Wednesday, October 11, 2006

David Brooks - Save Him from Himself

David "They Will Welcome Us as Liberators" Brooks set a new standard of stupidity-inspired hilarity in this morning's Kansas City Star. I had to read the column a couple times, and then look it up online, to make sure he really wrote what got published. Alas, he did, and it is obvious that the man has snapped, and needs someone to watch over him while he recuperates.

The column in today's Star is titled "We should not allow breaches in moral code". But, no, he's not talking about torture, or about denying kids medical coverage, or about invading countries without planning for the aftermath. Instead, he uses his column inches to compare Mark Foley and a character from "The Vagina Monologues", who may have been the victim of statutory rape.

He writes, and I'm putting this in block quotes so you can see that I'm not making it up:
But why is one sexual predator despised and the other celebrated?

The first and obvious reason is that male predators are more disturbing than female predators. But the second and more important reason is that they exist in different moral universes.
No, Mr. Brooks, the first and most obvious reason is that ONE OF THEM IS A FICTIONAL CHARACTER!!! Those of us who live in the real world, the world where insurgencies happen and actions have consequences understand that those people on the stage are play-acting.

Cheering for a character who has dealt with a rape is not the same as saying that rape is good. Mark Foley is not a character in "The Penis Monologues". Abusing your status as a representative of the United States to have sex with underage pages is not equivalent to attending a thought-provoking play. Really, it isn't. They are two different things. Most of us get that. Not David Brooks anymore. Appearing in front of a "Mission Accomplished" sign is not the same as accomplishing a mission.

There's more, of course. Brooks concludes his column with a puzzling, and vaguely threatening, spin on how the Foley scandal is bad for Democrats:
In the long run, the party that benefits from events like the Foley scandal will be the party that defines the core threats to the social fabric and emerges as the most ardent champion of moral authority.
Back here in the real world, the most ardent champion of moral authority, the real Republican leader of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, just got caught exploiting children!! The Republican most ardent champion of moral authority turned out to be a pervert! Do you really think that this development means that the American public is going to accept at face value a new Republican ardent champion of moral authority?!

I wonder if it actually hurts to be that stupid.


Anonymous GeoffE_ said...

I guess if you watch the Scottish play you become an honest to god real Regicide.

10/11/2006 2:02 PM  
Blogger reverse_vampyr said...

Brooks took two examples, one real and one fictional, and compared them. Within the context of that allegory, he makes a good point. Although it makes me wonder if he's got some hidden baggage against "The Vagina Monologues" for its moral lapses, he does point out a discrepancy in how some hold a double-standard when it comes to sex with minors.

You seem to have totally missed the passage where he states the obvious - that he's talking about fictional characters:
>Ensler’s audiences are reacting to the
>exuberant voice of the young girl, who
>narrates the scene. They’re embracing —
>at least in the fantasy world of the
>theater — a moral code that’s been
>called expressive individualism.
>this code, the core mission of life is to
>throw off the shackles of social
>convention and to embark on a journey
>of self-discovery. Behavior is not wrong
>if it feels good and doesn’t hurt anybody
>else. Sex is not wrong so long as it is
>done by mutual consent.

Fictional example or not, his assertion is still valid. Moral relativism damages our society, whether in the theater or in real life. It's not "thought-provoking" (and I'm surprised you'd call it that) to celebrate pedophilia. Even in a play.

Just to clarify, all the evidence we've seen up to this point indicates that Mark Foley never had sex with underage pages. Your statement made it sound like he did. Foley's real crime is his abuse of authority. That, and the flat-out creepy nature of a grown man exchanging sexual messages (email and IM) with teenagers - even if they were of legal age according to the laws of Washington, DC.

Sorry for the lengthy comment.

10/12/2006 1:01 PM  

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