Sunday, May 23, 2004

Question for David Brooks 

speakingcorpse writes:

I recently sent this question in to Brooks, who is taking reader questions this afternoon on the Times website.

Here is the link for this "book."

Date: Sun, 23 May 2004 15:58:12 EDT
Subject: Question for David Brooks
To: Heathernyt@aol.com

How can you in good conscience peddle the garbage you're peddling about Emerson and the American dream? You've got to know it's bullshit. Emerson was all for hope and desire, but he wanted us to THINK in order to figure out what it is we really WANT. That thinking involves sustaining a terrible loneliness in order to listen to the inner voice, and in order to avoid the bombardment of FALSE DESIRES that we are constantly being sold. Emerson knew that a consumer culture depends upon convincing people that they want things that they DON'T REALLY WANT. And unlearning or moving past these false desires requires hard and difficult thinking. In your book you essentially say that all forms of desire are the same, and that our current hopes and dreams--fed to us by a debased media culture, and resulting in our blind dive into the Iraq bloodbath--are the same as the visionary hope that Emerson celebrated. Emerson would have laughed at your absurd abuse of him. (He was magnanimous.) Just go read "The American Scholar" with an open mind (not scouting it for quotations that support your glib and convenient self-salesmanship) and you'll see that Emerson knew that most people, including himself, did not know what the fuck they really wanted, and that it would take the most arduous struggles to escape the American cult of inevitable success and meaningless "triumph" over the corpses that we manufacture to give ourselves the illusion of victory.


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