Tuesday, April 05, 2016

David Brooks Begs For His Job: Update


As originally posted, I posited that Mr. David Brooks is using his columns to explain to his boss, Andrew Rosenthal, why he should not be shitcanned for being a poor writer who has been wrong about everything.

But I was wrong.

As of May 2, 2016, Mr. Rosenthal will be stepping down as NYT's op-ed page editor and Mr,. James Bennet of The Atlantic will be taking his place:
Andrew Rosenthal Steps Down As Editorial Page Editor

James Bennet Returns To The New York Times to Succeed Him
I don't know anything about Mr. Bennet...other than he is the guy who keeps Ron "Severe Dementia" Fournier on the masthead over at The Atlantic.

And Mr. Brooks would like to welcome his soon-to-be-employer by calling his attention to the fact that, without Mr. David Brooks, the future of the institutional New York Times is doooooomed.


As you already know, David Brooks, the Whig fan fiction writer kept on staff by the New York Times to spin comforting alternate Conservative history fairy tales for a small clutch of wealthy shut-ins, has failed at his job.

Failed publicly and spectacularly.

Of course, based on mountains of readily available evidence, simply failing publicly and spectacularly at the various aspects his job involving history, math, economics and politics would not ordinarily be enough to dislodge Mr. Brooks from his sinecure at the New York Times.  In fact, one could say that being wrong about history, math, economics and politics in just the right way actually is David Brooks' job.  But this time around he has failed publicly and spectacularly at the one thing he has solemnly sworn, through good times and bad, he would never, ever allow to happen.  This time he has let the raving, batshit abattoir realities of the real Republican party come stomping into the quiet, dainty, elite fantasy Republican party of that small clutch of wealthy shut-ins who underwrite Mr. Brooks' career.

He has let the ghost of Lee Atwater take a very public dump in their collective punch bowl and currently scaring the shit out of his patrons by tear-assing through their private Eastside Theater Guild Donor's Buffet.

And since Mr. Brooks' has now failed so comprehensively at doing his basic David  Brooks thing, Mr. Brooks must invent a rationale for his continued employment at the New York Times:  a reason why he is not just some fucking disposable hireling, but is still somehow of intangible but inestimable value to the American plutocracy. That they have a relationship which transcends some mere contract between the oligarchs and one of their maĆ®tre d's.

Which brings us to the second half of Mr. Brooks' column today, "How Covenants Make Us". You can skip right over the first part, where Mr. Brooks' talks fast and loose about Very Big Social Trends:
When you think about it, there are four big forces coursing through modern societies.
Yeah. go right ahead and skip all of that and instead allow me to direct your attention to the second half of Mr. Brooks' column.  And then imagine how Mr. Brooks' words sound if you simply copy and paste them into a letter which might begin:
Dear Mr. Rosenthal, 
I realize my work as America's Leading Conservative Public Intellectual has sucked ass recently.  However,,,
Strong identities can come only when people are embedded in a rich social fabric. They can come only when we have defined social roles — father, plumber, Little League coach. They can come only when we are seen and admired by our neighbors and loved ones in a certain way. As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, “Other men are lenses through which we read our own minds.” 
Translation:  I define the fantasy world in which these rich idiots live precisely because you have invested so much of this paper's resources and credibility building me into America's Leading Conservative Public Intellectual.
You take away a rich social fabric and what you are left with is people who are uncertain about who they really are. It’s hard to live daringly when your very foundation is fluid and at risk.
Translation: And however egregiously I have misled these rich idiots, you take me out of the picture and it all falls apart bitches!
Creating situatedness requires a different way of thinking. When we go out and do a deal, we make a contract. When we are situated within something it is because we have made a covenant.
Translation:  Yeah, sure you and I may have a "contract" with stipulations and such, but what we really have is a covenant.  You have a covenant with me, Mr. Rosenthal, and I have a covenant with that small clutch of wealthy shut-ins who underwrite my career and keep this paper afloat.
A contract protects interests, Pally notes, but a covenant protects relationships. A covenant exists between people who understand they are part of one another. It involves a vow to serve the relationship that is sealed by love: Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Your people shall be my people.

People in a contract provide one another services, but people in a covenant delight in offering gifts. Out of love of country, soldiers offer the gift of their service. Out of love of their craft, teachers offer students the gift of their attention.

The social fabric is thus rewoven in a romantic frame of mind...
Translation:  So let's not talk about grubby, pedestrian matters like money, or about who got everything horribly wrong for the last 20 years,  Let us instead talk about our relationship.  See, I'm a fucking American institution, Mr. Rosenthal.  I'm a part of your business.  Your people are my people, and because you and I have this covenant, I will continue to delight our people by continuing to offer them the gift of my service.  
These days the social fabric will be repaired by hundreds of millions of people making local covenants — widening their circles of attachment across income, social and racial divides. But it will probably also require leaders drawing upon American history to revive patriotism. They’ll tell a story that includes the old themes. That we’re a universal nation, the guarantor of stability and world order. But it will transcend the old narrative and offer an updated love of America.
Translation:  Because some very nasty shit is about to hit the fan, Mr. Rosenthal.  And once that very nasty shit hits the fan, the nation will turn to stabilizing institutions like the New York Times and patriotic leaders such as you to reweave the social fabric and world order.  And you will desperately need a master storyteller like me who knows how to play that old pipe organ of America Greatness to sell the an whole new bill of goods to replaces the old bill of goods that we sold them and that is currently going up in flames.

Because in the end, Mr. Rosenthal. that small clutch of wealthy shut-ins on whose largess we both depend can't handle the truth.

Which is why, even as all the flimsy Potemkin political bullshit we've spun for these people all these years burns to the ground all around them, you still want me on that wall.

You still need me on that wall.

And, yes, my 11th blogiversary fundraiser still has a couple of days left to go, so as a bonus, let me kick back and field a few of the personal questions y'all have sent my way in the last few days...


dinthebeast said...

The terrorists must have won, because BFB sounds fuckin' terrified...
And to quote a sage, I believe called "Butthole Surfers":
You never know just how you look through other people's eyes.

-Doug in Oakland

Lawrence said...

DFB goes with Ruth 1:16? He probably doesn't know. What's it like to be a Jewish Christian apologist, anyway?

Robt said...

DFB should consider the big conservative patriotic picture.

It is not ISIS or Iran.

It is not blacks or Atheists or even abortion doctors.

No not even Trump or Cruz threatening conservatism..

His biggest threat he fears is "LIBERALS".
Liberals are the enemy, ask Teddy from Texas. He would turn the liberal sands of Nevada into glass.

It is not just fear itself DFB suffers from, but fear of his own conservatism itself.
Because I haven't met anyone that can live by or abide by conservative principals.

It is like someone living purely by the Bible. An imperfect animal cannot attain this level of purity.

This is why we see Sen Grassley on the Senate floor espousing his discontent with his own Chief justice John Roberts,. The guy he adored so much when he helped shove him onto the Supreme Court.

It must be some sort of conservative virus that liberals are immune. Because the 2 GOP candidate display signs. Sen Grassley definitely is down with the sickness as Sen McConnell may be the carrier of the virus.

I mean, what in the GOP is there not to adore and worship?

bluicebank said...

Until recently, my playlist for David Brooks was just one song. "Ballad of a Thin Man" by Bob Dylan. It goes like this:

"You don't know what's happening here, do you Mr. Brooks?"

Then I added "Black Friday," by Steely Dan. Verbatim:

"When Black Friday comes
I'll collect everything I'm owed
And before my friends find out
I'll be on the road."

The third song is a tough one, so all I got is John Lee Hooker's "Alimonia Blues."


Michael Sweeney said...

Strong identities can come only when people are embedded in a rich social fabric.
One of the stupider things I have ever read. Not surprising that it came from the cheetoh encrusted keyboard of David Brooks.

RUKidding said...

They can come only when we have defined social roles — father, plumber, Little League coach.

Guess the little wimmin don't have a "defined social role" but who gives a stuff about those low-lifes anyway. Get back in the kitchen and make me a sammich! Oh, there's the role!

What's DFB's "defined social role"? Pimp? or Whore? So confusing.