Friday, March 25, 2011

The Smug Advantage


There’s something I’ve always wondered about myself, David Brooks: How does a guy who seems to be only marginally attached to reality manage to have a column in the most prestigious newspaper in the nation?
I give rambling, fact-less remarks at media outlets such as PBS and NPR. My head is stuffed with oddball conspiracy theories and strange obsessions, such as Asian-Jewish meritocrats from Ivy League schools subverting the Real America.  (How do you know if your a Real American? You have diabetes and you agree with everything I, David Brooks, say.  Such as the definition of Real Americans.) I show up in odd places, even the Colbert Report, persisting in the delusion that anyone takes my ideas about human nature seriously.
I would like to abolish all government ministries except Defense, Internal Security and a few others--provided these are run by a Republican.  
But perhaps there is a method in my madness.  Perhaps, these are the actions of a cold, calculating Machiavellian. David Brooks  can’t simply dismiss David Brooks as a comic loon. He’s maintained dominance in a ruthless part of the world, and he may outlast the current shambolic attempts to unseat him.
It seems that there is something advantageous in the megalomania that is David Brooks' defining lifelong trait. No matter how crazy and freaky and just plain idiotic I sound, I just keep showing up over and over, all in the name of a 'balanced perspective'.  
Take my latest book, for example: It's filled with oddball notions and banal assertions. It consists of three parts: “Why David Brooks Is Always Right Somehow"; “Why Everyone Else Is Wrong If They Don't Agree With David Brooks”; and several chapters on how to draw elves and pixies in order to create your own graphic novel.
David Brooks apparently wrote the book with the conviction that he had discovered the answers to all human problems, which he calls the First Universal Modesty. In a characteristically absolutist passage, he writes, “I, David Brooks, cannot recall ever having made an error in judgement.  And if I did recall it you would be certain that I would never remember having recalled it.”
Along the way he offers banal observations as if nobody had ever thought of them before. He reveals that people have two legs. David Brooks unveils doctrines that have nothing to do with how David Brooks actually behaves: “I am not a smug know-it-all.  I just look, talk, and act like one.”
David Brooks seems to be one of those people who believes he possesses absolute truth, who wants to impose David Brooks' thoughts on everybody else and exercise total dominance over others.
Over the decades, he has tried to remake the world in his own Modest Image. 

Yet this very megalomania seems to be both the secret to his longevity and to his unhinged nature. 

The paradoxical fact is that if you want to stay in the punditry biz, it is better to be a narcissistic self-deluded madman. Megalomaniacs such as David Brooks are untroubled by doubt or concern for the good opinion of others since they already possess absolute truth. They are motivated to fulfill their World Historical Mission and have no interest in peace, justice, or social equality.  Rather, the goal of lunatics such as myself (David Brooks) is to yap on endlessly about their pointless and all-too-often patently false disquisitions about "culture", "cultural differences" and so on, without ever being able to discern the basic fact that there are personal differences that shape and drive the lives of others.  No, it is just too convenient for me, David Brooks, to be the culture war whore I've been since my first book. (Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.)
Jeane Kirkpatrick was right years ago when she said, "Oh my god, David Brooks is on the phone again?  Jesus Christ."


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