June 12, 2017

303

Wafers are very active these days, and the comments come in, fast and furious. It seems I just turn around, and it's time for a new post. Nothing special to say right now; like you guys, I'm just watching the increasing descent into self-destruction, and getting a kick out of the media's absorption in non-news. They sure get everyone stirred up, and yet it's all smokescreen, nada mas.

Just a couple of examples: One, impeaching Trump. Most Americans, not very bright, think this means throwing him out of office. It does not. Clinton was impeached and just carried on. To throw a president out of office, you need a Nixon scenario (the Power Elite tells the pres, It's over, douche bag), or impeachment plus conviction. Trump would never agree to a Nixon scenario, and the Senate, heavily Republican, will never vote to convict. So why does the MSM keep discussing it?

Two, Trump pulled the US out of the Paris accords. But the truth is that staying in the accords would have been meaningless, because they have no teeth. It's all voluntary; there are no penalties for exceeding the limits contained therein. Hence, you can be sure that the US will pursue its own 'interests', and exceed those limits (just you wait and see). Trump was merely being honest, stating that the accords made no difference one way or another. But again, all the progs get very excited, and the MSM excoriates him. Another tempest in a cup of tea, to keep Americans worked up over bullshit.

There is one bit of news the MSM won't print, although it should be the headline of all the major newspapers on a daily basis: AMERICA IS FINISHED. In lieu of that, we wallow in crap, and self-deception. Which is, of course, part of our decline. There will be no wake-up moment as we slide into the abyss; most Americans simply don't have the gray matter to make such awareness possible.

-mb

181 Comments:

Anonymous Hampton said...

for those who voted for Donald Trump to put an end to America acting as global policeman …

BREAKING: US military has carried out first airstrike against al-Shabab in Somalia under new authorities approved by Pres. Trump - via ABC

10:39 AM  
Anonymous C. Boone said...

https://theintercept.com/2017/06/10/the-worst-of-donald-trumps-toxic-agenda-is-lying-in-wait-a-major-u-s-crisis-will-unleash-it/
Survivalists stockpile canned goods in preparation for major disasters; the gov stockpiles anti-democratic ideas

; Christian Boone

11:11 AM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

Even if Trump (and it is a big (if)) were 'impeached' and removed like Nixon nothing would change... and could get worse.... for one thing we would wind up with Pense... who is at least as big an idiot with his legion of evangelicals and their insanity... the more removed from reality the better is the plan 4 years of 'hearings' and 'investigations', this isn't a reality show... it's Fantasy Theater.... probably why horror movies are so popular these days? ran across a cartoon from the New Yorker Magazine of a herd of lemmings running off a cliff with several people at the bottom of the cliff huddled in a circle holding a net with the caption "Save the Lemmings".... I think sums up the state we're in...

"Save the New Yorker" or maybe what Patrick Henry should have said was "Give me sanity or a nice home in the Catskills"....

Anyway, it seems we're a country of slogans. We rarely ever act on anything but it helps keep the T-shirt and bumper sticker industry buzzing along.... hey, somebody's got work to pay for fixing the roads...

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Colelsaw said...

Excellent commentary here (though it gets a little "we must" at the end):

https://thebaffler.com/outbursts/all-worked-up-nowhere-to-go-frost

"What the Women’s Strike did reveal is that the self-appointed Trump Resistance is stuck in a compulsive loop, perseverating on symptoms and self-help rather than tackling the disease. The “battles” you see making headlines in our claustrophobic community have become microscopically petty: Who speaks at what campus? Who made what problematic joke? Which left magazine has a bad take and who will “take responsibility”? None of these squabbles are politics; none of them build power. I’m sorry to say, even punching the odd Nazi doesn’t build power. (It raises spirits, but little else.) We’re forever resting on the laurels of feel-good symbolic outcry rather than the material victories that make our day-to-day lives better. It suits the ruling class just fine."

1:07 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

Waffle House restaurant melee:

http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/06/5_charged_in_brawl_at_waffle_h.html

Miles

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Charles Passey said...

*Following a dramatic spike after the 2008 election of Obama, there are now an estimated 165 militias in the U.S.*

2:35 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

A depressing commentary on the state of American journalism:

"...it’s become more than a little bit degrading and disheartening to be a journalist these days. The pay was rarely great but for most of my career I worked as a freelancer and was able to survive, and even do reasonably well.

"Nowadays, as I’m sure most of you know, that’s become almost impossible. Payment for freelance pieces rarely makes it worth the time involved and fees offered for investigative stories aren’t significantly higher than for 500 to 800-word thumbsuckers. Meanwhile, fewer and fewer places are interested in investigative journalism and when they do commission stories writers sometimes need to bring in money to fund the research because expenses have been slashed.

"Journalism is also degrading because so much of what’s currently published is simply embarrassing. Great reporting obviously still gets done but much of today’s journalism is just reporters parroting the party line for one side or the other. For many years being a reporter, especially an investigative reporter, was a badge of honor. Now the press is, for good reason, no more trusted or popular than the political class.

"None of this makes the journalism profession pleasant and I personally don’t enjoy working amidst the ongoing Russia hysteria and having to take a side — what a choice: for Trump and the GOP or for the Clinton-dominated Democrats — or risk the wrath of people who are too simpleminded to see that you can reject both without being an apologist for either."

http://washingtonbabylon.com/wtf-is-going-on-with-wb-plus-the-new-and-improved-washington-babylon/

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Al R. said...

WAFer recommendations:

The practically silent French-Japanese animated film "The Red Turtle", director by Dutch-British animator Michaël Dudok de Wit and "Spirited Away"'s Toshio Suzuki.

And "Forced March: Selected Poems of Miklos Radnoti"

Best to all of you

Runstein

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael in Oceania said...

OK, I'll kick things off.

In the last thread, you mentioned several commenters who clearly had neurological disorders. You also quoted a study which estimated that at least 25% of Americans have serious mental illnesses. I think that sounds about right. Here's why.

In a book I have cited in past threads, Political Ponerology, the late Dr. Andrew Lobaczewski extrapolated the results of his medical practice, and estimated that about 6% of the population of a given country suffered from "psychopathies" of various kinds. In European medical parlance, a "psychopathy" is any mental illness caused by neurological deficits ("missing pieces" as it were). These include not only the criminal psychopaths like Ted Bundy, but also schizoidia, autism spectrum, etc. In fact, Dr. Hans Asperger named the anomaly he discovered "autistic psychopathy." You can think of these disorders as analogous to "color blindness."

He further estimated that about 10-15 % suffered from various injuries to brain tissue. These would include certain types of paranoia as well as other similar disorders. These could be caused by physical injuries (e.g., "shell shock"), diseases such as mumps or polio, or by drugs such as Streptomycin. Lots of returning veterans suffer from these.

That would put the overall statistics between 20 and 26 percent. As you say, in America, that number is probably a lot higher.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Mike Burgess said:

Hi Wafers and Dr. Berman, seems that James Howard Kunstler agrees with you, Dr. Berman, but he has thought economic catastrophe has been immanent for quite a while now.

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/7771/#more-7771'

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Dixon said...

FUCKING INCREDIBLE

https://youtu.be/xuCn8ux2gbs

10:53 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The "Leader" of the country telling a class of 4th graders..."Make a lot of money, but don't run for political office."

http://theweek.com/speedreads/683843/trump-advises-4th-graders-make-lot-money--but-dont-run-politics-after

7:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This is nice:

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/06/12/now-just-five-men-own-almost-much-wealth-half-worlds-population

Pastrami-

Word has it that Trump has the attn span of a gnat, but so do the progs. They have no staying power at all. Their protest consists of impulse, nothing more. Where are the pussy hats now? Where, Black Lives Matter? Americans are a collection of silly turkeys.

mb

8:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: I'm giving serious thought to changing my name to Joe Vojahowfitz. It seems like the kind of name a thug wd have, and I like the idea of being a thug, going around and beating people up. For further detail, see Woody Allen, "Cafe Society." Meanwhile, Wafers are encouraged to weigh in on this matter, which is easily as impt as anything on the front page of the NYT.

mb

8:42 AM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

Ick, just nasty only the beginning,

https://www.usatoday.com/pages/interactives/salton-sea/california-far-from-solutions-as-salton-sea-crisis-looms/

I hope Mexico gives them the middle finger (they want to pump water out of sea of Cortez)

He cautioned that plans to bring in water from the Sea of Cortez or the Pacific Ocean face significant obstacles, including complicated engineering, hefty costs that could reach into the billions of dollars and — in the Sea of Cortez scenario —a long-term agreement with the Mexican government

mb is this what you mean abt Repubs consolidating power?

http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/01/politics/justice-anthony-kennedy-retirement-rumors/index.html


10:26 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


Sri Sri Berman, Should Shmernie be trusted when he knowingly volunteered to be the Democrats' sheep-dog and now once again he's all fired-up as their "savior?" This rabble-rouser shamelessly betrayed the prog frogs when immediately after his contrived-orchestrated loss he suddenly became the kindred spirit to the Botox queen. Shmernie IMO is a shrewd politician for whom some lives like Israeli lives matter more than the Palestinian; he's a player. When will the progs, the suckers of convenience, learn that their high priests who acts for short term politically expediency is only another Obanga in disguise?

Borrowing some Semitic wisdom from Nassim Taleb, 'you cannot keep Kosher and eat “just a little bit” of pork on Sunday barbecues,' shouldn't welfare n human rights be for all and for all across the planet? Black lives will matter only when all lives matter. There are just as many poor white people who are suffering -not just the colored; and all their plights should matter. And talking about 'trying a little bit of pork' the science community clearly knows that we gonna get fucked at 1.5C -dreaming of Paris- and yet they hesitate to speak the truth for the sake of 'politically expediency.'

They are all shysters, including Pocahontas.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPVKSiTmU8s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-zRl-tbOBA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffwzXuwHZ7c
Most climate scientists are not forthcoming just so they can still be Kosher while keeping their high paying jobs.
http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/science/to-my-fellow-climate-scientists-be-human-be-brave-tell-the-truth-20170207

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Deadthoreau said...

I'm not sure if this link as been submitted here before but I know MB has talked about the rise of dumb smart people, I found this article to be quite illuminating. While the authors hit on some key points such as intelligence is incomplete without wisdom and creativity, I'm not entirely sure how these researchers believe that we can teach kids these things in a culture of hustling. These "smart fools" are exactly the cogs the American hustling machine needs to keep churning out profits. Here are some good quotes.

"What I argue is that intelligence that’s not modulated and moderated by creativity, common sense and wisdom is not such a positive thing to have. What it leads to is people who are very good at advancing themselves, often at other people’s expense. We may not just be selecting the wrong people, we may be developing an incomplete set of skills—and we need to look at things that will make the world a better place."

"Do we know how to cultivate wisdom?

Yes we do. A whole bunch of my colleagues and I study wisdom. Wisdom is about using your abilities and knowledge not just for your own selfish ends and for people like you. It’s about using them to help achieve a common good by balancing your own interests with other people’s and with high-order interests through the infusion of positive ethical values.

You know, it’s easy to think of smart people but it’s really hard to think of wise people. I think a reason is that we don’t try to develop wisdom in our schools. And we don’t test for it, so there’s no incentive for schools to pay attention."

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-the-u-s-education-system-producing-a-society-of-ldquo-smart-fools-rdquo/

6:01 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Hahaha... remembering the Barney Miller sitcom from the 70's. Spelled it differently, though.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

Well given your spirited defense of certain antebellum values, you could go by "The Southern Avenger", especially now that Jack Hunter has become too moderate and centrist for the new right. You could beat up some "progressive" students protesting a Robert E Lee memorial, and then leave a detailed manifesto explaining how Lee's prediction of a centralized Imperialist monstrosity in the event of a Northern victory was proved entirely right.

In fact, in the TV show Rick and Morty, there is a hilarious sequence of an aging scientist shooting up steroids and going around beating up a Fred Phelps type minister, a neo-nazi skinhead, etc. I can only hope that you replicate this in real life!

11:18 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Only 6 this time?


http://www.cbsnews.com/news/6-people-fatally-shot-in-deadly-evening-in-baltimore/

11:42 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Lots of good stuff today. First up, dad shoots and kills 9 year old daughter while lecturing his three kids on gun safety. Darwin smiles and nods from beyond the grave:

http://nypost.com/2017/06/13/dad-says-he-fatally-shot-daughter-while-teaching-gun-safety/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

Dog poop dispute ends in a felony arrest:

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/crime--law/new-dog-poop-dispute-ends-with-one-man-jail-one-with-slashed-hand/3J4Qjar3NtQzWT88RRTy0M/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

And lastly, oath keeper idiot predicts civil war within three years. We can only hope:

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/oath-keeper-at-anti-muslim-protest-says-civil-war-is-guaranteed/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

11:51 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Mike Burgess said:

Hi Wafers and Dr. Berman,

Perhaps Tom Engelhardt has been reading this blog since he wonders in this article whether Trump will be remembered for presiding over the fastest decline of a major empire ever - assuming that the empire doesn't simply end with ecological and/or nuclear disaster.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176295/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_the_making_of_a_pariah_nation/

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

More insanity and violence.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise among those shot at a congressional baseball game practice field.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/337717-report-shooting-near-congressional-baseball-game-practice-field

8:39 AM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

Yeah, I remember telling my mother how all these nice protests early in the Trump administration will just vanish. You will get a sporadic protest here or there but most protests will be adherents battling one another. I brought that up yesterday and she just groaned with complete dissatisfaction on how the nation we live in is filled with people who have no real conviction.

The real truth of America is this is a place where you loot and run. I know Sanders is doing everything he can to try and better people's lives but the problem ultimately is Americans do not want to make the country better.They only want to profit, the minute they improve their lives they abandon everyone and ignore everything as if nothing is happening.

Me and my sister were arguing over the minimum wage which she thinks fast food workers making 15 an hour is terrible. I asked her why and she said "because their work is not hard.". I was struck by her stupidity, she is a hair stylist. She honestly thinks that a person cooking fast food or standing at a register has easy work and thus deserves meager wages. I just looked at her and said "the way you think is why your nation is poor.". I find it ironic that she believes the "hardship of work" should dictate pay. I worked a job that paid me 48k to sit down and read a book for 10 hours and she is complaining about fast food workers making as much as her because she is too lazy to find a new job?

8:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

Pls post only once every 24 hrs. Thank you.

Nesim-

Most Americans regard the US as a cash cow, nothing more. Unfortunately, it's running outta milk. Meanwhile, every day brings more shootings. I just wish the govt wd arm everyone and tell them to go to it.

El-

I'll do my best, but note that ch. 4 of WAF is a lot more nuanced than you make out. I'm hardly pro-slavery, as some (not too bright) Americans have claimed. As I take pains to pt out, the antebellum South, and the Civil War, are complicated and paradoxical issues. You seem to have missed that. (We discussed this ad nauseam on this blog a few yrs ago. Most Americans see all issues in B&W terms.)

Dead-

Thanks for input. Pls watch length, in future.

Finn-

Cdn't run it; we have a half-page maximum on this blog.

mb

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Another american day----A congressman has been wounded in a mass shooting after a gunman opened fire on a group of GOP lawmakers and aides practicing for a charity baseball game in Alexandria, Virginia, Wednesday.

5+ wounded thus far.

usa, usa!

11:32 AM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

Tom-

So is he shooting at the GOP baseball team! Not looking good, progs! (Like they're going to learn.)

1:27 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

The martial law we've all been anticipating is here. Special Ops are now openly occupying & terrorizing the people of - of all places! - Providence, Rhode Island. Meanwhile on the west coast, Navy Seals have invaded Puget Sound. THIS is what Americans should be screaming in rage about but no, they're too busy watching "The Bachelor" or rallying about the "fake news" Russiagate. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4600704/Residents-Army-didnt-warn-training-blasts.html AND http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34367-exclusive-navy-uses-us-citizens-as-pawns-in-domestic-war-games

While the Empire's thuggery abroad is now inevitably being turned on its own citizens, here are what "ignorant & proud of it" American progressives are doing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qsOiZNEzvs

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Schlomo said...

While unfortunately the parasitic sociopath Congressmen were only wounded, here's a routine 24-hours in America:

4 children shot at north Harris County apartment complex

Infant shot, killed near gas station in southwest Houston: Police said the child's father was out for a walk with his son when the suspects walked up to them and one of them opened fire. Witnesses said the 10-month-old's father ran to the Valero gas station screaming for help with the baby in his arms after the shooting.

6 fatally shot in violent evening in Baltimore

4 killed, including gunman, in shooting at UPS facility in San Francisco

None of these stories made CNN/MSNBC today. This is so common it's seen as routine local news. What kind of country is this? It's going to be a crazy summer as the Cold Civil War slogs along in America.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

MB - I honestly meant that as a dig at the dim bulbs who somehow interpret WAF ch.4 as a defense of slavery. I may have been lurking on the blog in those days but I saw those arguments and sympathize greatly with you. I have mostly bitten my tongue in discussing the anti-hustling virtues of that culture around my prog friends. there's really no helping them.

11:44 PM  
Blogger centralscrewtinizer said...

About neuro ailments like autism, ADD/ADHD, bi-polar, parkinsons; there is some hope for a portion of sufferers in that it could be auto-immune. In the last two years a battery of tests have come out that could potentially change lives by treating the immune disorder directly and/or treating for its cause in the insect, fungal, bacterial, chemical, etc. world.
Pretty exciting, really, if you are one of those. I can provide links if necessary.

1:41 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kathy-

A foreshadowing of events to come...Meanwhile, as Schlomo notes, Americans are busy polishing each other off.

mb

8:34 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Meanwhile:

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/09/health/champions-for-change-child-hunger-in-america/index.html

I have read elsewhere that the # of Americans going hungry, or who are one paycheck away from financial disaster, is 40%.

8:41 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Fascinating read on the Rise and Fall of Empires by General Glubb...clearly we are in the the Age of Decadence.

http://www.rexresearch.com/glubb/glubb-empire.pdf

9:15 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Another day, another body count in the Land of the (Relatively) Free and Home of the (Occasionally) Brave:

http://www.newser.com/article/c20a5b6e0a414b67988d68be74062890/ups-gunman-who-killed-3-had-filed-overtime-grievances.html

A UPS driver in San Francisco--"What Can Brown Do for You Today?"--kills three fellow drivers, wounds several others, then offs himself over the company's failure to accommodate hos request, submitted last March, that he work fewer overtime hours.

A nation places flowers at the site in a familiar ritual, clerics offer prayers and expressions of sympathy, and Americans not immediately affected shrug and shuffle on.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

I have to admit, it's becoming quite alarming to see steadily increasing reports of violent incidents, many of them lethal, when I do my daily perusal of the headlines at Reddit.com. I shudder to imagine what will happen when the inevitable next major economic dislocation finally occurs.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

C. Boone - And the same Republicans who back him still give lip servi ce to shrinking the size and scope of government. Ain't gonna happen ... what we'll see instead is riots in the cities and insurgencies in the countryside.

Esca Dreg - Not just fucked but also buggered, fisted and even fracked. And climate change won't stop at 1.5C. The temperatures will continue to increase until we reach long-term equilibrium for 410 ppm CO2 (1.50C short-term / 3.30C long-term), 490 ppm CO2e (2.42C s-t / 4.84 C l-t).

Deadthoreau - The way children are schooled---not educated---makes the teaching of wisdom impossible in this country. Thirty kids to a classroom all of the same age: that is an environment that teaches cleverness and competition as the highest goals, and it ain't gonna change anytime soon.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Roboto-

I can't imagine such a crash not taking place during Trumpi's 1st term in office.

mb

2:16 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

By asking whether the Congressmen he was about to shoot were Republicans or Democrats, the Alexandria shooter proved he had one of the most extreme examples of prog brain yet. It also goes to show how damaging the isolation most Americans live in is to their mental well being. Other people who worked with Hodgkinson on the Sanders campaign last year had good things to say about him, and unlike Jared Loughner there was no indication that he was at all mentally ill. A person like that can only get to the point of doing what Hodkinson did if he has no one in his life with whom he can share his true feelings and talk them through--not to mention that if he's like most progs these days, he probably allowed himself to be bombarded by the shrieking of the liberal noise machine nearly every waking hour.

Roboto--I was thinking the same thing just today. If things are this bad now, just wait until millions of people begin getting laid off again like happened in 2008-2009. It's gonna be a blood bath. The first months of Trump's term is starting to seem eerily like the America depicted at the opening of Jack Womack's novel, Random Acts of Senseless Violence. There is the same sense of creeping dread, with the riots in the streets of the book echoing today's street battles between left and right activists and the constant mass shootings, while yesterday's shooting of a political figure echoes the assassinations depicted in the novel. Meanwhile, the protagonist's middle class family is struggling mightily just to hold on and avoid being swallowed by the economic abyss. Of course when the full on economic collapse finally comes in the novel, the shit really hits the fan.

4:23 PM  
Blogger polecat said...

I don't think it is that most Americans suffer from low IQ's. The average world wide IQ has not increased or decreased in decades, if not centuries. What's changed is our reaction to the reality of decline. On some level, almost all Americans know that the nation they love is in free fall and the earth may not habitable in 100 years. What does the typical human being do when faced with such truths? Why, deny, deny, deny, of course. The truth is too threatening to accept so, like all humans, we resort to denial of its existence. As things get worse, we will retreat into ever increasing levels of self-tranquilization with mindless entertainment, drugs, and booze. When the end finally arrives, we will not be alert enough to even notice.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

In your news update from rainy Cascadia, lots of folks are getting excercised aerobically over Evergreen College today as the college year skitters to an unscheduled but politically correct close:

http://www.theolympian.com/news/local/education/article156251554.html

Meanwhile, a scapegoated Evergreen professor has relocated his family out of fears for their safety:

http://www.theolympian.com/news/local/article156014384.html

Meanwhile, the Cascadian economy hums along on the illusions of wealth with economic transactions such as this one (dollars to donuts, I just couldn’t resist throwing in a pun):

http://www.seattletimes.com/business/technology/local-domain-name-managers-combine-in-213m-deal/

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

2017 so far > 27,800 shootings that have taken the lives of more than 6,800 people and injured an additional 13,500.
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-parsons-baseball-shooting-20170614-story.html

11:29 PM  
Blogger Chad In Chicago said...

HyperNormalisation by Adam Curtis

https://youtu.be/yS_c2qqA-6Y

Great documentary that Wafers may find interesting.

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

How poor are Americans getting? My girlfriend works at a nail salon and recently people are coming in infected toe nails thinking a nail technician can somehow cure them, rather than go to a podiatrist which they can't afford.
Yes, progs are thoroughly delusional. There was recently an article in Alternet which argued that now is an opportune time to push for single payer health care. I commented that the most opportune time was during "Oshitforbrain's" first 2 years in office when he had veto proof majorities in both houses yet did nothing not even the public option. The vitriol heaped on me was unrelenting as I had the temerity to chastise Saint Oshitforbrains. One wrote, "Do you wash your own KKK robes or send them to a cleaner?" Really, progs actually think this is a good time to push for single payer with these henchmen in office? They'll be lucky to emerge with "take 2 asperins in the morning" and morning prayers as a means to cure cancer.

12:40 AM  
Anonymous Gordon said...

Pop culture at its best

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voXw6RfWuZE



2:09 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Dr. Berman,

I was listening to a few lectures by Terence McKenna last week, and I found it interesting that he made reference to you. I can't find the exact parts, but he seems to have been an informed student of your human consciousness Trilogy. At any rate, I found that to be interesting.

Along the same lines, there was one lecture where he made a point that I think he had wrong, but which made me think, and I was wondering what your take is. Basically, McKenna said he finds something hopeful in the various trends towards "primitivism" in the midst of our decadent culture. For example, tattoos, sexual promiscuity, fluid gender identities, psychedelics, experimental music, rap, African dance, etc. In a word, all the various alternative lifestyle choices that can be seen as a rebellion against "square society". While I'm very sympathetic to some of this (especially the psychedelic part--practicing hippy here!), what I think McKenna has wrong is seeing this as some kind of return to a more authentic experience of the self or body (i.e., in line with your own thought.) My own view is that most of these things are just the final flailings of a dying civilization--not new pathways to the light. I mean, yoga pants are comfortable and all, and Led Zeppelin is by far my favorite band, but it's still hard not to see it all as a precipitous decline from the days of Mozart's symphonies, or of Goethe's powdered periwigs....

Any thoughts?

7:31 AM  
Anonymous Rune said...

http://www.wsmv.com/story/35664714/ok-man-arrested-after-conspiring-with-pregnant-woman-to-sexually-abuse-newborn

vampires man

7:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Unknown-

Sorry, I don't post Unknowns. You need a real handle.

Megan-

It sounds like the New Age version of the Great Rebellion, to be honest. Cf. Charles Reich and "The Greening of America." These folks confuse counterculture with lack of culture.

Dan-

Progs are indeed colossal douche bags, but one thing abt them I do appreciate: they are a big part of our decline. The greater the misguided behavior, the faster we go down. Go, progs! Speaking of which...

Jack-

Thanks for the update. As more and more Americans get increasingly severe in their douchebaggery, I get more and more excited. Go, bags!

Michael-

I appreciated your take on the Civil War, but I decided long ago to end discussions of the topic. We discussed WAF ch. 4 at great length; it generated more heat than light. As a result, I don't feel inclined to re-open that discussion. Americans are very stupid people. They can only think in Manichaean terms, and believe that if they are emotional abt a subject, that this is thinking. They are also, as you know, very self-righteous abt subjects like race, beat their chests and attack anyone who doesn't share their views. The complexity of WAF4 was WAY over their heads: I was "obviously" in favor of slavery! Etc.

polecat-

There are no studies of worldwide average IQ's, so it's hard to credit your assertion. Some sociologist at the University of Exeter (? I think it was) undertook such a study, came up with politically incorrect results, and was vilified. The UN is the only agency that could do it, but it's like touching the 3rd rail.

Bill-

"If you think it's bad now..." needs to become a Wafer mantra.

mb

8:46 AM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

@Dan: The thing about the progs is, they're isolating themselves from the rest of the population in a way that is just as bizarre as it is utterly dumb and delusional. It's almost as if they are lining up and donning bullseye-targets for being slaughtered when that day to which I alluded in my previous post finally arrives. You could argue that conservative rednecks engaged in a similar mindset during the Obama years. But the rednecks are an indigenous aspect of our culture with hard-bitten working-class roots, whereas the progs are mostly just pitiful hothouse-flowers who would be instantly destroyed in a society-wide violent conflagration. And I'm not looking forward to that day, because if the cycle of violence were to spiral truly out of control, it could result in the systematic hunting down of even people such as myself who have prog social tendencies but just don't drink the Kool-Aid anymore!

10:25 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Mike Burgess said...

Hi Wafers and Dr. Berman,

Not even deli clerks in NYC are safe from assault with avocados!

https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20170615/concourse/avocado-throw-assault-deli-arrest-nypd?utm_source=Bronx&utm_campaign=66f846b06d-Mailchimp-NYC&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d7b724f01a-66f846b06d-137208633

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Polecat--Spot on w/ the american pathologic denial of reality. Had a similar experience with an american acquaintance who retired from the hamster wheel and is looking to reinvent themselves. He's moving to Medellin, Columbia--to a predominately gringo /expat area-to see how the locals live....Doesn't speak a lick of Spanish, memorizing scripts/sayings, claims they have 'exotic' fruit (e.g., strawberries and peaches). Everything is "so cheap", "dumb" plumbers can be had for $15USD, and a cleaning lady for $10. reducing everything to money-numbers is principal to the american essence.

They also have american friends who own a Paris apt., yet simply rent it out---they don't speak a lick of French, nor give a rat's tuchas about France, or their French neighbors. Simply get money from Anglos by renting. Of course, when I pointed this out, my acquaintance got agitated and restless-- -said it's THEIR apt and they can do whatever. He rationalized it by the predictable --That's how "other" countries are, who isn't about money, "human nature," american spirit, etc....as he diddled with a phone.

He believes Trump doesn't represent america, a buffoon; we'll be back to being "great" and hustling (in the pos sense) is what makes us great. america has ambition, folks working hard, and entrepreneurial spirit makes the us great....Disagreed with him and said both botox d-bag and Trumpo represent america perfectly as hucksters, opportunists, and hustlers (in the neg sense). Ackward lunchie--the american then raced back to their home to sell more stuff for their big move to gringo-land in Medellin!. Bon Voyage!

10:50 AM  
Blogger remo26 said...

Megan,

I was at a retreat for a weekend at the Omega Institute in upstate New York with Terence McKenna in the 90s. We were planning to do a visual project together. We barely slept, sampled some DMT, and talked heavily about all things trippy. I mentioned to Terence many times some of the points in ROFW and CTOS. He said he wasn't so familiar with the books, and it was worth taking a deeper look. So, maybe these discussions inspired him, but basically I was relating ideas in his Food of the Gods with MB's first 2 chapters in CTOS on the Basic Fault, Self/Other concepts, Transitional Objects, and hunter/gatherer lifestyle/impact on language in the context of ROFW with the 90s representing the cold disenchanted world that the industrialists ended up with.

- remo

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Albion Moonlight said...

http://www.themillions.com/2017/06/revisiting-the-wild-mind-of-kenneth-patchen.html

The Journal of Albion Moonlight meant everything to me when I was nineteen. Four months later I was in the Army. Twelve months later, heading for the Far East. When I look at my tattered old copy now, I don’t know what to make of it. Patchen’s wild “typography“ does still resonate though. His manuscripts are something to behold.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Geoff said...

http://www.theeventchronicle.com/finanace/congress-submits-bill-making-illegal-hold-cash-bitcoin-assets-outside-bank-without-informing-writing/

O boy

12:46 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Bicycle PUMMELING!!!!


http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/06/16/bike-rider-punched/

1:05 PM  
Blogger jml said...

Interesting article about a parent who says that leaving America is the best parenting decision she has made for her kids.

http://theweek.com/articles/703660/moved-kids-america-best-parenting-decision-ive-ever-made

1:43 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB: Indeed, I have noticed that in discussing America's societal ills with someone, I notice that they become very uncomfortable whenever I point out how much worse it is now than it was back in the 1990s or earlier. My hint, of course, is that they should stop with the delusion than things will somehow turn around when it is completely obvious that they are trending in only one direction--downward. Sometimes, they'll bring up the improvements in gay rights as a counter, which is easily refuted by pointing out how black Americans are being treated by the police worse than at any time since prior to the Rondey King riots.

Dan: I'm not sure that everyone is delusional (though plenty obviously are). I think there is a substantial number who might not say so out loud but are hoping that they'll be able to live out their lives before it all goes kablooie. Baby Boomers in particular seem susceptible to making the "death bet." Tell them that global warming will make the planet virtually uninhabitable by 2100 and they secretly shrug their shoulders knowing that they have at most a couple of decades left. What do they care if a child born today has a life expectancy that would carry he/she almost to the 21st century if it means giving up their creature comforts? Baby Boomer Americans are, after all, the most spoiled and entitled generation in the history of mankind--as their glorious "leaders," the Trumpenfuhrer and the Botox Queen, so amply demonstrate.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jml-

Great article. I *told* you guys there were 4 or 5 intelligent Americans around (one sign of such is that they left the country).

jj-

Punching is very primitive. Where was this guy's AK-47? Limited damage is so last decade, really.

Michael-

Same thing. Avocados? Where are these people's weapons??!

mac-

Cdn't post it; we have a half-page-max rule on this blog. Pls compress and re-send. Thank you.

mb

7:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

A couple of quotes:

"The highest form of morality is not to feel at home in one's own home."--Theodor Adorno

"We must for dear life make our own counter-realities."--Henry James

9:35 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Megan,

I believe you're right on with your assessment of America's "alternative lifestyles". I think the root of the problem is this - American culture, which at this point is little more then techno-fueled, isolation-inducing consumerism, is fundamentally meaningless. Shopping, buying, and hustling are not values, these things don't provide spiritual sustenance of any kind. Human beings can't really live this way. At least, not if psychological well-being is of any concern. So we go looking for other sources of meaning.

Some of these sources, I think, have some wisdom in them - The great world religions, or thinkers like Michel de Montaigne(or Henry James as Dr. B cites above). But what about most of the others - pop music (or rap), tattoos & the like? I think these are just poor substitutes for a real sense of meaning and belonging to a greater culture.

When a man is searching for meaning, he tends to grab onto what he knows, whatever is nearest to him. And I hate to say it, but what do Americans really "know" about except pointless consumerism? In the midst of a spiritual crisis, most people would probably benefit from grabbing onto Montaigne, but that is not what American society pushes us towards. Instead of the bookshelf and some time for quiet reflection, its "I'll get that tattoo I've always wanted", "I need a new house", "I'll go on vacation to somewhere fun!", etc.

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Bruce Bennett said...


"The reason that they call it the "American Dream" is that you have to be asleep to believe it." -- George Carlin

12:37 AM  
Blogger Scrooge McDuck said...



Bill Hicks: you make a good point about Baby Boomers and their "death bet". They have the same attitude about climate as they do about government debt: "by the time it's a real problem I'll be gone". My real fear with the Boomers is that rather than gracefully exit the scene they'll try to trigger Ragnarök and "bring it all down, man." I don't think most Boomers have accepted the fact of their own mortality and when they do it won't be pretty.

Not that younger Americans are much better. Here's Michelle Carter. https://www.minds.com/newsfeed/722669894717415424

1:09 AM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

So, I have what may be a weird question. America is a nation of incredible material wealth. With its decline and its cannibalistic nature. Is it likely that the US's fate will look more like that of Africa? Where foreign nations will exploit the greed of the oligarchs and reap its resources much like they do in Africa?

It seems to me when the USA falls all of the poor states are going to have a far more dramatic collapse of living standards than they can imagine now. I mean most of the red states current standard of living is ironically due to the amount of Federal dollars pumped into their economies which they seem VERY unaware of. Add on to that the conservative movement's desire to sell off anything and everything they can it seems to me that much of the former US will look like large swathes of the former Soviet Union.

1:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Maybe the answer is to just get Americans out of America:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/16/opinion/only-mass-deportation-can-save-america.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0

Wafers are invited to suggest new homes for these folks. Australian outback?

mb

3:48 AM  
Anonymous useful-idiots said...

Bret Stephens cowardly douchebag du jour.

Where do you start with B. Brooks, T. Friedman, all these NY Times mediocre
useful idiots for their corporate masters.

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

Re-captcha is getting a bit carried away.

5:03 AM  
Blogger polecat said...

MB - you missed my main point. Whatever IQ levels have done in the past, I don't think the American people are "stupid" so much as they are fearful and feel powerless. And those emotions give rise to denial and false hopes of deliverance by strongmen and demagogues(thus Trump).

I would also object to your use of the descriptive "stupid" - not because most (but certainly not all) Americans are dull, dim-witted, banal and tedious - but because of the needlessly negative connotations it carries. If you are trying to convince people of the soundness of your argument, calling them stupid doesn't help. "Uninformed"? "Intentionally so"? In addition, calling people stupid verges on intellectual elitism if not arrogance.

5:43 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Remo,

That's pretty cool that you got to have that experience of taking DMT with Terence Mckenna at the Omega Institute--good for you! That's kind of like going on a psychedelic bicycle ride with Albert Hoffmann himself....It's funny how out of 330 million people, we misfits (in the most positive sense of the word) tend to be drawn to the same sorts of people.

It's also interesting that you recommended Dr. Berman's work to McKenna. It sounds to me like he may actually have taken your advice and read it, but then again, he was an undeniably smart guy who could have talked intelligently for hours about all sorts of things that he had only superficial familiarity with!

Nevertheless, as I said before, much as I like him, I think Mckenna was grasping at false hope with his embrace of primitivism. Indeed, I can't think of any declining civilization in history that was saved by a return to atavistic values. At least with the 60's there was still a kind of Silver Age sense of aesthetics--in the arts, in music, dress, and in daily manners. By and large, most people still acted like human beings to one another. But, alas, even that came to nothing. In a similar vein, I don't see anything particularly liberating in the Sexual Liberation Movement, which McKenna seems to have been an advocate of. All that has done, I fear, is to make us into an even more deranged population of solipsistic predators, incapable or human warmth or sustained loyalty to one another.

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Douchebag nonpareil.
My former school asks me every year to provide a speaker for the 4th grade graduation ceremony. It's half Hispanic so I try to find someone prominent who can deliver a speech both in English and Spanish. I found a rather prominent woman in the Hispanic community this year. Yesterday was the ceremony and during nearly the entire time she was there she was busy texting, not even looking at the students-how rude! Needless to say, she read her speech from her phone without even once looking up at the audience, sat down after and continued texting. She even texted when the 4th graders were singing "Count on Me" which they worked so hard to memorize. She left as soon as the ceremony finished not even saying goodbye to the school administrators. What a worthless piece of crap she was.

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@ Nesim Watani,

Much of the United States already looks like a post-Soviet area with rotting buildings, shuttered factories and a population that is killing itself off with violence, substance abuse and suicide. Several commentators have noticed the similarities between the rise in early deaths among working-class Americans and a similar phenomenon that occurred in the post-Soviet countries, especially Russia under Yeltsin in the 1990s. If you travel outside of gentrified areas of large cities and affluent suburbs the United States looks like a hellhole.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

Not that it will do much gd, but you might want to write her a letter abt it, say how disappted you were in her talk. Being an American, of course, she'll be too stupid to understand what yr saying, but a polite letter pointing out her rudeness might be fun to write.

pole-

Well, you made an assertion abt worldwide IQ's that can't be substantiated; I was just pointing that out. In addition, Americans can certainly feel fearful/powerless and be stupid at the same time; these things are hardly mutually exclusive. (Note also that the 'anesthesia' of American life was a major pt of my bk CTOS, and also the film, 'Anesthesia'.)

As far as the use of the word 'stupid' on this blog: the evidence is surely on my side that this is true of large swaths of the American public; but the thing you need to know, if you wish to remain on this blog, is that we are not politically correct here. It doesn't bother us to be elitist or arrogant--not at all--nor does it bother us if our language is regarded as impolite by the p.c. crowd or anyone else. I normally don't discuss the blog itself, since the subject of the blog (its language included) is not the blog, but I just wanted to give you a heads-up. If you want to comment on how a blog is run, what language it uses, etc., then you're in the wrong place, and need to find a blog more congruent with your outlook. If you want to stay here, and be part of this discussion, then pls curtail that sort of commentary. Americans are indeed stupid, and I encourage you to write those 3 (or 4) words on a post-it and stick it on your bathrm mirror, so you see that message every day. Also, pls avoid euphemisms here, like 'uninformed', and start peppering your messages with the word 'stupid'--the more the better. I trust I've made my pt.

mb

9:14 AM  
Anonymous free-istan said...

BY GOETHE'S POWDERED PERIWIGS

I went to the Salton Sea. It was very hot. Is there a Curt Cobain song about it? "Only bad people go to the lake of fire"..." Apparently they want the entire place to look like the Sonny Bono National Wildlife Refuge.

Hydrolic Empire, Hydrolic Despotism, Water Control Empire


Unlimited fracking will cause massive polluting of aquifers. Permeable sandstone which holds water under pressure is frequently sandwiched between impermeable shale. If you fracture the shale and pump fracking fluids into it then the water in the sandstone will become contaminated. If you drill down through multiple layers you have to put a sleeve plug in to seal off those layers. Most of these plugs fail in tens of years.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

Honestly, calling Americans stupid is an understatement IMO. Most Americans do not seem to have any mental abilities whatsoever. A small percentage of Americans are "stupid" (i.e. somewhat intelligent but have zero wisdom).

3:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gig-

Leaving the issue of stupidity aside for a moment, it's for sure that there is very little wisdom among the American people. There are many signs of wisdom, of course; they include the ability of perspective (seeing the larger picture); of empathy; of not thinking in B&W terms, or in terms of slogans; of being able to grasp complexity, nuance, and contradiction; and so on. There's a great study of lack of wisdom that I'm currently reading called "Reading Lolita in Tehran," by Azar Nafisi--the profound unwisdom of Iran under the Ayatollah Khomeini. She makes the mistake of overlooking how awful things were under the Shah, and focuses only on how awful they were under Khomeini; but they were indeed horrible under the latter, a situation particularly marked by a ferocious religious zeal that cdn't for a moment imagine that it might be wrong. Not that I am attributing this madness to Islam per se. Rather, this regime was a reaction to the Shah, and to the role of the CIA in routing Mossadegh in 1953 and helping the Shah institute a torture regime (see the Iran section of DAA, or the bk by Stephen Kinzer). But obviously, swinging between extremes is a very unwise way to go about things. If there had been more wisdom in Iran in the wake of the Shah's flight, perhaps the country wouldn't be drifting w/o clear goals or purpose, as it seems to be doing today. Something similar, I think, might be said of America: lots of dumb and certainly unwise people add up to a dumb and unwise country, a dumb and unwise president, and a nation that is circling the drain, with no prospect of saving itself. If we had wisdom in the populace, we wd have wisdom on a larger scale, I suspect. Committing national suicide is not exactly a mark of wisdom, and this is occurring on both the microlevel and the macrolevel. Americans beat up fast-food workers if they get an order wrong; the president goes to Europe and struts around like a boor and a phony bigshot. These things are hardly unrelated, and we aren't where we are today by accident.

mb

4:08 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Excellent essay on the Frankfurt School, who I believe was right on with their analysis.


https://aeon.co/essays/how-the-frankfurt-school-diagnosed-the-ills-of-western-civilisation

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Wafers,

Please excuse my deviation from the theme of the blog. In spite of my extensive background in theology I've come to the conclusion that I have to disagree with Aristotle and say that Trump is proof for the non existence of God.

Marianne

4:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Marianne-

Fine, but what abt St. Anselm? Also, Trump is proof for the existence of History. Which may be a lot more interesting than God, depending on one's background. (Just saying)

jj-

Good essay! I was myself very influenced by the FS, yrs ago, and in line w/their thinking, this blog is my own attempt to create a community interested in liberation. We have now swelled to 171; only 326.5 million (minus 171) to go!

mb

5:47 PM  
Anonymous JRS said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers.

More evidence of decline this time in the realm of men's fashion. Did the late Roman empire get rather crazy with this sort of thing toward the end too?

http://www.sadanduseless.com/2017/02/fashion/#LPEL5KKPxsO1C0yh.01

I must have low expectations because I prefer to see men in blue jeans, loafers and a nice t-shirt.


Julie




6:06 PM  
Anonymous fundamental-structures said...


Broad strokes can be criticized even when used with a lot of context because those trying to contribute positively are getting hammered by a self-destructive system and people.

Having known people that went to Evergreen with good intentions and that their professors have a lot of freedom over curriculum and policy (traditionally) makes it already better than most "good schools" of generic discourse and propaganda - zero Socratic inquiry - you know no child left behind for indoctrination and cleansed specialization.

The post-modern progressive boutique identity politics is very dangerous and here is a good expose on how easily reasonable conscious people are destroyed by stupid people in a stupid culture - tolerating the intolerant - incapable of sensible filters and thought or institutional accommodation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq4Y87idawk

6:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

JRS-

These outfits are so charming. I dunno if any historian has looked into the fashions of 5thC Rome, but regarding yr preference for loafers I can tell u this: When I see a guy wearing hush puppies, it's hard for me to hang onto my lunch.

mb

6:57 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

When America finally falls, those expat douchebags living in their little 3rd world retirement enclaves who haven't even bothered to learn the language are going to have gigantic targets on their backs. It's only the fear of American power that keeps them safe, and I can't imagine that "Ugly American" types are going to last too long without it. Any WAFer who vacates America should stay as far away from those people as they can.

It has also come to the point where "declinist" has become a full fledged subcategory of American literature. These don't include apocalyptic or sci-fi stories by genre writers, but instead well thought out visions of the near future by serious writers; including The Mandibles, Super Sad True Love Story and The Water Knife.

I just started reading the most recently published example, American War by Omar El Akkad, an Arab-American journalist who has spent his career covering the war on terror, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, Black Lives Matter and other recent American human rights fiascos. The premise of the novel is about how the violence America has inflicted on the rest of the world comes home to roost in a 2nd civil war as the country falls apart. So far, it's pretty good stuff.

9:30 PM  
Anonymous xypeter said...

Hi Bill,
You were saying it's gotten worse. But, really, it was always worse, wasn't it? A prog said to me today, oh well, we will just vote out Trump soon and then things will be back to the great normal. But I felt just as crappy before Trump, you know? I don't think it gets better or worse. It was lonely last year and it's lonely this year because Americans lack empathy (always did).
P

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Miguel said...

Thought I should share this short passage from a book (Indro Montanelli - History of the Middle Ages). The version is in Spanish so this translation is mine (Indro Montanelli - History of the Middle Ages):
"Every decadence, at any time and place, has been marked by the same phenomena: the growing social distances between an ever smaller number of privileged people and an ever bigger mass of abandoned individuals, the weakening of solidarity bonds and the total indiference of community interests."
"In the halls of the rich and almost totally pagan Rome, people talked about Cicero and Catullus, Aristotle was quoted, barbarian generals were mocked for their boorish manners, their pronunciation and spelling mistakes. In the 'lower neighborhoods' of the poor Christian Rome, people were too busy figuring out how to put food on the table to be able to worry about the Empire, the State, the past or the future. That a German mercenary raised in the Court of Attila, like Odoacer, had just sent eagles and fasces to Constantinople and governed Italy like an independent king, was something that interested no one."

11:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

fundamental-

Thanks for the link to the long interview w/Bret Weinstein at Evergreen. I listened to the whole of it. It raises some very interesting questions. The things that I found esp. impt were:

1. The discussion of mob psychology and collective psychosis. This is certainly what has taken hold of Evergreen; even the faculty have been swept away by something that shd have been dismissed as nuts. It takes me back to my essay in QOV, on "Tribal Consciousness and Enlightenment Tradition." Historically speaking, this sort of group irrational behavior happens again and again.
2. The chances are, I think, quite high that the p.c. craze, which has been building now for decades, will spread to more and more colleges, and be even more extreme than what we are witnessing at Evergreen. This is tip of the iceberg.
3. Which is pretty scary, and it also means that as this snowballs, there really is no hope for the US; insanity is hardly a path to a healthy future. However, the interviewer did suggest something by way of Dual Process: that Weinstein and others like him should just abandon the current structures and institutions, and go elsewhere--create alternatives, in other words--while the current structures continue to eat themselves alive.

What a horrible shame, really. The American university system at one pt had such tremendous promise, and now it has degenerated into a weird entity, in which intense emotions are identified with truth.

mb

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

WuduFugel,

You make some excellent points in your post. It reminds me of the other problem with "alternative lifestyles/primitivism as acts of rebellion", which is the fact that the Mass Culture Industry has already assimilated, co-opted and banalized pretty much all of what people think of as "authentic and original forms of self-expression." After all, our cultural handlers must allow us to release a little pent-up pressure from time to time, by permitting us to take on their thorougly prefabricated and commodified forms of rebellion (The Punk, Grunge, or pierce-happy Goth lifestyles, for example, are by and large nothing more than consumerist and corporate fictions). And yeah, as everyone knows, the spirit of the 60's is now just what the $79.95 5 DVD series tells you it was!

Of course, the sphere of Literature is largely untainted by the Culture Industry. Since no one in America reads anyhow, there is really nothing much to fear! (Though just to be safe, one might attempt--or at least the masochistically inclined might attempt--to teach Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf, or The Brother's Karamazov, or Montaigne's Essays to a classroom of vicious American teenagers, and thereby banalize and defang these works of their revolutionary power.) But you are right, what a horror to have to live in this stiflingly narrow and suffocating society with no frames of reference beyond "The Apprentice", "Sex In The City" and Thomas Friedman! If I had nothing but that rubbish bubbling around in my head then I would surely have done myself in long ago.

Fortunately I am deeply blessed to have a few meaningful friendships, one true love, the poetry of John Keats, the stories of Caitlin Kiernan, the letters of Flannery O'Connor, The Glass Bead Game, etc. (as well as that small garden of highly illegal plants!) to make it all worth it....Hey, it was good enough for Epicurus!

7:01 AM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

2. The chances are, I think, quite high that the p.c. craze, which has been building now for decades, will spread to more and more colleges, and be even more extreme than what we are witnessing at Evergreen. This is tip of the iceberg.

If you are correct about this, I further theorize is that what will happen is that the population who live their entire lives outside that system will increasingly look upon what it is becoming as a kind of cancer on society (and, let's face it, they will be pretty much right about that). And as US society becomes increasingly unstable, they will decide to do something about this cancer, and the result won't be a pretty sight at all.

7:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Roboto-

I believe rt-wing groups already showed up on the Evergreen campus, looking for trouble.

Megan-

Sphere of lit has been heavily tainted by the culture industry. Just think of all those progs rewriting Mark Twain (inter alia) so that 19C-words don't offend anyone today, for example. Feminism has also produced some strange readings of classic works (mostly written by dead white males, so of no value to us, etc.). And then there's postmodernism...But perhaps by 'culture industry' you simply mean commercialization; in which case, we need to look at what commodification, and dumbing-down, has done to the publishing industry. Simple-minded bks sell, so they are the rule now.

mb

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Doctor,
Yes, I thought about sending her a note but decided not to. I got her number from a friend and I don't wish to antagonize him in case I need him next year to locate a speaker (Can you speak at next year's graduation?) Anyway, she's about 30 and I'm sure under some pressure from her family to get married and children. So let her drown in tech-crap. It's clear to me that she has already lost myriad opportunities to meet someone since at the very moment some guy was about to approach her, she was playing with her phone. It reminds me of a story in "Tales of the Dervishes" of a Sufi master who always fell asleep at the moment someone needed advice. When he died he was told that the gates of heaven open only once in 10,000 years so he needed to be alert. Of course, when the gates opened he was asleep and woke up to the sound of the gates closing.
Ironies of ironies. A piece I read says trans gender men are taking acting jobs from women. Soon the word "trans" will no longer be in use and such men can simply claim to be women. Can you see the implications? Biological women will soon have to compete with trans men for jobs, university spaces, entertainment, sports, etc. The irony is striking. Women used the courts for equality but so did trans men. Couple this with life like sex robots and I think there is a real possibility of biological women becoming extinct. Gee, I'll miss their pleasant personalities.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

You might send her the following link instead:

http://www.kiro7.com/news/trending-now/there-are-some-adults-who-think-chocolate-milk-comes-from-brown-cows-survey-says_/533999179

She might be one of these adults, and wd probably appreciate yr sorting this out for her.

mb

10:41 AM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/06/17/denver-tv-news-ratings-9news-kusa-fox-31-kdvr/

I'm guessing everyone already gets it - but it ain't no different in Colorado maybe they're just learning how to grab the attention of stoned out zombies.

When the news should be about managing our metastasized cancer this is what we get instead. Throw in the mega-merger of the Sinclair broadcasting company and all hope is extinguished.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

-Tom Servo

I get that. Here in Virginia, we have the Petersberg example. Petersburg has been savaged due to the closing of factories and general neglect since it is largely a black city.

What I mean, however, is that in the fall of the US much of the United States is vastly underdeveloped compared to the richer states. If they look like post-Soviet nations now, they will look worse when the Federal Government is gone. I imagine that the US will be WORSE than what we see of Russia since if you go into the South you can find shanty towns with ease, even in the height of American "progress". SO with so many states subsistent on a Federal Government to have the meager state of living they have now, I imagine the US will fall far worse than anything we have seen in the former Soviet Union. I say this because it's already cannibalizing itself now. I see no real development that it can sustain since most of its Corporations will abandon it long before the fall like rodents fleeing a burning building before the inferno engulfs the hapless humans who reside in it.


MB-

As much as Trump is an indicator of American Decline, a Right Wing Constitutional Convention is looming. If that passes what little remains of the American Dream will be a nightmare.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

fundamental-

Cdn't post it, as it violates 2 of our rules:
1. Only 1 post per 24-hr period
2. Maximum allowable length of a post is half a page.
Suggest you wait till yr 24 hrs is up, compress post by 50%, and re-send. Thank you.

mb

1:30 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


Soulful songs if you understand the lyrics.
Even if you don't the soul is nonetheless in the rhythm.

No Soy de Aqui, Ni Soy de Alla - Chavela Vargas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbR1jpwwdbc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcxNFUPD3WE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOL6WRtOWPc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OanOkaXRvoM
Cuatro milpas - Antonio Aguilar
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTU9Vi1otfA
Ti 'ne afto pou to lene agapi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDMiUPcZst8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q9H2cd36RU

Alone, in the path to the nothing
Alone, in the lane without anything
Alone, with the eluding time
And the time doesn't forget...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z_oQ62foZk
-Zohar Argov

1:45 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Responding to something Tom Servo wrote, N Watani says:
"I imagine that the US will be WORSE than what we see of Russia since if you go into the South you can find shanty towns with ease, even in the height of American "progress"."

Let's be catholic in our assessment: you'll certainly find plenty of poverty and poor folks down in Dixie, but if the problem of wealth disparity and its consequences were strictly a Southern phenomenon, then at least we could take some comfort in the fact that the issue was geographically "bounded" and therefore perhaps easier to tackle.

You may have seen reporting in recent years about the tent cities that have sprung up across the land. One place that drew particular attention was Sacramento, capital of the Golden State, a state with an economy rivalling those of several countries in its dimensions. The tent city there, across the Sacramento River from the capital, stood in stark contrast to other places in the state where the issue is not where the next meal is coming from but rather whether to go to a "cute little taco truck" or Wolfgang Puck's for pizza.

And if you were to look northward, you might see Detroit, home of Motown and motorcars. And between 20,000 and 50,000 wild/abandoned dogs, whose owners decided they couldn't afford to take Fido when they packed up the family car and headed....

West, East, South? Good luck. Why not south? That's where many black Detroiters once came from. Maybe there's hope in that direction. Maybe not. Fuck hope, as George told us.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

I don't post Anons. You need a real handle. Perhaps: Chopped Liver?

mb

5:15 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

I can't believe no one has taken chopped liver as a handle yet. Assuming a handle suggested by you is the Wafer equivalent of being knighted.

8:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

comrade-

Depends on the handle, I guess. Somebody did grab Pastrami and Coleslaw, tho there wasn't any knighting ceremony involved. Matzo Ball Soup is also currently up for grabs.

mb

8:58 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

An outstanding article pointing one of the key reasons for the decline and failure of America...


http://www.chronicle.com/article/Our-Graduates-Are-Rubes/238865

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Chopped Liver said...

Here I am, Chopped Liver, reporting for WAFER duty. I've got lots of pee and there is a lot of bullshit that I see!

10:44 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

xypeter--I grew up in the 1970s, and my observation is that it has indeed gotten much worse since then. My rust belt hometown, for example, has gone from a reasonably prosperous community to a drug and crime infested hell hole as 90% of the factory jobs left after NAFTA. Wealth inequality, which is fueling the hate filled rage that brought Trump to power, really took off after Clinton convinced the Democrats to sell themselves out to Wall Street.

Electronic media has become exponentially worse, which might be hard to believe if you are too young to remember a time before the rise of Fox News, MSNBC and right wing talk radio in the 1990s (the latter after Clinton deregulated the airwaves). Social interactions have also gotten far worse. I've been lucky enough to be married for 20 years, but then again my wife and I met just before smart phones and techno-douchebaggery made it damn near impossible to break through the self absorption of strangers.

These are just a few examples--although could list countless others such as how Hollywood was actually unafraid to do serious films that tackled tough issues back in the 1970s before Spielberg and Lucas came along and began the obsession with crowd pleasing, vacuous blockbusters. I'm not saying America was any kind of paradise 40 years ago, but the long term trends since then are straight downward and they are accelerating.

11:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Very gd essay. When I taught at Evergreen in 1991, probably half of my students wd have agreed with it. Now, probably less than 10%, I'm guessing--if that.

Chopped-

I'm proud of you. You have entered Waferdom, and are full of piss. I hope you use it well. So many shoes out there in America are far too dry.

Be aware that this space represents the most evolved form of consciousness in the universe. Many have wanted in, but as they behaved like turkeys, they were banished to the darkest realms of Gehenna. There they sit and weep.

As for me, I am the Great Seer of the Western Hemisphere (GSWH), but if that's too long to type out, you can just call me Joe Blow.

Post only once every 24 hrs, and then only a half page. If you are even slightly politically correct, and want to discuss the blog itself, this wd be a gd time to make yr exit. But if you stay, you will have ascended to the farthest regions of the cosmos.

Meanwhile, put this on a post-it on yr bathrm mirror:

MY LIVER IS CHOPPED;
I CAN'T BE STOPPED!

mb

12:42 AM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

@Bill Hicks: Two things:

Wealth inequality, which is fueling the hate filled rage that brought Trump to power, really took off after Clinton convinced the Democrats to sell themselves out to Wall Street.

Not everyone who voted for Trump was full of this "hate-filled rage" you describe. Many Flyover Country working-class types voted for him as the proverbial "roll of the dice" as opposed to Hillary Clinton's untenable "business as usual". And if anything could conceivably get Trump re-elected (even though it does appear for the moment that his rank incompetence will make him a one-term president, if the forces of the Deep State are unable to depose him), it will be the "hate-filled rage" (not to mention the delusional utter lack of self-awareness) of the progs and the college-campus social justice warriors.

Electronic media has become exponentially worse, which might be hard to believe if you are too young to remember a time before the rise of Fox News, MSNBC and right wing talk radio in the 1990s (the latter after Clinton deregulated the airwaves).

Reagan also played a role in this by killing the Fairness Doctrine (which mandated that television and radio broadcasters made an effort to present all pertinent sides of socio-political issues) in 1987. This guaranteed that the points of view to which the public was exposed on television and radio would be the ones that were financed by the wealthy and that appealed to the hates and fears of ignorant and insecure people.

6:25 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Dr. Berman,

Your points about the decline and corruption of literature are well taken. These are the same things that Harold Bloom has railed against his entire career. But I was speaking from more from an individualist/idealist standpoint. What Bloom was referring to when he said, "The value of the aesthetic is an individual rather than a societal concern." In other words, society can go to hell. There's little hope for the Western Canon, anyhow, in a country where the best seller of the decade was a trashy and poorly written rape fantasy. (And, no, I'm not talking about Jane Eyre. That's one of my favorites!). Still, we NMI types should refuse to allow our experience of Literature (capital L) to be mediated by the vagaries of postmodernism, deconstructionism, Oprah's Book Club--or resentful, Feminist, post-grad lit. professors! This much at least, is within our power.

Xypeter,

I agree with Bill Hicks and was going to make nearly the same points he did about the 70's. Just because human nature is always the same, and there never was a Golden Age, etc., doesn't mean that some times aren't significantly worse than others. At least in the 70's (imperfect though they were)the neighbors knew your name, had block parties, helped each other out occasionally. In general, there was still a small bit of humanity and light left in the world. I just turned 46, so I'm only old by Hollywood standards, so it's not just the grey-bearded fuddy-duddies talking about how decadent the younger generation is. It's just that it's REALLY true this time! And while I certainly wouldn't want to have lived through the medieval autos de fé, or have grown up in 3rd Century Rome, Cromwellian England, or the plague years, I honestly wonder if there has ever been an era as spiritually desolate, inhuman, and as lonely as 2017 America?

7:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Megan-

Keep in mind at all times that Oprah is one of the greatest douche baguettes to have ever lived. Check out bio by Janice Peck. Also Nicole Aschoff, "The New Prophets of Capitalism," or something like that. Gd pt you made to Peter; these *are* the plague years, imo; the plague turns people into turkeys!

mb

8:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: check this out:

https://www.amazon.com/Shrinking-Technosphere-Technologies-Autonomy-Self-Sufficiency/dp/0865718385/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1497876770&sr=1-1&keywords=shrinking+the+technosphere

I suppose I shd write a bk called "Shrinking the Turkosphere."

8:52 AM  
Anonymous fundamental-structures said...


Thanks MB. For me the real story of the Weinstein interview which you touched upon but didn't pointedly mention was that the media race relations professor (whatever that is - sounds like something out of Stanford since they have a post-modern doctoral program for douchebags) was allowed to strategically target Weinstein in a meeting with a provost authority moderating - and through a student (siphoning his emails for a potential mis-construing character assassination dossier) and impose a bullying ideology that he was not allowed to defend himself against targeting - to just take the abuse. Who and where is this media professor still conveniently kept anonymous?

That the provost moderator in that meeting was not evolved enough to detect or act upon the media professor as a destructive sociopathic game player - quite possibly an operative of a two and three letter polit-bureau institution who police the fake education system which in this case allowed the "peace officers" not to protect him - so that any brilliant mind knowledgeable about self-awareness, reliance, morality, consciousness, history, context, and a fully formed strong morally reliable identity can be targeted so that competition can always be controlled - so that the host herd of mediocre semi-humane replicant specialist workers can be continuously bred to be psychically vulnerable to spread and self-police cultures of fear and meaningless low-grade conformity to institutional hierarchies of often credentialed class warfare by faux-liberal people not unlike NY Times propagandist operatives for plutocratic families etc. for endless harvesting.

Every Weinstein response was absolutely brilliant along with Rogan's moderating - and of course the trolls attack him with labels of all liberals and progressives should be - snuffed somehow - those anonymous irrational cowards might as well be sanctioned operatives too. Everything is controlled by the matrix imperium from satellite states like Grenada to psychic divergences in the force like Weinstein. Parasitic systems of fraud demand full spectrum control until the wizards of privelege in their gated palaces are sussed out by victims.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Mauricio,

Total agreement here. History is much more interesting than god. And yes St Anselm is one outstanding hombre. And his ontological argument for the existence of god is a tongue twister: "that than which nothing greater can be thought."

Marianne

1:48 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

What made postmodernism so palatable in the academic field? I mean by its own arguments of subjectivity, I would think its own observations could be casually brushed off due to its own tenants are tainted by the subjective bias of the Postmodernist observer?

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Today the only substitution job available was in a middle school. Now what brainiac decided it was OK to allow middle school students come to school with their I-phones? These kids make high school students Benedictine monks with regard to I-phone use. I mean wasn't there anyone on the school board who knew at least something about middle school students' near total lack of impulse control? Really, what learning can take place in these environments? The other thing is that they have memorized the lyrics to the most arcane rap songs like a Shakespearean actor memorizing Hamlet. I just read today that if an American man wanted to impress a women during the 1920's and 30's he would memorize Eliot's The Waste Land. Now I suppose if a guy wants to impress a girl he should memorize "Suck my Dick, Bitch."

5:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Unknown-

Sorry, I don't post Unknowns. You need a real handle. Matzo Ball Soup?

Nesim-

Scroll back a few posts. We had this argument out in extenso.

fund-

Rashida Love.

mb

6:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Himan-

Many thanks for bk. Looks great. You are very kind.

mb

6:37 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

The PC craze spreading through American colleges marks the beginning of the end for the American university system IMO. Thankfully, I graduated college before all of this nonsense really started to take hold. I think this craze is yet another way of trying to cope with the complete lack of Meaning in American life. Watching colleges turn into insane asylums is pretty sad.

10:34 PM  
Anonymous JRS said...

fundamental structures


I believe this is the Evergreen Media Prof you've been looking for.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doUn0WY33YU&list=PLt6cMHD4gmtYtOaAoeoDBQhG1LCeQ7RND

enjoy,
Julie

10:40 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Megan -- in the interest of complying with the half page rule, I didn't mention exactly what you pointed out about there still being some semblance of a real community back in the 1970s. During the summertime, neighborhood kids played outside all day largely unsupervised, and we didn't even lock the doors to our house unless we were going away overnight. In college during the 1980s, students still respected their professors and even though PC was starting to gain a foothold on campuses it was still in its infancy. Moving forward to 20 years ago, to total cost of my health insurance in the 1990s was about 100 dollars a month--that same exact policy today costs over $700, nearly one-third more than I paid in monthly rent for my high rise studio apartment when I lived in Chicago in the early 1990s.

Even as recently as 1998, my wife and I were easily able to afford to buy a house in wealthy Fairfax County, VA, that was not located 30 miles or more from where we worked. When I first moved to the DC area, anyone could walk right into a federal building, the Capitol or up to the Washington Monument without passing though countless security barriers under the watchful eyes of militarized guards armed to the teeth.

No doubt we could go on and on and on in this vein, though I would note that I, too, am only 52--indeed far too young to be talking like someone's wistful grandpa lamenting the "good ol' days."

11:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jrs-

Bret Weinstein wrote letter to Rashida Love, not Naima Lowe.

mb

11:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Dino-

Occasionally someone like yrself, w/no real understanding of this blog or how it works, shows up and behaves like a peacock. Let me be clear: there is no way you can be part of this blog if you are going to insult it or me or the other Wafers. A swashbuckling, arrogant style is not appreciated. If you have a specific pt you want to make, or disagreement you have, that's fine. Just state what it is and provide evidence for yr views, and do so with utmost courtesy. What we value is honesty and humility, not grandstanding or just airing yr opinions. When someone comes across like a peacock or a shmuck, I usually suggest they find a blog that values that sort of behavior. We don't. Anyway, it's up 2u.

mb

12:38 AM  
Anonymous Stacey said...

@Berman @ Himan-
what book? I think I missed that part lol

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Vincent in Auvers said...

I don’t know the details about the Evergreen situation, but academia always seemed to me more a place for perpetuating entrenched privileges than anything else. My own experience in one of the better ones was, intellectually speaking, rather underwhelming. Everything you need to be enlightened can be found at the public library. That said, I can understand the anger/frustration of the woman linked to in that video. She was hysterical and incoherent at times, but she’s coming from a place the white professors really don’t understand. Blacks are being murdered in cold blood by the police all over the country and getting away with it, and most people don’t care because it doesn’t affect them. Outside of the university, this woman and her loved ones have targets on their backs. She could have probably been more respectful and employed logic rather than profanity to make her case, but it wouldn’t have made any difference. Most of those professors have no conception of what life is like for blacks or poor whites for that matter, and they certainly aren’t going to take any actions which threaten their own positions in society. I saw her tirade as a reflection of the current political situation in the West, but I think she’d do better to leave that cloistered environment and start organizing in the street.

3:10 AM  
Blogger jml said...

Nesim,

Regarding: What made postmodernism so palatable in the academic field?

Watch this short explanation by Noam Chomsky:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzrHwDOlTt8

6:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jml-

I've also read some discussions of pm being very congruent to Reagan's world view, and to America in the 80s (culturally, politically, etc.); but I can't recall the refs offhand.

Vince-

I think Bret Weinstein said it very well in the interview w/Joe Rogan: what's going on at Evergreen, and occasionally elsewhere, is the shifting of the anger against what's happening to black people to a univ. setting, where it really doesn't belong. After all, to start organizing in the street, as you suggest, has serious drawbacks, because the cops will respond in kind. University professors aren't mowing down unarmed black men, after all, but to 'take the problem where it belongs' is likely to get you killed. In addn, protest of any kind in the US never has any staying power: Where is Black Lives Matter now? How many Americans can say who Dylann Roof is? Two wks from now, virtually no one will be able to recognize the name of Philando Castile. And so on. But Weinstein's pt was that the univ. is vulnerable in a way that police depts. are not. Sure, there are campus cops, but this is not really the same thing; and shd the univ. call in the (real) cops, this wd escalate any protest situation considerably. In short, protesting students transfer real and legitimate grievances they have abt what is going on in society to a univ. setting, and the univs aren't equipped to deal with it. In my view, at least, the univ. shd be a place of genuine dialogue. This is hardly represented by the black professor in that video, nor by students who told Weinstein that he has to listen to what they say, but not vice versa. In any case, the typical scenario is that these sorts of protests eventually die down, w/not much being resolved. Or worse, that the administration proves to be craven--as we saw in the case of the Evg president. Given a univ. context, I think the white prof. in the video who suggested that this woman apologize, was fully within his rts. If she had any self-respect, she wd have done so, and then added: "I wd like to sit down with you and have you hear me out, regarding what I'm angry abt, and then I'd like to have your reaction." Just my 2 cents.

mb

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

I've been seriously obsessing about trans guys taking work from biological women in the not too distant future and coupling this with near life like sex robots, I see a biological female holocaust in the making. The ramifications are near breathtaking. No more will men have to, for instance, date which includes restaurants, travel, hotels, all of which will suffer economically. And with a reduced female population more male friendly laws will be passed with regard to divorce and child custody. Truly the irony is striking. Women used the courts for equality the same as trans people are. Women unwittingly supported and continue to support trans rights not realizing they are digging their own graves.
By the way, Philadelphia teachers just got a contract after 5 years. Letters to the editor are full of teacher bashing-they are lazy, greedy, and coddled by unions. The last part particularly irks me since nearly all social legislation was first initiated by unions including social security, medicare, medicaid, and the abolition of child labor. But again, why argue with a nation of morons.

8:27 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Douchebags taking Selfies at the London fire tragedy...


http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/19/europe/london-fire-selfies-sign-trnd/index.html

8:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Fighting to take back our lives (it's gotta start somewhere):

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/19/health/colorado-preteen-smartphone-initiative/index.html

mb

8:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note again to Dino-

Well, I gave you a choice, and you made it. No surprise. Over the yrs, I've said to people like yrself, "Douche bag or Wafer? What'll it be?" And they always, always choose douche bag, because--like yrself--that's really who they are. They don't have the emotional or intellectual constitution to be anything else. Ivan Ilyich, in the Tolstoy story, only woke up to the fact that he was an asshole when he was dying. He had 3 days of reality in his entire life. You, I suspect, will die an asshole, a pathetic little turkey, w/not so much as 3 seconds of enlightenment in all yr years of self-destructive stupidity.

Anyway, I didn't read yr last message, beyond the 1st few words, and you shd be aware that I won't be reading anything you send in. But you'll continue to write in nonetheless, because being the pathetic little turkey that you are, you don't know what else to do. You clearly don't have much of a life, because why else wd you bother? I'm not even on the radar screen in America as a writer or intellectual; my 'career', such as it is, is trivial. And yet (pathetically enuf) you care about it, me, and the blog--a lot; we loom large in yr consciousness, rt? What a terribly sad person you are, amigo. If you were ever to get yrself some serious therapy, and tap into that sadness, I think you might start crying and never stop. You know this, I suspect.

So let's be clear: you'll keep writing in (I'm abs. sure of it), and I shall keep deleting yr messages w/o reading them. As I've said b4, running a blog is quite a learning experience: prior to doing so, I had no idea how much human garbage--such as yrself--was out there in Americaland. So go ahead, send another message, you sad little piece of dreck. Very constructive, of real benefit to yr life, for sure. But here is something that *may* prove to be helpful 2u in the long run: every morning, when you get up, go into yr bathrm and look at yrself in the mirror. Look yrself rt in the eyes, and say: "Berman is right; I'm nothing but a piece of garbage."

Because this is true, Dino; you *aren't* anything more than worthless trash.

mb

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Gunshot wounds are the third leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 17 years.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/06/19/children-killing-themselves-more-and-more-guns/407068001/

Social media is as harmful as alcohol and drugs for Millennials.

https://qz.com/1004612/social-media-is-as-harmful-as-alcohol-and-drugs-for-millennials/

10:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

This ain't gd either:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/06/20/in-just-one-year-nearly-1-3-million-americans-needed-hospital-care-for-opioid-related-issues/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_opioid-910a%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.4fedbaf4fb30

mb

12:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Nor this:

https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/jun/20/is-the-american-dream-really-dead

12:41 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

With apologies to Ray Stevens and a bit of condensation, I just couldn’t resist penning these lyrics to Dino:

Dino-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop
Dino-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop
There’s a guy in Dark Ages Mer-ca we all know
He goes on ‘n on, too much a-blow
Dino-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop
Yeah, he don’t read nothin’ but MSM stew
Dino-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop
Well, this cat’s name is-a-Dino-Oop
Dino-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop

Dino-Oop, he’s the toughest blogger out there a-live
Dino-Oop, uses memes like some kinda schmuck
Dino-Oop, he’s the king of the empire jive
Look at that troll-foon go!

(Dino-Oop repeat)

He’s got a strut that’s gen-u-ine knuckle drag
Dino-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop
And he can douche the place before you can say “Bag!”
Dino-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop
Yeah, Wafers don’t bug him ‘cause they know better
Uhmm, a-he’s a big waste o’time and a bad go-getter
Dino-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop

Yeah, a-he’s the toughest man there is a-live
Dino-Oop, sayin’ stuff that he’s read somewhere
He’s the king of the empire jive
Look at that troll-foon go! (Ahhhhhhhh)

(Dino-Oop repeat)

There he goes ah-huh
Dino-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop
Ride, daddy, ride
Dino-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop
Hi-ho douchebag …
Dino-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop

12:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jack-

I was abt to delete it because of length, but then I read it, and it was so beautiful, I wept like a baby. Thank you. Maybe Dino will also read it, but I don't think it can penetrate a skull filled with warm baby diarrhea.

I suspect that the kind of poison emanating from Dino and the other trollfoons who have written in, is part of the collapse of empire and the American Dream. That these people wd bother w/li'l ol' me is beyond belief. Do they think I have a regular column in the NYT, fer chrissakes? In addn, I can't imagine, myself, sending hate mail to anyone--obscure or famous--only because I've got better things to do. With the failure of the A.D., these jokers have nothing to do, hence...And then, of course, the failure of the A.D. has rendered them bitter: life failed them, and they are hurting. I sometimes wonder if sending hate mail is an alternative to suicide for these folks. At least, it let's them feel alive, even if it constitutes a pretty shitty life. Well, what can ya do, really? Old Arab proverb: The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.

Of course, I don't reply to every piece of hate mail; that wd be a drag. Got another one a few days ago, just decided to delete it w/o response. But once in a while, it's fun to take a trollfoon and crush him like a roach. Sorta like shooting fish in a barrel, I suppose. So many turkeys, so little time!

mb

1:32 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

A suburban teen has broken and entered a suburban mall to get a rifle and some ammo:

http://www.necn.com/news/new-england/Police-on-Scene-of-Incident-at-Square-One-Mall-in-Saugus-429354613.html

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Adam Stirling said...

V interesting write-up by British philosopher John Gray on Corbyn' s rise
http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2017/06/labours-populism-middle-classes

3:15 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Dear MB and Wafers,

Please excuse my absence from the greatest blog in the universe. Tragedy has, once again, struck my inner circle: a good friend of mine recently died. It is the most bizarre of circumstances -- he was crushed to death in his driveway while working on a recreational vehicle. No one knows for sure what the hell happened, since there were no witnesses as to what exactly occurred. Scott's wife, Ami, of 21yrs found him unconscious and blue, and immediately called emergency services. The emergency workers showed up, successfully lifted the vehicle off him, briefly revived him for a few seconds, and then he was gone... I tell ya, it's a god-awful situation; my wife and I are helping out the family and trying to comfort Ami who is essentially hysterical. Anyway, Wafers, I've no idea when I'll be back.

With kind regards,

Miles

4:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

How horrible. Thanks for letting us know. Take yr time getting back.

mb

4:11 PM  
Anonymous D.D. said...

Dashcam footage of Philando Castile's shooting released: Very hard to watch, very hard to understand the verdict

https://youtu.be/z1ac7Zblqyk

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

The basic laws of human stupidity (by economist Carlo Cipolla):

1. Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.

2.The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.

3.A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

4.Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake

5.A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.

The amount of stupidity in a culture is always a constant. It only seems to rise in declining times because the stupid are allowed to take more control (i.e. the bottom diagonal half of the quadrant takes over events).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlo_M._Cipolla




4:56 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


How could one not love amerika? Such a beautiful country, of peace-n-love galore.

just watch the fist 2 min...so many brave good-samaritans helping a stranded citizen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1ac7Zblqyk

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Sgt. Markey said...

'Destruction of Empire' by Thomas Cole 1836

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Course_of_Empire_(paintings)

There is the moral of all human tales;

'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past.
First freedom and then Glory – when that fails,
Wealth, vice, corruption – barbarism at last.
And History, with all her volumes vast,
Hath but one page...

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

WAFER Miles--deepest sympathies to you.

At an affluent community library today conducting research (reading books).

The library internet was down/very slow. Patrons, librarians, and volunteers were all in a tizzy. Restlessness, agita, yelling, screaming, frustrations, profanity-laced vitriolic comments about the lack of intranet conductivity and inability to do "work." The scene was surreal. One patron loudly stated she had chest pains b/c she needed to update a DMV form via computer and the lack of internet was causing her anxiety attacks again \.

Folks stormed out of the library and stated--what am I going to do? This is terrible.... How about read a book dipshit? Better yet, why not read a bk you disagree with so you can expand your "mind."

americans are stupid and enjoy living underwater.

6:47 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I hope Mr. Latteman won't object if I offer a correction to his post. It doesn't detract from the energy and effectiveness, I don't think, and enjoys the virtue of introducing our younger WAFers to the poem's rhythm and the inspiration for the lines. The tune perhaps appeared before some of our company were born.

Hollywood Argyles
Alley-Oop (released May 1960 on the Lute label; reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100)
https://youtu.be/lV_w5AKhzaM

And in a nod to Ray Stevens (born Harald Ray Ragland), a towering talent in the japes and jokes genre, my favorite from among his extensive catalog:
"Santa Claus Is Watchin' You" (1962)
https://youtu.be/JFEc7F697jk

Let us have poetry and music to torture the trollfoons.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Attention Wafers!

Of course, Dino wrote in again. I deleted it after rdg 4 words. I just love how stupid these people are, and how predictable. I tell them, "I won't read yr messages, but that won't stop you: it's abs. certain you'll keep writing." It's not merely that these trollfoons are bitter and vicious; they are also dumb as cold dogshit lying on the sidewalk.

I tell 'em: "Learn to play tennis, or study French, or--anything productive in yr absurd life, instead of endlessly knocking on a door that will never open 2u." Do they listen? Ha! You know, if the devil came to me and said, "OK, man, here's the choice: either you become Dino, or you blow yr brains out. You decide." This is what is literally known as a no-brainer.

Dino, you little piece of shit! Keep on writing in!

mb

10:55 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Miles--my condolences. In this hell hole of a country it is indeed tough to lose a good friend.

Mike R - I take a backseat to nobody in deploring what techno-douchebaggery has wrought--that said I wouldn't necessarily think ill of someone who was distressed because of a computer problem while updating a DMV form at a public library, even in an affluent community. Most likely she is a poor person whose life is a never ending source of fucking stress and humiliation because of how badly America treats anyone who has the temerity to not be able to afford even a cheap home PC or laptop. Now if she was some latte sipper at a Starbucks with a shiny new $2000 CrApple who was pissed off because the bad connectivity interrupted her ability to order a Coach handbag or something, well then, yeah, fuck her and the Lexus she no doubt rode in on.

Meanwhile in Seattle, our fabulous heroes in blue are at it again--executing a black pregnant woman in front of her young children. So why aren't those douchebag Evergreen students, who go to school nearby, out marching in front of Seattle Police HQ instead of bullying their fucking professors, who didn't shoot and kill anyone?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/19/seattle-police-shooting-charleena-lyles-mother

11:45 PM  
Anonymous Vincent in Auvers said...

MB- I agree that organizing in the street is a dangerous and probably futile exercise, and I'm sure this woman knows it too, which is why she's trying (unsuccessfully) to change things from within the system. I think the professors and the marginalized students have more in common than they imagine: They both desire a safe space away from the nightmare that is the American public. The professors want a lofty place to perch and live the life of the mind, and the students want a place where they won't be harassed, assaulted, or murdered for simply existing. I think both have an unwarranted expectation of reality not spilling over into the rarefied environs of academia. I am skeptical of the value of dialogue at this point, but one can still be open to it without insulating oneself in a bubble. Perhaps these professors should take Socrates and Diogenes as their models.

Here's a lovely example of where a modern-day Socrates would have been useful:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRlSLLzd5JY

Imagine taking this young man aside and employing the Socratic method to get him to see the error of his ways. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but I can't help but wonder if society wouldn't be a smidgen better if our thinkers were actually living their values rather than hidden away in labs and classrooms.

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Trinar said...

Congratulations on providing a voice of real sanity in this bewildering non-society that has de-evolved right before our eyes.

Here's something I noticed recently, speaking of base stupidity: Have you ever called a business phone number, say a restaurant, and asked the person what the address is there? Try this and you'll find a lot of them don't know.

One time I asked one of these people even what street they are on and they weren't sure. Or which freeway exit they take to get there. Nor did they know how to find out without me suggesting: "Maybe you could ask your manager?"

Pretty soon they won't even know what city and state they're in, much less how to find them on a map.

Thanks for the breath of fresh air.

4:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Vince-

I'm not sure that quietly living the life of the mind (and body), or the life of an NMI, or being 'hidden away' in a classrm, is nec. not living your values. But that Evg. prof screaming obscenities at her colleague: how is that living her values? See Bill Hicks' post.

Trinar-

Yr welcome. In a nation of 326.5 million people, we now have 171 who are interested in sanity. A triumph, when you think abt it. As for widespread stupidity: have you ever eavesdropped on a conversation between 2 Americans? It's pretty terrifying.

mb

5:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: For Americans, stuff like this is newsworthy:

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/20/politics/chelsea-clinton-fat-shaming-sean-spicer-steve-bannon/index.html

6:03 AM  
Anonymous TDixon said...

http://politics.blog.myajc.com/2017/06/20/georgia-6th-how-the-rain-could-affect-turnout-for-ossoff-handel/

re: the soecial 6th district election, dems already blaming the weather for their loss !

6:41 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

But then, there's this:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/21/power-french-village-summer-in-the-forest-film

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Miles - Very sorry about the loss of your friend. I know how that feels. My brother lost his wife of 42 years last month. She was like a sister to my wife and me. She was from Germany and was a gentle, kind soul.She died on Mother's Day of a brain aneurysm within minutes of it bursting. She was otherwise pretty healthy. A shock to our whole family.

On a lighter note, I saw a pickup truck with testicles hanging off the bumper hitch this morning. My immediate instinct when I see this is to stay far away from the truck. It might try and impregnate my minivan. I also wonder what parents say to their children about this. The conversation might go something like this: "well sweetie, that is a male truck. The owner may try and get his truck to mate with a female truck. Then they'll have a little baby truck in the garage."

I'm guessing that balls on a truck is a strictly American thing. It somehow empowers people who have no power otherwise.

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Volunteered to scoop ice cream at a church festival last night and noticed something-entire groups of teenage girls walking together each holding their phone. Now aren't they already with the friends who they would naturally call? So why need hold the phone which becomes rather inconvenient when going on rides or eating ice cream for that matter. Men in groups generally, at least, keep their phone in their pants pockets. Risk of appearing sexist (Oh, hell, I am sexist!) this tells me 2 things about US women-they are breathtakingly materialistic shown by the need to actually commit 1/2 of their upper limbs to a device, and they are always on the look out to trade up, hoping to get THE call which will change their lives. So sad really to see couples with young children. Scientists predict that Antarctica will essentially disappear by 2050. How will these children survive with so much methane in the atmosphere?

8:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

Think of these fones as rosary beads, or security blankets. These girls are lonely and scared, really. But they are also techno-douche-baguettes (TDB's). The fones also confer status in a group of peers, give them identity.

Mike-

I suppose one way to go abt it is to stop the guy, pt to the testicles, and say: "I take it yr very insecure abt yr manhood, rt?" That might generate a deep discussion between the 2 of u on human psychology, I'm thinking.

mb

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Wile E Coyote said...

MB ,

A morning limerick just for you.

You write with such vigor, Morris
It makes me search my thesarus.
To find the words
To say 'Mericans are turds,
Slipping into rigor mortis.

If you need a tissue, I understand.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Dulouz Jr. said...

Speaking of cell phone douchbaggery, just watched one of those feel-good videos of a dog being rescued off a cliff. What does the dog owner do as the dog first comes toward her? does she hug the dog? NO!!! She's too damn busy taking a cell phone video.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wile-

I confess, I did cry a little bit. Thank you.

mb

10:17 AM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

https://futurism.com/stephen-hawking-i-am-convinced-that-humans-need-to-leave-earth/

Well maybe not all humans...why though would any other planet or the universe for that matter want a species like us - rapin' and pillaging into infinity?

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Johnson said...

The Trump team is obsessing over Thucydides, the ancient historian who wrote a seminal tract on war. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/21/why-the-white-house-is-reading-greek-history-215287

They really should be reading the ever-curious Herodotus.

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Harold T. said...

https://www.newcriterion.com/issues/2017/6/art-in-conversation

On museums as havens for culture.

~Hal

11:52 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Why the HELL is this wet-behind-the-ears KID with zero experience being sent to Middle East Peace Talks as a Representative of the United States? This is ABSURD!!


http://m.jpost.com/Israel-News/Kushner-meets-Netanyahu-to-continue-peace-push-497526

2:10 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Hi Dr. Berman,

Glad to know you received the book. Hope you find it enjoyable.

@Stacey,

The book is Native Echoes by Kent Nerburn.

Best wishes,
Himanshu

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Matzo Ball Soup said...

Matzo Ball Soup is here and ready to do his WAFER duty. I'll hold 'em while Chopped Liver pees on their shoes and Morris Berman can laugh all the way down in Mexico when we send him the pictures.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous one of The Rest of Us said...

https://www.amazon.com/Raven-Rock-Governments-Secret-Itself-While/dp/1476735409

Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself--While the Rest of Us Die

Holy hell!!

3:22 PM  
Anonymous mental-ward-for-wafers said...


It's been a bit much fighting it out in ugly America - the pressures of decline are relentless. Thankfully I'm middle-aged.

My dream break would be a mental institution retreat in an alpine environment where I lounge in a white "patient" robe - sedated somewhat - a nurse brings me tea and pretends to care about my stories which are incessant complaints. The comedian Lewis Black would be reclining next to me drifting in and out of self-induced comas while I downloaded his rants from Youtube. A few months or years of that could possibly be quite re-juvinating.



5:51 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Wafers,

I recently finished the Bret Weinstein interview. While I've had pc experiences myself, to watch this happen at the University level makes me ill. Several family members have shared with me how this disease is making it's way through not only higher education but secondary education as well.

Group psychosis is everywhere these days and the cult mentality which isn't recognized as such from the inside is overwhelming. My sadness comes from it creeping ever so steadily into the Universities as well. Universities used to be places where truth and honor were esteemed. Today lies and false accusations aren't even recognized as such by faculty, staff and or the President. How bizarre is this.

Marianne

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Thanks WAFER Bill Hicks for your comment--

to f/u, the woman filling out the DMV form indeed had a Coach handbag, and left screaming about the slow libary internet.

She left in a Jaguar convertible.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Marianne-

This is probably a significant factor in the collapse of the country. It's more than bizarre: it's the end of the road. Any univ. that tolerates this behavior is not a univ. worth the name. And yet, they don't merely tolerate it; they actually endorse it. And if you stand up against this, as Weinstein is doing, and insist that truth is not merely what you decide it is, you get labeled a dinosaur, or a racist, or a Dead White Male. Man, are we in deep shit or what?

mb

7:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

My latest female hero:

http://ideas.time.com/2011/11/01/put-an-end-to-blood-minerals/

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Andy said...

Came here to recommend Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches: The Riddles of Culture by Marvin Harris

10:12 PM  
Blogger pg said...

Greetings!

Weld Co, Colorado (largely agricultural) is going a step in the direction of spreading firearms around. A pilot program is in place to train teachers to
take advantage of conceal-carry laws AND be "armed first responders."

www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/40353408

What could go wrong.

Cheers,
pg

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Monica Ryena said...

Kind of terrifying, no?;

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/07/the-worst-problem-on-earth/528717/

'Thirty minutes. That’s about how long it would take a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launched from North Korea to reach Los Angeles. With the powers in Pyongyang working doggedly toward making this possible—building an ICBM and shrinking a nuke to fit on it—analysts now predict that Kim Jong Un will have the capability before Donald Trump completes one four-year term.

About which the president has tweeted, simply, “It won’t happen!”

11:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to David-

Sorry, I don't post messages full of Attitude (sarcasm, etc.). If you've got a disagreement w/me or other Wafers, just state what it is and then provide evidence for yr views. Then we can have a serious discussion abt it. I'm sure your contribution will be valuable; just try to avoid being 'cute'.

Note to trollfoons sending hate mail-

I'm not reading it beyond the 3rd word! Why knock yrselves out? Get a life instead?

Monica-

Whew! Well *that's* a relief! Besides, see post from pg: eventually, we'll all be armed to the teeth.

mb

11:58 PM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

Group psychosis is everywhere these days and the cult mentality which isn't recognized as such from the inside is overwhelming.

One of my personal favorite current examples of this is the way anyone who disagrees with politically correct ideology or third-wave feminism or even doesn't necessarily support Hillary Clinton is now an "alt-right Nazi". And this isn't just the manginosphere of the Internet from whom one may generally expect this sort of thing. This cancer has actually infected the mainstream media! Yes, we are fucked, big and bad.

12:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Roboto-

Evergreen is a symptom of a widespread phenomenon, I think. When rational dialogue becomes impossible, even in institutions of higher learning, a nation doesn't really have much of a future.

mb

12:58 AM  
Anonymous J-B Lully said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Your writing has been a godsend in these Dark Ages. I have sought out and devoured your work since I read the review of Dark Ages America by the dreaded Ms. Kakutani. I immediately called my good friend and read him portions of your book as quoted in the review. There was a long pause and then he said " I think he has been listening in on our phone conversations" . We are out here and we appreciate all you do. Thank you. I wish to say to all the other wafers arm yourselves with conversation stoppers. For your own sanity listen to the wise Dr. Berman and do not try to reason with the general public. This Sunday last at a Father's Day celebration for my 90 year old uncle the conversation devolved into Russia bashing, a current pastime for all political leanings. I snapped, but instead of trying to explain my position I said to no one in particular " I doubt that a people that make jokes about the Siege of Stalingrad will be easily intimidated". I never heard my uncle laugh so heartily The conversation switched to the usual drivel. What I said was not impolite nor did it invite any challenge. If you go snarky or snide like the douchebags they think you want to play. This has been a revelation for me. I recently silenced a group of boorish, soulless yuppies who were droning on about how Socialism ruined Venuzuela by asking if they thought that Chavez was elected because of Socialist rhetoric or it was the culmination of the after effects of el Caracazo. Suddenly everyone was talking about the latest TV shows. I do not for a moment think that I can shatter deeply held myths or people will suddenly become interested in facts but now instead of walking away or engaging I throw rhetorical bombs. Works for me! Try it yourself.

1:25 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

No, Monica Ryena, North Korea isn't one bit terrifying.

Why is the USA called "Home of the brave?" Is it just because Francis Scott Keys couldn't think of a better rhyme?

2:19 AM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

I would argue that this so-called "lefts" irrational stance has been bred from the Rights total irrationality. When the Right Wing became Fox News Incarnate it was only a matter of time before there was a response from the left. Unfortunately for the United States, the response has come from Identity Politic peddling "critical Left" and their Pomo inspired garbage.

This crap has spread because the Left has largely been looking to universities to gain adherents. I honestly never knew it was this bad but when I used to talk with the guys from the Socialist party I noticed at the time there was this weird tug of war going on. You had this one wing arguing that everything needs to be focused on class with a message made for all. On the other hand, you had this Identity Politic spewing side who only wanted to concentrate on Anti-racism. Their arguments used to make me laugh because they would talk about how "a revolution can only be had when the Left focus on Transgender Rights.". The fact that they thought appealing to a tiny sliver of a population will allow them to start a revolution used to make me laugh.

What really made me think them wackaloons was their argument that "all Whites are Racists!". I an Arab was called a white supremacist by a white transwoman for saying that you cannot have equality when you argue one group of people should be judged with sweeping generalizations. So if all whites are racists than what are leftists whites but racists too? In which case how can you trust a white person in any setting? It was amazing and the worst part was the President of the Socialist party embraced this farce.

At that point when you have the Left being taken over by these Pomo turds in what is an extremely Manichean society what hope is there? None!

3:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Nesim-

I'm not sure that the left was especially 'recruiting' from universities, but it certainly found a responsive crowd there. The whole thing has been broader than that (sad to say); check out my post of a while back on "Finally, the class war is out in the open."

J-B-

Well, it sounds like yr having fun, so now I know that my work has not been completely for naught (almost, but not completely). There is no penetrating the fog in which the American 'brain' is ensconced--of that you can be sure. When you have enuf experiences like the ones you describe, you understand that myth will triumph, and there will be no wake-up moment for literally 99% of the American public. Have you read this?:

https://www.amazon.com/Capitalism-Social-Lectureship-American-History/dp/0814705839/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1498123504&sr=1-1&keywords=capitalism+and+a+new+social+order

It's a book that argues that the definition of 'virtue' flipped 180 degrees during the 1790s to actually mean hustling for personal advantage (truth is, it happened abt a century earlier--see WAF). A friend of mine is a dean at a major med schl, and tried to discuss the bk w/faculty members at cocktail parties and other gatherings. W/in 30 secs their eyes glazed over, and they were mentally gone. I've had similar experiences, and what I finally realized was that most Americans were quite simply dumb, if not also cowards.

Years ago, I was lvg in Utah and met a woman who was working for IBM. Turned out, she had done an honors thesis on urbanization in Africa, or some such thing, and in effect began to look at the world, including the US, thru an anthropological lens--i.e., to stand outside of the US, so to speak, and analyze the way it operated. It was at that pt that she realized that she cd forget all of that and just live the American myth, or remain an outsider and scrounge for jobs and friends. The latter was simply too painful for her. She deliberately chose the myth, she told me; which I found incredible. "How was that possible," I asked her, "knowing what you knew?" She shrugged. "I just did it."

mb

5:43 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Nesim,

Well, there was a very solid Leftist critique of America about 60 years ago. The Frankfurt School pretty much had the right of it. Of course, there were some things that they didn't get, such as Marcuse's belief that our problem was repressed Id, when in actuality it was a superabundance of Id. That, and a few other trivial oversights aside, this disgustingly complacent and self-satisfied defense of all that is wrong with America, gives a good indication why the Frankfurt School's critique never really caught on here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTmNWY0ZPfM

Bill Hicks,

52 years old isn't bad at all... You are just at half time! But yeah, you are right about kids not playing outside anymore. We used to play baseball, build forts and ride our bikes all day long. Now the summer is eerily quiet outside. Can't remember the last time I heard kids doing any of that healthy childhood stuff in my neighborhood...


5:50 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Good day Wafers,

Dr, B - If I took your advice and tried to have a conversation with a man with balls on his truck about his manhood, I'm afraid I would get to star in my very own YouTube pummeling video. I'm not man enough to withstand a pummeling.

Speaking of videos, I found this little gem. There's an awful lot of angry kids out there, and they're all going to grow up to be angry adults.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FR9zuhZeTE

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Wile E Coyote said...

Matzo Ball Soup is a great handle. It reminds me of the anecdote about a Hollywood starlet who, upon being served Mateo ball soup, said " is there any other part of the Mateo you can eat?"

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Wile E Coyote said...

Funny should read matzo but spell check automatically changes it to Mateo. A conspiracy lurks here but I'm not bright enough to figure it out.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

al-Q -- Indeed, what is frightening is how America has 9,000 or so nuclear weapons pointed at God-knows how many different foreign countries, and is run by a simpleton thug with the attention span of a gnat, aided by a thoroughly craven and corrupt legislature and a War Secretary who acts like he's playing George C. Scott's character in Dr. Strangelove. What's also scary is that despite having all those weapons, plus a military that spends more money than all the other nations on earth combined, Americans themselves are fearful little cowards who hide in their suburban cul-de-sacs, convinced that at any moment a big, bad batch of "terr-ists" is going to hop the white picket fence, deactivate the expensive but useless alarm system and slaughter them in their beds.

No bigger bunch of pathetic, useless parasites upon the bounty of mother earth has ever been barfed up from the bowels of humanity.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

This being America, I thought that the guy might wanna sit down w/u and have a deep discussion abt the psychology of masculinity etc. Did I get it wrong? As for that wonderful video: we need lots more of this in our schls, and on a daily basis.

Megan-

Check this out:

https://aeon.co/essays/how-the-frankfurt-school-diagnosed-the-ills-of-western-civilisation

mb

9:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

The juggernaut moves forward: the relentless destruction of a nation:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/22/deaths-despair-rising-america-opioid-crisis

10:03 AM  

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