November 22, 2017

Pardoning Turkeys

Well, Trumpi pardoned a turkey. A wonderful thing, to be sure. But what about the 325 million or so other turkeys, walking the streets of our fair nation, and shopping their eyeballs out? Shouldn't they receive a pardon as well? Our Leader has been conspicuously silent about that.

And so, as we careen toward Thanksgiving and Xmas and the New Year, and contemplate our fellow Americans trying to stuff the emptiness in their lives with Wal-Mart, let us look ahead to 2018, and the foolishness that awaits us in the coming year.

I wish you all a fabulous Waferian holiday season, one filled with great inner joy.



Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Dmitry is saying Amerikkka has reached the stage of Mental Collapse:

10:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Trumpian mathematics:pardons a turkey (pop. 81 million) while supporting the extinction of elephants (pop. 30-50 thousand). The nightmare continues... meanwhile@BigPharma: Alec Raeshawn Smith, age 26, was found dead in his apartment on June 27. He was rationing his insulin after he aged out of his parent’s insurance coverage.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Don-

Sorry, wasn't able to post yr messages. Here are a couple of blog rules that might help you in the future:

1. Post only once every 24 hrs
2. Limit your message to half a page.

Thank you for yr understanding.


10:57 AM  
Blogger Baron Von Strangeknight said...

I recently watched a documentary about Robert Oppenheimer. Was he possibly a quasi-Wafer? After he deftly steered the Manhattan Project team to complete the A-Bomb he and team were horrified that Truman decided to drop a second bomb on Nagasaki. As the cold war began to ramp up he led efforts to scale back use and building of additional nuclear weapons. He was eventually blacklisted by the Eisenhower administration and fellow physicists because they decided he was not patriotic enough, too left leaning (a Communist sympathizer!), and disgreed with the idea of Bigger, Better, and More bombs for the USA. His trial was more or less a Kangaroo Court that destroyed his career and self-esteem.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You can get the low-down by rdg ch. on WW2 in my Japan bk (esp. the ftnotes). Also the bio by Ray Monk.


11:46 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Anti-Capitalism in Five Minutes or Less...

12:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers Please Note-

I'm off to Guadalajara during Nov. 26-29, to give a lecture on the Spanish trans of my Japan bk, which just appeared, at the annual bk fair, and do a bunch of interviews w/Hispanic media. I'm staying at some hotel nr the fair, which may or may not have a business center w/computers for Internet access. As a result, I need to ask you once again to hold off on messages to the blog during those 4 days. You can resume posting as of Nov. 30. Sorry to wink out on you once again, but this is my last travel assignment for a long time (I think).


1:49 PM  
Anonymous Dill Pickle said...

Hi MB!

Guadalahara! I'm sure you'll have a swell time there.

On the current state of decrepitation in the USA, it's not just the roads that are falling into ruin, the subways in New York City are also falling apart due to bad choices made by politicians since the 90s.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Early Dual Process:

4:21 PM  
Anonymous 100 Octane said...

Mr Berman.

I am a long time lurker. The concerns of Polecat and your thoughtful response have led me to post, as I shared some similar concerns. In 2008 I began searching for answers as to what happened to "my" country. I credit Dark Ages America for flipping on the light switch, so to speak, and showing me a new way of looking at things, some of which I knew but tried to ignore. Mainly, the realization that this country is a giant lie. I am keeping this brief as I'm not much of a writer.

Thank you for all you do.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Welcome to the blog, amigo. Lurking is fine, but participating is even finer. Paul Fussell once wrote that "everything in America is coated with a fine layer of fraud." That was a while back; if he were alive today, I think he might use the word 'thick' instead of 'fine'.

Two recent bks follow in his, and my, footsteps of arguing that Americans are clueless, wallowing in utter delusion: check out Kurt Andersen and Suzy Hansen on Amazon.

Yr welcome.


4:41 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

It looks like American "deaths of despair" might increase in the future.

America's dark future: Deaths from booze, drugs, suicide could spike 60 percent to 1.6 million over the next decade.

Things are already bad and might get even worse. The article contains some sobering statistics.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Student of Waferism said...

Republican senator who's pic got leaked masturbating.

I can't help but feel like this

What in the hell is wrong with the male/female dynamics in this country? Both sides of the equation are screwed up, men and women. And I am sorry but why the hell is it ok to scream sexual harassment years after it happened? It's like the Louis CK thing, the guy asked if he could masturbate in front of the women, why the hell did they say yes and then claim sexual harassment? And if they answered no, how the hell did he harass them? Asking women for consent is sexual harassment now? How is it supposed to work?

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Nicholas said...

I'm having a lot of trouble dealing with this collapse. It is very distressing. Berm, I have read about ten of your books since your first appearence on the Kunstler Cast a few years ago and they have soothed me intellectually, but I am tripping out. This is almost too much to bare. Any advice or kind words? Thanks for everything you have written. Can't wait to read your new book.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


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


Don't trip out; *get* out! And if that's not possible, make a commitment to becoming an NMI, because there aren't any other choices. Yrs ago, upon publication of DAA, I did a cross-country lecture tour, wh/began at the Community Bkstore in Bklyn. After I did my little spiel, one woman asked: "Why aren't you depressed? This material is so awful." And I said to her: "Because the truth makes me high. I don't believe ignorance is bliss, and I think that a successful life consists of living in reality, even if that reality is awful."

You think I envy the progs, who are trying to get the US "back on track"? Isn't it much better to recognize that that is never gonna happen, and live your life accordingly? Yes, the Las Vegas massacre (e.g.) was horrible, and I feel very sad for people who woke up that day having no idea it was to be their last. But what, my fellow Americans, did you expect? That you cd live a life of extreme individualism, endless competition and aggression and unbelievable narcissism, and not pay a price for it? The collapse of a civilization is never pretty, but one can--with Arnold Toynbee and others--look at it from a distance and know that that is simply the nature of the beast, the order of things. Knowing that can make a great difference for your state of mind.

In the meantime, take time to stop and smell the roses. Wafers like to have fun. Take it from me: you'll wake up one day and wonder where the last 50 yrs have gone. I wasted a lot of time being unconscious. Don't let that happen to you.


6:24 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Student--your comment about Louis CK is nothing more than victim blaming (much as it pains me to say so since I am a huge fan of his). Louis was the Harvey Weinstein of the stand up world and much beloved by his peers. Had the women said no, he could have easily destroyed their careers--which he also could have done if they complained since it was entirely likely that they would not have been believed if they had. The problem with sexual harassment story is that it has become a circus in which some men who may or may not be guilty are being smeared by mere allegations. That does not, however, change the fact that Weinstein, CK, Spacey, Rose, Cosby and Halperin (against whom the evidence is overwhelming) are monsters whose behavior went WAY beyond an unsolicited backrub or a few sexist comments. Their behavior was tolerated for decades because they made oodles of money for their employers.

As Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism wrote when introducing this Intercept story that asked when the prison rape epidemic might actually be addressed by the media (hint: never): "The reason sexual harassment has become a national cause celebre is that elite women and celebrities were being harassed. Have we yet seen any stories about harassment of secretaries and nurses? Or Walmart workers? Prisoners are way lower on the “deserving of media sympathy” than them." Indeed, the sexual harassment mania is all about justice for the top 20% of women--just as the Clinton campaign was all about feeding into that group's political fantasies. But the actions of the abusers and their enablers are still reflective of a profoundly sick society.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Zombies said...

Weirdly notice so many driving with lights off at dusk lately. I wonder if there is a big pharma connection or it's mostly over-work.

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Francois said...

Transgender hustling

5:55 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Fellow Wafers,

Today, I get out of the house and spend a few hours in the Lion’s Den: Thanksgiving with Paul’s hyper-patriot, right wing, brainwashed family. Hopefully we’ll avoid any subject of substance so we won't be subjected to an angry tirade.

I posted this once before, and thought it would fun to watch again:

6:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

The Zen of hustling: I refer to this sorta thing in my Japan bk:

7:41 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Something to be thankful for: the daily litany of examples of the society’s collapse, reassuring us that we have correctly assessed the direction and fate of the country.

Another gropee heard from. Is Franken fucked? At the time of writing, no Las Vegas line has been established for placing bets.

The Blackboard Jungle redux
“At least 45 teachers resigned from Pennsylvania’s Harrisburg School District between July and October due to misbehavior [and violence] in classrooms, and more have resigned since then, according to the Harrisburg Education Association.”

During a brief stint as a substitute teacher in the 1970s, I kicked a refractory youth out of the junior high class I was subbing in. I didn’t want him to get another black mark on his “Permanent Record” (copyright, all rights reserved)—I imagined he already had a few—so I asked him to leave. When he asked where I wanted him to go, I told him “away.”


9:29 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Turkey update:


ps: The Trumpy Bear commercial is real, not Fake News.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


At one time stuff like this cd only be found in "The Onion". Now, parody and reality have fused. Read my new book: "Bozo Nation: The March of the Turkeys."


12:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers: Don't miss this one: "The Goldfinch," by Donna Tartt.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Profiles in turkeydom:

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Boar's Head said...

I hoisted this from Naked Capitalism's comments section on today's links post. It appears more and more folks out there are coming to the realization that Americans are bat-shit crazy:

The propensity for hyper-hysteria in the American psyche is under-noticed as a real threat to the world’s integrity and sanity.

Some Saudis crash into two buildings in NYC and America embarks on a $5 trillion orgy of randomly smashing everything in sight across the globe. Some banks get into trouble and the US central bank sees fit to spray credit far and wide in a fire hose of fiscal and monetary insanity. Some journalists and poseurs get wind of Russians buying $50K in Facebook ads and the nation descends into a wildly-expensive and divisive paroxysm of boogieman-under-the-bed Red witch hunts. And now a sexual predator is outed, and we careen off the edge of sanity in pursuit of that new most horrible monster: the gender differences of our very biology.

When does the world come to grips with the fact that hysterical Americans are a mortal threat to the entire world?
This quote from the article sums it up nicely:

Behold the dismaying spectacle of these joyless, bloodless mortals doing futile battle with the god Eros

Is it something in the water? Or is it just because the media wants to sell clicks? Because it’s really terrifying

2:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I don't think Chomsky was wrong when he referred to the US as a 'rogue state', and I suspect that most of the world's nations understand this. We are like a baby with a bazooka in our hands, whom everyone hasta tiptoe around. As we continue to go under, the rest of the world will sigh with relief; except that the prospect for us is so scary, that as we die, we lash out in fury--our last gasp.

But Chomsky never (to my knowledge) explained how we got to this pt. Actually, it's embedded in the concept of American exceptionalism, wh/dates to at least 1630 (John Winthrop). But beyond that, Americans are pretty one-dimensional people. If yr whole life is abt hustling, what are you, really? Paper thin, spiritually speaking. And if that's the case, you need Causes and Enemies to fill the gaping hole in yr soul. War is one (phony) way of filling the emptiness; but hysteria over anything will do the trick--for a while, until that wears out and you start looking for the next cause. That paragraph you quote sums it up pretty well. Woody Allen predicted a witch hunt around the Weinstein issue, and he was rt. It'll last for a few mos.; then well find something else--exactly what, doesn't really matter.

We are not only a crazy people, and a collection of angry morons; we are also sad, stupid, and violent.


6:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Student-

CTOS was 2nd bk in that trilogy; 1st was Reenchantment. (3rd was WAF) Just fyi.


6:34 AM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Black Friday Madness Dept:

Americans buying & selling employee uniforms in new craze to beat crowds on Black Friday

Duh! Department:

Best Wishes,

9:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Read my new book, "Turkeys Out of Control!"


9:46 AM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

"ps: The Trumpy Bear commercial is real, not Fake News."


Oh I don't know, Miles. Given the amount of fake news out there today, I would not be surprised to find out it's being funded by by Media Matters/David Brock.

While I'd like to believe it's real for comedic purposes, it really doesn't seem real.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous anita said...

power causes mental damage...duh!

10:24 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

A day after Thanksgiving, the following article reporting a curious custom practiced by the citizens of Yellville, Arkansas during their October Turkey Trot festival:
“The annual October festival in Yellville sees turkeys hurled from buildings and a plane flying 500 feet above the ground.”

We might agree that the wrong turkeys are being sacrificed. A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, answering a reporter’s inquiry about this practice (which was supposed to have been suspended in 1989), stated the following:

“FAA regulations do not specifically prohibit dropping live animals from aircraft, possibly because the authors of the regulation never anticipated that an explicit prohibition would be necessary...”

You can’t legislate against stupid.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Sean C said...

I've always found his work captivating

11:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Another note to Student-

Sorry: 3rd in that trilogy was "Wandering God." WAF is 3rd in other trilogy.

Senility strikes again!


One of my favorites, 2b sure. See plates in Reenchantment bk.


How charming. Yes, clearly: wrong turkeys.


12:02 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Wafers everywhere, greetings from Cascadia,

I spent Thanksgiving Day finishing up Gary Shteyngart’s satirical novel “Super Sad True Love Story”. Shteyngart extrapolated the current Merican trajectory and ventured deep into Wafer territory as he took on techno-narcissism, commodity civilization, prog delusions of domestic insurrection, deny/consent martial law, identity politics, and male/female alienation against a backdrop of economic freefall as Chinese and other international finance combines cut deals to carve up the land of turkeys into a series of “leisure center” enclaves and throw-away failed states. A highly prescient work, especially when one considers it was published in 2010 prior to the era of Trumpi, and very much recommended for your Wafer reading list.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think I have an essay on it in AWTY. Yes, great bk.


2:31 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB--that Guardian article brought back less than fond memories. About 20 years ago, the head of my organization read that stupid "Who Moved My Cheese?" fad management book and proceeded to tie the whole place up in knots with a reorganization to something appropriately called Matrix Management (appropriately, because it happened right around the time the movie, "The Matrix" was released). For six months we all had to participate in a massive reorganization effort that called for endless, pointless meetings which brought most of our work projects to a complete standstill. I still shudder to think about it.

Your Black Friday headlines:

Hunter accidentally shoots, kills woman walking dogs in Western NY. Not only did the idiot claim he thought she was a deer, but he hasn't even been charged.

SIU herpes researcher illegally experimented on people in U.S. Billionaire FDA-hating scumbag Peter Thiel invested in the researcher's vaccine while the university tried to deny any responsibility once it all came to light.

A case of ding dong ditching turned into an Omaha man's arrest for terroristic threats. Angry idiot tries to run down shitty kids with his jeep--what could be more American than that?

4:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thiel also invested in Facebook, which is also destroying people (even admitted recently by Zuckershmuck).

Meanwhile, I an buoyed up by the kindness that lies deep in the American soul:

And on we go...


5:50 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

The amount of advertising people are exposed to is just staggering. I didn't leave the house today, but on years I've gone out on black friday the streets are packed w/ people shopping.

Advertising and shopping are nothing new, but I'm still blown away by the excitement people get for new gadgets. Anytime I see people get extremely excited for some tech or line up for some high dollar tech item, it just feels wrong to me. When my co-worker was telling me how she and her fiance buy up iphones to sell in China at a markup and how the demand is just through the roof, it made me think we'll all doomed.

Knowing there is nothing you can do about all this shopping and advertising is a weird feeling. Shopping just has such a hold on people, it's impossible for the mass of us to see through all the toys and garbage and realize how shitty things are, even decades beyond all the well published criticism of TV, advertising, shopping, etc.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


There are some gd fotos around, showing shoppers streaming into Wal-Mart with frenzied faces, when the doors open, to save $29 on a DVD player or whatever. If this isn't religion, I don't know what is. Also, if it isn't evidence of a dying society, same thing.


8:47 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Dr. Berman and WAFERS--the Malibu, CA folks that are banning the homeless suppers were the same folks who recently turned Malibu into a "sanctuary city" b/c the illegals help maintain their comfortable Malibu lifestyle.

Who would raise their obnoxious kids, clean their 7 toilets, and mow their palatial lawns?

You just cannot make this shit up. america would be a prime candidate for the gong show.

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...


Not only is advertising everywhere, I've also noticed just how many of my contemporaries work in marketing and advertising. I studied English lit. in college and it seems that the majority of the people I knew then, who also studied some form of the humanities, now work in social media, marketing, advertising. It's sad, really, but I suppose a lot of them feel they don't have much choice as it's a lucrative market and they're probably saddled with thousands of dollars of debt (or hundreds of thousands). Luckily I was able to avoid all that. Anyways, happy black friday everyone! enjoy the madness

9:26 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

I am 100 percent sure that America is toast and that Americans are turkeys and assholes. However, none of the alternative traditions ever appealed to me. After my last post on Puritanism, which I admit was sloppy and poorly thought-out, I did some reading and thinking and finally figured out why.

I am no longer aspiring to be a Wafer. However, I will still post links documenting America's ongoing decline if Dr. Berman will allow me to do so. This whole ordeal brings to mind Dr. Berman's essay on existential strain. I think that I have overcome an existential trial.

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Student of Waferism said...

Dr Berman - Sorry, I thought CTOS was the first of the trilogy, I'll see if I can edit

Bill - Some women did say no and Louis CK didn't ruin their careers. While I agree that his fame made the girls feel pressure, women need to be able to say no. At some point, women need to take responsibility. Btw, I'm personally a feminist, don't agree with all the hate they hate. I think feminist are getting more hate than they deserve and are used as a buggy man for conservatives to let our their hate.

Lack of Coherence - I know what you mean, I'm amazed at people's ability to come up and advertise new junk. I recommend you guys watch South Park season 21 episode 4, it satirizes faggerberg and Facebook's role in the "fake" news phenomena

Oh and Bill Gates is building a new "smart city". You can be sure it will track, record and make data points out of every citizen, in other words, "progress" :)

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Yoogoogulator said...

If everyone keeps getting high on disruptive tech what happens when everyone forgets how to create anything of any value at all. Forshadowing about the autonomous workforce reads like the onion. Machines carrying machines to work.Technolgical lobobotomy. Rise Lobots just until the mechanized scabs are fully operational. I think this will feel like something we have seen before.
Industrial revolution 2.0
Inequality on an assembly line(humans not included). Basic living wage sounds like a plausible possibility or a distraction to distract from any further distraction.

12:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Not to worry. We welcome intelligent posts from Wafers and non-Wafers alike.


1:44 AM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Was Konrad Korzeniowski (nom de plume: Joseph Conrad) a proto-Wafer?

Check out the following review of his biography: Is Joseph Conrad the one dead White guy worth listening to?

Some notable quotes:
On technological change: “He knew that technological change had losers as well as winners…he saw the coming of new technologies as displacing older, and to him preferable, ways of life.”
On Capitalism and the US: “In Nostromo, easily his most prescient, and possibly his best, novel…The book takes a bleak view of U.S. capitalism and its ability to destroy everything in its path in the name of “progress….“We shall run the world’s business whether the world likes it or not,” says an American tycoon in Nostromo….He believed the U.S. was talking a good game, and it’s clearly hypocritical.
On today’s world: The biographer Jasanoff says: “he would be quick to notice the hollowing out of social intercourse and civic connection. He’d be skeptical of the claims by some techno-utopians who say the internet will make us a big happy family.”


9:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd stuff, thank you.

Meanwhile, there's this:


9:19 AM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Himanshu, I must read Joseph Conrad but as a fan of Kurt Vonnegut I have to object to him being "the one dead White guy worth listening to"...

9:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Shakespeare also ain't bad. And then there's Keats. But also...(etc.)


10:07 AM  
Blogger Grandma said...

Dr. B and Wafers all

Hope this hadn't already been posted in the Duh Department:

"Streeks basic argument is this: capitalism is disintegrating, but without anything to replace it."

10:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out the last essay in AWTY. I quote Streeck from his 2014 article in New Left Review, at length. However, as the title of the essay would indicate, he's wrong abt there not being anything around to replace capitalism.


10:52 AM  
Anonymous DiogenesTheElder said...

From the last thread: Thanks to WAFers for input on Tony Robbins, particularly ye who quoteth the prophet (George Carlin) with a youtube clip. I still genuflect upon mention of Carlin’s name. Robbins seems like a hustler of hustlers.

Some observations regarding the national decline and WAF:

* “Leadership" in the US. From what I have observed, anyone who claims to “be a leader” knows nothing about it. "Leaders" are about feathering their own nest and keeping the system going, all structures in place. You can even get a Ph.D. in “Strategic Leadership.” I chuckled when I observed a local university's "Something or Another Institute of Public Policy and Leadership." WTF are they leading? WTF do they think they are influencing/changing? And yet, I am sure the folks who work there all make six figures and write all sorts of "really important" papers and such. All this while universities talk about how much “critical thinking” and “citizenship” they are teaching…As long as “I get mine.” MB – your idea that the slogan should be, “What’s In It For Me?” is spot on.


10:55 AM  
Anonymous 21C Historian said...

2day in 571 BC – Servius Tullius, king of Rome, celebrates a triumph for his victory over the Etruscans. 2day, I'm our Rome 2.0 -- our Great King celebrates his lie that he turned down a Time Magazine interview

10:58 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

In breaking news from Cascadia:

Another employee at Evergreen College resigns as fallout from the spring identity turmoil continues:

And on Thanksgiving Eve, two naked turkeys in a car having sex while driving climaxed by running into a tree. Amazingly, the woman’s 3-month old daughter in the back seat was not injured. You can’t make this stuff up.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


See previous videos of Rashida in action. One of the more grotesque figures to illuminate the sky of political correctness as the empire winks out.


The real problem w/Robbins is not really Robbins; it's the wannabe-hustler-turkeys who adore him. No shortage of those, in the US.


11:54 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...


Think you all might 'enjoy' perusing through these 2 sites to see how far gone Americans have become. I'm considering canceling my subscription to The Atlantic with a letter to the editor explaining how I can see through all this crap.

They also did one in 2016 that plays to people's fears about "home security"
with the insidious title "The search for sanctuary"

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Zen Citizen said...

Student of Waferism said:

"Lack of Coherence - I know what you mean, I'm amazed at people's ability to come up and advertise new junk. I recommend you guys watch South Park season 21 episode 4, it satirizes faggerberg and Facebook's role in the "fake" news phenomena"

Student: Epithets like "faggerberg" presume that this blog is a forum in which sheer homophobia such as this will get a pass. Think again. I, for one, will no longer take any of your comments seriously, nor even read them in the first place.

Dr. Berman: I am deeply disappointed that you not only published Student's remark but failed to publicly condemn it. Given your repeated admonitions about Americans' habit of mistaking opinion for thoughtful argument, I can only hope that this incident is case of simple oversight. The five or so books of yours that I've read do not address the matter of sexual orientation. However, if I missed something, and gay people are not in fact welcome here, please state this openly, and I'll seek out a new Great Seer. Thanks.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Wile E Coyote said...

A propos of "the what's in it for me" motto, "e pluribus unum" should be changed to "Quid lucrum istic mihi est" on all national seals.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Oops! Yes, it was an oversight; I didn't even notice it. 1000 apologies. There is no homophobia on this blog, and people of all sexual orientations are welcome to contribute to it. I'm hoping Student will tender you an apology. Anyway, sorry! Mea culpa.


12:57 PM  
Anonymous Belinda said...

In regards to finishing your previous work on Japan--The incidence of depressive and anxiety disorders is much lower in Asia than in the West. Why?

When did you actually write Neurotic Beauty? I loved it so much

12:58 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Waferesque quote dept:

Try this: Simply stand in the isle of a corporate, Big Box chain store or in the parking lot of a strip mall that squats, hideous, on some soul-defying, U.S. Interstate highway and allow yourself to feel the emptiness and desperation extant. The tormented landscape, besieged by an ad hoc assemblage of late capitalist structures, emporiums of usurped longing, reflects the desperate, rapacious nature of late capitalist imperium.


12:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually, Japan ain't doing so gd in the mental health dept.; as I discuss in NB. I'm glad you liked the bk. I think I began it in 2012 (or maybe 2011), when I made my 1st trip to Japan. It was published in 2015. Took me 4 yrs, all in all.


How different the landscape was in the 50s, when all this shit was just getting started. Americans were all excited abt it; it was 'progress'. I watched my town get destroyed with shopping malls (leaving the downtown area a death zone) and the ugly Interstate Highway. Now we live w/a hollowed-out way of life. Everywhere you look in the US, you see poverty of spirit. If only Lorenzo Riggins were in the W.H.!


1:24 PM  
Anonymous James said...

I like Thanksgiving. I hate Black Friday. When I worked retail some years ago I had to work on a Black Friday. I had to be there at 3AM. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. That being said, it's really idiotic that people go shopping in the middle of the night. I avoided the retail stores yesterday and visited my in-laws instead, which was nice.

I also like Christmas, but not its commercialization. I usually give books to people as Christmas presents. I will be giving my brother DARK AGES AMERICA. Hopefully, he reads it. I gave him THE TWILIGHT OF AMERICAN CULTURE last July for his birthday, but he hasn't read it yet. I did give him Chris Hedges' EMPIRE OF ILLUSION last year for Christmas. He did read that and thought it was good.

2:41 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Student--your protestations of being a feminist aside, your attitude towards the victims of sexual assault needs as much adjustment as your apparent attitude towards gays. Let's switch your argument up and instead say that all those alter boys who suffered hideous abuse at the hands of Catholic priests all those years but didn't speak up until decades later (when somebody was finally ready to listen to them--sound familiar?) need to "take responsibility" for their own abuse. You see how absurd and offensive that argument is? Taking the side of a powerful person who uses their position to extract sexual favors of any type from the powerless is the very antithesis of Waferism, especially since America today is all about excusing the behavior of predators, from the Pentagon to Wall Street to the big corporations right down to the casting couch and the prison guard who rapes an inmate.

The media feeding frenzy over this issue lies IN PART because of their own culpability. I first read about Louis CK's problems back in 2014, while stories about Cosby and Weinstein date more than a decade. Spacey and Rose were dropped like hot potatoes by their networks because their sick behavior was an open secret, as was Bill O'Reilly's. Meanwhile, all these press assholes ignored the stories if they didn't actively suppress them. So why the fuck would any true victim have felt they were going to be believed and supported until the dam finally broke on Weinstein, whose most powerful allies were the supposedly feminist Clintons?

6:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan (and others)-

Meanwhile, check this out:

I may be seeping into the culture thru the back door.


7:46 PM  
Anonymous Matt S. said...

Dear Dr. B,

The 325 million other turkeys are in a very dark time indeed. Last time I checked, drug overdose death and Trumpy cut on healthcare are reducing the life expectancy of the turkeys (esp. the white ones) pretty quick. There is not one destructive drug the American turkeys are not hooked. Life is brutish, nasty and short indeed for the turkeys! Yet, somehow, the turkeys are brainwashed by the failing NY times to believe that positive changes are ahead. How blind the turkeys are. But compared to other countries, American turkeys have never lost faith in shopping. The economy downward glooms never seemed to affect their shopping appetite.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I tell you, I think on some level the turkeys know that the gd times are behind us; that the American Dream is finished. Hence, the turn to opiates and other drugs, including shopping and rabid consumerism. Robt Bellah and I wrote abt the religion of America being America itself. Once the religion fails, a giant void appears, and we are desperate to fill it w/anything. So we not only fail; we flail. Meanwhile, Trumpi has been in office 10 mos. and has done zip for the poor white (non)working class that elected him. And yet, 91% of these white-meat turkeys say that they wd vote for him again. But then, who else is there? Botox-Face?


9:48 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

Good example of how any criticism of America must be laced with false hope. The author is clearly on some kind of hallucinogenic drug.

"The solution: Within each of us swells a deathless song. Powerful. Resonate. Piercing. A song, miraculous of influence, plangent with the force to seize back your soul from the death-besotted spirit of the age. Let it rise from within you. Notice: how flocks of empire’s death birds scatter like ashes in the wind."

9:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's not a bad essay, but clearly, he never heard of Dual Process.


10:22 PM  
Blogger Mark Deagle said...

Hi Mr Berman,
You said that 91 % of the white-meat turkeys would vote for trump again! Are you sure its that low lol. These clowns still think trump cares about them lol. Trump only cares about trump. But these fools can't see that. Just wait until he gets his tax cut passed, And they see how little they get compared to what he and his family gets. Like you said once the people in this country are the walking dead and clueless. How long can this country keep going like this any idea? Why dont you come to Michigan some time Please. Thanks Mark

10:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Hi Mark-

Gd to hear from you again; I hope yr doing well. Will the white-meat turkeys wake up? It's possible that Trumpo will give them a gd humping yr in and yr out, and they'll still think he's the cat's meow. There are no limits to American stupidity, as you well know.

I'd love to come to Michigan, but some institution hasta pay my airfare, and I don't think that's gonna happen any time soon. For some odd reason, Americans don't wanna hear what I hafta say. Can you imagine?


11:03 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

“When Your Only Tool is a Hammer, Everything Looks Like a Nail” Department:
“Mr. Tillerson has frozen most hiring [at State Department] and recently offered a $25,000 buyout in hopes of pushing nearly 2,000 career diplomats and civil servants to leave by October 2018.
[More than 100 senior FSOs have left the Department since January 2017]

The political appointees who normally join the department after a change in administration have not made up for those departures. So far, just 10 of the top 44 political positions in the department have been filled, and for most of the vacancies, Mr. Tillerson has not nominated anyone.”

More missions for the American Hammer in the days to come. As George said, If you got some brown people in your country, tell ‘em to watch the fuck out.

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Francois said...

All I want for Christmas is Morris Berman’s book sales to be greater than Tony Robbins, and Chris Hedges to quote Sheldon Wolin for the 141st time.

12:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I have doubts abt yr 1st wish (sad to say), but no doubts abt the 2nd.


1:08 AM  
Anonymous Yoogoogulator said...

With all the Black Friday excitement why wait? For anything.. ever?
We can safely assume the driver got fucked. What about the authorities faking too much credit? Love triangles are complicated. The lack of accountability here is suspect.

5:25 AM  
Blogger Polk said...

Came across this quote while reading a Truthdig article by Danny Sjursen on the presence of US troops in over 70% of the world.

'Finally, I’d ask readers and policymakers alike to consider economist and political scientist Joseph Schumpeter’s description, penned quite a while back: the nation “pretends to aspire to peace but unerringly generates war … there was no corner of the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in danger … the whole world was pervaded by a host of enemies.” Sound familiar? He was talking about Ancient Rome. We all know how that turned out."

6:11 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

2019 will mark exactly 400 years blacks came to North America and I wonder how many of our African-American brethren know this. Blacks should be in the vanguard of at least some semblance of revolutionary thought in the US not fighting each other over flat screen TVs at Walmart-highly discouraging. Oshitforbrains put them asleep for 8 years. They demanded nothing and got the same in return. Only a few black intellectuals saw him as a fraud, carrying water for the Pentagon and Wall Street. Sad to read so many essays in Counterpunch calling Obama our last sane president when he was bombing 7 countries as he left office.
Watching a lot of Chomsky videos these days-superb analysis and a mind as keen as the day he debated W.F. Buckley in the 1960's. I'm curious to see how the major media outlets will cover his passing. When Vidal died they all played his confrontation with Buckley at the 1968 Democratic convention. My guess none will mention Chomsky. He graduated Central High School in Philadelphia and there is a Wall of Fame in the school hallway. Guess who's not included on the wall?

10:04 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Chomsky's absence from that Wall of Fame says it all abt America, imo. There is no interest on the part of Americans in being transparent to themselves. The 1st time Charlie Rose (of recent sexual predator fame) had Noam on his show (in itself a kind of miracle), he literally wdn't let Noam speak. He wd ask a question, and then when the answer was so threatening to Rose that he didn't want to hear it, he just shouted him down. Classy!

173 Wafers
325 million turkeys

How long, O Lord, will you allow this to continue?


10:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I am abt to catch the bus to Guadalajara, where I'm giving a lecture at the annual book fair. I don't return until the afternoon of the 29th, and I don't know if I shall have access to an Internet connection in Guad. Ergo, please don't post anything for the next 3 days, and I'll reconnect w/u the afternoon of the 29th. Gracias.


11:02 AM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Dan, African Americans are as Americans as all the rest and, I suppose, they have their proportional share of turkeys. However, check this video that some other Wafer posted a while ago:
Dick Gregory is telling the audience that America is finished like the Romans and the Egyptians and even laughs at the mention of "the resistance." You can see that the rest of the speakers have some difficulty processing what he says, but they listen respectfully nevertheless. Personally, I think that in a panel of white people more than one would have interrupted him, told him "how very dare you" and generally hyperventilated. Just my two cents.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Bret said...

Your new AWTY collection arrived today! I am thankful this season for the ability to help support one of my fav. American scholars, and get a book out of the deal!

I've also been following a lot of the pejorative writing on Freud's theories lately^^^^, thought this piece on his relevance was more sobering>>>>

My wife and I Watched excellent new Netflix doc "Saving Capitalism" by economist & former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. I disagree that crony capitalism is the #1 cause of income inequality, but corporate welfare is hugely immoral.

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Master of Waferism said...

Zen - I believe, like George Carlin, that words in themselves are harmless but it's the context in which you use them that matter. I didn't use the word fag to offend gay people but I'm sorry if I did.

Bill - Women are not children so your comparison does not stand. The world is not black and white, yes there predators and I am sure that Louis CK took advantage of his position of power to get women to have sex with him. But let's be honest, most men would do the same, as I am sure every rockstar and probably even George Carlin did. Louis CK did not rape anyone and ASKED for consent. If you are suggesting we need to treat women like children then maybe you are the misogynist one here. Women are not innocent angels and they DO take advantage of their sexuality to get what they want.

Diogenes - The problem with motivational speakers is that it's very hard to motivate people. I suggest you look into stoicism and neosticism. Your character is set by the time you're 3, probably the only thing that can change you is a religious conversion. That's why I liked Dr Berman's trilogy on consciousness, I recommend it. And I think there is value on understanding the power structure because I don't think it will ever go away so don't necessarily rule out management books.

Dr Berman - Thank you for all your great wisdom, I hope I didn't offend anyone in this post. And thanks to everyone else for their posts too, it seems as if I am not wanted here so I will no longer post

4:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Just checked into hotel in Guadalajara, and there's a computer outside my room(!). So ignore my notice about not posting for 4 days; we're connected!


You can continue to post, as far as I'm concerned, but pls note the following:

1. Words in themselves are not harmless, and there's no way a gay person is not going to be offended by the word fag, context be damned. You can't not know this.
2. I don't think you understood Bill's post. Suggest you reread and rethink, since I don't have time to spell it out.

Anyway, stay with us; what the hell.


Hope you enjoy the bk. As for Freud, excellent rebuttal of Crews in NYRB a few issues back, but I can't recall the author.


6:33 PM  
Anonymous Zen Citizen said...

Master of Waferism:

Visualize me copiously peeing on your shoes. In context, of course.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Could there b a better way to drive the lemmings over a cliff?

'Hallucination machine' takes you on a drug-free trip

Other than, of course, making it a shooter game.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I read this WaPo article and am encouraged. American kids—here defined as students K-12–aren’t reading much nonfiction. A report from the “What Kids Are Reading” survey using data from 10 million students during the 2015-2016 school year revealed that no more than 30 percent of them read nonfiction.

I see this as good news. The fewer children and young adults who read books other than works of fiction the better. The less informed our future generations are, the less conscious of the lessons of history, the more easily they can be mislead and the more readily they can be persuaded to accept whatever nonsense the cleverer among them are selling. Both in the commercial and political sense. With collapse thereby ensured.

Some additional points on Americans’ general literacy, from the website Statistic Brain, based on a poll dated 7 August 2017: Percentage of US families who did not buy a book this year (80); Percentage of college students who will never read another book post-graduation (42); Percentage of school students who will never read another book post high school (33); Percentage of American adults who can’t understand the labels on their prescriptions (46); and Percentage of adults who have not been in a bookstore in the past 5 years (70).

Things are looking up.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is great news. We have no future, nor *shd* we have one. I read somewhere that a large % of Americans can't read the instructions on a Coke machine. The more dummies, the better.


3:04 PM  
Anonymous Dill Pickle said...

Let me chime in on Master of Waferism's South Park / Facebook reference: when I saw that, I was like, so THIS is what Parker and Stone have resorted to? Mocking Mark Zuckerberg with an offensive homophobic slur? From the same team that created Big Gay Al a long time ago? How the mighty hath fallen! And run out of ideas.

I closing, let me inform you guys that Parker and Stone are self-identified as leaning libertarian. I remember them saying in a radio interview for Team America:World Police that they were libertarian-conservatives! Make of that what you will.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Dr Berman, I'd really love to see that rebuttal of Crews in NYRB. My skepticism of Freud has been building over the years. Let's discard anecdotal evidence of people spending lots of money and time for years on psychoanalysis and making no progress whatsoever. I did read The Interpretation of Dreams when I was younger and I had the feeling that there were huge logical leaps in the conclusions, but I still accepted Freud's theories at the time and blamed myself for not being clever enough to understand Freud's reasoning.

Now, my opinion is that I agree with a lot of Crews's criticism and Freud was, if not an outright fraud, certainly somebody that didn't follow a proper scientific method on many occasions. It could be argued that in a field like psychology, that is simply not possible. However, Freud pretended to use the scientific method and used it as a weapon against his critics. In the end, I think, the big problem with Freud is not that he may have been wrong on some points, but that accepting his worldview as the unchallengeable explanation of the human mind is extremely limiting.

5:46 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

I mentioned to several people I work with that my wife and I are trying to get my mother in law to move in with us, getting old, needs help etc. The reactions I get are all some form of "are you crazy?" But I believe there is a value in having a three generation household that isn't quantifiable in our glorious capitalist system. So, MB, Wafers et al, let me know if you think I'm not in outer space.
PS: she lived with us for about six months a number of years ago when the joplin tornado wiped her apartment off the face if the earth and there were no problems at all.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


True, in that he based everything on sexuality. But his worldview is also dramatically expanding as well. The discovery of the unconscious: no one can look at human behavior the same way, after Freud. Bks like "Civ and Its Discontents" are fabulous. Science be damned, this guy understood the human condition.


10:37 PM  
Anonymous Francois said...

I don’t think children in grades K-12 should be taught to read at all. Shutdown the schools and give the children cell phones and safe spaces. The American people regardless of color, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender, religion, or any other b.s. are a bunch of hustlers. The data keeps pointing onward and downward. Drink some beer and enjoy the trip.

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

comrade simba,

My grandmother lived with my family when I was growing up (from the age of 4 until 16) and it markedly improved my life. I highly recommend it, especially if you have kids. Of course Americans wouldn't understand - just look at all the retirement homes being constructed! I see a new one every month. But historically speaking, your desire to have a three generation household is normal and what would have been expected in most societies.

12:03 AM  
Anonymous Master of Waferism said...

Dill Pickle - I agree with you in that South Park is filled with anti-liberal bias. I was going to post in my original post to take into account the creators are anarcho-capitalist assholes but it was getting too long. No doubt that there is a lot of offensive messages in South Park but some episodes are funny and I personally dislike Zuckerberg so I didn't mind them bashing him. And l agree that there is no equivalence between conservatives and liberals, conservatives are much, much worst.

Anyways, if you haven't already check out Rick and Morty, it's much better than South Park and I don't think the creators are conservative. Season 3 episode 7 is very relevant to what's going on today IMO, here is a link if anyone hasn't seen it.

12:37 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB and all Wafers,

I believe it's the duty of all Wafers to document the decline of America so that future historians, probably from another galaxy, will
be able to fully comprehend how this planet became a grey, barren orb. I offer the following exhibit from a British newspaper :

"Hookworm, a disease of extreme poverty, is thriving in the US south. Why?"
" in America, the world’s richest country, hookworm, a parasitic disease found in areas of extreme poverty, is rampant, the first study of its kind in modern times shows".

6:00 AM  
Blogger Polk said...

This by Suzy Hansen is worth reading: // Written from Turkey where she was (is) living at the time.

A snippet: “We are told it is the greatest country on earth. The thing is, we will never reconsider that narrative the way you are doing just now, because to us, that isn’t propaganda, that is truth. And to us, that isn’t nationalism, it’s patriotism. And the thing is, we will never question any of it because at the same time, all we are being told is how free-thinking we are, that we are free. So we don’t know there is anything wrong in believing our country is the greatest on earth. The whole thing sort of convinces you that a collective consciousness in the world came to that very conclusion.”

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Comrade, you're definitely not in outer space. I had the same reaction when I told some friends I was moving back in with my parents for 6 months. "Are you crazy?" "How are you going to handle it?" etc... They don't understand that for some cultures, family values and warmth trumps any ego bruises you may have to swallow by living together under one roof. In Russia, it's *normal* for children to take care of their parents, but for Westerners, it's a threat to their freedom to check their smartphone notifications uninterrupted.

As the Empire collapses and Western families forcefully have to move back in together due to lack of means, this will only accelerate the disintegration. Families will literally eat each other up. I can't recall the exact stat, but something like 80% of murders are committed by family members.


7:13 AM  
Anonymous Mary said...

^Zar % Morris Berman^

Activity in brain’s thinking and problem-solving center linked to avoiding anxiety — another Freudian idea validated, w/ science no less

7:44 AM  
Blogger Yossi said...

Taking about understanding the human condition, I commend "Behave" by Prof Robert Sapolski to anyone interested in this topic. And who among WAFERS wouldn't be

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Comrade Simba,

I wholeheartedly recommend that you become a three generation household. There are things you can learn from your mother-in-law that can't be learned elsewhere. My wife's mother is a lovely elderly woman who lives close to us, and we enjoy having her around. We've often talked about having her move in with us. Our house is a small two bedroom, but we feel that if we ever have to for her own safety, we'll gladly find room for her.

There is nothing in the hustling world that would tell you that this is a wise move. Elderly people are nothing more than an opportunity for profit. We Wafers know different, however. Good luck with it and let us know how it goes.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers,

Well, hustling and commodification of the Moon and Mars at least are being pursued by private companies in the US and elsewhere - free water and minerals to make money with! The major players in Western Civilization are presiding over possible ecological collapse and the likely death of most of life on earth as well as most of the people and we want to extend Western practices to the rest of the solar System as well as beyond! I can only hope this doesn't happen. Sorry if this link also tries to sell you a subscription. Science and local news are the only news I really read in the Times - the rest I barely read beyond the headlines.

Mike Burgess

9:51 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...


@Master of Wafersim

What the hell is an "anarcho-capitalist?" That's an oxymoron, if you ask me. I doubt that Emma Goldman, Peter Kropotkin and Mikhail Bakunin thought that anarchism was a thread of capitalist ideology. Capitalists are the enemy of anarchists.

What you're describing seems to me to be extreme liberalism, meaning capitalism unfettered by governmental restraint. And since I've mentioned liberalism, I find it odd that in the USA, this term somehow represents "The Left," while people who cannot by any measure be called socialists are called "leftists." Adam Smith and John Locke, never mind Karl Marx, would be confused by this usage.

Ni dieu ni maître!

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Glad to see all WAF-ers posting after the long weekend. Speaking of which + some good o'l American douchbaggery right here in MN:

and some more news from overseas that we don't hear about in Amerikkka:

3:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It wd have been a better statement if she had clobbered him to death with the turkey. Altho, I personally feel that stuffing laced with cocaine is 2nd to none.


4:49 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...


It's because the American Liberals branded themselves as "The Left" in order to crush leftists. America's "New Left" is responsible for this because they made a shift to identity politics, which Liberals seized upon and used to marginalized leftists. It's very fascinating.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Here is a good article by William Mitchell and Thomas Fazi on the rise of neoliberalism and the decline of the Left. I am not as optimistic about a renewed left-wing movement as the authors are but it is still an interesting read in my opinion.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Without a permanent homeless shelter the location for an overnight warming "on really cold nights" shelter saga continues. Quoth the councilman, "I have a hard time watching somebody freeze." What kind of bleeding heart liberal pussy is this? Nothing brings 'em to city hall like not in my backyard.

Just watched new docu on HBO called Meth Storm. Watch if you wanna see how desperately sick we are. The walking dead are upon us. Meth today bread tomorrow?

"The setting sun is just as beautiful as a rising sun." ~ if only more people felt this way about our elders.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Ok Kanye, I snap. What the feck is "Western" families or "Western" culture? Please don't be so loose with your use of tired cliches. Are you implying that Greek or Italian families are the same as English or American ones? Are you implying there is some superiority to "Eastern" culture? Would that be Russian culture, where people are so afraid of the oligarchs and the gangster-police complex that everybody that has the slightest opportunity leaves? And I know that for a fact. Or would it be the Eastern European countries, which are very happy to receive the money from the EU and use the freedom of movement (as it is their right) to flood countries like Spain with Polish people but, when they have to share some of the responsibilities, like accepting some refugees, they say "not in my backyard"?

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

The most important thing today was that Buffalo Wings was sold to the Arby's B/c Wendy's has a 19% stake in Arby's, it netted Wendy's a profit of ~$327,000,000.

That's what matters.

Fck access to real health care, uni costs, long-term care for elders, or real pensions/SS that is not a joke. Who needs employment agreements, employment rights, or affordable child care.

What the american sheep need is better access to shitty burgers and wings!

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Master of Waferism said...

al-Qa'bong - Yes libertarians are anarcho-capitalists, they are anarchist who want to keep money. There is also anarcho-socialism/syndicalism like what Chomsky wants who want to get rid of money. I am personally an anarcho-syndicalist. But for America, I believe the best system is botoxism, it means to support the people with the most botox in their face.

I think you're right about your second point too. I recommend you look up Michael Hudson, he goes through the history of how the definition of words changed. For example, Adam Smith was a big proponent of free markets, but he meant free of the rentier class. Hudson believes that they literally took over the economic departments of major universities and filled them with people who support their ideology. I am personally not totally convinced about that but I don't know what they teach at those departments nor am I an economist. But comparing the rate of growth of America/Mexico to that of asian nations who didn't follow the neoliberal policies from Harvard educated economists, it's not hard to believe that he might be right and they're teaching junk.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

The more I think about it, the more I see the coming implosion of Obamacare as a very positive thing. It will teach other countries that giving control of healthcare to insurance giants is a terrible idea, and other countries will move towards solutions that are partially or fully taxpayer-funded.

10:51 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

That’s gotta hurt...

12:33 AM  
Anonymous Bret said...

For MB,

I believe this is the rebuttal. thanks for recommending, some good stuff.

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Dina said...

Edward Herman, the co-author (with Noam Chomsky) of Manufacturing Consent, has died. He was 92. His work has never been more relevant.

Matt Taibbi on Herman's death

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zarathustra, in reply to your points:

1. On using the term Westerner as a "tired cliché". *Of course* Greek and Italian families are not the same as English or American ones. And I am sure many American or English families themselves are happy to live under the same roof with multiple generations. The same critic can be made of the use of the term "Americans" on this blog, but the fact of the matter is that there IS a Western/American culture that we criticize on this blog. Whatever you want to call it. I just prefer to call it Western as I live in Europe and I think Americans aren't the only ones concerned, but that doesn't mean ALL Westerners are concerned.

2. The "superiority" of Eastern Culture over Western. Where did I say this?? And where on earth did I talk about refugees and the EU? It's not because I use a country as an example of strong family values that I claim ALL of this country's culture is "superior" to another. Heck, you can replace the word Russia in my previous post by Mexico or Italy - two countries with strong family values too - if you want.

Seems like you're interpreting things a bit too much in black and white.


8:17 AM  
Blogger Polk said...

If you accept Freud's dual drive theory of the life force (Eros) and the death drive (thanatos), you could make the argument that Thanatos is on the rise in America. Even more frightening, that the President of a nation that expresses itself mainly through death and violence visited upon its enemies and citizens is mentally unstable and possibly driven more by Thanatos than Eros, and we have a nation hurtling toward destruction and taking the rest of the world with it. A nation with the world's largest nuclear arsenal and the only one to have used nuclear weapons on another country - and in a world that will soon be experiencing the worst of climate warming. No wonder so many Americans want to crawl back into their mothers' wombs and be "born again" but are forced by the physical limitations of such an act to escape, instead, into alcohol, sex, meth, cocaine, heroin, and endless replays of Law and Order episodes. We are a sick people, soul-dead, and, like many suicidal individuals, intend on taking as many people with us as possible. We are the greatest danger to life that the world has ever known. To paraphrase Oppenheimer, we are become death - the Death Star of Star Wars - ready to destroy whatever worlds stand in our way of total domination.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Let's all get excited abt Meghan Markle. This wd be a gd place for Americans to put their energy.


9:04 AM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

Did someone say Anarcho-syndicalist?


9:34 AM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

@Mike R
The thing I find facinating is the successful marketing of chicken wings. What used to be a waste product of the chicken industry- crunched up for dog food- is now a boutique fast food item. American football and hot wings... how god damn stupid can you get?

12:50 PM  
Blogger Baron Von Strangeknight said...

This may have been posted here, Social Media is a DOS attack on your free will:

This goes along with idea that technology is not neutral. Though I think the turkeys of the public are culpable, the other interests involved are also culpable (e.g. corporations). The gets me to thinking a lot about what freedom really is.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

“Thank you for the disservice...”

On November 5, former airman Devin Kelley killed 25 people inside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Investigation revealed that the ex-airman’s criminal record should have prevented him from purchasing the firearms he used, had his military criminal record been provided to the FBI as required.

A review by the Air Force now reveals that several dozen cases involving Air Force personnel were similarly not reported. At this time, 30 investigators are evaluating some 60,000 additional cases to determine whether any demonstrate similar “failures to report.” As long ago as 1997, military internal reviews discovered that all the services were failing in their responsibility, with the Army and Navy failing at an 80 percent rate.]

4:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Just another word for nothin' left ta lose.


6:16 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Kanye, I accept point 2. I was interpreting too much. But about the word "Western" I stick to my guns. It's bad enough that "American" is abused to mean citizens of the good ole' US of A, but we all know that. "Western" is definitely way too vague and ill-defined. I believe it started to be used in the way you use at about the same time that the term "free world" was, during the cold war. There is no "free world" and there is no free will, by the way. There is the "will to live" (as Nietzsche would have put it), or the degeneration of it, and then social media is the yin to the yang of degraded intellectual capacities (as Kurt Vonnegut would have put it).

6:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Are we maybe going over the edge by now?

7:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

But the rot is a gd thing; the rot is what we need, and lots more of it. Why can't Dionne see that?

ps: I pee on Meghan Markle.


9:14 PM  
Blogger centralscrewtinizer said...

Wittgenstein had some issues with Freudian dream interpretation.

Comrade Simba....I was mostly raised by my mother's mother.

Joseph Conrad is wonderful to read. He and Isaak Dinesin are two of the best who wrote not in their native tongue. Both are masters of the novel and short stories.

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Master of Waferism said...

So I live in an apartment complex and people here are allowed to have dogs but no one picks up their dog shit. The apartment puts bags people can use and a trash can but Americans still can't pick it up. Aren't Americans supposed to be civilized? Isn't this how third world people behave? I know Indias shit on the street but Americans tell themselves they're so much better than them. Just another little sign of civilization decay IMO.

1:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Suggest you put up a sign that says


This has 2 advantages:

1. It's actually true
2. It may generate some interesting reactions.

Let us know how it turns out.


2:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fair enough Zarathustra. I accept your point too. Will try to be less specific moving forward. I think we should just split the world into 2 categories: Wafers and non-Wafers. We should have no disagreement here ;-)

Meanwhile in Thailand:

8:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The one thing I admire Americans for is their deep respect for other cultures and religions. Both individually and in US foreign policy, Americans are always able to empathize, to see the other's viewpoint. It's only one of the many things that make us great.


9:37 AM  
Anonymous Blueberry said...

Excuse me Dr Berman - about your recommendation of the Donna Tartt's novel, The Goldfinch: I do enjoy Tartt's novels but I was disappointed with Goldfinch and that was because I'd just read Jonathon Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude - I have to say, a superior, more honest and darker book than Goldfinch. The two books are thematically related and Tartt and Lethem know each other from Bennington, so I wouldn't be surprised if the one influenced the other but at any rate, try Fortress and if you like that, go for Lethem's Chronic City, which is brilliant.

WAFering on in Canada: TA Lindsay Shepherd vs the Gendered Violence Tribunal -

1:01 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Break out the Manischewitz dept:

The GOP is on track to sink the economy again:

Dildo dept:



Lauer has violated us all w/his interviews and faux journalism, no?


1:53 PM  
Anonymous Dill Pickle said...

MB, A comment on the Christmas Season and how private turkeys are following the lead of retailers and putting their Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving, sometimes even before Halloween!

For some people, it’s (almost) never too early for holiday decorations!

"At the rate we’re going, Christmas in July will soon be a real thing.

"The weekend before Thanksgiving this year — before the first turkey had been stuffed — a local Christmas tree firm got hundreds, yes, hundreds, of calls looking for trees, something the company did not even have in stock yet, considering that it was still mid-November.

“'Trees are like flowers,' said a baffled Chris Gregory, a partner in Boston Christmas Trees. 'They only last so long.'”

Master of Waferism, I've seen a few episodes of Rick and Morty! Pretty damn funny if you asked me. One episode (don't know the season or number) the two were smuggling these huge rare seeds and they had to go through a security gate. They only way they could smuggle them was... you guessed it! Poor Morty.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Miles--my favorite anecdote about douchebag Lauer's abuse was how he would openly play a game with himself in front of colleagues called "fuck, marry, kill" in which he would name every female on the staff and state which of those actions he would do with each one if he could get away with it. And--note to Student--NBC management received it's very first complaint about Lauer 20 YEARS AGO and yet did NOTHING. In fact his horrifically abusive behavior was allowed to continue and worsen.

NBC was paying this guy $25 million a year to spread lies and propaganda, and incredibly even allowed him to grill Bill O'Reilly about his own sexual abuse. Yet, his victims all those years were really supposed to believe that if they complained justice would be done? Give me a break.

In a way Lauer is the perfect poster boy for America--a man beloved by tons of millions of easily entertained morons attracted to a bullshit fictional onscreen persona--a massive hypocrite who was protected from any culpability because of his power and wealth and backed by elite scum even more powerful and wealthy than him. If you want somebody to "take responsibility" for Lauer, how about imprisoning every NBC executive who knew about activities? Never going to happen, as it won't for the co-conspirators of the other mass abusers, because America will never come to terms with how grotesque it has become.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I agree, Lauer is a douche bag. He shd be beaten w/in an inch of his life and then thrown on a dung heap. But lately, I keep thinking abt our premier douche baguette, viz. Hillary. During one presidential debate last yr, Trumpo said that if elected, he wd set up a commission to investigate Hillary's crimes. (I wd have preferred a commission to determine the exact amount of Botox that had been injected into her face.) Well, he got elected, and he never did it. This is a terrible shame, and so I am working on a petition, to send to Trumpi, to have Congress pass a law declaring it a crime--class A felony--to *be* Hillary Clinton. Once passed, the Long Island Police Dept. can swoop down, arrest her, and haul her off to jail. At the trial, the prosecuting atty wd say: "Are you Hillary Clinton?" She wd say yes (I'm guessing), at which pt he wd say: "I rest my case." She wd then get 25 yrs w/o parole. This is a wonderful scenario, and I'm hoping that this petition will get the attention it deserves.


5:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

A gd article, but where, I ask you, is the (well-deserved) *praise* for Mr. Trumpi, and for all the damage he is done? God, Americans are so out of it. The man is just doing his job, fer chrissakes.

Here's what capitalism does:

Craft is health; mass production is death:

For more on all this, check out my Japan bk.


7:55 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Dr Berman, I am afraid I have to disagree. Apparently only people can be charged with criminal behaviour and I am pretty sure that Hillary Clinton is not a person but some sort of poisonous, botox-based life form. Somebody in a hazmat suit should remove her into a high-security septic tank and keep her there for further observation and analysis.

7:57 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Looks like Philly is leading the way down the drain...

8:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Another reason to stay clear of Facebk. Meanwhile, her killer looks like a sincere, compassionate kinda guy.


Not a bad alternative, altho I still favor getting her tog. w/Obama and banging their heads together for 15-20 mins. on national TV. It wd be cathartic for the entire nation, I'm sure.


8:29 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The sheer amount of antidepressants Americans take.

Not so macho.

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Boar's Head said...

Miles Deli: Thanks for the tip on Katz's brisket and Russian dressing! I'll give it a whirl next time I'm there.

Dr. B/Wafers: Over the weekend my wife and I visited The Cloisters, a museum in NYC featuring lots of decorative (mostly religious) artwork from Medieval Europe. While I was there I got to thinking "Will there be a Cloisters-type museum in Russia or China 700 years from now featuring American artifacts and if so what will be on display? Will there even be anything left worth acquiring, importing and placing on display?"

After some careful thought, I've come to the conclusion that there probably won't be much left to display given how poorly made things are in our society and that the Chinese and Russians wouldn't bother wasting their time building a museum to house centuries old McDonald's signs, iPhones, and billboards. Perhaps there will be a gallery of "modern art" from our era in the corner of some art museum in some backwater like Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky without much of a budget to purchase real art, but that's about it.

I don't see much of what our vapid culture produces art-wise standing the test of time. Has there ever been an empire on earth with a poorer sense of aesthetics? Sheesh!

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Master of Waferism said...

Bill - I wasn't defending O'Reilly, Lauer, Charlie Rose, etc. I was just defending Louis CK, I just thought it was unfair for the girls who said no to claim sexual harassment, he just asked them. But I've been thinking about it and you're right, he knew what he was doing, he probably went out of his way to pressure them into accepting.

Boar - I doubt Russia and China will exist either. I kind of agree with Zara in that Russia and China are even bigger shitholes than America. I know some people from Russia and they do have a better culture but they still haven't fully recovered from communism, it looks good from the outside but they have a lot of problems. And China's environment is unlivable but I guess they might beat us at hustling. Regardless, Steve Bannon already declared that we're gonna have war with China so we'll probably nuke each other out of existence. But maybe Antartican museums will have stories like we do now of Atlantis(don't know if this existed ofc).

1:05 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Bill Hicks, Morris,

I don't have much to contribute today, but I thought both of your comments on Lauer were funny. Before I even scrolled down to them, I was thinking about the latest spate of sex-scandals, and I literally thought to myself, "I've always got a "douchey" vibe (if I might be permitted our favorite WAFer term of abuse!) from that Matt Lauer fellow." So it made me smile when you both described him the same way! But, yeah, there was always something about him that just felt terribly inauthentic to me. Like he wasn't an actual human being, just a kind of vapid puppet, completely at the mercy of mass culture, and without a hint of genuine individuality. I know a lot of people like him. Their minds are consumed almost entirely by the present (i.e., the past 24 hours), and their mental world consists in little beyond the latest grotesque Hollywood Blockbuster. Hard to describe this type precisely, but I know them well. Unfortunately, I'm forced to spend Christmas every year with around six of them! All the same, what a lecherous little satyr!Taking off his pants and going after those helpless interns! Goodness. However bad you think things are in this country, it always ends up being so much worse!

5:27 AM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...


Great post on Lauer being a posterboy for America. So many elements of his story reflect our society's values.

A manipulative sociopath with a shit-eating grin, protected by those who are or, deep down, want to be just like him.

I agree with most of your posts, but this one was particularly spot on.

6:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, the blog is big on 'turkey' as well, and Mr. Lauer certainly qualifies for that. As for Xmas, and yr family, you clearly have 2 choices other than hanging out w/them:

1. Take a holiday in Antarctica
2. Get a .357 Magnum and blow yr brains out.

I'd opt for snow and ice, myself.

America goes from story to story w/o any resolution; it keeps us busy, and given the shit were in, we certainly need that. So rt now it's sexual harassment; next yr it'll be the epidemic of keeping pet ferrets in the house, or perhaps the adventures of Meghan Markle (replacing Kim's buttocks). I'm not condoning the former, of course, but it's just that we always have a story-of-the-month running, which then peters (sorry) out in favor of the next one. Which is where the *real* story is, i.e. the story of stories. Until we get to the meta-story level, we won't solve anything; which is a foregone conclusion.

A recent medical study found that preoccupation w/problems and problem-solving decreases anxiety. I suspect that is not unrelated to what I'm describing. Next question: why are we anxious? Cd it be because the country is going down the toilet, and our lives are totally meaningless? Or that we know, on an unconscious level, that we really are douche bags? Duh!

As for vapid puppets: Here's a story for you: How is it that the US has managed to generated the highest % of nonpersons in the history of the world? Not just vapid puppets, but millions who adulate vapid puppets? If I had to choose between spending 30 mins w/Kim of Korea vs. Kim of the Buttocks, it wd be a no-brainer. For most Americans, it's the latter that are truly radioactive.


8:09 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

In Saul Bellow's novel "More Die of Heartbreak," the central character, an American raised in France, decides to move to the US because of its purported dynamism. After a few yrs there, he begins to think he made a mistake:

"There threaded itself through me the dreadful suspicion that the costs of its dynamism were bigger than I had reckoned....Your soul had its work cut out for it in this extraordinary country. You got spiritual headaches....The price was infinitely greater than the easy suppositions of the open society led you to expect....There seems to be a huge force that advances, propels, and this propellant increases its power by drawing value away from personal life and fitting us for its colossal purpose. It demands the abolition of such things as love and art...."

8:55 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Well, I finished Kurt Andersen's "Fantasyland" and hafta say it's an absorbing polemic. Its value, I think, lies in Andersen's ability to convince his readers that we are *all* Donald Trump and Oprah, so to speak. The entire narrative is one of an endless American love affair w/hucksters, snake-oil salesmen, and Holy rollers of all stripes and varieties that have produced an "anything goes relativism" that now looks to be fatal. This will be no surprise to all Wafers.

The book, however, is not w/o criticism, as Andersen seems to paint the 1960s as an era of complete Kookery and total irrational fantasy. Strangely, he draws a line from the counterculture rebellion and the New Left of the era to the rise of the far-right evangelical Christian zealotry we see now. Even the anti-vaxxer paranoiacs, New Age healers, and Obama birthers are somehow the spiritual kinfolk of the Flower Children and the Esalen Institute. Along the way, Andersen also manages to trash the reputations of many Wafer heroes, such as Fritz Perls, Wilhelm Reich, Herbert Marcuse, Theodor Adoro and the work of Frankfurt School. In many ways, "Fantasyland" badly misrepresents and distorts the work of these individuals. For example, Reich and Perls come across as villains, responsible for destroying American culture. WTF? I don't think it's accurate to assign blame to our current scenario to those who were attempting to discover the root of what afflicts us.


1:33 PM  
Blogger Polk said...

Bellow's "huge force" reminds me somewhat of the mechanical world in The Matrix which uses humans as fleshy batteries to power itself, sucking energy from them while they lie comatose in metal shells. Unfettered capitalism brokers no rivals, permits no competing allegiances ("thou shalt have no other gods before me"), as it demands complete and total surrender to its claims on our bodies and souls. Its cathedrals and synagogues and mosques are the Mall; its saints the captains of finance and the Hustle; its congregations those expected to participate in its lethal game of winner take all. The rot at the core of what we used to call America penetrates so deeply and pervasively that its removal would leave nothing left but inanimate metal and empty megastores. Its time to put the beast in the ground, remember America with a nationally televised Requiem Mass led by Cardinal Trump and featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, give thanks for what it could have been, and move on. The King is dead. Long may he remain so.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Dill Pickle said...

I don't have much to contribute, either, especially with all these sexual harassment revelations! My eyes are still glazing over at all this. It seems whenever you have American men in positions of power some of them are going to be total dirtbags to their subordinates and other people they think are fair game.

Oh, and Disney's Star Wars The Last Jedi is due to come out in a few weeks and you can't get away from all the Star Wars crap! Star Wars this, Star Wars that, even in the regular supermarkets! A veritable tsunami of derivative merchandise. Even my local public library has gotten into the act -- it has a display table showing quite a handful of Star Wars books, albums, CDs and DVDs. Most of them are meant for children but I noticed some are meant for young and regular adults, too.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Sri Berman,

Good article by Jim Kunstler on Garrison Keillor:

Some excerpts: "Unlike the cases of Rose, Lauer, Louis CK, Harvey Weinstein, and Kevin Spacey, there seemed next to nothing in the case against Keillor...MinnPR... released nothing, no details whatsoever, and unlike the previously “outed” line-up, in Keillor’s case no other “victims” have come forward on their own to establish anything like a pattern of truly bad behavior."
...the job on Keillor was a hit too far. I hope others out there with their frontal cortexes intact felt themselves crossing a threshold into a strange new un-American society where the merest allegation can instantly send anyone to perdition."


6:58 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

I watched again "That Obscure Object of Desire" (has Luis Buñuel ever been discussed here?) and, although it's mainly a depiction of the war between two people who cannot leave without each other but cannot stop trying to change each other either, there is a backdrop of terrorism.

I remember that the first time I watched it, I had to laugh at the "Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus," thinking it was too "surrealist," but now I wouldn't be surprised at all if a terrorist group like that appeared.

Buñuel probably just got the country wrong, it's more likely to be in the US than in France, considering how religion has degenerated in America into tribal rituals to propitiate the gods of success and belong to a group. As a matter of fact, I believe I read something about Christian paramilitary training camps once...

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

United Nations to investigate extreme poverty in the United States.

Whenever I hear people talk about America being "not so bad" because it isn't as poor as the Third World I tell them to go to regions like Appalachia, the Deep South and the Rust Belt. If you don't want to do that you can visit many major cities where gentrification is causing a homelessness crisis. Here is an article on the homelessness crisis in San Francisco.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

So many headlines about so many douchebags, so little urine:

Texas teacher calls police on 6-year-old Muslim with Down syndrome after accusing him of terrorism. Not sure why the police didn't tase the little bastard.

Video: Amazon contractor defecates in front of Sacramento home. A white, suburban douchebag's worst nightmare: a working stiff whose Washington Post-owning employer won't give them enough time to take a proper potty break.

‘Delivering white supremacy’: Pizzeria apologizes for delivery driver’s Confederate flag. Veggie pizza, of course, because you-know-who was a vegetarian.

And lastly...even urine is too good for these assholes: US gun violence spawns a new epidemic: conspiracy theorists harassing victims.

11:22 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Surely a sign of American failure and collapse is when people start dropping their trousers and depositing a big pile of feces on your driveway.

2:36 AM  
Anonymous Matt S. said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Today feels like the second Black Friday in a row. There was the Michael Flynn's arrest (which might have more to do with Israel's trying to rig the UN resolution through Trump and Russia, than with the Russians alone), and then the GOP just successfully pushed the tax-cut bill through the Senate. It is a sad country. I hate to put it like this but if the Russian had dropped an actual bomb over the Capital, it'd still have caused less damage than what the GOP is now doing. I know America is finished. But it is pretty sad and embarrassing.


2:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark Lilla tried to take down Progs and Identity Politics in the NYT, but realised it was pointless:

"And there seems to be an indifference to that. I discovered just how symbolic and self-reinforcing the politics of the identity movements are, and the degree to which they’re getting in the way of building a democratic majority in the country again."


5:37 AM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Greetings fellow Wafers! Long time reader, first time poster...There are now 135 (?) of us...

Anyway I want to thank the Good Professor and my fellow Wafers for letting me know I'm not insane. I've felt this way about the USA and society for a good 20 years now but kept the comments to myself. I'm was ecstatic to know I was alone.

Some good news: I was fearing that the USA will suffer a long slow painful decline. After this week, I'm thinking it will be short and quick. Perhaps, Trump is best seen as an 'Angel of Mercy"; we'll be out of our misery soon.


10:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


173, actually. Glad to have you join us.

The comment, "Now I know I'm not crazy," is the #1 positive reaction I've had to my work since I published Reenchantment in 1981. (The #1 negative reaction is "I hate you, you dirty Jew." Lotta charming people out there in Americaland.)

Trumpi is Hegel's World Historical Individual, the rt person at the rt time. He did incredible damage to the US this past yr, and I think we can expect more of the same in 2018. He's a declinist's dream, really. For those into the American Dream, not so much.


Gd article. Lilla is smart, but he failed to use the word 'turkeys', which cannot be said enuf.


For the rest of the world, it comes as something of a relief.


Now I'm wondering if any of my bks have been delivered with a pile of poop. Probably not good for sales.


Last I read, distribution of wealth in US was same as in Tunisia.


I don't doubt that there is a culture of sexual predation in Hollywood, corporations, the regular work place, etc. But we are now at a point where evidence doesn't matter. If someone merely accuses you of sexual harassment, you lose yr job, no questions asked. When it comes to race and gender, Americans go into a frenzy. They like to feel self-righteous, esp. when their lives are empty. This is why, when the sexual harassment thing plays itself out, we'll simply go on to something else.


America is actually, by now, a large ghost.


Gd pt. That's a pretty fucked up analysis, and I believe similar to one put out by Steve Bannon in a documentary. America is pretty resolute in its overall denial, in its refusal to become transparent to itself. So what it's doing now is sleepwalking off the edge of a cliff.

I suppose the same is true of individuals. An alcoholic goes to a therapist, who tells him: "You never separated from your mother. The bottle is the tit, and you keep sucking on it." Does this shmuck then go to AA? Of course not. He leaves in a huff; a yr later, he's dead. As Auden wrote, "We wd rather die than change." Same is true of countries, the US especially. Yrs ago, Doris Lessing wrote, How is it that we know what we are doing wrong, and fail to fix it? The answer is the huge gap between intellectual and ontological knowing. The American motto is, "Don't bother me with reality." Well, you poor devils, reality is going to bother with you, like it or not.


11:11 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB and all fellow Wafers worldwide:

Today I nominate Mr. Eichenwald as an honorary wafer. Mr. Eichenwald who writes for Newsweek Magazine, posted this tweet last night
after the US Senate passed the tax bill.

Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald)
12/2/17, 1:29 AM
America died tonight. Economic suicide adopted to feed the insatiable greed of donors, who have been refusing to dole out $ to GOP until they got their tax cuts. Voters fooled by propaganda and tribal hatred.

Millenials: move away if you can. USA is over. We killed it.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Dr. Berman's statement--"Don't bother me w/reality," is quite apropos in addition to the new dollar bill motto, "What's in it for me?"

At american family/friend gatherings --my experience is the minute any critique about the us is uttered, their faces suddenly change--as if someone farted in church, or dropped the supper tray.

The thought terminating cliches spew forth--"Don't be negative." "Enough already." "There goes Danny Downer." "Let's talk about something else," etc....

The endless american denial of reality (in light of well documented substantial facts, evidence, and historical narratives) is quite likely a mental derangement.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

I was in church a couple of weeks ago and the preacher was talking about how Jesus was at the door knocking wanting us to let him in.

I go home and check this blog for any new posts and a funny thought came to mind. It had Dr. Berman in a Jesus robe knocking at the door of America's house at 1776 Hustle Boulevard. Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and all the regular trollfoons were looking out the window wanting him to just go away. I laughed so hard. I even imagined Dr. B carrying a staff like shepherds do.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Zombies said...

Both Kunstler and Garrison Keillor are longtime inspirations.
Hopefully this latest target of the PC movement will inspire the
anti-PC movement to get rolling.

Sociopathy and fascism is really into controlling others and tolerating the intolerant.

I've always felt hopefully without emotionally invalidating true victims of
male on female sex crimes that women playing the role of victims and master
manipulators and materialists - take the fun out of relationships.

Schopenhauer has a good essay on women. Let alone their low sense of reason and
sanctimonious vanity displayed when throwing more mediocre babies at this perplexing
over-population environmentally unsustainable living arrangements problem.

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Karasu Tengu said...

Just spent two weeks in Japan. My reading while traveling was your "Neurotic Beauty". Very nice timing! Just to thank you and send my appreciation. One question: you point that, contrary to Nietzsche circular model, you think time is a spiral. Where could I read more about that?

2:47 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Since I got my tv antenna been watching what's out there, feels like I'm spying the enemy. Gat Damn they some crazy stupid fucks that work out their little psycho-drama fantasies by watching this shit. The local "news" is way, way beyond a sad sick joke. A daytime talk show on ABC called 'The Talk' is esp entertaining. The hosts, mostly women, look utterly insane. Tried to watch college football as this is the second time in it's recent history it has been this competitive. Amazed by the rather large pile of shit I have to try to ignore or swallow. None of the players can take gifts much less get paid though they are clearly professionals. All the money made off these poor deluded players is nothing short of astonishing (AT&T pylon cam anyone?) yet the "product on the field" is much more entertaining than the NFL who will in the end only take into their club the cream off of the cream at the top leaving most of these guys in the dust - if they have a previous college football injury does that qualify as a pre-existing condition?. Seems like every play is an audition for the pros esp quarterback - Traumatic Brain Injury is just the cherry on top of much bigger issue ~ how can this b called anything but wildly popular slavery ~

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

A young man from Philly throws away his college football scholarship 2 weeks after committing, by allegedly helping his brother rob a convenience store of $13,600-

I love the name of the charter school- "Imhotep."

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

This tax bill is a Wafers wet dream. It will increase income inequality exponentially if that's even possible, increase homelessness, gut municipal services, and, of course, increase crime. At least 20 million Americans will have their taxes raised, can no longer deduct for home care, and those pursuing a Phd. will have to pay taxes on the subsidy schools usually give such students. Go Trumpi!
As for education, Paul Goodman wrote that high school was a waste of time since students tend to peak at 8th grade and this was before high schoolers became techno-morons. Lessing , of course, is correct. Take, for example-homework. Studies show it has nothing to do with school achievement still teachers are required to give homework. Also, myriad studies show high school students do better if school begins later, say 10 Am since they need more sleep at that age. Any American school district implement that? I haven't heard of any.
Yes, all the sexual harassment claims are getting to me. It will in time become career suicide for a man to take a high paying executive position knowing that one accusation which could be as innocuous as complimenting a woman on her appearance could get you fired.

7:12 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Japan. Neurotic beauty indeed.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

A bit of Americana, "Texas prisons ban The Color Purple and Monty Python – but Mein Kampf is fine."

Miles, funny you should mention Wilhelm Reich, because he seems to have been the proverbial quack, but, putting aside the colourful anecdotes of Reich's life, there remains the more interesting question of the "Sexual Revolution". My personal opinion is that sometimes your grandmother was a very wise woman. Let my try to explain. Between puritanism and complete sexual "liberation," I think virtue must lie somewhere in the middle, far from both extremes.

By no means I am saying that the ideas behind the sexual revolution are the sole cause, or even the main cause, of the epidemic of divorce, unwanted pregnancies and sexual harassment, but I do believe that a philosophy that basically says: "go on, you deserve to indulge your desires, anything else would be repression," in a place like America, such a philosophy could only dangerously reinforce the pre-existing culture of hustling.

4:47 AM  
Anonymous Sorrowful said...

Tom Engelhart gets it.

"So don’t imagine that he’s getting too much attention in the land of the rich and home of the craven. Instead, look at him carefully. Now, stare at him again. And keep looking. If you don’t take him in, you won’t understand what this moment actually is. Yes, he’s the Dumbfounding Father of twenty-first-century America and that’s distracting, but he’s also the ultimate symptom of the unfounding of this nation, of the moment when -- to slightly adapt a Cole Porter line -- Plymouth Rock finally landed on us."

Happy Holidays, Wafers!!!

6:12 AM  
Anonymous Ann said...

Fodor has been in the obits .....
Did you know him from your time @ Rutgers MB?

Great thinker

7:14 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...


The fact that this is even a T-shirt that a company created and was able to get distribution in Walmart is a significant sign of the failure and collapse of America.

Clearly there are many Fascists in America today who wish to wipe out the press.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

troutbaum--Eichenwald is actually one of the biggest media turkeys who actually threatened to punch out a fan who voted for Jill Stein instead of Botox face. Note in his tweet he is blaming it all on the Repukes when it was pointed out yesterday than the Dumbocrats have NEVER repealed a GOP tax cut during all their times in power. Typical of your American idiot, Eichenwald believes it's all the other side's fault that America is fucked, and wouldn't look in a mirror if he was placed in a house full of them.

Now Arthur Sibler is a writer who gets it-- echoing MB's point about how the American media has become about nothing more than the outrage du jour:

"Our national discourse is made up of a series of public charades designed to convince the huddled, powerless masses that crucially important issues are being debated, so as to determine the best way forward for our society. Meaningful debate followed by profound change! That's the ticket or, to be truthful and accurate (unwelcome and unpleasant, but neither I nor you crafted this system), that's the propaganda. In fact, the debate and change are almost entirely illusory. If there is any alteration in the general state of affairs, it will be to strengthen and enlarge still more the power and wealth enjoyed by the ruling class, and to make certain that those huddled masses are further beaten down and fragmented."

1:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Inspiring, in a way. Who cd deny we are in major collapse?


I came to Rutgers in 1970, but I never met Fodor, sad to say.


Spot on. In Twilight, I listed 4 causes of the decline of the Roman empire, said they applied to the US, and that we needed to reverse these in order to save ourselves. No. 1 was the gap between rich and poor. Of course, in the case of all 4 items, all we have done in the last 17 yrs is accelerate them. This tax bill cdn't be more destructive. Go, America!


Another factor I listed was the dumbing down of the culture. Does it get any dumber than this, a turkey destroying his future for a few bucks? As Bill said, so many turkeys, so little urine!


Very glad NB was of some help 2u. As for the Spiral Theory of History: It may have originated with me, tho I cd be wrong. But I don't remember reading abt it anywhere, except in my head. It seems obviously true, for a # of reasons.


Well, Schop was a bit of a misogynist, to be sure. But I left the US in 2006, and it has been a relief not to be dating American women any more. In my experience, most of them are very unhappy and confused, conflicted, needy, bitter, etc. Not that American men are any sort of bargain, but when yr on a date and 30 mins. into it wish you had a .357 Magnum so you cd blow yr brains out--well, that can't be gd. I guess douche bags and douche baguettes deserve each other. When you have a population lacking the slightest bit of grace, the dating scene is not likely to be much fun.


I've already picked out the epitaph for my tombstone:



And it is hardly limited to people with low IQ's, as we've discussed many times b4 (Robt McNamara, e.g.; even Trumpi may have a high one, for all we know). But it *is* characteristic of assholes.


Eichenwald is a smart guy. BTW, always, always, capitalize Wafer. TY.


1:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Do any of you guys know how I might deal with this? If you plug my name into Amazon, you'll discover, among the list of my bks, ones that are ads for other bks that are not mine. Ironically, they seem to be bks on how to hustle better. Amazon has suddenly started to insert these ads into my list, and I have no idea how I can get them to stop, or remove the bks already inserted. No limits to hustling, apparently.


1:30 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

Hola Wafers,

Just dropping by to leave a wonderful Christmas present: humour. Watch this show on NEtFLiX; this comedian cleverly mocks everything about American exceptionalism and takes a few jabs at the political correctness of the Left. “America, the Grreatest Country in the United States” by comedian Judah Friedlander won’t disappoint any Wafer.

Ps: I have been busy planning my escape from the USA but every once in a while I take time to read this blog for encouragement. Carry on! Onwards and Outwards I go!

Juliet Cash

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...


There's probably nothing you can do, unfortunately. The way advertising works nowadays is that the ads are subtly slipped into searches so that they appear not really as ads, but as legitimate search results. Nevertheless, those "results" are probably paid for. This is called "native advertising" and I would imagine that the reason hustling ads are showing up is because the algorithm is confused and has equated your anti-hustling books with hustling books. Rather ironic, isn't it!?

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zarathustra, grandmas' wisdom, along with their recipes, are the best. I am actually reading Character Analysis at the moment, and the book certainly lacks a few Wafer jokes... I'd always be wary to take advice from guys who write this kind of prose.

@MB, I suggest you email Jeff Bezos directly? Surely for a guy worth $60bil this will be escalated to the highest echelons within Amazon?


7:38 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

The Metropolitan Opera is investigating its long-time conductor over a sexual abuse accusation:

8:09 PM  
Anonymous GIMBAL LOCK said...

A friend recently found some digital photos from the early 2000s and despite being a Millennial even she noticed that time has not be kind to Americans. Of course, the early aughts was when Kunstler first described them as "overfed clowns" but in a span of 15 years it should seem that the clownishness has veered off significantly into the belligerent variety with the overarching sartorial theme being one of extreme aggressiveness and hostility.

And this has carried over into the vehicular choices as well. Hulking, Nimitz-class pickups and comically overbulged muscle cars. Any feminine design elements have been lost in the quest to look as menacing as possible. We are a nation of buffoons.

8:43 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


I think it's a mistake to dismiss Reich completely on the basis of his grander claims. Like Freud, he arrived where he did by studying human behavior. His work on the authoritarian personality, fascism, character analysis, and social and sexual revolution make him one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century, IMO. Also, in terms of the sexual revolution of the 1960s, one wonders if we tend to overestimate the degree in which we have been liberated. In other words, what passes for sexual freedom these days -- frantic consumption of pornography, sexualization of just about everything, pulling a Weinstein, etc. -- may have, if Reich is to be believed, little to do with happiness or enjoying sex freely. Instead, they appear to be strong indications of the continued effect of sexual repression.


9:17 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Opioid withdrawal for newborns in Pueblo, CO went from under 1 per 1000 in 2010 to 20 per 1000 in 2015, kind of gives the lie to the idea things are better in small towns.

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Master of Waferism said...

Gunnar - No one is forcing those turkeys to play. At least they're getting scholarships and having a good time(anything but learning). I personally, would not be opposed if American turkeys decided to take their helmets off and start dying in the field. Considering the current state of affairs that's probably what's next and I warranty that there will still be turkeys lining up to play, should we label them as having pre-existing conditions and subsidize their healthcare then? Hell no, the same way I wouldn't want fat mcdonald-loving Americans to be labeled as having pre-existing conditions and subsidizing their healthcare. And I'm all for universal healthcare but only if you put as requirement that you don't self-destruct your body. In fact, I can warranty that if America suddenly banned McDonald's and other fast food junk, the price of healthcare would drop like a rock.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

About Amazon, I hate them with a passion. I refuse to order anything from them. Luckily there is still some brick-and-mortar bookshops where I can order. I don't mind having to wait for a week. Anything to avoid giving them business. I understand some people have no option and I am tilting at windmills, but they are the most evil bastards and I'll continue my one-man boycott till my dying breath.

3:42 AM  
Blogger Grandma said...

Dr. B and fellow Wafers, I support the spiral model of time. I was a mathematician by training, but have turned to the social sciences as I've aged.

If you accept history as cyclical, the rise and eventual fall of any process or nation resembles a sine wave Turn the sine wave back onto itself, it describes a circle. Repeat that, and you have a spiral (in two dimensions, you are tracing a circle over itself repeatedly. In three dimensions, you have a spiral). A simplification but hopefully effective description.

Just recently read a chapter in a peer-reviewed book that claimed that "not all data is cyclical". Absolutely ridiculous. Everything that occurs on Earth (and the moon, and Mars) occurs in a cyclical context, given the revolution of the Earth on its axis, the revolution of the Earth around the Sun, the revolution of our solar system around the galaxy, etc. The circle of life, to borrow from a Disney movie featuring a Lion, among others.

Watch our malignant overloads (shoe piss worthy, all) "dampen" (suppress) the natural, balancing loop pushing back against crony capitalism, extremes in wealth and income, depoliticalization, privatization, deregulation, etc. My sense is despite their efforts, the loop will eventually balance, (a cyclical "turn", or the line will cross the origin, i.e. cross the dotted line in the example) but it could take centuries, or merely minutes (WWIII).

10:49 AM  

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