Obama’s Waning Manhood

Folks, I’ll try to be brief here.  As I pull out and stare at my Johnson, caressing its tightly bound seams, flitting across its roughly cut edges, and imagining his epic resistance to release while fretting over the declining moral ecology of our fellow citizens, especially the poor and single mothers, I don’t know why, but I am immediately seized by Putin’s awesome naked torso and, at the same time, the crude image of Obama’s manhood.

And here’s the problem: Obama has erected a foreign policy, but it’s waning, and his flaccid approach to the rest of the world has not provided the thick prophylactic it needs.  Some might say that my position lacks any real evidence, but I’d wager that countless millennia of patriarchal, hyper-masculine thinking is hard to beat off, and it’s quite clear that an active foreign policy that respects borders really pays off in the long run.  So to understand how to properly dominate the rest of the world, do watch me participate in manly intercourse with a fine fellow insider on this deep subject here.

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My Curiously Powerful Morality

Hi, I’m David Brooks, and you’ll be happy to know that I’ve read another book, or at least the introduction. That’s all it takes to send my intense cognitive powers off into immense caverns of thought. Today, I have a simple message, so you might be able to grasp the gist of it. You see, it’s pretty clear that capitalism isn’t working the way it ought to. I know, I know, that’s a pretty mind-blowing point. I mean, capitalism is a beautiful thing, like a flawless diamond, or one of my columns.  But some in the know have noticed a couple of very minor abrasions on the beautiful skin of that hot economic model.  Do not fret, however, for I have a brilliant band-aid.

You see, If you break things down, there are really only two types of people in the world (well, three, if you include me, but that’s unfair to just about everyone, so we’ll keep it to two): those who use information to make money, and those who are just fascinated with how things work. It’s clear that the two never get confused, and it’s even clearer that when people who are only after money are in charge things can get a teensy, weensy bit messy. Never mind that there are strong arguments that the whole point of capitalism is the profit motive and that it is a dangerous thing—I didn’t read those arguments, so they’re clearly unimportant.

But let me get to my real point. Foolish people would take my deep insight and suggest that we ought to criticize capitalists. But that would be silly.  The only way to change a capitalist is to love him. Really, don’t argue against that big rich person: give him a hug! When he feels your love, his greed will magically recede into the bliss of your embrace. And while you’re clinging to one another in a wealth of happiness, you’ll both begin to understand that the answer can’t be government regulation. That never works. Sure, a couple of people might think it does, but I haven’t read them either, so whatever.

No, what the market needs is obvious: the market! As long as there are people who love knowledge, the market will be changed by itself and work. It’s win-win, and it’s moral. Everybody knows that people who do things for the love of knowledge have a deep moral ecology, one that prevents them from the sort of terrible drug use that the little people struggle under, and their outcomes are also always ethical. That’s just obvious, if you at least try and think about it. And the really good news is that those lovers of knowledge will also probably become richer than the people who love only money. So, what’s the take-away here? Let me help you with that one, too: good, moral people love knowledge, and you can tell because they’re richer than most of the people on Wall Street. Just look at me. Sure, if you’re poor, you’re probably not a good person and you don’t know how to love. But don’t worry: the markets will soon fix themselves and make life better for everyone, even you.

So, if you seek real knowledge, you can attempt an even deeper version of this diamond of an argument here.  Trust me: you’ll be a better person for it.

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The Republic I Fear

Hi, I’m David Brooks, and that’s incredibly comforting to both you and me because, on the one hand, I’m David Brooks, and wow!, but on the other hand, aren’t we lucky to live in such a safe, law-abiding country? When you think about it, one of the many perks of living in the first world is that you get that peace of mind in knowing that you never have to fear random stops by thugs, being killed by gangs, or having your house broken into and losing family members or your property. That’s for third-world countries.

Of course, many students from my Yale course go to these countries to build huts and grow cabbage, but the real issue, as this one book I read pointed out, is that they lack a solid, massive police state. If they had one, like in the District of Columbia, then folks in countries like Bangladesh could finally climb out of a Hobbesian state of nature and into a Lockeian prison state. And if they built prison labor camps like we do, then they could continue to make our cheap clothes without fear of collapsing buildings, because our prisons are both rugged, awe-inspiring and wealth-producing. Surely, that’s an improvement for everyone.

Now, the best way to set up this prison state is to get rid of such a horrid, ongoing state of all against all, and replace it with something like what we’ve got here in the land of the free: a War on Drugs. If Malawi, for example, had the number of prosecutors we do, then they too could force well over 90 percent of their citizens to plead guilty and take a plea bargain because, clearly, having an over-worked but free legal representation is better than having none at all, especially for black and brown people. At least you get a record in America, and in the process you can be denied all sorts of benefits, like housing, work, and welfare, and it’s all legal and official. In Malawi, nobody knows that’s even an option, and it makes me sad.

It’s clear, people: there are two worlds. America, where we are all rich, safe, and protected, and dark continents, like Africa, where chaos reigns and the police are underfunded. These places don’t need our money; they need our cops and our justice. So rather than joining the peace corps, setting up a system of militarized training, such as our exemplary SWAT teams would be a first step out of poverty and into the good life.

Now, I’m going to check my security system, pour myself a scotch, and go into my safe room to watch COPS. I recommend you do the same, and if you’re feeling the sort of undivided peacefulness that I am right now, you can read the whole story here.

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I Am The Deepest Self

Hi, I’m David Brooks, and I’m even more impressed with that fact given what I’ve recently figured out.  Lately, I’ve been diving down to the depths of the iceberg of your mind in order to bring some impressively original thoughts to you people ignorantly lazing about the shallows.  My first important idea is really an exercise in awareness: look over at that icy bit above the water—it’s called a ‘tip’, and that means there’s more, but you can’t see it.   I’ll give you a second to process that idea.

Ok, ready to really try to think?  You see, it occurred to me, as I was down there reading this one article, that fertile women really like hunky, dangerous men, but the rest of the time they prefer weak losers, otherwise called sensitive men.  Being neither, I still can’t figure out why I had to achieve some major success before I scored.  Anyway, it’s also the case that men cannot seem to concentrate on anything when they’re looking at porn, and I can really relate to this point—my ex-wife walked in on me once while looking at “Barely 18 Shiksa,” and after the third scream, I became aware of her and the end of my marriage.  Once she started crying, the whole evening was totally ruined.  I still love that site, though, so I think the takeaway is that there’s always a silver lining.

But I digress.  You see, the important point here is that the mind is really made up of two regions.  That nobody’s figured this out assures me of my ever-increasing intellectual prowess.  So, to really simplify things, I’ll coin the terms ‘System 1’ and ‘System 2’.  ‘System 1’ is a biologically driven region that is entirely the result of evolution.  It’s purely, I don’t know, what’s a good word here…thoughtless? No, no.  Idiotic?  That’s not quite it.  Idiot?  Too long. Let’s just call it Id for short.  This newly discovered and incontestably natural part of our brains is totally reducible to our animal selves.  It’s not affected by society or upbringing at all,  and it’s the stuff that makes women sleep with attractive drug addicts while men lose their marriages to really awesome, just plain epic porn sites.

On the other hand, ‘System 2’ is totally and completely rational, and because I’m one of the most rational people I know and have an extremely healthy sense of self, I’ll just call it the Ego.  Our egos, when developed, allow us (and I use ‘us’ loosely here because, let’s face it, there aren’t too many people as developed as I am) to be more than just animals—they allow us to create rules for ourselves and follow them, even if what we really want to do is go back to that site again and see if there’s new content.  Hold up a second—I need to look something up.

Ok, I’m back.  You see, the problem is that our science-mad culture has us all going around thinking that we’re a bunch of biologically predetermined Id’s, which explains why everyone who took my course at Yale was so stupid.  Never mind that nearly half the country believes in creationism—we’ve got a serious problem here.  Nobody seems to realize that they can almost be like me—people who are so rational that their animal sides are totally controlled.  People like this are awesome, and when you get to our level, you too can become one of us and have what I like to call Superegos.  You see, our Superegos are able to create incredibly robust moral ecologies, unlike the common people around us who are pure idiots (and I mean that in a technical sense: see my previous definition of ‘Id’).  It’s one of the reasons that I decided to put a mote around my mansion—it’s not that I think you want to hurt me.  I don’t even think you people have ever thought about anything at all.  I’ve been watching The Walking Dead a lot lately, and I’m convinced that  it’s not a metaphor anymore—I think it’s just the way things are in this morally declining country being taken over by totally stoned single mothers and European types.  So if you want to leave the surface and meet me in the depths, you’re going to have to grow up, children.

To be honest, I don’t have a lot of hope for this.  The culture of the whole country’s against people like me, and I fear that we are in another era of unthinking frenzy, just like the Nazis, who were really, really bad people. But maybe you can shed those diapers, and if you are really ready to submerge yourself and understand why they call icebergs ‘icebergs’ (hint—it’s a German word, probably invented after the first round of Nazis), you can find out more here.

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Your Ardor Should Pay for My Ease

Hi.  I’m David Brooks and you’re not.  Sorry. I always wanted to say that.  But let me talk about something I’m intimately familiar with: greatness and success.  Michel de Montaigne and Samuel Johnson were two of the great essayists in all of human history.  As the greatest essayist whose work has been taught by me at Yale, I can assure you of that.

Because he was French, Montaigne was both irritatingly honest and essentially lazy.    France was on strike about everything at the time he was alive, which hasn’t stopped, so his existential nonchalance in the face of a preposterous life was exactly what French people needed to hear.  Given their continuing lack of prosperity and general hygiene, clearly they’re still reading the man while they laze about during the entire month of August.  When they’re not striking, that is.

But then there is our Johnson, a man whose sense of self remained rigid, who constantly stroked his fears of inadequacy and heroically refused to look at himself as he did so.  If Montaigne was the sort of person who was fine telling you about his small penis, Johnson was the sort who wanted to put a cap on it: “I will be conquered; I will not ejaculate.”  Being English, Johnson abhorred a private life, and that is why he is necessary to America today.

Look, America is in a state of ethical decline.  I can see that from my perch atop my moral mountain.  Even though productivity has been up for years while pay has been down, and even though Americans are getting one thing right by working harder and longer for less, it’s clear that we’re becoming a nation of moral losers, or, in a word, European.  As I and my children saunter through our private schools with the time to sit and contemplate thinkers like Montaigne and Johnson, it occurs to we upstanding moral elite that the country needs to feel worse about itself.  This epiphany is even stronger when you’re stoned—I know you can’t relate to that, but if you were me, you’d see how profound this point is right now.

But sometimes you people do get it.  The one semi-close acquaintance of mine who went to public school intimated once, I think, that public school humans aren’t just lazy, they’re greedy, especially the single moms.  While sitting around thinking about the meaning of life, work and death, they’re demanding things like more than two weeks of vacation, paid family leave, and national day care.  Don’t get me started on the minimum wage.  I’m sure they came up with these absurd demands while they were baked out of their moral centers, but such are the desires of those who think too much about how things really are when they should feel horrible for not working harder to support my god-like ability to think for them.

Sober elites can read the full article here.

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Masses of Capital

Hi, I’m David Brooks. I’m sure you’ve missed me, but we have other clearly important matters to dwell upon. You see, the little people have become angry about capitalism. As I was scrubbing an imported Italian pumice stone on my soft, supple skin the other day, this occurred to me with a force that shook the purified waters of my gold and marble claw-footed bathtub. And then, of course, I realized that this is understandable, even if those people don’t quite know why. It was almost as if I was then scrubbing off the dirt of the poor and the needy, and it felt good to help, even though it was a little gross to feel that close to them. So let me explain it to you in very simplistic terms. I’m good at that. You see, capitalism was once based on the promise that everyone would get a leg up as long as they competed and played by the rules. Everyone except the poor and black and brown people, but whatever. Capitalism was good. Now, it seems, capitalism is bad, unless you’re me, but you’re not, and I sympathize. So my capitalist friend over at the American Enterprise Institute has a new message that should fix this little mess. It goes something like this: “Hey Republicans, shut the fuck up about how rich you are and toss those poor bastards some of your leftover bones. ‘Cause if you don’t, they’re going to realize that this is really how capitalism works. Remember how they used to throw money at poor people and make them fight it out? Do that, but with charities! Remember how they used to pay people off for their vote? Do that, but with tax credits! Then poor people might start to believe that they’re middle class again while we take more shit away from the actual middle class. Do all of this and we can really rack up the profits at their expense and call ourselves humanists and shit—it’ll be Epic!” I’m not related to Arthur Brooks, but it certainly sounds like I’m listening to a salty version of myself, which I find disturbingly exciting. In any case, sometimes you have to go all in when it comes to conning people into thinking that there’s a helping hand there, even though they can’t see or feel or experience it. But that’s why capitalism truly is magic.

Now, if you have the mental acuity, you can read my full post here.

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The Problem With Unequal People

Hi, I’m still David Brooks. Recently, I showed you how it was okay for very smart people like me to dabble in smoking pot for a while, but the rest of you just don’t have the moral ecology to handle it. You’re welcome. Now, as I sit here in my four million dollar mansion contemplating more higher truths, it occurs to me that you need to understand, if you can, that when companies turned from a stakeholder to a shareholder value system and the minimum wage was highly reduced, there was no effect on de-industrialization, high school dropout rates, divorce, joblessness, or falling paychecks. You see, economic inequality has nothing to do with what corporations and Wall Street do–it’s the result of single mothers. As a divorced man, I should know. It’s also not the case that people drop out of high school because they don’t see a good future for themselves–no, silly people, people drop out of high school and then make their future worse. It’s a simple point for smart people like me who read a little bit of research so that I can do the thinking for you, but no need to thank me this time–just knowing that I’ve stopped you from questioning inequality is thanks enough.

Superior people can read the long version here.

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