Gimme little drink

Are there people out there who enjoy readings things written “with a regulated sobriety”? I realize that prolonged listening to NPR Is a slow-mo lobotomy, but I like to think that even if I lacked a prefrontal cortex, I’d still reach for my revolver whenever I heard the word “nonpartisan”. Bobo:

But the detached writer wants to be a few steps away from the partisans. She is progressive but not Democratic, conservative but not Republican. She fears the team mentality will blinker her views. She wants to remain mentally independent because she sees politics as a competition between partial truths, and she wants the liberty to find the proper balance between them, issue by issue.

The detached writer believes that writing is more like teaching than activism. Her essays are generally not about winning short-term influence. (Realistically, how many times can an outside writer shape the short-term strategies of the insider politicians?) She would rather have an impact upstream, shaping people’s perceptions of underlying reality and hoping that she can provide a context in which other people can think. She sometimes gets passionate about her views, but she distrusts her passions. She takes notes with emotion, but aims to write with a regulated sobriety.

If you enjoy writers like the one Bobo describes here, you are not a human being.

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59 replies
  1. 1
    Redshirt says:

    Sounds like a robot romance novel.

  2. 2
    PeakVT says:

    She likes her porridge not too hot, but not too cold. Also, too.

  3. 3
    SatanicPanic says:

    Brooks has a problem with sobriety- too much of it.

  4. 4
    Princess says:

    I saw a photograph meme today. Nerdy guy, young professor type, with beard and glasses.

    At the top it said, “Always uses the pronoun ‘she’ in his examples.”

    And at the bottom it said, “Never cites an actual woman.”

    Reminds me of Bobo.

  5. 5
    Short Bus Bully says:

    What the fucking fuck is that monkey bullshit?

    People get paid to write that? Christ on a crotchrocket, sign me up! Easier than turning tricks on prom night.

  6. 6
    Old Dan and Little Ann says:

    I read a few comments from the article. I wish I kept my computer closed.

  7. 7
    efgoldman says:

    Hey, bigfoot!

  8. 8
    Jay in Oregon says:

    The only thing missing from that bio is how full of shit she’s gotta be.

    If you are that obsessive about being a “both sides do it”, “nonpartisan” kind of writer, you are at least unconsciously biased against the side that really isn’t doing it, at least not to the degree that you like to pretend. Pointing out that the GOP are dangerous radicals isn’t a “team mentality” when they really are dangerous radicals.

    Pretending that Alan Grayson saying that the GOP health care plan is “don’t get sick, and if you do, die quickly” is the same thing as John McCain calling for an American citizen, captured on American soil, to be treated as an “enemy combatant” (translation: we get to brutalize the fuck out of him until he either confesses to whatever we want or is too brain-damaged to participate in his defense) is evil.

  9. 9
    Todd says:

    Screw all that. Dying here. Ate a lunch sandwich at a place I hadn’t gone to in 20 years. It was dodgy then, it was dodgy today, and I’m going to have to belt myself to the throne….

  10. 10
    scav says:

    @Princess: Exactly. And, alas, probably going to be cited at me ad nauseum by a female who should know better, but prides herself on same vapid celestial all-knowingness.

  11. 11
    Tom Levenson says:

    Man. You folks are killing me. First folks on a science writing list I hang with tried to get me to bite on a McArdle post on the Sunday NYT Magazine piece about scientific fraud. And now you dangle Bobo’s attempt to prove that a perfect vacuum can exist!

    Not getting out of the freaking boat. Don’t need this grief.

    I will say, though, that just the excerpt gives me a bit of further confirmation that Brooks is mailing it in an awful lot these days. I remember sneering at late Safire columns when the old fraud would channel dead President Nixon when he couldn’t come up with anything even quasi-real to say. But that was at least bizarrely entertaining. This stuff? As you say. No humans involved.

  12. 12
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Todd: Perfect reaction to a Bobo column.

    And you have my sympathy. Drink as much water as you can.

  13. 13
    gogol's wife says:

    @Princess:

    Very apt!

  14. 14
    NotMax says:

    It’s a game, right?

    She is blonde yet still brunette, short while maintaining her tallness, Twiggy-ish and Reubenesque.

    She is both inquisitive and incurious, she is manic and torpid, giddy and blasé.

  15. 15
    dexwood says:

    prolonged listening to NPR Is a slow-mo lobotomy

    Needs to be a bumper sticker.

  16. 16
    Svensker says:

    She takes notes with emotion, but aims to write with a regulated sobriety.

    It’s kind of like Bob Dylan but after the clozapine therapy and the lobotomy.

  17. 17
    Irish Steel says:

    White bread and tap water will do nicely, thank you.

  18. 18
    Cacti says:

    The death of newspapers can’t come soon enough.

  19. 19
    ChrisNYC says:

    This thing about being sullied by “the team mentality” always brings to mind the phrase “precious bodily fluids.” The self-regard!

  20. 20
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @dexwood:

    Bobo: Slo-mo lobo.

  21. 21
    dexwood says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    chuckling, chuckling

  22. 22
    NotMax says:

    @SiubhanDuinne

    That’s doubly funny for comic book geeks who may remember the less than up to speed double of the character Lobo, who was named Slobo.

  23. 23
    Linda says:

    If you enjoy writers are a writer like the one Bobo describes here, you are not a human being.

    Fixed it for you. This is the writer Bobo fancies himself to be–dispassionate, intellectual, detached and able to rise to objectivity. Not the one who pretends to all these things, and who hides his prejudices under a thick blanket of pseudointellectualism and five dollar words.

  24. 24
    Morzer says:

    “She takes notes with emotion, but aims to write with a regulated sobriety.”

    So, in sum she’s worked herself up over her severe intellectual constipation.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again:

    Finding the broken and exsanguinated body of BoBo in some dank back alley will be a good day for the species.

  26. 26
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @NotMax:

    She has extremely large small breasts?

  27. 27
    NotMax says:

    @Villago Delenda Est

    Perky yet pendulous; enticing but severe.

  28. 28
    OldBean says:

    But the detached writer wants to be a few steps away from the partisans. She is progressive but not Democratic, conservative but not Republican. She fears the team mentality will blinker her views. She wants to remain mentally independent because she sees politics as a competition between partial truths, and she wants the liberty to find the proper balance between them, issue by issue.

    Hey, isn’t public masterbation a crime? Officer, I would like to press charges…

  29. 29

    Regular moron uses oxymorons as jumping off point.

  30. 30
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: There’s a word you don’t see often enough.

  31. 31
    trollhattan says:

    “The detached writer will nevertheless awaken from her torpor long enough to slap the living shit out of me for…pretty much any column or teevee appearance I make. Then, it’s back to work.”

    –Bobo

  32. 32
    maus says:

    This is what Fox viewers actually believe.

  33. 33
    Todd says:

    Grooooooooooaaan!!!

  34. 34
    angelfoot says:

    A well regulated sobriety being necessary to the security of a free State…

  35. 35
    Petorado says:

    This angsty little fantasy piece by Bobo is a good sign that even he can’t crank out another apologist article about how Republicans are right about everything — if you squint hard enough. Brooks reeks of despondency when he dreams up these imaginary friends of his.

  36. 36
  37. 37
    Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS) says:

    I’m not even reading the comments. I just have to say that you should have to be licensed to unleash that bullshit upon the world. Goddam you DougJ! Goddam you to hell!

  38. 38
    Mike in NC says:

    Bobo just makes this shit up.

  39. 39
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Bobo’s a risible old-fart professor after teaching one class. Must be a record.

  40. 40
    Marmot says:

    A “regulated sobriety”? Correct me if I’m wrong, but you write with sobriety or you don’t. If you’re regulating your sobriety, you’re making sure you’re getting just enough of it — and enough of its funner, eviler twin.

    Drunkiety.

  41. 41
    jamick6000 says:

    The engaged writer often criticizes his own party, but from a zone of trust inside it, and he is usually advising the party to return to its core creed. The engaged writer is willing to be repetitive because that’s how you make yourself an unavoidable pole in the debate. The goal is to have immediate political influence, to provide party leaders with advice, strategy and policy recommendations.

    ‘Why I am Better Than Paul Krugman’ by David Brooks

  42. 42
    GxB says:

    Sounds like he’s got girl who gets up early, stays up late, has uninterrupted prosperity, and uses a machete’ to cut through red tape.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    @GxB:

    Did she trade in her MG for a white Chrysler LeBaron?

  44. 44
    RaflW says:

    First, there is the matter of mental hygiene.

    What decade does Bobo live in? Is it the 40s again?

    What a useless prat. How can he get paid for this shite?

  45. 45
    LosGatosCA says:

    So, the slo mo lobotomized les miserables love company?

    In a perfect world Sully, Bobo, MoDo, Tom Cruise, and Beyonce are invited guests to a gala at the George Bush library as it gets hit by 10 meteors, just in case 9 might not do the job.

  46. 46
    Nicole says:

    Oh good grief. Every time I am tempted to buy an online subscription to the NYTimes I have to remind myself that I will, in a tiny way, be contributing to the salaries of Bobo and I Would Do Anything for Love But I Won’t Douthat and I sadly decide I just can’t do it. Bummer; I like the crossword puzzle.

    In reference to earlier posts, Doug, I am sorry to say that Fear the Kitten will not be running in the Kentucky Derby after all- he just got bumped by Giant Finish, who has more points than Fear the Kitten. On the bright side, much like a person playing the lottery, Fear the Kitten has about the same chance of winning the Kentucky Derby not running in it than he would have running in it.

  47. 47
    AA+ Bonds says:

    But the detached writer wants to be a few steps away from the partisans. She is progressive but not Democratic, conservative but not Republican.

    She has no body. She floats free. Who is she?

    Flowerbomb. By Viktor and Rolf.

  48. 48
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Seriously, if there has ever been a David Brooks column that has escaped recapitulating Erich Fromm by accident, I will eat the world’s priciest hat

  49. 49
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Although I have to admit I admire the act of sheer dissociation it takes to describe two types of people, David Brooks and David Brooks, as the polar extremes of creativity

  50. 50
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Linda:

    This is the writer Bobo fancies himself to be–dispassionate, intellectual, detached and able to rise to objectivity.

    And yet:

    The engaged writer often criticizes his own party, but from a zone of trust inside it, and he is usually advising the party to return to its core creed. The engaged writer is willing to be repetitive because that’s how you make yourself an unavoidable pole in the debate. The goal is to have immediate political influence, to provide party leaders with advice, strategy and policy recommendations.

    Is this not David Brooks, too, that stands before us? When David Brooks looks into David Brooks, David Brooks looks back.

    I think this is maybe It. This is the Ur-Brooks column. This is the Ouroboros.

  51. 51
    jl says:

    ” Is this not David Brooks, too, that stands before us? When David Brooks looks into David Brooks, David Brooks looks back.

    I think this is maybe It. This is the Ur-Brooks column. This is the Ouroboros. ”

    What does an ouroboros see when it looks into itself? Its ass, or Itself eating its own ass?

    Hey, I’m not sayin’, I’m just asking a question here.

    I remember reading a not overly friendly profile of Brooks than included a quote from an old interview where he said he chose his career path as a writer because he could make good money in a pleasant work environment and not having to study hard at school. Or, something like that. I wish I could find that profile. I didn’t see that advice in the column. Is Brooks holding back on his real secrets to success?

  52. 52
    Amir Khalid says:

    Leave the guy alone, y’all. It is no small talent, to be able to write two 800-word pieces a week of such mild-mannered scholarly-ish vacuity. The New York Times pays good money for that.

  53. 53
    notorious JRT says:

    @Linda:

    This is the writer Bobo fancies himself to be

    Bingo! I couldn’t help picturing Brooks sitting at an ornate dressing table in a pink house dress plucking a daisy:
    This is me
    This is me not

  54. 54
    JGabriel says:

    DougJ @ Top:

    … I like to think that even if I lacked a prefrontal cortex, I’d still reach for my revolver whenever I heard the word “nonpartisan”.

    Obligatory Mission of Burma link added.

    .

  55. 55
    CorbinDallasMultipass says:

    Ahahahhaha Atrios nailed the Bo Bo parody.

    http://www.eschatonblog.com/20.....range.html

  56. 56
    El Cid says:

    Brooks prefers self- to external parody.

  57. 57
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @NotMax:simple, yet complex

  58. 58

    […] detached writer uses search (he) and replace (she) because that shows a non-sexual bias in being dull, and word processing skills to bore to death with. The detached reader notice lint in his belly […]

  59. 59
    Thoughtcrime says:

    Tom Waits regarding Bobo and “regulated sobriety”:

    I’d rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.

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