« The ethics of comedy
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There's some insight buried in there, somewhere
Oh, wow, look: Another long, erudite, biting tract on why the other guys are idiots. It's a long web page and heavy on the text, so I skimmed it. Boy was I delighted to notice the Part 2 link at the bottom. I guess something really rubbed this guy the wrong way, huh.
It's too bad, too, because his — David Brooks's, that is — initial insight is worth thinking about. People really do think the way he says, it seems, and it's no small problem. Brooks writes:
Today, in much of the world's eyes, two peoples — the Americans and the Jews — have emerged as the great exemplars of undeserved success. Americans and Israelis, in this view, are the money-mad molochs of the earth, the vulgarizers of morals, corrupters of culture, and proselytizers of idolatrous values. These two nations, it is said, practice conquest capitalism, overrunning poorer nations and exploiting weaker neighbors in their endless desire for more and more. These two peoples, the Americans and the Jews, in the view of the bourgeoisophobes, thrive precisely because they are spiritually stunted. It is their obliviousness to the holy things in life, their feverish energy, their injustice, their shallow pursuit of power and gain, that allow them to build fortunes, construct weapons, and play the role of hyperpower.
Alas, Brooks has no interest in understanding what concern might be underlying this "bourgeoisophobia" he describes (the term is borrowed from Flaubert), or if it might in any way be revealing. No, he of course chooses to delightedly pillory his foes instead. They deserve it, sure, but what's the point? For all his thousands of words, has Brooks actually helped resolve the situation, or even find a way to resolve it, in any way? Well, no.
You gotta love the political pundit, toiling long and hard, and talking even longer, all to confirm for his idolators those things they already believe.
April 9, 2002 8:07 PM
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