We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
Still expecting to sell the natives shit for Shinola.
-with apologies to T.S.E.
YOU are the New York Fucking Times, fer chrissakes. It's not working; it hasn't been working for some time. Clearly. And Maureen Dowd has been clinically insane for much, much longer. Do something. Failing that, apologize to Jimmy Carter for that Malaise business.
Faux Balance is the problem. Phony 18th century Toryism is the problem. Barely contained 19th century backwoods snake-handling religious mania is the problem. Do something. Cut 'em out. Call 'em out. Something.
Fortunately, for those who study the human comedy, the epicenter of overconfidence moves from year to year. Up until recently, people in the financial world bathed in the warm glow of their own self-approval. Hubris in that world always takes the same form: The geniuses there come to believe that they have mastered risk. The future is an algorithm and they’ve cracked the code.
Over the past year, the bonfire of overconfidence has shifted to Washington. Since the masters of finance have been exposed as idiots, the masters of government have concluded (somewhat illogically) that they must be really smart.
Okay, first, I could have stopped after "for those who study the human comedy". David Brooks sees the world as essentially comic? Bullshit. David Brooks sees his meal ticket as requiring a pinch of self-deprecation, not that he has much choice. He may, in fact, see this as "comic"; anyone who observes him in action will be convinced he also sees it as a sly bit of mummery designed to hornswoggle the rubes. Show me, please, the day when David Brooks found his own opinions laughable. Not this bullshit finger-wagging at Wall Street, or the Republican party, for doing precisely what Brooks urged--no, make that what Brooks endorsed as apodictic truth--right up to the point where it blew up in their faces. Show me, please, the time when the Cosmic Kaleidoscope of Hubris drew his attention when his party was on top.
And he's talking about Democrats, Congressional Democrats, who couldn't organize a one-man parade. Which party has operated in lockstep for the past thirty years? (Oh, yeah, sorry, I remember: you've got so many factions you couldn't name them all. Or more than two.) Which one continues to? How many Republican insiders are taking your calls these days, Dave?
(And by the way, love that "believed they'd mastered risk". I think the English translation is "equated freebooting and highway robbery with economic 'freedom' right up to the point where their own pockets were picked".
Do something! Douthat, yesterday:
This ecumenical era has borne real theological fruit, especially on issues that divided Catholics and Protestants during the Reformation. But what began as a daring experiment has decayed into bureaucratized complacency — a dull round of interdenominational statements on global warming and Third World debt, only tenuously connected to the Gospel.
At the same time, the more ecumenically minded denominations have lost believers to more assertive faiths — Pentecostalism, Evangelicalism, Mormonism and even Islam — or seen them drift into agnosticism and apathy.
Nobody is more aware of this erosion than Benedict. So the pope is going back to basics — touting the particular witness of Catholicism even when he’s addressing universal subjects, and seeking converts more than common ground.
Now, I'm sure this topics fascinates as many as two dozen Americans, several of whom might possibly read the Times, and all of whom could have constructed the argument for themselves from a two-inch news item. Have we not reached the point where mid-80s Pharisaic Christianity looks as dated as a Thompson Twins video? I mean, I can type "systematic shielding of altar-boy buggery" as easily as Douthat can turn a Papal Bull into a column, but I'd prefer to move on.
And, again, he's got an entire week to come up with something. and how long did it take him to prove he wasn't up to it? How long does it take to distinguish between diversity of opinion and giving 2400 words a week so two careerist lackeys can chew the cud? Do something about it.