Mark your calendars kids, because this was the day that David Brooks took the neighborhood kids out for a drum circle in Bryce Park and The Talk about What It Means To Be A Man:
...So the ideal man, at least in polite society, gracefully achieves a series of balances. He is steady and strong, but also verbal and vulnerable. He is emotionally open and willing to cry, but also restrained and resilient. He is physical, and also intellectual.Today’s ideal man honors the women in his life in whatever they want to do. He treats them with respect in the workplace and romance in the bedroom. He is successful in the competitive world of the marketplace but enthusiastic in the kitchen and gentle during kids’ bath time...
OK, a word of caution for you young men out there. While there is nothing wrong with this specific combination of bromides, as a rule you should be hella suspicious of advice on masculinity from someone about whom his own wife once said "[David Brooks] writing about emotion is like Gandhi writing about gluttony."
David Brooks is dead inside, kids, and however many aphorisms he memorizes, it's all cogs and spokes and spools of Conservative magnetic tape under the hood. And as a rule the living should be very cautious about taking advice from the non-living.
Later on, after a fluttering round of verbal fisticuffs in which Mr. Brooks repeatedly scuffs Donald J. Trump's ankles with charges that he is (gasp!) a p-i-g pig --
Trump embraces a masculine identity — old in some ways, new in others — built upon unvarnished misogyny.
-- Brooks continues journaling about this horrifying discovery that his Republican Party is full of ...(gasp!) ... Republicans!
...I’ve grappled with determining how much to blame Trump’s supporters for his rise. Many of them are victims of economic dislocation and it is hard to fault them for seeking a change, of course, even if it is simplistic and ignorant.But in the realm of cultural politics, Trump voters do need to be held to account. They are participating in a descent into darkness. They are supporting a degrading wrong. This is the world your daughters are going to grow up in.
Mr. Brooks, for what it's worth, here's a word of advice on masculinity from a man living as socially far away from the Acela Corridor socially as Terminus is from Trantor and it is the same advice I have offered to you on many, many occasions over the years. You see, in addition to being "successful in the competitive world of the marketplace but enthusiastic in the kitchen", a real man also takes responsibility for the bastards he fathers, no matter how professionally crippling or personally horrifying that obligation may be,
From me, five long years ago:
Well Into Their 117th Trimesters
David Brooks and David Frum both suddenly decide they really don't want to keep Reagan's baby.
Earlier today Mr. Brooks placed his order for a political D&C through pursed-lips and a frowny face by rewriting Reality's Timeline so that he was somehow never a part of the 30-year lead-up to the Giant Pig Party Implosion at the end of the Empire we see bearing monstrous fruit all around us.
Mr. Frum, more comically, decided instead to pretend that the person most responsible for the Giant Pig Party Implosion at the end of the Empire...was the Reasonable-to-a-Fault Democratic President! Because he has so far failed to put Frum's Republican Party down like the sick animal that it is, and failed to clean up the toxic partisan sewer that David Frum helped create..despite Mr. Frum and every other Conservative douchebag in America being warned to beware just exactly these consequences for the last 30 years by two generations of Liberals:
Obama's Weakness Made Debt Crisis WorseWhich is such a triumph of pure, lying, cornered-rat-desperate Republican anti-logic that it really deserves to be featured as an exhibition sport in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
"Then, as Republicans discovered the power of their new tool, the president decided to assume they were bluffing, that they would never actually do anything so reckless. Waking up to the reality of the situation too late, he commenced bargaining by offering what he assumed would be an irresistible deal. Wrong again. The Republicans did resist. So Obama offered an even better deal — which predictably only whetted the GOP appetite for still more.
Instead, he appealed again and again to Republicans’ spirit of responsibility. Good luck with that."
Both Mr. Frum and Mr. Brooks are sticking to the most tried-and-true method of Beltway Insider lying -- namely, heroically disavowing any knowledge whatsoever of their own previous and well-documented actions:
All they know is, somebody had better come along God damn soon and rid them of these Ogre Babies that they somehow have growing in their tummies for reasons they dare not explain.
I guess it's a good thing neither of them live in Kansas.
I love the quote from Ex-Mrs Brooks.
Having Bobo lecture on being a man has no reference in reality. He is poorly constructed AI, capable of vendetta, deceit, and unintentional irony, but nothing else.
Good piece, Driftglass.
He didn't even mention Ron Swanson's Pyramid of Greatness.
"Today’s ideal man honors the women in his life in whatever they want to do. He treats them with respect in the workplace..."
Notice, nothing about equality. Just offering "honor" and "respect" as defined by the man in the relationship. Every boss whose faces a lawsuit insists their actions were honorable and respectful. Don Draper's "That's what the money's for!" line comes to mind here.
"He is successful in the competitive world of the marketplace..."
Notice, not fair, honest, prudent, etc. in economic matters just "successful." Therefore all other qualities in Brook's Ideal Man can be sacrificed as long as it yields economic "successes" for the individual man. The "unsuccessful" by corollary are therefore deficit men.
The Upper East Side sleeps soundly on more bullshit morality for another night.
BTW..."Polite Society" has always meant the Ideal Man has the money to pay someone else to get their whores, booze, and drugs and the Media knows better than to say ONE FUCKING WORD.
David f'ing Brooks is going to look especially ridiculous, even by his lofty standards, when he pens his mid-October column endorsing, more in sadness than anger, one Donald J. Trump for President of the United States. I can already see the outline of the column:
[Boilerplate Whig word vomit about how this is such a consequential election, in need of a humble Burkean public servant, and it's such a shame that the country has to choose between a short-fingered vulgarian peddling neofascism, and history's greatest monster, Hillary Rodham Clinton]
[List of reasons David f'ing Brooks is concerned about Donald Trump's fitness for president. Mostly that he might not be the kind of humble Burkean conservative that hasn't existed in at least 50 years, if ever, but gets David f'ing Brooks to swoon]
[List of 25 years worth of made-up smears about Hillary Clinton, citation of these smears and recitation of the talking points employed by Ron "Severe Dementia" Fournier and his ilk about how ZOMG EMAILS and BENGHAAAAZI show Hillary's lack of candor and judgment to declare that she can't be trusted with power]
[Boilerplate faux-reasonable conservative nonsense about how Hillary Clinton would pursue a beyond-the-pale agenda of soshalism and class warfare, which we can't afford because something something Obama's fault]
[Cautious optimism, based on no evidence at all, that Trump didn't mean any of the 5873295 heinous, hateful, bigoted, ignorant, incoherent things he's said and that he'll pursue a solid center-right agenda. Useless buzzwords like "pro-growth" and "reduce waste, fraud and abuse" will be used freely. Point out that Trump has surrounded himself with some "trusted old hands" from the party, so at least we know he's getting sound advice (ignoring that the GOP's "trusted old hands" were the ones that brought us Iraq and all sorts of other fiascoes and atrocities)]
[Express regret once more that a Brooks-approved type of candidate, like those fine fellows Jeb(!) and Kasich could not emerge from the primaries and some mendacity about how the Democratic party followed Bernie Sanders into left wing oblivion and how Hillary is just the worst person ever because that's what the "narrative" has decided to tell us, and one can't question The Narrative.]
["With a heavy heart, I believe America would be better served by a Trump presidency than a Clinton restoration. But let me be clear that I had nothing to do with Trump's ascent nor will I have any responsibility for anything he does once in office, and if things go tits up, I'll deny I ever wrote this column."]
"And as a rule the living should be very cautious about taking advice from the non-living."
Excellent advice, as long as we stipulate the non-living who are currently walking around. I mean, there's always Marcus Aurelius and Ben Franklin and such.
It's funny: you can tell it's all cogs and duct-tape with him by the way he lists the qualities. No feeling that any of these characteristics rise organically out of a real person. The implied sublingual hiss of bitches demand the impossible! can be heard out in the corridor.
"[List of 25 years worth of made-up smears about Hillary Clinton]"
Haha, no. Both-siderist law forbids any citations on the left, not even made-up ones. The left half of the equation must be made up of vague generalities every time. If a citation for the left were to appear in any both-siderist piece at all, people will wonder why there aren't any in all the _other_ both-siderist pieces.
The quote from DFB's ex is gold pressed latinum. The admonition about taking advice from the dead is perfect because I'm re-reading Neuromancer. And the Foundation reference is perfect because I realized recently that Trump is The Mule. The press all went to the room to hear Hari Seldon tell them what to do and he never heard of the guy.
"'DFB's readership does need to be held to account. They are participating in a descent into darkness. They are supporting a degrading wrong. This is the world your daughters are going to grow up in.'"
There, I fixed it for you.
-Doug in Oakland
You've probably already seen this, but just in case you haven't:
-Doug in Oakland
Last link is dead, for some reason. (Great post, as always, otherwise. Love the Foundation reference)
"So the ideal man, at least in polite society, gracefully achieves a series of balances." DFB
Eh? So DFB's "ideal man" behaves himself in public, but only if said "public" is "polite society"??? WTF does that even mean? And does it mean that when the "ideal man" is not in "polite society," he can act any old way he wants, including being raging racist homophobic sexist pig??
Hey my sibling's ex father-in-law (long gone, thankfully) was a rich white pig person. He belonged to all the right country clubs and such. Well I sometimes got invited to their "polite society" gatherings, either at the Country Club or their mansion home, replete with servants. Let me tell you that all I witnessed was a bunch of loudly raging white racist bigoted homophobic sexist douchebags, and this was back in the alleged "glory days" of white male supremacy of the late '50s and early '60s. Ya know before the Nigras and the wimmin and the faggots got to feel their oats.
These knuckleheads, no matter what their station in life, have never ever been anything - from my personal experience - but out loud and damn proud of it raging racist bitter nasty misogynistic (my sib's ex father in law left money and stuff to his grandSONS but nary a dime to his grandDAUGHTERS) shitheels. They've always felt mightily entitled, and they've always been bitter and angry about some "other" who is allegedly ruining their perfectly precious lives.
The rise of jerkwads like DFB has done nothing but incite and inflame their ongoing butthurt towards everyone who doesn't look like them. I can only imagine that the horrid ex-FiL would be at the head of brown shirts kissing Trump's heiny. That creep would love Trump and all he represents. Bah. It's not just about trailer trash GOPer males. It's All of Them, Katie!
If Brooks or a Gerson was having a book review gala. Giving a speech and taking questions from the audience.
What might be the top priority question from an attendee named DriftGlass??
That 'Deny, Deny, Deny!' clip is so skeevy! Ah, the Good Old Days before Political Correctness, when comedies could get laughs from the gaslighting of one woman, while the 'Other Woman,' her sole purpose in life having been served, quietly and efficiently disappears, having no voice of her own. Not only does the video perfectly portray what DFB and Donald Trump are doing to the public, it offers a reminder of the world conservatives want to take us back to. Noooooooo thank you!
For some reason Bobo's Guide for Real Men reminds me of a song from the 70s by the Norwegian Ole Paus. Roughly translated it goes like this:
I'm very fond of animals
I have bunnies in the attic
I'm a loving guy
I love everything soft
I crochet and I sow
I wear knitted sweaters
Otherwise I dress in lilac
and grey-brown mantilla
and I'm dreaming of a villa
or a small farm in Stilla
An abandoned farm for two...
I ride a bike or walk
I hate car traffic
They all know where I stand
on energy policy
I fight for the children
I fight for the Frogner tram
I like everything that runs on rails
but the trams disappear
And all my friends among women
are only friends, friends, friends...
Why won't anyone sleep with me?
Listen to a soft man's song
I believe in women's liberation
Please let's get it on!
Dear all who are oppressed
Please, be free!
Give a poor man some action
I can't get no satisfaction
What I'm trying to say is...
Why won't anyone sleep with me?
I've read books, just listen:
There are erogenous zones
under a woman's toes
Why won't anyone sleep with me?
Please, let me have a go!
I'm just lying here waiting
Use your freedom, girls!
Come to a soft man, please!
(You can hear it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5KIGTQE2eY)
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