The New York Times’ Op-Ed Page Is An Intellectual Dark Web

The New York Times Op-Ed page has been an intellectual dark web for a long time. Few corners of the Internet can lay claim to both Thomas Friedman and David Brooks, two of the most widely ridiculed, mocked, and parodied ‘thought leaders’ ever to have deigned to grace us swine with their pearls of wisdom;Continue reading “The New York Times’ Op-Ed Page Is An Intellectual Dark Web”

Ross Douthat Finds ‘Ascendant Social Liberalism’ Lurking Beneath His Bed

The New York Times’ Resident Sophist Laureate, Ross Douthat, has a long-running argumentative and rhetorical strategy of suggesting, through dark imprecations, that ‘liberalism’ and ‘godlessness’ are to blame for America’s social evils, for they they have produced them by provoking a reaction to their excesses. If only social and political movements didn’t engage in suchContinue reading “Ross Douthat Finds ‘Ascendant Social Liberalism’ Lurking Beneath His Bed”

The Supposed Sacral Status Of ‘National’ Symbols

Yesterday, a Facebook friend–in the course of a discussion stemming from my post criticizing David Brooks‘ claim that protests by high school football players a la Colin Kaepernick were ‘counterproductive’–pointed me to the following quote by Saul Alinsky: Even the most elementary grasp of the fundamental idea that one communicates within the experience of hisContinue reading “The Supposed Sacral Status Of ‘National’ Symbols”

David Brooks Should Take A Knee And Stop Writing Stupid Op-Eds

David Brooks wants to “persuade” high school football players who are kneeling during the national anthem to protest systemic racism that what they are doing is “extremely counterproductive.” He does so by identifying this country’s “civic religion,” which is “a fusion of radical hope and radical self-criticism” and “based on a moral premise–that all menContinue reading “David Brooks Should Take A Knee And Stop Writing Stupid Op-Eds”

Prohibitionists and Their Impoverished Sense of Human Motivation

A few days ago, I wrote a post here on David Brooks’ inane ‘Weed: Been There, Done That‘ Op-Ed. Looking back on it now, what strikes me as most galling about Brooks’ post and other pro-prohibition sentiments that I’ve heard expressed in the past is the shriveled, impoverished, reductive view they have of human character.Continue reading “Prohibitionists and Their Impoverished Sense of Human Motivation”

David Brooks Smoked Weed So You Didn’t Have To

David Brooks put down his bong a long time ago: For a little while in my teenage years, my friends and I smoked marijuana. It was fun. I have some fond memories of us all being silly together. I think those moments of uninhibited frolic deepened our friendships.┬áBut then we all sort of moved awayContinue reading “David Brooks Smoked Weed So You Didn’t Have To”

2012’s Top Five Posts (Here, Not Elsewhere)

2012, the year that was (or still is, for a few more hours), turned out to be a busy one for blogging at this site. I wrote three hundred and twenty-four new posts, bringing the total for this blog to three hundred and fifty-five. The blog finally crossed fifty thousand views. (A humbling figure, ifContinue reading “2012’s Top Five Posts (Here, Not Elsewhere)”

Mitt Romney, Tired Old Tropes and the Myth of Self-Reliance

Mitt Romney‘s comments at a May fundraiser describing 47% of the American population as, roughly, a bunch of no-goodnik moochers are merely the latest expression of one aspect of a peculiar view that many reasonably intelligent folks are fond of espousing. It is a view that insists on imposing a facile dichotomy on this worldContinue reading “Mitt Romney, Tired Old Tropes and the Myth of Self-Reliance”

David Brooks Went to a Springsteen Concert, And All I Got Was A Stupid Op-Ed

David Brooks, the man who claims to have his finger on the pulse of down-home, All-American, Middle-American, (heck, Any-Which-Way American), plain-n-simple, family-values-oriented folks is a man who jets off to Europe for a Bruce Springsteen concert tour. No big deal. Lots of those good folk take vacations in Europe too. (If they can get toContinue reading “David Brooks Went to a Springsteen Concert, And All I Got Was A Stupid Op-Ed”

Freud, Goethe and Burke on Happiness, Pleasure, and Satiation

Defining ‘happiness’ is hard; how are we to know what to do to be happy, if we don’t have a good handle on what happiness is? And thus, the persistent efforts through the ages, of philosophical minds–and more recently, grimly determined social scientists and psychologists alike–to provide some delineation of the concept. (Even David BrooksContinue reading “Freud, Goethe and Burke on Happiness, Pleasure, and Satiation”