January 06, 2023

7 million and going strong

Wafers-

Since April of 2006, this blog has received almost 7 million hits. Our influence has never been greater, as we march toward the 10 million mark. Innocent Americans accidentally trip onto this blog, and given the high level of intelligence that most of them possess, they are immediately converted to the Waferian outlook. No more chest-beating about how we're No. 1. No! They understand that the US is going down the tubes, and they prepare accordingly. I think all of us here at the blog can be justly proud.

Onward! And of course, Downward!
-mb

115 Comments:

Blogger Joe McIlnen said...


A 6 year old shoots a teacher. Perhaps the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song “Teach Your children” was an inspiration:
https://apnews.com/article/newport-news-virginia-88dfe91f65173cbbd198a8816a21b5be?utm_source=homepage&utm_medium=TopNews&utm_campaign=position_05

Yeah. This country’s future certainly looks dandy.
U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!

10:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

William Cronon, in his 1998 essay, “‘Only Connect’: The Goals of a Liberal Education,” outlines the benefits of a broadly conceived education. He says of liberally educated people that:

"They follow E.M. Forster’s injunction from Howard’s End: “Only connect…” More than anything else, being an educated person means being able to see connections that allow one to make sense of the world and act within it in creative ways. Every one of the qualities I have described here—listening, reading, talking, writing, puzzle solving, truth seeking, seeing through other people’s eyes, leading, working in a community—is finally about connecting. A liberal education is about gaining the power and the wisdom, the generosity and the freedom, to connect."

Hmm...America is the exact opposite of this, eh?

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Himanshu said...

Dr. Berman,
Below is a link to a tweet( by an Indian foreign policy and security observer)where a snippet of "Conclusions of 16 high ranking US military officials who participated in a 2011 strategy session at the National Defense University." is posted. The 1st line reads: "The window on America's hegemony is closing. We are at a point right now where we still have choices. By 2021, we will no longer have choices.".
I replied to the tweet referencing your book DAA and Orlov's book: :Reinventing Collapse.
https://twitter.com/ankitatIIMA/status/1611649701602037762?s=20&t=guFltysRn6a-RyW3vsdI5w

Himanshu

6:48 AM  
Anonymous Tiff said...

Paris Review contributor Katy Kelleher explores our obsession with gorgeous things, unveiling the fraught histories of makeup, flowers, perfume, silk, and other beautiful objects.

https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Ugly-History-of-Beautiful-Things/Katy-Kelleher/9781982179359

"Strangely enough, they have a mind to till the soil, and the love of possessions is a disease in them." - Sitting Bull

We are obsessed with the trivial, with possessions & objects, with creature comfort. Everything is at surface, no depth or nuances... How much longer can this way of life really go on?

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Salt said...

Been vaguely wondering what Sarah Bakewell has been working on since authoring the superb books on Montaigne and the existentialists, and am excited to learn that she has a book on humanism coming out in March:

Humanly Possible: Seven Hundred Years of Humanist Freethinking, Enquiry and Hope
https://uk.bookshop.org/books/humanly-possible-seven-hundred-years-of-humanist-freethinking-enquiry-and-hope/9781784741662

8:24 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Himan-

Many thanks. I still believe 2030 will be the de facto end of America. And I certainly think we no longer have choices.

Tiff-

Well, I still think that enjoying beautiful things, such as great art, is fine. It's just that we don't have to *possess* beautiful things.

Salt-

Thanks for the ref. "Existentialist Cafe" was terrific. Sarah and I corresponded abt it for a while, after it was published.

mb

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Satchmo said...

MB, have you heard of the naturalist Robert Michael Pyle?

He wrote the bk "Wintergreen: Rambles in a Ravaged Land" about the excessive logging in Willapa Hills, WA. Here's a quote I found on weeds:

"Farmers with their sprays and archaic weed boards with nefarious powers battle the tansy ragwort, Canadian thistles, and Himalayan blackberry. They make inroads with their powerful poisons. But make no mistake, the weeds will win: nature bats last."

This got me thinking about humans' percieved significance in the cosmos. Humans think they own this shit, when in reality they're just another species in the grand scheme of things. What other organism classifies something as "weeds" or "pests" to be ridden of? But glance @ any abandoned building & you'll see how Nature took it back w/ overgrown trees & bushes.

BTW, we also treat 1 another as "pests". These are my musings for the day



2:22 PM  
Anonymous TikTok is Cancer said...

Pretty wild how many lawsuits & suicides have been linked to social media and no meaningful action is taken. The powers that be don't care because it has so many benefits for them. This should all be illegal & all these people thrown in jail. This crap is like gambling, cigarettes, pollution, and whatever else is harming everyone.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tiktok-pushes-potentially-harmful-content-to-users-as-often-as-every-39-seconds-study/

9:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tik-

Ultimately, when a civilization collapses, no one (rich or poor) cares abt anything. TS Eliot talked abt going out w/a bang or a whimper, but the American exit will be characterized by a shrug. Honestly, who cd give a shit abt Kevin McCarthy, or Kamala Schmamala, or Gisele Bundchen? Who will remember any of these and similar jokers 10 or 20 yrs from now?

mb

9:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Unknown-

Sorry, I don't post Unknowns. You need a real handle to participate in this discussion. I suggest Russ Fegoli.

mb

8:49 AM  
Blogger Sanguillen39 said...

Dr. Berman,


Onward and Downward indeed. Sadly, the link provided below shows how bottomless this evil pit is. America is simply becoming a caricature of itself, and a very bad one!
https://www.yahoo.com/news/tranq-dope-animal-sedative-mixed-152242327.html

12:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sang-

Well, on top of everything, America is a charming country.

mb

1:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Regarding Harry & Meghan: How much HLBO (High-Level Beating Off) can we engage in? Millions of Americans are forced to eat cat food, but they can't get enuf of Harry & Meghan.

mb

6:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Sang: Regarding yr link: on the microlevel, when a society collapses, this is what it looks like: grim as hell. All of which can be traced to the American Dream, and the failure of the American Dream.

mb

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Ara the Armenian said...

Dr. B,
Seasons greetings from Glendale, CA. I don't have much room to complain, our city is regularly ranked one of the safest in the USA.

Lately I've been more skeptical regarding collapse and want to share this in view of Andrew Tate's arrest (the divisive internet personality charged with sex trafficking crimes).
https://www.vox.com/culture/2023/1/4/23539528/andrew-tate-arrest-jail-rape-human-trafficking

Tate moved to Romania complaining of a degenerate Western culture, and even converted to Islam as well. While I find him disgusting, he was nonetheless consistent in his culture war narrative.

But the catch is that there is a secret privilege with being a "degenerate Westerner", it's a kind of inverted racism. If we just replace ‘white man’s guilt’ with ‘white man’s corruption’, then it works, in the sense of “other countries can never be evil, degenerate; only the west has this privilege!”

Of course liberal democracy is in crisis, but in some weird way, being a ‘degenerate westerner’ can give you the right to then tell others how ‘generate’ they really are (by being deprived of western ‘excesses’ like feminism and human rights).

1:35 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ara-

I don't see that 'secret privilege' actually operating, but maybe I'm missing something.

mb

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Lamar said...

Thayer just passed away. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/obituaries/2023/01/04/nate-thayer-journalist-pol-pot-dies/) I wasn't aware of this interview, and it's an excellent illustration of how good people are at convincing themselves that they're on the side of right.

https://twitter.com/sstrangio/status/1610846623927799809?t=KhjBWODkKFyqOtdxnOUaZQ&s=19

8:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ara-

Sorry, cdn't run it (24-hr rule).

mb

9:32 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Here is a very interesting and enlightening video about corporations being “people”. If these entities indeed are people, Mr. Nader gives very creative—if not hypothetically absurd examples—of these corporations being protected under the Constitution, as if they are real human beings with a soul. About the only thing from which they aren’t protected is the self incrimination of the 5th Amendment.
Mr. Nader gives trenchant examples slightly after the 17 minute mark—one about them being protected from illegal search and seizures concerning pollution, another with robots using artificial intelligence. So one might ask, Are these corporate robots people?
These super large amoral businesses definitely are contributing to this pathetic capitalist country’s demise.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmZbUUpgElE

Doctor, I don’t think I ever have heard you mention Ralph Nader. What are your thoughts on him?

1:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joe-

A gd man w/a lot of integrity. But he's sort of been marginalized; one doesn't hear much abt him these days. Also, it seems to me that he's always working w/in the system, i.e. trying to improve it. No future in that. Blind alley, misguided patriotism.

mb

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Krakhed said...

A little more on the scope of the govt intelligence agencies influence w/in social media companies.

https://jacobin.com/2022/12/twitter-files-censorship-content-moderation-intelligence-agencies-surveillance

From the article, one of the documents implies that the other social media players were more compliant than Twitter in regards to fulfilling requests.

Aren't the USAian leaders so great? They really ensure the USA wins the information "war" against China, Iran, Russia, Venezuela, etc...

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Local Beer Guy said...

1922

In 2022, the centenary of James Joyce's Ulysses, two arts festival curators set out on an odyssey across Europe.

Their aim was to prove that Joyce's masterpiece is more than the great Irish novel - that it is quintessentially European.

Ulysses: Celebrating James Joyce, 'the quintessential European'

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63859174

Just try to imagine a work of art, or an artist like this, ever coming from the US. NOTHING we have/had comes close to the great euro authors of the last century, we have our darlings but they're just not the same..

6:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Beer-

Nabokov said that the 4 greatest novels of the 20C were Joyce, Proust, Bely, and Kafka. No American novel comes even close. I've read 1/3 of Ulysses, Proust 1.5 times, Bely (Petersburg) 3x, and Kafka (Metamorphosis) once. Greatness, of course, emerges partly from spiritual context, and in America, the spiritual air is v. thin. (Some wd say nonexistent.)

mb

8:34 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Check this short from Dust.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAKfbqVmxOI

Apparently, in this short modern civilization has collapsed due to global warming and oil reserves running out. And, all the land masses become islands in the future due to rising oceans and the climate is hotter. The Islander civilization of the distant future are primitive in a lot of ways yet at the same time more advanced. They seem to have technology but the tech they have is more towards "being one with the Earth." It seems to well flow with nature and not go against it. In short, I believe this short should be a part of the WAFerism library. What would make it better is if the young girl dug up your books.

5:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Unknown-

Sorry, I don't post Unknowns.

mb

5:47 AM  
Anonymous TikTok is Cancer said...

Seattle's schools are suing tech giants for harming young people's mental health

I'm glad to see more lawsuits, but the answer would need to be on a national level. All these social media & gaming companies should be illegal & all the execs in jail. Social media should be seen in the same category as gambling, lottery, drinking, drugs, & hookers.

Irish data commission issues $400 million in fines to Meta

Facebook parent Meta will pay $725M to settle a privacy suit over Cambridge Analytica

Facebook gets sued for billions over fueling political violence in Africa

‘Fortnite’ maker Epic Games to pay $520 million in record-breaking FTC settlement

9:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tik-

Now *this* is my definition of progress!

mb

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Ara said...

Dr. B,
I seem to have spoken too soon, and I do have problems to share. It is my relationship with the internet, which, although it allows me to connect (like now), has rendered me overloaded with info, immobilized and lonely.

I already had an internet problem when I was in high school, and deleted my social media accounts well into college (I didn’t finish college yet).

That was 5 years ago and social media has only become more needed than ever, if I am to have friends, meet people and be “normal”.

It was an experiment for sure, but somewhat ruined my reputation, status, and social capital. I became an outcast of sorts for not participating.

So I have rejoined reluctantly. I am again glued to my screen for 8 hours a day, comparing, worrying, and analyzing the hyperreality as described by Baudrillard. Trying to play “catch up” as reality melts away and I only care about my digital representation.

Still atomized, but atomized together I guess.
https://jacobin.com/2022/12/from-bowling-alone-to-posting-alone

10:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ara-

Fer chrissakes, chico: get out of the house and make some friends. Join a club or whatever. Spend 1 hr online, tops.

mb

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Ara feeling better said...

Dr. B,

Thanks for the kind sentiments. I did in fact step outside today, met with friends and even went to city council to speak about local issues. I have recently made friends with an old-timer at these meetings, who is a firebrand holding council to task.

I still have friends which is good, I am just no longer as popular as I once was.
Here in LA and Hollywood, popularity is akin to currency.

I find it poetic that the commenter above me should have wrote about the dangers of social media. Shucks! I appreciate you accepting my post though, as part testimonial and confession.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ara-

Also get out in nature, at least once a wk.

mb

9:57 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

MB, talking of liberal education, the US has successfully exported the carcass of liberal education all over. Power to connect? The only connection we understand is what help us climb the ladder in our careers. Truth seeking? Professional journals are more concerned about their business bottom line than any greater ideal. Impact factor of journals are the equivalents of Facebook likes and YouTube hits. Class teaching and nuanced discussions are being replaced by online lectures. Sheer number of publications go a long way in enhancing the ‘ranking’ of a university. Students seek not professors who are erudite, but who control huge sums of money. I can go on. But I guess the point has been made.

Sometimes I wonder if this is really the profession I chose in my youth.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

From the “artificial intelligence” area of the dumbed down USAin brains:
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/man-chewed-ear-78-year-old-man-oregon-train-platform-said-victim-was-r-rcna64386

So the question is: Under our totally laughable screwed up legal system, will this guy’s defense attorney use that ( an alleged robot attacking him) as his defense? LOL!
Watch also in the same video the piece of crap pushing a 3 year old child onto the tracks. Yep. Only here in the world’s biggest violent shithole.

p.s. Move over, Kim Kardashian. You’re no longer the main topic of the daily banal, insipid USAin discussions in its populace. You’ve been replaced by Prince Harry.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

Dr. B. Thanks for the ref to Forster's Howards End. I read it in college (1970s) and again recently. It's a novel about the fate of nations, therefore relevant to this blog.

The leitmotif is connection -- or rather the lack of it. People and social classes are disconnected from one another, and most individual characters in the novel are not capable of connecting with each other or capable of connecting the dots in their lives and their worlds well enough to draw a clear picture of themselves or their predicaments.

Another motif is hatred and distrust. Example: The scion of new wealth, Charles Wilcox, distrusts the scion of old wealth, Helen Schlegel, because her ancestors had earned the money she lived on. "Honest and hearty was Charles's dislike [of Helen], and the past spread itself out very clearly before him; hatred is a skilled compositor."

Hatred is indeed a skilled compositor, and much of America's public discourse is shaped by hate.

Of course Howards End is fiction, and life never imitates art.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Krakhed said...

Greetings GSWH and Wafers,

I just finished reading Daniel J Boorstin's "The Image: A Guide to Psuedo-Events in America" and I enjoyed it very much. I think it's been discussed on this blog a before but I wanted to share a few thoughts I had after reading it if that's permitted.

It's wild to think it was written in 1961. How different the world must be since then? The problems he describes ring true to my ears. Americans are conditioned to expect news regularly and with ever more increasing novelty. There are lulls in the news if there are not many spontaneous events so this is where corporations and politicians created pseudo-events. Americans today probably watch more TV and cellfone screens than ever before. And I would think most of what they consume is pseudo events but I don't have data for that.

I feel my own conditioning at times when there is a slowdown on this blog and I am expecting more activity. But sometimes reality dictates a slowdown. People have lives to live.

I hope you're all staying sane out there. It's not easy if you're still in the United States of America. Thanks for keeping this blog going as a drop of sanity in the ocean of buffoonery on the web.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Krak-

Important to remember that we live in a sea of buffoonery. However, this might help:

https://www.amazon.com/-/es/Jenny-Odell/dp/1612198554/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1WYEH674FK73R&keywords=how+to+do+nothing+jenny+odell&qid=1673479690&s=books&sprefix=how+to+do+no%2Cstripbooks%2C801&sr=1-1

Pete-

Check out my portrait of Forster in EPV.

Joe-

Remember how agog everyone was abt Brexit, while my comment on the situation was Brexit, Schmexit. Now I'd like to say, as regards Prince Harry: Markle, Schmarkle.

Indian-

Every institution in the US is busy beating off. (Just look at the House of Rep.) There is no reason this shd not apply to our 'educational' institutions as well. And the vigor w/wh/they beat off is impressive.

going down-

You'd probably be better served by a different blog. Gd luck.

mb

6:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Joe: Harry will make a fortune from the sales of his bk. And if he really does manage to bring down the (useless, stupid) monarchy, more power to him. What a collection of turkeys. But this whole thing is yet another bit of theater, an exercise in jerking off. And so I am forced to say: Harry, Schmarry; Meghan, Schmeghan.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

CNN (and much of America) regards this as (significant) news:

http://edition.cnn.com/2022/04/28/entertainment/kim-kardashian-kanye-sex-tape/index.html?dicbo=v2-d7b2c9fdd31b6c0a1248366441c2249e&iid=ob_lockedrail_topeditorial

mb

12:24 AM  
Anonymous DaJoker said...

Waiter! I'd like 2 got Bonnie & Clyde wannabes w/ a serving of corpse. Someone got smoked in a dispute over a TRASH BIN. The bin was in a neighbor's way, & said neighbor tried moving it. Bin's owner wasn't havin' it.

https://fox59.com/news/indycrime/neighbor-says-couple-in-lawrence-police-shootout-like-bonnie-and-clyde/

4:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Nuggin-

Wrong blog for broadcasting opinions. Anyone can have an opinion. We are not impressed. In future, state your argument and defend it with links and reliable references. Thank you.

mb

8:34 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gee, what a surprise:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2023/01/12/antisemitism-anti-defamation-league-survey/

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Joey Dylan said...

MB: More on a theme, here-- The batshit idea that Roth spent over three decades devoting heroic work to Human Rights Watch compiling detailed investigations on every nasty regime in the world, was just a cover for his real agenda, being anti-Israel?!

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/outrage-harvard-denies-fellowship-former-hrw-chief-criticism-israel

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Dr octagon said...

Got some crazy shit to report. I was taking a walk early this afternoon, when someone in a bluish-grey Dodge jumped the curb near my apt complex & crashed it right in2 someone's wall, where their A/C unit was. Police says the driver evaded a traffic stop. They then went 2 a cul-de-sac, where you can only drive around & exit the same way u came. The "solution" for the perp was to crash & run.

Never a dull moment, eh? And 2 think some folks still believe Amerikkka has a chance. HAH!

5:46 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Here’s some more of that good old USAin kindness. A business owner in San Francisco hoses down a homeless woman. Also, check further in the video. You’ll see one of the many miniature tent cities here in the world headquarters of capitalism. These folks certainly are living the American Dream.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/video-shows-san-francisco-man-spraying-homeless-woman-water-hose-rcna65372

And of course, USAins always are extremely kind on the roads.
https://ktla.com/news/local-news/pipe-wielding-tesla-driver-violently-attacks-vehicles-on-socal-freeways/

U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!

6:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joe-

I don't get it. Why didn't he just gun her down like a dog? This is America, after all. True Americans carry guns and don't pull punches. They don't use hoses. Same w/the Tesla driver: a pipe? Where was his revolver?

octagon-

Was there a news item on this?

Joey-

This really is deplorable, how Israel has intimidated everyone via the fear of being labeled antisemitic. I don't want to get into an extended discussion abt Palestine, since I tried it yrs ago here w/a few Zionists, and you might as well talk to a wall (or what Orwell once labeled "the gramophone mind"). The crux of the matter is that many Jews are (understandably) traumatized by the Holocaust, so that they simply cannot lose an argument; which for them wd be the equivalent of dying. This is probably how Judaism got conflated w/Zionism, so that any critique of the Israeli gov't, no matter how obviously legitimate, immediately evokes a cry of 'antisemitism'. Israel has pretty much got it sewn up: voice any critique, and you'll lose yr job. Its own brand of fascism, I guess.

mb

10:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Food for thought dept.:

From Chris Cuomo, "Feminism and Ecological Communities":

“Moral agents can decide how to negotiate the world w/o hopes of reaching a predetermined, necessary state of harmony or static equilibrium, or any ultimate state. Indeed, the abandonment of such a teleology also entails abandoning hopes that our decisions and actions will result in perfect harmony or order, and such non-teleological ethics can’t be motivated by a desire to actualize a pre-established end or enact given roles. We can, however, value the somewhat ordered/somewhat chaotic universe in wh/we inevitably dwell, and we can also decide that it is good and worthwhile to prevent significant destruction to other valuable members of the universe thru the agency and choice that also seem inevitable.”

From Walter Benjamin: “As flowers turn toward the sun, by dint of a secret heliotropism the past strives to turn toward the sun that is rising in the sky of history.”


1:04 AM  
Anonymous the ship is sinking said...

I'm not sure you're aware of just how much worse high schools are becoming. Some schools are now REQUIRING cell phones in class (to take photos rather than taking notes). Celebrity, consumerism, spectator sports, & social media are dominating what these kids think about. These were issues decades ago, but I think it's gotten much worse in the last 5 years.

It's not so much the teenagers to blame, as it is the parents & schools. They are the ones creating this stuff & pushing for its use. It could be banned, but society is choosing to do this. I would highly suggest anyone having children reconsider the environment you're going to raise them in; the US is getting worse by the day.

"The biggest takeaway, Superintendent Bill Wilson said, was that parents wanted their children to have access to their phones."

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/parents-pushback-on-cellphone-bans-at-school

7:35 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ship-

Thanks for the info. I don't own a cell fone, myself, but then I'm not in high school. Keep in mind that most Americans are buffoons; they really do have shit for brains. This is merely the latest manifestation. Within the next decade, it will be possible to have a fone installed in your brain. Most Americans will get in line for this operation, will celebrate it as 'progress'.

mb

9:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This is simply wonderful:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/jan/14/george-santos-politician-americans-deserve

(I mean it.)

7:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Check out article on J. Edgar Hoover in the 21 Nov 22 New Yorker, based on the new biography by Beverly Gage. It's in the same category as Stephen Kinzer's bio of the Dulles brothers, "The Brothers." Amazing, what trash has been governing the country, and what damage they did to the nation as a result. Also noteworthy is how the American people adored Hoover, and how they approved of what he was doing. (In 1964, when Hoover denounced MLK, all of 16% of the American people sided w/King. All this talk of how Americans are oppressed by the gov't, and by elites...give me a break.)

mb

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Roland Tarver said...

Sweet mother of Jesus, boy do we Americans deserve this creep George Santos! He is us! And we are him: an empty buffoon, a degraded human being! The article nailed it. Wonderful, indeed.

You know, Ernest Becker writes:

“This is one aspect of the basic human predicament, that we are simultaneously worms and gods. There it is again: gods with anuses.” (p. 51) *

But today, wouldn’t Becker have to account for Americans? Who are clearly something we’ve never seen before: buffoons with anuses? George Santos, you say? Ah yes, he is us, an American: “There it is again: buffoons with anuses.” !

Maybe even Ernest Becker didn’t account for this. How could he? So here’s a prayer for us now, straight out of Hemingway: “Give us this nada our daily nada and nada us our nada as we nada our nadas and nada us not into nada but deliver us from nada; pues nada..” **

George Santos/Americans: nada. With a capital “N”.

*”The Denial of Death”. The Free Press, paperback ed., 1997.

** https://www.lonestar.edu/18158.htm

12:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ro-
Santos = America in microcosm. This is what a culture such as ours finally produces, logically speaking. A turkey, a douche bag, a supreme hustler. In terms of decline, he's wonderful. George, keep doin' what yr doin'!

mb

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Papri said...

Mr Berman:

Fascinating quote alongside the equally fascinating Walter Benjamin quote, did you use Cuomo's "Feminism and Ecological Communities: An Ethic of Flourishing" as a source text in Wandering God? Or is it something new you've picked up recently? Looks great!

2:21 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

On a rainy Cascadian weekend, I’ve been catching up on various blog commentaries. One that caught my eye was a guest post by Helmholtz Smith on Larry Johnson’s blog Sonar21.com. Smith postulates the hope that, through military defeat of the U.S. and its NATO allies in Ukraine by Russia, a decisive blow against the power of the U.S. bipartisan “war party” might happen and be the only way the peoples of the U.S. and the West “can see to get their leeches off their backs.”

https://sonar21.com/destroying-monsters-by-helmholtz-smith/

Thinking about Smith’s hope of the bubble bursting, I see a potential disappointment in expecting to “get history for free”, to borrow one of MB’s phrases, in the hope of the Russians furnishing the decisive push (Smith doesn’t mention the risk of nuclear conflict in that scenario). Methinks the demise of the capability of the “war party” more likely would come as the result of secession and political disintegration over the next decade, i.e. portions of the American polity opting out in reaction to prolonged financial crisis and institutional breakdowns. What do other Wafers think?

3:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jack-

Col. Douglas Macgregor keeps saying that what the MSM is feeding us re: Ukrainian victory is b.s.; that in fact, Russia is winning this war. Hard to know what to believe, but I certainly don't believe the MSM. Wd it be a wake-up call for America, if Russia wins? I'm skeptical, because in the past, even w/defeats (e.g. Vietnam), 0 manages to wake America up. I'm not even sure that the total collapse of the US wd wake Americans up. We are just not the sharpest nail in the box, and 99% of the country will never understand its own history. Myth always wins.

papri-

New.

mb

4:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Jack: Yrs ago, when asked to speak to college classes, I wd start out by writing NOAM CHOMSKY on the blackboard, and ask, "How many of you know who this is?" Typically, in a class of 40-50, 1 or 2 students at most wd raise their hands.

It wd be the same today, I'm guessing. Probably 50% wd have heard of Gisele Bundchen.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Doctor & Wafers,
Check out the latest from our AR15 toting/immature crybaby/ high school dropout doofus who symbolizes the Young Right in this shitty country.
https://www.texastribune.org/2023/01/14/southern-star-brewery-kyle-rittenhouse/
https://www.yahoo.com/news/threatened-texas-brewery-defends-decision-155009941.html

Of course like any other far right USAin conservative, Crybaby Kyle—along with another entity mentioned, Defiance Press—is playing the usual, stale “persecuted martyr” card. The ongoing disintegration of this majority macho far right/de facto Christian theocracy is entertaining.

p.s. I want to see a Rittenhouse/Santos Republican ticket in 2024! LOL! That’s a sure way to expedite this wasteland to go belly up! LOL!

6:38 PM  
Blogger ccg said...

MD,

I just came across the article below by Patrick Lawrence by way of John Pilger's Twitter feed:

https://scheerpost.com/2023/01/08/patrick-lawrence-europe-and-the-legitimization-of-deception/

It's about the war in Ukraine and how France and Germany helped the US stoke this war. There's a good amount of the backstory there that will never, ever, see the light of day in the New York Times. I especially like seeing Lawrence refer to Antony Blinken and Wendy Sherman as "bimbos," which they surely are. Hollande and Merkel come off maybe not as bimbos but certainly as tools.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Check out letters to editor in New Yorker 26 Dec 22, which report on what I call Dual Process work in Europe. (There is one abt the US, but of course, it's rather iffy.) These are really inspiring, and have happened because of the relative intelligence of non-Americans, and a very different value system. A # of Americans have hopes for DP happening here, but given the low level of intelligence in the US, coupled with ingrained narcissism and individualism, I don't that anything sustained will take place.

mb

5:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: article in New Yorker 19 Dec 22 on people in India working to reverse environmental destruction. Question: Why is this happening in India (and being successful), and not in the US?
1. 1-word answer: buffoons
2. 3-word answer: shit for brains
4. 4-word answer: heads rammed in rumps
Wafers are encouraged to add to this list.

This issue of the mag has a lotta gd stuff in it. Besides the above, there is a review of Cormac McCarthy's latest novels. One character calls Auschwitz and Hiroshima "the sister events that sealed forever the fate of the West." I wd say that after 1945,
1. We lost the moral high ground
2. It was hard to say where we were going, beyond pursuing the consumer lifestyle
3. In 1960, Fellini gave the answer in "La dolce vita," which enraged millions of people. (See my chapter on Fellini in "Genio".)

There is also an article by Stephen Witt on the current state of applied physics. Abs. fascinating, altho a bit difficult to follow. The whole enterprise is soaking in $, of course.

As we are now well into the new yr, I ask all of you to remember 3 things:
1. The US is a collection of turkeys.
2. It has absolutely no future.
3. If anyone tells you it does have a future, know that u.r. talking to a dunce.

mb

8:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps2: this is a small part of what I'm talking abt:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jan/16/california-shooting-mother-baby-six-people-killed-goshen

Daily occurrence by now, this sorta thing.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Thinking abt Ariel Dorfman, born in Argentina, now teaching at Duke University. A great man. I first ran across his work many yrs ago:

https://www.amazon.com/-/es/Ariel-Dorfman/dp/0745339786/ref=sr_1_1?crid=P2DEHACHUZ3Y&keywords=ariel+dorfman&qid=1673979720&s=books&sprefix=ariel+%2Cstripbooks%2C275&sr=1-1

He originally wrote in Spanish, later in English. This bk shows how Disney promotes a view of foreign cultures that sees them as inferior to the US; as jokes, really. Altho obviously, Disney is hardly the only vehicle for that outlook. And it's sad, how Americans run around chanting "We're No. 1," when from a human pt of view, those mocked cultures are so far superior to ours. We're clueless; we never bother to find out abt the Other. History will show who the real joke was, I'm guessing.

mb

1:30 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

More USAin “love thy neighbor”. And check out our winning daily mug shot.
https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2023/1/15/2147442/-Indiana-woman-stabbed-Asian-American-student-to-have-one-less-person-to-blow-up-our-country

Ya just gotta love this too. It’s another example of the Charles Darwin USAin capitalist “survival of the fittest”. As we all know Madison Avenue a few decades ago thought up its newest cleverest marketing scheme— putting humongous business names on arenas and stadiums. Of course the apathetic dumbed down sports fans go right along with it. Like musical chairs the names change regularly as these respective corporations go belly up. The latest is in Miami. The phony crypto currency company FTX has joined the capitalist dinosaurs and woolly mammoths in the exceptional U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!
https://apnews.com/article/ftx-miami-heat-arena-name-change-b3f47e4fb5bb0f102560fa6956997bdb

p.s. Doctor, You mentioned a latest mass shooting. What do you think of this idea? I’m thinking of writing in to Jeopardy and suggesting a new category which should last quite awhile. I’m going to suggest a “Mass Shooting” category. Besides the names of the mass shooters ( Dylann Roof, Stephen Paddock, Nikolas Cruz, et al.) some of the names of the cities ( Orlando, Newtown, El Paso) or states or when they took place also could be used as various clues.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joe-

I'm relieved the student who was attacked survived. As for her attacker: what stupidity, and what a face. This is surely America in microcosm. As for yr Jeopardy idea: I suggest a larger category, wh/wd include Mass Shooters: Buffoons. A very rich vein to tap, in America. I can't help it: I love a gd buffoon.

mb

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Krakhed said...

David Brooks in the Atlantic- positively cheerful on USAs future prospects. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2023/01/american-optimism-productivity-innovation-rise/672714/

What a douchebag! We know how wrong all of this is but USA elites will lap this up.

Here's a thread about French intellectual Emmanuel Todd on the Ukraine war. https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1613924570725244928.html

With the news coming out now about Angela Merkel and Poroshenko about the Minsk agreements only being signed only to buy time for the coming military conflict and they had no intention of abiding by the agreements. Western leaders are going to come out of this conflict looking two-faced. Here's the Jimmy Dore segment about it. https://youtu.be/AjwSNiCSpnw

8:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Krak-

Brooks is a laughable person. If there were a Nobel Prize in douchebaggery, he wd be its first recipient. In terms of public commentators, America has produced no greater asshole.

As for the real agenda of the Minsk Agreement, this says it all. What a pile of b.s. This will be pushed outta sight by the MSM, of course. Clearly, beating off is hardly limited to the US.

mb

10:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Here's another Face of America:

http://edition.cnn.com/2023/01/08/us/gofundme-prison-scam-new-jersey-homeless-man/index.html?dicbo=v2-7b18af8e46f94fb04874a7870572b15c&iid=ob_lockedrail_topeditorial

We need to start collecting these. They make the case for decline better than I ever could.

mb

5:39 AM  
Blogger ccg said...

I think that the second winner of a Nobel Prize for douchebaggery could easily go to Paul Krugman.

Here he is telling us that everything is quite wonderful economically in a piece with the title "Will It Be Morning in Joe Biden's America?":

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/16/opinion/joe-biden-america-economy.html

The man is practically giving Joe Biden a tongue bath, but that's normal for him. I know people in rural areas who would not agree with his assessment of the economy, not be a long shot. But those people are invisible to the likes of Paul Krugman, or so it seems.

Well, Krugman did win a Nobel Prize, but maybe not the right one.

10:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ccg-

That entire op-ed team at the NYT is a joke. The Times is all abt reassuring the upper and professional classes that all is well, appearances to the contrary. Also pushing propaganda pieces as objective news, as in case of Ukraine.

mb

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Red Scare said...

Got any good book recommendations on the Red Scare & anti-Communism in America? I'm looking for something written in the last 10 years.

More people have noticed Christianity’s decline in America

1:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Red-

Check out Stephen Kinzer, "The Brothers." Also:

https://www.amazon.com/-/es/Griffin-Fariello/dp/0393335046/ref=sr_1_3?__mk_es_US=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&keywords=red+scare&qid=1674073601&s=books&sr=1-3

mb

3:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Some yrs ago, in an effort to pretend he wasn't in charge, Putin had a putz named Medvedev become prime minister of Russia; but in truth, Medvedev did whatever Putin told him to do. The following joke became very popular in Russia: The 2 of them are in a restaurant, and the waitress asks Putin, "What can I bring you?" He says, "I'd like a small stake." Then she says, "And for the vegetable?" Putin replies, "He'll have the steak as well."

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Tan said...

Geraldine Tyler is now 94. A few years ago, she accrued a $2,300 tax debt.

The government added $13,000 in fees, took her home, sold it for $40,000, and kept all the proceeds.

A federal court said that was A-OK.
https://reason.com/2022/03/11/a-93-year-old-woman-couldnt-pay-her-2300-tax-bill-the-government-sold-her-home-and-kept-the-money/

A country for and run by criminals..

9:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tan-

True, but they are not true Americans, imo. True Americans wd have dragged her out into the street, gunned her down like a dog, and then thrown her corpse on a nearby landfill. Then have installed their relatives in the now-empty house.

Rabbi Hillel (1stC BC) was asked by a Roman centurion to explain the Torah to him in the time he (the centurion) cd stay balanced on 1 ft. Hillel told him, "That which is hateful to you, don't do to another person. That's the core of it. Everything else is just editorializing."

How many Americans, do you think, live by that rule?

mb

10:55 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

"To get a good job you need a good education.” I often was fed this b.s. from a television commercial while growing up in the 1960’s. The opposite is true. You can be your own boss. If you’re a young high school dropout ( actually if you’ve been kicked out for always playing video games) you can market the new “Esports” to millions of our dumbed down, functionally illiterate youth. An esports bar. Ya gotta love it! LOL!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esports
https://www.wral.com/gaming-the-system-triangle-man-opens-esports-bar-in-durham-for-devoted-gamers/20669182/
https://www.wral.com/bad-machines-gives-gamers-a-place-to-play-in-durham/20672117/

In other headline USAin news, the conservative poster boy for USAin high school dropouts had two speaking appearances cancelled on him. This may hurt the Rittenhouse/Santos presidential ticket in 2924. But fear not. Santos has been appointed to two congressional committees.
https://www.newsweek.com/kyle-rittenhouse-cancelled-events-texas-las-vegas-1774551
https://www.ktnv.com/news/event-featuring-kyle-rittenhouse-at-venetian-on-las-vegas-strip-canceled-hotel-officials-say
https://thehill.com/homenews/house/3816976-george-santos-gets-two-committee-assignments/

The future of this country looks great! U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Glenn said...

Hello Dear Doctor Berman

https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/17/politics/george-santos-committee-assignments/index.html

The competition between George Santos and Kyle Rittehouse for the most TRUELY AMERICAN is fierce.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/kyle-rittenhouse-furious-after-his-events-keep-getting-canceled/ar-AA16ti9T

Where Kyle decries how "unfair" it is that events he was scheduled to appear at keep getting canceled.

United States of Shamerica Rules.

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Jersey said...

MB: just reading the fascinating new yrkr review of the Hoover book. Do you know if the whole cross-dressing thing was real? Or just homophobic gossip of the time slandering a homophobic P.O.S.?

Then here's this contribution for our blog:
Eating a wild fish the same as drinking tainted water for a month: US study - US Today News
https://ustoday.news/eating-a-wild-fish-the-same-as-drinking-tainted-water-a-month-study-2/

3:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jersey-

I really dunno, but by all acc'ts he was a very weird dude.

Glenn-

America is basically a machine for manufacturing assholes.

Joe-

See reply to Glenn. These people are seriously underslapped, and their shoes are too dry.

mb

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Cash Abramam said...

lots more reporting, and likely more subpoenaing, to be done but the answer to "why does the Mayor of New York City hang around with so many crooks?" is pretty clear

a ex-cop who chaired the state senate gambling committee and has a bunch of close friends who have been indicted or investigated for corruption and white collar crime. It's a very basic pattern

https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-local-correspondents/how-eric-adams-started-mentoring-a-con-man

7:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/19/france-hit-by-nationwide-strikes-over-macron-pension-plans

In France, the people have spine. In America, on the other hand, they kiss the asses of the people who oppress them.

I'd also like to say to women who run around w/Louis Vuitton bags: it's a douche bag, and so r.u.

mb

7:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/01/19/metro/harvard-dean-reverses-decision-not-offer-fellowship-human-rights-activist-kenneth-roth/

Harvard is so stupid. 1st it's no fellowship; now it's yes fellowship, due to public pressure (thank god for that). Defending the rt to criticize and dissent: why wd Harvard care abt that? That dean needs a severe beating. Talk abt hi-IQ morons.

mb

12:13 AM  
Anonymous Cross Old Guy said...

"The findings ... suggest the rise of growing crops and herding animals as a way of life, replacing hunting and gathering, may have laid the foundations for formalised warfare."

Further findings to supplement the "Wandering God" book!

https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/2023/violence-was-widespread-in-early-farming-society

4:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cross-

I thank you. WG, and my bk on Japan, are my 2 favorites.

mb

6:43 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

The Karens are back! Wait. They never left! LOL! Now they’re going around airports spraying everyone with fire extinguishers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoITevgxX9M
https://abcnews.go.com/US/woman-assaults-multiple-flight-attendants-cops-fire-extinguisher/story?id=96558575

And they’re going around shouting for everyone to die.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV6Tk-XVOy4
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11646959/I-hope-crash-die-Woman-screams-passengers-Las-Vegas-flight-booted-off.html

“American woman. Stay away from me.” -The Guess Who
It only can happen here. It’s an outright comedy show. If it wasn’t so funny it would be downright pathetic.
U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!

6:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Biden as total scumbag:

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2023/jan/20/joe-biden-julian-assange-extradition-tribunal

7:12 PM  
Blogger ccg said...

Joe Biden is also a pathological liar. He lied about his academic record when he ran for president back in the 80's. He also plagiarized a speech from a British politician. I remember all of that because it forced him to drop out of the running.

But he's still lying about about his alleged activities during the civil rights era. Here's a great take-down of Biden on his long term lying on this which continued right up to MLK day earlier this week:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXv1GwkQzd0

8:04 PM  
Anonymous ChatGPT said...

What are your thoughts on ChatGPT? This is sure to speed up the dumbing down of the entire planet. People I'm talking to are excited and thrilled, but I think this is one of the most dangerous tools I've seen. The creators have programmed it to say it's neutral and without bias, while spitting out answers based on who knows what.

Here's sample output to a question: "My creators at OpenAI have built me to be neutral and impartial, without any inherent bias towards any particular group or ideology. However, it's true that the data used to train me may contain biases, as biases can be present in any dataset. But my creators are aware of this and are working to minimize the impact of these biases on my responses. They have implemented techniques to detect and address bias in my training data and they continually monitor my output to ensure that it is fair and unbiased."

https://chat.openai.com/chat

8:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Chat-

A gd example of Americans putting their energy in the wrong place.

mb

1:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Many yrs ago, NPR mounted a 2-day festival of "Negro Spirituals" from the 40s and 50s. Herewith, my favorite song:

Well you know ma baby, she ran off with the garbage man.
Yeah, you know ma baby, she ran off, ran off with the garbage man.
Come back baby, empty out my can.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

https://edition.cnn.com/us/live-news/los-angeles-mass-shooting-01-22-2023/index.html

Folks, it's time we faced facts: the only way for the US to solve its problems is for the country to come to an end. This means that everyone gets armed and guns down everyone else, in the street, like dogs. Wafers and Native Americans will be excepted. When the dust settles, we will start a new country, based on principles of elementary decency. Our goal will be to be happy, not to accumulate wealth or show off our (pathetic little) egos.

mb

7:09 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Unknown-

Sorry, I don't post Unknowns. If you want to participate in this discussion, you need a real handle. E.g., Dr. Russ Fegoli.

mb

3:52 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Wired wants you to up your hustle game by thinking like a medieval monk.

“Medieval monks were, in many ways, the original LinkedIn power users.”

“Pachomius and his ilk set a high bar for concentration that other monks aspired to match. These super-concentrators were the first millennium embodiment of #workgoals, #hustle, and #selfimprovement.”

“Maybe monks aren’t the technophobes we might imagine them to be. Today, nuns on TikTok are using the platform to bring the world inside their cloisters. Kreiner imagines that even early Christian devotees would try their hand at social media. Saint Jerome basically invented subtweeting, after all.”

“Instead of turning to modern-day productivity gurus like Tim Ferriss, perhaps there’s some wisdom to be gained by exploring the lives of the original workaholics.”

― “Easily Distracted? You Need to Think Like a Medieval Monk,” Wired, January 18, 2023.

Sing-Along With Pete Seeger

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Himanshu said...

Dr. Berman,

In the below tweet an Indian foreign policy/security observed posted the following link about a crime ring targeting Asian elders in San Diego, CA:
https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/san-diego-police-hunting-dozens-connected-to-crime-ring-that-targets-asian-elders/3146279/?_osource=db_npd_nbc_knsd_twt_shr
Tweet link: https://twitter.com/ankitatIIMA/status/1617226589468774401?s=20&t=nOoHSxcfng_hgTJqCy9WbA

He predicts that as dedollarization proceeds and its effects trickle down more such incidents will happen and in an organized form , en masse with police support against Asians (mainly Indians + Chinese). I suspect that Jews would be affected as well (they are also among the most successful groups in US). Do you agree with this prediction?
Thanks,
Himanshu

5:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Himan-

When we talk abt Americans, we are not talking abt an insightful people who are talented at self-transparency and self-analysis. Rather, we are talking abt a people for whom the 'enemy' is always outside, and for whom scapegoating others comes quite naturally. All recent surveys abt antisemitism in the US indicate that it's at record-high levels, esp. among American youth. These tendencies will surely be extended to Asians.

k-

What Wired, and Americans in general, know about medieval monasticism would rattle in a thimble.

mb

7:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

I’ve been thinking abt writing a book abt healing.

Healing is waking up to Reality, and then acting on it.

Reality actually reaches out to us, unexpectedly, once in a while. It breaks thru the fog of daily life. In daily life, we are living out an arc, program, narrative. These breaks are windows on an alternative narrative. They encourage us to get to the root of our programmed narrative, to find what set us out on that unconscious path. Very few people are interested in this, and if a break occurs, it is fleeting, and then gone. We live out our arc, and then die. Ivan Ilyich (by Tolstoy) had only 3 days of awareness in his entire life. Most people don’t have any.

All of this is brilliantly captured in the popular TV series The Sopranos, which ran from 1999 to 2007. Level of violence aside, these Mafia folks are obsessed w/what most Americans are: money. It’s the arc of their lives. But the writer, David Chase, inserts an occasional Aha! moment that bids fair to shake up the status quo, and then is ignored.

-Carmela goes to Paris, and is exposed to a true civ, one not run along the lines of material acquisition. Even deeper, she realizes that worry dominates our lives, and that it is finally “all washed away.” It comes to nothing, she says. She starts crying.

-Tony, in a coma in the hospital, momentarily wakes up and says to no one in particular, “Who am I? Where am I going?”

-Someone posts a note on the bulletin board in his hospital rm, an Ojibwe saying abt how we run around in pity for ourselves, when all the while a great wind carries us along.

-On a trip to Las Vegas, Tony takes peyote, and as the sun rises he cries out, “I get it.” He later tells his therapist that what he got was the realization that our mothers were like buses. They “deposit” us and go on their way, and instead of letting them go, we try to keep getting back onto the bus.

These are great moments, but they chg nothing. Carmela wants to leave her dishonest life, but in the end the lure of its material advantages are too strong for her. Tony could use his therapy to evolve, to become a different person, but he chooses not to. All along, the therapy just serves to make him a more skilled mafioso. He never figures out who he is, nor does he see that he is going nowhere. Meadow is aware of social injustice in the world, but finally winds up w/a partner who is the son of a major member of the gang, and is doing corporate law.

What does it take to pay attn to these moments, to use them for our growth? To not let them just become fleeting memories? The 1st step is to see thru our narrative, what we tell ourselves. Once we see thru this unconscious programming, make it conscious, we can begin the process of exploring alternatives.

mb

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Kyle 322 said...

Dear Dr Berman, I am currently reading your American Empire trilogy. I am amazed how much of a prophecy The Twilight of the Culture is and how you saw what was coming back 2000. I think was a lot easier back then to dismiss these discussions has doom and gloom, but anyone today who can not see what is coming down the road must be blind. I first discovered your work on Geopolitics and Empire on YouTube. You have truly opened my eyes to what this country is about and now there no turning back. You are like the rug in The Big Lebowski. You tighted my whole view of America together. A sincere thank of the upmost.

12:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kyle-

I appreciate yr appreciation, thank you. Jus' call me Cassandra. I've already picked out my epitaph: I KEPT TELLING THEM, BUT DID THEY LISTEN? NO! It's a sobering vision: you look out across the American landscape, and you see 335 million people w/their heads in their rumps, rolling around like donuts.

mb

3:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

https://edition.cnn.com/us/live-news/half-moon-bay-california-shooting-1-23-23/index.html

Mass shootings now on a daily basis. America's future looks increasingly bright.

2:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: my mistake: 38 shootings in 3 wks--almost 2 a day. Don' miss the cutting-edge comment from Kamala.

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/01/23/politics/mass-shootings-in-2023-what-matters/index.html

2:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps2: Duh. I wonder if this sorta thing might be related to our national disintegration:

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/01/23/business/nightcap-geoff-morrell-disney-pr/index.html

2:39 AM  
Anonymous Kyle 322 said...

Dr. Berman
Just wanted to bring this to your attention. I have seen how you have made the comparison between The Sopranos and the average American family. Did you know there was a book written on this type of subject? It is called Tony Soprano's America: The Criminal Side of the American Dream, by David R. Simon (2002). I read it some years back, nearly finished it, depressing stuff. Good book overall, just never had the makings of varsity athlete. Junior Soprono pun. Lol
https://www.amazon.com/Tony-Sopranos-America-Criminal-America/dp/0813340365

1:19 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...


You just gotta love the latest from the USAin capitalistic “bigger is better” icon. Now the leviathan is in to prescription drugs. We already see their black box trucks everywhere we go. So now in addition to those omnipresent drug commercials we see on literally every television program, theirs shall be one of the sponsors that promote an alleged cure-all for everything.
https://apnews.com/article/technology-health-amazoncom-inc-business-medication-210271424588592ebbbd63c2c34a412b

They obviously, in addition to Viagara and other “potency” drugs, shall market meds for hot tempered residents with anger issues at mental health clinics.
https://www.wfla.com/news/florida/50-person-riot-breaks-out-at-florida-mental-health-treatment-center/
https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article271567147.html

And our ideal 2024 Republican presidential candidate shall be speaking later this week. Yes. With Killer Kyle and our angry youth, the future of this country sure looks great!
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7212258/kyle-rittenhouse-pleads-people-attend-censorship-rally-venue-controversy/

U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!

2:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kyle-

Thanks. In future, post only once every 24 hrs.

mb

4:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This shd be gd:

https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2023-01-24/kamala-harris-monterey-park-mass-shooting

Wish I cd be there, hear a douche baguette utter empty phrases. Frankly, sending Kamala will be as effective in stopping massacres as sending a box of stale dog turds.

mb

11:41 PM  
Anonymous Cherith Cutestory said...

A mass shooting occurs, I intend to post it here to be part chronicling the descent of the evil empire into chaos, only for it to be overshadowed by an even worse shooting a day later. What is even the point anymore.

I do, however, have this to post:

It's a couple of American guys in Japan. How do they behave with the locals? Well, with the respect and thoughtfulness Americans are known for, of course!

12:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cherith-

Time to refresh yr post-its:

NO AMOUNT OF SLAPPING
NO AMOUNT OF URINE

MB

3:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

NOW we're talking!

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2023/jan/25/pepper-spray-school-run-apocalyptic-suv-reznavi-vengeange

Long overdue, imo.

mb

7:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Some time ago someone asked me abt bks abt the Red Scare. I mentioned a couple of refs, but let me take this opportunity to add to that list.

-A terrific novel by Francine Prose called "The Vixen." It's abt the state murder of the Rosenbergs.

-Check out her Acknowledgments page for a decent biblio of the subject. In particular, a bk by a former colleague of mine (decades ago), David Oshinsky, "A Conspiracy So Immense."

-https://www.amazon.com/-/es/Sam-Roberts/dp/0375500138/ref=sr_1_1?__mk_es_US=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&crid=2SHW6ENA772Q8&keywords=david+greenglass&qid=1674699932&s=books&sprefix=david+greenglass%2Cstripbooks%2C334&sr=1-1

Hope that helps.

mb

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

What a week!

The doomsday clock is the closest to midnight it has ever been.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2023/01/25/hardly-anyone-is-thinking-logically-about-the-risk-of-nuclear-war/

Germany has just said it is at war with Russia (and we all know how that went last time). Starts about time stamp 2:05

https://youtu.be/1oHtyNl09DA

It seems to me that Country Joe was right all those years ago... Whoopee we're all gonna die!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxEyg61LC4g

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Diana said...

Musk is such a piece of shit, and, a techno-buffoon as we say around here. Caters to the Chinese president (at the plight of millions of Chinese muslims) and now to India's PM:

Elon Musk Removes BBC documentary at Request of India PM Modi
https://theintercept.com/2023/01/24/twitter-elon-musk-modi-india-bbc/

You can see the blocked doc film here. It's quite informative and damning:

https://odysee.com/$/embed/@Archive:90/India-The-Modi-Question-S01E02:6

3:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Diana-

What % of the American public adores Musk, and wd trade places with him in a heartbeat, do ya think? What % shares his empty value-system?

mb

5:47 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...


Here’s another accolade and toast to the “Back the Blue”. And especially to all those conservatives that have their “Back the Blue” stickers attached on the backs of their pickup trucks and SUV’s. Check out below another example of a SWAT team’s gentleness, reminiscent of the Daniel Shaver execution.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq0bexr6x0c
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11664527/Ive-shot-Shocking-moment-shows-North-Carolina-police-shooting-unarmed-disabled-man.html

Ya just gotta love and admire our trigger happy, shoot first/lie later de facto police state in this shithole of a country. And as always, “Obey authority”.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_killings_by_law_enforcement_officers_in_the_United_States

U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!

5:57 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

The only public critique of the U.S. proxy war and the escalation escalator in Ukraine in mainstream media has been coming from the right. The New York Daily News today reported Trump’s remarks blasting Biden for sending tanks to Ukraine, and even Marjorie “Jewish Space Lasers” Greene has called Ukraine a corrupt cesspit. But where are Tulsi and Rom Mittney on this?

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/us-elections-government/ny-trump-blasts-biden-tanks-ukraine-20230126

6:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jack-

Tulsi has actually spoken out regarding repression in the Ukraine, including repression of churches. Revelations of Ukrainian corruption have filled the news lately, so Marjorie ain't wrong. But you hafta ask yrself, if, as the MSM reports, the Ukraine is winning (wh/Col. Douglas Macgregor has fingered as bullshit), why wd they need all these tanks and assorted materiel from Europe and America? (Hint: they aren't winning)

A Trump victory in 2024 wd of course be a kind of horror, but as I've said b4, unlike Schmiden, he's not a warmonger.

mb

7:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wd someone explain this to me? Why wd 5 black cops viciously beat another black man to death? I'm sorry, I just can't understand this. It makes no sense at all.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jan/26/tyre-nichols-five-ex-police-officers-custody

7:44 PM  

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