Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Trouble With The Curve


From Reason Magazine today:
David Brooks Vying for Ellsworth Toohey's Column Space in the Banner With a Passover Song of Praise for Compulsion 
Brian Doherty|Apr. 15, 2014 12:02 pm...
From me in a 2010 post about David Brooks:
Dear New York Times,

I know a guy, can write you da sweetest little algorithm you ever seen. Twice a week, it'll poop out identical, perfect, steaming, 800-word-long logs guaranteed indistinguishable from the run-down, played out, vanilla-infused-excreta you're slinging now -- forever -- and for about 1/10,000th the cost.

If you order in the next 24 hours and mention offer code "Ellsworth Toohey" --
"Don’t set out to raze all shrines—you’ll frighten men. Enshrine mediocrity, and the shrines are razed."
-- I can get him to throw in a subroutine that will periodically crap out a random, gushy paean to Ronald Reagan, John Thune, Scooter Libby or any of two dozen other bilaterally symmetrical Conservative Authoritarian Daddy figures of your choice, no extra charge.

Again in 2011
Tomorrow, next month, next year Ellsworth Monkton Bobo will still be there collecting princely sums for filling the world with his soft, mealy, razor-concealing road-apples of common wisdom.

And just how is that possible?

Because Bobo is a very senior member of a very special, very selective union -- Pundits Local 183.

A union whose chief innovation was boldly and irrevocably severing all "relationship between excellence and reward" years and years ago.
"Peter, you’ve heard all this. You’ve seen me practising it for ten years. You see it being practised all over the world. Why are you disgusted ? You have no right to sit there and stare at me with the virtuous superiority of being shocked. You’re in on it. You’ve taken your share and you’ve got to go along. You’re afraid to see where it’s leading. I’m not. I’ll tell you.

Judgement, Peter ! Not judgement, but public polls. An average drawn upon zeroes – since no individuality will be permitted. A world with its motor cut off and a single heart, pumped by hand. My hand – and the hands of a few, a very few other men like me. Those who know what makes you tick – you great, wonderful average, you who have not risen in fury when we called you the average, the little, the common, you who’ve liked and accepted these names. You’ll sit enthroned and enshrined, you, the little people, the absolute ruler to make all past rulers squirm with envy, the absolute, the unlimited, God and Prophet and King combined. Vox populi. The average, the common, the general.
A union whose members haven't missed a meal since.

And again in 2011
Brooks: We're sinful! And ignorant!

Noonan: And not humble enough.

And then, lacking anything else to say or do, they broke into song:

Load up on guns and
Fox Family
Bring your friends

It's fun to lose
And to pretend

She's over bored

And self assured

Oh no, I know
A dirty word

With the lights out

it's less dangerous

Here we are now
Entertain us

I feel stupid
and contagious

Here we are now

Entertain us

A mulatto

An albino

A mosquito

My Libido

Brooks: I'm for a quota system. If you talk to a Conservative, talk to a Liberal. If you read a Liberal, you should read a Conservative. If you find yourself feeling good, hit yourself in the wrist with a hammer. If you notice you're getting too smart, huff some paint until Tom Friedman starts to sound like Stephen Hawkings. Are you above average height? How about hacking off a few obtruding inches if leg bone?

And if you've gotten pretty much everything wrong for the past few decades, considered getting a permanent column in the New York Times to balance it out.

David Brooks may not be Peggy Noonan, but he sure as shit is the perfect Centrist-Mediocrity-as-Virtue love child of Diana Moon Glampers.
and Ellsworth Toohey:

Our little group has always been

And always will until the end

Hello, hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello, hello, how low? 
I spend most of my writing time at a keyboard, in front of a screen, alone, tap-tap-tapping away.  Sprinting  along, checking what I need to check to finish the next thing (or what I need to half-finish the dozen under-construction posts I always have strewn around the workshop in various states of unreadiness) hitting "publish" and moving on, never sure if I am behind a crowd, ahead of a crowd,  in the thick of a crowd, or if I've run my way down a cow path that has led to another planet altogether.

Since I don't report to anyone and have no standards but the ones I set for myself, I don't really give it a lot of though, but every now and then I stop and look around catch sight of others who do report to other people and are catching up with where I was a long time ago.

And I smile for a second.

And then I get back on the road.


Anonymous said...

And in the "both sides do it"


Yes, the title in the link says it well. The most utterly depressing line of that article, to me, was "a student minimizes the sponsor of the American club by saying that liberals have spoken to the club members."

Yes, even the children have been poisoned with "both sides do it".

So, on one hand, you have white supremacist dominionists who think only white Christians (Christopaths?) should have full citizenship.

On the other hand, you have hippies, who have legalized pot in two states, and sometimes both say "fuck" and actually fuck.

Six dozen of one, leading a horse to water with the other, something something, both sides!


OBS said...

*slow clap*

Well done DG, well done.

bowtiejack said...

What OBS said. In spades.

Paul said...

That clip from the Fountainhead is a hoot, I can only imagine all those glibertarians thinking of themselves as the last of the rugged individuals as they sit in their parents basements. Also, that building that Roark designed is just plain ugly. I guess taste is just another thing libertarians lack.

eddie blake said...

keep on trucking, DG, you're fighting the GOOD fight...