February 01, 2010

Straight Talk



Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Christ, is that powerful!

And heartbreaking, too, because Americans so desperately need to hear it, over & over -- and the mainstream media, the alleged journalists, who suck up to the powers that be, would never allow it.

And so many are brainwashed into rejecting the naked truth of what he's saying out of hand.

I'm sending this link to as many people as I can.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Neb said...

you mention in a interview youd didn't know why we sent troops to Haiti. Well I have a link (http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/engdahl/2010/0201.html) "fateful geological prize called Haiti" by William Engdahl who apparently did research to substantiate the claim that the US is there for natural resources that have been known of for some time. I had not done further research into the references submitted but given you are writing a book (still?) this could be potentially contributory

11:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dear Neb,

Thanks for the info. Problem is, I don't recall ever talking abt Haiti in an interview.


10:40 AM  
Blogger Neb said...

Thanks for responding... Sir, I had mistaken an internet voice for yours when I had multiple sites open.


9:17 PM  
Blogger Neb said...

This video was intense. Lukeman says Americans want to hear this message. Definitely some do but I don't think a number significant enough that could effect anything. Pres Obama has helped me realize with his deceptions that change could actually occur when people reject the illusions that the 2 party system puts on every other year. This is no simple thing but I believe the pain of paying for excesses of a few elites or of the collective population will awaken many minds.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dear Neb,

Well, it wd be nice, but I suspect it's a long shot. I've gotten to the point that I don't really feel the words "America" and "mind" belong in the same sentence; unless one is trying to be oxymoronic.


10:19 PM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

I hope this video makes it on Alternet or Truthdig and gets a wide viewing audience. There was a Frontline special on two nights ago about the wired culture we live in and part of it showed large Army video centers where kids (mainly boys)can go and play violent war games free. Priming the pump so when they're 18 they can be actively recruited but of course this is strenuously denied. Growing up male in a culture that equates "a real man" with aggression, cruelty and provides endless excuses to exact revenge is going to be difficult, if not impossible, to reverse. And women play into this too and reinforce these standards of manhood. Impressionable young men are boxed in to this rigid mold of what constitutes courage and risk being seen as a wimp or "fag" not just by other men but by young women they want to impress. With this kind of pressure and the media screaming terrorist warnings it's a miracle anyone will call it what it is. To tell the truth is always an honorable and courageous act but is rarely recognized as one.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...


Well, I think Americans NEED to hear it -- they don't necessarily WANT to hear it. In fact, they don't want to hear a lot of things, and will go out of their way not to hear them. So much easier to lose yourself in the latest scandal or reality show, dontcha know, you betcha.

This is a point Neil Postman was making a couple of decades back in "Amusing Ourselves to Death" -- that journalism had changed from giving us what we need, to giving us what we want. That's perfect training in the avoidance of uncomfortable truths.

So we get the likes of Katie Couric giving us "inspirational" human interest stories, complete with generic sentimental music in the background, designed to leave us all feeling uplifted & secure in the (false) knowledge that all's right with the world.

Meanwhile, actual news that might actually give us real information, that might actually have an effect on our lives, is dismissed & ignored.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Neb said...

I've been thinking about it; I'm sure there is a statement one could make using "American" and "mind" without trying to be "oxymoronic".
...ok that's enough for now.

Reading the words from others above I see there is distress about mainstream media. I've realized that the media/materialism brainwashing cannot, will not, continue indefinitely; it's part of something unsustainable. So I'm at peace with what is. But I do get excited when I read or see people just not wanting to play this mad game anymore.

1:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just saw that Frontline special as well. The one principal said that technology is like "oxygen", and we wouldn't take oxygen away from children. That is an awe inspiring quote! Millions of future Americans will get jobs playing videogames, chatting, surfing the web, and making PowerPoint presentations. Who knew? Let those Indian, Chinese, and German children memorize those hard to learn facts. American children will just have to know how to "click" for their "knowledge". Why did I waste time learning all of these disciplines when all my answers were just a click away?

11:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dear Anon,

I can't help wondering if you are pulling my leg, or have just been swept away by modernity's propaganda as to what "progress" consists of. Clicking can only give you information, nothing more; which is worthless without context--something no amount of clicking can provide. The value of those "useless" disciplines is habits of mind, and the real possibility of knowledge, as opposed to just information. The Net has substituted a shallow world for one that had some intellectual muscularity to it. This type of technology has made us poorer, not richer; but clearly, its PR is very good--takes most people in. If your "answers" were only a click away, I can only wonder what the questions were.


10:32 AM  
Anonymous Art said...

Dear Prof. Berman,

It seemed to me that Anon's comment was dripping with sarcasm. I saw the Frontline program last night, and found it truly frightening. Business "meetings" taking place between people who have never met, just as avatars on the screen. Teenagers in Korea going to a video game "detox" camp. Still, the show concluded that, for all it's problems, the new technology's benefits outweigh the negative consequences. I really wish I could believe that.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous paul said...

With the responses on video gaming culture and virtual reality dictating actual reality I felt I just had to jump in and add my .02.

I have been reading your excellent book "Coming to Our Senses" and can't help but think you're right on with how our split from the natural order of things has led us to where we are in so many ways and could potentially culminate in our eventual demise. There is so much to talk about relating to this book and how we've substituted the physical sensations of nature for the fetishes and fantasy worlds we live in. It calls to mind the current stream of "trans-humanism" which is (in my opinion) setting us on a course of not only cultural but physical suicide as a species. Consider the ideas posited by some of these 'high priests' of what 'values' we're supposedly fighting to uphold... some have suggested the possibility of humans being able to trancend life itself by downloading our consiousness in indestructable machines. Whether or not this is plausable scientifically (and a ways off) there is an overriding arrogance that is inescapable in the reality of what it is to be human, and frankly what it is to be alive. Unfortunately, we may very well be headed in this direction with these cults of death.... (big business, politics, and religion - which science may as well be lumped under this category as far as I'm concerned). I would think we need to get away from utopian thinking 'separate and civilized'. We are neither...

What does anyone think the chances of this happening?

5:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dear Art,

Well, I thought he might be pulling my leg, but u never know; depends on the age, perhaps. Lots of people believe that stuff, after all. Maybe, 95% of Americans.


5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Berman,
I was being sarcastic, of course! As a high school teacher, I spend my days trying to force kids to read and discuss anything. Most of the comments from the students are "reading sucks", or "this book is boring." There are variations on these themes of course. I usually make the students read aloud with me. Some students hold their books upside down as a kind of silent, non-violent protest. Sometimes we pause to define such exotic words such as "alley" or "freight". I have thirty American freshman looking at me strangely. "You know", I say like "freight train". Oh yeah, they say. The stuff a train carries. Their vocabulary is limited to conversation or t.v. Our high school now wants to start Mandarin online. Now kids who barely make it through two years of Spanish will become an avatar, and are able to dress themselves up, etc. They then manipulate this figure through a game, clicking on greetings, etc. I predict virtual classrooms in 20-30 years when America is broke. Kids can just plug in from home. Why pay for those expensive schools when kids can just sit at home in a pod? We live in bizarre times.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dear Anon,

Well, shows you how much I know. Tho yer imitation of one of yer students was pretty good...


6:16 AM  

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