September 07, 2017

Reminder: Blog Closing Sept. 10

Wafers and all fans of The Greatest Blog on Earth:

If you scroll back two posts, you'll see my schedule for the rest of 2017. This is just to remind you that I'm taking a much-needed holiday in Italy, and that the blog will be closed during Sept. 10-Oct. 4. Please don't post anything during that time. I realize that the psychological hardship involved is potentially severe, and that some of you might want to check into your local hospital and get yourselves hooked up to a Haldol IV drip. And of course there's always Prozac and Xanax. But you might also get yourself a few good books to pass the time, and then we can pick up where we left off on Oct. 5. I'll be sure to fill you in on my conference with the Pope.

As for the NY Wafer Summit Meeting, Oct. 29, we obviously still have time; but this is just a gentle reminder, that if you are an active blog participant and want to attend, just send a note to me at, and if you're eligible, I'll send you the venue. We'll be having lunch at 1 p.m., fueled by rivers of alcohol.

I continue working with the publisher on AWTY. Publishing is always a gigantic struggle, for some awful reason. I have a feeling I'm going to be doing some last-minute editing work from Internet cafes in Rome, but hopefully the damn thing will be online at Amazon sometime in Oct., Nov. at the latest. Please plan to buy hundreds of copies for Xmas gifts.

Just remember that Hillary is a Botox-filled douche baguette, and you'll never go wrong.

I love you all-



Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Looks like even Old Botox Face's biggest supporters are getting sick of her shit

“The best thing she could do is disappear,” said one former Clinton fundraiser and surrogate who played an active role at the convention. “She’s doing harm to all of us because of her own selfishness. Honestly, I wish she’d just shut the f--- up and go away.”

And on this one, the title says it all:

Video Shows Man Trashing Santa Ana 7-Eleven, Causing $2,000 in Damages After Being Denied Use of Phone

12:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm telling you: America is filled with horses' asses, but Hillary has to be Numero Uno. The combination of stupidity and narcissism is mind-boggling. I don't think there's enuf urine in the entire country to deal with her properly. As for the moron in Santa Ana: another true American!


1:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Occasionally, people ask me what I miss abt America. The answer is simple: the fundamental kindness of the place:


8:09 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Esca, thanks for your recent post about parasites. My friend, Connie, was a brilliant, loving, funny and compassionate healer with an electric smile and wide knowledge of healing methods. She had a terrible parasite infection, including pork worms. Everything she tried to get rid of them caused a Herxheimer reaction: Connie was in horrific pain, couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, and lost 10 lbs. in one week when she was already way too thin. Too sadly, she couldn’t heal herself, assisted suicide is not legal in her state, so she shot herself two weeks ago. I miss her terribly.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What a sad story. I'm so sorry.


9:13 AM  
Anonymous shenjingbing said...

Dr Berman,

Just hearing news of the terrible earthquake in Mexico. Hope you are keeping safe.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Franclintonstein said...

‘$5k reward for Clinton’s hair’: Pharma Bro threatens to ‘clone Hillary’


11:37 AM  
Anonymous Erroneous Bosch said...

Though I admire Dr. Berman and his work (I once footnoted him as the 'Jewish sage Morris Berman' on a university paper and got away with it), I've never felt the need to comment here as I am not an American, and thus feel I have no business commenting on American affairs. Maybe there should be a WWF (Why the West Failed), though that acronym seems to be taken. In any case, much of Dr. B.'s critique can be easily transposed to my particular country.

Recently, though, I got to visit the US for the first time in years, and I'd like to share some observations:

- On the Greyhound, the guy next to me told me - unprompted - that the US was basically toast and someone else enthusiastically chimed in. I was stunned.

- When I told a man that I thought that Americans were some of the most generous and welcoming people in the world, he laughed in my face.

- The homeless situation seems to be getting to the level of post-Ceaucescu Romania.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I am indeed a Jewish sage, tho I am also a Jewish parsley, rosemary, and thyme. Are you in Holland? I have a foto of me standing in front of the statue of Spinoza in Amsterdam: the 2 great Jewish thinkers of the last 400 years finally meet, face to face. You are meeting some great, and very rare, Americans, in any case.


4:53 PM  
Anonymous JS said...


5:29 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


You do know that the real Hillary was 'eliminated' in 1993 and cloned, no? In fact, the entire Clinton family are clones. We are dealing w/anemic and soulless Clintonion replicas across the globe.


I found myself in a cold sweat this morning when I popped onto the blog and discovered the words: "Blog Closing Sept. 10". I began to shake, grimace, and wildly hallucinate. I then began exhibiting signs of echolalia (mimicking the speech patterns of Donald J. Trumpo), and quickly fell into a catatonic stupor. I was hospitalized and given ECT. I've since stabilized, and want to wish you a happy and wonderful autumn holiday in Italy. Be sure to bring a gift for yr meeting w/the Pope.

Miles the Schizophrenic


6:17 PM  
Anonymous Valerie said...

When were you last in Italy?
When were you first there?

Have a wonderful time!

7:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


1st there in 1969. Last in 2000 (Lucca and Siena). In between, I went abt 10 times.


Thanks for fabulous bon voyage card. Molto gentile da parte tua!


8:26 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Truly exceptional people. They can stop a hurricane by mooning at it or by yelling profanities or maybe just by singing aloud the "Blood-Spangled Banner" when the wet shit hits the fan (or is it the fan hits the shit?).

"It's time we took a stand against this bully!" reads the event description.​ ​​More than 43,000 'murikns have signed up to shoot at Hurricane Irma.​
​"A combination of stress and boredom made me start the event," explains Ryon Edwards. "Isn't this just going to make the weather madder?" aks one.​ ​

This is where we have arrived after 300 years of Enlightenment. The 'Age of Reason' is finally upon us. ​

(Beautiful music, Miles. Thanks!!)

9:44 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

A short-sighted argument that I often see from libertarians is that the American economy is not really free-market because corporations own the government. Of course, what they miss is that deregulation is the main reason why corporations were able to become big enough to buy out the government in the first place.

To conclude, have a good time in Italy Dr. Berman!

10:54 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

Libertarians believe that Government through regulations make corporations corrupt. As if Corporations are innocent doves that are turned shitty by the evil inept government. What they do not understand is business is naturally going to make government shield it. What Rich man is not going to make sure he has a safety net? As people insure their property Business is going to make sure that their interests are secured. Libertarians are fucking idiots. Turkeys to the Highest degree.

4:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Spectacular article (but no great news to us):


6:37 AM  
Anonymous Ellen said...

lethal autonomous weapons: a panacea to end all wars, or a race to the bottom of a bottomless pit?

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Homer Simpson said...

practice ancient Greek Philoxenia love toward strangers, hospitality to Dreamers DACA

7:44 AM  
Anonymous Lobotomized Imperial Subject said...

Dr Berman,

Thanks for your reply. Yes, I did know about your other books in the two trilogies. I have the WAFer trilogy on Kindle (most ironically appropriate) and the Reenchantment trilogy in hard copy on my shelves. Looking forward to Wandering God.

Felice vacanza e godere del cibo. After all what is a visit to Italy without the food?

My favorite Italian thing (aside from my Perugian husband, not that I mistake him for a thing but I couldn't think of the appropriate class/object terminology that includes husbands and water features) is the Trevi Fountains in Rome. The mythology of wishes through coins tossed over the shoulder into said fountains when I last visited them:
1 coin = a return to Rome / Italy
2 coins = an Italian lover / husband / wife
3 coins = return to Rome / Italy to stay / forever


8:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


For a novel w/an Italian flavor, try "The Man Without Qualities."


9:53 AM  
Anonymous Somini said...

What. A. Surprise.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Wafers,

I just came back to Paris after spending 4 weeks in NYC training as a bartender. I haven't posted much while there, but I was busy fixing drinks and teaching French to New Yorkettes. It was my first time there and here are my impressions:

a. I am amazed how easy it is to talk to strangers in NY. In Paris or London, you'd almost never make conversation with random people in the street or in bars. I found this to be common place in NY.
b. Overall, and even if I met a fair amount of douchebags, I found New Yorkers to be friendly, curious and intelligent. A few people I met were definite Wafers.
c. The vibe comes very close to a European city in some areas with people reading in cafés, drinking in bars etc...
d. The NY metro is horrendous. I thought the London tube was the worst in the world, but boy was I wrong!

My wallet is almost empty after 4 weeks there and it is a crazy expensive city, but overall I had a great time and I could definitely see myself spending a couple of years there in the future.

Enjoy the Chianti and Prosciutto MB!


11:58 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Here's a little hurricane humor for you, courtesy of that bloated anal wart, Rush Limbaugh:

Limbaugh to evacuate after calling Irma climate change ploy

Nesim: You are indeed correct about Libertarians, especially the ones who take their marching orders from scumbags like the Koch brothers. I do have some grudging respect for that small segment of their ranks represented by who staunchly oppose American interventionism and militarism, even as I deplore their positions on what constitutes the common good here at home. I liken those Libertarians to Bernie Sanders and his supporters, who at least have a few noble ideas even if on the whole they are too wrapped up in the system to see that the system itself is corrupt and rotten to the core.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Melissa Beck said...

remembering John Ashbery

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Caesar said...

Florida gun owners encouraged to 'shoot the storm' and fire their guns at Hurricane Irma

May that leviathan of a storm swallow them all

2:51 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...


When you're meeting with the Holy Father, might I ask that you ask him about Fr. Guido Sarducci, who was the longtime correspondent for L'Osservatore Romano?

I for one miss Fr. Sarducci's insightful commentary and would think that Pope Francis would not take such a question amiss. We could use a Vatican perspective on world affairs, now more than ever.

In any case, Viaggi sicuri e pasta molto.

Ciao, Maurizio.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Sorrowful said...

Cough, cough, Ft-t-t-t-t-t-t! Just emerging from the DOA archives for a last comment before the blog closes. I'm on a news fast and so have been perusing this blog's archives as alternative entertainment, which I heartily recommend to all WAFers who may be feeling shaky while the blog is closed.

MB: My first hit of WAFerdom was while reading one of Philip Slater's books for graduate school in psychology. I tried to find it on Amazon, but failed, and my library is packed up so I can't reach out and touch it, and my brain is old so I can't remember the exact title but it had to do with construction of the self and construction of civilization. Perhaps you will know the book I'm speaking of. It was an excellent book that fired me up for the rest of my master's slog through flatland psychology.

I am leaving for Australia in October with the intent of immigrating there at some point. It's really no better than the U.S. as far as politics are concerned and there are a LOT of turkeys living there too -- misogyny, racism -- but there is still a wonderful emphasis on family and friends in the rural areas, which is where my daughter lives. People are also very kind. I lost my purse on the bus one time and after I retrieved it at the transit center, a bus driver drove me all the way home in her car so I wouldn't have to take the bus home.

Mostly, I am intoxicated by the energy of the land itself, which has swallowed my spirit whole. I'll be walking down the southeast coast and hope to have more to share in the coming months. MB, please enjoy your time in Italy and I hope you won't have to do too much editing during that time.

O&D, WAFers!

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Turkey-Buster said...

Well I hope reading Homer and the Bicameral Mind will be all that'll keep me from going crazy! A favor, por favor: do ya mind if I post your comments on Spiritual Squalor as a guest post on my own little blog? Of course I'll credit you.

Many thanks!

See ya on the 5th.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

Gulag pipeline dept:

School lunch employee calls the cops on a 13-year-old girl who handed her a $2 bill. The currency looks suspicious to the cops, too, and they threaten to charge her with a felony for using counterfeit money-- as they have done with other children in this school system. The procedure is a specialty of theirs. Everything is bigger in Texas, you know, except criminal defendants.

Finally a bank employee finds the $2 bill to be genuine. Disappointed cops return the girl to school with no apology given.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Mercury said...

‘Don’t shoot at Hurricane Irma’: Cops forced to issue warning after idea goes viral

As Floridians brace for the impending onslaught from Hurricane Irma, some residents have come up with novel ways of “scaring off” the monster storm, forcing police to issue a warning not to shoot at the hurricane.

It all started with the Facebook Event ‘Shoot at Hurricane Irma’, scheduled for 10am local time on Sunday. “Let’s show Irma that we shoot first,” the event’s description reads.

The prospect of firing rounds at the threatening storm seemed to strike a chord with many, and the event quickly garnered thousands of “attendees.”

At the time of writing, over 25,000 people have said they will “attend,” while another 53,000 have marked themselves down as “interested.”

Buffoonery, in all its glory.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank you all for last-minute posts. I fly to Italy very early tomorrow morning. Remember not to post again until Oct. 5.

Amore e pizza,


12:49 PM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Dr. Berman,

I know I'm a day early, but today's my birthday, and I can think of few things more enjoyable than reading this blog. So I visited today in anticipation of your return and to celebrate my birthday. Happy birthday to me! And welcome back to North America, I guess. Be sure to duck when you hear the gunfire begin, which you surely will if you visit the good ol' US of A. It's been a hell of a time since you left - hurricanes, earthquakes, and some damned remarkable massacres. I sure hope Italy was better than this side of the pond!

8:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Happy birthday. Just got back from Italy, am too exhausted to write anything substantial. Maybe tomorrow.


10:22 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Welcome Back Morris! We’re all looking forward to hearing about your adventure!

3:42 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

Welcome back Dr. Berman. Hope you had a good time in Italy away from the insane asylum that is America.

I have been listening to the national anthems of various Central and South American countries to help me learn Spanish. One thing that I have noticed is that these anthems reflect an authentic desire for freedom and liberty that does not exist in America.

Americans pay lip service to "freedom" while in reality applauding their own slavery to corporations and the American aristocracy.

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...

Welcome home Professor!

8:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Buongiorno, bambini!

Yes, I made it back in one piece. Italy is beyond words, altho I suppose I'll try a few. Rome is magical, and as for Naples, multiply that magic by 10. You can't imagine how friendly the Neapolitans are to strangers--kindnesses that happened again and again. At the same time it's a poor city, gritty and rough and tumble. I loved it. As for the food...don't get me started. After American cardboard, Italian food is a shock. We also went to Ravello, a gorgeous town nr the Amalfi coast. Gore Vidal lived there for 30 yrs, and it's now something of an institution. We tried to get in, but were told that it wasn't possible, as a film was being made there of his life--starring Kevin Spacey. We spent 3 days on Ischia, wonderful island. For those of you who haven't read Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan series, now is the time--part of the story takes place there. Anyway, I hadn't had a real vacation in a long time, and Italy was definitely the rt choice for it.

While I was gone, 2 earthquakes struck Mexico. My residences were unscathed, but the City suffered a lot of damage. And then, of course, the massacre in Las Vegas. What a horror, to be a completely innocent person and suddenly wind up dead. I think it was after the 2007 massacre at Va. Tech that I wrote on this blog that this was hardly the last of it. The pres, the media, and the American people continue to believe in the lone shooter/madman theory, when this is actually a product of social conditions. Their analysis is that it is 'pure evil', that the killer was a demented loner, and so on. Same so-called analysis we applied to the 9/11 attackers. We learn abs. 0 from events like these, and certainly will not move to restrict gun sales. I have to repeat what I said in 2007, that this is not the last massacre or attack on the US that we shall see.


9:45 AM  
Blogger Baron Von Strangeknight said...

Welcome back. I was recently on a 2 week trip to Germany and France. So many marked differences from the USA. It was indeed great to be in societies that are set up for people to live pleasant lives instead of lives of competition. We are glad you are back. You and WAFers are an enduring influence on me.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous al Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Chris Hedges had me going there for a bit:

"The American empire is coming to an end."

Then he blew it when he said, "The empire will collapse and the nation will consume itself within our lifetimes if we do not wrest power from those who rule the corporate state.

He just cannot let it go. I guess the American Dream has taken such a hold of his imagination that he finds it unimaginable that the USA can disappear.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Dr. Berman,

Welcome back once again, and I am happy to hear that you had a wonderful time in Italy. My ex-wife's father was from Positano, so I have been told a little about the area. It sounds absolutely magnificent, and I hope to get there myself some day.

One thing that I realized after this last massacre is that no one has ever done an in-depth analysis of these events to see what drives this kind of behavior. Is it drugs, is it the loss of a job or a large sum of money, is it a pride/status thing? We will never know, because we must cling to the lone wolf/crazy guy narrative. And yes, I do agree with you that these things will only grow in size and number. The media constantly throws down the gauntlet by saying things like "this is the largest mass shooting in recent American history", so they don't help matters any.

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...


Enjoyed your report on your Italian trip. Laughed at your description of American cardboard posing as food. I can relate as I cook with an Italian flavor with recipes from Nonna several generations back. Italy is in my bone. We live near the Bay Area so have great choices of food from many countries. Good to hear your residences made it through the earthquakes.


2:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out Mark Ames' bk, "Going Postal."


As I said b4, this guy must be the saddest person in the US. And just possibly, the dumbest.


5:45 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

Welcome back home, Dr. Berman!

According to Time magazine, Mexico City is much better prepared for earthquakes than the U.S. As if we need one more thing to worry about...

6:02 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

Welcome Back!

Glad to hear your trip was enjoyable. Here in the US the signs of collapse are everywhere. The Las Vegas shooting won't be the last alright, and if trends continue the next nutjob will have a tally in the high 60s.

As the Conservative vomitspewer O'Reilly ensured his idiot brigade, such killings are just the price of freedom. Amazing price to live in a society that guarantees its members will have the capacity to erase each other so easily. The irony to me though is how these jerk off idiots who want a security state are so willing to live under the threat of mass killings. Americans are truly the idiots of the world.

7:13 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The “Knockout Game” is back! It’s such a FUN activity for kids that it really should be taught in high schools as part of the core curriculum.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Welcome back, MB! I know everybody is dogging on Trump right now because of his insane responses to Puerto Rico and Las Vegas, but there was guy in the news this week who may not be quite as big a douchebag as Trump, but certainly is in the running:

Pro-Life Rep. Tim Murphy Resigns After Emails Surface In Which He Reportedly Asked His Mistress To Get An Abortion

"What is astonishing is that the memo says that Murphy had a 100 percent turnover of staff in just one year as Murphy burned through over 100 employees. The memo describes truly tyrannical behavior by Murphy and even discusses his “dangerous and erratic” behavior while reading his iPad and watching YouTube videos.

"The tantrums associated with Murphy are ironic given his publications as a psychologist and an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh. He co-wrote The Angry Child: Regaining Control When Your Child Is Out of Control (2002) as well as Overcoming Passive-Aggression: How to Stop Hidden Anger from Spoiling Your Relationships, Career, and Happiness (2005)."

7:46 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Welcome back. (Ps I love how Italians say 'prego' all the time). This article says it all? "I see it more as a crisis of cultural purpose"

As an example, the 'smart', tech-savvy, goth star of NCIS, a violent forensic show has just left the show. Why is it the media associate violence with intelligence. It's so inartistically vulgar.

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Lobotomized Imperial Subject said...

Ciao professore dottore Berman, ciao WAFERS,

Good to have you back and I am glad to hear you enjoyed your Italian vacation!

I have been madly reading your WAFER trilogy (I think I got the order wrong, since I have read Twilight and Why America Failed and am now 1/3 into Dark Ages) to get my required dose of straight up reality.

I must say that reading your books is like having thousands of lights switch on in my mind, thank you.

I am also plodding through Oswald Spengler's "Decline of the West" but I have to say it is tough going.

In typical reactionary style, I reinterpreted your homework assignment and listened to the Iliad (rather than the prescribed Odyssey), it was fabulous and illuminating. The celebration of battle, courageous warriors, the portrayal of the humanity of self and the "enemy", and the strange "honor" of it all (even the sensory description of the sacrificial animals) was quite starkly different from battle and war today. I got started with Julian Jaynes but have not got to the Greek Mind part. Thanks for the homework and its mind expanding effects.

Meantime, the news has been endlessly full of evidence of decline. And the rest of the world is increasingly unnerved by it and actually talking about it (instead of muttering in closed rooms). For instance here:

Is Trump's US still a serious country?

Arrivederci to you and all other WAFERS

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Welcome back. Glad you enjoyed your vacation. I loved Italy as well and met my first wife in Sicily actually back in 1978. I just returned from 2/12 months in SE Asia which I'll tell you all about at the WAFER summit. Yes, American food is near tasteless compared to world cuisine.Truly hard to watch Americans in Asia. The men love walking around shirtless and I'm not talking about body builders if you can imagine. One man walks shirtless in Bangkok with a tattoo saying "Fuck Authority." Still, the Thais and Cambodians are infinitely gracious. So many new high rises built by Chinese firms. The US can pivot to Asia all it wants but SE Asia knows it's the Chinese who are the dominant power. They humor us and we take it as meaningful dialogue. I love when the Japanese say "I understand" and we take it as if they are poised to act upon something. Could we be the dumbest country that ever hit the bigtime?

1:16 AM  
Blogger Turkerino said...

Hello Dr Berman, I am a college student at UC Berkeley and want to thank you for your writings. You have no clue just how much your writings helped me and I have no way to thank you. Sometimes you find some very enlightened writers/people only to find out they are long dead and it sucks, would be nice to have their opinion today, but in your case, I’m REALLY glad you are alive. I’ve noticed writers of this blog like to mention how enlightened George Carlin was and ofc I like him, but to me he is also a symbol of America’s stupidity because the only way Americans would listen to reality is through jokes, they need to be entertained at all times ,then dismiss reality as an exaggeration. We can see this today through late shows(which suck ofc). I truly believe that when Americans (semi)wake up 2000 years from now, they’ll read your books and you’ll be remembered as a sane man in a mental asylum. Maybe they’ll study how you managed to stay sane so future WAFerinos can stay on guard. Anyways, I am eager to describe the college life in America, oh boy is it fucked up. If you ever want to know what an open mental asylum would look like, go to Berkeley(or most places in America). But NO, this has nothing to do with “leftwingers/feminazis”, there is not that many of them and believe it or not, I’ve found feminist students/professors much more reasonable than the average Berkeley student, MANY are right wing. Seems to me like right wingers are running a massive anti feminist campaign to make them worse than they really are, part of their divide and conquer strategy to distract Americans IMO, feminists seem to trigger them even though they’ve never read a feminist book. I’m an computer science student btw, not a feminist. A better description of Berkeley than “hippies/feminazis/liberals” would be, socially anxious, mentally ill, acutely depressed, deluded daydreamers, status seeking echo chambers… well, I guess I’ll just call them American

2:00 AM  
Anonymous slakr said...

Dr. Berman,

Welcome back. Glad to hear that you are well.

Concerning “Going Postal” by Mark Ames. I bought this book a few months ago after you recommended it on the blog. Like your own work, it is an amazing piece of cultural critique. I find it courageous and insightful.

Ames writes on pg 32 “Through time slavery has mutated and adapted itself to our modern condition. It is by examining this process that we will ultimately have answers to what creates the rampage murders of today.” I was reading the book a second time when the Las Vegas rampage occurred.

It is striking to me that the recent shooter made his wealth by gambling online, an income, which on initial reflection, is possibly without any contribution to the social good. Correct me if I’m wrong. A more literal version of “casino capitalism”, as Henry Giroux has called it. Still, I’m struggling a bit on this recent shooting to see how it fits into Ames’ model of the banality of slavery. What was happening with this guy's "inner slave."

9:03 AM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

Eric Zuesse seems to have a mentality similar to that of Chris Hedges, that things will become better if America's elites are removed from the picture.

Of course, Zuesse, like Hedges, fails to realize that the elites are simply a reflection of the general American population. Zuesse is a bit more realistic though because he recognizes the need for violence in order to bring about change.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank you all for your greetings. It is gd to return to The Greatest Blog on Earth.


It's just that our society drives everyone in it nuts, and different people have different responses to the pervasive illness.


Many thanks for your kind words. I'm actually quite familiar with Berkeley, and always felt that as one comes over the bridge from SF into it, there shd be the following sign:

Welcome to Berkeley
Population 250,000
"The overexamined life is not worth living"


Welcome back 2u. I also have a # of American tourist stories from my holiday; we are so stupid, we are scary. Will fill you in at Wafer Summit in NY, a mere 23 days away!


Many thanks for yr input. Pls watch length in future (half page max).


I guess one way to think abt the US as a running disaster is that god is finally fed up with our behavior and has decided to rain violence and destruction upon us. Very biblical.


10:45 AM  
Blogger Grandma said...

Welcome back, Dr. Berman!

Your vacation sounds as if it was wonderful, I'm so glad for that, and that your home weathered the earthquake.

I'll confess I didn't complete the homework, and my dog ate my doctors note explaining why ... but I do have something to share:

TV show Designated Survivor has a fictional US president who is sane amid much tragedy.

The opening episode this season, about 2/3 in, the president greets a literary arts award winner, who has been waiting all day to meet with him. The president notes that he has read all the books written by this fictional author, including (drum roll, please), a book titled The Berman Trilogy. The fictional author is astounded, because he notes that he is highly critical of American culture, but this sane, fictional president asks him to "please keep writing".

I don't think that's a coincidence, I believe you got a nod from the screenplay writers, Dr. B. Not to mention that the actor playing the fictional author kinda, sorta, resembles you. With my glasses off.

Welcome back!

12:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Since yr new to the blog, let me review some ground rules with you.

1. Do not post more often than once every 24 hrs.
2. Do not post more than half a page, max.
3. Be sure to break up your post. I.e., do not send in large, dense blocks of text. I am fairly senile by now, and have a hard time rdg these types of messages.

Thank you!


You can't be serious. Really? This actually happened on national television? I made it into popular culture? I hafta to lie down now.


2:09 PM  
Anonymous Turkey-Buster said...

Welcome back!

Well I completed the homework and I found myself amazed at two things:

One is how utterly similar the suitors who were besieging Penelope and Telemachus at Odysseus' house, consuming them out of house and home, were to the present-day creditors that are putting Greece to the screws and will eventually make the Greeks homeless in the country their forefathers established and fought and died for.

The other is the Jayne's peculiar and interesting hypothesis on the development of the Greek mind. I'm still processing it and to help I'm devouring as much of his book that would help.

Oh, and as I'm sure others have mentioned we had three major hurricanes, Puerto Rico is totally wrecked, there's been another record-breaking massacre and the typical bleatings from our politicians that result from such an event. Of course, nothing will be done about assault weapons and Trump is being his typical self, again.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Welcome back, MB! I'm struck by the fact that we've come full circle now: from a New England theocracy that determined America would be ground zero for the coming Apocalypse, to MB's admonition that our crazed destruction is reaching 'biblical' proportions. Well, as Lincoln once remarked, "If destruction be our lot, we ourselves be its author and finisher."


ps: The Berman Trilogy has a nice ring to it, BTW.

3:17 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Italy sounds great which is probably why it gets such a bad rap in american media as being a failed state of economic ruin.

I'm gonna drop the WH and just call you Great Seer. I really suck at classical literature but plowed through the Odyssey capturing very little but hit something while reading Jaynes. I've got "Reenchantment" in the background noise of my head... don't really understand it fully but it's familiarly swirling around looking for places to illuminate. Somehow Douglas Hardings's "headlessness" popped into the mix and they all triangulated into the damn thing I've been trying to get on the Happy Buddha Asspad for years.

We champion the WAF trilogy here on the blog with good reason, but I gotta say the consciousness trilogy is my most important set of books at present. Teaching 'muricans how to live is one hell of an undertaking. I, too, am glad to be alive in your era.
Belman! Belnan!

9:11 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Americans didn't get any smarter during your time in Italy, MB, not that you would ever have expected them to. The headlines speak for themselves:

Trump Nearly Tossed Cans Of Chicken At Puerto Rican Hurricane Survivors Before People Stopped Him

Ga. sheriff indicted for sexual battery in high school drug search

Newborn with jaundice dies after parents refuse treatment saying ‘God makes no mistakes’

Roseburg father, son accused of shooting up truck that crashed into their front yard

10:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What shd I tell NBC, if they ask me to work up a series of 6 seasons, a show called "Bermanism: Our Only Hope"?

Meanwhile, groundswell is bldg for my arrival at LGA later this month. De Blasio predicts riots, is thinking abt calling out the National Guard. Plus, millions want to attend the Wafer Summit, and have been besieging delis in the belief that I wd only hold a lunch meeting over pastrami. These fools fail to realize that I also have a penchant for the cuisine of SW Bulgaria.


10:17 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Here's a list of episode suggestions for Season One of "Bermanism: Our Only Hope."

1. The One with the Fake Wafer
2. The One with all the Douche Bags
3. The One with the Wet Guccis
4. The One with all the CRE
5. The One where Everyone Eats Pastrami
6. The One where Berman Bags Tina, and all His Friends Find Out
7. The One with the Truth About America

This is guaranteed to be a show about something.


11:19 AM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

I think the recent controversy over the national anthem and the NFL quite clearly demonstrates the American "civil religion" that Dr. Berman has talked about before.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

While the techno-dunce world burns, culture is surviving elsewhere. Look what I ran across today. A video explaining how people walk differently in modern times compared to medieval times because of the change in shoes. They walked much more like people walk barefoot. (Do you see many people in Mexico walking barefoot? Probably not since you live in an urban area.) This was recorded in a "history park" in Germany where they recreate much more than just shoes and walking. Imagine anything like this park existing in the US? Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia is the closest thing I can think of, and it's pretty much overwhelmed by the commercialism needed to sustain it.

Youtube: Historical Body Mechanics: Walk Medieval!

12:54 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Dark days ahead under these DANGEROUS THEOCRATIC LUNATICS!

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Ruby said...

ah americans lets take a break from fetishizing Vegas to normalize our celebrity murderers. Why the fuck not

3:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'll be sitting on the edge of my seat. I just thought of #8: The One Where Wafers Transubstantiate. But I confess, I'm pretty partial to #6.


7:22 PM  
Anonymous Turkerino said...

Sorry for breaking the rules in my last attempt to post.

Also I wanted to clear up what I said about Berkeley. Overall I think it's a good school, there is just a serious mental health problem. I even got a guy threatening me because he wasn't invited to a conversation.

And multiculturalism is not working well at all. Places like Berkeley are pretty segregated and it's pretty obvious that Indians and asians have an inferiority complex. Funny how more primitive places like Mexico and Brazil somehow managed to deal with being multiracial better, although still not perfect.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

A site WAFers might like in light of Harvey Weinstein being outed as a massive hypocrite and a disgusting pervert is investigative reporter Ken Silverstein's Washington Babylon, which he recently reactivated and one of whose reporters (a former porn star) was the key player who helped bring down douchebag Anthony Weiner. Silverstein's latest fascinating missive rips to shreds recently deceased megalobbyist Thomas Hale Boggs:

"Boggs was a richly-paid lobbyist who ran his firm like a brothel, once saying, “We pick our clients by taking the first one who comes in the door.” With that as his guiding principle, Boggs and his firm compiled a client list that included America’s biggest, most criminally minded corporations and the world’s worst dictators.

For anyone with a moral compass, merely being an associate of Boggs would constitute a dark secret, akin to being related to Charles Manson or not recycling. But he was revered in official Washington and became one of the city’s most powerful people despite having spent virtually no time in government."

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back MB,

Looks like Shaneka Torres is rallying an army and striking back at Mickey D's. "We want sauce!".

I don't think it gets better than this does it?


5:59 AM  
Anonymous Red October said...

"Markets appear to have accepted mass shootings as the 'new normal'". This study shows they no longer hurt gun manufacturer stocks

"When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat." George Carlin

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Yesterday I had technicians from Comcast come to my apartment to upgrade my equipment. They brought me the latest remote control which is speech activated; that is, I can simply tell the remote what I want to watch and the program will immediately come on. I swear this device held my interest perhaps no more than 10 minutes, yet I know people who months later cannot stop talking about it. It reminded me of something Mort Saul once said. He found himself in a room with a lot of generals all wearing their medals, ribbons and such. He said, "It was very impressive if you were 12 years old." To me tech hardly reaches the level of device. It's more gadget and to think it's worshiped by billions is more than depressing.

8:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gee, what a surprise. This will probably hold true when, a few yrs down the line, we have a Vegas-style massacre occurring on a weekly basis.


I have 2 things to say abt this:
1. This is the most accurate portrait of America and its people ever to have appeared in the media. Beyond anything else, it shows who we are.
2. I abs. adore Shaneka Torres, Latreasa Goodman, Lorenzo Riggins, and all those who have committed themselves to a *real* revolution in America, namely getting what they ordered from McDonald's. Thos Jefferson is nothing in comparison to these freedom fighters.


8:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The worst part of it is that hi-tech insinuates in a way that is very difficult to escape. Italy is particularly egregious in this regard. Walking around Rome and Naples, I had the impression that 100% of the population was on a cell fone 100% of the time. It's really depressing, to see a once-proud people reduced to techno-slavery, not to mention techno-buffoonery.

But it wd have been near impossible to do the trip w/o it. I don't have a fone and never carry any tech equipment w/me when I travel. But my friend did, including an iPad, and the truth was that we needed both, repeatedly. Italy is arranged in such a way that it becomes mandatory. Depressing, to say the least.


10:32 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Transubstantiated Wafers,

Going on a week after the shooting spree in Las Vegas, the non stop sleuthing for the motive of the lone shooter and psychopath goes on and on while I wait in vain for someone to get the description right: he's American! And violence and killing is what America does.


11:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Hic est enim corpus meum. Perhaps a new motto for the NRA.


12:18 PM  
Anonymous Atran said...

Of course we'd do this

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Hector said...

W/ a travel companion in Bolivia at the moment, so happens close to the land where Che was murdered exactly 50 yrs ago. A chill in the air

4:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


An appropriate title:


I praised Jerry in AWTY; big mistake. He turned out to be a turkey. This is going to sound strange, but I had a conv. w/him on the fone after he came out for Hillary, told him it was a big mistake. He gave me a bunch of rationalizations. Bottom line: he knew where his bread was buttered.


6:15 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

Good article on how, according to a top member of the IDF, Israel is becoming like Nazi Germany.

Israel truly is one of the saddest ironies of history.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Indeed. Check out a film called The Gatekeepers, and also Max Blumenthal's bk, Goliath.


12:13 AM  
Anonymous teddy said...

MB - The proper use of a cell phone is to treat it like other technologies it replaced. It should be off most of the time, and there should never be a reason to walk around with a phone in your hand. It's the stupid uses of cell phones that get me. I went to a movie, and people couldn't help but check their phones during the movie, and my god was there a mad dash for people to get their phones out the instant the credits hit the screen. I was wondering why everyone needed to pull their phones out immediately, it's shocking to me.

Phones are especially useful for travel. In the years before phones, it could be a big pain to get calling cards, buy maps, etc. and now you just have one device do it all for you. For daily use in your home town tho, there's no excuse for really ever having a phone out. I ALWAYS tell people to put their phone away at meals or when walking around, I just can't stand it.

12:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


All well and good, but it really cannot be treated like other technologies because tech is not neutral. We've discussed this at length on this blog; you might want to read folks like Marshall McLuhan or Albert Borgmann. ch. 3 of WAF might also be helpful in this regard.


12:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talking about tech, looks like the creators of technodouchebagery themselves are coming to their senses (no pun intended).


5:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Terrific article. Try this on for size:


8:11 AM  
Anonymous Jeremiah said...

What are Waters take on 2day's "holiday"? Here’s a great thing about Columbus Day—it 1st landed on our civic calendar as a celebration of American pluralism: The first official Columbus Day made it clear—it was less about the explorer, than the “good citizenship” of Italian Americans.

Ironically, it’s the ultimate triumph of Columbus Day—that the identities it celebrates are now seen as too narrow, not too broad.

9:10 AM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

I like pirate day more than Columbus day. Of course neither one is a day off work.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Michael in BK said...

Americans do still mobilize when it matters:

McDonald's brought back "Szechuan Sauce" for one day only. Apparently 1000 people camped out at one McDonald's location alone to get their hands on some. This number vastly outstripped the supply of Szechuan Sauce available, and as the crowd began chanting in protest, police had to be called in to keep them at bay.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Subho said...

Since you've been away, Prof MB, I've been wading thru Ken Burn's giant doc series, Vietnam.

What Ken Burns and Lynn Novick Want Us to Believe Is that Americans Were Innocents in Vietnam

What’s Missing From the Vietnam War Documentary?

It is certainly not w/o it's biases ^^^^ , but, wow, what a sweeping and rich reduction of thousands of hours of war film and journalist footage. A lot of it colorized for the 1st time. It's like an 19 hour collective nightmare, in technicolor!

10:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Here's a more honest narrative:

If anyone got deleted, try again; I think there was a computer glitch.


11:10 AM  
Anonymous Hill Eyes said...

To Jeremiah & comrade
Laurence Bergreen makes the case for saving the Columbus statue in Columbus Circle NYC, despite many bad consequences of Columbus's actions.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Welcome back, Morris – how I have missed this blog. Hello everyone!!!

Here’s a good one about the American system of justice. Yes, the U.S.A is the pinnacle of all that’s bright and beautiful – we are, indeed, exceptional:

On the other hand, it brings to mind a 2009 story I read about an 80 lb., nine-year-old Brazilian girl who became pregnant with twins after being raped by her stepfather. Her mother and doctors decided on an abortion because she likely couldn’t survive the pregnancy. The Catholic Church, in his infinite wisdom, excommunicated the mother and doctors, but not the stepfather - his sin was not as egregious.

In general, there’s something seriously wrong with mankind. Of course, the USA is humanity’s poster child.


3:13 PM  
Anonymous Cindy said...

Re: Supho, Morris Berman,

May I present a critique of the Ken Burns film by Nick Turse himself. His study “Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam,” is actually one of the books suggested as “accompaniments to the film” on the PBSwebsite for “The Vietnam War.”

Regardless, viewings of the series does leave one breathless. Such pregnant history

3:28 PM  
Blogger Baron Von Strangeknight said...

I read through this essay that is something of a compare / contrast between Greek and American philosophy and way of life. Fascinating read for someone like me, as I have only a half-remembered notions of The Greeks from college. It is something of a critique of American life--I thought some WAFers might be interested.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Also brilliant is Loren Baritz, "Backfire."


4:55 PM  
Anonymous slakr said...

Mb and Mike,

Although I think Mark Ames’ book “Going Postal” is an amazing book that explains much, I’m not seeing (as I mentioned earlier) how it fits too snugly as an explanation of the recent shooting in Las Vegas. Ames’ book, published in 2005, offers rage-shooting suggestions related to slave-like workplace culture, stressful atmospheres, forced overtime, under-compensation, semi-privatization, top-down harassment and just general economic injustice and malaise.

I tentatively suggest we are starting to see a new form of “going postal,” one more related specifically to the anomie and cultural contradictions of late-stage collapsing capitalism. "Going Vegas." That book waits to be written.

Vegas shooter, as far as we can so far tell, was a self-made, online casino millionaire(?) Even if he went totally bust, it seems there has to be more to why shoot up people than simply that. That and America drives everyone in it nuts, like you said mb.

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Cindy said...

Pardon the 24hr breach, I didn't supply the link for the Nick Turse review of "Vietnam"

TY for the fantastic recommendation by Baritz. Ordering that now.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It doesn't fit snugly, but I think it fits. The list you cite--slave-like work culture etc.--describes the 19C pretty well, altho on steroids, I suppose. Psychological slavery may not be literal, but it sure creates a powder keg. We can see the rapid development from "Broadcast News" (1987) to "God Bless America" (2011). I don't think it's that much of a stretch to see the parallels there.


6:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Also see refs to "Vietnam" in the Index of DAA.


7:29 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

George Carlin on America's Wars:


8:21 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I've been reading a lot of commentary on Ken Burns' The Vietnam War recently, and have noticed a similar weirdness to them. The writers almost universally agree that the war was an exercise in imperialist folly and should never have happened. That doesn't stop them, however, from giving their opinion on what the USA should have done to win the war.

Sure, the war was terrible, but the portions were so small...

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Turkerino said...

As I said before I loved your trilogy on consciousness. Your understanding on object relationships blew me away. And so obviously I analyzed myself and tried to track my own upbringing which made me wonder if you've ever written about Mexicans?

I know you've written about McFarland USA and how Mexicans live for today and are family people but have you ever written about why they are that way? Smth like on wandering god, you mentioned Eastern Europeans and the kibbutz experiment. I'm just curious what your take is on Mexican upbringing. Or maybe Latin America over all? In my opinion there is some level of neuroticism but not to the extent that you have on America, possibly because Mexico doesn't have the types of "opportunities" as the USA. Sorry if you've written about it before, I read Coming to Our Senses, re-enchantment of the world and halfway through Wandering God.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I don't think I ever wrote abt Mexican child-rearing patterns, come to think of it. But I'm glad yr enjoying the (1st) trilogy.


9:40 PM  
Blogger BobNP said...

If you live in Mexico, you do not need a vacation.

9:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Wd that that were true! (I work pretty hard)


10:28 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

With the push to decertify the Iran nuclear deal, America is showing once again that it cannot be trusted when it comes to treaties and agreements. Of course, there will be consequences for this.

10:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to :)

Sorry, you need a real handle to post on this blog. Pls pick one--e.g., Cranston J. Butterworth--and post again. Thank you.


7:42 AM  
Anonymous Smiley Face said...

Here in the southeast (Atl, GA) we had a very nice viewing of a documentary on the rituals and times of Thich Naht Hanh and his devotees, "Walk W/ Me", at the neighborhood art-house cinema

I recall your recommending his book on Silence, MB. It was a beautiful film, w/ the last few minutes consisting of the sun slowly rising over a mountain horizon.

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Chopped Liver said...

Hello Dr. Berman. What did the pope have to say?

9:22 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Times review is actually negative.


We spoke in Spanish, but as he has a thick Argentine accident I was able to catch only abt 60% of it. The gist: he thinks the Wafers are doing an excellent job, and wishes to beatify us. As a group, we wd become St. Wafer. This is now moving thru the Vatican paperwork, and I'll let you all know when it's official. Every Wafer will receive a button saying, "I'm a Saint!" Anyway, after that, Francis and I had pizza and beer.


9:26 AM  
Anonymous E. Worrall said...

“What a relief to read a bold, grand narrative of European colonialism/capitalism and its destruction of the environment as well as reducing whole civilizations to enslavement, impoverishment and ruin—just what is needed at this time to contextualize the many granular studies we now have access to. Patel and Moore have provided not only an elegantly written and insightful narrative, but also a path to imagine a noncapitalist future.”—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States

new eco-WAFer text "A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet"

****I also enjoyed the previous book by Moore "Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital" it had a nice intro by Immanuel Wallerstein

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Jean said...

Did you guys recommend a book on here under the title, "Merchants of Doubt" on climate change?

Just finished it, wanted to thank whoever it was who suggested it to me

10:35 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, cdn't run it. We have a half-page-max rule on this blog. Pls compress by 50% and re-send. Thank you.


11:52 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Now the low self-esteem “president” with an Inferiority Complex is challenging his Secretary of State to a DUEL of IQ Testing!!

Just when you think he can’t get more absurd...he does.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Welcome back to the Untied States of Amnesia, GSWH.

With idiocy abroad in the land, it’s hard to choose just one example to point to as representative, but how about this one?

“Donald Trump has challenged his secretary of state to “compare IQ tests” – if Rex Tillerson did call the president a “moron”, as reported. Trump told Forbes magazine: “I think it’s fake news. But if he did [say] that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.”

“Trump challenges Tillerson to 'compare IQ tests' after reported 'moron' dig”

For those who might see the opportunity for a wager here, perhaps these categories will help:
Idiot: 0-25
Imbecile: 26-50
Moron*: 51-70

*Fucking Moron: IQ range as yet unresolved

Trump challenges Tillerson to 'compare IQ tests' after reported 'moron' dig

4:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank you. Pls watch length.

Jas and jj-

What more evidence do we need that this is a turkey country run by turkeys?


5:29 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Well, I seriously doubt that an IQ-off would be sufficient to judge these two clowns. What's needed is a Jerk-off contest between Trumpo and Tillerson. Perhaps Harvey Weinstein could administer the event, then ejaculate into a potted plant.


6:39 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Morris, thinking of changing my name to your suggestion - Cranston J Butterworth. Has a respectable ring about it!

12:51 AM  
Anonymous Lobotomized Imperial Subject said...

Apologies for the overly long post last time, will keep it shorter in future.

This article caught my attention as illustrating how technology is not neutral. Sadly critics and FB itself will probably not understand this.

Virtual Zuck fails to connect

What were they thinking in their deluded Silicon Valley tech fantasy land? People without electricity, water, food and here comes Zukerberg with all the modcons of virtual reality as a cartoon?


12:52 AM  
Anonymous Turkerino said...

I finally finished reading your trilogy. I was planning on reading more philosophy but if I learned anything from your books is to stop searching for some special "truth," so I'll read history/sociology books instead. Also I find people like Nietzsche to pretty much just be rambling. Too bad American turkeys can't think for themselves and can't even read a book, here is Richard Spencer talking about how he was "redpilled" by Nietzsche.

We better hope American turkeys don't start watching youtube videos(yeah right they'll read them lol) on philosophy they don't understand or they're gonna end up blowing the world up. Seems like they already did though and their new messiah is Jordan Peterson, man is that guy a turkey

3:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm thinking Cranston J. Butterworth III, D.D.S., might have just the right touch. Dentists have a lot of cachet.


And speaking of name changes, I'd vote for Zuck for president if he wd be willing to change his name to Zuckershmuck, which I think captures his essence.


Well, I'm not a postmodernist; I do believe there is such a thing as truth. The problem arises when it (whatever it is) gets turned into a religion. As for Nietzsche: he has a lot of impt things to say. Too bad he got hijacked by the Nazis.


6:27 AM  
Blogger Baron Von Strangeknight said...

I keep changing my handle, sorry was Nolan Void - now am Drunken Boat. Turk I think you have hit upon one problem I constantly see with the U.S., the lack of intellectual humility. Many people do watch youtube videos and suddenly decide they are experts on a topic, when in reality they have probably only skimmed a kernel of the truth. Nietzsche is an especially complicated example as his writings and ideas were twisted by his sister and the Nazi's (as Dr. Berman points out). People take the kernel of truth, which they do not understand is not really the truth, and turn it into a religion to batter the rest of the world with. I see this kind of thing in so many areas, especially History.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Drunken is gd, but you might also try Kashe Varnishke. As for the endless fanaticism that people get caught up in, such as we see in the US today, check out my essay, "The Hula Hoop Theory of History," in QOV. As Talleyrand said after the Terror, "Surtout, pas de zele" (Above all, no zeal).


9:12 AM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

I think de-dollarization and the end of the Petrodollar system will be the next major "node of collapse" for America. Without the ability to endlessly print dollars, America will finally have to face up to its dismal economic reality.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Cahokia! said...

The Aboriginal People's Television Network has a documentary series based on Charles C Mann's "1491" w/ all-indigenous cast & crew. "1491" and "1493" are such fantastic writings about 'The Beginning'. They changed my approach and the material I teach. It will be great to have visuals to go along with it.:

3:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Important elements in the collapse of a country:

1. Obesity

2. Stupidity (too many urls to bother citing)

3. Crushing of the media, as Trump is sort of threatening to do. Why doesn't he just get it over with? If he had appointed me to a top-level post, which he foolishly refused to do, I'd have closed down the NYT in 2 days. Brooks and Friedman wd be in chains, in a dungeon, having their shoes peed on on a daily basis.
Altho their columns are themselves part of the decline, I suppose.


4:05 PM  
Anonymous Dixon said...


4:21 PM  
Anonymous V Bell said...
Psychoanalyst and historian Lisa Appignanesi reviews the latest salacious Freud biography

4:41 PM  
Blogger C. J. Timmins said...

Other signs of America's collapse as a civilization lies in our reactions to the present state of affairs. There is visceral outrage over peaceful NFL protests from every corner of the internet and folks are now utterly numb to mass shootings, the fallout of hurricanes and earthquakes, and genocide in Myanmar. On that last note, what do Wafers think of this Rohingya ethnic cleansing being perpetrated by Myanmar's Buddhist government? I know we've discussed the ruthlessness of this religion in the past. Very sad to see how Aung San Suu Kyi, a once legitimate humanitarian, has withered in the face of nationalism. Interesting piece in a recent New Yorker:

I also LOVED this piece in the New Yorker about the latest New Age woo woo: essential oils. Has anyone else been hit up by friends or family to participate in this pyramid scheme? In reference to the increasing stupidity, these folks actually believe this modern day snake oil can cure cancer and Alzheimer's! The so-called enlightened class now has more money than it knows what to do with:

9:37 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I'll just stand here quietly for a moment while you let this one sink in:

Top White House Staffers Are Reportedly Mulling a Plan to Stop Trump if He 'Lunged for the Nuclear Football'

Meanwhile--Kim Davis, leading candidate to be Ambassador to Romania:

Kim Davis fights gay marriage in Romania

Also: Man tries to shoot vicious dog, man shoots and kills woman instead.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is a gas: check out comments #s 57 and 60:


11:38 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

"Crushing of the media, as Trump is sort of threatening to do. Why doesn't he just get it over with? If he had appointed me to a top-level post, which he foolishly refused to do, I'd have closed down the NYT in 2 days. Brooks and Friedman wd be in chains, in a dungeon, having their shoes peed on on a daily basis.
Altho their columns are themselves part of the decline, I suppose."

This is one thing I agree with Trump on, although he is just blowing hot air. Throwing America's corporate media heads into a dungeon and dumping urine on them daily is an appropriate (though light IMO) punishment.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, maybe we cd beat them 20 mins/day w/a rubber hose. That wd be nice.

TV series rec: "Lilyhammer". Norway meets Las Vegas hustler.

Bk rec: "The Secret History," by Donna Tartt. Very absorbing.


1:23 PM  
Blogger Baron Von Strangeknight said...

To MB: Kashe Varnishke, I like it! And it appears I would really love the dish, don't think I have ever tried it. I have read your essay on the Hula Hoop Theory of History as published in an Counterpunch article. Need to read QOV someday.

I have a far flung and utterly speculative theory about why many USA citizens are lacking in intelligence and judgment. I call it the "Something in The Gut" Theory. There is more and more evidence that a gut bacteria imbalance in pregnant mothers is responsible for the rise of Autism in children. That got me to thinking "what if" there is a more widespread syndrome of lower intelligence and widespread dullness affecting the population due to something like a gut bacteria imbalance? Possible? Completely off base? Maybe there's something in the Big Macs causing all of this.

2:35 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The future “Leaders” of the USA...all upstanding young lads.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


They face misdemeanor charges. For killing a kid.


4:07 PM  
Anonymous Tino said...


Re: Vietnam

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Wag the Dog said...

7:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check this out:

I also saw, once, a documentary abt Vietnam Vets against the war, including scenes of the vets throwing their medals over the White House fence and yelling, "This is just bullshit!" I imagine it might be hard to dig that film up rt now.

It's a shame, what Burns did, really, but it fits the American mythological pattern that I've documented in a few essays in QOV. At the end of his life, haunted by the genocide he unleashed, Robt McNamara admitted that the whole thing was a mistake: that it was a civil war, not one of communism vs. the US. But the US created, after WW2, the notion of a "peripheral defense," whereby any problem that arose anywhere in the world was somehow our problem, and fell into the agenda of containment (aggression, more like it). George Kennan, author of the containment doctrine, came to regret it, arguing that not all so-called communist states were the same, and that it was a gross error to lump them all together. (The State Dept rendered him irrelevant after that.) Another myth we are fixated on is the Manichaean one: we are always the innocents, always the victims; outside is the Evil Empire (a changing target, to be sure). So we killed something like 3 million civilians in VN, and tortured tens of thousands--all of it a mistake, as a once-decent John Kerry told the Senate.

Americans are hardly interested in the facts of VN, or our other imperialist wars; they need mythology, and need it badly. Burns feeds them the Disney version, and they love it. But there is karma involved here, Burns or no Burns: the war seriously damaged us as a nation, bled us economically, emptied us spiritually, and humiliated us militarily. It was not the 1st salvo in our process of national suicide, but it was a major nail in the coffin.


9:58 PM  
Anonymous Lobotomized Imperial Subject said...

Dr Berman and Wafers,

Yes, Zuckershmuck is def. better but there's a "ring" to it that might be offensive to Germans and sugar consumers (not p.c. in these p.c. times). How about just Zuckschmuck? Less chance of it being confused with sugar that way.

On violence in the imperial state, I came across this tracker: - data downloadable in CSV!

And this Imperial Subject in New Zealand even did a frequency analysis on it - in 2015, he was ahead of his time -

Of course he misses the most important factor being the decline of society.


11:25 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Believe it or not there is one area in which Trump's presidency is having a positive effect:

Trump Voters Say They Choose Trump Over The NFL

Meanwhile, the Harvey Weinstein story is the gift that is exposing all kinds of corruption among supposedly liberal institutions. Obarfa and Botoxface waited nearly 5 days to issue any condemnation of Weinstein, and neither has yet said they will be donating the money he gave them to charity, as nearly every other major Democrat in the country has already felt compelled to do. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are also collateral damage; the first having now been accused of sexual assault himself and the second for helping cover up Weinstein's activities by contacting the NYT to get it to kill their first story about the serial abuser back in 2004 that could have prevented more than a decade of assault and rape.

And let's not forget Manhattan's "liberal" DA, one Cyrus Vance Jr., who in 2015 buried a criminal investigation of Weinstein in exchange for a large campaign contribution. All of these people, of course, profess to hate the Trumpenfuhrer in part because he is a vile, sexist pig. I'm looking forward to the pussy hat march on Hollywood that will never happen because despite all of the evidence to the contrary delusional liberals still continue to believe that they hold the moral high ground.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Many yrs ago Ronald Dworkin wrote an artice in the NYRB in which he said there wasn't a single American institution now that was not corrupt. If he were alive today, and were to do a follow-up, he wd hafta add that there wasn't a single one that didn't consist of turkeys w/their heads rammed up their asses. America has actually become frivolous. Americans, of course, don't know this, but I suspect many other countries do. They hear the gobbling, and draw the obvious conclusion.


8:17 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Just another example of absurd dysfunction. The US loses to a nation of around a million people...

The continued failure at real football shows the total inability to achieve group cohesion in American society. American sports are designed to have one Big Guy call the shots- a quarterback, or a 'playmaker'. The aggrandizement of a few individuals is all that's really at stake.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Derek said...

Prof. Berman, welcome back! I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on Italy and would love to read a post with your impressions of the country.

Also, by chance I saw The Deer Hunter a few days ago. Anyone interested in the Vietnam War should watch it...although it's apparently not quite historically accurate it surely captures the terror and pain of the war.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

James Howard Kunstler reviews the new BladeRunner movie:

"One thing Blade Runner 2049 gets right in its retro-anachronistic borrowings from the present is the awesome joylessness of the culture. The artistry in this vision of the future is especially vivid in illuminating the absence of real artistry in contemporary “postmodern” American life. Sleek mechanical surfaces are everything, with no substance beneath the surface.

I walked out after two hours, and there was plenty more to go. It was too dreary, and too intellectually insulting to endure. I don’t blame Ryan Gosling, though. His look of doleful skepticism throughout the proceedings was perfect."

John David Ebert also reviews BladeRunner 2049 :

2:59 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

A SHAM marriage...

6:49 PM  
Blogger ccg said...

About Cyrus Vance, Jr.: It should be duly noted that this is the turkey who went after the relatively small Abacus Bank that serves immigrants in Chinatown for fraud. The case is well described in The Divide by Matt Taibbi, and was also the subject of a recent Frontline episode on PBS. Vance had virtually nothing and lost the case in court. And he's still whining about it. Abacus was the only bank ever charged with fraud over the period of the collapse of the banks. I wonder why. No, I don't. But when confronted with a recording in which Weinstein admits he assaulted someone, that's "not enough evidence." I wonder how many people, especially brown people, have been sent to jail by Vance with considerably less evidence. To bad Weinstein and Vance couldn't share the same jail cell in the end, though neither will get what they deserve.

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Tino said...

That looks great mr Berman! apparently one of the books Amazon pairs it with as similar books is

H. Bruce Franklin is a favorite author of mine. And I wish you could remember the name of that documentary!

9:00 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

Film recommendation: "The Meyerowitz Stories" w/Dustin Hoffman.

Time for some jazz: Sonny Rollins, "What Is There to Say."


9:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What a great cut; thank you.


9:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Does anyone know what Reince Priebus is doing these days? Since my 5-vol. study of the Philosophy of Rom Mittney got aborted, I've been musing on the possibility of another 5-vol. work, "The Life and Times of Reince Priebus." Or I might call it: "Priebism: Key to the Future."


10:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

No end to hustling in America:

6:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

From the New Yorker, Sept. 18:

"According to the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, 97.5 million Americans [i.e., 30% of the entire population] used, or misused, prescription pain pills in 2015. Drug-overdose deaths have tripled since 2000, and opioid abuse now kills more than a hundred Americans a day."

Las Vegas massacre: 58 or 59 dead in a day
Opioid massacre: more than 100 dead per day, every day


7:22 AM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Dr. Berman, welcome back! Glad to hear you had an enjoyable trip.

Several weeks ago, I watched this 2006 talk by Clifford Stoll. While I’m not generally a fan of TED talks, I think Wafers may enjoy what he has to say here.

The Call to Learn

I have just two comments on his talk. First, notice the conspicuous silence from the audience when he says they should listen to kindergarten teachers. Second, given his writing and other works, which stress that learning shouldn’t be confused with entertainment, it would be a bit of a shame if he still feels the need to take the Sesame Street approach of acting like an over-stimulated muppet in order to hold the audience. In fairness, even back in the early nineties, he came across as hyper-caffeinated on television broadcasts. Hopefully, that’s just his natural personality, but I worry that he feels that a hyper approach is necessary to have any chance of reaching an American audience.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Francois said...

Just wanted to say thank you for your writings and blog Professor Berman. I just read The Hula Hoop Theory of History and now I am going to read a Biography of Montaigne by Sarah Bakewell.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yr welcome. Enjoy.


Might wanna re-send; a computer glitch lost yr last post. Sorry.


2:29 PM  
Anonymous Le Red said...

Finished this on holiday--After having grown out of the appreciation I held as a younger man, I've always had trouble with aspects Camus: his denial of Algeria's independence, for instance. This, a novel that humanizes the innocent victim of the odious Merseault in the overrated L'Etranger.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Vincent in Auvers said...

ccg- The hypocrisy is astounding. Guys like Weinstein know they can pretty much get away with murder and there will be no repercussions, because white + power + money = above the law. Yet all black and brown men are assumed to be criminals and treated as such, not only by the judicial system but by perfect strangers. I have to say it's rather gratifying to see this trash get his comeuppance, particularly considering it's the propaganda he and his media friends have been poisoning the world's psyche with for decades that is largely to blame for a lot of the hatred and violence we're seeing now.

Turk- The Bay Area has a very screwed up culture. People here seem very, very unhappy. Every time I go into the city I get depressed seeing all the crazy people on the street, the tech assholes waltzing around like they own the place, the stuck-up women, the race/class segregation, etc. No smiles, no humanity, just a lot of posturing and misery. I'm not sure how this place has the reputation of being liberal and open-minded. John Lennon's Crippled Inside comes to mind when I think of the people here. It's not just the clowns in white robes who need to take a good hard look at themselves in the mirror.

This whole era is bad nightmare. What the hell happened to the free spirits, the ones who didn't take themselves and the world so seriously?

6:11 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Hollywood hypocrisy continues, even as it tries to put on its best face. Weinstein is out of the Academy, but Cosby and Polanski remain members in good standing:

The Academy has expelled Harvey Weinstein

Also, as could be predicted, it is now open season on Hollywood sexual predators:

Oliver Stone Has Also Been Accused of Being a Creep

Of course, just the title of the last story indicates where this is probably headed, into a witch hunt that goes beyond the truly guilty like Weinstein and starts to engulf anyone in the industry who a particular actress or studio employee is harboring a grudge against. Because in America, we're too stupid to ever simply deal with a problem and punish the guilty without a whole lot of collateral damage.

For an all too recent example, look no farther than these poor people:

Falsely accused of satanic horrors, a couple spent 21 years in prison

6:12 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

The opioid epidemic is yet another result of American culture. American culture is so meaningless that people are killing themselves to escape the Void.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


They became Wafers! ;-)


7:31 PM  
Anonymous pro-bono-urine-donator said...

I've noticed reality is being disseminated into polarities where e.g. climate chaos is meeting up with an ice age (thnx clif high - really high?) though Cal is burning, glaciers disappearing, storms etc. Is this due to tribalism or cognitive dissonance? Persuasive people make reality hard to discern even Scott Adams is into the power of positive thinking lately. If we don't know or accept what reality is then we can't negotiate reality together and protect the landbase. But obviously we're pathologically not allowed to all be in this together. One thing experts seemed to agree about at the Aspen Nexus conference was that the masters of the Fed Res etc are moving to a 5th stage of consolidation where reactionary false flag-esque color revolutions like possibly antifa can open the door to Marshall Law which would benefit the banker industrialists (wanting a global electronic currency) which Russia, Iran, and North Korea have managed to exclude.

Also polarity for subsidized (Musk) "clean" energy which is an oxymoron - when nothing replaces diesel engines see Alice Friedemann - (myth of progress).

Gig maybe we should just "as humanitarian volunteers" show up at the NY Times with some bottled urine for brooks and friedman et al - a we could do this the hard way or the easy way proposition - before we're carted off to jail.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


1st, I assume you mean martial law. It's in our future; no doubt abt it. I've been predicting it for yrs, and just look at my prediction record (100%, if not for Trumpi).

2nd, in terms of hosing down Brooks and Friedman: capital suggestion, but I prefer fresh urine, which is also nice and warm. Hence what we need in bottles is not pee but beer. Also, if all 172 registered Wafers show up, and we are heavily armed, it's possible we might be able to just pee and go.

3rd, from the NYT Bldg I suggest we make our way out to Long Island, drink another round of Bud Lite, and have Hillary's shoes be the recipient of 172 bladders of yellow fluid. I'm guessing it's the only thing that can finally shut her up. Unless she then appears on Diane Sawyer, who asks her: "What was it like, having all that urine soaking into your Guccis?" "Well, Diane, if it wasn't for the Russians..."


8:14 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

These geniuses were going to spend the night discussing the works of Byron, Shelley, and Keats....but they chose this activity instead.

9:48 PM  
Anonymous davedave said...

Thought you'd enjoy this, it's a dog peeing on a guy on his cell phone.

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Hollywood Kills said...

Woody Allen warns against “witch hunt” post Weinstein

o boy ... WA really hasn't made a truly good movie since 'Hannah and Her Sisters'.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Zarathustra said...

If I may, a couple of interesting things from the other side of the pond, to illustrate my personal theory that it's not just Americans, but speaking English as a native language probably reduces your IQ on average by 25%.

In London, the self-proclaimed most cosmopolitan city of the world, an attempt to open a mosque in a neighbourhood with a high concentration of jews causes panic:
Of course the English progs are always scolding the Europeans for doing things like banning burqas or closing Islamic kindergartens, like the future president of Austria has promised to do. But, as identity politics/multiculturalism seems to have failed completely, perhaps trying to avoid cultural fragmentation, even with a bit heavy-handed approach, is not such a crazy idea after all?

Finally, how Jeremy Corbyn wouldn't change anything substantive, by the always worth reading John Pilger (as an aside and with apologies, compared to John, I find Noam Chomsky mealy-mouthed sometimes):
"Like Clinton, Sanders is a cold-warrior and an "anti-communist" obsessive with a proprietorial view of the world beyond the United States. He supported Bill Clinton's and Tony Blair's illegal assault on Yugoslavia in 1998 and the invasions of Afghanistan, Syria and Libya, as well as Barack Obama's campaign of terrorism by drone."

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Alvin said...

I enjoyed this article by Fergus on Trump’s America as late Republican Rome very, very, very much indeed...

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

What's with Matt Damon? He lived next door to Howard Zinn, referenced "A People's History of the United States" in Good Will Hunting then became a CIA agent in The Good Shepherd and in all the Borne films. Now he's one of Weinstein's biggest defenders working with Russell Crow to kill the NYT story in 2004.
Yeah, I give up. Finally, I got my family not to put their I-crap on the table when we eat. Then yesterday a member of my family displays his I-crap wrist watch which equally aggravated me.
Found myself walking in center city last night and discovered a new configuration- 3 guys walking with a fairly attractive woman. What's that about? Wafers, help me on that.
Listened to a great discussion on a Youtube channel called tontalks between 2 black intellectuals. One said that white America is not angry that black athletes are disrespecting the flag. They're angry that the black athletes are starting to think. White America only want blacks who can physically entertain them, not challenge them. Exactly. White America finally embraced Mohammed Ali when he could no longer talk. Wow!

9:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Menage a quatre?


Kinda nice that Ferguson caught up to me 17 yrs later (Twilight bk). Empire going down the drain? What a revelation!


Personally, I enjoyed a number of Woody's post-Hannah films, esp. "To Rome With Love," "Match Point," and "Café Society."


9:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

American Mental Illness Dept.:

American Depravity Dept.:

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Grover said...

Macron seems 2b a jerk, but this is from a German magazine's first question to French president. Dare the press ever ask a similar question of a US leader? What would be the answer? Can you even imagine such a q&a happening here?

11:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I imagine Trump wd say, "Who the fuck is Hegel?"


2:07 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

An insightful piece on Ken Burns' "The Vietnam War" documentary:

A couple of quotes from the article:

"The U.S. invaded and destroyed another country because that other country wanted a form of government different than the one the U.S. was willing to allow it to have."

"Burns is a very smart businessman. He makes millions of dollars on these cinemagraphic blockbusters. More than anything else, he doesn't want to derail the gravy train. He doesn't want to blow the franchise. He doesn't want to have to burden his 40 million middlebrow viewers with anything like the weight of having to make moral judgements about their nation's behavior. Or worse, having to take action when the same atrocities are committed in their name again and again and again."


5:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A very astute and important article. Unfortunately, there is an endless problem: the American people want myth, not fact, and folks like Burns give it to them. It goes way beyond the $ he makes; he too wants to believe in this mystification. So for every person who reads this article, at least 100,000 go to see Burns' Disney version, and imbibe the govt line. The # of Americans interested in the larger context, as Freeman describes it, is minuscule. Stephen Kinzer has gone over this territory--of what we do to other countries and why--in great detail, and I'm guessing sales of his bks are relatively small. And so the show goes on. For every bk Freeman sells, an author like, say, Ann Coulter sells 100,000, probably more. There is no altering the dominant paradigm in the US, of how we are the well-meaning innocents, and our 'enemies' (who had no beef w/us) the Ultimate Evil. Article upon article like Freeman's can roll off the alternate/marginalized press, and it makes no difference at all. The NYT, Wash Post, and the New Yorker all endorsed the destruction of Iraq in 2003, for example. This is the dominant paradigm at work. The upper-middle and professional classes read these publications, with their (essentially) genocidal editorials, and nod right along. Who is it, exactly, that (according to Chris Hedges, among others) is going to "rise up against our corporate masters"? What sane person cd believe such a scenario?

Which raises Lenin's question: What is to be done? Answer: nothing at all. This situation simply will not change; it is what it is. Change wd mean a different country with different people in it, and I don't know how that cd possibly happen, or what wd be the mechanism of such a change. The karmic price of all this is the decline we are now living thru: the graft, the insanity, the massacres, the national debt, the opioid addiction, the vast ignorance, having a mindless cartoon character in the White House, and so on. Folks who really understand this either pack their bags and leave, or choose the Monastic Option.

I think the deep unhappiness I always felt when I lived in the US, which started around age 8, came from vaguely understanding that I was a stranger in a strange land; that I had no one to talk to, and that my values were completely different from almost all of the people around me. To return to the VN war: in the late 60s Ma Bell added a 10% surcharge to everyone's fone bill, specifically designed to pay for the war. Penalties for refusing to pay it ran from, the govt wd take the $ out of yr bank acct, to jail. I refused to pay it; the govt took the $ out of my bank acct, didn't imprison me--altho I had no idea of what wd happen as a result of my refusal. The pt I'm trying to make here, altho I don't have the stats to prove it, is that only the tiniest fraction of the American public refused to pay this war tax. Possibly cowardice, but more likely a case of believing the war was just. Much the same can be said of VN protesters: %-wise, they constituted only a handful of Americans; most Americans were not incensed at the war, but at the protesters. All I heard hurled at me was "Love it or leave it!" Finally, I realized they were right, and I left. You can't change the fundamental 'anthropological'/ideological orientation of an entire nation; only the collapse of the nation can accomplish that. And even then, in our case, we are so stupid, that it wd never dawn on us that this *was* karma, that we *did* deserve it, that we participated in socio-cide, the death of the country, perpetrated by our own hand. 40 yrs from now, perhaps earlier, when we are a 3rd-rate power and no one gives a damn what we say or do, we'll still be cranking out Burnsian-style documentaries, and Glenn-Beck-style 'histories', so that even in death, we can soothe ourselves by living in a fog.


7:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Interesting essay on future of Europe by Anne Applebaum in the NYRB for Oct. 12. Last para mentions the conjecture of some European diplomat, who compares Europe and the US to (respectively) the Eastern and Western halves of the old Roman Empire:

"The West imploded, with drama, violence and crazy Caesars; the Byzantine East lingered on, bureaucratic, stodgy, and predictable, for many centuries. It's not exactly an optimistic precedent for Europeans, but it's a comforting one."


8:11 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

This happened some time ago, but resurfaced in light of the Weinstein story. I'm so old, I remember when Barbara Walters was the female equivalent of Walter Conkrite, but she REALLY debased herself all those years on that idiotic gabfest, The View. Feldman himself was the victim of Hollywood sexual abuse and was telling his story on the show:

Barbara Walters tells Corey Feldman "you're damaging an entire industry" when he warns of Hollywood abuse

Meanwhile, another "Face of America" contestant: Woman launches hot nacho cheese at a 7-Eleven clerk

And lastly, I don't know what is scarier about this story, that a man was in the habit of shooting at planes flying over his house, or that a neighbor saw him do it four different times without calling the cops

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Turkerino said...

Vincent in Auvers, your observation is similar to mine. I get when teenagers read of people like bill gates and Steve jobs and think they can "make the world a better place"(while also getting rich) the world like them. But I would expect that they grow up and realize that it's not going to happen. I don't expect them to stop idolizing those guys, considering they've been raised to believe they should admire those with power and money but at least realize what an unhappy place that is. All the money in the world just won't make silicon valley worth living in IMO, people like gates and jobs are themselves probably have/had unhappy but who cares, they are not the norm anyways.

As for the hippies in the 60s, my guess is that they never existed, it was probably fantasy made up in the media like everything else in America or at least over-exaggerated.

9:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I ask u2 check out Stephanie's face. This is the face of America. Brr.


9:01 PM  
Blogger ccg said...

Bill Hicks--

I virtually always agree with the points you make, but I have to take issue with your remark about Barbara Walters. As an oldster myself, I don't ever remember her as the female equivalent of Walter Cronkite. She mainly chased after celebrity interviews, and was a horrible interviewer at that. She was about entertainment. She was essentially a fraud as a news person. SNL was right to make fun of her.

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Ghouly D said...

Didn't Barbra Walters offer to serve as Roy Cohn's beard in the 60's? I suppose it speaks to a commitment to protecting those in power which is an admirable quality in a journalist.

10:20 PM  
Blogger George Zadorozny, Attorney-at-Law said...

Hi Professor Berman--

Here's another entry for the "America Is the Greatest Country in the World" file:

10:29 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

I'm enjoying this talk by Camille Paglia given five years ago when her book _Glittering Images_ was appearing, but posted on Youtube only a week ago. She pleads for the centrality of the arts (and comparative religion) in education and calls for those on both the political left and the right who understand this to make common cause. She asks the audience "is there anyone I haven't offended yet?" after skewering the philistinism of academics "with degrees in snark" for whom words are everything; "snide" new atheists such as Christopher Hitchens and his admirers; and populist talk show hosts on AM radio (while admitting that the disgust that much contemporary art engenders in the latter is justifiable). What do other WAFers think of Ms. Paglia? IMHO she is brilliant.

1:07 AM  
Anonymous the-people's-urine-party said...

Doug Casey at Nexus told me Uruguay was going downhill fast - that Jose Mujica was a communist (he left out dirty) - like a Wafer commentator noticed in the Bret Weinstein Rogan interview - as smart as they were they couldn't envision a world non-capitalistic - the myth that capitalism is a meritocratic survival of the fittest system free of Mark Ames'sh polit-bureafication and other distortions?

Here Rick Steves remarks that the Cuban poor are well educated and seem better overall than the poor of other latin American countries in particular but perhaps not the US when the US is the worst "first" world nation to be poor in:

A few additional polarities regarding reality: more babies need to be thrown at the over-population problem because the economy needs workers mentioned on an episode of a Max Keiser report, or that the US is a net energy exporter due to this fracking horizontal drilling revolution and that there is an energy surplus hence low prices, that the US gives the most charity around the world and by percentage of gdp, the self-delusion goes on and on. People suck when they believe what they want to and are un-conscious. Maybe Hatreon could help me realize my urination dreams since it's unlikely the NY Times will book any wafer events, maybe we could try for NPR.

1:08 AM  

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