September 01, 2020

Interview with Guy McPherson (Nature Bats Last)

Wafers-

Here's a bit o' fun:

https://youtu.be/hhKLrm8QWrU

-mb

193 Comments:

Blogger jjarden said...

Terrific Job on the show Morris!


Check this out..


https://news.usni.org/2020/09/01/pentagon-report-china-now-has-worlds-largest-navy-as-beijing-expands-military-influence

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Norm said...

MB:

This is the perfect entertainment for my evening.

Wafers: Interesting little paoer

https://www.academia.edu/43994589/Trickle_Down_Metaphysics_From_Nietzsche_to_Trump

9:21 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman,
That was a wonderful interview. You really had Pauline the interviewer laughing the whole time at the examples you gave of the outright stupidity of the United States’ population. Thank you also for mentioning the Karens and indirectly mentioning me at the 23 minute mark ( “people send in these huge videos of Karens.”) LOL. It’s my pleasure. Many more shall come from me on “Karen Sunday”!
It’s too bad you also didn’t mention Black Friday. It will be here before we know it. May this year’s Black Friday be just as festive as last year’s shown below.

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

10:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joe-

Many thanks. At this pt, if interviews--any interviews--are not 50% pure laughter, they aren't worth shit, as far as I'm concerned. I mean, if we can't laugh at the massive and inevitable collapse of the US, what *can* we laugh at? However, I regret that I didn't remember to say that I love the Karens. As for yr Black Friday link: Cd anything be more perfectly representative of the US than this video?

mb

11:35 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

That was a great interview. I especially liked your point about not being excited about car fins as a youngster. I never liked car culture and all the other guys at my high school thought I was crazy for not caring about cars. It is the same thing with the new tech gadgets that get produced today. I don't think the benefits are as great as most people think and the downsides are huge. Ian Welsh has discussed this a bit on his blog.

https://www.ianwelsh.net/what-the-infotechtelecom-revolution-has-actually-done/

Most Americans go absolutely ape over cars, televisions, smartphones and various other gadgets but I am much more skeptical about how beneficial these things have been, even if I have to admit to using some of them. I cannot help but think that on balance a lot of these technologies have made the world worse.

2:40 AM  
Blogger NeilW said...

'The Gandhi Experiment' sounds - unusual lol ... This article from Australia sums up the Axios interview https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6866321/trumps-axios-interview-is-just-more-evidence-everything-is-broken/

4:04 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

Check out WAF ch. 3, abt technology being America's hidden religion. Americans are esp. gaga over all these toys because they have no meaning in their lives; they are basically empty people. So they fill the Void w/crap.

mb

8:01 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

I know that it is standard to criticize leftist academia and the stricter and stricter policing of language and thought. I'd propose that this is more a final stage, the true decadent period before collapse, rather than any generative force. US academia abandoned its 'liberal arts' tradition a few decades ago in pursuit of revenue from patents, grants from anyone, and to fulfill its purpose to train the work force of tomorrow.
https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2017/10/09/the-changing-face-of-university-technology-transfer/id=88853/
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/07/jeffrey-epstein-mit-funding-tech-intellectuals
https://www.usnews.com/news/education-news/articles/2018-05-17/liberal-arts-programs-struggle-to-make-a-case-for-themselves

Like any subculture unmoored from a real role in the larger culture, leftist academia devolves into eating its own as its resources and its significance shrink and shrink?

In another direction, trying to stay sane inside this collapsing beast of a country gets harder and harder. George Carlin wondered if the Earth made humans in order to get plastics; maybe the 'universe' made the USA because it was the only way to bring this recording into existence. The recording needed electronics but the music is all acoustic-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUFg6HvljDE&list=RDzUFg6HvljDE

And maybe the abomination of America's Got Talent was to lead to this-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OU_R7jcL69E

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Orca said...

It's curious how in the last post the comments about love reminded me of one of the reasons why I chose the sufi path a while ago (not a whirling dervish, mind you) and today I hear the sufi story from Dr. Berman and it reminds me of the second reason. I first became interested while reading these verses by Ibn Arabi:

My heart has become capable of every form:
it is a pasture for gazelles and a convent for Christian monks,
And a temple for idols and the pilgrim's Kabah
and the tables of the Torah and the book of the Qur’an.
I follow the religion of Love: whatever way Love's camels take,
that is my religion and my faith.

Having a problem with feeling and expressing love I felt that following Ibn Arabi's path was what to do. second, reading Dr. Berman's trilogy on human conciousness and Bateson's own view on the sacred (in Angel's fear) I wanted a "spiritual" escape from capitalism and its "solipsism", working on oneself to be able to feel and express his interconnectedness with the world at large is the goal, and I don't feel that going "secular" about it is any good because the split between the secular and the sacred is another manifestation of the dualistic nature of modern times. And I have noticed something interesting reading the critics of sufism (mostly saudis), the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the united states of the arab world, it was built on puritan values ​​and on a mentality of hustling and conquest. The cultural diffetence being the strong family ties, and they are oppressive rather than supportive. Don't be fooled by the religious fundamentalism either (America is no different), society is as void as it gets, it is worth noticing that the cultural trends in the KSA are the same as in America (minus the LGBT). Maybe that's why America was an ally since before the creation of the kingdom, and maybe they're both treading on the same path, after all the saudi crown prince is the Arab Donal Trump. I'd love to see one day a study on the KSA the way Dr. Berman studied America. I have read few Books on the modern arab mind by the moroccan philosopher Mohamed Abed Al-Jabri but it is very different of what Dr. Berman have done in the Decline trilogy.

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Dennis said...

"Our hunter-gatherer ancestors almost certainly did not endure 'nasty, brutish and short' lives. The Ju/’hoansi were well fed, content and longer-lived than people in many agricultural societies, and rarely had to work more than 15 hours per week" https://www.ft.com/content/8dd71dc3-4566-48e0-a1d9-3e8bd2b3f60f

11:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Orca-

Thanks for your post. A couple of things to keep in mind:
1. Length. In future, pls don't exceed half a pg max.
2. Evidence. It always helps to provide a link to bks or articles supporting yr viewpt.

Thanks!

mb

11:39 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

There are two Albertans here? I'm a Saskavite, neighbours. I wonder how many other Wafers are non-gringos.

While reading that John McWhorter article on academia in The Atlantic, I had to double-check to see that he was indeed a professor. Academic writing is justifiably criticised for being needlessly opaque, but this article was both that and sophomoric in tone. That said, the message was valid for the most part.

I also have a problem with his use of the term "leftist" to describe those who are responsible for shutting down free speech and thought in our universities (and everywhere else). These woke inquisitors wouldn't know the class struggle if copies of The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon were to rain down from the sky and smack their pointy little heads.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dennis-

Some truth to that, but it is to some extent a sixties view of our HG ancestors. All of this is fleshed out in greater detail in WG.

al-

I guess their heads are pointy. I never realized that.

mb

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

Dr. Berman and Wafers, great interview.

My perceptions (I could be way off) were that the Dr. McPherson and Ms. Schneider appeared to understand the reason's behind the US empire's demise; however, with much due respect, they appeared to clutch onto (glimmer) hope, and/or wanting you to leave on a "positive" (delusional) note. That the USians should demand 'more,' or want for a better 'country.' Again, not fully appreciating that the entire founding of the US empire was a huge mistake and the vast majoring of USians are brain dead--even the "educated" ones.

Sans the 3 pograms and immigration up to 1924ish, the US was a shit magnet for economic hustlers/hucksters/wash-ups--the garbage collector of the world. The reason America was America, was because of its moronic people. The interviewers nervously appeared to understand this. However, at the end of the interview, it was if you stunned them w /reality--there was a bit of sadness on their part, or wanting to get the interview over with. Maybe they wanted the usual last chapter of 'we shoulds, we need to' can-do action plans of typical US rhetoric? Maybe they're holding out for some hope?

Ms. Schneider lived in Greece and Belize, and then came to the US and remained? They're voting with their feet, and maybe need a glimmer of some rising up or 'change' talk etc....As you aptly stated, nothing is going to change except for cosmesis, and any 'rising up' would come from the Right. The only real action plan is to understand ontologically that the ship is going down, and they need to get the fuck out of the US empire (with due respect to NMI or those who cannot for economic/familial reasons).







1:18 PM  
Anonymous Two Sparrows said...

https://youtu.be/SOsfrppKd1k

Norm Macdonald Shittin On Hilary Clinton

Boy is this good.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hi Dr. B and WAFERS:

I haven't had a chance to read any of it yet, but I want to let everyone know that the U.S.-based Monthly Review just released its September issue. Several of its main articles are free to read and will I think be of interest, especially on the absence of any real socialist politics in America: https://monthlyreview.org/product/mr-072-04-2020-08/?utm_source=MR+Email+List&utm_campaign=c04b34aa5c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_09_02_06_42&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4f879628ac-c04b34aa5c-276179337&mc_cid=c04b34aa5c&mc_eid=94d559b424

Just got back from a trip to the best used bookstore in Toronto - yes, I am an Ontario WAFER - and among my purchases is a copy of The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. I've known of the role he played in American Transcendentalism for many years, but only ever had a chance to read a handful of his best essays ("The American Scholar," "Self-Reliance") when I took American Literature as an undergraduate.

It's going to be a while before I get to Emerson (my reading agenda still has me in the late middle ages), but am I ever looking forward to it.

-Northern Johnny

4:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sparrows-

I wd consider believing in God if I were allowed to hold her head, and Obama's, in my hands like coconuts, and bang them together for 20 mins. on nationwide TV.

mb

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

WIth all due respect, I found the questions from the interviewers superficial and their responses to your arguments punctuated with nervous laughter. I would have appreciated questions that would have better drawn out the deep underlining logic of your conclusions regarding the US.

On levees, NPR did interview recently with author of new book on the collapse of the levees during Katrina. And a Tulane Prof on the "history" of Katrina that might be interesting.

https://www.amazon.com/Words-Whispered-Water-Hurricane-Katrina/dp/1642503274

https://www.andyhorowitz.com/

5:24 PM  
Blogger Cyrillia Juniper said...

@Orca

My go to guy for news of the Arab world is the website of Juan Cole at: https://www.juancole.com

He covers many other topics, not least the continuing Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, but the website also carries stories about the KSA that you won't see in MSM.

Additionally he has written many books about the Middle East, its politics and its culture. Check out his page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=juan+cole&i=stripbooks&crid=3BUGPKLYR64X0&sprefix=Juan+Cole%2Caps%2C1780&ref=nb_sb_ss_c_2_8_ts-oa-p

The New Arabs about the millennial generation in the ME looks particularly interesting. Now I'm off to view two of my favorite prognosticators -- Dr. B and Guy McPherson. Keep 'em comin' Dr. B!

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Wafer Requiem and Glans,
Respectfully, the body language of the interviewers' was quite revealing. Frequent shifting in their seats, copious nervous laughter, endless microexpressions, etc....truth appeared too much for most Americans.

Agree, the questions asked were weak and Dr. Berman was hitting it out of the park with facts, history, and evidence, yet it was met with nervous laughter and an undercurrent, or hint of Hedge-ian proleteriat "we need to" uprising bullshit. The interviewers' obviously want want America is offering like most starry eyed immigrants regardless of US truth and reality.

6:27 PM  
Blogger David said...

To those who wonder why Americans cannot accept the grim reality and are always believing that some magic will turn things around. A people who have optimism in their DNA will never admit that the game is up. Besides, who is going to tell them their chance to make the big buck is pie in the sky? No wonder every piece of social analysis has to end optimistically with suggestions about how to turn things around, or the public just gets pissed.....

7:37 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Glans Butterworth, III:

If I might be permitted to suggest where McPherson is “coming from” (that moronic formulation):

McPherson is a conservation biologist, former professor at Arizona State. While we’d have to ask him what his views on “hustling” and the American empire are, I think you’d find his position on the fate of the planet predominant in his mind. In short, he thinks the climate is headed south, and humans headed for “near-term human extinction.” (Unless he’s done a 180 since the days he was travelling around the country and even abroad talking about how fucked we are as a species.)

Apologies for not citing a specific talk to buttress my characterization of his position: it’s difficult to select one, there are multiple YouTube videos of his presentations over the past decade or so to choose from. Pop some corn, get a cool one, and watch as he describes the hell he foresees.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Thank you for all yr comments/reactions regarding the interview. What wd the Karens think? I wonder. Myself, I had a lot of fun, wh/is a major purpose of my life these days. In any case, I think different people will view the thing differently. But it cd have been a tiny bit awkward for Guy and Pauline, in that the focus of their work is environmental collapse, and of mine--political and cultural collapse. So there cd have been a gap there that they were trying to bridge, and I think they did fairly well w/it.

mb

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Told ya!

https://www.startribune.com/cdc-tells-states-to-prepare-for-covid-19-vaccine-by-early-november/572298082/

I enjoyed the interview, though it was very hard to hear you MB. I wouldn't read much into body language ... now that I have 99% video meetings I have to make sure to watch how I look on camera, not to roll my eyes and shake my head at the idiot SJW stuff that spouts out of non-profit employed kids these days.

Also, to be honest, every time I try to quote Gore Vidal it lands like a pile of bricks :). Nobody knows who he was and the context for something like "Our only political party has two right wings, one called Republican, the other Democratic", causes most Amerikkkan's to crinkle their face and say huh?

It's like saying "The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts", and even smart people say WTF does that mean?

9:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pastrami-

One thing I made clear in that interview, wh/is reflected in yr comments, is that the US is little more than a large collection of ninnies who are clueless abt just abt everything. Once you understand that, much of American history and politics becomes very clear. The nation is surreal; the people are buffoons. As for the volume: I'm wondering if there isn't any way 4u to adjust it. When I checked over the thing myself, there was no problem w/hearing me.

mb

10:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Here's a shock:

https://www.worldnewj.com/stall-tactics-distractions-lobbying-how-police-reform-was-derailed-in-california/

10:31 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Looking forward to watching the interview when I have the time.

In case anyone follows Dmitry Orlov, I have his book, "Shrinking The Technosphere" and I honestly feel this interview he posted on his blog is better than the book. Enjoy!

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2020/08/our-technologies-could-destroy-humanity.html#more

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Cherith Cutestory said...

My Arabic is pretty good now. Constantly reading the older poetry of about a thousand years ago, though they are challenging. They are works of unimaginable complexity and beauty. They talk about many things, including what's called ishq in Arabic. It was a kind of love between a man and a woman, usually a younger guy intensely loving her, and since she's unattainable (e.g. class differences, segregation, he's too poor to pay the dowry), this inflames his passion unbearably, and some died of this and wrote final poems about their pain.

I'm sad I never knew the thrill and anxiety of loving, desiring and seeking a woman like the more conservative Eastern nations (not ishq though). Western men and women are deprived of a natural experience. Omnipresent pleasures are alien to normal human life and ruined pleasure itself. Arabic poems described, with breathless awe, every little thing about a woman -- her eyes, voice, walk, laugh. What if I'd told my old buddies back home that at the coffeeshop I saw this very modestly-dressed Arabian woman with stunning eyes, cultured mind, coy demeanor and aura of dignity? Stunned silence most likely.

Life is beautiful.

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Sybok said...

Cherith, it's still possible. I grew up Christian & knew what it was to pine for the unattainable. But you are right that the sexual license of secular western society has made platonic love (as described in Plato's Phaedrus) very rare. Obstacles & taboos are the friction that ignites that kind of passion & the fuel that feeds it.

In my youth I was fanatical when it came to gay rights & decriminalizing so-called sexual perversions, but I am now beginning to see the veiled wisdom in puritanism. I would actually like to turn the clock back to an era when all sex outside of monogamous heterosexual marriage is illegal. It would be the death of liberty, but the resurrection of true romance. I know a lot of people, especially gays, must be appalled; but I ask you: what is love without risk? It's like a fire without warmth. Fire should burn!

12:46 AM  
Anonymous Cedro said...

https://mustreadalaska.com/green-party-of-alaska-nominates-jesse-ventura-for-president/

ALASKA. State Green Party broke with the national party and nominated ex-MN Gov Jesse Ventura (I) for Pres & ex-GA Cong Cynthia McKinney for VP. The party said they picked this draft ticket "to give R's someone other than Pres Trump to vote for" on ballot.


Didn't expect that one

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Joseph T said...

Richest nation in the world since the Roman Empire.

https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2020-hunger-minnesota-pandemic/

Imagine... poor ppl have cars & gas but no food, living in communities with the most flamboyantly oversized and rigorously maintained infrastructure in the history of mankind, surrounded by 100s of square milew of arable farmland.

8:07 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Hahaha... sounds as if East German citizens learned quickly to be Wafers:
"We East Germans had no real picture of what life was like in the West. We had no idea how competitive it would be....Unabashed greed and economic power are the levers that move this society. The spiritual values that are essential to human happiness are being lost or made to seem trivial. Everything is buy, earn, sell"
https://twitter.com/FrenchFrog_12/status/1301492627985104897

Local town learns that it has no control over its own police force. The police are now an occupying army:

"Last night, the protests peaked in downtown Burlington, with more than 500 people demanding that three officers be terminated...

"Mayor Miro Weinberger said Wednesday at a press conference that the city government can’t take more action against these officers because the city doesn’t have the authority to do so. He wants to continue talking with the Burlington City Council about how administrative rules could be revised to promote more accountability for police."
https://vtdigger.org/2020/09/02/burlington-police-union-tells-protesters-sacking-cops-would-be-gross-violation/

@ Mike Kelly- yep across the lake. Thinking hard about coming to the NY side, looking around Plattsburgh, Moriah, etc. I'll stay out of your public records inbox, so drop me a note- dan[period]daniel[period]photos [at] gmail DOT com

10:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Doesn't look like this sorta thing is gonna stop:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/03/us/rochester-police-daniel-prude-death/index.html

mb

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Orca said...


@Dr. Berman
Sorry about the length, it will not happen again. As for my resources, part of it is from personal experience living with them and reading and interacting with political dissidents, a second part is through reading prominent arab historians and critics primary among them is the one I've mentioned Mohammed Abed al-Jabri whose Quartet of The Critique of Arab Reason is one of the best books I've come across.
(You can see more about it here:https://en.qantara.de/content/portrait-of-the-philosopher-mohammed-abed-al-jabri-critique-of-arab-reason-0)
a second but less known one is a historian by the name of Hassan al-Maliki whose main theme of research is the interaction between politics and religion in the history of islam with special attention to the modern saudi state, he's now sadly in jail facing execution. I don't know if any of the books by those writers is in english or any other language other than arabic.
@Cherith Cutestory
Poetry is one prime reason I chose my path, as for love I believe it still exist but not in its socially known modern form , that kind of love is something else and it is attainable.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Orca-

Great refs, thanks.

mb

12:16 PM  
Anonymous SrVidaBuena said...

This poor fellow has been mentioned here on occasion:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/sep/03/david-graeber-anthropologist-and-author-of-bullshit-jobs-dies-aged-59

I read Bullshit Jobs many years ago. It's only gotten worse since then:

https://pluralistic.net/2020/09/02/free-steven-donziger/#phone-trees

"Chickenization", indeed.

12:53 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of Course the Cops were laughing...this is there FUN on the job...killing black men for no reason.


https://youtu.be/ZHefkY4cFo8

1:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This (surreal) American Life dept.:

https://youtu.be/fmO-ziHU_D8

(At 1st I thought it was an SNL skit.)

mb

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Snufkin said...

Just an interesting mention. NYT seems to be "coming around". Farhad Manjoo, opinion columnist, writes:

"As an immigrant who escaped to America from apartheid-era South Africa, I feel that I’ve cultivated a sharper appreciation for political trouble. To me, the signs on the American horizon are flashing blood red.

...

I watched [the Republican convention] wall-to-wall, and it drove me to despair. In that four-night celebration of Trumpism, I caught a frightening glimpse of the ugly end of America, an authoritarian cult in full flower, and I am not keen to stick around much longer to see if my terrifying premonition pans out."

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/03/opinion/im-doomsday-prepping-for-the-end-of-democracy.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

4:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Snuf-

Ques: For how long have I been saying the obvious?: GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN!

Ans: years

mb

4:42 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB-

Re: debaters

Jesus, what a circus! I tell ya, these gals are a couple of serious cutting-edge intellectuals! We're gonna turn this sucker around right quick!

Christopher Sale, 61, arrested for going through a Taco Bell drive-thru naked:

https://abc3340.com/news/offbeat/man-arrested-for-going-through-taco-bell-drive-thru-naked-said-clothes-were-in-washer-1

Miles

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Snufkin: Farhad wrote a pretty good book titled "True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society"

4:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

I tell ya, watching that 'debate', I was acutely aware that this form of 'dialogue' was the future of the US, and probably the future of the American 'mind'. 10 yrs max, and we'll all be talking to each other like that. Note that the interviewer praised the gals for their 'accomplishment'. Ya just can't make stuff like this up. I do wanna add that it wd have been nice, even appropriate, if Christopher Sale had been invited to participate.

This 'debate' was in 2014. I wonder where these cutting-edge intellectuals are now. Were they staffers on Tulsi's election campaign?

mb

5:34 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I was favourably impressed by Wynton Marsalis in this interview he did with Bill Maher the other day. He really classed the joint up, as it were:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBPD_do0Oig

Marsalis cuts through the identity politics crap and gets to the heart of the matter.

As for those champion debaters....YIKES!

6:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al-

Hot stuff, thanks. As for the debaters: don't kid yrself: yr looking at the future of the US. Maybe even the present. What wd Marsalis say abt those 2 morons, I wonder.

mb

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Powdered Toast said...

Regarding that debate, see:

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/04/traditional-college-debate-white-privilege/360746/

it's apparently a deliberate tactic. I could care less to be honest, not while there's toaster assault going on: https://www.palmbeachpost.com/article/20140305/NEWS/812037558

7:29 PM  
Blogger moresoma said...

Without any intent on my part, I'm consonantly stumbling across new groups of American nutters.

Here's the latest:

Christians Against Dinosaurs

Description

We are Christians fighting the myths of the imaginary "dinosaurs" and the lies of Big Paleo.
Visit our website at http://www.christiansagainstdinosaurs.com
Like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ChristiansAgainstDinosaurs

https://www.youtube.com/c/Christiansagainstdinosaurs-CAD/about

7:35 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Book I'm reading at the moment - 10 Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, by Jaron Lanier. Not that many people on this blog need convincing, buts its a funny and interesting book. Lanier is persuasive as usual. Social media is almost all downside, unfortunately.

Hurdy Gurdy Medieval Music. Maybe in a post-capitalism world we'll be returning to music like this. Wouldn't be the worst thing to happen.

SrVidaBeuna - I'm shocked to hear about Graeber - a true loss for the community of thinkers critical of the consumer capital worldview. Always seems like the voices we need the most end up dying or pushed into obscurity. Sybok - An interesting proposition. Problem is this kind of suppression tends to make people miserable.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Toast-

Also check this out:

https://www.salon.com/2014/05/13/%E2%80%9Ci_was_hurt%E2%80%9D_how_white_elite_racism_invaded_a_college_debate_championship/

Apparently, if you criticize this 'debate', which is apparently a new (black) way of debating, yr a racist. Note that Korey Johnson was a commencement speaker for Howard University Law School Class of 2019. By way of comparison, Wafers might wanna check out the 2007 film, "The Great Debaters." As I said to Jeff, by 2030 I suspect we'll all be talking like Korey et al., and if we refuse--we'll be racists. I wish Lionel Shriver wd weigh in on this.

In my scenario for the American collapse, I apparently omitted the penultimate step to the massive crash: everything, including speech, becomes surreal.

mb

9:55 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Interview was awesome! Thx fr gud wk MB.

Meanwhile, I can only think of the 1930s with the "luxury" cars ... cartoonist Bill Mauldin who grew up in the 30s related how his family was given a Lincoln by some distant relative and that got them some side-eyes but people didn't understand that the Mauldins may have had this luxury car but "could hardly afford Lincoln tires or Lincoln gas".

Linky: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/03/us/food-pantries-hunger-us.html

11:00 PM  
Blogger Xair said...

Wafers,

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/09/03/in-the-worst-of-times-the-billionaire-elite-plunder-working-class-america/#gsc.tab=0

The stats cited in tbis article are truly staggering. However, equally staggering is that the author spends the entire piece demonstrating how horrible everything is, and at the end he thinks people will rise up in the streets to do somwthing about it. Maybe he thinks the Karen's will lead this revolt?

11:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

That link is revolting. The shame of America.

mb

11:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Xair-

Man, those are some horrible stats. Too bad he concludes his article with what is famously known as the Hedgean Delusion. Yes, Karens to the barricades! Aux armes, citoyens!

mb

2:22 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Cutting-edge social change: this shd help the cause:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8677939/Mother-says-daughter-right-not-raise-fist-Black-Lives-Matter.html

mb

2:53 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

In an analysis of the Democratic and Republican conventions, Michael Lind discusses the realignment of the two parties and how they are likely to evolve in the future. Lind’s basic observation is that the Republican Party’s base is now the white working class while the Democratic Party’s base is an alliance of upscale whites and African-Americans. While suburban moderates will probably be the swing voters this year, look for the Republicans to try to make inroads among Hispanics in the future.

https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/trump-republican-convention-2020#Learned

6:57 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Maybe I got this article here, not sure, but the Wynton Marsalis interview reminded me of one of the most frustrating things I find these days- trying to have a real conversation. Where you explore ideas and follow crazy rabbits into the bushes and don't fear that every sentence could be the beginning of an attack if you deviate from one dogma or another. I'm not a fan of certain aspects of the article, but the underlying point about the importance of listening has value (even if it has little place in today's USA)-

https://www.newyorker.com/news/the-future-of-democracy/the-right-to-listen

9:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan D-

In the case of massive collapse, wh/we are currently undergoing, it's not only the economy that goes down the drain. Rather, *everything* does. This includes civility, language, dialogue, mental abilities, housing, libraries, institutions, military capability--you name it. And certainly, listening. In the war of dogmas, common courtesy has very little place.

mb

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

J. H. Kunstler's column today prompted me to look for this link to Princeton's president's recent letter-

https://www.princeton.edu/news/2020/09/02/letter-president-eisgruber-universitys-efforts-combat-systemic-racism





11:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn-

What did Jim say?

mb

12:05 PM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

@ Alex:

That NY Times article is so similar to Lionel Shriver's "The Mandibles", it's uncanny. The US is coming apart at the seams.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

MB, got some to time to write after a few days. Thoroughly enjoyed the interview.

Otherwise, the downward journey continues at ever greater pace. Open any news site, and you pretty much get the picture of decline all around. It's the collapse of civility, language and dialogue that are more damaging for the long run, I often feel. But this time, long time may mean for a very long time because this collapse is going come along with the environmental collapse.

Came across many 'interesting' news items in the last few days.
I am quite amused that even to this day, this is how the greatest democracy elects its all-powerful leader: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2020/sep/02/electoral-college-explained-biden-uphill-battle-us-election

The greatest democracy, and the largest democracy are natural partners when it comes to social discriminations: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/04/us/caste-discrimination-us-trnd/index.html
Old habits die hard.

In this atmosphere of all-round gloom, Karens provide endless entertainment, and we must thank youtube for that.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman & Wafers,
We sometimes have to hand it to American capitalist ingenuity. In the endless pursuit of hustling and making a buck, this newest money maker indeed is a good creative one for late October. Sales should be brisk since they are fitting in today’s America.
To celebrate “Karen” for Halloween, check out the link below.

https://wkdq.com/the-karen-halloween-mask-has-arrived-and-she-is-frightening/?trackback=fbshare_mobile&fbclid=IwAR1rEXxWLt9wiGST_B3VF42yawGMtovDPeh9Yfok68WyMXEf5VKNBrlBWfI

2:01 PM  
Blogger dg said...

Born, mb

Re:Kuntsler

Public ed can't collapse fast enough. Our rambunctious 5 yo pre-schooler can 1)recite his favourite books from memory. 2)add and subtract with my 1 pound weight plates. 3)demonstrate gravity with his Hot Wheels track. My wife (a teacher) assures me the kid will be diagnosed and medicated mid first grade because he won't sit quietly for 3 hours a day staring at the iPad the school insists he have.
Good riddance.




3:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

dg-

Do you realize how many Americans need to be slapped?

Joe-

See my reply to dg.

Indian-

See my reply to dg.

mb

3:51 PM  
Anonymous A. G. Bell said...

George Washington’s false teeth were made from ivory and 9 teeth pulled from the mouths of his slaves.

Facts from my reading "These Truths: A History of the United States" by Jill Lapore

5:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

A.G.-

This was not very nice on George's part.

mb

6:06 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

I often ruminate on the extent of damage that Americans have done since 1945. Brass Tacks: We've 320 million dumb motherfuckers in this nation:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/01/books/review/the-quiet-americans-scott-anderson.html

Jesus, I need a pastrami sandwich right about NOW!

Miles

6:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

My current baseball cap was kinda dirty, so I took it to the dry cleaners and switched to my Canter's cap. The problem, for several days, was that the hat seeped into my brain; all I cd think abt was pastrami. I kept wondering if denial of pastrami was at the heart of America's problems. If so, perhaps our situation is not so dire, esp. if you throw chopped liver into the mix.

Of course, the dumb motherfuckers deserve to be punished for rejecting any kind of socialist politics, and insisting on radical individualism. They are now getting that punishment, in the form of a privatized, deregulated, and decentralized health system that is helpless in the face of a pandemic. The problem is that in order for punishment to be effective, the victims hafta understand that they *are* being punished, and for what. But the dumb motherfuckers cannot connect the dots, because in addition to rejecting socialism, they also rejected any kind of life of the mind: an intellectual life that cd have taught them *how* to connect the dots. So the lives of millions are now screwed, both healthwise and economically, and the poor shmucks can't figure out why. Even the smart ones are stupid, blaming Trumpaloni when he is merely an icon of our hustling, competitive, anti-socialist and anti-intellectual way of life. This constant lambasting of Trump in the NYT and WashPost is clueless and pathetic. He is us, fer chrissakes.

mb

7:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check it out:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/white-people-have-gentrified-black-lives-matter-it-s-a-problem/ar-BB18HN5z

mb

7:39 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...


Just started reading “On The Road,” by Jack Kerouac....a book I’ve been hearing about for decades, but never read until now....On the Post WWII Beat Generation, and their cross-country road trips and exploits.


Any thoughts on this book and writer?

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

Wafers James Allen and David,

Thank you kindly for your input. You're right, USians have delusional optimism within their DNA.

Also, it never ceases to amaze me, the calls for action, or we can do betters; e.g., how health care systems in other countries are superior, social systems, education, retirement programs, employment rights, tax systems, etc..etc.. How Americans can "learn" from other nations....YET, none of the 'progressive' writers ever mention that the problem with the US is its' populace. They're dumber than stale dog shit (Berman) and hence why the US empire was 400yr+ bad joke.

Americans NEVER learn, it was part of their charm.-Gore Vidal.

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

you tube comment from Dr. Berman's interview.

"All criticism without any solution. They deny objective truth, they appeal to subjectivism and utilitarianism, and envision some kind of godless world where enlightened men like themselves will be the norm. Yes they're right about the collapse of America, but it's very important if you criticize something to have a workable and good solution......"

Sounds like another USA-er who wants "solutions" and last chp, "we shoulds" to help turn the SS Hu$tle around.

There are no solutions or anything workable in the world's premier tax, form, and penalty club, except to leave the the US.

Reminds me of a community book group in which Dr. Berman had words with an audience member. The dude got pissed at Dr. Berman, I believe, for being a downer with no solutions and no ways to make a difference. Dipshit, if you're on a sinking ship, you leave. You don't think of ways to turn things around or peddle Hedgeian proleteriat uprising bullshit.



10:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dr. Shit, Glans-

This is typical American formulaic thinking: the crit is invalid unless one can offer a solution. Americans are not smart enuf to figure out that in some cases, there simply is no solution. Actually, in a lot of cases. C'est la vie, morons.

mb

11:00 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

cormorant - I keep hearing about The Mandibles but reviews say it eventually ends in a Libertarian screed and I greatly dislike screeds. I read a bit on the author and she seems rather screed-prone.

jjardin: Kerouac would hole up with his mother and save up, then go out on the road, operating at a loss, hole up again and write. In other words, like a "burner" as Burning Man idiots like to call themselves, it was an indulgence, a tantrum of the (relatively) rich not actual self-sufficiency. K. later went on to become really conservative, probably because he saw the inconsistencies in his time on the road, and died of drink.

mb - sometimes the solution is cutting the Gordian knot. I'm becoming more collapsophilic.

1:25 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I read On the Road about 40 years ago, jjarden, and I suppose you could say I was hooked. I've not only read just about all of the Duluoz legend, and quite a few biographies, I even started listening to Slim Gaillard, Dexter Gordon, and Wardell Gray as a consequence.

Just a couple of hours ago, as I was coming home from a walk, and seeing people's TV screens in their living rooms, I was reminded of Ray Smith/Ti Jean's criticism in The Dharma Bums of the "blue light" emitted by the new invention that was turning people into asocial beings.

Yesterday I was watching the scene in the Robert Alda film Rhapsody in Blue, where movers are hoisting a piano up to the Gershwin's apartment, and I thought of the line from Maggie Cassidy where Kerouac, upon moving to New York, imagines the "Gershwins upstairs" in his new home.

I suppose Kerouac is driving around my imagination, but "Pic" is terrible. I can't get through the first page.

1:30 AM  
Blogger Systems Crash Go said...

I woke up this morning and went through the comments section. When the enormity of the swindles of Modern Industrial Civilization being played out dawned upon me, I started feeling extremely wretched. Then I read this little gem on Operation Condor, aka How USA maintained its hegemony in South America and it made me really angry - http://www.chris-floyd.com/home/articles/keepers-of-the-condor-us-role-in-evil-network-shown-in-the-softest-light-03092020.html

Yes, USA propped up tin pot dictators that killed millions throughout the world, but no doubt, they had the interests of democracy in their heart. The Guardian makes me puke sometimes.

2:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

We need to start printing T-shirts that say:

ARE YOU A COLLAPSOPHILE?

Will sell like hotcakes...

mb

3:47 AM  
Anonymous Pantouflard said...

What do you think about the ideas of "prof de philo" Jean-Claude Michéa? He was interviewed a while ago here: https://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/an-interview-with-jean-claude-michea

Il n'est pas sans intelligence, but I can't get behind the notion of the natural goodness of the working class – ça m'a fait bien rigoler !

3:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pantouflard-

= living room? The real problem is his failure to refer to deli meats or any Jewish food products. A clear case of antisemitism. Plus that beret...ZUT ALORS! More seriously...a very interesting interview, altho I did get a bit tired of all of his parentheses. (enough!)

mb

5:19 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/sunday-review/where-have-all-the-neurotics-gone.html

"If chronic Facebook or Twitter posting is not an exercise in neurosis, then nothing is.

'I think some of the qualities we once attributed to neurotics have simply been normalized,' said Peter N. Stearns, a historian at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and author of the forthcoming book 'Satisfaction Not Guaranteed: Dilemmas of Progress in Modern Society.' 'I don’t have hard evidence for this, but just look around and observe how we live. We’ve become so accustomed to people with continual worries and fears that it’s made the category obsolete.'"

The word for Hedges and most progs is neurotic but as this article states neuroticism is so widespread it is basically normalized. Freud biased psychotherapy to favor neurotic over psychotic outcomes and 2020 may be the ultimate triumph of the neurotic. Society has been on ongoing nervous breakdown since at least 2015.

6:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check this out:

https://www.noemamag.com/from-gaia-to-the-wired-hive/

mb

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Orca said...

Wafers

I present to you this gold mine of a youtube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtqxG9IrHFU_ID1khGvx9sA/videos

here's a favorite of mine (at 1:50 mark):

https://youtu.be/8kkBseVTUow?t=110

It boggles my mind that people like this exist

9:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Orca-

And there are a lot more of them than there are of you (or me).

mb

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

I think this quote from Jim's post sums up his thoughts on the "Princeton letter"-

"Such a reeking dumpster-load of cowardly and disingenuous race-pander has hardly been seen before, even at Harvard, Yale, and Brown, where insincerity flows like Amontillado sherry."

Here is a link to the blog entry-

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/back-to-school-dya-think/#more-13039'

12:42 PM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

MB, is this gonna make you revise your opinion abt W. Europe? Frankly, I was shocked and horrified by the details. There are a lot of them for sure.
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/05/europe/germany-virus-response-victim-of-own-success-intl/index.html

Seems to me Modi, among all the demagogues, is a clever guy in terms of manipulating mass psychology. When the virus first started spreading in India, he declared a complete lockdown with a mere 4 hour notice in his signature style. Things started opening up some 6 or 7 weeks later when there were no signs of the virus easing. Now you have nearly 100K cases everyday, but nearly everything is open except schools/colleges. And people have just got used to it. No panic, not much talk abt the pandemic. If you keep a frog in a pot of water and slowly heat it, the frog gets used to the rising temp, they say.

Read this wonderful piece. Written in the Indian context, but if you change the details, can be applied to any country being run by a strongman. Diminishing the citizen, and charging up the basest instincts of their base is what they are doing. Hope of a decent life for everyone dies a sad death.

Was listening to this lecture on the Myth of Capitalism by Micheal Parenti. Quite interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA8mBCl7Y2U
He has a lot to say about the US.






12:56 PM  
Anonymous Grover said...

There’s no longer any doubt. American fascism is here...’Fascism was always about entertainment...: the deep root of its poison was that it made hatred entertaining.’ ⁦https://www.newstatesman.com/international/places/2020/09/return-american-fascism

1:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Indian-

This might interest u:

https://www.amazon.com/New-Prophets-Capital-Jacobin/dp/1781688109/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=nicole+aschoff&qid=1599329453&s=books&sr=1-2

mb

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

@ jjArden: Nice to hear that you are planning to read Jack Kerouac's On the Road. The book is a must-read, though I don't know how well it holds up to a re-reading.

For decades reading it was a rite of passage for young would-be counter-cultural men. Not sure whether male 'Hipsters' continued reading it in the early 2000s. Hard to imagine young men ready any at all today ... Whether the novel speaks to female readers is a good question. It does contain a lot of outdated chauvinism.

I read the it in my final year of high school at a time when where there was a revival of interest in the counter-culture. I liked enough to read his The Dharma Bums next, which I prefer. It is true, as another WAFER has noted: Kerouac's life was ultimately tragic.

I recommend reading On the Road alongside Allen Ginsberg's Howl and Other Poems and possibly also alongside Gregory Corso's Gasoline.

-Northern Johnny



3:55 PM  
Anonymous Tyrol said...

Great anlaysis of the domestic upheaval Dr. Berman.

https://therightstuff.biz/2020/08/30/ftn-338-rnc-takes-a-knee/

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

Just finished reading "New Prophets of Capital". Highly recommended. What happens when capitalist titans think that they have the solutions to the contradictions of capitalism? Not much. Possible companion read: Winners Take All.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Req-

Link for Winners Take All?

mb

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Sybok said...

Dr. Berman, I know you hate weird, unproven hypotheses, but I think this might be promising for perhaps those who have the resources to check it out.

We all know that even smart Americans are stupid when it comes to accepting how utterly hopeless their situation has become. They see the facts just as clearly as Wafers, but they can't seem to connect the dots & reach the inescapable conclusion. How is this possible?

I submit that the nearly ubiquitous use of anti-depressant drugs (specifically SSRIs) in this country might go far in explaining the denial most Americans seem to live in. I took these drugs as a teen & while they certainly did lift my depression, they also distorted my perceptions. In hindsight, I seemed to have suffered from all the symptoms of <a href='https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pronoia_(psychology)>pronoia</a> while on these drugs: An inflated sense of self-esteem; the feeling that everyone liked me & wanted the best for me; an unjustified trust in others & the feeling that everything would somehow turn out for the best. And I say I 'suffered' from this because while it was pleasant to believe all these things, those delusions eventually collided with reality.

I know this can't explain it totally. Obvious there are cultural factors at work as well. But I can't discount it either. Some Americans may simply too drugged to think clearly.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sy-

Abt 10% of Americans over 12 take antidepressant drugs. As for your statement that Americans "see the facts just as clearly as Wafers": are you fucking kidding me? Yr rt: I'm not into weird, unproven hypotheses.

mb

7:56 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

For those of you diggin back into Kerouac, a few things to look at to give some other perspectives on the mid-50s in the US, the roadside attractions.

Robert Franks's booke, The Americans. Here's a youtube video of someone flipping through the book showing every image. The clothes have changed, but this Swiss Jew caught the basics of the country quickly- flags, fascism, race, military, media, empty stares and cars cars cars. Kerouac wrote an intro for the US edition (although Frank and Kerouac were not friends, just fellow travelers in the same circles)-

https://youtu.be/8-01NkUGBO8

Gordon Parks was active in the 1950s shooting for magazines, advertising, making films, etc. Much of his work shows the Black community around the US. Includes some nice color images from the 1950s, so often seen as a colorless time-

https://www.instagram.com/gordonparksfoundation/

I've never been able to get into Kerouac's writing. Similar to Octavia Butler- I know that both are well-regarded writers but every time I try I seem to be banging up against some glass wall and can never settle in to their prose styles. Go figure.

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Grover, great article! And seriously WAFers, stop now and read it.

I still haven't seen the HBO show "Plot Against America", but it also comes recommended. Speaking of spectacle:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/gallery/2020/sep/05/kentucky-derby-2020-empty-stands-and-armed-militias-at-americas-most-famous-race

the photo of the boogaloo with the bullhorn in the face of the other guy is the best one, but also the photo of the NFAC dudes. I had to look up what that meant but just great ... what did Gandhi say "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." Maybe I'm still too Amerikkkan so that I first think, why shouldn't they defend themselves against the Boogerlooos?

8:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pastrami-

You mean bubba, yes? The boogaloo is the new (coming) civil war, I think.

mb

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Dan! A fellow photography fan. Also recommended are Gary Winogrand and an old favorite from the 70s Bill Owens.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/shooting-the-american-dream-in-suburbia-60871887/

9:15 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Alex, the mandibles does come off as naively pro-libertarian, but its worth reading. Not so much for the wall street finance monologues Shriver puts into her characters mouths, but for the world it portrays, which I think is a semi-realistic depiction of the kind of future we are heading towards. There is some silly stuff in it but overall I enjoyed it. If anything it further convinced me that libertarians are living in a fantasy land.

And I'm sure the biggest fans of the book think we can solve all our problems by going back to the gold standard and having a flat tax rate. Libertarians cannot seem to grasp the conflict between individual "freedoms" and the the freedom or rights of the commonweal. People like the late Benjamin Barber have been pointing this out for decades. As an individual, I may want to have some car with 300 horsepower that can go 80 mph on a school road, but as a public citizen, I'd be more interested in having better public transit and laws that make driving safer for everyone. I'd want to have the freedom to not have to own a car.

Its clear which definition of freedom America has sided with. We have chosen poorly.

9:49 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

al-Qa'bong - Slim Gaillard was a miracle. I grew up saying "All right-a-roonie" not knowing I was speaking a bit of Vout. Here's a nice docu on him:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbdGTqoOg8w

On The Road is a nice read, but I was never bowled over by K's other books. A surprisingly good read is Junky by Burroughs. I have not the slightest interest in drugs; he could have been writing about bus drivers, and it would still be an excellent read.

mb - took sundown last night to sundown tonight off and read the rest of WAF then the first two chapters - what a book! Not sure whether to get Wandering or Neurotic next.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

Not clear: you read all of WAF, and then the 1st 2 chapters again? Anyway, glad u enjoyed it. WG and NB are probably my best two bks. I'd suggest rdg NB first. And if you need a laff: Heart of the Matter.

Wudu-

Actually, either extreme is fucked, and a major factor is the one of scale. This is why socialism works in Scandanavia; low-level capitalism also works, but the problem is that as it expands it turns into a monster. On this, see Richard Powers' terrific novel, Gain.

mb

12:48 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Yep read all of WAF then having a re-read; there's a lot in there.

2:33 AM  
Anonymous Sybok said...

As for your statement that Americans "see the facts just as clearly as Wafers": are you fucking kidding me?

They see that Trump is president & still vote.They see tens of thousands of people dying of covid & think its a hoax. They see another rm catholic priest being exposed as a child molester, but they still go to mass. They see unarmed blacks being shot in the back, alt-right dems, industrial scale slavery in for-profit prisons & yet they think that after over 200 years of racism shouting 'black lives matter' matters. They see record breaking temperatures, melting glaciers, 1000's of acres going up in flames & yet believe somehow this planet has a future. They may be uneducated, but they are they blind & deaf to boot?

Forgive me if I think they must be drugged out of their minds. Maybe they are just congenitally insane. I don't understand, but I'm trying.

2:54 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Happy weekend, Dr. Berman & Wafers.
Please enjoy Karen Sunday, Season 1, Episode 7. This week’s final segment gives a preview of the usual fall stampede in late November; but 4 different Karens are shown in it for your viewing pleasure. And of course our Karens come in all shapes and sizes! LOL!

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A32MZHQjmdA

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVTrPdEq8kg

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Patty said...

How SUVs conquered the world [read: the USA] – at the expense of its climate

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/01/suv-conquered-america-climate-change-emissions

9:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sy-

You and I have a very different understanding of the phrase "seeing the facts clearly." Your 'evidence' indicates that these people do *not* see them clearly.

mb

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Orca said...

@sybok
Pardon the intrusion, from my brief readings on constructivist epistemology (Watzlawick mainly) I've come to believe that whatever people experience have to go through some filters made out if their belief systems, ideology, trauma, cultural conditioning etc... in other words people don't see FACTS, they see what they are conditioned to see. It does not matter what happens because they'll find a way to use it as an argument for what they believe in already.
As I stated before Paul Watzlawick (and the whole Palo alto school of psychotherapy) are a great read, my favourite book would be How Real Is Real. The Lacanian imaginary might be a good explanation too although I am very poor read when it Comes to Lacan so I might be wrong.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB-

Glad to read that you still have yr Canter's cap! Someday we hafta get u back to LA. In any case, here's a guy who called 911 to sell egg rolls:

https://www.wvlt.tv/2020/09/04/tenn-man-arrested-after-calling-911-asking-if-dispatcher-wanted-to-buy-egg-rolls/

I wonder if Tracey McCloud was ever reimbursed for her unsatisfactory Chinese food?

Miles

1:15 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

How fucked? This fucked:
https://morningconsult.com/2020/07/22/trump-biden-economy-trust-polling/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/09/06/poll-more-pick-donald-trump-over-joe-biden-win-debates/5707265002/

Trump easily beats Biden in the 90 minute game show, and thank god he is on top of the economy - if we had a chance he would be polling at 2% and Biden wld be...I dunno wherever duplicitous shits like him are when they retire

Why is QAnon such a conspiracy? Does it matter if there really is a ring of elite pedophiles and sex traffickers or not? Maybe so, probably no, but it's a fact we've killed millions of woman and children.

One of Jack Kerouac's disappointments came about once he realized his work would be taught in high schools. So much for offering another way of 'being.' I would leave a link but can't remember exactly where I read it - a biography I think. I have read his psychiatric record which I find very interesting (more likely suffering from bipolar d/o than 'dementia praecox' aka schizophrenia.) Here are a cpl links, in the second one check out how shy he is until he reads from On The Road.

https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2011/fall/kerouac.html

https://youtu.be/3LLpNKo09Xk

1:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

Will Trumpi reduce Schmiden to a quivering mass of idiocy, in the debates? I'm on the edge of my seat.

Jeff-

Meanwhile, any news of Shaneka? And what of Chrystal Walraven?

mb

2:19 PM  
Blogger Jason Tower said...

Dan - I couldn't agree more with your comment "...one of the most frustrating things I find these days- trying to have a real conversation." Trying to have a conversation with an American is frustrating and pointless. Americans have little curiousity about the world and they dominate any discussion by talking about themselves. There's also a weird undercurrent of hostility and competition in interactions with Americans.


an Irish woman's observations about conversation in the US:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/03/opinion/americans-are-terrible-at-small-talk.html

George Carlin explains how Americans talk to each other:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyWsFfd9pqE

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-San said...

I came across a quote attributed to Werner Herzog:

"Dear America: You are waking up as Germany once did, to the awareness that 1/3 of your people would kill another 1/3, while 1/3 watches."

A quick bit of research showed that the attribution was wrong:

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/werner-herzog-germany-quote/

Be that as it may I still like the quote, though I think the percentages are wrong - my guess would be 60% kill 30% while the top 10% enjoys the carnage.

On another matter I thought Wafers would enjoy this recent essay:

https://unherd.com/2020/09/why-fukuyama-was-right-all-along/






3:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jason-

That "weird undercurrent of hostility and competition" is what I finally figured out abt Americans. It took me a long time to recognize it intellectually (intuitively, I think I knew it at age 8). It's largely unconscious; it's just the way Americans relate, as if this were perfectly normal. It's why going abroad from time to time was such a relief, and why returning to the US was so depressing. Most societies don't operate in this way, and it's why living in Mexico is so relaxing, on a daily basis. Yr not in constant conflict w/everyone. Socially speaking, America is barbaric, even vicious; but as Marshall McLuhan once said, the one thing a fish can't recognize abt its environment is water. What an insane way to live.

mb

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

"Winners Take All" - available at most bookstores. I'm reluctant to link Amazon to anything, even something as worthy as this book. Here's a link to a review from the Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/feb/14/winners-take-all-by-anand-giridharadas-review

Boogaloos are a loose extremist group of anti-government guys with too much time on their hands who are eagerly awaiting a second Civil War, what they call "the boogaloo".

Sybok - In addition to meds, Americans also have screens into which to escape from reality. Especially TV, the "plug in drug". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Plug-In_Drug
And MB is right - Huxley (Brave New World) was closer to predicting the future than Orwell (1984). Although doping everyone with soma would make it easier for Big Brother to take over.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Req-

In future, I hope you will provide links/references. It's a courtesy to do this for other readers. Just giving a title is not all that helpful. Thank you.

mb

5:54 PM  
Blogger David said...

A friend of mine told me that everytime she comes back to the US from an overseas stay she feels a strong feeling of loneliness suddenly hits her..
Personally I have driven around in Asia, Latin America and never experienced panic attacks or anxiety while driving alone. Here, there's no telling when I will be the victim of a panic attack and it has already happened a few times.
The environment we have created and live in makes us sick and alienated and that is worrisome enough....

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

See the Sept. 6 entry (“Dictators, Hustling, etc.”) for reference to WAF and a nation of hustlers: http://hipcrimevocab.com/

10:29 PM  
Blogger ZeeLawyer said...

Hello Professor, here's yet more confirmation of your vatic vision--> https://eand.co/how-the-american-idiot-made-america-unlivable-7531e917181b

Excerpts: There you are, a young person in America. What are your options? ...

You end up driving an Uber, delivering an Instacart. Doing gig work. Pursuing your side hustle when and where you can. What the hell? You’re educated. You have a long collection of degrees and diplomas.
And yet you never become the thing you could have. The one that would have benefited everyone. That scientist, researcher, novelist, journalist, professor, musician. Who can? Nobody can make ends meet ...

One dimension of human potential is what you make of yourself professionally--and you realize, one day, terrified, that you will never amount to what you wanted to be, but be a glorified neo-servant for much of your life. But another is relational--what you make of yourself socially. And as an American, now, you can’t even afford to start a family, have a home, develop a lifelong relationship. That’s how badly your human potential has been destroyed ...

You will work, for a pittance, and then die. You’ll make billionaires trillionaires--and demagogue dictators-- along the way. But you? You’re expandable, disposable, nobody ....

11:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Zee-

Thanks for the article. I think it may be time to refresh our post-its:

HEADS RAMMED IN SHIT

This captures the essence of that essay, I wd say.

Kev-

Thanks for the ref. That people read my work always comes as a shock.

mb

11:58 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

ZeeLawyer thanks for the Umair Haque article. Brilliant.

Here's another one by Haque, hot off the press. https://eand.co/how-bad-will-a-second-trump-term-be-even-worse-than-you-think-1a905a4b96e4

And here's one I read the other day. What does mb say? GET OUT.

https://eand.co/american-democracy-will-die-in-60-days-54ce25626c1c

mb - have ordered the Japan book. Having grown up in Hawaii/Japan jr. it may help me calm some demons.

2:11 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Two interesting reads this weekend.
In his new book, Michael Sandel explains why the blue-collar workers in the west rally behind Trump, and takes a stand against meritocracy. Do you have any comments on his ideas, MB?
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/sep/06/michael-sandel-the-populist-backlash-has-been-a-revolt-against-the-tyranny-of-merit

Another Michael, the Choen, is gonna publish his bk. For all the shitting he has done, I loved these lines:
"Donald Trump's presidency is a product of the free press," he writes. "Not free as in freedom of expression, I mean free as unpaid for. Rallies broadcast live, tweets, press conferences, idiotic interviews, 24-7 wall-to-wall coverage, all without spending a penny. The free press gave America Trump."
"Right, left, moderate, tabloid, broadsheet, television, radio, Internet, Facebook -- that is who elected Trump and might well elect him again."
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/05/politics/michael-cohen-book-trump-white-house/index.html

When news is a commodity to make profit from, why not grab the free supply of it?

2:31 AM  
Anonymous Sybok said...

MB, you are right. Their behavior seems to suggest that they literally are blind & deaf; or maybe I am hallucinating & everything is really just fine.

Orc, Constructivism has its merits as psychology, but if we concede it as epistemology then this means that no opinion is any better than another since evidence is neutral & can be used to support any belief. In other words: Wafers might just be suffering from chronic depression which distorts their entire worldview to such a degree that they are hallucinating global warming, mass riots & a Trump presidency. If 'reality' is just a construct then there really is no 'reality' in any meaningful sense, only shared experiences.

Req, it's true that screens offer escape from reality, but they also offer confrontation with it. I probably wouldn't be as pessimistic as I am if I did not have access to the information screens provide.

4:17 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Sybok,

There is some evidence that reading the news can make you less happy.

https://time.com/5125894/is-reading-news-bad-for-you/

So I agree that screens can be an escape from reality but also a source of distress. It doesn't help that much of this technology is deliberately designed to be addictive. Here are some articles just on the addictive nature of social media.

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44640959

https://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-has-been-deliberately-designed-to-mimic-addictive-painkillers-2018-12

7:31 AM  
Blogger Kelvin said...

Hi Maury. Here's a link to Jasun Horsley's Auticulture podcast discussing one of my favorites of your oeuvre, Wandering God:

https://auticulture.com/the-liminalist-257-a-fatal-glimpse-of-heaven-discussing-morris-bermans-wandering-god-with-tim-k-part-1/

Kel

7:56 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Jason and MB et al- thanks for fleshing out a bit more on conversations in the US. I am always hoping to have good interactions with people, try when I can, be prepared to bail on anyone once it heads south, which is the standard. From the little inanities of talking about the weather to more, I refuse to believe that other people all collapse into simplistic cliches. So I have 'constructed' a world where people still have depth and souls and spirit, however buried and perverted such spirits may be. I don't go around trying to find such essences, I don't have expectations of Americans becoming loving caring souls once Trump leaves office. But damn, the 'epistimology' of living in a world of people like these drives me crazy so I need to knowingly pretend otherwise.

And to prove me wrong, here's a guy going around the US interviewing people in a nice dead pan style, letting their true spirits speak-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtqxG9IrHFU_ID1khGvx9sA/videos

rocket launch- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW_jsS_JnMY
Anti-virus- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kkBseVTUow&t=154s

Hedges' liberation front in action- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZPeD2miyF8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zthJUf31MA

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anna Lu said...

In Indonesia, the poorest profession is also the happiest: fishermen report higher life satisfaction than any other group. Fresh air, vast horizons, self sufficiency, it all adds when it comes to self esteem. https://theconversation.com/amp/fishers-are-one-of-the-poorest-professions-in-indonesia-yet-they-are-one-of-the-happiest-139872

1:45 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...


When did Gender Reveal parties become a thing? Is there anyone we can send to prison for starting this dumbass American shit? (I recognize the pleonastic nature in the coupling of dumbass and American.)

A gender reveal party starts the El Dorado fire in Southern California that has thus far consumed 7,000 acres. If the happy couple are a bit nervous anticipating the ob/gyn and hospital bills, wait’ll they see the bill from Gavin Newsome.

Douchebags.

https://apple.news/A_PMeavq1RtybXPTa-Jme7w

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Orca said...

Constructivism is not relativism, according to Gregory Bateson "If a pattern is that which, when it meets another pattern, creates a third—a sexual characteristic exemplified by moiré patterns, interference fringes and so on then it should be possible to talk about patterns in the brain whereby patterns in the sensed world can be recognized." (qtd in Upside- Down Gods by Peter Harries- Jones) which mean (as I understand it) that making sense of the world needs some mental patterns that are partly inherited and partly formed by memories and lived experiences, and without them there is no Mind at all. As different people develop different patterns they construct different realities. This does not negate objective truths which are true no matter what the contexts or the mental patterns are e.g. rocks sink and wood float.
What we are dealing with here are not objective truths but theories in the scientific term, which means true until proven wrong. Mental constructs are theories and we either deal with them as theories or as dogmas. A Wafer's mental pattern is made out of different scientific, psychoanalytical and philosophical theories and he will change them when proven wrong, another person's mental patterns are dogmas and he will fit whatever inside of them. So no, different opinions are not of equal standing, and we can not not have difference.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

You'll have to be more specific. I linked Winner Take All to a review. Plug in Drug has a link.

I can't see that anyone born in the last 40 years needs a link to Brave New World and 1984.What did I fail to link?



4:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Req-

I was referring to yr earlier post, when all you cited was the title. This wd be sufficient for Orwell and Huxley, but not for Winner Take All, wh/most people never heard of. I hope we will not continue this discussion, and that in the future you will provide a link for your references.

Jas-

Does it get dumber than this?

mb

5:16 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I saw that gender reveal/wildfire headline on the CBC site, and was going to check it out because I didn't know what a gender reveal party could be. I thought it must have something to do with adults having some sort of celebration once they decided what gender/pronoun to adopt.

In a sense it's a relief to see that an infant was the star of this fiasco, although why an apocalyptic celebration of its gender is necessary, I don't understand.

As far as penalties go, would it be extreme to suggest that the parents of the boy/girl be neutered?

5:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al-

No. Plus beaten to w/in an inch of their lives, and thrown on a dung heap.

mb

6:44 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Has anyone ever heard of Alfie Kohn?
For many years now he has published a series of books re the origins of the American psychosis.
This reference introduces his 1986 book No Contest which I came across at the time it was published.
www.alfiekohn.org/contest

6:47 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

https://nonsite.org/article/the-trouble-with-disparity

Adolph Reed on the Racial Wealth Gap. Excerpt -And because racism is not the principal source of inequality today, antiracism functions more as a misdirection that justifies inequality than a strategy for eliminating it.-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTYAb2Q647g

The Back Channel by Journalist Zaid Jilani goes into the numbers. It appears every racial group in the US has the same numbers where 10% controls 75% of the wealth of said ethnic group. What the Racial wealth gap really is about is the wealth disparity between the Elites and nothing more. In the article above Adolph Reed Jr explains eliminating wealth disparities between the lower classes would not eliminate the gap and that the discourse is just another form of "lets have a more Diverse Elite".

The US is such a doomed nation and I love it. On a Personal Note. My father, a citizen since the 1980s, had a client talk to him about the virus situation in the US asked my father "So you know my nation's issues what about your country? How you guys handling the virus?".

6:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Trumpi states the obvious:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/07/politics/trump-attack-military-leadership/index.html

mb

9:50 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Ordinary Indian - As someone said on Reddit about Trump, "It's like the internet got elected".

Anna Lu - The saying "The worst day fishing is still better than the best day working" holds true. Even when I was an underfed teen, went fishing for fish to eat ("sport" fishing and things like catch-and-release are not my cup of tea) those were happy times when I was out there with my fishing pole.

4:10 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

I thought this was going to be dumb because of the title and the juvenile humor, but this is actually a better and more in-depth takedown of Stephen Pinker than John Gray's piece. It's an hour and forty minutes long, but full of interesting information. Pinker really is comical. I love how our culture has these glib and superficial public intellectuals like Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Sam Harris, etc. and how they all have kind of an incestuous relationship with each other. I always cringe when I see a comment like "Wow, I would love to hear Jordan Peterson have a debate with Ben Shapiro or Stephen Pinker!" So tiresome.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDFj1vsvTiY&t=4711s

5:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Megan-

John Fowles once referred to these public intellectuals as "the hollow mouthpieces of our age," or something like that (I think in his bk "The Aristos"). Fame is usually an indication of something gone wrong.

mb

7:30 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally as a Covid-19 supespreader event:

http://ftp.iza.org/dp13670.pdf

Some people may complain, but you haven't read enough Stephen Pinker obviously. $12,200,000,000 worth of illness generated! AND spread around the US!! That's the American spirit!! Keep that economy growing for EVERYONE!!!

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Another Schmoe said...

MB, just had to drop this quote in here from a mother of (another) child shot up by local pd. It's very 21st century American decline. She was surprised by a nice card with sympathy written in by other people in the area. Quote, "we are used to being alone". I don't think the worst slum in Asia or Africa could get you that quote.

https://kutv.com/news/local/mother-of-child-shot-by-slcpd-officer-speaks-out-why-didnt-you-just-tackle-him

Barton showed much appreciation for those who wrote in the card and called it a nice surprise: "We are used to being alone."

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

I know quite a few links to Umair Haque have been posted here and, although he hits the nail on the head quite often, I still have my doubts about him. Not only is he overly repetitive (and what's with his highlighting paragraphs in his own articles) but sometimes he produces something like this:

Does America Really Have What it Takes to Stop Trumpism?

Trump’s trying to steal the election. And so far, he’s doing a pretty good job. The Postal Service has been captured, voting machines mysteriously, quietly shut down, and meanwhile, the Democrats have threatened to… hold hearings.

Huh? Like the Democratic Party is incapable of trying to steal the election too?

Then there’s all the help that Trump is going to have stealing the election. You know what’s coming, and so do I. Everyone from the Kremlin to your local unfriendly billionaires are going to barrage Facebook with propaganda

Please, please, no more Russia conspiracy BS.

So what if white women feel the same way — but just won’t admit it? That’s exactly what happened in 2016.

More Democratic talking points; it's the fault of all those closet racists. Frankly disappointing.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Malleus-

Pls watch length, in future.

Jas-

Sorry, cdn't run it (24 hr rule).

mb

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Hans Castorp said...

Review of George Scialabba's "How To Be Depressed" -

"Depression entails a biopolitics, and in the United States it’s a nasty, deprived one. The disease clearly has major endogenous neurochemical components, but our deeply unequal society, with its shredded social-democratic safety nets and brutal labor markets, makes depression so much worse for so many people. “Economic insecurity is an epidemic stress,” Scialabba writes, and economic insecurity is what the United States has specialized in since the Reagan revolution. You can imagine what the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic collapse are adding."

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/this-long-whine-george-scialabbas-depressions/

12:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Req-

I can't keep playing ping pong w/u as to how the blog works. Most Wafers understand the guidelines and act accordingly. I'm just not into endless discussions of the topic; debating w/u has taken up too much of my time. Let me suggest that you find another blog to argue with for the next 6 mos., and then after that, if yr willing to follow this blog's rules w/o any discussion, you can return. Good luck, and perhaps we'll c.u. in March.

mb

2:40 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The coming Right Wing UPRISING...


https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/trump-lose-2020-election-supporters-maga-presidency-a9606081.html



https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/01/06/how-would-far-right-react-trump-loss-heres-glimpse/


2:43 PM  
Blogger Xair said...

Wafers,
Lets just riot our way to revolutionary change. This is the Cutting edge of American intellectual thought. You can't make this stuff up.

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/dont-steal-this-book

2:59 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Is America a myth?:

https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/is-america-a-myth

Miles

3:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Gd essay, thanks. We're finished, period. There's nothing left to discuss.

jj, Xair-

At some pt, the country will go totally batshit. This will be anything but an illusory, demented Hedgean left-wing revolution. It will be mostly right-wing, but I think it may just be a general, all-out going nuts, a spectacle for the sake of it. Get yr cameras ready, Wafers; there will be much to record.

mb

4:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: This is kinda nice:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/09/08/utah-police-shot-13-year-old-autism-after-mom-call/5745028002/

And this:

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ellievhall/black-student-suspended-toy-gun-virtual-class

Plus check this out:

https://www.sundance.org/projects/the-social-dilemma

mb

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Exciting news!

https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2020-09-08/sturgis-motorcycle-rally-may-have-caused-over-250-000-coronavirus-cases-report

usa, usa!

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Vince said...

@Xair,

Thank for the link to the article. I had no idea that this kind of "thinking" was being taken seriously enough to be aired on public radio.

Dr. Berman,

Thank you for taking part in the interview on Nature Bats Last. I enjoyed the program. I am sure that they could have asked you questions for hours.

To all,
Remember, Tuesday in Soylent Green Day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSLY5a1qYkE

Peace,
Vince

7:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dr. Shit-

To quote Gore Vidal, "Stupidity excites me." Don' ferget to update yr post-it.

mb

7:45 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

A new book has been published this August that tells an alternate United States history of a country having to deal to secessionist movements from from its beginnings; this might be a nice expansion on the "Is America a Myth" article that appeared in the New Yorker.

https://www.amazon.com/Break-Up-Secession-Division-Imperfect/dp/0316510602/ref=sr_1_2

8:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Check out these links (they relate v. well to the idea of Dual Process):

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/08/pandemic-covid-19-work-society

https://www.amazon.com/Post-Growth-Living-Alternative-Kate-Soper/dp/178873887X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=post+growth+living&qid=1599628652&s=books&sr=1-1

Let me also recommend a TV series called "The Night Manager" (6 episodes)--very absorbing.

mb

1:26 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

To try to lift my spirits I still read selected Comics everyday.

I enjoyed this one succintly illustrating American evolution and ultimate decline.

https://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/2020/09/09

8:09 AM  
Blogger dg said...

“The scientific community has been no better versed on the complications of COVID than the general public ,” Mills said in an interview. “I’m tremendously disappointed in the scientific community and what I see is a lack of critical interpretation of this complex disease.”
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(20)30365-X/fulltext#%20

8:49 AM  
Anonymous The Flabster said...

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/09/america-insurgency-chaos-trump-violence.html

I found this very honest article about the state of things. This is apparent to anyone who doesn’t live in a super wealthy suburban area and has their out of their ass.

I also enjoyed this, though the alternative endings parts are too weird for me:

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/09/democracy-scares-from-the-destruction-of-bryan-to-the-abdication-of-bernie-why-america-desperately-needs-a-second-populist-movement-but-aint-gonna-get-one-an-interview-review-of-the-peopl.html

Neither political party is anywhere close to leading the us out of the current debacle.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous McKenzie said...

'Morality pills' may be the US's best shot at ending the coronavirus pandemic, according to one ethicist https://theconversation.com/amp/morality-pills-may-be-the-uss-best-shot-at-ending-the-coronavirus-pandemic-according-to-one-ethicist-142601

One of the most dystopic articles The Conversation's ever published.

10:19 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Rich Americans FLEEING the US before the election fallout!!


https://www.zerohedge.com/political/rich-americans-flock-caribbean-ahead-us-presidential-election-turmoil

1:47 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Dildo dept.:

Theresa Stanley, 36, arrested for public masturbation inside an adult toy store:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8714903/Florida-woman-36-arrested-stripping-naked-using-pink-sex-toy-adult-store.html

I hope this trend really takes off in America. I won't rest until I see millions of Americans simultaneously climax in the streets of this great nation.

Miles

5:04 PM  
Blogger anderszornpalette said...

Yay, Hollywood's at it again! Oscars go full woke.

https://nypost.com/2020/09/08/oscars-unveil-new-diversity-standards-for-2024-best-picture-nominees/

And here's an excellent example of how to get the masses to support your social justice cause. Somehow, MacDonald's always seems to be ground zero for these events:

https://youtu.be/ftbfGt6Q9I8

6:41 PM  
Blogger Voidisyinyang said...

Hi Dr. Berman. As you know, I called you in 1996. I'm also in the Earth First! Journal as a "contact" in 1996. http://www.environmentandsociety.org/sites/default/files/key_docs/ef_16_8.pdf
I discovered Professor McPherson a few years ago or so. I've been following him since. Just so you know, he heavily censors his youtube comments. So the comments on his channel are usually a bit sychophantic. haha.

2:04 AM  
Anonymous Sergio said...

Recall what Jill Lapore writes of Thoreau in her history of the US: Europe had Marx; America had Thoreau, who saw in ‘progress’ “improved means to an unimproved end”

https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2020/09/04/the-revolutionary-thoreau/

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Despite being from the NYT, this is pretty damning (and all the data is pre-covid!):

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/opinion/united-states-social-progress.html

"The United States ranks No. 1 in the world in quality of universities, but No. 91 in access to quality basic education. The U.S. leads the world in medical technology, yet we are No. 97 in access to quality health care"

12:20 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Two Kindred Nobel Peace Prize winners,

https://www.thedailybeast.com/when-bob-dylan-and-jimmy-carter-bonded-over-christianity

1:53 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Req-

I didn't read it. Go away. Yr a total turkey. Also a buffoon.

Void-

There was no censorship in my case. Nor was he a sycophant. haha yrself.

Jeff-

Wd be esp. gd for Karens. Might calm them down.

Wafers-

Gd documentation of our national erosion. Also check out essay by Luke Mogelson in New Yorker Aug. 24: on bubbas and the boogaloo.

mb

2:51 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm at an Internet cafe in Mex City, and this computer is registering me as Unknown, for some odd reason. Sorry. mb

2:57 PM  
Blogger Amazed! said...

@ Dr Shithouse - "sturgis motorcycle rally may have caused over 250000 coronavirus cases"


Will they be missed?

You decide:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UK2FBEpmlUo

What a people!

4:12 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Livin' the dream: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/national/kissimmee-star-motel/?utm_source=reddit.com

Picking up the Japan book today. Looking forward to it.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

"America is 33rd in access to quality education, 33rd in child mortality and 31st in clean drinking water. But our stock market is up."

- Andrew Yang

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Pratt said...

How philanthropy benefits the super-rich

There are more philanthropists than ever before. Each year they give tens of billions to charitable causes. So how come inequality keeps rising? 

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/sep/08/how-philanthropy-benefits-the-super-rich

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

As my last post was a bit long, I'll keep it sweet and short this time:

https://www.dw.com/en/germans-fear-donald-trump-more-than-coronavirus/a-54882818

Trump ranks number one this year on Germans' list of fears at 53%.

7:13 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Just think about how sick and twisted this is....A third rate actress was given a $400,000 book advance to write a book about her failed and troubled life, and this was supposed to be a best seller worth over a million dollars.


Lindsay Lohan allegedly owes $365K for book she never wrote

https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/lindsay-lohan-sued-book-never-wrote

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

A professor at the University of Southern California is under investigation for using a Chinese word that sounds like an English racial slur.

"Footage of his lecture, which has now gone viral, shows Prof Patton saying: 'In China, the common pause word is 'that, that, that'. So in China, it might be na-ge, na-ge, na-ge.'"

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-54107329

Academia in the United States is now completely insane.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Del Gord said...

“Whenever we proceed from the known into the unknown we may hope to understand, but we may have to learn at the same time a new meaning of the word 'understanding.”
― Werner Karl Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science

Inspiring words prompted by the Unknown mb (or in my dreams)

6:34 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

“It seemed like a fitting tribute at the time” Department:

The Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina released a “Wear Their Names” collection of jewellery incorporating shards of glass from windows smashed during the May 2020 BLM protests there; each piece bears the name of a black victim of police brutality. The collection, which given the prices asked would likely have only been affordable for the more affluent, has been pulled from the museum shop following protests.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/10/wear-their-names-jewelry-shut-down-slave-auction-black-deaths?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

7:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas-

In America, everything is hustling.

Tom-

Also spineless. Long history of that.

Amazed-

Buffoons on wheels. Gotta love 'em.

mb

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Doctor,
I notice in "The Heart of the Matter" that you sometimes have multiple people speaking within the same paragraph. Is this permissible as I was taught to have a new paragraph for each speaker.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I watched only a bit of it, but while peering into that video of the Sturgis rally, I suddenly tried to imagine these "heroes" hitting the beach at Omaha or digging in at Bastogne. Nope. I couldn't imagine it.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the Pinochet/Kissinger coup in Chile. I didn't see one mention of it in the media anywhere.

I found out last week that I'm to be working from home on Zoom until June, at the earliest. I'd like to punch that virus in the nose. Maybe some bikers could offer to help.

12:45 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Did you all see this HEADLINE NEWS??? It’s what EVERYONE is talking about now!!! FOX regularly has these news stories....


https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/taraji-p-henson-bikini-50th-birthday-yacht

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Magni Ficent said...

Dr. Berman,

A new book was published called Evil Geniuses, by Kurt Andersen. He discusses recent cultural history and argues that America went wrong, so to speak, due to a conspiracy of sorts, between a coalition of right-wing intellectuals, politicians and big business, starting in the 1970s. According to him, that's when many Americans gave up on the notion of fairness and let big business run the show, making society more unequal and favorable to big business.

In reading the book, it's interesting to note some of the contrasts between your work and that book. You have argued Americans are the cause of their own decline, in that hustling and hyper-individualism were baked into the American DNA from the outset, whereas he argues the root of our problems in many ways goes back to a top-down, openly declared conspiracy of intellectuals pushing flawed ideas, including the trickle-down theory, in the 1970s.

You would probably not enjoy the part of his book on Carter too much, I'm guessing from reading Why America Failed. He pretty much writes off Carter as a "wimp" and a "scold" while not fully addressing what Carter said in his malaise speech and blames the Democrats of the time for promoting someone like him as a leader.

I'm wondering if you have any thoughts on the book. A link to it is below.

https://www.amazon.com/Evil-Geniuses-Unmaking-America-History/dp/1984801341

9:36 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Many say the crash of the USA may most closely resemble that of Yugoslavia. This should be educational:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdAI17Hwp1U

Trumpi may be more self-aware than many of us give him credit for:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-riots-fox-news-obamacare-putin-economy-us-coronavirus-george-floyd-a9544491.html

11:53 PM  
Blogger vsoguy said...

Hello Dr. B and Wafers,

Enjoyed the interview with NBL the other day. It's been awhile since I'd seen an interview with Dr. B and I always look forward to them.

Came across a YouTube channel featuring a weekly compilation video chronicling the decline of the US culture:

https://youtu.be/b03KDAkiF-Y

(The guy with his feet on fire sent me into quite the laughing fit, poor fella)

And here's an interview with the late great Frank Zappa. One of the best I've seen. What he talks about around time index 10:20 is particularly relevant to this blog. And this was back in 1981. Oh how far we've come..

https://youtu.be/wwA9VQR_KCs

-v

1:47 AM  
Anonymous Waesfjord said...

@Tom Servo

Those people complaining about the Prof's use of Chinese are just being niggardly.

Unbelievably, people lost their minds about "niggardly":

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/niggardly-attitude-to-word-costs-man-job-1.1258732

Goat droppings for brains, indeed.

5:35 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Yes!!!

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/13/roger-stone-to-donald-trump-bring-in-martial-law-if-you-lose-election

Stone said Trump should consider invoking the Insurrection Act and arresting the Clintons, former Senate majority leader Harry Reid, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Tim Cook of Apple and “anybody else who can be proven to be involved in illegal activity”

8:43 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Hi Dr. Berman & Wafers.
Like ancient Rome’s gladiator circuses, modern-day America in its steady, inexorable, irretrievable decline has its own version of them. The participants even have their very own league called U.F.C. Some American women ( either lightweights or heavyweights) in their typical anger and screaming seem as if they want to go further and audition for it. So LLLLLLets get ready to Karennn! Here in Season 1, Episode 8, are some appropriately titled “Ultimate Karens”! LOL!
(p.s. Part I is a repeat from a previous Karen Sunday episode segment. However, the trashy Karens in it truly signify the average American Karens. They therefore are worth watching again since they are inspirations for the battling Karens who follow.)

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAj7W_ROcHM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLGfa1DAZ8E

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

11:22 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

People are catching on-

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/09/joe-biden-imperialism-trump-america

"Coronavirus has brought the United States to its knees not only due to our system’s countless weaknesses, but also because of our delusional self-assessment. Despite all evidence to the contrary, many believed that this country was invincible. That fantasy has been destroyed."

I'm not a fan of Apocalyptic visions as real analysis, but it can be an interesting exercise in playful fantasy pointing to hard truths. Is it just coincidence that gender reveal parties arise at the same time as transgender rights are debated in public? Are gender reveal party fireworks setting the land on fire one of the four horsemen??! Play along and enjoy the ride...

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2020/09/living-in-the-time-of-gender-revelations

11:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Malleus-

That may well be in the cards. I'm just hoping that it will include the Wafer Urine Treatment for Hillary and Zuckershmuck.

Dan-

Yr probably rt. I guess I figured that the context wd make things clear.

mb

12:37 PM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Wafers, here is a funny, sarcastic take on the decline of the Anglosphere from the other side of the globe.

Messers Johnson and Trump are presiding over Western decadence:
https://epaper.telegraphindia.com/imageview_340882_14130487_4_71_13-09-2020_10_i_1_sf.html

The last sentence really sticks; 'This is what the Anglosphere looks like when it's home and not pretending: old, overwhelmingly white people, gathered around blow-dried blond fantasists who promise to turn a fading dominance into go-it-alone glory."

Those in the western parts of the US, stay safe from the inferno.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Doctor,
I asked because I'm putting the finishing touches on "50 Jewish Stories", a book I've been working on for about 3 years. Certainly, combining different speakers into a paragraph saves space. I'll ask my publisher about it.
Anyway, so goes the myth of the Philly sports fanatic. A few days ago Pennsylvania Health Department forbid fans to attend NFL games. You would imagine a major outcry as Eagles fans boast of "bleeding green" [Eagles color]. Not a sound so effective the brainwashing with regard to the virus has become. People even wear masks riding a bike through a wooded path! I mean isn't breathing nature better than breathing your own exhaust? Then I recall the phrase Boston Strong, yeah until the entire city was put on strict lockdown in search of the Boston marathon bombers. In other words,did rugged individualism ever exist or was it always a myth?

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Don’t know about the new book but Kurt Anderson’s previous book, “Fantasyland”, is excellent and aligns to a WAFer view of where we are in America.

6:41 PM  
Blogger ccg said...

In case there's any lingering doubt that Paul Krugman is a douche bag and in serious need of the Wafer Urine Treatment, check this out:

https://www.fastcompany.com/90549597/new-york-times-writer-paul-krugmans-bad-9-11-tweets-have-united-the-country-against-him

Jimmy Dore does a great take-down of this fool:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7V9xZLXppgY



9:06 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Trump in an orange prison jump suit...the appropriate color.


https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/donald-trump-criminal-case.html


https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/donald-trump-criminal-prosecution.html


9:23 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ccg-

In general, the Times and its writers are basically one big joke. As the country goes down the drain, they live in an alternative reality. I'm not sure we shd waste perfectly gd urine on them. But slapping wd be gd.

Indian-

I can't say it enuf: only Tulsi can save us now.

mb

1:26 PM  

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