Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Morning Comin' Down

As was foretold by Salzman from Accounting by some unknown, children's table denizen in this stirring account of "The Speech Codes of David Brooks" --
And if I hadda bet, I'd wager a penny and a fiddle of gold that tomorrow on "Softball Batting Practice with Chuck Todd" Mr. Brooks will be re-reading the same column in the same way to the same sage, wattle-nodding concurrence of his peers.
-- the Laziest Pundit in America fulfilled the prophesy, and served it up with a big, greasy side of smug self-regard and host-flattery:
DAVID BROOKS: We lionize people abroad for things we would not tolerate here. And so the reaction should be for us domestically is, hey, let's get offended a little more. Let's tolerate a little offensiveness. There's a new thing on campus, microaggressions. It's like some minor offense against people.

But you just have to learn to tolerate that. We have to do two things, one we have to uphold standards of civility and decency, but we ought to let the clowns among us say what the clowns do. And you never do that with law, you never do it with speech codes, you don't disinvite speakers, you allow them to talk, but you have distinctions.

So there are some people like, frankly this show, we're at the adult table of conversation. Some people like Ann Coulter, they're at the kiddie-table. Charlie Hebdo, that's the kiddie table. Let the kiddie table have the kiddie table. Because sometimes they'll say things that those of us at the adult table need to hear. Don't crack down on them.
Since, like David Brooks, Ann Coulter has her own nationally-syndicated column which shows up like a big, wide, fascist shit-stain in my local paper every week...and like David Brooks, Ann Coulter appears on national teevee and radio regularly...and like David Brooks, Ann Coulter has found a schlock house willing to pay her real American money to publish her books...and like David Brooks, rakes in additional beer-and-skittles money lecturing...I have no idea what the fuck he is talking about with "you don't disinvite speakers, you allow them to talk".

No group in America -- none! -- has a larger and more undeserved audience than Conservative gargoyles like Coulter and respectable Conservative toadies like Brooks.  Yes, there are real speech code operating in the world.  Sweeping, unwritten codes which exile genuinely vital issues from Mr. Brooks' "adult table" and flood the zone with endless, droning, Both Siderism claptrap and empty, presidential tout-sheet gossip of interest only to vainglorious Beltway jagoffs who work for the company store:
CHUCK TODD: Helene, we have fun with 2016 with you, and you said, "Oh my God, it's so early." But it is interesting, going to this Clinton/Bush thing...
Yes, there are real, ironclad speech codes, ruthlessly enforced by all the muscle billion-dollar media companies can muster, but since those speech codes are the means by which Conservative toadies like David Brooks are made rich and powerful, which is why no one but loser, pariah bloggers ever talks about them.

But that's not what piqued my attention.

What made me laugh out lout happened far away from the set of "Softball Batting Practice with Chuck Todd", across town at the tote-bag and coffee-mug capitol of America, NPR ("Nice, Polite Republicans") where Listeners Like You paid the Laziest Pundit In America s to read aloud from his own New York Times column for the third time in one week.

Nice work if you can get it:
BROOKS: Yeah. Well, I'm not that kind of journalist, actually. You know, this reminds us what we stand for. But I just started with the simple point that if Charlie Hebdo had been published on any American university campus, it would have been shutdown in about 30 second, that some of the offensive would have been seen as hate speech, they would have been ruled out by certain hate crime codes. In certain campuses, they would have been scandals. A lot of the people who have controversial views are invited off-campus. So I was really inviting us to take a more tolerant look at what we think of as offensive and allow more offensive speech in our midst and not be so quick to be offended. And I think that's one of the lessons that we can draw in this country from what happened over there in Paris.
Then a remarkable thing happened.  Well, almost happened.  Mr. Brooks' jejune radio side-kick, E.J. Dionne, pushed back ever so gently against Mr. Brooks' sins, even while cravenly expiating them:
DIONNE: I rarely disagree as much with David as I did today, because I thought to conflate speech codes with the murders of 12 people, and I know he wasn't really engaged in that kind of moral equivalence, but it really invites it. It's one thing to say that you want to respect others. And I have a pretty expansive view of what should be permitted on college campuses. I don't like shutting down speakers. But this is mass murder. As his colleague Ross Douthat said, the presence of the gun fundamentally changes things...
Well, Our Mr. Brooks was having none of it because, see, by a very strange coincidence Mr. Brooks just happened to sit down with his Filipino houseboy and they just happened to vewy, vewy carefully vet this very question!  And they both agreed that no one in their right mind could possibly believe that Missah Brooks was conflating speech codes with the murders of 12 people --

BROOKS: No. I debated - could anybody possibly think that I was making an equivalency between speech codes and killing when I was writing the column? I talked with my assistant about that, and we decided nobody could possibly make that connection.
-- despite the fact that, at the "adult table" in four different venues in the last four days, when  called upon to respond directly to the murders of 12 people at the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, Mr. Brooks response each time was...


..."Yeah, sure, but what about those fucking speech codes!"


Anonymous said...

It's that right-wing inability to distinguish the public from the pivate. Same reason why they think "gummint shud be runned like a bizniss!!1"

Kathleen O'Neill said...

What in the name of all that's holy is Brooks babbling about? I swear I can't comprehend his meaning. Do I need some kind of medication to decipher him? Also, too, how can I make oodles of money for babbling? I don't care about "fame" - just money.

Red Hand said...

BROOKS: No. I debated - could anybody possibly think that I was making an equivalency between speech codes and killing when I was writing the column? I talked with my assistant about that, and we decided nobody could possibly make that connection.

Is there a better admission, anywhere, of the pathetic detachment from reality DFB suffers from in his very special residential suite in The Village?

I think not. I certainly had the feeling that I was "not alone" being creeped out by DFB's seeming obliviousness to the fact that people were murdered in Paris for expressing their opinions, and that this might not be a good "teaching moment" to go on a rant about campus "speech codes."

Oh, but, "I talked with my assistant about that * * * "

Yeah, right.

Yastreblyansky said...

I missed the connection between speech codes and murder--until I saw the translation of the Brooks column into Erickericksonian. That made it perfectly clear.

Yastreblyansky said...

Cute, by the way, how the "Holy Fools" of the Friday column got turned into the children's table in time for Sunday dinner. Children's table, lolwut? And without changing the meaning of the lecture because it just didn't have that much meaning to start with.

Theodore Wirth said...

Yo, Drift bro. You might want to consider giving this Brooks thing a pass every now and then. You are better than that.