David Brooks on the life stages of the American white bourgeois male by Myra B.

Hey, it's Myra B. here. Just got around to reading my favorite conservative columnist, David Brooks. The title of the essay of August 2, 2012 is The Credit Illusion. Mr. B. is most pathetic when attempts to be funny. It always seems like a misfire, if you know what I mean. His literary cover is a letter addressed to an advice columnist called Mr. Opinion Guy, from a letter writer who identifies as Confused in Columbus. Well, as they used to say sixty years ago on T.V., hilarity ensues. Except that this essay can't quite make up it's mind to be funny or just be the same old tired moralizing that is a staple of his regular opinionating. So he does a bit of both, with dismal result. It sounded like a Sam Levenson routine from sixty years ago. Mr. L's stand up routines, he a former public school teacher with a penchant for a brand of hectoring comedy, now utterly and thankfully passe: sometimes producing cringing laughter in mid-afternoon audiences on the Arthur Godfrey Show, as I recall. Except, that Mr. L. had such appeal, because he would become hopelessly tickled, by his own routine, and he would laugh with a kind of appealing embarrassment, that made him an audience favorite. 
Mr. B's resort to 'humor' is occasioned by President Obama's comments on the dependence of all citizens on the infrastructure, both human and material, that supports capital endeavors. Of course, Mr. Brooks can't pass up an opportunity to mildly lampoon, as that assertion of self-evident, but politically usable truth telling, can't be passed up. The life path of the bourgeois white male is carefully described and foreshortened to the point of caricature. Mr. B. in print has none of the appeal of Mr. L. on that twenty one inch black and white screen of yesterday. The force of personality is the lesson of both Hollywood and television, alas for Mr. B. print captures his mundane chatter with dismal fidelity.
Truly yours,
Myra B.            

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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