And like that, he's gone.
David Brooks has a new book for sale.
You can buy it everywhere.
It's a best-seller, which he is promoting on the kind of book tour almost no author on Earth gets anymore; the kind of worldwide publicity blitz which Media, Inc. would normally reserve for a new book of the Bible.
And because David Brooks is a Very Serious Person who has written an Important Book, eventually The New Yorker would have to write a book review.
I don't care about Mr. Brooks' new books and on most days I don't give The New Yorker a second thought, but here (I sez to myself) is an interesting opportunity to watch how Mr. Brooks' Great Project is progressing. Because in order for Ms. Rebecca Mead to write anything like an honest review of Mr. Brooks' book using the following thesis --
"David Brooks’s Search for Meaning"
-- she would immediately have to confront the vast and fetid swamp of Mr. Brooks' entire public record of being horribly, hypocritically wrong about virtually everything, and his relentless flogging of the snake oil of "Both Siderism" for the last decade as a conversational abortifacient (Guaranteed 99% successful in preventing people like David Brooks from being held accountable for being horribly, hypocritically wrong about virtually everything!)
So how would Ms. Rebecca Mead navigate these tricky waters?
Brooks, who established a reputation for sometimes glib but often insightful cultural commentary with “Bobos in Paradise,” his 2000 best-seller, has more recently specialized in applying the latest in brain science and social psychology to larger questions of morality on the Op-Ed pages of the Times.
That is all any reader of Ms. Rebecca Mead's review will learn about Mr. Brooks qualifications to speak on the subject of character and morality.
Then we are off to the races:
It would be a hard-hearted critic who dismisses another writer’s sincere attempt at midlife self-examination, or his efforts at moral and ethical improvement. (That being said, Brooks does so, snarking at Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling memoir, “Eat, Pray, Love.” “I am the only man ever to finish this book,” he writes, thereby insulting the author and more than ten million readers in one fell swoop.) There is something affecting in the diligence with which Brooks seeks a cure for his self-diagnosed shallowness by plumbing the depths of others, each of whom—while achieving greater fame and sometimes even greater fortune than that accrued by a successful newspaper columnist—did the hard work of scouring his own soul.And so, in broad daylight and with the eager assistance of Media, Inc., the real David Brooks is hustled into an unmarked tomb along with the entire, sickening history of Modern Conservatism, never to be visited again except by angry, unemployed bloggers who no one listens to anyway,
And like that, he's gone.