April 12, 2018

Twelve Years On


I don't recall the exact date, but it was in April 2006 that this blog was launched. Since that time, we have established Waferdom as a powerful force in American politics. The number of hits received is now in excess of 3.33 million, and the monthly count is in excess of 40,000. Our place as the highest form of spiritual consciousness on the planet (actually, universe) is completely assured. As 327 million Americans limp along in emptiness, bitterness, outright stupidity, anger, political correctness, Trumpism, Boltism, pussy hats, and clueless illusion, 170 Wafers stand up to them, speaking truth to powerlessness. It's quite a show.

Add to that, we have thoroughly vanquished the trollfoons. They occasionally do a hit-and-run thing on the blog, but 3 words into their fart-laden posts, I simply hit the Delete button. After all, why bother? And indeed, most of them have figured out that they are wasting their (extremely valuable) time, and have migrated to other places. But it was fun, over the years, crushing them like roaches. When you step on the shell of a roach, you hear a crack. Similarly, when you step on a trollfoon, you hear the crack of their egos breaking into pieces. It's a wonderful sound.

Every day validates the predictions I made in the Twilight book, and the analyses I offered in DAA and WAF. Jesus, folks, just look at the United States! What a fucking mess. A lunatic president who makes decisions based on impulse. Advisers and cabinet members who actually represent the opposite of the policies of their particular offices. A woman nominated as head of the CIA, who was in charge of torture during our destruction of Iraq (will American women be proud, I wonder, if a woman attains this post? Things have actually gotten that twisted.). You look at the gov't and the words "Zoo Parade" come to mind.

As above, so below, wrote Wm Blake. Turkeys in the gov't/turkeys in the street. Americans are busy flailing around, insisting on an American Dream that died years ago, strangling or knifing their children, gunning each other down like dogs, rioting at McDonald's and Wal-Mart, stuffing themselves with opioids and alcohol and cell fones and prescription drugs and--well, anything to keep the pain of this absurd way of life at bay. Most of them die lonely and miserable, wondering what the hell their lives were about, haunted by the suspicion that they weren't about anything at all. Not quite what any of them signed up for.

Meanwhile, Wafers keep on Wafering. It's an important question: why do 327 million people wake up feeling empty and miserable, and 170 people wake up with a smile, ready to take on the day? Not rocket science: unlike the 327 million, Wafers live in reality; and even if that reality is occasionally difficult or arduous or a pain in the ass, at least--it's real! This is how you get to feel that your life is worthwhile.

I suppose I should say a few words about what I'm up to these days. As most of you know, I am largely senile and decrepit, but I've been counteracting this with yoga, pilates, acupuncture, workouts in the gym, massage, decent diet, physical therapy (torn rotator cuff), hanging out with terrific friends (of which I had precious few in the US), and all of that sort of thing. I've also been slowly working on a possible book on Italian culture, which has been very absorbing...I may even write it! And would you believe it? Some of my books--lately, CTOS and AWTY--have been flying off the shelves. Maybe that villa in Toscana is finally within reach (ha ha). Last night, I went with two friends to a play here in Mexico City, and thanks to all the slang I understood about 10% of it. (I went because another friend of mine was acting in it.) We then repaired to a bar, knocked back a few Bohemias, and they explained the play to me in 'normal' Spanish. Quite honestly: Does life get any better than this? (Well, OK, a gorgeous woman in her 30s or 40s with a ravenous sexual appetite would not be unwelcome, but I'm not holding my breath.)

Anyway, let me close this bloviating exercise in self-adulation by wishing all Wafers everywhere fabulous days and nights, large doses of reality, and 12 more years of glorious bloggery and Waferdom. We rock, man!



Blogger jjarden said...

SLUTTY SHEEP: Veteran academics warn college students are going off the rails....


A Third Of Millennials Aren’t Sure The Earth Is Round, Survey


Study: 41% of millennials don't know 6 millions Jews were killed in Holocaust


7:01 PM  
Blogger Sue Caldwell said...

This site gives a comprehensive description of the dismal condition of the USA, and of the situation of the world altogether.

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

Prof. Berman,

Great to hear you're working on another book, and about Italy too! At the moment I'm reading "L'arte della gioia" by Goliarda Sapienza...perhaps you've read it? Very reminiscent of Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB: Congrats on 12 great years! That's a LONG time in the blogoverse. Most do it for a couple of years and then burn out (I plead guilty on that count).

@Francois (previous thread)--Clinton may have come off as a "wimp" in that first meeting with Putin, but who was it who was in the process of moving whose military right up to the other's front doorstep? Imagine if the Mexican government invited the Russians to place their troops on the Mexican border to combat the narco-traffickers. How long would the U.S. put up with that? Now we have missiles stationed in Eastern Europe when the last time we almost touched off WW3 it was because we would not abide Russian missiles down in Cuba. I'm not a fan of Putin any more than I am of any authoritarian thug, but I'm a foreign policy realist who recognizes that the Russians have their own sphere of influence and that pushing them too far would be a grave mistake.

As for the "theater of the absurd," there certainly are indications since I last posted that this may be yet another round of it, however there are still far too many American and Russian military assets bumping around in and near Syria for my taste. One mishap and we'll be looking at a 21st century "Sarajevo moment."

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

I am afraid that just about sums it up, MB. Sad, but true. But we must face reality as is, brace for a dismal future, embrace it with vigor, and crush our hopes like roaches.

Regarding that gorgeous woman in her 30s or 40s with a ravenous sexual appetite. Sounds like Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin no longer qualify, as they enter their twilight years of gorgeousness. Stormy Daniels has also been eliminated, because during preliminary screening the number of her untreated STDs exceeded her IQ, specifically: 25. But I shall keep looking for potential candidates, and I am positively confident that a suitable beauty queen shall be located shortly. Preferably from Toscana.

Happy “Twelve!”


3:19 AM  
Anonymous Bolonga said...

You know, the postal services in the US is showing clear signs of utter failure. Like a terminal cancer patient, it's slowly reaching the end. Recently they lost 1 package and a couple of bills! Sometimes the clerks misplace mail in the PO box which is a new level of stupid.

8:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd report, thanks. There is another difference between 327 million turkeys and 170 Wafers, which I forgot to mention: the latter understand that IT'S OVER, YOU DUMB SHMUCKS.


10:20 AM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

I gotta admit, where politics are concerned, I don't agree on the idea that Trumpi is in disarray. He's leaking rumor and gossip to the press, IMO. He knows they are desperate for any dirt, regardless of veracity, so he is feeding them rumor and is publicly taking two sides on several important issues (Syria, Russian relations, among others) to create chaos. Shiny objects and all.

In the meantime, Russiagate is over (straight from the Mule himself), Trumpi slyly got his wall funding in the form of defense cash in the omnibus bill, several major scandals are being quietly investgated at Sessions's DOJ (see also recent news on Huber announcement), McCabe fired, and the OIG report is coming soon. There is now incontrovertible evidence that a coup to take out Trumpi was underway and involved both the FBI and DNC (read up on PerkinsCoie, Fusion GPS).

When all this gets unveiled fully following the OIG report, I think we are in for major fireworks the likes of which we have never witnessd in US politics. What happens after that is anyone's guess. Buckle up.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

More evidence Americans are brain damaged.

Wonder what wd happen if they tested everyone @ the social services office?

Really enjoyed The Shape of Water, also recommend three other del Toro movies - Hellboy 1&2 and esp Pan's Labyrinth which is set in Franco's Spain it's one of my all time favorites.

Why is it that in identity politics, the ones who slavishly love all things MLK refuse to heed his most important insight, judge people on the content of their character not the color (or any other 'stigma') of their skin. Oh yeah I forgot, (I include myself in this) brain damage.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Morris, 12 years of truth – thank you!!! Can’t find it anywhere else. I’m always stunned when friends say they’re worried about what the future will be like for their grandchildren. What future? We saw the writing on the wall over 40 years ago when we decided not to procreate.

Here’s an article that pretty much sums up how anti-life America is:


11:37 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Well, we’re not in the eleemosynary line of work are we?

A Goldman Sachs analyst reports to the bank’s biotech customers that drugs that work and reduce human suffering can yield reduced yields (profits) over time:

“One-shot cures for diseases are not great for business—more specifically, they’re bad for longterm profits—Goldman Sachs analysts noted in an April 10 report for biotech clients, first reported by CNBC.

And, taking impetus from Esca Dreg’s comment on the 1851 statement by California Governor Peter Burnett about eradicating the Indians: for those new to the blog, may I recommend any of the many books about Ishi, the last Indian of the Yahi tribe. Ishi was discovered nearly dead in the mountains north of Sacramento in the early years of the 20th century. Ishi was taken in by Professor Alfred Kroeber, founder of UC-Berkeley’s anthropology department, where Ishi taught Kroeber about his tribe and his own life. YouTube has films made of Ishi demonstrating his bow making and hunting skills.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Congrats on 12 years! Looking back to April 2006, we were just a year or 2 away from the worst economic crash since the Great Depression. It's amazing that we're back to April '06 once again, doing the same thing over and over again. There seems to be a bit of nostalgia for the 00's decade lately, with the return of John Bolton (originally Trump didn't want him due to his bushy mustache). Mixed in we have a longing for the late 90s, with Stormy Daniels instead of Monica. Trump is the worst of Dubya & Slick Willy rolled into one, but even more bloated and illiterate. One wonders what will happen to Fox News as they continue to lose staff to the White House.

Btw, I'm almost finished with AWTY. I loved the part where you described Mitt Romney as a "walking haircut" and that our most recent presidents had a sense of emptiness when you looked into their eyes. We now have the emptiest one of all. He has the introspection of a fruit fly. Sad to say, that describes many of my "friends" and colleagues. Our conversations are about as insightful as the ones on Seinfeld. At least I'm "alive" enough to notice it.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Kroeber's daughter was Ursula Le Guin.


Some yrs ago a journalist wrote that "the death instinct hovers over America." Well, it is no longer hovering; it has descended, and lives in and with us on a daily basis.


3:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You cd be rt, but as of now the evidence for any of this seems nonexistent. I doubt that any of us will hafta buckle up. As for Trumpi, chaos is more likely his m.o. than anything cleverly orchestrated (again, a question of evidence). These kind of broad declarations are not very helpful, imo. You seem to like conspiracies and extremes.


3:26 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Time to break out the Manischewitz!

Congratulations to you for 12 years of greatest blog in the universe, MB! I just wanna say that you and the Wafers have provided the most lucid, accessible, and provocatively sweeping account of our national nervous breakdown. The damage to our public and private lives that's been recorded on this blog represent nothing short of the narrative of the destruction of American democracy and the collapse of our vastly unequal vigilante nation. In addition, it's great to read that you are doing well, surrounded by wonderful friends, and enjoying the good life in Mexico. Indeed, let's do another 12.



4:15 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Re: GS and biotech - what else do you expect from a FOR-PROFIT healthcare system? Cures are bad for business...so the Pharma industry doesn't research them. Make the condition 'chronic' and 'treatable' and they never get off the meds i.e. satins.

Re: 30 million blog hits. I do strongly suspect there are a lot more Wafers out there. You would have to be seriously brain damaged at this point not to realize just how off the rails this country is. After 18 months of crisis and chaos (well documented and reported), 42% of Americans approve (90%+ of Republicans) of Trumpi & Co.

Just in researching emigration, a lot of Americans have already left. I have read of a young educated millennial (formerly American) having a good life working in a supermarket in Norway and of thousands of Vietnam era draft dodgers who fled to Canada and Sweden who never came back. I've also read thousand of Americans fled to New Zealand in the 70s. It is staggering to think hundreds more Americans emigrate TO Norway per year (a country of just over 5 million) than to the USA (330 million). Who's the Shit-hole? Of course, as The Enlightened Ones leave, this makes the USA an evermore concentrated toxic stew.

There would be no sense in trying to persuade family, friends or neighbors: you just pick up leave while you still can.


4:34 PM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

Jimmy Kimmel and Sean Hannity -pummel each other the Amerikn way; no gloves or pants allowed. Show the world that Turds-R-Us, what we always were. Thanks to this Orange Hair Orangutan all manner of charades are off.

Whatever, but never apologize. Instead "bring 'em on," as Dubya did.

The Mack Daddy Obama left office accomplished; he gave us the Orangutan, the final nail in the coffin.
Country of imbeciles -after getting fucked once, they want a million more of the same! Just change the color of the shaft.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Congratulations on 12 years.

I've been a lurker for 4 years and an occasional contributor for the last two. I find it's the one blog that I read faithfully every day and always learn something when I do

Since it's a bit of a milestone I'm wondering if you've ever thought about a quote or a motto for the blog.

I would like to nominate the following quote from Alexander Pope.

A little learning is a dangerous thing; 
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: 
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, 
and drinking largely sobers us again.

I feel both intoxicated and sobered as I read the blog.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Heavy smartphone use tied to anxiety, loneliness and depression.


Social media makes teenagers depressed.


One-in-six American adults binge drink weekly.


8:39 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Are any of you Wafers familiar with this Professor, Guy McPherson? (video below)

He’s a Professor Emeritus of Environmental Conservation and Evolutionary Biology at AZ State University, and apparently a top climate scientist.

Well, he’s saying that we only have between 8 - 10 years left, and all species, including 7 Billion humans, will be wiped out by 2026 due to “Abrupt Climate Change.”

He’s actually not the only one saying it, and he’s so convinced that he left AZ State after 20 years, sold his belongings, and is living off the grid in Belize.

What do you think?


10:38 PM  
Anonymous Aaron Thomas said...

Glad to hear about a book on Italian culture. My mom moved here from Rome and wanted us to be an integrated as possible, so we got 0 Italian culture from her. After meeting some family, seems like things are completely different over there -- people seem to have happy/meaningful lives vs here it's all about comforts and conveniences. Of course nothing is black and white, but that's the general sense of things. Family seems to matter over there, here it's everybody for themselves so it seems.

11:12 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Gulp! So Sarajevo it appears it may yet be.

Just an aside since I have no idea what else to say in response to this latest madness--I went to see the new movie "The Death of Stalin" tonight and found it to be absolutely brilliant. It stars a collective of British actors, including Michael Palin of the Monty Python troop as Molotov, as well as Steve Buscemi, who does an hysterically funny portrait of Khrushchev. The actor who played Beria, the head of the NKVD, also gave a fantastic performance. The movie is a black comedy that follows the downfall of Beria after the Stalin's death.

As I was watching it in a mostly empty theater, I couldn't help but think how it was too bad that about 99% of dumbass Americans would probably not even understand that the movie is intended as a satire of totalitarianism--nor would they know enough about Soviet history to get any of the jokes. Yet we have pussy hatted nitwits running around claiming to be "resisting" that which this movie might help them understand.

As Jeffrey St. Clair put it in his weekly column today--hundreds of thousands have now pledged online to take to the streets if Trump fires Herr Mueller--yet not a one is making a peep over the latest military intervention that could end us all. 320 million turkeys fit for a nuclear roasting is all I can say.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Hi MB,

So happy to hear that you are working on a book on Italian culture. I simply love that country: nature, history, food, ppl, everything. Sometimes I dream of living there. But that's not gonna happen in this life, I know. So will wait for the afterlife! With my good karma, my wish will be granted, for sure. But hope I get to read your book in this life.


1:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on keeping Waferdom alive for 12 years MB. This is certainly the best blog on the galaxy and many Wafers I am sure would sink into drugs, xanax and alcoholism should it disappear.

Meanwhile, douchebaggery seems to be infiltrating the nobel prize gang:

Regardless, I think the Swedish Academy should make a real stand and award the Nobel Peace Prize to Trumpi, especially if he decides to nuke Syria before December. This will reconcile everyone!


7:07 AM  
Blogger ab645471 said...

Could it be our foreign Suez moment?


9:22 AM  
Blogger Grandma said...

Hi Wafers! Congrats, Dr. B on your important milestone, and many thanks for continuing and curating this venue.

Privatizing public schools:


From the comments:

"The irony is that it is the non-union “right to work” teachers that are striking. The laws around collective bargaining in most states that have unions are written so that it is very difficult to have a strike. However, in the non-union states, they could simply not negotiate with the disorganized teachers until it has reached this flash point where the “disorganized” teachers are informally organizing and striking, since there is no law against it and they have gotten to the point where the jobs are almost not worth having, so the personal risk to them is acceptable."


10:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Many thanks. A possible motto for the blog might be the same thing that will be carved onto my tombstone as epitaph:



3.33 million.


Thank you. I definitely can't afford Lafite Rothschild, sad to say.


11:15 AM  
Blogger alyosha said...

MB - I'm about midway through your trilogy (TAC, DAA, WAF), what an adventure - like a symphony I feel it building in power. It's both a nightmare to relive the Bush years in such detail, but also weirdly nostalgic given where we are today.

One question - how did you learn languages such as Spanish + Italian? Some people are naturally gifted and can pick up a language easily. Some have a particular technique or method that works for them. Just wondering how you did it. It's a critical tool for the American diasporan.

Loved this passage "Americans are busy flailing around, insisting on an American Dream that died years ago, strangling or knifing their children, gunning each other down like dogs, rioting at McDonald's and Wal-Mart, stuffing themselves with opioids and alcohol and cell fones and prescription drugs and--well, anything to keep the pain of this absurd way of life at bay. Most of them die lonely and miserable, wondering what the hell their lives were about, haunted by the suspicion that they weren't about anything at all."


11:47 AM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

Thanks MB. You rock. I hope the planet is still here in 12 years.

While Trumpi and his psychopath buddies rob the country, most of America sits stupefied in front of the TV. A small fraction talk about taking the country back, but in their hearts they know that will never happen. America is like a 65-year-old, overweight, bleary-eyed couch potato who claims he is going to get himself back in shape. We all know he won't do it. His intentions may be genuine, but it's too late. Taking back the country from the wealthy billionaires who own all of us is equivalent to making that old couch potato healthy again. It won't happen.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Does anyone else find it odd that the USA is so eager to bomb Syria, which may or may not have been involved in a chemical attack that may or may not have occurred, yet the USA does not bomb Syria's neighbour, Israel, for definitely massacring peaceful Palestinian demonstrators?

2:07 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Good story about Americans who left and having better lives in: Indonesia, Croatia, and Columbia:

My two main beefs with it are: 1) all white and upper middle class (they have the means to leave) 2) the ending, where the white upper middle class family says traveling made them appreciate America more and should maybe move back and try and fix things (gag).

The latter is utterly predictable. The NYT can't have its educated and careerist readers think they made wrong choices in life esp after they did all the 'right' things. They and their values must be affirmed at the end lest they suffer the vapors: all the news to comfort the comfortable.

jarden - we've probably got more than 8 years but by 2100 i think we're toast. Our selfishness and greed has destroyed us. USA will go first. How nice to think we left a shitty life and dying planet to our kids.
Check out the Esquire article on the despair of climate scientists. We are killing ourselves; we don't care.

Of course, climate scientists who do speak out get death threats.


2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Guy McPherson has been under relentless attack from climate change denialists for years but he's basically just running the numbers and telling people what it is that governments already know but are not eager to clue the hoi polloi in on.

Also, that "ten years" is down to 6 to 26 months before everyone reading this blog is kaput. That might be optimistic if Trumpi/Bolton kick it off with Russia, but either way, time is short.

Latest Guy:


2:31 PM  
Anonymous Bologna said...

You forgot to mention the 428 and counting nuclear reactors with cores that would kill anyone. The inability to grow grains on surplus will be a plus.Finally the nuclear bombs ready and available for those who want to pass on.

5:18 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Jj- Guy McPhearson is a running joke on the doom forums I attend. Everything he's chicken littling about is ultimately sourced to a Malcolm Light who made some sorta atmospheric CO2 zapping ray gun to sell to the govt. Yes, climate change is real but claiming total biological extinction in a decade or two to sell a gizmo is a hustle.
Do a little more Guy research, its good for a laugh. Last I checked he was hustling little old ladies for couch space. If he's livin large in Belize I guess he found quite the meal ticket

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Aaron and Morris,

I too vote for a book on Italian culture! I lived next door to grandparents who were born in Italy and unlike you Aaron we were steeped in the wonderfully warm culture and traditions of Italy. What a contrast to the American way of life. So put me down as encouraging you to seriously consider writing this book.


7:25 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

Dr. Berman,

I observed a lot of things you talked about in your books and your blog. I knew there was some stuff seriously wrong with the country but I did not have the vocabulary to frame in the way you have. Your works have been refreshing and even healing in a psychological kinda way. A lot of people told me I was the problem, my attitude was wrong, ect and I just had to grin in bear it though in my soul i knew I was right. Now I know I am the sane one living in the nut house so to speak and that sometimes the nuts control the asylum much to the sane minoritys' chagrin.

I've come to the conclusion it all just needs to fall apart and collapse. I hope when it does those who make it through will learn some very important moral, cultural, and social lessons that so desperately need to be learned. Maybe, just maybe, out of the ruins of whatever the US has become when it falls something better may come into being.

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Jerome J said...

Dear Dr. Berman and Wafers,

Congratulations on the blog milestone. It is certain that there is no there is no other blog around that rivals it for wisdom, sanity, and truth. No to mention the much-needed humor.

Meanwhile, the small liberal arts college where I teach is apparently planning to offer a certificate in drone operation (a trend in American community colleges, it seems). Since you visited us here in the fall (thank you again), I can only surmise that this move is an ironic tribute to your works and to the Wafer spirit.


7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A man with cojones:

How many progs would have the courage to do stg even remotely similar?


8:08 AM  
Anonymous Alyssa said...


«In 1963, when adolescents were asked if they considered themselves important, only 12% answered affirmatively. 30 years later, that percentage had risen to 80.»

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Howie Church said...

Finland has found the answer to homelessness. It couldn’t be simpler — Taking housing as a human right!


10:03 AM  
Anonymous J Salzer said...

Congrats on a new Italy book professor!


It also happens 2b Leonardo's birthday!
“Leonardo da Vinci: How to See the World Like Nobody Else” a solid Italian read��

11:22 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This correlates well with the American Douche Bag Index (ADBI), which I have been busy compiling.


You see how seriously the school took my lecture. Waferism has clearly penetrated into the marrow of its bones. On my behalf, pls suggest that on the graduate level they start offering a course in the launching of nuclear missiles.


Well, we can only hope. Meanwhile, I do see my work as having a potentially healing function. Ideally, at least. The most common message I get from the folks out there--extremely exceptional, to be sure--is, "I thought I was crazy until I read ____." SSIG is the most concise statement of my claim, that sanity is not to be found in the larger culture.


Not so odd. All of this is theater, imo, a chess move in a revived Cold War. Neither Trumpi nor Bolti nor the American people give a shit abt Syria or poison gas. Just speculation, but I have a feeling that the real target here is not Syria but Russia, in terms of symbolism and power politics.


My maternal grandfather read 10 languages (including cuneiform) and spoke 5. His eldest son was fluent in 4, and his youngest served as a spy in French West Africa during WW2 due to fluency in French. (And later Italian, due to living with an Italian gal for a yr after the liberation of Rome. See early poem in "Counting Blessings.") My mother, 3. The kids all had a smattering of Russian (country of birth).

Still, I had to work hard at everything, altho I was helped by living in Germany for 8 mos. (and having to teach in German), Quebec for 2 yrs, and Mexico for nearly 12 now. Also check out essay, "My Russia," in AWTY. My Italian is only at intermediate level, which is frustrating, esp. when yr thinking abt writing a bk abt Italian culture. (I hired a tutor for 3 mos. prior to going there last Sept.) A few yrs ago I had some elementary Japanese, but that is largely gone. (I used the Pimsleur Japanese I series for that.)

If there is a single "key" to obtaining fluency, it's not caring that you sound like a moron, which is inevitable. (My Spanish is still grammatically imperfect.) This is part of my personality, of course: I don't give a shit what people think of me or this blog or whatever; they can kiss my ass. As one famous writer once said, "That people hate me tells me I'm on the right track." I *expect* Americans to hate me, and my response is, Consider the source. In learning a language, you hafta carry that attitude into your speech. Let 'em laugh, WTF.


2:03 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@comrade simba--indeed, I remember back a decade ago when we were posting on the old Life After the Oil Crash forums, and Guy McPherson was then predicting that because of peak oil the entire worldwide industrial system was going to collapse within just a few years. Now that peak oil has been proven to not be as imminent a threat because of fracking and whatnot, he's jumped on the accelerated climate change bandwagon without (to my knowledge) ever acknowledging that he was completely wrong about the timing of a peak oil collapse. He is indeed a "doom hustler," whose BS prognosticating does far more harm than good in terms of educating people about the very real threats we face as Americans and as a species.

The "unthinkable" election of Trump demonstrates that while it is possible to spot trends such as the U.S.'s inexorable decline, there is no way to predict exactly what is going to happen or when. For example, the oil crunch of 2007-08 that triggered the global financial crisis was not, in retrospect, a result of the world running out of oil but happened because China had greatly increased consumption in the run up to the 2008 Olympics. That doesn't mean peak oil theory is completely invalid, it just means that unconventional oil production is going to prevent a worldwide decline in production for years if not decades. Personally, I am always ranking and re-ranking the four most likely causes of humanity's demise in terms of which is currently the biggest threat. Right now my ranking is: 1). nuclear war, 2). climate change & environmental degradation, 3). global financial collapse, 4). peak oil & resource depletion. But that could change next week as events develop.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

Obama and Bush 'Need To Come Together' And Use Their "Credibility" To Stop Trump, says The Mustache of Understanding.

Americans 'Need To Come Together' To Cooperate On A National Suicide Project: Watch Obama on Netflix for how-to.
"I mention all this in part because of the anger I feel towards this buffoon who wasted eight years of opportunity, and who crushed the hopes of tens of millions who believed in him. But mostly because this wholesale meltdown calling itself the 44th presidency had so much to do with allowing a civilizational catastrophe like Donald Trump to waltz into the White House."
"So, thanks Barack, and thanks especially for the smug reminder that the sun will come up again tomorrow, ... Really, is there anything anyone can say to or about Obama that might make him even slightly fighting mad? Evidently not."

2:45 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The Unihabitable Earth....


This guy was so convinced of our coming environmental doom and destruction that he just SET HIMSELF ON FIRE!!!🔥


2:57 PM  
Blogger Grandma said...

Hi All,

Scott Pruitt at the EPA is still having a good time on the government dime: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/apr/07/epa-scott-pruitt-criticism-environment Giving raises to his best buds after so many lost their jobs? Also, he's getting kudos from his buddies for "doing a good job" making sure that climate change remains a reality for decades (centuries?) to come.

Re: 'all biological extinction' I know nothing of Guy McFearson, but plants are winners with elevated levels of co2 in the atmosphere.

BH: there's no fixing stupid. It would be nice if we as a species finally learned, but I think it's unlikely. Not until greed and envy are outlawed. Just finished a tribute to Gene Roddenberry (creator of Star Trek franchise): he created a future where greed and hunger no longer occur. Wish it would be so.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Aaron Thomas said...

Get your popcorn ready! This is from the ABC interview with Jim Comey tonight:

“I remember thinking, ‘How could your wife think there’s a 1 percent chance you were with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow?’ ” he said, adding that his assessment was it’s possible Trump is guilty of the accusation.
“I honestly never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don’t know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013,” Comey said. “It’s possible, but I don’t know.”

10:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

-comrade simba

Your dismissal of Guy McPherson isn't accurate at all. Malcolm Light is one of literally hundreds of sources he's used to document the state of climate change. I've actually sanity checked his compendium of numbers at Nature Bats Last. There isn't a line of it so far as I can find that isn't true:


Further, what kind of "hustle" is it to quit your cushy tenured professorship to go live off the grid in a crappy shack in Arizona? If anything, he realized this culture was screwed, tried an NMI approach, and finally became an expat when he was more or less chased out of the country by climate change deniers and surveillance spooks. In short, he's our kinda Dark Ages America guy.

Finally, his actual message is one worth hearing: try to live with urgency and integrity and be decent to one another, no matter how much or little time we've got. Do a lot of people hate him? Sure. And as our host says: that should be your hint that he's doing something right.

10:34 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Teacher for 17 years could not read or write


I would say that maybe half of all Americans can read at an actual high school level, and maybe 10 percent at a college level. Most of those are concentrated in a select number of zip codes.

Kudos to this guy for finally admitting the truth though. A small dose of reality - having people repeat grades without ruining their lives, encouraging personal growth rather than procrustean standardization - would be nothing less than a revolution. We would have people that are actually secure in their competencies rather than bitter, lifelong neurotics.

It's like this guy got through life as a human kind of artificial intelligence - running algorithms on the game of American life without comprehending anything.

No society had ever dwelled in such a murky cave of the inexact and impressionistic.

11:57 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Are we the bad guys?


“The future historians will look at us and wonder in amazement. They’ll ask why we buried our head in the sand so deep, why we didn’t acknowledge the signs we were seeing. Why we didn’t call out our leaders on their immoral actions and attitudes. They’ll ask “how could they not have known they were the bad guys?””

Of course we are.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Jane said...


If the Roman Empire was TV show
... it would be the USA?

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Vague said...

An area not touched on our blog much, this bold and important deep dive into the horrifying, state-wrecking corruption of South Africa's ANC, now that both Mandela's are gone


8:57 AM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

This is the best blog on the net. I love this blog. Living in America I am used to the lowered expectations on civil discourse because living here is like coasting through a sea of morons.

Now, let's move on to the meat and drink. I was discussing how easy Americans (and westerners for that matter) are to manipulate into war. A couple of my friends were talking about how the Chemical weapons use are "a red line". So, I asked, what is the difference between killing people with gas or bombing them into a random assortment of limbs and body parts that have to be scraped off the ground? The response is telling, slack-jawed glazed-eyed looks that tell me these people have never had a real thought in their head.

Another thing is while a dictator is always shitty, what right does the US have in overthrowing one? With America's Navy actively participating in the Blockade of Yemen that sees millions of people starving and in the slaughter of innocent Yemeni, I cannot in good concious not hope that America suffers a worse fate. These people deserve it. They don't care about their own crimes and will ignore them for the sake of their weak egos.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Zombies said...

I've wondered why self-immolation isn't more common in such an inhumane western culture ruthlessly imposed around the world. Another war surprise surprise, insufferable media etc.
The elite were persistently unyielding over the centuries in setting up these control systems.

Venting online about how awful it all is, we have to get off on reality or something but otherwise, the author argues here how the internet became the new dis-empowering opiate of the masses, but as MB mentions turning the inertia of all this self-destructive history around like a battleship in a bathtub, impossible. Rage online, or whatever, the machine will only march on.


1:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I sometimes hear abt people visiting other blogs, and can only shake my head. Why in the world wd someone do such a thing? I just can't figure it. As for Americans, they are violent and pathetic, and need much urine on their shoes. Listening to (any)one, I keep wondering why I don't kill myself.


The BBC did make a series some yrs ago called "Rome." It's pretty gd.


Check out series of lecs (publ. as a small bk) Doris Lessing did on the CBC "Ideas" program ca. 1986, "Prisons We Choose to Live Inside."


And millions think Friedman is a cutting-edge intellect, when he is no more than a buffoon and a turkey.


Oil not a major factor in crash of 2008, as far as I know. Wall St. et al. had created a huge bubble via derivatives etc., and it finally imploded, starting in the housing mkt (fraudulent mortgages, e.g.).


2:27 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Re: McPherson. He may be wrong on his timing, but his overall message is correct: humans are killing the planet. This will, in time, kill us, humanity. We, collectively, are both too stupid and too greedy to stop it. And as the Russian Spy said, he does seem to be putting his money where his mouth is (in contrast to other doomsday hucksters) or even dumbness like T. Friedman.

It does appear many of our billionaire overlords agree (Zuckers, Thiel, Ellison, etc.) and are buying vast amounts of property in New Zealand, Kauai, Argentina). Regular multi-millionaires are buying retired missile silos in Wyoming and converting them into post-apocolypse bunkers. I assume on some level these people are smart and, frankly, you'd have to be a fool to think things are going to be OK esp. in the US. It is important to observe what people do as oppose to what they say:

You can also search the web and find studies by the Pentagon and Shell Oil on climate change scenarios: none of them good. Why isn't this, the possibility of human extinction in 50-100 years of all things, basically ignored? I think it's collective civilization madness. Hence, the folks who point this point are marginalized, ridiculed, and even threatened. it is just too disturbing to think about so I'll drink and take opioids.

Also, there is nothing you can do about it either. The only real answer, found (only) on this blog, is to stop worshipping things and be true to yourself and your friends and family either NMI style or in another country as this country is broken.


3:20 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@MB--that's correct, but the quick rise in gasoline prices in the five years leading up to the crash also put a lot of extra pressure on suburban homeowners who got those fraudulent loans. Already living at the edge of their means, they couldn't afford the additional expense of having their commuting costs double and even triple. Oil didn't directly cause the crisis, but it did provide a big push.

@Zombies--actually I think there's a ton of self-immolation here in America, it's just that Americans who decide to off themselves in a dramatic and public way grab an AR-15 and head for the nearest school or shopping mall where they can take as many of their fellow citizens with them as possible. Umair Haque touches on Americans' self-hatred in his latest post: "...people hate one another because they are constantly competing with everyone else for a slightly less bad, but always declining, life. It would drive anyone mad."

@Russian Spy--Here's a list of McPherson's invalid predictions: In 2007 McPherson predicted the USA's trucking industry would collapse by 2012 due to peak oil, quickly followed by the interstate highway system. In 2008 he predicted the end of civilization by 2018 due to peak oil, "If you're alive in a decade, it will be because you've figured out how to forage locally." In 2012 he predicted that global warming will kill much of humanity by 2020.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Legal personhood and rights for Robots?


Why do we need these robots anyways? Are we trying to turn Star Wars into a reality?

On the flipside, I'm a bit more confident with Europe drawing an ethical line in the sand than here in moron-land. Granting robots full legal rights, voting, and citizenship is a wet dream for the Repukes, Demwits, progre$$ives, and neo-CONS alike. They'll get it before all of the Dreamers. Our wonderful CONgress will carve out special tax exemptions for these robots, causing more and more Americans to lose their jobs with no safety net in sight. But that won't phase the average Turkey -- all they'll be thinking about is a robot marching in a pussy hat!

And in other news, a shocking relevation! "This country keeps ignoring its own clear history." Wow, truly earth shattering news. https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/tale-american-hubris-5-lessons-we-can-learn-our-defeats

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Dating meets Douchebagery and Tech, this is what you get:


6:17 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...






9:45 PM  
Anonymous Lobotomized Imperial Subject said...

Wafers and Dr B., you may be interested in this documentary on William Blake: “Red, White and Blake”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2OEFfPoyAE

I found it rather loud, cartoonish and unsubtle in places but the outlining of Blake’s mythology is thought-provoking and the exploration of some contemporary social and cultural ideas juxtaposed with Blake’s is interesting. Was Blake an 18th century UK Wafer or NMI?


3:48 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Well fellow Wafers it looks like it is time to throw away your Plato, Aristotle, Kant and Wittgenstein because Kanye West is writing a philosophy book!


Also, according to the article West’s wife Kim Kardashian published a coffee table book of her selfies back in 2015. Appropriately the title is “Selfish.” I can’t believe I missed that one! Now I will finally have a good conversation piece when entertaining friends and relatives. I hope there are plenty of butt pics. Perhaps we should also make Americans swear oaths on Kim’s selfie book instead of the Bible.

4:44 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Oshitforbrains was little more than an 8 year photo-op. He did absolutely nothing in spite of having a veto proof congress for his first 2 years. I mean didn't he read his mandate? AMericans were so disgusted by W that they were willing to put aside their prejudices and vote for a black man. Thus it was clear-undo the W years. Instead it was just a continuation-more war, financial bailouts, no relief for those who lost their homes in 2008, and increased surveillance. In fact, W did more for small business than Oshit did.
Did you know that I am an enemy of the Jews? News to me. Yet, you cannot believe the vituperative response I have gotten with my Facebook postings about events in Gaza (My God, what kind of parenting goes on there that soldiers could kill peaceful demonstrators?). The level of ignorance is breathtaking. It appears no one has read a single thing about Israel-Palestine except Hasbara propaganda. Thus, of course, I'm a self hating Jew, Arab lover, and now enemy of the Jewish people. Perhaps I should put that in my resume' if I should ever seek employment. Yes, I have lost a few friends over this but as someone pointed out, they were never quite friends in the first place.

4:51 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

In the US, no good deed or kind gesture goes unpunished. Seems that a teacher is likely to be fired for making pancakes for his kids to eat while taking a state standards test-


7:29 AM  
Anonymous Miles said...

MB--I thought HBO did the Rome series

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Muxworthy said...


(2018 World Happiness Report)

Happiness rank
1 Finland
2 Norway
7 Canada
10 Australia
11 Israel
15 Germany
18 US
19 UK
20 UAE
23 France
24 Mexico
28 Brazil
33 Saudi
36 Spain
54 Japan
59 Russia
74 Turkey
86 China
97 Bhutan
105 S Africa
122 Egypt
133 India
150 Syria
152 Yemen

(2018 World Happiness Report)

Costa Rica calls!

8:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Why not Finland?


It did, but I thought the BBC had a hand in it somewhere. I cd be wrong.


9:00 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Good to see you are going from strength to strength, Dr.B.

I don't say much here nowadays because I have been weaning myself off the internet (an amazingly difficult process) and try all I can to avoid it.

Here's to another 12 glorious years!

10:21 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB & all Wafers:

Today, I call your attention to a sad but excellent report in the NYT, "25 Year Old Textbooks and Holes in the Ceiling - Inside America's Public Schools" The article surveys various public schools and documents the atrocities forced on young children and their teachers, like books held together by duct tape, leaky ceilings, broken computers, classes with 40 or more children, a typing class with only 6 laptops, teachers buying school supplies, in all, quite a commentary on America and how it views its children. It's a display of how deeply sick is the American society.


11:37 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Nothing says decline like raising the next generation of opiate addicts:


Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome - that's a new one on me. About 107 out of 1,000 babies born in one West Virginia county are opiate-addicted. That's 11%, but I'm sure that will increase over time.

"Local health officials cannot explain precisely why Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is prevalent in the three counties..." Duh.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


Everybody is engaged in *trolling* 24/7. When you wake up and turn on the news, there are trolls reporting on Russian trolls. At work, there are more trolls assigning fake projects and raising troll concerns. It only makes sense to go home to some troll lovers and cuddle your phone to sleep.

I think there's something in consciousness where, if we accept the unreal in one aspect of our life, everything else becomes fake as well. In addition to hustling, and maybe even more disturbing, this society has a deeply ingrained attraction to the fake. Liars have to adjust so that they prefer lies, even when those lies are killing them.

Young people *want* a tinder troll date more than a real romantic connection. Reality becomes too painful and overwhelming after enough habituation in this society.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


For the record, I did not post the comment about the "Rome" series, MB. Has the time come for me to create a new handle? I've been considering changing "Miles Deli" to:

Dizzy Gefiltefish
Herbie Hymanslinger
Horace Schmaltz
Thelonious Motz

Whaddaya think?

Jeff (a.k.a., Miles Deli)

1:02 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

@Zombies--actually I think there's a ton of self-immolation here in America.

I agree with Bill. There's a ton of suicides in the US. Most won't write a thoughtful note on the insanity of our society and immolate in a very public place . It's quiet lives of despairation. As Princeton economists Case and Deaton have found a dramatic increase in 'deaths of despair' in the US. Why do so many people take opioids? Or prozac?

Of course, most Americans are dead long before they actually pull the trigger.


1:37 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Much appreciation to MB for the best blog in uni! & TY MB, I'm jumping into it - this article was front page of the Opinion section. CMHIP stands for Colorado Mental Health Institute @ Pueblo. It is the forensic hospital for those deemed not guilty reason of insanity as well as determining competency to stand trial (planned parenthood shooter) they also have two units civil mental health holds.
I don't know man, save as many while you can - give 'em a grain of sand it's their job to make it a pearl.


For context:


1:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd article, and gd luck with it.


How strange. Does this mean that anyone can usurp anyone else? Not good. I vote for Thelonious Matzoh Ball.


It's kind of a victory if a student can make it thru a schl day without getting bullied, beaten, or shot.


4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check this out Wafers:

This is one of the best takedowns of Silicon Valley and its huckster douchebags I've come across. Sorry if I have 1 or 2 hours left since I last posted for the full 24 hours.


5:02 PM  
Blogger Derek said...

Dear Wafers,

I'm a longtime reader of the blog and occasional poster, usually about books, movies, or European culture. I don't post too much about the USA, but I'd like to share a story about a friend of mine who does live in the USA.

He suffers from chronic pain due to an incurable illness called "interstitial cystitis." Because of the nature of the American medical system, he is having a very hard time paying for medication to treat his pain. My friend, named Isaac, is a potential Wafer. He feels that American society is violent and inhumane, and knows that something is wrong, but he also lacks the outside perspective to fully articulate the why and the how. Reading Prof. Berman's books would certainly be a good start. I hope this doesn't seem like spam, but if you would read his story, share it, and consider donating financially to his medical fund (if you are able), it would be greatly appreciated. Here is the link to his fundraiser: Fundraiser for med treatment

Thank you, and perhaps we will add another member to our numbers!

6:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Words fail: A 32-year-old woman who told deputies she smoked drugs from a tire gauge stuffed in her uterus.

Making yourself a hotel breakfast bar waffle? That's worthy of a stabbing.

Not to be outdone: 8-year-old stabs three classmates.

Tecchnodouchebaggery gone mad: As tornado sweeps through neighborhood, teen just keeps playing Fortnite video game.

And lastly: Starbucks to close all company-owned stores on the afternoon of May 29 for racial-bias education day. It strikes me that if you're the kind of douchebag who would call the cops on two black guys for just sitting at a table waiting for their friend to show up, "racial bias education day" isn't going to cure your bigotry. Also note that the asshole cops who arrested the men in question, who committed no crime, had their actions excused by the Philadelphia chief of police (who, incidentally is also black. Just imagine what a perfect country it will be when when all the evil old white guys are removed from positions of power).

6:30 PM  
Blogger Baron Von Strangeknight said...

Kudos for a long-lived and so worthwhile blog. I read it daily but do not have very much to contribute as a WAFer. One might say I'm "watching the wheels go 'round and 'round". Thanks for the insight and analysis!

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Progress report on "Japan-land." Hyper hustling---5 charredbux coffee shops in 3 blocks, many McDo burger sht holes, american ice cream shops and donut places; ride this, ride that, pay for the tulip festival, pay for this park, pay addl fee to enter the other park, pay another fee for the shrine. Throngs and throngs of tourists esp Chinese--particularly, luxe shops and toilet seats. Ran into an Indian tourist who thought Gion was a shopping center. Tourists frenetic pace like they have terminal cancer and have only 2 months to live for box ticking travel.

Fake geisha/maikos costume rentals, many amusement parks; american empire capitalism everywhere even in small villages. Noh theater? Kabuki? Bonsai? Crickets. In fact, 3 separate information booths staffed by Japanese had to "google" Noh--never heard of it! Simply, Tourism pollution akin to one lg resort.

We do not travel in tour groups/tour buses; take local buses/trains and off beaten path, and one can't help but see that capitalism was DMSO--the universal solvent--it dissolved anything authentic/real. Japanese folks of course, appear very nice/polite--however, maybe that this is what they want, and the smiling and courtesy was to 'grease' the money grab.

Kofu, Matsumoto and Fukui were nice though..inc Konazawa that had the Noh museum.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Has anything happened on the gun legislation front? As far as I can make out, no; there has been no serious change in our gun laws. To where, then, did all of those sincere and energetic protests lead? I remember a lot of excited kids out there, marching, waving signs, etc. The result: bupkis. I'm wondering if those excited kids learned anything about the power of energetic protests, and abt how the US works. Probably, not much.

Where is BLM now? OWS? Pussy hats?


8:59 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Good (long) article here re: emotions and the internet/social media:


"Empathy, by contrast, is an act of imagination and will. It demands that we try to see the world from another person’s point of view. This is not the same thing as merely looking at or consuming another person’s experience when it is posted online. ... Today we practice a cunningly efficient form of “click-here” empathy."


"We are moving away from a world that values empathy with others, and toward one in which so many of our emotional experiences are mediated through technology and software that they might better be viewed as vicarious. After all, it’s so much more efficient to figure out how other people feel by scrolling through their tweets or checking their Facebook page than it is to spend time actually talking to them. As Don DeLillo said of characters in his novel Mao II, “Nobody knows how to feel and they’re checking around for hints.”"

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Kelly said...


To say that the film dehumanizes the Japanese is to assume the primacy of an English-speaking audience, Moeko Fujii writes.

New Wes Anderson film on Japan! I'm seeing tonight

9:18 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Why Pure Reason Won’t End American Tribalism...


9:44 AM  
Blogger jml said...

Regarding the inefficacy of protests, may I offer a quote from Frederick II: "I have come to an agreement with my people: they will say what they want, and I'll do as I wish."
Remember the masses protesting against the invasion of Iraq? I realized then that protest does absolutely nothing.
It makes people feel like they live in a free society, but makes not change anything at all. In some regards, it even benefits the leaders who can say, "Look! We live in such a free country that people can go out on the streets and passionately express their beliefs."
What sad times we are living in.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

The U.S.A. might have cornered the market for violence and cruelty in a “civilized” country, but PC is an infectious disease that recognizes no borders:


11:39 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Good one by Umair today - https://eand.co/why-our-societies-need-healing-f1940dd5c582

"I think that we are living through what I’ll call a Traumapocalypse — more or less everyone’s being traumatized, just by existing right now. Think of it as a tsunami of trauma, racing across society. Life has become trauma, and trauma has become life. "


"People are trying to desperately, mightily to cope. By whatever means they can. With guns, with religion, with drugs, with technology, with spite, with rage. But that also means there must be something to cope with — a major trauma, a kind of trauma-bomb that has gone off across society. Traumapocalypse. We wouldn’t see a society that needed to use such constant, pervasive coping mechanisms if it hadn’t been badly wounded, hurt, abused just as endemically."

12:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


But do the young people who marched in gun protest get this? Do they understand that the result wd be the same if they had entered ping pong tournaments instead? How does one penetrate these sincere, but very thick, skulls?


1:11 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Well, it's time to lower the Bar:


In any event, Wafers, I'm thinking that Trumpo will be untouchable in 2020 and beyond. As the old saying goes: I've seen the future, and it's orange. After orange, perhaps it will be blonde (Ivanka for President, 2024). I know to many of you this seems ludicrous to say, but remember back to our jaunty days when we believed it to be improbable that Trumpo was a candidate for the presidency? Now, however, Trumpo has carte blanche to do whatever he wants, while the broad reasons for Trumpo's election continue to remain in place. Even 24/7 anti-Trumpo news coverage has managed to convince *no one* that he's a fool and an incompetent, as his poll numbers are virtually the same as the day he took office. This, while Trumpo manages to turn the presidency into de facto dictatorship.

What one considers *normal* can change very quickly, I suppose.


ps: Be sure to read Hedges's new one over at Truthdig. I do believe Chris is now certifiably insane, sad to say.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I read it, and winced with embarrassment. Hedges is not insane, but he sure is dumb as a stick. Where to begin? He literally has no understanding of how history works. He's now talking abt a 110-yr struggle to fix America (make it great again, I suppose), which gives him self-validation as a 'fighter', since he won't be around more than 20 or 30 yrs. He can always claim that our 'redemption' is in the far future, which means that his (absurd) position is always right. How convenient.

In addition, his big argument abt violent vs. nonviolent resistance is neither here nor there, unless yr a prog. But to those who understand that we are on an inevitable downward slide, and that there will not be a United States in 110 years (much sooner, actually), this whole distinction is like medieval Scholastics arguing abt how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. We are not the British, and Hedges is certainly no Gandhi (anymore than Dan Quayle was JFK). Nonviolent resistance in the US is pathetic, and easily ignored by the Power Elite; violent resisters will be run over with tanks.

This list cd go on for many pages, but I think the pt is made. Hedges wakes up abt once a yr, writes an essay saying It's Over. Then the next wk, he's back to We must fight our corporate masters. Meanwhile, he teaches at an elite schl and nurses a glass of bourbon in his Manhattan apt. There is no walking one's talk here; and the fact that he is living out a bunch of self-contradictions shows up in his body language, as I've mentioned before. He looks clinically depressed: in his interviews, he tends to slump, and his eyes are sad--the inevitable result of having your head buried in your rump, i.e. being fundamentally out of touch with reality.

And I suspect yr rt: Trumpi in 2020, and for us declinists, that will be reason to celebrate.


5:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...




5:35 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Don't rule out a second or even a 3rd term for Trumpi:

Follow by Javanka & CO.

I remember when folks thought both Ray-gun and W were too stupid to be president and then they were elected and re-elected to second terms.

There is something indeed exceptional about American democracy: 'the people' love electing imbeciles; the dumber, the better. Too educated, too thoughtful and 'the people' become suspicious. Ideal candidate is probably the 'Marlboro Man (holding a bible)" who dropped out of school in the 8th grade.

I don't think other countries even Anglo ones elect dumb as bricks bible-thumpers with the enthusiasm we do.


7:01 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@MB & jml -- I was going to say, I'll bet about 1% (if that) of the gun protest kids are now desperately trying to figure out how to keep the momentum of the protests going while the other 99% are back to texting, twittering and hanging out at Starbucks with their laptops. What struck me most about those protests is that like the pussyhatters, they were largely made up of white, professional class people who would never, EVER risk getting arrested let alone actually fuck something up for the cause. Social justice is one thing, but heaven forbid you risk doing something to jeopardize your chances of getting into an good college. And anyway, that high school was in the same part of Florida where Treyvon Martin was executed by that Zimmerman douchebag for carrying Skittles and none of those little snots remotely gave a damn that time because it didn't affect them.

@Mike R -- "Tourists frenetic pace like they have terminal cancer and have only 2 months to live for box ticking travel." Now that my cancer had returned I've had a few people ask if I'm going to do any bucket list travel. They seem flummoxed when I respond that even though I can easily afford it I'd rather just stay home. Twenty years ago the list of places I wanted to see seemed endless, but now most of the locales that I would be able to visit given my fragile health have been ruined by the global tourism industry and douchebags who just go around "collecting countries."

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Zombies said...

I think so much of American subversion is by a long-term design. We've been played hard, so I have sympathy similarly like Joe Bageant, realizing the gov never gave us a real education, took advantage of plastic mediocre minds with coercion subverting real history and critical thinking, oligarchic establishment firmly in place.

Though I think religion has a bad history, I grew up with families who had maybe Protestant like values, meant well, honest, not hustlers as hard laborers, similar to people Bageant describes though a Southern version of community. I wonder what those people think now about tattoo nation of violent degradation, decline. Hedges represents a bit of that culture to me at least he tries to inform and means well. Everyone serves somebody and he serves the ideals of resurrecting something like his father in spirit with a Christian background.

I remember reading that when owners whomever they are find distracting and subverting the populace too expensive, then the populace is in danger. A business term may be used for that stage like consolidation. Regardless, we are completely dis-empowered with zero mainstream journalism and zero serious indictments so I think the gov with no rule of law can just double down on whatever plans they want, like more subversion of free speech.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


I recall he actually praised the British at one point for their ideals, and said something to the effect that nonviolent resistance only worked because of the developed British conscience.

I'm pretty sure there was no blockbuster film in Britian about blowing away Indians a la "American Sniper".

This collapse is going to be very painful for the narcissist. It's going to involve a lot of ignoring puffed up things that are irrelevant. Russia, China, and Europe start talking as if the US wasn't around. Employers and broader society start ignoring university credentials. The presidency is a reality show you may or may not watch. Millions of young people already have no real sense of belonging to a coherent polity. North America starts a second colonial phase, more corporate in its orientation, as society retribalizes.

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

Attaboy! Make us Great like never before. You have our full support.
[Orangutan's approval rating this week is at 51%, better than that limpdic MackDaddy during his rein.]

Our blokes are ready to do the "dirty" job of cleansing the nation of all cockroaches. Let's roll...

And anyone who refuses to accept Greatness will have it shoved, you know from where.
"I'm going to f'k so much, you’re going to be so sick and tired of my f'kn, you’re going to come to me and go ‘Please, please, Please, Mr. President we can’t take anymore, we beg you sir, we don’t want anymore. It’s too much. It’s not fair to everybody else.' “And I’m going to say, ‘I’m sorry, but I gotta keep f'kn, f'kn, f'kn, until we make America great again.”

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Bologna said...

Re: Cel-Ray Tonic
Yep, that article by Umair got me in tears. I honestly don't know if that is a good thing per say. All I'm going to do is that I confirm what he is saying. I know that "trauma" personally, cause I suffer episodes of depression now in days, and its the most grueling torture out there. No amount of booze, mantras, or prayers would leave this despair alone. Tragically, my family is rendered useless in this pridicament as they never seem to fit themselves into my shoes. They're so absent mininded of the spreading misery, to the point in which I wondered if they are truly my biological parents. I know this topic is treading on dark waters, but it needs to surface if any hope is to shine.

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Aaron Thomas said...

MB, I was listening to a conservative economics podcast from 2012 where they concluded that no matter what climate change will get worse and we will continue to use more energy (no shit). They said what I’ve been hearing for years: prepare for the impact of the future. You focus a lot on the social side of things, but what about more concrete actions?

What do you think is the best source of info for this kind of thing? The best I’ve heard is to move to a relatively small city, meet your neighbors, and try to live outside of the global system as much as possible.

I’ve gone back and forth on this stuff. Where will things pan out the best? Will the government divert resources to cities or will cities actually become dangerous? I’ve personally thought that these mega cities of millions of people have no future because they depend on cars and massive amounts of industrial goods trucked in.at least in a smaller town it seems people may have a chance.

12:37 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I just got back home after watching "The Death of Stalin."

I was the only patron in the cinema.

The film? It was OK. I wouldn't call it hilarious, but it was a mildly humorous send-up of the treachery and cowardice of those in authority. I kept waiting for Georgy Malenkov to say "Hey now," though.

How's this for life imitating art, imitating life?

"Following his firing from Amazon’s Transparent, Jeffrey Tambor has been erased from the movie poster for The Death of Stalin."


We are at war with Artie. We have always been at war with Artie.

2:21 AM  
Anonymous Gordon said...

Gordon said...

A couple of articles suggesting that technophilia may not work out quite as planned.


Others suggest otherwise of course


2:22 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Article on the link between teenage depression and social media.

"Twice as many teenagers now have depression as a generation ago. This high rate of depression has no biological explanation. Instead, it appears to be caused by engagement with social media on smartphones."


7:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Things will certainly get worse, but they won't get worse overnight. 1st step is to leave the US. Then look around at what's attractive outside of large cities. I divide my time between a very large city and a very much smaller one.


Well, Trayvon was 6 yrs ago, and some of these kids were abt 10 at the time. But I take yr pt.


8:29 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

More commentators (of course from alternative media) on the US seem to be catching up to you:
The above column begins with the following quote:
"In Matthew 12:22-28, Jesus tells the Pharisees:
Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand."
Other notable excerpts:"Yes, Washington Post, North Korea is watching. And you know what it sees? It sees a house divided. It sees an America that is perhaps as divided against itself as it was prior to the civil war.
...An America that has adopted a Shakespearian theater as its political system, where all norms of civil conversation have long been thrown out the window, where venomous gossip and backstabbing have become accepted social instruments. An America where anything goes as long as it sells."
"An interesting line from Chinese state run newspaper Global Times illustrates how China sees the world, and the US in particular, at present: “A weak country has no diplomacy. As a hundred years have passed, China is no longer that [weak] China, but the world is still that world....That is how China, and in its wake, North Korea, see America. And so does Russia. Americans may -and do- think that they are still no. 1, and the most powerful, economically, politically, militarily, but that’s no longer what the rest of the world sees....And they may even know how Jesus put it. He didn’t just say a kingdom divided would become less powerful or wealthy, he said: Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation."

Best Wishes,

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Bologna: Since you're a WAFer (you're here after all) I'll say I prefer the term Melancholia in the classic sense (despite its ties to Freud). See Nausea by Sartre, William Wordsworth, Keats, and others.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Francois said...

Hedges likes to be comfortable while he is revolting. He is just a programmed buffoon who is doing what his daddy wanted him to do. It gives him a sense of purpose and he can feel he is making his father proud, by fighting the good fight.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Still jonesing for Jordan? A look at the “lobsters’ who love him. “Stand up straight” and “Tell the truth.” Words to live by. Along with such admonitions as “Eat your vegetables” and “Stay hydrated**,” advice for a well-ordered life.
“Why do young men worship Professor Jordan Peterson?”

And for the collapsitariat, the results of a poll looking into how much the average citizen has saved for retirement.

Coupled with the student debt burden—average student loan debt for the Class of 2016 was $37,172, up six percent from 2015–things are looking down. The total for US student loans is $1.48 trillion; 44.2 million Americans hold student loan debt. Yikes. (“A Look at the Shocking Student Loan Debt Statistics for 2018” at website studentloanhero.com)

**”Stay hydrated.” I still marvel every day at the number of youths I see carrying huge water bottles. George Carlin couldn’t understand how things had gotten so bad that people had to have water with them at all times, as if they didn’t expect to see another water source anywhere outside their home.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...


It's very clear that BLM, OWS and the like are basically getting nowhere with their passionate reactions and marches against our oligarchic government.,..sad to say. Hedges on the other hand actually does walk his talk. In addition to teaching at an elite school, Princeton I think, he also teaches in a prison, has been arrested numerous times in protests and sued the government at one point.

I'm curious as to why his name appears so often on this blog...people seem to be drawn to him for some reason.


11:49 AM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

"Has anything happened on the gun legislation front? As far as I can make out, no; there has been no serious change in our gun laws."

Indeed, there has, Professor, look: Many states have now passed laws allowing teachers to arm themselves in the classroom. Who said the parkland kids had no impact? The kids will soon understand America loves violence and competition. It's who we are. This will never, ever change. For example, no one American newspaper condemned or even expressed concern about the recent Syrian airstrikes. Not one. Indeed, they were enthusiastically supportive. Iran? Bomb them.

The point is really not can America be saved. (It can't.) It is that America is not worth saving...


3:28 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

This is sickening, but not surprising-

"Out of 26 Major Editorials on Trump’s Syria Strikes, Zero Opposed"


5:28 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


I wonder if having sex w/Ivanka is analogous to having sex w/a robot?


I badly want to see "The Death of Stalin." Thanks for yr review.


Indeed, Jarvanka in 2024 seems highly appropriate, but as MB likes to say, "my money's on Lorenzo Riggins."

MB, Wafers-

Evelyn Washington dept.:

Homeowner finds naked intruder in bathtub, eating Cheetos:




5:33 PM  
Anonymous Vance said...

YouTuber facing 2 years in prison after feeding homeless man toothpaste-filled Oreos: https://www.dailydot.com/upstream/youtube-reset-toothpaste-filled-cookies/

A nation of misanthropes.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Very likely, these kids will eventually side with the dominant consensus. The gun protests will be for them a forgotten dream. The protests of the 60s are a gd template for this.


I'm with you. By now it's basically a fairly cushy life. This is why he looks so sad in his interviews: all of those contradictions are hard to live with. He has a true declinist breakthru abt once a yr, then collapses back into 'revolution'.


6:47 PM  
Anonymous Blair said...

Professor, a question on Cuba, is the abject poverty in Cuba's economy mostly due to a centrally planned Marxist command of the system? I wouldn't have thought it was more on the embargo

7:57 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

...Yet Trump and his millions of DEPLORABLES continue to DENY....



10:43 PM  
Blogger Grandma said...

Not sure if anyone has mentioned Chef's Table on Netflix or not.

I was blown away by episode 2 (series 1). Not by the dude (who is an asshole) but by what he has done: reconnecting people to real food. All that knowledge we had has been lost, and he's trying to regain it.

Episode 1 is an Italian (Modena), episode 3 is a Patagonian, trained in France, who cooks exclusively with fire in the most amazing places. He's definitely a food NMI.

I cannot binge watch it. Each episode has to be savored.

10:56 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@MB: Indeed, I should have chided the school itself and the parents instead of the current students for shrugging off the Trayvon Martin shooting. Meanwhile, the "leader" of the Parkland protest movement has figured out a way to cash in on the tragedy, and also offend the idiot PC crowd in the process: David Hogg’s book title angers Holocaust survivors and relatives. By profiting from America's decline, Hogg is just following the lead of his dad's old boss, James Comey. Hucksters making big bucks off of human suffering--Hogg and Comey are no different than Trump.

Relatedly, the DOJ Inspector General not only referred "Resistance" hero Andrew McCabe to the U.S. Attorney's office for prosecution, he demonstrated Comey's professional malpractice in NOT doing so in the BotoxFace case. No matter what one thinks of Hillary, she was in apparent violation of the law and it is NOT accepted federal investigative practice for the agent to also act as adjudicator. Hope all those douchebags who donated to McCabe's GoFundMe page now feel like the complete suckers they are.

The slow slide towards totalitarianism: Amazon doesn't seem to have any clue that removing one of the stars faces' from the posters for "The Death of Stalin" because he's been #MeTooed is EXACTLY the kind of thing Stalin himself would have done.

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Thanks for the NYT piece. I'm surprised they printed it thought the writer is a member of the Knesset. I wonder if that picture was in the printed edition. My guess is that it wasn't. Quite a picture of the demolished house. That was not in the territories but inside Israel. I guess I could pull my punches and say that the picture represents what Zionism has become but actually that's what Zionism has always been- exclusionary. I saw a documentary this evening on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict full of gross historical error. It claimed that the ethnic cleansing campaign was the result of the war of independence. It wasn't. The cleaning campaign had completed before the war began. Anyway, I think I'm done posting articles on my Facebook page. I don't really mind all the name calling (enemy of the Jews, an Arab posing as a Jew, moron,douchebag, creepy to name a few) but the level of ignorance and willful blindness is near breathtaking. For example, they claim the Right of Return was designed only for the Jews to enter Palestine after centuries in exile.
Of course, if Israel were smart they would end the occupation and give full citizenship to the Palestinians. Not long from now 30% of Israelis will be ultra-orthodox. They refuse military service. Thus they could actually recruit young Palestinians. Or Shimon Perez said that the port in Gaza could make Israel the Singapore of the Middle East. But, of course, they won't as they are tied to an insane 19th century ideology which in time will be their undoing. I think of Israel as the monkey who rode on the back of the tiger (the US, EU) until the tiger got hungry and ate the monkey. At that point they will be completely alone and friendless. After all , it was only created to advance western interests in the region. Surely, the west can find other less controversial allies in the region. Then of course, someday the Palestinians will gain the upper hand and treat the Israelis and they were treated-without mercy.

12:54 AM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

Like Kent State before our universities are still hotbeds for kindling progressive ideology. Our future looks Great.

The revolutionaries taking the oath of allegiance: https://youtu.be/rwi4gnJSSZg?t=157
The Oath: “I solemnly swear to always have hatred in my heart for n*ggers, sp*cs and most importantly the f*ckin’ k*kes.”
B&W hate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3OFzSl055w

@Marianne, Hedges is good man with great intentions. He just happens to be like MackD peddling same hope-n-change with a unique twist. Didn't he learn his lesson at Rockford? Revolution of ass'oles like these... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB_5XSUWJdM

Albeit thanks to Hedges we realized the nature of the beast. That beast is us, and Trumpi or MackD are just beast herders. But niceties of intentions aside, the question is, does America deserve to be saved? And at the risk of getting too Wafery, (check Inmendham et al. on youtube) the same question for humans, our favorite animal? Who would you vote as the earth's most despicable species?

2:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Despite the rolling bucolic beauty of the landscape, it makes you wonder why anyone chooses to live here. But when I pose that question to locals, they seemed stunned that I would even ask.

“I don’t want to live in a city, that’s why I’m here,” Wilfong, the cattle farmer, said with a laugh. “It’s beautiful. It’s peaceful. It’s a healthy environment in which to raise your kids. And it’s home.”


6:35 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Who says we don't use chemical weapons on our own? Damn glad to have Pruitt on the case.


On a brighter note, a movie recommendation - 65,000 individual oil paintings on canvas made into an animated movie about the death of van Gogh pretty remarkable :



I found it on Hulu

11:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


O dem kikes, I tell ya. Always plotting to take over the world. They're the worst!


You might wanna be done with Facebook altogether. As for ethnic cleansing, expulsion of the native pop. was part of the Zionist strategy from early days; check the 19C literature.


It's a long-standing debate. I fear I don't know the answer.


12:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Dan: you have a friend:


12:22 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

How low can the Democrats go with this farce of "resistance"?

Well here were go! https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Democratic-party-files-lawsuit-against-Russia-12850976.php

They are suing the Russians!

As for the Palestinians. What can be said for Palestine that westerners will truly listen? The most condemnation of Israel is something akin to "stop that" but otherwise the world is pretty happy not do a damn thing for Palestinians. I am always surprised the Israelis haven't begun to purge the West Bank and Gaza, to be frank. It's not like people really care. Those who do are completely ignored by the media. I remember when Ahed Tamimi was arrested you had many Americans screaming the girl was a hateful slut and needed to be punished for all of her life.

The sad truth when it comes to Palestine is we are more likely to have an eventual Rohingya situation than we are to ever have a two state solution.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Geez Bill Hicks, what was my post, chopped liver? Wafers oughtta appreciate this site, with images of Kliment Voroshilov, Steve Buscemi, Stalin and Nikolai Yezhov at the shore of the Moskwa-Wolga-Channelfrom 1937, then not.


I disagree with your prediction, Dan, of how Palestinians will behave once they take over. I'm pretty sure they will be tolerant of Jews in Palestine, as they had been before the Balfour declaration and the British Mandate.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Nah; too much water under the bridge, I'm thinking. (Blood, actually)


4:44 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Good comment in the NYT (forget which article). It was the USA isn't really a country. It is a business. That's why things are they way they are.

As for Hedges, I can only say it is through Hedges that I found Morris Berman (a speech was suggested to me on youtube) so for that I'm grateful. Hedges is in the same category as Chomsky, Moore, Krugman, and Sullivan. They write deeply and eloquently on this country's awful history, its rigged political system, the corruption of elites, the failure of education, the nihilism of the culture, etc. and THEN: they state how hopefully they are for the future, the green shoots' of optimism of the Parkland kids, etc.

So, while they do a good job of diagnosing our ills, they don't recognize that the illness itself is fatal and cannot be cured. Too many movements and individuals have tried, all have failed. All potential energy gets diverted into silly things like the making and wearing of pussy hats. This is what Berman and 170 or so Wafers get and just about nobody else...



4:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan: more from the NYT (originally Ha'aretz):



5:08 PM  
Anonymous Tamler said...

Odd shower thought: if Trumpi gets civil talks goin in NK, and wins a Nobel(!), he actually would deserve it. And then Obama won, for nothing.

What a WEIRD reality this is

5:48 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Dr. Stephen M. Walt's article "America Can't Be Trusted Anymore" might be a recounting of America's decline but read some of the comments just below the article, a number of these writers wonder if America could EVER be trusted!


9:22 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

William Polk appears to support what Dr Berman says in this passage. An interesting essay: ''”There is a hundred times more enthusiasm in any Paris cafe [for the American Revolution] than in all the colonies together.” Many kept focused on their private aims, sold food and equipment to the British and starved Washington at Valley Forge; others found it more profitable (and safer) to kill Indians than to fight the British''.


11:00 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

I remember an episode of the X-Files in the late nineties that featured a man who was made of cancer. His body was one hundred percent cancer of some sort which gave him powers most other people didn't have. He could fake death by oozing part of his body out what appeared to be his corpes, he could change his body shape, ect. Hedges, Chomksy, ect mean well I think down deep but what they are trying to do is trying to cure the country of its cancer without realizing the country (like the character in X-Files) is cancer. You kill the cancer you kill the organism for the cancer is the whole and not a part.

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

"The coolest people I know are the ones who truly, deeply do not take themselves too seriously. They are not defensive because there is nothing to defend. They don't look for praise because there is no one to praise. One benefit of being at the Osho resort was that it revealed just how gigantic and unrollable my sense of self is. Grumbling at the tantric sex workshop because I didn't want to unleash something I might not be able to control, wanting to be irresistibly hot, not wanting to be a random in a crowd. Selflessness was one of Buddha's biggest teachings, which Osho coopted into his own teachings because Osho had good taste in truths. But he was a rebel who wanted to create his own path and new, untested paths can lead nowhere or they can lead to something great. Osho's last words when he died were "I leave you my dream.""

"This untamed creature within still cries out in hunger and frustration from deep inside of us . . . and we neglect this beast at our peril."
"The DSM-V named dozens more mental illnesses into existence this year but we still don’t have a word to describe the collective insanity we’re stewing in, nor any insight into where it’s coming from, nor how to get out. The best of us know that we will never get better so long as we live in a sick culture."

1:06 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

This is good:


5:15 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Thank you, doctor, for the link. Yes, I have great respect for Gideon Levy. Every year he visits the US and every year he appears more depressed. He is wrong on one point. Hamas did not "seize power". They were democratically elected. In fact, if you read the history, Israel created Hamas as a counterweight to the PLO. Yes, Israel's behavior is truly disgraceful. They won't even allow chocolate into Gaza. I know of only one other time chocolate was banned-during the time of the Warsaw Ghetto. In fact, given some of the statements emanating from Israeli politicians, I'm nearly convinced if there were not a world press Israel would commit a genocide.But as Ilan Pappe writes, Israel IS committing a genocide but it's "incremental". Yes, kudos to Natalie Portman-a righteous Jew but where are the others? Of course I know-can't sacrifice a good pay check.
With all respect, al-Qu-bong, the Palestinians saw the writing on the wall soon after Balfour. It was never peaceful after that. You might want to check out the Hebron massacre of 1929.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Brandon said...

I found your book A Question of Values at a library book sale on Thursday and immediately bought it. Much to ponder.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

As a non-jew I usually do my best to avoid talking about Israel at all. I just don't feel qualified to say anything whatsoever. But things have got to a point where it is hard to keep silent. Personally I wouldn't like to visit Israel, and I don't think I should need to explain my reasons to anybody, but the mere fact might be enough these days for an accusation of supporting the BDS movement and therefore of antisemitism. In the US it could even have legal implications.

Human nature being what it is, I believe that people are generally willing to forget the treatment given to the Palestinians, since it doesn't affect them personally, it's best to avoid thinking of disturbing situations and, at the end of the day, human history is a long tale of some group abusing other groups. But each time these Israeli zealots tear their clothings and cry antisemite at the first opportunity, many people feel violated, because the message is that they are not even allowed to have their own conscience, that their minds and souls must submit to Israel unconditionally. They are helping to create actual antisemites where there were none before.

The memory of the holocaust is not being desecrated by idiots like Richard Spencer, but by Israelis themselves.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This is pretty neat:



Enjoy. I guess the library was dumping stuff nobody was interested in.


Creshanda, my hero. Jesus, just look at that face!


You have completely misunderstood what I, and this blog, are trying to do, as well as our politics. In any case, we don't permit ad hominem attacks here (cheap, cowardly shots in place of substantive discussion), so I think you might seek out a blog where that sort of thing is allowed. (Of which there are many, I suspect.) Best of luck.


The Nobel Committee might be more interested in style than substance. But years from now, Obama might be remembered as a silly little turkey, and Trumpi as a guy who got something done. A weird world indeed.

Meanwhile, Israelis behaving like Israelis:



6:32 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

That turkey DC council member who thinks the Rothschilds control the weather visited the Holocaust Museum this week to try and make amends. Not only did he bail out halfway through the tour for a "meeting," one of his staff members actually asked if the Warsaw Ghetto was like a gated community. Yet the only people who are ignorant and prejudiced in Trump's America are the evil old white guys.

In other diversity news, it appears that the Chinese are quick learners in how to become more American: Kangaroo Dies After Visitors At Chinese Zoo Hurl Rocks To Force Her To Jump.

Here is a terrific summation of the "woke" protests happening on college campuses these days: "They want to be celebrated as resistance fighters and treated like trauma victims. The student activists of 2018 require a lot of hand holding as they overthrow their oppressors."

9:19 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

Here is a really good history of Iraq and what the US has done to it for six decades. It is very maddening how it is viewed as "common knowledge" that Arabs cannot have functioning societies. However, how can they? Like Africa, the leader of an Arab country either serve the interests of the west or they die.


As for Ms. Portman, I would say it's amazing it took sniper fire at a peaceful protest to "shock" her, I mean Operation Cast Lead was horrifying and resulted in some 1400 deaths and a huge amount of territorial destruction. Worse was Protective Edge which saw some 2000 people kill and 18000 homes demolished. Is there really a point when enough is enough? I mean just look at the Rohingya. All the evidence of Genocide and not one country is raising a finger.

10:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It appears that the Israelis don't give a damn abt the Palestinians, but then--neither does anyone else.


11:38 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Fistfights, nude masturbation and dead pets: What's going on with airline travel?

The better question is: What’s going on with American people in this Society?...we know the answer to that.


2:00 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

I hadn't been paying attention to Jordan Peterson and what he has to say, but I caught him in this clip from the Bill Maher show. He enters the discussion around the two-minute mark and raises some interesting questions related to the "house divided" post above. Other members of the panel include the governor of WA and Stormy Daniels' lawyer-


8:18 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

More american greatness-

Four people are dead after a shooting at a Waffle (shit) House in Tennessee early Sunday morning.

Police said the suspect was wearing only a jacket and was otherwise completely nude at the time of the shooting.

What would be better if after the massacre, he fucked a van. How american!

9:28 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Esca, The DSM, the bible of “mental illness,” will never acknowledge the underlying cause of the “collective insanity that we’re stewing in.” However, there is a word that describes our situation:

“Wetiko is an Algonquin word for a cannibalistic spirit that is driven by greed, excess, and selfish consumption….It deludes its host into believing that cannibalizing the life-force of others…is a logical and morally upright way to live.

“Wetiko short-circuits the individual’s ability to see itself as an enmeshed and interdependent part of a balanced environment and raises the self-serving ego to supremacy. It is this false separation of self from nature that makes this cannibalism, rather than simple murder. It allows—indeed commands—the infected entity to consume far more than it needs in a blind, murderous daze of self-aggrandizement."

I wonder how the Algonquins handled those with Wetiko?

10:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Here's the news story:


Restaurants and fast-food joints seem to be the loci of choice for going batshit. I can't help wondering if we need to pass a law making it OK to do abs. anything you want to, in such places. American Way of Life driving you nuts? No problem! Go to yr local IHOP or whatever with assault weapons and blow a few people away. You'll feel much better, and you will not be arrested.

This seems like a better way to deal with rage and pain than what we're doing now, rt? This approach contains and channels the aggression, makes it less random. In addition, it focuses on symptoms rather than causes, which is the American Way of dealing with practically everything. (Causes are messy; guns are simple.) Wafers are encouraged to propose refinements to this exciting new law (for example, having it be in effect only on Tues, Thurs, and Sat; or limiting the use of nuclear weapons to one day per wk, wh/wd be a tad more compassionate).

Check out Mark Ames, "Going Postal."


10:42 AM  
Anonymous Francois said...

@ Bill Hicks, The narcissist platform hijackers surely will spearhead the revolution for Hedges. I think about Nelson Mandela, Ho Chi Minh, General Giap and what they and their followers had to endure and I think about how privileged they were. Mandela served 27 years in prison, that is nothing compared to teaching at Princeton. Fighting in the jungles of Indochina against the Japanese, French and Americans for years, isn’t nearly as virtuous as demanding a safe space on a college campus. I hope Hedges has an appearance crashed by some of these snowflakes and it gets posted to YouTube.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

I watch the movie Hostiles the other day. It began with the following D. H. Lawrence quote: The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.

The very next day I came across this article from 2017.


I think this blog is the only one that knows the American heart Will Never melt. All we can expect is more of the same in the future.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I first heard the thesis of the 'wetiko psychosis' proposed by Jack Forbes in a lecture he gave in San Fran several decades ago. At the time, I wondered if it wasn't a bit simplistic; in retrospect, it seems insightful. Basically, the guy was talking about hustling as the American Way of Life. Benjamin Rush predicted the US wd end in 'an orgy of selfishness'; he was abt 200 yrs too early, but it's coming to pass in our own time.

"Possessions are a disease with them"--Sitting Bull

You know, on this blog, we talk abt massacres at waffle houses, riots at Wal-Mart, the DSM-V and endless parade of meds by Big Pharma, and so on; but we talk in terms of causes, not symptoms. Ethan Watters, in addn to myself and a few others, focuses on the real problem: this way of life is nuts. Americans (understandably) can't tolerate it, and so they, and the country, are falling apart at the seams. Meanwhile, the MSM ignores this type of analysis and wallows in dogshit. Doris Lessing once wrote, Given the fact that we know what's wrong with this system, how is it (looking back from 2050 or so) that we simply let everything go to hell in a basket? One answer is that with the exception of 170 Wafers, 'we' don't know at all what's wrong with the system, and are mesmerized by dogshit. America will hit bottom (i.e. wake up) on the other side of death, as far as I can see. In my novel TMWQ, the central character gets interviewed by Bill Maher. Can you imagine that happening in real life? When pigs fly in geese formation over the White House, I'm thinking. Meanwhile, laissez les bons temps rouler...


11:20 AM  
Anonymous Nostra said...

[San Antonio school responds to assignment asking students to list 'positives' of slavery]: https://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/San-Antonio-school-responds-to-homework-12847564.php

Louis Hartz says at the end of pt 4 of The Liberal Tradition in America that (for America): “its punishment of the south left nothing out.” And you take that very issue head on in ch. 4 of WAF, Prof. Berman. (Sorry, a sore subject on the blog, but I was late to the party). But this incident in San Antonio is good from a declinist’s vantage point, b/c we have everybody there folding like Omar-the-Tentmaker: parents, the school superintendent Aaron Kindel, U.S. Rep Castro, the textbook company Prentice-Hall, etc.. But to quote Hartz again:

“I believe that this is the basic problem of a liberal society: not the danger of the majority which has been its conscious fear, but the danger of unanimity, which has slumbered unconsciously behind it: the ‘tyranny of opinion’ that Tocqueville saw unfolding as even the pathetic social distinctions of the Federalist era collapsed before his eyes.”

So what you say in the “Rebuke of History” chapter is dead on accurate, Professor B. Furthermore, I don’t think you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Wafer if you can’t see your way clear here (illustrated once again in San Antonio) of yet another (pathetic) articulation of the American Way of Life.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I don't think there were any positive aspects to slavery. What I did say in WAF ch. 4 was that there were positive aspects to the antebellum South, in particular a rich intellectual tradition that has been ignored, and a leisurely way of life that was squarely in opposition to the hustling North. The tragedy and paradox, of course, is that that leisurely way of life was based on a slave economy.

Americans are not very bright, and can only think in Manichaean terms. Kindel et al. are certainly rt to condemn slavery; the problem is when the South is identified with slavery and nothing else. It certainly speaks to the American 'intellect' when the reaction to WAF ch. 4 was that I was pro-slavery and a racist. Fine-tuning of issues isn't exactly America's strong pt.

Sadly, the Civil War never ended, in particular because of what the North visited upon the South (as Hartz pts out). There are many sources of racism, of course, but I'm quite sure that America cannot solve its racial problem until the North apologizes to the South for the devastation and humiliation visited upon it--even tho the War had to be fought (I believe) to root out slavery. That, of course, will never happen. Instead, we are busy pulling down statues and outlawing the Confederate flag--actions that only exacerbate the conflict.

Anyway, I don't mean to resurrect a (useless) debate we had on this blog in the wake of the publication of WAF. The American head is simply too thick to entertain nuance. The San Antonio schl assignment was certainly quite stupid, but the inability to understand that the antebellum South had more to it than slavery isn't a whole lot brighter. All of this, however, does serve a purpose, namely accelerating the American decline.


Data like these are perhaps the #1 argument for the need of America to finally get off the world stage. We went from a purported democracy to a genocidal war machine run by a plutocracy and cheered on by morons. Time to close up shop.


2:06 PM  
Anonymous JUS said...

Hi MB,

In regards to going postal at the local IHOP, I might suggest doing it in fashion. I just read the L.A Times Sunday edition and 7/8's of it was all entertainment,fashion and ads and a whopping 1/8th of it was devoted to news. So get your Beyonce flashy long shag boots on and your high riding denim shorts on and go shoot up a few at the IHOP. It's the American way.

Just make sure you're having fun!


2:27 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Wow, good quotes by DH Lawrence, Benjamin Rush, and Sitting Bull. What is interesting is that outsiders can more clearly see the USA for what it is but Americans can't.

Saravati- who would the Algonquin handle the Wetiko? Probably isolation as a Wetiko will eventually destroy himself.

Re: the Civil War- The North utterly destroyed the South. The Mayor of Atlanta begged Sherman to spare the City; Sherman responded by leveling it. Slavery would have bee economically obsolete by 1890 or thereabouts so the war really was't necessary. The US Civil War was not about slavery; it was about succession. Seen in this light, the Northern Cause was unjust: State are sovereign. Seen in hindsight, it would have been better to let them leave During the war, North also threatened war with Great Britain/Canada and France for trading with the South. This would be the model in later years.


2:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Again, I don't want to replay the discussion we had yrs ago, but the War *was* abt slavery...just not initially. Nor even abt secession or states rts, really. Check out WAF ch. 4.


Well, decline is making progress in various ways. For example, if you define a massacre as the killing or maiming of 4 or more people, then the frequency of massacres in America is just a bit over one a day. I wd also like to see more activity at fast-food joints. In this dept., Shaneka Torres (my heroine) is sans pareil. But I won't be satisfied until there is an average of one food riot a day. This is not abt hunger, BTW. Rather, you didn't get bacon on yr cheeseburger and yr not going to take this abuse any longer (e.g.). Whee!


3:15 PM  
Blogger flanagle said...

I've just received an encrypted communique from my dear old comrade sub-Commandante Kermit of the United Sock-puppet Liberation Front. It reads as follows: "We of the USLF denounce and condemn the recent disciplinary action and all-round general smack-down of the young woman who recently re-enlisted in the US Armed Forces taking her sacred oath all the while with a T-Rex sock-puppet on her right hand. The oath-giver has been dealt with harshly as well. (Possibly anyone standing within 50 meters of this is now under interrogation also).
After this incident leaked onto the internet it caused a great wailing and gnashing of teeth from those devoted to abject, base, veneration of all things even remotely connected to the US War Machine. Then, some lick-spittle brass twit got on to say something to the effect of '...this is NOT who we are...our deep traditions violated' etc.,etc.
Well, we of the USLF say that is EXACTLY who you are! 20 million dead in 37 countries? What possible creature other than T-Rex stomping around, destroying anything that gets in it's way for the past 70 years could make a better, more timely symbol? Lions and tigers and bears? Some old bald bird standing around with a bunch of olives and arrows?
No, US military, just come right out flat-footed and admit your basic purpose is to kill people and blow stuff up and T-Rex fits the bill. Its just business after all. And while we're at it we suggest a new motto to go along with every soldier's govt-issue T-Rex sock-puppet: 'TGI-R' or 'Thank God Its Rex!' (signed)-- USLF-sub-Commandante Kermit"
NB- I will pass along any further messages to the Wafer community.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

If you'll check again, Dan, you'll see that I was referring to the time before the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate. Were the pernicious effects of the Anglo-Zionist colonial project not there, the people in the region would have little to fight over.

Meanwhile, this is cute:

Palestinian scholar killed in Kuala Lumpur, family blames Mossad


5:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

What a grotesque collection of turkeys! And take a look at Hillary's face.


These folks are actually among the most violent people on the planet.


5:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Americans in action!


5:38 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

I just got back from a nice walk in the park. On my way back, a couple of pedestrians who had the right-of-way to cross the street were almost run over by a driver making a turn in front of them. Luckily, the pedestrians stopped in time. From my vantage point, I could see the driver's face as he was making that turn. Not a single reaction from him. He did not brake or even look at the pedestrians. They simply didn't exist to him.

The supremacy of cars over people have always angered me, especially when I witness drivers bullying or cutting off more vulnerable people such as the elderly or mothers with strollers. American drivers are simply sociopaths. Here's a great article about this madness: https://efficientgov.com/blog/2015/06/19/the-argument-against-cars/

"Cars have dehumanized our cities since, as soon as we get behind the wheel, we become anonymous and hence selfish; the motorist sees them self as solely entitled to most public space (almost always for free or deeply subsidized) and pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit become obstacles and annoyances."

Replace "cars" with "Americans" above and it wouldn't change a thing. Americans, by and large, support dehumanized public spaces. Our downtown area has been recently turning surface parking lots into green space and parks. Of course they're only doing that for real estate opportunities, but I'll take that over a depressing parking lot any day. In a recent news article about the parks, the comments section was predictably depressing. "Where are we gonna park our cars?" "Downtown has too many parks!" They paved paradise and put up a parking lot, indeed!

7:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's strange how quotations can get attributed to someone who never said them. Rt now on the Net is circulating a quote I never said, but which is being attributed to me: "Love is the social equivalent of gravity." Not bad, really, but not mine. I think what I said was, "Chopped liver is the culinary equivalent of gravity." Then something got lost in translation...love, maybe, or deli meats.


9:30 PM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

Heard of "canoeing?" Did the white man get "therapy" doing such "funny stuff" on the native Indians? Nah!
​"​“Just a phenomenal, phenomenal day. We just slaughtered those dudes.” After describing one particular fighter, Slabinksi continued: “To this day, we’ve never had anything as good as that. Oh my gosh. We needed that… there was not a better group of people to go and do that. The guys needed that to get back in the saddle because everyone was gun shy.​ ​I mean, talk about the funny stuff we do. After I shot this dude in the head, there was a guy who had his feet, just his feet, sticking out of some little rut or something over here. I shot him about 20 times in the legs, and every time you’d kick him, er, shoot him, he would kick up, you could see his body twitching and all that. It was like a game. Like, ‘hey look at this dude,’ and the guy would just twitch again. It was just good therapy. It was really good therapy for everybody who was there.”​"​

"The "real Americans need weapons to protect themselves from the savages. Gun rights in this country were forged on the idea that white people had the right to take native people’s land by the barrel of the gun. They were forged on the idea that black people were living pieces of property that needed to be kept in place by armed slave patrols, militias and posse justice. Second Amendment is rooted in the belief that white people have the right to control others with their weapons. As historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz put it: “The Constitution is the sacred text of the civic religion that is US nationalism and that nationalism is inexorably tied to white supremacy.”"

10:08 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Millennial Realist -- indeed, cars are a big part of what makes Americans the swell people they are today. And now the rich have even figured out a way to develop their own "private roads," in the guise of HOT lanes that have peak hour toll rates set so high that the average American can't afford to use them and avoid traffic jams.

So how typically American is THIS story. A Delta flight attendant gives a passenger an apple towards the end of her return flight from Paris, which she puts in her carry on bag. Next thing you know, CPB is fining her $500 for a customs violation. Delta's reaction? Well, she should have followed the rules.

In more campus snowflake news, Penn State University's student Outing Club has had to disband because the school determined that many of its outdoor activities take place "in high-risk environments such as unsupervised or lightly-patrolled areas with unreliable or no cell phone service." That's the problem with the real outdoors, don't you know, it's just too OUTDOORSY. Much safer for young people, particularly young male teenagers, to hang out in the PSU football facility's locker room. Nothing bad could EVER happen to them there.

12:47 AM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Esca Dreg,

The youtube user comments on that Democracy Now video reveal a lot about Usonians.

12:51 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Millenial Realist,

Your post reminded me of something I was going to mention here a few months back. It was a snowy, icy night, and I was driving to work on a local interstate. All of the sudden, a car going about 65 miles per hour in the opposite direction (the interstate is divided by a grass-covered depression in between) lost control, and went veering off the road and into the valley. The car was violently bouncing and swerving until it suddenly stopped down in the valley. I immediately slowed down and looked for a place to stop. The guy got out of his car right away, so I was relieved to know he wasn't seriously hurt. But the two cars behind me literally held their horns in for around 15 seconds as I was trying to find a place to park! My God, that was one of the most irritating things I've ever experienced! They literally watched this guy come within a hairsbreadth of dying, and it made no impact on them whatsoever. And not the slightest inclination to make sure that the driver was OK, nor any empathy for his being stranded and possibly injured in the midst of a winter storm. Fortunately, the man was OK, and had a cell phone, so he got a tow truck and was alright. But this is what we've come to!

Anyhow, I would argue that Americans don't suddenly "become selfish" when they get behind the wheel. On the contrary, it merely showcases who they already are!

2:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually, cell fones elicit the same kind of aggressive, narcissistic behavior that cars do. The American motto is Me, Myself, and I.

Many years ago, I was hanging out w/some guys in a café in rural Guatemala, and after dinner we piled into someone's car and headed home. 10 mins later, we came across some guy whose car had broken down in the middle of nowhere. The guys in our car stopped, and started working on the other guy's car. It took 45 mins to fix it: no cell fone, just people helping people. All of us were tired and wanted to get home, but 'stranger in distress' came 1st. Different people, different sort of culture. Meanwhile, check out the history of Guatemala, and what we did to that country, starting in 1954.


4:04 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Do you know what finally happend to Arbenz? After years as the Flying Duchman searching for safe haven he was thrown into a bathtub of boiling water. Thus what happens to anyone who entertains the insane idea of helping the native populations and not work for the multi-nationals in his case United Fruit. It truly makes Eisenhower's speech about the military-industrial complex hollow given that under his watch there were coups against democratically elected governments in Guatemala and Iran to name a few.
Not impressed by Natalie Portman. Gideon Levy is right-where was she during Cast Lead, Protective Shield and the 3rd one I can't remember that killed hundreds, destroyed thousands of homes,and destroyed nearly Gaza'a entire infrastructure? In fact, she was quick to say that she does not support BDS. Yeah, Natalie, can't really bite the hand that feeds you. Still, it's better than nothing. Think all the famous Jewish artists in the US and abroad can sign a petition demanding a halt to the shootings? Of course not. Their liberalism only extends to essentially safe issues like trans-gender rights. Frauds all.

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Randall said...

"Fourteen green-tech firms in which Gore invested received or directly benefited from more than $2.5 billion in loans, grants and tax breaks, part of President Obama’s historic push to seed a U.S. renewable-energy industry with public money"


Putting the Kabash on the Green Capital cabal.

Isn't there a book out there about these hustling 'Greens'?

- Randall

8:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Both Al Gore and Thos Friedman made a bundle off of 'greenwashing'--so-called green capitalism, which is a con--hustling chic. There are a few pp. on the subject in Joel Magnuson's bk, "The Approaching Great Transformation," and there is also a bk by Oscar somebody?, I can't recall, abt problems with soft energy solutions. Sorry, I just can't remember the title.


9:16 AM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...


It was Operation Cast Lead, which was to punish the Gazans for the humiliation of what Hezbollah did to Israel in Lebanon. After that was Operation Pillar of Defense, which was mild compared to what came before it and nothing compared to what would come next. Finally, we had Operation Protective Edge. Protective Edge made Cast Lead look like a storm in a teacup. The Anti-occupation group, Breaking the Silence, talked to the Israeli soldiers themselves about what was going and what the soldiers were saying were eye-opening. These people were not contrite, no these soldiers were very open and willing to talk about the level of destruction and how "Cool!" it was. It was like a "video game!".

Think about this...Cast Lead destroyed 6300 homes. Protective edge destroyed 18,000 homes. Cast Lead 350 children dead, Protective Edge, 550 children dead.

On this issue, I have been called a pessimist but I think I am more of a realist. When has it ever gotten better? The data shows it's just getting worse and the worst of what Israel faces is lip service. This killing of Palestinians by Sniper Fire will be forgotten by the majority of people who claim to care and only a few people in the West will truly care. And if your Arab (like me) there is no reason in trying to make people care because our word is worth the dust on the floor to most people. it's just how it is.

Sorry if my post is long.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous GM said...


Any "global race" is the race to the bottom.


1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No shit!


1:20 PM  
Blogger jml said...

True story. Today, I set up a still life for my Drawing students to draw. About 10 minutes into drawing session, student comes up to me and asks if she can use my printer to print out the picture of the still life that she took with her phone, b/c the picture on her phone is so small, she wants an 8 x 11 print out of it b/c it will be bigger and easier to see. I said, "But the actual objects are right in front of you. Put your phone down and actually look at them."
Second student that I had to tell to not take a photo of the still life, but to simply draw what was seen with human eyes.
These kids are so brain damaged.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

I always said if the USA really wanted gun control then liberals should start arming blacks with AR-15s. If we had a heavily armed black and latino populace, the right would agitate for the repeal of the 2nd amendment.

There was a comment in the NYT on how poorly paid public particular teachers are. Teachers are not accorded respect in US society because we don't value learning. I recall reading that in Finland and Singapore teaching is considered a prestigious profession which attracts some bright college graduates. The commenter left the USA for Germany after the 2016 election and raved about the public services there, road, infrastructure, healthcare, etc.

Anyway, his comment was that the USA is pro-Argentina in which a wealthy country (natural resources) is looted by a lawless and corrupt elite. Trump is an American Peron. This may be a good model for what our decline will look like.

Of course, if you recall Argentina had massive external debt and tried to repay them via the printing press leading to hyperinflation and the liquidation of the middle class. Scarily, we seem to be following the same pattern almost to a T.


3:14 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Morris - Congratulations on your 12 years of blogging. I've been following your work since 2011 & have recently talked to the local librarian about obtaining a copy of your new book. I count myself lucky to have heard of your work and to have visited the greatest blog on earth!

5:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank you for your kudos; I really can't get enuf of them. Hopefully your librarian will purchase dozens of copies of AWTY, along with other recent works (TMWQ, for example, or the Japan bk). Meanwhile, nice to have you on the blog. Our greatness, as you have discovered, is beyond dispute. It is of course immodest to pt out that this blog represents the highest level of consciousness on the planet, but facts are facts.


5:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Meanwhile, cd someone explain to me why the cops didn't just shoot her? I'm being serious: that's what usually happens in these cases, rt?


5:48 PM  
Anonymous Ira said...

Randall and Morris. This stuff is gold! Green gold! I too wish we could remember the title of that book, Mr Berman

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...


Re: Helping strangers in Guatemala -- Unfortunately, if you try to help in the U.S., you can end up getting your car stolen: https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Teen-Stops-to-Help-Strangers-Has-Car-Stolen-480419363.html

Gotta love the comments from the so-called "compassionate" CONservatives about the high school walk-outs over gun violence: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/04/20/texas-students-walkout-classes-continuing-momentum-gun-violence-protes/

Donald Baker: "As a person who pays school taxes, I strongly oppose my taxes being used for a bunch of zit faced clueless ignorant children who operate on emotion and hysteria, totally devoid of any facts, to cut school and promote a left wing agenda. These kids should be suspended, and if their conduct continues, expelled. Teachers who feel their role is political indoctrination rather than education should be fired. Voters should reject any school bond issue and defeat incumbent school board members while this conduct goes on. We should also contact our legislators and demand school vouchers to end the socialist monopoly of our government schools."

^^Typical right wing response, as if only Republicans pay school taxes or that they're somehow less emotional and more rational with facts. He's apparently okay with taxpayer dollars going to private "Christian" schools. On the other side of American stupidity and ignorance, the Demwits probably think Mr. Baker is some Russian bot.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous headmeetswall said...

I actually went to the anti-gun protest despite my numerous and unpopular railings against the pussy-hat crew last year. Most my friends thought those were great. I work in education so lock-downs, lock-outs, and the like are a pretty regular part of the environment. That and being 5 miles from Columbine makes it hard to forget the threat of violence. Looking back on the march now, I think that it was pretty depressing. People kept saying "show me what democracy looks like! this is what democracy looks like!" in a call-and-response. But shouldn't democracy do something? I had always said if people actually protested about something that mattered (gun violence for example)
I would go and I followed through. Of course, nothing has happened - which is not a surprise at all.

In other news - when I ask students to make artwork about an idea (imagine that!) they seem to have a strange competition about how many diagnosis and disorders they all have. "You're anxiety! Shit! I have anxiety, adhd, ptsd, etc...." Fun!

7:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Instead of protesting, those kids shd have been making their emigration plans. What a shock, that the whole thing was a complete waste of time, and changed 0. The question is whether the kiddies got a wake-up message, and began to understand what the US is all about. If they are going to be out in the streets over the next big issue, they will have learned nothing, and only have managed to join the Turkey Brigade.

As for yr art students...you know, in the wake of Hiroshima and the American Occupation of Japan, the Japanese were spiritually blown out. Nothing made sense to them anymore, and the kids began to play games in the streets reflecting the chaos. One game, for example, was "Black Market." Another was "Prostitute and Soldier." It was an attempt to make sense of their lives. Where are we now in the US? A psychological blowout that is perhaps not that different. The American Dream is for shit, capitalism is for shit, the American political system is for shit, democracy is a sham, our schls from K to B.A. are a joke, our military murders unarmed civilians--as do our police--and the nation floats in alcohol and opioids and cell fones and homeless tent cities. TV ads are remedies for psychosomatic illnesses: Lunesta, Funesta, Claritan, Shmaritan, and so on. So your students are mirroring the destruction of an entire culture, in which disorders become their identity. Pretty sad.


8:14 PM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

'Mission accomplished' ​Japan: Top literacy, highest life expectancy and a technological marvel society. ​
​​Utter anhedonia​ and gone degenerate, the price of success. Sickening!!

​What kind of ​Civilization?​ Progress for what? ​
Dystopia, the end​-​road​ of human melodrama:​​ ​ ​"​The crisis of our age is not just about depleted resources and the buildup of pollutants in the biosphere. It’s also a matter of depleted imaginations and the buildup of dysfunctional ideas in the collective consciousness of our time.​​ ​The tipping point on Planet Earth may well come, not when the heat waves become unbearable and our ecosystems collapse, but when the noise in our own heads becomes unbearable and our psycho​S​ystems collapse – when mood disorders, distraction and psychosis reach a point where we cannot think clearly anymore. Then we will descend, ​NOT into apocalyptic anarchy, like so many have suggested, but ambivalence. We will no longer care.​"​

When "happily ever after" fails. This is the End of Innocence. -Don Henley

9:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In terms of "when the noise in our own heads etc.": In the Twilight bk I claimed that there were 4 factors bringing Rome/America down, and one of these was spiritual death. Regarding this 'tipping pt': mon cher, we have already tipped! All that stuff cited in the above quote is already upon us. While I am proud of this blog--we have collected 170 people who refuse to die spiritually, and who come here because at least here there are people they can talk to (try talking to a non-Wafer, as many have archly pointed out)--I feel terribly sad that we've got 327 million people wallowing in ambivalence and indifference and heavy psychic pain. Yes, I said it myself: this, along w/the other 3 factors, is what the end of an empire looks like, and it never looks pretty. At the same time, this really blows, to put it mildly. There will be no 'revolution', and marching in the sts. at this pt is an exercise in utter futility. What the Wafer Way offers is a shred of sanity in a de facto nuthouse, but it is cold comfort to me that this is a path that only a tiny minority will follow. What can you say to a guy who comes up to a man sitting in a restaurant with his child on his lap, and stabs him to death? What can you say to that child? Sorry, sweetheart, but the country has gone insane?



9:40 PM  
Anonymous David G. said...

Dr. B:
Perhaps the book you were trying to remember is "Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism" by Ozzie Zehner. It's good and gives needed caveats about so-called "clean energy". Another one like this, which I think is better in some ways, is "Our Renewable Future: Laying the Path for One Hundred Percent Clean Energy" by Richard Heinberg and David Fridley. These two books make it clear that clean energy is not a panacea, as the environmentalists would lead you to believe.
And for another related and hard-hitting book, try "Green Capitalism: The God that Failed" by Richard Smith.
David G.

11:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, that was it, thanks. As for Smith: I'm not sure 'eco-socialism' is the answer, because socialist states, like capitalist ones, require economic growth to survive. I'm betting on secessionist movements and eco-decentralization, myself, but what the future will look like by 2100 is anyone's guess.


1:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

On unrelated subjects:



2:22 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Dr. Berman,

It is amazing how far removed we are from simple acts of kindness like you witnessed in Guatemala. The complete breakdown of "community" is probably the worst part about living in this country. A few months back, my best friend got a job four hours away, so other than my mom, there's not much in the way of meaningful human contact for me now. But even for a retiring introvert like myself, the degree of alienation and isolation in this society is downright unhealthy. I'm a strong person, and most of the time I'm OK, but I notice that after about 10 days without talking to anyone, I can feel it even on a physical level (Higher blood pressure, insomnia, etc.)

Anyhow, I've been feeling pretty depressed and lonely the past few weeks, but I came up with something that sort of gave me a lift. (A positive use for cell phones you could say!) That is, I put a blue tooth earpiece in my ear (without the phone, of course), and as I was walking around the supermarket, I just started barking out curses against this society like a drunken character in a James Joyce novel! ("He'll make America Great Again my ass! What kind of moron actually believes this?", etc.) Kind of undignified, I know, but it was fun and cathartic, and helped me vomit up some of the darkness. And people probably just figured I was fighting with my boyfriend, and wrote it off.

2:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You may have taken Waferism to a new level. This earpiece thing is a wonderful idea. I suppose one wd have to stop short of Tourette's Syndrome, or cursing the people around you, but other than that, it might serve as a combo of catharsis and advertising. E.g., "If you haven't read Berman's American empire trilogy, you don't know squat." Or perhaps, "Why are we committing genocide on a daily basis?" "Kim Kardashian is a total turkey!" Etc. Anyway, send us reports from the front.


4:31 AM  
Anonymous Ira said...

MB and David G.

THanks so much! These books look fantastic. Green gold, I'm tellin ya!

MB, interesting point on Green Socialism. In the ideal, would you seek a middle path between? I would have thought a socialized Green World something WAFerian, in a way.

7:39 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Re: how to explain the random stabbing of a father in front of his infant

It seems the ancient Hindus gave it a decent attempt-


"With regard to human relationships, Markandeya's discourse says:

Avarice and wrath will be common...

People will have thoughts of murder with no justification and will see nothing wrong in that."

The Vedic astrologers say that we have been drifting into a kind of cosmic abyss since the first Western dark age and are slowly returning to truth from this lowly, meager, materialistic Yuga.

One other feature of the age of Kali is the reduction of language. Even a modern student of Sanskrit or Latin can see the rich multivalence in every word, whereas English is now meaningless in even a single register.

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Golding said...


This seems like a beautiful study in the slow, purposeful, quiet life of the WAFer

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Megan: Not sure where you live or your physical condition, but get outside! I know how you feel, and I have gone entire days without more than a yes or thank you spoken, but when you have the birds and the wind and the grass as your company you'll see silence is often a good thing.


9:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Socialism is gd for redistributing wealth, but the core problem is perhaps not capitalism as such but scale of operation. This is made clear in Richard Powers' novel, "Gain." A socialist empire cd still have multinational conglomerates, for example. It cd even be imperialistic. A decentralized geopolitical formation wd hafta avoid these things by necessity. Or so it seems to me.


10:02 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out the ridiculous comment from a Columbia Univ. professor. I *told* you in America, even smart people are dumb! Jesus, what a turkey.


10:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: I haven't read it yet, but this looks good:


10:52 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

I’m very interested in metaphysics (started with the philosophy of non-dual Kashmir Shaivism), and therefore quantum physics. I recently listened to an interview with Dr. Lothar Schäfer, Professor of Physical Chemistry, and have ordered his book “Infinite Potential….” In it he says:

“Some 40 years ago, when I came to the United States as an immigrant, I was amazed by the level of aggression that is considered as normal in our society. As a child I had constantly been admonished to be kind and cooperative, yet in this country aggression is a virtue – certainly in the business world, in politics, and in public entertainment. In contrast, the nature of the quantum world shows us that the best way to live is with kindness, and knowing this has helped me to live in an aggressive society without being aggressive myself. The quantum phenomena are so life-changing because they reveal the connection between our life and the life of the universe.”

Dio: Kali Yuga explains it all, and we either segue into the next Yuga or go out with a bang – which, unfortunately, is what’s happening.

6:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Pls send messages to most recent post. No one reads the older stuff. Thanks.


8:21 AM  

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