Tuesday, June 07, 2016

David Brooks, Shouting At Clouds Column #1,773



Mr. David Brooks of the New York Times is god damn sick and tired of the stupid frets and concerns of millions and millions of grubby, narrow-minded, god-bothering pie wagons with whom he is forced to share this here Land of the Free.

Let’s Have a Better Culture War

...
The laws commanding where transgender people go to the bathroom, on the other hand, show how the culture war has devolved into an overpoliticized set of gestures designed to push people’s emotional hot buttons.

These laws are in response to a problem that doesn’t seem to exist. They are in response to a threat of sexual predators that has no relation to the existence of transgender people. They are about legislating a group, not about what constitutes good behavior. They are an attempt to erect crude barriers when a little local consideration and accommodation could get the job done.

For some reason, some defenders of traditional values are addicted to sideshows that end with the whiff of intolerance...
For me, that "For some reason" bit is the absolute core of this column -- three little words being cruelly forced to bear the entire weight of the 40 years of toxic Republican awfulness that finally birthed Donald Trump and which Mr. David Brooks absolutely does not want to discuss, ever, under any circumstance.

"For some reason" is Mr. David Brooks' "Little did he know."



I have written over 5,000 posts on "For some reason."

I have been podcasting for over six years based on the theme of "For some reason."

I once gave an entire seminar on "For some reason."

None of which has ever had the slightest effect on Mr. David Brooks, whose professional energies are spent these days actively pretending not to know what horrors are encrypted in those three little words.

But, to be completely fair, Mr. David Brooks of the New York Times is also god damn sick and tired of the rest of us too -- those other hundreds of millions and millions of amoral, porn-crazy pie wagons with who have let his Land of the Free go to pot.

Because Both Sides, baby! Both Sides uber alles!
At the same time, the larger culture itself has become morally empty, and therefore marked by fragmentation, distrust and powermongering.
Yes, Mr. David Brooks of the New York Times longs for something better.  Purer.  Preferably something he can attain without having to ever actually talk to any of those hundreds of millions of us grubby little pie-wagons who have screwed up his country so badly.  Something with hot and cold running interns to fluff his pillow, turn the pages of whatever work by Edmund Burke he is re-reading but still not comprehending and open his blinds in the morning so  he can pick out just the right clouds at which to yell today.
...
The larger culture itself needs to be revived in four distinct ways: We need to be more communal in an age that’s overly individualistic; we need to be more morally minded in an age that’s overly utilitarian; we need to be more spiritually literate in an age that’s overly materialistic; and we need to be more emotionally intelligent in an age that is overly cognitive.

Rather than fighting endless losing battles over sexual identity, we need a better culture war. We need a new traditionalism.
...

There’s a warmth to our traditions and rituals that is fueled by love and contact with the transcendent...

We have souls or consciousness or whatever you want to call it. The first step of a new traditionalism would be to put the spiritual and moral implications of everyday life front and center...
You know, there are many people in this world who, like Mr. David Brooks, come to believe at a certain point that it is their True Calling to spend the rest of their lives endless and gassily lecturing us Lesser Mortals about how fucking awesome everything would be if everyone would just shut up, stop acting like grubby little pie-wagons and spontaneously change everything about everything from politics to human nature to our leisure activities,  

Ordinarily, the maudlin droning of such people can be circumvented pretty easily by, say, moving down a couple of bar stools, or changing seats on the bus, or executing a strategic retreat from the Mensa monthly meeting where they have cornered you.  

And for some reason, the New York Times has chosen to give just such a clueless moral scold a job-for-life at America's newspaper of record, and pay him a princely sum to impotently admonish hundreds of millions of people about whom he clearly knows nothing about the seriousness of our collective moral failings.

13 comments:

Professor Fate said...

"We have souls or consciousness or whatever you want to call it. The first step of a new traditionalism would be to put the spiritual and moral implications of everyday life front and center... "

you know the last time we really did this sort of thing it tended to lead to things like Auto de Fe's and Witch Trials for some reason.

banker puppy said...

"I’ve slipped into a bad pattern, spending large chunks of my life in the bourgeois strata — in professional circles with people with similar status and demographics to my own."
--DB, 4/29/2016

Still there, apparently.

RUKidding said...

For some reason, despite Fuckcakes grandiloquent moral scoldings, the GOP has whelped out Trump as their Leader.

Neo Tuxedo said...

"We need a new traditionalism."

Eliminate the ninnies and the twits.

dinthebeast said...

Who exactly might this "we" he alludes to be, and where exactly might one find them? My best guess would unfortunately be Mr. David Brooks' ass from whence he seems to have pulled them...

-Doug in Oakland

Chan Kobun said...

We already have a "new traditionalism", Stupe Davey Dave.

It's called "being a decent human being", and it has absolutely no need for your ignorant clamoring for The Good Old Days when the culture war between bigots and their targets was fought on small scales without media coverage or voices sympathetic to the downtrodden.

The "spiritual and moral implications of everyday life" are already front and center for many of us, Stupe Davey Dave; we call it "social justice". It doesn't involve asking men in robes what's right, or begging a sky-wizard for forgiveness for the all

Chan Kobun said...

*continuing where I left off, no thanks to SwiftKey or Chrome:

For the awful crime of being human. It involves asking our neighbors what we can do to help them be treated as equals to us. It involves realizing what in our culture is broken and trying to fix it. And it doesn't require you and your brown-nosing of a party that hates us, David.

Fuck this guy, seriously. Or, better yet, don't.

proverbialleadballoon said...

"..spontaneously change everything about everything from politics to human nature to our leisure activities." This is the whole thing. We're supposed to pretend that their viewpoint is feasible, that everything we know about human history is wrong, and take their word that they are arguing in good faith. These shills have always treated their audience with contempt, but they aren't even hiding it anymore. We better blow these fuckers out in November, it's the only way the media budges on its message. Can't say both sides equal when it's 55-45, and Clinton gets 350+ electoral votes. Vote!

Jimbo said...

America was founded on genocide and slavery on the one hand and religious intolerance on the other. And that's the tradition to which conservatives want to return. For them, "communal values" = communism and they're agin that. Nowadays, I really don't know who DFB thinks he is talking to. Conservatives want nothing to do with his squishy moralizing for the new olde days and liberals are just trying to keep looking forward.

D. said...

I was under the impression one was not allowed to make any calls for "new traditionalism" when the correct statement is "I was wrong about everything I've ever written," after which a retreat to a desert, monastery, or ashram, for a period of not less than one year was mandatory.

Also, what Chan Kobun said (at 2:17 PM).

And Cheap Shot Alert: "Yes, Mr. David Brooks of the New York Times longs for something better. Purer. Preferably something he can attain without having to ever actually talk to any of those hundreds of millions of us grubby little pie-wagons who have screwed up his country so badly. Something with hot and cold running interns to fluff his pillow, turn the pages of whatever work by Edmund Burke he is re-reading but still not comprehending and open his blinds in the morning so he can pick out just the right clouds at which to yell today." was cackle-worthy. [Bolding added because I love that euphemism.] /Cheap Shot Alert.

Lawrence said...

"At the same time, the larger culture itself has become morally empty, and therefore marked by fragmentation, distrust and powermongering."

Sort of in a ‘Greed is Good’, ‘IBGYBG’, ‘There is no society, only families and individuals.’ Kind of way? Not our doing.

"Rather than fighting endless losing battles over sexual identity, we need a better culture war. We need a new traditionalism."

Well, since Disney bought Star Wars and Marvel my culture and traditions are looking up. Not sure about the new Trek film.

"There’s a warmth to our traditions and rituals that is fueled by love and contact with the transcendent..."

God bothering or should I feng shui my chakras? Unclear.

"We have souls or consciousness or whatever you want to call it."

Consciousness and ensoulment are not the same thing. If you’ve got any evidence for substance dualism, which is what most religions call a soul, I’d love to read it. Emergent property dualism is a much better model. But it’s not portable.

Todd Brereton said...

"We need to be more communal in an age that’s overly individualistic; we need to be more morally minded in an age that’s overly utilitarian; we need to be more spiritually literate in an age that’s overly materialistic; and we need to be more emotionally intelligent in an age that is overly cognitive."

In other words, Mr. Brooks wants to live in a communist state. Perhaps, instead of reading Edmund Burke, he might pick up. . . . .

trgahan said...

Brooks sounds like that rabid football fan whose favorite team used to win championships and be loaded with hall of famers but is now in last place with a roster full of nobodies.

Gone are the days of wearing jersey's to work, car covered in stickers, constant mindless cheerleading, and endless vicious smack talk at any "hater" who said otherwise. Now that fan, aka Brooks, only grumbles about how the game changed too much, the negative effects of concussions, off field behavior, and "it's just a game."