November 23, 2016

Availability of Neurotic Beauty

Hello There, Wafers-

About a month ago, I noticed that the most recent edition of my book on Japan, Neurotic Beauty, by Water Street Press, was no longer listed on Amazon. I contacted WSP about it, asking if it was out of print, for some reason, and the publisher assured me it was not. What had happened (she said), was that the company had changed distributors, and this had apparently generated a glitch in the Amazon listing (this happened with other WSP books as well). The WSP edition would be back online fairly soon.

Well, one month later, the WSP edition is still not listed on Amazon, so I'm unsure as to what is going on, or when I can expect it to be back online. However, it turns out the book is available from the Seattle Book Company (which I'm guessing is WSP's distributor):

Which is great, but which of course doesn't have the visibility of Amazon; most people have never heard of the SBC, and wouldn't know to go there if they wanted to buy the book. I'm hoping that WSP and Amazon will be able to straighten this glitch out before too long, but in the meantime, I wanted to draw your attention to the book's availability. If any of you guys want to buy a copy, or if friends of yours might be interested, this SBC web site is the place to go, for now. More trials and tribulations for a writer, I guess, and thank you for your support.



Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Trump is backing away from going after Hillary, re-thinking climate change, backing away from a Muslim ban, the wall is to be a fence now. Seems like a pretty weak sauce fascist.

In other news, Adam Curtis has an amazing new documentary out called Hypernormalization. The parts on Trump and Gadafi alone make it worth watching.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

On the idiocy of the progs:

10:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd essay, tho I can't believe he's rt abt climate change.


Yes, all gd news, except that I think he needs to put Hillary in a dungeon.


10:22 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

I heard Trevor Noah on the radio last night and I would deem him on the WAFer path. I don't have a TV so I haven't seen his Daily Show stuff (too lazy to look it up on youtube right this second).

though I don't like Terry Gross at all, she has some good people on.

It's good to see O-bomber deem celebs as the greatest Americans, again (withering sarcasm):

I'm be looking forward to no internet, no (smart) phone and no TV the rest of the week. Rather a few games of this and this and this:

10:40 AM  
Anonymous John said...

It's been a while. Great lectures Dr. B.
I know Trump might slightly be backing down on some of his more outlandish proposals but I'm still worried about the credibility and normalization his campaign has given to the more hateful and racist elements among us.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and Christmas is looming on the horizon, I am thankful for my health and my family but I really dislike being in America for the holidays. Here in the South where I am, aesthetically it's awful, other than home decorations, the cities and towns look so drab and even more depressing now that winter has bared the leaves off the trees.

Looking forward to Oaxaca and Puebla for Christmas. They do it right. Fiesta, fiesta, fiesta !!!

10:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


If u read Spanish, check out a terrific bkstore in Puebla called Profetica. Owner is a friend of mine, and got the idea for the store after rdg the Spanish translation of the Twilight bk. Note that Trumpo has disavowed alt-rt; I hope he means it.


11:18 AM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

Instead of more worthless stuff I don't need for Christmas, I should ask my partner to make complete my collection of Berman books.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


That's the spirit! In each case, you'll need one for the kitchen, one for the bathroom, plus a few more to distribute to your friends. Japan bk is available from Seattle Bk Co; everything else is available from Amazon, w/exception of "Spinning Straw Into Gold"--soon to reappear! (He can buy you this as a New Yr's present, perhaps, or maybe to celebrate the Trump inauguration. :-)) Then you'll need to build a special shelf, perhaps even a special room...


1:21 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Bill Hicks,

Obanga is like that priest who leads little Johnny 'from behind' into the rectory telling, "this's for your own good" as he 'services his account'.

These 4 words will be his epitaph, "And the......"
Piss on the f'kn sweet talkin ivy shivy league shyster.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd links, thanks. Bottom line: Obama is a punk, an empty person who got filled w/other people's agendas. A war criminal, a shill for Wall St. and the corporations. As Trump said, "just words." I share your desire to urinate on his Guccis.


6:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: For those of you who read Spanish, the following is from La Jornada, 5 days ago, in which the author says that I in effect predicted the emergence of someone like Trump in DAA (Edad oscura americana, in Spanish):

6:44 PM  
Blogger Ashley Colby said...

Regarding the common debate among WAFers between NMI and emigration -- here's an idea for a place for card-carrying WAFers to settle:

This is our website (mine and fellow WAFer Patrick), we plan to escape to Uruguay December 7. We're looking to develop the alternative ways of living part of dual process (the other being living in the collapse of this civilization). We are hoping to attract others to live nearby, if for nothing else than some friendship. WAFers of the world unite!


6:46 PM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...


The real problem with contemporary science is that it has yet to acknowledge that one of science's original, fundamental assumptions (specifically, its implied vision of "total control") was undone in the latter half of the twentieth century, by virtue of quantum studies and chaos mathematics. For a real neat primer, read Crichton's Jurassic Park and pay close attention to the running critique of science provided by the author's mouthpiece, the mathematician. The follow-up, The Lost World, expands nicely into general complexity theory (even though it's comparatively weak, as storytelling goes - an almost note-for-note melody, plot-wise, but the mathematician's analogy of constructing a house is alone worth the effort). Forget those idiotic Spielberg movies, particularly if they constitute your only familiarity; they captured NONE of the author's thesis and theme, which is in fact very radical.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I may have a contact 4u in Uruguay, a woman plugged into a similar group. I just wrote her on yr behalf. Stay tuned.


7:04 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Interview with Mark Lilla on identity politics and the election:

Early tomorrow, I'll be flying the friendly skies and touching down in San Francisco for 5 days. Hope to take in some sights and join an active California secessionist movement somewhere on Haight St. In addition, I'll be sure to tank-up on Bud Light and urinate wildly on techie-millennial's Converse sneakers and suede ankle boots. Take care, Wafers.


8:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You might wanna cross into Marin County and do some hiking up at Pt. Reyes. That was always my favorite. As for SF itself: Union St., walking from Van Ness out to Fillmore, and North Beach--City Lights Bkstore and the Caffe Trieste. (Is Yolanda still alive? She wd stand behind the counter and groan, "Che cosa faccio?" They also usta have an all-opera juke box.)



8:58 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Very good article today on Common Dreams website. I think many will appreciate his description of both Hilary and Obama.

David Michael Green
Which Part of the 1930s Did You Not Get? Americans Finally Learn To Cooperate On A National Suicide Project

Maurice, good taste in sight seeing in San Francisco. Walk up Union to Fillmore is one of my favorites too, as well at Pt Reyes!


11:17 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

When Buddhist Monks start hustling and money laundering, you know the end is near...

12:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A fabulous article, rt on the money. Description of Obama is perfect: a buffoon, whose yrs in office amounted to a "Seinfeld presidency"--a show abt nothing. But the major pt--that we are committing national suicide--is what I've been saying since 2000. Americans, and the nation at large, have been busy putting the entire 'experiment' in the grave. Trump is merely the final phase. Watch all the major institutions fall in line, amigos.


1:53 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Ram Gana,

Thanks for the recommendations.

Also, check out "The End of Physics" by David Lindley.

5:14 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Given americans profound lack of inward reflection and nuance, be prepared to be labelled and branded by any critique of the fallen empire/corporation.

Stories depicting reality and "truthiness" will be stigmatized and labeled as---Pessimism porn, capitalising on "negativity," the "doom/gloom" brigade/hustlers, cynical old man-you kids get off ma lawn, etc...---all in an attempt to marginalise, trivialise, and negate a different viewpoint to the dominate narrative.

Dr. Berman's intellect, and robust research are spot on--it's akin to examining a fatal avion blackbox transcript and having that sick, visceral feeling in the gut as you read, and re-read reality knowing there's NOTHING you can do. That's reality. That's truth. It's neither, "negative" nor "positive"--it just is--similar to Bernstein's opinion about music--it just is.

PS--Richard-WAFER--jesting of course with americans playing an oboe, or the horn--2 profoundly challenging instruments that require much delayed gratification and passion other than Kim's tuchas.

6:07 AM  
Anonymous Daddy Issues said...

Happy Thanksgiving, WAFers. While we enjoy the tradition of excessive eating, my family intentionally avoids spending any money today or on black Friday, and if we must, it's at a locally owned business. Another annual practice is to share expressions of gratitude.

I'm grateful for Dr. Berman and his books that have guided and shaped my thinking for decades. (My first MB book was CTOS, purchased back in '89. I bought it with the tip money I'd made that day working the lunch shift.) I'm grateful for this online community and the many insights, shared links, book and movie recommendations. While I'm not a frequent poster, it's rare when I go more than a few days without a visit.

Looking forward to all of your posts as we move into what could be the end game in this country.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Dr. B and Wafers,

I have also noticed that your Japanese book "Neurotic Beauty" is not distributed directly by Amazon, though you can buy it from other distributors. I live in DC, and while all the books in your decline series are available at many college libraries (I borrowed my copies from Gelman library, GWU), none of these library have your Japanese book on shelf. I guess they categorize it as Japanology and don't tend to shelf book not written by 'experts' in the field because of limited bookshelf space.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving. Only in America would we celebrate a holiday proclaiming our appreciation for what we have, and then the next day knock someone over to get more.

Apparently I can still be surprised by the soullessness of this culture; I admit that this commercial made even my jaw drop:

Imagine being disconnected from the electronic fantasy spirit world for a few hours, and being forced to interact with real human beings instead?

11:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank you. I recall Gerald Ford said in the wake of the Nixon resignation, "Our long national nightmare is over." But it wasn't really very long, was it? Long was 400 yrs, i.e. from the late 16C, when Hustle America began. Hustle America finally wound up in a ditch, as it turns out. And now, w/Trump in the W.H., our (truly) long national nightmare is over. I'm guessing that b4 2 long, most countries of the world, our allies included, will breathe a sigh of relief, and will be referring to the "post-American era."

Happy Thanksgiving. At least we have, prior to the accession of Trump, a genuine turkey in the W.H. He (ritualistically) pardoned the Thanksgiving turkey; but there is no pardon for him.


11:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


More to the pt, the bk is simply difficult to obtain, except thru the Seattle Bk Co rt now, and that's not exactly a very visible web site. I'm hoping that the publisher, Water St. Press, will get on it and have Amazon re-list it, but thus far nothing has happened in that dept. I'm thinking that's more crucial than my not being a Japanologist, but it's a frustration for me, not so much in terms of sales, but in terms of my wanting people to read the bk and discuss it. It's the longest bk I've ever written, and possibly--the best.


Thanks for the link. One wonders if there has ever been a people more superficial, and downright stupid, than Americans.


11:50 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Dave, now I'm not entirely sure I can eat tonight's meal.What a grotesque ad on so many levels. Great-now we have 3 generations of techno-douchebags. Of course the ad is highly misleading. More than likely the kids would rush upstairs to text or whatever and hardly say a word to their grandparents and throughout the meal nearly everyone will be doing something with their phones except the grandparents who spent hours if not days preparing the meal. Then watching the grandfather voice command the TV was heart wrenching as he feels he needs to be current in order to gain the approval and respect of his family which should be naturally given except, of course, in this joke of a country.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Remember Mittney? He may be back! Mittney, how we've missed you, you of the great haircut, w/nothing beneath it. Come back, Mittney; all is forgiven! My 5-vol. treatise on your political philosophy, its depth and its wisdom, will soon roll off the press.


1:56 PM  
Anonymous Boar's Head said...


Thanks for 'reading the ingredient label' so to speak on that ugly batch of Bernays Sauce purpetrated by Comcast.


I think the tweets from the kids are the worst part, as they expose just how rotten we've become as a people. I shudder to think about what they'll be like as adults while the empire collapses all around them.

Anyway, happy Thanksgiving WAFers.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

My thought for Thanksgiving: from Leonard Cohen, "Anthem":

“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

A great soul. R.I.P.

6:51 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

We are not in Kansas anymore, and Trump is just the tip of the iceberg. Kanye West, probably one of the most popular cultural phenomena for the U 35 crowd, recently suffered a major meltdown on stage.

Of course, this isn't really a meltdown, but probably more real than any of his normally programmed, controlled musical output.

I think that all the repressed emotions of the American experience are about to be vomited forth in terrifying, fascinating, and perhaps ultimately healing ways. Like Kanye says, "It's a new world Hillary Clinton, feelings matter!"

I don't want to sound like a techno-optimist, but the fact remains that the constant and instantaneous flow of ideas, or at least cultural memes, was bound to totally destroy the sclerotic system of late capitalism at some point. Put Trump or Mittens or Bozo the clown in there - it doesn't matter. Like the Romans built the roads on which the Christians and barbarians traveled, the military corporate state built this technological beast and now its radical decentralization and instantaneous flow of alternative cultural memes will completely evaporate it.

No doubt there will be many hoaxes, deceptions, and very dark periods, but this moment is so much bigger than America at this point. This is something like the invention of writing. The world is learning what instant global consciousness really means and how to live with it.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, cdn't post it; too long. We have a half-page maximum here.


11:12 PM  
Anonymous Sir Spazalot said...

Michael Parenti sure captured class warfare and empire - Derrick Jensen - the zero sum people became for the land base and each other. Youtube and blog lectures have re-assured my suspicions about the culture forced upon us.

Prof Berman you're so productive for such a sensitive big picture person - thankfully full of energy. Hyper-competitive cultures are awful for touchy artists and intellectuals for obvious reasons - about quality of values.

Jumping into the scary unknown of expatriation when trans-national corporatism and ignorance are pretty much everywhere . . .. I have had a half-empty drink idea - The Americaan - 8 parts seltz - 4 parts vod - 2 parts grapefruit - 1 part St. Germain - lemon twist - toy sailboat laced with 200 milligrams of morphine that starts to leak and turn everything dark when half-full - sail away forever unforgivable nation of brands-tats . . ..

11:25 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...


Terraforming Mars looks like an interesting game. I'm a gamer myself, mostly miniatures and wargames, but I do crossover into Euro's from time to time. My friends and I really like Web of Power and Vinci.

11:34 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Golf Pro - the case against genetically modified "foods"

Re the City Journal. Is anyone familiar with the cover of the original Bantam edition of Coming To Our Senses?
The world view promoted by City Journal is the epitome of the sharp-edged side of that image.
It is the same as the death-saturated power-mad world view that was featured in the James Cameron movie Avatar. The world view of the thoroughly alienated brutalizing Earthlings depicted in that movie was far removed from anything to do with dual-process or anything remotely like a kinesthetically informed and patterned way of thinking and feeling, and being in the world.
A thoroughly disenchanted culture. Literally a "culture" of death. A world-view that demanded never-ending conquest of new frontiers and "virgin" lands (planets) for its continuance.

Indeed the rigid left-brained ideology that City Journal promotes is exactly and precisely the form of mind and culture which has created a situation where it is almost impossible to "let the light in". It is almost impossible to create a Crack in the Cosmic Egg

11:56 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

THE WEDDING SOUL - such sorrow, in the midst of such Joy ... #anewlightage?

3:11 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

I know this is not technically WAF material since this story is about Europe’s largest tech conference, but this article is a strong critique of the current technomania gripping the world.

Watching the World Rot at Europe's Largest Tech Conference

Meanwhile, back in the United States: 3 shot while hanging Christmas lights amid fight with driver.

4:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can tell americans whatever you want and they'll believe you:


7:04 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


One of my favorite Bach cantatas, as it turns out. Thank you.


How grotesque. Author forgot to mention Marshall McLuhan, however, the man who really made the case for technology not being neutral. As for yr 2nd link: there was also a massacre yesterday or day b4, at some football game in Louisville, I think it was. America marches on...


7:05 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B/Neil:

By coincidence, I was browsing through Bach's Lutheran cantatas on YouTube last night and watched the same clip. I wonder how many Americans are familiar with this music? I'm guessing not many...

9:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Less than .0001% of the American public is familiar w/Bach's cantatas. Very few have even heard of Bach.


9:16 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Europe--you'll see many children listening in the audience--without hyperactivity--does not matter if it's: Berg, Mahler, Haydn, Bruckner, Debussy, Ravel, Shostakovich, etc....doesn't matter which composer, and few empty seats. It's like a rock concert--with howls, whistles, shout outs to the principal players post concert, and in the pub/restaurant thereafter. In France, they have an annual multi-billion Euro budget for the arts.

European orchestras are funded by taxes- city and national--no need for lame bakes sales, begging for donations and tacky CD gift, or pleading for sponsorshits from american huckster companies. With the exception of "opening night" elitist galas, the average american philharmonie concert looks like an anemic geriatric convention with oxygen tanks, empty seats, and lotsa glazed eyes looking at watches.

In Europe--there are many town bands l'harmonie municipale with kids and adults playing clarinets, saxes, trumpets, horns, alto-horns, tubas-- the town actively listening, or humming/singing along. NO phones, no bizarre psychotic motor agitation/microexpressions, no starring at palms, no glazed eyes--- actual,active listening. Savoring life.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike R.-

I've pretty much stopped going to public events when I'm in the US, concerts included, because half the audience is on their smartphones, which I find very distracting. How do you get an entire nation to realize that they are douche bags?


10:02 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Golf, Ram Gana - Thanks for reminding me of science's promise of control. The author is a moron, but I couldn't put my finger on where he was coming from. His argument that the left has too many regulations/concerns & science doesn't need restraints falls in line with the belief of control. So he's set himself against the reality of environmental fallout and is holding science up as some untouchable god while claiming his opponents aren't true believers.

11:45 AM  
Anonymous John S said...

Noam Chomsky, like Bernie previously, came out and said Hillary was the lesser of two evils. What does that imply?

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Thanks, Dr. B., for acknowledging the passing of Leonard Cohen. I've been meaning to do it myself, but have found myself content to just read along since the break. If there was any contemporary US of American I could have lunch with (other than OGSWW, of course), it would be/have been Cohen. I'd always fancied that he would be the one to talk some sense to me. Get me to get over myself and the world. Oh well.

I don't go to concerts anymore either, but I did go see Cohen when he first went out on the road after his manager cleaned him out financially just a few years back. It was a great show. I was amazed how engaged he was, considering the circumstances and how spry he was on the stage, considering his age. He commanded the stage and arena, but in a gentle way. So graciously deferential he was to his fellow musicians. So warm and intimate was the atmosphere.

So, so long Leonard. You'll go down as the only honest to goodness, authentic to the bone trovador this god-forsaken, merciless country ever gave birth to. Viva LC!

1:58 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

In another sad but not surprising development, Jill Stein is now proving that if anything she is an even bigger liberal stooge than Sanders turned out to be when he endorsed Clinton. Laughably, Stein wants us to believe that the millions of dollars she is raising for her recount effort is a grassroots campaign and is not being funded behind the scenes by billionaire Clintonistas to give the endeavor a "nonpartisan" appearance. If Stein really does care about the environment, wouldn't that money be put to better use by, say, funding the DAPL protest effort?

The whole farce makes me glad that I decided to stay home on election day rather than stand in a long line just to cast my meaningless protest vote for her. The Green Party was already a bad joke in the way it makes very little effort to put forward candidates at the state and local level, and even goes so far as to tell voters in swing states not to vote for them. This recount effort, which does nothing to help their supposed environment-first agenda, confirms that the Greens are just as feckless as the Democrats and just as unworthy of support. Frankly, I wish they would just go away so that the Democrats will no longer be able to use them as an excuse when they get the electoral drubbings they so richly deserve.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Jill Stein needs tremendous amounts of therapy. This recount shit is bad enuf; it won't amount to anything, whether funded by Hillary or by grass roots. But even running for office as a gesture was demented, at this pt. I keep telling u, Americans w/high IQs are often very stupid.

John S-

See above, what I just wrote to Bill. Poor Noam, that it has come to this.


3:47 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Adducing more evidence for the stupidity of the boobus americanus seems cruel at this point, but it offers a frisson of pleasure nonetheless. Take this article of 17 November by Caitlin Dewey in the Washington Post's "The Intercept." She interviewed Paul Horner, who created fake news items he posted to Facebook that he believes may have contributed to Domald Trump's victory:

Curiosity caused me to Google "stupid Americans," which produced the following article from March 2016. Ignorant and proud of, that's us US Americans.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Below is a link to a nice article by Kent Nerburn titled "A DAY JUST LIKE TODAY — Thoughts on the Dakota Access Pipeline".

Here is an excerpt:

"To experience this land is to understand on a fundamental and visceral level that the confrontation taking place here at the edge of the Missouri is more than a struggle between protesters and authorities; more even than test of limits of tribal sovereignty or even claims of violations of sacred land. This is a struggle for the very health of the planet itself.

It is a wager between the belief that technology, in the service of progress, will allow us to adapt and adjust and change the earth to fit our human needs, and the belief that the earth has immutable truths that we cannot violate without irreparable damage. It is a wager we cannot afford to get wrong."


6:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Great quote, thanks. Yes, that's exactly the struggle. We will push the 1st belief as far as we can, until the whole system implodes. At that pt, the 2nd belief will finally start to make sense to more than just a tiny fragment of the population.


7:06 PM  
Anonymous Clocks said...

John Gray again on Trump this time BBC

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Black Friday has several more hours on the East Coast.

The Blackest of Fridays.

Earlier today I saw the talking heads on MSNBC trying to make interesting observations on the upcoming Trump presidency. As if it requires any more intellectual analysis than one would make of a slug.

I have often thought that one of the most peaceful days in America is December 26th, when everyone goes to sleep with their electronic toys nestled up to their brains, and (hopefully) a big silent cold snowfall comes down to remind everyone that they should shusssssssh ... be still ... go to sleep and be human for a brief amount of time.

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

Hello Wafers:

I hate to tell you this, Dean, but Leonard Cohen is a Canadian, from Montréal. He wrote a novel about us back in 1966 with the fitting title, "Beautiful Losers."

"God is alive. Magic is afoot."

10:45 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

Just so everyone knows Fidel Castro passed away aged 90. Like him or not he gave this country the run around for many years.

1:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Here come the casinos, condos, shopping malls, and whorehouses! Fidel's slogan was "Patria o muerte, venceremos!" The prediction is that after his death, it will become "Patria o muerte, compraremos!" (we will shop)


Very fine portrait of him in the New Yorker, a few wks ago.


2:16 AM  
Anonymous Troutbum said...

Dr. MB and all Wafers worldwide,

Dr. Chomsky in a recent interview explained why he recommended voting against Trump and for Hillary. His reasoning was not unlike my own where I profess to be a single issue voter and that issue is the survival of human civilization. He also ran through a number of observations on the meaning of Trump's victory. It's definitely worth your time .

It's all here :

6:49 AM  
Anonymous John said...

Thank you for the bookstore recommendation in Puebla ! I will definitely check it out and mention you to the owner !

Fidel was a complex man but he sent troops to fight for independence in several African countries and Cuba's doctors have rushed to many disaster zones and trained medics all over the world. On the other hand, I didn't live in Cuba so I can't evaluate his rule with any first-hand experience.

Dr. B- I've got another candidate for worst American...

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

I was watching CNN a few moments ago (about 7:05 AM, Mountain Time). Two older Cubans in USA wee interviewed. Both of them agreed separately that this day is their happiest day ever. Both of them came here in early sixty. Both of them could not speak one word of English, but they hate Castro with passion. They both see no good in Castro. They both love America more than current Cuba. In fact, one begs that Trump should stop all US ties to Cuba.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out this woman's face. In it you will see the future of America.


Well, he cd be rt, but I keep coming back to that line of Dick Gregory's, yrs ago: "If we're always voting for the lesser of two evils, how come things are always getting worse?"


9:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Just finished rdg "The Sheltering Sky," by Paul Bowles. What a masterpiece. Tennessee Wms said it was a portrait of the moral nihilism of our times, into which we have wandered. As the two central characters, Americans, aren't into hustling or consumerism, they don't have anything to guide them, and so succumb to death and insanity. It seems more relevant now than when it was written, in 1947. Think of 322 million Americans, whose lives revolve around buying things and getting 'ahead'. What wd happen if these goals were suddenly removed? Death and insanity, most likely. And since the American Dream is crumbling, and since Trumpo will not be able to bring it back, death and insanity is what the nation is now facing.


12:43 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Interesting podcast interview about the technosphere and psychopathology of society.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Looks like Water St. Press finally got Amazon to list their edn of my Japan book, so that potential buyers can get it from Amazon, and not have to rely on the Seattle Bk Co. Only glitch left is that it takes 1-3 mos. to get it. I'm going to write the publisher, see if we can't get that changed to a normal delivery time. Stay tuned.


1:04 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Ah yes, of course, al-Qa'bong. Thanks for the correction. I well knew this, but conveniently forgot. Hyperbolic dementia, I guess.

I'd like to get to Cuba before the corporate makeover and the people have fallen in to materialistic stupors. I guess it's pointless to go over there trying to convince them they haven't missed out on anything real.

Step aside; and welcome them into the abyss. The more, the harrier.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Grille said...

Trump doesn't mean anything. Empty narcicist who reacts opportunistically to the moment.
Tomorrow the Alt-Right could be in again.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

I know two regular guys from Cuba who live in my town and they tell me that the schools and hospitals in Cuba are better than here from what they can tell from their dealings with folks here. It is true the general standard of living in Cuba as far as material riches is concened is much lower than here but they said it is a clean type of poor for the most part, not trashy like the propaganda here has said it is. The people are clothed, shoed, and have food to eat but you do not see most people with cars, the apartments are small and most furniture old and gone through several coats of varnish or paint.

It's a shame so many of the so called communist countries had to spend almost half their budgets on defense. If they had been freed to be able to use a lot of the money and workers for civilian projects like house building, luxury items, ect. instead of just schools and healthcare they probably would have been able to have well off societies by and large.

12:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Fidel was a caudillo, and during his reign there was very little in the way of political freedom in Cuba. Plus, the cult of personality was quite oppressive, esp. for the post-revolutionary generations. As for consumer goods, when Cubans come to visit Mexico they tend to buy up everything in sight, since there's very little on the shelves in Havana. Mexico, let alone the US, is paradise by comparison for them. But the upside of the Castro regime was also real, as you pt out; and it was a regime that didn't destroy family life, community, spirituality, meaningful work, and the like. In that sense, a great improvement over Batista; altho the upper and upper-middle classes did not see it that way, fled to Miami, and basically forced the US to maintain sanctions against Cuba and try to overthrow the government (as we have done w/so many countries). The real question, as you note, is what Cuba wd have been like w/o the US trying to murder Fidel (many, many times), invade the country, and destroy the regime. It's easy for us to pt fingers, to emphasize the downside of Fidelian life, but given the 'monster' looming over him, he probably had to do what he did just in order to survive. And I'm sure what we did in Chile was an object lesson for Fidel, and really for much of Latin America: the US won't tolerate even a whiff of departure from the capitalist model. Finally, the presence of Guantanamo is grotesque: can you imagine part of Florida occupied by a Cuban military base? What arrogance, on our part.

All that being said, what I gather from Cuban friends is that the Fidelian generation was basically loyal to him; the 2nd generation was somewhat lukewarm; and the present generation--young Cuban adults today--are pro-capitalist, wanting to move to the US, start a business, and make a bundle! The American Dream lives on!


5:09 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Americans are so angry, and so deficient in their ability to control their emotions, a new industry has popped up..."Anger Rooms" for hire.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Black Friday is not an expression of America's love with consumer goods. It is the day in which the poor desperately try to purchase the items they require at affordable prices.

After reading this article, please consider this bridge I have for sale.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Mark Notzon said...

A complete translation--the first time in English--of Giuseppe Leopardi's notebooks ("Zibaldone") was recently published to highly appreciative reviews by John Gray, among others. While I couldn't spring for the nearly one-hundred-bucks volume, I downloaded it in Italian, retrieved my grammar and dictionary and plunged in, for a day or so. Then I turned on TV only for the weather but came across Tom Friedman touting his latest tome econo-babble, five minutes of which erased Leopardi from my mind, and I could only recuperate by taking a couple of walks in the woods.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Do they desperately need designer tennis shoes, DVD players, and plasma screen computers? We are not talking about food or clothing, for the most part.


4:51 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

The thing that I dislike about Black Friday is not the bargain hunting. I cut coupons and engage in bargain hunting myself. It is the mania that accompanies the sales with people getting trampled and sometimes even killed.


This is why I never go shopping on Black Friday. No deal is good enough to risk getting trampled or shot. I don’t want to end up as a kind of human sacrifice to the god of consumerism, which is one of the national cults of the United States, along with the military and technology.

10:50 PM  
Blogger Игорь ижщенко said...

Trump announces he will appoint Gen. James Mattis to secretary of defense:

FINALLY the United States will have a president with the balls to take charge and make people respect America again. Obama's cowardice and treason has weakened the country and with half the populace being full-blown communists, the Patriot Act and NDAA (which Trump will have NO PROBLEM using, I'm sure) will be needed to clean things up, but I see things looking better by the day for the U.S.

8:23 AM  

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