ricardienne: (tacitus)
Am I overreading, or is David Brooks saying in pretty clear terms: "Poor George Zimmerman! Back in the good old days, there was a place for manly white men and their vigilante justice protected white women from scary brown men. But now the world is feminized and all about *feelings* and there's no place for them anymore. Don't you feel the moment of manly tragedy?"
But there's no need to even call Brooks a racist sexist chauvinist pig. He basically does it himself.
rage-making racism, gender essentialism, misogyny, violence )
ricardienne: (library)
So, I think that David "Then there is our fervent devotion to equality, to the notion that all people are equal and deserve equal recognition and respect. It’s hard in this frame of mind to define and celebrate greatness, to hold up others who are immeasurably superior to ourselves." Brooks should read more trashy fantasy novels. Mr. Brooks: there are ways to get your fix for "strong and powerful" "embodiments of just authority" and safe spaces for your fantasies about "wielders of supreme power," the "graceful aristocrats"* who are "immeasurably superior" binding together joyfully obedient peoples with their "sober and enduring" exercise of "just power." You don't have to take it out on the rest of the country!


*disclosure: Brooks says "graceful aristocratic democrat", obviously thinking of Thucydides' Pericles: the great man who can rule the people absolutely within the appearance of a democracy.

Cleon

Mar. 30th, 2012 02:52 pm
ricardienne: (library)
I had forgotten that David Brooks' (and others') perennial head-shaking about the 'technocrats' their silly exaltation of science/specialization/expertise over common sense and received opinion, was basically the rhetoric of Cleon, the Guy Who First Demonstrated Why Democracies Can't Have Nice Things:
What will be worst of all is if nothing stands fixed which has been decided upon, and we don't recognize that a city is stronger using worse but unshaken laws than ones that are very fine, but unstable, and that ignorance together with prudence is a more useful thing than brilliance together with license, and that lesser men, as compared to more intelligent ones, for the most part are better at civil life. For the latter want to seem to be cleverer than the laws and to excel in public with whatever they are saying. But the former, distrusting in their own intelligence judge that they are less smart than the laws and are less able to criticize the recommendation of a good speaker and being judges from a position of equality rather than competitors they set most things straight. -- Thucydides. 3.57

Or was Cleon all that bad? Democratic politicians don't come off very well in most ancient sources, and Thucydides had particular reason for ira et studium toward the guy who got him exiled. I'm not sure that importing the Tacitus model onto Thucydides (even though I like Tacitus far more than Thucydides, and one would think that treating Thucydides more like Tacitus would make me like him more) is entirely helpful, but it's also good that he (Thucydides) -- slowly over the second half of the 20th century -- has gotten a more critical eye as a historian. (Although I'm not sure how much of this percolated over to Polysci and IR, where I think he is still a gospel authority. Maybe it doesn't matter over there whether he is laying out a theory strongly supported by historical fact or not.) So Cleon, like Tiberius, Nero, and Domitian, gets a bit of a rehabilitation now and then. But this is not perhaps the most scholastically auspicious way to go about it:
Thus have this ill-assorted pair (sc. Aristophanes and Thucydides) gained their revenge: I submit that there is no real reason to suppose anything of the kind. That both wrote literature of survival value, and that both disliked Cleon, ought not to be regarded as more than fortuitous. It clinches no argument. One could suggest comparative instances : for example, two such very different men as Shakespeare and St. Thomas More paint much the same picture of King Richard III ; but that proves nothing as to Richard’s real character, which there is cause to view differently.” [{A.G. Woodhead: “Thucydides' Portrait of Cleon” Mnemosyne, 4th s. 13.4 (1960), pp. 289-31, p. 293]

One might note that Daughter of Time was published in 1951.
ricardienne: (tacitus)
I am so unsurprised that David Brooks loves Anthony Trollope:
His most admirable characters have been educated by long experience. They have grown mature by exercising responsibility. They have been ennobled by custom and civilization. In his books, powerless outsiders often behave self-indulgently and irresponsibly. Those who are in government have to grapple with the world as it really is.

...Trollope’s ideal politicians share certain traits. They are reserved, prudent and scrupulous. They immerse themselves in dull practical questions like, say, converting the currency system.

...Trollope’s leaders don’t embrace change quickly but have to be dragged into embracing it after much interrogation, and the change they prefer is incremental.

Trollope praises one of his prime ministers, Plantagenet Palliser, for “that exquisite combination of conservatism and progress which is [his country’s] present strength and her best security for the future.”


Trollope's heroes, political and otherwise, are conservative (politically conservative even by the standards of Victorian England) and privileged men who are determined to preserve the status quo in which they are privileged. They work 10-4 days (with a healthy break for lunch in between), work within a network of similarly privileged compatriots, and have servants and wives to take care of their material needs. Whether clergymen or civil servants or MPs, they are dutiful and virtuous Victorian bureaucrats and those pesky reformers nattering on about social evils and reform are an unwelcome distraction from the serious business of making business as usual is as usual. Trollope is quite explicitly the anti-Dickens: corruption, child labor, crushing poverty are always overblown and/or easily solved by some nice paternalism -- for which don't the upper classes deserve to be wildly more upper than everyone else?

And this is consistently David Brook's fantasy world of politics, as well: the "right" people who grow up with the "right" education in an environment tolerant of their mistakes do a decent job of keeping everything together so that they can keep on being decent people. Which is all very well if you are a well-off white male in the system -- but it doesn't serve a lot of other people very well at all.
ricardienne: (chord)
...Because if you don't take at least a few advanced college level classes in literature, or history, or sociology, or philosophy, or art history (or...), you may end up going through life spouting really stupid things about literature that you would have been embarrassed to write in your most embarrassing Freshman Seminar "Shakespeare's depiction of Hamlet's indecision makes him a very human character and shows that he deeply understands the human condition" essay. In other words, you may end up like David Brooks himself.

Some choice bits from today's column about the value of a Humanities education.

Studying the humanities will give you a familiarity with the language of emotion. In an information economy, many people have the ability to produce a technical innovation: a new MP3 player. Very few people have the ability to create a great brand: the iPod. Branding involves the location and arousal of affection, and you can’t do it unless you are conversant in the language of romance.


Seriously? Seriously? Ignoring the fact that Steve Jobs was a college drop-out, literature and art and history do not make you more equipped to understand actual people, or to influence them. Quite the opposite, in my case

Studying the humanities will give you a wealth of analogies. People think by comparison — Iraq is either like Vietnam or Bosnia; your boss is like Narcissus or Solon. People who have a wealth of analogies in their minds can think more precisely than those with few analogies. If you go through college without reading Thucydides, Herodotus and Gibbon, you’ll have been cheated out of a great repertoire of comparisons.


On the one hand, I can't really argue with this point, because, well, exempla from history! In a larger way, it is certainly true that recognizing the allusions that make up a great deal of one's cultural discourse is a good thing to be able to do. And yet I don't think that more facile comparisons to the Peloponnesian War or the Fall of the American Roman Empire improve said discourse. Quite the contrary -- this kind of thing is exactly why I can't stand David Brooks in the first place! (See: "Once, I took a college course on the Englightenment; now I can talk about the fundamental divisions in views of human nature.")


Finally, and most importantly, studying the humanities helps you befriend The Big Shaggy.

Let me try to explain. Over the past century or so, people have built various systems to help them understand human behavior: economics, political science, game theory and evolutionary psychology. These systems are useful in many circumstances. But none completely explain behavior because deep down people have passions and drives that don’t lend themselves to systemic modeling. They have yearnings and fears that reside in an inner beast you could call The Big Shaggy.


Oh yes, he went there. Brooks goes on to talk about the various sides of his chest monster -- from illicit affairs of passion to over-confident investors, to awesome athletes and manly soldiers manfully giving their all: "The observant person goes through life asking: Where did that come from? Why did he or she act that way? The answers are hard to come by because the behavior emanates from somewhere deep inside The Big Shaggy."


But over the centuries, there have been rare and strange people who possessed the skill of taking the upheavals of thought that emanate from The Big Shaggy and representing them in the form of story, music, myth, painting, liturgy, architecture, sculpture, landscape and speech. These men and women developed languages that help us understand these yearnings and also educate and mold them. They left rich veins of emotional knowledge that are the subjects of the humanities.

It’s probably dangerous to enter exclusively into this realm and risk being caught in a cloister, removed from the market and its accountability. But doesn’t it make sense to spend some time in the company of these languages — learning to feel different emotions, rehearsing different passions, experiencing different sacred rituals and learning to see in different ways?


Again, leaving aside that dig at academia -- this formulation bothers me a lot. Part of it is rhetoric: B. clearly wants it both ways: that the Humanities teach you about the mysterious universal emotional core at the heart of the human experience and also teach you about "different emotions...passions...rituals." And talking about experiencing the works of "rare and strange" creators who can enlighten us about our hidden humanity? Utter utter crap. But most of all: the Humanties are not "rich veins of emotional knowledge" opposed to sterile and technical sciences! They are amenable to analysis, too! (Not to mention the fact that the "sciences" aren't completely divorced from "very human" aspirations and deep desires. Nor, in my experience, does mathematics (at least) not also cause one to marvel at the beauty and mystery in the universe, if that is your thing.) They mean different things to different people in different periods! Things we call "the humanities" are not some obscure "emotional language" -- on the contrary, they are in actual human languages and symbolic systems that cohere, are the product of thought and conscious intentions (although the specific intentions themselves are usually obscure), engage with ideas that can be debated in other forms and other forums, engage critical thinking as much as any other subject of study, and frequently were created with functions OTHER THAN our own, latter-day, feel-good "emotional satisfaction." In other words: there are real things there, not the revelations of an obscure and hidden "shaggy beast" of deepest-seated primal urges that have remained unchanged over the centuries (as if!). Those real things are what are worth studying -- first, because they are real, second, because whether you are expanding your understanding of your own society's cultural history and past and traditions in some way, or whether you are studying those someone else's, taking a broader view of the world than the point in which your life happen to exist is a good thing.

And thirdly, one ought to study these things to a reasonably advanced level because the way in which one analyzes "the humanities" is a particular way of approaching ideas and representations of ideas, of thinking about their antecedents, contexts, the conclusions they imply, and the significance that they do or have had. This kind of critical thinking is a valuable skill to have -- whether you are going to apply it to novels, or advertisements, or interpersonal relations, or political speeches -- just as the ability to break down a problem and examine it with the scientific method is a valuable skill to have.

(also, texts are exciting!)
ricardienne: (snail)
Now, Wm. Kristol has for a long time been making David Brooks look like a rational, in-touch-with-reality pundit. Particularly since the former appears to have gone so far off the deep end as to be in the Marianas trench over Sarah Palin.

My impression of Kristol is one of extreme deviousness. I tend to think that he is putting on a "populist who cares about conservative causes" appearance in order to get (neo-)cons in power, which will serve whatever end it is that he ultimately has in view.

In that light,Monday's column". Infuriating, but at least I have to give Kristol credit for constructing a complex persona.

These are the relevant portions; the body of the essay is a (typical) attack on pointy-headed intellectual elites who want intellectual control of public discourse, whereas we should trust to the popular common sense of the ordinary, hard-working patriotic American:

Conservatives’ hearts have always beaten a little faster when they read Horace’s famous line: “Odi profanum vulgus et arceo.” “I hate the ignorant crowd and I keep them at a distance.”

But is the ignorant crowd really our problem today? Are populism and anti-intellectualism rampant in the land? Does the common man too thoroughly dominate our national life? I don’t think so.
...
One of those people is Joe Wurzelbacher, a k a Joe the Plumber. He’s the latest ordinary American to do a star turn in our vulgar democratic circus. He seems like a sensible man to me.

And to Peggy Noonan, who wrote that Joe “in an extended cable interview Thursday made a better case for the Republican ticket than the Republican ticket has made.” At least McCain and Palin have had the good sense to embrace him. I join them in taking my stand with Joe the Plumber — in defiance of Horace the Poet.


But really, what is going on here? Ostensibly Kristol is revealing the Secret Elite Code (and he even translates it for us!) in order to repudiate it. But first of all, who is Horace? Horace is the (affluent, intellectual, elite) poet who condemns the wealthy and elite in favor of the blue-toga simple, real Roman farmer who works hard and returns to his simple hearth and simple hearth gods. In fact, vulgus in Roman Ode I turns out to be a play on vulgus: not the common crowd that the elites want to avoid, but the uninitiated crowd of materialist elites who lack the common sense of Josephus ille Plumbarius. Kristol is actually therefore himself identified with Horace (elite who condemns elite).

Second, who is Kristol? And who is the kind of person who quotes Horace? Latin poetry is currently the provenance, mostly, of intellectuals (cf. my angst last night), the kind of people who are out of touch with popular common sense. Historically, Latin poetry, and Horace in particular, is the provenance of a political elite. This is Kristol's point, but he can't help but be implicated in this elitism by his citation. Horace does not need to be brought up in order to condemn the pointy-headed intellectuals. What it seems to do is establish Kristol's intellectual cred among the people who can appreciate a Horace quote, (namely: intellectual elites), and establish his authority among people who can't (i.e. the common man) through his ability to pull quotes from the Canon out of the air and incorporate the Classics into his intellectual thought. Either way, Kristol ends up staged utterly as an elite, and as an elite depending on and using his intellectual elitism.
ricardienne: (Default)
OH MY GOD DAVID BROOKS DON'T EVEN TRY ANYMORE

Brooks gushes about McCain; some choice quotes:

The first thing that still strikes one about McCain is his energy. In his book, “The Nightingale’s Song,” Robert Timberg runs through primal force metaphors to describe the young McCain.

So what might a "primal force metaphor" be? A lion? An enraged bull? A lightening bolt, perhaps? No:
“Being on liberty with John McCain was like being in a train wreck,” Timberg wrote.

Since when were trains primal, I ask you?
Telling the truth is a skill. Those who don’t do it habitually lose the ability, but McCain is well-practiced and has the capacity to face unpleasant truths. While other conservatives failed to see how corporations were insinuating themselves into their movement, McCain went after Boeing contracts.

Presumably, McCain was attacking Boeing contracts, and not, as you imply, Mr. Brooks, trying to get them? And yet, although truth-telling "is a skill," which McCain has, unusually, cultivated,
There have been occasions when McCain compromised his principles for political gain, but he was so bad at it that it always backfired.

NB Mr. Brooks: "well, he has completely caved to expediency, but it didn't work" isn't, in fact, a very good defense.
More often, he is driven by an ancient sense of honor, which is different from fame and consists of the desire to be worthy of the esteem of posterity.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! (I shall pass over, so to speak, the question of whether or not this is a Good Thing in a democratic leader.)
Everyone will make their own political choices, and you might plausibly argue that the qualities John McCain possesses are not the ones the country now requires. But character is destiny, and you will never persuade me that he is not among the finest of men.

That human point seemed worth remembering, even amid the layers of campaign pretense.

Yes, Mr. Brooks is just an ordinary man of the people, artless and simple, one decent man sticking up for another. Well, you know what they say about a false premise.
ricardienne: (Default)
I just typed quite blithely "whine-hall" when I meant "wine-hall." This is NOT a commentary either on Old English Lament-poetry or my own tendency to complain about papers, I swear.

But I have been having fun with words today. I compared modern attitudes toward criminals to laptop DVD players in my sociology "memo:" at some point they get stuck in the "wrong" region and there's no hope for their switching back.

And while I'm on the subject, I've been reading a fascinating paper on the Emperor Tiberius's neologisms. He's the one who was infamously told that, "You can confer citizenship on men, Emperor, but not on words." Someone should notify Bush, no? As a side benefit, I now know far more than I ever wanted to about Roman groupsex. Tacitus was not making it up about the depravity, it seems.

David Brooks was suitably horrible today. I'm not even going to bother putting the whole column up like I usually do. He summarized a book he has been reading about The Female Brain, and concluded that society needs to pay more attention to innate difference between men and women "that confirm traditional stereotypes."

I know that there are differences between the sexes. And I suppose we shouldn't ignore them. But this kind of talk REALLY bothers me. I cannot accept that a woman who is good at math or science is an anomaly, an outstanding and unusual member of her sex to whose standard the rest of us shouldn't be held. And, honestly, I'm sort of shocked that I even need to be making that last statement in this day and age. It's as though we're in the middle of a backlash -- at least an intellectual one -- against equal rights. Science shouldn't replace religion as the excuse for segregation of gender roles.

And really, I don't see how they can eliminate the effects of socialization from any of these studies. I found the article about stereotype threat. Take that, David Brooks.

*fumes*

Aug. 3rd, 2006 08:12 am
ricardienne: (angelo)
Haven't had one of these in a while:

Bye-Bye, Bootstraps

By DAVID BROOKS
Published: August 3, 2006

In all healthy societies, the middle-class people have wholesome middle-class values while the upper-crust bluebloods lead lives of cosseted leisure interrupted by infidelity, overdoses and hunting accidents. But in America today we’ve got this all bollixed up.

Throught some screw-up in the moral superstructure... )

On the one hand, Brooks is certainly having fun with this -- all those *clever* literary and cultural allusions -- but he is making a serious point, too. Infamous article about middle-age slackers aside, there has been a lot of talk recently about the "disappearance of the middle class" and so forth. But wait, Brooks says: the middle classes deserve to disappear for their moral laxity; they don't want to work, and now they're getting their just due. This is hardly new, really. Isn't the central tenet of capitialism that the wealthy are wealthy by desert and the less wealthy only so because they don't work as hard? What he's fighting, I suppose is the class-warfare tenet that America now essentially is ruled by a plutocratic aristocracy. It isn't an aristocracy, however, because these people actually deserve their positions of wealth and influence due to their hard work.

Such paragons of the aristocratic work ethic as Paris Hilton aside, perhaps it is true that the nouveau riche are starting to outnumber old money at the present. Isn't this the quintessential cycle of capitalism, though? Some people work (or cheat) hard to build up their fortunes, and their children live the life of ease and inactivity. My generation is supposed to be the most shiftless and self-entitled yet: don't worry, David -- within a generation or so all will be put "to rights" as far as the upper classes are concerned.

Of course, as he makes clear with that oh-so-hilarious-and-au-courrant final comment, this only really affects the men. Those upper-class women are still just spending their husbands' hard-won money on interior decorating and designer clothing to impress the help.

I know that this isn't really his main point: what Brooks really wants to draw our attention to is the moral decline of the middle and lower classes. And I think he correct in his essentials: the old bourgeoisie work ethic is disappearing. But I've read Weber and I found him convincing; it seems clear to me that this does come from a decline in traditional Protestant Values. I've been sort of hoping for a decline in those, actually, and really, I can't blame these middle-aged men. (Brooks somewhat misrepresents their cases, in fact: they did not simply stop working, but lost their jobs and have given up looking). Why should anyone spend his life working a 9-5 meaningless job for two weeks of vacation a year? That horrifies me. It's all very well to talk about laboring in one's Vocation: a vocation to medicine, to teaching, or to the law, or to computer programming, fine. But a vocation to staffing a call-center? To stocking shelves at Wal-Mart?

Education I think is the culprit. When you start thinking about it, you do wonder why you are wasting what little time you have. If you want us to be happy with menial jobs, you can't teach us Plato and Thoreau -- has anyone ever envisioned himself as a man of bronze in the ideal republic? But bring back Horatio Alger and vocational schools and perhaps you can train a new generation to be happy. And I'm surprised that Brooks, who is usually so quick to decry the 'feminization' of society that leaves no place for male needs and innate programming, isn't pointing out that there are fewer and fewer places for the lone man to be active and, well, 'manly.' Perhaps that will be next week's column: our society is geared towards female dominance at the expense of male morals.

It's a bit irritating, to, that while he will exult in the continued immorality of wealthy women, he only indirectly praises the way that these middle-class wives are fulfilling their duties to their families in sticking by their men. Although this must be one of the few times in history that a conservative commentator isn't blaming us (yet) for the decline of society.



So I hope someone gets a hold of a transcript for the recent Rowling-Irving-King interview. I really want to know exactly what Rushdie asked and what she answered.

unjust war

Jun. 8th, 2006 04:27 pm
ricardienne: (augustine)
I can't stand the local paper. The editorial page may be getting slightly less hardcore Republican, but the letters to the editor (which, granted are probably selected for their inflammatory content) and the columnists seem to be getting worse. If, heaven forbid, the governor tries to get the legislature to, say, actually fund the STATE Universities, we get a million complaints about how Arizona is turning into a communist state, and the next thing you know, we'll all have to stand in lines just to get bread. And then there was the kerfluffle about Sears making PA announcements in English and Spanish (the solution is to boycott this "treasonous" department store). Not to mention the proposed lynchings of Hillary Clinton and John Murtha which seem to show up every couple of days. And so Clay Thompson's Valley 101 column ends up being the most reasonable thing in the entire section:

this speaks to my inner Anglophile )

David Brooks was his usually disgusting self today, arguing, although not actually coming out and saying, even though it was clear what he meant, that the only way to "win" Iraq for the population of basically decent Iraquis is to let our soldiers commit whatever atrocities are needed in order to get the job done:

Similarly, in our debates at home we are searching for ways to exercise enough power to defeat the insurgents while still behaving in accordance with our national conscience. We are seeking a sweet spot that satisfies both the demands of power and of principle. But it could be that given the circumstances we have allowed the insurgents to create, that sweet spot no longer exists.

* * * * *

One of the paradoxes of this war is that when U.S. forces commit atrocities, we regard it as a defeat for us because we have betrayed our ideals. When insurgents commit atrocities, it is also a defeat for us because of our ineffectiveness in the face of the enemy. Either way, morale suffers and the fighting spirit withers away.

And so the hunger to leave Iraq grows. A dissenting minority is furious that so many Americans are willing to betray the decent Iraqi majority in order to preserve some parlor purity. And the terrorists no doubt look at our qualms not as a sign of virtue but of weakness, and as evidence that savagery will lead to victory again and again.


What the hell? I've been making fun of the "refresher course in ethics" that the army is sending its soldiers through in the wake of Abu Ghraib and Haditha. But maybe it's actually needed. Since when are human rights and human decency "some parlor purity." Or does this mean that moral behavior is the privelege of the Enlightened West? Either way: OH MY GOODNESS DAVID BROOKS WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?
ricardienne: (snail)
Maybe. I am definitely preparing to fake my way through class tomorrow by not really studying and doing this instead.

New York was awesome, but that may be because anything with F. is awesome. We went to the Frick gallery, which was… oh my goodness so unbelievable! We were looking at an Renaissance Adoration of the Magi and making fun of the angels on hovercrafts* and then I turned around, and there was Sir Thomas More. The Holbein portrait! (Although I don't suppose there is another one.) I am of two minds about More. On the one hand, I've seen A Man for All Seasons, but on the other, I like Richard III. I cautiously accept, therefore, the hypothesis that he was actually satirizing Henry VII and the Tudor Myth when he wrote his biography of Richard, but a)I don't know enough to know if this is a legitimate theory or not, and b)it does seem like a cop-out. I bought a postcard, though, which I now have on my wall.
*seriously. The background sky was full of these hovering cloud things with angels perched on them. It was very funny.

But it did make me wonder again what I'm doing here, being in New York. I love cities. I hail mostly from western suburbia, it is true, but whenever I spend time in a realy city, I love it. I like walking on treets, and watching people and looking at buildings, and feeling like I'm part of something. I LIKE being anonymous, sometimes. I knew this before I went to college, and yet I still ended up on an ugly campus roughly in the middle of nowhere. In high school, it was "in college, you'll be somewhere you want to be," and now it's, "in grad school, you'll go somewhere you really want to go." Which means that I'll probably end up at U Death Valley for grad school, with the proviso that, "when you get a job, it will be where you want to live." Ha.

The first rehearsal for the Monteverdi was tonight. It went pretty well, I guess. The coach only had baroque bows for the violins, which was too bad, as holding my bow out on the stick kind of makes my hand hurt. But she did say that she would bring the contact info for the head of that summer baroque program next time, and this is good.

David Brooks was his usual hideous self this morning.

Lunch Period Poli Sci )

Now, to cheer myself up, I will do the Alphabet Meme:

Comment on this entry (er, if anyone reading this hasn't done this one already or wants to do it again!) and I will give you a letter. Write ten words beginning with that letter, and tell us what the word means to you and why.

I have the letter "n" from [livejournal.com profile] st_egfroth:

10 N-words )
ricardienne: (angelo)
So it seems that girls are supposed to write, or to make up stories. At least, there is a certain tradition of this being the case. (This is actually kind of related to what I wrote yesterday.) Is this because girls are inherently prone to fancy whereas boys are inherently realistic? Of course! Not to mention that girls are designed for quiet pursuits like reading and writing, boys for activities like physical play*. That's why Muscular Christianity had to come along: all of that studying scriptures and being kind to thy neighbor was just too feminine for real men.**
*Early medieval noblewomen were much more likely to be literate than their male counterparts, in fact.
**This I am not making up
.

One would think that we would not find this sort of thing on the editorial page of the New York Times. But between John Tierney's periodic "women are actually happier to cook, clean, and raise children while their husbands support them" columns and David Brooks' "we are ruining America's boys by forcing them to become girly and intellectual when they clearly aren't meant to be" ones, one is uncertain what decade we are in already.


Yesterday, Brooks took up a new thread in this argument that was strangely familiar to someone who has been getting increasingly more furious at him for the last year or so:

Virtues and Victims )

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