June 16, 2005

David Brooks refutes David Brooks

Bobo's latest: "There was still a sense [in the middle of the twentieth century] that culture is good for your character, and that a respectable person should spend time absorbing the best that has been thought and said."

This from the same man who celebrates all the mediocratic crap and anti-intellectualism of those parts of the country he would, in fact, never step foot in.

But, of course, he has to avoid (new) cognitive dissonance, so who does he blame for the death of American culture at the hands of theocrats and bottom-line-oriented media conglomerates?

Clement Greenberg called the middlebrow an "insidious" force that was "devaluing the precious, infecting the healthy, corrupting the honest and stultifying the wise." Dwight Macdonald lambasted the "tepid ooze" of the Museum of Modern Art and the plays of Thornton Wilder. Basically, these intellectuals objected to the earnest and optimistic middle-class arrivistes who were tromping over everything and dumbing down their turf.

Yes! Brilliant! Blame anti-intellectualism on the intellectuals!

Oh, how one longs for the days when our periodicals featured intelligent writers musing on the arts, sciences, and current events in a literate, insightful fashion.

Recommended reading: Anti-intellectualism in American life, Richard Hofstadter, Vintage Books.


MosBen said...

Honestly, Brooks astounds me. How such dissonance can exists in one man is just unbelievable.

Noumena said...

He's dissonancetastic!

Alternative joke: He carries the Sceptre of +1 Dissonancing!