December 21, 2015

CTOS Is Back in Print

Wafers! A new edition of the book, vol. 2 of my evolution-of-consciousness trilogy. Will make a great Xmas present, obviously, esp. when packed in with baked goods. Hope you all enjoy it, and--Merry Xmas!



Anonymous Kevin said...

Excellent - and the cover is an improvement over the version available until now!

7:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kev: agreed! Meanwhile:

Americans are quite simply wonderful people!:


10:02 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I was standing in line today at the Hallmark store with about three customers ahead of me and two teenage girls working behind the registers. I was only half paying attention, but I realized after they had waited on the first two customers that they were saying, "have a good day" at the conclusion of each transaction rather than risk offending someone. The guy immediately ahead of me in line was white and early middle age. Sure enough, when his transaction was concluded the douchebag rather aggressively replied, "Merry Christmas," rather than just saying thank you.

It was then that the sad realization hit me that I now live in a country in which I don't know whether someone who says "Merry Christmas" instead of a "Happy Holidays" is sincere or deliberately being an asshole, and the really sad part is that despite being an lapsed Christian married to a Jewish atheist I really don't care how someone chooses to wish me a good holiday. At least I can be thankful that I haven't had to work retail since my college days. I can't imagine what it must be like, especially around the holidays with so many douchebags out there just aching to chew you out if you say the wrong thing.

Anyway, Feliz Navidad to you, MB. And may your Kwanzaa be a real Festivus!

11:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A Festivus for the rest of us! Time for the Feats of Strength. And we all need to make a contribution to the Human Fund ('money for people').

Things are getting so paranoid that I can imagine someone responding to "Have a nice day" with "Don't tell me what kind of day to have!"

Anyway, down here if you say Feliz navidad, you always get an appreciative smile and 'igualmente!'. I'll have Xmas dinner (wh/is on the 24th down here) w/my Mexican family, hang out a bit w/my ex-novia, who is in town from Ciudad Juarez, and then go to Mexico City on Dec. 26 for the Anyo nuevo.

So to all Wafers: Feliz navidad, and a great New Yr. I think it's going to be a fabulous 2016 for all of us. I have no resolutions to make; I am just asking the universe to open my heart more.


11:43 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

Question of Values dept:

Russian President on the importance of literature and art (imagine Obama delivering such a speech):

"I know that the St Petersburg International Cultural Forum will address nearly all topics pertaining to culture, art, literature, cultural heritage and humanities. These issues will have enormous significance for our society and for each of us, for every person. After all, it is known that culture – in the broader sense – creates higher goals and moral ideals and leads people toward the right path in finding the purpose of life."

12:45 AM  
Anonymous Dawgzy said...

MB- so glad to hear that CTOS is back!. I did a pretty careful reading, need to revisit it, have it handy for further reference. It has changed the way I look at things. It's the perfect gift for a friend I've recently reconnected with. All the best to you and other WAFers.

2:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great news for CTOS and nice new cover!

On the topic of the on-demand economy and the techno-douchebags who created it and use it. The picture of the douche in the box says it all!

"And that’s when I realized: the on-demand world isn’t about sharing at all. It’s about being served. This is an economy of shut-ins."


5:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Food for Thought Dept.:

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Kanye, I tell you, the breadth and depth of douchbaggery I hear coming out of SF these days ... Alfred? Someone please shoot me now

9:27 AM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Any thoughts on the Russian “Stop a Douchebag” (СтопХам) sub-movement of Nashi?

I’ve got plenty of reservations myself, but I can see why they are popular.

Also, Dr. Berman, as a Russian speaker, do you think Ham captures the flavor of douchebag?

(Frankly, I feel bad for Ham and Canaan. Imagine if Wafers had their children enslaved for mentioning the nakedness of Bush or Obama.)

9:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, my Russian is not as gd as it usta be, since I don' have a lot of oppties to practice it down here. Anyway, Nashi is a very pro-Putin youth movement, and has been called Putinjugend by its critics. I don't know anything abt Ham, I hafta admit, but what Russia really needs is a movement that *criticizes* Putin. Unfortunately, it wdn't last very long.


10:31 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Interview with Seymour Hersh on DN today is very enlightening. As is usual with Hersh he digs behind the scenes with all kinds of revelations that are meant to be secret in this country.

Feliz Navidad, Maury and to the rest of the Wafers.


1:48 PM  
Anonymous Joe from Chicago said...

Dear Dr. Berman & the Wafers,

Congratulations on the new CTOS - that was my intro to your work and really is an invaluable resource. Haven't posted in several months - I have a comment/question for Dr. B and anyone else.

Currently reading Richard Hofstadter's Social Darwinism in American Thought. It's really something to read that 145 years ago, people like Herbert Spencer's and William Sumner's naturalistic basis for laissez faire was both hugely popular and denounced as apology for the "money power." Is there any significant difference between neoliberal free market ideology in mainstream economics today? For example, Richard Dawkin's Selfish Gene is nothing but a retread of 19th century arguments that use natural selection to justify class society. The US ruling class and the insulating intelligentsia has been singing the same tune for well over a century. Wealth is for the fittest, poverty for the weak and stupid.

We seem stuck in the eternal recurrence. More and more I find that "Berman's pessimism" (my own little shorthand for the decline/but-there's-still-the-NMI argument) is the best way to grasp our situation. I'm trying to get a handle on the intellectual currents that were stalled or crushed by the rise of Pax Americana. What were we talking about before we got so dumb? Any good books to recommend?


2:18 PM  
Anonymous Disappointed Dora said...

Damn! Greenwald's gots'sm esplainen tah-doo....

5:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, I doubt he's a fascist, but the article does show a guy tied up in contradictions. I don't have a lot to say abt it, esp. since we had an extended discussion on this blog re: analysis of the Charlie Hebdo massacre (go back to the Archives for January and you'll find it). The event, in my view, had no simple answers, as we all tried to steer between issues of free speech and oppression of Muslims in France.


Well, besides my NMI argument, there's the whole thesis of Dual Process, and what might be called long-term optimism. It's a possibility, at least (see esp. ch. 7 of my Japan bk).

As for Hofstadter: a great book, imo. But this discussion will take us into 'Reenchantment' issues and Karl Mannheim and the sociology of knowledge, i.e. require 18 pp. to answer; for wh/I presently don't have the time. Even Darwin himself is suspect, when seen thru this lens: natural selection and survival of the fittest have an eerie congruence with the brutal capitalism of Victorian England. And if Darwin, surely Herbert Spencer and Richard Dawkins: it's too transparently a map of the socioeconomic context onto nature. To give you a bibliography here, I'd hafta reproduce a huge chunk of my graduate education in the history of science, so I necessarily hafta pass; but a recent short essay on the sociology of science by Adam Gopnik in the Nov. 30 New Yorker might stir a few brain cells 4u.

Then the issue of what were we rdg b4 Reaganism made us as stupid as he was. Another huge topic. Almost all of the liberatory themes of the 60s were prefigured in the lit of the 50s in the US, wh/was quite brilliant: Lionel Trilling, Dwight Macdonald, Herbert Marcuse, Norman O. Brown, J.D. Salinger, Jas Baldwin, the Beats, Philip Roth, Jos Heller, Kurt Vonnegut...Talk abt a golden era! (I remember it w/great nostalgia.)


6:53 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

I just finished re-reading Joe Bageant's excellent essay "A commodity called misery". It is linked below. Hope all Wafers enjoy it.


7:22 PM  
Anonymous Janet So-n-So said...

"Almost all of the liberatory themes of the 60s were prefigured in the lit of the 50s in the US, wh/was quite brilliant: Lionel Trilling, Dwight Macdonald, Herbert Marcuse, Norman O. Brown, J.D. Salinger, Jas Baldwin, the Beats, Philip Roth, Jos Heller, Kurt Vonnegut...Talk abt a golden era! (I remember it w/great nostalgia.)"

Yea! Wow! I really can't imagine being around while all of that was baking/coming out of the constituent ovens...Hey, did you ever run into Nobby (N.O.) Brown? I really love his "Life/Death" and "Love's Body" works. Reason I ask is I know he eventually converted to Islam, wasn't really sure why that was. Maybe his last book says something about it, idk, but, with affairs as they currently are in the world, just seemed like an interesting aside. Maybe somebody here knows. Thanks professor!


7:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Welcome to the blog. Always great when a new face shows up.

I never met Brown, tho I used his work in some classes I taught, several aeons ago. Re: Islam, Wiki has this to say:

'In The Challenge of Islam, a collection of lectures given in 1981 and published in 2009, Brown argues that Islam challenges us to make life a work of art. Drawing on Henri Corbin's The Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn ‘Arabi, he argues that "Muhammad is the bridge between Christ and Dante and Blake.”'

There isn't anything on conversion to Islam, however, so I have no way of knowing if it's true.


8:15 PM  
Anonymous Janet So-n-So said...

Only reason I know that fact is that Brown was close w/ the composer John Cage, until they grew distant in the 80s, because they disagreed on who's work was more dionysian and whose was more apollonian (not joking). The other reason Cage says he distanced himself intellectually from Brown was this conversion, which Cage said he just couldn't intellectually follow.

9:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks. Odd that it's not mentioned anywhere else. BTW, informal rule on this blog: post only once every 24 hrs.


9:12 PM  
Anonymous Hans said...

Has anyone picked up that new Marilynne Robinson book?

9:19 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB - I just read that NYT article you posted. Seems like the author could have shortened the titled from, "We're Doomed, Now What?" to just, "We're Doomed." Frankly, it is startling to see such stark honesty from that publication, particularly this passage:

"We were born on the eve of what may be the human world’s greatest catastrophe. None of us chose this, not deliberately. None of us can choose to avoid it either."

Kanye - terrific article. As a retiree living in a townhouse community in an upper middle class suburb of DC, I've been astonished at the increase in the number of delivery trucks passing through during the day. UPS, FedEx and even U.S. Mail vehicles all make stops at least twice a day now; and thanks to Amazon, the postal service has even reinstated Sunday deliveries. My neighbors aren't doing much online grocery shopping yet, but the nearby supermarket does now indeed have a delivery van.

All of this online shopping douchebaggery is, of course, ripe to be utterly obliterated by the next oil crunch.

12:15 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Probably because it was on one of the NYT's blogs. I'm guessing they wouldn't run the article in the regular NYT, online or otherwise. But this is the precisely type of discussion we need in a public forum. After all, everyone's excited abt the Paris conference agreement; what these excited people overlook is the fact that the agreement has no teeth: there is no mechanism for enforcing it, or for punishing those nations who violate it. In the end, it's exhortatory, nothing more, thus reinforcing what the author of the blog essay is arguing.


1:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Twilight of American Culture and NMI department:


6:45 AM  
Anonymous Edward said...

The present-day Americans love each other so much, and, also, they love the rule of law. Enjoy!

1) Video

2) Text and pic:

12:35 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

ADBUSTERS for all wafers.
“We do not meet one another as persons in the several aspects of our total life, but know one another only fractionally, as the man who fixes the car, or as that girl who serves our lunch. The humanistic reality of others does not, cannot, come through.”


1:07 PM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

Disappointed Dora said...

Damn! Greenwald's gots'sm esplainen tah-doo....


Please elaborate.

3:16 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

As we gather to celebrate the holidays with friends and family, let us take note of the following news item from the Guardian website:

It combines several of the features of American society that make our chests swell with pride: a threat of violence; entanglement with law enforcement; Hollywood movies; and Facebook.

Let us give thanks for these and our many blessings at this special time of year.

Best wishes to the community.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is actually a quote from C. Wright Mills.


7:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

All Wafers pls check out front cover of Dec. 14 New Yorker.--mb

8:32 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@MB - clever SOBs, those New Yorker illustrators. I actually died laughing.

@Kanye - I had already read that Ted Rall piece on the loss of so many books, music and movies. That's why I refuse to buy a digital reader and my home library contains well over 1500 publications. I also recently bought a new CD player and have stopped downloading music. Electronic libraries quickly become too unwieldy to manage, and there is no way I would ever trust the "cloud" to store my data.

No doubt whoever purchases my home after I've passed on will wonder what kind of a weirdo would ever have custom oak bookshelves installed in his basement as these days they will never add value. :)

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

At 2:30 AM I took a walk around my neighborhood high school. No one was around. At 64 I sometimes suddenly need to go. So I entered the high school area and did it still in a secluded place. Upon re-entering, there was a police car waiting who threatened to give me a $25 fine for public urination. I pleaded ignorance of the law and he let me go with a warning. Now I really dread being pulled over and being asked for my license and registration. I think I need to say, "Officer, I will get my wallet from my pants pocket" in case he or she thinks I'm reaching for a gun. I can only imagine the dread people of color feel when they are being pulled over.
Anybody hear the word "flaking"? It is a millennial word meaning to cancel an appointment at the last minute. I suppose it's equivalent to being "stood up" but something tells me that it's done with a kind of relish as if the person being flaked was an idiot to even think the flaker was going to appear.
Finally, I just discovered that the warm and fuzzy Dr.Seuss (Theodor Geisel) was the creator of the WW II posters depicting Japanese soldiers with bucked teeth. At least there's still a Santa Claus.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out Seinfeld episode called "The Parking Garage." You shoulda told the cop you were afraid of getting uromysitisis poisoning!


9:50 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Merica displays its true Xmas spirit...

I am thankful for this blog and the Wafers who contribute to it.

Warmest wishes and wellbeing to all for a healthy and creative New Year.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Back atcha, fella. Thanks for all yr Wafering during 2015. Be sure to check out front cover of Dec. 14 New Yorker for pic of true American Xmas spirit.


12:14 PM  
Anonymous Serendipity Sent Me said...

Hard to stomach that doosh Tina Fey after her execrable new money grab movie. On SNL to promote it last week she wrote a sketch called meet your second wife. It's online if you missed it but why does she always go after the men and not the stupid whores who marry them? Any clues, Wafers?

12:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Tina! I love you! Marry me! Have my babies!


1:08 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Feliz Navidad mis harmanos y harmanitas wafers.
Jesus died for our sins, so don't worry to sin tonite. On the flip side, if you'll be condemned to hell anyway, a few additional lashes or a couple of degrees of higher temperature over infinity won't hurt more. So sin nevertheless.

3:16 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...


I'll assume you were addressing me in your comment. Even if not, as the "bros" say, "I feel ya." I turn 65 next year and am increasingly more aware of my bodily functions. When ya gots to go, ya gots to go. Nothing inherently antisocial about it, in my view. I'm just glad that these "acts"--shall we say--are still volitional, by and large. If you're looking for something to be thankful for, you could do worse.

As for encounters with law enforcement, the only one in recent memory occurred when I was pulled over by a cop in Massachusetts. I was going above the speed limit in a school zone, if only just. The powerlessness of that situation was palpable as I waited 15 minutes for him to run my license and check out my rental car, a process that took longer than it otherwise might've done because I was a visitor residing out of state. After a warning, he sent me on my way.

I can't imagine how blacks must feel, if my brief, innocuous exchange is anything to go by.

Safe travels and no encounters with "The Man" for all WAFers this holiday season.

4:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I too am a big fan of sin. Sin is good. Other than that: always capitalize Wafers. We are the most evolved beings on the planet, so we need a capital W.

Gracias, chico-


6:34 PM  
Anonymous Albondigas Caliente said...

Dan you are very lucky. In some states public urination is enough to earn you a permanent place in the sex offender registry.

That made me suddenly recall that high school kid who killed himself after an overzealous prosecutor threatened him with the same fate for streaking at a football game. Insanity.

11:10 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Merry Christmas! I was just reading about the traditional Japanese meal for Christmas: Kentucky Fried Chicken. Apparently you have to reserve your meal ahead of time.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Eddie Pietrantoni said...

For your daily dose of Counterintuition today : Post-Ferguson de-policing is pushing the violent crime rate upward after 23 years of decline. Wha??

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Very fascinating, very Japanese-like way of honoring what a book is

2:42 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Serendipity - I'm not going to defend Ms. Fey for making a dumbed down movie for idiots in order to cash in, but I will paraphrase a comment I made a post or two ago. Namely, that the reason so many American men and women have intense feelings of dislike for the opposite sex is because of bad relationships--with other American douchebags just like themselves.

Douchebags like these two, for instance:

When she first opened Ballou Plum Wealth Advisors in California, Lynn Ballou was advising a well-off couple who ate out three times a day, every day.

“They worked incredibly long hours but also, neither knew how to cook. Not even how to make toast!” Ballou said. “So I treated them to two thing: a basic cooking class for couples on the run and a cook book with Quick Recipes for two."

The whole article is about idiots who are having trouble making ends meet on six figure salaries. And Jesus wept.

11:35 PM  
Blogger Mohamed said...

Morris why aren't the Canadians like the United States? They Both have Anglo heritage and started out as English colonies. I always hear from liberals on tv how Canada is diffirent and better than America. Is it just a lie? The hustling mentality in America . Does it exist in Canada and Australia?

2:28 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Looks like there's little interest in giving to arts & culture by young rich people. Apparently because you can't quantify the results. Your thoughts?

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

I got one of my insane pieces in Counterpunch this past Friday. It's called "Frank Sinatra Throughout History." Hope you like it.
Thanks, Caliente. Hell, just saying an innocuous hello to a woman in the US can get you on a sex offender list.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous said...

Here's a couple of things you Wafers might like.

First, we have an online art exhibit titled, "Holy Selfies." The one with Abraham is my favorite.

Here's a 3-minute short film by French electronic musician Mr. Ozio and director Eric Wareheim. I debated whether or not to post this. But I decided I would with a disclaimer. While, it probably qualifies as PG-13, it does include some objectionable material that might make you uneasy (modest violence and a general ugliness). By modern movie standards that see whole worlds destroyed as though it were nothing, this is tame, but it's a kind of close up ugliness that hits home. The saddest thing is, this is only slightly parody:

I'll conclude with this quote:

"I am wary of the whole dreary deadening structured mess that we have built into such a glittering top-heavy structure that there is nothing left to see but the glitter, and the brute routines of maintaining it." —John D. Macdonald, The Deep Blue Good-By

4:46 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Welcome to the land of douchebaggery. American elite mill, our grand future. This is why they take and sink in student's loan.

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Wafers!

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Good one by Chris today:

10:16 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


This piece on American exceptionalism by Seymour Martin Lipset may help you understand the difference between the US and Canada:


Congrats on the Sinatra piece in Counterpunch.


12:24 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

Merry Christmas...

any guesses what's up for New Years Eve... I know, ya can't make this stuff up...

2:15 PM  
Anonymous TenderCarnivore said...

To thisafrikan:

Canadian here thought I might interject and add a little cultural theory, A Fair Country by John Ralston Saul is probably the closet thing Canada has to a Morris Berman. In Canada there are recognized people called Metis, who are people of mixed race, that is Indigenous or First Nations women who bore children from Western Eurpoeon men. What Saul shows is that Canadian civilization is a Metis Civilization or as he calls it the Three Pillars of Canadian Civilization, the Francophone, the Anglo, and the Indigenous. Canada is a mixture of all these cultures with the Indigenous being the largest and most important. When Canada was first being settled there was a lot of inter breeding/alliance making between Europeans and First Nations, Europeans needed First Nations help to navigate the wild etc. Canada had a good four hundred years of this intermingling which laid the cultural roots for the country today. Where America is the child of the Enlightenment, Canada is the child of the Indigenous, things in this country really started to awry which the Orange-men showed up and started brutalizing the Natives. In short Canada has had a stronger Communitarian tradition then the US.

But the Hustling Tradition is alive and well in my country, unfortunately.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Making America Great Again: Fitting the description.
Wafers, it will be our turn one day of kristallnacht.

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Serendipity Sent Me said...

For Senor Hicks and all Wafers. Full esteem ahead.

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Serendipity Sent Me said...

I forgot the p.s. I had my tear ducts surgically removed two decades ago.

11:00 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

review of a book by Neal Gabler entitled ''Life the Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality' --- recommended by Chris Hedges :

"Gabler makes particularly short work of American politics, for example, effortlessly showing how, beginning with John F. Kennedy and reaching an apotheosis with Ronald Reagan, entertainment has replaced substance. It is his great insight to see that Reagan's habit of confusing the plots of old movies with reality was not a manifestation of senility but rather the ineluctable working out of a seismic cultural change."

Aldous Huxley figured that in the future it would be "soma" that pacified and dulled the reasoning abilities of the populace. Huxley can be excused for not being able to foresee the multiple forms of electronic entertainment that have enticed the population, rendering them disempowered, paving the way for Sheldon Wolin's "inverted totalitarianism".

12:04 AM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

The Liberals seem just as excited about Sanders as they were about Obama seven years ago. I wish I could share the following article titled 'A sucker bait called hope' by Joe Bageant with all Liberals:

I encourage all Wafers to check it out.


8:54 AM  
Anonymous Bewildered Ben said...

Uhhhhhhh, Chris! Sometimes he says some really poorly chosen words

At one point he says " Everybody chanting JeSuisCharlie CharlieHebdo = 'I can't stand dirty Arabs' "

Come on man! I really liked War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning !

8:59 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@afrikan - My wife and travelled quite extensively in Canada back during the GWB years. We found the Canadians we met to be warm and friendly people who often bought us a round of drinks at a pub when they found out we hated Bush and were adamantly opposed to the Iraq War.

However, during those years the Canadians turned to their version of Ronald Reagan in Stephen Harper--whose chief burning ambition was to make the country more like the U.S. Having finally tired of Harper after a truly awful decade, they have now elected their version of Bill Clinton in Justin Trudeau. If it is true that Canada is normally about 20 years behind the times, they are not different from the U.S. so much as slowly catching up.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


If you go back to blog Archives from Jan., you'll see that we had an extensive discussion of the Charlie affair, including Hedges' (single-minded) take on it. This is a sad thing for him to say, but (unfortunately) not out of character. I would have been proud to be chanting Je Suis Charlie, had I been in Paris at the time, and I also have great respect for Arab culture.


Ain't a more stupid group in the US than so-called liberals, I'm guessing. Of course, Bernie will embrace Hillary once she becomes the Democratic candidate, so there's no way to prove what u.r. saying. But if he did get elected, all the libs wd be excited, until 8 yrs later when no substantive change had occurred. Then, instead of waking up, the libs wd be looking for their *next* savior. No aha moment for these dummies, ever.


Really charming!


12:49 PM  
Anonymous Golf Professional said...

Just in case anyone hasn't seen it yet:

2:45 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ben, In defense of Hedges, the JeSuisCharlieHebdo march was about free speech all right, but it was also a mock lynching of those-muslims showdown. Maybe the adjective "dirty" was a little off the cuff. In Paris, even as a white american your are smirked upon, imagine how much égalité for their "dirty" Arab citizens?

News clips bereft of highly complex history with its many clashing interests and biases (France:Algeria, etc) are just anecdotes. But then who has time or the patience to read and understand all the nuances since genesis? Hedges at least has travelled and reported from those dirty countries. He speaks the language and understands their prehistory firsthand. 

Wafers, how many non look-alike close friends do you have? How many languages do you speak and how many countries have you travelled not as a tourist?

My opinion about Mexico and its "dirty" people was challenged when I lived amongst them for the first time and learned their history and culture. When you speak their language and have compassion you learn their point of view and grievances. It is then I understood the origin of derogary terms in my textbook going to Colorado school of mines where unit-labor was measured in how-many-mexicans it takes to fill a hopper or load a carriage. They were not humans, just dry numbers with which we did math! They weren't very clean either with all the mining dust flying around when their overlords wrote those fine engineering books.  Given that history, it would be contemptuous of Hebdo in my opinion, if he practiced "free speech" cartoonary on Mexicans.

The devil sleeps in the details but the angel screams from the gist. Berman and Hedges are the angle-messengers raising the alarm on Attila the Hun, and I wouldn't dare nitpick on details in their warning calls.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Mikbeth said...

Apropos of nothing since I haven't been back to the blog in awhile, I've been watching a lot of Evgeny Morozov lately. His perspective and critique of Silicon Valley and technological "solutionism" seems to mesh well with the outlook of this blog.



7:21 PM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

Re: "Come on man! I really liked War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning !"
Yes, but I think you know what he means? It's kind of like when we on this blog say "all Americans" have cow dung for brains. A sizable portion of the Je Suisers thinks exactly as he says; and, as he also points out, a lot of the violence now being visited on the West is directly related to the imperialistic violence visited on the ME for decades.

4:48 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Thanks, Miles. I hope you liked it. I'm working on something called "An Open Letter to Techno-morons" which I hope Counterpunch will print. CBS ran a piece about all the injuries due to morons looking at their phones and not paying attention to their surroundings. They showed a man falling off a train platform onto the tracks due to his texting. One could see that he suffered a rather serious injury, but I couldn't help feeling a touch of schadenfreude.
As for Canada, my first wife was from Vancouver who never liked living in Philadelphia. After 3 years she still hadn't made a close friend and was all too ready to move to Japan when a job opportunity came up.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello MB, Wafers,

To what extent do you think hustling, rather than being an anomaly, is just a byproduct of evolution and population pressure? I've been reading about this study that came out last year in Nature, where scientists proved that chimps frequently murder each other not because of human interference, but from normal competition between males.

I don't want to sound biologically deterministic, but maybe hustling comes naturally to humans to a certain extent? The reason hustling is so intense and the resulting inequalities so great is maybe simply a result of us being 7.5 billion? I would find it hard to believe as well that pre-agricultural Hunter Gatherers never resorted to violence and never "hustled" - as in competing against each other for females and resources - despite certainly being miles away from the degenerate hustling of today.


10:09 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Wafers-

Jackie Van Tyle, a 69-year-old Indiana woman, repeatedly doused her neighbor's home w/her own stockpiled urine. Jackie said she did it because her neighbor is "bad." Way to go Jackie! Wafers are behind u 110%.

Wishing all Wafers a Happy New Year.


11:08 AM  
Anonymous Rusty Snag said...

Hello Wafers everywhere:

Bill Hicks - great story about Canadians being anti-Bush. I hike in the Adirondack mountains sometimes and always meet Canadians on the trail. I once told a group of Canadian hikers that I didn't care much for GWB and his cronies. They became excited and insisted on making a video of my comments about our then-president. I wonder how they fared in the Harper years.

I have a book to recommend: Thomas Cahill's How the Irish Saved Civilization. In it Cahill describes the fall of the Roman empire and how the Irish took up the mantle of scholarly work thereafter. Several times while reading I was struck by how similar Rome was to another crumbling empire we all know today. Plus, the Catholic Church as Cahill describes it in Ireland was humane, egalitarian, scholarly and spiritual - not at all like the church we know today.

Dr. B - I was wondering if you know of Thomas Cahill, and if so, what is your opinion on his credentials as an historian?

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Chris Zand said...

Interesting new medical paper from the Australian Government's Department of Health on the Alexander Technique, found limited success w/ back pain etc, but not long term effectiveness. I've seen others that show more success rates, does anyone one on here know of a very good book on the subject?

12:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out Alexander on Amazon. There's a bio of him, from a few yrs back, plus a # of guides. I still like his bk, "The Use of the Self."


I discuss that bk in Twilight.


My kinda gal.


Aggression is as old as the Stone Age; hustling, which refers to a particular type of economy, dates from around A.D. 1500. Prior to that, the world's economies were steady-state (homeostatic). As for chimp studies: Jane Goodall basically biased the results, by changing chimp feeding patterns, and then claiming they were inherent. Check out Wandering God for details.


4:43 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Dan - I hate to admit this, but every time I see some moron walking and texting/twaddling on their phone I think to myself, "face plant, oh please do a face plant."

I was walking through one of the big local upscale malls recently and about 10% of those around me were walking while staring at a screen. I so wanted to just start throwing elbows at their silly little noggins. Guess that makes me a bad person.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Those Chinese toy manufacturers sure can have a sense of holiday humor, judging by what some trollfoons discovered this Christmas when some of their kids opened their presents and got an F-16 fighter jet that did not emit the expected jet noise but instead a more alien and disturbing sound:

Looking forward to enjoying more O&D fun in the New Year, and wishing a happy holiday to Akbar & Jeff, MB and Wafers everywhere!

9:14 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I don't know if we're inherently hustlers or aggressive. Kropotkin's "Mutual Aid" suggests that we're actually quite co-operative.

As for the mythic superiority of Canadians, I don't believe it. Sorry to disagree. One possible explanation for how we're slightly different from gringos might lie in our British past ( I don't accept the argument that we've been heavily influenced by First Nations-they live in ghettos here and are treated with very little respect). Gad Horowitz has written about the common British ancestry of Canadian socialism and Canadian conservatism. He identifies a concern for the Common Weal in both, hence we have the beast called "Red Tory" here. Mind you, this has become an endangered species.

I'm with Hedges on Charlie Hebdo. I've mentioned this before (I recall Capo Regime said he knew of what I wrote), but France is where I first experienced racism, not only in the streets, but among my own in-laws!

O&D, Merry Saturnalia and Bonne Année, y'all.


11:11 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB and all Wafers across the planet:

In a tightly argued short paper, Paul Craig Roberts lays bare the stark reality of the USA.

Quoting directly, "Historically, capitalism was justified on the grounds that it guaranteed the efficient use of society’s resources. Profits were a sign that resources were being used to maximize social welfare, and losses were a sign of inefficient resource use, which was corrected by the firm going out of business. This is no longer the case when the economic policy of a counry serves to protect financial institutions that are “too big to fail” and when profits reflect the relocation abroad of US GDP as a result of jobs offshoring. Clearly, American capitalism no longer serves society, and the worsening distribution of income and wealth prove it.

None of these serious problems will be addressed by the presidential candidates, and no party’s platform will consist of a rescue plan for America. Unbridled greed, short-term in nature, will continue to drive America into the ground."

It's a short sharp read, here :

2:33 AM  
Anonymous New Year WAFer said...

Found this wonderful resolution food

Routines of more than 160 philosophers, writers, composers, artists...Picked it up this time last yr.

Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work

9:10 AM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

lack of coherence –
On quantification and charity, it gets even weirder. Have you seen this article on AI existential risk, saving potential future computer upload babies, and meta-charities?

“At the risk of overgeneralizing, the computer science majors have convinced each other that the best way to save the world is to do computer science research. Compared to that, multiple attendees said, global poverty is a "rounding error."”

“To hear effective altruists explain it, it comes down to simple math. About 108 billion people have lived to date, but if humanity lasts another 50 million years, and current trends hold, the total number of humans who will ever live is more like 3 quadrillion. Humans living during or before 2015 would thus make up only 0.0036 percent of all humans ever.
The numbers get even bigger when you consider — as X-risk advocates are wont to do — the possibility of interstellar travel. Nick Bostrom — the Oxford philosopher who popularized the concept of existential risk — estimates that about 10^54 human life-years (or 10^52 lives of 100 years each) could be in our future if we both master travel between solar systems and figure out how to emulate human brains in computers.
Even if we give this 10^54 estimate "a mere 1% chance of being correct," Bostrom writes, "we find that the expected value of reducing existential risk by a mere one billionth of one billionth of one percentage point is worth a hundred billion times as much as a billion human lives."”

Every hypothetical computer baby is sacred
Every hypothetical computer baby is great
If an upload is belated
Google gets quite irate.

2:41 PM  
Blogger Janus said...

A few anecdotes from my holiday:

a) I met an Uber driver and I asked if he enjoys the work, specifically in the context of a "sharing"/independent contractor/piecemeal economy. He tells me that there are pros and cons as with all jobs, but he really enjoys seeing new places, meeting a variety of people, expanding his horizons, etc., to give it up. Unfortunately, he said, much of the time once his passengers enter the car they talk solely with their fellow riders if applicable, play with their smartphones, or sit in stony silence --- the entire transaction completed with little to no acknowledgement of his existence. (Incidentally, his other part-time occupation to make ends meet is as a pastor.)

b) I ordered a slice of pizza from a restaurant in my hometown. The girl at the counter asked me the usual "How is your day?" question as I paid. I said I was well and asked her about herself. She said the day had started terribly, but was slowly getting better. I asked her what was wrong and in response, her head snapped up and she stared at me in surprise, stammering "Uh...nothing's wrong. Just, you know, it was bad at first." Perhaps an invasive question, but she seemed to appreciate the concern even if she didn't want to share details. I wondered if the countless other customers that came before said "That's nice" as they looked at their phones.

c) I see somebody I haven't seen in a few years and, while genuinely happy to see me, they ask 0 questions about what I've been doing with myself. Some phone looking also involved.

d) I asked for and received "Neurotic Beauty" for XMas. Family wonders why, I tell them they're missing out. Also found one title at an independent Seattle bookstore: "A Question of Values." MB=marketing machine. Unfortunately, neither came packed with baked goods.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Urine is the answer. In fact, we've gotten to the pt that urine is the only answer--something PC Roberts has yet to understand; which makes him an almost-Wafer.

We can expect a lot more douchebaggery and decline in 2016; personally, I'm very excited abt the prospects. Another yr of an ineffectual punk, probably followed by the election of a grotesque-looking douche bag. A pity Trump will get trounced, he cd have done such incredible damage to the country. With Hillary, all we'll have is more crisis management and fancy, empty words. 8 years of depressing b.s., really.

But all is not lost. I'm hoping to get SSIG back into print b4 2 long, as well as "Counting Blessings." And then, my new novel, "The Man Without Qualities," is scheduled for a Feb. 15 release, guaranteed to have u all laughing hysterically. As T.S. Eliot wrote of Bertrand Russell ("Mr. Apollinax"), "he laughed like an irresponsible foetus." It'll be like that.
So there will be much to enjoy next year, as the country continues to spiral down into dogshit.



4:30 PM  
Anonymous Mark Notzon said...

Morris Berman, Chris Zand,

F M Alexander was a genius in that he overcame his strained throat by accurately (i.e not narcissistically) observing himself, from which he developed movements as delicate as brush strokes to generate almost spontaneous improvements in posture. A somewhat similar method was developed by Moshe Feldenkrais who learnt from Alexander in one phase of his career, but went beyond what the Alexander technique offers, although the Alexander technique is a treasure. A good place to start with Feldenkrais is his "Awareness Through Movement." For a lot of Alexander teachers it is heresy to mention Feldenrais, and for some Feldenkrais teachers to mention Alexander. A book entitled "The Resurrection of the Body" is a collection of writings by Alexander that is fascinating reading. I went the Feldenkrais way because I thought the experiences and changes were deeper and continuous, and because there are many facets of the work that are in themselves engaging intellectually (his critique of Freud, his debt to the Gurdjieff work, etc.)

--Mark Notzon

7:47 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Janus -

I'm in Seattle too. Glad to see some other local people on here. Good luck finding much of MB's work, my local book shop said his latest book is Dark Ages America. Hopefully more books come out in reprint or on demand, I've yet to read Wandering God.

10:59 PM  
Anonymous teri schooley said...

Nah, Dr. Berman,

Hillary has been giggling about bombing Iran for years, and has been threatening Russia and China since her time at the State Dept. She will get us into a serious war. On the plus side, now that women are allowed to participate in actual combat situations, the Pentagon is suggesting it is time to make girls eligible for the draft, so we can send our sons *and* our daughters off to slaughter foreigners for no reason. Might as well, since neither sex seems to want to raise the kids any more. One might want to ponder why the Pentagon is even thinking about updating the draft registration requirements right now.

But Hillary won't be boring - there is something seriously wrong with her head. She is demented, and I am not trying to be funny. Bush was an idiot, but other people ran his White House, so he shares the blame for the crap he inflicted on us (and the world). Obama is such a profound liar that I ended up hating him worse than Bush. (I mean, really, if everyone is going to accuse him of being a socialist, couldn't he at least have given us some actual socialism?) Hillary frankly scares the crap out of me. She is one sadistic, stone cold, crazy-ass bitch.

Trump, on the other hand, is just Sarah Palin without the good hair.

What a great little election season the elites are having for themselves. They are trotting out Nero and Caligula and telling us we get to choose. 'Cause it's a democracy and all. 2016: the year there was no lesser evil to vote for.

Pssshhhht. I guess that's all I have to say about that.


5:11 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Well, as the saying goes, you can't make this shit up. A new year, and plus ça change...

An item from, picked up here by a Raleigh, NC TV site, reporting an encounter between two "anti-violence" groups that ended in predictable fashion:

I immediately flashed on that now famous scene from Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove (1964). You know the one. Never gets old.

Health and relative happiness to all the community.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

But we have a choice. Americans love choices. And please, please keep it simple. Donald the duck season OR Bernie the rabbit season?

Joe-the-plumber doesn't need all this complexity..

12:35 PM  
Blogger Chad In Chicago said...

Bill, I think the same thing every day ;-)

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MB, Wafers,

Hope you all had a great NYE and that you're as excited as I am to see what 2016 will bring us! One of the first things I learned on the 31st is that for 2 years already, courtesy of ultradouchebag mayor Boris Johnson, London NYE fireworks are no longer free to watch and that tickets go on sale on the day for £600+. Considering the fireworks are already financed by taxpayers' money, isn't this great?

We discussed bodywork in the past on this blog and coming back to the topic, I am just wondering if anyone here had experience with Focusing? If so, has it made a difference for you?


8:59 AM  
Anonymous Post Cap said...

WAFer literature

The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins

"Scientists and artists know that the way to handle an immense topic is often through close attention to a small aspect of it, revealing the whole through the part. In the shape of a finch's beak we can see all of evolution. So through close, indeed loving, attention to a certain fascinating mushroom, the matsutake, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing discusses how the whole immense crisis of ecology came about and why it continues. Critical of simplistic reductionism, she offers clear analysis, and in place of panicked reaction considers possibilities of rational, humane, resourceful behavior. In a situation where urgency and enormity can overwhelm the mind, she gives us a real way to think about it. I'm very grateful to have this book as a guide through the coming years."--Ursula K. Le Guin

8:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In WAF I argued that the US failed because it marginalized its critical voices from the get-go. The irony of my writing that did not escape me. Anyway, as I said above, I'm doing my best to get my out of print bks back online, on Amazon--which is probably the only place you'll be able to find them. Here's the status of various works, once again:

1. WAF, pb edn, available from Amazon, as is A Question of Values, Destiny, and Neurotic Beauty.
2. SSIG: currently working with publisher of NB to bring this back into print.
3. Counting Blessings: out of print, will take some time.
4. The Man Without Qualities, my new novel, is scheduled for Feb. 15 release date (on Amazon).
5. Note that Wandering God never went out of print. You can order it from Amazon or the SUNY Press in Albany, NY:

Also note that bksellers can order all of these off of Amazon themselves. Amazon has an "expanded distribution" option if they order multiple copies. It's pretty cheap (basically, I get bupkis in royalties, but increased visibility, which is fine by me).

Hope that helps.


11:01 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: check this out:

11:10 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

This is great news! All your books are proud components of my library. As we've just begun a new year, I want to share this with all our fellow WAFers.

The ignorance & stupidity of Americans. Gail Collins points out the following in her column in today's NYT.

1. At the last Republican debate, Chris Christie promised that as president America would be a staunch ally of Jordan's King Hussein, dead for 16 years.
2. During Geography Awareness Week, Ben Carson released a map of the US with states in the wrong places.
3. During one debate, Marco Rubio was asked about his inability to balance his household budget despite having received an $800,000 advance for his memoir by saying "I didn't inherit any money."
4. On the campaign trail, Ted Cruz likes to quote from "The Princess Bride."
5. A survey on the US Constitution revealed that more than 10% believe that the Bill of Rights guarantees the right to own a pet.
6. 1/3 of Republican primary voters would support the bombing of Agrabah, a fictional city in the Disney animated movie "Aladdin."
And my favorite:
7. In Michigan, 2 state representatives' political careers ended when their adulterous affair became public. In an attempt to cover up the affair, the male lawmaker tried to divert attention by starting a rumor that he had been caught having sex with a male prostitute.

I rest my case.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Councilman Stokes has given us our theme for 2016:


Meanwhile, here's Trump spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson, wearing a bullet-chic necklace:

O&D, O&D!


1:09 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...


You asked about Focusing in an earlier post and wondered if it helped. Helped? maybe say more. I first learned Focusing nearly 40 years ago and it's become a way of life for me. What can I say in half a page....Focusing is a process that teaches us how to be with what is real in our lives, allowing the felt sense to unfold into something more. There's a tremendous sense of freedom in 'letting go' into what is real in us at any moment and allowing something to come that symbolizes what we're feeling.

I raised our children with this process and wrote about it extensively. If you're interested you can find those writings on Click on children articles.

And BTW I first 'met' Morris indirectly through Focusing. On the book shelf of Ed McMahon who first taught me how to Focus I saw a title: Coming To Our Senses', a title that attracted me right away. From there I've read all of Morris's books and eagerly wait his next novel.


7:45 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

The brilliant British teevee comedian Charlie Brooker's annual year end review for 2015 has just been posted on You Tube. Brooker is like the British Jon Stewart, only he really is subversively funny instead of just pretending to be.

Best moment: Brooker's sheer delight that the plot for the debut episode of his outstanding Twilight Zone-ish sci-fi show, Black Mirror, from a couple of years ago in which the prime minister is blackmailed into having sex with a pig incredibly predicted this year's most entertaining David Cameron scandal.

Black Mirror is available in America on Netflix for those who are interested.

10:06 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

It is interesting that a civil servant would call for treating the police as the enemy. I wonder if this is a sign of things to come. Though I am somewhat sympathetic, it sounds like an excellent way to get shot.

3:12 AM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

and this one too:

A Militia Has Taken Over A Federal Building In Oregon

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is too good not to be shared!

10:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank u for a moron update. A larger collection of dolts has never been collected in one geographical location in the history of the world.


Can't tell you how badly I wanna see Trump in the W.H., altho Lorenzo Riggins remains my 1st choice.


12:35 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

Be careful what you wish for dept.:

Not that I live my life in fear of the world coming to an end but we talk and joke about circling the drain and how things could play out... many scenarios are possible as what's been discussed as Rome's "death by a thousand cuts" ... there could also be any number of other events that could be tipping points to send everything over the edge...considering how the world has become so unsustainably complex trying to support our never ending appetite for "more"... in the following documentary a statement made by one of the researchers that caught my attention was that we're 9 days to anarchy. Now, take Katrina and multiply by a hundred major urban centers....the combination of our limits to growth, an unprepared and increasingly unhinged populous, stress on the system, environmental degradation, drought, or some other natural disaster?

take a look at one possible average family's journey...

if nothing more it's an interesting glimpse at what 'could' happen when the lights go out....

I remember as a kid storing canned goods in our basement during the cold war especially the Cuban missile crisis along with the whole 'duck and cover' routine in grammar school... we would have still been toast but people today are pretty oblivious to anything that would put them in a position of having to think beyond the weekend much less 9 days of deprivation. Being invisible might be a good skill to learn....

What's in your bug out bag?

12:44 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Two must-watch documentaries for all Wafers from old BBC2.
You will see how the douchebaggerry was set in course a long long time ago.

The Century of the Self

The Power of Nightmares

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Marianne,

Thank you for your recommendations. I stumbled upon Focusing by chance while doing some other reading and (forgive the easy play on words) it really made sense to read about the Felt Sense. I liked the fact that unlike Meditation, Focusing incorporates both the mind AND the body, and not just the former. It also really reminded me of MB's Paradox and Horizontality in WG - hence why I mentioned it on this blog. It's great to know that it's become of way of life for you, I must be on the right track then!


11:11 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

I’ve been reading “Looking Glass Universe” by John P. Briggs and F. David Peat. I’m not sure how I got interested in this book (perhaps it was even recommended on this blog), but I thought the following quote would be of interest to my fellow Wafers:

“The daring idea that technology is not a proof of progress can be illustrated by considering the American Indian. It is often said that medical technology has dramatically improved our general health, increased the average lifespan – and this seems undeniable proof of progress. It turns out, however, that when colonists came over from Europe they found the American natives were on average tall, healthy, and exceptionally long-lived. The Indians possessed a sophisticated knowledge of herbal medicine and psychological methods of disease cure which are just now being appreciated by modern American culture (sic)...and much of the Indian knowledge has been lost. One might say that the idea of technological progress works if the frame of reference is sufficiently narrow. Western medicine today may be “better” than Western medicine 100 years ago. But is it better than other kinds of medicine, or other paradigms?”

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

"The gunmen who have occupied a federal building here for three days will resist with force any attempt to remove them, Ammon Bundy, a leader of the militants, said Sunday. But federal authorities have no immediate plans to rush in to retake the remote building, a federal law enforcement source told The Huffington Post.

The FBI is working closely with state police, and FBI officials are busy establishing a public information office in Burns. But due to a number of factors -- the crisis is unfolding in a remote part of Oregon; it doesn't appear to be a life-or-death situation; and there are no hostages involved -- law enforcement officials want to avoid unnecessarily escalating the standoff, the source said. The FBI instead hopes to get a better handle on the situation over the next few days."

12:04 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Esca, I am a huge fan of Adam Curtis' work. In addition to the ones you name I would highly recommend The Trap, and All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace, and Bitter Lake.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

U Can't Make This Shit Up Dept.:

1. Dawn Meikle, 55, assaults husband for farting in bed:

2. Domino's Pizza delivery man, Michael Parker, stabs customer over late delivery wrangle:


4:52 PM  
Blogger Chad In Chicago said...

Esca Dreg -

The Power of Nightmares was what got me into Adam Curtis. I love his subject matter and style of presentation.

He has a new one from last year called Bitter Lake:
"It argues that Western politicians have manufactured a simplified story about militant Islam into a "good" vs. "evil" argument, informed by and a reaction to Western society's increasing chaos and disorder, which they neither grasp nor understand."

I'd also highly recommend his documentaries "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace" and "The Trap."

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

This is incredible:

4:19 AM  
Anonymous Hated Hate-8 said...

GF and friends dragged me to see the new Tarantino film, the Hateful Eight. I thought this was very good criticism of its deficit in meaning.

On 2nd thought: a bunch of lunatics, confined in a small claustrophobic space, armed to the teeth. What does this sound like to a WAFer?

My friend and I reply to this review:

"I totally understand why the hateful eight is getting some bad reviews. The film is ugly, has no moral center and unfolds like a novella or stage play. Does that make it bad? Absolutely not. I don't think he was trying to make his masterpiece...just another solid tale in his already great canon."

Me: "That's probably your only argument at this pt. But I grant your point, Tarantino is ugly, and has no moral center."

What do you guys think of his work in general?

9:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Holly is a true American; I love her. Let's put her on the ticket with Trump.


I also love Dawn Meikle. If u look into her eyes, you will see the future of America. She also belongs on the ticket.

One thing Wafers realized a long time ago is that there is no upper limit to douchebaggery.


Problem is that they believe that story themselves, which is why Samuel Huntington became so popular after 9/11. In reality, it was just a continuation of Cold War logic after a 10-yr hiatus, except that the opposition here was not a state--leading us to make a major mistake, and enter a war that has no end. Which is how the US functions, anyway (see my essays in QOV), i.e. by negative identity and Manichaean logic.


Great quote, and rt on target. John Briggs is a gd friend of mine, BTW; he was the one who arranged for CTOS to get reprinted.


9:49 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

The end is nigh! I thought this was a joke when I first read it:

technobuffoonery at its finest.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks Christian and Chad for the Adam-Curtis recommendations.

‘Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?’ - GEORGE ORWELL 1984

12:57 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Just in from CNN:

An emotional President Obama signed an executive order requiring every citizen to insert a firearm into their anus and pull the trigger. This, said Obama, is an effective solution to the many problems that afflict the nation.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Chad In Chicago said...

I completely agree with you (and I loved QOV - thank you!). It is interesting, though, at the end of Bitter Lake when he talks about the Soviet Union's failed invasion of Afghanistan. It was one of many factors that led to the Soviet collapse. He then draws a parallel to the United States.

I'm paraphrasing here, but he essentially concludes that by the time the Russians had left Afghanistan no one believed in the state anymore, their military, or the common narrative of the communist cause that acted as a binding agent for citizens in the Soviet bloc. Similarly, the U.S. misadventure has left the United States in a similar psychological crisis. While this crisis is certainly not acknowledged publicly, it's under the surface. Everyone who reads this blog knows it.

To sum it up, Curtis is saying the United States is in a pre-collapse phase.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Hopefully he'll be the 1st to perform this valuable expt.


9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pastrami, to piggyback on the topic.

"The potential psychological effects are not something the industry seems anxious to explore or discuss." No shit.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Serendipity Sent Me said...


Walked out of Pulp Fiction on a first date. Douchebag I was with tried to dissuade by saying I had paid good money... I told her I was leaving and if she didn't want to walk... Stupid whores and their obsession with money. Although I vehemently disagree with his quote ""violence is one of the most fun things to watch" I would love to watch him die slowly and violently. I believe "movies" are unparalleled in the damage inflicted on humanity especially in their depiction of "violence".

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Pastrami and Coleslaw,

Giving unborn fetuses their first symphony experience is just one example in a long list of really stupid instructions young mothers are subjected to these days..if they're interested in giving their kids a head start toward Harvard.

Talking to your fetus at 15 weeks, signing them up for gym as soon as they're born, pushing them around in hi tech strollers, giving them toys to develop fine motor coordination...and the list toward stupidity goes on and on. We wonder why Americans are basically dumb and clueless; it starts at the beginning and only feeds on itself.


2:36 PM  
Anonymous Gus said...

Speaking of Obama telling us all to stick it up our butts, any takes or serious stances on these gun issues from the WAFer community? Fun and jokes aside, Americans suck, yes, but to be honesy I still get teared up thinking about those kids still too. I was reading an interesting book last year by Dan Baum called Gun Guys. Shows how current laws make no sense - like you can't just tell gun cultures that 10 bullets in their magazine is safe and 14 is not - and at the same time we need to make acquiring a license for a firearm the equivalent to acquiring a license learning to fly a plane.

Before I read the book I didn't know much of anything about firearms. I feel though that since I still live in the US, statistally I really should have some protection in the house. Let's say one massive solar storm, or domestic terrorist crazies, and the grid goes out ..... Shit, the mental disorder would ooze from these people.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Barf Bucket Dept.:

Trump is a gigantic asshole who is ahead in the polls because millions and millions of Americans are also gigantic assholes.


ps: Wafers can never overstate the extent to which this nation is fucking screwed!

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Candice Jacques said...

good evening,

there was a time i would come to this blog for some very exercising discussion, or to follow along with lovely correspondences. Seems slow now :(

our author is busy doing his thing, of course, but all of us in this clan need to be taking some more interesting shots at current events, more cultural recommendations, more dialogue.

sorry we are all slacking Morris Berman!!!!!

6:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


1000 apologies. I'm drowning in work. I promise a new article within the next few days. Hang in there.


And people still ask me why I left the US!


A gun ain't worth shit. Get yrself an AK-47, a drone, and a nuclear device. Then and only then will u.b. prepared.


For future ref:
'douchebag': OK
'whore': not OK
Thank you.
ps: It's also possible that Tarantino is sending up violence, i.e. criticizing the American Way of Life.


7:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jus' lookit these assholes dept.:

7:42 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

In case WAFers have not seen this :

"Police report that 49-year-old Laura Reid was visiting the disabled man in his home when she asked the victim if he believed in God. When the victim replied that he did not, Reid became angry and began beating the man with his metal cane, striking him on his head and body, and hitting him so hard that the cane broke."

Should atheists consider lying when confronted with this type of belligerence? Perhaps we should prepare a suitable definition of "God" that allows us to believe in "her". We should all remember the old negro house cleaner who used to say, upon being asked what she thought of God --- "she's black".

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Deborah said...

It seems Bill Gross has his eyes open:

8:38 AM  
Blogger Sanguillen39 said...

Can a 1%-er be a WAFER ? After reading the following article by former PIMCO bond manager, Bill Gross, it may very well be possible:

10:36 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

A new year, new hope.

Well, one fellow is having none of it. From James Howard Kunstler's "Clusterfuck Nation" blog of 4 January, the entry "Pretend to the Bitter End, Forecast 2016," with the opening two paras here below:

"There’s really one supreme element of this story that you must keep in view at all times: a society (i.e. an economy + a polity = a political economy) based on debt that will never be paid back is certain to crack up. Its institutions will stop functioning. Its business activities will seize up. Its leaders will be demoralized. Its denizens will act up and act out. Its wealth will evaporate.

Given where we are in human history — the moment of techno-industrial over-reach — this crackup will not be easy to recover from; not like, say, the rapid recoveries of Japan and Germany after the brutal fiasco of World War Two. Things have gone too far in too many ways. The coming crackup will re-set the terms of civilized life to levels largely pre-techno-industrial. How far backward remains to be seen."

WAFers will find the essay longer than his pieces typically seem to go, but worthwhile nonetheless.

And in passing, an observation that has only just occurred to me: with earbuds ubiquitous, and assuming that a fair proportion of The budded are listening to music, why is there no perceivable effect on their demeanors? Just blank stares, faces without expression. No joy, no "Stop me before I start dancing," nothing. Curious.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Interview with Dan Baum from the C-Realm Podcast here:

He's also written articles in Harper's.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is gd! I shd add that when my new novel hits the stands in Feb., I shall soon be a very rich Wafer. So I guess it can be done. I'm currently looking online at villas in Tuscany.


A true American, I wd say.


12:21 PM  
Anonymous Serendipity Sent said...

Douchebags, and assholes, but no *#@%&'s! Oh my! They're all gender neutral. Please explain.

On a more personal note I would like to dedicate this song, with thanks, to all Wafers but an extra special thanks to Mauricio for Coming To Our Senses. There are few books I've enjoyed more!

12:46 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


You're right, we should all get teared up thinking about those kids mowed down, and outraged over all the others whose lives have been taken or destroyed due to abuse of firearms.

I don't wanna get too sanctimonious about it because it's only a piece w/in the larger American collapse equation, but we live in a nation gone mad. This gun pandemic, based on a gross misunderstanding of the Constitution that somehow has survived challenges in the courts, is the most egregious example. Of course, everyone has an opinion about gun control, but I'd be willing to bet that few people have actually read the 2nd Amendment, or thought about its true meaning. Nowhere in there does it give every American asshole -- with no training, discipline, or check and balance of any kind -- the right to go out and acquire unlimited weapons; particularly weapons that didn't even exist when the Constitution was written. Take the San Bernardino shooter's friend, Enrique Marquez, Jr., for example. We've all seen pics of Enrique: nothing more than a goofy dumb shit loser. This kid, who couldn't tell shit from shinola, was able to purchase two assault rifles and canisters of smokeless powder to assemble pipe bombs: No Questions Asked! This scenario is repeated daily throughout this dark and screwed up society. It defies common sense, it's dangerous, and makes me very angry. I don't have a solution short of the return of Jesus, unlimited chopped liver, or mass lobotomies performed by Ben Carson.


12:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Pls don't give me Oh my!; it ain't rocket science. If u wanna call female Americans douche bags (I personally prefer douche baguettes), that's fine, because for the most part it's probably true--because they are Americans, not because they are women. But labeling them 'whores' is quite beyond the pale, esp. for not wanting to leave a movie theater, fer chrissakes. (We're you wondering why she didn't go out with u a 2nd time?)

We've gone over this a # of times, but perhaps you missed the discussion. This is not a politically correct blog, and it's OK, for example, to say 'Belman' or relate mild ethnic or gender jokes (How many feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb? 5: 1 to screw it in, and 4 to form a support group.), but it is definitely *not* OK to say 'chink'. Obscenity is perfectly OK when addressing a trollfoon: they don't respect us, so we are not obligated to respect them. It is not OK when addressing another Wafer; and even when addressing a trollfoon, you need to avoid 'whore', racist epithets, and so on.

Hopefully this clears the mystery up, and I ask you to respect the rules. Glad you liked CTOS; pls note that a new 4th edition just appeared online at Amazon.


3:45 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

500 years ago the colonizers set out to loot and civilize the savages. That was before Bush embarked on bringing them Democracy & Freedom.

If Jared Diamond had to write a after500year sequel to his Pulitzer price winning book GUNS,GERMSandSTEEL he'll have to name the book Avatar-ButtPlug-Oculus-Vibrator

The colonizers indeed colonize the minds and the bodies of the natives. But in that process unknowingly colonized themselves with virtual thrills like Facebook, positive-psychology and Thanksgivings. The most convincing lie that you can ever tell is the one by which you yourself are convinced.

9:18 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Mr Berman,

This is my first time posting a comment on your site.

I read CTOS almost a decade ago and it had a drastic, permanent, and positive effect on my thinking and behaviour. I've bought three or four copies, all of which I've passed on, and am looking forward to owning a copy of the new printing.

My question is: is there any chance of an ebook edition being released? I still buy hard copies, but I have an e-reader and I'd love to have copies of your books on it so they're more portable.

Looking on Amazon, I see that most of your other books have Kindle editions. Will CTOS receive the same treatment? If you're on the fence, please consider this a request.


Bryce Holcomb
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada

3:13 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for writing in. In future, best to send messages to most current post, since no one reads the old stuff. Glad CTOS was of some value 2u, amigo. As for an e-bk, I have no idea, and actually very little control over those decisions. You might consider writing the folks at Echo Pt and asking them.

All the best,

7:18 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

When was the white man's ethos ever great?  Just a mere glance at the European history indicates a pathology of people in constant quest for power and domination. Its "greatness" was being in constant state of warfare, first fought among themselves and later doled out on the unsuspecting colored. Most of its heroes are warmongers like Alexander, Napoleon and Columbus. Even the white man's religion Christianity is based upon proselytize by coercion and simplistic reductionism by clichés like salvation and original-sin. And when things go south there's the barbarians to blame, now replaced by Mexicans and the Muslims. Compare that history with the Persian or the history of Japan, Aborigines of Australia, India and China. Which culture has a frame reference to some past greatness?

America is the Asperger's step child of white Europe still in search of greatness that never was.

The white man is good at one thing though, technobaggery. Large Hydron Collider, steam engine and landing man on the moon was great achievements and a "giant step for mankind". But step into what? How was any of that supposed to make life worth living?  Aside from purists like Mozart, Galileo and Newton, the white enterprise is mostly about techogimicks -that includes Oculus, Drones and the Vibrator- with a hidden agenda of manipulating nature and his fellow humans. Unfortunately today this dominant culture is ubiquitous all over the planet. The mind colonization has been so thorough that even the colored man now believes that the only way to greatness is by hustling. Clive Hamilton elaborates this point in details in his book Requiem For A Species.  Joseph Campbell dedicated his life in analyzing the rift between the West and the savages. Read/watch Campbell's Power Of Myth (as opposed to Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand).

Many whites feel victim themselves. As individuals many of them are indeed victims. But as a race we are no more "victims" than our forefathers who indirectly benefitted from the suffering of others during colonization, and like the Germans who saw the gipsies and the Jews shoved into the cattle cars and yet remained smug in their own greatness. Nowadays the Europeans and the Americans are en masse claiming victim status against the new barbarians.

Hopey-Changey folks who STILL believe in SOME sort of  greatness that can be revived while keeping the system, by which they actually mean their retirement future, intact shouldn't read this article.

10:04 PM  

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