Wednesday, October 25, 2017

David Brooks: Super Fanaticism Defeater Guy

Because honestly, in all the wide world, who better to talk to today's youth about the Fanaticism -- 
How to Engage a Fanatic
-- than a man who lives a cloistered wealthy suburban Washington D.C. life of extreme privilege, writes Beltway Both Siderism Comfort Food columns for a living and hires staff to read internet comments because reading them himself it too psychologically scarring? (From Wonkette)
David Brooks Too Delicate To Read Internet Comments
The prompting for Mr. Brooks column seems to be that, for the third time in his life, someone was unkind to Mr. Brooks in public:
First, I was at a Washington Nationals game when a Trump supporter in the row in front of me unleashed a 10-minute profanity-strewn tirade at me, my wife and son.
The world will not soon forget back in 2014 when Mr. Brooks bravely recounted the harrowing details of the first and second time in his entire life he met with rude public prose:
But on the street, Brooks rarely hears from haters. "I think in my whole life I've had two people come up and be nasty to me," Brooks said. "Once I was at the Museum of Modern Art and this astoundingly good-looking woman came up to me and said, 'I hate you.'"
Spoken like a man who has never been on a city bus a day in his life.


What does Mr. Brooks recommend as a curative for this national scourge of half-drunk Republicans yelling at David Brooks at baseball games? 

Love, of course.  Saccharine, limitless oceans of love which, according to Mr. Brooks, those of us on the receiving end of 30 years of lies, sadism and insanity from the Republican party should dole out to those madmen and sadists and bigots and imbecile who are terrorizing us and inflicting lasting damage on our country.

This, according to Mr. Brooks, we should do because otherwise we will all become terrible people:
You engage fanaticism with love, first, for your own sake. If you succumb to the natural temptation to greet this anger with your own anger, you’ll just spend your days consumed by bitterness and revenge. You’ll be a worse person in all ways.
In Mr. Brooks' telling of history, fascism was defeated with hugs, and the Confederacy was destroyed with trust falls.  Because Mr. Brooks -- whose only academic credential in the undergraduate degree in history he scammed from one of America's most prestigious universities -- is once again just full of happy horseshit about how he pretends the world works, and how he wishes history were unfolding.

For example, Mr. Brooks believes that if we (meaning us Libtards, because this shit is always on us) would just listen even more compassionately to the miscreants and bigots who make up the base of his Republican party then everything might take a sharp turn back to civility:
If you make these people feel heard, maybe in some small way you’ll address the emotional bile that is at the root of their political posture.
Yeah.  We tried that.  Repeatedly.  The most recent attempt was called the Obama Administration.  And their reaction to the election of a calm, decent, honorable, rational, scandal-free family-man who sincerely wanted to make their lives better and who actually listened to their grievances...

...was to run in circles with their hair on fire for eight years screaming about the Kenyan Commie Usurper who was trying to take their guns away and sell them out to the Muslim Brotherhood.

And then they elected a lying, racist, sexual predator who gets his "news" from the same toxic Fox News/Hate Radio dumpster from which they get theirs.

So fuck that.  We're past that.  We're way past that.

And by the way, is Mr. Brooks ever left Villa Straylight and actually walked among the hoi polloi he would very quickly notice that "feeling heard" is not a problem with these people.  In fact, quite the opposite is true: you can drive from sea to shining sea in this country and never hear anything but their ludicrous opinions pouring out of the radio and bombasting at you from Fox News and Sinclair Broadcasting telescreens.  Hell, my local paper syndicates George Will, Michael Gerson, Hugh Hewitt and Ann Fucking Coulter because it is so terribly important that the racist opinions of brain-dead acolytes of Ann Fucking Coulter be pandered to.   There is a sprawling, multi-billion dollar, vertically-integrated political-media behemoth in this country that does nothing but listen to every little mumbling word these meatheads have to say on every subject...

...and then fawningly repeats it all back to them as gospel.

So, again, fuck that and let us return to Mr. Brooks' inappropriate groping of American history:
...the best abolitionists restrained their natural hatred of slaveholders because they thought the reform of manners and the abolition of slavery were part of the same cause — to restore the dignity of every human being.
But to actually end slavery, President Lincoln had to burn the Confederacy to the ground, didn't he? And yet even after their cause was lost and their cities and armies destroyed, the leaders of the Confederacy were still playing every angle to keep their obscene institution up and running.

And the minute the North took its boot off the South's throat, they were right back to their old depravities, which they kept intact for another century.  Their fanaticism was not "electron-thin".  It was and is bone-deep, and passed down from generation to generation like a family heirloom.

Which bring us into the realm of more recent history, which Mr. Brooks also shamelessly drop-kicks into fantasy land:
You don’t have to like someone to love him. All you have to do is try to imitate Martin Luther King, who thrust his love into his enemies’ hearts in a way that was aggressive, remorseless and destabilizing.
Yes, but consider the means by which Dr. King's "thrust his love into his enemies’ hearts".

Dr. King did it be fearlessly naming and shaming those enemies with clarity and specificity even as those enemies imprisoned him over and over again (Chapter 18: Letter from a Birmingham Jail) --
You would be living in a city where brutality directed against Negroes was an unquestioned and unchallenged reality. One of the city commissioners, a member of the body that ruled municipal affairs, would be Eugene "Bull" Connor, a racist who prided himself on knowing how to handle the Negro and keep him in his "place." As commissioner of public safety, Bull Connor, entrenched for many years in a key position in the Birmingham power structure, displayed as much contempt for the rights of the Negro as he did defiance for the authority of the federal government.
-- something which Mr. Brooks would find inconceivable for fear of possibly being yelled at by some drunk rando at some point in the future.

Dr. King did it by using even his most public platform and most soaring rhetoric to lay the blame for the system which oppressed his people squarely where it belonged --
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification”...
-- something which Mr. Brooks has spent his entire career assiduously avoiding.

And most importantly, Dr. King did it by organizing and marching and boycotting and being thrown in prison over and over again in order to bring relentless political pressure to bear on the system until the system cracked:

Mr. Brooks, on the other hand, thinks that sort of thing is silly and self-indulgent --

-- from the Huffington Post, Jan 24, 2017:
In a column published Tuesday, The New York Times’ David Brooks tries to argue that the women and men who marched Saturday were wasting their time on what he dismisses as “mass therapy” and ineffective “identity politics.”

His rationale is basically: Oh, girls with their silly pink hats and trifling concerns, please stop; I know what’s best. Leave this stuff to the men in the political parties.

This is how he puts it: “The marches offered the pink hats, an anti-Trump movement built, oddly, around Planned Parenthood, and lots of signs with the word ‘pussy’ in them. The definition of America is up for grabs. Our fundamental institutions have been exposed as shockingly hollow. But the marches couldn’t escape the language and tropes of identity politics.”
This is because Mr. Brooks is a creature of the establishment -- a creature of extreme privilege and quivering cowardice.  And as such, he wouldn't mind if our politics got better as long as no one raises his taxes, raises their voice or raises a fist in protest.

Behold, a Tip Jar!


Anonymous said...

Beautifully put, driftglass.

trgahan said...

Fuck this and all the rest of the "Love thy Trump Voter" bullshit that has been peddled since November.

I am fucking done listing/reading/etc. to people telling me the answer is to just listen to our Economically-Anxious-Working-Class-Abandoned-By-Democrats...cause they don't actually mean any thing they are saying, they want to be heard!

Can we start calling this stuff for what it is? An intentional, coordinated propaganda effort to cut off any liberal counter-offensive at the knees.

RUKidding said...

Oh thank you David Effing Brooks for your ever so enlightening Intel on how to do treat & deal with the monsters that you were paid so handsomely to create over the past three plus decades. Like I, effing dirty hippie that I am, have never ever ever conceived of the concept of speaking civily, nicely & lovingly to these brainwashed stooges. Nay, verily, NEVER have I conceived of this clearly successful pathway to holding hands and singing Kumbayah with my Trumpian brethren and sisters, who will, no doubt, see the error of their ways and toss away their gunz 'n ammo and start donating to Planned Parenthood toot sweet! (yes I know that's incorrect spelling).

Face to Palm!!!!!!

Like this effen fool goes to a baseball game and one of Dolt 45s fervid fans commences to dissing poor iddle widdle Davie... and somehow that's MY fault?????? WTF??? Talk about through the frickin' looking glass.

It's not ME who riled up those droogies, Brooksie - it's YOU.

Just like Billo Liely, who just yesterday actually & truly blamed his sexual perversions and bullyings on GOD (yes!! O'Liely went THERE), DFB's blames his pandering to and encouragement of this very behavior and voting habits on ME (and the rest of the Libtards).

Get Effed you effen stuffed shirt namby pamby pissant.

And so on...

I would say it's unbelieveable, except, sadly, it's not.

And finally: maybe PantyWaisted DFB should take some lessons from Dame Peggitha Nooningtonhampshire who seems to get along ever so much better with the hoi polloi, whom she occassionally runs into - but always at arm's distance (shudder) - when she staggers into her favorite booze bodega or talks to her man-servant, pablo, or some rando who walks by her taxi on the streets of New York. Dame Muckity Muck seems to get ever so much better treatment that Brooksie from the Peedons. He oughta inquire how it's done.

Sheesh. These people. Ugh.

Professor Fate said...

"the best abolitionists restrained their natural hatred of slaveholders because they thought the reform of manners and the abolition of slavery were part of the same cause."

And as you note that worked out so well didn't it?

God in heaven you have to be a special kind of evil to pretend the Civil war didn't happen and why it happened. It wasn't because of rudeness on behalf of the abolitionists Dave. And oh yes love really worked so well against the Nazis too. I can just see Brooks during the blitz writing that if only the New prime minster would be more polite like Mr. Chamberlain was this whole nasty war would come to an end.

RUKidding said...

Can we start calling this stuff for what it is? An intentional, coordinated propaganda effort to cut off any liberal counter-offensive at the knees.

Thanks, trgahan. I quite agree.

But really there's nothing new here. The dirty effing LIEbruls have been adjured with this claptrap to make nice to conservatives for years. It's the other branch of the Oligarch's long-tail campaign to take over the country and rob us all blind.

The major effort & money has gone into the highly developed, very well thought out, and expensively funded media campaign that includes all of the ususal suspects - Fox, Clear Channel, Regnary Press, Sinclair Broadcasting, "Christiany" Broadcasting & mega Churches preaching Prosperity Gospel - to brainwash the dittoheads into voting the way they do, as well as completly turning them against anyone who votes differently than they do, especially if they are minorities or females or Muslims, or otherwise look different from them, etc - in order that there really can be NO civilized conversations or "discussions" about politics or social issues.

So yeah, blaming Libtards for the bad behavior and intransigence of the rightwing is the other branch of the propaganda campaign. That somehow makes us LIEbruls responsible to "make nice" to conservatives so that we can all just get along. Not gunna happen.

Divide and conquer. The oldest strategy in the book.

Brooks can kiss my libtarded azz.

Jason said...

Very well put DG. This one hit me in just the right places, the heart, the head and spirit. While I'm riding this anger train for the next 3+ years I need the steam valves to open every once in awhile and this post was the most cathartic I'd read in a long time. You speak for a lot of people. Thank you. Now how do we help get you a bigger platform?

Maybe it's because I'm older or maybe it's because Trump is a catastrophe that is opening the door to dismantling our democracy at a deeper level than Bush did (which is NOT putting even a hint of a tint of rose in my shades about Bush because there's a special place in hell for his actions and paving the road for this POSPOTUS), but I feel far more vulnerable and angry than I think I felt during the Bush regime. It doesn't help that I live in a more rural Republican stronghold community currently.

Keep it going man.

Habitat Vic said...

The sad reality is that there will always be the top 1%-ers (or 1% of the 1%) that will be drunk on greed and power, wanting ever more for themselves and fuck everyone else. And they will gravitate/enlist that 25% or more of any population that can be tricked into doing their bidding. Whether its via racism, religion, patriotism, whatever.

I have turned 60 and I can remember back when all the (actual, real) DFHs of my older brother's generation thought maybe we finally turned a corner as a society. But 10 years later we elected Reagan, and today many of my brother's 70-something compatriots are wearing MAGA hats and giddily driving this country off a cliff.

And don't give me any of that "well, we've got the demographics on our side coming to save us " bullshit. First, Repubs will resort to any and all tricks to keep power, and new ones in the pipeline: appointed Senators, apportioned electoral votes, net worth/earnings requirements to be able to vote, and so on. And as to the younger generation learning from their elder's mistakes?

170 years ago, the wealthy 1% aristocrats of the South used political/economic power and slaves to drive small farmers out of business and into poverty. Kept them hating the slaves they could no longer afford and loving them some Jeebus. In return and against their own self interest, those poor Southerners gladly fought and died to protect the very 1% who were screwing them over. Proudly. Generations later, their poor ignorant progeny still fly the Confederate flag, hate the The Other, love Jeebus, and will fight and die to protect the sacred honor/wealth of the Koch Brothers.

We won't convince or convert them (not many anyway). They need to be driven to the ground and kept down, for they can always spring back up. Its part of human nature.

Robert said...

Brooks has an interesting take on how to deal with ISIS. Has he run it by the Pentagon yet?

bowtiejack said...

Great stuff.
Perhaps the success of con men like Brooks and the Pussy Grabber-in-Chief tells me more than I want to know about their marks and the reality of the world we currently live in.

dave said...

how did we get there mistuh brooks? was your enabling glee and crocodile tears for civility and 'both sides' do it trumped? the lugubrious smarmy syrupy sap you've been spilling on the NYT not useful anymore?

'A lot of the fanaticism in society is electron-thin. People in jobs like mine get a lot of nasty emails, often written late at night after libations are flowing. But if we write back to our attackers appreciatively, and offer a way to save face, 90 percent of the time the next email is totally transformed. The brutal mask drops and the human being instantly emerges.'

nossir-when you engage the nazi with 'we're on the same team' most of them quiet down and take the alliance...

dinthebeast said...

Lady 3Jane would throw DFB out of the airlock before he could finish his second sentence...

-Doug in Oakland

Andy K said...

drifty, why do you not have a nightly tv show on, say, Comedy Central, sort of like The Soup, but just you dishing on the news media?

Sorry 'bout the Cubs, man. Unlike the Tigers, they've got a shot at it again next year.

glesslib said...

I've been following politics since I was a ten year old is. My dad was a yellow dog Democrat. We talked a lot of politics at my house. The only time I ever actually felt abandoned by the Democratic Party was the couple of decades when they decided to become Republican light. That didn't work too well. I loved Obama, but the first few years when he tried "Come, let us reason together", I was disappointed. This was mostly because I already knew, from years of watching the Republicans lose their very collective mind, that it would never work. You cannot reason with the unreasoning. I read that David Brooks happy horseshit column about how we need to listen and love the poor unheard rwnj. I laughed and wrote a letter to the editor. He lives in an alternate universe. If I were at that game, I would have yelled liberal stuff at him for 10 minutes, and I don't even drink.

Tom Shefchik said...

Brooks said, "You’ll be a worse person in all ways." He knows well as he has been getting worse in all ways for decades.

Put he's a historian doncha know. Lincoln stomped the South very politely. And when the Jim Crows weren't making the lives of the blahs hell they were having cotillions. see? Even back then both sides did it.

jim said...

You can take the apparatchik out of the bunker, but you can't take the bunker out of the apparatchik.

Anonymous said...

One cannot go wrong, drifting with the Reverend Doctor King.