January 3, 2014

"Suppose the government started applying this Brooksian litmus test to products it pre-clears for sale on the market."

"Yes, it’s a new sort of iPhone, I see. But does it encourage enjoyment of nature? Will it subtly make its users more temperate and prudent? If so, how so?"

18 comments:

Brennan said...

David Brooks wrote for the Weekly Standard. It's hard to tell that it's the same guy that wrote countless articles defending the government shut down in the 90s is the same guy that wants to power the state every where he looks.

Julius Reincarnate said...

Link don't work.

And David Brooks? Don't need no link-y to opine on dat... adolescent titillation for David Brooks is prison for thee... you lower-class scrub... why don't you just get y'erself together and be rich like Friedman? Those rich people, and their prep school kids... they don't suffer the same fate as you dirty slum sludge!

Ann Althouse said...

Fixed the link. Sorry.

traditionalguy said...

Brooks' standards are perfectly written for approval of the Second Amendment. Concealed carry of military style weapons are the best known example of fulfilling the life he supposedly pines for.

Or maybe he is just pretending to be a traditional American again to get his ticket re-punched as the Progressive's go to "Conservative Voice" that always agrees with them about any real issues.

harrogate said...

That's pretty funny. Brooks--at least the public face he wears to the world-- has always struck me as a buffoon overall, with occasional peeps of sanity attempting to scratch through.

To riff off an earlier thread, here is Brooks in a nutshell: "I think this and I know others who think this, and I think of myself and these others as 'mainstream,' so therefore I am expressing the secret thoughts of We The American People."

Oso Negro said...

Loving the David Brooks mockery.

Brennan said...

David Brooks: I write to maintain privilege of appearing on "The News Hour".

Alternate title: How right of center writers go to progressive heaven.

Alex said...

What if we made suburbs illegal?

the wolf said...

How about light bulbs?

Sam L. said...

"What sort of individuals and behaviors do our governments want to encourage? I’d say that in healthy societies government wants to subtly tip the scale to favor temperate, prudent, self-governing citizenship. In those societies, government subtly encourages the highest pleasures, like enjoying the arts or being in nature, and discourages lesser pleasures, like being stoned."

Oh, Davey! That's not the government we have! That's not what the government we have wants, you silly bassoon!

And...weed? I think our current administration would greatly prefer it to be available and cheap across the nation, so that we'd (can't help it) just get so melllllllow, maaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

"Can you provide examples of liberal pundits who are as prominent as Brooks, who are as goofy as Brooks?"

Paullie "The Beard" Krugman; Tommy "Chinese" Friedman; E.J. "I'm Done" Dionne; MoDo...

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Yes, it's a new sort of semi-automatic rifle, I see. But do you really need it for hunting?"

Balfegor said...

What if we made suburbs illegal?

What, like "Smart Growth" (through zoning restrictions and environmental regulation)? That's a kind of Brooksian restriction already popular both with progressives and a certain sort of conservative. I have mixed feelings. I happen to like the kinds of dense, transit-oriented neighbourhoods "Smart Growth" policies promote, but my tastes in neighbourhood organization is radically un-American, and I hesitate to impose my alien tastes on a rugged people, no matter how soft the degrees used to subdue them to the useful and the good. I am not their conqueror.

TMink said...

"government wants to subtly tip the scale to favor temperate, prudent, self-governing citizenship."

Then stop transferring wealth which enables intemperate, imprudent, and those needing governing by others citizens.

Trey

Dale said...

It is SOOOO evident that those disparaging David Brooks' thought provoking column - particularly the folks at Crooked Timber and the pro-Mary Jane commenters here - are losing brain cells far more rapidly than the population at large. And not just any brain cells: Intellectual use brain cells. The falling IQ joint-worshipping crowd has such a hard time dealing with what Brooks revealed about their true character that they cannot address or debate any of his points straight on. Therefore, the ridiculous middle schoolish attempt at metaphor. "Clever" does not even rate a description of their failure here. Therefore, the hurried attempt to change the narrative and spin the subject, denying the high crowd the opportunity to "think" (LOL) it through on their own. Such obfuscation is absolutely necessary for these bitter-odored paragons of American society and progress to protect their sullied egos when looking in the mirror David Brooks is holding up for them. All they see in that mirror is their sad, often wasted, little lives.

Truth hurts.

Drago said...

It's always cute when Brooks shows up and posts as "Dale".

sean said...

Here's something I don't understand: why the chattering classes are so mad enthusiastic about preventing us from smoking tobacco, and so wild about getting us some pot. Since Prof. Althouse, as a Wisconsin professor, is a chatterer in good standing, maybe she can elucidate the thinking of the fellow members of her class. Why the crazed intolerance for tobacco at your university?

wildswan said...

"In those societies, government subtly encourages the highest pleasures, like enjoying the arts or being in nature, and discourages lesser pleasures, like being stoned."
Professional football has required Packers fans to fill a stadium with 80,000 people who are to remain there for four hours, including three hours after sunset when the temperature with wind chill is expected to be -30. Otherwise no Packer game on TV in Wisconsin. The airwaves in Wisconsin are filled with people berating Packer fans for taking several days to find 77,000 people ready to "be in with nature" and the Packers in the ordeal. "Oh, call yourselves fans - oh yeah, temperature drops a little and where are you, Packer nation?" And so on. But now the 77,000 have been found. Probably David Brooks would classify watching the Packers as a "lesser pleasure" but it seems more like a medieval ordeal to which Wisconsonites have been obliged to send their best and bravest.

Freeman Hunt said...

The NFL had better be there handing out blankets and hot coffee.