Brooks Channels a 'Fanatic,' and People Are Confused

'New York Times' columnist is out with a memorable one
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2019 1:23 PM CDT
David Brooks' New Column Has People a Little Puzzled
A file photo of David Brooks.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

The latest column by David Brooks in the New York Times is out, and it's ... something. The headline: "And Now, a Word From a Fanatic." Brooks' own tweeted description: "Every ideological disease of the current moment thrown into one column!" The first paragraph,which fans of Dostoevsky will appreciate: "I am a sick man. I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I believe my liver is diseased." Brooks then goes to channel the type of person who shows up on the extreme left or the extreme right and tries to shed light on what makes him tick. "To know anything about me you have to understand the chaos at the core of my innermost being," he writes. "I was raised without coherent moral frameworks. I was raised amid social fragmentation and division, the permanent flux of liquid modernity."

And so on. It's an unusual read, and it's prompted some pretty entertaining reactions:

  • Hello, editors? "Did no one have a single, solitary question for David Brooks about what the hell is going on?" wonders Caitlin Cruz at Splinter. "Has he never been told that it is OKAY to tell your editor that you’re not ready and you’re going to miss a deadline??"
  • Memories: "David Brooks’ column reminds me of when I was 12 and I got mad at my parents so I wrote my own obituary and printed it out and slid it under their bedroom door thinking, 'Now they’ll be sorry!' but instead they laughed and emailed it to our entire family," tweets Jennifer C. Martin of Topix.
  • You pick: "This editor can’t decide if Brooks’ column is brilliant or batsh*t … which might in itself mean his column is actually a success," writes Sam J. at Twitchy. "Or it might mean she’s had too much coffee."
(More David Brooks stories.)

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