Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Talented Mr. Brooks

The Talented Mr. Ripley is a novel by Patricia Highsmith in which a hollow, ingratiating sociopath grifts his way to wealth and power by sucking up to the wealthy and powerful and, occasionally, murdering them and assuming their identity.

So kinda strange that David Brooks would entitle his homage to Marco! The Talented Mr. Rubio.

I'd bore you with a longer look at Mr. Brooks' latest visit to the bottom of the GOP ashtray where he swears he can see veins of centrist gold, but when you have stacked enough Brooks up in the archives, you notice that every election cycle around this time he finds a fine young Republican cannibal to idolize.

So instead of of Rubio, I bring you essentially the same column about John Thune from 2009:
David Fucking Brooks Solves

That vexing "content" problem.

Regular readers of this site will remember that, earlier this week, my massive slant-mining operation into the seedy, web-extra side of "Meet the Press" uncovered this bit of soulful introspection on the task of writing by Our Mr. Brooks:
Brooks: No, for me it's pure desperation. I, uh, find it actually extremely hard -- I tell college students, imagine having a paper due in three days and that's the rest of your life.
Yes, to maintain the lifestyle to which he has grown accustomed, poor Bobo (Sorry, commenter Robert-who-used-to-be-called-Bob-o, but this "Bobo" is derived from "Bobos In Paradise"; our Mr. Brooks' venture into long-form writing in which he streeeetches his writing muscles by mediating on the lives of overprivileged suburban White people. And I'm keeping it) is required to crank out Two!Count!Em!Two! new columns every week.

Except for those weeks when he isn't.

So how does the occupant of one of the world's most sought-after pieces of editorial real estate bulldog his Sisyphean millstone up that mountain every week?

Well, one trick which seems to lighten that awful burden considerably is Brooks' habit of regularly manufacturing entire columns out of the fawning transcription of the curriculum vitae of Attractive Republican Men.

Just like he did today in "Meet John Thune", from which the following snippets are honest-to-God directly taken.

Read on, if you dare:
"Meet John Thune"

November 13, 2009


But deep in the bowels of the G.O.P., there are serious people having quiet conversations. ... And now as they look to the future of their party, and who might lead it in 2012, the name John Thune keeps popping up.

The first thing everybody knows about him is that he is tall (6 feet 4 inches), tanned (in a prairie, sun-chapped sort of way) and handsome

The second thing people say about him is that he is unfailingly genial, modest and nice.

He grew up in Murdo, S.D., population 612. His father was a Naval aviator in World War II and a genuine war hero.

He was called back home after the war to work in the family hardware store and went on to become an educator, as did his wife.

John was a high school basketball star and possesses idyllic small-town manners...

He appears to be untouched by cynicism.

...he is straightforward, intelligent and earnest. He sometimes seems to have emerged straight into the 21st century from a more wholesome time.

After high school, he attended Biola University, a small Christian college outside of Los Angeles. ...

He then got an M.B.A. from the University of South Dakota ...

He is a gracious and ecumenical legislator...

...nobody can question Thune’s conservative bona fides.

He says his prairie background has given him a preference for small companies and local government.

His populism is not angry.

... a celebration of the small and local over the big and urban.
It goes on like that. A farrago of unattributed, saccharine "everybody knows", "people say" and Third Person Omniscient declaratives.


And on.

And on.

And yet consider all the other, awesome stuff that David Fucking Brooks left out of his obsequious Thuneology:
Brooks failed to mention that Thune speaks fluent COBOL and his shadow heals colicky kittens.

That he secretly give his old suits to mall Santas after he personally stuff the pockets with Bible verses.

That when he played "Charlie X" on the original "Star Trek"

he learned all about Big City Folk and their strange ways.

That he once changed the course of American politics when he wrote a very nice note to Rudy Giuliani (on paper he made with his own, two, handsome hands) telling him to lose the comb-over.

That in 1988 he ate a bug on a bet and won enough money to take his best gal to the picture show AND run for the Senate!

That he can play the "Mississippi Mud" on a Jew's harp like the Devil himself,

but tactfully refers to it as an "Ozark harp".

Bobo also skipped right over the fact that, when shaken very lightly, Thune gives off a pleasant, grain-elevator-at-dusk aroma.

That it was his ideas on marginal tax rate reform that led directly to the invention of the swively thing on the hand-drier, but he is just to darn Midwest-modest to mention it.

And that he can sing, sing, sing!
So why would Bobo choose to omit all of this other cool, valuable intel? What would cause him to so abruptly end his full-Thune-body-body-soapy-massage at the sternum?

For many minutes I was stumped, until I thought to do a word count and realized that, having done his contractually-obligated 800 words, there was simply no rational reason for him to continue.

This paean to his latest, mighty-thewed GOP man-crush had obviously drained him, and he has another masterpiece of insightful analysis due in just three days, so he wisely chose to put his pen aside, ration his genius and sleep off his exertions.

After all, you don't maintain your position as the Mainstream Media's most sought-after piece of Conservative tail by just giving gold like this away.

1 comment:

trgahan said...

I am sure there will be plenty more DOA 2016 Republican candidates jumping in the clown car for Brooks to meet his daunting column requirements in the coming months.

In fact, his work load should lighten enough to squeeze in a few more vacations expensed to the Times as speaking engagements.