WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE! David Brooks spreads The Hate!


PART 2—SOME OF THOSE PEOPLE ARE PIERCED: In a tribalized political culture, The Hate for The Other will always run strong.

We live in a highly tribalized culture—and The Hate for the Occupy Wall Street folk is being spread through the land. The Occupy Wall Street folk will be mocked, by any means necessary.

Example: Last Tuesday, Andrew Sorkin closed his column with some silly-shit nonsense: The Occupy people hate corporations, but they use corporate products! (See THE DAILY HOWLER, 10/10/11.)

This silly child’s premise was massively dumb. But four days later, another child of the upper-end press began her own column with it:
PETRI (10/8/11): It might be too easy to dismiss the Occupy Wall Street movement as a first-world problem.

I listen to a man complain about the challenges of getting a job in the maritime industry. He is skilled. He is jobless. He is pessimistic.

Then he whips out his iPhone.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! These children are willing to play the fool in service to tribal interests.

Why do the children play this way within the modern press corps? The financial rewards can be very great for those taken into the tribe. “Liberal” journalists play the fool too in search of fame and fortune.

The rewards can be great—but other passions may drive The Hate. Whatever the motive, the pummeling of the Occupy folk continues apace in this morning’s Times, with David Brooks rising up in high tribal indignation.

Brooks mocks the Occupy Wall Street people today, much as pseudo-liberals have mocked “those people” in the tea party. "Take the Occupy Wall Street movement—please," he says from the slopes of Olympus:
BROOKS (10/11/11): Take the Occupy Wall Street movement. This uprising was sparked by the magazine Adbusters, previously best known for the 2004 essay, “Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?”—an investigative report that identified some of the most influential Jews in America and their nefarious grip on policy.
There! Once the anti-Semitic card had been played, Brooks was able to proceed to even more fatuous stuff. This sniffing, dismissive pseudo-analysis is very much like the kind of work the pseudo-liberal world has spewed at those fools in the tea party movement:
BROOKS (continuing directly): If there is a core theme to the Occupy Wall Street movement, it is that the virtuous 99 percent of society is being cheated by the richest and greediest 1 percent.

This is a theme that allows the people in the 99 percent to think very highly of themselves. All their problems are caused by the nefarious elite.

Unfortunately, almost no problem can be productively conceived in this way. A group that divides the world between the pure 99 percent and the evil 1 percent will have nothing to say about education reform, Medicare reform, tax reform, wage stagnation or polarization. They will have nothing to say about the way Americans have overconsumed and overborrowed. These are problems that implicate a much broader swath of society than the top 1 percent.
Have any Occupy people really said that “all their problems are caused by the” one percent? Second question: Has a word ever spilled from Brooks’ mouth suggesting that he has any idea about education reform? And might we add a final thought about David’s ruminations here?

Overconsumption is a problem in our modern society—but overconsumption is a business strategy of the top one percent! We discussed this theme in our one-man show, Material World, all the way back in 1994. The incomparable show turned us into a universally-admired City Paper cover boy! (Click here; photos weren’t posted.)

Nader and Gore both came to the show; so did Tony Snow, pre-representing Bush. Sadly, we didn’t see David Brooks there.

In today’s column, it shows.

In this morning’s silly sad piece, Brooks keeps sniffing at the dumbness of The Other Tribe, much as many in the pseudo-liberal world have done. Brooks can't be as overtly stupid as people like Sorkin and Petri have been. But he manages to be plenty dumb, even in high disguise:
BROOKS: The Occupy Wall Street movement may look radical, but its members’ ideas are less radical than those you might hear at your average Rotary Club. Its members may hate capitalism. A third believe the U.S. is no better than Al Qaeda, according to a New York magazine survey, but since the left no longer believes in the nationalization of industry, these “radicals” really have no systemic reforms to fall back on.

They are not the only small thinkers. President Obama promises not to raise taxes on the bottom 98 percent. The Occupy-types celebrate the bottom 99 percent. Republicans promise not to raise taxes on the bottom 100 percent. Through these and other pledges, leaders of all three movements are hedging themselves in. They are severely limiting the scope of their proposed solutions.
Those people are haters, the hater says. He cites what 34 people said, or may have said, as part of a non-survey “survey”—a survey of 100 people! But notice how stupid this player is. It’s true: Obama and the GOP have agreed that we mustn’t raise taxes on the 98 percent. But has anyone from the Occupy Wall Street movement announced such a policy choice?

Our silly boy marbles three numbers together, claiming that everyone’s in the same bag—that “leaders of all three movements are hedging themselves in” on future tax rates. Sorry. That’s just propaganda. (By the way, who exactly are the “leaders” of the Occupy movement?)

Brooks is very dumb today as he spreads The Hate about. He knows who the good / smart / worthy folk are. And sure enough! The good /smart / worthy people turn out to be just like Brooks! One such worthy person is Matt Miller:
BROOKS: The thing about the current moment is that the moderates in suits are much more radical than the pierced anarchists camping out on Wall Street or the Tea Party-types.

Look, for example, at a piece Matt Miller wrote for The Washington Post called “The Third Party Stump Speech We Need.” Miller is a former McKinsey consultant and Clinton staffer. But his ideas are much bigger than anything you hear from the protesters: slash corporate taxes and raise energy taxes, aggressively use market forces and public provisions to bring down health care costs; raise capital requirements for banks; require national service; balance the budget by 2018.
Eek! Brooks went where the wild things are—and some of “those people” were pierced! Meanwhile, Miller has big ideas. He wants to bring down health care costs! Running out of ideas rather quickly, he even wants national service!

No, it isn’t Miller’s fault that Brooks has put his work to this use. But Brooks behaves like a hater today, as many people will do in a tribalized culture.

Last night, someone who isn’t a hater did a guest spot on cable. It was former governor Buddy Roemer, who can’t get into the Republican White House debates.

Lawrence O’Donnell asked Roemer for his reaction to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Roemer showed the world how it sounds when a guy isn’t pimping The Hate:
O’DONNELL (10/10/11): Governor, you’ve been struggling to get into these debates and you’re not getting over the polling threshold they required to get into the debates. But if you were there on that stage with your fellow Republicans, what would you have to say about the Occupy Wall Street movement?

ROEMER: I would ask Republican candidates to remember how America got started. I would ask them to remember the times in our nation’s history where young people stood and protested the status quo.

I’m 68. I can remember the Vietnam protest. I can remember the civil rights protest in the Deep South.

The young people made a difference. They weren’t always right. They didn’t always have a mature agenda. But they debated openly what the grown-ups wouldn’t talk about.

I’m hoping that they’ll talk about the fact that Wall Street money, special interest money owns Washington, D.C. …

That’s what they’re talking about, these young people. They don’t have jobs. They don’t have hopes. And these Republican candidates would shut them up, would call them anti-American? It’s not right.

This is America. And we have the obligation to debate who we are.
Roemer understands a key fact. In any large movement, the people involved won’t always be right. In many cases, they may be fairly clueless; they may not have “a mature agenda.” For these reasons, you can always engage in nut-picking, interviewing the guy in the beanie. You can always mention the fact that some of those people are pierced.

That’s what many pseudo-liberals have done with the tea party people. Tomorrow, we’ll look at a site which is begging you not to believe that the tea party folk are part of the 99 percent.

On Thursday, we’ll review a 1997 film about the potent allure of The Hate. On Friday, we’ll revisit the start of the pseudo-liberal hate campaign.

The haters will always urge you to hate—to reject “those people” in every way. Their side talks about our beanies. We cite their three-cornered hats.

Tomorrow: At all costs, ignore The Other!


  1. Bob; you're right as usual, but when did you start sprinkling your work with vulgarity? To quote the narrator in The Big Lebowski, "Do you have to curse so much?"

  2. IMHO Bob overstated the anti-protestor feeling by calling it "Hate", and with a capital H. His evidence is that the so-called "Haters" mock the protestors. Bob and I are old enough to remember when real haters burned down black churches and murdered civil rights workers.

    If mockery really proved hatred, then the biggest haters in America would be Dave Letterman, Jay Leno, and Jon Stewart.

  3. Would dispatching body-armor-clad riot police to pepper-spray and club peaceful demonstrators count as "hate?"

  4. Brooks has made a career of comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted, but Buddy Roemer's words make it clear he's 10 times the man Brooks would hope to be. Too bad the GOP and its media enablers won't let him participate in the debate. He's surely right about both major parties being "on the dole" for campaign $$$ from rich people, PACs, and corporations.

    Moment of irony: to watch the O'Donnell show clip, you have to sit through 30 seconds of ExxonMobil propaganda.

  5. Yes, BKT. If David Brooks were dispatching body-armor-clad riot police to pepper-spray and club peaceful demonstrators, that would demonstrate "hate."

  6. Haven't we all listened to dumb variations on Sorkin's jibe all our lives? I know I have. If you use an IPhone, you can't be critical of big companies, if you use a bank, you can't be critical of banks, Michael Moore has made a lot of money so you can't accept anything he says, etc. etc....
    Actually, this is a thin and stupid response that turns out to be effective because our tribe never learned how to answer back. Yes, I use and I Phone and Bank, because I have to function in society. So what? That doesn't mean I have to sign off on the nonsense presented today by weak, really lame thinkers like David Brooks.

  7. Are unemployed people supposed to stop using technology? You need to be online, and have a cellphone with you at all times pretty much, in order to conduct a job search.