Tuesday, August 25, 2015

David Brooks Multiple Choice



Five of these are delivered to you hot and stanky from America's Most Respected Moral Thought Leader, David Brooks, via a column in the New York Times for which he is paid large sums of real, American money.

One of them I just made up.

  1. Live life as a series of revelations.
  2. We’re social creatures.
  3. We’re historical creatures.
  4. We’re mystical creatures.
  5. We’re moral creatures.
  6. Have you ever looked at your hand, man? I mean really, really looked at it?
I currently hold the title of America's Leading Brooksologist and I have no fucking idea what he is prattling on about.

Did I mention that this --
Let’s say you had the chance to become a vampire.
-- is the opening sentence?

Is the New York Times paying him to creep on some co-ed who's into Twilight? Or is he barely sublimating his divorce into his column again? Or does he haz a sad that Donald Trump is making a picnic lunch out of the carefully constructed fascist political movement to which he has devoted his entire adult life?

No. Fucking. Clue.

14 comments:

James Almos said...

Aww, it looks like little Brooksie has finally entered his post-divorce acceptance phase. That is, to accept himself as the One True Columnist, now that there's no one at home to pester him with reminders of what a horrible, horrible human being he actually is.

James Almos said...

Aww, it looks like little Brooksie has finally entered his post-divorce acceptance phase. That is, to accept himself as the One True Columnist, now that there's no one at home to pester him with reminders of what a horrible, horrible human being he actually is.

Median N. Mean said...

" Parents are like self-fulfilled vampires. "

You and Matt Taibbi will always have a hobby.

Brooks here is elevating conventional life choices to the status of myth. In one columns he rails against mediocrity, in the next, he praises it. National greatness requires der volk to commit themselves whole heartedly to the pursuit of raising children and joining the military. Challenging the social order (ie making the personal political) isn't a sign of vigor, but of moral decay.

I'm reading Brooks as a fascist this week. It lines up shockingly well.

clem said...

have you ever applied the derrida test to the brooks ouevre? they took snippets of the "philosopher's" writing and reversed the polarity, changing "should" to "shouldn't", "is" to "isn't", etc. they then presented them, intermixed with unaltered snippets, to supposed experts on derrida's thought. the experts did no better than chance at identifying the fakes.

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good afternoon, Mr. Glass.

That's the longest "vaguebooking" I think I've ever seen. And for those who don't know what "vaguebooking" is, it's a description of a phenomenon that originated on Facebook (Facebook/Vaguebook). Basically, you say something super-vague that's designed to get people to ask you what you're talking about.

"I'm not going to take this anymore."

"Sometimes it seems like I can't trust anyone."

That sort of thing.

Or maybe the Moon King needs to be reconnected to his body.

Be seeing you.

Lawrence said...

I would love to copy that piece as a plain word doc and give it to grade school, high school, and college English teachers (who do not know they are reading the work of a Very Serious Person) for their evaluation. I'm thinking you have to go down to at least seventh grade before you get anyone who thinks it is other than egregious bullshit. Would you like to be a vampire, or maybe join the army? Maybe a middle school kid did write it.

Chan Kobun said...

I'm reading Brooks as a fascist this week. It lines up shockingly well.

Not surprising. Bobo knows that the butter for his bread comes from being a testicle warmer for whomever is in the driver's seat of the Right. Considering the horribly fascist direction the Right is taking right now, from the Candidate du Jour to the meatsticks at the bottom, he's just doing what he always does.

If Trumpmania cools, he'll go back to his usual pablum for whoever is the darling of the Pig People at the time.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

"If Trumpmania cools..."

Or if Trump cools--to room temperature--after the Bush Crime Family arranges his "accidental" death or his assassination by a "lone nut".

John said...

Brooks is so out of touch it amazes me.

Most people in our country have few or no choices now. Or maybe the choice is shall I leave the workplace now and live on cat food for the rest of my life? Or should I stay in the workforce and suffer humiliating rejection after rejection because austerity and unemployment is just fine with the chattering nabobs of Washington and New York: magic courtesy of the market's invisible hand, you know. The amazing adventure that is life according to Brooks.

Actually, Brooks is only the worst: Bruni, Dowd, and Nocera are not much better.



bowtiejack said...

"I'm reading Brooks as a fascist this week. It lines up shockingly well. "

The GOP (and Trump) compared with the 14 characteristics of fascism.
http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/fasci14chars.html

FASCISM v. GOP

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - “Make America Great again!”
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - “soft on crime!”
3. Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - “immigrants!, liberals"
4. Supremacy of the Military - "Support troops. Bomb Iran!"
5. Rampant Sexism - "anti-gay, anti-abortion, vaginal probes"
6. Controlled Mass Media - "Fox News, talk radio"
7. Obsession with National Security - "border wall, terrorists"
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - “Christian nation”
9. Corporate Power is Protected - "Citizens United"
10. Labor Power is Suppressed - "teachers, public employee unions"
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - "pointy-headed elitist liberals"
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - "Tough on crime! Immigrant rapist"
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - "privatise government"
14. Fraudulent Elections - "voter ID, gerrymandering"

Just saying.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

The main reason our system is "inverted fascism" rather than classic fascism is that classic fascism is a partnership between Big Government and Big Business, in which the former is the senior partner. In our "inverted" fascism, Big Biz is the senior partner.

Kathleen O'Neill said...

First, DG, I think you appropriated number 6 from "MoDo's Marijuana Memories column" and yes, @John, I agree - MoDo is not much better than Brooks.

Second, let's say Brooks is a real vampire. Because he is.

Median N. Mean said...

I view "fascism" largely through the exercise of power, who wields it and how.

Right now, the elite still control things, with some electoral help from the wingnuts. That makes it an oligarchy. The Tea Party is still an owned subsidiary, but they are increasingly getting out of their control.

Things that echo fascism for me are the government shut downs, which are extremely radical. Once people think government can't help them, they turn to extra judicial means -- and hope for judicial methods to get them. Was it Ted Cruz who was going to hold guns to the heads of the Supreme Court to outlaw abortion? I heard something close to that during the debate.

We're getting there, though, we agree there.

Unknown said...

Apparently, both Brooks and the Times are on autopilot - he writes whatever leaps into his head, and they autodeposit his pay without anyone ever checking what he's putting out. But hey, if the results are good, why does anyone care? Are the Money Boys still in charge? Then it must be ok.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

And if you lament the loss of space in one of the country's premier media sources to this unremediated twaddle, then you don't understand the game

http://www.anyclip.com/movies/cinderella-man/convincing-james-johnston/#!quotes/