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Thread: David Brooks

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macduff View Post
    "only a high school degree".
    Perhaps I AM an elitist--I object to calling a high school diploma a "degree."

    People simply don't have this kind of primal fear reaction to foods they aren't familiar with (assuming his friend was truly unfamiliar with deli meats.).
    I have to disagree with you. I taught a group of students in London one summer. Once their 60 quid of coupons for MacDonalds was used up, all they saw were fast food (still pricier than in the US) and white table-cloth places they couldn't afford. I had to take them to a pub and make them eat "gammon" or "shepherd's pie." I had to take them to the Tesco grocery where they could get ready-made, fresh-not-frozen meals for the microwave. Of course, they were skittish about Chicken Tikka Masala at first (Brits love food from elsewhere, and who can blame them), but they got along. Had they been in the US, they would never move beyond their sphere of fare but they were trapped on the other side of an ocean.

    From his description, you'd think someone lifted the cover off a plate to reveal a boiled sheep's head or a plate full of insects. Does he really think that it takes a college degree to know what a baguette is?
    No, but this obviously freaked her out a bit.

    You really think it's possible for a member of the elite to criticize the elite to an audience of the elite and not sound elitist?
    Last edited by Rasselas; 12th July 2017 at 10:08 PM.

  2. #52
    Anarquistador StanStill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amelia View Post
    I'm merely reflecting my observation that the approved "rightwingers" on PBS and NPR and our local affiliate WPR have generally needed to be willing to appreciate much about the left and have needed to explicitly disavow some rightwing ideas, and leftwingers haven't needed to show as much appreciation of the other side to earn their berth.

    A willingness to disagree with the rightwing mainstream seems to be a job requirement for the token "conservatives" on those networks. Without a reciprocal requirement for liberal panelists.
    I disagree. How many socialists are regular commentators on NPR? The outermost limits of the left are still comfortably within subservience to the capitalist system with minor exceptions for people who want to "tweak it to make it more efficient" or "protect the weakest from being overlooked in the capitalist drive for achievement and magnificence." It's a pretty solid requirement of the "leftist" commentators on NPR that they can disagree all they want with conservatives, but they get additional praise and promotion for being "pragmatic" and talking sense into people who dare criticize the motivations of US leaders, the morality of capitalism, and the system we have in general. Those things are always off the table on NPR.

    Guests are occasionally allowed to speak off script, but not paid commentators.

  3. #53
    Burn it down Macduff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    Perhaps I AM an elitist--I object to calling a high school diploma a "degree."
    I object to the term "only". It's been my experience that not having a college degree is not an indicator of intelligence or achievement. I know plenty of well read and informed people without college degrees. I know of several families where the wealthiest member doesn't have a college degree.

    I have to disagree with you. I taught a group of students in London one summer. Once their 60 quid of coupons for MacDonalds was used up, all they saw were fast food (still pricier than in the US) and white table-cloth places they couldn't afford. I had to take them to a pub and make them eat "gammon" or "shepherd's pie." I had to take them to the Tesco grocery where they could get ready-made, fresh-not-frozen meals for the microwave. Of course, they were skittish about Chicken Tikka Masala at first (Brits love food from elsewhere, and who can blame them), but they got along. Had they been in the US, they would never move beyond their sphere of fare but they were trapped on the other side of an ocean.

    No, but this obviously freaked her out a bit.

    You really think it's possible for a member of the elite to criticize the elite to an audience of the elite and not sound elitist?
    Some of us have more adventurous palates and enjoy new dining experiences. I thought the idea that she was challenged by the names for sandwiches was far fetched. As if there aren't thousands of restaurants across the country that do their own branding for the names of dishes. Is this woman scared and confused when she goes to a Red Robin? "OMG! What's a Banzai Burger?"
    And this was a deli. That's a common enough experience for Americans. Subway sold a sandwich with some of those very meats on it. I joked about the boiled sheep's head and insects, but it's all conditioning. If we were raised to eat those things then it wouldn't be a big deal. Just like foreigners think things like corn dogs or pop tarts are gross. But for Americans, a deli is a pretty quintessential experience.

  4. #54
    Burn it down Macduff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amelia View Post
    I'm merely reflecting my observation that the approved "rightwingers" on PBS and NPR and our local affiliate WPR have generally needed to be willing to appreciate much about the left and have needed to explicitly disavow some rightwing ideas, and leftwingers haven't needed to show as much appreciation of the other side to earn their berth.

    A willingness to disagree with the rightwing mainstream seems to be a job requirement for the token "conservatives" on those networks. Without a reciprocal requirement for liberal panelists.
    Brooks strikes me as being a conservative in name only who the left trots out as some sort of credibility builder. "See, even this conservative thinks Obamacare works!"
    Meanwhile, Brooks has no credibility with anyone on the right.
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  5. #55
    told you so Amelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanStill View Post
    I disagree. How many socialists are regular commentators on NPR? The outermost limits of the left are still comfortably within subservience to the capitalist system with minor exceptions for people who want to "tweak it to make it more efficient" or "protect the weakest from being overlooked in the capitalist drive for achievement and magnificence." It's a pretty solid requirement of the "leftist" commentators on NPR that they can disagree all they want with conservatives, but they get additional praise and promotion for being "pragmatic" and talking sense into people who dare criticize the motivations of US leaders, the morality of capitalism, and the system we have in general. Those things are always off the table on NPR.

    Guests are occasionally allowed to speak off script, but not paid commentators.

    A leftleaning commentator disagreeing with socialism isn't disagreeing with the mainstream left. Also, more often than not, what you'll hear from them is some degree of scoffing at those on the right who think that what the left espouses is socialism.
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  6. #56
    the "good" prag pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macduff View Post
    Brooks strikes me as being a conservative in name only who the left trots out as some sort of credibility builder. "See, even this conservative thinks Obamacare works!"
    Meanwhile, Brooks has no credibility with anyone on the right.

    That comment is not accurate.

    Brooks is certainly on the Moderate end of the Conservative spectrum. But he is conservative. And level headed in my opinion. Enjoy listening to him talk on the Sunday morning talk shows.

  7. #57
    Veteran Member Dr Sampson Simpson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    Why do you think he was looking down on anyone? What in his language suggests that? If he were looking down on her, why know her at all? Why offer to take her to lunch? It's not like offering to take someone to the opera, where they know ahead of time if they like/understand/want to see it. It's just lunch.

    Nothing about what Brooks has written in the past suggests he's anything but humble in the way he approaches things. Have you ever heard him talk?

    This incident was a misunderstanding--one Brooks takes responsibility for. But if you know something and there's a problem that results from someone else NOT knowing it, how is it even possible to handle that situation without acknowledging the facts knowing or not knowing?

    I'm particularly interested because part of my job is to instill tastes in people. I introduce people to all sorts of literature that they've never seen before and often don't understand until I read it aloud or explain it to them. Would you condemn me as elitist? I'm not sure how one teaches Chaucer or Shakespeare or Milton without inviting someone into unknown and maybe complex, yet-to-be-explored territory. Shouldn't we all be open and interested in new things? When my brother-in-law from Texas asked offered to take me along when he went shooting with a new, high-powered assault-type rifle (something I know nothing about), should I have just said, "No, I'll just sit here and read my fancy-shmancy novel?" No--I was open to new experiences. I didn't mind his showing me how to use the thing. I didn't even mind the giddy little-girl noises he made in his delight over the new toy. And while he did make a couple of snide remarks about my politics, I never thought of him as "elitist" or better than me because he knows more about an area of his interest than I do.

    If I encounter new food, I'm skittish, but I ask questions and learn something. I don't get all scared and insist on Mexican. At least not since I was a child.
    I think most of us no why, just focus on the one insignificant thing to try and discredit the source so you can deflect from the real message of the story and never have to address it

    On to Brooks, I really don't think it is education that is the issue, but wealth. Those who are wealthy want to prevent others from joining their class. Education does not guarantee wealth. Plenty of poor college graduates (or post graduates)
    Last edited by Dr Sampson Simpson; 13th July 2017 at 10:43 AM.

  8. #58
    Anarquistador StanStill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amelia View Post
    A leftleaning commentator disagreeing with socialism isn't disagreeing with the mainstream left. Also, more often than not, what you'll hear from them is some degree of scoffing at those on the right who think that what the left espouses is socialism.
    That's a perfect example. Plenty of accolades for people who scoff at the idea of socialism. The left actually does espouse socialism, but not the left that is paid to comment on NPR, CNN, CBS, etc. That is the "radio edit" version of the left in which all the ideas that are hostile to capitalism, or which question the morality of US wars, have been removed. Mostly, you get a "left" that gives Bill Cosby type (perhaps not the best analogy today, but pretend it is 10 years ago) finger wagging lectures to the naïve young activists who toy with dangerous ideas. Any opposition to US wars or capitalism has to accept as a foundation that they are fundamentally good, but oddly mistaken in the curious case in question. Always.

    With all the commentators on the war in Iraq, I defy you to find any paid NPR (or any other) commentator who openly claimed that the war was a morally reprehensible crime. At the most, you might find "misguided" or "hasty to do something to defend the country". But the idea that it was a war crime? Never. If you get outside the mainstream bubble, there were plenty of people on the left saying exactly that. Occasionally they got a short interview, but never a job.
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  9. #59
    told you so Amelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanStill View Post
    .... If you get outside the mainstream bubble, there were plenty of people on the left saying exactly that. Occasionally they got a short interview, but never a job.
    You say I'm making your point, but you're making my point.

    Rule of thumb on PBS, NPR, WPR:

    Leftleaning commentators come from the mainstream -- you just labeled them as part of the mainstream bubble. If they scoff at the left, it's the far left. Serious socialists don't make up much of the left, far, near or otherwise. They're not the mainstream.

    Meanwhile, rightleaning commentators do not come from the mainstream, and they are expected to scoff at the mainstream.

  10. #60
    Veteran Member MaryAnne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NightSwimmer View Post
    Yeah, that's the explanation for our bottom up income redistribution problems.

    The proletariat lacks appreciation of Grey Poupon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Macduff View Post
    I love how the lizard portion of her brain went into overdrive because of some unfamiliar names for lunch meats.
    I live how the pompous alligator portion of Brooks brain that that was a good choice for a column. That would be edited by those smarter than he.

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