Tuesday, June 15, 2004

"Paradise Glossed"

Via Atrios, a link to a piece by Nicholas Confessore that adds more to the argument against David Brooks.

Update 6/18/2004, 3:24pm: I've given it a little thought and I think one of the things that bothers me the most about Brooks is that he's not a humorist. It's all well and good for people like P.J. O'Rourke or Al Franken to make broad generalizations because I know that they're doing it in service to their punch lines. They're comics at heart, and while they work their commentaries into their writing, ultimately they want a laugh. Brooks wants it both ways. He wants to be funny, he wants the laugh, but he wants people to take his "research" seriously. Which would be fine if he actually did research. But whenever he seems to be headed in that direction, he gets tired and bored and decides to make a sweeping statement based upon the itsy-bitsy amount of data he's managed to collect. Proving your thesis is much more difficult than being the Big Picture guy that he likes to think of himself as. When your first line of defense when people come at you because your data (what little of it there is) doesn't jibe with your conclusions is that you're just kidding around and people shouldn't take it so seriously, I wonder why it's supposedly worth reading at all. (And I wonder why he doesn't cut short people heaping hossanas on him for his insightfulness with, "You shouldn't take it so seriously. I"m just kidding around.")

No comments: