Being cranched did strange things to Martel. Most meetings that he attended seemed formal, hearteningly ceremonial, lighting up the dark inward eternities of habermanhood. When he was not cranched, he noticed his body no more than a marble bust notices its marble pedestal. He had stood with them before. He had stood with them effortless hours, while the long-winded ritual broke through the terrible loneliness behind his eyes, and made him feel that the Scanners, though a confraternity of the damned, were none the less forever honored by the professional requirements of their mutilation.This time, it was different. Coming cranched, and in full possession of smell-sound-taste-feeling, he reacted more or less as a normal man would. He saw his friends and colleagues as a lot of cruelly driven ghosts, posturing out the meaningless ritual of their indefeasible damnation. What difference did anything make, once you were a haberman? Why all this talk about habermans and Scanners? Habermans were criminals or heretics, and Scanners were gentlemen-volunteers, but they were all in the same fix except that Scanners were deemed worthy of the short-time return of the Cranching Wire, while habermans were simply disconnected while the ships lay in port and were left suspended until they should be awakened, in some hour of emergency or trouble, to work out another spell of their damnation...
-- Cordwainer Smith, Scanners Live in Vain
For the last 20 years David Brooks has prospered as America's Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual by completely ignoring the Conservative movement, the Republican Party and the American people as they actual exist and instead, writing fairy tales for people in his social class who desperately wanted to believe in the Republican party as Mr. Brooks described it. And the sheer monetary and media power of their collective desire to believe in Mr. Brooks' fairy tales was mighty enough to keep the ugly reality of the Republican party at arms-length long, long after it was obvious to anyone who wasn't an idiot or a collaborator could see what was really going on.
Long enough for Donald Trump to walk in the front door which David Brooks' fairy tales had propped open and take the place over.
Donald Trump, who finally stomped David Brooks' Burkean Dream House so hard that no amount of duct tape and Both Siderism would put it back together again. That's when Mr. Brooks locked himself in the basement with a case of tequila and told his intern to "Fucking deal with, Emilio! What am I paying you for?!"
Here is a sample of what Emilio came up with today:
...There was a greater tendency in years gone by to wall off emotions, to put on a thick skin — for some men to be stone-like and uncommunicative and for some women to be brittle, brassy and untouchable.
And then many people turned to alcohol to help them feel anything at all.
Reading you (wink wink) loud and clear, Emilio. Please continue.
We are all fragile when we don’t know what our purpose is, when we haven’t thrown ourselves with abandon into a social role, when we haven’t committed ourselves to certain people, when we feel like a swimmer in an ocean with no edge.
We live in an age when it’s considered sophisticated to be disenchanted. But people who are enchanted are the real tough cookies.
OK, I lied. There is no Emilio.
The is only Mr. Brooks, entombed beneath a mountain of his own very public failure, fraud and hypocrisy, being zapped over and over again with a cranching wire that he cannot turn off.