Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Hardly, David



David Brooks makes wide sweeping generalities again. This article should be titled, "I'm Acting Like I Know What I'm Talking About." This is why many of us in the blogosphere call him McBobo. Where there should be facts in this column, there is merely spleen and bile. Par for the course, I'm afraid.

I suppose what I don't understand is why he's lamenting the fact that, due to the economy, the rich supposedly are now beholden to other forces (read: evil liberals) in shaping their own destiny. The wealthy have always shaped their own destiny. One economic crisis doesn't mean that there's some kind of lasting middle-class chic going on now. It's almost amusing to see rich people being envious and spiteful of richer people. File under irony. While it is true that Bethesda (which is right down Rockville Pike from where I am) does have its own kind of ridiculous pecking order and social coterie, that's hardly different from anywhere else in the world and it's certainly not indicative of a unfair Puritanism which seeks to impose its will out of self-righteousness.

Nor, I might add, have I noticed a huge amount of resentment between DC residents and their fellows in NYC. What I have noticed, however, is a lot of population exchange between the two cities because of their national stature and also because they're only around four and a half hours apart by car. The past week there have been trumped-up, hand-wringing columns in the paper in which supposedly fears exist in NYC that Washington, DC, will replace NYC as the center of the universe. I think not.

The mainstream media loves to criticize the blogsophere for being fear-peddling, rumor-mongering, and unresearched, but once again David Brooks has proven to be no better than one of those supposedly dangerously amateur bloggers.

1 comment:

alarob said...

Seems to me that Brooks is satirizing the super-rich, first, and the resentful liberals in Ward Three, second. His "advice" to those in the "decamillionaire-to-billionaire wealth brackets" struck me as tongue-in-cheek — pretending to assume that waste and ostentation are fine as long as you don't get caught. ("Dazzling personal consumption is out. Middle-class drabness is in. It’s sad, but there’s nothing to be done.") I think his point is that the concerns of Ward Three liberals are no closer to those of most Americans than are the concerns of billionaire hedge fund managers. IOW the government is not in the people's hands, or anywhere close.