Tuesday, June 28, 2016

David Brooks Meets Mr. Brown Shoes


Hey there Mr., uh, Brown Shoes! How bout that local sports team eh?

Now that he has lived among the natives for a minute, Mr. Brooks can once again bring his tone of Sweeping Authority to the problems of the grubby working class:
Anybody who spends time in the working-class parts of America (and, one presumes, Britain) notices the contagions of drug addiction and suicide, and the feelings of anomie, cynicism, pessimism and resentment.
Sure.  Anybody.  Literally anybody could do that by spending time among the wee folk of the shire. Or by, say, picking up a newspaper anywhere in America and skimming it lightly.  But let us get back to Mr. Brooks' tone of Sweeping Authority.  And,of course, by "Sweeping Authority" we mean "Hacking together a fast and dirty book report of someone else's work":
We all have a sense of what that working-class honor code was, but if you want a refresher, I recommend J.D. Vance’s new book “Hillbilly Elegy.” Vance’s family is from Kentucky and Ohio, and his description of the culture he grew up in is essential reading for this moment in history...
Mr. Brooks goes on to rhapsodize second-hand about the Noble Poor who lived Far Away in the Days of Yore.
He describes a culture of intense group loyalty...

It’s also a culture that values physical toughness...
Mr. Brooks then injects his opinion about those silly, out-of-touch Progressives who don't understand 'bout guns an' life down t' the mines like David Brooks does:
It’s a culture that celebrates people who are willing to fight to defend their honor. This is something that progressives never get about gun control. They see a debate about mass murder, but for many people guns are about a family’s ability to stand up for itself in a dangerous world.
Hahahaha!  Stupid Progressives!  Oh, by the way, here is Mr. David Brooks on the teevee less than a year ago:
DAVID BROOKS: Well, I’m for doing all the gun control you can think of, the gun show loophole, the background checks, assault weapons ban. And so I’m for it. I think, if you increase the number of filters between the buyer or shooter and the weapon, you might do some good...
So there's that.

But the one thing Mr. David Brooks can state with Sweeping Authority and from Personal Experience is that the wee shire folks love, love, love them some sport!  Why, it's practically all they talk about, presumably as they sit around the Applebee's salad bar (from Crooks & Liars in 2008) --
Memo To David Brooks: Applebee's Doesn't Have A Salad Bar
By John Amato

In an earlier post, C&L and many other sites caught David Brooks say this:
DAVID BROOKS, “NEW YORK TIMES: Obama‘s problem is he doesn‘t seem like a guy who can go into an Applebee‘s salad bar and people think he fits in naturally there. He has to change to be more like that Applebee‘s guy and as he‘s done that he‘s become much more transactional. Much more, I‘m going to deliver this and this and this to you on policy.
C&Ler Mitzi left this in the comment section:
I called my Applebee’s today to make sure I was correct and they do not have a salad bar. Just goes to show how much these people who make these comments have no idea how “regular people” live their lives.
I called an Applebee's also and they told me that none of their restaurants have a salad bar. David, sometimes the jokes write themselves. What an idiot.
-- sharing wondrous tales about that time the Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings came to town.

See, Mr. Brooks has always been America's leading expert on the likes and dislikes of the Imaginary Ordinary Folks and, as long as there are a sufficient number of rich, feeble-minded shut-ins who want to hear fairy tales about America as the wish it to be, he always will be.

And if Mr. Brooks knows one thing about the wee shire folk, it is that their love of sport is unique and transcendent in a way the rest of us dazzling urbanites just would not understand.
It’s also a culture with a lot of collective pride. In my travels, you can’t go five minutes without having a conversation about a local sports team. Sports has become the binding religion, offering identity, value, and solidarity.
So please, no one mention to Mr. Brooks (who is an a very delicate state right now) that members of this fierce and closed-off tribe of proud, sport-loving hill people that he just now discovered include the 40 million Americans who filled out NCAA brackets last year, Spike Lee, the New Batman, the Old JokerBill Murray -- 
Bill Murray would rather see the Cubs win a championship than Xavier

Bill Murray's devotion to the Cubs runs so deep that he's willing to put the team before his family.

When Esquire magazine asked Murray to choose between Xavier University -- where his son Luke is an assistant men's basketball coach -- winning the national championship or the Cubs winning the World Series again, Murray offered a simple answer.

"Well, I have several sons, but I only have one ball club," said Murray, who grew up in Wilmette.
...
-- and the President of the United States:
Then comes the inevitable blaming of Both Sides:
From 1945 to 1995, conservative and liberal elites shared variations of the same vision of the future. Liberals emphasized multilateral institutions and conservatives emphasized free trade. Either way, the future would be global, integrated and multiethnic.

But the elites pushed too hard, and now history is moving in the opposite direction...
David Fucking Brooks skipping right over the Southern Strategy, the Rise of Reagan, Hate Radio, Fox News and Newt Gingrich so that he can get on with the important business of clucking his tongue at the arrogance those god damn elites is the funniest thing I have read in a week.

Maybe two weeks.

You want to figure out what has gone wrong with this country, Mr. Brooks?  Start with the fact that one of our two major political parties -- your party, Mr. Brooks -- is completely fucked in the head. And it is completely fucked in the head because the elites of your party, Mr. Brooks, built their political fortunes and media empires by feeding a mob of angry, paranoid, intractably ignorant bigots a steady diet of praise, validation, false promises and wild conspiracies for the last 30 years.

So do let me know when you stop asking Mr. Brown Shoes about his local sports team and start asking him about the trail of bodies he is 100% sure the murderous Clinton's have left in their wake, and that that the rest of American would know about if it weren't for the god damn Liberal media covering the whole thing up.

I'll be over here, in the American heartland, not holding my breath.

UPDATE:

Meanwhile and predictably, Ron "Severe Dementia" Fournier cannot find enough glowing things to say about Mr. Brooks, who is apparently strummin' our pain with this fingers, and singin' our live with his words...


9 comments:

Fiddlin Bill said...

For a more realistic appraisal of the hill folk, see Harlan County,USA.

Neo Tuxedo said...

INSANE SECOND MATE: I am clinging by the skin of my teeth and the nails of my toes to a cliff that towers above a raging sea of salt, lashed by great winds into waves and breakers whiter and heavier than ever water was. If I let go I will fall and be broken against the rocks and buried under tons of roaring salt, drowned in the dry sea. If I do not let go I have to keep holding on here, and holding on, and holding on, what for? I am so bored I could scream. I am screaming loudly but no one can hear it over the howl of the wind and the thunder of collapsing salt. I hope the rest of you are enjucting yourselves.

CAPTAIN: What?

INSANE SECOND MATE: Before the ship self-destructs, I hope you are emplucting your time in enjuctable diversions. I think I shall let go now.

CAPTAIN: Wait! Listen, "Bats." is there anybody else there in the Crew Recreation Lounge with you?

INSANE SECOND MATE: Here I go. Eeeee-yahhhhhh!—Jesus Christ! it's sugar.

trgahan said...

"culture that celebrates people who are willing to fight to defend their honor."

"Honor Cultural" grew out of the slavery. Cotton productivity was solely based on 20 to 40 something armed white males projecting dominance over the enslaved, but still dangerous, workers. The attitude carried over into the public square where these same armed males would strut around and daring someone to say something. Numerous accounts from people traveling in the pre-civil war south document this hyper-sensitivity to perceived slight coupled with an endless desire to knock down someone else.

The jacked up, exhaust belching, pick up truck with confederate flag bummer sticker and AR-15 in the gun rack is the modern expression of "Honor Culture."

BTW...brown people were (still are) forbidden from participated in "Honor Culture," especially across racial lines. When they do engage in it within their own communities, Whites cite it as evidence of that race's "unfitness" as citizens of civil society.

"...notices the contagions of drug addiction and suicide, and the feelings of anomie, cynicism, pessimism and resentment."

He'd find this on the Upper East Side too. But elites like Brooks categorize it as the result of some human existential crisis....among the paroles, it is evidence of the social failure of conservatism not being conservative enough and liberals doing anything. Mostly because of liberals doing anything.

banker puppy said...

Dear NY Times,

It's your patriotic duty to conduct a group intervention. Our national sanity is at stake.

dinthebeast said...

When DFB has worked an honest job making the going rate wages with his hands and back for five years, I might listen to what he has to say about how working class people live. Maybe, but maybe not, because even if he were honest, he'd still be a terrible writer...

-Doug in Oakland

bluicebank said...

"See, Mr. Brooks has always been America's leading expert on the likes and dislikes of the Imaginary Ordinary Folks ..."

The sheer hubris of DFB is beyond astounding. As a member of the "ordinary folks" society, I can attest that it's not a club. We don't even have meetings. I can barely understand 75 percent of them, and that's just in my little town. I can drive a hundred miles to the motherland -- Long Beach, Calif. -- and could say "I can't believe I was born here."

The broad brush Brooks so often wields is but one tool of his intellectual laziness. He is the fool who pretends to be the sage. Back in the day, he would be unemployable.

RUKidding said...

Anybody who spends time in the working-class parts of America (and, one presumes, Britain) notices the contagions of drug addiction and suicide, and the feelings of anomie, cynicism, pessimism and resentment.

1. Too bad DFB has never spent one instant in any "working-class parts of America or the UK."

2. All of my working class pals exude anomie from every pore. It's true! They just do.

Clueless feckin' blowhard.

One can make the same broad sweeping statement about any "class" in the USA, the UK or anywhere, frankly. I thought the Brexit Leave voters skewed largely to older white Brits who want to harken back to the old "good" times post WWII??

Frankly the people who seem to exude the qualities that DFB mentions are often the uber wealthy and their spawn. Overbred with no real purpose in life because of having wealth beyond all imagining. Often jaded, cynical, drug addicted, and clearly most of the wealthy make it obvious that they simply resent the fuck outta of the rest of us for breathing their oxygen and, you know, wanting to have a decent life. Who do we think we are?? How dare we want to have a comfortable life style? The very idea!

As always DFB projects what he knows onto others whom he clearly does not know at all and has no fucking intention of finding out.

mikejaz said...

"You want to figure out what has gone wrong with this country, Mr. Brooks? Start with the fact that one of our two major political parties -- your party, Mr. Brooks -- is completely fucked in the head. And it is completely fucked in the head because the elites of your party, Mr. Brooks, built their political fortunes and media empires by feeding a mob of angry, paranoid, intractably ignorant bigots a steady diet of praise, validation, false promises and wild conspiracies for the last 30 years."

Man. Sums up, in as succinct a manner as possible, all of my observations since the Raygun "revolution".

-Deregulation (or "self regulation")
-Cross-ownership of media
-weakening of regulations separating commercial and investment banking
-pauperization of government agencies designed to speak for and protect the people
-demonization of the "have-nots"

David Brooks, hoisted by his own petard. Love it.

milegrinder said...

Got no idea who this J. D. Vance is. Sounds like somebody Don Draper edged out for and upstairs office. Meanwhile, I don't need any goddamned Brooks or his J. D. Vance. The late Joe Bageant covered all this nearly a decade ago in "Deer Hunting with Jesus," an account of life in rural VA growing up with the revanchist, n-bomb hating denizens of all the benighted little towns where Cletis and his other brother Cletis never found a clue. And this Brooks asshole sucks in huge bank for recycling all that? The rage--it'll bleach my liver white yet.