August 05, 2020

Trump (and America) Revealed

Hola Wafers-

Well, that Trump interview with Jonathan Swan of Axios has to be the most damning interview in the history of the world. The man-child was revealed as a callous buffoon, a clown living in an alternative reality regarding the pandemic and the stats of suffering (medical and financial) of the American people. A real horror show, that was, and with the exception of his base, it was hard to avoid the conclusion that the president of the US was a moron and a jackass. Which, from a declinist point of view, is a good thing. The late Roman Empire had similar emperors at the helm, who did much to bring the civilization down. I'm personally not happy about the suffering of millions of people, but this is how empires typically end. As Hegel famously remarked, History is a slaughter bench. Or to put it another way, you don't get History for free.

Of course, it's a safe bet that his base--something like 40% of the voting population--will see the interview in a positive light: "I guess he showed them!"--that kind of thing. As Trumpaloni once said, he could shoot someone in Times Square and his base would still vote for him.

The real issue, however, is not Trumpo per se. The man is merely an icon for the rest of the country. Whether progs or bubbas or Karens, 99+% of the nation believes in the American Dream, and the American Way of Life. Like Trump, they just want to get back to hustling. They just want to make America great again, or save it. Only a few declinists and Native Americans understand that the place was a mistake from the get-go. "Possessions are a disease with them," said Sitting Bull. How many Americans agree with that? Left-wing 'heroes' certainly don't, any more than does Trumpalump. The Lump is ridiculous, but he is hardly the cause of the mess we are in. Look to the people, said H.L. Mencken, George Carlin, Gore Vidal. That's where you'll find the core of our failure as a nation.

-mb

194 Comments:

Anonymous Davis King said...

Morris Berman:

Do you think it is embarrassing enough to swipe more off his approval ratings compared to Biden? Just as the press briefings were doing?

I have a wager with my best friend Scott on who will win. I keep backing up Trumpaloni, but this stuff is hard to wince through w/ a believable poker face.

D. King

5:27 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

A belated happy birthday, Dr. B, and in case you ever wonder why you don't spend more time in the US, I offer you this collection of hundreds of Karens. Karens after Karens after Karens for your viewing pleasure.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVS94v-ZOZMyaHpH-YMGzrQ

Enjoy!

Yes, the Trump interview was an awe-inspiring glimpse into the utter void of American life. China wants him to remain in office, I am certain. I think this has been posted here before, but...

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2020/07/why-china-wants-donald-trump-win/613864/

6:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan D-

Thanks mucho. I watched a few of the videos. O dem Karens!

mb

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Cherith Cutestory said...

Centuries into the future, archaeologists are sifting through some newly-discovered artifacts belonging to the mysterious "American Empire" that some claim to have existed. They come across a can of Coke, a cheeseburger wrapper and a digital storage device containing this real video from July 4th, 2020:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbxwGi8bTO8

Scientists finally know the American Empire really did exist, and of course, why it ceased to.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cherith-

Won't they find my trilogy on the American Empire? How depressing. But yes, that video explains a lot, altho some Karen videos wd also be helpful. The US is a turkey country filled with turkey people, who only know how to gobble.

mb

9:52 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman,
May I offer my respective and belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Here in New York I’ve been out of power for two days because of the tropical storm. I only got it back a few hours ago as I print this. Don’t you just love our great American infrastructure? LOL!
Nothing has changed here in this hatred wasteland known as the United States. Dr. Fauci and his family still are receiving death threats. A mace incident occurred with people refusing to wear masks in a St.Louis, Missouri, retail establishment spraying the employees with it. And lowdown cheapskates are taking it out on waitresses by tipping them nickels and adding a condescending note to the bill about having to wear a mask and inconveniencing themselves. The cruelty of Americans really does make them “exceptional”.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/05/dr-fauci-says-his-daughters-need-security-as-family-continues-to-get-death-threats.html?__source=sharebar|facebook&par=sharebar&fbclid=IwAR2i2cJNoyMk-L7IxvgI2bZvBvrYbBg-lkado6s9ZQMjS3jBQPlIp1_9Dcs

https://www.kmov.com/news/customer-maces-employees-in-mask-dispute-at-incredible-pizza-company-caught-on-camera/article_b4e8da20-d5d7-11ea-bca6-d30eb1064c55.html

https://www.newsweek.com/nebraska-waitress-five-cent-mask-covid-1522677

p.s. Note to Dan Daniel: You are committing copyright infringement! LOL! I was first! I myself only show the Karens. You’ll have to wait until Sunday to see some more o

10:55 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Thinking about taking a long trip to explore the Northern African cities of Casablanca, Algiers, Tunis, and Alexandria, and wondering if any WAFERS have visited any of these cities, and what you think of them. Thanks

12:48 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:04 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings all Wafers and Dr Berman,

Been silent, but still reading. But I have to second @Wanderer on the masks. The positive studies are generally 'mechanical studies' - in a lab, mount a mask, spray something at it, and see how much gets through. The studies that count are Random Controlled Trials (RCT), which look at different cohorts and measure infection rates of masked or unmasked people in the real world. Those show almost no benefit (but a laundry list of possible harms, including more infections). Here's a compilation article from Children's Defense Fund, with many citations, for your perusal - it asks the question - why the narrative pushing masks: https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/the-risks-vs-benefits-of-face-masks-is-there-an-agenda/

@ Wanderer is also right that you see nothing in the NYT, et al, about anything that could dampen the fear/panic factor. I go to the Swiss Policy Research website (https://swprs.org) for the latest and best compilation of all the research results, and country results, on this (in English and German). They've been doing monthly updates on everything. The graphs and info are enlightening, especially one graph showing mortality of this pandemic compared to historical ones.

Meanwhile, Schmiden isn't even going to accept the nom in person - could it be he couldn't get through the speech without flubbing his lines?? We'll have a choice between a total buffoon and a demented oldster - onward and downward!

3:16 AM  
Anonymous Warren said...

“The possibility of man’s avoiding self-destruction depends on his realizing that what he let loose over Hiroshima, after fiddling with its exterior for three centuries like a mechanical toy, was the forces of his own unconscious mind.”⁠

OwenBarfield on 6 Aug 1945 Hiroshima. It's the 75th anniversary.

I'll recommend Daniel Ellsberg's "The Doomsday Machine" as required reading for where we are now.

7:00 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

@ Italiana:

The point of masks and various other advisories issued by health authorities such as the WHO is that they are based on current data and are open to revision. In fact the WHO only changed their advisory on masks after data came out about the airborne nature of the virus plus the relative success Asian mask wearing countries had in supressing the virus. They are a measure designed to supress the community transmission of the virus at some level, not a cure-all. For the life of me, I can't fathom why some people STILL are trying to undermine pretty modest health measures that are really no more than a minor inconvenience at best. It seems to go hand in hand with undermining the seriousness of the virus in general. That's all I will post about the virus here, but the fact that there are still posters around here pushing conspiracy theories about the worst public health crisis in generations is rather concerning. They are in danger of joining the realm of Trump/Fox news etc.

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Ital, I agree with you and Wanderer that masks are, as Dr. B's doc says a placebo at best. But again I say I cannot trust media one bit. That Swiss Policy Research site is full of it at worst, cherry picking at best: https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/swiss-policy-research/.

The Children's Defense Fund is a better site, but the article cited (though I agree with it) was written by a chiropractor.

Anyway, it all seems kind of silly. I mean who really cares if you have to wear a piece of cloth over your face? There are bigger things to worry about:

https://www.westsiderag.com/2020/07/10/pastrami-queen-will-replace-fine-schapiro-on-72nd-street

9:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cor-

Who is pushing conspiracy theories?

Warren-

A thesis well worth exploring!

jj-

My Mexican editor visited Casablanca a couple of yrs ago, said it was rather washed up--a drag. That's all I know.

mb

10:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: This is kinda cute:

https://edition.cnn.com/videos/us/2020/08/06/new-jersey-woman-assault-staples-store-eg-orig.cnn

10:47 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Say, here's a guy w/a working brain:

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/covid-19-end-of-american-era-wade-davis-1038206/

Miles

10:54 AM  
Blogger spartan said...

G’day Wafers.

How much popcorn does one need to watch our civilizations collapse? Do we need a popcorn rating per country or per event?

The extremely sad situation in Beirut is distressing as the population in Beirut only has a months worth of food left. In fact they import all their food. Coupled with corruption, the ‘rona’ and unstable political situation I would say they’ve collapsed.

As for the US the fact you have a choice between a 77yo man baby & a 78yo dementia patient (I might be repeating myself) says it all. Whoever wins won’t last the distance. So really this will be the first election people would be voting for a VP. The fact Trump has flagged ‘martial law’ is disturbing.

Anyway must go my popcorns ready...

11:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

The guy's a Wafer!

mb

11:56 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

A story from Florida highlighting not only the abusive and possibly dangerous American hyper-individualism but also a minority (probably) view that might presage eventual arising of community and local economic activity.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/finance/companies/florida-shop-gets-more-threats-over-mask-rule-but-also-outpouring-of-support/ar-BB17BJRs

12:00 PM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

@ Dr Berman:

check out that link that Italians provided to the website: childrenshealthdefense.org. It's an anti vaccine conspiracy website.

https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/the-risks-vs-benefits-of-face-masks-is-there-an-agenda/

The website also prominently displays their relationship with Robert Kennedy jr, who has been called out for his anti vax views in the past:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2019/05/08/he-is-wrong-robert-f-kennedy-jrs-family-calls-him-out-anti-vax-conspiracy-theories/

and this linked to an absolutely nuts theory about the COVID 'plandemic':

https://www.gq.com/story/plandemic-anti-vaxxer-conspiracy-theory

This is way beyond healthy skepticism

(I understand this is a breach of the 24 hour rule, so this doesn't have to be published. It's just to provide evidence for my claim.)

12:27 PM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

@MB 'the base' is the same everywhere. Whether Trump or Bolsonaro or Modi or whoever. We have an Indian (coming from Sanskrit) word for these: Bhakt (devotee), which has come to assume a negative connotation.

Now that brings me to the following question. Following of a leader, no matter who he/she is, Lenin, Gandhi, Churchill, Osho, Trump or anybody, always involves this element of trust, which implies an unquestioning surrender to his/her views. Isn't this right? Surrender to what extent is of course a question. But that apart, without unquestioning following, there is no mass leader. Every individual or community lives within its worldview. So does a follower. His/her world view is shaped by what the leader says. A person who follows Trump never tries to honestly understand why someone else followed MLK, for example. That's what I mean by living within the worldview. The act of following being largely an emotional act, and follower of X never really trying to understand why anybody should follow Y, where do humanity have a chance of getting over the predicament that it finds itself in today?

Your old post: enlightenment comes only to a few (Wafers including). Humanity has no chance.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Liz B said...

Warren:

Check out the documentary film "Countdown to Zero" free here. I saw it twice in theaters.

I can't believe it was just 75 years ago. What a diabolical act.

PS I just ordered Ellsberg's text. Schlossberg's "Command and Control" is also quite chilling.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Cyrillia Juniper said...

MB and Wafers:

NMI in California. Naomi Klein interviews members of an intentional community who have lived together for 15 years on the non-impact of COVID on their community, followed by an intriguing discussion re: rebooting the CCC to give young USAians jobs:

https://theintercept.com/2020/08/05/escape-from-the-nuclear-family-covid-19-should-provoke-a-re-think-of-how-we-live-coronavirus-naomi-klein-civilian-conservation-corps/

We should take a lesson from the tragedy in Beirut. The government is not coming to save us. My PNW friends are buying 50 lb bags of staples.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous turnover said...

Do masks work? Well, I wear pants when I'm outside. I might be more comfortable not having to bother with pants, but I put them on out of respect for everyone else. It doesn't seem to be a great burden as a member of society to get dressed or to try not to breathe on others during a pandemic. It's such a fundamental part of society that it would seem unnecessary to even discuss it. Isn't the fact that people talk about masks so seriously just one more sign of decline?

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Stuart Bell said...

“The Pentagon spent $55.9 billion on research and development last year, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Compare that figure to spending on research on health ($38.9 billion), energy ($4.4 billion) and the environment ($2.8 billion).”

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/lets-defund-the-pentagon-too/

Now that's something I can get behind!

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

Wanderer - I don't know who's right about the efficacy of masks, but the fauci interview video proves just the opposite from what you contend: He supports wearing masks but not studies because he doesn't want to encourage anyone to go without one.

Cherith - amazing. How can there be any doubt that America is the dumbest, narcissistic nation on earth? Maybe ever.

That horrendously revealing interview with Trump proves nothing more than what anyone with 10% of a brain knew about him 3 years ago - People who voted for him did so for reasons other than he is a well-spoken, intelligent leader. They won't be turned off by anything he says or does. He reflects back at them what they think. That's why he's "our guy".







2:54 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

I wonder if you have ever read the works of Prof. Walter A. Davis. A chapter from one of his books (Deracination: Historicity, Hiroshima, and the Tragic Imperative, Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001) is available online-

CHAPTER FOUR: THE PSYCHE THAT DROPPED THE BOMB

https://www.walteradavis.com/works/2005/01/chapter_4_derac.html

I have read his book "Death's Dream Kingdom," which discusses America's psyche after 9-11.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jamie-

Sorry, cdn't run it. We have a half-pg-max rule on this blog. Thank you.

Birn-

Many thanks. I look forward to rdg it.

Stuart-

Hopefully next yr it will be $1 trillion on weapons systems, and 0 on all the other categories.

Indian-

One can admire, rather than slavishly surrender to. Works much better. Check out Eric Hoffer, "The True Believer." Also some of the essays in QOV.

cor-

Thanks for the info, but in future pls stick to 24 hr rule. Thank you.

cyr-

Unclear why they aren't buying bags of paper clips. Work just as well.

Wafers-

Time for a moratorium on masks, I think. Pretty boring by now. Only exception: videos of Karens going batshit over mask requirements. I love dem Karens!

mb

4:12 PM  
Blogger lenoir said...

jj
spent loads of time in N african cities cited. But it was the 70's.
Alexandria, went to see if the mirror was still there, in the hotel, where Darly first spotted Justine and Khaddaffi would not allow me in to see him. " women weren't allowed unaccompanied by male" huh? but darling? am coming for yooouu. to enlist. sigh. such a crush on that turbaned stallion.
but that was the 70's
bet they are all pretty Mcdonalds by now.
wud recommend istanbul, still, maybe.
lenoir

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Liz B said...

Sorry guys, forgot to add the link to documentary film on the proliferation of nuclear war "Counting Down To Zero"

https://youtu.be/Js-CxhYO590

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Seneca's Cliff said...

I have been waiting with my fingers crossed and hoping against all odds that Schmiden will pick Tulsi as his VP. I can't get enough of those workout videos. But my real hope is that he will pick Tulsi, and Trumpolini will go full nepotism and pick Ivanka as his V.P. Then instead of a V.P.debate, we can have a cage fight between Tulsi and Ivanka. People from around the world will really know the true America then.

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Speaking of Trump, I thought this was an interesting article on how Trump might still win the election. I think the author is especially correct about the overrepresentation of college-educated voters in polls. I would still put my money on Biden but you never know. I thought Clinton would win in 2016 and I was wrong.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/07/how-trump-could-win-reelection/612205/

I suppose Trump is the better option from a declinist point of view, although I doubt that Joe Biden will really fix anything important. Biden is a "return to normalcy" candidate, but what does "normal" mean for Americans?

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-11/joe-biden-s-return-to-normalcy-campaign-has-echoes-of-1920

6:52 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

JGarden. Revised and shortened. I have visited all the countries you asked about and speak Egyptian Arabic. Algeria is amazing and unique and basically no tourists, Tunisia is incredible With Roman ruins (El Djem) and my favorite medina, Morocco has great food but many more tourists, Casablanca is a bit dull because it is new, Fez is my favorite city there also famous for its Medina. And Egypt is the absolute best of all. An Arabic saying is that Egypt is the mother of the world.

I applaud for going places that terrify most Americans. Outside of a few more intrepid ones in Egypt and Morocco, you won’t see any. How can you visit countries you’ve never heard of unless you’ve heard about heroic efforts to killterrorists and destabilize the region? All in the name of hustling, of course!!

6:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Seneca-

Actually, I think the term is cat fight. But I too am pulling for Tulsi. I think she is the only person in all of the US who can save us. It's time for her now to step forward, and explain the philosophy of Tulsism. More workout videos wd also help.

jj-

I 2nd the vote on Istanbul. Was there in 2007; it was abs. fabulous. Then go down to Izmir, swim in the Aegean--the 'wine-dark sea'--as did Odysseus.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/%C4%B0zmir,+Turkey/@38.2805627,23.2111219,6z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x14bbd862a762cacd:0x628cbba1a59ce8fe!8m2!3d38.423734!4d27.142826?hl=en

mb

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Happy belated birthday, Dr. B.

Trump's Axios Interview was one for the books. "We're last, meaning we're first!" Schmiden's attempt to outdo Trump's interview was lame, but funny nonetheless:

"Biden scoffs when asked if he's taken a cognitive test"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2D4oIQ4gDhs

Biden: "Are you a junkie?"

I don't know about you, but I can't wait for the debates. And if the major networks really want to rake in the cash, they should air back-to-back Karen videos during the commercial timeslots.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jamie-

Shukran, and Allah akbar! I really hafta learn a bit of Arabic, and visit the places you describe. Egypt especially.

Tom-

Schmiden may win, at this pt, and 'return to normalcy' just means rerun the Obama years, wh/were actually a disaster sugared over w/fine, meaningless speeches. His victory might slow the American collapse down a tad, but it sure won't stop it. It's amazing that the best the US can come up with in terms of candidates are two old white geezers. Talk abt decrepitude.

mb

7:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: pick yr favorite stage:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvhy6iybvXI

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Scarlett said...

Elliott Abrams, convicted of lying about Iran-Contra, named special representative for Iran https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/elliott-abrams-iran-contra-named-special-representative-iran/

Everything's totally normal

8:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Scarlett-

I understand he will be changing his name to Harun al-Rashid.

mb

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Soggy Croutons said...

MB and Wafers, above, the desire to learn Arabic was expressed. I, out of quarantine boredom in the late Spring, decided to dive into this as a challenge and found a resource by a teacher named Imran Alawiye that was very helpful (all references to "Arabic" refer to Modern Standard Arabic): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qwdyx9kAPlU

He has instructional videos dating back at least to 2016. Posted is the link to the very first lesson, but if you go through his channel, you will find all subsequent courses to this one.

I also offer the following:

Arabic uses a triliteral root system, unlike the Indo-European languages. Roots in Arabic exist as a triad of consonants: one each at the beginning, middle, and end of a word.

The writing system is cursive, and letters in a word connect with each other with a few exceptions for clarity (like ل vs ا).

The letter غ is like the French "r". The letter ذ is just the voiced counterpart of ث, matching Modern Greek δ and θ, respectively. This relationship is analogous to English "b" and "p" or "g" and "k". Finally, the distinctions between letters س and ص, letters د and ض, letters ت and ط, and letters ذ and ظ can be found in the pit of the throat.

Arabic speakers, please issue any corrections if necessary. Hope this helps.

9:50 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of Course he is...The IDEOCRACY in the film by that name is HERE!


https://www.the-sun.com/news/1268485/kanye-west-campaign-president-joe-biden-trump-reelection/

10:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

One of the greatest douche bags in the history of the world, married to one of the greatest douche baguettes. Can you imagine, say 30 yrs ago, this pair of clowns being in the news?

Sog-

!الله أكبر

mb

10:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check it out:

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-08-06/coronavirus-pandemic-next-virus

11:11 PM  
Blogger escapefromwisconsin said...

Essential reading by Ed Yong in The Atlantic: How The Pandemic Defeated America:

Twitter thread for the hurried: https://twitter.com/edyong209/status/1291366964070354946

"COVID‑19 is an assault on America’s body, and a referendum on the ideas that animate its culture. Recovery is possible, but it demands radical introspection."

This is the choice: Look away and behind, or inward and ahead.


When had America *ever* looked inward???

11:14 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

escape-

Already posted and discussed, but a reposting can't hurt, I suppose.

mb

12:50 AM  
Blogger The Wanderer said...

OGO wrote: “(Megan?) posted links to articles that demonstrated that masks *were* effective, and I remember I asked if there were any studies that came to the opposite conclusion.” There are 1,000’s of articles but no science to back these little paper and cloth masks.

Recent example from the NYT: Research Boosts Evidence of Masks’ Utility, Some Experts Say
however when you follow their links, they link to clinical trials using SURGICAL masks. That naughty NYT ...trying to fool us.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/27/world/coronavirus-covid-19.html

Recent example: they know they don’t have any science to back these cloth/paper masks so they try this: You Must Not ‘Do Your Own Research’ When It Comes To Science
https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2020/07/30/you-must-not-do-your-own-research-when-it-comes-to-science/#7c03b5e5535e

Are we selfish? nariccists? psychopaths? or are we the few Americans who read alternative sources around the globe and apply a little critical thinking?
https://jennifermargulis.net/cdc-mask-wearing-policy-not-supported-by-science/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=cd2b092a-8d95-448d-93c6-b209ae20ada2

7:22 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

@Joe McIlnen- apologies for stepping on your Karen copyright. Like Kleenex, I assumed that Karens were simply free range memes.

@Scarlett- I saw that, Elliot Abrams in charge of Iraq. Steven Miller wants him around for inspiration and mentorship. I think Trump's plans for the next three months is complete:

'Law and Order' at home, trade war with China, military conflict with Iran. I expect a (false flag?) event to push the BLM/police conflict to the forefront before November so Trump can send his shock troops out in force.

@alex carter: Libraries almost always offer internet access at computers. And many resource places for the homeless and near-homeless also provide computer access. Poke around. I would miss your insights and your reports if you lose access. I have decided to stop pretending to be cool and now simply turn around, cross the street, or anything possible to avoid the zombies.

Hard to keep up with all ways Trump's people are dragging the US into the Dark Ages, but let's not forget closing down the US Post Office-

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2020/07/they-will-kill-the-post-office-if-they-can-get-away-with-it

Time to reread The Crying of Lot 49 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crying_of_Lot_49

7:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Well, is it me, or have things slowed down a bit? It seems like the country is slowly beating off, accomplishing 0. As for masks, half wear them and half don't. As for unemployment aid or another stimulus package, the politicos are, as usual, beating off (hey, they have enuf to eat, rt?). The Karens still rage, of course, but the bubbas are quiet. Here I thought they were going to bring us the boogaloo, but nada. BLM has degenerated into trivia like politically correct speech (we now capitalize Black); protests have abated. Police depts. remain pretty much as they were prior to George Floyd, and a few more blacks have been killed by white cops. Millions ignore the pandemic, won't do social distancing, and the # of deaths continues to rise. So a lot of the dust has settled, and if Schmiden wins in Nov., he has promised us status quo. The US continues to die the death of 1000 cuts, one day at a time.

But I wonder abt the virus, and whether that is not a just a cut but a 'node'--in the same category, let's say, that the crash of 2008 was. We have millions unemployed, a serious contraction of the economy, and a daily increase in the death toll. We are #1 virus-wise; many European countries won't let us in. And our reputation, esp. w/Trumpi at the helm, wd seem to be shot. Plus, the virus may never leave us; it may become a permanent condition, the background of our lives, so to speak. America is slowly sliding into oblivion, in short, and maybe, someday, even the NYT will realize that It's Over. Bye Bye Miss American Pie.

mb

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

JHK is back in a more normal mood today:

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/things-going-by/

the paragraph about large centralized high schools makes a good point.

And yep MB, you are right about things slowing down. I'm up here in George Floyd land and you can hardly tell anything happened unless you go looking for it. The economic consequences of the death by covid of Amerikkan capitalism (low-pay labor, just in time delivery, disposable income) has knocked people down.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pastrami-

We shall survive the protests and George and BLM because Americans think that outrage is = to political organization and ideological coherence. The powers that be are equally stupid, because they think that these protests, or OWS, or even the student uprisings of the 60s, constitute something more than theater. So they just create counter-theater; which is still theater, i.e., beating off.

As for the virus: in this case, I think we are turning a very significant corner. Since the Twilight bk, I've argued that the country was going down the drain; the virus is serving to accelerate that process.

mb

12:09 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Wanderer, much of the links you have posted lately as rebuttals have not been very impressive, tbh, because the people making these arguments cant help but mix up legitimate reasoning w/ outright falsehoods and specious claims. In the article you just posted, Margulis says that cloth masks need to be laundered and fitted correctly to be most effective (True), then says masks cause headaches and oxygen deprivation - unproven and probably false, excepting individuals with special health conditions, which Margulis doesn't bother going into. She argues against using masks according to the precautionary principle. One of her links supporting this idea is an article by the Daily Mail lol (very scientific). She then ends the article by linking to an anti-vaccine group, and is a noted anti-vaccine speaker herself. Call me unconvinced.

My suggestion is that you apply the same level of critical-thinking you are advocating to your own sources, in addition to the recs coming from the CDC or NIH. The reality is we have no 100% true guidelines for this, and the reason that health authorities have been reluctant to be completely truthful with the public is because Americans interpret uncertainty to mean "I can do whatever I want". The behavior we are seeing in the news everyday is proof of that. As MB has suggested, lets move on to other topics.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Who was that masked man?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUpDG680uew

1:23 PM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Thanks MB for suggesting Eric Hoffer.

In the meantime, read this by Umair: https://eand.co/if-youre-depressed-by-the-end-of-the-world-read-this-3c60a27c0744
I really liked his portrayal of consumerism as our defense mechanism against existential despair. He has surpassed himself in this article. But my gut feeling is that none of the things he proposes/wishes is likely to happen anytime soon. Not just USA, we as a species may be just beating off. Waiting for the climate collapse to wipe off much of our 'civilization'. Maybe, some time, some day a more intelligent civilization emerges.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

Just read the today's Kunstler column. And yes, this one made a lot of sense. I'm particularly in agreement with what he had to say about this half-assed baseball season. And he's right that we're seeing the beginning of the demise of pro and college sports. Whatever one thinks about sports on that level it's hard to argue that its one of the few things that holds people together in some fashion. They may not agree on much but at least the 'lakefront liberal' and bubba can agree on their mutual love of the Chicago Cubs. When even that's gone what then? Stay safe all.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Who’s George Floyd?

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

A pretty good essay that names the
causal factor in American decline that many other essays miss - Americans.

https://www.inquirer.com/columnists/attytood/why-america-botched-coronavirus-response-2020-20200806.html

4:29 PM  
Blogger Cyrillia Juniper said...

MB and Wafers:

In the What Could Go Wrong category, this one will probably win the Oscar:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/07/south-dakota-bikers-rally-coronavirus-pandemic

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Good one by Naomi:

https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/64449-how-not-to-lose-the-lockdown-generation

and if any of your so-called liberal friends whine, "How are we going to pay for it?" Just say we can pay for a new CCC, and healthcare for all, and paycheck protection simply by cutting the militarily by 95%. $740 billion my ass: https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/21/politics/house-to-vote-ndaa-confederate-names-military-bases/index.html.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cyr-

Well, they're bubbas, and I can't help it: I love the bubbas. What bothers me abt the picture is the lack of Karens, however. We need Karens.

Anjin-

Gd essay, but at end he says, "If we don't [do this or that]," instead of simply saying, "You can be sure we won't [do this or that]." If you can't openly state the latter, yr not living in reality.

Dr. Shit-

Damned if I know...

Indian-

This essay is in QOV:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2013/01/11/the-hula-hoop-theory-of-history/

mb

5:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

So much has changed in the wake of BLM:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/06/us/louisiana-supreme-court-trnd/index.html

6:15 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Such a DRAMA QUEEN!!!


https://summit.news/2020/08/07/trump-this-may-be-the-last-time-youll-see-me-for-a-while/


Currently watching the movie “To Catch a Thief” with Cary Grant and Grace Kelly...the location was the French Riviera, and the scenery is fabulous...I want to move there tomorrow!!

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Uncle Latke said...

A recommendation for the weekend Wafers, read some Neurotic Beauty and watch Samurai Gourmet (on Netflix). I need some croquettes now!

11:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Latke-

Well check this out, then:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/08/07/arts/design/hokusai-fuji.html?action=click&module=Editors%20Picks&pgtype=Homepage

mb

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Deadthoreau said...

It's interesting to see covid really expose the pathologies of the hustle first mentality and its even more interesting to watch people wake up to how rotten people are in the USA. The person who wrote this piece might as well join us, this is Wafer to the core.

"A huge chunk of the American public simply doesn’t care, even if people are dying and the economy is on fire. They’re just dead inside."

"There’s no prescription for this. No public health tool can work on a public that doesn’t care about anybody else, or even themselves. These are people that won’t practice basic hygiene and wear a mask. How are you going to get them to take a vaccine? These are people that make death threats against public health experts. How are you going to get them to listen to them? A change of government won’t help. Americans are ungovernable."

"People talk about Biden being close in Texas like it is a good thing. It’s horrifying. After getting nearly 10,000 Texans killed and causing a Greater Depression, things are just close in Texas? How fucking stupid is Texas? And Oklahoma, and 40% of the country?"

https://medium.com/@indica/biden-cant-save-america-from-covid-19-7678f1a415dc

12:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Unknown-

Sorry, I don't post Unknowns. You need a real handle. Thank you.

Thoreau-

At last, a writer who is not afraid to call the American people stupid, repeatedly, and the cause of our collapse. It can't be said enuf. I wd have also appreciated 'soulless buffoons', but at least he said that Americans are dead. Duh!

mb

1:16 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:35 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Here's an online article about the 1945 fire-bombing of Japan-

"A Forgotten Holocaust: US Bombing Strategy, the Destruction of Japanese Cities & the American Way of War from World War II to Iraq," by Mark Selden-

https://apjjf.org/-Mark-Selden/2414/article.html

Mr. Selden also discusses the Nanjing Massacre, the post-WWII war crimes trials, etc.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Joseph A. Domino said...

As for Jonathan Swann's probing questions, e.g., trying get Trump to understand percentage of population, I guess that's what Trump's supporters were referring to as "liberal porn". Truth and facts are obscene. If a biography of Trump is written afterwards, its title should be "It is What It is."

My favorite nickname for Trump is IQ45. Seriously, I think it's in the 75-80 range. So, looking ahead, Biden wins and Trump actually leaves without a fuss. He doesn't run in 2024 and passes it off to Kamala Harris. The GOP (death cult) wants another Trump, but one with a triple digit IQ, knowledgeable on history, economics, world affairs. Think Tom Cotton, Senator from Arkansas, maybe Bill Barr as veep. They will win and continue the transformation of the U.S. into a quasi- or full-blown nazi state.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Tim2 said...

Dr Berman and Wafers

I know the subject is closed but please reconsider allowing this
to be posted. Wudufugel response to the Wanderer may be further supported by the link. A possible RCT on mask wearing has a moral component to it that may be very difficult to overcome and no group so far has stepped forward to perform one. What non covid mask wearing
person would like to be in a vent connected room with covid masked individuals to determine mask effectiveness and what would the sample
size need to be statistically significant? It is a tough nut to crack
and maybe not crackable but there are indications that coupled with
maintaining distance and hygiene, masking up maybe helpful. You can of course still decide by applying your own critical thinking skills after reading the article. After all we all have Google PhDs

https://www.wired.com/story/how-masks-went-from-dont-wear-to-must-have/

11:25 AM  
Anonymous SrVidaBuena said...

Won't be news to anyone here, but at least they're calling it what it is:

https://onezero.medium.com/the-gig-economy-is-failing-say-hello-to-the-hustle-economy-13ae3aa91954

12:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

SrVida-

Actually, we've been hustling for more than 400 yrs. See WAF.

Tim2-

Please explain acronyms, in future. Anyway: Por favor, no more on masks!!!

Joe-

Gd to hear from u. Remember that in the US, people w/high IQs are also dumb.

mb

1:49 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

A lot of people ignore another awful possiblity: Trump loses in 2020, has to leave, but runs again (and wins) in 2024. He'll be as old then as Biden is now. Dementia is clearly no barrier to high office.

When Spengler wrote about senile elites I don't think even he imagined it literally, but here we are.

3:16 PM  
Blogger The Wanderer said...

OGO..I would like to respond if you'll permit..
Pastrami and Coleslaw said who really cares if you have to wear a piece of cloth over your face?” This is how the government gains authoritarian control over us…we are indifferent and comply. It’s always baby steps…next comes vaccines, tracking apps on our phones and the contact trackers invading our homes.
https://www.newsweek.com/california-county-fining-residents-1000-not-wearing-face-masks-public-1496692
Requiem: the Fauci interview: when the student asks for a clinical trial wouldn’t Fauci have mentioned that he has scientific proof already?
WuduFugel weakness of articles. You are so right. I asked for a waiver of the ½ page limit so I could post about 40 links to original clinical trials published in scientific journals. Again if Fauci had even ONE clinical trial that proved efficacy, wouldn’t that be blasted all over the front page of the NYT?
Tim2 Fauci is now admitting the masks aren’t sufficient as the virus is also transmitted via aerosol…so it gets in via our eyes and it’s also on packages, fruits, vegetables etc. It is quite possible that most of us have already been exposed and like the other 99.6% of humans, we didn’t even know we had it or we got sick and recovered.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

I’m going to be a narc and say a lot of people on the site seem to have lost sight of why we are Wafers in the first place. Why are you using this site to fight about masks, or denigrate Republicans (as if Dems are any better), or blamed the US South as if the rest of the US is a utopia for POC? This entire place has been run into the ground and there are few innocent parties. Power and wealth corrupt. What is unique in the US is that neither political party ever checked that power. I taught adult education classes for one year while applying to grad school. Students didn’t know how many inches were in a foot, how to spell shoes, a quarter didn’t know multiplication tables. This is system wide neglect. Look into the NyTimes podcast called Nice White Parents about what happens when their kids don’t get the best of everything. I don’t hate the little guys, not even the bubbas. I hate the powerful who are abusers. Also currently reading The Mandibles. Dear God.

And Sog, great job on the Arabic. I studied for years (including living in Egypt) and it all checks out. Truly impressive.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

I think Domino makes an excellent point. I see this all as a possible repeat of 1976/1980. The liberals thought they had won a great victory by forcing out Nixon and defeating Ford. Of course just four years later Reagan, a man far worse in every way than Nixon, stormed to victory. That could very well happen again. Biden wins; Trump is told to leave by the money class. He has no choice but to run away. In fact, he probably wants out anyway. The progs think righteousness has conquered and all is well. Four years down the road someone with smarts comes along and things really go south fast. Stay safe all.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jamie-

Lots of confusion, habibi. We don't sit around blaming the South here; check out WAF ch. 4 to get clear on that. We argue abt masks because it's a legitimate issue, obviously related to the pandemic that is bringing the American empire to its knees, wh/is the subject of this blog (altho by now, the mask issue is rather stale). As for the ignorance of students and Americans in general: it has been a constant theme on this blog, and in my published work. Where have you been? Nor do we hate the bubbas, and in fact we love the Karens. Your major error is thinking that the 'little guys' have been abused, end of story. No, not end of story. These little guys buy into the system quite eagerly, and we have hashed out the false consciousness argument ad nauseam. You come rather late to the party, amigo. It wd help if you did yr homework b4 making these broad, off-base pronouncements. (Also saying 'you' comes off as a put-down. This is a big no-no. There are polite ways to disagree.)

Wanderer-

For the love of god, let this be the last word on masks. As far as I can make out, we don't have anything definitive on the subject, and have not resolved the issue via our ongoing debate. We are at a stalemate w/a stale topic by now. Ya basta!

mb

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Masks,schmasks; virus,schmirus.

The lineup at the McD's drive-thru yesterday was so long it blocked traffic in the street.

“At some point or other in the battle of life one must ‘nail one's colours to the mast' and I will do this here and now when I speak my conviction that if any nation with limited resources at its disposal, be they financial or human, were to put its money into good food for every citizen, proper housing for every citizen, clean safe water for all, proper disposal of sewage and waste for the whole community-it could safely ignore the ever increasing demand for the provision of expensive hospitals, clinics, physicians, chemicals, antibiotics and vaccines in the campaign against tuberculosis." ~ Dr Basil Dormer (1958)

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

It's 75 years since the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan. How quickly we forget, possibly because we were never really told the truth about what happened.

Activism Munich has just released two in-depth interviews with historian Peter Kuznick detailing why it happened.

https://youtu.be/8QGZmPNbhKs

https://youtu.be/vZVIuvxIZ84

It's not the tale I grew up learning in school or books or movies or news.

It's taken me all my life to begin to understand the brainwashing that goes on in North America. MB's books, this blog and the internet have all really helped.

Better late than never!

6:08 PM  
Blogger Judy Sacco said...

You want a definitive real world study on the benefits of masks? Kansas has counties that mandate masks and other counties that don't. In the counties with mask mandates, there was a deep drop in the incidence of covid infections. Enough said.
https://www.kctv5.com/coronavirus/kansas-counties-with-mask-mandate-show-steep-covid-19-drop/article_3c413006-9f8b-5eb6-9bd6-d088976180a4.html

6:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Judy-

Ay, Chica! Enuf with masks already! I'm going to shoot myself.

mb

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Ordinary Indian, it's funny that Umair refers to Sartre and the French existentialists in his article, because I don't think he fully understands the big picture. It's a cliché to say that the Germans have profundity and the French the art to make something sound interesting and attractive. Sartre and the French existentialists are just reaching the end of the road of radical atheism, not really solving the problems posited by German philosophers like Feuerbach and, especially, Nietzsche. French existentialism is indeed intriguing, but it doesn't feed the soul, it degenerates in performance art or, worse, into political tribalism.

If humanity is to survive, I'm convinced it needs to rediscover spirituality. Clever fellows like Modi sense that and try to make gains by peddling the traditional religion, but going back to it it's not going to cut it. Humanity needs something newer and older at the same time.

PS Sorry for just spouting my opinions, but hey, at least I didn't talk about masks!

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Seneca’s Cliff said...

@wanderer,
You seem to have a misunderstanding about how Wafers view the inevitable decline of America. Your thesis seems to be that if we can avoid mandatory public health measures like vaccinations then we can prevent the country from sliding in to authoritarianism or worse. But a true Wafer knows there is nothing that can prevent the inevitable decline of the USA in to ruin and welcomes anything that will get it there faster ,such as the election of Trumpolini. Let loose of your fears and join us, the show is just getting started.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I visited the Riviera around 15 years ago (Not quite a chichi experience. We slept on the floor of my wife's nephew's apartment - he was a tech at the Cannes airport at the time), and recall a couple of impressions.

Regarding the landscape; hovering on the horizon off the beach at Cannes was a US aircraft carrier. It pretty well dominated the view to sea. Another scene was a little excursion we took to Monaco. We were standing outside the casino at Monte Carlo and some celebrity walked by, surrounded by four gorillas. The others there were ooh-ing and aah-ing, but I didn't know who she was. At about that time I noticed a streetsweeper going through the motions of sweeping the gutter in front of the Hotel de Paris. I'll never forget the expression on his face, which I'd describe as "somebody please shoot me."

I never really understood the guillotine until that trip, as I'd never seen actual rich people before. Intellectually I could grasp what was behind the French Revolution, but seeing the disparity between rich and poor like that allowed me to understand the tricoteuses viscerally.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

For the record, I am not wearing a mask as I type this. Deal with it.

That is all.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan D-

Yr the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm going to get a .357 Magnum and end it all.

Seneca-

Let me add that from a certain pt of view, the 'show' comes off as high comedy. Who wd have believed any of this, even 20 yrs ago? Who wd have believed 38% of Americans wdn't drink Corona beer because it sounded like corona virus? Who wd have believed the president wd endorse an obese Houston doctor, quite obviously demented, who declared that the cause of the epidemic was sex with demons? And the bubbas, the Karens...(etc.)

Malleus-

Thank god for small favors. Next post: lotsa links.

mb

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Soggy Croutons said...

Ordinary Indian

Thanks for posting that article. Some of his findings - "the real" and what humanity ultimately must do, and as far as I feel, always should have been doing considering our relative power over other beings - are what bricked me in the face this Summer. He felt what I did.

The depths that we stoop to and the suffering that we inflict while we avoid rising to the good that we are capable of - to use our abilities to instead ease the suffering of others including those beyond our own species - is shameful and disappointing.

In a way, it's fitting: we must earn our chance to remain on Earth. Otherwise, we may not even be worthy of it.

Sorry if this is a little dramatic, but it's a sore spot for me. Such negligence.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

Malleus, it's more likely that Islam will probably be the ultimate winner of the battle of religions.

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/06/why-muslims-are-the-worlds-fastest-growing-religious-group/

Pew Research has a 10 facts about Atheists. It was interesting to find that Atheists were the highest among the groups that had rated money as giving them meaning in life. Though I admit I find it weird that Americans say family is important to them because their society is so antifamily...

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/12/06/10-facts-about-atheists/

9:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sog-

Next post: lotsa links.

mb

9:45 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Happy weekend, Dr. Berman & Wafers. Please enjoy Karen Sunday, Episode #3. Co-starring are a couple of Darrens too. LOL!

https://heavy.com/news/2020/05/watch-puerto-rican-man-karen-video-wisconsin-park/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP6yuNJctEQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNa_CsZ27xM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f456x1Zvz3U

1:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joe-

I have no interest in returning to the US, but I *do* wish I cd see the Karens live, in action. For me, this represents a great loss. Videos are fine, but I want to be right there, while a Karen is Karening. I may be tired of masks, but I shall never be tired of Karens.

mb

4:10 AM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

"sex with demons..." It's not deluded Dr. B. It's the monster girls from Monster Girl Encyclopedia. The monster girl's get their energy from spiritual energy called manna. Men have that manna in their semen. Through sex and love the monster girls live and flourish. These monster girls should sue this "doc" for libel and slander since these monster girls are not the cause of Covid? What do you think? Think they have a shot in court?

Finally, I know the best word for the American people. I wanted to describe them as selfish but how can they be if they don't even care about their own self-interests at all? What describes a people who neither cares about others or themselves. No self-preservation at all. The most apt description is the Eloi from the time machine. But, the Eloi were nicer though. Too nice. Americans are vicious Eloi. That's what they are.

4:21 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

Moving away from the 'M***' debate before Dr Berman's head explodes:

One of my favourite things about this blog is the great art and culture that bloggers share. Here are some great cultural works that I have been enjoying:

"The Black Count" A great biography of the Father or Alexandre Dumas (the author of "The Man in the Iron Mask") who was an empancipated slave and citizen/soldier of the French Republic:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Count:_Glory,_Revolution,_Betrayal,_and_the_Real_Count_of_Monte_Cristo

WB Yeat's remarkable work: "Per Amica Silenta Lunae", in which he explored ideas of the anti self and the role of the mask in personal and social transformation:

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/33338/33338-h/33338-h.htm

"The Mask Of Anarchy": PB Shelley's great poem about he Peterloo Massacre, including the lines: "I met Murder on the way -
He had a mask like Castlereagh -"

https://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/poetryperformance/shelley/poem3/shelley3.html

Finally, EA Poe's great short story "The Masque of the Red Death", which becomes more relevant with each passing day:

https://www.poemuseum.org/the-masque-of-the-red-death

4:34 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

The German Democratic Republic comes to Durham...

DURHAM, N.C. — Duke University is giving the Durham community a direct line to report coronavirus concerns involving students.
The news comes just days after people in Chapel Hill raised a red flag over a group of young women packed into an off-campus house, potentially for some type of sorority activity. When [Duke] classes begin, every student is expected to sign ‘ The Duke Compact,’ a pledge to maintain a safe and health campus by wearing face coverings in public spaces, washing hands often, and maintain appropriate physical distance. Students can anonymously report others not following these policies to the reporting line.

https://wr.al/1Ifgx

[Research by the German state of Thuringia on the East German Ministry for State Security (Stasi) published on 10 March 2008 revealed that as late as the eve of the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall, around 189,000 people were Stasi informers. This in a country of 16 millions. The report, by historian Helmut Mueller-Enbergs, revealed that in total some 620,000 people worked undercover for Stasi in both East and West Germany during the 51 years of the GDR’s existence.. [https://www.dw.com/en/east-german-stasi-had-189000-informers-study-says/a-3184486-1]

7:35 AM  
Blogger Tim2 said...

Dr Berman and Wafers

Looks like we could have a remake of the 1986 comedy
“The Three Amigos “. The potential stars could be
Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Baker and of course the latest
Jerry Falwell Jr. Potentially a great comedy for
sure. The Evangelicals must be beside themselves.
This could be a great hustle in disguise though because when
Jerry repents for his indiscretions it will rain pennies from
heaven from his followers for an eternity. Hilarious.

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-falwell-stepping-down-20200807-ql5gzndhpjadphjd7nmfmkhxcm-story.html

9:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim2-

Jesus, what a moron.

cor-

Actually, I'm tired of even hearing the *word*!.

cube-

So wd the Karens and bubbas be Morlocks?

mb

10:24 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

A profound read: "The World As I Found It," by Bruce Duffy. It's a novel, but in reality a biography of Wittgenstein. I 1st read it in 1988. 32 yrs later, I decided to reread it. It's breathtaking.

mb

11:37 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

@Malleus, I cannot comment on Umair's grasp of the bigger picture, because formal philosophy is not my cup of tea. However, reading his article I did not feel that any of Sartre, Camus, Nietzsche or Feuerbach was the point. You can replace his Sartre/Camus w/ anything you want, but his argument can still be made (This is my understanding, not a defense of Umair). The point is, 'existential despair' is his central question, and he sees both religion and consumerism as our defense against it. Use whatever name you wish, 'existential despair' has bothered thinkers over the time. After all, wasn't the Buddha pondering over similar questions? (https://web.sonoma.edu/users/d/daniels/buddhapage.html). If I understood him correctly, MB tried to convey something similar in his essay in QOV. We (or the west at least) constantly attempts to impose a 'Meaning' on history as otherwise our existence becomes too confusing.

We will discuss Modi another time. Let's not spoil our day.

@Soggy, thanks. It was a sore spot for me as well. But MB has taught me to look at it in this way: only some ppl will have enlightenment. Sounds snooty, but it's really the most objective way I can put things.

12:57 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of Course he did...this is what malignant psychopathic narcissist’s DO!


New York Times: White House reached out to South Dakota governor about adding Trump to Mount Rushmore.


https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/09/politics/mount-rushmore-trump-south-dakota/index.html

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Americans are more anxious and economically damaged from the pandemic than citizens of other wealthy nations.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/carlieporterfield/2020/08/06/americans-are-more-anxious-and-economically-battered-from-coronavirus-than-citizens-of-other-wealthy-countries/#27679ec16a8c

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

"existential despair" at its core is the ultimate despair of contemplating one's own death.
(read Ernest Becker" Denial of Death and Escape from Evil.)

Becker relied on the work of Søren Kierkegaard, Sigmund Freud, Wilhelm Reich, Norman O. Brown, Erich Fromm, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, and especially Otto Rank. Becker believed that the denial of one's mortality is a necessary component of functioning in the world.
But that much of the evil in the world was due to humanity's need to deny death by creating "immortality projects" - religion, consumerism, legacies, dying the noble death, heroism.

What Camus and others were struggling with, according to Becker, was the need to find meaning to existence in the midst certain non-existence. Reasons to keep on living with the knowledge that one's life was temporary and certain to end in the grave.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

I do not know if Wafers are familiar with Kent Nerburn's book "Neither Wolf Nor Dog - On Forgotten Roads With an Indian Elder". Below is a website with quotes from the book:

https://bookquoters.com/book/neither-wolf-nor-dog-on-forgotten-roads-with-an-indian-elder?fbclid=IwAR3V-0N0udWKbOoV7Us5hL4tvLAC0rc0fA2mNQyIb2HyfE7wCR5oasgy7g8#:~:text=But%20in%20my%20heart%20I%20struggle%20to%20forgive%2C,as%20great%20as%20a%20mountain%20or%20a%20forest.

Here are a couple quotes (by Dan the Indian Elder):

“Think of that Thoreau fellow. I've read some of his books. He went out and lived in a shack and looked at a pond. Now he's one of your heroes. If I go out and live in a shack and look at a pond, pretty soon I'll have so many damn social workers beating on my door that I won't be able to sleep. “They'll start scribbling in some damn notebook: ‘No initiative. No self-esteem.’ They'll write reports, get grants, start some government program with a bunch of forms.”
“Here is what I really think. White people are jealous of us. If it hadn't been for your religion you would have lived just like us from the first minute you got to this land. You knew we were right. You started wearing our clothes. You started eating our food. You learned how to hunt like us. When you fought the English you even fought like us. “You came to this country because you really wanted to be like us. But when you got here you got scared and tried to build the same cages you had run away from. If you had listened to us instead of trying to convert us and kill us, what a country this would be.” “Hannh, hannh,” Grover said in a subdued gesture of approval. “That's damn straight, Dan.”

Himanshu

4:28 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Cormorant, I agree. Thats what I also like about this place. I've gotten a lot of good book/movie recs from here over the last few years. Personally I can only stand so much Karen watching before I want to puke. Reading the Masque story by Poe does feel eerie right now doesn't it, except our "Red Death" is stupidity. My turn to share:

The Food Lab - Recipe book but also teaches a lot about the science of cooking, while still being entertaining with a lot of humor. I bought the hardcover, who wants a cook book on a kindle?

Civilized to Death - Contrasts hunter-gatherer or pre-civilized life with modern life. A lot of overlap with wandering god imo.

Just how stupid are we? facing the truth about the American voter - Provocative title, but if anything Rick Shenkman goes too easy on the American public. For recent movies, I recommended "Knives Out", a whodunit murder mystery with a selfish, greedy American family at the center. Free on Amazon Prime.

5:45 PM  
Blogger The Wanderer said...

Seneca’s Cliff...I'm way beyond the delusion that anything can save the implosion of the US Empire. I left the US years ago. My personal concern is global and I'm much more concerned about this planned demolition of the world economy and what they hope to replace it with.

Imagine a virus so deadly that you have to be tested in order to know if you have it or not.
while there's something making people sick, 99.6% exposed to it recover and 80% don't even know they have it. So I just thought Wafers might be open to some critical thinking about why governments are shutting down their country's economies and taking direction from Big Pharma and Gates who control 80% of WHO.

In all fairness this blog is focused on the USA so long live the Karens.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wanderer-

It may not be a 'planned demolition'. A # of scholars, such as Wolfgang Streeck, have argued for a structural demolition; no conspiracy needed. It's in the cards, in other words; the fix is in. And this is how most empires collapse. (In our case, we have the added benefit of the Karens.)

mb

7:35 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

I've been looking for information like this for some time now. Watching this covid circus unfold over the last couple of months has been the most bizarre thing I have ever seen and now I can finally come straight out and call it bullshit with confidence.
"COVID19 PCR Tests are Scientifically Meaningless
Though the whole world relies on RT-PCR to “diagnose” Sars-Cov-2 infection, the science is clear: they are not fit for purpose"
https://off-guardian.org/2020/06/27/covid19-pcr-tests-are-scientifically-meaningless/?fbclid=IwAR3G6Fuq8C-8XW7szL43scbKOYFx78irq52A6ZQCRdZmPMWiHTqD_2jv4Zo

Cat's outta the bag now... watch the Narrative Machine triple down. Ha ha - pun... I wash my hands of the whole affair. Life is to be lived... not spent finding phantoms to be afraid of. Best to all Wafers, carry on.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

@The Wanderer- I am actually enjoying the demolition of the world economy. It gives me hope. It has been a blight on humanity for far too long. The sooner the bloated consumptive economies of first world countries like the US implode, the better. We have seen the ways people use the height of technology, and it is stupid and trite and unbelievably depressing to see what we have done with the amount of resources and people at our command. The height of 500 years of economic expansion and we end up with.... twitter and Donald trump. Flush it away, the sooner the better.

I do not believe that humanity will consciously reduce resource exploitation and such. I think we will have no choice en masse, and that the process will be brutal beyond belief as inter- and intramural fights for survival intensify. This isn't about Bill Gates or Covid-19 survival or diagnostic rates.


How many Earths do we need?
https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33133712

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Seneca’s Cliff said...

Check out these two hustlers. They figure that because many colleges will be online they can set up remote college living bubbles and skim off the room and board profit for themselves. The photo of these two jerks will tell you all you need to know. Their choice of bubble locations, Hawaii and Arkansas? At least they could have had one in Florence or Kyoto so the students could have gotten a head start on getting out of the country. I hope the Hawaiians get wise to these clowns and give them the beat down they deserve.

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Seneca’s Cliff said...

Sorry I forgot the link
https://www.businessinsider.com/2-princeton-grads-bubble-campus-hotels-remote-hawaii-college-photos-2020-8

10:52 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:12 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

r.u. unable to get hold of nuclear weaponry?

Dan D-

I'm w/u amigo, except I worry that Tulsi will step in at the last moment and turn everything around.

mb

12:26 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Req, et. al. On existential despair, be sure to also see MB's AQOV regarding Negative Identity.

Also see this interview cued at 10:45: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzgY20d2MtU&feature=youtu.be&t=645

Sadly, no deli meat news at this time. :(

9:47 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

For Pete's sake, alex, do you even read this blog?

Senseless violence isn't a problem restricted to the USA. I just read this article, and was shocked to see that I know the mother of this kid:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/we-loved-him-to-the-max-family-says-dartagnan-whitehead-a-loving-caring-kid-despite-gang-ties-1.5680070

She was a student of mine a couple of years ago. I last saw her in the spring before the shutdown, and she told me she was getting ready to move to Calgary to start work once she graduated. I wonder what she'll do now.

12:04 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of Course they did...it’s all down hill from here my fellow WAFERS...I Can’t wait to be situated on the French Riviera wearing my beret, reading and writing existentialist novels, smoking Gitanes, and flirting with French beauties...at least that’s the fantasy at the moment!


https://www.the-sun.com/news/1283041/pro-cop-protesters-brawl-american-flag-colorado/

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Normally I don't really like Niall Ferguson but he makes some good points here:
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-08-09/tiktok-is-the-superweapon-in-china-s-cultural-warfare

Future historians will marvel that we didn’t give our kids crack cocaine, but did give them TikTok.

...

If you need an update on how the Communist Party is using AI to build a surveillance state that makes Orwell’s Big Brother seem primeval — it’s actually more akin to the dystopia imagined in Yevgeny Zamyatin’s 1924 novel “We” — read Ross Andersen’s recent essay in the Atlantic, “The Panopticon Is Already Here.”

PS It seems that Biden is so fucking useless that Trump is still in with a good chance of winning the re-election:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/aug/10/joe-biden-needs-black-voters-so-why-does-he-keep-insulting-us

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Elderly woman with Coronavirus TOSSED into street-

https://youtu.be/OcvkcK8AyXU

3:01 PM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

Another one for the archives:

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/covid-19-end-of-american-era-wade-davis-1038206/

IMO, this article get's close to full Wafer until the arrogant stupidity of the last paragraph:

"If and when the Chinese are ascendant, with their concentration camps for the Uighurs, the ruthless reach of their military, their 200 million surveillance cameras watching every move and gesture of their people, we will surely long for the best years of the American century."

What, like the 1940s, 50s and 60s, when ethnic minorities were being treated so well in the US? And the reach of the military? Ahem, have you heard about the cold war?

Still worth a read though.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous John Doe said...

I am not sure whether David Fleming has been mentioned on this blog before(?) He is (was) a Wafer+historian, economist and green party theorist. He has lots of practical ideas about how to manage life in the "post-collapse" society. (Fleming's term is "climacteric"). Quite interesting and even hopeful, and a nice "practical" and economic complement to dr. Berman's excellent work.

https://leanlogic.online/guide-lean-logic/

or

https://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Future-Culture-Carnival-Aftermath/dp/1603586466

3:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn-

Since the sheriff was there, it's not clear to me why he didn't just shoot her, and simplify the matter.

Malleus-

The Guardian article didn't provide a single anti-black quotation from Biden. Not clear why we shd believe them.

jj-

Switch to Gaulois.

mb

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

Many on this blog over the years have offered what seems to me conclusive proof of the ignorance, stupidity, foolishness, greed and social suicidal ideations of the American people.

We know that American collapse is a certainty.. We know that when America falls she will take most of the world with her.

I know that there's not a damn think I or anyone else can do to stop it. The only choices I have are 1. to move to another country 2. to remain in America and protect myself and my family as best I can from the insanities of the future.

So I'd like to propose that we seriously think about what the next 30 years will be like for those of us who remain in the USA and what we need to do to protect ourselves from the consequences of American implosion. What options do we have? Where and how should we live? Should we establish intentional-type communities of Wafers to support one another? Any and all suggestions would be appreciated.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Req-

Gd questions. But I very much doubt that the American collapse will generate a world collapse.

mb

6:26 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Waferish/NMI Quote of the day:

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.
– Nelson Henderson


Himanshu

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Eric Jensen said...

The current administration seems to genuinely have a torched earth strategy. There's always Thucydides trap vis a vis China. A new cozying up to Taipei. Our 600 overseas military bases could wreak some pretty significant destruction. Our grip on the global financial markets is very fragile and could do some real damage. Gold and bitcoin have jumped significantly in value in the past month being an indication of lack of faith in the dollar. I'm saying that the US collapse will likely cause numerous kinds of painful global issues.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

It's true, reality is so bizarre that parody is now impossible. See an actual Rick DeSantis campaign ad from 2016:
Youtube
Someone should pay to rebroadcast this in Florida, right now...

Warning, don't be eating or drinking anything when you watch. You'll ruin your keyboard.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Eric-

Some evidence (links) wd help.

mb

8:22 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman & Wafers,

With all the news and confusion about Covid 19 worldwide, Trump destroying the highest office in the Land, and the utter disregard for wearing a mask, forgotten in all of this has been the usual daily mass shootings that take place in this here wasteland known as the United States of America. So here below are a few examples of them.

https://wtop.com/dc/2020/08/at-least-4-shooters-100-rounds-fired-at-fatal-southeast-dc-party/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/08/10/crowds-clash-police-after-shooting-chicago/3333353001/

https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/overnight-shootings-leave-3-dead-in-the-bronx-queens/2559023/


As an aside and speaking of confusion, I thought of a song that came out in 1970 whose words are so relevant today. Listen to the music, read the lyrics, and enjoy. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gb8JZ5wQGKI

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Eric Jensen said...

…since you asked… 3 separate topics, take your pick. My contention is that US collapse will wreak global havoc.

Thucydides trap is when a world power is being eclipsed by a rival power, driving the older power to inflict war on its new rival. The US potentially inflicts war on China.
https://geopoliticalfutures.com/the-thucydides-trap-and-the-rise-and-fall-of-great-powers/

Gold and bitcoin have made huge gains this month vis a vis the US dollar. This reflects the weakness of the dollar and its loss of position as the global reserve currency.
https://www.rt.com/shows/keiser-report/497336-summer-solutions-gold-supernova/

US troops in 141 nations are a threat under an unstable commander-in-chief.
https://www.salon.com/2020/04/01/americas-global-military-presence-skyrockets-under-trump-us-commandos-now-deployed-to-141-nations_partner/

10:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Eric-

Nice, but the Thucydides trap is just a theory. In any case, US collapse will surely wreak havoc, but I doubt it will be the end of the world; altho it cd (hopefully) be an impt step toward the breakdown of capitalism. However, I don't have any anti-Thucydides articles to offer. Meanwhile, I wd like to launch a currency called Bitrump, wh/wd have Kim's tushie on it.

Joe-

I usta post these shootings online, but now they fall into the category of 'pass the salt'. The stats are that averaged over time, Americans kill Americans in bunches every day.

mb

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Marcus said...

The village that imagined a godless world
In the Dorset parish of Chaldon Herring, 20th century intellectuals imagined a philosophy beyond Christianity
BY JOHN GRAY

John Gray on the Dorset village of Chaldon Herring for UnHerd

11:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Marcus-

A link wd be helpful.

mb

12:55 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:16 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

A new AMA report reveals an evolving, deadlier drug overdose epidemic in America. While the use of prescription opioids has declined there has been a dramatic increase in fatalities involving illicit opioids, stimulants (e.g. methamphetamine), heroin and cocaine.

https://www.ama-assn.org/press-center/press-releases/ama-report-shows-evolving-deadlier-overdose-epidemic

4:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Farmer-

The purpose of links is to provide evidence for an argument you are making about the decline of the American Empire. Pls keep that in mind. Thank you.

alex-

Kind of bizarre, amigo. Who are these 'guys' you are addressing?

mb

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Marcus said...

MB- many apologies!

edited post w link to John Gray's essay:

https://unherd.com/2020/08/the-village-that-imagined-a-godless-world/

The village that imagined a godless world
In the Dorset parish of Chaldon Herring, 20th century intellectuals imagined a philosophy beyond Christianity
BY JOHN GRAY

John Gray on the Dorset village of Chaldon Herring for UnHerd

7:52 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

THIS is the best America has on tap. Bill McKibben, a leading proponent of the need to fight global warming. Which I am all for, and personally I go far beyond McKibben who thinks that all we need to do is fine-tune capitalism as it is right now.

Anyway, his recent article on why everyone should look to Vermont for solving the Covid-19 thing. Because, well, gosh darn, we are such decent people here. His town with a population of 500 is his main example. I think that Garrison Keillor was the ghost writer-

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/what-vermont-and-its-history-might-teach-the-nation-about-handling-the-coronavirus

Neverm ind that Vermont has a huge contingent of trust-funded and investment funded refugees. That Mckibben, a Middlebury College professor, lives in a town that is almost all Middlebury professors and other well-off white people. Nevermind that the town's population is 0% Black, 0% Hispanic, 0% Asian...

https://statisticalatlas.com/county-subdivision/Vermont/Addison-County/Town-of-Ripton/Race-and-Ethnicity

But maybe that's what he means- get rid of all "those people" and we can have a white property owners' yeomen paradise?

America, where even the necessary ideas are ruined by ignorance and arrogance.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Holly Beck said...

Wow!

Orson Welles’s psychedelic 1973 adaptation of Plato’s timeless ‘allegory of the cave’ | Aeon Videos
https://aeon.co/amp/videos/orson-welless-psychedelic-1973-adaptation-of-platos-timeless-allegory-of-the-cave

10:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Sog-

You can continue posting; just try to avoid messages that are peculiar or cryptic. Thanks.

mb

11:04 AM  
Blogger A better future for all said...

"So wd the Karens and bubbas be Morlocks?"

No, the morlocks are not dumb.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

A nice run-through of American fascism:

https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2020/06/22/american-fascism-it-has-happened-here/

I've been quite blue of late, Wafers. I think the major cause of my depression is the fact that America will never implement the 999 plan. Perhaps God will listen to Herman Cain's signature policy proposal:

https://www.newyorker.com/news/postscript/herman-cain-a-man-who-paved-the-way-for-donald-trump

Miles

2:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

America blew it. It rejected the 999 Plan, and it ignored Tulsi. Nothing can save us now.

mb

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

The Karens can save us!

"KAREN squeals like pig"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhYQK4pd_8w

"KAREN relaxing boat vacation ruined" -- I think this one was overdosing on the demon sperm that Dr. Stella Immanuel prescribed:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJ07MMWSs_0

Then there's always Schmiden's VP pick to save us... any... minute... now:
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/11/politics/biden-vp-pick/index.html

And finally, just another day in AmeriKKKa:
"Florida man charged after illegally detaining Black teen heading to basketball practice"
https://www.kiro7.com/news/trending/florida-man-charged-after-illegally-detaining-black-teen-heading-basketball-practice/ZGGST4NH55G3PBMRD4ZB7HJ2YA/

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

No, Tulsi rejected!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/kamala-harris-joe-biden-vp-pick/2020/08/11/d7a51930-d1b7-11ea-8c55-61e7fa5e82ab_story.html

what are WAFers to do?

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Frazer said...

Liberals: END POLICE CORRUPTION

Biden: nominates the best known corrupt cop as VP

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/11/joe-biden-vp-pick-sen-kamala-harris.html

I was also in NM reading a local alternative press that stated that America's wealth gap is wider now than France's in 1789 before the revolution. Makes you think.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pastrami-

Harris, Schmarris. Honestly, who cd give a shit? It's just more useless distraction.

Mil-

America can't have too many Karens. Just my opinion, bro. I love 'em.

mb

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Seneca's Cliff said...

I still have one hope left. Maybe Trumpy can ditch Pence and pick Tulsi as his running mate. After all, she was Kamala's Kryptonite in the debates. Or even better a MMA style cage match ( cat fight) could be put in place of VP debates.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Frazer-

There is 0 in that cnbc article to suggest that Harris was a corrupt cop. You cd be rt, but where's the proof?

mb

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Cary said...

Some of H.L. Mencken's criticism Woodrow Wilson's biography of Washington:

"This incredible work is an almost inexhaustible mine of bad writing... To find a match for it, one must try to imagine a biography of the Duke of Wellington by his barber."

7:46 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Amen, MB I’ve always felt the same.

Dems are fuckin’ hilarious. Reminds me of the movie Weekend at Bernies, two idiots get stuck with a corpse. They’re lining up behind Punch drunk Joe like he’s some kind of battering ram as they storm the Bastille. What’s going to happen if the progs win as the whole thing goes down the shitter? Omg, What then?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weekend_at_Bernie%27s

8:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cary-

I think it was Mencken who said of Harding's inaugural address, "It's so bad, a sort of grandeur creeps into it."

mb

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

MB: I read these news reports about covid running rampant in Mexico. Are they true? Are you safe? I like to take my adult daughters to Mexico City around Xmas to get them out of Crazyland and expose them to civilized, kind, decent people. Should I put off our trip till next year? Are the museums and cultural sites open?

11:01 PM  
Blogger Thomas Strimpel said...

Some really good material here from Rolling Stone-

“In a dark season of pestilence, COVID has reduced to tatters the illusion of American exceptionalism. At the height of the crisis, with more than 2,000 dying each day, Americans found themselves members of a failed state, ruled by a dysfunctional and incompetent government largely responsible for death rates that added a tragic coda to America’s claim to supremacy in the world.“

I think your prediction is spot on, Dr. B. America has definitely hit a major node in it’s stage of decline with the pandemic. Could the upcoming election mark another one should Trumpi be continued for a second season?

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/covid-19-end-of-american-era-wade-davis-1038206/

11:24 PM  
Blogger Gunzergreat said...


An EIGHT YEAR OLD BOY who weighs 64lbs and stands at 3' 11" was arrested by the police at school for "hitting" a teacher.
They handcuff him behind his back back and at the police station swabbed his mouth for DNA and fingerprinted him.
And before cuffing the kid they FRISKED him as if he'd be armed.
What an IDIOT nation, for REAL.
UNBELIEVABLE.



https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/11/us/8-year-old-boy-key-west-arrest-trnd/index.html

11:55 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:22 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

"You guys crack me up" is not sexist; it's condescending. "You guys" or "You people" suggests you are talking to us from on high. Not likely, amigo. If you are going to address the blog in this way, you won't be on it for very long. Watch your tone, in short. (Closer to the truth is that you crack *us* up.)

Your endless focus on guns and weaponry is by now pretty tedious. You can arm yrself to the teeth, for all I care; and shd a "Mandibles" scenario come down, or the boogaloo, you'll probably be ahead of the game. But this is not exactly what I had in mind when I invented the notion of NMI (Twilight bk), and my ref to nuclear weaponry was (obviously) intended as irony. In any case, it's a bit difficult for me 2 c.u. as a Wafer, altho yr welcome to keep posting, if you play by the rules, and steer clear of Attitude.

For the time being, pls post in the following format:
1. You have a specific argument you wanna make regarding the collapse of the American Empire. This wd be a thesis, not just an opinion.
2. You back it up with evidence; hopefully something more scholarly or informed than Reddit. Articles in journals, for example, or bks.

Thank you.

Gunzer-

Really, 0 says 'USA' more than this type of incident.

Thomas-

I wd put Trumpola's election in 2016 in the node category, and his (cross fingers) reelection this Nov. in the category of node+. Extending the node, as it were. I recall mentioning, in 2016, that this was our internal Suez Moment. The external S.M., for now, seems to be the steady erosion of American power/influence/prestige in the world; altho, like England in 1956, we may hit a node in that area as well.

Pete-

Most Mexicans don't believe the gov't covid figures; they suggest tripling them to get closer to the truth. Right now I'm OK, because I'm based in a small town that seems to be relatively safe; but I intend to return to Mexico City during Sept. 1-21, which is a lot livelier, and where most of my friends are. However, it's a risk, because the highest virus concentration in the country is in Mex City, but I'm gonna do it anyway. As for what's open: my friends there tell me it's abt half and half. As in the case of NY, for example, most restaurants (but not all) are takeout service only. Museums etc.: touch and go. The best indicator is the color system: the City is currently on Code Orange, wh/means some easing up of the lockdown. Keep checking online: if things go to Code Red, we'll be back on lockdown. In which case, it wdn't be worth yr while to come down here. Personally, I'm a supporter of AMLO, but while he hasn't screwed up as badly as Trump re: the virus, his handling of it hasn't been stellar.

You also need to check online info from the State Dept as to whether you can enter Mexico (probably), and whether there are any problems returning (possibly).

mb

3:01 AM  
Anonymous John Doe said...

Another book I have been much influenced by: Leah Greenfeld's "Mind, modernity, madness." She is like an old Russian grandmother, talking sense to her young American students (whom she cares for). She points out that modernity consists in a "freeing of the individual" (that is the ideal, anyway), from constraints of class, religion, gender, profession, tradition, culture, nature etc.

Thus set free, the individual should construct one's own identity, preferrably by being "better" or "more authentic" (or richer) than others. This, however, puts an enormous and bewildering and constant pressure on the inner life of individuals. Often resulting in mania, depression, apathy, schizophrenia. Cf. the chapter on the US: "Madder than them all: From the records of American insanity." Greenfeld's advice for her students: Disavow modern "freedom" ideology, and bind yourself to family, community, culture, nature, work. (Easier said than done, in a US context, I suppose).

https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Modernity-Madness-Culture-Experience/dp/0674072766

Greenfeld's thinking is very much inspired by her Russian background. Cf. https://liahgreenfeld.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/livinghistoryc.pdf

I do wish you would write an autobiography at some point, dr. Berman.

3:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

John-

Thanks for the ref. I'm actually amazed I haven't heard of this author. Her family biography (on Wiki, and in the link you provided) is quite incredible. As for lil ol' me: closest thing I ever came to an autobiography is "Spinning Straw Into Gold," which is really a meditation on spirit and the possibilities for authenticity in our times. There is also a short essay in AWTY titled "My Russia," which wrestles a bit w/my Russian background. But an actual autobiography would be rather boring, inasmuch as I probably spent most of my life in libraries. Not very exciting, in short, altho I'm not really complaining. I guess I did what I was meant to do, wh/is a source of some satisfaction in old age. (One might say I was lucky, but then I'm not sure how much luck enters into these things. There may be such a thing as fate, w/a small f, for all I know.)

mb

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

I think my loathing of Trump means that, in the final analysis, I'm perhaps just a part-time Wafer. After seeing Trump's latest abysmal HBO interview, I decided that, alas, I need a break from Trump, the Republican Party, rapid decline, and really do want Biden to win. (I've never voted in my entire life, but if they have mail-in ballots I might actually make my once-in-a-lifetime vote against Trump, and for the guy with dementia.

Really, for those of you outside the US, it's much easier to be a detached observer rather than a suffering participant in all of this. But things are just getting too hideous here. I don't think I can endure this insanity for the rest of my life. America will certainly collapse. I think I just want it to happen in about 45 years when I'm safely dead and gone. Does it really matter if it happens in 15 years or a half century from now?

I know I'm a bad person for embracing slow decline. But am I really alone here?

8:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Megan-

For much of the world, US collapse will come as a welcome relief. For starters, we commit genocide on a daily basis, in the Mideast. And economically, we create a lot of suffering in the Third World and elsewhere, via IMF, World Bank, and so on. We have military bases in something like 800 locations, and a surreal military budget that deprives American citizens of basic needs. Note also that 9/11 was secretly greeted w/a fair amount of schadenfreude, around the world. We are a dinosaur that has outlived its usefulness, and is like a carcass lying in the way of real life.

However, yr not a bad person for wanting it to happen slowly; certainly, it will take most of the century for capitalism to fade away, and be replaced by new economic and geopolitical formations. So keep posting...part-time Wafers are welcome here, so long as they are into intelligent discussion.

mb

10:36 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Why do some people call Kamala Harris a cop? Here's an overview-

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/12/kamala-was-a-cop-black-people-knew-it-first/

I'm not sure that I would say that she is corrupt, as Frazer has posted. Well, any more corrupt than any other US political figure, which means a ton of real world corruption but almost nothing that can be prosecuted. If someone does well in a corrupt system.... well, as they say, if the shoe fits...

I am excited about Biden's choice of Kamala. Can I call her Kamala? I feel as if I know her. She is smart and tough and experienced and caring. So much caring, so much smart. Did I mention tough? I am excited about Biden's choice of Kamala. There is hope for us....

Seriously, how does anyone give a flying xxxx about reality TV show election thing? My proposal: President is selected by lottery. Every ticket, 1 dollar. You have a dollar, buy a ticket. You have 5 billion dollars, buy 5 billion tickets. Simple, easy, and I've been saving up my clip art of Bozo the Clown for the day we can all say, President Bezos.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan D-

Thos Friedman, who is a colossal shmuck, defined democracy as "One dollar, one vote." Someone had to pt out to him that that was the definition of a plutocracy.

ps: Megan: in terms of collapse, it's possible it cd come swiftly with Schmiden as well as w/Trumpalumpi. The virus cd polish the economy off; or at least, that's what seems to be happening.

mb

11:27 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Shouldn’t this warrant the death penalty?


https://nypost.com/2020/08/12/michigan-man-accused-of-sexually-assaulting-96-year-old-neighbor/

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Krakhed said...

Megan-I can somewhat echo your sentiments. It's difficult to imagine the power structures around us collapsing in a heap with the strong and powerful ready to seize whatever power is left for themselves. But like our GSWH has documented extensively, it's the future of America. It's been in the cards since the country was formed.

I'd rather see the whole thing crumble so that I can get a glimpse of the new formation and new possibilities. After reading "An Indigenous People's History of the United States" by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, the only scenario that will have some justice imo is reinstatement of lands to Indigenous nations. But its not like the apparatus in DC is going to willingly give up their power.

I'll vote third party in the coming election, if I vote at all. I can't support the two party system in America.

I mean look at who Republicans lift up. This can only be a positive contribution to our collapse. https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/11/politics/marjorie-taylor-greene-georgia-runoff-qanon-conspiracy-theory/index.html

12:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Krak-

The matter of what will replace the current system is, of course, The question of the hour, even if it's a few decades away. I've suggested Dual Process (last essay in AWTY) as a possible scenario, and it's also discussed in the last ch. of "Neurotic Beauty." It's also the theme of Story # 2 of "The Heart of the Matter." In "Utopistics," already 30 yrs old now, Immanuel Wallerstein ventures some ideas, but adds an impt note abt changes of this magnitude, that the only thing we can be sure of is that they will be different. They cd be better, but there's no guarantee. We have a fair amt of sci-fi lit depicting future dystopias; armed w/endless technology, these cd happen, a la "The Matrix." Myself, what I see as the only hope for the human race is the preservation of a 'soul tradition', described by E.M. Forster (see my Twilight bk), which cannot be captured in institutions or formal religions or political organizations. Writers in this tradition, in addition to Forster, include Gandhi, Ruskin, Wm Morris, Ernest Callenbach, and Lewis Mumford. These are true Waferian heroes, true NMIs. Think also of the samizdat authors of the former USSR, the poets and the writers. Once anything becomes an ism, including Waferism, the whole thing is dead. (See the Fellini ch. in "Genio" on this subject; Machiavelli as well.) It's clear that China will replace us as the next hegemonic power; welcome to it, I say. Not much of an improvement, considering their torture of the Falun Gong and oppression of Muslims. The 'soul tradition' will never attract more than a small #; it can never be a hegemonic power, almost by definition. Well, so what. (Lao Tzu: The only person who can be entrusted w/power is the one who has no interest in it.) My interest is in keeping the flame alive, and handing it down. Elitism? Again, so what. As Forster wrote, it's an elitism of integrity, of decency, and, I wd add, creativity. It is certainly not an elitism of money and power. Go for it, my friends: there is no other life.

mb

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Here's Tulsi wishing you and everyone else a "Happy Janmashtami!"

https://youtu.be/N9lzzWbp4D0

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

MB - Your most recent comment is one of your finest. Thanks. Without a sense of the spiritual what does if it matter if the USA survives or not or which nation might replace it or what might happen to capitalism. The question is what's happening to me - inside - in the midst of all the madness and greed and narcissism. What matters to me? What values do I try to live my live by? What's important to me?

When we gather in NYC or wherever I have an activity I'd like to suggest: an awards ceremony to honor the most obnoxious Karens in the country (loudest screeching, best use of tears, most piercing screams, best use of illogic, most insulting use of profanity) and the dumbest "off duty" police person for keeping our neighborhoods safe - we could call it The George Zimmerman Award, in honor of Trayvon Martin.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn-

Cdn't get past 1st 30 secs; was afraid I'd puke on my computer screen. Sure seems like she spends a lotta time on her hair. What a bozo. Supreme Lord my ass.

Req-

I suppose we cd invite some Karens to join us in NY. I still have hopes for the 7ANYWSM on May 13, but who knows what the virus situation will be by then. I also wonder if there are enuf Wafers in the SF Bay area to hold a mtg there, either on May 13 or perhaps the following October.

mb

3:26 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...


A cursory review of recent violent incidents involving customers assaulting staff at fast food restaurants uncovers none to date involving Chili’s. (WAFer corrections welcomed.)

Well, now there’s this: a 17-year-old girl at a Baton Rouge Chili’s attempts to enforce the chain’s social distancing rule calling for no more than six people at a single table. A group of 13 women wishing to be seated together take exception to this requirement, and register their objection by assaulting the girl, enlisting a PISO MOJADO (wet floor) sign to drive their point home. The girl ends up going to the emergency room. Brain dead management chooses to allow the assailants to depart the restaurant unmolested. The police are using security camera footage to identify the women; the investigation is “ongoing.”

https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/511693-17-year-old-chilis-hostess-beaten-by-group-of-diners-for-enforcing

4:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Arthur-

For the most part (not 100%), we prefer presentation of an argument backed by evidence. Mere opinion: not that valuable. Thank you.

Jas-

That's America in microcosm!

mb

5:06 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

Biden/Harris will accelerate collapse, not postpone it. 4 to 8 more years of 'centrist' management? That's the tripe that got us into this mess. I can't imagine what the reaction to that administration will be in 2024 or 28. It'll make Trump look like Kermit the Frog.

That successor to Trump in 24/28 will be a real devil of a demagogue who will be smart enough to do what Trump wants to do, and actually achieve it. That person will be all the more likely in a 2024 or 2028 reaction.

The only chance to postpone that would be some movement away from the current DNC direction of travel, and that leftward motion gets locked out by a Biden/Harris win for short to medium terms, in other words, locking in the big blowout bonanza.

Ian Welsh again with excellent links on Harris's genuine awfulness. It's pathetic to see the middle class liberals in my FB feed wet themselves with joy over the appointment of this wretched Apparatchik:
https://www.ianwelsh.net/biden-picks-kamala-harris-as-vp/

White american liberals will never learn. Christ on a cheese croissant, they are fucking hopeless.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

dermot-

Gd essay by Ian, but I cdn't get the text of the Twitter links (I don't own a cell fone). As for liberals you refer to, they probably need to get beaten to w/in an inch of their lives, and then thrown on a dunghill. But I do wish we had more 'dark' (and accurate) data regarding Kamala.

mb

7:08 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Megan, you're not alone I'd say. I'm in the U.S. as well and its hard to completely cheer the idea of the ship going down when you're standing on deck. Plus I have family here that depend on me, at least to some extent. Doesn't mean I don't see how terrible this place is and wish that it were different. I hope we have at least a few more years before my U.S. Passport becomes totally useless, but who knows.

Check out this interview with a GOP strategist/ campaign worker on the evolution of the republican party into Trumpism - https://www.npr.org/2020/08/11/901323433/gop-strategist-takes-on-trump-his-party-it-was-all-a-lie . They talk quite a bit about the anti-intellectualism at the core of the modern right, and he says something like "When a people start to attack the very idea of higher education, its on the path to self destruction". Bingo. You can't have a governable republic, or a political party, when a majority of the participants are semi-literate morons. America's best social critics have been saying this for a century and we haven't listened to them, no surprise to this blog I know.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wudu-

On anti-intellectualism in American life, see the bk of that name by Richard Hofstadter. Ca. 1959, I think. There is a long-standing, deep hatred on the part of millions of Americans of the life of the mind. In 2004, John Kerry, as Democratic candidate, made sure to keep it secret (to the extent that he cd) that he spoke French. Bush Jr., who cd barely speak English, was loved by most.

Anyway...here's a film rec: "The Great Debaters". Hot stuff.

mb

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Dr. Berman, and Wafers, "Rush" Limbaugh referred to John Kerry as 'Jean Cheri' (in a French accent), and referred to Kerry as the "French looking" Senator, etc...This is who millions of USians tune into each day. Being stupid is a badge of honor in the US empire.

Hofstadter's 1963 bk is spot on. USian WASPs had an anti-intellectual tradition, and focused on spirit, rather than intellectual rigor or intellectual pursuits.

http://www.spinsanity.org/columns/20040325.html

Granted, the article is from 2004, what really has changed in the shit house? Crickets.

12:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dr. Shit-

A few mos. ago, Rush received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This shd be proof enuf of how leading intellectuals are honored in this country. Next on the agenda: an honorary doctorate from Harvard.

mb

1:04 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

The Canberra Times on the Decline of the US. Drawing parallels with the writings of a Soviet dissident who predicted the collapse of the USSR by 1984. Many other dissidents in contrast saw that the Soviet Union was in a bad way, but they couldn't imagine the complete and sudden disintegration of a huge empire:

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6827090/we-are-witnessing-the-fall-of-a-great-power/?fbclid=IwAR0f4L7ElW3ZdoCtPdl6Xi2b2QLywqlD8UbeGkJ98TOXNcaJM3kKibwCzrs

Choice quote:

"Whatever happens, Australia must not go any further in the direction the US has gone in the past few decades."

Is there change afoot in the Anglosphere?

3:34 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

On the subject of the decline of intellectual conservatism in America, Michael Lind wrote a good essay on the subject way back in 1995 and even wrote an entire book on the subject called "Up from Conservatism."

Lind's 1995 essay: https://www.dissentmagazine.org/pdfs/lind.pdf

Lind's book: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Up-from-Conservatism/Michael-Lind/9780684831862

Also, Wafers might want to check out Lind's 2016 essay arguing that the neocons are partially responsible for the rise of Trump.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-neocons-are-responsible-trumpism-15417

4:05 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

The Panopticon is coming

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/09/china-ai-surveillance/614197/

I wonder how much about the Uighurs is true. I'm a lot less trusting of Western media these days.

The potential surveillance power of AI seems completely feasible and logical to me.

The speculation about someday being able to read neuural actvity seems a little far-fetched now... but may not be in 10 years time.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous The Flabster said...

Who Americans are at work, or maybe total loss of social filter. At this point, I assume many things that make cable news are not important.

https://popular.info/p/the-inside-story-of-an-alleged-victim

Bubbette?

Seriously folks, if life ever were to become third world despairing here, bubba and bubbette would sign up to form a rather fearsome yeoman corps that would hand out beatings just out of jealousy to those who had nice teeth.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

While there are some commentators out there who are critical of the choice of the Top Cop as Schmiden's running mate (Krystal Ball eviscerated it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fi21g1Nrvw8) many progs are praising the decision. Over at Commondreams, Abby Zimet on one hand rips Trump as a Nazi, then turns around and heaps praise upon Schmiden and Shamala (Where are the Henry Fieldings of today?) and their entrance into a convention in a way that would make Albert Speer and Leni Riefenstahl blush.

12:23 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of Course He Did...Like Dictator like Son...


Eric Trump likes tweet calling Harris a sexist slur...Called her a WHORE!


https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/13/politics/eric-trump-kamala-harris-tweet/index.html

12:37 PM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

MB, your words 'Elitism? Again, so what. As Forster wrote, it's an elitism of integrity, of decency, and, I wd add, creativity.' mean a lot to me. They give me the strength to look at the pile of shit all around and still to float above it and its stench. As I wrote just a couple of days back, only some ppl will have enlightenment, only some will see.

@Megan, @Wudu, if that is a solace to you, many countries and societies are in decline/distress. Decline of a powerful empire is always of more consequence. But living through any decline is not easy. Take the example of Lebanon. Think of the millions of refugees who had to flee Syria. We in India are not doing much better. The economy was in doldrums even before the pandemic struck due to sheer incompetence at the top. Now we have ~70K new infections daily, and that must be a gross underestimation given the rate of testing. Massive economic distress all around. Our supreme leader is busy laying foundations for a temple to be built on the site of a mosque that their goons destroyed three decades ago. I can go on. But does it sound rosy? When Xi announces a campaign to stop wastage of food (noble as it is), something tells me things are not going well domestically for him. The lockdowns, the floods have had their effects.

Collapse of a world system plus climate crisis won't be easy for anyone. There is no escape. We are all in it together.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Someone needs to stand up for whores. We need a Slut Liberation Front (SLF; Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh, SLF is gonna win!). Much better than Karens, in any case. Altho perhaps there's an overlap. Whorens?

mb

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Dr. B:

Appreciated your recent post "The matter of what will replace the current system is ..." As much as it is interesting to document decline, I also appreciate being able to think about a way to preserve what is decent in human culture and society and ways to think about the future. Perhaps we could all focus on this theme for a bit?

I read your Twilight of American Culture when it was first published way back, and I don't think a month has gone by since that I haven't stopped to ponder the idea of the New Monastic Option. I used to have a bunch of Anglican Church acquaintance in British Columbia who were exploring the New Monastic Option as a model for Christian community. This was also a thing in part of the USA around 2010 or so, especially in the Northwest.

-Northern Johnny

4:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Johnny-

I suppose we might regard the NMO as a part of the positive side of Dual Process. Something spiritual, in any case, altho I'm wary of Christianity, given its historical record. Perhaps something closer to Native American animism, or Buddhism, wh/might be called religion w/o God. Americanism is hollow and stupid, being nothing more than making a religion out of empty symbols and hustling. It confers no real meaning on life. What does? Let's talk about larger purposes, and leave Americanism behind.

mb

5:27 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

A Virginia mayor is urged to resign for a Facebook post where he joked that Biden had 'just announced Aunt Jemima' as his running mate:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/virginia-mayor-urged-resign-after-saying-biden-picked-aunt-jemima-n1236601

Miles

5:48 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Time to introduce you, Dr. B, to COYOTE, Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics-
http://www.coyotela.org/what_is.html

"COYOTE was founded in 1973 to work for the repeal of the prostitution laws and an end to the stigma associated with sex work. In addition to engaging in public education regarding a wide range of issues related to prostitution, COYOTE has provided crisis counseling, support groups, and referrals to legal and other service providers to thousands of prostitutes, mostly women. COYOTE members have also testified at government hearings, served as expert witnesses in trials, helped police with investigations of crimes against prostitutes, and provided sensitivity training to government and private non-profit agencies that provide services to prostitutes."

Megan and Wudu and others- I am also a left behinder not sure what approach to take. Will it all go crazy in a day? A week? I look at the Great Toilet Paper Run of March 2020 and realize how close to true insanity this culture is, and how a few nut cases acting out in times of stress can serve as a social contagion. My basic thinking is that something unknown, unseen, at this point is going to be a seed crystal, like Vonneguts Ice-Nine, and just spread havoc everywhere. It's the nature of unstable systems to have complex reactions to what appears to be a minor input. One of the reasons I am off near the edge of the US, in a fairly non-urban area.

I hate to use Tipping Point because of Gladwell, but it is an useful concept that was around long before him-
https://themunicheye.com/Predicting-the-tipping-point-of-complex-systems-3322

5:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Not the 1st gaffe of this sort. These hi-level bubbas are so stupid. What did the mayor think was gonna happen, after he called Kamala Aunt Jemima? Shit for brains is so widespread among the American population that all you can do is sigh. To quote Gore Vidal, "A nation of morons." The people are bozos, and their representatives are bozos.

mb

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Someone save me, was watching some Anthony Bourdain online and you can stream it for free if you watch commercials...

https://watch.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/anthony-bourdain-no-reservations/full-episodes/uruguay

and look at that, Shmeiden on every third commercial wearing aviator glasses. As if a pandemic wasn't enough, now it's 3 more months of that crap. Run!

7:53 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Wafers, thanks for the links. Pretty damning essays, and imo pretty spot on. I've been thinking how so much of our gridlock goes back to the founding and our winner take all political system that encourages a two party deadlock. Ruth Bader Ginsberg said once that we might be better off with a parliamentary style congress. No surprise she was raked over the coals for suggesting something so dastardly. On Kerry, if someone told me I was acting French I'd probably thank them for the complement, better than acting American!

On spirituality, I've studied religion here and there over the years and I find myself more drawn to Asian traditions as I get older, as well as the ancient greeks. How did they get so wise? Its mind boggling. Buddhism, daoism, shinto, epicureanism. These are traditions that are more about finding the best way to live your life rather than believing specific pieces of dogma, for the most part. They're also far more open to syncretism, which to me is the hallmark of a healthy spirituality. Americans could learn a lot from studying these ways of life, but I live in the South and I can truly say most regard that kind of thinking as blasphemous or a waste of time.

8:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan D-

No intro necessary; I discovered Coyote in San Fran ca. 1976, altho I didn't avail myself of their services. But an enlightened organization, I'm told. Meanwhile, how are we going to endure 10 more wks of Schmiden? I may hafta kill myself.

mb

10:46 PM  
Blogger Systems Crash Go said...

The Collapse of India ain't gonna be pretty. We were already, as you said, in the doldrums. Hate being in the middle of it. Problem is that Indians don't see it. All around me, people are still planning to buy real estate, raise babies, buy cars etc not understanding that due to the march of history, 60s style Western prosperity is gone and probably not coming back, and those economic models aren't going to be working much longer. Instead of planning to evolve into something different, all Indians want is America Redux with a dash of Hindu Nationalism/Fascism RSS style.

2:01 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Systems-

Thanks for yr input, altho a link to an article analyzing the Indian situation wd be helpful.

mb

3:43 AM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

Dan, Megan, Wudu, MB - What is worth saving about the American experiment? What is missing that, if added, would give birth to a lifestyle worth living?

As far as NMO, I like the idea but without the Christianity, or any other dogmatic religion. The most meaningful spirituality for me is a synthesis of the best practises of world faiths. No single faith has all the answers or the only means to a peaceful, fulfilling life. And I would not want to live the NMO by myself. We are social animals in need of community. I envision NMO communities spread throughout the nation.

The soul of CHristianity in the beginning was sacrifice for the other and refusal to bow to Empire. That was abandoned in the 4th C when the Church Fathers accepted Constantine's offer of political and economic power. The EUcharistic Table was traded for a seat at the imperial table. (See the word of John Dominic Crossan, especially "God and Empire")And it's been downhill ever since.

3:09 PM  
Blogger Muzette said...

I discovered Morris Berman several months after I had purchased my new home in Costa Rica. Figured all this stuff out years ago and could not wait to move out of the USA. Best thing I ever did for myself.

Unfortunately, a lot of my fellow ex-pats here are Trumpers and truly believe that he is like the Messiah and will save the US from the evil "others." They drank the KoolAid and will literally go to war to protect their Dear Leader. If Trump is "Making American Great Again" why don't they go back to live there?

Things are going to get violent and messy no matter what the outcome of the November election is.

I would love to renounce my USA citizenship, but I still need to have a passport, so I am stuck for at least seven years until I can become a citizen of Costa Rica. In the meantime, I just had my residency in Costa Rica approved.

9:16 PM  
Blogger LPG said...

I haven't read you for a while and I have figured out why. You woukdn't want to live in a pre-capitalist society any more than I would. As Mencken pointed out capitalism is capitalism, whether it's run by the state or by private businessea, and it's silly to pretend we can go back. Capitalism doesn't work well when too few people run everything, which is why you need both antitrust laws and limits on government power. All that has been incredibly messed up in recent years. The oligarchs profited enormously during the recent lockdowns and of course governments have achieved unprecedented power. Obviously nihilism is still a problem with the loss of religious faith, and many of the Situationist critiques are still valid. But what is new is the merging of corporate and governmental power, billionaires running international agencies for their own profit, and modern media preaching hate according to the dictates of their ruling oligarchs.Left wing mobs have already taken up arms and right wing mobs are rising up in response. Dude, it's starting to look like either Rwanda or Germany during the Weimar Republic here and you're still going on the same old stuff. Despite all the epidemic fear mongering, there aren't rotting corpses in the street yet but that could change. I'm not sure which is worse, that the technocrats succeed or that they don't. But it may be wise to look to the East because the West appears done.

11:41 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home