Friday, January 06, 2017

The Sad Bastard Divorce Chronicles of David Brooks



Almost exactly a year ago, we found Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times busy sublimating stuff he saw during trips to and from CVS to buy Lottos, Slim Jims and a 50 into some sort of creepy, Humbert Humbert meditation on...Jesus...who the fuck knows?

But it was in The New York Times, so it must have been Vitally Important.
Chapter 31: Life Goes On At The Bachelor Arms Apartments ("Our beds are the Murphiest!").  From the New York Times: 
Across the street from my apartment building in Washington there’s a gigantic supermarket and a CVS. Above the supermarket there had been a large empty space with floor-to-ceiling windows. The space was recently taken by a ballet school, so now when I step outside in the evenings I see dozens of dancers framed against the windows, doing their exercises — gracefully and often in unison.

It can be arrestingly beautiful. The unexpected beauty exposes the limitations of the normal, banal streetscape I take for granted every day. But it also reminds me of a worldview, which was more common in eras more romantic than our own. 
...
By arousing the senses, beauty arouses thought and spirit. A person who has appreciated physical grace may have a finer sense of how to move with graciousness through the tribulations of life... 

Today the word eros refers to sex, but to the Greeks... 

Others describe eros as a more spiritual or religious longing...
And this is the point at which the coed Mr. Brooks was macking on backed sloooowly out of the room...
Now, one year later, it's apparently time to move on from the majestic views afforded by the Bachelor Arms apartments to a more permanent address.  One with a mortgage and no weepy old men haggling with hookers in the laundry room or bodies being fished out of the pool every Valentine's Day and New Years.

And so, once again, another quotidian post-divorce experience of the Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual in America is magically transformed into a turgid meditation on...Jesus...who the fuck knows?

But it's in The New York Times so it must be Vitally Important:

The Home Buying Decision

I’ve been thinking about the big decisions in life: How do people choose careers, colleges, spouses and towns. Of those decisions, buying a home ranks with the most difficult.

It is difficult emotionally. Like a lot of the biggest decisions, it is more emotional than coldly rational. People generally don’t select a house; they fall in love with it.

Part of that falling-in-love process is aesthetic...

That process of falling in love is confusing and mysterious...

Cupid’s housing arrow has a tendency to strike you unawares...

Choosing a house is also difficult psychologically. The whole process forces you to separate what you think you want from what you really want...

You may have dreams of being the sort of person who has a fantastically eclectic house... 

But when you actually survey the homes you are drawn to, you realize that you in fact love your privacy...

House hunting is cognitively challenging...

How do you know you’ve fairly sampled the market and haven’t missed a better house somewhere out there...
And then suddenly, Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times remembered that after a long, lazy hiatus from the easiest job in journalism, at the very least he probably should have hacked out his 800 words on a subject that at least tangentially related to what is currently the biggest political and cultural story on Earth.
Finally, house hunting is morally difficult.  This is where Donald Trump comes in...
Sure.  That'll do it.  I mean, why the fuck not, right?  Because it's not like anyone at The New York Times actually knows or cares what their marquee Conservative Public Intellectual is writing about on any given day.
Think of all the people who fall for some expansive far-off home, without counting the cost of a long commute. They’ve got a happy home but a miserable existence...
Something tells me that Mr. David Brooks' J-Date profile -- "Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual in America seeks 30-something exotic dancer who is into Burke, TED talks, humility and long, pointless walks right down the middle of everything" -- might not be yielding the kind of results the brochures had promised, and that he has now moved down-market to a more realistic price range,

12 comments:

duquesnepdx said...

“I’ve been thinking about the big decisions in life: How do people choose careers, colleges, spouses and towns. Of those decisions, buying a home ranks with the most difficult.”

Fortunately, after the GOP gets done looting the country and selling off the pieces, those icky 99%ers won’t have to worry about careers, college, or buying homes.

Brooks is probably just sad that you just can’t go on Amazon and order a spouse off the shelf.

Jimbo said...

Gawd, what a banal, mawkish writer. Didn't read the OpEd so was DFB trying to say something about Dump's likely long commutes between the WH and Mar-a-lago?

D. said...

He said "...house hunting is morally difficult."

Really?

Really?

Is he thinking of buying property in a gentrifying neighborhood? That actually does have a moral dimension. Which house to buy in Deep Suburbia (the World's Tiniest Violin broke a string at "cost of a long commute") does not.

Jeez, somebody break Brooksie's mirrors before he falls into one.

trgahan said...

Sounds like David got a rejection letter from the Georgetown HOA (or some other high end development catering to the powerful and connected) and is trying to cover it with a bunch of philosophical nonsense.

"Yeah, I could have lived here if I wanted to, but you know....drive times and all that"

JRCIII said...

Preferred address on both sides of the street.

Dave Jensen said...

At first I thought Mr. Brooks had stayed up too late last night watching Netflix and cribbed this out of Carlito's Way: (skip ahead to 2:20)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVjdre6O7IA

But a quick Google search reveals The Washington Ballet has opened up shop above a Giant Supermarket on Wisconsin NW, so maybe the local beat cops have had to tell the strange fellow to stop staring and move along.

Perhaps we can hear musings on Pex vs. traditional copper plumbing in upcoming columns, which is more in line with Burke-ian ideals?



Bless you and your Blue Gal and keep your blood pressure in check!

dinthebeast said...

I'm sure buying a home is difficult in various ways. Well not "sure" as I never have and never will buy one, but I think I remember my parents stressing out about it a few times.
We had a ballet school behind a restaurant in Berkeley where I worked, and we all had the human decency not to stare at the students.
Can I suggest that DFB go fuck himself?

-Doug in Oakland

Benjamin Feddersen said...

"and long, pointless walks right down the middle of everything"

If I had been drinking coffee it would have come out my nose.

Smorgus said...

What we have here is a failure to communicate. Some men, you just can't reach...

Meanwhile, the menu at Trump Grill(e) features Manchurian BBQ

June Butler said...

The column is high on the bizarre list of the many bizarre pieces DB submitted and had accepted for mysterious reasons by the opinion page editor of the NYT. The house certainly seemed to be a metaphor for other longings in DB's life, like the right kind of woman - possibly even a ballet dancer.

Isaac Segal said...

"Cupid's housing arrow"?

That may be one of the worst locutions I've ever seen.

If I were Miss Brooks' keyboard, I'd get myself a restraining order.

Mark Armstrong said...

DFB needs editing.

Badly.