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March 30, 2010



Me. I'd take the Academy Award and since Brooks makes his living writing tripe for the NYT I think it clear he values money and fame over integrity and reputation.

Charlie (Colorado)

Dr Helen today on PJM made the argument that many "liberals" basically have no capacity for personal empathy.

Brooks may just be proving he really is a liberal.


In related news, Ricky Martin admitted that he is gay.

Frankly, I didn't need to know that but Ricky forced it on us last night.


Charlie, are you saying that George W Bush's "compassionate conservatism" is roughly equivalent of Bill Clinton's "I feel your pain" ?

Charlie (Colorado)

I don't think so, neo.

Charlie (Colorado)

There was a funny tweet in Spanish about Ricky Martin last night. It basically said that Ricky Martin had come out, and so the tweeter was suggesting March 29 should be the date for the festival of the International Day of the Obvious.

Thomas Collins

See LUN for the column that is the subject of this thread. In the course of this column, Brooks states the following:

"Marital happiness is far more important than anything else in determining personal well-being. If you have a successful marriage, it doesn’t matter how many professional setbacks you endure, you will be reasonably happy. If you have an unsuccessful marriage, it doesn’t matter how many career triumphs you record, you will remain significantly unfulfilled.

This isn’t just sermonizing. This is the age of research, so there’s data to back this up. Over the past few decades, teams of researchers have been studying happiness. Their work, which seemed flimsy at first, has developed an impressive rigor, and one of the key findings is that, just as the old sages predicted, worldly success has shallow roots while interpersonal bonds permeate through and through."

What unadulterated BS. The last thing I need research for is to inform me as to the balance I should make between personal tradeoffs. I am capable of making those myself without research or condescending snobs such as Brooks.

We each must make a separate peace with ourselves. Some may choose success in the outside world over personal relationships. For some, part of personal relationships may be being a good provider by being successful in the outside world. For some, much reflection and study and little interaction with people feed the soul. For others constant interaction with other people is a key to good living. There is no reason to assume that a hermit is or is not more fulfilled than a socialite. These are issues beyond the knowledge of humans. All we can do is make our way the best we can and find out about ourselves the best we can.

Brooks's op ed is one of many signs of a sclerotic elite. Yes, discussion of these tradeoffs with close friends may be helpful to each of us in making our way on this level of creation. But to start off with a question on personal tradeoffs and then start pontificating about the latest research? Pathetic. And also unsettling, because boobs such as Brooks may believe that government may have a role in promoting happiness (as opposed to providing a framework to secure the individual right to pursue happiness, which is the appropriate role for government).

When I read columns such as this, I shake my head at the fact that the pseudo elites of the country downgrade someone such as Palin. Have the psuedo elites no idea about the depths to which they have sunk? If Plato wrote his dialogues today, he would have to add a subcave beneath his cave where Brooks-type characters reside. It would be their fate to have to struggle to reach the cave where they can sit chained in front of the wall to see the shadows of the artifacts. Turning to see the artifacts and making the journey to see the reflections of the sun are steps beyond them.


All true, TC. OTOH it must be awful to have to write something week after week. I know I don't have 52 brilliant ideas every year. So the tripe to meaningful content ratio grows each year a person is a columnist--with rare exceptions like Barone.

Thomas Collins

Clarice, I agree about the difficulty of doing regular writing. However, I would have time for nothing else if I had to search for a bad column of yours, and I still probably wouldn't find anything I could plausibly call bad. Barone is another one. Jay Cost also comes to mind.

Thomas Collins

Although, to be fair to Brooks, I don't think he has yet sunk to the level of Frank Rich.


I remember watching one of Jesse James chopper shows several years ago.
He was attending a strip bar, on air, while married to his previous wife.
He's a tatooed, foul mouthed, hard drinking, biker with severe father and family issues who apparently not only cheated on but hit his wife while doing his previous series and Sandra Bullock is surprised he cheated on her?
If she can make anyone believe that she certainly deserves her Oscar.


Wayyyyy too generous, TC..But I agree on Cost. Found him in 2004 when he was a student at the Univ of Chicago and I've never ignored anything he's written.


Apparently, she and Jesse were into all sorts of fun stuff. Remember, Jesse's former wife is a porn star. That Mr. Brooks would waste an iota of ink on the subject is simply laughable.

Logic, morals and decency are to Hollywood like a digital watch is to a chimpanzee. Incomprehensible.


Interesting point Tom on the difference between unknown and known adultery. I would say that both events for Bulloch were a success, one the Oscar, and two, catching the bum. She should celebrate that she found out the truth.

I noticed there are two types of women, and men I suppose too, those who want to know and those who don't. The ones who don't are very willing to accept that the other woman is lying and crazy and hounding her poor man. But if the truth is important to Bulloch, then she was pleased with finding out.

I agree with the writer that interpersonal relationships are key. However, better to have truly good interpersonal relationships, than fakely good ones. So many aren't good. Only the lucky minority get those. So professional success and interests can be a good second place.


I agree with Ignatz that she should have known. People do not change. The saying "once a cheater always a cheater " isn't a saying for nothing. Chronic cheaters like that come with a certain personality type, that allow them to lie constantly, and people's personalities typicallly don't change.


--Remember, Jesse's former wife is a porn star.--

His first wife, which was the one he was married to when I saw that show seemed relatively normal compared to that tattooed porn thing he married later.

Rick Ballard

"I don't think he has yet sunk to the level of Frank Rich."

Digging down through 100 feet of whale excreta is tough. Give him some time.

JM Hanes



If Plato wrote his dialogues today, he would have to add a subcave beneath his cave where Brooks-type characters reside.

I hadn't realized until just now that that allegory lacked any mention of a sewer. Now thanks to TC I can imagine it perfectly.

Speaking of allegories, do I get to be the first to note the irony of David Brooks musing about whether it's worth it to have tremendous personal success when you find out the man you loved has been lying to you?

Danube of Thought

Jay Cost also comes to mind.

And Krauthammer.

Danube of Thought

Does Brooks think that all marriages in which neither spouse is adulterous are happy ones?

narciso the harpoon

He does get aggressively stupider over time, honestly, now the folks at NRO earlier linked
a defense of Brooks by Richard Vigilante, on his own blog that was unpersuasive to say the
least; among other things, it said the lefties
really dislike Brooks, well insincere toadies
are hard to take

narciso the harpoon

Speaking of being trapped in the cave, Roger Ebert's most recent contribution, in the LUN

narciso the harpoon

sorry wrong LUN



Is it just me, or is "the educated elite" coming more and more to resemble the French Aristocracy of about 1785-8?

Like the Bourbons, "they forget nothing, and they learn nothing."

As for writing, in general, Sturgeons' Law prevails. When informed that a U of Chicago professor couple didn't read science fiction [which he made a living writing] because, "90% of it's crap." Sturgeon replied that that's "because 90% of everything is crap." His strong implication was that it takes crap to get the good stuff.

That seems to be true, again, in general, but Brooks appears intent on proving that a huge load of crap doesn't have to include even 10% "good stuff."

And I love the idea of a sewer in the cave. I may have to look up an old prof and mention it to him. I'm sure he'd love the idea.


He was still married when Sandra "met" him. They married soon after he was divorced from his second wife. She knowingly married an adulterous jerk.

There are also rumors that the details of his infidelity were known to her, pre-Oscars, but she just didn't feel like dealing with it in all the press that is the Awards Season.


Interesting article by City Journal's Nicole Gelinas atht e Motley Fool on too big to fail and the Volcker Rule.
Like most City Journal writers it's always worthwhile to read her.


sly and funny, bgates!


Anybody else having a problem posting on certain threads today? This appears to be the only one my posts show up on currently.
I had some real first rate zingers disappear into the ether several times on other threads.
Well at least I consider it safe to label them first rate zingers since they're apparently gone and no one can prove they weren't. :)

Frau Krankenhaus

Brooks holds the world record for rolling over after a visit to O's office.


Yep Ignatz, I've been told we are all fashionistas on the web...and now we can also be comedians! BTW I am dressed impeccably this evening!

Danube of Thought

I for one am certain they were, Iggy.

Frau Rosa

OY - Al ArseHat sighting in Beverly Hills:
"At one point a woman wielding handcuffs attempted to make a citizen’s arrest of Rove, who was there to promote his book…Courage and Consequences. Nevertheless, Rove, who was without security, didn’t go quietly when faced with this particular set of consequences. According to the report below he engaged a number of the protesters accusing them of being perfect examples of the “intolerance of the left.”
Cleo must look radiant in pink.


I've never understood the Queequeg fetish.

David Walser

I'm not understanding Brook's thought question. Why would Bullock have to choose between receiving an Oscar and having a faithful husband? Are the two (receiving an Oscar and having a faithful spouse) in anyway related to each other? Is that James' retort to Bullock: "If I hadn't fooled around you wouldn't have won the Academy Award"?

Captain Hate

Last month I read that Sandra Bullock burned her cooter while trying to dye the hair pink for Valentines day. I didn't mention it previously because I was waiting for Brooks to weigh in on what the "educated class" made of that regarding the strength of her marriage and overall happiness.


Captain Hate - Hahaha! Yeah, thank heaven for the "educated class". I might have mistakenly missed this vital happy marriage insight. Brooks is my go-to guy on marriage counseling and life priorities.
Hopefully there is no tattooed nazi-themed seductress at my husbands work place...lurking around while I pursue the homemaker of the year award.

Captain Hate

At one point a woman wielding handcuffs attempted to make a citizen’s arrest of Rove, who was there to promote his book…Courage and Consequences. Nevertheless, Rove, who was without security, didn’t go quietly when faced with this particular set of consequences. According to the report below he engaged a number of the protesters accusing them of being perfect examples of the “intolerance of the left

I just heard a sound clip of that: Some of the Code Stinkers were yammering about "outing an undercover CIA agent". Shouldn't they be going after that fat POS Armitage and his friend Powell? WTF!

Strawman Cometh

Cooter? Did you say Cooter? Isn't great how AlGore's great invention just brings things together.


"On the third hand"? Surely you must mean, "on the gripping hand."

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