November 30, 2018



Well, we all survived all the breaks in blogservice, and are now ready to continue the charge. My own news, in any case:

1. Italy book finished, now trying to find a publisher.

2. Surgery a success; am now taking painkillers, seeing my phys. therapist 3x/wk, and doing exercises at home. Futbol is out, for now.

3. Have been rdg a lot of Proust. Check out bio by Wm Carter, a mere 810 pages (sans ftnotes).

Yours in Botox,



Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

I don't have much to say other than what has already been said. Best wishes for a speedy recovery Dr. B. Be careful with those painkillers. All I can say, along with Gunnar, Bill, et al, is that the American healthcare system is broken beyond repair. I am getting treatment for cancer. I have a good doctor at a university medical center, but between my insurance payments, hospital payments, doctor payments and co-pay payments, I'm going broke. All they want you to do is pay, pay, pay. I have 11 months to retirement, and then I can explore my options for getting the hell out of here for good.

When Shaneka Torres is president this will change. Bacon and bandaids!

3:38 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

American military "intelligence": our glorious air force pilots can bomb a civilian hospital in Afghanistan--no prob--but drawing a dick in the cockpit of your B-52 bomber will get you fired.

@Brother M--Regarding the fact that American life expectancy has dropped 3 years in a row and that "deaths from despair" are the leading cause we should probably pay a tad more attention to what happened in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, where life expectancy for men dropped by a full 7 years and 4 years for women. America has not yet experienced such an extreme decline because there is still the "hope" (paging Mr. Hedges) that things might turn around at some point. Once the majority of Americans start to realize that the American Dream is dead as evil old warmonger John McCain, it is going to be ugly.

@Irene--everything you wrote about Trump and his supporters in your last post pretty well applies to those who continue to support either Obama or Hillary. The only real difference had Queen Botox been elected is that America's wars would be running more smoothly, there would be no peace process happening in Korea, America's fake humanitarian mask would still be in place and she would be running around crowing about American exceptionalism despite the fact that the country is slowly tearing itself apart. I hope for Africa's sake that it is able to sever ties with America completely--the sooner the better.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Dr. Berman,

I look forward to reading your book on Italy. A friend of mine just got back from visiting Sicily which prompted me to read up on the fascinating medieval Norman kingdom. The book I am reading is called “The Norman Kingdom of Sicily” and it is by Donald Matthew if any Wafers are interested in the subject.


Continuing from the last post, the suicide problem in America is definitely getting worse. This is just the latest study that I have seen.

Suicide rate rising among U.S. workers.

5:53 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola los Waferes

The only, best-est blog on earth with fine new contributors all the time. Good post from Irene Fowler, thank you. I second the thought - what would we do without book stores?

Books and musical performance on actual instruments are analog events. In support of which I visited my two fave book stops in The Fort on Wednesday and yesterday. While getting my analog turntable diagnosed and back into playing condition, I pulled a book off the shelf next to the audio tech's work bench. Bought it, of course; been looking for it for years. A fun read, "A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole. The protagonist/antagonist is surely a Wafer character in a Waferian classic.

The audio tech and I checked out the turntable function by auditioning "Yes's" track, "Owner of a Lonely Heart". We grooved, as it took me back to mid 80's southern California.

GSWH- I hope surgery recovery is going well. I failed to special order "Neurotic Beauty" while at B&N, darn - got distracted in conversation with my favorite bookseller and two Jewish women soliciting donations to cover the increased cost of security for their local synagogue. I gave them a five spot.

On the drive home through snow-covered mountains, I came upon a roadside herd of bighorn mountain sheep. It doesn't get any better. Analog events in an overly digital, drumpfed-up, Orwellian nightmare of Modern Times...

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Arrow said...

Re: Kim's butt

My Beautiful Despair: The Philosophy of Kim Kierkegaardashian

"Much better than all the Kiergegaard stuff I’ve never read. Also there are pictures.” 
—Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story

This is so great and hysterical

8:38 PM  
Blogger delete said...

Good to hear surgery went well Morris. I was wondering
if the subject of books verses ebooks would be something
you might open up for discussion on your site.

I have your offerings in both formats and struggle with
which path to continue on going forward. I would
elaborate further if the subject could be open to the
Wafer audience. If not I understand.

All the best on your recovery


10:40 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Is it just me or does MBS sound more like an intestinal disorder than a prince?

Aw shit, here we go again, O&D George (Hero) W Bush

1:47 AM  
Blogger NeilW said...

(Posted to wrong post) Does O'Toole grasp the irony?

1:58 AM  
Anonymous David Brown said...

I know we love Seinfeld around here, but I just caught up a little on a show called "Rick & Morty". Very absurd and fun.

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Very sad today.

War monger and bullshitter in chief, GW Bush died. Although likely understood by Wafers, please be on the look out for: sad faces, bottom lip biting, piano musak, american "news" repeating how great he was, "hero" obsessions, true american rhetoric, flags waving, fly overs, and happy talk abt his legacy, coming together demos/repubs, let's put differences aside bs, etc...etc... While there is no universal health care, no free education, no labor rights, no long term care, and no real retirement (other than Smith and Wesson), and opioid use is through the roof in the greatest most amazingest empire on Earth!

1988 us navy shoot down of an Iranian civil jet--"I will not apologise for the usa, regardless, of what the facts are."

How much do you wanna bet, there will not be a fucking beep from the propaganda "news" regarding this intellectually and ontologically empty statement?

usa, usa!

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Aaron A said...

I will be first in line to buy your book on Italy :)

If possible, might I ask for a kindle edition as well? I travel a lot and its difficult to lug around a weighty tome - as I hope your new book is :)

Also, you may want to consider self publishing on Amazon - many authors these days are opting for that route.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Kindle edn will depend on publisher, not me. However, this bk is fairly short.

Mike R.-

Doonesbury characterized him as a feather, as he had no ideas at all. Basically a war criminal (phony war with Iraq, betrayal of Kurds, etc.) and an all-around asshole. The MSM will create a mythology of him as a great statesman. A real piece of dreck. Another famous quote from him: "What we say, goes."


And speaking of pieces of dreck...

Mike K-

Keep us posted on how yr treatment goes. Looking forward to seeing you at 6th Annual Wafer Summit Mtg in NY in April.


1:28 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Mayoral PUMMELING!!!

1:49 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

I second all the words on HW Bush and add a few more: Iran-Contra. HW also famously couldn't remember where he was during the Kennedy assassination. There is a picture of him outside the Texas schoolbook depository. Wasn't it Neil Young who sang about a 'kinder, gentler machine gun hand.'?

In other news, Ohio wants to give women and doctors the death penalty for abortion. What better way to show your 'pro-life' bona fides than be willing to kill poor women and doctors?

In more positive news, I can't wait to read the Italy book. Like Mexico, Italy also strikes me a a country where nothing works but everything works out due to thick social ties: family, friends, community.


2:27 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Re: Papa Bush... at least the flag will be lowered for a real reason, not some lameass shooting.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Here's the real Bill Hicks with a great rip on George HW Bush and the Gulf War: "How does it feel to know WE are the evil empire."

Other things that won't be mentioned in the rush to glorify Bush, his wanton invasion of Panama (except maybe to crow about how he "took out" Noriega, as if he was a brain surgeon and there was no collateral damage), the wantonly racist Willie Horton ad and the fact that he was apparently a serial groper of women--which we briefly discussed here about about a year ago and that the media couldn't bury fast enough.

Looks like they are going to have to search the federal Witness Protection Program to find Dan Quayle. I was wondering if--like Sarah Palin for McCain's funeral--they are going to deliberately not invite him so there's no chance that people will make the connection between Bush's awful judgement in making that lightweight piece of garbage his running mate and McCain fucking it up even worse 20 years later. Quayle was the original Palin, a pretty but vacuous and hateful Ken/Barbie doll, except that compared to her he was an intellectual giant. O&D!

7:37 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Dr. Berman, glad to hear the operation was a success and your post-operative pain is manageable. This article from the New York Times Magazine suggests that Nature may have the last word on the American Dream and capitalism and perhaps, us. Long article but worth reading.

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Scenes of Civil War here in Paris this weekend.The hooligans burning cars near the Champs Elysees are of course not representative of the "Gilets Jaunes" protesters, but 85% of the French nevertheless stand for their cause according to a recent poll. The People are fed up with Elite Progs and are not taking it anymore. It will be interesting to see where things go from here.


5:32 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

As a child growing up in Canada in the 50's and 60's I was seduced by TV and moves to believe that America was the best place ever and that the future was to be found there. At one time in my young life I wanted Canada to become America. As the trumpster would put it... SAD!!

Two days ago my 9 year old grandson broke his hand fooling around at school... over the next 24 hours he was assessed at a community health centre.... referred to a specialist at a hospital... had successful surgery ... and then discharged the next morning to heal at home with follow up care available if needed. And it didn't cost the family a penny.

Health care in Canada isn't perfect (nothing is)... but I wouldn't want to live anywhere like the USA where this would have haunted my children and family for years about how to pay for it all.

On a different note. I came across a 1935 essay by Bertolt Brecht reprinted in OffGuardian... worth a read, especially given the times we are in.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Good morning MB & Wafers,

Couple interesting items today. First, an article in the Guardian about understanding the psyche of the oligarchy through magazine ads. Forget about the "white man's burden", think "rich man's burden". (I get the same feeling when listening to the "Wounded Warrior" ads asking to give to this group to help wounded vets - wouldn't that be the job of the military/US gov't?? Maybe get out of all these wars?? Disposable people, clearly.)

Next is a CBC Radio interview with Chris Hedges on Nov 19th, "The American Empire Will Collapse Within a Decade, Two at Most". While he still holds out for "resistance" (a product of his divinity school education, I think) he has quite a few interesting comments, including one where he totally dismisses Steven Pinker ("dangerous perpetuation of the myth of human progress"), and how the current system is designed to prey on the desperate. His entire talk points to a knowledge that it's over, but then at the end, there's that resistance. Sigh

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Kicker said...

Robert Reich has an interesting documentary called inequality for all . I think it’s still on Netflix. Anyone watch it? Makes for interesting discussion. Thoughts MB?

11:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I don't post Anons.


Hedges' real concern is to be on the rt side of history. Hedging his bets, so to speak. Aka hypocrisy.


1:21 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Morris, glad the surgery went well and you’re recovering. Anybody who wants to speed healing and reduce/eliminate pain without medication should find a chiropractor or alternative practitioner who offers PEMF.

Miles, Trump is merely making a lot of noise about the U.S. national security establishment, whereas JFK was actively trying to do something about it. That’s why Kennedy’s brains were blown out and what little brain Trump has is still semi-intact.
Speaking of Kennedy, George H. W. Bush is the only person who didn’t remember where he was at the time of JFK’s assassination. Prescott Bush, H.W.’s father, was a director of Union Banking, which was seized by the government in October 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act (Nazi’s). Which, of course, didn’t prevent him from becoming a senator.

Mile R. - Thank you for the very funny yet accurate description of what to expect our national mourning to look like.

Mike K. - Each individual is nothing more than a profit center for the “health care” industry. Wishing you the best of luck for a full recovery and getting the hell out of here.

Good time to revisit George Carlin:

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Killy Kelly wrote an unauthorized book on the Bushes fourteen years ago and they were much different than the maudlin family-values version sold to the public. The current corpse had a mistress for years (with less-than-sweet grandmotherly Barbara well aware of it), money was made in underhanded deals and the kids weren't quite as delightful -- or honest -- as Mom & Poppy hoped. Yet the Bush Dynasty plods on & will for a while. But they did prove something to everyone's satisfaction (or at least, mine) -- money can not buy brains, looks, personality or wit. You'd think that occasionally people would pause in backstabbing their way to power and riches and consider this.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous NJGuy said...

Mort Sahl commented on Bush 41's phrase: "A kinder gentiler nation" !

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Unless one is mentally deranged/psychotic--how on G-d's green Earth can one entertain any notion of a "turn around" or "revolution" (ala Mr. Hedges). Even Vance Packard commented on the farcical hope for an american "revolution."

Most usa-ers were debt slaves. They can't take time of off work from their employment at will job. If they are even allowed to take off to "resist"--they could be shit canned, use up banked holiday hours...Also, their health care is tied into their jobs (all intentional--owned). And the most fundamental concept is: >97% americans were dumb as shit and can't connect the dots of reality. Where would any legit, sustainable resistance come from? Uranus? They were hog tied.

Real resistance is ugly and dirty....and usa-ers are unwilling to do what needs to be done b/c they still *believe* in america. How many usa-ers even know of Jose Bove, the "Gilet Jeunes," or the French farmers dumping shit onto the shit...but they know which celeb's tuchas looks good.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Surreal is the best word for living in USA! The more refined a Wafer I become the more I am aware of complete stupidity around me. My latest observation is from my ongoing research into how the NFL is the perfect metaphor. Like our culture it is so freaking litigious, nearly every play penalized for some reason (penalties could b called on every play which only rewards the ones who cheat the best, sound familiar?) Endless fucking reviews and controversies to keep the show interesting. It is a more refined version of Roman Gladiators and easily as effective. Truly unwatchable, hardly a sport @ all.

I watched McLames funeral but this national enema praising Bush is nigh unbearable.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Art McTeagle said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Kicker--Robert Reich writes a regular column for Truthdig in which he repeatedly blames America's ills mostly on the Republicans. Exploding economic inequality is indeed among the biggest reasons why the country is headed for collapse, but thinking we can stop it just by voting for Berniecrats is as daffy as Hedges's repeated calls for a revolution.

@Kanye--indeed, I noticed this quote from one of the protesters in the story you posted: Bruno Binelli, 66, a retired carpenter from Lyon, said: “I’m not in any political party. I often vote Front National, but I’m not Front National. It’s not my mentality – and besides, I’m Italian by origin – but I do it out of protest, to say things are not good, and if you continue like this we will end up electing someone from the extreme right. But they don’t listen to us. Macron listens to nothing...We have the feeling those from the countryside are forgotten.” That guy sounds exactly like a reluctant Trump voter.

Not related to inequality, but here's a story that could only happen in America: Four-year-old girl in critical condition after she was shot by her two-year-old brother. Love the quote from the police spokesperson: "I cannot stress how important it is to make sure if you own a firearm they have to be safe at all times. A child does not know everything about a firearm and it doesn't take much for an accident to happen." No charges were filed against the caregivers whose gun it presumably was.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Dorfman weighs in on Bush the elder-

9:09 PM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

Prof. Berman-

I am happy you are recovering from your surgery. I was in NJ for a month to accompany my mother as she had 2 surgeries. They found that she had cancer but it was in the early stages and it was all removed and she is recovering. Thank God. I returned to my Mexico 2 weeks ago.
Here is an article of another hate crime and lack of justice in that "wonderful" country of the USA.

My best wishes for your complete recovery Prof. Berman.
How can I convince my family to leave the US?

10:28 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

"When legitimacy crumbles, dramatic assertion becomes the currency of political life."

a reflection on Mark Z, Augustus, and the cult of the imperial face

12:19 AM  
Anonymous Chrissy said...

Cinematic recommendation -- Viewed 'Alpha' and it might be the best movie ever set in prehistory ('Europe, 20,000 years ago') -- beautiful, inspiring, & more-or-less realistic. Focused entirely on survival, could focus more on the quiet moments in prehistoric life, but still highly recommended.

12:21 PM  
Blogger delete said...

Good Afternoon Wafers

If I may elicit some comments on the e-book versus book question. MB’s book entitled
“The Twilight of American Cultural” mentions Seven BIrkerts faulting the internet for
disrupting the “vertical”” experience provided by the printed word. I have most of MB’s
books but highlighting important passages resonating with me is not possible if
I wish to pass the book on without the bias markups. Retrieval of specific passages
is also difficult.

E-book readers have tremendous search and highlighting capabilities but lack
in the actual reading experience. Think hyperlinks when reading on the net.

What formats do other wafers prefer to use for a quality reading experience?
I am sure MB would not mind me buying both of his format offerings but I
can’t afford it.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thought Wafers would enjoy this quote from the latest issue of Adbusters:

"Miles Davis once said: 'The biggest challenge in jazz improvisation is not to play all the notes you could play, but to wait, hesitate - then play what's not there'... and there's some strange kind of wisdom there. Learning how to be wilder, crazier, more fuck-it-all-shoot-from-the-hip-spontaneous in everything we do, may well be the secret - our way back into the planetary flow."


9:39 AM  
Anonymous Collins said...

Good to hear. Get well soon. Glad to read (a couple of posts back) about your good times in Ireland. Hope and trust the painkillers weren’t oversubscribed; take care.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Morris, I thought you might resonate with some of my latest New Internationalist essay 'The Personality Crisis'. Here's the link:

Keep up the great work. John

6:14 PM  

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