Friday, November 5, 2010

This is the weirdest thing I've read in awhile

I had stopped reading David Brooks (and the rest of the NYT columnists, honestly), but I'm glad I took a peek back at this one.

It's amazing that anyone is paid to write something like, "[Republicans] score[d] gains nearly everywhere where disapproval of President Obama and his policies was high." Yeah. But that's not even the weird part:
It would take a Balzac to understand the perplexities and contradictions one finds in these [Midwestern] neighborhoods. On the one hand, people are living with the daily grind of getting by on $40,000 a year, but they’re also living with Xboxes and smartphones. People in these places have traditional bourgeois values, but they live amid a decaying social fabric, with high divorce rates and skyrocketing single parenthood numbers.
It would take a Balzac to understand that people are using credit cards to live beyond their means? Sucks for us that we only have Jonathan Franzen.

3 comments:

Ben said...

That's an atrocious example of name dropping. What the hell does Balzac knows at economic tragedy? He wrote long and descriptive novel that "tried to capture his time". He's a great writer, but if that guy wanted to name drop, he could've at least chosen Faulkner or something.

Josh said...

The author of Père Goriot and César Birotteau could have done okay, but why not Wharton or Dickens? I too am curious as to what symbolic capital "Balzac" possesses.

Shelley said...

Drawing conclusions from some voters rejecting Democrats is predicated on the idea that those voters were well-informed enough to base their vote on the facts.

If they were, fine, and that vote stands.

But how many voters read the newspaper or factcheck.org? Conversely, how many listen to Rush? How many are voting against their own self-interest?