Today's Times – The Bad

Just as incompetent people aren’t aware of their own incompetence, David Brooks is unaware of his own intellectual narcissism. How else to explain him proclaiming the existence of a new socio-economic demographic based on the fact that his own memory isn’t what it used to be?

Only he would be puzzled about his own failing memory. After all, he forget the history of both Western and Eastern civilizations, as well as the histories of colonialism, imperialism, and of failed utopian ideologies. How else to explain thinking that invading Iraq for no reason whatsoever would be a good idea?

Why does this matter? Personally, it’s driven me to blog, since here I am, highly capable in many ways, fruitlessly searching for a job, while a sloganeering non-thinker who does a bad imitation of George Will (some advice: choose good writers to imitate) has a sinecure. As a matter of history, policy and pure morality, it matters that Brooks would seek solace in failed memory, perhaps in hope that we’ll all forget how it came to pass that America is killing and torturing Iraqis, and which individuals had a part in ensuring it would come to pass. Some of us remember, Dave. As Atrios puts it, that spot doesn’t come out.

So, poor Dave needs help with his memory. I suggest music, especially some training and education in it. It’s probably too late for him, though, he appears to be a lost cause. But I’m not being facetious. Music is good for the mind, it’s the memory art, so in purely utilitarian terms, giving kids music education improves their thinking, memories, discipline, problem-solving, their ability to think critically . . . although, of course, Brooks and his compadres make their living from counting on people not to think at all about what they write.


Author: gtra1n

I'm a composer and musician, and I write about music—I do that here, for the New York Classical Review, at the Brooklyn Rail (I edit the music section there) and any place else that will have me, like New Music Box and Music & Literature. I also wrote the Miles Davis' Bitches Brew book in the 33 1/3 series.