Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Great Project Continues, Continued

(Michael Gerson, pictured here helping George Bush fuck everything up)

Regular readers know of my by-now indisputably well-documented theory that Mr. David Brooks -- pillar of the modern American Conservative movement for decades and Jewish thought-leader --
Does he consider himself a Jewish thought leader?
“I guess so,” he replied, but then stated, “I keep my own faith private.”
-- is engaged in a epic and highly successful quest to pretend that 99.9999% of the actual history of modern American Conservatism never happened.

Mr. Brooks' tireless efforts are the centerpiece of a strikingly vast and lucrative conspiracy among our Elite Media -- a conspiracy that is all the more amazing because it takes place in broad daylight right in front of hundreds of millions of people.

One of Mr. Brooks' many, many co-conspirators is former Bush Administration stooge, Michael Gerson.  Like Mr. Brooks, Mr. Gerson's professional life depends entirely on helping Mr. Brooks carry out his Great Project,  And, like Mr. Brooks, Mr. Gerson's labors have been lavishly rewarded with various jobs at the front of the line of the Wingnut Welfare feeding trough (from Paul Krugman):
Wingnut welfare is an important, underrated feature of the modern U.S. political scene. I don’t know who came up with the term, but anyone who follows right-wing careers knows whereof I speak: the lavishly-funded ecosystem of billionaire-financed think tanks, media outlets, and so on provides a comfortable cushion for politicians and pundits who tell such people what they want to hear. Lose an election, make economic forecasts that turn out laughably wrong, whatever — no matter, there’s always a fallback job available.
And from his permanent position at Fred Hiatt's Neocon cesspit, Mr. Gerson delivers what might be the ultimate wingnut Tur-Duck-En:  a column by one top-tier Conservative con man (Michael Gerson) declaring that one of his top-tier Conservative con men peers (David Brooks) is a "countercultural leader"...

...for writing a best-selling book on the importance of character...

...which omits both 99.9999% of the actual history modern American Conservatism and 99.9999% of Mr. Brooks' very active role in shaping the history that he so desperately wants to pretend never happened (with emphasis added for your spiritual betterment):
Most of us have an image of the counterculture, shaped by memory or mythmaking, that involves Haight-Ashbury, flea-market clothing, free love and a haze of pot smoke. But as the counterculture has consumed the culture — with hipsterism marketed at Urban Outfitters, pre-, non- and extramarital sex a firmly established social expectation and a haze of pot smoke covering entire states — countering the culture takes on a different meaning.

With his new book, “The Road to Character,” David Brooks — New York Times columnist, PBS “NewsHour” commentator and serial mensch — emerges as a countercultural leader. His goal is the recovery of “a vast moral vocabulary and set of moral tools, developed over centuries and handed down from generation to generation.”...

The literary achievement of “The Road to Character” is inseparable from the virtues of its author. As the reader, you not only want to know about Frances Perkins or Saint Augustine. You also want to know what Brooks makes of Frances Perkins or Saint Augustine. The voice of the book is calm, fair and humane. The highlight of the material is the quality of the author’s moral and spiritual judgments. ...

Brooks is an effective modern translator of these ideas because he is constitutionally incapable of finger-wagging...
Mr. Gerson writes that Mr. Brooks' radical counterculturism stems from his attempt to reintroduce the vocabulary of "sin" and "salvation" into the the moral wasteland which the Dirty Hippies have created.
Like the writer and theologian Frederick Buechner, he finds the greatest drama in our sacred journeys — the saving and losing of souls. This requires the moral vocabulary of a previous era. A consciousness of sin. A real determination to reach holiness. 
You know, I'm just a simple soul from the American Midwest, and I do not pretend to understand Mr. Brooks' Big City ways.  But in the humble faith in which I was raised, smearing and slandering people in print in order to build your career, and then lying about it when asked simple, direct questions would definitely be considered a sin.

Not so, apparently, in the First Church of David Brooks , where ouchless absolution for Bush Regime dead-enders and their Elite Media enablers comes free with every copy of “The Road to Character”.

17 comments:

dinthebeast said...

"constitutionally incapable of finger-wagging..."

Maybe he should get that looked at. I bet he has really good health insurance.

-Doug in Oakland

Neo Tuxedo said...

I can't help it. I saw Gerson and I immediately thought of A.J. Brown from the Future Planning Committee.

"No offence, son, but you look like you should still be at school with your head down a fucking toilet."
"Your first point there, the offense? I'm afraid I'm going to have to take it."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLIP0ZtoiO4

Red Hand said...

You also want to know what Brooks makes of Frances Perkins or Saint Augustine. * * * The highlight of the material is the quality of the author’s moral and spiritual judgments. ...

Brooks is an effective modern translator of these ideas because he is constitutionally incapable of finger-wagging...


Gack! I'm going to be sick, seriously. Hypocritical finger-wagging is exactly what DFB does best, fer Chrissakes. And this useless fook Gerson has the gall to claim the opposite?

I am beginning to think that the mainstream media is as much a menace to American morals and society as the Republican Party itself. Maybe its degeneracy is an even greater threat, since a free and independent press is essential to democracy, and we no longer seem to have one, just "a Club."

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

"...a menace to American morals and society..."

How can anything further lower the morals of a country which rose to greatness on the strength of a vast array of natural resources it gained by murdering the natives and stealing their land?

Also, nothing can lower the moral standards of a dead thing, which is what the USA is. The thing which wears its name now is merely a giant anime-style, piloted robotic warsuit, painted to look like Uncle Sam.

I used to think the pilots were the 1%, but now I'm not sure if they are still the masters, or if their high-ranking servants in the spy agencies have slipped their leashes, and become masters of even the 1%.

"I will turn your face to alabaster/When you find your servant is your master".

I use the term "1%" in deference to our gracious host, who, IIRC, for some reason prefers that pedestrian designation for our owners to Teddy Roosevelt's glorious phrase for them, "Malefactors of Great Wealth".

Mike Lumish said...

@IBW And all these years I had thought that was an FDR coinage! Thanks for the education.

Neo Tuxedo said...

No, Mike, FDR called them "economic royalists", which may actually be a better descriptor than his cousin's.

@IBW, call them what you will, I'm not sure they or anyone else is still piloting this thing. At best, I'd say, the aristos are clinging for dear life to the tiger they're riding.

Bob Roth said...

Didn't polite society once refer to these public blow jobs as the wing nut echo chamber? Mr. Brooks, your turn to go down on Mr.Gerson

Red Hand said...

@ Ivory Bill Woodpecker

How can anything further lower the morals of a country which rose to greatness on the strength of a vast array of natural resources it gained by murdering the natives and stealing their land?

Speaking as an immigration lawyer with clients from all over the world, literally, you would be amazed at how many people still want to come here because, for all its faults -- and there are many -- this country is infinitely better than where they come from.

I'm talking about countries like Honduras and Pakistan, where pervasive governmental corruption and endemic violence means that there is no physical security for ordinary citizens at all, because the "rule of law" doesn't exist.

I'm also talking about hideously homophobic countries like Jamaica and Russia, where you can be killed or persecuted with absolute impunity.

I am proud of the fact that in America, a battered Guatemalan woman can seek asylum -- leading to permanent residency and citizenship -- because her own government couldn't care less what is done to her by her husband.

These are he kinds of things that still give me hope about the United States.

portlandmaxtrains said...

"Billy Orphan never quite knew why his teacher Mr. Ningrich kept assigning him to group projects. He always did all the work and never got the credit. He did know Mr. Ningrich was a terrible speaker and always seemed to hang around long after all the students wanted him gone. He had white hair and skin that looked like tree bark, so they all called him Groot behind his back. Groot Ningrich."

You write that book right now dammit!

Kathleen O'Neill said...

@Red Hand
Thank you.

LasvegasJessica said...

Thanks DG. I ask if this book was meant to be a troll compilation, or is it really supposed to be something we take seriously? Funny thing, Fareed Zakaria seemed to think it was a legitimate work. Curious.

Jerry said...

"Like the writer and theologian Frederick Buechner..."

That's Frau Blucher.

https://youtu.be/hs5j8uUR2nc

Frank Stone said...

"Road to Character". Now, there's a Family Guy episode that's begging to be written.

Soprano said...

From the Eisner article, in explanation of there being no Jewish "heroes" in Brooksie's book:
But Moses ended up on the cutting room floor because the great biblical prophet didn’t leave a trove of personal writings the way other characters did. “I needed access to his inner life,” was Brooks’s rationale. (The Greeks and Romans were excluded for the same reason.)

Uh . . . Louis Dembitz Brandeis? He left behind a few words when he shuffled off this mortal coil. I can think of five more possibilities just offhand. What a B.S. excuse.

aimai said...

Driftglass, I don't pop in here often enough to see the heroic work you are doing but man--you are HEROIC. The linked clip of Brooks babbling through his embarrasment at the Niebuhr lecture is just priceless. You are truly a great man for doing this.

Smut Clyde said...

The literary achievement of “The Road to Character” is inseparable from the virtues of its author. As the reader, you not only want to know about Frances Perkins or Saint Augustine. You also want to know what Brooks makes of Frances Perkins or Saint Augustine. The voice of the book is calm, fair and humane.

"Let your ideas be second-hand, and if possible tenth-hand, for then they will be far removed from that disturbing element - direct observation. Do not learn anything about this subject of mine - the French Revolution. Learn instead what I think that Enicharmon thought Urizen thought Gutch thought Ho-Yung thought Chi-Bo-Sing thought Lafcadio Hearn thought Carlyle thought Mirabeau said about the French Revolution. Through the medium of these ten great minds, the blood that was shed at Paris and the windows that were broken at Versailles will be clarified to an idea which you may employ most profitably in your daily lives...."

Neo Tuxedo said...

If any man before the days of the Machine* can be described as

"Seraphically free
From taint of personality"

it's David Fucking Brooks.

(* Assuming, for convenience, that we are before the days of the Machine, which I'm not always sure about.)