Saturday, February 12, 2005

BoBo In Purgatory

A dark cloud has crept across the face of that kindly sun whose honeyed light warms the verdant and undulant fields of BoBo's World, and this has driven the great man to an Agonizing Reappraisal:

There comes a time in any man's life when he realizes that he is an insignificant speck of dust careering aimlessly through the cosmic woof of time.
There ought to come a time in Brooks' life when he realizes that he writes some of the most abominable prose in the debased demimonde of American print journalism. This sentence is straight out of a stoned teenager's first stab at writing a science-fiction novel...though I admit that it does take a special sort of genius to divine the difference between significant and insignificant specks of dust.

What's eating Brooks, you ask? Why, nothing more nor less than the fact that he's not enough of a "playa" to get good baseball seats:
I have dreamed of sitting just behind the dugout with cadres of high-cheekbone Protestant "machers," sharing in the jollity that prevails when self-important people get together in circumstances that confirm their own self-importance, laughing at jokes no one bothered to tell, suppressing our motorcade-envy long enough to swap tidbits with Condi and Karl.
Brooks' jocular tone, and his effete raillery against "self-importance," can't hide the fact that being accepted as an equal by the Kool Kids is exactly what he's been dreaming of ever since he was old enough to understand that real men don't eat quiche. That's precisely what makes him the sniveling, cringing, lickspittle toady he is.
This is an age in which it is immoral to discriminate according to race or sex...
Actually, David, it's immoral to discriminate according to race or sex in all ages. After all, we're not moral relativists, are we?
We have worked up so many subtle gradations based on occupational status that if the characters from Edith Wharton novels could come to earth, they'd be so put off by our social stratifications they'd probably turn into Bolsheviks.
Jeez, BoBo...don't you know that literary allusion is a blue-state affectation? No wonder you don't get to hang with Karl and the gang. They don't have time for that Frenchified, sissy-boy chin music...they're busy blowing up frogs with firecrackers!

I love the idea, too, that Brooks is attempting to frighten us with the prospective disapprobation of this gaggle of recherché fictional characters. I wonder what Melmoth the Wanderer would think about social stratification among hack journalists? And what about Dr. Benjulia, the evil genius in Wilkie Collins' Heart and Science? Surely his stony heart would be moved to pity by the sad plight of David Brooks?
And what about us journalists? The beauty of Washington is that we have created the illusion that journalists are as important as the people we cover. It may be secretly true that we media types are actually like those haute couture sales clerks who think they have the right to be snooty because they once sold a thong to Courtney Cox.
It's not "secretly true"; it's Sunday-sure and pikestaff-plain to anyone with the intelligence of an axolotl. Strip away all the false humility from this passage, and Brooks is saying little more than "I degraded myself unconscionably for social gain, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt."

Brooks' meandering j'accuse ends on a note of Jovian, but tightly controlled, wrath:
The V.I.P.'s must be taken care of, as they are in any other circumstance.
That's right, BoBo. And despite today's fit of infantile pique, you'll be wearing out your lyin' tongue on their boots in a matter of days. And you'll undoubedly still be wondering why a man who so reliably falls on his knees before mere power can't get any respect.


echidne said...

Bravo!!!! (Claps scaley hands really hard.)

three dots said...

Thanks, Philalethes. As a takedown, that's downright musical.