after getting laid off and fleeing San Francisco – is it impolitic to say that I’m having, all things considered, a pretty awesome quarantine so far? Fresh air, sunshine, daily yoga and meditation, wildlife, birdsong, and simple, delicious healthy food. It’s not hard! The folks are lovely, some with struggles of their own, but for everyone here the decrepitude of American culture has been cheerfully accepted as a foregone conclusion, and the neo-monastic chill-out has been a godsend. Can't say that I miss the city at all.

I’d love it if my unemployment claim could wend its way through the works to result in actual income – but these things take time, apparently. Lots of time. At least it looks like the investor class will be okay – thank God. (https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/taibbi-covid-19-bailout-wall-street-997342)

The only thing besides financial anxiety and Covid to interrupt my reverie is the sound of ambient gunfire on our periphery, to be heard more days than not. Shotguns, semi-autos and the like. Perhaps we are surrounded by Good Country People, ala Flannery O’Connor (hilarious short story and all Wafers should read her) who just like to shoot. Or maybe they are sending out friendly reminders not to stumble too close to their weed grows. Fortunately I don’t need weed, guns, or a paycheck at the moment – as I’m benefitting from the Sanskrit Effect – please google, it’s awesome!

7:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Penny-

Gd to hear from u. Namaste.

Dr. Nothing-

That's what I call true destruction! I'm guessing we can expect a lot more. The whole nation is sliding down the drain.

Cyr-

Yrs ago, I memorized large sections of "Portnoy's Complaint." Maybe you can do the same w/WAF. ("And now, doctor, you know the worst thing I ever did. I fucked my own family's dinner.")

Aaron-

"Saving the Appearances," by Owen Barfield.

Mark-

I guess you didn't understand. Once again: we don't accept posts that are longer than half a page.

mb

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

This is interesting-

https://www.gq.com/story/kushner-too-much-testing

"The president's son-in-law allegedly claimed that too many tests and ventilators might hurt the stock market."

8:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn-

This is the kind of thing that gives Jews a bad name. Why hasn't someone water boarded the shmuck already?

mb

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Joshua Seabright said...

this memoir by close witness to Michael Moore's early biased activism is v brutal

"Following the release of the steaming dogpile of a movie, “Planet of the Humans,” a lot of people have been surprised to hear the details of Michael Moore’s reputational harakiri. Have to say, I was not.But you see, I knew Michael Moore before he was, you know, Michael Moore."

https://climatecrocks.com/2020/05/10/michael-me/

The progressive left has performed a collective harakiri.



8:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joshua-

Many thanks for this ref. I predicted the possibility of Moore turning himself into an 'industry' in my Twilight bk (2000). The dominant psychology of the US is hustling, and it happens across the political spectrum. Chris Hedges, for example, might properly be called Chris Hedges Inc. The idea is to 'brand' yrself w/some particular issue, and run w/it until you attain celebrity status. Of course, sometimes there is gd fallout from this ego-aggrandizement, such as Moore's "Roger & I," or "Sicko"--both excellent films. But as long as we are trapped in a hustling, ego-driven psychology, we shall not be able to escape from what is really a vicious circle. To organize yr life around attaining visibility, and the adoration of the crowd--which is not the same thing as genuine/legitimate recognition--is to be pursuing a spiritual dead end.

This problem is discussed in the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous, strangely enuf. At one pt, Bill Wilson writes that it doesn't matter if you are trying to dominate a political movement or a weekly sewing circle, the crux of the matter is self-promotion, which will finally drive you to drink. And the truth is that a gd % of the Hollywood stars that the American public worships are alcoholics and drug users, sex addicts w/a string of divorces, and so on. While Americans are worshipping these glamorous losers, the fact is that they (the stars) very often have miserable inner lives.

It's not that we shd reject money, power, sex, and ego; the real issue is: Who is in the driver's seat? Do you use these things, or do they use you? A casual look around the US provides the obvious answer. Bottom line: a life lived out of ego is no life at all.

mb

9:21 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Penny: I, too, love chanting! Are you in Oakland?

Aaron: In my teens I read two novels by Shellabarger given to me by my father – Prince of Foxes, where I was introduced to Pope Alexander VI, the Borgia pope and his children, and Captain from Castile, which started w/the Spanish Inquisition. Checked out the story lines in the library and never went to church again.

DrNothing: Yes, Trump and his administration – the second coming of Christ. Ya gotta love the Save the Fetus crowd!

9:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

Sorry, cdn't run it. We have a half-page-max rule on this blog. Pls reduce in size and re-send. Thank you.

mb

4:41 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Interesting information here on lockdowns vs. deaths:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/05/15/do-the-most-severe-lockdowns-coincide-to-the-highest-covid-19-death-rates/

I have no idea if the background stats or his analysis is legitimate however.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Tom Herzog said...

Thank's Dr. Berman,

I'll try to be brief. First, the virus is real. Just as during every flu-cold season four or five coronaviruses are floating around so this is yet another one; perhaps a bit more virulent.

The difference this time is that the capitalist U.S. establishment, having anticipated an impending "crash" to their economic system, are using this so-called Covid19 virus as a scapegoat for their failed system that serves the wealth of the top 10% but immiserates the bottom 90%, to deflect the ire of the working class away from the economy and onto a largely hyped "pandemic."

The obnoxious man in the Costco wiping his face on a clerk's shirt was I believe trying to say, "I refuse to obey my capitalist masters any more; I refuse to be made a slave (to the mask wearing) and a sheep in a society that increasingly functions only for the benefit of the capitalist masters why the working class is increasingly excluded and oppressed."

This argument is crude and oversimplified because the length limits allowed for your comments requires it to be so. Sorry I can't expound on this. Best regards and thank you.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

You can always expand on yr messages by posting them 'in series', so to speak. I.e., post half a page; wait 24 hrs; post another half page; etc. Wafers tend to follow the threads.

Re: man in Costco as act of rebellion: check out Mark Ames, "Going Postal".

Your thesis abt launching (injecting?) a virus into the system in order to scapegoat it to hide the collapse of capitalism is interesting. It's certainly a possibility. My problem is: How can we prove that this is true? You see, the problem w/conspiracy theories is that they are imaginative ways of connecting the dots. You can't imagine how stupid the authors of the Warren Commission Report were, to attempt to whitewash the JFK assassination with this theory that it all came down to Lee Harvey Oswald. The Report was absurd, and what it did was lead to (a)refutation, and (b) the search for more plausible causes: the Mafia, the CIA, etc. Instead of connecting the dots, the Report simply offered us one dot(!). Yeah, that's gonna work.

But in the alternate theories, or any conspiracy theories, the real trick is to provide evidence that the connection of the dots in that particular way is valid. One can generate a conspiracy theory abt literally anything: JFK was killed by Martians, for example. And people are gullible: millions, for example, believe the Holocaust never happened, when the connections of the dots are quite solid. (Jesus, I remember Holocaust survivors showing up at my mother's house when I was a kid, w/# tattoos on their arms, telling us abt the gassings and the ovens. Yeah, some Zionist conspiracy, that!)

Your own theory is very suggestive, and it may be rt. But what you don't have are the specific connections between a wealthy elite and the 'launching' of the virus. You need a smoking gun, as it's called, for the theory to be believable. Of course, sometimes there is no smoking gun, but the circumstantial evidence is extensive--as in the case of JFK. In which case, let's start piling it up!

mb

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Ashish said...

Just a few patriots exercising their 2nd amendment to....shut down the legislature after threatening to kill the governor?

https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2020-05-14/michigan-cancels-legislative-session-to-avoid-armed-protesters

I smell unregulated militia in the air

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Perry Davis said...

Tom, Cel, Bern, others interested:

Coronavirus datasets, updated daily. Get per-capita, not just total, cases & deaths across countries. Answer questions like, Who's doing better (for the moment), Sweden or Norway? https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-data-explorer

1:24 PM  
Anonymous opera fan said...

Covid-19 is, of course, a serious threat to human populations, but nothing compares to climate disaster in its potential for destruction. CO2 levels in the atmosphere reached 418ppm this month, highest in 3 million years. At that time the temperature was 2°–3°C (3.6°–5.4°F) higher than during the pre-industrial era, and sea level was 15–25 meters (50–80 feet) higher than today.

The race to see which catastrophe will tip the scales of American collapse first is a close one. But that's an "academic" question. Not of any real import. As American decline is inevitable and collapse is assured. I just hope it arrives sooner than later. For the sake of Americans who see and accept the truth and for those in other nations we continue to slaughter.

https://www.co2.earth/co2-records

2:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ashish-

One sign of collapse is marauding bands of killers. See Lionel Shriver, "The Mandibles."

mb

3:04 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

File under “Mericans are classy”, but no word on the temperature of the contents:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8320349/Woman-wanted-tossing-bottle-filled-feces-urine-Taco-Bell-drive-window.html

3:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jack-

Poor journalism, not reporting temperature of the mixture. If it was hot, I'm OK w/it. But cold feces and urine is utterly disgusting.

mb

6:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cell fones = death:

https://newrepublic.com/amp/article/157603/5g-going-kill-us-all

Some serious scientific results here. Ketcham, BTW, is the journalist who nailed Chris Hedges for plagiarism a # of yrs ago, also in the TNR.

mb

6:42 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

This week marks my one year anniversary of my most 'American' experience.

I was working for a particularly cruel manager. One who made it clear that any raise or promotion would be contingent upon perfect performance.

The Friday of a milestone submission, I injured my ribs at the gym. I went back to work, explained why I was 10 minutes late, then proceeded to work on getting the milestone done. Trying not to breathe heavily as it hurt.

I went home, had a spasm, and collapsed on my living room floor. My wife called the paramedics who rushed me to the ER. It turned out I had two fractured ribs and a contusion + internal bleeding.

But I got the milestone done and a promotion 3 months later. Winning, right?

7:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

B-

"This American Life"

mb

8:42 PM  
Anonymous F de Vocht said...

Let me be the Devil's advocate MB. This might be a lil bit of an aggressive retort, but it's still a fair disagreement responding to Ketcham's "flawed" piece in The New Republic.

https://www.extremetech.com/internet/310361-5g-will-not-kill-us-all-but-stupidity-might

8:56 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

Ashish-

There were death squads in El Salvador in the 1980s and in Iraq after Operation Iraqi Liberation, both financed by Republican administrations:

https://historycollection.co/death-squads-came-patrol-el-salvador/

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2005/11/death-squads-iraq/

And of course we all know of the Republican elites' financing of the last two waves of Michigan's "Patriot Protestors". I wouldn't be surprised if they financed this batch, too.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

Good luck getting anybody to hear the potential public health disaster that a 5G network presents.

About a year ago I brought the issue up. I was arguing that Medicare For All would not change anything. Real healthcare reform, I argued, would mean that we stop making ourselves sick with preventable illnesses from things like pollution. Instead, our government is in a hurry to bombard the entire population with unprecedented levels of radiation, I pointed out.

However, a card-carrying secular humanist--not some anti-vaxer or religious fundamentalist--said "You don't know anything about radiation", and that was the end of the 5G topic in that discussion.

11:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Edward-

Do you have any evidence for "Republican elites' financing"? "we all know" isn't going to cut it.

F-

Thank you for providing ref to this critique of Ketcham; it's gd to have the other side of the argument. As for me, I don't have the expertise nec to make an authoritative judgment one way or the other. But I do hafta say that the author's assertion that Ketcham is "pounding the same drum" for the last 10 yrs doesn't prove that the drum is wrong. Critics of smoking had to pound their drum for 30+ yrs, until the cig co's came clean. How many died during that time?

mb

12:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

No great surprise here:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/15/us-coronavirus-message-god-poll-results

12:45 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

If I'm allowed a small detour on the main subject of the blog, some views on the Mini-Me Evil, Great Britain:
British negotiator gives EU two-week deadline to drop 'ideological' stance

A key flashpoint remains the British insistence that it will not tie itself to common so-called level playing conditions on environmental, social and labour standards.

So that's a bit like a wife beater demanding his wife be "reasonable" or else. Although I think Boris Johnson is doing a great job at replicating in the UK what Trumpolini is achieving in the US.

So please can we stop talking about "Western" civilization and talk about Anglosaxon civilization instead? The French, for example, are full of shit too, but with enough differences IMHO to merit a bit more precision in the language.

5:34 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Malleus-

Of course, 'Anglo-Saxon civ' is more precise, but nevertheless there is a difference between the 1st and 3rd Worlds. The Italians are nuts abt cell fones, but every time they use one, a kid in the Congo comes closer to death thanks to having to work like a dog in the cobalt mines. There is a certain unity in the 1st World, or North to South, globally speaking.

mb

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Jack Pirata said...

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/donad-trump-study-leadership/611719/


Certainly a damning short film,
but the media's concentrating on the personality of Trump alone will not lead anywhere and at this point has become annoyingly tiresome. What one needs to ask is how this kind of person can still be in power and what it testifies about the society he rules: which is exactly where this blog and its author come in

10:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jack-

Indeed. Millions believe that if we just get Trumpi outta the W.H., all will be well, as it (supposedly) was during Obama (what a joke). "Society" is never a concern for the MSM. As I have said repeatedly, in the US even the smart people are stupid.

mb

12:43 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

"The West" works for me. Sure, the French have two-hour lunches, think we dress like kids, and have wine at fast food restos, but we aren't that different.

I came across this review of the TV show, "Westworld" the other day. The show fits somewhere in the Wafer discussion. It started with the potential of being an examination of "free choice," western consumer culture, how technology affects us on a psychological level, and what makes us human. That didn't last.

Now it's utter nonsense, has no plot, and features little more than foxy robot ladies committing acts of gratuitous violence against what must be models of the patriarchy. As I watched this season, I kept thinking that sharks make at least three jumps per episode. The following review pretty well duplicates exactly what I think of the show:

Why Westworld needs to end

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ9aCMqT5iE

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Spacer Cadet said...

Some ignorant Wafer posted a while back that they are thankful and even proud for N. Zealand's just government - see K. Dotcom.

Posted from an Ian56 tweet.

New Zealand has officially become a Police State.

New laws have been passed to enable the Police to enter and search your home without a warrant.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1260994932866678785

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anita said...

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/16/us/barack-obama-2020-commencement-graduation-speech.html

*Breaking News: “More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing.”
Former President Barack Obama criticized U.S. leaders’ coronavirus response in a virtual commencement speech for historically black colleges and universities.*

I mean, ok, go on tv and bring this stuff up but kind of ruins the commencement speech, dude. Can't the graduates get a day where there's's not a focus on the virus and on politics.

Sometimes his speeches demonstrate both his oratory skills and his complete lack of humanness coterminally.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Spacer-

2 impt things, in future:

1. Never refer to Wafers as ignorant, or make any disparaging remarks abt them whatsoever.
2. Your link just takes us to opinion, w/o any evidence. If yr going to argue this, we need a link to a reliable newspaper article or essay by an expert.

This was not a responsible post, on yr part.

mb

6:14 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

This 'ignorant' Wafer responds:

https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/trump-considering-deputizing-military-civilian-police-force-terrifying

Or

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_rankings_of_New_Zealand

Where would you rather live?

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Dorian said...

Why war? A letter from Albert Einstein to Sigmund Freud

https://en.unesco.org/courier/may-1985/why-war-letter-albert-einstein-sigmund-freud

Spacer:

Uncouth of you! And you're wrong about NZ, I dream of moving there. https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/opinion/economic-growth-is-an-unnecessary-evil-jacinda-ardern-is-right-to-deprioritise-it/31/05/

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/15/world/coronavirus-women-leaders.html

8:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

"how rich life had been and how silly"

--W.H. Auden

(does poetry get any better than this?)

10:13 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

It will take a half hour or so of your day to download and listen to it, but I had to share the following podcast episode here.

A debate about the role of religion in the contemporary world is not where I expected to be reminded that children are dying from working in mines so that a few of us can enjoy smartphones as "progress". And get this, the person who brings it up is the only one on the panel who is not condemning religion.

Here is a link. If you don't use Google Play you might have to find it another way:

https://play.google.com/music/m/Djghwxmnrplgej7qqmw2hxtaofq?t=New_Gods_Myriam_Fran_ois_Peter_Atkins_Hilary_Lawson_-_Philosophy_For_Our_Times

1:02 AM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

I tried posting and my post just disappeared without acknowledgement from Blogger. Okay I'll try again...

On Michigan protests financed by right-wing Republican elites:

While many demonstrations claim to be grassroots, common threads link many to nationwide conservative groups.

While organisers claimed the anti-lockdown protests are grassroots movements, some groups have received funding from conservative megadonors in the past.

https://www-aljazeera-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.aljazeera.com/amp/news/2020/04/anti-lockdown-protests-200420180415064.html?amp_js_v=a3&amp_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQFKAGwASA%3D#aoh=15896917205037&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.aljazeera.com%2Fnews%2F2020%2F04%2Fanti-lockdown-protests-200420180415064.html

1:04 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ed-

There are some possibilities here, but 1st, I'd like 2c more evidence for the arg. than al-Jazeera. None of the assertions regarding financial backing of these demos is proven. 2nd, that the demos attract groups like Proud Boys doesn't mean that the PB's were subsidized by elite Republicans. You certainly cd be rt, but I think the jury is still out on this question.

Tim-

Thanks for the ref. Note that actress Robin Wright has been in the forefront of trying to get people off of smartphones because of what they are doing to kids in the Congo. It's going to be a long hard slog, like the cigarette campaign, but eventually the 1st world might come to see that the use of these fones is not only socially and personally destructive, but completely immoral. Of course, from a declinist pt of view, Bad Is Good (our slogan). The social and psychological damage being wrought by these fones at home will continue to weaken the psychological fiber of Americans, and the fiber of American society--more ignorance and stupidity, poorer brain functioning, less empathy, etc. (all of this well-documented). This will be another contributing factor to our decline; it cd even be a major one.

mb

5:25 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Another article on the connection between right-wing money and some of the anti-lockdown protests, which parallels the al-Jazeera article-
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/18/coronavirus-americans-protest-stay-at-home
Personally I am not certain in situations like these whether I am looking at some sort of conspiratorial astro-turfing operation, or looking at fellow travelers finding common purpose. My problem with focusing on the funding/connections in this particular situation is that it can be used to dismiss and minimize the events. The economic and social damage being done by the lockdowns is significant. As someone put it in reference to Brexit and Trump, the protests can be seen as a very very wrong answer to very very important questions.

Dr. B, you consider al-Jazeera not valid journalism? Can you say more? I understand the varying quality and biases of reporting everywhere, including NYTimes, Washington Post, etc. And the need to be critical and evaluate. I am under the impression that al-Jazeera to be overall reputable journalism, with all the caveats and limitations of such in today's world.

7:31 AM  
Anonymous Crucchiola said...

Secular faith has no answer to the coronavirus

John Gray


Gray per usual shattering illusions
https://catholicherald.co.uk/secular-faith-has-no-answer-to-the-coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR26YGKlBGbu0GdDW7FyOIMjtiFoBNI938nMhdUr5nk3qVSrrbmCbE39yZU

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Rolly said...

https://amp.ft.com/content/de643ae8-9527-11ea-899a-f62a20d54625

"If the 21st century turns out to be an Asian century as the 20th was an American one, the pandemic may well be remembered as the turning point. We are living through not just dramatic events but what may be well be a hinge in history"

9:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Crucc, Rolly-

Gd essays, thanks!

Dan D-

Answered in my ans. to Ed. 1 source is not enuf; and in this case, the article asserted connections w/o proving them.

mb

11:13 AM  
Blogger Tom Herzog said...

I had "got rich quick" in a dubious Silicon Valley "start up."

Or maybe I had borrowed money at 23 % interest from a pay-day loan outfit. What does it matter.

I had impressed a young woman enough to ask her out to dine.

The 1,500 dollar meal was great. Well, let's be honest it was OK.

Suddenly as things had been going swimmingly my stomach began to swim.

I excused myself from my somewhat importuning date (but who's counting?) and rushed to the bathroom; the Sacramento plague had struck! Gastroenteritus. I proceeded to vomit all over the bathroom floor.

Oh my God! I thought; that's $1,500 worth of gourmet food!

I asked the maitre d' for a doggy bag and began to scope up the remains of dinner. Never let a good thing go to waste, I always say.

Welcome to 'Merica!

11:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

Eew.

mb

11:41 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

From the al Jazeera article cited above:


Operation Gridlock was "funded in large part by the DeVos family and I think it's really inappropriate to for a sitting member of the United States president's cabinet to be waging political attacks on any governor," [Governor Gretchen] Whitmer said, in reference to Betsy DeVos, secretary of the US Department of Education.


This looks like responsible journalism. Is Whitmer lying?

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Nancy Pratt said...

Bezos the world's 1st trillionaire. Barf!

https://theweek.com/articles-amp/914563/three-cheers-worlds-first-trillionaire

1:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Nancy-

Bezos needs to have dinner w/Tom (see above)

al-

Where does she get her info? She's probably rt, but where is the evidence? Assertion is not proof.

mb

1:44 PM  
Blogger Xair said...

Wafers,

What a broken and awful human being. This is what Americans aspire to be. Be like Mike is what Americans have been told. What a fucked up place.

https://slate.com/culture/2020/05/the-last-dance-michael-jordan-bulls-wizards.amp

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Cole said...

Sad times.

https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/deputies-georgia-man-caught-having-sex-with-dead-woman-outside-shelter
Deputies: Georgia man caught having sex with dead woman outside shelter

3:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Spacer-

You shd know that I don't read hate mail; 3 words into it, I delete. You cd have been a mensch, and cleaned up yr act from what you wrote earlier. But yr not a mensch; yr a piece of dreck. Anyway, I'm not going to read your posts, but inasmuch as yr a Major Asshole, I'm sure you'll keep posting. What a putz you are, and what a sad and absurd life you lead. (You know this.)

Cole-

We are descending into the darkness now.

Xair-

The quintessential American, really: empty.

mb

3:49 PM  

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