June 22, 2017



Well, it's been an exciting time. Every day, more evidence of collapse. There's the Evergreen disaster as the tip of the iceberg of a nation that has lost its moorings, and its ability to think straight (or think at all); there are the data that pile up on drug use and widespread misery; there's the evidence you guys have been sending in, documenting our violence and stupidity; and then, suddenly--I love it--a resurgence of trollfoons! Jesus, what could make the ol' berm happier than to crush them like roaches. I'm having fun, and I have them to thank for it. Go, trollfoons!

So we are making progress on all fronts, at least from a declinist point of view. And then, of course, there is Trumpi, who does seem to be carrying out the mandate assigned to him, of dismantling our society. He is--again, from a declinist point of view--an absolutely wonderful president. And having shmucks around like Reince Priebus (what kind of a name is that, anyway?) and Steve Bannon is also an encouraging thing.

Meanwhile, everyone seems worried about the Korean nuclear threat, whereas I suspect the real threat is Kim Jong-un's haircut. An international disgrace, for sure. Wafers are encouraged to write to the Korean leader, recommending various barbers to him.



Anonymous turnover said...

​Oliver Stone's interviews with Putin are out. It's 4 sets of interviews, each about an hour long. Stone and Putin talk about almost everything-- NATO, Snowden, Syria, Stalin, etc.

Putin has some trenchant comments about the US. A particularly good one was how a country nurtured on exceptionalism is bound to run into serious difficulty. When you compare Putin's controlled and logical style with US leaders, it leaves the US looking foolish. If you have the time, it's worth a look.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

One in six Americans take antidepressants or other psychiatric drugs.


Americans overestimate social class mobility.


Dispute over Starbucks drink order leads to stabbing.


11:57 AM  
Blogger k_pgh said...



“The U.S. is a world leader in childhood poverty”


“Despite what you hear, we don't need to make America great again. America has never stopped being great.” (Hillary on the campaign trail.)

12:26 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

[Bill Hicks]. "... a military that spends more money than all the other nations..."
And the latest evidence for what happens when you combine commerce, consultants, and crazy colonels, the following story recounting a study by the US inspector general for Afghanistan that reveals that the US DOD spent $28 billion in 2007 on woodland pattern camouflage uniforms for the Afghan military. Consultants had recommended that a distinctive uniform be provided for our Afghan allies that would make it harder for the Taliban to stage attacks in fake uniforms.

Punch line: only 2.1% of Afghanistan consists of forest. The Afghan defense chief was shown the camo pattern and liked it.

And for an additional dollop of irony, over the past decade, green-on-blue attacks--Afghan soldiers attacking coalition troops--have steadily increased, with 15% of coalition deaths in 2012 having been as a result of such incidents. Figures for the total number of attacks that did not produce a casualty are considered classified by ISAF, the coalition entity.


To lighten the mood, may I offer the following camouflage-related clip from the Monty Python troupe.

"How Not to Be Seen"

12:29 PM  
Anonymous 156 said...


Thanks for the recommendation sir! Have you seen the film yet?

12:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


There are some obscure medical reports that when Hillary had Botox inserted into her face, a large amt accidentally got injected into her brain.


Same thing happened a few yrs ago when Obama made a stupid 'exceptionalism' speech, and Putin riposted with a speech saying that that kind of mental framework leads to trouble. Obama came off looking like the little turkey that he is, and Putin like a mature statesman. Of course, polls then showed increase for Obama favorability, and decrease for Putin; but then, the polls were taken among Americans.


This is an impt development. All the fast-food joint attacks were probably among the lower classes. But Starbucks is supposedly chic. In terms of America collapsing, it's impt that turkey behavior spread upward from McDonald's to the chicer establishments. Let's hope this is the beginning of a major trend.


2:13 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

Hi, MB - continuing a couple discussions from last week (no one sees the old posts, as you've said many a time!)

First, Miles, my condolences.

On the rot not just contained to the South - You can also find these areas of rot in the Northeast, even in New England. In the 1990s the Boston Globe did a series on "hidden" Massachusetts which certain wags called White Trash Massachusetts. With a featured kid named Chevy Van Pickup, how could these wags resist?

On vacuous, crowd-pleasing blockbusters - And yet Spielberg's Jaws and Lucas's early Star Wars films were the best of the lot, and were actually good. Lucas's constituted a spinning of a new mythos. Lucas originally wrote the first one as an allegory for the United States under Nixonian gangsters and it still works as an allegory for the United States! The Emperor causing his own death through his anger and stupidity near the end of The Return of the Jedi is a nice touch: he is a true 'Murkin. So Lucas had a bit of Wafer in him, too. Huh. He still proved himself a douchebag and disrespected his fans by making changes to his films, especially the first one, and by selling out to Disney in the end. Now they've turned it into a children's franchise!

3:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This at Yale, no less:


And she's calling movie workers morons! What a silly little turkette. Boola Boola...

Meanwhile, death of one of my heroes:



6:49 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Well-said, as always! Just last night I had the pleasure to listen to you and Chris Hedges (recorded I am thinking around 2013), my two favorite thinkers of the day! You were spot on in linking the mass shootings to the declining societal issues, and as you point out, we never have a serious discussion in this country as to WHY this stuff is even happening! Instead, it's just the platitudes of "thoughts and prayers", yada yada...Talk about robotic people. I am just now looking at your blog, and keep the great insights coming!

11:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Welcome to the blog. But didn't they name a college after you? Sorry, cdn't resist. Americans are, indeed, robots, but even worse: turkeys. Turkeys don't think; they gobble. On mass shootings, let me recommend Mark Ames, "Going Postal."

Stay with us, amigo; it's gonna be a helluva ride.


2:14 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

I have a friend who grew up in the Netherlands and emigrated to Australia about eight years ago. Here’s what she said about life in Australia:

“….there is a lot of discrimination against aborigines, that is definitely true.. similar to native Americans in the US.. Also they treat refugees horribly (they detain them on an island.. out of the way.. )….

“And just like everywhere else, if there is money in it, that goes before the environment.. land clearing for agriculture and housing developments (for rich Asian investors mainly, not really for the benefit of the people of course)….solar seems to get more and more popular which is good….

“The good thing here is that there are a lot of benefits for people, there is Medicare for everyone and it is great for families to live here, very family friendly -lots of vacation days and people are generally pretty happy…there is hardly any poverty in Australia and the cities are clean and safe.. There is a lot of public spending on parks, bike paths, infrastructure which is great.”

Here we have all of the negatives, none of the positives, and a population too stupid to recognize that we’ve fallen into the abyss and are plummeting to the bottom at breakneck speed. Go USA!!!

7:29 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

In your news update from Cascadia,

Some Cascadian drivers are now doing their own kind of enforcement of traffic rules with a touch of existential angst as shown by this recent incident in a suburb south of Seattle:


Evergreen College continues to make news, as the president of the college appeared at a state Senate hearing to ask for more funding for … wait for it … campus police:


And looking farther south in LA, you can add another one to the Guardian’s running tally of U.S. cop killings:


10:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle. E.g., Bowl of Borscht.


11:44 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Cleveland Moffett is probably well-known to many WAFERS.

His Feb 2, 1895 article (Vol. 17, p. 146-50) in 'The Illustrated American' entitled, "The Seven Deadly American Sins: The Sin of Hustling," is a treat and spot on.

Nothing has changed.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Indeed. De Tocqueville pegged it b4 him, and Thos Wolfe after him.


12:14 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...


People are so sick even the "justice" system can't decide whether to jail them or "restore" them to competency so they can stand trial and not many are willing to work under such harsh conditions leaving many innocent people to wither away in jail where they face the very real prospect of death by neglect.


Imagine spending 18 hours straight with this guy then coming back for your regular shift:


12:17 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I know a lot of us WaFers were probably shaking our heads at the stupidity of that UVA college kid who died from being abused in a North Korean prison. I doubt, however, that any of us would have said the he "got what he deserved" because he's a privileged white male who if he hadn't been stealing a North Korean propaganda banner would have been "out raping women." Yet that's just what one douchebaguette said--a douchebaguette who happens to be an professor at the University of Delaware:


On the lighter side, check out the incredible commercial that the Ossof campaign actually ran in Georgia. Yep, just what the "resistance" (barf) needs to stand up to Trump, a dweebish little technodouchebag nimrod. Apparently, the Millennial run consulting firm that came up with this little bit of brilliance was paid at least $13 million by the Ossof campaign. This is what your money is buying if you donate to the Democrats:


3:36 PM  
Anonymous Theo Hall said...


6 years to shoot, 6 years to post-produce, apparently. About an earth-like planet in which there is no Renaissance. It opens. It's snowing.

I think you guys will love this

6:52 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

-Bill Hicks

The Democratic party is so cynical it is hilarious. This is tied back to the whole "we need young faces" to represent the democratic party. Not policy change. The Democratic Neoliberal politics that relies heavy on identity politics is fine in their view. They think rebranding will solve their ills. I mean they talk of the Democratic party as A FUCKING BRAND! So like a shitty Pepsi product that changes its logo in efforts to raise sales, they think getting younger candidates and a "hip image" will get them back in the "fight".. that fight is lubing the phallus of their corporate donors... which is a tireless job. why do you think Schumer sounds so horse?

I am surprised they haven't decided to change the Logo of the Democratic party. You know maybe turn it into a meme of some sort to show them how cool and not Republican they are? Hell, I would love to design their logo. If it was true to life it would be a Donkey mounting a prog on all fours with a naked Pelosi riding on the beasts back screaming "I'll turn your soft money into hard money!".

10:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Then there's this:


10:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cartoon of the Year: June 5/12 issue of the New Yorker, p. 85. The scene is a subway car in NY. A 25-yr-old shlub, techno-buffoon staring into his cell phone, unshaven, baseball cap, looks like a total douche bag. Across of him is a woman, a bit older, wearing a kind of Victorian dress, and fantasizing how 'fascinating' this guy is, w/his electronic device. She gets increasingly enraptured, decides to offer him her hand in marriage. Not to be missed!


11:01 PM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

@Bill Hicks: The Democratic Party and their prog hangers-on are now irrelevant, and the more desperately they try to restore their relevance, the deeper they dig their hole. It's a real pleasure to watch the whole process unfold.

12:02 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

"The Wizard of Lies"--film abt Bernie Madoff. It's really intriguing, because like Trump, he was the ultimate American hustler. And it never becomes clear, in the film, what was driving him. He is unable to explain his actions. Wealth addiction, possibly; but it seems more like it was hustling addiction: hustling for the sake of hustling; the American Dream spiraling into insanity. Like Trump, he embodied what was wrong w/the entire country. The film concludes by suggesting that he was a sociopath. I'm not sure that really explains anything. But if there are sociopathic individuals, I suppose there can be such a thing as a sociopathic nation.


2:05 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Re: Bernie Madoff. I’m not sure of the difference between sociopaths and psychopaths (gradation?), but neither have a conscience. Empathy is one of the things that prevents us from harming others, and one doesn’t have to be a serial killer to be a psychopath.

We have a society here that selects for and elevates psychopathy with its ruthlessness, and considers empathy and compassion to be liabilities. But if you look around the world it’s not just the U.S. I think citizens of other countries are not in general the morons you find here, but most of the leaders are psychopaths. You cannot make it to the top unless you are, and if you’re not you’ll be picked-off. Someone here has mentioned the book Political Ponerology, which is well worth a read.

The USA is the world leader in psychopathy, and its citizens are too self-absorbed and ignorant to have any chance of reining this in (plus our techno-douchebaggery makes us less and less empathetic). Therefore not only is the USA doomed, but so is Planet Earth.

I think it’s interesting that the medical world’s diagnosis of psychopathy is called “anti-social personality,” a less pejorative term and more PC. What does this tell us?

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

I cannot stop watching the Wizard of Lies-truly fascinating. In the movie, Madoff says he advised people to give him half their monies, not all. But how could you not trust good ol' Bernie? No Jew would defraud another Jew, right? Thus it appears people were equally guilty of greed and, of course, neglecting the first order of business, caveat emptor. Still, Bernie defrauded 1000's including his own relatives. Not at all saddened thought that he defrauded Elie Wiesel who never said a single word in support of Palestinians and gave his blessing to every Israeli outrage (research tells me Wiesel himself was a fraud but that's for another time). By the way, do you really think his sons and wife had no idea? I find that hard to believe. His sons were in a separate business I know but how could they not have been at least suspicious of double digit gains every year? The wife also admits doing some bookkeeping though hides behind the cloak of being a simple housewife. Anyway, Madoff is only America writ large. Personally, there's not a family I know who does not have some estrangement due to money.

8:32 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Restaurant PUMMELING!!


11:12 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is micropummeling. Macropummeling is when, e.g., Trump does something to hurt the country. Both micro and macro are related. From a declinist pt of view, there is no such thing as 'too much pummeling'.


12:27 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...


Calling people animals is an insult to animals.

On another note if I were a Republican strategist I would do everything in my power to weld the dems to the LGBT movement 'you wanna cede the entire southern states and most of the midwest - hey works for me keep parading nude down the street' Beginning to admire the right for their diligence and stealth in taking over Amerika they truly are doing god's work the opposition gots nothing.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out the foto of Cheyenne Summer Stuckey. That face *is* the face of America, now and into the future.


1:06 PM  
Anonymous J-B Lully said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Thank you for the book recommendation in the previous thread (Joyce Appleby: Capitalism and a New Social Order) you point to the work without any caveats which tells me that, like your own work, it isn't full of what Gore Vidal called Received Opinion.

As mentioned here before the Wafer community needs their own retirement community. Somewhere idyllic like Cuernavaca, Mexico or the Central Valley of Costa Rica. To finance this project I propose that we cash in on the ongoing and inexplicable popularity of 'Hamilton' and mount a production I have titled Economic Determinism:The Musical, an imagined dialogue across time between Lenin and the recently deposed CEO of Uber Travis Kalanik. As the story unfolds these two 'disrupters' discover that in the end they have more in common that they or anyone else thought. My friends an I can slap together the music using the Andrew Lloyd Webber cut-and-paste method (a tango, sappy ballad, one tap number, corporate-sponsored inner-city children's chorus etc...) with collaboration from the infinitely imaginative and talented Wafers we it has the possibility to be a smash hit. I have already sketched out a duet to close the first act with the working title 'If we just.....'.

To get seed money all we have to do is give the story a strong Liberaterian slant to appeal to some utopian-minded Bay Area billionaires (Deus ex machina Ayn Rand coming down from heaven to smash any moral qualms of the characters?). To stave off any dreary ethical concerns just remember that Stalin robbed those banks to finance the revolution for the common good.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is gd, but I think we need to get Bernie Madoff in the production somewhere. Shaneka Torres as well.


1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Wafers, MB,

I went to my first Active Meditation session today and boy do I regret not discovering this earlier! Much recommended for peace of mind in dealing with trolfoons.

Also, is this the best NMI job there is?!


2:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, meditation is impt, trollfoons or no trollfoons. But they are such a sad bunch, really. They are so stupid, they don't even know that when I talk abt them (like rt now), the purpose is to bait them. And they take the bait! They suddenly emerge from under their rocks--ignoring the fact that I don't even read their posts. Of course, occasionally I like to step on them, crush them like roaches. When you step on a roach, you can hear the crack of its shell. Similarly, when you step on a trollfoon, you can hear the crack of his ego as he breaks apart. Anyway, just wait: they'll come surging forth, once again. I think they may be the only subgroup in the US with negative IQ's.


3:26 PM  
Anonymous Lance said...

Kanye- That Siberian Tiger Protector is truly LIVING. What a life! Thank you for sharing.

Meanwhile, two culturally critical books on modern feminist activities,

Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus, https://www.amazon.com/Unwanted-Advances-Sexual-Paranoia-Campus/dp/0062657860/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498333872&sr=8-1&keywords=Advances%3A+Sexual+Paranoia+Comes+to+Campus

Why I Am Not A Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto, https://www.amazon.com/Why-Am-Not-Feminist-Manifesto/dp/1612196012/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495595713&sr=8-1&keywords=not+a+feminist

Good speed, WAFers.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

I view good and evil in the world as existing on a scale. One end is "pure good," and the other is "pure evil." Between them is a huge grey area. Sociopaths (e.g. Trump and Americans in general) are pretty close to the "pure evil" side. Psychopaths (e.g. Hillary Clinton) are even closer to the "pure evil" side than sociopaths are. However, even psychopaths are not "pure evil." Most human beings are in the big grey area between the two extremes of the scale. There are a few people (e.g. important religious figures) close to the "pure good" side.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You wdn't be a Zoroastrian, by any chance, wd u? The problem is that Zoroaster left out two crucial categories: turkeys, and douche bags. Most of these are not nec gd or evil; they are just turkeys and douche bags. Once this is realized, we shall need a total revamping of Western theology. Categories often overlap. For example, Hillary is evil, but also a colossal douche baguette. Wafers are encouraged to contribute to this mind-blowing religious restructuring. Pls keep in mind that I am the GSWH, and as such, to quote Nietzsche, Jenseits von Gut und Boese.



7:06 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB: I think you're on to something with regards to the idea the hustling has become an addictive end in and of itself. Being retired, I've noticed a phenomenon I call "throwing money on the pile," which is people who are past retirement age, don't especially enjoy what they are doing (or what they do is just paper pushing bullshit), who don't need the money but just won't stop working. These are no doubt the people who often die within the first year of retirement because they have no idea what to do with themselves. They are truly sad, sad individuals.

Meanwhile, further proof that America is fucked: I saw a poll the other day that said George W. Bush's approval rating is back up to 59%. Ann acquaintance of mine actually said that was because Trump makes Bush look so good by comparison. To which I replied that it still doesn't excuse what Bush actually DID while in office (a point I thought was obvious, but I guess not). Sorry progs, but you might as well write that 59% off as completely useless, which means that even in the extremely unlikely event that you could ever get the rest to line up perfectly behind you, you'd still be vastly outnumbered by douchebags, turkeys and morons of every stripe.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You may remember, a while back, a rather strange discussion that emerged on the blog about beating off. (Maybe it had something to do w/some guy getting arrested for beating off in traffic, I can't recall.) Anyway, if one thinks abt beating off in a metaphorical sense, then it becomes clear that (a) most Americans are beating off; they have no idea what they are doing or why, and (b)hustling is the true American form of beating off. It leads to nothing; it's completely empty, as we see in the film abt Bernie Madoff. Madoff himself cdn't explain why he did what he did; it seemed like force of habit more than anything else. I venture to say that if you were to randomly stop any American in the street, and ask them what they were living for, they wdn't be able to come up w/an answer. (Imagine one honest guy saying: "Nothing, really; I'm just beating off. And then eventually I'll die.") There are deep historical reasons for this state of affairs, which I think I examined in WAF; but looking ahead toward the future, all of this means the following, at least to me:

1. If individuals are going nowhere, then the nation is going nowhere. Besides bluster and hustling and a completely ad hoc foreign policy, Trumpo has no purpose at all, and this is true of all our institutions and nearly all of our citizens. The working title of DAA was "Colossus Adrift." But I was writing that early in the new century, and by now it's clear that we are not merely adrift, but circling the drain. Above us, like vultures, hover Russia and China, who *do* know what they are doing, and who will eventually eat the meat off a dead carcass.
2. All the talk by Hedges et al., including tons of progs, about resistance, rebellion, revolt (RRR), and so on, amounts to little more than farting. Their protest marches alter nothing, and their 'progressive' activities amount to no more than rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic (a fact they are terrified to confront). RRR to what end? 99% of the population is, like Madoff, mechanically interested in hustling; they can hardly be roused to RRR. In addition, even if there were some sort of Leninist cadre that could actually lead the masses to RRR, why bother? These are not admirable people; humanly speaking, they are an embarrassment. RRR is as spiritually empty as hustling, when you get down to it, and it may just be another form of hustling.
3. There is a tiny fraction of the American population--maybe 2000 or 3000 in all-- that understands that the way of life being offered in this country is, in fact, a large jerkoff, and that hustling is a dead end. These folks become NMI's and/or get involved w/the positive side of Dual Process (unless they emigrate). They have no chance of changing the immediate situation, of "Making America Great Again," wh/is what both Trumpi and the progs want to do; but in the long run, by going elsewhere, they may have an impact--as did the monks of the 4thC. However, that's anybody's guess. At least, they aren't addicts, and they aren't beating off. They are also the only people in the entire country w/a sense of humor.


10:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gallery of Kind Americans:


12:43 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

More delightful Americans:


I love how they all just watch her do it. And the comment at the end is priceless: "Make sure to subscribe and comment and like." But of course!

1:50 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Here is my read of the past month or so - the FBI has Trump completely cornered, as they have known he was laundering money for the mob for years.


Mueller has also hired attornies more appropriate to a mob trial.

The strange behavior of Comey can be explained by the wider depth of the investigation.

I think no politician wants to see the massive blow about to hit Trump and all the prog turkeys that couldn't defeat him.

It's like civil society has failed on every level, so you are just left with the unadorned force of mafia vs law enforcement.

4:30 AM  
Blogger remo26 said...

This observation by Carl Sagan that I came across seemed to prescient not to post.

"We've arranged a global civilization in which the most crucial elements—transportation, communications and other industries, agriculture, medicine, entertainment, protecting the environment, and even the key democratic institution of voting—profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces."

- remo

5:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is speculation, not proof, as far as I can see.




6:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for this:



6:51 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

My take on Donald Trump was that he didn’t expect to win the presidency, nor did he want to. Narcissist that he is, I think his real goal was to get himself a huge following and then spend the next I don’t know how many years continuing to inflame his moronic followers...in other words, to be an agent of chaos. Having been the Republican candidate for president gave him the gravitas he needed to do so. But life’s a bitch, he won, and now what? Well, for us Wafers, we can sit back and enjoy the show.

I recently heard an interview with Meria Heller and liked her so much that I went to her website, listened to a few of her free shows, and signed up. In general I would not do such a thing, but “the mouth that roared” really speaks to me and I haven’t been disappointed. It’s a combination of news reported with the sarcasm it so well deserves, interviews, and spirituality. Wafers may want to take a look:

7:50 AM  
Anonymous District Six said...

Check out this article:

"I moved my kids out of America. It was the best parenting decision I've ever made."


11:03 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Kiki said...


Lou Andreas-Salomé, the world's first woman psychoanalyst, on creativity in letters to Rilke

11:10 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Masturbation as an unacknowledged civic virtue

"Circling the drain," from the Archives of American Television

1:25 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Positive profile of American Expats living in Mexico.

Morris, is this place near you?


1:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't run it; we have a half-page-max rule on this blog. Suggest you send them as 2 messages (24 hrs apart) or else cut down by abt 25%. Thank you.


3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You have to check this out. Can feminists get ANY more narcissistic and self-entitled than this? This is the next stage after pussy hats.



3:58 PM  
Blogger Sanguillen39 said...

Professor Berman,

From your original post and your mention of 'drug use and widespread misery;', would you attribute the greater acceptance of marijuana amongst the American public as a sign of health or decline? By Health, I perhaps mean the ability to choose a "wiser" medicine for their ailments than the addictive opioids OR as Decline, strictly a means to "wall-off" the horrible reality outside their homes.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

The Hustling Ideology of the US is very utopianist. I think that is the scariest part of the ideology of America. Even as they feel as if the world is falling they still believe that the hustle is infinite. My dad is a huge believer that no matter what happens America will always be rich and people are just lazy. That in his own words people need to "just need to hustle harder!". It is amazing to me how when people buy into hustling culture they believe more and more that Hustling is the solution to all problems.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...


Nice song for our times:

'Do you believe
In what you see
Motionless Wheel
Nothing is real'

4:47 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

With this post I am going to be truly "Fair and Balanced" and call out each of America's two douchebag tribes. First up, PC may have finally eaten its own tail in Chicago as some Jewish LGBT pride marchers were denied the right to fly Israeli flags in the march because they were deemed by some other marchers to be offensive. Personally, I think if you fly the flag of just about any genocidal nation-state (especially America's) it completely undermines your arguments that you deserve to be treated as anything other than just another victim of that nation-state's violence:


On the flip side, here is a seriously mentally deranged douchebag who proudly owns "80 military vehicles, over 200 machine guns and a host of tanks and grenade launchers." Of course, just one predator drone aimed at his house and he'd be one crispy critter, and none of that shit he thinks he needs "fer pertektion" would do him one damn bit of good:


10:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


My hat is off to Mr. Bernstein. Wd that every American were so armed! I just hope he'll get himself a drone and a nuclear device to round off his collection.

In other news: a film called "Gifted", very sweet.


10:47 PM  
Anonymous Tanya said...


When African kids do better on a psychological test then Westerners, "self-control" gets redefined as "obedience"!

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Regarding "Masturbation as a Civic Virtue"......

Well, I don't know about that.......but at least in some cases it would be highly preferable:


5:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't run it (24-hr rule).


10:35 AM  
Anonymous CATSPEAK said...


Cute cartoon.
"Is the government sick?"
>It has a preexisting condition"

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Nautilus said...

Reviewing studies of the deleterious cognitive effects caused by attaining power


11:26 AM  
Anonymous not-so-funny said...

I've noticed excessive laughing in the US - yes I just said that. No one is so funny that I feel like laughing incessantly. Maybe I'm imagining a growing phenomenon but I'd like to think it's another manifestation of hyper-vigilant positivism and douchery.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Reuben Sandwich said...

Bill's article about the Israeli flag at Chicago's pride march reminded me of another recent instance of prog "tolerance":

A few years ago prog activists were denouncing the Japanese over their tradition of whale hunting, which they called a "crime against nature".

1:10 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Our choice is much starker -socialism or annihilation, says Vijay Prasad.
Socialism is a Sin, says Charles Krauthammer.

Stephen Hawking observes that earth is toast and his advice is to make the 'red planet blue again.' Good luck!
Kiss your arse goodbye while you still can - Guy McPherson

Gods and lovers lie, Stats n Cassandra don't.......

Human is a tribal animal that has never cooperated as a group by any number larger than Dunbar's Number (250). Seven billion of this species is capable of fighting an "all against all" war. But will NEVER cooperate on a worldwide crisis even when the bottom gives way; it is not in their dna to do so.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous J-B Lully said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Your contention that fast-food violence will ascend the social ladder is spot on. I worked in a snotty 4-star joint 20 yrs ago and I saw the seeds sprouting then. This was just as the celebrity chef nonsense was gaining momentum and the red faced tirades about nothing were shocking. We will see massacres triggered by poorly cooked white asparagus any day now.

Thanks for the suggestions about the first Wafer musical. Economic Determinism:The Musical is strictly off-off-Broadway material. Now SHANEKA!, doomed heroine punished by jackboot fascists just for wanting it her way, that could sell. I have no experience with the guns/hoes/money/dope aesthetic of hip-hop 'music' but with the right collaborators........ Bernie Madoff? Money-obsessed and selfish financier absconding with the paper assets of the selfish and money-obsessed? Having a hard time seeing it.

Bill Hicks: I also have seen the boomer hustling-for-the-sake-of-the-hustle trend, it deserves more attention. To appeal to a non-Wafer audience it needs to be a 'diagnosis' with a hi-falutin' name. I propose Croesus-Methuselah Syndrome. A little bit classic and a touch of Talmud, Freud would have liked it.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

From the American Progressive Post:

Comments by the various Cabinet-Level Secretaries and other important individuals from the Trump Administration indicate that he is just a big, fat baby, a toddler.

Of course, this does not reflect well upon his supporters, or for that matter, the rest of the 'Murkin populace.

Now I gotta catch up on my reading -- the last couple o' days I consumed by having to be pleasant to annoying relatives. Part of this was showing the removed Confederate monuments around town and what the city (New Orleans) government did to the monuments and their bases is beyond abomination. Our progressive mayor, Mitch Landrieu, called this act of municipal vandalism, history erasure and forgetfulness "remembrance, not reverence," of course!

3:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


SHANEKA! wd make a great musical. Who the hell needs 'Hamilton', really?


Thanks, but watch length.


What yr seeing is actually hysteria.


I discuss this a bit in SSIG, as it turns out.


3:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think Adam Gopnik may be rdg WAF on the sly. Check out "We Could All Have Been Canadians" in the May 15 New Yorker. Let me reproduce the opening section, see what you think:

And what if it was a mistake from the start? The Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution, the creation of the United States of America--what if all this was a terrible idea [no shit, Sherlock], and what if the injustices and madness of American life since then have occurred not in spite of the virtues of the Founding Fathers but because of them? The Revolution...producing a country that was always marked for violence and disruption and demagogy. Look north to Canada, or south to Australia, and you will see different possibilities of peaceful evolution away from Britain, toward sane and whole, more equitable and less sanguinary countries. No revolution, and slavery might have ended, as it did elsewhere in the British Empire, more peacefully and sooner. No "peculiar institution," no hideous Civil War and appalling aftermath. Instead, an orderly development of the interior--less violent, and less inclined to celebrate the desperado over the peaceful peasant. We could have ended with a social-democratic commonwealth that stretched from north to south, a near-continent-wide Canada.
The thought is taboo, The Revolution still sacred in its self-directed propaganda. One can grasp the scale and strangeness of this sanctity only by leaving America for a country with a different attitude toward its past and its founding [duh]...[note also that 'strange' is a much better descriptor of the US than 'exceptional']

He also says that the Revolution was "more horrific than heroic"; that the way to win a Pulitzer is to "find a Founding Father and fetishize him"; that "Hamilton" is "wholly faithful to a heroic view of American independence; and that Trump may be not a bug in the system but rather "a feature of the American heritage" (which I've said on a # of occasions). This led me to pen a note to the editor:

"Dear Sir: I was duly impressed with Adam Gopnik's article on the American Revolution, but I do have to quibble with his title. Why not call a spade a spade? Why didn't he title it, 'A Turkey Country Filled with Turkeys'? Much more on point, wouldn't you agree? Yours very sincerely etc."


4:08 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

It truly is a hideous country with a hideous past. Imagine the early settlers. They encounter the indigenous population who fully understand agriculture and animal husbandry. So a settler thinks: "I can learn from these people. They can show me how to plant and raise livestock. On the other hand, maybe it's best I just kill them and just steal their land. Yeah, I think that's a better idea." Precursors to zionists, by the way.
No doubt the Supremes will fully endorse Trump's complete travel ban this fall claiming that, as Commander-in-chief and so in defense of national interest, he has the legal right to deny entry to all who may pose a risk. Slippery slope, anyone? Next is to deport all immigrants without a job, those taking any form of government assistance, the Dreamers, and those holding H1B visas. Probably a future Supreme Court will declare the US as a Christian country thus relegating all non-Christian to second tier status (farewell legalized abortion). After all, Lincoln himself asserted in his first Inaugural address "We are a Christian nation."

5:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Supposedly the initial encounters were friendly, in which the Pilgrims did learn a lot from the native pop. Later on, for reasons I don't understand, things got rapacious. That's what I once read, anyway. As for the Supremes, all I can say to them is: "Stop! In the Name of Love!"


6:45 PM  
Anonymous J.E. Otero said...

my word, I've been catching up on the television series adaptation of American Gods, the novel by Neil Gaiman. Fantastic!!!! Have you seen it Professor, or read Gaiman's work? I wanted to recommend it to you all. It is oh so dark and imagines a hidden mythology of our Western world as twisted as it's reality.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Looks gd. I just added it to my Netflix lineup, thank you.


7:38 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Dominoes...the new CONTACT sport.


10:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Personally, I take my dominoes very seriously, and always come to a game fully armed.


11:07 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Dan--why in the hell would anyone WANT to come to America these days, especially a Muslim, unless they are looking to get their own hustle on? How many of their cities do we have to flatten and innocent civilians do Americans have to wantonly murder before they get the message that America might not be a welcoming place for them?

Relatedly, here is an excellent essay that psychoanalyzes not only Trump, but America's obsession with him:

"Trump’s personality, in all its outsized vulgarity, looms over and inside the lives of many Americans in a way that no other President really has before. There is no comfortable distance from which to psychoanalyze Trump, because the man is always onscreen, right in front of us. He is at the doctor’s office and the departure gate, at the sports bar and the auto repair shop. He is on huge screens in Times Square and on the little screens we carry in our pockets. You may yet have been spared seeing Trump on the TV in some fancy restroom, but if you’re among the one in two Americans who check their phones while on the toilet, odds are you’ve had an encounter with him there, too. Trump intrudes into spaces virtual and physical, public, and deeply private. Forget psychoanalysis-as-plague: it’s Trump that’s truly viral."


12:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


America's deepest (only?) success is cultural, a snow job that has had tremendous staying power. In a word: the streets are paved w/gold. Millions around the world still believe that, and American TV has reinforced it. In "Friends," half the group is unemployed or free-lance, yet they have large apts. that in real life wd cost $5000/mo. So sure, the land of hustle.

In addn, many are seeking political asylum from countries whose prejudice is much more dangerous than the US variety, as negative as the latter often is.


1:21 AM  
Anonymous silliconvalleyburnout said...

I'm surprised more hasn't been written about this genre of television where liberals pet their own ego, demonize the right and continue about their merry ways, self-assured in the ultimate righteousness of their own position, much like a religious fundamentalist who is told they are guaranteed a blissed posthumous state whereas their enemy (currently victorious over them) is on "the wrong side of history". The Daily Show, Samantha Bee, John Oliver, etc. There is an aspect of these shows that the article does not mention, and that is how for these people this viewership, the world solely exists for our amusement. I used to watch the Daily Show quite often until I began to have this sick feeling in my stomach. Through all sorts of world tragedies all I'm doing is laughing. Somehow the mass deaths in Syria, or Iraq, or all manner of tragedy are to be properly responded to by me laughing, and feeling smugly superior to someone else. It's a vile display. These people don't even know how to engage in civil discourse with someone they disagree with, so they talk to themselves all the time and construct straw men of their opponents to tear down:


1:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This article does confirm my repeated assertion, that in the US, even the smart people are dumb. I did cover this issue in my post on "Finally, the class war is out in the open," tho I didn't deal w/the TV aspect of it, which is clearly significant. But both parties are bankrupt, and as many have observed, indistinguishable. Yrs ago, Gore Vidal wrote that what we have in the US is one political party w/2 rt wings, and Michael Ignatieff described them as Empire and Empire Lite. But both are shattered now, and don't really know what they are doing, while the president 'rules' in an arbitrary way, by a kind of impulsive fiat, or chaos. We are a ship w/o a rudder, and drifting toward a waterfall just ahead. Frivolous at home; and abroad: an international joke. One scenario for the American collapse is to drift into irrelevance. In this scenario, the only people who will take America seriously are Americans.


5:18 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Edward Miessner: How do you do that with the links? I tried putting my last link between <>, but it didn’t even make it into my post. What did I do wrong?

BTW, Meria Heller: http://meria.net/

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Chopped Liver said...

Dr. Berman wrote--

"In "Friends," half the group is unemployed or free-lance, yet they have large apts. that in real life wd cost $5000/mo. So sure, the land of hustle."

I've noticed things like this too, where the tv has set very unreal expectations for people. I wonder how much of this contributes to the depression and mental illness we see. WAFERS know tv is fanatasy land and dont let stuff like that bother us, but I wonder how many people honestly think they ought to be able to live like they do on "Friends" and there is something wrong with them when they can't and do not have the sense to know it is just tv.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Make America Safe Again
On the 20th anniversary of the appearance of Harry Potter, Hogwarts still scares American parents: https://education.good.is/articles/harry-potter-censorship-schools

"You're entitled to your own opinions, you just can't share them." The University of Delaware says take a hike to a professor who wrote--on Facebook, America's frontpage--that Otto Warmbier got what he deserved: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/2017/06/25/ud-professor-who-said-american-held-n-korea-deserved-die-wont-return/427192001/

Senator John N. Kennedy (R-LA) holds a Judiciary Committee hearing about the banning of conservative speakers from campuses, and calls Williams College President Adam Falk "unfit" for his position: http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jun/20/senator-college-prez-unfit-cancel-conservatives/

An Emory College psychology professor says "Enough with the microaggressions business already": https://aeon.co/essays/why-a-moratorium-on-microaggressions-policies-is-needed

You knew there'd be a website for it, right? Where to send Johnny or Jane so they'll be safe:

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

WAFER Bill Hicks--those coming to the states are mostly hustlers, or those that want to amp up their hustling in my opinion. For example, sat next to a French gentleman on a flight who's company is based in the states.

All he could talk about is how much money he could make, america's great b/c of all the "opportunities," you can make lotsa money; france is over, there's no money, you can't make money. I swear, money attainment ("opportunity") was mentioned at least 20x by this individual. Of course, he works with all French people, has health care, housing in the states for his american job.

I asked him what he enjoys in the states other than money, pregnant pause, he said: California babes.

WAFER SiliconValley--those "comedic" propaganda shows serve an impt purpose: reduce everything to a joke, minimize/marginalize reality-hence, nothing is serious, or to be viewed w/o laughter, or isn't that cute, folksy, those 2nd worlders sure are funny! When someone gets killed or a natural calamity--the automatic american response is--not my problem, glad it's not me, haha, savages deserve it...

Remember on a late night show-- an american f-up took a bassoon and smashed it to pieces with the audience going crazy w/laughter. It's just classical music, it's for nerds, geeks, and misfits. Let's get back to who's tuchas is better.....

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...


Tyler says: "Man, I see in Fight Club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see it squandered. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables – slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off."

11:06 AM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

A heads up to our immigrant friends...


12:41 PM  
Anonymous Michael in Oceania said...

"I tried putting my last link between <>, but it didn’t even make it into my post. What did I do wrong?"

Try this syntax:

Hyperlinked Descriptive Text

Hope this helps.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Fight Club is the movie of our generation. Along with the Big Lebowski, I think it should be on every Wafer's movie shelf.


2:26 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

"Modern America’s obsession with self and success has killed off what once was an honorable American archetype, the Common Man, who was the nation’s backbone for generations, writes Michael Brenner."


Echoing Thomas Frank, Michael Lind discusses the different versions of the American Dream, the populist one of rising living standards for all versus the meritocracy of the credentialed. I think this helps explain the differences between New Deal liberalism and Obama/Clinton-style liberalism.


2:27 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

I agree with Chris Hedges that TV satire is no more than burlesque, 'Life is a cabaret old chum.'
'Relaxation,' for most people after a day of working a mind numbing job is to park the brain in neutral in front of their 4K TV (the most envied 65" variety) as if the shows weren't bad enough the ads go straight to the unconscious unfiltered. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. Check out this ad for our humanitarian Marine Corps:


My nominee for celebrity douchebag is this guy with a net worth of 220 million dollars particularly nasty to me is his upcoming special on HBO inspired by his own brushes with the law:




2:32 PM  
Anonymous J-B Lully said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Interesting that the Adam Gopnik piece made it past the New Yorker editors. If the function of the piece was to spark a debate or exchange they should have told Mr. Gopnik to write an article about if we had all been Canadians we could have made so much more money. That would set the turkeys a-gobbling.

Just returned from a delicious Persian lunch with an old friend and after the arms flailing hyperventilated monologue about Trump!... and Russia! ..... and Putin!......and The Washinton Post said.....and I read in the NYT.......she ended her spiel with "I just think we are bad people". Bingo! Asked her if she would like to re-read one of my copies of WAF she said no, she remembered the book and is starting to see your wisdom. One more Wafer!

3:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Technically, a Waferette. Just as there are douche bags and douche baguettes, so are there Wafers, and Waferettes. But gd score: we are conquering the world, one Wafer or Waferette at a time. She's rt: Americans are fundamentally not gd folks, and Gopnik's article, a riff on WAF (how is it I don' even get a ftnote?), tells us why. I really was impressed at how radical it was, how non-New Yorker. What we have, from the get-go, is a nation of turkeys--and turkettes--whose behavior and values are clearly anti-human and which got worse over time, until we climaxed w/Trump as president. Not an anomaly, but--as Adam and I explain--a logical result. And how many Americans will read Gopnik, or grasp what he is saying? Anyway, yr friend might now enjoy TMWQ, I'm guessing.


5:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

I need to go on record saying that I too have zero interest in hugging Kesha:


Shaneka Torres, different story.


8:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael in Oceania said...

Oops! Try again! (sorry about the 24-hour rule, but this is a strictly technical issue!)

"I tried putting my last link between <>, but it didn’t even make it into my post. What did I do wrong?"

Try this syntax:

"Hyperlinked Descriptive Text"

Hope this helps.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

What I find amusing is people thinking Trump is going to be the "last' in the line of blowhard idiot leaders. I think we are going down hill on that. I fully believe we will have more idiots in office in line with the Trump "mystique". I mean, if you look at the morons in leadership at the state level, there are Politicians that make Trump seem eloquent.

Trying to explain this to a liberal though is like talking to a wall. They view themselves as the bastion of reason. Which gets to another part I find amusing. People in this country talking about reason and the so-called "Marketplace of Ideals!". The idea is so bankrupt because it relies on the idea that all parties are rational and this idea that only the best ideas will win. Well, in the 1930s Fascism and Nazism were viewed as great ideas!

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

New study shows that even the presence of a smartphone reduces your own smarts...

The Mere Presence of Your Smartphone Reduces Brain Power, Study Shows

Your cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when your smartphone is within reach — even if it’s off. That’s the takeaway finding from a new study from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.

McCombs Assistant Professor Adrian Ward and co-authors conducted experiments with nearly 800 smartphone users in an attempt to measure, for the first time, how well people can complete tasks when they have their smartphones nearby even when they’re not using them.


9:51 PM  
Anonymous silliconvalleyburnout said...

FYI on the link thing:
How to make a hyper link

Burlesque is a good way to describe these shows. I forgot to mention the worst violator of them all, Bill Maher. Jesus, that guy has such a smug sense of self-satisfaction that he can't wipe the grin from his face even for a moment. Sometimes I feel his ego is going to pop through the screen and grab me. The only person who is more self-satisfied is Mark Zuckerberg.

11:28 PM  
Blogger remo26 said...

How about this for signs of moral erosion:


Even after being verified by witnesses, the father doesn't back down:

The father and his friends were not satisfied with the man’s explanation or that of the police. “So, I guess in Lakeland, you can kidnap a child and get away with it,” the father said to police, local media reported. The police report, local media said, described the father as “increasingly agitated.”

2:24 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Sarah is going to sue the NY Times...and then have my babies.


3:25 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

It's getting so that if a man saves a woman who's drowning she'll later say he groped her. Yes, that man in the story had to move to another town to escape neighbors' wrath. I think it's only a matter of time before a parent gets lethally irate towards a relative for holding a baby the "wrong" way.
Read the piece about the deleterious effects of tech-crap on toddlers but I don't see toddlers walking into Best Buys by themselves. Don't parents at least by now realize that from the moment you give your child some tech you've pretty much lost them for the rest of your life? You will always be competing with the device for your attention and as if crossing traffic is now not hard enough, you have the double worry of a son or daughter not looking both ways. Personally, I'm finding myself not going to cultural events in center city Philadelphia just because of all the techno-morons I have to encounter before, during, and after the event. Tech truly is perfect for American society. We basically despise each other as a result of living in a turbo-capitalistic competitive society and tech at least provides some excuse for ignoring each other. I sometimes feel so sad for the 10-20 young people in the USA who seek genuine, uninterrupted conversation which is fastly becoming increasingly difficult to find. Their lives must be completely nightmarish.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gift, by Czeslaw Milosz

A day so happy.
Fog lifted early I worked in the garden.
Hummingbirds were stopping over honeysuckle flowers.
There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.
I knew no man worth my envying him.
Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot.
To think that once I was the same man didn’t embarrass me.
In my body I felt no pain.
On straightening up, I saw the blue sea and sails.

There is only one great thing: the great day that dawns,
and the light that fills the world.

–Eskimo song

7:46 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

After attending a city of Olympia public open house last night on developing a plan to respond to projected future impacts of sea level rise in Cascadia (half of downtown could be submerged by 2100), this morning I inadvertently happened on a video shot by a motorcyclist touring the abandoned I-70 NASCAR speedway near Odessa, Missouri:


Eerie scenes of trees and bushes vigorously sprouting out of concrete tiered grandstands, raceway asphalt, and abandoned vehicles of a facility closed only after 2008 lead me to wonder how much tangible manifestation of American society might survive in a hundred years, and what interpretations future observers might give to the traces.

11:00 AM  
Blogger pg said...


for your amusement (or horror?)


"Sitting in one place and tapping on a screen may seem like a fundamentally human pursuit. But over the past few years, more and more animals have begun to use computers--for scientific studies, for rehabilitation efforts, or, like Newsom the penguin, just to have something to do."

[One might point out that all of these animals are in captivity....]

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Denis said...

I dont know whether to laugh or cry.


3:19 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

Hey, Savarsti: "How do you do that with the links? I tried putting my last link between <>, but it didn’t even make it into my post. What did I do wrong?"

Well you do it like this: let me show you with brackets [ ] instead of arrows < >:

[a href="http://meria.net/"]Meria Heller[/a]

Now when you substitute arrows for the brackets, you get this:

Meria Heller

If that still doesn't work, try using Google Chrome like I do.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Kanye--add Glengarry Glen Ross to the WAFer movie list. The hustling life has never been depicted as being more soul crushing. Beyond just Alec Baldwin's iconic "coffee is for closers" speech, the scene near the end of the film where Jack Lemon frets to Kevin Spacey about what will become of his handicapped daughter if he goes to prison and Spacey's response sums up the cruel heartlessness at the center of the whole system.

MB--Jerry Seinfeld recently reaffirmed his his hero status in the stand up community, which is pretty tough crowd, by taking a very strong anti-PC stance. Coming from him, who always worked clean in his stand up act, it carried a lot of extra weight on behalf of that small cadre of brilliant guys and gals who push their comedy to the very edge.

remo--the Samaritan should have given that kid to the carnies of a travelling circus. Do they even HAVE those anymore?

Meanwhile, I just finished reading "American War," by Omar El Akkad. It is indeed a fine piece of declinist literature. Highly recommended.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

THIS is America- boyfriend convinces pregnant girlfriend to shoot him while he holds a book to his chest as a shield, so that they could post a video of the act on YouTube and get a gazillion views. (He had shown her another book that he had shot, and the bullet didn't go all the way through.) Their 3-year old daughter was a witness to his death. (Hope this hyperlink works; if not, the text btwn the quotes can be pasted into yr browser...)

Click here for story.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

@remo - Clearly the lesson from the msn article is: if you happen upon a lost toddler, don't get involved. It's the toddler's problem. If she looks poor, I suppose you could call the cops and have her arrested for vagrancy. Otherwise, why can't she call her parents on her cell phone? Really responsible parents would have her chipped with an RFID. These ones should probably be arrested, hose-whipped and fined for failing to do that.

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Tommy said...


Re-reading Martha Nussbaum's classic The Fragility of Goodness...,a phrase that comes into my head often while visiting this blogspace. Anyway, keep living in the light guys


6:07 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

I was offended:


7:51 AM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

>There is only one great thing: the great day that dawns,
>and the light that fills the world.

> –Eskimo song

The above Eskimo song you quoted is also mentioned in the book "Native Echoes".

For interested Wafers below is a review of this book on Amazon:



8:13 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


That's the gringos! I know them well. Check out my poem of same name in "Counting Blessings."


Meanwhile, what finally happened at Evergreen?


8:47 AM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

Looks like America's Salafi-Wahhabi "alliance" is really starting to break down with this whole Qatar issue. If the House of Saud loses control in the region, then American influence will diminish greatly. American-backed terrorism will be dealt a serious blow.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Mike Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Here is a Middletown, Ohio city councilman (who is not running for re-election) who says that those who overdose on opioids should do community service (essentially criminalizing opioid overdosing) after the first two overdoses and that the EMS personnel NOT respond if that person overdoses a third time - a matter of city finances over people, no questioning or addressing the socio-economic circumstances that lead these people to use opioids in the first place! A real sweetheart, very American!


11:31 AM  
Anonymous Denis said...

MB......Yes! our poem perfectly anticipates the article about these hollowed out people. Sometimes reading of such human disasters on a mundane level frightens me more than their gangster government...

11:43 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The very definition of "DUMB and DUMBER."

These two morons actually have a child, and another on the way.



1:11 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

In your news update from Cascadia, Evergreen College has been quiet so far this week since the summer quarter began on June 26. But a new post several days ago on You Tube shows the nature of academic discussion turned into pack behavior that has gone on at Evergreen as a group confronts professor Bret Weinstein:


Meanwhile, in the aftermath of more bizarre interactions American-style on the east side of Cascadia, Spanky in Spokane needs to register as a sex offender for his rather unorthodox manner of greeting women on a local trail:


2:11 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Article on the rise of fatherlessness and associated problems in America.


How smartphones isolate us and hurt relationships.


4:50 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

The US is becoming more like the USSR all the time. Not only do we have a de facto one party state, but it's getting so that the only way to remove oligarchs from power is for them to die in office. Compared to Pelosi, Hillary is a paragon of health:


Meanwhile, Trump has decided not to fund the 2020 census, because the constitution is just a "damn piece of paper" and who really cares, anyway:


And in exhibit number 1001 as to why libertarians are just as moronic as liberals and conservatives, Reason is cheering on a lawsuit against the city of Milwaukee for its unwieldy permit form for playing PokemonGo in public places. Yep, get your heads a little farther up your own asses, you douchebags:


5:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm relieved that Weinstein is still alive. I wonder if the schl will fire him.


5:38 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

A tale of two libraries--qualitative observations in america:

1. -predominately "affluent" white adults and kids--very loud talking, demonic-like screams from kids, kids and adults talking up latest movies, and playing computer games. Corporate shill books on display, Folks using expletives to describe a book or movie stating: F this, f that, etc...in front of kids. Few manners from adults and kids (please, visceral appreciation, thank you, holding door, helping elders, etc...). Aggressive motor movements/agita and restlessness if check out line is too slow.

2. -predominately "working class" Mexican/Guatemalan adults and kids--soft, quiet, respectful speaking--bilingual/fluent back in forth to various folks in the library, courtesy to librarians and patrons, holding doors for older people, helping each other with high shelve books, actually reading books, poetry, art, classical music books prominently displayed and checked out, calculus books being read, adults discussing books they last read in detail and presenting arguments in a civil manner, kids self-police each other if they're speaking too loudly, manners-"vous" culture, computer terminals empty except a few looking up books to read.

8:09 PM  
Blogger took_the_red_pill said...

More from the Signs of the End Times department:

NRA video stops just short of calling for Civil War 2.0

Argue against/for the interpretation of the DailyKos writer all you want, but this sounds an awful lot like the old "Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?". If the Black Lives Matter folks tried this, they would be sent to Gitmo.

2:01 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


Ty for the Reason link. Libertarians are probably the dumbest people in America at this point.

Many summers ago I actually went to a libertarian conference for college students. I remember asking a lot of questions, which the Hero In Their Own Mind professors mostly saw as a threat. I felt less intellectual freedom there than anywhere else - and these people promoted Mencken! I basically ended up ditching the thing and hanging out with the few people there not taking themselves so seriously.

Long story short, I was told that I was blackballed from any future events in a nasty email written by some offended functionary.

Nasty, small-minded, unimaginative, insular, and cliquey - just like the corporate state establishment they 'oppose'.

Isn't it funny how ideology never changes because of a think tank? Somebody needs to tell all politicos that. But then maybe Trump beat me to the task of demonstrating political barbarism.

3:38 AM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

"My take on Donald Trump was that he didn’t expect to win the presidency, nor did he want to. Narcissist that he is, I think his real goal was to get himself a huge following and then spend the next I don’t know how many years continuing to inflame his moronic followers.."

Yes, yes. All morons. I do not mean to offend, but these kinds of comments are everywhere these days, and usually spoken by those who'd have had us in hot water of a different sort by pulling the lever for Option B.

I have always found Trump to be rather cartoonish and a bit of a punchline, but if you take a look at his past (pre-campaign) comments regarding various domestic issues, foreign policy decisions, and the ghoulish US MSM, what you may find is a rather sensible individual in some respects. Or at least it provides hope that he is.

There is no denying that he has all the "right" enemies (PNAC/CNAS nutjobs in particular). And though I would never have voted for him (have not voted since Nader ran), I have no issue with him tearing apart our pathetic, entirely profit-driven MSM (who've done nothing but support neocolonialism and vulture capitalism for nearly the past 2 decades).

When he's locking up whistleblowers at an unprecedented rate (tough to be Obama) and waging wars of imperialism, I might have the time to be more concerned. At this point, given our trajectory, he either pushes us that much closer to history's dustbin, or he challenges the system pushing us there. And there is actually some evidence that he may accomplish the latter.

Just a thought.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for input, but watch length in future (half-page max).


That pretty much captures why I moved south of the border.

Meanwhile, check out season 5 of "House of Cards." The portrait of the US, and some of the analyses/reflections abt the country, are abs remarkable--and quite on target. Those writers deserve a medal.


4:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

And the beat goes on...



4:40 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

@ Transatlantic

Trump's rhetoric was heavily influenced by the Left in many of his speeches during the campaign. Even Ralph Nader pointed out this during and after the election. However, who cares about what a politician says in an election? As Trump said, "it's just worded". He also correctly stated that the American debt is largely an illusion because the government can print as much as it wants. Which is true. The American government promises to pay all its debts with dollars, its dollars are backed by itself, and the government can print or now digitally create as much money as they want. TARP money, for example, was just the number fourteen trillion entered into a spreadsheet and allocated to bank accounts.

Even though Trump alluded to these facts in the campaign did not stop from ditching what he said and running the country in a very much right wing way. As for the people who voted for him. Yes, they are dumb, as all Americans are. They voted for a loud mouth vulgarian who is accelerating their country's destruction. They persist in the idea that some strongman will save them through enacted horrible right wing policy that says "YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN!".

Also, Trump isn't challenging the power structure in America. He is in fact still bowing to the real power in the country. Everything he wants to do will increase the power of the presidency and deliver more power to corporations. How is he challenging what every president has been doing? He is just being more vulgar about his power grab.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Heyyy fellow Wafers:
I suggest everyone review Karl Jaspers' 4 categories of national guilt in his book The Question of German Guilt and apply them to the USA and its sheeple.

In other news: the rage in the country is in doctors (shooting in the Bronx) and on the road:


10:07 PM  
Anonymous Muriel said...

Freud: The Making of an Illusion. Freud wasn't just wrong, he was a fraud: falsified case histories, no cures, cocaine for patients, lied...

Upcoming book

10:38 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Went to the gym today for the first time in well over a year--I used to lift weights regularly before my cancer surgeries, and I'm finally feeling well enough to begin doing so again. Anyway, the increased level of techno-douchebaggery among others there was startling. Before I got sick several years ago, iPods and MP3 players had become pretty standard--no biggie, I have one myself. It blocks out the inane pop music they play in the background. But now, almost everyone was dragging there dumb-phones along with them. Some were clearly using the phones to play their music--I must look like a dinosaur with my old iPod--but about half were twiddling with the stupid things the whole time. One overweight woman sitting on the dumbbell bench next to me for about 15 minuets spent about 13 of the 15 scrolling instead of lifting. I so wanted to tell her that exercise doesn't happen by mere proximity to the equipment.

Even worse, CNN was broadcasting on the overhead teevee screens. I couldn't hear what was being said, thank Christ, but they appeared to have a host and four douchebag guests wringing their hands over Trump's most recent idiot tweets. With all the other evil shit Trump's been doing to fuck people over, these morons are worried that he might have hurt the feelings of another media airhead docuhebaguette. This country's elites really have become a collection of catty, feuding high schoolers.

12:13 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Trans....I was talking about Trump’s personal motivations. And, yes, before the election he said some things that made sense. And, yes, the MSM deserves every bit of scorn it gets. (However, Trump’s idea of fake new is anything that doesn’t support his constantly shifting perspective.) I think Matt Taibbi hit the nail on the head when he described Trump as “a figure of almost supernatural shallowness. “

The bottom line is that world leaders are nothing more than puppets on a string, because no matter who’s apparently in charge the same agenda goes forward. I called Trump supporters moronic, just as I did Obama’s, because: (1) they immerse themselves in an echo chamber that reinforces what they believe, (2) they screen out any proof to the contrary, and (3) don’t connect the dots. To quote Jed McKenna one more time: “People don’t like to have their version of reality fucked with.”

BTW, what can we call Trump’s missile strike on Syria, based on another Sarin gas lie (read Seymour Hersh), other than a manifestation of U.S. imperialism? Trump is not a sensible individual and there is no hope.

6:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

A film that celebrates the life force thru food: "Today's Special." I loved it.


10:53 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...


Why the wall to wall media attention for bronx hospital when this happened? To me this is as, if not more tragic.

What we need is a separate 24 hour news channel MSNN (mass shooting news network, scroll the death toll bottom of screen like a stock ticker)

11:22 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Belman, your DAA goes on road tour again.

Hambone-Littletail is his name and he doesn't mince words...
"Trump Supporters Are Nothing But Dingleberry Klingons Hanging On to an Unwiped Asshole."

If you wish to congratulate this wild wizard of truth-teller Wafer, his published contact is...

HbLt has been on the air for the last 7 years reporting on the demise of the empire and the slow death of the human species. He has travelled and lived in CostaRica and Ecuador in true Wafer spirit before building himself a doomsday refuge in a remote corner of Peru. He is fluent in Spanish. Sadly his escape plan didn't work out as imagined. Nevertheless he is among those few who sees that the 'horse is already dead' and unlike Naomi Klein doesn't expect any RRR anytime soon.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Denis said...

If you open this link, remember you read the topic on this blog years ago! Now it's in a British mainstream paper..


1:11 PM  
Anonymous wafer-abuse said...


3:52 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Only a declining culture and society could come up with....."Designer Nipples."


4:12 PM  
Anonymous Schlomo said...

Is there any question this is a nation in decline? And Americans still think AI and driverless cars will save them:

As US fantasizes about hyperloops, the rest of the world builds a new transport system

Tomorrow, two high-speed rail lines open in France, providing new corridors for trains to slice through the countryside at 200 mph (320 km/h). One is a 302-kilometer link that will connect Paris to Bordeaux in the southwest part of the country. The other is a 182-kilometer line connecting Paris to western France. They’ll provide riders the equivalent of linking Washington, D.C. to Charlotte in just over two hours (versus an eight-hour Amtrak trip today), or Dallas to San Marcos in less than an hour and a half (versus a seven-and-a-half-hour Amtrak trip).

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

"BTW, what can we call Trump’s missile strike on Syria, based on another Sarin gas lie (read Seymour Hersh), other than a manifestation of U.S. imperialism? Trump is not a sensible individual and there is no hope."
One explanation was that the airfield was empty (Russian forces were apparently notified in advance) and it was a means to appear "decisive" and quiet the establishment loons pushing collusion with Putin. I don't know.

The potential reality of war with Russia has worried me since Cankles stole the nomination from Bernie, so I paid particular attention to this. The arms deal with the Saudis also bothers me, but he has a long way to go to match Bush II or the Drone Ranger (not that he can't).

5:21 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

MB and all,

Well I'm thinking of taking a handle different from my name. I'm thinking Darth Shoppingmall b/c of the whole Star Wars enterprise and b/c what I found out about George Lucas from Ted Edward's The Unauthorized Star Wars Compendium. Turns out Lucas was basically a hustler trumped up to be a mythmaker. And what was the myth he was pushing? Faith in Technological Progress. I rue my ever saying there was a bit of Wafer in him!

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Moron accidentally shoots himself in the leg at Gettysburg, defending against the "Antifa" guys who didn't show up-



6:47 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Here’s your late-breaking weekend news from Cascadia:

For the lack of empathy department? In just another daily drama in the U-S-A, a local dad drowns on Sunday, and on Monday the mom receives an eviction notice:


Trump might not care about rising sea levels, but the City of Olympia is going ahead with a planning process to respond to the prospect of half of downtown Olympia becoming Snorkel City in 50-75 years:


Memo to MB: Evergreen Professor Bret Weinstein is still alive and tweeting. Weinstein reports in a Twitter comment that protestors thought he was going to testify at a recent WA state legislative work session on campus safety and showed up with the intent of disrupting his testimony but the confrontation never occurred.

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Lawrence Wright said...

reading for the 1st time since undergrad,: Derek Parfit's Reasons and Persons. Still as strikingly luminous as it was then. Like it were written by some incredible, wise alien.

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Taylor said...

Number of fatal shootings by police in U.S. is on track to hit nearly 1,000 for third year in a row


9:59 PM  
Anonymous Lucille said...

Tower of skulls of mostly women and children found in M. City


cutting & drilling heads, a skull cult @ GöbekliTepe, humanity's oldest known temple...so neat

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Terence said...


Wow(!) material. China really does have some pretty amazing projects down the pipeline. The Green Dragon stirs....

11:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for link. I am always amazed to discover that someone, anyone, is aware of my work. But that is soon to change: read my new bk, "I, Belman."


Try Turkey-Buster.

I've been thinking abt that Bernie Madoff film again...In his interview with the NYT reporter, he (i.e., Robert De Niro) says a few things that are obviously self-serving, and yet nevertheless true. E.g., he pts to the greed of his investors, saying that they were hardly innocent themselves, and also says that in the context of the crash of 2008, everyone was looking for a scapegoat and he became the poster boy for what is in reality a rigged system. The movie does not emphasize this, of course; Madoff is the target. But these random remarks pt to the fact that we are a nation of hustlers, and that everyone is hoping to game the (rigged) system. There is also the claim that Madoff wd never have to stand trial, because a trial wd implicate other brokerage firms and major corporations.


12:57 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Another american winner category:

Arizona officials are concerned that drones are getting in the way of their ability to fight wildfires.

June 29th--As crews were battling a fire just north of Flagstaff, officials say a drone’s presence delayed air crews from putting out the blaze.

It was not reported how long teams were delayed because of the drone and ground crews were later sent in.

1:10 PM  
Blogger fyreflye said...

Here's the typical Americanism headline of the hour

Man suspected of killing teen because he ‘didn’t want her to merge into traffic’ is captured

Even better, it's on the WashPo's Women's Page.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Meth epidemic rising in the shadow of the opioid crisis.


America has the smallest middle class compared to 11 Western European countries.


70% of Americans identify as middle class despite decline in household income.


3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for recommending Today's Special MB, loved it too. That taxi driver cook is a true Wafer!

6:05 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

I haven't posted in awhile but I just had to post this video. It features my rather literary friend, nature-loving vagabond and self-described "eco-nazi" Sam Mitchell (aka Hambone Littletail) reading excerpts from "Dark Ages America". Hambone is accompanied by his dog "Sancho Panza" and his ever-present sign "we are so fucked".


Hambone paid me a visit a few days ago here in Laguna Beach. He traveled 77 miles from the Santa Monica hills where he was dog-sitting. During the visit I was featured in one of Hambone's videos while I talked for about 10 minutes about the tidepools in Laguna Beach. When Hambone left I gave him my copy of "Dark Ages America".

9:21 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

@Edward Miessner

yeah, Lucas was all about the money. He wouldn't kill off Han Solo because he was concerned about action figure sales. He also did not care about the movies being good. He told Ivan Kirschner that he did not have to make Empire Strikes back "that good.". The Ewoks of Endor were made into a cute race because a cute race would sell figures. Star Wars is nothing but commercialism over art and it is rather sad, but what is funny is he had the audacity to talk about Artistic vision when everything he did was about Maximizing return over the story.

4:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd stuff. Time to give him a copy of WAF, I guess.


8:36 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

To paraphrase Orwell, "If you want to have a vision of the future, visit Times Square. OMG! You have to see this. Nearly 50 people dressed up as super heroes hustling to be photographed with a kid or even in many cases with an "adult." Of course, after the picture you're expected to give the super hero some money. Now just before the picture is taken, 2 or 3 other heros suddenly enter the picture and now you have to pay even more money than you had originally expected. Hell, you can pretty much go through $50-100 with this. There are also many women walking bare breasted. They painted their breasts so I suppose it's not a morals violation and they too are hawking photos for, I suppose, over the hill, middle age ner do well men. I'm not referring to myself, by the way. Oh hell, maybe I am.
Needless to say, NYC is the epicenter of techno-douchebaggery. Getting nearly impossible to spot someone not engaged in some techno activity. Saw countless babies in carriages holding I-phones. One would think after 10 years of research detailing the deleterious effects of tech there might be some diminution. Then again, who reads? Nealy all such studies say much the same- the only true happiness in life is through genuine human interaction, obviously of no importance to the denizens of NYC.
Did see 2 fine shows however. A play version of Orwell's 1984 and a musical called Bandstand which I highly recommend if you can handle the cacophony on the way to the theater.

9:29 AM  
Anonymous R.R. said...

Against Democracy Hardcover – September, 2016
by Jason Brennan

Enjoying this lite holiday reading, looking out the window, wondering what John Stuart Mill would think of this wasteland, that he had such high hopes for.
R. R. Palmer

9:51 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

A fellow WAFer reported previously on the "Goodwin Fire" in Arizona's Prescott Valley. Flight operations were put on hold for one hour, preventing firefighters on the ground from engaging the fire because of lack of air cover. An Arizona resident has now been arrested and faces 14 felony endangerment charges; additional charges may come: Arizona officials are consulting federal authorities regarding possible other infractions.
The removal of this individual from the general population can be regarded as a success on two fronts: (1) one less douchebag at large; and (2) another slave for the state, working in the 5 cents a day commercial enterprise that no doubt exists within the prison system.

And, from the field of science and technodouchbagery, the following item on the "Google Effect," also known as digital amnesia: our memories are impaired by our reliance on the memories embodied in our digital devices. This affliction is not reflected in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual yet, but it may be in future: the latest edition, number 5, dates to 2013 and God knows there's some sick MOFOS who've emerged since and whose behaviors merit categorization and inclusion.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Edward Miessner--you have to remember that Lucas and Speilburg came of age during the peak years of Hollywood giants like Scorcese, DePalma and Sidney Lumet, all of whose greatest films could never get financing today in part because of how the first two helped wreck the American movie industry. Once Speilberg with Jaws and then Lucas with the original Star Wars, two films that were relatively lightweight but still quite good, started to recognize how much money they could make by cheesing their movies out, they started doing so with abandon (Speilberg started by not killing off Richard Dreyfus's character in Jaws, even though it changed the ending of the book and made it completely implausible). In a way, both of them are the perfect moviemakers for our horrible neoliberal age. It is also somewhat ironic that the financing for Scorsese's recent film, The Wolf of Wall Street, which was about criminal financiers, came from criminal financiers:


Tom Servo--I think the reason so many Americans continue to identify as middle class is because away from the cities you can still "own" property (even if you are underwater on the mortgage) without having much money, as a drive around rural America, where there are countless beautiful homestead plots with rusting junk strewn everywhere, will confirm. That's why TPTB have been so desperate to keep oil prices down. They know that if 'murkians can't drive relatively cheaply anymore, the whole economy will collapse as the denizens of widely scattered doublewides can no longer get to the Walmarts to buy more shit to strew around their property.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Lovin' Buzz!


1:34 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

Hi MB, Turkey Buster it will be! More direct, more appropriate, and more to the point. And unlike with Darth Shoppingmall people don't have to hold in the brain two unrelated trains of though at once: the one is the character Darth Maul of Star Wars The Phantom Menace (and a huge ripoff) and IMO the sexiest character of that movie which I saw on a DVD w/o spending a cent, and the other is the shopping mall, a building type invented by Lewis Mumford as an attempt to revive the town square but instead became the true Temples of our so-called Civilization, dedicated to non-stop shopping and crass consumerism. Mumford, to his credit, came to regret ever inventing this.

@ Nesim and Bill Hicks, And it's a good thing Kircshner didn't listen to Lucas! Empire Strikes Back is actually better than the original Star Wars. The rest were not nearly as good. And his "The Force" concept is derivative of Buddhism, modern day environmental spiritualism and God knows what other religions. But for Americans this constitutes "wisdom!" And talk about cheesing things up--WRT to the original three, Lucas could not leave them be. Instead he had to create "improved" versions as Special Editions! Bleccch!!!!!

5:19 PM  
Anonymous SrVidaBuena said...

Apologies if this has already been posted. I just couldn't resist. Seems like the natural progression for a culture of narcissism. I'd say more but its hard while convulsing with laughter:


7:25 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@ Tom,Bill

I grew up in a working class area in the outskirts of Chicago. I am back for now, and every day I am flabbergasted at how my area stays solvent at all.

Both of my parents still work professional jobs, and we barely tred water financially. Meanwhile, we have neighbors who by all appearances have dropped out of the workforce in middle age, and somehow still have their homes.

I have learned that the value of having a job in the 21st century is only leveraging it to acquire debt, by which you can maybe live for some extended time.

The math of American is totally nonsensical if you think anybody runs debt-free books. When I was learning to drive and got my first job at 16 I realized that I would never own a car with all the costs involved relative to a wage salary. Yet somehow everybody drove... The contradiction exists, until it can't.

12:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


If there's one thing I'm not going to have, it's a fecal transplant.


Don't omit the hyphen, por favor.


Sorry, cdn't run it. We have a half-page-maximum rule on this blog. Pls compress and re-send. Thank you.


9:35 AM  
Anonymous Arik said...

Arik here,
I'm just dipping a toe in, but finding the water refreshingly and fine! Professor--have you read or viewed the Game of Thrones series? Haven't read, but am starting the TV version myself, I have avoided the whole franchise for years, I think only due to it's popularity. But not only is it an exceptional production, the HISTORICAL influence, and the mythological, are quite good:


"The result, paradoxically, is that there are sequences where the invented world of Westeros can seem more realistic than the evocations of the past to be found in many a historical novel. No fiction set in the 14th century, for instance, has ever rivalled the portrayal in Game of Thrones of what, for a hapless peasantry, the ambitions of rival kings were liable to mean in practice: the depredations of écorcheurs; rape and torture; the long, slow agonies of famine. The pleasures of historical fiction and of authentic, adrenaline-charged suspense, of not knowing who will triumph and who will perish, have never before been so brilliantly combined. Imagine watching a drama set in the wars of the roses, or at the court of Henry VIII, and having absolutely no idea what is due to happen. No wonder Game of Thrones has been such a success – and that historians can relish it as much as anyone."

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Joe Cleveland said...


Philosopher John Gray reviews The Fear and the Freedom: How the Second World War Changed Us by Keith Lowe in The NewStatesman:

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Eddie said...

Walt Whitman's first edition of "Leaves of Grass" was published OTD in 1855.
"Walt Whitman, the Poet of Democracy"

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Tamler said...

The First Labor Strike in History


by Joshua J. Mark 
published on 04 July 2017

12:49 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Dio--I actually grew up two hours west of Chicago in an old factory town where were it not for dirt cheap property values (location--lack thereof), most people would likely have been foreclosed on long ago. I just read about the proposed tax increases to try and close the gaping hole in the Illinois state budget. Nearly 5% income tax rate! Chicago's sales tax is already an astonishing 10.25%--combine that with federal taxes, property taxes and this increase and I don't see how any middle class person could afford to live there anymore.

For the last decade or more, the closure of the huge public housing towers in Chicago have caused gangbangers to pour out of the city to places like my hometown, where they have been setting up drug networks and bringing with them a level of violent crime never before seen in those smaller communities. But I'm sure everyone Chicagoan and Illinosian will greatly appreciate the new multi-trillion dollar Obarfa Presi-douchebag library when it gets built.

Meanwhile, down in Florida, the headline OUGHT to read: American gun nut dick faces charges after shooting himself in the dick:


1:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I've been rdg Michael Scammell's absorbing biography of Arthur Koestler, which seems to be a history of the 20C as well. Sounds like Koestler was a proto-Wafer. He wrote that within the context of mass society, the best we cd hope for were "moral oases." Huxley said basically the same thing a few yrs later.


2:20 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

So I was at a barbecue yesterday and a man was telling me that he used to listen to Barbra Streisand but stopped when he discovered her politics. I then said that there were many anti-semitics who I can still admire for their work. As an example I cited Herbert Von Karajan (who was a member of Hitler youth) to which he said, Oh, yeah, what did Ol' Herb have to say?" Needless to say, he didn't know who he was nor did he know who H.L. Mencken was who had also expressed anti-semitic views. He did know how to play Uno however which we were more or less forced to play as it was his house.
Bill, I have basically given up on going to L.A.Fitness for the same reasons. Even the staff is listening to I-crap as I try to get someone to explain a machine or some exercise device. I'm almost convinced someone will accidentally hit the doomsday button thinking it was a new app. Instead I ride a bike through a lovely forest like trail. Of course, people are in the park listening to i-crap rather than listen to nature. With the possible exception of Beethoven's Ninth, I can't imagine what music can compete with nature.

3:08 PM  
Blogger jml said...

Movie recommendation: "The Beguiled"
It is an antidote for WAFers who feel nauseated at the thought of having to sit through "Wonder Woman."
I could be wrong, but I think Sofia Coppola may have made a clever comment on contemporary American feminism.

4:43 PM  
Blogger ccg said...


In case anyone still has any doubts that progressives are delusional:



8:44 PM  
Anonymous El Kabong said...

I'm new to the blog... and so far am really enjoying it... it's good to find a place where Mr. Berman is still doing the "thinning around here".

As a Canadian I grew up immersed in the American way of life... and can see how hustling has partially infected my country as well... only partially at this time... but the seeds are planted for it to flower here and I am pessimistic for our future.

I am partway through the Age of Anger by Pankaj Mishra and I recommend it to all WAF'ers as an astute commentary from an "outsider" of the Western World.... (and not just because he gives a shout out to MB in his prologue.)

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Poet & I Know It said...


How Philip Larkin has become prey to the Other. Read his poetry, not his tea towels and porn

6:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What shit this is. More p.c. garbage. Greatest Engish poet since Shakespeare.


Welcome to the greatest blog on earth. I haven't read the Mishra bk; what does he say abt me? I'm surprised that he is even aware of my work. BTW, r.u. related to al-Q'abong?


John Dowland, maybe.


I recently came across a line from Samuel Johnson, which made me realize that I have failed to be grateful to the trollfoons who viciously attack me and the blog from time to time: "I think a man is doing his reporting well when people start to hate him." Suddenly, I saw the trollfoons in a positive light. Of course, Johnson did not use the word trollfoons...


9:27 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

WAFER Dan--And Wagner of course, and Richard Strauss--both wonderfully talented orchestrators.

The person you met at the BBQ was an american through and through. It is why we do not attend external events where americans congregate. It is grating and distressing to listen to morons spew their rhetoric, drones phone diddling, and forced to listen to more greatness propaganda, or discussing the dipshit american (redundant) who shot himself 'accidentally' in the penis.

Except for milk/toilet paper/food runs, it is NMI--until emigration-countdown.

Viscerally learning the language, culture, and adios.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...


Utter, utter shit. The comments below the video remark how authentic is the portrayal forgetting that Wa. never wore a wig. I'm reading a very good biography of Washington by John Rhodehamel who was archivist @ Mount Vernon. Somewhere I read that Geo. was America's first action hero. Here's one quote, 'The love of fame was the greatest gift a good man could give his country. George Washington would consume his life in the quest for such living honor, he would win as much of immortality as fame can ever give.' How very American. Despite the image of an old man with bad teeth he was actually the opposite - taller and far more athletic than his contemporaries Jefferson said he was the best horse rider than anyone he'd ever seen and he was a very gifted dancer. If there are any screenwriters with us I think there is money to b made in a movie, hell the lemmings will believe anything - give him superpowers or something.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Sebastian said...

Scholarship vs a Dead Artist's final wishes

Would be interested to hear your take on such contention, Professor. Is there an obligation to posterity to disrespect such a wish, or do we just burn the postmortem baby w/ the bathwater.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Turkey-Buster said...

Hi, MB!

Duly noted.

On today's massacre front: Three dead, one hurt in shootings in Madison, Maine

It was a mini-crime spree, a series of several shootings along a local town road.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

It's good to be back on the greatest blog on earth. Many thanks to MB and Wafers for your kind condolences. I tell ya, it's all beyond human understanding. How could it be that my friend's simple life of innocent foibles added up to this: death by RV. In any event, we gave him a good send-off; forever to be one w/in the beauty and serenity of the hills and countryside of Spokane, WA.

Meanwhile, it just occurred to me that this sucker, otherwise known as the USA, could go down. I thought it appropriate to return w/a couple of stories featuring American douche bags in action:

1. http://cbs12.com/news/local/cupcakes-fly-in-sibling-fight

2. http://www.georgianewsday.com/news/national/440493-ohio-teacher-and-bride-to-be-brooke-rosendale-charged-with-sexually-assaulting-student-13.html


12:40 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

One of the biggest ironies of history IMO is that the North's victory in the Civil War lead to segregation, Jim Crow and all of the other racist horrors of the post-Civil War South. Whites in the North had an existential hatred for non-whites and thought of them as "dirty." Abraham Lincoln held this worldview himself. He had an intense hatred for non-whites. Southern whites, on the other hand, did not have an existential hatred for non-whites. What they wanted was cheap slave labor. The Northern victory in the Civil War exported this existential hatred into the South.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Alan Diehl said...

@MB's Samuel Johnson quote. I agree immensely. And it is not a facile position, viewing/reporting the windstorm of news headlines and dom/foreign affairs thru the optics of an Aeschylus-like [tragedian or comedian] commentator, as it is our Theater, and that is a very laudable and responsible position.

And I think here in the US, I think beginning @ Watergate: It took Americans 200 yrs to develop our own form of Theater. Compare The Persians by Aeschylus, Noh drama, boredom & fascination.

And a la your diagnosis, that we also haven't a centilla of culture, our Theater isn't only boring/fascinating...it's also terrifying.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Probably rt, but note that we are no longer discussing the Civ War or WAF ch. 4 on this blog. We did this ad nauseam several yrs ago; no one changed their minds abt anything, and most did not understand what I was saying in ch. 4. I tried explaining it for several mos., then threw in the towel. Esp. when it comes to race, Americans think that being enraged or self-righteous is equivalent to thinking. See flap at Evergreen for latest installment of turkeys on parade.


5:09 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I might be related to El Kabong; he sounds as if he's from the al-Andalus branch of the family.

As for you gringos ever having the chance of being Canadians, ferget it. You have your national myths, we have ours. Our principal national story is "survival," in that we band together to protect ourselves against a landscape that's trying to kill us. My theory is that our weather is behind our infamous politeness - you don't want to piss off anyone who you might need later to pull you out of a snowbank.

You lot can go ahead with manifesting your destiny and making the world free for democracy; we'll just keep peeking over the ramparts at the tundra, muskeg and blizzards, and hope we make it until spring.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


That 'teacher' is close to my age. I especially appreciate her title of 'intervention specialist', whatever that means.

Anybody with half a brain leaves K-12 education after a few years. The turnover rate is approaching fast food levels. In remote districts they will just start pulling people off the street pretty soon.

These stories remind me of female prison guards sleeping with prisoners. The school today has no claim to intellectual or moral supremecy. Jerry Springer has it beat, hands down. It is just an arbitrary coercive institution that looks and feels like a prison. Squeeze people in there, and be shocked when a prison atmosphere develops.

10:16 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Went to this today: http://www.aii.unimelb.edu.au/events/developing-smart-cities-kashi-kyoto-partnership-and-prospects-varanasi .. I introduced the audience to your work, sociologist, Indonologists and urban planners.

By the way, a propos Neurotic Beauty, Lafcadio Hearn came from Waterford, my mother's home county in Ireland. My aunt and dad visited his Japanese garden in Waterford.

3:09 AM  
Anonymous it-is-over said...

Technology allows the top of the pyramid to ramp up the capital and social controls etc.


5:18 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...


Yes, Game of Thrones is very cool and well done. I love the books as well. I'm not sure what to make of the fact that in some ways, the best TV shows of today are significantly better than 30 years ago. (The bad stuff is clearly far worse.) Everything is in decline, so why the improvement with some aspects of TV?

When I reflect on it a little more, it occurs to me that even the best stuff of today is almost uniformly lacking in important respects. I personally love the various Netflix series like "Breaking Bad", "House of Cards", "Bloodline", etc. These shows are far better than most of the network crap of the 80's, even if there was some good stuff back then too.

Still, what I think it comes to, is that even today's quality shows have something strangely hollow about them. Breaking Bad was great fun, I liked it. But, alas, there is nothing transcendently beautiful there, let alone anything that uplifts you or reorients you to the world in a meaningful way. In the final analysis, it was empty calories for the soul. Obviously, there is a place in life for fun and escapist entertainment. Most definitely. But with all of this "really good" stuff constantly coming at us, I wonder if there isn't also a very real danger of slowly "entertaining ourselves to death"? (Though I can't wait till the next season of Game of Thrones!)

6:05 AM  
Anonymous Sheryl said...


Amazing read & listen: Evolution & Spirituality -a philosophy developed behind bars

6:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cd be the Sunset Effect: as a culture dies, it emits its most brilliant colors. Sort of a swan song.

This is gd:



Thank you!


8:21 AM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

"I think a man is doing his reporting well when people start to hate him." Suddenly, I saw the trollfoons in a positive light. Of course, Johnson did not use the word trollfoons..."
Heh. A variation of "When you are taking flak, you know you are over the target." :)

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Walt said...


right next to Voltaire!

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Ignatz_De_Mouse said...

[I'm reposting this because I didn't see it come up - if this was unnecessary I do apologize.]

Salut, Dr. Berman!

First time tossing my two cents into the pool here. Wondering if people have seen the movie "The Founder" and what they thought of it. I myself thought that if there were any movie out there at present that so vividly depicts the moral rot at the center of American hustling culture it's certainly this one. It focuses on the dismally banal evil of standard American business practices as ruthlessly employed by the equally banal Ray Kroc, the supposed "founder" of the McDonald's empire, against the two hard-working, clever but tragically naive McDonald Brothers, the founders of the ORIGINAL McDonald's restaurant in San Bernardino. I don't want to go into too great detail here about the story - the film is up on Netflix at the moment and can easily be acquired otherwise - but if you want to see in vivid detail how the vultures of American Capitalism can take a relatively decent business idea founded on integrity, quality and service to the community and turn it into an infernal perpetual-motion machine specifically engineered to do nothing more than churn out cheap crap for the barbarous multitudes and hefty profits for the parasitic corporate overseers, this is definitely a film to put on your to-view list. Some have complained that the film doesn't go into sufficient enough detail about how destructive the fast-food industry in general is and how its practices have put humanity and the environment in peril, but that's not really the aim of the film-maker here, whom I believe is very quietly trying to pose the question without bashing us over the head with it: if this is the sort of ruthless goniff that many Americans would imagine to be the "ideal American", and these are the shady and deceitful practices he heartily subscribes to, what sort of pathetic empty creatures are Americans bound to be, and what sort of vile, lawless monstrosity is a country of such benighted rubes also bound to be?
Interesting that you mention a song called "Ina Mina Dika" - my zayda used to boast of having composed the following little boyhood riff and would often repeat it to us as children:
"Eeny Meeny Ip-a-Dick,
Ilya Badilya Dominick,
Ouchy Pouchy Dominouchy -
Eeh, Tah, Touch -
Ugly, Bugly, Boo -
He was of Rumanian ancestry, a country whose language has linguistic ties with those of the ancient Aryan peoples, many of whom also ended up in India where they helped give birth to Sanskrit, which eventually became the Hindi language. I don't think he would he would have had any problem with imagining himself as a WAFer since he was a proud citizen of Canada whose medical policies helped ensure my bahba still had something to live on after he'd passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer.

9:10 PM  

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