July 19, 2017

The Denial of Death

Wafers-

At the end of the last thread, jjarden posted the following article:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/expat-retirees-enjoy-a-life-reminiscent-of-an-earlier-time-2017-07-17

It resonated with me quite strongly, because it describes the life I have been leading since I left the US. I had no real family or community there, just found it a loveless and alienating place. Here in Mexico, I have 2 families in 2 cities, with real emotional and spiritual connections. I truly love them, and vice versa. The other thing mentioned in the article that's a plus is that the gov't here is not bothering you all the time, meddling in your affairs. For whatever reason, the philosophy is one of live and let live, and the 3 times cops pulled me over for speeding, for example, they were exceedingly polite. You just don't feel harassed, let alone live in terror that you'll be pulled over and shot--an increasingly familiar phenomenon in the US.

I've been rereading a book I 1st read many years ago, "The Denial of Death," by Ernest Becker. His argument is that we take on symbolic 'immortality projects'--for example, the American Dream--in order to hide from our mortality; to deny death. This project gives people the feeling that there is meaning in their lives. But because the project is essentially arbitrary, and sits on a volcano (the fear of death), it is endowed with a kind of ferocity. He thus writes that we "wheel and deal in an idiot frenzy"--a perfect description of hustling America. All of this, he says, explains the phenomenon of depression. People start to feel that their immortality project is false, that they've been sold a bill of goods; or they feel that they cannot be successful, be a 'hero', in terms of that immortality project. (I would add, they can probably feel both emotions at the same time.) The result is that they are reminded of their mortality, and their feelings of worthlessness.

This goes a long way to explaining Trump--an illusory life-raft against the collapse of the American Dream, the promise to restore it--and also, the genocide we visit on other peoples, and the rage we see at home. Police are mowing down unarmed civilians at an alarming rate, and civilians are mowing down each other. The degree of all this was dramatically lower 20 years ago. At that time, it would be unthinkable that someone would be so offended at an oversight of not receiving bacon on their cheeseburger, that they would return to McDonald's with a machine gun and hose the place down. This would seem to be the stuff of (surreal) comedy, yet it happens all the time. Americans are depressed, bitter, and spiritually lost as a result of their immortality project having failed them--or of them, having failed it--and are going over the top on a daily basis as a result. (The stats: there is now more than one massacre a day in the US, now, defined as the killing and/or maiming of 4 or more individuals.) We are, to quote Dylan Thomas, raging against the dying of the light. There are of course better ways of reacting to our individual and national decline, but neither the country nor its inhabitants are likely to find them. All we have ever known, in America, is blind impulse, and all indications are that that is not going to change.

-mb

July 06, 2017

305

Waferinos-

Nothing new to report, really. Last month, the LA Times revealed that since Jan. 1st, there were nearly 28,000 shootings in the US. 6800 people died, 13,500 were injured. The rate of all this will probably increase between now and Xmas. In short, our decline is rt on schedule.

Meanwhile, the progs continue their foolishness, as many of you have noted, and Trumpi continues to damage US standing around the world. These things will also increase over time.

The only thing lacking in my database is the per capita amount of pastrami being consumed in NY on a daily basis. This might be a worthwhile topic for us to discuss in this new thread.

-mb

June 22, 2017

304

Wafers-

Well, it's been an exciting time. Every day, more evidence of collapse. There's the Evergreen disaster as the tip of the iceberg of a nation that has lost its moorings, and its ability to think straight (or think at all); there are the data that pile up on drug use and widespread misery; there's the evidence you guys have been sending in, documenting our violence and stupidity; and then, suddenly--I love it--a resurgence of trollfoons! Jesus, what could make the ol' berm happier than to crush them like roaches. I'm having fun, and I have them to thank for it. Go, trollfoons!

So we are making progress on all fronts, at least from a declinist point of view. And then, of course, there is Trumpi, who does seem to be carrying out the mandate assigned to him, of dismantling our society. He is--again, from a declinist point of view--an absolutely wonderful president. And having shmucks around like Reince Priebus (what kind of a name is that, anyway?) and Steve Bannon is also an encouraging thing.

Meanwhile, everyone seems worried about the Korean nuclear threat, whereas I suspect the real threat is Kim Jong-un's haircut. An international disgrace, for sure. Wafers are encouraged to write to the Korean leader, recommending various barbers to him.

-mb

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

May 29, 2017

Taste of India

Wafers, Sahibs, and Memsahibs-

All this talk about Inja, the Mughal Empire, the East Inja Co., and so on, has frankly got me a bit hungry. When I lived in London, I used to eat at restaurants with names like Moti Mahal, Light of Bengal, Namaste, Taste of Nawab, Bombay Spice, and so on. I even studied the sitar for a while, but it was too difficult; all those strings. I found yoga a lot easier. In any case, I have a vision, of returning to one of these places and ordering pappadams, keema nan, stuffed paratha, chicken tikka masala, chicken korma, tandoori chicken, lamb biryani, seekh kebabs, pilau rice, raita, mango chutney, mango lassi, jalebi, galub jamun, mulligatawny soup...ah! My pen drops! as Fanny Hill was wont to say.

And then there was Kipling, of course, who was born in Bombay:

"Din! Din! Din!/You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!/Tho’ I’ve belted you an’ flayed you/By the livin’ Gawd that made you/ You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!"

What a rush: imperialism straight up.

Food for thought, eh wot?

-mb

May 23, 2017

Living in Reality

Well, Wafers, here we are: launched into the next 300 posts. Meanwhile, we look around, and we see a country sinking into degradation and despair. At the helm, a kind of cartoon character, who doesn't really know what he's doing. There is perhaps some coherence to his domestic policy, which can probably be summarized as "Up with the rich, down with the poor, and let's snuff out the middle class, while we're at it." As for foreign policy, it's little more than chaos: ad hoc, shoot from the hip. Most of it would seem to be posturing. It's not clear that any foreign power takes us seriously anymore; the president comes off like a three-year-old child waving around a bazooka. Russia and China astutely bide their time; they understand that the US is unraveling, and that someone else will fill the power vacuum left in America's wake. Geopolitics has its own techtonic plates, after all.

Probably, the only people who still believe in America are Americans. 96% of Trump voters, recently polled, said they would vote for him again, because he is going to Make Us Great Again. But the progs believe in America as well, if only we could get different leadership. So they flail around, stage ineffectual marches, talk of Comey and Russia and impeachment, believe their own rhetoric. They don't seem to understand that impeachment doesn't mean, thrown out of office (Clinton was impeached; BFD). The notion that America can be saved at this stage of the game ignores the structural forces, 400 years old, that have brought it to this precipitous point in time, and in history. In 1953, the great Southern historian, C. Vann Woodward, wrote that no nation that bases its way of life on a single economic formation can last. He was talking about the antebellum South, of course, but also about the go-go capitalism of the North. America paid no attention to the few, but important, voices that were saying this, and so finally we have hit a wall, and have nowhere to go.

The idea that any of this can be reversed also ignores the overwhelming testimony of the past, that no civilization lasts forever. But the progs slog on, unwilling to let two little words enter their consciousness: "It's over." This denial only helps to accelerate our decline. We thus have a situation in which 323 million people are living in fantasy, and 171 in reality. I guess Disneyland is the final phase of American civilization, as we drift off into la la land. This is a scenario that no one, not even Vann Woodward, could have anticipated. There is something terribly sad about it, when all is said and done, and incredibly stupid as well.

Wafers have chosen a different path, namely, living in reality. This, I argued in Spinning Straw Into Gold, is the true success in life. Everything else is bullshit. It may not be a great reality, of course, but it does have one advantage over all the other options: it's real. And you know, mis amigos, in today's world, that's no small thing.

-mb