While making my speedy getaway from of Mr. Brooks' latest 800 word noirbarrassment (and my response to it), I chanced to glance into the rearview mirror just in time for a commenter to helpfully point out that I had, in fact, already written a short-short story about Our Mr. Brook' making a short trip down the means street of America
This is indeed true, and given that the serial and movie rights to that piece have not yet been snapped up a major (or minor, or any) publishers or movie studios, I figure I can get away with a reprint without violating the law.
Or, to slightly misquote Dashiell Hammett, "Looks like he's been slapping the kid again."
The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the Congress with His Head Up His Ass While Sucking His Own Balls
Based on his latest 800-word New York Times Centrist embarrassment,
This ethos has dissolved, on left and right. The new mentality sees the country not as an equilibrium, but as a battlefield in which the people, who are pure and virtuous, do battle against the interests or the elites, who stand in the way of the people’s happiness.
The ideal leader in this mental system is free from moral anxiety but full of passionate intensity. This leader pushes his troops in lock step before the voracious foe. Each party has its own version of whom the evil elites are, but both feel they’ve more to fear from their enemies than from their own sinfulness.
Compromise is thus impossible. Money matters should be negotiable, but how can one compromise with opponents who are the source of all corruption?
(and yes, every fucking bit of the rest of it is like that) I would hate to have to read a David Brooks police report.
Officer: So you say you saw who mugged you, sir?
Brooks: Yes. It was a big guy. With a bat. Also liberals were involved.
Officer: Leaving aside the liberals for a moment, what did this "big guy" look like?
Brooks: About six foot. Maybe 200 pounds. White. But the Democrats unreasonable position on Medicare contributed...
Officer: Like I said, sir; we'll get back to the Democrats and liberals later. Now about the man who mugged you. Could you describe what kind of clothes he had on?
Brooks: Yes. He was wearing a "Bush/Cheney '04" t-shirt, a tri-corner hat and was carrying one of those "Don't Tread On Me" flags. (pauses) Officer, you seem to be deliberately ignoring the liberal involvement here.
Officer: No sir -- I'm writing all of it down. It's just important that we start with the facts.
Brooks: Well the fact is, officer, that Democrats are clearly implicated here as well as a fringe nutcase who in no way represents the main body of Conservative thinking.
Officer: Alrighty then, Mr. Brooks, you seem to be going into shock or maybe you have a slight concussion, so lets try coming at this another way. You say you were mugged, right?
Brooks: I was definitely mugged. Assaulted and mugged.
Officer: OK, then. How many people were physically holding the baseball bat? How many different people had their hands on it?
Brooks (pauses): Uh...just the one guy.
Officer: The man with the "Bush/Cheney '04" t-shirt?
Brooks (pauses): Yes.
Officer: And how many people actually said to you -- and I quote -- "Gimme your fucking wallet or I'll fucking kill you you fucking Commie"?
Said that out loud.
In your presence.
During the mugging.
Brooks: Well, technically it was that one guy, but...
Officer: And how many separate and distinct people actually hit you in the face with the bat?
Brooks: The one guy.
Officer: The one man with the "Bush/Cheney '04" t-shirt?
Officer: And how many people -- physical, real people -- were within, say, 30 feet of that one guy? At any time during the incident?
Brooks: Well that is very hard to say. I mean, there was a lot going on, what with the one guy screaming at me and hitting me in the face with the bat, and the Democrats causing an equal amount of...
Officer: Oh, I'm sure it was frighting, sir. Very frightening. But it would make my job a lot easier if right now you could just tell me how many other, physical, real people were within 30 feet of that one guy.
Brooks: Well, if I had to guess.
Brooks: -- and this is just an approximation, you understand?
Officer: Of course.
Brooks: I'd have to say...around...
Brooks: In the vicinity of...
Brooks: Bordering on...
Brooks: Verging between...
Officer: I've got all day sir.
Brooks: Más o menos...
Brooks: Somewhere between, maybe, five...
Officer: And closer to which of those two numbers -- five and none -- would you say would be more accurate?
Brooks: (long whistle) Well the range is potentially unlimited, isn't it? I mean, what with geometric regression and Nancy Pelosi and rounding errors and Harry Reid and fractals...
Officer: Would it help your memory if I told you we have the whole thing on tape?
Officer: (pointing) See those two cameras? The one on that bank over there and a traffic camera across the street?
Officer: Between them, they'll give us a very accurate count of how many physical, real people were involved.
Officer: So you were estimating something about it being between five and none?
Brooks: Uh, let's just go with "none" then. To keep it simple.
Officer: Of course sir. So there were no people other than you and the assailant within 30 feet of the incident. How about 50 feet?
Officer: 100 feet?
Officer: So it would be fair to say, then, that the entire street was deserted except for you and the big man in the Republican t-shirt, and Tea Party flag and hat who called you -- and, again, I'm quoting -- a "fucking Commie"...
Officer: ...clubbed you on the head...
Officer: ...and stole your wallet.
Brooks: Yes, yes, yes. If you want to be a pedant about it, technically that is a description with which I cannot disagree.
Officer: "Pedant" is a big part of my job description, sir.
Brooks: I see. So are we through?
Officer: Not quite sir. A few minutes ago you were quite worked up over some people you seemed to imply were in some way conspiring with big man in the Republican t-shirt, and Tea Party flag and hat.
Flips through his notebook.
Officer: You identified a "Nancy Pelosi" and a "Harry Reid" by name, and implicated two groups called "liberals" and "Democrats".
Brooks: Finally! Yes! The Liberals!
Officer: Now if you would be good enough to point to exactly where these persons and groups were located relative to the crime scene.
Brooks: I don't understand.
Officer: I mean, did you see Nancy Pelosi in one of those windows up there? Perhaps talking to your assailant on a cell phone?
Brooks: Of course not.
Officer: Did you hear a group of these "Liberals" hiding around the corner shouting instructions? Or maybe this "Harry Reid" person drove past you in a car in a threatening manner?
Brooks: No. It doesn't work like that.
Officer: What "doesn't work like that"?
Brooks: (mutters inaudibly)
Officer: I'm sorry sir, could you speak up please? I couldn't hear you.
Brooks: "Centrism", alright? I said "Centrism"?
Brooks: Meaning that Liberals don't actually have to be present or in any way involved to be blameworthy.
Officer: So they're...invisible Liberals?
Brooks: No, no! You don't understand. They're not "invisible"; they're...uh...implicit. See, implicit in everything that guy with the bat did, there is a liberal counter-move or opposite-thingie which makes the Left equally to blame.
Officer stares silently.
Brooks: And that is where the real detective work begins.
Officer: The "real" detective work?
Brooks: Of course! Any idiot can look at mere evidence and blame the crazy Republican with the bat, but a real detective knows he has to keep looking and looking and looking and looking until he figures out the secret Liberal-counter-recto-converse thingie which makes the crazy Republican with a bat and Nancy Pelosi equally to blame.
Officer: Fascinating. Then what happens?
Brooks: Then you write it up in 800-words for the New York Times, go home to your suburban mansion and wait for huge bags of money to arrive.
Officer: Is that all?
Brooks: Basically. You also get invited onto national teevee and radio talk shows where your repeat your column word-for-word, but that's just beer money.
Officer: And that's what you think "real detective work" is?
Brooks: Sure. What else would you call it?
Officer: I'm sure I don't know, sir. I'm a trained police detective and all I see here is one Republican who has been beaten and mugged by another Republican.
Brooks: Ah, but to the truly trained eye, Officer, the implicit Liberalness here is evident.
Officer: (sighs) Mr. Brooks , "implicit" is from a Latin word. "Implicitus". It means "interwoven".
Brooks: You know Latin?
Officer: Yes sir.
Brooks: (mutters) Fuck me.
Officer: So explain to my untrained eye exactly in what way are Liberals "interwoven" with a crime committed against you on an empty street by a crazed Republican with a baseball bat?
Brooks: (petulant) Look, that's just the way it works.
Officer: The way what works?
Officer: So according to this "Centrism", every time a Republican assaults someone, somewhere out there is a Liberal who is at least equally to blame for it?
Officer: And every time a Liberal does something wrong, a Republican is also at fault?
Brooks: No, every time a Liberal does something wrong Conservatism is vindicated and Ronald Reagan smiles down on us from Heaven.
Officer: I see. (closes his notebook) I think I have all I need here.
Brooks: So what happens now?
Officer: Now we pick this guy up. Based on the description you gave us -- Republican in a funny hat who screams "Commie" at random strangers before smacking them with a baseball bat -- it shouldn't be that hard.
Brooks: And Nancy Pelosi too?
Officer: No, not Nancy Pelosi too; we pedants in the police department are limited to acting only on actual evidence.
Brooks: Then what?
Officer: Then we book him, you ID him, it goes to court and he goes to prison.
Brooks: Oh no, no, no. We can't do that.
Officer: Excuse me?
Brooks: We can't do that.
Officer: Is there a problem?
Brooks: (drops his voice) Honestly, if there is any way for you to just discreetly get my wallet back and let the rest of it drop... (trails off)
Officer: Mr. Brooks, some very serious crimes have been committed here, and but for a little bit of luck you could be lying dead in the street. And given what you've told me, if we act quickly there is a very good chance we can catch the person who did it, put him behind bars and keep him from hurting anyone else.
Brooks: And I appreciate that, but you must understand, there are wider implications.
Officer: What are you taking about? This guy's a violent lunatic -- with club -- who is walking around ripping people off and then smashing them in the head? Why in the world would you not want to press charges against him?
Brooks: (Looks around nervously and whispers) Because he's my boss.
By the way, if any of you dames, or pals or right guys missed my recent fundraiser, don't worry: I am more than happy to lighten you wallet anytime!
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