July 29, 2017



Exciting times, n'est-ce pas? Events in Washington are like a (very) bad movie. What shall this chronicle of frenzied self-destruction be called? "Die Hard with a Vengeance"? "House of Cards in Collapse"? "Lemmings Running to the Sea"? "Turkeys Rushing Toward Armageddon"? "Come Back, Reince Priebus!"? You get the idea.

I have to admit to my own lack of imagination. When I wrote Twilight (2000), or DAA (2006), or WAF (2011), the 2017 scenario of the endgame never once entered my mind. Maybe it would have, if I had written a book of cartoons. There are a number of ways a civilization can collapse, of course, but death by absurdity was one I just never thought of.

In one of his books--I think maybe his autobiography--Henry Kissinger muses on how strange and capricious History is, choosing as its agents men whom one would never imagine occupying their historical roles. He says how he was sitting in the Oval Office with Nixon, one day, observing a man whose pants were a bit too short, revealing white socks, talking in a kind of dumb vernacular, and in general, being a dork (my word, not Henry's, altho that was the idea); and thinking to himself, "*This* is the president of the United States?" I don't' think Henry has weighed in on Trumpi and the current cast of characters who people the Trump administration as yet, but clearly we need a language that goes way beyond dork and white socks. One wonders if such a vocabulary even exists.

Well, if it's absurdity, let it be absurdity. To a declinist, whatever works is the thing that counts.

O&D, amigos; O&D.



Blogger jjarden said...

American parents now jumping off buildings and leaving their children behind as orphans!



3:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like someone decided to throw a punch at progs practicing their asanas.

"I wonder if these retreats are filling a hole that people have? People need nurturing and they need almost to be told to have early nights, given permission to have a day of silence. You're essentially paying to be looked after."


7:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Taken seriously, things such as yoga and meditation are a direct contradiction to the power-hungry world of neoliberal capitalism. And yet, as Marcuse once wrote, capitalism has the flexibility to absorb anything, even anti-capitalism. So in the US, health and spirituality are turned into a contest along w/everything else. "I am more centered, and more non-hustling, than everyone else."


Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle to participate in this discussion. E.g., Hans Schmaltzkopf.


10:40 AM  
Anonymous Bruegel said...

Smartphone zombies dept:

Legislation being enacted in Honolulou to prevent "distracted walking"...meanwhile

London has experimented with padding lamp posts to soften the blow for distracted walkers,

In Germany, the city of Augsburg last year embedded traffic signals into the ground near tram tracks to help downward-fixated pedestrians avoid injury...


10:50 AM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

Matt Taibbi writing for Rolling Stone magazine serves up some Truth Tea (TM) about "Russiagate".

11:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Taibbi is one of the few responsible journalists left in the US. His article documents our own interference in Russian elections, while we go into an uproar when we think that Russia may have interfered in ours. Steven Kinzer, Wm Blum, and li'l ol' me have documented CIA overthrow of democratically elected govts. But since the American public consists of 327 million clueless shmucks, the US govt and MSM can continue to beat the war drums and make a big deal out of what is basically a red herring. Constantly focusing on Trump as Boor (true enuf) is a similar distraction. The entire country floats in a bubble of unreality, while essays in the Taibbi vein make no difference for our awareness. The assessment that we are doomed is hardly hyperbole.


11:48 AM  
Blogger ab645471 said...


I have yet to read Neurotic Beauty, although it stands firm in my reading list. I wonder if you go into the reasons for the Japanese behavior in SE Asia during WWII - Manila massacre, comfort women, Nanking massacre, etc.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, to some extent. Japanese psychology is an impt part of the bk.


12:52 PM  
Anonymous Vincent in Auvers said...

That picture of Nixon reminds me of a lot of the guys I went to school with. Physically deficient, socially inept, yet incredibly arrogant and firmly convinced of their right to rule over others. These types normally have their ambitions checked by the goons who occupy most positions of power in the society, but they still have a niche in politics (and now the tech industry) where, with the help of fellow deficients, they can occasionally rise to the top. Trump is more like the Fool in King Lear, or rather the Fool as King Lear (though this is perhaps giving the man too much credit, for the Fool was actually rather clever). He's dangerous in that he's exposing the whole charade for what it really is, which, if the population were even halfway conscious, would open up the possibility of revolt.

jjarden- Sad story, but it's hard to feel sympathy for these types. I don't think they were lying when they said they'd had a wonderful life, a life that the vast majority of people on this planet will never experience. They wanted exclusivity but couldn't quite reach the level of sociopathy it requires to sustain that sort of lifestyle. When the house of cards collapsed, they could have humbled themselves, but the thought of stepping out of that rich little enclave they'd holed themselves up in for so long made defenestration seem the more palatable option. Two potential human beings scattered to the wind. Hopefully a valuable lesson for the kids here.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Fleishman said...

American government continues to menace ordinary families, as here, when police officers endangered children because they found loose-leaf tea in a trash can that they confused for marijuana.

For the record, the $2 field test kits used to "confirm" that the tea was marijuana will show a positive result for a wide range of innocuous substances, including, if exposed long enough, air.

We've gone from a nation that dumped tea as a sign of protest to one where mere possession of the stuff can lead to deadly, incompetent raids in pursuit of a press conference. And the "narrow victory" here allows the family to pursue only one claim of relief against the officers who held them hostage.


1:55 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

"Red herring" is a good description of the whole Russiagate nonsense. It is just a distraction to avoid focusing on the true corruption revealed by the leaks (i.e. not hacks). Also, the fact that progs keep bringing it up instead of coming up with a legitimate criticism of Trumpi (easy to do) clearly demonstrates the stupidity of America as a whole.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Maybe he was talking about Amerika.​..
"​I moved on her, actually.​...​. I’ll admit it. ​...​and I moved on her very heavily.​...​ I moved on her like a bitch. ​​And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.....Grab ’em by the pussy."​

​"​Hoisted by its own petard​​," Amerika has gotten her thingy in the grabs of the pervert Donnie-t'ny-hands. Karma, what else?

Karma for things like 'Project 4.1'
"John, as we said, is a savage, but a happy, amenable savage.”

Who's the "happy amenable savage" now?

4:55 PM  
Blogger Mark Deagle said...

Any of you who voted for the clown trump, what ever hell he brings on the people they have it coming. There has never been a bigger clown then trump that has been in the office. The people got there man , now live with it.

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Mark--the american populace IS Trumpi. They were clowns. Ontologically and intellectually braindead clowns without the red nose or funny hair.

400yrs+ of endless hustling, constant expansion, and endless war mongering, it appears to be karma.

9:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


If English is not your first language, pls forgive, and ignore, what I am about to say. If it *is* your first language, then listen up. It shd be *their* man, not 'there man'. Also, 'whatever' is one word, and there shd be a comma after 'people'. In the sentence after that, it shd be 'than', not then; and you shd write '*who* has been in office', not 'that has been'. It seems that Trumpi's anti-intellectualism has permeated your brain. This is not a gd thing (for you, that is), but it is evidence for your argument. Your educational deficiency is staggering; I would go so far as to suggest that you are an utter ignoramus. But in terms of the nation collapsing, that is a *good* thing. Keep up the bad work! Rest assured, you have fans on this blog.

Speaking of anti-intellectualism, there are some things I wanted to share regarding my 2 favorite sitcoms, namely "Friends" and "Seinfeld". But let me preface this with an anecdote of many yrs ago, 1999, when Gunther Grass won the Nobel Prize for lit. I had to go to the bank on some business; on the way there, I bought a copy of the Washington Post, and read abt Grass and the Prize. I had read several of his novels, including "The Tin Drum," and was happy for him, thought the Prize was well-deserved. Anyway, I was friendly w/one of the gals who worked at the bank, a Cuban émigré of abt 32 who came over w/her parents when she was a young child (I think her name was Cecilia, but I'm not positive). She had risen in the bank hierarchy, was no longer a teller. So I sat at her desk, explained my problem (I've forgotten what it was), and she proceeded to look up my acct on her computer. I held up the newspaper: "Guess what? Gunther Grass won the Nobel Prize." She just looked at me, then went back to the monitor. "Are you interested in German literature?" I asked her. At this point, she rolled her head back, and her eyes, and literally snorted. I realized that she had been completely Americanized, during the last 25 yrs or so: what American is interested in German literature, or indeed any literature? Anyway, she fixed my bank statement or whatever it was; I thanked her and left. But I felt I had come face-to-face with Richard Hofstadter's famous book on American anti-intellectualism, and had in some way stared into the 'soul' of the nation.

So w/that in mind, let me talk abt Friends and Seinfeld. During the 90s, I enjoyed both of those shows immensely. The antics were ridiculous, and both shows were very funny. I also appreciated the fact that they were popular because they displayed the one thing Americans lack in their lives (well, among many other things): community. On both shows, the group was tightly knit; unlike most Americans, they were not alienated and alone. But recent reflection raised the following observations in my mind.

1. The humor in both is derived from teasing and ridicule, including putting down other members of the group. It's an endless stream of banter that is actually unkind, when you think abt it.
2. There is no reference to politics or the larger world outside of the tight little group; no reference to real problems (as opposed to the trivial problems faced by members of the group). All of the individuals are narcissistic and self-absorbed.
3. In Friends, they regularly lie to one another when it is advantageous for them to do so. The problem in their minds is not the dishonesty; it's getting caught.
3. In Seinfeld, they are always hustling, trying to game the system so they can get ahead. (Less true of Jerry, however)

(continued below)

9:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

(continued from above)

4. Friends is extremely anti-intellectual, and their reaction to anything of substance is much like that of Cecilia at the bank: eye-rolling and snorting. The only person with serious (or any) intellectual interests is Ross, and he is made to look like a creep. The minute he starts talking about these interests, or anything that is not merely gossip, the other 5 friends begin to groan. Discussions are largely trivial.

So I confess, I did enjoy these 2 shows, but hafta acknowledge that they are quintessentially American.


9:48 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...


Harsh but true. Almost everyone I know voted for him, and now they seem surprised by his total and continuing incompetence, still don't know what evidence they were looking at to think something different was going to happen. I have no delusions about what Hillary and Obama are, but Trump really is different. I think there was a post here on the blog at the beginning of the year describing Trump as an "error of a different magnitude", and thats probably the best way to put it. It's like some horrifying sitcom.

I happened to be attending a work conference on jan. 20th, and saw the inauguration on TV while we were out to lunch. As I sat there at the table I remember thinking to myself, "I'm watching my country commit political suicide". The hardcore declinist position I guess is to say that Trump is just doing what he's supposed to, fulfilling his role. But seeing it happen day-by-day, a person could be forgiven for feeling a sense of dread. If I may paraphrase Gary Hart (who was echoing Jefferson I think), now that we have the political leader we deserve, I tremble to think of what lies ahead...

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Rumack said...

Following the link on this blog to Josh Marshall Talking Points leads to a pleasant appreciation of the late Leslie Nielson's career. One that evolved from playing
humorless straight men(captain on the Poseidon Adventure) to ,as the author notes "portraying characters oblivious to, and complicit in their absurd surroundings" in comedic romps like Airplane and the Naked Gun. What a perfect description of Americans as well, characters oblivious to, and complicit in their absurd surroundings. In that light, seems prudent to cast off the straight man role myself. Pointless trying to play Hamlet in a Cheech and Chong flick.

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...


I think I've already made the point, but what you can never forget is that Trump still has 4 out of 10 Americans behind him. In spite of talk about his "historically low poll numbers", he never goes below 36 percent, and easily bounces back to 42 percent after three or four days without a disaster (Hasn't happened lately, I know!) So 4 out of 10 Americans--mind-boggling as that statistic is--means that more or less half of the country is behind him, and will remain so, no matter what he does. That might be low, historically speaking, but .00001 percent of the population supporting Trump would represent a dangerous and horrifying trend in my view.

It is difficult to always see the humor in it. Sometimes it is just terrifying and exhausting. The Congress is craven and morally bankrupt. The administration is nothing but monstrous sadists (Trump, a staggeringly grotesque individual, who, like a villain out of Dickens, actually refers to himself as "The Mooch", Kellyanne "Wouldn't my head look nice on a ten-foot pike" Conway, Bannon, Mad Dog, etc.)... And don't get me started on the Stockholm Syndrome "beta males" like Reince and Sessions, who, after being repeatedly "unmanned" and eviscerated by their sociopathic master, continue to support him, and say what a great guy he is. We've never seen cowardice to match it.

But let's not get too alarmist here. The pundits at CNN assure us that General Kelly will be able to "put discipline back into the White House", and make everything OK!

1:55 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Dr. Berman,

A good article on the decline of literary reading in the United States.


The 1990s seemed to produce some good WAFer television. In addition to
“Seinfeld” and “Friends” I also enjoyed “Beavis and Butthead” and “Married with Children.” Those two shows were attacked for being vulgar but they were actually pretty good windows on how ordinary Americans actually lived, although exaggerated for comedic purposes.

Like Seinfeld and Friends, though, Married with Children did include a kind of community, in this case the Bundy family. The Bundys would constantly shoot vicious barbs at each other but would unite to oppose a common foe. Also, despite being unhappy with how their lives turned out, neither Al Bundy nor his wife Peggy ever really considered leaving or cheating. For a vulgar TV show it was oddly conservative.

2:04 AM  
Blogger Mohamed said...

Louis Farrakhan speaking truth

4:12 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I wasn't able to run it because it involved an ad hominem attack on another participant. This is only permitted in the case of trollfoons, and I don't think the object of your scorn falls into that category. When a trollfoon next shows up, however, feel free to unleash your worst invective upon him.


4:37 AM  
Anonymous Grandma said...

In keeping with the Nixon theme, Carl Bernstein on Trump:


I never watched any of those 90s shows. I found Seinfeld boring (reminded me of my family: "it's all about them!") and Friends was ridiculous. Not that I was exactly highbrow, just didn't have much time (single mom, three jobs, getting a bachelors degree). Also, didn't have cable the first half of that decade. Low population density=no cable back then, just an antennae. Great way to raise a child to be a reader!

Said child grew up and one day handed me a dog-eared copy of a book called Twilight of American Culture by some dude named Morris Berman (or was it Belman, or maybe it was Bergman?) and told me I would like it. And I did. For my child's last birthday, I sent a copy of A Question of Values. Fair is fair, n'est ce pas?

5:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I certainly admire the gift-giving tendencies w/in yr family. Keep in mind that my 2nd collection of essays is abt to appear--something yr nephews might enjoy. Were those shows only on cable? I thought they were mainstream. Anyway, now yr free to catch the reruns. Meanwhile, Bernstein has failed to grasp the larger picture: malignant leadership is a crucial element in the collapse of a civilization. Same thing was true of Rome: the late emperors were often imbeciles or children--proto-Trumpites, one might say. It's what History needed then, and what it needs now. Go, Trumpi!


6:32 AM  
Blogger Baron Von Strangeknight said...

I like the analysis of Friends and Seinfeld. One might also ponder two other massively popular sitcoms of an earlier era - M.A.S.H. a comedy about war and All In The Family. All In The Family contained plenty of criticism of the U.S.A. but many of the viewers identified strongly with Archie Bunker's attitudes and beliefs.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Might have to pick this up:


I usually don't like making fun of people for their looks, but behold the face(s) of ameriKKKa:


Megan, I'll agree with you when you said "It is difficult to always see the humor in it. Sometimes it is just terrifying and exhausting." I find it hard to be a "hard" declinist, especially since I don't want to be anywhere near the US when it goes down ... as someone once said, it ain't gonna be pretty!

10:01 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


'Class' is a v. gd bk; I read it many yrs ago. As for not being nr the US when it goes thru major death throes, the solution is obvious: leave!


10:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Here's a gd example of the superficial journalism that characterizes the US today:


He isn't able to grasp that Trumpo's historical mission is precisely to make America irrelevant.

Meanwhile, this is gd:


However, Schumer failed to make 2 impt recommendations, for the gd of the Party, the country, and the world:
1. Get Hillary together w/Obama and bang their heads together for 10 mins.
2. Get Democrats tog. w/Hillary and have them pee on her shoes.


11:10 AM  
Anonymous Barnett said...

Actor, director, and playwright Sam Shepard has passed away at the age of 73.

12:22 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

How America Imploded.


1:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Good, but one-dimensional. He left out the repeal of Bretton Woods, for example (see DAA for detailed discussion of this).


A great talent, 2b sure. But my sadness is deepened by the fact that Hillary, not to mention Reince Priebus, are still with us. (At least they have been sidelined.)


2:15 PM  
Anonymous Turkey-Buster said...

Hi MB and all,

Haven't posted in a few days due to limited computer time and needing to do other things. Anyway, here goes:

I didn't take long for the Trump Administration to get rid of Scaramucci.

Scaramucci out as communications director

Wonder if it has anything to do with his remark about Bannon sucking his own dick?

Go Trump! :^D

2:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Watching the admin self-destruct shd be an inspiration to us all. I wonder who the next moron-appointee will be? I remain annoyed that I didn't get appted to a top-level position, however, because I cd have closed the entire country down w/in 48 hrs. Damn.


3:18 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Wudu--I have to pick a nit with your last post. America committed "political suicide" not on January 20th but at the precise moment a year ago when Hillary and Trump became the presumptive nominees, leaving no "sane" choice for anyone who still plays the "evil of two lessers" game. It was that moment that ultimately caused a lot of desperate people who had previously voted for Obarfa in the vain hope that he would arrest America's decline to decide that they had no choice but close their eyes and hope Trump was sincere in his promises to at least partially roll back neoliberalism and America's mad rush to empire despite more than 30 years of accumulated evidence indicating that the man was a total fraud.

Megan--having spent nearly a quarter of a century being treated like a pawn in the massive game of thrones being played by the swamp creatures I do indeed take immense pleasure in watching Trump figuratively torture them every day of his presidency. They deserve everything he unleashes upon them and much, much more. Given that a Hillary victory would have meant four more years of enabling these vicious douchebags and douchebaguettes, it's the only way to view the perfect void of the Trumpenfuhrer's reign without the void staring back (if I haven't tortured too many metaphors myself).

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Schlomo said...

Speaking of anti-intellectualism! See: this new article by Michael Lewis.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check this out:


I have just written Trumpi to the effect that while bible study is all well and good, I don't really feel it goes far enuf. What I told him was that we needed bible *beating* sessions. In these sessions, all admin staff would sit around *beating* their bibles. Such sessions, I told him, wd be testimonials to his power, and wd keep America on the rt track.


6:04 PM  
Anonymous Holden said...


31 July 30 BC began final battles leading to suicides of Mark Antony & Cleopatra. Roman attitudes toward suicide

7:50 PM  
Blogger Mark Deagle said...

Dam sorry Morris dam not a good writer or a good speller as well.I have bought your books and have learned to your talks. And i do agree with you the the USA is going down fast and there is no hope. But trump is going to hurt a lot of people and thats sad..Iam a retired pipe fitter . But trust me i can hold my own with you when it comes to talking about what is going on in this country.I thank God that iam not only a citizen of the USA but of Canada as well too.

8:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Please accept my apologies for ragging on u4 your spelling etc. I have a lot of respect for people who practice a craft, work with their hands, and so on. So it seems that I was inadvertently something of a jerk.

I'm flattered that you've been reading my stuff. Yes, Trump will hurt a lot of people, but honestly Mark, do you seriously think Hillary wd have done any better? Like Obama, she is on the side of the rich. Like him, she is a liar, a war criminal, and completely full of shit. Both political parties are in chaos, and neither of them give a damn abt folks like yrself--pls be clear abt that. A Canadian colleague of yours (Michael Ignatieff) once put it very well: the difference is between Empire and Empire Lite. And neither version has any serious future; both are going down the drain, and that's what this blog is all about. Meanwhile, you didn't say where you were presently located, but I do hope for yr sake that it's in Windsor rather than Detroit.

Again, sorry I was insensitive. Stay on the blog, amigo.


Check out the HBO series called "Rome". I really enjoyed it.


9:08 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I found that Scaramucci "speech" rather strange. I kept trying to imagine someone like Anthony Eden or Winston Churchill using such language in a public address. The idea is impossible.

I suppose that Scaramucci, like Donzo Trump, is just another symptom of the decline of the USA. Mind you, Prince Justin Trudeau's speech at the Dominion Day celebration last month was better suited to a game show host than to a parliamentarian, so maybe we're all in decline.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It ain't rocket science: a rotten culture produces rotten representatives. Macro/micro, as I've argued for years now. And yes, what better evidence for decline than the fact that the admin, president included, consists of vulgar shmucks. I mean, Nixon was a vulgar shmuck, but at least he tried to hide it.

And the progs think they're gonna turn this all around. Is brain damage becoming the national disease?


9:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...



10:19 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

I don't see the point in getting riled up about Trump. The real power in America lies with the Deep State, the military-industrial complex and the mega corporations. Trump is just entertainment, albeit of the "So Bad, It's Good" variety.

Plus, Trump and Hillary are both reflections of Americans in their own way. Trump reflects the conservatives (i.e. boorish hustling sociopaths). Hillary reflects the "moderates" and the progs (i.e. hustling psychopaths who have creepy smiles and behave like robots).

11:43 PM  
Anonymous stress-kills said...

Thank you for mentioning Marcuse (capitalism consuming and infecting everything with pathologies) like fake academia. Everything got quantified instead of qualified like big data without wisdom or quality. You'd have to be a very oblivious person to feel good, hopeful or at all healthy in America. I always feel this sickening fear coupled with a wrenching hangover like shame maybe because there are seemingly few opportunities for love or excellence - everything got absorbed by a dumb ideology or competition.

The system seems increasingly unforgiving to people of conscience everything flattened for consumption. Yet capitalism has been imposed around the world so where do you escape the brutality. And there are no quiet places with quiet vibes except libraries mostly. Even parks are often noisy. I feel better away from empty people with empty values but sick from the restrictions: loneliness, uselessness, lovelessness, pursuits of excellence not allowed.

After putting so much work into your research MB and being rejected "that the books were too good so too hot to handle" what awful feelings that must have caused - sorry you had to be victimized by such a crazy culture after all that.

12:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, sure, but in fact there *are* quiet places w/quiet vibes, and it's the 'job' of an NMI to seek them out. As for my work: I actually feel quite gd abt it. This is another aspect of the NMI life, that virtue is its own reward. There are a few things I might regret not having achieved if I were to die today (like sleeping w/Sarah Palin on an ice floe in Alaska, among the meese etc.), but not being a best-selling author isn't one of them. Eh, really; so what? Life ain't a popularity contest, when you think abt it. I suspect I reached the people I needed to reach, and every day when I wake up, I think to myself: "Wow. Another day."


I agree: Trumpi is symptom, not cause. And the real cause that he reflects is 400+ years of hustling as a way of life--and not just on the part of 'deep state' or corporations etc., but on the part of all of us. He is the logical outcome of centuries of a spiritually empty way of life. All of the Founding Fathers died wealthy, fer Chrissakes; "pursuit of happiness" was 18thC code language for pursuit of property. *This* is what we shd be discussing, not Trumpo and the Russians or whatever. The brute fact is that we simply cannot turn around 4 centuries of misguided life; history doesn't work that way. You don't just wake up one morning and say, "Oh, let's pick up the lost thread of Emerson/Thoreau/Mumford/Jimmy Carter, and do that instead of what we've been doing." The way out is thru; there are no short cuts or instant remedies. Trumpi is just the manifestation of the endgame, nothing more.

This is what I tried to talk abt in SSIG, that if you follow the call of the larger society, and dream the mass dream, you will wind up in a very empty and unhappy place. This is where most Americans are today, tho most of them are not intelligent enuf to understand why. (For lack of that understanding, they go and shoot up McDonald's stores when their cheeseburgers arrive w/o bacon, or run around on cell phones thinking that this makes them powerful. What cd be sadder?) I got lucky, really, in terms of the family I was born into--East European Jews who were financially poor and culturally rich. My 1st 7 yrs were spent immersed in that atmosphere, and by age 8 I realized that I was a 'stranger in a strange land'; that the values of the larger culture were simply not my values. SSIG was partly an attempt to pass this insight on, and to tell Americans that switching from bullshit to authenticity was w/in their grasp, if they wanted it. I never imagined the bk wd sell more than 500 copies (if that), but as I said above, popularity is not the issue.


2:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finding it hard to follow all the comments, so much good stuff!

@stress, I recently quit my corporate job in a fast-moving city and moved back to the peace and quiet of my parents' in the countryside. Yes it's lonelier, but being able to spend time by myself in silence, not being distracted by office bullshit, useless conference calls etc... is priceless. I don't regret it for a second. I guess even a real life spent alone is better than a fake one surrounded with people.

Re: Marcuse and the Mindfulness trend. Some of those books may be useful, but I think for the large part it's mostly authors à la Deepak Chopra trying to make a buck on someone's misery. Sad stuff really.


4:01 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Pain said...


speaking of symptoms

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

MB said, "As for not being nr the US when it goes thru major death throes, the solution is obvious: leave!"

I'm tryin' Dr. B, I'm tryin'! I'm just not willing to leave my immediate family here in the US ... but someday it will happen.

WAFers might like this:


9:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Great article. This whole 'power of positive thinking' shit (Norman Vincent Peale) is what 'est' usta peddle, as well as the New Age, Chopra, and (ugh) Oprah. May their names be blotted out.

A reporter once asked Adlai Stevenson how he wd compare Norman Vincent Peale to St. Paul. "I find Paul appealing," he replied, "and Peale appalling."


Amend 'surrounded with people' to 'surrounded with fake people'; which is to say, most Americans. The hustling life is inevitably a life of fakery.


10:22 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Well, Anthony "the lip" Scaramucci sleeps w/the fishes, Wafers. Oh, Moochie, u broke my heart :-( . What will Trumpi do w/out his daily declarations of Trumpi love? Can't wait until his memoir (pamphlet?) is published: "Mooch-ikaze: Tales of a Professional Cock Blocker." Meanwhile, I wanna know where's Ivanka in all of this? Did MB dramatically rescue her from the WH? Is she convalescing somewhere in the Distrito Federal? Has she abandoned her obsession w/vegetarian schmaltz? Began to improve her borscht recipe w/the correct amount of ginger? These are the larger questions. In terms of Trumpi, he needs to order a nuclear strike on LA to clean up our homeless population; liberate Langer's Deli; declare Martial Law across the nation; and sleep on bed made of money.


11:25 AM  
Anonymous A. Dee said...

Dem campaign chairman: Dems willing to fund candidates who oppose abortion right

and also an interesting essay on Atheism and Racism https://altrightorigins.com/2017/07/31/atheism-and-racism/

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Holden S said...

Thank you Professor! A friend has the Rome series on DVD, i've seen it on her shelf. I will borrow it post-haste !

More in Roman History Today Department: Today 527 Justinian I becomes the ruler of the Byzantine Empire He tried to revive the empire' greatness & reconquer the lost western Empire

He massacred 30,000 sport fans, too.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Daddy Issues said...

On the topic of TV shows, I recommend Showtime's "Twin Peaks, the Return." David Lynch is a WAFer at heart.

Most of the characters are either simpletons, gossips or dealing/using drugs. Some of the characters are psychopaths The last episode had a brutal assignation of a father in front of his home, while his son screams from the front door. After witnessing this without reaction, one of the killers exclaims "Let go to Wendys!" (An American fast food chain.)

Here's a clip of one of the more humorous scenes, featuring Dr. Amp and his Great American radio show. After yelling about the corporatocracy, he offers golden shovels for $29.99 each so his listeners can "dig themselves out of the shit."


12:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


As Rupert Murdoch rejected my 5-vol. bio of Rom Mittney, I am now trying to interest him in publishing a similar set of tomes on Reince Priebus. The depth, the wisdom: the American people have a right to know. Maybe after that, I'll move on to the Mooch. O the greatness of American statesmen!


1:23 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

From Senator Lindsey "What'll I Do without John?" Graham, this report from the Today show:


Commenter ThorstenVeblen2012 writes in the comments section:
"It's time we stop accepting that everyone our government wants to go to war with is crazy. We are constantly told that this or that leader is crazy so we had to blow their country to smithereens and that is the only rational path. I say our leadership is crazy and those who fund and support them have their own mad agenda that has nothing to do with peace, prosperity or rationality."]

While we might cheer our general decline, war with North Korea that might involve the Chinese--who, by all accounts, possess ICBMs WITH nuclear warheads--seems like another thing altogether.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Pls bear with me this is a little personal but I think it fits the general discussion. Today I re-certified my housing voucher - annual review of income/assets to keep affordable roof over my head. My building was built in 1883, gutted and remodeled for low income housing (2001) in the historic 'creative corridor' of Pueblo, CO. I'm good for another year. 2018 anyone's guess - will the investors who restored the place sell to increase profit? Because of disability I rely on gov't benefits that (marginally) keep me alive. It's all under assault. What money they give really amounts to nothing more than the pocket lint from a billionaire's tuxedo. Emigration isn't really an option for me b/c of needing medical care. Socrates's refusal of pardon is a good role model for me - I benefited from the good (Caucasian) now must accept the evil. Of course they won't call them camps but I can definitely see some kind of congregate living in my future and no one has to remind me of the glorious history of psychiatry under authoritarian regimes. So what's my point? The best I can do is gracefully accept what I have now as I am witness to the end of an empire if not the species (what better time to be alive? These tectonic shifts don't happen everyday.) I'm really not all that important and no one is promised a tomorrow. For anyone interested Frontline did a remarkable investigation into US housing crisis: (thanks and apologies if too long)


2:13 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Pastrami, Bill,

Bill's point about the fun of watching these people devour each other is well-taken. But what's hard to deal with (and I bet this applies to many on this blog), is when you are legitimately stuck here in the U.S., and things like emigration are not immediately realistic. For example, I have a 71 year-old ailing mother, with no one else to care for her. So I can't just pack up and leave. Thus when I see Trump cavalierly threatening to take away her healthcare in a childish twitter-tantrum, it really makes me livid.

On related subject, it's good to remember the abject misery of today's working class. I have genuine sympathy for them, and it pisses me off to see Trump taking away the few miniscule protections they have left. It really is a life of unceasing despair to live as, say, a Wal Mart employee must live. Opioids and Big Macs are actually very rational choices for someone in this inhuman condition. Indeed, when all you have in front of you is 30 years of working 10 hour days, 52 weeks a year until you die--with nothing to show for it (except the anxiety that even that might be taken away), an occasional dime bag and some junk food starts to make a lot of sense! What is it, like 3000 overdoses every week? Dear God, could their be more poignant testimony to the rottenness of this place?

3:24 PM  
Blogger Steven Schuldt said...

In America, even the billionaires are bummed out:


3:25 PM  
Anonymous Turkey-Buster said...

More rich, rich, irony from the Daily Kos:

Trumpi gives the Department of Education $100,000.00 after calling for cutting the department by $9.2 billion (that's right, billion).

But this money quote is buried in the article:

"The absurdity is off the scales, leaving millions to ask: 'How did this man get elected and why is he still in office?' ”


1. Hillary.
2. Bad economy.
3. Botox Face.
4. GOP vote rigging/suppression.
5. Cankles (or should I call her Darth Cankles b/c of her activities as SoS?).

4:15 PM  
Anonymous David in London said...

Re your denial of death thread a few days ago, you know Larkins' poem Aubade?

5:03 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

It's another fine day in the land of the voluntarily enslaved by corporations and home of the craven cowards who watch television news all day. First up--a new life saving drug for children confined to ventilators is arbitrarily priced at $750,000--and state Medicaid programs are balking at paying:


A bride is arrested for threatening her new husband with a pistol on their wedding day:


Totally not a Trump metaphor--a 4-year-old with a gun shoots himself in the head:


And lastly, an unidentified man blows up a McDonalds restroom. No word if it was because they left the pickles off his Big Mac:


5:38 PM  
Blogger Mark Deagle said...

Morris thank you for the kind words. Tomorrow iam turning 63. I agree with you that Hillery was not going to save the USA. Like you said no one can. But i would have had more respect for people if they just did not vote for either one.I can't understand these bible thumpers who voted for trump. The say the Jeuss is the lord than they vote for trump.I would say this i have a bad back from working iam going to be getting an operation. The 2 doctors i can go to one who i dont like but is the best back doctor around or i can go to the one i like because he con me in to believing he was good, but have never done an operation in there life. That is trump. Remember this it is easier to con someone in the first place than it is to convince them that they were coned.I just got back last month from Canada, i can go there when everything goes to hell here.The people over there keep asking me whats wrong with this country/ Maybe they show read your books on the matter.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

In Boston--home of the pseudo-intellectual/chin rubbing crowd--tons and tons of phone diddling. It was bizarre. Almost everyone starring at their palms or talking about da game, da big game. Balls being hit, and stats about da game.

On the "T" (public transport system)--an elderly woman missed a step on the trolley and fell down.

Not ONE person helped her (except myself). The rest were all plugged in diddling, taking pictures of themselves, texting, twattering, whatever. A bomb could have went off, and they were all engrossed in diddling and staring at themselves.

usa ! usa!

6:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Why not do the operation in Canada? Good luck w/it, in any case; backs are very tricky, as I know from personal experience. Have you tried the Alexander Technique? You may be able to avoid surgery.


Regarding the bride: maybe it was her 1st look at his weenie, and she was upset. As for McDonald's: relative of Shaneka Torres? Or maybe they're in a club. Otherwise: pls watch length, thank you.


Yeah, great stuff. Another favorite of mine is "Faith Healing," which I think touches on something similar.


Ya see? That's why I shd be appted to a top post. I wd shut down every single 'educational' institution in the country, overnight. No one is learning anything anyway, so what's the pt?


Apparently Trumpi is still very popular w/that class, even as he is destroying their lives.


6:27 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

Here's a 58-year old guy going berserk because there weren't enough cucumbers in his salad at Wendy's-


9:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Probably another cousin of Shaneka Torres. I love these people, and I'm not kidding!

Old Greek proverb: I zoi ine auguri--life is a cucumber. The 2nd line (I've forgotten the Greek original) is: Some taste it and are refreshed; others have to stretch.

This last clause means, Take it up the ass. In Greece, when things don't go well for someone, the usual colloquial comment is, He took a cucumber up the ass. I guess that's what happened to this poor shmuck. Apparently, the cops are also charging him w/terrorism(!).


11:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Here's the full quote:

Η ζωή είναι αγγούρι.
Κάποιοι δοκιμάζουν και ανανεώνονται;
Άλλοι πρέπει να τεντώσουν

BTW, I got it slightly wrong: cucumber is anguri, not auguri. Sygnomi!

11:20 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Sex Doll BROTHELS opening up!! A unique new factor in the decline!


12:58 AM  
Anonymous Vincent in Auvers said...

stress- I used to spend a lot of time in libraries reading, drawing, perusing art books. They were a bit of a sanctuary for me at one point, but many of them have sadly become homeless shelters now. I stopped going because it got too depressing being surrounded by people muttering to themselves, doing drugs in the bathrooms, etc. I remember visiting a decent one when I was in London, nothing too grand, but it was clean, quiet, and they even had rows of pianos/keyboards where people were practicing with headphones on, something I'd never seen in a library before. I don't know if you've seen The Best of Youth (La meglio gioventù)--it's a lovely Italian film, one of my favorites, where libraries play a minor role. One of the main characters, Matteo, is a very intelligent but somewhat troubled young man who also saw them as something like modern-day monasteries.

Mike- I remember being in a train station in Boston after a trip to Concord to see Walden Pond a few years ago. I went to the restroom and in the stall next to me there was a guy apparently holding the door closed with his hand as he did his business because the lock was broken. Another guy came in and tried to push the stall door open. The guy on the toilet exploded and in a heavy Boston accent shouted at him, "What are you f*ckin' stupid?" I burst out laughing. Not sure what the point of that little story is, but it came to mind when you mentioned "da game." It sounds like Boston is just as bad as SF with the pseudo-intellectuals. I saw a guy not too long ago in his early 50s stopped on Market holding a copy of "Infinite Jest" and looking around desperately, trying to see if any of the young women were impressed with him. Where do these people come from?

1:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the topic of Progs and New Age thinking, something interesting happened to me on the web recently. A Prog friend of mine asked on Facebook for a book recommendation similar to Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth". Not that I see anything wrong in reading these kind of books as a gateway to spirituality, but my friend is a bit *obsessed* about this New Age stuff and I wanted to make fun of him in the comments section. Just friendly banter you know, nothing personal. So I posted a really stupid Amazon link of a book about Spirituality and Unicorns and he deleted it as SPAM!! Can you believe it? People who we should be scared the most of are Progs without a sense of humour I am telling ya

Also finishing Shriver's Mandibles. Not as good as We Need to Talk about Kevin IMO, but I've enjoyed it. There's a quote in there that I think relates a lot to Americans: "some people just cannot change *paradigms*".


7:49 AM  
Anonymous Samuel said...


10:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd article. Of course, from a declinist pt of view, national dementia is a step forward.


11:03 AM  
Anonymous Wile E Coyote said...

Tomorrow, August the 3rd should be a national holiday. An Early "Happy Birthday" to you, oh great seer. I am raising a glass: May the rest of your days be filled with pastrami!

3:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank you for your kind wishes. I agree w/u on the importance of August 3rd being celebrated across the land. I'm so great a seer, that the other day, just contemplating my greatness, I got a bit dizzy and had to lie down.

My plan is to die at age 101, while munching on a pastrami sandwich.


5:08 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers,

I don't remember whether this book has been referred to by anyone else but here is a book "Postcards from the End of America" by Linh Dinh. Linh Dinh, according to Wikipedia, is a Vietnamese-American writer, poet, fiction writer and photographer born in 1963. Definitely a Wafer and seems to have real empathy for those many at the bottom of American society. Here is the book on Amazon.com and the Wikipedia short biography:



5:46 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB -- sorry for getting a little carried away with my last post--it literally only takes me about 10-15 minutes to find a half dozen or so classic America in decline stories on a daily basis and I got a little carried away. It's hard not to when you read stories like that of Everett Lee Compton, who was caught having sex with a donkey:


Or the story of a guy who stuffed his girlfriend's body into his freezer and got another woman to move in with him aand assume her identity:


So many douchebags, so little pee for their shoes I say.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB & Wafers,

Here we go again dept.:

Everett Lee Compton, 49, arrested for sexually assaulting neighbor's donkey:


Heads rammed in rumps dept.:

1. Kaley, 14, discovers that she could embed a hammer between her choppers:


2. Asia Jimenez, 20, arrested for bombarding her brother w/chicken nuggets:



6:14 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Happy Birthday to the Great Seer of the Western Hemisphere.

Now onto the decline: An Arkansas man was arrested after going onto his neighbors’ property to sexually assault some donkeys. Police report that there was definitely "sexual interaction" with animals.

Everett Lee Compton, Jr. was caught placing a bag over one donkey’s head and then started rubbing his pelvis against the animal’s tuchas.

He also fed the donkey from a bread bag while vigorously rubbing his pelvis against the animal's flank. First there was muffler/van fornication-masturbation, now donkeys-- Exciting!

usa! usa!

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Grandma said...

Happy Birthday, Dr. B!

7:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I want to thank all of you for yr birthday wishes. And also for the stories of donkey-fucking etc. Nothing cd make me happier on my birthday (tomorrow) than reading abt our fellow countrymen committing cultural suicide. Love those chicken nuggets, altho I suppose turkey nuggets wd have been more to the pt.


8:34 PM  
Blogger Mark Deagle said...

happy birthday Morris mine is today i believe your is tomorrow have a great day.

9:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I wrote abt the Ainu in my Japan bk, how the Meiji govt destroyed so many of them. But they survive!:



10:15 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

Good article on how hate is not inherently bad. As is the case with many things, finding the right balance point between too little and too much is the key.


After reading the article, I have decided to start calling Hillary "Botox Bitch" or "Botox Hag" in order to acknowledge my hatred for her.

10:16 PM  
Anonymous marianne said...


Feliz Compleano. And many happy returns of the day.


10:48 PM  
Anonymous Sorrowful said...

@Roboto: Excellent Tabbai essay. Thanks for the link.

@Gunnar: Sad, but all too true. Affordable housing is the great issue for everyone living under the poverty line and for many of those living above as well. Just wait until they take away our Social Security and Medicare. May your good fortune in having a roof over your head continue.

MB and Wafers: May I recommend to you Robin Wall Kemmerer's book Braiding Sweetgrass. She combines indigenous wisdom with scientific inquiry in a particularly wonderful way plus she is a damn good writer. I have such writer's envy!

Too many other good posts to mention. I've been laughing so loud I woke the neighbors. Thanks! And happy b-day, MB. One more great day to wake up to.

11:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think she is finally starting to fade from the scene, altho I still wanna bang her head together w/Obama's for abt 10 mins. A few Dems, like Chuck Schumer, are starting to wake up to the argument I made in an earlier post, on why Trumpi won: not Comey or Putin or the heap of excuses Hillary came up with, but the fact that the Dems had abandoned the working class, and went chic instead. So now they are trying to come up w/some new platform abt jobs etc., wh/of course is just PR, since they are hustlers and opportunists and have no interest whatsoever in truly helping people who are suffering. Too little and too late, and just a 'strategy', a pile of hollow crap. All they are is chic turkeys.


12:47 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Happy birthday Dr. B! Early August seems like a good time to be born. I cannot believe all of the posts and the speed at which they arrive at your blog each and every day. It has been a festival of lurking for me. I apologize for not posting more often. I'm headed from New York to the southland soon, so maybe I'll have some good stories of decline for you and all Wafers when I return. Onward and downward, and Feliz Cumpleanos, Senor Berman!

7:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Many thanks. And thank you Sarasvati, for that lovely card. I agree w/all of you, that in a country going to the dogs, it's nice for us to have an oasis (sorry for the mixed metaphor). Anyway, enjoy yr trip south.

Another year, and I'm just creakier and more irascible. As T.S. Eliot put it,

"I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled."

I walk down the street, and little children laugh at me. "Viejo!" they cry. Some throw pebbles. I shd probably get a cane. But it's--

Another Day!

Hugs 2u all.


8:05 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Mine was yesterday. Weird!

8:27 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Dr. Berman-

Happy Birthday!

Saw this piece on Paul Craig Roberts site about the disappearance of Udo Ulfkotte's book, "Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News" which was supposed to be published May 13th of this year but as you can read, someone got to the publisher and made him pull it.


9:09 AM  
Anonymous Wile E Coyote said...

MB: The children aren't yelling "Viejo!" They are crying "Vidente!"

9:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


That wd be gd, but I worry that they may be crying "Dientes!", thinking I have false teeth.


9:48 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Happy Birthday MB, beloved leader of Waferdom. Your birthday occurs during International Clown Week August 1-7. Perhaps auspiciously, a proclamation declaring Clown Week in the U.S. was first signed by President Richard Nixon in 1971. You can read all about it here:


10:07 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!

New York banking regulators want to talk to Wells Fargo. Seems the bank signed up several hundred thousand people for auto insurance unbidden. Result for victims: payment delinquencies, repoed vehicles.

Google "Wells Fargo unsolicited accounts sign ups 2016" to see more bank hijinks. Deja vu all over again.

What's a day in America without violence? A Dallas Rapid Transit passenger rebukes doobie-smoking riders, gets beaten for his trouble, then sees two platform mopes join in the beating when he disembarks at the next stop.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

...and so in my gloom I thought it might be time to take a running jump into the deep Black Canyon of the Gunnison (Colorado's version of Grand Canyon beautiful) but then I imagined how that would appear to a disinterested outside observer maybe someone of a different nationality 'wow check out the American, I guess they jumping into canyons now' as they go about enjoying their picnic, couldn't stop laughing, changed my mind. (apologies if too weird a thought gotta find humor where it is)

So much good stuff to post finding I have group them:

(show them legs girl! like a thousand $ an hour prostitute who 'doesn't sell herself short' - the epitome of positive psychology.)

"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing" Mt. 23:37 I guess the new jerusalem isn't any better. H-bday to MB

'Violence is not completely fatal until it ceases to disturb us.'
-Thomas Merton

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Capt. Spaulding said...

Wishing you a most enjoyable birthday, Dr. B, and looking forward to your forthcoming book of essays.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Roy said...

fluidity of Greek color, Goethe, phenomenology of the ancient Greeks.

Absolutely fascinating, https://aeon.co/essays/can-we-hope-to-understand-how-the-greeks-saw-their-world

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Daddy Issues said...

Happy Birthday, Dr. Berman.

Recently I reorganized my bookshelf by subject, and now have the complete Berman collection located between "Immoderate Greatness" and "A History of Rome to AD 565"

I look forward to adding your new books to the collection for many years.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Steven Schuldt said...

Smartphones causing mental health crisis and "destroying" a generation of American youth:


12:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Clearly, a fitting location for someone of greatness such as I. But I shd warn you: this next collection of essays, which shd be online at Amazon by Sept., is going to be my last bk. Also my 14th, which I think is enuf for one lifetime, esp. inasmuch as I am senile and decrepit. The birthdays pile up, and I become increasingly feeble. Eventually, instead of attacking me with bile and hatred, the trollfoons will feel sorry for me. A tragic ending to a great career.


12:36 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

An entire nation of mentally ill youth.


3:07 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


Happy Birthday, MB! Hope you have a terrific day, and may a sad trollfoon pop onto the blog today for a gd trampling.


Incidentally, I just ran across this William Blake poem that I think u might like:

Mock on, Mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau;
Mock on, Mock on, 'tis all in vain.
You throw the sand against the wind,
And the wind blows it back again.

And every sand becomes a Gem
Reflected in the beams divine;
Blown back, they blind the mocking Eye,
But still in Israel's paths they shine.

The Atoms of Democritus
And Newton's Particles of light
Are sands upon the Red sea shore
Where Israel's tents do shine so bright.


ps: Nice profile pic of Miles Davis, BTW.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

A decent piece questioning the hype about technological utopias.


Unfortunately the author still cannot bring himself to truly accept limits on technology as he writes that technological advancements shouldn’t be stopped but we should have a “discourse” on technology. It is very hard for modern people and especially Americans to accept limits and this is the source of much of our frustration and unhappiness. People need more and better of everything so of course they are always unhappy. A lot of this tech like virtual reality promises to make your miserable reality better by helping you escape from it.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Happy Birthday Dr. B

Here is a sweet treat for your birthday.


5:26 PM  
Anonymous Jerome J said...

Happy Birthday, Dr. Berman! I am very much looking forward to the new book of essays.

Miles- Thanks for making me aware of The Burnout Society by Byung-Chul Han. The companion book, The Transparency Society, is excellent too. I like the connection the books make between excess positivity, the "achievement society", and depression. I also enjoy your many jazz related posts.


5:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I love it. We need more girls like that, to tighten the bonds of family in the US.


Check out WAF ch. 3, if you haven't already.


Thank you all for your kind wishes. I had a fairly relaxing day, doing errands and such. My ins. agent came over to renew my car policy; she's actually a friend, and I wrote a poem abt her in my collection, "Counting Blessings." It's easy to forget, living in a society that is so community oriented, that societies like the US are sick, alienated, and spiritually dead. Can any of you imagine writing a poem about your insurance agent? Oly and I hug and kiss, talk abt what has been going on in our lives since last we got together, and so on. I also told her of a talk I would be giving in the city where she lives (1 hr away from here) at the end of August; she immediately wrote it down, told me she'd be there. Also asked me if I wanted a party afterwards, and if so did I want a stripper. I said yes, but only if the stripper was serving pozole, besides taking her clothes off.

This is the NORM in Mexico. Can you imagine having a discussion like this w/an American ins. agent? When pigs fly, maybe. 11 yrs ago, I moved from a society bathed in hatred, to one bathed in love. Who cd possibly put a price on this? Or on fun? I don't imagine Princeton will ask me to become provost any time soon, but if they do, I won't hesitate to tell them to take their offer and ram it up their competitive, alienated asses. For more on the subject, check out "McFarland, USA," archived on this blog.


5:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Bolton is my kinda guy. There is no reason we shdn't bomb every single non-US country on the planet. Go, John!


And then, how's this for stupidity? The author can't understand that this is a *gd* thing:


5:58 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

​Querido Belman, que vivas una larga vida, pero ahorita.​

"Ahorita Time makes little commitment and allows for spontaneity, because you never know what might happen between now and ‘ahorita’."
Mexicans -​a ​people of "ahorita," liberated from the ​claustrophobia​ and ​hustle of​ time.

​Protestants -​prisoners of time. Un​-​spontaneous but productive people. Productive for the sake of itself, ​being ​product​s​.

How different cultures value time,

"My only measure of success is how much time you have to kill." -Nassim Tale​b

6:23 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Here is an outstanding blog post about America's "cop mentality" and how liberals have anointed themselves as the cultural police. I especially love this part:

"Now we’re Rudy Giuliani, trying to get offensive art pulled off the walls. Now we’re the book burners. Now we’re the censors. Now we attack the ACLU for defending free speech. Now we screech about community morals. Now we’re the prison camp screws. That’s us."


This is also good--Hunter Thompson was right, we should have exterminated the brutes:

"That darkness is what an American speaks of whenever he mentions Freedom. Nothing lofty or abstract, certainly nothing loving or democratic. Capital-F Freedom is the freedom is hurt other people and not get in trouble for it—or not criticized, even. The ability to beat, rape, and murder while being cheered on. That’s Freedom."


6:33 PM  
Anonymous Rhyme Scream said...

This is why I don't think Mark Zuckerberg will actually ever run for President. Look how much power he already has.



7:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Wafers need to get up a petition demanding that he change his name to Zuckershmuck. The product also needs to be renamed Assbook, w/pictures posted accordingly.


9:26 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

Happy Birthday Dr. Berman, although this might be belated when you see it. Hope you have many more healthy and exciting years to come.

I also want to thank you for having written what you wrote. You have opened up a new intellectual frontier for me and have helped me answer some important questions about myself.

10:06 PM  
Blogger pg said...

Auguri!, Auguri!

(Speaking of insurance agents, wasn't Wallace Stevens in insurance?)

Wm Blake was on my mind today for other reasons; his lovely wisp of a poem, a fragment perhaps, seems like a fine wish for your felicidad...

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

Thank you for your splendid thinking and writing.

Que Dios Vos guarde muchos años!

10:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


No, yr still on pt: it's still Aug. 3 here. Thank you for your gd wishes. As for my writings etc., glad to be of service. When I wrote the Twilight bk, and the chapter abt NMI's (modeled on the Ray Bradbury novel), I never imagined that a few yrs later I wd be trying to do something in that vein. The goal for all of us here is to spread light among a small, intellectually committed group, and to the 5 or 6 other Americans who might be interested. As in Bradbury, it's also a spiritual project: it represents an ethos, a way of life. That's why, if Princeton comes a-knockin' (see above), I'll tell them to stick it. Perhaps they cd offer me $, but they certainly can't offer me Meaning.

I think it was Erik Erikson who developed an 8-stage theory of human development. The 8th stage was integrity vs. despair. One falls into the latter if, looking back over his or her life, one is forced to conclude that one didn't live the life one was meant to live, but lived the life that was 'socially approved'. This was the pt of Tolstoy's story abt Ivan Ilyich, who figures out, as he is dying, that his entire life was a pile of shit. It also describes the life of most Americans. In the case of integrity, one looks back and is able to say, "Yes, I walked my talk; I lived the life I wanted to live and was destined to live." Of course, I doubt anyone is 100% despair or integrity; the trick is to live in such a way that in terms of integrity, yr 85% or more, I guess. And as I said, this was what I was trying to communicate in SSIG, to the .0000001% of the nation that will read it. "There is no wealth but life," said John Ruskin--that sentence says it all. The path of authenticity is: find out who you are and be that person. There isn't enuf $ or celebrity or chicken fat in the world, that is equal to the happiness of such a life. I cd be wrong, but I'm imagining the administrators at Princeton go to bed at night, stare up at the ceiling, and say to themselves: "This is it?" Or to put it another way, given the choice between being Reince Priebus and killing myself, the answer is a no-brainer.


10:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


OK, let's review a few things.

1. Auguri = Good wishes (e.g. happy birthday) in Italian. Grazie mille. But anguri means cucumber in Greek (see discussion above).

2. Wallace Stevens: gd pt, but exception that proves the rule.

3. Blake: always a winner. Did not sell insurance, however.

4. Yr welcome.

5. Vos is Spain; Mexican version wd be te. In any case, muchas gracias.


11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A belated S Dniom Rozhdeniya dear MB. May your wisdom continue to expose douchebags, progs and trolfoons for many years to come and may Wafers all live to celebrate your 100th birthday in Mexico!

@Steven, JJarden thank you for sharing the Atlantic article. It makes me very sad for those kids.

4:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Bolshoe spacibo! I'm planning to croak at age 101, so perhaps we can have a Final Wafer Jamboree in Mexico City in July of 2045. Wafers, mark yr calendars now!


8:13 AM  
Blogger Steven Schuldt said...

Suicides among teen girls hits 40-year high. Rising trend began in 2007, coincidentally(?) when smartphones were introduced:


11:13 AM  
Anonymous COS said...


Freylekhn geboyrntog! Thanks for the great work which has allowed many of us to feel a connection--however tenuous in these dark times. I know (or think) you are secular, but I think you have followed the traditional path of some of our Jewish forebears whether its the Baal Shemtov or Erich Fromm--bringing a bit of light to the darkness.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Dulouz Jr. said...

Dr. Berman
I see that Obama's birthday is one day behind yours. Not to worry, I was born one day after Clinton, and I survived to become a WAFER. I'm sure neither of us is expecting to receive, or send, greetings from these douchebags.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Turkey-Buster said...

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Morris! Sorry I missed it--mea culpa! I hope it was a good one.

On that donkey thing: I have heard of American men who have backed themselves up onto donkeys, and even horses, for self-gratification. Amazing what USA males can and will do for adult fun!

The Wall Street Journal has an article on why the mobility of Americans is decreasing, especially rural Americans. Apparently there are two reasons: rural 'Murkins can't afford to move to where the jobs are due to the high cost of housing and lack of an informal safety net in the city; they also have increasingly nothing in common with, and do not trust, the douchebags who inhabit urban, suburban and even exurban areas in this "glorious" country!

Of course, they don't have donkeys in the city, either. ;^)

And your mention of education institutions reminded me of two more ways how Trumpi won the election:

6. Political Correctness esp. at institutions of higher schooling.
7. Madame Bombs For Cash

3:56 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Jerome J-

Actually, MB recommended the work of Byung-Chul Han. I read "The Burnout Society" based on his suggestion and posted a short review of it on the blog. In any event, glad you liked it and many thanks for suggesting "The Transparency Society" as well. Here are a few more jazz tracks for u:

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkbwGv3QKQc

2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHXHwbKwoVY



3:57 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Wish we could all take a time machine back to 1971? Tonight, for the first time, I listened to this Joni Mitchell album (Blue) from start to finish. Oh the days of musical quality and actually talented singer/songwriters.


8:17 PM  
Anonymous Scrammy said...


The annual celebration of our mathmatical certainty that we have less percentage chance of survival!

MB...If you make it to 101 you are an improbable probability!

But i will be rooting for you...

9:13 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Greetings Wafers everywhere, here is your news update from Cascadia.

Over the past ten days, a military surveillance aircraft has been flying circle patterns in the skies above Seattle and the Puget Sound region. Nobody in the military or civil aviation agencies is talking about whose aircraft it is or its mission. What is known is that it is operating out of King County Airport in south Seattle and not a military base, and that the aircraft is a nondescript gray color with a U.S. Air Force serial number 66042 on its tail but no other markings. Getting ready for a domestic urban insurrection?


A Seattle weekly newspaper interviewed the author of the mystery plane report, who believes that it is on a “training mission”:


Meanwhile, Evergreen College professor Bret Weinstein and his wife, also a professor at the college, have filed a $3.85 million tort suit against Evergreen, the same week as the resignation of Evergreen’s police chief. As of this week, the couple were still employees at the college.


2:13 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Just another day in Paradise, gotta love Colorado Springs, no public outcry, barely even noticed, not even a half assed candle light vigil. (arguement over a purse)


Most in COS feel this way, first sign of civil war?

Finishing up waf trilogy, most people I talk to about it ignore me, think I'm insane, or call it too depressing. Interesting because far from getting depressed, and I know depression, I experience significant psychological relief. Knowing there are others who think and see the way I do and have is beyond wonderful. In my path to becoming wafer I've attached mentally but probably need to catch up emotionally.

2:18 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'd like to put out a suggestion for some regular programming. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is a show that tries to shed light on issues in American life, but is unknowingly documenting the decline. I remember one of his first episodes where he seemed to be channeling the Berm when he compared getting rich to believing you'll win the lottery. He also hosted a Decline of America comedy show. Too bad he sort of has the growth blinders on, but we wafers can still see the issues he covers in light of their greater context. If you haven't seen it, check it out.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Be sure to capitalize Wafer. Always. As for the NRA vs. the NYT, I think you know whose side I'm on. What Dana Loesch says abt the Times' claim to represent the truth is spot-on. As for people around you, just put a post-it on yr bathrm mirror that says I AM SURROUNDED BY CLUELESS TURKEYS. Be sure to read it every morning. Now *that* is the truth!


Let's hope Bret gets the full amount.


Check out Judy as well (Collins).


Well, I don't have their talent, but my cultural identification with Freud, Marx, Wittgenstein et al. (not to mention Woody Allen) is pretty strong. However, given my greatness as a seer, I think an old Hebrew proverb might need reinterpretation: B'Moshe v'ad Moshe, eyn lo c'Moshe--from Moses to Moses, there is no one like Moses. The 1st Moses is, of course, Moses; the 2nd is Moses Maimonides. However, it turns out that my Hebrew name is also Moshe, so if we can agree that I have surpassed Maimonides in my visionary abilities, then the 2nd Moses wd refer to me.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying receiving birthday wishes in a variety of languages.

Here's a line from the British historian Michael Howard: "The most dangerous of all moods is that of a great power which sees itself declining to the 2nd rank."

Some recs: Article by Stephen Greenblatt in July 10/17 New Yorker, "If You Prick Us"--a real gem.

Also a film called "Going in Style."


3:35 PM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

Oh, how cute, they're trying to catch up with us across the pond!

Horrified McDonald's customers watch naked man inject drugs into his testicles

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Turkey-Buster said...

Hi all!

Well this is interesting! White House correspondent Lucian Wintrich, who writes for a "conservative" blog The Gateway Pundit totally fucks up. He complains about Native Amerindians flipping the bird at Mount Rushmore, complaining that they "[broke] into our country, steal resources, then do shit like this." Where the fuck does this fuck-up think they came from? Native Amerindia???

More evidence that the collapse is accelerating.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous haljeen said...

With the anniversary of the Russian Revolution coming up, what are your reading recommendations? Here's a current popular book that came out this year:


8:52 PM  
Anonymous Irma said...

re: "Going in Style"

Thank you for the film recommendation, sir! Always appreciate your avocational insight as a film critic. I admit a worry though when I saw the film director is Zach Braff! What a jerk, that kid. But mayb working w. greats like Arkin, Caine, and Freeman centered him, who knows! Thanks again

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Marjorie said...

I believe you share the birthdate w/ POTUS 44, Barack Obama.


Young Barack Obama on Identity, the Search for a Coherent Self, and How We Fragment Our Wholeness with Polarizing Identity Politics

...what a joke

The seer and the seedier, I suppose

9:30 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

The following are actual headlines:

Police: Man dumps wife's body in pool, gets Applebee's


Principal-turned-stripper gets 32 years for killing cop in DUI


Cucumber Rage Leads To Man's Arrest At Wendy's


These people are everywhere. O&D indeed!

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Conor said...


V counter-intuitive

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Danny Ellsberg said...

The 2016 election was a charade of a contest between Dumb and Dumber; neither was a lesser evil, just the same evil with a different shade of lipstick.

11:47 PM  
Anonymous M Weisberger said...



8:10 AM  
Anonymous Agentic said...


and the eyes have it!

8:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


My favorite wd hafta be "Petersburg," by Andrei Bely, altho it's really abt the rev of 1905. But a great x-ray of the psychology of the times.


2:22 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Italians are the healthiest people in the world despite struggling economy.


America is ranked 34th, which is pretty low for a supposedly rich country. What I find interesting about this study is that Italy has a lot of significant problems including high unemployment (particularly among the young), political corruption and organized crime, yet Italian society doesn’t seem to collapsing like the United States. I am not aware of huge numbers of struggling Italians dying “deaths of despair” like struggling Americans are today. My only criticism of this study is that it doesn’t seem to look into cultural factors much, like the closeness of family life as an aid to mental and physical health.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Steven Schuldt said...

Loneliness in America turning out to be more deadly than obesity, equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Americans: dying fat, stupid, and alone, for over 400 years:


6:42 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

BIG Scandal now at Google over this manifesto posted by one of their engineers.

Morris, if I'm not mistaken I think your PhD is in the History and Philosophy of Science.

I'd be very interested to get your thoughts on this situation.


10:36 PM  
Anonymous Athina said...

Cites Carr's The Shallows and The Birkert's Gutenberg Elegies


8:01 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out my essay, "Love and Survival," archived on this blog. BTW, I believe the Japanese of Okinawa are the healthiest people in the world (at least, greatest longevity).


10:28 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Heard this on the radio last night:


10:53 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

My path the Waferdom:
I very nearly voted Trump, anything to see these arrogant, utterly selfish people be humbled (I lived in Boulder 2011-12 so I definitely prob more than any other group despise the progs.) I now live among the poor and homeless. I ride the bus, I see single moms on TANF and food stamps literally clinging to life by their fingernails. I saw a child in a shopping cart @ Walmart gleefully point to the pumpkins in the parking lot, probably the closest she'll ever come to a field. I know collapse will first crush them and me, and it truly breaks my heart. (Empire visiting on its own people what it has visited on others)
On election night my 82 yr old mom said something interesting 'I think he just saved us 4 nightmarish yrs.' I didn't react that way, I had chest pain, even went to ER b4 my doc prescribed Xanax. Then I turned to YouTube and listened to Chris Hedges and Morris Berman. I don't need Xanax anymore. Not a confirmation of belief but rather of experience - I feel a new consciousness emerging. It isn't depression, sadness, or anger, it is grieving and what turkey wants that emotional exp? (Kubler-Ross, I've progressed to acceptance, NMI here I come!).

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More pummelling of the American Dream:



1:09 PM  
Anonymous Sorrowful said...

Good article/podcast at Politico about the current collapse of Venezuelan democracy and society. Very instructive for our future, perhaps. No surprise that the U.S. is propping up this "dictatorship" with oil purchases while imposing personal sanctions on the dictator. Demonstrates how quickly everything normal can disappear.


2:48 PM  
Anonymous hal said...

> I believe the Japanese of Okinawa are the healthiest people in the world

This was never true, and their life expectancy has been decreasing for decades. Life expectancy in Okinawa is lower than the Japanese average. Also, the Okinawa were studied and this was found to be a case of malnutrition, not a healthy diet. It's generally believed these people lacked protein and were starving themselves. They basically went from starvation to an unhealthy western diet over the course of the last 20 years. Poor example of a healthy diet.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous silliconvalleyburnout said...

The PC edifice has been challenged at google. Everyone is running around with their head cut off. Someone dared suggest that there may be more men than women in engineering because men in the aggregate may prefer/have propensity for engineering more often than a women would. He suggested it might not be a result of oppression. He also suggested more right wing views are completely not tolerated at Google. Here is the leaked document.


5:10 PM  
Anonymous Turkey-Buster said...

Hi all!

Well something is amiss: a cyclist from Boston pedaled all the way from the Oregon Coast to castle Island in South Boston, Mass. and according to the report, encountered a lot of good people along the way. Not once, the article alleges, did he ecounter any douchebags, turkeys and turds making his life miserable with threats to run him off the road--which was US Route 20.

A cross-country bicycle trip of a lifetime.

But fear not! Over in Milton, Mass., a bunch of teamsters threatened Padma Lakshmi, the host of the cable TV program 'Top Chef'.

"Such a pretty face we got heah. I'd hate ta lose it."


5:44 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I hate myself, but I actually laughed out loud at Herr Trumpenfuhrer's latest tweet aimed at Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal:

"I think Senator Blumenthal should take a nice long vacation in Vietnam,
where he lied about his service, so he can at least say he was there."

This is what the Dems and the progs simply refuse to understand, you can't defeat a phony hustling douchebag by having phony hustling douchebags opposing him. All that shouting and shrieking they did about Bush's Vietnam War record, yet in 2008--just as Bush was leaving office--they voted this disgusting hypocrite into the U.S. Senate instead of peeing on his shoes as they should have.

7:15 PM  
Anonymous door said...

The last I heard the president of Venezuela was elected.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


Well, the cyclist must be a douche bag. Ever notice douche bags never recognize fellow douche bags?

MB, Wafers-

Happy Meal dept.:



8:03 PM  
Anonymous Lonnie said...



8:03 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr. B

Did you say strippers? With strippers I don't need cantorism. I'll sit next to you in spirit. Enjoy the show;)

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Trisha said...

Hi all. I hope your day is well. An article if interest. Enlightened [as opposed to romantic] environmentalism; https://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/journal/issue-7/can-we-love-nature-and-let-it-go

8:06 PM  
Blogger pg said...

Geehrter Herr Professor!

Dass "auguri" italienisch ist, weiss ich sehr gut, denn meine Schwester, die in Rom seit Jahrzehnten wohnt, wünscht mir das auch seit fast sechs Jahrzehnten.
So ist das, wenn man als Kinder des Auswärtigen Amtes aufwächst.
I lived in Spain for three yrs; my pronunciation would likely curdle yr ears, modelled, as it is, on Manolo Otero and Mari Trini (Spain's Edith Piaf, some say).
Have never been south of Texas.
The sentence "Que Dios...años" is the standard closing sentence in formal correspondence. A cliche, if you like. I appropriated it.
Was attempting light-heartedness, which clearly failed. But then, English is not my mother tongue, I didn't grow up American, so I tend to miss unspoken rules and nuances.
Wird hier nicht wieder vorkommen.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Greetings from Thailand as I do my annual 2-3 month journey through SE Asia. And, of course, happy birthday (Otanjobi arigato)! Sorry to be late but I don't have a laptop and internet shops are not that prevalent here. I also hope you make it too 2045 with, of course, another WAFER summit in NYC. I'll be there at the end of October and I'm dying to give you a present I found here which I'm sure you will thoroughly enjoy.
Anyway, sorry to say, but techno-douchebaggery in Bangkok makes NYC seem like Amish country. The government at least is trying to do something about it by displaying posters saying: "Stop texting. Talk to each other." Sadly to say, this is all ex-hortatory as the Thais seem completely addicted to tech (Oy, I can just imagine what Tokyo must be like by now). This is particularly sad since the Thais like to refer to their country as the Thai family.Thai loves Thai is a popular expression, for instance.
Yes, I read the article about Trump's speeches. Really, so what? What could be more uplifting than Kennedy's Inaugural address yet as Chomsky documents in Camelot Revisited, it was Kennedy who started counter-insurgency operations, read-death squads or as LBJ said, "The Kennedy's are running murder Inc. throughout the Caribbean."
By the way, my birthday is this month too. Don't you feel it's a shanda we have to share the same month as Oshitforbrains?

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Colelslaw said...

Interesting essay here:


9:29 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

A Maricopa County Arizona woman is sentenced to death for a 2011 incident in which she locked her 10-year-old cousin inside a plastic box outside the home for taking an ice pop without permission. The child, whose legal guardian is serving a 24-year sentence for child abuse, suffocated after temperatures had reached into the triple digits. Time for a "Fitness-to-Parent" test?


"Honk at Your Peril, This Is America" department: a Cleveland woman who honked at a car ahead of her that she judged to be obstructing her progress, saw the car follow her onto the freeway after she'd gone around it; the occupants fired into her car, wounding her 4-year-old son.


10:14 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

An Arizona woman, Sammantha Allen was sentenced to death on Monday for killing her 10-year-old cousin Ame Deal, who was locked inside a small storage bin as punishment for taking a popsicle without permission in her Phoenix home.

Allen, 29, was convicted of first-degree murder and child abuse for leaving the child locked inside a plastic storage bin overnight in triple-digit temperatures. The girl was found dead the next morning.

usa, usa!

10:58 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Figured you might like to read what Andrew Bacevich has to say about the 'Era of Trump'. Trump was elected because the post-Cold War policies of the elites has utterly failed and made most people's lives a lot worse and that Trump's election was the result - the response by a major portion of the electorate to Trump's candidacy was essentially "Why not?" Bacevich also suggests 10 reforms which given the nature of Congress have virtually no chance of being proposed much less enacted. Bacevich sees the decline pretty clearly but can't resist proposing reforms - which is strange considering he equates Trump with America.


11:41 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas, Mike-

My own feeling is that Americans are wonderful people, with great hearts.


A great article, confirming, once again, how open-minded, informed, and cosmopolitan Americans are. Who cdn't love them? BTW, check this out:


Author lived in Beijing 5 yrs, wd check NYT online several times a wk. She says that what the NYT was reporting on China had literally 0 to do with what was happening on the ground.


Thanks for checking in from the Far East. Thai techno-buffoonery is indeed depressing. But I shall c.u in NYC on Oct. 29 for the 4th or 5th Wafer Summit Mtg (WSM), cellfone-free.


Don't worry; I was just having fun. Wd love to respond auf Deutsch, but am currently drowning in work and hafta run. Andere Zeit, vielleicht. bis bald


You produce no evidence for your views, but then I don't have any either. All I can tell u is that over the last few yrs, I've run into a # of articles on Okinawa, rich in data, that support my assertion, not yrs. Problem is, I never bothered to write down the sources, so I'm unable to back any of this up. In addition, I doubt I'll do the research at this pt, because I don't really care that much. But check out my essay, "Love and Survival," archived on this blog.


11:44 AM  
Anonymous Vincent in Auvers said...

On the Google engineer's manifesto: This guy sounds like another alt-right troll who's spent too much time on the internet and now feels emboldened to air his noxious views in the real world knowing that there isn't likely to be much of a backlash given that his side "won" in the last election. The reason you don't see more women in these fields largely boils down to stereotype threat. A lot of them do have the aptitude to do well, but hostility from insecure men and pressure to conform from other vacuous women and an anti-intellectual culture at large dissuade most of them from doing so. Take them out of that toxic environment and give them a space where they can work together and support each other, and you see them doing quite well. I encountered quite a few of these women at university and saw how a lot of them were snubbed and talked over by these dweebs who couldn't stand the idea of a woman or a "minority" invading their own little safe spaces. It's funny how big into biological determinism these guys are, yet when you look at most of them, it's hard not to conclude that they got the short end of the stick genetics-wise. The ascendancy of tech has deluded many of them into believing that they now have "status," when outside of that little bubble they'd quickly be brought back into reality. That said, it's probably a good thing that women aren't going into these fields. The fewer people churning out more useless apps and gadgets to turn the masses into slavering idiots, the better.

1:38 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Rare moments of introspection: ''For all their patriotism, Americans rarely think about how their national identities relate to their personal ones. This indifference is particular to the psychology of white Americans and has a history unique to the US'' https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/08/unlearning-the-myth-of-american-innocence

4:59 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Shades of Truman from Trumpo:


Wafer T-shirt idea:




5:58 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

"'The unwise conduct of the U.S. will only speed up its own extinction,' North Korea said"


God bless Pres. Jong-Un. A true Wafer.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

"We have just become a deeply immoral society. We've become a
deeply vicious society. We've become a society that self-righteously
pursues vampiric predation upon the young, that uses babies as
collateral to feed our materialistic greed, that is happy to
sell off the next generation to Chinese banks in order to stuff
ourselves with saturated fats in the here and now, who have
become obese on drinking the blood of the unborn... It is not
fundamentally the government that has failed. It is not socialism
that has failed. It is not central planning that has failed.
We have failed."

--Stefan Molyneux (in a Youtube video released yesterday)


Sounds like a Wafer to me!

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Schlomo said...

Carl Sagan was a WAFer. Written in 1996.

11:37 PM  
Anonymous hal said...


“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” said Trump. “They will be met with fire, fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and as I said, they will be met with the fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before. Thank you.”


11:44 PM  
Anonymous Archibald said...


Differing take than our normal convo. from clinical mental health research


WAFers weigh in, please.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, cdn't run it (half-pg-max rule).


Thanks for contrasting view. Problem is, there is a fair amt of evidence now available for the Wafer stance on this. E.g.:




ps: re: Korea: not gd to have a madman in the W.H., I'm thinking.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

I think what the whole fiasco at Google really shows is how easily Americans get offended by reality. Americans have a long tradition of denying reality (e.g. Horatio Alger mythology). The PC craze among progs and liberals ramps up this tendency to its maximum. PC is, after all, a set of myths designed to insulate the believer from reality. Being confronted with an obvious fact of reality (e.g. that men and women are different) causes the PC "true believer" to fly into a rage. The anger is the same anger that erupts when you tell Americans that "terrorism" is the result of blowback.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Random thoughts:
I think it was Thoreau who said if you sit quietly in a forest for 30 mins all the creatures will reveal themselves. I've taken to sitting downtown Main Street and have found the same to b true of the city- I've even seen turkeys! Watch out for needle sticks!


Ever noticed how nightly news covers a story so obscene it outta stop Americans in their tracks just to follow it up with some dipshit feel good story? The horror gotta b tumbling like a towel in the dryer somewhere in the American unconscious.
I always wanted a classical liberal arts education one of those 40,000$ a yr jobbers, after listening to Chris Hedges and Orwell's experience and not being from a family of means I'm kinda glad I missed the whole trip. I read somewhere the only two books Lincoln really studied in his childhood were the bible and a biography of Geo. Wa. (I know my citations r weak hoping I'm not an unreliable narrator.)
New conscious continues to unfold - finally I have an identity, NMI! Fuck 'em if they don't understand.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Morris Berman,

Thanks for all your books. They are really good!

I recommend you read this book: “The Science of the Cross” (The Collected Works of Edith Stein Vol. 6) Kindle Edition by Edith Stein (Author).

Best regards,

Augusto Luis Hoyos.
Querétaro, Mexico

2:27 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

Morris Berman points this out:

> https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/

Wow. We've all read "The Machine Stops" by E.M. Forster, haven't we? It used to be standard fare in high school English. Chillingly reminiscent.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Actual headline in an American newspaper: "Trump warns of fire and furry" Eh, but who needs copy editors, right NYT?


Schlomo--the only problem with what Sagan wrote is that right below the highlighted portion he rips on Bevis and Butthead. It seems to have escaped Carl that B&B were a clever parody of exactly what he was warning about.

And a true "face of America" just abandons her 10-year old special needs son in the woods:


2:54 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

James Kunstler's latest blog essay saying the end is near!


2:55 PM  
Anonymous Dulouz Jr. said...

Trump told N. Korea "They will be met with fire, fury like the world has never seen." Interesting because Truman said the same thing before he dropped the bombs on Japan; as played on NPR this morning.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Turkey-Buster said...

MB, hal,

No it's not good to have a madman in the WH and yet there is one who's one heartbeat away from replacing Donald J. Trump and he lives at One Observatory Circle in WDC. "The sword stands ready," I remember him saying at the Korean DMZ. I wonder if he's the one who prepared that fire and fury statement that Trump read, or was it some other nut-bag?

Video of Donald Trump Fire and Fury Statement Definitely Prepared.


You're very probably right being a douchebag. That douchebags don't recognize each other, that's good food for thought. No wonder 'Murkins always say this is one exceptional nation under God! It's enough to make me puke.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Grandma said...

Regarding women as engineers, there are probably many reasons why not, but a friend of mine didn't like mech engineering until she started working in prosthetics. Women tend (not all, but tend) to appreciate meaning in their work.

I'm chiming in on the smartphone "not being an issue for children" as being shenanigans. Based entirely on my own observations. They are an issue, as is any addiction is an issue, at the individual and societal levels. An entire generation of addicts is coming to a city near you. Tell me this isn't changing their brains in a bad way.

Dr. B, I bought SSIG but haven't dug in yet. One book ahead in the queue.

Cheers to all Wafers and Dr. B. I, too, was born this month. Many people are, given it is 9ish months after the holiday season ... ;)

7:00 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Dear MB and Wafers,

Well, it's time to start assuming our NK policy may actually play out on a nuclear field. Trumpo has inadvertently boxed himself in with his aggressive saber-rattling and monstrously bellicose "fire and fury" rhetoric. He has essentially stumbled into his own version of a red line, sad to say; one that may prove to be the ultimate red line. Furthermore, Trumpo's spiritual advisor, Dr. Robert Jeffress, has emphasized that Trumpo has God's approval to start nuclear war. How's that from a professed disciple of the Prince of Peace? Oh well, it's all too late... This is what happens, I suppose, when a nation puts a lunatic in charge of a nuclear armed nation of imbeciles.

So, I just wanna say, Wafers, that if I perish in some horrible and violent nuclear flash, that I love each and every one of you. Know that my luv for u is w/out question; w/out calculation; w/out reason, good or bad, faithfully, w/all my heart and soul. In the end, know that yr charms have been w/out precedent and completely incomparable. And realize, of course, how dangerously beautiful all of u are and always have been...

With kind regards,


7:31 PM  
Anonymous DiogenesTheElder said...

Smart phones increase isolation and enable a solipsistic view of the world. "It's all about me." Really, it's just the American way, so O&D! The hard thing is raising kids with all of the techno-garbage out there.

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Gordon said...

Schlomo said...
Thanks for the link! it is amazing that we have people with such insight into the human condition.

Thanks to you for your work Morris.

5:26 AM  
Anonymous Luke said...


Rare and beautiful natural phenomenon, and great chance to take advantage of others. Looking @ the eclipse unprotected can burn a crescent shape in the rear eye photo cells. What assholes

10:00 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hello Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Here is an article on how opioid addiction and overdoses are tearing the social fabric of Staten Island, not exactly an impoverished borough of New York City. Since around 22% of working people there work for the City, they have good medical insurance that allows them to afford the opioids. There is mention of how rehabilitation programs are being developed to exploit (but not effectively deal with ending addiction for good) the situation but no mention of how the pharmaceutical companies are benefiting and exploiting the situation. The 'good life' obviously is lacking something important that escape from pain through opioids is substituting for in my opinion. Sad.


10:53 AM  
Anonymous DiogenesTheElder said...

JHK's latest entry (alluded to above) sounds just like the Mandibles. I wonder how long we have? 5 years? 10?


12:16 PM  

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