C3-BOBO, Human-Suburb relations.
Hold on tight, because I'm about to go all meta on your ass.
So Bobo blew his whole Friday New York Times Wad explaining to us that Mel Gibson is a narcissist, and that narcissists are douchebags. Sort of like the Aristotelian syllogism about "Man", "Mortality" and "Socrates"...except with "Narcissists", "Douchebags" and "Mel Gibson".
This is snip from "The Gospel of Mel Gibson" sums up everything you need to know:
Mel Gibson seems to fit the narcissist model to an eerie degree. The recordings that purport to show him unloading on his ex-lover, Oksana Grigorieva, make for painful listening, and are only worthy of attention because these days it pays to be a student of excessive self-esteem, if only to understand the world around.And that's the weird part; the story line really is that simple.
The story line seems to be pretty simple.
The incident didn't come out of nowhere. It wasn't a one-off. It required no deeper analysis, and no large context framed around it to make it understandable to us mere mortals. There are no philosophical lessons to be drawn from it, and it does not merit any further elucidation.
It is a trashy, ugly bit of celebrity flotsam packing all the narrative subtly and traverse of an anvil dropped onto a concrete floor from a height of one inch that cries out to sink mute beneath the waves.
So why it is here?
Part of it -- the lesser part of it -- I would guess, is just laziness.
Brooks is apparently feverishly working on his Very Important Book on behavioral psychology. Or brain chemistry. Or organizational myoparasynthesis (tm). Or the mating habits of the cubicle dweller. Or something.
Anyway, I can easily imagine him as the book deadline bears down -- frantically copying and pasting big slabs of other people's works into his word processor, and then lightly basting them with some sentences of his own -- right up until the minute another of his 800-word, bi-weekly travesties is due. He looks around, sees Mel Gibson leering out at him from "E!" with teeth metaphorically bared in full, killer-ape fury...remembers that somewhere in the back of the pile he has an essay on "narcissism"...and thinks, "Cooool."
Strap 20 words of hokum to the end of it about the Larger Social Issues and -- boom!. Column problem solved, and he never had to break stride.
But another part of it clearly runs much deeper.
See if you can spot it hiding among these snips from a certain
If his even-handedness feels calculated, that’s because it is. Anytime he speaks with a Republican senator, he tries to talk to a Democrat next.
Serenity is part of the Brooks brand. But sometimes, as with Obama, his coolness feels cold. He never gets riled, merely concerned. He writes a lot about emotion, but usually in a clinical way. When he says we botched the Iraq War, it’s not, Wow, we fucked up. It’s that our thinking wasn’t sufficiently Burkean. He’s not trying to persuade you. He’s trying to “exhibit a way of thinking,” he says.
Indeed, Brooks is preposterously even-keeled. Sometimes it astounds even him. “There are disturbing moments in my life when I’m weirdly anti-emotional,” he says.
“I think inside I’m as emotional as anybody,” he says. “I just don’t emote it.”
Bobo's problem comes from the head-on collision of his deeply held (if often meticulously camouflaged) Conservatism (from the same New York Magazine profile)...
...and his toadying cowardice.
When Brooks returned to New York in 1994, Podhoretz and Kristol were getting ready to launch The Weekly Standard, an unofficial organ of the Gingrich revolution. Brooks became an early recruit.
Matt Taibbi was dead right when he pegged Bobo as a "professional groveler/ass-kisser" and "spineless Beltway geek" forever on the "pencil-pusher’s eternal quest for macho cred".
What Bobo really wants is the free to be a lavishly overcompensated Defender of the Conservative Faith in some faraway Alternate Universe where the heirs of Hamilton and Burke bestride the evergreen Reagan Revolution like stoic philosopher kings, while Eisenhower and Buckley and Milton Friedman rise early every day to lay waste to good-natured but intellectually outgunned hippies in one Glorious Conservative Victory after another.
Free markets without end. Amen.
But of course we do not live in that Universe: never have and never will, because the magic Conservative fairy dust that powers it is manufactured out of a vision of human nature and culture that is both radically fucked up and utterly unable to correct itself. Here in the Real World, Bobo's Conservative Movement is run by amoral assholes and maniacs, which his continued professional survival as a grovelling ass-licker compels him to ignore every day.
He has to make nice with the rabid dogs that have gnawed the heart out of his secular religion, which leaves him with a lot of anger that has no place to go.
And so it gets displaced.
Five short years ago when wingnut camp followers like Bobo were still entertaining the exciting idea that they'd never see another Dirty Hippie in the White House, still feeling emboldened enough to get their vicarious ya-ya's out by publicly reveling in their Dear Leader's warrior/stud exploits (and still refered to Judith Miller as a "reporter") the allegedly "reasonable" David Brooks was gleefully taking shots like this at Democrats from his New York Times snipers nest:
The Harry da Reid Code
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: November 3, 2005
Harry Reid sits alone at his kitchen table at 4 a.m., writing important notes in crayon on the outside of envelopes. It's been four weeks since he launched his personal investigation into the Republican plot to manipulate intelligence to trick the American people into believing Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
Reid had heard of the secret G.O.P. cabal bent on global empire, but he had no idea that he would find a conspiracy so immense.
Reid now knows that as far back as 1998, Karl Rove was beaming microwaves into Bill Clinton's fillings to get him to exaggerate the intelligence on Iraq. In that year, Clinton argued, ''Iraq still has stockpiles of chemical and biological munitions and the capacity to restart quickly its production program and build many, many more weapons.''
These comments were part of the Republican plot to manipulate intelligence on Iraq.
Reid now knows that in the late 1990's, Dick Cheney and other Republican officials used fluoridated water in the State Department and other government agencies to brainwash Clinton administration officials into exaggerating the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.
Harry Reid sits alone at his kitchen table at 4 a.m., writing important notes in crayon on the outside of envelopes. It has been four weeks since he began investigating this conspiracy and three weeks since he sealed his windows with aluminum foil to ward off the Illuminati. Odd patterns now leap into his brain. Scooter Libby was born near a book depository but was indicted while at a theater. Karl Rove reads books from book depositories but rarely has time for the theater. What is the ratio of Bush tax cuts to the number of squares on a frozen waffle? It is none other than the Divine Proportion. This proves that Leonardo da Vinci manipulated intelligence on Iraq and that the Holy Grail is a woman!
Harry Reid sits alone at his kitchen table at 4 a.m. He knows now that seven centuries ago at a secret meeting of the Bilderberg Society-Trilateral Commission-American Enterprise Institute, the six High Lords of the Secret Order of the Neocons decided to implant alien life forms into potential Democratic officials that could be activated in case there was a need to manipulate intelligence on Iraq.
So how did it come to pass that Mr. Evenhanded J. Anti-emotion felt so at ease with his own hysterical rage that he thought nothing of penning this hateful, petulant tantrum and putting into the pages of the NYT?
Because it was 2005, and it was safe to punch Democrats and Liberals in the face. Hell, it was a sport, and as a "spineless Beltway geek", Bobo always follows wherever the mentality of the upper middle class mob that buys his lunch takes him, and the Villagers were backing Bush, and so it was safe to call Harry Reid a fringe crazy.
But now it is 2010, and Democrats are, for the moment, back in power. And since David Fucking Brooks is a professional groveler, suddenly screeds against the paranoid Left are out, and being the "reasonable man" who "fetishes balance" is in.
And yet, beset on all sides by overwhelming evidence that everything he has believed his entire adult life has been a lie, even a lowly protocol droid occasionally gets pissed off enough to burst, but being a toady, the subject of his outrage must always be one that cannot in any way endanger his career as the Testicle Cozy of the Beltway's rich and famous.
In other words, it must be someone safe.
Someone a continent away.
Someone already pinned securely enough under a pile of jeering pundits that they would never notice one more dork piling on.
Someone who would not chase Bobo down in the street, beat him senseless and steal his lunch money for talking smack about him.
In other words, someone like this: