Tuesday, December 15, 2015

From His Orbital Platform High Above The Earth



Mr. David Brooks of the New York Times continues to tinkle random fatuous remarks about the Nature of Man on the tiny, irrelevant human far, far below.
Childhood fears and adult traumas are stored differently in the brain than happy memories. They are buried like porous capsules deep in the primitive regions...

There is a vast psychological literature on the diverse ways people are held back by these hidden capsules...

 Some people experience a longstanding but vague sense of unease about the crucial matters of life...

The symptoms differ according to the nature of the hidden memories.

Some people dissociate from their experiences...

Some feel compartmentalized, as though they are actors trapped in many roles at once...

Some fear making commitments...

Some suffer from nightmares...
And some suffer from all four.  They try to work out their epic personal and ideological failures by dropping little passive-voice turds in the pages the the New York Times and they live in fear that someone someday will bring it all crashing down by asking some simple, pointed questions about their past.  

But please go on!
“The conflict between the will to deny horrible events...
Like, say, building one's career on slandering Liberals -- who have been proven right over and over again -- and pimping Conservative wars, candidates and policies, which have all gone disastrously wrong?

But please go on!
...and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma.”
Amen! 

In fact for most people in Mr. Brooks' profession the conflict between seeing the horrors on the Right which they helped to enable finally battering down their own door, and the desire to keep pretending it's not happening so they can continue to get paid can be so stressful that it induces a profitable but near-catatonic state of perpetual Both Siderism.

But there is hope, because pathological Both Siderism can eventually be cured by large doses of Both Siderism!
But people with patience and resolve can look forward to a life in the sunshine. They face their fears, integrate the good and bad memories — recognizing that many different truths lie side by side.
No hold on tight, because here comes the inevitable awkward transition from the bourgeois professional and marital woes of highly-paid fraud and wide-respected Very Serious Person, Mr. J. Alfred Prufrock...
The parallel is inexact, but peoples and cultures also have to deal with the power of hard memories.
...and the Problems of The World:
Many of the issues we have been dealing with in 2015 revolve around unhealed cultural memories...

The most obvious case involves American race relations...

Unhealed cultural memories have shaped other policy areas. In the Middle East, Sunnis and Shiites are battling bloodily over competing pasts...

Thus, we find ourselves involved at all levels in the therapy of memory. I’d only mention three concepts that might be useful going forward. The first is Miroslav Volf’s notion of soft difference...

The second is the distinction between blame and responsibility.

The third is the danger of asymmetric rhetoric.
You know, not very long ago, Mr. Brook used to mock people who wanted to:
...experience the illusion of moral progress without having to do the nasty work of making moral judgments.
Now. he is the High Priest of the Beltway Church of Never Talking About The Awful Shit We Said And Did Yesterday and has made a fortune working both sides of that scam.  

Funny old world.

9 comments:

bowtiejack said...

" . . . dropping little passive-voice turds . . "

I bow before you and repeat again, "what oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed".

I know the road is hard, but your work is good and this crap which we have to put up with will, in the end, go the way of the ancien regime and the Thousand Year Reich. Patience. Commitment. Courage.

Bernie Sanders now has over 2 million individual donors, the highest ever for a presidential candidate. Perhaps the difference between us and the sink of Rome under the weight of their plutocrats is that their plebes didn't have cell phones, social media or the Internet as ours do. I await the "national security" campaign to shut all those down "to fight terrorism".

Sid Schwab said...

In Scientology, those tiny porous capsules are called engrams.

Neo Tuxedo said...

"There is a house above the world, where the over-people gather.
"There is a man with wings like a bird.
"There is a man who can see across the planet and wring diamonds from its anthracite.
"There is a man who moves so fast that his life is an endless gallery of statues.
"In the house above the world, the over-people gather... and sit... and listen... to a dry, mad voice that whispers of earthdeath."

Alan Moore knows the score.

Jimbo said...

There is psycho-babble and then there's Brooksian psycho-babble or Bobo-Babble, if you will. Even George Will is not quite as pompously patronizing as our David. "In the room the pundits come and go/Speaking plaudits of Both-Siderist Bobo."

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

"...the horrors on the Right, etc."

To $#!+can Godwin's Law yet again, I wonder at what point the "respectable" German versions of Scrooge McDuck and his faithful servant David Brooks finally realized they were not going to be able simply to put "Charlie Chaplin" and his bully-boys out to pasture after "Charlie" and company had squelched those irksome Marxists for them.

For the most efficient self-deluders, awareness probably dawned only when they were fleeing westward with all possible speed to be able to surrender to the Western allies, instead of to millions of enraged Soviet soldiers looking to avenge their 20 million fallen siblings.

But, as a noted conservative intellectual said (they do not even listen to their own): "The only thing we learn from history is that we do not learn."

Or, we do learn--it's just that, usually, animal drives, including the social-dominance drive, are stronger than reason.

Kathleen O'Neill said...

The New York Times Editorial Page, home of David Brooks. Maureen Dowd. Thomas Friedman. These people have more issues than 52 years of TV Guide, and they are hell bent on inflicting them upon anyone willing to pay to read them.

As a fundraiser, DG, why don't you have a contest to see who can produce the most Brooksian babble (we would pay to enter).

And who in the f**k is Miroslav Volf?

beahmont said...

I'm impressed that Bernie Sanders just made history with the highest ever number of individual donors for a presidential candidate.

It is major depression inducing as hell that he was able to do so with only 2 million donors in a nation of 286+ million adults.

Way too many tuned out people in this country that have just plain forgotten or never been told that the duty of a citizen is to participate in their democracy. And while voting isn't the be all end all of participation, you can't really participate in democracy without voting.

Andrew Kar said...

Miroslav Volf is a theologian, and a very good one. I would guess Brooks would rip off his thought, misrepresenting what is important as he does with everything else he has brought into his "character quest."

Gary Boatwright said...

Miroslav Volf - Allah:A Christian Response:
Volf develops his own method of assessing the issue and argues that Muslims and Christians do have a common God, even though each group understands God in different ways, at least in part.