May 29, 2020

What a Shit Pile

Wafers-

I mean, what else is there to say? We've got the police bumping off innocent black men like it was a turkey shoot; a president who is clearly a lunatic; virus deaths now over 100,000; a near-broken economy; and an unemployment rate worse than the Great Depression. All good, of course, from a declinist point of view. But I'm impressed at the virulence of our disintegration, and the impotence of our responses. Some 'leaders' we've got, eh? And of course, some citizens. We need to rename the country Doofus World.

Let me repeat my plans for my epitaph:

I KEPT TELLING THEM, BUT DID THEY LISTEN? NO!

Well, anyway, laissez les bon temps rouler and all that.

-mb

30 Comments:

Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

"A York Haven [PA] woman stowed her grandmother’s remains in a freezer for 15 years so their family could continue to collect her Social Security"

https://www.policeone.com/bizarre/articles/police-pa-woman-kept-dead-grandmother-in-freezer-for-15-years-pcBHGaq0PiGS0abj/

Then there's this-

https://www.pennlive.com/crime/2020/05/pa-parents-charged-with-manslaughter-after-son-2-shoots-himself-in-head-with-gun-from-toy-basket.html

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Wafers might be interested in these interviews with the French philosopher Jacques Ellul. Ellul discusses technology and other issues often covered on this blog.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOCtu-rXfPk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwL0BJek2bc

7:57 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Morris, what a great summary of our situation - Doofus World – I love it!

Wudu, I, and I’m sure the other Wafers who are interested in conspiracies, know that it‘s not even a minor topic of this blog and not why we’re engaged here. Rather, it’s just an interesting side discussion, which we often have, apart from this blog’s main purpose of documenting the collapse of the Empire and how incredibly stupid Americans are. I also have absolute confidence that Morris will keep us on track.

We’re actually pretty clueless. Reality is far freakier than we could ever possibly imagine, and on a mundane level we’re lied to about everything. Just think of what we’ve been taught about the Civil War compared with Morris’ analysis. The ability of the MSM, et. al, to gaslight the entire planet is awe-inspiring.

In spite of my best assessments, I’m always aware that most likely I’m totally or partially wrong. I’m okay with that. As the sage Vasistha says to Rama, the world is real and unreal. Certainly none of it is worth getting bent out of shape over.

You make many good points, but in the end I must say that I find your faith in Snopes, and some other publications to be touchingly naïve, even depressing. O&D!

7:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sar-

1st, r.u. talking to me? WTF is Snopes, anyway? Rest assured that my faith in X is not naïve. No Wafer is gaslit.

Tom-

Certain bks defined my era and my consciousness. "The Tech Society," by Ellul, was one of these, along w/Marcuse's "One-Dimensional Man."

Birn-

This kinda stuff is what I mean by a Shit Pile.

mb

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Arnie Toynbee said...

Hello MB,

I would like to share a quote from Alfred McCoy's recent book "In the shadows of the American Century: the rise and Decline of US Global Power." He offers us a glimpse of decline from a geopolitical perspective: "

The American Century, proclaimed so triumphantly at the start of World War II, may already be tattered and fading by 2025 and, except for the finger pointing, could be over by 2030.For the majority of Americans, the 2020s will likely be remembered as a demoralizing decade of rising prices, stagnant wages, and fading international competitiveness. After years of swelling deficits fed by incessant warfare in distant lands, in 2030 the U.S. dollar eventually loses its special status as the world’s dominant reserve currency."

8:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Arn-

Anyone w/half a brain knows that the US is finished. Enjoyed yr multivolume study of history, BTW.

mb

8:52 PM  
Anonymous LW said...

MB, serious question for the GSWH:

The black/minority community/communities have as you say been rung through the wringer, so they're destroying everything in sight, because what else do they have left to do? What do you think Gandhi would say? Or MLK, of these actions? It's completely understandable to protest, but this level feels like self-immolation. In fact, the whole country feels like it is on the brink of self-immolation. I know you've cited King's more confidential thoughts that he was leading his flock into the flaming church, is this the coming into being of such a confession?

I'm so sad for these people. I'm in Atlanta right now, friends are filming the protestors breaking the glass of the CNN building, setting cop cars alight. Tear is gas launching.

This is going to get worse everywhere, I feel it. It is at a distance for now, but soon it will be at the door.

Stay safe guys

8:53 PM  
Blogger David said...

MB
One reason I seldom read fiction since reality is so shocking. The stuff we're going through makes the final days of the Roman Empire look like child's play. A paradigm shift is coming though a lot of people are still hoping the economy will recover so they can prolong their delusion. The reality is that the American Dream is dead and not likely to resurrect even with massive injections of $$$. What comes next? If one only knew.....

8:55 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Sorry for posting twice...No, not you, Morris - I was responding to Wudu.
Snopes supposedly tells you if rumors are true or not.
BTW, Birney, loved the grandmother story!

9:01 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Figured you might like to read Tony Schwartz's May 28th, 2020 article about Trump (Schwartz ghost wrote "The Art of the Deal" having spent hundreds of hours with Trump) - he also wrote an article and had a U-tube presentation about Trump during the 2016 election. He ends the present article suggesting that electing Biden could actually make a difference in America's fate - baseless hope springs eternal!

https://gen.medium.com/the-psychopath-in-chief-aa10ab2165d9

9:41 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

Thanks Toynbee for the lead on McCoy. Here's a piece about him, with an interview:
https://theintercept.com/2017/07/22/donald-trump-and-the-coming-fall-of-american-empire/

10:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Michael-

In the US, even the folks w/high IQ's are stupid.

David-

Well, that's what Future Studies (discussed above) is all abt. You might check out a bk by Wallerstein called "Utopistics." We've also talked a lot on this blog abt various possibilities, such as secession. Meanwhile, don't give up on fiction; lotta great stuff out there. Check out Rose Tremain, "Restoration."

LW-

It's an understandable reaction, but as I've said, it's the politics of immediate emotion--spur of the moment rage. I can't imagine it leading to a positive outcome, and as we've seen, the energy dissipates pretty quickly. What are the choices, really? Few Americans, of whatever color, understand the idea of careful political planning and organization. One might argue that the Black Panthers did, but the gov't simply blew them outta the water. Look what they did to Fred Hampton, for example. Trumpi has already said that looting wd lead to shooting. But here's the bottom line. 1st, what do minorities want? An equal share of the American pie (wh/MLK was beginning to question) and the rt to not get gunned down like dogs by white cops. (Wasn't one black victim sitting in his car rdg a bk on yoga?!) They aren't going to get either; white society won't allow it.

2nd, MLK ultimately saw that the entire pie was rotten...that there was something fundamentally wrong w/the way American society was set up. He was abs. correct. The problem is that you can't articulate this, if yr a popular leader, and expect to live. (Schmernie was no threat; he was an FDR 'socialist'.) Speaking of conspiracy theories: What are the chances that MLK was rubbed out by the gov't? I have no proof, but it wd hardly surprise me. (I can say all this because politically spkg, I'm irrelevant, and have no political ambitions. Not on the radar screen, in short.)
.
A deeper problem: most black people want the American Dream, not something radically different. This is why Schmernie cd make no headway w/that population. Favorite story, told to me yrs ago by Peter Berg, environmental activist in San Fran. He was walking along and came to a Black Panther rally. The speaker was saying that "we have to kill the pigs, and nothing short of a revolution can liberate our people." He kept walking, came to an all-black church, went in and sat in the back row (Peter was white). The preacher was intoning the line, "What do you think of Jesus?" And in response, like a choir, the entire congregation chanted back, "He's all right."

Of course, the MSM made a big deal outta the Panthers, when they in no way represented majority black opinion. Same thing w/focusing on anti-Vietnam protests: 98% of white youth wanted college degrees and a job. They were conservative, like their parents, and cdn't give 2 shits abt 3 million slaughtered Vietnamese peasants.

"No Viet Cong ever called me nigger"--Muhammad Ali

mb

10:36 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola Waferes,

@Miles Deli You are too sharp, thanks for the correction. I took a look at my last post and said "Oh."

Mercy, mercy me, what's going on? At least the killer cop in Minneapolis was arrested and charged today.

10:41 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Cornel West: “America Is A Failed Social Experiment, Neoliberal Wing Of Democratic Party Must Be Fought”


https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/05/29/cornel_west_america_is_a_failed_social_experiment_neoliberal_wing_of_democratic_party_must_be_fought.html

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Bridget said...

LW&MB -

I am also a Georgian.

MB, that was a powerful response. Thank you for articulating some suspicions I've failed to crystallize myself and that our leaders are too misled to say.

The mayor of ATL and the cultural icon Killer Mike both had moving responses to the riots (the protestors may have burned down a beautiful music venue, The Tabernacle, as well as a friend's neighboring art gallery) that this didn't even happen when MLK was murdered:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=7lf_2JyXocY

https://youtu.be/BVs8JXqLPs8

Leftist friends are calling this the beginnings of the "revolution"

Where's the organizing principle for a revolution? How is burning down your own city going to help?

7:28 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Men posting photos of themselves holding a gun pointed at their dicks, safety off, finger on trigger.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/30/us-gun-owners-meme-feud?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

9:19 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

Jimmy Dore says that if typical journalists were doing their job in the USA, comedians like himself would not be doing journalism and US citizens would not be listening to him in order to get actual news on controversial topics.

"America's Economic Collapse Now Irreversible. w/Dylan Ratigan" :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdeRF5KiUm0

10:06 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

What exactly is a "peaceful protest?" Sure it's ok to grab a sign and stand outside chanting, as MB has said there aren't any levers of power that cld make a change and I agree what the hell is the goal anyway?

I've enjoyed watching a video on YouTube called The Uneducated Economist. The guy records the 10 or so minute clips from the front seat of his beat up car - can't get any less pretentious. I find his insight compelling, he adds links to back up what he's saying and is open to dialogue. Wafers might enjoy watching.

https://youtu.be/Kcickz5YCw0

11:23 AM  
Blogger dg said...

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
We're so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside
There behind a glass stands a real blade of grass
Be careful as you pass, move along, move along

https://www.msci.com/documents/10199/2c7be4ce-c6cc-43e7-ae8e-d6457ecb33fa

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Gustave said...

*Lenox Mall delenda est*

Wait, what… child soldiers? Anger & confusion over videos allegedly showing KIDS IN RIOT GEAR guarding Atlanta’s streets — RT USA News
https://www.rt.com/usa/490234-child-soldiers-anger-atlanta/

Check out this pageantry! Sick, sick nation!

12:16 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

It's quite amusing how none of the old narratives ever get reevaluated in light of new levels of social dysfunction. Remember 2008 and Barack Obama leading us into a post-racial moment?

The whole way the situation has been framed has been a typical American narrowing of complexity into an artificial, limited context. Of course you are going to have police violence when you have neighborhoods that are no-go zones for most civilians and the police enter as foreign peace-keeping forces. You are never going to build a society with equal rights without there first being some shared national life.

It is simply impossible in a society that celebrates social stratification as the US does. The goal is to get enough money to attempt to insulate yourself from social dysfunction. The best anyone can hope for is to get theirs (Cornel West's "black faces in high places") and then tweet empty encouragements from the sidelines.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

LW ...

If I may add my bit to your question. These are situations where leadership makes a difference. Leadership with foresight and a moral compass. Gandhi was an exceptional leader from this perspective. The way he channelized the anger and frustration of poor, ordinary Indians against the mighty Empire requires extreme political astuteness. Establishment of the Republic of India owes a lot to his mass movement.

The world today is seething with anger and frustration, from the mid-east, to Latin America, the UK, US and Asia. There is, unfortunately, neither an alternate political vision/philosophy nor a strong leader who can give shape to these frustrations and aspirations. When that happens, happens repeatedly over years, you have anger boiling over into destructive avenues. Nothing will come out of it, no change in structure, no change in the inequality. Once the current spate of protests are controlled, the energy dissipates, everybody will go back to business as usual.

Ask the Indians, we have sustained institutionalized inequality in the same form for the past ~3000 years. Hope for democracy! Indian and American societies are fundamentally incapable of sustaining democracy.

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

Hello Wafers:

Have you heard the latest from the Israeli Democratic Republic? Bugsy Netanyahu recently referred to Palestinians as "subjects" of Israeli rule.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/05/29/saying-quiet-part-very-loud-netanyahu-calls-palestinians-future-subjects-annexation

Who, other than the populace of an empire's vassal is called a "subject?" Where's Prince Justin de Trudeau to tell us that you cannot say things like this in the year of our Lord 2020? Never mind, he's a solid Zionist.

"Subjects"

You know what Lenny Bruce would say: "Palestinians are Jewish, Israelis are Goyish."

4:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

OTC-

Be sure to send messages to latest post. No one reads the old stuff. Thanks.

mb

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Ordinary Indian,

It's too bad that there is no constructive channel for this populist rage that is erupting all over the U.S. Intelligent foreign observers like Alexander Dugin (Whom I don't endorse, but who is, as Hermann Hesse said of Julius Ebola "a dazzling, scintillating, but very dangerous thinker") always put too much stock in "the American people". But, alas, even Chomsky is guilty of this, Hedges is by no means the sole offender. So, contrary to what we might hope, the Eschaton isn't going to be immananentized, and this will all fade into a big nothing in a few weeks.

The former Duke professor of Philosophy, Rick Roderick, was very insightful, however, when he pointed out that our obsession with apocalyptic UFO movies was due to a generalized unconscious sense that ANYTHING--even a fiery end of the world--is infinitely preferable to the continued status quo.I

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Well said Dio!

All is not as it seems around here: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/05/30/outsiders-extremists-are-among-those-fomenting-violence-in-twin-cities

"DeVario Bogenholm, a 23-year-old who’s lived in Minneapolis for most of his life, blames outsiders, who are mostly white, for turning peaceful protests violent Friday night."

I had to look up what a 3 percenter was and what those stickers look like. Turns out I've seen plenty of those stickers out in the rural areas on MN where I often hike. Thin blue line ones too.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Ricardo said...

Becoming a cliche, but living in Canada is more and more like watching the wild antics of that crazy family living in the fancy house across the street. Not that Canada doesn’t have its own issues, it does, but across the street there are flames shooting out of the basement windows and the parents are out on the front porch bickering about some boyfriend in Russia . . .

8:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ricardo-

It's called Doofus World, altho some like the phrase Douche Bags in Action.

mb

8:23 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola Waferes,

@ Ricardo y Sr. Belman - A friend of mine from 7th grade onward jokingly referred to our collection of misfits as DBO, or "Dark Black Oranges". As always is the case it all devolved and dissolved into a search for a new, better normal. Our lives took on a quality of Zen existence that became more of a journey rather than an arrival at anything permanent. Perhaps a theme of "Neurotic Beauty" ? I haven't caught up with that book yet.

The closest film sequence I can relate it to is from before "Douche Bag Organization". In 1971 I watched "Fellini Satyricon". The final sequence of the boat departing and fading into the frescoe scenes resonated with me. Is this the idea behind the comparison of the twilight of our empire and that of Pax Romana discussed in TOAC?

"Dark Black Age"?

O & D!

6:04 AM  
Anonymous Musson said...

https://reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN2383IC

Former U.S. President Obama condemns violence at protests


...The president that used so many bombs that he ran out of them

8:01 AM  

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