HEY, I'm the first to admit there are some things no one should do for money:
They go through the oboe practice, soccer camp, homework marathon childhood. Their parent-teacher conferences are like mini-Hall of Fame enshrinements as all gather to worship at the flame of their incipient success. In high school, they enter their Alpha Geekdom. They rack up great grades and develop that coating of arrogance that forms on those who know that in the long run they will be more successful than the beauties and jocks who get dates.
Then they go into one of those fields like law, medicine or politics, where a person’s identity is defined by career rank. They develop the specific social skills that are useful on the climb up the greasy pole: the capacity to imply false intimacy; the ability to remember first names; the subtle skills of effective deference; the willingness to stand too close to other men while talking and touching them in a manly way.
For some time I've been toying with the idea that a strong undercurrent of our present social troubles is traceable to the collapse of the hegemonic Freudianism of the 30s through the 50s. On the one hand it was by and large a colossal mound of horseshit with a generous dollop of sexism and racism on top, but on the other was still more useful than the idiocy that tried to move into the resultant vacuum even though it was obvious that "vacuum" was both an improvement and unlikely to be improved upon. I think this especially at times when concepts such as "Projection" seem like just the ticket. I mean, you gotta squirm a little as David Brooks, Republican insider, despoiler of forests, visiting professor at Duke, and television intellectual, pretends to be Joe Lunchcart clucking--more in sorrow than anger!--at the ruins of the Temple of Ozzy Mandus XIV, even if you're laughing your ass off at the time.
That quote comes as part of a prissy little column on Eliot Spitzer that, among its other notable non-achievements, manages not to mention Eliot Spitzer, nor the high price of high-priced call girls. This is apparently meant to convince the reader that Brooks' water-added-ham-fisted pop psychoanalysis is the result of some serious musing on Our Times. It doesn't.
(Contrariwise, the smart boys on the "Left" used the opportunity to ponder Whether Prostitution Should Be Legalized, leading me, at least, to hope the practice of combining the temporalty of headline news with one's tiniest cerebral events continues into warmer weather, as it might provide us with the recipe for Matt's Favorite Potato Salad.)
Call me a skeptic, but I find it impossible to believe that such a large segment of the typing public is so utterly without feck when it comes to Sex and What People Might Do To Get Some. I mean, c'mon, I personally understand Larry Craig as far as that goes, though I wouldn't want to be seated next to him. Maybe the Young Guns of The Blogging House are still young and gunish enough to hope (irrationally, to judge by appearances) that a free sugar donut might fall out of this evening's sky and land on their dicks, but Brooks is as middle-aged as I. Oboe practice and grade competition and Alpha Male Bullshitism are not required to explain Eliot Spitzer's taste for pussy. It's pussy. Millions of Americans of any or all genders and every socio-economic strata enjoy some on a regular basis, whether or not they played soccer at the academy. For chrissakes. None of these guys has ever gone to a strip club (which, to us, is a hell of a lot more perverted than paying for some close companionship)?
At least with Freud we paid equal attention to what sort of pervert pretended he didn't understand what the attraction was.