Friday, September 9

Bobo in Paradise Wonderland

Billie Burke: Why, Rochester, you're not afraid of the dark, are you?
Eddie "Rochester" Anderson: No m'am. It ain't the dark. It's what's in it.
Topper Returns (1941)


David Brooks: Katrina's Silver Lining

Summary: While we can't fight poverty on a large scale, we can rebuild New Orleans as a culturally and economically integrated city, which will raise up the children of lower-class households by integrating them into a middle-class culture "with people who possess these skills and who insist on certain standards of behavior."

Okay, with the Republican party's rampant incompetence, corruption, racism, and sneering contempt for the poor covering the landscape like Lake George covers New Orleans, why pick on Brooks for trying to distance himself from it? The question answers itself. Brooks the water-carrier for the Bush administration--including praise for the brilliance of the plan of having no post-war plan--is only running in place while the scenery changes around him. Heartfelt Republican pleas for "workable" solutions to the problems of poverty and race merely serve to shield the more delicate sensibilities among Republican voters from the broad wink and hearty handshake the party gives racial hatred and the politics of class division.

Unlike Rochester, we have every reason to fear the dark that descended on the Gulf Coast ten days ago. Still, it's true that it's what's kept in the dark that's truly scary. If Brooks is now so deeply moved by the devastation on one side of the great cultural gulf in this country he can start by repudiating the party that sunk the "underprivileged" ever deeper for twenty-five years while he cheered it on. Mr. Brooks, you helped carry that water. Saying now you're ready to help bail isn't good enough.

3 comments:

harry near indy said...

brooks is an upper-middle-class stool who has little idea of how people lower than him on the totem pole live.

fuck him and the horse he rode on!

Pepper said...

Give him hell, Harry!

OK, I was floored when Brooks had his little meltdown on 'NewsHour,' but I'd like to know what he means by the middle class having 'certain standards of behavior.' Because I've known several middle-classers in my time who behave quite badly.

Pepper said...

Give him hell, Harry!

OK, I was floored when Brooks had his little meltdown on 'NewsHour,' but I'd like to know what he means by the middle class having 'certain standards of behavior.' Because I've known several middle-classers in my time who behave quite badly.