Friday, January 20, 2012

Should This be Entitled "Blithering Heights"?


Or, "A Thatcher in the Rye"?

Either way, the central lesson of today's sermon from Our Mr. Brooks is that, as a life-long, establishmentarian testicle cozy, he loves and trusts wealthy people very, very much. So very much, in fact, that sometimes it hurts.

And sometimes he takes his hurt out on his readers.

Like today, in his New York Times column entitled "Leave Willard Alone, You Envious, Ass-Faced Peons! "The Wealth Issue", which is possibly the largest, single free-standing straw man ever constructed in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

Built largely out of scraps scavenged from the Cliff's Notes on the "Mormonism in America", Mr. Brooks sings paeans to his giant stick figure, dances immodestly around it for awhile, then set it on fire and calls it a good day's work. It is his own, personal Burning Man, and it begins as follows:
Mitt Romney is a rich man, but is Mitt Romney’s character formed by his wealth? Is Romney a spoiled, cosseted character? Has he been corrupted by ease and luxury?

The notion is preposterous. All his life, Romney has been a worker and a grinder.

After which we are treated to a ten paragraph pamphlet on "The Noble Legacy of the Latter Day Saints from the Early 19th Century Through Last Thursday".

After which, this:

Mitt Romney can’t talk about his family history on the campaign trail. Mormonism is an uncomfortable subject. But he must have been affected by it.

It is a story of relentless effort, of recovery and of being despised (in their eyes) because of their own success. Romney himself experienced none of this hardship, of course, but Jews who didn’t live through the Exodus are still shaped by it.

And thus Mr. Brooks finishes off his 800-word New York Times contractual obligation on the virtues of being "... worker and a grinder" the way Mr. Brooks completes all such assignments:  as lazily as possible.

It is also, needless to say, complete nonsense. A textbooks example of the Conservative Straw Man genre with David Brooks doing what David Brooks does best; fitting a monster mask of non-existent arguments over the head of some unnamed, imaginary Liberal opponent cobbled together out of throw pillows from his den and then going righteously to town on the Terrifying Pillow Ogre he just invented.

However, in addition to letting him once again play rhetorical handball against a shower curtain, today's 800-word embarrassment serves another, equally important Brooksian imperative -- it allows Mr. Brooks to hedge his bets and protect his position as America's Number One Callow Political Insider by publicly and shamelessly sucking up to Willard Romney hard enough to, as the kids say, strip the chrome clean off a trailer hitch.  Because taken as some kind of "rebuttal" against some unspecified imputation of corrupt foppery on the part of some critic somewhere, what Mr. Brooks has written is so transparently ridiculous -- so easily collapsible with the barest flick of fact -- that there is no other way to read it other than as just one more of Mr. Brooks' signature, gooey editorial mash notes to yet another potential-future-meal-ticket.

Because nothing I have read by anyone, anywhere, has ever inferred that Willard Romney is in any way lazy at all.

Quite the opposite: the brief against Romney is that like Gordon Gekko

Larry the Liquidator

"Boiler Room"'s Jim Young, or Hannibal Lechter, Willard Romney has the empty soul, fierce drive and infinitely reprogrammable ethical software of a really industrious sociopath.

When we look at Romney, it is not that we see indolence.

Instead, when we look at Romney we catch a deeply disturbing glimpse of what William Gibson once described in "Neuromancer":
“...for an instant, she stared directly into those soft blue eyes and knew, with an instinctive mammalian certainty, that the exceedingly rich were no longer even remotely human.”
Just as when we look at Mr. Brooks, we do not see mere hackery, but catch a deeply disturbing glimpse of a creature who craves nothing more than to grow rich in groveling service to our inhuman, plutocrat overlords.


Anonymous said...

"It is a story of relentless effort, of recovery and of being despised (in their eyes) because of their own success."

In their eyes? IN other words, a victim complex a mile wide.

"Romney himself experienced none of this hardship, of course, but Jews who didn’t live through the Exodus are still shaped by it."

Mitt Romney has been in the same room with people who have had very hard lives! Why are we even bothering with this cmpaigning business? Sweep him into the White House on a voice vote!

Rick Massimo

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reading/interpreting this drivel. I've just gotten my blood pressure down to a manageable level; dipping into Mr. Brooks' oeuvre would no doubt ruin my medical assistance. Kudos too on the pic; I thought Pierce had the best portrait of the artist as an old fart, but you win today.

blackdogg said...

After seeing the standing ovation the toad Gingrich got last night for his indignant attack on a moderator who dared ask him a "question" about his..."life", I am having a hard time figuring out just what a Republican would have to do to lose popularity with the orcs.
Willard's ancestors flee to Mexico to escape "persecution" for their beliefs (wanting to be able to marry as many of their pubescent female cousins as they feel like) and Brooks sees this as some kind of replay of the Exodus?!
The mere fact that this field of candidates have to be the most transparently venal, greed driven, amoral gathering assembled in modern times is a giant billboard declaring how far down we have been driven. God help us all if one them is able to buy their way in to the White House.

alise said...

David Brooks is the Grima Wormtongue for the right-wing plutocracy, pure and simple. I was wondering when Our Mister Brooks would drag out the pom-poms for Willard Romney. This entire farce of never-ending Republican debates with Lunatic #1 being quickly replaced with Buffoon #2, to be followed by Sociopath #3, and on and on, is nothing more than the Owners's strategy to make the dogs eat their dog food.

The Owners most definitely want the Bain Capital posterboy to be President, but know that the evangelicals and Teabagger nutcases would rather eat dirt than vote for him. They may be fact challenged, have IQ's at approximately their shoe size and, in the case of Ron Paul supporters, wear tin foil hats, but they know, at some gut level, that Willard Romney does not have their best interests at heart. Those cherished independents aren't so keen on him, either. So, out comes the parade of truly horrendous candidates, with the implication being, "see, it could be worse, so fall into line", the Romney cheerleaders in the punditry are in full voice and the MSM have been given their scripts to be read and re-read at one hour intervals.

Personally, I hope that Newtie and the Blowhards drag this kabuki theater out just as long as possible. It's been the gift that keeps on giving for us liberals. I'm so happy to see the Republicans with the circular firing squad for once, that words fail me.

lostnacfgop said...

Heck, I read Brooks' slathering praise tale of the Romney family history of "staying behind" from the rest of the LDS -ers, then moving to Salt Lake later, only to be consigned to ever distant locations and my first thought was, wow, even back then, nobody could stand the Romneys . . .

deering said...

Word, Drift. And Brooks doesn't even realize that that "bootstrapping" story that notes that Grampere Rommey took on not only one but _four_ wives at church command is positively terrifying. What kind of independent, free-will-equals-the-free-market thinking is that to laud?

Akhilleus said...

At some point--if I really care that much about it--I may have to do a review of the last ten years of Brooks entries in order to catalog the vast number of logical fallacies he employs in what can barely be referred to as his "arguments".

There are quite a few arguments to authority, fallacies regarding incorrect use of syllogisms, equivocations, inconsistencies, and intentional fallacies. He is a past master of bullshit, baked in the oven, covered with sprinkles, and laid out on the table as if it were fucking foie gras.

In this case, Brooks comes to Willard's rescue against a horde of unnamed envious snipers who just want to hate on the rich.

What Brooks doesn't want you to think about is that just because Romney isn't in the set of "Hollywood Stereotype of Lazy Rich People" and just because he (after a fashion) works hard while putting other people out of work, doesn't automatically make him a man of the people. This is yet another false Brooks syllogism.

Romney works hard. Average Americans work hard. Romney is an average American.

Sorry. This may be why Plato didn't trust syllogisms. Aristotle liked them but he was one of the first to demonstrate how they could be used by the ignorant or the willfully sleazy to manipulate outcomes and convey untrustworthy conclusions.

There are just SO many ways in which Romney has no clue what it's like to be an average American. How long did you laugh when you heard Romney talk about getting a pink slip? I think he was talking about undergarments for his wife. Or maybe he's a cross-dresser. Or his gaffe while trying to sound like the great white hunter. "Sure. I've hunted moose, er, I mean elk, er, well it was big and furry. And shit, I had a gun and I shot it. Doesn't that make me a hunter-type-guy?"

Just embarrassing.

But no less embarrassing than Brooks' regular inelegant, puke-stained stylings.

James Singer said...

Just an addendum:

"I don't know about you, but I'm going to get a bottle of tequila, one of those keno girls who can suck the chrome off a trailer hitch, and kick back."--Wendell Hickson

in Electric Cowboy

Anonymous said...

Sorry if I'm a little late to the Bash David Brooks With A Bat Party, but I'm here --

Driftglass was ROBBED by "Top 20 David Brooks FALSE EQUIVALANCIES of 2011" . . . by Jonathan Bines, staff writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Best Snark From Brooks' False Law Example #7

In principle, there are no limits to the length to which such an equivalency could be strung out, although IN PRACTICE it tends to stop at around 800 Words.

Not bad either is False Equivalency $6:

Bines shows Brooks' "thought processes" that lead to Our Mr. Brooks placing Ed Schultz on his Brooksian Balance Board . . . opposite Glenn Effing Beck, Whale Hannity, Fat-Arse Limbaugh and cross-species-gender Ann Coulter.

Ahhhh, a spit-take that refreshes.

For all 20 Brooks BS False Equivalencies -- heisted, I'm sure, from DG -- see

eddie blake said...

pretty sure that's count zero. marly talking about herr virek

Anonymous said...

Because nothing I have read by anyone, anywhere, has ever inferred that Willard Romney is in any way lazy at all.
Good column, Big D.
The speaker implies the listener infers. Got that from Archie Bunker! Actually, Meathead.

Anonymous said...

Anon, thanx for that -- but 2 of the hyphens in that link are sposed to be underscores -- here's the corrected link:

someofparts said...

Dammit. You already have me reading science fiction again. Practically stopped sleeping for the few days it took me to finish Fire on the Deep. Just ordered Pattern Recognition, but not Neuromancer because it looked kinda complicated. NOW I'm probably gonna order the damn thing because that quote is so intriguing.

Reading books that I can't bear to put down until I finish them is so exhausting, I may have to avoid reading your blog until I recover from the sleep deprivation I'm getting from working through the pile of sci-fi titles I've already got.

OTOH - imagine how much fun you would be having reading things like Gibson for the first time. So, really, thanks for inspiring me to check out these guys.

eddie blake said...

i'm telling you. the quote is COUNT ZERO- the next book in the sprawl series.

page 16 in the damned paperback.