The Five Most Annoying Things About David Brooks' Attack on Occupy Wall Street:
Today, in his New York Times "column" (if by "column," you mean, "bland faux intellectual insights masking a deep desire by a rich nerd to be accepted by the cool kids"), David Brooks does one of his patented bullshit dances of superiority. In "analyzing" the Occupy Wall Street movement, Brooks engages in an mind-boggling level of reductionism, like a man who thinks the only way you can fuck is missionary and everything else is icky.
1. The title is "The Milquetoast Radicals." David Brooks calling someone "milquetoast" is like a herpes-ridden crack whore calling someone a "skank." One could either say, "Well, that's a bit hypocritical" or "Well, I guess that's an expert opinion."
2. Brooks attempts to discredit OWS by discrediting Adbusters, the Canadian magazine that gave the first protesters the idea of an Arab Spring-type movement in the United States. The magazine is "previously best known for the 2004 essay, 'Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?' — an investigative report that identified some of the most influential Jews in America and their nefarious grip on policy." Actually, the article asked a question that many, on the right and left, asked: Why were we not allowed to discuss the neocons' emphasis on protecting Israel? And, actually, the only people who gave a shit about the article and found it controversial were the neocons, like, you know, Brooks.
3. Brooks takes one major slogan from the movement and extrapolates, no shit, for the bulk of his column about how it's wrong: "If there is a core theme to the Occupy Wall Street movement, it is that the virtuous 99 percent of society is being cheated by the richest and greediest 1 percent." Where do you wanna go with that? Who the fuck is saying that the 99% is "virtuous"? They're saying, "Why should 1% control so much of the economy? Why should they get paid so much more than the average American? Why shouldn't they pay more taxes?" It's not about the 1% footing the bill for everyone else. It's that the 1% pay their fair fucking share. But notice how easy it is to get caught up in debating a slogan rather than an issue? "The 99-versus-1 frame is also extremely self-limiting," Brooks writes. Yeah. That's why OWS isn't limited to that single argument.
4. Brooks says, "A third believe the U.S. is no better than Al Qaeda, according to a New York magazine survey." Okay, let's fact-check this shit: The "survey" was a totally non-scientific poll of a hundred protesters. We know nothing about who the magazine chose to question. It was done nearly two weeks ago, before the protests took off. And New York magazine itself makes no claim to any kind of validity beyond, "Hey, we bugged a few people in Zuccotti Park with some kind of snarky questions. Here's what they said." But for Brooks? It's enough to discredit the entire enterprise.
5. To conclude, Brooks offers an opinion piece from Matt Miller in the Washington Post as something far more radical than what he thinks the OWS protesters want, but, since Brooks doesn't actually understand anything about the Occupy Together movement beyond the aforementioned slogan, he wouldn't realize that a good chunk of what Miller proposes is pretty damn similar to the Occupiers.
Brooks snorts, "The most radical people today are the ones that look the most boring." Now that's some fuckin' projection.