RSN June 14 Fundraising
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Pierce writes: "No, really, David, it's nice to see you again. Thanks for coming. Stay right here. Have some dip. I have to go into the kitchen and saute the cat."

David Brooks. (photo: unknown)
David Brooks. (photo: unknown)


David Brooks, The Last Romantic

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

16 March 14

 

ear god, someone get this man a cookie.

Women, meanwhile, have different tastes at different times in their cycles. During ovulation, according to some research, they prefer ruggedly handsome and risky men, while at other times they are more drawn to pleasant-looking, nice men. When men look at pictures of naked women, their startle response to loud noises diminishes. It seems that the dopamine surge mutes the prefrontal cortex, and they become less alert to danger and risk.

Don't read Penthouse while crossing the street, ya stupid bastid.

We originate with certain biological predispositions. These can include erotic predispositions (we're aroused by people who send off fertility or status cues), or they can be cognitive (like loss aversion). But depth, the core of our being, is something we cultivate over time. We form relationships that either turn the core piece of ourselves into something more stable and disciplined or something more fragmented and disorderly. We begin with our natural biases but carve out depths according to the quality of the commitments we make. Our origins are natural; our depths are man-made - engraved by thought and action.

No, really, David, it's nice to see you again. Thanks for coming. Stay right here. Have some dip. I have to go into the kitchen and saute the cat.

David Brooks. The Last Romantic.

Also available for kid's parties.


 

Comments   

We are concerned about a recent drift towards vitriol in the RSN Reader comments section. There is a fine line between moderation and censorship. No one likes a harsh or confrontational forum atmosphere. At the same time everyone wants to be able to express themselves freely. We'll start by encouraging good judgment. If that doesn't work we'll have to ramp up the moderation.

General guidelines: Avoid personal attacks on other forum members; Avoid remarks that are ethnically derogatory; Do not advocate violence, or any illegal activity.

Remember that making the world better begins with responsible action.

- The RSN Team

 
-11 # brux 2014-03-16 18:39
The group here would rag on old David Brooks if it turned out he had an original signature on the Constitution and was painted into the Last Supper. There is some weird antipathy towards David Brooks who is about the most innocuous least obnoxious talking head associated with Conservatism there is.

Though I mostly disagree with Brooks often chiding my TV or shaking my head, what gives me hope is that he can also express some ideas that give me hope that there are still some Conservatives out there who are not complete brown shirted thugs.
 
 
+64 # juliajayne 2014-03-16 19:48
Brooks, aka Captain Obvious, is a big, grinning, banal eejit and hack mostly. He does have an affable way about him. The again, so does Bill Kristol who is always wrong about everything. They're both part of Idiot America.
 
 
+25 # brian1060ne 2014-03-17 03:33
There's one question about Bill Kristol I've always wanted to ask. Does he suffer from some kind of rictus that makes him grin incessantly when his face ought to be expressing some kind of empathy for the suffering of the human race?
 
 
+3 # isafakir 2014-03-17 07:16
Quoting juliajayne:
banal eejit.



i learned a new word. had to look this one up.
 
 
+1 # brux 2014-03-19 08:41
Yeah, those contrived mannerisms of his to get his message across are a bit annoying, but he has something to say. I might even agree with him about 4% of the time. About 50% of the time I think he makes some good points that enable the left to reframe their arguments, if they bothered to listen more effectively.

My belief is that the left suffers from ADHT and Dyslexia in a way, the tower of babble. Anything, even a coherent attack from the right that pushes the left into more clearly defining itself is a productive thing ... so Brooks in his own way assists the left, and also the right in understanding the left - because none of the other Right wing talking heads even try to state, restate, or engage the left's position because they are so unsteady and unsure of their own arguments being eviscerated.

Bill Kristol is really nothing like David Brooks - I don't know where that comes from.
 
 
+57 # Thebigkate 2014-03-16 19:49
@Brux-

Not sure what you mean about David Brooks "expressing some ideas that give me hope that there are still some Conservative...."

IMHO, David Brooks does not express ideas, he espouses bromides and judgements that "seem" like they could possibly be ideas. He also has an arrogant style, disguised as humble and pleasant, which is just a tad misogynistic.

He is not who he pretends to be. And our corporate press loves him for that. Innocuous he is not.
 
 
+40 # mary1066 2014-03-16 20:36
Yep, just a tad misogynistic! There are very few conservative pundits--I think maybe none actually--who drive me as bonkers as this bland, smug, privileged, oblivious potato-head! I won't soon forget his ghastly commencement speech at my university, where he blithely talked on to some 1000 students about the marriages that were going to make them so much happier than the learning they'd just given 4 or 5 years of their lives to (and in 100s of cases, more like 10 or 15). Yeah, I guess so, as long as they stayed there in MA--then one of 2 or 3 states where gay marriage was legal--they could be happy, if getting married was what they wanted, of course, and if it really is an alternative to making a contribution to society! It broke my heart to watch people going for the "affable" thing, as if it was affable to ignore the very existence of 10% of his audience on the most symbolically important day of their lives, or for that matter of the parents, friends and teachers who loved and cared for them. "Affable"? How about "cruelly insensitive"?
 
 
+43 # artistinaspen 2014-03-16 21:14
He's a cheerleader for endless wars and no regulation of Wall Street.

What a sellout.
 
 
+22 # dquandle 2014-03-16 22:43
Sellout means he previously supported the needs and desires of the general populace, and then under the influence of financial reward, or whatever, "had a change of heart".
On the contrary, he never stood for anything other than wealth and the amassing of wealth and power. He's simply doing the vicious propaganda job he and his plutocrat owners always intended to do.
 
 
+18 # babaregi 2014-03-16 20:57
This particular piece wasn't bad and shouldn't have been used to justify an otherwise true criticism of his flaws, unless examples are also shown of willful duplicity in his actual behavior.

He spoke of cultivating higher human qualities (what's not to like about that?) and maybe he really believes that he is doing that while being almost completely out-of-touch with the reality outside of his 'White Bread Bubble'.

This allows him to be a cheerleader for the entrenched power structure and feel very comfortable with his function.
 
 
+7 # ericlipps 2014-03-17 02:44
If it turned out David Brooks "had an original signature on the Constitution and was painted into the Last Supper," he'd have to be the immortal Flint from that old "Star Trek" episode.

Seriously, I usually disagree with Brooks, but this column of his was merely banal, a space-filler. Why anyone's bothering to write about it ia beyond me.
 
 
+11 # brian1060ne 2014-03-17 03:31
Brown shirts come in many guises, some covered in a veneer of erudition. I have principles of non-violence but I would forego them if I was ever in the presence of David Brooks and heard him use the word "envy" to describe the anger of people like me about the effects of pathologically extreme capitalism. The best I am prepared to say of David Brooks is that he is better than Tom Friedman.
 
 
+1 # tgemberl 2014-03-17 10:31
I agree with you, brux. I feel bad for Brooks in a lot of ways. He wanted to be a conservative but really doesn't believe in it anymore. So he has to try to pretend there's a middle ground that doesnt' really exist. I can't stand to watch him on PBS.

His articles like this one are interesting, but the ones about politics are awful.
 
 
0 # brux 2014-03-27 21:21
I like watching him on PBS because it gives hints about how to disenchant other Republicans with their sick creed.
 
 
+3 # JSRaleigh 2014-03-17 18:36
Yeah, it's 'cause he's a clueless schmuck.
 
 
+27 # davidr 2014-03-16 18:48
"… our depths are man-made - engraved by thought and action."

Headline:
Brooks Announces Self-Supposed Depths.
Cites Undisclosed Thought and Action.
 
 
-3 # isafakir 2014-03-17 06:14
Quoting davidr:
"… our depths are man-made - engraved by thought and action."

Headline:
Brooks Announces Self-Supposed Depths.
Cites Undisclosed Thought and Action.


self perfection was a heresy [one form Palagianism, another the mideval heresy of Free Spirit which says perfected humans cannot sin and perfection is a matter of choice] [the idea that without help of any kind you can choose to be better than anyone else] long condemned by the church. it is also the theological foundation for binladinism and most terrorist groups with pretence to god's sanction. [again the notion that you can be perfect only if you choose to without help from others]

egoism. the heresy of Ayn Rand who ended her life alone dependant on public welfare.
 
 
+1 # tgemberl 2014-03-17 10:29
You lost me here. How is Bin Laden a result of Pelagianism? I thought the orthodox Muslim idea was that God predestines everything? If so, wouldn't one's desire to pursue jihad be predestined?

Are you saying that if we are careful never to violate any of the principles of orthodox Christianity, we will never make mistakes about politics?
 
 
+1 # tgemberl 2014-03-17 12:09
isafakir,
I might agree with you if what you're criticizing is self-righteousn ess. But if you're disagreeing with Brooks' idea that people have to make an effort to grow as people, I disagree.
 
 
-17 # NOMINAE 2014-03-16 20:49
The opinion of one author regarding another author is not news. It is simply gossip unworthy of publication on a site like RSN.

If one does not care for an author, no one is stepping on one's neck and forcing them to read said author.

Get over it, and get on with it. We likewise don't care whether one author prefers peas instead of corn with their mashed potatoes. Get over yourself.
 
 
+7 # isafakir 2014-03-17 05:52
[quote name="NOMINAE"] The opinion of one author regarding another author is not news. It is simply gossip unworthy of publication on a site like RSN.

If one does not care for an author, no one is stepping on one's neck and forcing them to read said author.


our miss brooks is not simply expressing an opinion we don'k agree with.

our miss brooks is typical of conservative right moralists who agree to blame "them" versus us, the right ones. you don't need bells and whistles to know who the targets are of his moral accusations.

one is tempted to agree with his moralism because it is always others who are morally inferior, never us the our miss brooks readership. we the our miss brooks readership are upholding the deep, significant, civilization's moral issues like knowing instinctively where to put the comma or a soup spoon.

presumably our miss brooks has accomplished his deep personal moral certainty and it is out of his deep experience of moral certainty that gives him the deep moral experience to dismiss the findings of everything science as superficial.

he is a paladin, exemplar, avatar of moral rectitude.

insofar as he offers apology for the moral rectitude of the right he is a knowing facilitator of the rights moral rejection of science, psychology, empathy, and social responsibility and selfishness.
 
 
+4 # isafakir 2014-03-17 05:54
our miss brooks routinely offers a moral foundation for the worst cruelest most selfish irresponsible instincts of the right and unregulated capitalism.

it is school marm superficiality posing as divinely revealed truth from on high and on high is the perspective from which he casts all his aspersions on the rest of us who see things less certain than does.

the original tablets on which god wrote the ten commandments did not make it to the bottom of the mountain. god says in deuteronomy that all of us has that original Law written in our blood, and we don't need a self appointed expert to tell us the difference between right and wrong. throughout history, teachers of divine truth haven't excluded themselves from those dependant upon and undeserving of god's mercy. the people whom Jesus condemns explicitly and most decidedly are the self righteous who refuse to give sinners the poor the lesser of us a break: 'Woe to you, self righteous: you tithe kitchen herbs but don't give a hoot about god"s mercy and love.' [my paraphrase] matthew 23:23 " blind guides who strain a gnat and swallow a camel."

our miss brooks's moralism would be more convincing if he reflected more on our failings rathger than " theirs" and if he had just a little more respect for the integrity of the others he disagreed with. the pharasees condemend Jesus on the basis of their own self righteousness ignoring the very Law they espoused to defend. §
 
 
+3 # Kootenay Coyote 2014-03-17 06:52
As I recall, Our Miss Brooks' cat was driven to eating Christmas tree needles.
 
 
+2 # tgemberl 2014-03-17 10:36
isafakir,
Some of what you are saying is true. But I think the main point Brooks was trying to make with the article is that character takes time and work. We have to struggle with things and arrive at our own understanding. I agree with that. I guess I'm a "Pelagian" in that way. But I don't believe perfection of character is possible.
 
 
0 # brux 2014-03-19 08:37
What's a "Pelagian".

I do find the attempts on RSN to morph David Brooks into some kind of Hitler and Goebels hybrid kind of silly. The problems with our society do not center around David Brooks, David Brooks promotes discussion, even if he makes you mad and you disagree with him - the others don't.
 
 
0 # tgemberl 2014-03-22 13:21
Brux,
A Pelagian refers to those Christians in about the 5th century who believed that the individual participated in his own salvation. In other words, your choices and acts helped to give you salvation. You cooperated with God's grace to be saved.

Against the Pelagians were those, like Augustine, who believed salvation was entirely due to God's action.

I think isafakir's angle is that Brooks' is self-righteous. He takes pride in the work that individuals do "to pull themselves up by their bootstraps" and doesn't have enough compassion for the disadvantaged. I think there could be some truth in that. A lot of Republicans forget we don't all start out with the same advantages. But I think Brooks and the Pelagians are right that we do have to work at being better people.
 
 
-26 # arlenhersh@yahoo.com 2014-03-16 21:15
I agree with Brux. If there was ever any doubt that Charlie Pierce has nothing intelligent or of value to say, his bashing of David Brooks should clarify that.
 
 
+10 # isafakir 2014-03-17 05:09
Quoting arlenhersh@yahoo.com:
I agree with Brux. If there was ever any doubt that Charlie Pierce has nothing intelligent or of value to say, his bashing of David Brooks should clarify that.



Brooks mostly lies. outright lies. makes up facts that don't exist, and conclusions that do not follow.

that deep personal core of our being [like anybody who does not know instinctively where the comma or the soup spoon goes] screed is simply typical self congratulatory moralising. moralising in the sense of blaming everything on others while excluding oneself from any blame [mostly our miss brooks implicitly absolves himself from the blame and aspersions on others but most he invites us to absolve ourselves from blame: it is always others who are wrong, inadequate, morally deficient.]

he himself does not often engage in bullying but always engages in school marming and more damningly never ever faces down the bullies but engages in facilitation of the bullies by moralizing and demeaning the targets of bullying.

never outright misogynist or racist or classist but nevertheless everyone knows it is " them " he is talking about, all those people who don't spell correctly or don't speak with the correct accent or don't know when the season for white shoes is over. all the people who don't know where to put the soup spoon on the table. inferior people from the wrong parts of town. or their defenders.
 
 
0 # brux 2014-03-19 12:27
> Brooks mostly lies. outright lies. makes up facts that don't exist, and conclusions that do not follow.

LOL ... that is such a ridiculous charge ... and you got 10 goofball RSN'ers to thumbs up it ... sheesh!

Are you just trying to troll or what?
 
 
0 # brux 2014-03-19 12:29
Agreeing with me around here will get you an automatic -10 ! ;-)

LOL, this place is such a joke sometimes.
 
 
+22 # anarchteacher 2014-03-16 21:30
http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/david-brooks/

David Brooks is an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times. The Times is the most prestigious newspaper in the nation. However a more accurate way of putting it is that this arrogant shape-shifting whore is a sycophantic shill and unctuous tool for that pinnacle of the establishment’s dead-tree media, The New York Times. Think of a more mercenary, more opportunistic version of the late Walter Lippmann or George Will, and that is David Brooks — pro big government, pro Obama, pro Iraq War, pro Zionist, pro choice, pro gay marriage, pro gun control — an authentic “responsible conservative” voice.

Brooks is the national nanny-state momma. This whining scold is constantly lecturing all of us wayward teenage delinquents who compose the freedom movement and its supporters. We are simply ignorant adolescents – hopelessly rebellious, awkward, and gawky – who should listen to the wise council of our educated betters, those better sorts who compose the “educated classes,” as found on the faculties of the Ivy League universities, the Council on Foreign Relations, Wall Street investment firms, and of course, The New York Times.
 
 
+12 # dquandle 2014-03-16 22:46
You nailed him...
 
 
+3 # isafakir 2014-03-17 04:52
[quote name="anarchteacher"]http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/david-brooks/

David Brooks is an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times. The Times is the most prestigious newspaper in the nation. However a more accurate way of putting it is that this arrogant shape-shifting whore is a sycophantic shill and unctuous tool for that pinnacle of the establishment’s dead-tree media, The New York Times. Think of a more mercenary, more opportunistic version of the late Walter Lippmann or George Will, and that is David Brooks — pro big government, pro Obama,


OUR MISS BROOKS is pro-Obama?

since when?
 
 
0 # anarchteacher 2014-03-17 11:08
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/07/21/david-brooks-obamas-address-race-was-symphony

Here is one of many prime examples one could chose after scouring the Internet
 
 
+1 # Jackpine 2014-03-17 05:38
Righteous rant, Lew.
 
 
0 # brux 2014-03-19 08:34
> arrogant shape-shifting whore is a sycophantic shill and unctuous tool for that pinnacle of the establishment’s dead-tree media

Oh boy, you're really going for the big points here on RSN! Do you win a washer/dryer or something for that? ;-)
 
 
+11 # isafakir 2014-03-17 04:43
#brux
he lies. he invents facts that don't exist. he routinely accepts the most blatant propaganda as truth of the gospel variety.

he was in china during one of its worst earthquakes and reported that chinese families don't grieve over the children who died in government built schools and dormitories because they put nation over family. he was told so he said by western chinese parents who spoke english, or were brought to him by government minders. he was explicitly arguing against, attacking PTSD and veterans' and sexual abuse survivors' health claims. PTSD is just a form of sanctioned malingering, an excuse to be lazy. his whole chinese report ended with criticism of American veterans, abuse survivors and PTSD. americans should just maintain a stiff upper lip.

he doesn't speak chinese as far as i know, isn't a chinese scholar, and was not reading chinese news about rioting parents grieving parents parents demonstrating against the government which the chinese government was sentencing to 20 years to life for speaking about their grief to non-chinese. chinese news people had sent their reports to hong kong and other chinese news outlets. local chinese news people, whose local media were later supressed.

that is our miss brrooks who believes anything no matter how irrational as long as it conforms with his ideology of deep. [it doesn't matter how cruel and brutal the right is. it is tough love]
 
 
+2 # isafakir 2014-03-17 04:50
quote: "he was told so he said by western chinese parents who spoke english, or were brought to him by government minders. "

i mean chinese parents from the local western china disaster areas, where thousands of school children expired in shoddily built substandard public buildings. there were extensive media reports in chinese media outside of the PRC befoere Beijing was able to suppress them. apparently being inside china at the time, our miss brooks hadn't seen them.
 
 
0 # brux 2014-03-19 08:28
>> he lies. he invents facts that don't exist. he routinely accepts the most blatant propaganda as truth of the gospel variety.

isafakir .... I really hate to break this to you, but - everyone on both sides of every issue does this.
 
 
+5 # walt 2014-03-17 05:16
Yet Brooks is a regular panelist on many TV shows and offers his opinions on multiple issues to include US foreign policy. He's also a neocon and one who should be listened to accordingly.
 
 
0 # brux 2014-03-19 08:33
Yes, this is what I've been trying to say. As a Conservative, I would not call him a Neocon exactly, he will go deeper into revealing the Conservative psycho and mythos than any of the other basically "morons" who show up in our media. You don't have to agree with him to get something out of what he says, even if you vehemently disagree with it. He can frame an issue in discussable format as well. I like David Brooks for that, but I disagree with him mostly and he makes me really mad sometimes.
 
 
0 # Cattivo 2014-03-17 06:41
I’m pretty sure I knew Dave Brooks back in the day. He was that deadly earnest undergrad who, when he finally managed to talk the object of his hot and sweaty fantasies up to his place, proceeded to lull the poor girl into a coma by holding forth, ad nauseam, on the lyric eroticism of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Jean Genet, “the omnipotent masturbator”. Talk about your cultivated depths!
 
 
0 # brux 2014-03-19 08:28
Now there is a substantive contribution to the discussion.
 
 
+3 # RCW 2014-03-17 07:06
I am noticing something once again about the thumbs up/down. When I on occasion do register and up or down, the numbers do not change, or even sometimes register in the opposite direction. Any thoughts?
 
 
+1 # tgemberl 2014-03-17 10:45
Sometimes you have to refresh the page to see changes. I've experienced the same thing. Try that.

I've noticed that if I edit a post once, I can do it without refreshing. To edit a second time I have to refresh.
 
 
0 # brux 2014-03-19 08:29
Yeah, this is a CIA beta test site for reality manipulation. You might think they would do that on right-wing-lean ing sites, but what would be the point to that?
 
 
+2 # Anarchist 23 2014-03-17 17:48
Brooks: just another sock puppet for the Oligarchs and others who run our society, telling us in very genteel upper-class white- man-speak to mind our manners and move along...nothing to see here...everythi ng is fine...pay no attention to broken lives or broken promises by the corporate bought pols who are busy turning people out of their houses and starving grand ma!
 
 
0 # brux 2014-03-19 08:30
As is everyone you see in the media, on TV or selling books or anything else though established channels.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN