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.
going_vague3

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."

OK...

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.

9 comments:

blader said...

So, you really think it was that good, eh?

Roger Wright said...

As I TRIED to read it this morning, I kept getting distractedly the thought, "I wonder what driftglass is going to say about this?"

darkblack said...

Such a tragedy for a muse to leave its earthly vessel as has evidently happened with Brooks...like vintage flatulence leaving an aged sphincter, the arrhythmic flapping lowering in tone and trumpeting its eternal departure for the cosmos.

;>)

Cirze said...

The scent of a column.

Nobody coins them like you do, Dg.

Nobody.

I am left with challenged thinking, which is what great writing should inspire.

Kudos!

S

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.

chautauqua said...

Misread this as "Scent of a colon". A false equivalency? I think not.

Roket said...

I can haz team spirit?

Anonymous said...

"All The Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis"
Author: Bethany McLean

THIS SUNDAY
November 14, 2010

http://www.q-and-a.org/

Esteev said...

I've long since quit using toilet paper in favor of wiping my ass with David Brooks columns... That is how he got his job, right?

Tengrain said...

The thing with a network that seems to elude Davy is that Zen quality: because a network is everywhere, it is nowhere; networks are about distribution.

So I guess being the center of the global network is being in the middle of nowhere, and that certainly describes the GOP economic plan.

Rgds,

TG

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