Tuesday, November 09, 2010
A Column About Nothing
David Brook's column today is impressive in that it comes about as close to the theoretical upper limit on non-columnness as anything I have read in a long while.
It is a whisper of column, which does not touch the jagged, bruising, unpleasant edges of economic, political, cultural or foreign policies realities at any point.
Apparent the future of, say, 2050 is "vague" and so to understand it we must "...start at the beginning. Five hundred years ago, agriculture was the major economic activity."
Cue bad museum diorama voice-over.
But no, we're not going to talk about the Ages of Man, or Time Marching On, or Since the Beginning or Recorded Time for more than a dozen words.
Instead, for no explicable reason, were going to wildly pivot over to "Howard Gardner of Harvard once put together a composite picture of the extraordinarily creative person..."
OK, so someone from Harvard -- yes, the Harvard! -- once put together a fictional composite of someone.
So we've got that going for us.
Then there is something about creativity, and how a creative person living in Ukraine in 2050 (who, in my alternate Universe, is inspired to cross mountains and oceans to come to America and find work in the newspaper biz because, after reading four consecutive David Brooks columns [at two Ross Douthat embarrassments], he or she realizes that, for some reason, Major American Newspapers will just give Major Op Ed Columns away to any Conservative mope with a thesaurus) will want to come here because of our language, our uncorrupt institutions and our huge bags of money.
Because the New Economy will be the stuff of "...hubs. Information networks need junction points." which certainly sounds lovely and packet-switchy, but has been Davos-speak dogwhistle since the 1970s for "we are going to keep using capital and our control over the political process position to destroying productive enterprises in the United States, bulk-shipping whole economic sectors to the 3rd World where the labor to keep them minimally productive will be done by virtual slaves and, generally, continue turning the world into a giant WalMart for the benefit of a few thousand people at the very, very top."
It is a column by rote, extruded by someone desperately hiding from the ugly reality of being a major spokesman for the most spectacularly failed ideology in modern American history which is, itself, being eaten alive by its own feral children.
It is a whisper of column about a suggestion of a column.
It is the fart left behind when the fossil of a shadow of a column -- cast long ago on a prehistoric pudding skin by a now-extinct species -- was eaten by another species of now-extinct creature, who pooted it into the ancient swamp which eventually became the oil which was pumped and refined and burned to created the electricity to warm the toilet seat on which the "inspiration" to glue together this waste of time, ink, pixels and punctuation obviously came to Mr. Brooks.
But it exists within the contextual reference of the New York Times.
Therefor it must be Very Important.
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